Thursday, October 20, 2011

art table

I am constantly trying to make our studio space more efficient, because it does triple duty--computer/writing room, art studio and kids' art space. I have a table for my creations with two chairs. A desk for writing. I have four shelves in there to store art supplies, books and toys. I have an easel that folds up and stores in the corner, as well as a stool to use with that easel. And for the kids, I was using Melissa and Doug's kid easel. One side is dry erase board/paper roll holder and the other a chalk board. It worked great for a long time, but Thor had begun taking it apart, unscrewing the screws, hiding them in small spaces. So, it was falling apart basically. And Beezus and Thor argued about who got what side. The paper roll was the medium of choice for them, so lots of shoving and pinching in the name of art.

I finally just put the easel downstairs. THAT'S IT! BASTA YA, MIJOS!

But what to do for the kids? I moved their itty bitty table to their room for art, which they love. And they use it as a table to play restaurant, teacher, tea is too good up there. After our Open House, I had an old table upstairs. This table, actually, is a perennial favorite of mine. I bought it at a second hand shop for thirty bucks. It was an old diner table that someone painted red/orange. I used it as my kitchen table when I lived in the city. Sam and I brought it up from the basement for the party (dessert table.) Anyway, it was sitting in my dining room for a week or so. Too heavy to carry downstairs alone. I was drinking tea, sitting on the floor on the dining room with the kids, and I started cocking my head to the side. Yes, that would be perfect.

See, I love this table at Container Store, and so do the kids. Every time we go there, they want to just sit at it and pretend they are making art. I am not spending almost four hundred dollars on a table for art making. Not when I can create it myself. See, the downside and benefit of this table I have is that it was once a diner table, so it is a pedestal. When I used it to create art, I would lean on the table, and one side would come up, but the kids are not strong enough to do that. So, I bought a new roll of paper, tied a string around it, and created our own art table. I also had two wooden high chairs that I bought for the kids at flea markets, which they sometimes use for dining chairs. They are the perfect height for the kids to use.

The pedestal leaves the ends available to hang the paper roll.

I also had this old wrapping paper cutter, which you put under the paper and just move across, so it cuts it. It works perfectly for this paper roll, and the kids can't cut themselves on it. Looks like Sam was doing some calculations on it himself, probably calculations about how much wood he scavenged this weekend. (880 lbs of it.)

In the end, it was a great way to use this fabulous table, the kids love it, and actually share the space really well.

 I think I will eventually tweak the design to hold the roll by drilling two holes into the opposing sides of the table, and hanging the string/twine on each side. Right now, I have to untie the string to change the roll. Not a big deal, but eventually, it would be nice to just slide one roll off and put the other on. I should also mention that I am use the dowel from the M&D easel, which has a hole on each side, the string is strung through those holes, and then loops around the table. It stays quite nicely. This project basically cost me the price of the paper roll.

Love to all.

1 comment:

Mary Beth said...

Great idea. Right now we have the M+D easel, which is fine for now. But I can see it being a sharing issue down the road. Also we have a tiny table that we use for play-doh and coloring, but it has a cut out in the middle with rope handles--a little trap door for storing things.

Anyway. Love the idea. Thanks for sharing :)