Organizing a multi-purpose craft room can have its challenges but with a bit of planning ahead you can make the best use of your available space.
Setting up a multi-project craft room has been a challenge and an ongoing project in itself. Some people have a designated purpose for their space, an art studio or a sewing room or maybe making soaps or jewellery which allows them to design around very specific needs. I’m all over the board from bird baths to Barbie doll accessories. I’m also big on re-using, re-purposing, restoring when ever I can so I’m forever frequenting garage sales, Thrift stores and the Re-use centre, collecting anything from old ribbon to trinkets and vases so it takes a bit of planning to stay organized.
Prioritize Your Needs & Wants
With a multi-purpose craft room your space limitations will require you to prioritize what activity/storage is most important to you. Make a wish list then order it starting it with your highest priority and use this as a blue print to help guide your planning.
1 Write a list of what type of activities or storage needs you want.
Sample Designated Space Wish List
1 Space for fabric/ribbon remnants and knitting/crochet supplies
2 Designated space for most used tools or supplies like glues, scissors etc
3 Designated space for misl. small sized crafting supplies: embellishments, beads, shells, jewels, buttons etc.
4 Designated Space for Paper, card board, stencils, gift bags and foam
5 Designated Space for Thrift store finds to be used for later up-cycle projects
6 Designated Space for Sewing
7 Designated Space for Photography
2 Designate a given location/amount of space for each type of activity/supplies
You can sketch this out in advance and get a sense of what you want and where, rather than figure it out as you go and having to re-organize. You can’t change the space you have so you have to use the space you have efficiently. You may find you don’t have enough space for all your wish list priorities so then you have to make concession in terms of partnering a designated space, for example, using a table for both sewing and photography as needed
3 You’ve established what type of activities/storage needs you have – you’ve designated a given amount of space to each – now it’s time to set come criteria for those designated spaces and over- all room in terms of aesthetics and function.
A work desk or table that is spacious and easy to clean
A work desk/table that is position centrally and close to supplies I use most often
A work station that is stylish & modern
Storage solutions that ensure organization and easy access
Varied types of storage based on needs individual activity needs (ie I want certain things to be dust free so within a cabinet or drawer)
Vintage and new pieces combined
White and robin egg blue color scheme
Bright and cheerful – lots of lights
Incorporate personal touches
THE GOAL IS TO CHECK OFF AS MANY THINGS ON YOUR PLAN AS YOU CAN
My Craft Room Reveal: How I Put The Plan Into Action
A designated space for fabric/ribbon remnants and knitting/crochet supplies
I identified the purpose of the space – the location and amount of space available – the criteria for the space and finally I went out and found the furniture or storage solutions that worked within the parameters of all of the above. In my planning I knew I needed to establish storage solutions for wool, fabric and ribbon and so my criteria was that the space be organized with easy access, affordable and include cupboards or drawers so that ribbon and fabric stay dust free. Previously I had my supplies in totes in a large cupboard and taking the totes in and out just wasn’t working for me. I designated 3.5′ X 4.5′ of my available floor space for this section so once I established my storage criteria and how much space was available, I set out searching for the ideal solution that would fit with my plan. I purchased an older dresser which turns out to be an excellent way to organize and easily access fabric remnants, it also provided me a base from which I could build on to stack upwards for additional storage space. I found this amazing old hardware cabinet at a garage sale for ribbon remnants with a different drawer for every color and a few other storage solutions including a smaller 4 drawer piece for wool and knitting/crochet materials. All these pieces met my criteria of wanting fabric and ribbon to not be left out or exposed to dust.
Shelving & Cupboards
For the smaller supplies and supplies I use most often, I decided to go with narrower 10″ shelves because wide shelves result in losing site of things in the back and it gave me more available floor space. Shelves give you flexibility – you can choose to have items out on display that you like aesthetically and that make you feel creative or you can put items out that you are most likely to use or both. I was determined to use as many clear containers as possible so I don’t forget what I have and can easily survey my supplies when I’m looking for embellishments for a project. Not only does this shelving option make accessing my supplies easy, it will also make a great backdrop for videos!
Cupboards are also a great storage option for just about everything, especially the things that might not appear as neat and tidy on an open shelf but it can be easier to forget what you have in there or arduous to pull totes out digging around for things you need. I use the cupboards for storing the various things I collect at Thrift stores that I want to use in my DIY Barbie projects, things I would select for a project versus things I would regularly be accessing like paints and craft supplies.
Incorporating vintage pieces and personal touches without compromising function
In keeping with my wish list I incorporated the old and the new by repainting and re-using some old pieces of furniture. My 1970’s dresser got a new coat of paint and a new purpose. The dresser is the perfect storage solution for paper, stencils, foam, cardboard and more! I added some stick on jewels to the handles and added a bit of bling.
Sewing & Photography Easy access and a space with a designated purpose can increase the likelihood that you will engage in that activity which is why educators always encourage parents to have a designated study place for children. With this in mind, I wanted to see if I designated space for the things I wish I did more often; if I actually would do these activities more. Since crafting blogging require photography I wanted a designated space with the right light and easy access. Previously the photo-booth was stored in a cupboard and I avoided taking it out and setting it up; it just wasn’t convenient, now it’s it is! I also wanted to incorporate a place to sew versus put my sewing machine back and forth in the closet. I don’t sew often and not well, but I’ve already used it more with it being more more accessible and with related sewing supplies just a drawers reach away.
Work Station: Needs versus wants and function versus aesthetic – planning can help solve the dilemma. When it came to deciding on my work station or work table, planning really helped me focus on my actual needs versus my personal aesthetic preferences. There are so many stylish DIY work station I’d like to build but when it came down to available space these options weren’t feasible. I needed a space for a work table and floor space for furniture restoration projects and there wasn’t room for both. To resolve this, I opted for function over aesthetics and went with a lite weight plastic banquet table. It allows me sufficient space to work, it’s durable and easy to clean and if I want to work on a larger furniture project I can just fold it up and tuck it out of the away.
For me, not having a garage and with a history of getting down and messy with furniture refurbish projects, I decided to paint the cement floor so I could easily repaint it if there is ever any paint or stain spills. That being said my feet were always cold so I added a indoor/outdoor throw rug for under my work table and both the rug and table can easily be moved out of the way when I need additional space for furniture restoration projects.
Let There Be Light! Speaking of light – the light of my life helped Grandpa put together this wonderful light for me!
Natural lighting is ideal but for the first time ever I found myself in a room with no windows. A big priority for me was making sure I had plenty of light. In addition to the ceiling lights, I incorporated a lamp on my table and tall, large free standing lamp as well; both with hinged arms for more flexibility.
In review, taking the time to plan in advance works. There were a few things that I had to make concessions on like the fold down work table instead of the stylish modern work station and there wasn’t enough space to designate to furniture restoration so I had to adapt the plan and settle on moving the work table and rug out of the way, but in the end I was able to stay on budget and achieve the majority of things on my wish list resulting in a craft room that is organized, functional and perfect creative space for me!
Whatever type of craft person you are, taking the time to plan and reflect on what will work best for you is well worth the effort. A little planning ahead can really make your crafting time more productive and joyful!
I’d love to hear if this planning system works for you. What are your craftroom organization challenges?