Craft Room On A Small Budget

30 Sep

As a continuation to my last post regarding craft supplies and needing a place to store supplies and a place to actually do my crafts, I start dreaming of a craft room. I get to work searching on the internet looking at pictures and websites. There are so many amazing craft rooms out there, so much so that I wonder if they are like me and if they actually do any crafts?

I searched for craft room organization, paper storage, pen storage, gift wrap storage, etc. I saved any pictures that I came across and every week or so, I would look over what I had saved and I made note of the pictures that I kept going back to. Finally, I came to a point where I had searched every possible thing that I could. That is sometimes the downside to the internet. We can search and see what everyone else has done instead of using our own imagination to come up with ideas. On the flip side, there are so many amazing ideas out there and it always amazes me how much creativity and imagination that people have.

Some of the craft rooms, I loved but I knew were just not possible for me as I had a small budget to work with. I knew that I needed a large craft table to use as a workspace. I thought about building one but my measuring and cutting skills are pretty bleak so I combed buy and sell sites for something used that I could refinish. I just couldn’t seem to find exactly what I wanted. One day when I was out in the shed looking for the elusive weed eater string, there it sat. It was rough, full of cobwebs and the only grey paint left was clinging on for dear life but would have fallen off with the slightest  whisper of wind.. She is perfect (and yes the table is a she), I thought to myself.

I have to enact the muscles of my son to help me carry her to the garage. She needs a lot of help but as I start to wipe the cobwebs off, to my delight the table is solid wood. No wonder it was so heavy. I spend the next couple of days sanding and prepping.  I choose a simple antique white paint to make her pretty again.

I spend an evening sketching out the layout of my craft room.  I want something simple and functional with plenty of storage. I wanted a lot of built in storage but knew that it was above my carpentry skills and budget. I searched for storage cabinet possibilities. I really had my heart set on a used shelving unit that I could re-purpose but it quickly became apparent that this was not an option. I have a small SUV, how would I get something like this home?

Online at Wal-Mart, I came across a seven drawer Halifax Cabinet that was perfect and reasonably priced. I ordered 2 of them as this should be enough space to organize my supplies. Waiting for my cabinets to be delivered was like a little kid waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve.

A few days later my cabinets finally arrive and I spend the afternoon putting them together. Obviously I made a few mistakes interpreting the instructions as I had several bits and pieces left over but who actually really reads all of the instructions anyways? They were perfect for the storage that I needed.

Halifax Cabinets and Wire Shelving for Paper Storage

Next up was a paper organization system for all of my scrapbooking paper. There are so many great organizers that you can buy but I found them to be quite expensive and not within my small budget. I literally checked local buy and sell sites hourly to see if anything new would show up that could help me cut down on the cost. Instead I opted for wire shelving with cable ties. I had these left over from a previous project and they were sitting in my closet taking up space so it was a great way to re-use them. I spent a couple of hours building this however, when I was done it was leaning a lot much like the Tower of Pisa. Oh well, I thought, once I get all of my paper on each of the shelves, it will straighten out.

The next day, I go into my craft room and leaning Tower of Pisa was now a heap of wire shelving, broken cable ties and crinkled paper. Determined to upright the tower, I bust out the cable ties and went to work. I doubled and triple reinforced all of the joints. I was now satisfied with my paper tower but not so much with the crinkled paper.

I was still trying to come up with a clever solution for that dresser full of gift wrap that I have. I knew that I wanted a piece of peg board so that I could hang rolls of gift wrap and I wanted storage for the ever elusive scissors and a place for ribbons and bows.   One day my son and I were in Canadian Tire, I can’t even remember what we were looking for in there but there it was. I am sure that everyone in the store seen the lightbulb come on in my head…I mean it was that bright.

A Workbench with a large table surface for being able to wrap, a peg board backsplash to hang gift wrap from and a shelf to store rolls of ribbon plus drawers for storage and an open cabinet front to store gift boxes, it was everything that I could have hoped for in one cabinet.

