Re-Organzing My Creative Space & Repurposing My Dried Up Marker Stash

September 12, 2014

This week I spent more time cleaning out and organizing my creative space and supplies.  A recent trip to IKEA and finally purchasing the RÅSKOG Kitchen Cart (yay!) to serve as an art cart (inspired by this blog post and on my wish list for months) and picking up some MÅLA marker accessories super inspired me….

Re-Organzing My Creative Space & Repurposing My Dried Up Marker Stash | creativity in motion

RÅSKOG Shelfie

My RÅSKOG set-up includes my sharpies, gel pens, paint pens, paint brushes, distressed ink, stamp pads, glitter glues, various mod podges, smashbooks, and more… Love this little, but amazing storage piece!  It will be nice to easily wheel this cart next to my side while working on my 3×5 365 and other projects. Look here at this RÅSKOG page from Pinterest on the different ways you can use this awesome cart.

Next…. the rest of my organizing on this day included going through all my old markers…. there were lots….

Re-Organzing My Creative Space & Repurposing My Dried Up Marker Stash | creativity in motion

Dried up marker stash

I shared the above photo with my social network and it wasn’t long before my art therapy friends began commenting with ideas & suggestions to repurpose and give a new life to them….  Everything from making them into alcohol inks (Kelly), puppets (Magdalena), pencil holders (Christy), magic wand accessories (Peg), building things with them using duck tape (Eleni), and this link from Suzanne that has lots more ideas related to making things out of old marker caps.

The suggestion that intrigued me the most was Diane’s and Rosemary’s: turning the old marker ink into some sort of spray paint accessory.  I couldn’t resist trying the idea out!

Re-Organzing My Creative Space & Repurposing My Dried Up Marker Stash | creativity in motion

With pliers, I took off the plastic ends of a handful of makers to expose the ink cylinder inside and then added a little bit of water (with the caps still on the other end).

Re-Organzing My Creative Space & Repurposing My Dried Up Marker Stash | creativity in motion

When I took off the marker cap, lots of bright & vivid ink would drip right through and at the recommendation of Diane and Rosemary, I blew into the open end of the marker to experiment with how much the ink would spray through the other end (tip). Lots of splattering & sprinkling fun!

Re-Organzing My Creative Space & Repurposing My Dried Up Marker Stash | creativity in motion

To soak up some of the water on the paper, I pressed the ink onto another sheet of paper monoprint style.  It was interesting to see the layers of color that the different colors of ink created! Thanks Diane & Rosemary!

It was awesome to read all the ideas and inspiration that came in from a simple art material photo.  One of the super good and helpful benefits of social media!  Perhaps as I continue to re-organize my creative space I should post other discarded & unwanted items for a fresh perspective & new ideas…. 🙂  Thank you to everyone who contributed- it was a delightful surprise to my creative week!

What materials and media do you repurpose into something new that creates another/different creative life for it?

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Related Posts:

Art Journaling: Brown Paper Bag Style

Creative Goodness with Gluebooks: eBook [Free!]

Altering/Transforming/Collaborating

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10 Responses to “Re-Organzing My Creative Space & Repurposing My Dried Up Marker Stash”


  1. that’s a LOT of brushes !!


  2. Wheeeee! Art can be FUN!


  3. Wonderful stuff, Gretchen. I love it. I have been sorting through too and also have a ton of old markers.
    I wanted to ask you too about your year of tags, was it last year? Do you do this every year? I have been making tags every day this year and putting each month on a separate jump ring. How did you end up storing the whole year of tags at the end?

    warmly,
    Erika

  4. Hannah Says:

    I’m intrigued Gretchen–your sweet cart makes me want to go straight to Ikea! And the ideas for markers–oh my! I’m inspired to start brainstorming:-)


  5. Hi Erika! Great to hear about your own 365 project– Thanks for sharing this- it would be awesome to have 12 rings full of monthly art making….. My 2013 365 is still on one large metal ring- there’s a pic of it here: https://gretchenmiller.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/heart-space-365-days-of-revolution-making/ — This year I have up-sized to index cards (3×5)–https://gretchenmiller.wordpress.com/tag/3×5/ It’s my 2nd year doing a 365, and already thinking about 2015 —lol 🙂

    Many thanks Hannah, Lani, and Iris for your comments here—- love my little (but holds a lot!) art cart!

  6. papict Says:

    What a brilliant idea for dried-up pens! I will need to start storing mine for just this very purpose. I have been tempted by that storage trolley during my several trips to Ikea this month. My problem is that I no longer have a designated art space. I work at the kitchen table but all my art supplies are stored in two chests of drawers in my bedroom. I have to just carry down the specific items I need for a particular creative job.

  7. papict Says:

    PS I love how your ink dripped paper turned out. I hope you will share what you do with it in a later blog post.

  8. Theresa Q Says:

    I love this! I was always trying to get the kids at the hospital to “paint” with the dried up markers, having a separate marked box for them and a sign over it with the suggestion to use as “paintbrushes.” I showed them how to dip the markers into water and onto the paper and as well using the “wet into wet” approach. I never could convince them, even with examples of my own to show. Even my gushing over this use for dried up markers didn’t help (:>)

  9. Théa Oz Says:

    I’ve been doing that last week for 2 days.
    And it helped a lot : to put a lot of tidyness and organisation in my workplace. To give me new ideas, to give up things which are not working out for me.
    I’ll do it every year from now on 🙂


  10. This looIs like so much fun 😀 tfs X


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