Artists have never been known for being well-organized people. And after many years of creation and experimentation, artists also tend to amass quite a selection of paints, brushes, surfaces, and other miscellaneous tools.
If you’re experiencing a creative block or find yourself losing track of your supplies, a workspace re-vamp might be for you. A clean workspace will make your tools more accessible, therefore making you more likely to create with them.
To keep your studio in tip-top shape, try out some of these organizational methods. Some are things you can purchase online, and others are DIY projects that you can customize to fit your needs.
This is a fun DIY project that creates a very modern, clean look with only a few supplies. It also elevates your storage jars from sitting on your desk to hanging on your wall, which will leave you with more room to spread out.
This DIY requires some strips of leather, a piece of wood, some mason jars, upholstery tacks, a hammer, some scissors, and whatever you would like to finish your piece of wood with. Tighten the leather strips around the jars to secure them, and then nail the leather strips into place with the upholstery tacks and your hammer.
You can create as many separate jars as you need to store any number of art supplies, and the wood can be painted or stained to match any room. Take this idea beyond the art studio if you wish – this organizer will work well in a kitchen or a bathroom setting as well!
IKEA and Amazon both offer a similar elevated storage system. If you don’t want to DIY your mason jar wall hanger, this rail and container system will also utilize your wall space for storage.
These containers can be very easily installed with a level and a screwdriver. It’s also best to bring a measuring tape along to make sure you space the rails out as needed.
This is an affordable and very easily customizable way to store art supplies on your walls. The containers can be added or subtracted without much hassle, meaning you can install as many as you need to store all of your supplies. They also come in a wide variety of colors to match the walls in your studio.
As well as freeing up desk space, wall storage can also make your art supplies visible and therefore make you more likely to reach for them. If your markers or paints are tucked away in a drawer somewhere, you might forget you even own them. But if they’re visible in front of your eyes, you can be struck with the inspiration you need to use them.
An art cart is a classic and easy fix to a messy studio. They work well for different supplies and come in a variety of sizes.
The best part about an art cart is its maneuverability. Unlike a shelf or a storage container, most art carts come equipped with wheels. This makes it easy to roll them out when you’re ready to create and to roll them away once you’re done for the day.
These carts are easy to store in the corner of the room, in a nook beside your desk, or in a closet. They can also be painted to match whatever color scheme you prefer!
Storage carts can be purchased at art supply stores, furniture stores, and various office supply stores. You can also add extra baskets and hangers to most storage cart designs.
A cosmetic suitcase is also known as a train case. These were popular for train travel and still make excellent storage cases to this day.
To find a cosmetic case, try your local thrift or antique store. If you have no luck there, Etsy is the place to go next. There, you can browse the available selection and choose a color, size, and style that works for you.
Next, you can customize the case to make it ideal for storing your art supplies. You can place markers or other mediums in the case using marker trays. These are grid-like plastic structures that will hold your pencils, brushes, or other supplies upright in the case.
Measure the inside of your train case to see how many marker trays can fit inside. If you add a line of hot glue to the outside of the tray and let it dry, you can give the marker tray a little “bumper” that keeps the trays from slipping.
With this method, the marker trays can be removed to preserve your train case. But if the trays move around too much inside of the case, you may need to permanently secure them using more glue or epoxy.
These two storage ideas, a cosmetic case and a marker tray, can be combined with some glue to make a beautiful and functional storage container. If you leave it out, no worries! It will add a cute vintage feel to your space while secretly providing necessary storage and organization.
This storage idea is perfect for acrylic painters. Tubes of acrylic paint usually come with holes at the top, which is how they are displayed in the art supply store. Why not make use of this technique in your studio?
Start with a board and paint it whatever design you like, or stain it so the natural wood shows through. Then space out your tubes of acrylic so that they all fit neatly on the board. Finally, hammer a nail or a hook into each place so that tube can hang in the correct position.
This technique is a great way to see all of your acrylic paint colors at once and to make them easily accessible in a stylish way.
Mason jars always provide a rustic, classic, charming feel to any storage area. However, if your style consists of bright colors or cute designs, then you may want to paint your mason jar storage containers to reflect that.
In order to get durable paint jobs on your jars, there are two steps. The first is priming them with a white acrylic primer. No matter what color your design is, this step will ensure your paint sticks to the jars without cracking and will leave you with a beautiful, opaque paint job.
The next step is sealing the finished product with a protective sealant. Depending on what paint you use, this step may not be necessary. However, to ensure your jars are as durable as possible, this may be a step you want to consider.
And that’s it! The possibilities are endless. Paint your jars to match your aesthetic, label them with what will ultimately be stored inside, or simply let your imagination run wild with cute animal faces or bold patterns.
This low-budget DIY is perfect for artists who use many different tools that all need to be relatively accessible. Alternatively, it will allow you to organize your tools by color in order to always know what color to go for.
Start with a wine rack from your favorite retail store or furniture store. Then place cups in it and sort your art supplies in them.
If you’d like to use mason jars instead, this storage process will work with those as well. Better yet, combine these two storage ideas by painting the mason jars and storing supplies in them on a wine rack!