Welcome! You’ve read Part 1 of Art with the Kids, and you are gathering things on the Budget Supply List. Now, let’s talk about how to create a studio space in your home. It’s easier than you think and mainly because we will get creative ourselves, and flexible, about how to do this. There are no rules and even you have the space!
Location, Location, Location
Yep, those familiar words even apply here. Studio spaces can be small or spacious and neither is better than the other. Consider these ideas:
- Make it a space that is always set up and where supplies can be left out. No, the dining room table is not the greatest, but will do until you design your new plan.
- If you don’t have a whole room to use, think about a corner in a room – living room, behind the couch, dining room, heated basement, it doesn’t matter. My dad used to take over our kid bathroom for his photography darkroom! We were fascinated, and…best of all, we got to use Mom and Dad’s grown up bathroom for a bit!
- Get a big carpet remnant or one of those plastic floor covers that office chairs roll on, if you need to protect the floor. And, lucky for you if you have a floor that doesn’t need it.
- Lighting matters. A floor lamp, hanging lamp, or a string of white lights overhead all give direct lighting. Light from behind makes shadows and your young artist won’t be able to see their project very well.
- Maybe you want a divider to separate the space,or a big peg board with hanging cups for storage of brushes etc.
- Make this a space where kids can work uninterrupted and return to their unfinished work at will.
- It is a space where messy is expected and accepted.
Stop a minute, close your eyes, and just think of two or three possibilities in your home. Just possibilities for now. And check out these links for inspiration!
Furniture to Create the Studio
You will figure this out as you go however, here are some places to start.
- A table. The one at the top of this post costs under $20.00 at Costco and folds up. I LOVE that it is washable. I will love it even more when it gets covered with paint stains and glitter highlights!
- A light weight chair or stool. I have kids in my office who love to stand, and others who love to sit while they work.
- Supply storage. Shelves can be made of old boards and cinderblocks. Cardboard boxes can be the tubs. Pretty cheap, right? You can find fancier stuff out there at ShopKo, Target, and so on. Want it to look more decorative? Try painting the boxes for your first project in the studio!
- Rolly carts are great!! Check second hand stores. My mom used an old microwave cart!
- An easel. I like to supply equipment that is like what “real artists” use and I prefer table top easels for any age for three reasons: 1. They fold up easily making the space more flexible, 2. They can be inexpensive, and, 3. You can take them with you when you travel!! I have two. This one came from Michaels and cost just under $20.00. The other one is a little bigger and has a storage drawer in the bottom.
- A spot for drying the projects – maybe a shelf, or a clothes line strung overhead, or one of the walls. Or second hand cookie sheets to hold the projects, which you can stack. Or all of these options.
- Trash can.
This is a good place to start. Check these links for more ideas.
And Finally – About the Mess
I probably worried a little too much about messes when I was raising our kids. You can address this for yourself. Art really needs an option to be messy at times therefore we need to create the studio to accommodate that. Studios need to be organized and picked up from time to time and messy doesn’t mean destructive or inappropriate behavior. It’s just that worrying too much about messes will kill your child’s creativity and they won’t want to use their beautiful art space at all.
Please, send me photos of the studios you create for your kids! I would love to see them!
Have fun with this!