Art space tour

I’ve been rearranging our dining room, which has given me a small space to create a dedicated art area. Come and have a look around with me!

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Frequently used items such as pens, scissors, glue, string and tape are kept on top of the drawers where they are easily accessible. The top drawer contains many different sheet materials including plain paper, coloured paper, patterned paper, tissue paper, tracing paper, watercolour paper, card, craft foam and felt. Painting supplies are in the second drawer, whilst the third drawer is for any other medium such as chalk pastels, oil pastels, permanent markers, watercolour pencils and ink stamps. The bottom drawer contains air-drying clay, modelling clay and homemade playdough, along with some tools.

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I love this cheerful rainbow of paint! We get through a lot of white paint as the children use it to mix their own colours.

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This basket contains a variety of items for making and tinkering, such as cardboard boxes and tubes, bottle tops, clothes pegs, drinking straws, lollipop sticks, pipe cleaners, wire, magnets, suction cups and any interesting junk I find, as well as an assortment of small loose parts.

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Ice cube trays encourage the children to use small quantities of paint and are less prone to spillage than palettes. I do need to get a mat for underneath the easel to protect the carpet from spills though.

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Aaron and Tabitha like to display their finished artwork on a length of string above the easel. We rent and this wall is hollow so I had to use command hooks, but it works well enough. We all enjoy looking at the art while we are eating our meals or working at the table.

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Do you have any tips for organising and storing art supplies? What do your children use the most? I’d love to hear. 🙂

DIY dressing-up storage

The trouble with Christmas is finding space to store all the new toys afterwards! This year Aaron and Tabitha were given lots of dressing-up clothes. Until now our dressing-up stuff has been kept in a big wooden chest. I’ve tried various different ways of organising it, but inevitably it all ends up in a big mess and it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for.

This was an old forward-facing bookshelf on our upstairs landing. The slings were torn and the boxes were battered from being lined up on the floor and sat in like a train! My original plan was to replace the fabric, but it’s been hanging around for so long that I had almost decided to throw it away. While I was trying to get to sleep last night, I suddenly had the idea of converting it into dressing-up storage.

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This morning I set to work. I took out four of the wooden poles, leaving one at the top as a hanging rail, two side ones to keep everything tidy and the bottom ones to support some storage boxes. I used two plastic crates at the bottom, as they were the only thing I had in the house that were the right size, but I’d like to replace them with something nicer-looking eventually.

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The costumes are hung on labelled hangers so that you can see at a glance what they are. For the labels I found pictures of the costumes online, printed and laminated them, and punched a hole in the top to slide them onto the hanger. I still need to make a few more labels for costumes that I couldn’t find a picture of. The hats are hung from hangers with pegs, small accessories are kept in the cardboard treasure chest or storage crates at the bottom, and long things like swords and fairy wands are slipped in at one end.

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I’m very pleased with how neat it looks on our landing and the children will have much better access to all their dressing-up clothes. It also means that the chest is now free to store rotated toys, which means that there will be space in the dresser cupboards to store all our art and craft supplies. . . I’ve got lots of decluttering and reorganising to do!

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