Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Making A Dream Craft Room In A Small Space


Do you ever look at those amazing craft room tours, the ones with a room the size of a garage, custom built work spaces, and stunning decor, and think "I wish I had that", followed by:



I'll admit I did.  With 3 kids, a mortgage and real life stuff popping up at every turn, kitting out a fancy craft room hadn't been a priority.  And even if it had been, I'd have to evict a kid or two for some extra square footage.  I've been lucky enough to have half of a former laundry room/galley kitchenette to call my craft room.  It even looked pretty cute in my last tour a couple years ago, but since then the repurposed furniture, plastic bins & makeshift containers just weren't working anymore.

My problem was that I was outgrowing my space but had nowhere to go.  As I learned to craft more, I accumulated more supplies.  Things were getting jammed into any nook or cranny available, which meant I was never really sure where things were or what I had.  I'd tried reorganizing & purging, but the bottom line was I'd reached the point where it wasn't working anymore.  There was more stuff than places to put it and a larger space wasn't an option.  This was not a good look:

My Craft Room Mess

I remembered I'd seen some crafter-specific furniture from The Original Scrapbox in a big blog's craft room reveal a while ago, but hadn't thought it would work for me.  For one, my space is basically one side of a galley kitchen, not a lot of configuration options for furniture or storage. Secondly, I'm a regular person with a real world budget.  I'm also a super cheapskate - the thought of spending more than $20 on a single item for my craft space gave me palpitations. But as I searched for an ideal solution, I kept coming back to their EZ View Desk.  It was the same width as the crappy drop leaf counter I was using, but could hold a lot more. I told myself if I wanted it enough, it would be worth working towards.

So I started saving.  Making a few hats, selling a few patterns, doing some freelance projects, I kept setting it aside for several months until I had enough.  And I timed it just right with Black Friday so I could get a sale price too.  It was totally worth it.  I now have a dream craft room:


I feel like a kid in a candy store when I look at my stash of supplies now!  Come have a peek...


I've stocked these shallow partitioned drawers with my various craft paints and inks.  Now I can find things at a glance instead of sifting through bins or drawers where I may have put them.  And to add some personal style (and protect my drawers in case of any spills), I fitted them with drawer liners I cut from some laminate cotton fabric:


I keep my tools, washi tapes & glass vials on this side.  The partitions are totally removable so I can change the size of the sections if I end up getting more stuff or change what I put in them.


I bought the add-on extension drawers for this desk which make it several inches taller and added some extra deep pull out storage for my big tape rolls on this side:


And my hot glue goodies, scale and barrette making supplies on this side.  This stuff was all too tall or wide to put anywhere else, but now it's easy to access:


I also sprang for the additional LED light option.  Not only does it look cool, but it's totally handy for tracing so I don't need a separate, bulky light box.  


It also makes an awesome catwalk for toy fashion shows.  Work it ponies!


The cool thing is you can choose your own bases on these desks, so I went with the side tote option on this side.  The totes are clear so I used some double sided tape & scrapbook paper to give them a custom look and keep things looking neat too.  Now I've got distinct, easy access spaces for my card stock, Mod Podge, glues, brushes and all the other things that used it get the "throw it all in a bin" treatment.


The door front houses zip-up pouches that can stick anywhere inside it thanks to a velcro wall.  I used the space under the desk to store my tackle box organizers.  


Those box organizers were way overstuffed before this desk, but look at the difference now that I can spread my stuff out thanks to all the extra compartments:


I went with the shelf cabinet on the other side to hold all my ironing stuff, laminator and cutting machines.  My Cricut & Silhouette always sat out getting dusty & taking up valuable space on my old counter.  Now they're hidden, but still easy to pull out.  I've even got all my extra blades, pens and manuals right there in the zip pouches too instead of buried in the back of a drawer on the other side of the room.  


Above my EZ View Desk, is this cute storage shelf I found at staples.com of all places.  It's got the same bead board finish as my desk doors so it's a perfect wall complement.  I keep my small spools of ribbon and beads on it.  It looks pretty, but it's also helpful to quickly see what I've got. I slipped coordinating scrapbook paper into the drawer fronts to match my other accents:


Now let's head over to my sewing nook, since that's where most of the magic happens. This had been an ultra deep closet (it originally held a refrigerator).  We had removed the louvered doors and added a small table so I could use it as a sewing area, but I couldn't really store much in this spot.  When Black Friday hit and I was about to order my EZ View Desk, they announced the new Helen Sewing Desk and that it would be introduced at a special discounted price.  I jumped in and got both.


