How to create a coffee table art kit - some ideas and examples of how to create a mini studio you can use when you're watching Netflix :)

Not all artists have a dedicated art studio.

However, not having one is not a reason not to make art!

It’s fantastic of course to have a place you can go and make a mess with paints and printing and trying this and experimenting with that, then walk away and leave it there.

No tidying. No disturbing of carefully-arranged-but-not-yet-stuck-down-parts so that people can eat at the table.

But if you have the much more common scenario involving the dining table, or a patch of floor somewhere, or the coffee table, you can still play and experiment.

Which is why I came up with the Coffee Table Art Kit.

It’s pretty much what it suggests; a pared down version of what I have in the studio that lives on, or under, the coffee table and is ever ready for creative emergencies and doodling in front of back to back episodes of New Girl.

How to create a coffee table art kit {Tara Leaver}

These are the basic components.

Of course you can add and remove things according to your preferences, but if you’re just starting out, either with art generally, or with having a ‘go to’ kit to hand, these are the things I’d recommend to begin with.

The index cards are great for doodling or trying out ideas without fear of ruining anything. {Mine are lined; plain would be better.}

They really are just a few basics, and several of them are likely to be already in your home, even if you haven’t started buying art materials yet.

A kit could comprise of a biro, a pencil, a sharpener, an eraser and some printer paper, with a book to lean on.

Other items you could include:

  • collage papers {which don’t have to be fancy; you can cut and tear up magazines and junk mail and use the insides of business envelopes}
  • scissors
  • a glue stick
  • pastels {I recommend oil pastels because the dust of soft pastels goes everywhere and this is supposed to be about fun, not about cleaning}
  • stamps and stamping inks
  • felt tip pens

You can have it all spread out while you’re using it, and then easily and quickly put it all in a box or a basket to store under, on, or near the coffee table.


This could also be a fun project to do with kids, especially if they are always wanting to use your precious art supplies.

You could take them to buy some inexpensive basics, maybe throw in some fun stuff like stickers and scented pens or stamps, and you could each have a shoebox {which could be decorated ~ so many possibilities!} with your name on, ready to be pulled out whenever someone has a creative urge.

Kids love having their own things, especially when they have siblings, and it could be a nice way to spend time together, choosing what will go in the boxes, decorating them, and using them together on rainy Saturday afternoons.

I love this idea because it’s so simple but can expand in any direction {although not across the whole room, obviously}.

What would you include? Do you already have your own version of the Coffee Table Art Kit? If you have any exciting new art supplies please share in the comments!