dining craft room was in desperate need of some love. Some organizational love, that is.
Many of you know this already, but I don’t have a craft room per se. What I have is a dining room with unfinished wood floors where me (and others in my family) have made stuff for the past 20+ years. My main work table is a nearly 100-year-old table that came from Dan’s great grandmother. Other than a few custom pieces of furniture I had made, the space is what it is. I’ve always liked being in the main part of the house to create stuff. I think it goes back to when my kids were little and I could make things while they were in eye or earshot, or just have them right there with me making their stuff, too.
Today, I thought I’d show you what happened after I cleaned out a bunch of crap and reorganized my stuff. Let’s begin.
First up is my main storage cabinet. It has a top part and a bottom part and it tucks back into a weird cubby space that has always been part of my house. (And yes, one day we might finish stripping the white paint of the trim. We started that project about 15 years ago, so… you know, we’re on schedule!) The top part of the cabinet holds supplies, namely my 8.5 x 11 card stock (which is presently sorely depleted), and most of my embellishments in tins. Because the shelves in the upper cabinet are removable, I can take as many out as I need to accommodate other things. Things like my little wooden bins from IKEA (sadly, no longer being made.)
In them, I now keep embossing supplies:
Shipping and mailing stuff:
Pens and a few random stamps. (Yes, these are my first brush pen purchases and let me tell you, I now have major Pen-vy because there are so many colors and types of pens out there to choose from!)
I’m also keeping my small collection of clear stamps and dies in the upper cabinet. I took Jennifer McGuire’s advice and am using her system (albeit extremely pared down, lol!) to store this type of thing.
The bottom of the cabinet holds nearly all of my scrapbooks and as you can see, the space is at a premium. (Like those album binder labels? I have a free template for that!)
Next up is my second piece of custom furniture: the big paper cabinet. I should note that the same builder made these for me back in 2006 but alas, is not longer in the craft cabinet business.
I didn’t take a “before” shot, but you’ll have to trust me: this cabinet was packed with way too much crap. One full column was just old projects from Cole and his school papers. Now, behold! The left hand side holds my 12 x 12 card stock (I really don’t have a ton because I scrapbook in 8.5 x 11), and my patterned paper divided up by color. This is represents a LOT of paring down. I gave a bunch of paper away and stored another batch in my basement in what I like to call “Deep ‘One Day I Hope I Get to be a Grandma’ storage”, for future craft projects with future grand babies.
I love having my patterned paper set up like this. I am much more likely to work by color, than by any other parameter.
I keep CZ Stamps shipping supplies in the middle and this ebbs and flows depending on what stamps I have in stock. (Hint: new preorders will be coming in the next few weeks!) I love that these shelves are removable and slide, so I can easily customize the depth of what I need to store.
I’m also keeping a few paper scraps shelves, as well—one for patterned paper and one for card stock.
I also have shelves on the right side to hold new product. I have a new kit from Studio Calico and some new paper from Stampin’ Up, and now I can easily see it and play with it! I will also use shelves on this side for works in progress, so I can store everything I’m using on one shelf. This is something I’ve been needing to do for a while: clear out stuff so I can actually earmark stuff I want to work with.
Other shelves can hold other inspirational things, like the current issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine! (Okay, this is not the current issue, but the good news? You can see it online for free.) Click here to read today. I will be sharing more about my new column next week!
Just to remind you, there is a room adjacent to this creative space: my kitchen. I keep my laptop on my paper cabinet and use it primarily for shipping purposes, managing my classrooms and general browsing time.
And of course, life is always just around the corner, so to speak.
The built-in cabinet you saw in the very first image presently has one drawer devoted to scrapbooking. Here’s the full cabinet plus a close up of the single drawer. (Note: you never know when you might need some Wild Turkey while crafting.)
Here I keep adhesives, attachers and spare X-acto blades, alone with a few other things. I have a dream that I overtake the entire cabinet, but that dream may be met with resistance as there’s a lot of other junk filling up the other drawers. Plus, it holds the bar ware and I’m guessing Dan might have something to say about that.
Long term goals: stamp ink storage. Yes, ladies… I’m going to get more into stamping. Why? Because… what the hell!
So I have this cabinet and see where my purse hangs?
I want to order a narrow wall-mounted stamp ink holder, possibly like this one (the 24, 2 x 12 configuration) from Stamp n’ Storage or this one from Organize More. I would then mount it on the size of the cabinet. Just thinking out loud right now on this. I could also order a different configuration to fit into the cabinet itself and ditch some of the shelves. The good news? I don’t have a ton of stamp pads to worry about. Just the basics for now.
I hope this little tour shows you that you don’t have to have a customized, fully tricked out room to carve out some space. The big cabinet closes up and you’d never know it held crafty goodness. The paper cabinet? Well, that’s a bit harder to hide, but again, our dining room is for making, not eating. It’s all good.
Still, I’m always thinking of things to add, or ways to improve my work flow. I’m hoping this latest round of organization will help me to get into the creative flow a bit more often.
Questions? Comments? I’m happy to answer.
Our Template Sale kicks off today at Designer Digitals! All of my templates will be on sale for 30% off, plus you can save an additional 20% off your purchase using the code: LUCKYYOU at check out. The sale ends Friday, March 24 at 6 a.m. EST. Note: new release templates will be on sale for 20% off, but you can use the coupon with those, too!