How to Set Up An Art Cart

How to Set Up An Art Cart

A Copyrighted Article Re-posted with Permission from Shelley Klammer

The following is a list of items that you may want to use when setting up an art cart for institutional and medical settings such as hospitals and care homes. I work in a hospital setting with the older adults so I include a variety of pre- prepared projects on my cart, as well as materials for spontaneous art making.  Some elders with dementia need a great deal of assistance and some like to paint within pre-drawn lines. Others prefer to work utterly spontaneously. Your art cart will look different than mine but I will share some of the materials and projects that I use with you here. 

Art Cart Example
ArtCart1.PNGArt Cart Example

Art Cart Example

Projects Cart and Accessories:

  • Commercial cart can be purchased 
  • Plastic bins and containers to hold art supplies. 
  • Walker baskets, wheelchair bags to hang on front and sides.
  • Large plastic trays for paints and brushes. 

Art Supplies

  • Acrylic paint, watercolor paint, fabric paint in plastic containers with lids
  • Pencil crayons, oil and water-based pastels, pencils, permanent black markers for pre-drawing designs for painting projects.
  • Brushes for water-based paint.

Spontaneous Art Projects:

  • Sketchbooks and paper for people who like to draw.
  • Watercolor paints and circle template for free-form mandalas and spontaneous paintings.
  • Collage materials: magazines, color photocopies, scissors, glue sticks, card stock for backing.

Structured Art Projects:

  • Cardboard covered in brown or butcher paper to mount projects on (you can use this to make a lap easel)
  • Pre-drawn paper and fabric designs such as geometric mandalas or still-lifes
  • Small wood projects and terracotta pots to paint with acrylic paint.

Paint Protection :

  • Plastic table cloths from the dollar store
  • Paint aprons to protect clothing
  • Plastic, custom “sleeves” can be sewn to protect the painting arm with elastic at the wrist

Miscellaneous Art Supplies:

  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks and white glue
  • Glue Guns
  • Tissue paper for collage
  • Art and picture books for inspiration
  • Stamps and stencils
  • Large envelopes for collage ephemera and bits
  • Sandpaper to smooth out wood projects
  • Varnish to clear- coat terracotta pots and wood projects
  • Small ruler 
  • Small paint trays and palettes
  • Chunk of wax for resist paintings and to apply to wood projects for easy sanding between different coats of color
  • Spray bottle for wetting paper and paint
  • Tablespoon and paint scraper for cleaning up paint spills
  • Small notepad for attendance and client progress notes
  • Plastic water containers for washing brushes
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