This was the absolute perfect solution for me; it checked all of the boxes for my gift wrapping needs. The best part is that I could either stand or sit on a stool to wrap presents. I don’t know if you are like me but every Christmas I go on a wrapping bender. I spend hours sitting wrapping presents. I am no ordinary wrapper, the tape, ribbons and paper have to be just perfect so it takes me an unusually long time to wrap. My legs get cramped and sore and I am almost chiropractic worthy afterwards.

This workbench was pricey and not within my budget but my luck was about to change, this bench happened to be 50% off. I didn’t even hesitate, I searched for a store employee, he loaded it up for me after I paid for it and away I went.

My son helped me carry it up to my craft room; this sucker is solid steel and has a bamboo top so it’s heavy. I open up all of the packaging and start to flip through the instruction manual. I am reading and looking at the diagrams and thinking that this is probably the most complicated thing I have ever had to put together. Thankfully my daily job requires me to read blueprints all day long otherwise I am not so sure that I would have fared as well as I did.  I am a girl after all and generally we are not as gifted in these sorts of things.

This was an all-day adventure putting this together. The instructions were great but it was just time consuming and my ratcheting skills are pretty much non-existent.  After it was all put together, I was able to set up my wrapping station. I organized all of my wrapping paper, ribbons, gift bags and boxes. I was super proud of myself in coming up with using a workbench for this.

Work Bench

Next came time to put my craft table into the room. My son and I carry her up the stairs and down the hallway. As it turns out I measured to make sure the craft table would fit nicely in the craft room however, I seemed to have forgotten to measure the door width. No problem I thought to myself, we will just flip the table on edge and turn it diagonal and it should be no problem. What I failed to account for was that there is a very small wall in the way and that the legs of the table hit the wall so I am not able to turn it diagonal. Apparently the measure twice, cut once seemed to have slipped my mind. I like to pride myself on my common sense and usually thinking of these kinds of things but not this time.

There was absolutely no way this table was going to make it through the doorway, not even if I take the door off. At this point, I was sweating, my arms were tired and a lot of swearing was happening and I mean a LOT!!  My son even had the audacity to say mom, “didn’t you measure first”. I am sure that I gave him the most disgusted look ever…you know the look … when your kid points out the obvious mistake that you’ve made. You know you’ve made the mistake and at that point you don’t really need it pointed out.

I stop and think for a moment. There are only 2 options. Find another craft table somewhere or cut 2 of the legs off so that I can fit it through the doorway. I had spent a lot of time refinishing this table and the size was perfect and it was free. I reluctantly come to the conclusion that I must cut 2 of the legs. I head to the garage and grab a saw. I cut two of the legs off and after some repair work afterwards of reattaching the legs, she was proudly sitting in her place looking beautiful as ever and waiting to be used.

Craft Table

I spent an entire afternoon setting up my room and I was able to organize my craft room in a way that I had always wanted. Sure my room wasn’t as elaborate as I had wanted but honestly, it turned out better than I had expected. This was a big task that I had accomplished and for the next several days everytime I would walk by the room, I would stop and admire it. I was able to complete my room on my budget and I was also able to re-purpose some items that would have just sat unused.

Some finished pictures from my craft room


Wrapping Table
Paper Storage

Now to actually use the room, that remains to be seen…..

Do you have a craft room?  Where did you search to look for ideas on designing your room?

Note: I do mention products that I used and where I purchased them from however, I do not receive any compensation for this, I simply wanted to share what I personally used.

Craft Supply Addiction

8 Sep

Can you spend hours in craft and art supply stores too? Combing the aisles evokes some sort of excitement like an addict getting their fix. I think it is because I am an addict….I admit it, I am addicted to everything crafty. I see a pack of fineliners that I must have, after all I may need those colors for that project I may undertake someday. I know, I need to get out more if that is what is exciting in my life. It seems like every couple of weeks, I come across a craft that I absolutely have to try.

