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Studio Hacks: How to Tidy Up, Write Straight & Save Moolah

bunnings calligraphy organisation ikea ikea hack laser level studio hacks studio organisation work harder work smarter

If you are anything like me, you have a small space full to the brim with bottles, jars, papers, nibs, pens, the occasional furry visitor… and it all gets a bit out of contol. What I call “creative disorder”, my husband calls Chaos with a capital C. 

In a fit of energy (or procrastination, but who’s counting?) last week I decided to take a stab at cleaning up, clearing out and working smarter. So here are three of my favourite little tricks that will hopefully help you as much as they helped me!


Hack #1: Ikea Socker Shelf

Who doesn’t love a trip to Ikea?! At the risk of sounding like a terrible parent, we often head there on rainy Melbourne days. My daughter LOVES Smaland, so in she goes for an hour, while I either work away (yes, many of these blog posts have been written with a side of meatballs) or shop for various bits, like what I found when I was in my tidying frenzy.  

I work on a tiny school desk that belonged to my husband back in his primary years. As you can imagine, it doesn’t leave much space for all of my bits and pieces, leaving precarious piles of paper, teetering over jars and vials of ink and scattered nibs.

Ikea Socker shelf perfect for inks!


Enter the Socker shelf. This plant stand, made of metal, offers the perfect compact stand for all of your inks, pens and holders. It comes with six small square planters (which I replaced with my Kmart ceramic jars for contrast) that are ideal of pens, texters, brushes, etc. The bottom tier holds all of my inks and allows me to see the colours clearly, which is a huge improvement from the deep dark drawer where they previously languished.


Ikea Socker Plant Stand for inks at Calligraphy Supplies Australia



Hack #2: Laser Level

Last week I had an order of 350 beautiful burgundy invitations to complete in record time. The paper was gloriou; the gold ink divine; and the timeline ridiculous, so I needed a quick method of moving through the invitations without needed to faff (LOVE that word) with layouts every time. 

Off I went to my local Bunnings, where I found the Bosch PLL1P Laser Level ($48) that is a dream come true! This level has two settings allowing you to find the perfect laser width for your job, and also comes with a detachable swivel, allowing you to swing it around to make the perfect angle for your lines. 

Bosch Laser Level from Calligraphy Supplies AustraliaBosch Laser Level used for Calligraphy

I butted my level against my writing board, lined up each invitation and flew through them with a minimum of fuss. If you are planning to do any work on super fine or dark paper, investing in this beauty will be a huge help. 

Hack #3: Lightboard… cheap!

When I met the gorgeous Glenda Davis from @writtenbyhand she talked about a lightboard. A what? Knowing nothing about anything, she told me all about how you don’t have to write guidelines on every envelope, can trace easily from draft to final, etc. all with this one magical tool. Needless to say, I hopped online and ordered an A3 (definitely the best size to get if you have the space) lightboard, paying a small fortune.


Light box work from Design in WordsA3 Lightbox on Ebay for Calligraphers

I use my lightboard constantly, but have held off on stocking them due to their crazy prices. And then I chatted with the fabulous Rosalie Hart from @rosieloveslettering. Rosalie kindly shared this link with me after purchasing her lightboard from Ebay a little while ago. She loves it and i think you will too!* 


*Please note: Calligraphy Supplies Australia has no affiliation with or connection to this seller or his stock. The referral is from a CSA client, and we cannot guarantee the quality or price of this lightboard. 


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