Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to make a tiny craft space work for you

 I get a lot of questions on here ranging from things like what camera I use, wall color I chose, advice about gluten intolerance and what is the name of my current hair color.  I love questions.  If we didn't ask people questions, we'd never get to know them better!  One that I continue to answer happens to be about my studio/crafting space.  I live in a 1500 square foot house which is huge to many, and dinky-tiny to others. 
Regardless of square footage, it's a three bedroom space and only one of those bedrooms belongs to me.  As you can imagine, I have gobs of creative materials.  I paint, silkscreen, hammer things, sew, cut, glue, wrap, stamp and pretty much everything else there is out there.  And I get asked all the time, "where do you put it all?" 
 I love this question- mostly because I'm not even close to being an expert!  Ha!  Had ya fooled, didn't I? (grin) 

Today, I'll answer by showing you how I have maximized a small nook just off our master bedroom, turning into the world's tiniest craft studio... and share how it has become perfect for my needs with just a little organization and some creative storage. 

Here's what I did. 
1) I had my man install a bank of two long shelves, one lined with baskets for storage of my finished Etsy items, fabric, and supplies I use daily like stamps and ink pads.  The top shelf is used for larger finished Etsy items, packaged items, and other supplies.

2) I numbered each basket using mis-matchy house numbers from Lowes.  Because it was cute.  Let's face it... you need to add a little cute in sometimes.
 3) Put my growing collection of vintage blue mason jars to good use housing glitter and alphabet and number stamps. (And yes, sometimes I clean my stamps...sometimes I don't.)
 4) I purchased an inexpensive kitchen island from Ikea, painted the base, installed casters, and use it constantly as a work table.  (I still need a stool but I'm waiting for just the right one.)

5) I installed a wrapping station that I created myself using leftover bead board, wood and inexpensive wood curtain rod holders.  (I'm sure they have a specific name but "curtain rod holder" is the best I can do right now.)

6) Stole my daughters tall wire basket (that she wasn't using anyway) and re-purposed it for tall things like oilcloth rolls, brown paper, yard sticks, chicken wire, and fabric rolls.  It's perfect! (You can get yours here)

7) Years ago when I first opened my Etsy store, I purchased an antique cupboard for the sole purpose of holding supplies. (Please ignore my man's Massai spear leaning against the side.)  Because of the cupboard's petite size, I'm forced to keep only what I really need inside it!  But perhaps that's a good thing. And because it's also cute, it works nicely anywhere in the room.

8) I keep all of my prints organized in labelled boxes, ready for shipping out.
 9) I try to keep my fabrics folded, brushes clean, thread color coded, and such... of course I don't always! And the inside of this cupboard is evidence of that!  I have packing peanuts in one of those boxes, my painting apron, stuffing, and odds and ends. (I also have a photoshop elements box that I WILL learn how to use this year.  I WILL.)
...I do find that because it's such a small space, keeping things in their places and in good working condition is really helpful. I know, right?  So obvious yet I don't do it all the time. LOL
 10)  Lastly... I keep everything that I use in plain sight, and the things I do need to keep contained like this sewing basket, are kept inside containers that are unique and pretty as well as useful.  You will most likely never come to my house and find something for display only- I light my candles, store things inside my boxes, and don't keep much around that isn't useful! 

I hope this helps!  Take whatever ideas might work and toss out any tidbits that won't.

Happy organizing!


  1. Hi Sasha! Love your organizing tips and how you keep it all together! I noticed on a recent post that you used leftover blue fabric (the kind that we both made pillows with) into fabric coasters! Is that what I saw? How cute!

    1. I actually made little fun napkins with it! :) Love that fabric!!

  2. Great ideas! Love the IKEA island work table. I might need one of those.

  3. love the wrapping holder you made, you are so creative!

  4. amazing ideas. now, if only i crafted something to have a workspace for! ; ) i do love your resourcefulness and you making everything usable. you crafty critter, you!!!

  5. Just to cute you have a gift my friend for organizing, love it!

  6. Iwondered how your new creative space was working out for you now that your guest room is in place. I love how you make it all work.
    I have a collection of the blue/green mason jars. some with zinc lids. I just love them. Not sure why, but I do. : )
    Love that hair color on you. I don't think I could ever go that light. I have had VERY dark brown hair..almost black since I was a kid. Looks nice on you though. : )
    have a great weekend.

  7. Love it!

    and this line . . . "Let's face it... you need to add a little cute in sometimes. "

    I made your Bumbleberry Pie . . . in the CUTE little mason jars. My 19 year old son just did. not. get. it. :) He said, "Why exactly does it matter if dessert is cute?"

    Oh . . . it matters.

    My crafty / pinterest-addicted daughter-in-law LOVED the cute little pie-in-a-jar.

    :) :) :)

    1. Hahaha my guys didn't really get it either. My dad thought they were WONDERFUL though so there ya go!

  8. Really, really great space. Our house is tiny also - and I think it's kind of fun to figure out how to best use the space that we have.
    I love your blog - I love that you are always so open and share your life with your readers. Your 'real-ness' always keeps me coming back!

  9. Love your space! Thanks for sharing. And I love how your blog is a good mix of everything- that is what keeps me coming back. It inspires me :)

  10. That was so fun and asthetically pleasing :) Thanks for the tips. Here's another post to bookmark for future referrence :)

  11. Yes, and regarding those CLEAN stamps... What do you find cleans them the best. I always blot & clean w/ a damp paper towel when I'm done, but that doesn't take away all of the ink. Any tips?

  12. Such inspiring ideas, thank you. I have just this week been sorting out all my craft supplies and tidying them. Love your work table. My partner worked for a furniture company and brought me home some freebie table legs and I added a huge piece of wood which I painted white but it's way too big really. Lovely but too big. Yours is more practical. And Sally: I use baby wipes to clean my stamps, I clean them as I go along and find this cleans them up good (do you say baby wipes?!!)

  13. Walking through your space is a relief today. I've loved the fact that a few months ago a link led me to your little part of the blogosphere. I'm really enjoying it here. Your little room is beautiful. I can't wait to use some of your ideas. Thanks!
    Christene Houston {A Heart So Broken}

  14. I would love to learn to silk screen. What supplies do I need to start?

  15. wait...i've always wondered where the craft space's in your master bedroom? awesome. way to use your space. or, did i mess that up? is it somewhere else? sorry, i'm loopy tired tonight.

    you are so crafty and it inspires me.
    i used to be so much more crafty...honestly, i think homeschool has taken it out of me. no joke.

  16. Hey! I love the rods you used. I'm hoping to make something similar for a shipping station. Do you happen to remember where you got the curtain rods?