This desk has the benefits of the EZ View but has sewing-specific features like a center drop-in section for sewing machines.


The coolest bits are the custom clear panel that was cut to fit around my exact machine and the stacking rubber mats to adjust the height.  I  just sent them a tracing outline and they made a panel that fits my Janome HD1000 exactly and is easy to remove when I want to free arm sew.  I've also notice it is a heck of a lot quieter when I sew thanks to those rubber mats. It also came with a solid panel I can swap in if I want to remove my machine and use it as a regular desk.


Behind it is another deep section with a removable panel where I keep random sewing stuff like ribbons and trim:


There's a pull out drawer on one side to use for my design journal & notions:


And another for all my cutting tools on the right.  I keep all my extra needles & machine accessories in some recycled wet wipes containers in there.  The clear desk top makes it easy to find things and keeps me from getting to sloppy because I can always see my stuff. Very motivating for lazy people like myself.


I went with the side tote option on the left base again and use those to store all my patterns by size and style.  I printed some labels in a fun font to put on each of the totes.  


I keep my marking tools, specialty threads & fold over elastic in the door pouches:


The other base for this desk actually comes with a spool rack in the door, so I keep my extra thread and attachments for my sewing machines on it.  When we were putting it together I was worried about how the door would open (since I wanted the desk side to be against the wall), but the bases can be flipped to open to the right or left, so it was no problem.  I also got a Ribbon Box to keep all my favorite ribbons organized and ready to just pull & cut.   


Above my desk is a shelf from Pottery Barn I'd originally had in a bathroom.  I've repurposed it to hold my sewing knick-knacks like mini-figure of Lemon Meringue with her sewing machine, My Little Pony's Rarity (the sewing maven) and the high fashion ponies Hoity Toity & Photo Finish.  And yes there's also Skipper & a coconut tree from Gilligan's Island, who is not related to fashion or sewing, but has been a bit of a good luck charm for me for years. My Brother SE 400 machine stays out of the way up top.  I've hung some metal pails from Ikea from the towel bar for quick places to stash current projects.


And in the corner is my lovely dress form.  She's a new addition that I'll be sharing more about in an upcoming review, but I can already say that she's been helping to hone my apparel making skills.


The other side of my room is still the original built-in cabinets, mostly filled with non-craft stuff, plus a stove. 


I made a less-than-useful sink into extra counter space by removing the faucet and cutting a piece of MDF to fit.  By upholstering it with Insul-Bright and a layer of cute flannel fabric on top it's become a big ironing surface.  Since it rests in the lip all the way around the sink it's perfectly lined up with the counter for extra workspace.


I carved out this one upper section of cabinet for my treat making/party goodies.  Some canvas bins from Ikea house my molds, pans & other bigger stuff, while the bottom shelf is devoted to my edible decorations, and organized using mason jars and berry boxes:


And I've sprinkled my room with things I've made and little decor finds, mostly from the dollar section of Michaels.  As you can see I've got a sassy, vintage vibe going on in here:


My husband got me this fabulous sewing machine tape dispenser for Christmas last year. Perfect craft room decor AND it's useful! 


And thanks to all my new "on the floor" storage space, my teeny curved side closet isn't so stuffed it's about to avalanche anymore:


The changes really have made a huge difference despite my space itself not really changing. I feel organized, my room stays cleaner and it makes working in it more enjoyable and less claustrophobic.  It just took a little patience and some saving, but I can honestly say my craft room has become my dream space come true.




I'm also sharing this project with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
Click HERE to check them out!

75 comments:

  1. Congrats on such a nice sewing space! :)

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  2. I am envious! This would qualify as a dream crafting space.

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    1. Thanks so much! It is to me and hearing that from others is the ultimate compliment.

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  3. Beautiful! I need that ribbon box!

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    1. It's amazing how something so small is SO useful and looks really pretty as well. My mom's getting one now too because she liked mine and has loads of ribbon.

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  4. Love the glass on the desk. This looks great!

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  5. What a beautiful room to get inspired in. Love your creative use of storage.... Cathy

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    1. It's funny how creative we can get when we need to! Now if I was just as good at doing it everywhere else....

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  6. What a clever, well-organized and attractive space! Congrats on a great job!

    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life

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  7. Wow, pretty, well-organized, and affordable all in one. I love it!

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  8. So lovely..I hope take away some inspiration..I am not ready to spend so much but you have motivated me to at least clean up...Great post..And wow you DID GOOD!

