Repurposing an Art Caddy

November already? Time seems to pass in ways that defy human perception.

I haven’t had much opportunity to draw or paint lately, but over the last few weeks, my art space has been another kind of project zone. Project #1: the annual or semi-annual organization overhaul, which always takes the better part of a week. During this, I emptied an art supply caddy–one of many that friends & family bestowed on me as a wee bairn, filled with bright colored pencils, paints, and pastels, and the obligatory small metal pencil sharpener. Rather than chuck the caddy, I thought I’d convert it into artwork storage (project #2). All it would take was adding 4 panels to prevent papers from sliding.

“All it would take” — ha. Na bi gòrach. (Scottish Gaelic for “Don’t be silly/stupid.”) Of course it took more than that. DIYers, let’s get ready to roll.

1) Remove black plastic art supply holders/lining. (Please excuse any funny-looking images; recently some blog images have started to appear stretched while others do not. Not sure why WordPress is displaying them differently.)

2) Remove or smooth as much of the hard glue that held liners in place. This involved a razor blade, flying glue chips, sandpaper, and safety goggles.

3) Cut fabric rectangles to line the box.

4) Glue fabric to interior of box.

5) Cut used mat board for panels.

6) Glue panels to box — the trickiest part (getting them to stick and to keep them from falling down).

Books, old awards, wood, and old mat board were all called into service to keep the panels from falling while the glue dried.

All done? Nope. I had to reglue the rightmost panel so that papers wouldn’t fall to the center when the caddy closed. Then it was done. Whoo hoo!

Here’s how it closes. Isn’t expanding storage great?

Presently it is only storing air because I am in the midst of project #3: sorting & digitizing hundreds of drawings from middle school, high school & college (plus some more recent things). This weekend alone, I’ve recycled 2 piles of dog-eared, battered, & other sketches I don’t feel inspired to keep. Apparently an artist’s work is never done, even when not making art.

Maybe the next post will be an artistic yearbook/blast from the past. ‘Til then, thanks as always for reading.