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The idea table…

The thing that people ask the most questions about in my studio is The Idea Table, so I thought it was time to share.

It started off as a cheap Ikea table (you know the one), we added some paper cut to fit the top… and The Idea Table was born (or at least created). Luckily my husband works at a printer and he cut and glued the paper there, but if you can get someone to cut it, it’s fairly easy to use white school glue and tissue paper to create the stuck edge. We used strong double sided tape to stick it down. It’s great for kids and adults alike, no one can resist writing on it. With this and our blackboard table we have writing surfaces everywhere. Many fun ideas started at this table…




UPDATE: Thank you to Alan Henry over at Lifehacker.com for blowing my blog up by posting this! – you rock!

UPDATE 2: Thank you to the Real Simple blog for featuring the idea table, and welcome to all of you who have come from there, stay awhile, leave a comment, sign up for the rss feed, have a cup of tea…

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Craig November 7, 2011, 7:02 am

    Nice one Aileen. My problem is that I have many ideas….and the flat surface I used to keep all those bits of paper on became too cluttered. Clutter makes me nervous. So I changed tack, and purchased a nice looking file box (with hinged side that opens, and a spring catch like a mousetrap inside to hold all the loose bits of paper together). Now I have a place for ideas, keeping them from cluttering up other lists, and I always know where to find them. It also makes it easy to capture ideas on anything (napkins, beermats, scraps of paper) without worrying about aesthetics as they go inside a box.

  • aileen November 7, 2011, 7:32 am

    I keep a notebook with me to jot down ideas and keep them that way, but often there is a napkin or something tucked into it as well. A box is a great idea, or even taking photos of them and putting them on the computer. Having too many ideas is a great problem to have!

  • Candace November 8, 2011, 7:30 am

    Where do you keep your markers? I keep a similar setup, but on the kitchen table because that’s where our idea-conversations tend to happen. I want writing implements handy, but I also like tidy. Right now there’s a box on the table during non-eating times, but I keep having to move it at every meal. I’ve toyed with the idea of hanging a bag off the side of the table, but I’d like to hear your ideas. Thanks!

  • aileen November 8, 2011, 7:43 am

    I generally have them in a cup – but then it’s in my office. For the blackboard table (which is our dining room table) we keep the chalk in a beautiful glass dessert stand – the colors make it look like candy. Maybe under a butter dish, or something else that wouldn’t look out of place on a table. Or build a little shelf for them underneath (look for kids drawing tables for inspiration).

  • Candace November 8, 2011, 7:51 am

    Oh! I hadn’t considered re-purposing dishes. Thanks for the ideas.

  • aileen November 8, 2011, 7:53 am

    You are welcome – I always have ideas!

  • danielle hatfield November 8, 2011, 8:01 am

    LOVE this! But even more so the chalk board table!! re: http://creatingclever.com/i-see-a-table-and-i-want-to-paint-it-black

  • aileen November 8, 2011, 8:06 am

    Thank you – that made me smile

  • Bakari November 8, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I agree. The chalk table is better. The paper version seems wasteful. A digital recording device would be better.

  • Nick Jarvis November 8, 2011, 8:32 am

    Aileen, I sent you an email via the email address you provided on the bottom right of this page. it’s in regards to some design work. Look forward to hearing from you.

  • Mick Hitch November 8, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I love this idea…I’m thinking of getting one of these tables, but instead of a blackboard or paper, attaching a dry-erase whiteboard. With all the time my friends and I spend gaming, this would be great to keep scores, notes, drawings…

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • aileen November 8, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Mick. I’d love to see what you come up with. You make want to look at idea paint (idea paint.com) – you can use it on any surface and it makes it into a whiteboard. I’m going to use it on some projects soon for sure!

  • ikeafan November 8, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Ikea now makes the Lack side table in a glossy finish – so you can just write on it directly with dry erase markers! http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60193736/

  • aileen November 8, 2011, 4:02 pm

    Thank you – this is great information, I will have to visit a store soon. I wonder if they will let me test some markers on them?

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