Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Craft Closet

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

A little bit of crafting space history for you: Our guest room used to be my sewing room. It was a great space but always a disaster thanks to it being the dumping ground whenever we needed to quickly clean the rest of the house. And I never really created enough storage systems within it to keep my creativity neat. When we knew we’d be adding to our family, we began to dream about adding onto our house to create a craft room. It was beautiful. You can read about my craft room dreams and plans HERE. Well, then we had to reside our house and all our savings went there, so PLANS CHANGED. What was my craft room became REESE’S NURSERY, and Nolan and I combined closets so his could become my crafting space. You can see how nice and clean it started out HERE. We had grand plans for utilizing the space, but it just never became a priority—both with our time or finances. So then, over time, this is what it ended up looking like:

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Are you feeling better about yourself? It’s like Monica’s secret closet on Friends, only it wasn’t my big secret and the rest of my house wasn’t spotless like her apartment. Everything just kept getting piled in there, and when I needed something I’d have to dig for it. Eventually I got so tired of digging that I’d just buy something new. So I ended up with at least three of several different things. Over time my craft storage spread to the dining room and I kept my sewing machines and basic supplies in there on a shelf.

Finally, almost a year and a half after crafting like this, in the week after Christmas I decided to do something about it and started pulling everything out. It got WAY worse before it got better. And my jump to action motivated Nolan to want to help finish the space as it should be rather than come up with temporary solutions. I’ll do a full post in a few days of how we remodeled the space, and what the cost was like (which we kept it to under $200), but for now, I just want to bask in the beauty of it. While I love it and think it could glow rays of sunshine, it’s definitely not the amazing works of decorator heaven you’ll find all over Pinterest. This is my practical, affordable, suits my 1500 square foot house crafting closet.

This post is very photo-heavy, but I’ll also be explaining how I use the space and how my storage solutions work for me. I always find it inspiring to see how other people organize.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

The closet is a little over six feet wide and 3 feet deep. The desk is a u-shape and I sit right in the middle of it. I slip around the chair (someday we’ll get one that swivels) and once I’m in, I’m in. To get things off the high shelves I stand on the chair. And if my kids join me, it gets crowded really fast. But it’s my space and I love it. When I go in, I feel like I’m at the office working. Having this designated space where everything is within an arm’s reach has upped my productivity for my shop so much! You can see that the back wall is very bare. I’m hoping to get a big bulletin board for that space soon.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

In the middle of the desk I have my sewing machine. When I’m not using it, it’s pushed back to give me more counter space. Nolan drilled a hole in the desk top so my power and foot pedal cords are able to go down through there and run to where they need to go without cluttering up the space. This is one of my many favorite things about the space. The basket to the right of my machine is a little trash basket since there isn’t room on the floor for a trash can. Big trash goes in a plastic bag I typically have hanging from my chair.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

To the left are pins, jars holding sewing tools like my seam ripper and my beloved LOOP TURNER, and my oh so stylish college mug full of pens. The post-it pads are a big element of my business—I am constantly noting how long something took me to make, or how much to charge for it, etc. Eventually I transfer all the notes to a spiral notebook, but these are great for in-process notes.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Another favorite feature that I LOVE is the measuring tape sticker I have along the front of the desk. Before, when I’d sew, I would keep my machine on my cutting mat and found myself utilizing it for the ruler while measuring the lengths of garlands as I made them. After just sewing in here once or twice I found myself missing it. I found my sticker on ebay HERE. It’s no longer available, but you could probably search for it and find it from another seller? I paid just under $4.50, including shipping, for it.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Stepping back you can see the left side of the space. Another favorite feature is my door hanging ironing board. I bought THIS ONE at Walmart for $23. I love that when I want to iron all I have to do is fold it down instead of dealing with pulling out my big board. I also use it as an extra work space. Just pull it down and can turn back and forth between my machine and it. It’s at counter height, so when I’m cutting small items I’m not having to lean over. And it just might be left down for extra storage when I’m in messy-busy mode and can’t clean up at the end of the day.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

