When you love to let your creative juices flow to make your own gifts and decorative items, odds are strong that you’ve got more than your fair share of art supplies on hand. You might even be nursing a bit of an obsession to your crafting habit, right?
Don’t worry — this isn’t an intervention! The only thing we’re recommending is getting all of your things organized into a dedicated space so you can take your crafting to a whole new level. There’s no better way to spark your creative energy than with an organized craft room that allows you to have all of your materials within easy reach.
Your crafting space should also be a reflection of you and your impeccable taste. It should be a place — no matter how small! — where you go to feel inspired. Whether you like to stitch, paint or make the best gift baskets around, these DIY organization tips will help you create the crafting room of your dreams!
Step One: Choose Your Space
In an ideal world, your home would have a whole extra room for you to have as your new crafting office. A small, spare bedroom or unused den is ideal. You can set it up much as you would a home office, complete with an extra-large table for a work surface, shelves lining the walls and a desk or chest of drawers outfitted to hold all the small odds and ends you’ve collected over the years.
If you don’t have a whole room to devote to crafting — and let’s face it, most of us don’t! — consider adding a craft station to a room that’s spacious enough to do double-duty. A guest bedroom or existing home office are most likely the best choices, but with some creativity you can carve out a section of your family room or even your dining room for a craft area. To do this, try setting up a desk or sideboard as your home base. You’ll be able to use the top as a work surface and the drawers for storage. You can also add some shelves or a wall cabinet above to hold extra materials. As long as you clean off your tabletop when you’re finished working, this set-up can work in almost any room of the house.
If you’re concerned about young children getting into your materials — or if you just don’t want frequent guests to get an eyeful of the surprises you’ve been making for them — a dedicated craft closet can also work well. To make your own, remove the hanging bar and add a small desk or wall-mounted, drop-leaf table to serve as a work surface. You can also add extra shelves and hang an organizer on the back of the door to hold your supplies. When you’re done working, it’s easy to shut the door on your space for fast clean-up.
Step Two: Get Organized
The design of your craft room will depend largely on the size, shape and amount of supplies that you own. You’ll definitely want to provide room to grow, though, so aim for adding enough storage options for a 50 percent increase to your current supply inventory. After all, you don’t want to go through the trouble of designing a craft room that you outgrow in just six months!
While you should feel free to customize your storage and furniture to fit your needs, every great craft room should have these items in place:
- A Work Surface: A re-purposed dining table, desk, sideboard or even an oversized shelf with strong brackets can serve as a work space for your crafting. Add the largest work surface you possibly can, and keep it free of clutter — you don’t want to waste valuable real estate by filling it with desktop organizers and pencil cups if you can help it.
- A Chair: Unless you’ve chosen a standing desk for your work surface, add a chair or stool to your craft room for comfort. If you work with messy paints and epoxies, choose one that you can easily clean; otherwise, a cushion will go a long way towards softening your seat!
- Drawer Space: If you’re using a desk or sideboard, this is already covered. For a large table, consider adding filing cabinets, a bedside table or other small chest of drawers beneath it — just be sure to leave room for your chair and your legs in the center. Within your drawers, add dividers to hold small items in place and maximize your space.
- Shelving: The smaller your craft area, the more important it is to go vertical with your storage. Add shelves above your work surface and anywhere else you can. You can use baskets and bins to further segment the area and hold supplies by category. Keep your most-used equipment on the lowest shelf and your once-in-a-while items up high.
- Clear Labeling: Once you’ve outfitted your craft room with your basic furniture and storage, take the time to label all of those caddies, cups and bins. These will help you keep things tidy, and the labels will let other family members know where to return any borrowed materials. Go ahead and make the labels as beautiful as you want — they can be a decorative element of the room!
- A Bit of Pizzazz: Finally, be sure to add a decorative touch or two to your craft room. Bright paint in your favorite color, a display of your work, a decorative light… all these items go a long way towards expressing your personal style and keeping you inspired to keep on making things.
Step Three: Add Extras
Some craft supplies just don’t fit well into traditional desk drawers or bins. Try these clever solutions for your hard-to-handle craft supplies:
- Wrapping Paper: Add shower curtain tension rods to hold rolls of wrapping paper at attention for easy use. Alternatively, you can use a waste basket in a corner to keep them upright and corralled until you need them.
- Buttons and Gems: Keep these items in clear jars so you can easily find what you need. You can also try mounting a pegboard and using clever accessory cups and bins to keep these items separated by color, size or type.
- Sewing Supplies: Try a shoe organizer to hold skeins of yarn. For thread and sewing notions, a classic sewing box or tool box will tuck away on a shelf and keep things neat until you need them.
- Pencils and Markers: Instead of organizing these by type, try rounding them up by color instead! You’ll find what you’re looking for much faster by reaching for the red cup instead of digging through the marker bin.
The most important advice for designing the craft room of your dreams? Have fun! Consider this your biggest craft project of all. Approach it with the same creativity and flair you would any other crafting session, and you’ll end up with a beautiful, personalized space.