Is crafting more important to you than chocolate? Are your beads, glitter, paints, threads, fabrics, papers and other beauties stealing the space in your closets reserved for clothes and shoes? Do you dream about the perfect glue, the color wheel or the best shade of lilac for natural light?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you don't just have a hobby: You have a crafting passion. You could probably survive your creative affliction by using the dining room table to finish projects while hiding your more extravagant purchases in the trunk of the car. If you have the resources, though, give your hobby a dedicated spot where it can reach its full potential. You've decorated the man cave, organized the garage and given the kids' rooms the royal treatment. Now, it's time to do something for you.
These 10 craft room ideas will make you smile and give you some things to think about. We can't all have the fantasy of a dedicated studio, but we can make our craft spaces more efficient, attractive and inspirational.
The Colossal Lazy Suzan
There are probably enough tools and supplies for your crafting specialty to fill five craft rooms -- and an entire basement. Organizing tools, especially those with a countertop or desktop footprint can be a tough task. Printers, scanners, sewing machines, sergers, template cutters...the list of essential equipment goes on and on.
How do you configure your craft room to make accessing and using your tools more convenient and intuitive? We have a great idea: Use a huge lazy Susan or two (or three) built into a cabinet or counter. It'll rotate to bring the equipment to you. Some kitchens have this kind of storage for small appliances, pots and pans. We also love the idea of half-moon pivoting shelves. You can adapt the concept to make tool time fast and effortless.
Maintaining the Proper Perspective
When you need to get some perspective on a work-in-progress (and you will), invest in a dedicated design wall. If you're doing close work, get a table mounted swing arm magnifier. Crafting is about creative vision, and the way you see things is important. Being able to view colors in natural light with a full spectrum lighting solution and having a spot where you can experiment with elements to get a realistic sense of how they work together isn't an extravagance, it's a necessity.
You can make a design wall in a couple of hours using foam insulation or fiber board and neutral-colored felt or batting. You can even fashion one from hinged sections you can fold up and store behind a door or in a closet when you aren't using it.
Letting in the Light
Your craft room may have a work counter, desk, equipment kiosk and probably quite a few storage shelves, bins and boxes. To make the most of the space, you need to be able to see what you're doing. A central ceiling fixture paired with a desk lamp isn't going to be enough. Sure, if you have access to lots of sunlight coming through the windows, or better, from a skylight, great -- but what do you do when the sun goes down?
Task lighting puts the light where you need it, whether you're trying to find the right eyelet or thread an uncooperative needle. Although you can go with multiple table lamps designed to illuminate workstations around your craft room, track lighting offers some big advantages. It frees up important countertop and table space, and you can move the fixtures along the track (and sometimes even bend the track itself) to suit your changing needs. Track lighting isn't as clunky as it used to be, and some modern fixtures mount right to an outlet or to the electrical service in your ceiling, so you won't need to hire an electrician to install them.
Making It Comfortable
Think back on the pictures of fantasy craft rooms you've seen in magazines. You know -- the ones that make you all dreamy-eyed and eager for the kids to head off to college so you can convert their rooms into craft spaces. Chances are those luscious designer craft areas shared a feature in common: a nice comfy place to sit. It may have been an overstuffed loveseat, a daybed or a leather desk chair; whatever it was, it looked like a spot where you could commune with your muse in peace. While you're arranging for plenty of storage and countertop space in your new craft room, don't forget to carve out a nook (or cranny) where you can relax and be your best creative self without having to sit on the floor. Space can be a big consideration in craft room design, so make comfortable seating an unwavering priority.
You have the magazines, you visited the craft shows, and you may have even made a few preliminary drawings to represent an idea. Now all you need is the impetus to move that idea forward. One critical component in any craft space is a dynamic, interactive spot where you can coax your imagination to the next level.
This isn't a design wall; it's an inspiration area where you can display that peacock feather, lay out a handful of ocean glass, drape a section of ribbon and analyze them until your seminal idea takes shape. You may not know what those things have in common yet, or how you can use them in harmony. That's why you need somewhere to keep them in sight until your creative compass shows your true north. It could be one empty shelf lined with black velvet, a shadowbox or bulletin board. Your craft specialty and personal style will determine how your inspiration area will take shape.
Keeping Things in View
You do remember that you bought a silver anchor charm a while back. It would be perfect for the nautical bracelet you're making; but where in the world did you put it? It's wonderful to have a big inventory of objects to use in crafts, but too much of a good thing can be frustrating. One solution is to keep things within easy reach -- and view. By using glass-fronted cabinets, transparent plastic bins, plastic bags and glass jars, you'll be able to keep an eye on your inventory even when it's put away. If you place some of those bins, bags and jars on wall mounted shelves, you'll also be taking advantage of all that empty vertical space.
