Nowadays, there are so many different arts and craft products on the market that those who craft can quickly become overwhelmed if their supplies are not organized. Having your craft supplies strewn all over the place leads to misplaced items, inability to focus, and intense frustration, all of which will ultimately cause you to be very unproductive. You will also waste a lot of your time and money.
It is for this reason that all crafters dream of having that one area of their house they can designate for their craft space. Though we would all like this space to be as large as possible, there are so many storage solutions and options available now to help make even smaller spaces functional. And remember, bigger doesn’t necessarily always mean better, especially if functionality isn't your number one priority.
Here are five of the most essential parts to making up the craft room of your dreams, along with some tips, ideas and mistakes I have made along the way.
Though it seems fairly obvious that functionality should be the biggest priority when designing a craft room, it is actually where most crafters -- myself included -- make their biggest mistake. With all of the temptation from fantasy craft rooms shown in Pinterest and in magazines, it is so easy to get caught up in the look and design of your craft room that functionality goes right out the window.
I personally made that mistake when designing my first craft room. I bought stacks and stacks of magazines which featured gorgeous craft rooms, with one being bigger and better than the last and spent the majority of my focus on how to make everything "pretty" rather than make everything actually workable. I obsessed with having one of the picture-perfect craft rooms I saw in Better Homes in Gardens and concerned myself with paint samples, art décor, and "cute" accessories, rather than functionality. Because of a misdirected focus, I ignored room specs and ended up placing my furniture in places that looked good, rather than places it worked best. The result was a really beautiful room in which I got nothing done.
To avoid this mistake, don't blindly set out and purchase furniture and storage solutions that may or may not work, make sure you become very familiar with your room specs and square footage and really examine your needs and how you can make your room work with you, instead of against you. Measure walls, learn where your best light sources are, and identify places in which your square footage has the most bang for your buck. Identify storage areas that need to be within an arm's reach, and areas that can be located farther away. Locate your power sources and make sure all electric items are within 3-6 feet. Decide whether or not you want your supplies left out in the open or in storage solutions which will keep them tucked away and unseen.
These are some of the functionality issues you should be addressing before worrying about anything else.
Immediately after designing your craft room to ensure the highest level of functionality, painting your craft room should be your next biggest concern. This step should not be confused with decorating as it is more a strategic task rather than a "décor" task.
Painting your craft room prior to moving in your pieces -- especially if they are large, heavy pieces -- is paramount to ensure you are avoiding a lot of unnecessary moving around after the fact. It also minimizes the touch-up process if walls are painted prior to the hanging of organizational shelves, cabinets and drawers.
When considering paint color options, think again about functionality. Don't choose colors that are trendy or that aesthetically look best to you, but colors that are conducive to your creative process. Neon pink may be your favorite color, but might not necessarily be the best color if you're looking for a quiet, tranquil room to let your creative juices flow. Soft lavender may look beautiful to your eyes but may create an environment that makes too relaxed to focus. Find a color that gives you a little burst of color and vibrancy to get your creativity going without distracting you or putting you to sleep.
Now that your craft room is painted, you can begin to start placing your furniture. Your desk should be your first big purchase as it will serve as the command center of your craft room. Decide what size, style and shape you would like and find a place in your room it will work best, not necessarily look best. My advice? Get the largest possible desk can you to fit in your designated workspace area. You will be amazed at how quickly it can become cluttered, and as all crafters know, clutter is definitely not your friend. In fact, clutter can be the number one reason crafters become distracted, overwhelmed and unproductive.
There are many desk options available on the market today. Besides the traditional wooden desks or fancy computer centers, companies are now offering furniture made especially for crafting with built in drawers, shelves, and embellishment trays. These craft centers are wonderful but can be very costly so consider your overall craft room budget before making such a large purchase.
Other furniture pieces you should consider are large curio cabinets, file cabinets and bookshelves. Make sure these pieces compliment your craft desk and do not create chaos and disorder.
- Craft Desk Ideas
Unique ideas for choosing a craft desk that works best for your craft room.
4. Storage & Organization
Storage and organization in a craft room is essential if you plan on getting anything done. As previously stated, a cluttered, messy room is the enemy of crafters so you will want to have many different storage solutions available in your craft room to ensure you have a place for everything with everything in its place.
Efficient storage and organization also ensures that you keep inventory of the items you currently own so that you do not end up throwing money out the window on items you already own but cannot find, or on items that have been sitting at the bottom of a drawer for years not ever having been opened. (We've all been there at least once!)
