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Organizing art supplies and working in a small studio space in the laundry room.
I needed a short break today from working on T-Rex mask pattern, so I put together this video to show you my new paper mache studio.
My old studio was in a larger room, and the extra space made it harder for me to keep everything organized. This smaller space is actually working better for me.
Links to things mentioned in the video:
- Contraption that holds my camera
- Camera power adapter
- Cheap plastic shelves
- Make a sculpture stand with lazy susan
- I couldn’t find a short link to the drawers, but you can find them in Walmart where they sell plastic storage containers.
- My daughter’s oil paintings
Do you have any tips for organizing your art and craft supplies so they’re easy to find? Do your craft projects take up more than one room in your house? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂
23 thoughts on “My New Paper Mache Studio”
I always forgot where certain tools and equipment was store and spent a lot of time searching for them. Then l set up a system where by l gave every draw , shelf etc a number. Then l listed all my supplies, tools etc within the numbered areas. I then wrote them in alphabetical order with the number next to the item. I then put these pages in a A4 plastic sleeve at the end of the storage system.
An example if looking for scissors I would look up S and find scissors would be in draw 16. Then I would go to draw 16. When finished I would place the scissors back in draw 16. I find what I want quickly.
Hi, I love your new workshop Jonni, hope you have many a creative hour in there! I hear lots of people on about your lazy Susan. I use a plastic cake decoration table which turns easily. I wrap cling film over it so it stays clean!
Up to now it has come in useful with all your sculpture sizes. Happy sorting!
I really enjoy catching glimpses of people’s work spaces when they post their work. Thanks for sharing yours. I’ve just graduated from the kitchen table into a tiny backyard studio (converted shed) that I love spending time in.
I finally cleaned out our tornado hide-out in the basement. I had art supplies and Christmas decorations packed in it. Now we can get in it at least. This 2 day project has taken a week. Need to put my collage jewelry in the nuts and bolts drawers. And need to get rid of more “stuff”.
Is the light chipboard 22pt. ? I ? no I found it on Amazon
Yes, the chipboard I use is 22pt.
Well Jonni, I have the opposite problem. My studio is tiny. I am always bumping into stuff. But I will say that I know where everything is, usually. Good luck in your new space. I know you will thrive in your new space!
Thanks, Pat! I bumped into things more often when my studio was in the larger room. Only because there’s a carpet in there, so the wheels on the cart didn’t work very well. And the electric outlets were farther away so there were always extension cords trying to trip me. I did finally get rid of the light tripod, which was always in the way, and the contraption for the camera did away with the old camera tripod. Those long legs were always in the way. It’s funny how a smaller space actually seems to work better than a larger one. But it would be nice to have the option of building bigger sculptures, if I could think of a place to put them when they were done. 🙂
Thank you Jonni for showing off your new studio. I am pretty much in the same boat you are because I do have a small new home and I have to consolidate and I’m making use of my whole house to for my artwork which is of course painting and working in a little bit of farm wood carving sculpturing type of stuff. It works very well it’s it’s my home it’s my my little studio which I have since I moved last fall 450 miles away to be closer to my children And Dom I gave up a separate building which is studio and had to consolidate night so I have a lot of stuff and I do have to consolidate I I do I have to pay and there’s things that I can actually throw away but I haven’t been able to get through to sort everything out yet, but I really enjoy your little videos and I am looking forward to seeing some more and I’d like to see a video if you could send it on to me of how to make your little turntable there because that’s handy. I don’t have anything like that and a purse. You have my email there cause you’ve sent me the email here and my name is Sue and I am artist from many years and I’ve dabbled in a lot of things, and I am really enjoy it, and especially at my age of 80 so thank you again and and I’ll be looking forward to seeing some more of your videos. Thank you dear take care bye-bye 50%
Hi Sue. I remember how long it took me to finally go through all my boxes of stuff when I moved to the Midwest. I still have a few boxes down in the basement that I probably need to throw out. Moving isn’t easy, is it? If you’d like to see the video about the turning sculpture stand, you can watch it here: https://www.ultimatepapermache.com/diy-sculpture-stand
So another thought/tip:
A cutting area, often as I see craft videos, the green cutting mat is used as a protective area and is painted on, glue sticks to etc. This is fine as long as you have another clean cutting mat area separate, with a good ruler, blade and some scraps of dense card to assist in mat longevity.
Tracking crap around is poor studio hygiene and can ruin all your work in a moment.
Remember a sharp tool is a safe tool. replace your blades frequently, trying to eek out the 50c blade on an important $8 sheet of paper is false economy.
Does your studio have a sink? If not, a few jugs or buckets of water on hand to quickly scrub hands while in the zone will assist in not tracking unwanted paint and adhesive.
Ideal studio: chair and desk with sketchbooks, maybe a computer. Near a window, for gazing, having lunch and cups of tea, changing the music.
A standing desk, with stool, main workstation, main tools within reach or a few steps. Ideally also near the window, for gazing and ventilation.