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    1. Thanks Sheryl and as I said, I'm normally VERY cheap, but I knew nothing else came close to these so I saved up for a while and I'd do it again in a heartbeat because it's made things so much nicer:)

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  9. Can I move in? Wow your room is the most amazing and and and just words escape me as to how much I like your room! I wish I could do that! You are my sewing room idol!!!

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    1. LOL Cheri. Thanks - this compliment has made my day! When I first shoveled the junk out of this room to set up a little space I never dreamed it could become my crafting paradise, but with a few key pieces and some fun little finds it's definitely turned into that.

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  10. What a beautiful craft room......I would love to have such a beautiful space. The desk is amazing! I am in the middle of building a home, and looking for ideas on my craft/cookie room, it is not very big, so I need to make the most out of what space I do have! I just found your blog, linked up to your link party, and now I can not wait to look around a little

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    1. There's a lot you can do in a small space, especially with space saver things like my desks. I'll be sharing more things this spring & summer too. Glad to have you join me here & check things out!

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  11. I sure enjoyed the tour, what a cheerful retreat..... this room is sure to make your sewing and crafts even more fun!

    Sheree

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/yoursewingroom/info

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  12. I love this desk, I love mine but I think this one would have been MUCH more suitable! LOVE!

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    1. Thanks so much - I liked what I had before, but I really love this upgrade and it's made life so much easier. Totally worth it:)

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  13. Nice job! I love that sewing desk - I wonder if they could configure an L-shape for me? hmmm - you got my brain going

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    1. Deb, the people at The Original Scrapbox are so wonderful and really helpful to customers so definitely ask them. I called with a few questions before I ordered and were terrific and have since asked for my feedback since I was among the first to get the Helen Sewing Desk. They really listen to customers about what they like and want.

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  14. Love your craft room especially the desk with the visible crafts! Great job!

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  15. So clever and creative. I wish I had your vision and your craft room! :) Visiting from The Dedicated House

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    1. I am not a person who is good at decorating, but over time things came together. I've really learned that if you dream it and stay patient, it can came true!

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  16. I am in LOVE with your craft space!! I too have only a small nook to myself for my crafting projects (a tiny little closet in our office). I've been looking for furniture that would organize things in a way that I could actually see them and now I know exactly what I want to get! Your space looks awesome and I'm pinning it all! And the My Little Pony catwalk was too cute :)

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    1. Thanks so much and you will LOVE these desks. They are so pretty and so much more functional than any of the things I had before. My kids are huge MLP fans, so their ponies have to get in on the craft room too;)

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  17. ahhhh this is amazing!!!! i am starting a similar project in a small space at home, thank you for the inspiration! time to pin, pin, pin!!

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  18. wow! okay I am a wee bit jealous giggle. What a wonderful place to be creative. loving that table with the glass top. Thank you for sharing your sweet blog at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop ♥

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  19. It is my dream to have craft corner not room.:))

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    1. It is totally possible. I started out using my dining room table and as I was crafting more was determined to carve out a space somewhere! The Original Scrapbox also has some other cabinet furniture that make any space crafty, but closes up to look like a regular doored cabinet when not in use so you really can craft in any room of the house - it's genius.

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  20. A little bit (digression: ALOT) of envy on the part of myself. I don't even know how to sew. Your room just looks so pretty and I want it. :)

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    1. Sometimes a pretty space can be all the motivation you need;)

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  21. So fabu..... love it and I KNOW you do too. Thanks for sharing at Gingerly Made's Show & Tell

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  22. Wow! I found this post at the "I am only 1 woman" blog party and I am mightily impressed!!!! As you can see from my blog, I am at the very beginning of transforming my box room into a craft room... although I can't see it being nearly as impressive as yours. Well done! And thank you for all the photos too.

    Check out my blog at http://makethriftlovelife.blogspot.com

    Gayle x

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    1. Thanks very much Gayle. It's taken a few rounds to get my room to this point, but I wanted to show how it's possible to make a dream room even if the space isn't ideal or there isn't a big instant budget. I'm a real person with all the real constraints most people have, so if I can, anyone can!

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  23. I love your craft room. That desk is super cool. I want that bag that says" both of us cant look good at the same time -Its either me or the house :)"

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    1. Thanks Carin - I really love the desks too. It makes me feel like I've got my own craft shop when I look at them! And I love that bag too - I found it at Michael's a couple of years ago and it's still my favorite decoration:)

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  24. This is a lovely craft room! Thank you for sharing. Now, the challenge for me is finding a place to store the bins and totes of fabric and yarn ;)

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    1. I've got some stored in my room, but I have a storage closet in my basement that contains my fabric stash over-run in some bins. I've got enough fabric to upholster the entire outside of my house.

