DIY for your new studio

Tidbits: what I learned this week (c) Rebecca LaChance, 2015, Thurmont, MD.  I learned how to make a portable scrim.  And I share some other cost savings ideas if you're thinking of opening your own studio.

Tidbits: what I learned this week (c) Rebecca LaChance, 2015, Thurmont, MD.  I learned how to make a portable scrim.  And I share some other cost savings ideas if you're thinking of opening your own studio.

Oh yes, it's coming together! 

Are you thinking about setting up a studio of your own?  Worried about the costs of setting up a "brick and mortar" art/photography business?

Yeah...it could be a financial strain for anyone.  This week, I'm going to share a couple ideas I used to keep costs manageable.

Furniture for your studio

My favorite place to shop for good quality, yet previously loved furniture, is the ReStore (second hand store) of Habitat for Humanity.  I purchased a (heavy!) all wood entertainment cabinet, a four foot tall oak kitchen cabinet, and an art deco side table, all for the grand price of...wait for it...$60!

My original purpose for the entertainment cabinet is to sit the TV/monitor on top. This is where clients will view the images from their photo sessions. (Yes, I use In Person Sales - IPS). I can also store tripods and easels inside the entertainment cabinet.  I love multipurpose items.

The oak cabinet is just the right height to cover and hide an old water fountain (also know as a bubbler).  I cut a square through the back of the cabinet and slid it right over the bubbler. Again, I can use the lower area inside the cabinet for storage.  Right now, it's holding the rolls of very inexpensive wall paper (from ReStore) I sometimes use as backdrops.  Multipurpose strikes again!

And the art deco side table has been put to use in the lavatory.  Gotta store extra rolls of TP and cleaning goods somewhere.

(L) The entertainment center.  It took 3 men to put it in my car. (Top left to right) The refreshment center from home and the bubbler hiding in the cabinet. (Bottom left to right) The art deco cabinet in the bathroom and the bubbler hidden by closed doors.

(L) The entertainment center.  It took 3 men to put it in my car. (Top left to right) The refreshment center from home and the bubbler hiding in the cabinet. (Bottom left to right) The art deco cabinet in the bathroom and the bubbler hidden by closed doors.

The DIY Scrim(s)

I have two versions of the DIY scrim.  The first scrim is a piece of white polyester "silk" from a discount fabric store.  Four yards of the material cost me $24.00.  I hung a rod across the front window and slid clips on to it. I snapped the clips onto the edge of the polyester.  I can pull the material across the window to block sunlight. When finished I can push it back to one side and it's out of the way.

If I ever have need of a white background, I can unclip the polyester from the front window and clip it onto the backdrop support.  (Oh yeah,  multipurpose.)

The second scrim is smaller and portable.  This is "what I learned this week".  I'm grateful to Kevin Kubota for his Youtube video about building a portable scrim.  I adapted his instructions and used 5 foot pieces of 1/2 inch PVC pipe used by plumbers.  Three pieces of pipe and four 90 degree connectors cost me all of $4.00. Two yards of rip-stop white nylon was $15.00.  Eight yards of elastic cord cost $3.69. My 5 ft. x 2.5 ft. scrim cost me $22.69.  Compare this to the 4 ft. x 4 ft. scrim sold on a major photography supply store for $106.25 (before tax and shipping).

Repurposing

Want to get extra furniture out of your house?  Open a studio. 

A former kitchen bar on wheels is now the refreshment center. The small chest with my name engraved on the front has become storage for larger, foldable backdrops as well as seating for photo sessions. A demi-luna side table holds the wifi equipment and a lamp in the changing area. And fancy dresses worn for a single occasion have become wardrobe options.

It is possible

Opening a studio doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.  A little imagination, some paint, a handsaw, and Youtube videos can help you keep your costs down.

What sort of DIY actions have helped you?  Share your ideas with us, please.

Expect the best. Anything else is an adventure.

Rebecca

If you found this information helpful, please share.  And I look forward to your suggestions about other DIY actions that can help save money in building an art and photography business.  You can leave your ideas in the comments below, or on the Facebook page.