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How do you create the ultimate studio space on a limited budget?  How do you get the most of supplies and household items?  We are living in the midst of a pandemic and given we are tucked within the same four walls day in and day out, it is a perfect time to evaluate our artistic supplies, carve out a creative space or re-purpose those household items.

Tip #1 Ikea


Ikea has a purpose and it is directly related to art supply shelving and storage.  The Alex units are a personal favourite of mine. They hold cutlery trays filled with brushes, pencils, paper and paint. Do be cautious of the weight of too many items per drawer as these drawers do not come apart easily and if they are too heavy the bottom dislodges and it can be a pain to fix.  Otherwise, they move with you, take a beating, clean easily and are awesomely functional.  Ikea will deliver right now, but they won’t put items together…pour a few stiff drinks…and be ready to read the most frustrating instructions of all time!

Tip #2 The Tube Wringer or Paint Key

Yep one of those toothpaste tube wringers is a fantastic tool for getting that last bit of paint onto your palette.

Tip #3 The David’s Tea Tin

Nothing serves a higher purpose in the Willow Wolfe household than tea tins!!! Brushes and brushes and brushes fill my studio, main floor, bathroom and bedroom and I love tea. These amazing tins are the best brush holders money can buy!

Tip #4 Hardware Store and a Saw

Surfaces can be costly. I stock up on masonite/hardboard. Simply head to your local hardware store and request a 4’x8′ foot sheet of masonite in 1/4″.  They will often cut it in half or quarters for you. They will not often cut it down to standard sizes. I take my sections home and cut them down to 8×10, 9×12 and 11×14. One or two sheets will result in a few dozen surfaces for you to get creative on a budget.


Written By:

Willow Wolfe

Willow Wolfe is widely recognized for challenging and modernizing today’s world of art supplies and education. An award-winning art teacher and the author of a library of internationally available learn to paint books and articles, her approachable style and step-by-step painting methods have taken her to events, seminars and engagements across the globe.

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