Setting-up A Hobby Space On A Budget

The majority of my free time is spent working on crafting projects, which I write about here and on my blogs. Some people are sports fans, but I am the ultimate art project groupie. So how do you set-up a hobby space on a budget? In years past I actually just did my arts and crafts at the kitchen table, but that can get kind of gross pretty quick if you accidentally get paint or glue on the table. Even when I put down newspapers this would often happen, so I finally decided a couple of years ago to set-up my own hobby space on a budget. In one corner of my bedroom I have a card table that is stocked with many of the supplies that I use for my projects. Look at the pictures and descriptions below to see how easy it is to create your own hobby space on a budget.

The Card Table

A card table is perfect for hobbies.
A card table is perfect for hobbies.

Since I did not want to spend a lot of money on a desk for my arts and crafts hobby space, I settled on this card table. It was on sale for about thirty dollars at Kmart in 2007, and you can buy a similar table at many stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Actually, around the end of the school year Craigslist is also a great place to score a spare table because a lot of college students are moving away, and might want to earn a bit of extra cash.

Personally, I love how you can fold up the card table if you need more space, but I actually just keep it open all the time. I heard some people even use card tables when they have extra guests over for dinner, so these sturdy and collapsible little pieces of furniture can have many uses. I keep my card table free of paint by placing down newspaper, but occasionally a little bit does seep through. Since I am not eating off this table I am not as worried as I would be with a dining table, and I simply use a dampened cloth to clean up messes. Unlike a desk there is room under a card table, which lets me store some of my canvases and other supplies.

The Spinning Desk Organizer

I love the convenience of my spinning desk organizer.
I love the convenience of my spinning desk organizer.

This particular desk organizer was purchased at a local second hand store. Yes, I adore this organizer because it allows me to store all of my oil paints, and I can spin it around to look at the contents. In the center of the container is a spot for some of my paint brushes. Thrift stores are a great place to find desk organizer and other items needed for your hobby space. To save space I set my organizer on top of paper plates, which I use as disposable paint palettes.


Another Great Organizer

Every crafter needs more than one organizer.
Every crafter needs more than one organizer.

Here is another crafting organizer that I found at the thrift store. In this yellow container I store my wood burning pen, attachment pens, markers, pencils, paints, ruler, and extra paint brushes. Organizers can be used for anything and everything under the sun, so go pick up one if you need to get your crafting space in order! Next to my organizer I keep my collapsible easel, craft glue, and mod podge stored in an old Christmas mug. Christmas mugs are also great storage spaces for paint brushes and extra pencils, and lend a bit of year-around festiveness to a crafting area.

Paint Brush Jars

I use old mason jars to store my paint brushes.
I use old mason jars to store my paint brushes.

Old mason jars are ideal for storing paint brushes. When I am painting I can use the mason jar for cleaning my brushes, and then these become paint brush storage space once my project is completed. When I am done painting I rinse out the jars and simply store my brushes in these.

My mom loves to garden and cans fruit and vegetables for me every fall, so I enjoy recycling the mason jars rather than simply throwing these away. Cleaning my brushes with The Masters' Brush Saver is much easier than using the smelly old turpentine, and I simply dilute a bit of this solution with water in a mason jar to clean my paint brushes. If you do not have any mason jars, consider using glass jars that condiments like mayonnaise come in. It is better to reuse these jars than simply throw these in a landfill. Hopefully a few of the ideas above help you think of a few ways to create a hobby space on a budget.

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Comments 23 comments

shyamchat profile image

shyamchat 7 years ago from Calcutta

Good suggestion!


cashmere profile image

cashmere 7 years ago from India

This is a great way to stay organised, but unfortunately I have a 4 yr old floating around in the house to whom a bottle of brushes will call like a red cloth calls a bull.

Nice hub.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

shyamchat,

Thanks for reading!

Cahsmere,

Maybe you can think of more kid friendly organizations schemes. Just think of this as a jumping off point!


Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

I'm showing this to my wife. She's retired now and considering hobbies.


Melody Lagrimas profile image

Melody Lagrimas 7 years ago from Philippines

Fantastic ideas.


