Hello again, well you cannot say I am not making up for lost time - 3 posts in a couple of weeks! LOLS

So, as I am doing a far bit of gelli printing and furniture revamping lately, I have found that I am constantly leaving stuff all over my dining room table. Yuck!!

"You need a studio", I hear you say.....and yes you are right and I do have one of sorts. All my art stuff is dumped into my third bedroom which I constantly organise and reorganise to try and make it work. BUT the truth is that, no matter how organised it is, I acually prefer to work in my living area rather than being tucked away in a back bedroom. Silly really, but it is what it is.

So now I have admitted the reality to myself, it is a case of how to make THAT work without having my dining room table (which is in the middle of my space and clearly visible when one walks into the house) constantly look like a bomb has hit it.

I have contemplated many options and even put up a screen in a corner to hide bins of art stuff I am constantly using, but the problem of a large flat surface still remained. Yes, I thought of getting a trestle table, card table or such, but I know I would then just have another "semi" permanent very messy additional table in my living space. It's the cleaning up and putting away that I just never seem to do,  part laziness and part "I may get back to this later today" thinking. If I have to pick everything up, put it away, clean and fold a table every time I want to create, I know it won't happen.

So I started thinking along the lines of how might I make my dining table work. I thought of trays, which seemed could be a good solution, except that they wouldn't be large enough to actually work on. I would still spill over onto the table. So more rumination.

I really needed something I could spread out and gather up when finished and store easily. Mmmmmmm......Nana Jan (me) to the rescue. I thought of those handy dandy fabric "lego" mats that my grandchildren have. Would almost do the job, but not quite. I really wanted something more firm and solid like a box that would open out.......and so my idea for the "ART PLAY MAT was born!

A portable storage box that could open out into a flat mat and cover my table safely and then fold back up into a box when finished. Yahhhhh!!! Yep, great idea, but not quite as simple as I thought. LOLS However, after a bit of research and many dry runs and prototype experiments, I finally came up with a design that works.

I decided that foam core board would be the best choice for my project and as I have "cube storage" and wanted it to fit, I decided to go with 28cm squares, giving me a total working space of 84 cm x 84 cm when opened out which gives me an ideal working area (as displayed in picture below). However you can easily go smaller or larger.

It took a bit of working out to determine which way the pieces needed to fold to form the box, but once I had that done, the rest was just cutting and scoring and went pretty quickly. Now I have a FANTASTIC flat, even, portable workspace I can set on any horizontal surface! As a bonus, not only can I clean up and store away in a jiffy, it protects the surface underneath from damage too.

No more untidy dining table AND it looks good on my shelving.........PERFECT!

If you would like to save yourself time and the effort of the arithmetic and the tedium of working out backwards and forwards scores and folds, I am selling the instructions including diagrams in a handy PDF format for just Aus $2.00. Just click here


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