Setting up a still life involves a lot more than just placing a bunch of random objects on a table. However, it helps to have a group of interesting items to provide inspiration.
In addition to a sturdy table, I use a cutaway box on which I hang my cloth backgrounds. The box shown can be used vertically or horizontally. Sometimes I add additional smaller boxes to provide different levels for the objects. In the backroom of my studio (an old summer kitchen), is a very large cupboard where I store a multitude of brick-a-brac. Some of these are family heirlooms or collectibles, however many are interesting objects that I’ve picked up at local resale shops, yard sales, and flea markets. I have to be careful not to get carried away but rarely spend more than a couple of dollars for anything.
A box of a variety of fabrics also provides some interesting backdrops. Of course, just “shopping” through my house will provide plenty of paintable subject matter – scarves, throws, toys, and season things like fruits, vegetables and flowers. And I’m always on the lookout for natural objects with a particular fondness for feathers and bird nests.