Here are some storage and organization solutions that will help you keep all of your supplies in order:
Craft Organizer Modules
Craft stores like Michaels, Joanns and A.C. Moore all sell mix-and-match craft organizer modules for storing miscellaneous items. These craft organizers are all different and are built with slots, partitions, compartments and drawers and will hold anything from ribbon spools to acrylic paints. They are offered in the form of cubes that rest and stack on the floor, drawers that rest on table- and desk-tops, and units that hang on the wall. If your budget allows, having a few of these pieces in your craft room will do nothing but benefit your organization and keep your supplies neat and tidy.
Shelving is a very cost-effective, practical solution for organizing a craft room. Whether you choose the traditional wire and bracket mounting form or the more contemporary floating types, shelving solutions, in general, can be found at most hardware stores, supercenters, big-box companies, or large retail stores like Ikea, Walmart and Target and are more or less, reasonably priced.
The benefits of shelving units come from the fact that you will be able to utilize all of your wall space, giving you a ton of extra room to put your supplies, while keeping your items visible at all times. Shelving also keeps items visible and can be placed within an arm's reach of your craft desk.
Organizers that are mobile can be a wonderful addition to any craft room simply for the fact that any mess that is ever made can be rolled into a closet or hiding spot. They are also good if you plan on crafting on the run. Some rolling organizers even have a top shelf that will act as a second mini desktop, offering you more square footage in work space. Many rolling organizers come with at least 2-3 drawers, with some organizers offering as many as 12, which give you the versatility of designating each drawer with a specific purpose (i.e., one drawer for adhesive, one drawer for ribbon, one drawer for fabric, etc.)
Craft Closet / Pantry
A craft room can become cluttered within the blink of an eye. Supplies you don't need at your fingertips, or in-progress projects are perfect for placing inside a craft closet or pantry due to the simple fact that their attached doors can be shut to keep your room clutter-free and presentable. Craft closets and pantries also offer great shelving for tools and equipment you don't need to keep on your desk and are perfect for keeping recently finished products dust-free and safe.
Rubbermaid Storage Containers
Rubbermaid storage containers are perfect for craft rooms because they come in all different sizes, can be found at most retail stores and big-box companies, are cost-effective, and come with lids to enable stacking in smaller rooms without a lot of extra space.
These containers are especially useful for storing items and supplies you do not use everyday but like to keep handy, or for your seasonal items that need a safe place to be saved for next year. If you choose to use multiple containers, considering color-coding your bins (i.e., blue for paper crafts, grey for fabric crafts and green for holiday and seasonal, etc.), or use labels to help accurately identify the contents of each bin so you are not playing a guessing game of whats inside.
If you are looking for organization within an arm's reach of your desk that will keep your items visible and your desk clutter-free, pegboard is for you. Craft rooms that have pegboard walls enjoy the versatility this storage solution offers, especially for projects that require the use of many different supplies at once time. With pegboard, there will no longer be a need to constantly clear sections of your craft desk off before you can actually start crafting because everything is right at your fingertips. There are many pegboard solutions available in hardware stores and in specialty online stores and many are cost effective. Once your pegboard is installed, you will find that dozens of accessories (i.e., shelves, baskets, cups, etc,) are available for purchase to help you enhance your storage. Before ordering random pieces, try to identify storage solutions you will need for individual supplies and how much space each one will take. This will avoid a lot of unnecessary purchasing and running out of space.
Now for the fun part. Once you have all of your essential pieces set and your room functions the way you want it to, it’s time to add some personality! Add splashes of color, hang pictures of your family and friends, and include your favorite home décor items. And don't forget to display your own favorite art projects as well as other art projects that inspire. At the end of the day, inspiration is key in a craft room, so the more inspiration that surrounds you the more creative you will be! .
Last but not least, enjoy your new space! Your craft room is your sanctuary and should reflect your love and passion for art. It is why crafters create in the first place!
Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on January 25, 2013:
Great ideas! The counter top over the filing cabinets is a good idea...and sometimes you can buy new counters from stores that sell discount and overstock building supplies. Love the inspiration here!
Ms Barnes on May 02, 2012:
I am working on my craft room now and so far, this was the best website for information yet. I love your color palette.
Liz Goltra on May 10, 2011:
Great storage ideas - love the ribbon spools displayed. Voted up. Thanks for writing this hub!
Scrapaholic on September 08, 2010:
So much great information! I had to link to this hub! Hope you don't mind!