Ideas for craft room?
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  1. #1
    Registered User JKuhns7448's Avatar
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    Default Ideas for craft room?

    My husband just told me that his spring and summer project is going to be a remodel in my craft room!

    Now for my question... what kind of table and shelves should I have him build? I do a lot of beadwork and claying. I also sew and do small woodworking and painting projects.

    It's a very small room, 8' by 8', and I want to keep it as uncluttered as possible. DH wants to basically line the room with cabinetry and shelving after he replaces the ceiling and floor. It's in the basement, so there's no natural light. I currently use daylight bulbs and an Ott light but I'm concerned that too much stuff built in will make it claustrophobic.

    Any thoughts or good websites to check out?

    Thanks,
    Jen

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    It's going to be really easy to overdo in a room that small.

    Take some time to think about the types of storage that would work best for you. For me it's never been as simple as putting in one type of storage and having it work for everything.

    I dislike tables and prefer small desks for sewing. The reason is that, in the same footprint, a small desk gives me storage underneath where a table does not. Four of my sewing machines sit on desks. The other two came with their own tables and I'm now working on adding some drawers underneath. You can see from the white desk how much storage a desk can add. I've picked up all but one of my desks at garage sales at prices ranging from $1 to $35.


    Use all the vertical space. I'm in the process of purging, decluttering, and organizing my own sewing room, which is why it's still disastrous in the pics. My mom moved out of her house last year and a lot of her furniture landed in our house. One thing was this small wardrobe. I had a bookshelf that happened to fit on the top and expanded the storage space quite a bit, as well as making it easier to organize.


    I had these cabinets which I salvaged when we remodeled our kitchen three years ago. They weren't working for me very well, so I thought about why and realized the stuff I was trying to store in them just didn't fit the space very well, so I shuffled, purged, and then made a uniform storage system out of plastic cat litter jugs with the tops cut off. They work great for things like hood strings, small scraps, zippers, ribbon, etc. I'm not done with that whole storage system yet, but when I am, everything will be labeled so I'll know what's in them at a glance.


    I have a need for storage for fabrics on rolls, so I built this rack. I recently added two more shelves to it for another twelve feet of storage. The cat litter pails have worked out great for storage of buttons, assorted zippers, yarn, and a variety of other things. The tackle boxes under the fabric rolls hold my stash of size 14 seed beads and the other one holds my stash of quilling supplies. The totes on the floor hold leather and fur and some other things.


    My size 11 seed bead supplies are mostly in an old stereo cabinet with a glass door. My TV sits on the top under the wall cabinets pictured above. I need to do a massive purge of my beads yet, and I hope I can make them all fit in. My bead books are in a sales case with has a handle on the top so it's easy to carry around as needed. I usually do beadwork in the living room on a small portable table.

    I like shelves for a lot of things, especially if they're adjustable. Ideas for good storage on shelves are infinite. The various plastic containers from dollar stores are a good cheap way to get organized on shelves. I don't like shelves for yard goods. I prefer that to be hung on hangers in a space that does not allow light to hit it so the edges don't fade. A curtain over the fabric will do. Curtains hung on the front of shelves are a quick, easy, cheap way to make clutter go away. Clutter will make a small space seem smaller. Curtains also keep out light that can fade things and dust.

    Drawers of the proper size are great for patterns.

    If you have space behind a door, don't overlook the potential there. I have several hundred spools of thread on thread beds hung on the wall behind my sewing room door. Shallow shelves made from 1x2s would work nicely to hold spools of thread, too. On the back of the door itself, I hang some of my cutting mats for my rotary cutters.

    If you do a lot of quilting or work with other large projects, I would suggest buying one of those sturdy plastic folding tables so you have enough room around the sewing machine, or use a dining room table of some other table out of the sewing room. A sewing table where you're not doing huge projects does not have to be that deep, which will help save space. The sewing tables my huge industrial machines are in are only about eighteen inches front to back, and my desks are smaller yet. It's not a problem for adult-size garments and anything smaller. For huge projects like sewing an Add A Room (AAR) for the camper, I just temporarily move out to the living room to a folding table.

    Lucky you, getting a newly remodeled space!