The wheel is definitely your friend if you're a crafter, and an uncarpeted floor helps, too. Rolling carts and chairs on casters make moving your projects from one workstation to another much easier. If you've ever employed a wheelbarrow in the garden, you've experienced firsthand how much more convenient it is to transport the things you need in aggregate. If you have to move from your computer to your sewing machine, or from your template maker to your paper kiosk, do it without having to stand, stoop or schlep supplies more than you have to. A good layout helps, sliding shelves are a great convenience, lots of drawers are always an aid, but if you've got wheels on your chair and a few portable trollies, you're golden.
Keeping Storage Convenient
Over the years, you've probably invested in dozens of plastic storage bins for your papers, ribbon, yarn, fabric and other supplies. You might find stacking them all in your craft room an inconvenient option, though. Any storage solution you have to dismantle (lift, heft or tote from one place to another) will eventually -- and usually sooner rather than later -- become a big hassle. Opt for wall and freestanding storage shelves and cabinets that make getting at your supplies as effortless as possible. Keeping your craft room user-friendly is one way to ensure that it will stay organized and of real value to you over time.
Relying on Labels
One great (or terrible) thing about crafting is that most craft specialties incorporate lots and lots of little stuff. If it isn't buttons for sewing, it's essentials for jewelry making, or scrapbooking stamps or coloring pens. If you're just starting out, you may think you'll keep your inventory under control, but leftovers from old projects, works-in-progress, great bargains and guilty indulgences can really get out of hand.
We won't even get into the way one crafting specialty, like beading or scrapbooking, can morph into another, like embroidery, crochet or quilting. After a while, it can be hard to keep everything straight. This is when a label maker will become your best friend. Yes, using clear containers helps, but when each drawer is crammed full of dozens (if not hundreds) of items, taking inventory of your stock with category-specific labels is a big help.
Keeping Your Crafts Front and Center
When you design your craft room, don't forget to keep your eyes on the prize -- those beautiful things you're making -- whatever they happen to be. Chances are some of your precious projects will end up languishing in a drawer or closet unless you make the effort to find a place to display them in your craft room. Many crafters develop projects for shows, as color studies or as fun experiments. Having a spot in a craft room dedicated to displaying experimental and other specialty pieces is one way to make sure your work gets the attention it deserves. It's also a subtle reminder to finish projects that may need one or two refinements.
Milk paint is the super inexpensive and easy to both make and use. HowStuffWorks looks at this trendy paint alternative.
- Dagmi, Jane. "Make a Craft Room." Undated. (4/24/11).http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/make-craft-room-0306
- Emerald International. "The booming scrapbooking market in the USA: Despite phenomenal growth, the future's unclear." Undated. (4/24/11).http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1464122&show=html
- Fairfax County. "Scrapbooking." 1/4/10. (4/24/11).http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/information/arts/scrapbooking.htm
- Fun Times Guide. "11 Fun Tips For Organizing Your Craft Room." Undated. (4/24/11).http://stamping.thefuntimesguide.com/2009/05/craft_room_organization.php
- Fung, Leah. "Ultra Organized Scrapbooking Room." Scrapbooks Etc. Undated. (4/24/11).http://www.scrapbooksetc.com/storage/space/ultra-organized-scrapbooking-room/
- Google Products. "Wood Lazy Susan Cabinet." Undated. (4/24/11).http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=lazy+susan+cabinets&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=10379834485144341692&sa=X&ei=ypC9TcfjFZCztwfBna3VBQ&ved=0CGAQ8wIwAQ#
- Hall, Mary Ann and Sandra Salamony. "Decorative Crafts Sourcebook." Thunder Bay Press. 2001
- Handmade News. "Getting Your Craft Room Truly Organized." 4/21/11. (4/24/11).http://www.handmadenews.org/article/index.php?id=7631
- Martha Stewart. "Martha's Crafts Room." Undated. (4/24/11).http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/marthas-craft-room
- The Artful Crafter. "Factors to Consider When Designing a Craft Room." Undated. (4/24/11).http://www.theartfulcrafter.com/craft-room.html
- The Nest. "Top 10 Craft Room Tips From Nesties." Undated. (4/24/11).http://ideas.thenest.com/decor-tricks/cleaning-organizing/slideshows/nestie-craft-rooms.aspx?page=2&MsdVisit=1