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Art Studio Ideas for Real People

By Cate Prato, Cloth Paper Scissors Today editor

Many artists dream of having a spacious and beautifully appointed art studio. But most of us would happily settle for a small craft studio space at home—anything from a table in the basement to a spare bedroom.

Get organized, functional studios with these recommended issues of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazine:

Art Studio Design: Studios Spring 2013 Art Studio Design Ideas: Studios Spring 2011 Art Studio Ideas: Studios Winter 2012
Studios Spring 2013
(Print or Instant Download)
Find color and fresh inspiration with projects, studio decorating ideas, inventive techniques, & thrifty craft organization ideas.
Studios Spring 2011
(Instant download)
Featuring Ty Pennington's home art studio, art studio design ideas, and organization inspiration in this popular issue
Studios Winter 2012
(Print or Instant Download)
Discover craft studio styling, unique gift ideas, and a peak into interesting art studio ideas from around the world.

Over the years we've published Studios magazine, we've seen everything from a closet-sized craft room to palatial custom-designed digs. But one thing they all have in common is that size doesn't really matter. If you want to create a home studio, you can find some space. You just need to make it a priority and use some strategic art studio organization and storage ideas.

How to make a home studio that works for you:

1. Claim some space. It doesn't matter whether it's a card table and a bookshelf or your unused dining room. What's important is that you have a space dedicated to your creative pursuits. Once you have a space, you can figure out how best to use what you have.

2. Consider how you work. Some people like to sort their paints into separate cubbies by type, brand, color, and expiration date. Others throw it all in a bin labeled "Paints." The point is, there's no right way to organize your art studio supplies. All you need to worry about is how you like to work.

3. Embrace some form of organization and stick with it. We get it: art is messy. But it pays—literally—to put your tools away at least at the end of every project. Otherwise you're likely to spend time trying to find your favorite scissors or that stencil you bought last month—and you may end up spending money to replace the items when you can't find them.

4. Use every inch. Those of us who create in the real world don't have unlimited square footage in which to spread out our craft studio supplies. But we can make use of floor-to-ceiling shelving, pull-down tables, over-the-door hangers, baskets hung from the ceiling, and stacked vintage suitcases.

Organize Your Art Studio & Supplies with Things You Already Have!

5. Store some supplies off-stage. If you have limited space, it makes sense to keep your most-used art studio supplies close at hand and store less-frequently used items elsewhere. Just be sure to clearly label the off-site containers so you can find them quickly and easily when you need them.

Top 10 free and low-cost art studio storage ideas:

1. Cans and jars. Recycle your soup and vegetable cans and jars into art studio storage for paintbrushes, pens, scissors, and more. Dress them up with fabric or paint pens or leave them as-is for an industrial-chic look.

2. Printer trays. Old, discarded printer type trays can be had for a low cost at flea markets and thrift shops and they hold all sorts of art supplies including found objects, jewelry findings, hardware, fabric trims, and so on.

Art Studio Storage Ideas: Clear Produce Containers

3. Hinged clear plastic produce containers. Eat your fruits and veggies, then use the cleaned containers to hold yarn, paint bottles, glitter jars, or anything else that needs to be seen but corralled.

4. Baskets. Pick up baskets at yard sales for pennies, then use them as open storage for fabric, fibers, small tools, etc.

5. Bins. From clear plastic utility to woven fabric décor, there's a bin for every studio style, every budget, and every art supply.

6. Cutlery drawer organizers and silverware caddies. Keep your tools and art studio supplies organized or sorted and/or portable.

7. Pegboard and hooks. Instantly turn a wall into a storage system. Add a pop of color by painting the pegboard in a bright color before hanging.

8. Vintage vases and candy dishes. Lend a pretty and nostalgic touch to your studio with these treasures from your past (or someone else's).

9. Shelving and cubbies. Whether you rescue units from yard sales or build it yourself from the DIY storage section of hardware or discount department store, shelving and cubbies can help you organize and store your art supplies.

10. Rolling carts and drawer units. Movable storage is flexible storage. Consider putting wheels on existing furniture to make it movable.

Embroidery Hoop Wall Pockets by Bonnie Ferguson

Here are a few of our favorites to inspire your art studios!
Plus get 10% off* your favorites with coupon code SAVELP

Craft Organization Ideas: 10 Projects to Organize Your Art Studio Beautifully

It's all about low-cost DIY solutions with this eBook on studio organization. Including 10 projects that will help you solve common craft studio problems, you'll get your art studios, supplies, and creative life better organized with this eBook.
Learn More  . . .

Make a Home Art Studio: Inside the Creative Studio

Turn your vision of a dream studio into a reality! With innovative solutions, this book will help you learn how to make a home studio no matter the amount of space you have.

Learn More . . .

Art Studios Information: 2011 Studios CD Collection

(Order the CD or Download Instantly)
Inspire your studios with a whole year of Studios magazine. Featuring art studio organization ideas, plus inspiring studios from around the world, you'll discover just how easy it is to have your own art studio.
Learn More . . .

*One use per customer, final discounts will be displayed within the cart for qualifying items. Discount not valid on pre-orders, value packs, subscriptions, and 3rd party products. Other exclusions may apply.

Art Studio Decorating Ideas

Here's a cute and easy art studio storage idea. All you need are some embroidery hoops, fabric, fusible fleece, and a sewing machine or needle and thread.

1. Measure the diameter of the hoop and cut 2 circles of fabric (matching or coordinating) and 1 piece of fusible fleece slightly larger than the diameter of the hoop.

2. Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the background circle.

3. Fold the other fabric circle in half, wrong sides together, and press. This forms the pocket.

4. Align the raw edges of the folded pocket piece with the bottom of the background piece. Pin and baste the pocket in place, then stitch through all the layers ¼" from the raw edges.

5. Measure, pin, and mark (with removable fabric marking pen) the segments in the pockets and topstitch.

6. Sandwich the fabric between the inner and outer rings of the embroidery hoop, making sure the wing-nut fastener is at the top. Hang and fill with supplies.

10 Easy Studio Decorating Ideas:

You may not have the budget for top-of-the-line furniture or decorator window treatments. But you can give your art studio personality and flair. Here's how:

Art Studio Decorating Ideas

1. Paint the walls—or a focal wall—a bright color.

2. Add a really cool chair, like a bright red modern desk chair or a comfy lounge chair upholstered in vintage fabrics.

3. Hang a handmade banner with an inspirational word or phrase.

4. Feature your collections on shelves or a side table.

5. Display friends' artwork.

6. Put up an inspiration board.

7. Fill a vase with fresh flowers weekly.

8. String a clothesline and make a rotating display of you your children's artwork.

9. Install "daylight" natural style lighting. Everything in your studio—including your art—will look better.

10. Hide clutter behind a curtain made from an old quilt, vintage fabric, or a pretty shower curtain.

Cate Prato

Cate Prato is the editor for Cloth Paper Scissors Today.

If you let Cate loose in an art supply store with a fistful of cash, she'd take one of everything, then head for the nearest fabric store to spend the rest. She has been with Cloth Paper Scissors since its inception in 2004, first as features editor, then editor of Studios magazine, and currently online editor. She is the author of Mixed-Media Self-Portraits and Inside the Creative Studio. Her goal in life is to collect and sort all the art supplies she has around the house and create a functional studio once and for all.