  3. #3
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Lighting would be my priority. I hate the traditional overhead in the middle of the room, as my back is always blocking it whenever I work. You'll need multiple task lights for all your work stations.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Absolutely. Good light is critical. If you're going to have shelving on the wall above the sewing/work surface, you could add shop lights under the bottom shelf.

    My industrial straight stitcher came with its own light, which you can see in one of the pics above, and I just added an articulated craft light to my industrial serger which is in a bad spot, light-wise. Both make a huge difference in fighting eye strain and fatigue.

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    Registered User JKuhns7448's Avatar
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    Spirit Deer, overdoing was exactly what I was worried about. I have a lot of stuff in that little room, and it does need a better organization strategy, but I don't want it to feel like I'm in a closet.

    I do have good lighting right now...it's really important for my beadwork, so I made sure not to skimp on that. My problem is that I don't have a really clear idea of what I want, and DH tends to be kind of heavy handed if left alone. So I really need to make a plan for him, or I'll get a really nice walk in closet that I can't work in.

    I'm currently very excited and looking forward to my new space.

    Jen

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    I like lots of counter space in my craft room. It's a former basement bedroom, so has a closet in it that's great for storage. Hubby built a series of long tables that I put around 3 sides of the room: lots of counter space! Then I put plastic drawer stacks under them to hold supplies. I have a table in the center of the room with my stool so that I can sit and work there. And best of all, the room has a door, so that I can shut my mess when done!
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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Start by listing the tasks you want to do in the room, then figure out what type of furniture and accessories you will need to accomplish those tasks comfortably.

    Think about the storage containers you're currently using. What works, what needs improvement? Then consider how the containers that work for you need to be stored, and where. Do they need to go in drawers under a counter, or on shelves on the walls?

    Think about how often you use certain items, and figure out where in the plan they need to be stored. Things you use often should not be up by the ceiling where you need a ladder to get them, for example.

    Set up zones. All the clay stuff should be stored in one zone, the sewing stuff in another zone, etc. That way, everything for a particular hobby will be all in one place so you're not tripping over yourself trying to round everything up.

    Can you store an entire hobby somewhere else? I'm working on getting almost all the hobby stuff out of my sewing room, and keep only the sewing and bead stuff in my sewing room. I'm dedicating an entire antique cabinet to the majority of our needlework hobbies, and a smaller one just to counted cross stitch. Those cabinets are in the guest room. Spare dressers and bookcases with curtains on the front can be great storage in rooms where you don't want the contents to be in view.

    Draw a scale diagram on graph paper using the room's dimensions, including where the door is, exactly. Make scale cutouts of various pieces of furniture and put them in the position you think you might want them on the floor plan and see how things fit. That makes it easy to reposition things. You could also empty the room and move in some similar-sized furniture and/or empty boxes in places where you think they'd fit, which is more work but gives a better idea how things will really work out. Then you could base your husband's project list on how the furniture/boxes fit and he can customize cabinets for your room as needed.

    Is there any way you can move a wall to get more space? Even two or three feet would make a huge difference. With only an 8x8 space, I don't see how you'd set it up so it's not like a closet, since it's already the size of a closet. When you start adding tables and shelving on at least two walls, there's not going to be much space left, especially if you run shelving up to the ceiling, which IMO you'd want to do to maximize storage.

    Keep in mind, anything that does not have a permanent place to be stored is clutter.

    I had a room in a previous house that was similar in size. I had a lot less stuff then, only one sewing machine, and most of the craft stuff wasn't kept in that room. I wasn't in it very long. It just wasn't workable for me. I hope you have better luck.
    Last edited by Spirit Deer; 02-26-2014 at 11:12 AM.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I just cruise google images when I want ideas, and look at what other people have done.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. KH

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    Registered User JKuhns7448's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the wonderful tips! I'll be working on a plan so DH has something to work with. I'm thinking that the beads and clay can be stored together on short shelves since they both have a small footprint. The woodworking tools will need a better placement, they're currently on a standard workbench that really takes a lot of space and is too tall for me...that may just become a potting bench outside. I like the idea of a cabinet for them and my sewing stuff, since they are used a lot less than the beads and clay. I do have my yarn stored upstairs, since I usually crochet while watching TV with DH in the evenings. We're going to sit down and draw up some plans this weekend and I am so excited! I can't wait to get this stuff in order.

    Jen

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