Thursday, August 2, 2012

Welcome to my Craft Room

My craft room is four years in the making.   This week marks four years that I've lived here and finally finishing this space was one of my 2012 goals.  I've been collecting the pieces in this room over the past four years, searching secondhand stores and discount stores for the most functional items at the most reasonable prices.  Some items are left over from my childhood and others are recent purchases.  If your craft space isn't meeting your needs, I hope this tour gives you some good ideas for how you can improve it on a budget.    

When I first moved in, I intended to use this room as my office and left open the possibility of using it as a guest room.  I might have graded papers in here once or twice in four years; I simply prefer to work in my classroom.  At the time I moved in, I was quite used to having a gigantic desk.  Both in college and at my apartment in France, I had a three foot deep desk.  As it turns out, you can't easily find a desk like that on the retail market, but I loved the size.  I bought a kitchen table to be my desk and it's been working out great for crafting because there's so much space.  The table and four chairs was about $150.  I use two of the chairs elsewhere in the house.
On top of my desk, I use a variety of small shelving pieces.  I have four of the Quickkutz Magpie storage units.  I bought these in 2009 for a total of $24 at Big Lots.  Funny thing- I didn't know they were meant as scrapping storage until last year.  I thought I was clever to use them for my punches.  They were displayed with discontinued items from Rite Aid so I thought they were meant to organize cosmetics.  :)  I also have a plastic shelf that was about $5 at Dollar General and some random wood shelves that were between $1-6 at Goodwill as well as some plastic crates from Dollar Tree and even a couple of cardboard boxes.  My Copics are in empty frosting tubs- free!  Under my desk, there's a plastic drawer unit that holds some additional punches, inks, envelopes, and more.  I also have a cork board above the desk with some important info, templates, and a couple of inspirational cards.  My grandmother made a birthday card for me a few months before her severe stroke in 2010 and I proudly display it on my board as a tribute to her.  The other inspirational card is from Sandy of OWH from when I won a prize.  I keep it there to remind me of the great work OWH does. 

My Cuttlebug station sits just behind my desk chair.  It's a computer desk that I bought at Habitat Restore.  It could use new paint, but I would probably just mess it up again while being crafty, so for now I'll just say it has some character!  All of my Cuttlebug supplies fit on the top.  The keyboard drawer holds my glue gun and heat gun along with a craft mat.  Below is more open shelving for storage.  My sewing machine lives at the bottom of this cabinet as well.  Check out that blue beauty! 


I use embroidery floss boxes for buttons, eyelets, and brads but I prefer the old ones to the new ones.  The plastic seems flimsier on the one I just got at the craft store than on the ones I've had since elementary school.  My solution- I bought a few more at Goodwill for the same price as a new one but they were the better quality plastic. 


 I love, love, love using these plastic drawers for stamp storage. I paid $2 each on clearance at Walmart because the color was discontinued, but these are generally available for about $6.  If you want some, look in a few weeks when the back to school items go on clearance.  One layer of wooden stamps in each drawer isn't heavy enough to destroy the unit (though doubling up in all the drawers will cause them to start buckling).  I have my $1 stamps sorted by themes and I use them often thanks to the ease with which I can locate them.  Line the drawers with grippy shelf liner to keep stamps from sliding all around when you open and close the drawers.  On top of these shelves, I have a Canada Dry caddy that was 50 cents or $1 at Goodwill.  It holds all of my pens, tools, scissors, and the like and it's super sturdy. See the serving fork there, ready to make bows? 

Scraps and full 8.5 x 11 cardstock are stored in these two bins.  At about $5 each plus the cost of file folders, they are an inexpensive way to sort papers and remain portable  Nearby, the green plastic drawers hold rarely used tools like a tag maker, large stapler, circle cutter, and more as well as supplies for other crafts I enjoy.  

Most of my storage is boxes on shelving.  This Ikea bookcase has been around for a long time.  I picked it out for my bedroom when I was in elementary school and it's been serving me well ever since.  I have no idea what my parents paid for it, but I know that it's been well worth the price.  The binders hold my stickers.  Paper trays hold cardstock that I've purchased by the ream.  Small plastic shoeboxes hold random embellishments like chipboard sets, extra adhesives, and more.   I keep a ream of 11x17 paper on hand to cover my work space if I'm going to be inky.  Under the shelves, I store my cropping tote. 
My other shelving is a set of 5 cubes for paper storage.   I lucked out and was able to get these cubes at Big Lots in 2009 for $8 each.  Michaels sells identical cubes with white shelves (mine are pink and green, not that you can tell for all of the paper) for $35 each. 
   
A plastic shelving unit holds my lightbox, ribbons, clear stamps, and Stampin Up sets I rarely use.  It was about $11 at Habitat ReStore. I keep cards that are ready to go in a large FRB on top.  This one's about half full. 


I glanced back through my post and totaled up what I've spent in storage for my room- about $300, half of which was the dining set.  I know everyone has a different budget to work with, and I was hoping this might inspire crafters on a low budget to look into secondhand stores for items that could work.  I am more concerned with function than looks, so I don't mind the mix of colors and materials in my room.   If it's important to you that your space be cohesive, look for items that you can paint and opportunities to pull in a fabric such as on chair cushions, curtains, and wall art.  For now, I will be happy to sink my craft budget into papers, tools, and postage for OWH instead of perfectly matched furniture. 

At four years old, my craft room is finally "done."

What creative storage solution makes your space work for you?

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Cards shipped to OWH in 2012: 928 blank and 215 AnyHero (as of 6/26)
Cards shipped to OWH in 2011: 1695

Check out OWH at www.operationwritehome.org to learn more about its mission and how to get involved.

4 comments:

  1. I LOVE your craft room! I have one and am still trying to decide how to best organize it. Your blog has given me some good ideas! Thanks so much for letting me take a look!

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  2. Wow, Kathryn! I think your room rocks... And I'm totally jealous of your big table!!

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  3. Awesome job with your space! I love rummaging thru Goodwill, Salvation Army, yard sales, and antique stores (although many antique stores are more of a junk shop than an antique store) for good finds. I don't generally "see" something I could use in a craft room though. I'll have to go back with a different eye... thanks for the "food for thought"!

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  4. Congrats on finally getting your craft room done! It looks awesome! Funny, my OWH FRB and Henreich envelope box are side by side on top of my wall unit too lol. Thanks for sharing your costs and container ideas... it's hard to know where to start and you've got some great ideas!

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