This is the top shelf on the left side. It was an original shelf in the space. As much as I’d love solid shelves, this is what was there which meant it didn’t cost anything. I have clear shoe box tubs from the dollar store holding various fabric pieces and felt, all sorted by color. The baby wipes box holds paper patterns, and the blue lidded tub has fake flowers in it. The picture boxes (from Joann’s that I typically buy one at a time with 40% off coupons or when they’re on sale) hold inventory for my shop. As you can see, I’m using just about every inch of space there is.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

When buying the extra shelves for the closet, I really liked THIS hanging shelf. Simply hanging it from the shelf above meant less screws to properly anchor, and also that I’d still have some free hanging space at the end of the shelf against the wall (not pictured). In that open space I have my hanging button and thread storage that I posted about HERE. Tacked on the wall is a sewing machine foot guide and a color chart from the store where I order zippers.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

This shelf is seriously one of my favorite spots for both looks and practicality. On it I have a tub of threads (keeping it classy-this was a dog treats container originally), my serger threads along the back, a wooden crate holding my frequently used ribbons, and jars full of headband elastic, ric-rac and other miscellaneous trimmings. The way the ribbon sits and threads through the shelf makes it easy for me to pull from where I sit and cut off the length I need.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

On the desk on the left side you can somewhat see my hanging thread and button storage, a sewing basket that holds the small pieces for projects I’m currently working on, a drawer storage system topped with a basket full of small scraps. The purple box holds various ribbons and trims that didn’t fit above, and on top of it is a small wooden crate full of larger fabric scraps. Next to that is where I store my serger. As you can see I’m using every available square inch and not afraid of stacking.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Below the desk I have more shelving and store my fabric and yarn. We have shelf tracks like THESE ($5/track and there are 4 total in the closet) with brackets supporting white shelves. I love that I can raise and lower the shelves as I change the way I use the space or need to store things differently. In front of the fabric skeins of yarn are in baskets from the dollar store, and a few bolts of fabric are propped up and more projects are piled on top of those. I’m telling you—it’s amazing just how much stuff I can fit in this space!

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

The right wall is more focused on crafting supplies. The top shelf was originally hanging lower in the closet—you can see the holes from the anchors if you look closely (we figure we’ll patch them someday). If it had been left in its original spot it would have been too close to the desk for the countertop to be useful.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

A few bolts of fabric that I don’t use very often are on that shelf since they’re harder to get to. Below that the shelf was left where it was from the original closet configuration. The hanging file box on the left holds all my precut paper dies and stationary items and envelopes. Next to that the black and white polka dot box holds packaging items for my shop, below that is more inventory storage. The coffee cup next to it is a prop for photographing my coffee sleeves (found here and here), and the purple box has supplies for fastening—glue, tape, paper clips, staples, etc. Next to it is another drawer storage that I’ll talk more about in a bit.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Everything on the next shelf down is pretty easy to reach while I’m sitting. This shelf was originally in our hall closet, but had to be removed when we started storing a large tub of pet food in there and couldn’t open the tub while the shelf was there. It was great to be able to reuse it. The white three drawer unit has business papers/cardstocks in the bottom drawer, hole punches, craft scissors and rotary cutters (for fabric) in the middle drawer, and stamp pads, glitters and embellishments in the top. Next to the rubbermaid drawers the container is full of stencils. The old box holds all my paints, sorted by color and type, and is topped with brushes, pallets and bottles too tall to fit on the shelves. I love that there’s also some space in front of it for random things.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Right under the shelf I have a tension rod holding the paper I wrap all my sales in before mailing. I just have to pull the paper to the length I need and cut. It’s another one of my favorite things in here. I do have to use a strip of post it note to keep it from unrolling though. On the desk below you’ll see that I store my Silhouette machine (although when I use it I typically put it on the ironing board), my Sizzix Big Shot, all my die cuts and pen set. Even though the hot glue gun can be stored in a drawer above, it never gets put away and just sits on its mat right there. There is a hole in the counter in the back corner where the cord goes down to the outlet.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Below is the messiest part of my organization. We have more track shelving. Top left is the tub holding all my Silhouette supplies and vinyl. Next to it is a basket full of notepads, and next to that miscellaneous supplies like basket filler, raffia, doilies and large bubble mailers. Below that is a tub of small Mod Podge supplies, all my Mod Podge, boxes full of felt scraps from my BOWS, and the basket full of more shop inventory—all my bows. Below that is a basket full of random projects and old clothes to be upcycled, the green tub is full of craft supplies my kids can use (Jace regularly comes in and pulls out construction paper so he can cut it), and more random craft supplies. Sophie, the cat, is my constant companion when I’m in there. She’s always loved to be a part of my sewing.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