Dink96 profile image

Dink96 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

I have a craft room/office, and it's not nearly as organized as yours. I'm going to take some time during our "dog days" of summer and try to clean/reorganize it again. Great tips here....thanks!


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Great ideas on how to work within a budget while setting up a craft center. Creating is a great form of relaxation...


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

A great idea - my 3 year old would, however, also destroy it, as commented above (-:


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Pete,

I hope your wife discovers a few hobbies she enjoys.

Melody,

Thanks for checking out this hub.

Dink,

I do not enjoy organizing, but finding organizers has actually motivated me to do it.

Nancy,

Yes creating is definitely a form of relaxation.  I really enjoy it.

LodonGirl,

I think it totally shows I do not have kids.  The same problem at my mom's house, even though we were young once, but now when my niece and nephew come over I have to keep them from "exploring" the bins for her sewing materials and crafting supplies.  I am hoping maybe a parent can write a hub on organization that is kid friendly.

 


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

SweetiePie,

That is what I started with when I started so many years ago in my bedroom. Don't you just love using the jars? I also use chipped coffee mugs made of ceramic. Good ideas!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I love the jars! The coffee mugs are also great too!


Journey * profile image

Journey * 7 years ago from USA

These are good ideas. I like the card table.


TJ Daniels profile image

TJ Daniels 7 years ago from WI USA

Those are all great ideas, but for whatever reason, I never got into 'hobbies'. I tried 'paint-by-number' and a few other things when I was younger, but just didn't have patience. I guess writing poetry is my 'hobby'. Writing poetry is very relaxing. In order to compose, you must focus 100% and in doing so, all of your problems are forgotten, as least for a while.

And later, you'll reread your poem and say: 'I wrote 'that?' WOW!!


waynet profile image

waynet 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

I have a professional drawing board that I picked up at a car boot sale for next to nothing and that's what I use for drawing and I have a little hotel service caddy that I stole from somewhere I can't remember and these two I do all of my arty stuff on....must get an organizer though!!

Your card table looks very organized!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

TJ,

Well having a special place to write your poems might also be something to invest in.

Hi Waynet,

I like your professional drawing board, and I have thought about something like that because I do not always want to be in my room. I try to keep the card table organized because it was not always so at first. Now I feel happier with knowing where everything is. Thanks for sharing your ideas.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Two options, I reckon.

(1) suspend everything from the ceiling

(2) buy a big lock and install it at adult-shoulder height.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi LG,

Those are good options for people with kids. I just like everything out where I can use it, since I do not have kids :). This organization technique is just asthestically pleasing to my eyes, which is part of the reason why I use it. For some reason I am sort of proud of it too :). Plus, the brushes in the mason jars look so nice, and bring back the nostalgia of some beautiful artist workshops I have seen. My eyes just catch details like that, but this is not practical for people with kids.

Interestingly though when I was a kid I was around environments where people had things out and I never got into things. I was just one of those kids that had a very mature sense of being around items at a young age. My mom could even take me into stores with breakables and antiques, and I was one of those kids that would never reach for anything. My sisters were not exactly like that though, and I think she had to watch them more. I even ate chips and salsa like an adult when I was a year and half and shocked people. I just reached for these foods myself, and I have loved spicy dishes and salsa ever since I remember.


packerpack profile image

packerpack 7 years ago from India, Calcutta

Simple things well explained. Good for the times like this.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad you enjoyed it packerpack.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Don't get me wrong, I think your space is lovely.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I did not think you thought it was bad LG, I was just explaining why I am not real kid savvy when it comes to setting things up.


TJ Daniels profile image

TJ Daniels 7 years ago from WI USA

>>SweetiePie says:3 weeks ago

TJ,

Well having a special place to write your poems might also be something to invest in.

Sweetpea, sorry for the delay in getting back 2 U, RL issues etc. My desk used to be more cluttered than is is now, with slips of papers scattered all over, even taped to the walls. That was before I invested in my comp. My desk is still somewhat cluttered, but not with poetry items. My filing system: 'If it's in the pile, I'll find it'. TJ Daniels


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Sounds like you are having fun TJ!

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