Small Spaces - Tips for a Fabulous Craft Room!

I have a personal passion for tiny spaces. Lucky for me, all spaces in this house are quite small. As I worked through the design and organization of my craft room/studio, I marveled at how normal a bedroom this small would have been one hundred years ago. Barely enough room for a twin bed, this room is about 7 x 9 feet. However, even the smallest of spaces can be livable if a person plans well. The key to this room was to use the vertical as well as the horizontal space.

So without further ado, I present the nearly finished craft room...

The first picture shows the new window, which is such a vast improvement over the storm window that was in place there. That is correct, there was no window in this room. It was removed and only the thin, aluminum storm window remained. The new one opens so easily and keeps out the cold in the winter time. Plus it was a piece of cake to install. This type of window is a vinyl insert, meaning you don't have to strip the window down to the rough opening, you can simply slide the window into the existing framed and trimmed hole. The most difficult part was creating shims to level the window, since the majority of the windows were no where close to a right angle. If anyone is considering replacing the windows in their old house, do it! Window size makes very little difference in price. After replacing ten windows in this house, I spent around $2500. Sadly, I replaced my windows before the rebate was offered...

The dresser was a thrift store find at ARC. I bought it half off for a total of $15. Originally it was white laminate, but it I sanded and painted it using purple paint samples from Ace. I also repainted the hardware with a brushed nickel spray paint. I just love purple and orange together.

Above the dresser, I added some ribbon holders. I made the holders out of some scrap lumber that we had lying around from the window install. I will most likely paint them when our air compressor returns from the shop.

The cabinet in the corner, is unfortunately covering an electrical junction box. When the electricians came, we asked about moving all the wires to the outside, but they felt that would be a lot of work. So it remains an obstacle to work around in this room. I am in the process of stripping the old hinges and adding a colorful knob to it.

These are hanging glass lanterns that I have found at garage sales and hardware reclamation store. I decorated one with beads just to make it a little more fun. I can use them strictly for decoration by putting a candle in them, or I can use them for storage such as knitting needles and the like.

Peg board is critical (and cheap) for good organization in a craft room. I will be adding another piece under the cabinet. There are a lot of great peg board supply stores online.

We used a large (19.5" wide) piece of laminate for the working bench. We secured it to the walls with heavy duty brackets hung onto the studs and then added two table legs to prevent the front from sagging. The brackets claim they can hold 250 pounds per pair if hung into the studs. We used four for each side. This room only has two outlets so Brice drilled a couple holes into the bench to bring electrical cords up through the top rather than stringing them around the room.

Lots of shelving! Simple to install, but completely necessary for this room. On my shelves I keep my craft books and patterns, fabric, beads, sewing supplies, etc. using interesting bottles and baskets, any craft supply can be put on display.

Here are jars of sewing notions such as ribbon, zippers, rick rack, and cording.

Here are jars of buttons.

Here are jars with various craft supplies, game pieces, bottle caps, fabric leaves, sequins, etc.

And my favorite addition, a couple of refrigerator bins as baskets for holding my patterns and more sewing supplies (bias tape, elastic, etc.).

I love to sew, so I have lots of fabric. I decided to roll it onto bolts, since that would make it easier to view. I used to store it in a plastic tub, and have bought the same fabric twice, because I didn't know I already had it. Now it is time to use it. I still store my fabric scraps in a plastic tub that is under the bench.

Here is an up close picture of the fabric. I cut up cardboard boxes to create a 6" X 12" core to roll the fabric onto. Worked great!

Under the shelves is not the best place to work, so I use this bench space for more storage. I keep my knitting and crochet needles in a wine bottle gift box and jars, paper in a white laminate paper holder, and my bead findings in a garage organizer.

Of course you don't want to use all the space under your bench, but I found this dresser at a thrift store and knew it would be a perfect addition for the craft room. Originally it had a cracked marble top that I removed, making it fit perfectly under the bench! As I said before, I also keep a few bins under the bench with my scrap fabric in them.

I keep my paint brushes and pencils in this neat canister light (another thrift store find).

And I keep my Sharpies in this remaining vestige of my former job as a scientist, a bright green micro tube holder...

Finally, I bought this organizer for the closet to put my yarn in. Again it allows yarn to be displayed rather than shoved in a box so that I can see what I have on hand. I will put closet doors on the room eventually, as I am using this closet to store exercise equipment, musical instruments, wrapping paper, games, and heavy coats that won't fit in the other closet (their are only two in this house!).


Rebecca Garner said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the fridge bins as baskets, where did you find something like that, they are great!!!! It looks so nice, I will have you come to my house when I buy one LOL to do up my craft room, you did a great job!!!!

Rebecca Gintz said...

I love your whole space! You are so lucky and creative! How cute and everything has it's own spot...you don't even know how that makes me feel right now! Awesome!

Jessica Pacheco said...

Oh my goodness! It is so bright and lovely. I love the color combo, and all the re-purposed items. You turned a small space into a crafters haven! Great job guys-LOVE IT!

PS I've gotta try the paint sprayer.

Anonymous said...

I have never been a fan of orange and purple together. But I am now!!! This really looks great. I love the chests that you found at the thrift stores.

Cindy said...

I haven't checked out your blog in a while but my mom was raving about your new craft room so I had to see for myself - looks great! I could hang out in there for HOURS. Can I bring a bean bag? :)

Varah said...

Oh wow ... I am currently looking into buying a serious fixer-upper ... this makes me feel like it is possible.
Also, being a sewing person myself, I am in love with your craft room ideas ... the "bolts" of fabric are GENIUS!! Thanks for putting this out there for people to be inspired.

Brianna Walling said...

Hey Amanda:

I know this is an old post, but I recently featured the post on my blog. I write about utilizing craft spaces on my blog and loved your idea of mini-bolts of fabric. You can see my blog here:


Thanks for the great ideas!

stampgram said...

What a fun work space! Thanks for the inspiration and ideas. I have a suggestion - what about putting a bulletin board or chalk board on that electrical box cabinet. It would still be able to open but would look like it was meant to be there and be functional too.