Here’s a shot of all the packaged bows in the basket.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

And the beautiful outlet Nolan installed for me. There was already a fluorescent light in the closet above the door, so after watching a few Youtube videos he was able to run power from the light switch. This space would not be useful for me if it weren’t for this outlet. My sewing machine is always plugged in to the lower outlet, and whatever else I’m using gets plugged in above it. I’m glad I haven’t needed a power strip because I don’t think there would be the space, and I don’t want to run too much off the amount of power that goes through the light switch. The iron in use can already dim the light.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

As for my three sets of drawers—the first on is on the desk on the left side and holds velcro and sewing fasteners in the top drawer, elastic in the middle, and sewing machine tools and needles in the bottom. The second set is on the right side and holds hot glue gun supplies in the top drawer, interfacings in the middle, and notions like zippers and bias tape in the bottom. The third is also on the right side and holds wooden beads in the top, random craft supplies like key rings in the next, metal and elastic headbands next, alligator and French barrettes in the next, and all sorts of other accessory bases in the bottom. On top of that drawer set is my double sided tape for attaching items to metal, and in front of it is frequently used small paper patterns.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

And finally, because I do have a little more stuff than will fit in the closet, we have a small shelf I bought at the Restore in our bedroom that holds more boxes. I’m wanting to gradually get more picture boxes to store these items in to help keep things looking nice. The bottom wooden crate holds craft show display items.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

And just so you don’t judge me and think that I keep things neat and tidy all the time—this is pretty typical of the floor, even when it’s clean—legos, threads and trash.

A Practical & Affordable Craft Closet @ Made it on Monday

And this is what the rest of my room looked like when I was taking the pictures.

Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed showing you my space and hope you liked seeing it. And maybe you’ll be inspired by how practical it is? If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer in the comments. I’ll be back soon with the full, technical details of how everything was built.

8 comments:

  1. That craft closet is AMAZING! I love how much functionality you were able to pack into such a small space. Incredible. I need a Nolan in my life ;-) The measuring tape sticker must be SO handy (something like that had never even crossed my mind until you posted a picture of it on instagram, and when I was sewing a few days after I realized how helpful it must be). And I love the 'real life' pictures, of course . . . always reassuring to see that I'm not the only one whose house is far from neat and tidy all the time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel! That sticker tape is amazing! And my house is no where near neat and tidy unless my mom has been here for a week :)

      Delete
  2. I love your craft space :) I'm a little jealous. I think it is great that you made a space for your self to really work even if it isn't your ideal/dream space! I would love to have a space like that just so I know where all of my stuff is haha. And thanks for sharing the real life pictures too I don't feel so alone now with an unmade bed & kid clutter & everyday life stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Samantha! You're probably feeling especially crowded these days?

      Delete
  3. That's so great! Every woman needs her creative space, even if it is in a closet. It's all yours! And how easy it will be to store and find things now, and keep it all neat. I do hope you have some good lighting in there. I also have that stick on ruler on my jewelry making table--love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda! I do have great light in there. It's probably the best lit space in our house!

      Delete
  4. That closet is really impressive! You've done a lot with such a small space! =)

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate comments so much! I'll do my best to reply to you here in the comments section, especially if there is a question so future readers can see the answer.