Free Tolepainting Database

***New Information July 7, 2005***

If you notice something is not working correctly in the database, please let me know. There was a problem in the books table with a field that was incorrectly named, this produced an error in that field and is very easy to fix. I've fixed it in the database here, but if you downloaded it before and entered data into it, email me and I can tell you how to fix it.

I wanted a way to organize my 300 + books/magazines/patterns, as my collection was growing in leaps and bounds and whenever I wanted to find something that caught my eye, I could never remember which book or magazine I had seen it in, or I couldn't find the right book/magazine if by some miracle I remembered what it appeared in. So I created a database to record all of this information in. The first thing I did was put all my books in a pile, all magazines in separate piles by name, and then I alphabetized the books, and I put the magazines in chronological order. I put a small round sticker (any kind of numbering would work, marker, taped on piece of paper, etc...) on each book or magazine, and I started numbering from 1. For magazines I put DP1 for Decorative Painters 1, TW1 for Tole World 1 and so on. Then I entered each record into the database. Now if I want to search for Santa's it's easy, and by having each book/magazine numbered, I can find them in a flash!

Please read this entire page to understand how the database is created and its intended purpose. I wouldn't have time to answer every question, so I've tried to cover as much as possible on this page, and I'm not an Access teacher, I'm totally self-taught (remember HELP in your program is just that!).

This database is Microsoft Access 2000, which WILL work in Access 2000 and 2002 (XP), but it WILL NOT work in Microsoft Access 97 because this database is not backward compatible. If you have Access 97, please choose the link below. Please click here to download my database in Access 2000.
This database is Microsoft Access 97, which WILL work in Access 97, 2000 and even 2002 (XP) version. Please click here to download my database in Access 97.

Easy Office is a free office suite that supports Microsoft Access databases, so if you do not have Microsoft Access and you'd like to download Easy Office, please click here. (Please note this file is large, so download could take awhile depending on your internet connection type and speed.)

This database is organized using the following tables
(and forms based on these tables because it is easier
to enter records into a form than a table):

Crafts 'n' Things (magazine)

Books (for all Tole Painting Books)

Decorative Artists (magazine)

Decorative Painter (magazine)

Decorative Woodcrafts (magazine)

Miscellaneous Magazines (for all others that don't have their own table)

Painting (magazine)

Paintworks (magazine)

Pattern Packets (for all your packets)

Tole World (magazine)

Wood Strokes (magazine)

There are no reports/queries in this database, but feel free to create your own!

The only field that must be unique in every table (or using ever form) is the No field. It's the identifier for each book/magazine/packet and therefore cannot be a duplicate.

So you can't have two books both number 10 (ect...). If you try to enter a number that already exists, you will get an error message, just give it a new number that you haven't already used. If you number all of your books and then add a new book that fits in between 2 and 3, you can just call it 2A...ect....

I used numbers for my books (1, 2, 3 etc...)
For magazines I used DP1, DP2, etc.. for Decorative Painter, TW1, TW2 ect.. for Tole World (you get the idea!)
If I bought another book (and who among us hasn't?) and it fits between 1 and 2, simply add a letter on, example 2a, and so on.

I have created a switchboard, or a Main Menu, called Menu for Painting Database (under forms). This Menu allows you to click on a button, which will take you directly into that form and either enter new records or look through existing records.
When you close any of the forms you will automatically be taken back to the main menu.

To print out a report of all your books, you can minimize the main menu and go to reports, but so far I haven't created any of these. I found it was easier to export my database tables into Excel because then I could play with the column widths and margins and get what I wanted on a page. It's pretty easy to do, just click on File, Export, then in the Save As Type, click the down arrow until you find Excel, give it a name and your records will be exported into Excel. You would have to do that for every table, but then printing all your records out is easy. Of course if you are familiar with Access and don't mind playing around, you can create your own reports and make them as pretty as you'd like.

To enter records using the forms, go into the Form you want and click on the arrow pointing to the right (with a | line next to it) which will take you to the very last (or blank) record. Enter your information. Tab moves you from field to field. I have created fields for favorite projects so you can enter the ones you would like to paint and find them much easier. I have added a style field with a drop down menu with the most common styles to choose from, (Christmas, Fall, Santa's, ect...) you can choose one of those styles or type your own in this field. I have also added a drop down field for priority (must paint, would like to paint, low priority), again you can choose one of those pre-defined, or type in your own.

You must have Microsoft Access 2000 or XP on your home computer to use this database. I hope you enjoy using this database! It was a personal project based on my own necessity to organize my books/magazines/patterns, it is not a commercial product and is intended only for pseronal use.

This database is an excellent tool once you enter everything, because at any time you can flip through your list, find a favorite project you entered, look for the number on the corner of the book, pull the book out and flip to the page you are looking for. Once you've entered all your books, magazines and patterns, adding newly purchased books is easy and you can stay organized.

I have decided not to email it out individually by requests received (because I wouldn't have the time!) so I've put it on my website to let people download it. I would be happy to modify it if you can suggest something helpful to its design (email me at Thanks and happy painting!

This site was modifed on March 27, 2011