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  25. How organized and pretty your space is! I love those desks and the way you've arranged it all.

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  26. I love your craft room! It's so bright and cheery and clean! That EZ view desk is so cool and that sewing nook.....love! I particularly love how you have your spools of thread hanging on the wall. So convenient...and so inspiring. I also wanted to say Hello from Make it pretty monday!
    leelee @ paperbagstyling

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    1. Thanks so much LeeLee. It isn't always spotless, but it's so much easier to keep clean now. Those spool racks where two wooden racks from Jo-Ann bought with coupons to make them very economical.

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  27. It is truly a wonderful space! It is so amazing how much more creative we can be when we have organized spaces. Happy crafting and sewing!

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  28. I love what you have done with this space! Amazing!

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  29. Cheryl, it's amazing! You are the Star Feature at the Before and After Wednesday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link to today's party. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2014/03/before-and-after-wednesday-week-9.html Hope to see you again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  30. Featuring you today! :) Thank you so much for linking up to {wow me} wednesday!

    Ginger @ GingerSnapCrafts.com

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  31. Love love love it!!!! The desk with glass is like to die for. I wish I could have my lilttle craft room not just a wall for me :(

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    1. I started out using my dining room and lugging bins back to the basement when we needed the table and then decided I'd have to make room - even if I had to shovel everyone else's stuff out of the way. There's always hope!

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  32. Can you read minds? Because I'm in the process of planning a small craft room! From an odd shaped half bath ( had a sink, toiler and washer in it) to craft space! Looks great!

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    1. I'm so glad this was great timing. Hope my room gives you some ideas and good luck on your space!!

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  33. It looks great Cheryl, tons of inspiration here for my crafting space after my move, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me the link! Pinning it to keep me inspired!

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    1. So glad this helps Melissa. Can't wait to see your new space when you have it ready!

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  34. That's just fabulous and so inspiring. Everything looks so bright and cheerful. Cant wait to have my own craft room (I wish that I had enough space, and pennies too). Anyway, love the desk too much :D

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    1. Thanks! I wanted it to be a place that makes me smile and feel happy. It took so time to get to this point - the dining room table was my "craft room" for quite a while. Glad you like the desks!

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  35. Love the desk, so bright and cheery. Love those ponies! The Velcro is a genius idea. Great room and good job!

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    1. Thanks so much Christina and glad to see another fan of both crafts & ponies!

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  36. They are lovely workspaces! I would love to have that much room (I share a closet with other stuff), but I know with kids and finances, things won't change anytime soon. Enjoy your new space, and thanks for sharing! I have something else I can fantasize about in my ideal craftroom. :)

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    1. You'll get there Kelley - it took me a few years to get off the dining room table and carve out that area and then a bit of saving to get my dream storage furniture. If I can, you can too!

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  37. What a fun and organized area to create in. Congratulations!!!!!!!

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  38. Hey Cheryl, Would love to feature a few of your photos in a story I am working on for a magazine. You can email me at bdldesign@msn.com. I can send you a screen shot of the spread mockup so you can see what images. Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks much Brenda

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  39. What a fun and informative article! Thanks for sharing. I think we all have organization and space utilization challenges, no matter how bit the space.

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    1. Thanks very much Jenny. And you're right about everyone having something to contend with - hopefully by sharing my solutions it will make it easier for others faced with the same challenges:)

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  40. I love your craft room! In fact I just included it in my Top 6 Craft Room post. I would love to have that wonderful EZ View desk!

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  41. Hi Cheryl,
    Your creative space is gorgeous! And I love how you've made the most of a small space. I linked to your post in an article I wrote for Quilting Focus, a quilting directory site, on organising your quilt room. Thanks so much for sharing your room.
    https://quiltingfocus.com/2015/10/quilt-room-organisation-your-dream-space/

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  42. I love it, you sooooo can do now ....... I need mine as neat as yours lol xx enjoy ! I love your'e glass desk xx

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    1. It doesn't always stay so neat (I currently have piles of fabric everywhere!), but it does clean up well thanks to all the storage. If I can do it, anyone can!

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  43. Replies
    1. All those details and links are in the post. Both were from The Original Scrapbox. The EZ View Desk is still available. Unfortunately the sewing desk has been discontinued, but they do have a Sewing Box that opens to have a desk and storage here: http://www.theoriginalscrapbox.com/products/the-sewingbox

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