Are you like me?

You see a zentangle or a mandala or maybe some calligraphy and you think to yourself, I have to try it so you spend hours, even days researching the best supplies, searching on pinterest, watching every youtube video that you can find until you have researched it to death. I know your type…if you had never heard of zentangle or a mandala until this moment, your googling it right now aren’t you!! I buy all of the best supplies and my new supplies sit in their packaging staring back at me with great anticipation on when they may get used. My excitement to use them is high and I have my project all planned out but then I snap back to reality. I can’t draw or paint and I haven’t used cursive since school (which is forever ago) and even an art project that is abstract doesn’t work for me because I need everything to be exact. Exact and abstract don’t exactly get along very well. If a project requires any sort of measuring, forget it, I have no idea how to read a measuring tape and if it requires a straight line drawn with a ruler well….somehow my lines still turn out crooked. So the time comes to actually do the craft and I tear open the packaging and hmmmm….my excitement fades pretty quickly and I don’t actually even really want to do it. I think I am just addicted to the supplies, the planning and the thought of having a hobby that I am really great at but, I never really get to the actual doing part of the hobby. Deep down inside, I know that if I actually chose a hobby and dedicated some serious time to it, I would probably be pretty good at it but I seem to keep on with my never ending search for a new hobby.

Perhaps it is because I don’t have a dedicated space when I get in the crafty mood. I have my supplies here, there and everywhere. They are in my office, some are packed away in Rubbermaid containers in my basement and I am even using an old dresser to store my gift wrapping supplies. If I am really lucky and I need a gluestick or some pencil crayons, I may find a dried out gluestick under my son’s bed and a couple of pencil crayons that have had the life sharpened out of them.

Anytime I want to work on a project, I have to drag everything out, carry Rubbermaid containers upstairs, then search my office for the tape and then it was at least another hour to find a pair of scissors – seriously where do scissors disappear too? I manage to find a pair of scissors in my son’s room (big surprise) and the blades seem to be stuck together. I ask him about it and apparently, he thought that cutting up pieces of bubblegum would be a good idea. I manage to find another pair…you know the ones. The plastic ones that are duller than a dinner at Aunt Martha’s on a Friday night, the ones that they give you in grade school so that the teacher can be sure that you won’t injure yourself. Those will do I tell myself. By this point, I am not really feeling crafty but I persevere, determined to create a masterpiece. Scrapbooking is one of those hobbies that I have managed to stick with. I sit at the table and I unpack all of my scrapbooking paper…admiring how many beautiful sheets of paper I have (I have a LOT of paper). I continue on the page where I left off several months ago, trying to remember what sort of layout I was working on. I try several new layouts using different papers and pictures. I settle on a layout and I try to cut out a design but the f$#%^g scissors are so dull that they just crease the paper. Meanwhile, my cat has seemed to plunk himself across my papers gingerly batting around the ribbon and papers; his masterful paper hunting skills have managed to fling my papers all over the table…and where did the buttons go that I had chosen? My other cat is playing hockey with them on the floor and now I can only find 2 of the 5 that I need. By this time, I am very annoyed, I pack up all of my stuff, carry it back downstairs and literally, I have created nothing. Maybe that is why I am just addicted to the supplies because, I can never relax and get to the doing part of the craft without it causing great anxiety. I start dreaming of a craft room….after all, I do have an extra bedroom that is doing nothing. A blank canvas to create the craft room I had always wanted. Doubt creeps in…would I actually do any crafts once I had a dedicated space? A space where everything was organized and I could actually have sharp scissors. Of course I will be crafting all of the time, I tell myself.

Stay tuned to see if my craft room comes to life and if I actually do any crafting. Do you have a craft supply addiction? What is your favorite hobby and if you have a craft room, I would love to see pictures of it 🙂