My plans for my new look craft room are bubbling away under the surface. My hope is that a fresh aproach will enable me to open the door with pride instead of hiding my junk room from anyone who passes by! It’s true there haven’t been any visitors for a while because of the Covid 19 lockdown but when the time comes to welcome guests both in person and online I’m hoping it’ll look a great deal better than it does right now! It’s not just that the craft room is a place for junk – at best, it is function over design, old tatty furniture and a place to sit. The window has no view and doesn’t offer the best light and it’s cold in winter despite the big radiator. So, I’m not in love with the room – I am in love with having the space – for many many years, my craft space has been the cupboard under the stairs and this is a huge step up! So it needs some effort to make it dreamy – and that’s what this project is all about!
I’m sure if you’ve found this page it’s because you’re looking for ideas on how to style your craft room… Or at the very least, you’re hoping to find what to do with all that stuff! I’ve been building up craft supplies since my teens and, knowing that I’ll need it some day makes me a craft hoarder. Finding lovely Pinterest ideas is the good bit – but you know you have to tackle the mess before you can get to that. So what to do first?
Get rid of all the things that don’t belong in the craftroom
Anything that has arrived here by accident put back where it should be. In my house, the craft room is a place where we don’t entertain which makes it the ideal place to quickly dump stuff we don’t want to deal with. Paperwork, homework, kids drawings, charge cables, laundry and rubbish that comes as a package with all of the above. The craftroom also seems to be the place where old pens and packs of crayons/dead felt tip pens come to rest. As though the rest of the household has realised they don’t want these things but doesn’t want to make the decision to throw them out either!!
Check it works and throw it if it doesn’t
Test the felt tips, staple guns, hot glue guns, scissors… If it doesn’t work, throw it. If it’s bigger and more important like your sewing machine that doesn’t work, get it serviced. Make now the time you start really using your time to do the things you want to do.
I don’t have a beautiful matched set of folk art acrylic paints in coordinated colours that will look amazing on a peg board on display. I have a mis-matched box of acrylics that I’ve been using and adding to since I was at university. It is not beautiful but it is functional and it has to be kept. It also has to be tamed.
Sort everything into categories, paints, beads, yarns, ribbons, paperclips, Brad’s, embossing powders, stamps, cutting dies. Stick them into cardboard boxes if needed – just know what you have and how much space it’s going to take up – you can’t work that out while its crammed into drawers and the garage and stuffed under the bed (yes, I actually can see you!)
Sort the pens and pencils, test everything, clean the old brushes, make sure it’s all in order. Put your pliers and screwdrivers and hole punches into another drawer – tools.
Jam jars, tubs, cigar boxes, tins. I have collected Lyons Golden Syrup tins for around 10 years because they make the best pencil tins. They’re indestructable, they have no sharp edges, they take a coat of paint and they’re free with the yummy syrup! (Insert favourite flapjack recipe here!)
Some things might work well in jars: buttons and beads, sequins and trim in which case you can treat them like pantry items, get them some labels and pop them on the shelf. However I’ve found that most things are either too big for a jar, not beautiful or there aren’t enough of them for this approach.
Arrange the little bits in boxes onto their sides so you can rifle through – like revision cards – I have a chest of drawers for these bits – there’s all sorts of useful things to be found – magnets, trim, different glues, bluetac, tiny batteries, washi tape and smal packs of crayons. I visit almost every day for something or other.
I have pretty little things in cigar boxes which I collected from my previous employer. In this one there are paper offcuts – things I’ve cut from nice paper but haven’t used in a project – they’re useful as last minute gift tags, for trim when you don’t want to get the machines fired up and especially if you have to find suitable paper in the wee hours for the tooth fairy to leave a note on!!
Now it’s organised you can decide what sort of storage you need. It might be that you don’t need wall to wall shelving – or maybe now you’ve actually faced up to your yarn stash in its entirity that you do!!
I’ve opted for Ikea Trofast for my storage – designed for children’s toys, it’s well priced and flexible and comes in a lovely range of colours. It’s also sturdy enough to make into usable furniture and will take a lovely decorative label. To save money I’ve bought empty frames from Facebook Marketplace and new drawers from Ikea. This has meant that for the same price, I would have paid for new, I’ve got twice the storage space.
And now we wait
Lockdown has meant that everyone has been organising at home and poor Ikea teams have been working really hard to make sure we’re still getting our items… still, there’a s two week wait for the drawers.
Don’t worry, there’s still lots to be getting on with – it wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t customise – there’s a colour scheme to think of and painting to be done and labels to make!