I have two budding artists in my house. They love to paint. They love to color. They love to make messes in all parts of my house. For Molly's second Christmas, we bought her an art easel which quickly was put into time out after Maggie arrived. After staring at it (and the crayons that were also put in time out) for months, every time I went down to the basement to do laundry, I decided it was time to create an art area for Molly and Maggie.
I took an empty wall in our basement which is partially finished but not really a "liveable" space and painted it with chalkboard paint. It took about three coats and honestly, I probably should have done a fourth but I was anxious to get on with the project. Next, I hung some big Bullfrog binder clips on the wall. My plan was to have a space to display finished artwork. It's also turned out to be a great place to dry some of the watercolor masterpieces my little Picasso(s) have created.
I attached ribbon to two small chalkboards and hung those up too. So far, they haven't used them but I like how they look. I also strung up some lantern lights, I had laying around in the basement. Sometimes keeping things forever is good! (most of the time though, it isn't.) I also repurposed a plastic rolling cart that Scott had but was no longer using as an art caddy. I put all the girl's paper, crayons, stencils, scissors, playdough, etc in the cart and placed it on the side. Above the little Ikea table, which used to sit in our dining room but got shoved out after some rearranging, I hung three command hooks. I added three silver buckets that I found in the dollar aisle at Target and filled those with chalk, paint brushes and crayons (we have a lot of crayons around here). And finally off to the side, I put Molly's art easel.
My final addition was a rug from Ikea. The floor in the basement isn't the best and while we have plans to remodel someday, I knew we needed something to make the floor more attractive. I searched on several sites before finding the perfect rug on the Ikea site. While shipping was a bit more than I wanted to spend, I justified it by saying that I would have spent a lot more if I had actually gone to Ikea. I always spend more than planned when I go there.
So far the art area is a hit! Molly asks to go down and paint daily. Scott pulled out our camping chairs so I've been sitting in them and folding laundry while she paints. We're working on letting Molly hang out in her art area alone but so far our experiments haven't really worked. Molly gets bored with painting on her art paper and moves to a more exciting canvas, herself! Maggie also loves creating in the art area and has made some fantastic pieces. I sense this area is going to get a lot of use as Fall and Winter close in.