A flat general purpose table or deep shelf, clean cutting area on top: Storage underneath: a set of plan drawers raised high is perfect.
Outside: 2 sawhorses and some long planks: messy area and aerosols etc.
So four areas. Though the first, the sitting desk is actually optional, depending on your attitude to sketchbooks.
All these areas have storage potential.
If something is on your workbench and you haven’t used it in a year: shove it in a marked and labelled drawer, instant free real estate.
I’m getting to where I’m going to colour code and number seldom used handtools and “file” them in related shelves and drawers with the same colour and numbers. i.e. electrical tools have a yellow dot and the number 6. they are in the yellow number 6 drawers. I might not solder or strip a wire for 6 months, but when I do: Yellow Six is my callsign.
The colour and number association means I can master list most stuff and my brain will remember the visual cue.
I do enjoy you videos. Thank you for sharing. My 5 year old daughter is really into dinosaurs and ask for a Trex from Santa. Any idea when the pattern will be available? Maybe by march?
Yes, I hope it will be done by then. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long – but it will get done eventually. Not in time for Christmas, though. I hope your young paleontologist has a great Christmas – and you, too! 🙂
That is just what I’m dealing with right now. Get so frustrated searching for
a tool or particular paint I want to use.
Great idea’s you have. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Sharon. Yes, looking for stuff is frustrating. Especially when the item you need could be in the next room, or in the basement or the garage… That’s how I’ve been doing it for years. I hope this new space will make it easier to get stuff done!
I don’t have an organized bone in my body, and so, I’m of no help. With that said, I’m definitely interested in learning how to organize my art room. This post sparked my interest!
Thank you, Jonni!
Thanks, Janet. The thing that helped me the most was adding the extra drawers, and moving to a room where there were no extra shelves or tables to throw things on. I hope I keep putting things where they belong, but we’ll see… 🙂
Love that you organized in a small space! My craft room was supposed to be a small nursery size room, not large enough to be a spare twin bedroom. But I have 3 6′ high bookshelf units, 3 3-drawer roll arounds, 2 of which are under the table, a 6′ long work table, a 4’x6′ peg board on the wall behind the table with pegs for thread spools and every thing else I can hang on it, an amoire that my husband put shelves in for all my materials ( I sew) and lots of plastic shoes boxes, mini drawers for tools, fimo clay etc. Also use an old 3 drawer silver chest that i divided the drawers for cross stitch threads. Have a slanted board hubby made with plastic silver coin holders that my acrylic craft paint bottles fit in that hangs on the wall. I just have room for a roll-around seat, but I like yours better. I do have small lazy susans to work on, and lots of plastic cases for the different things I do. Walmart is great for storage stuff of all kinds! Elephant looks really good on that black background! Have fun, stay warm. We currently have 2′ snow everywhere!
It sounds like you have a very nice husband! That’s a lot of snow! We don’t have any snow yet, but we should get some later this week. My neighbors lost a lot of big branches off their trees from the ice, by I only lost one. It hit the chicken coop but didn’t cause any damage and it sure is pretty out there. Stay warm!
Jonni, wow, nicely organized workspace! I am still working on organizing my studio but totally buy into keeping all the “stuff” sorted, brushes in one spot, paint in another, etc. Not always easy to do.
I also sew and have bins of fabric. Over the summer I took fabric from large tubs and sorted them into smaller tubs (all the reds together, no matter what type fabric), all the blacks, whites, blues, etc. then the plaid woolens and so on. I made my granddaughter a dragon costume for Halloween and it was spectacular.
I am enjoying your posts and hope to make some small paper mache animals just because I think they’re cute!
Did you take some photos of your granddaughter’s dragon costume? We’d love to see it. 🙂
Storage tips, if you have been making for some time you’ll know the tools you favour: make these accessible, hooks, tubs, posts, trays, whatever. Within reach.
Less used stuff in thematic sets: all your paper cutting and punching stuff in related drawers or tubs/shelves. Likewise adhesives in one place. Tapes in another. Screws etc, choose a few types, donate all the rest to a community mans-shed or workshop. Use Robertson square drive if possible.
Heavy power tools mid to low down, all together.
Lighting is king: lamps, brighter bulbs etc take priority.
Flat storage: plan drawers if you can fit, or shelving or large clean strong cardboard boxes: matboard boxes from a friendly picture framer are the business.
Inspiration boards, pin boards and lovely artifacts surround yourself with but don’t put them on your work surface.
Splatter zones, spray areas make sure you have ready access to propping up, clamping, sawhorses etc.
There is no perfect work space, delaying creativity for the perfect setup is futile. As your practice develops so will your mediums and techniques change. bring what’s needed to the fore, pack away what you aren’t using as often.
My mum ( a doll maker) has reduced her studio fabric collection down twice in the last decade, bags given and donated to younger, hungrier folks: do the same to your supplies every 3-5 years: they’re holding you back!
and yes, I’m a victim of my own hypocrisy, but every year do a huge hoosle out: it feels so fine.
Excellent tips, Samuel – thanks!