With the purchase of our latest Craigslist find and the reorganization of my studio, Otis suddenly found himself without a place to draw. He still had his little chalkboard table, but because it was round with a hole in the center, it was not a good space for drawing with pen and paper. So we came up with our own little Ikea hack: a multi-purpose art table. For some reason, I prefer tables to easels for drawing, probably because easels make me think of paint and paint makes me think of Oh My Lord, There’s No Way Kids And Paint Mix In This House!
Here’s the list of supplies we used. Most of it was purchased at either Ikea or at the hardware store.
glue (I used a hot glue gun)
roll of paper (we used Ikea’s Mala)
We used the Vika Persbo table top, but only because we already had it. I was using it as an ironing board, but since it didn’t fit into my new studio, I was looking for a new use for it. It’s quite large, which is good for us because kids can eat at the table when we have friends over rather than worrying about our new table. Any of the Vika table tops that are paintable can be used, and they’re pretty inexpensive. Of course you can also do this to any finished table as well.
Prime, paint and finish the table top according to these directions from Martha and crew. I gave my tabletop two good coats of paint, and chose a dark grey to go with our cabinets.
Turn the table over and install the index wall hardware, centered, along one short edge of the table, making sure that there is enough room between the hardware for your roll of paper. For our particular setup, we also had to make sure that the wall hardware didn’t get in the way of the table leg hardware. Thus I attached the wall hardware after the leg hardware, but before the leg itself. It might make more sense if you look closely at the following pictures.
Hang your roll of paper on the curtain rod and install in the hardware.
Turn the table over and install the magnetic bar, centering it on the table. Make sure it is tight enough to hold your paper down and to use as a tearing edge, but not too tight so that you can’t slide your paper through easily.
Glue craft magnets onto the caps of markers (I used a hot glue gun) so that the markers are attached to the magnetic bar, ready to be used.
Here you can see Otis using his new table (looking like he draws a lot more than he really does). He also occasionally attacks it with chalk:
Pretty simple. The most time-consuming part of the whole project was waiting for the paint to dry. Then you can hang your kids’ finished artwork up on your homasote bulletin board!
edited to add: Many people have emailed to ask me about those multi-colored stools by the table. We bought those stools, which stack in a cone shape, at a Design Within Reach sample sale. They were rejects that nobody wanted, and ultimately, they never sold them in their stores. They are manufactured by Soft Line, a Danish furniture company that makes a few pieces sold by DWR, but it looks like they do not currently make these stools. Sorry not to be able to offer any good news!