This post is full of great ideas for how to organize a craft room on any budget. See how to make new and old organization tools (including dollar store finds) into useful tools for small spaces.
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After a whole summer of organizing and building for our craft room, this massive home project is almost finished! We've added a ton of functionality to a room that was previously barely used in our home. Not only does it serve as a guest bedroom now, but we're able to use it as a craft space, homework room, extra playroom, and general multi-purpose area. We've already spent so much more time in this space since starting the conversion process.
When I mentioned this on the blog last, we were really just in the planning stage. I had a good idea of what we were doing, but a few things always change after most projects actually start; this one was no different. So let's go back to the beginning of summer and go through how we actually put this room together.
After clearing out all of the furniture, we started with a totally blank slate. But it wasn't blank for long…
I mentioned in the planning post that we were planning on using an Ikea Linnmon/Alex desk system for the room to kind of anchor the room. We had a murphy bed planned for the opposite wall to balance everything out and to make this space into a guest bedroom when needed; I'll cover that in a post a couple of weeks from now.
…and then the room was quickly junked up. 🙂 I took all of the craft supplies that had been cluttering the rest of the house and sequestered them to one place to organize.
Here's my simple organization process – if you've followed along for awhile, you've probably seen me use this system before!
1. Make allll of those craft supplies visible.
This is the part that can get kind of scary (but is so very necessary). In order to inventory what you have for organization, you absolutely have to know what's actually there first! That means taking everything out of drawers, boxes, and bags – you need to see it to inventory it.
Get everything in one place…an empty floor is perfect. I am a super visual thinker, so having everything laid out in one view is a great way to take a mental assessment and figure out what I'm working with.
2. Purge what you don't need.
Next, be honest with yourself: what are you actually going to use? Chances are, that glue you bought 10 years ago for a project is either dried out or never going to be used again. Toss it!
In doing this, I was able to throw away almost a whole outdoor-sized trash bag of craft junk: tiny extra bits of fabric, wrapping paper rolls with 3″ of paper left, dried out markers, you name it. I had no idea how much junk there was! I even found a few things that were still in my craft storage from college – I haven't been in college in over 10 years. That's how bad my craft items needed a good purge.
3. Divide into categories.
Next up is another important part of doing your inventory: group together like items that will be stored together. This is going to be different for each and every person, but here's how it ended up dividing out for me…
Markers and Pencils
Gift Wrap Supplies
Glues & Miscellaneous (anything that didn't fit in another category)
I also had supplies for my vinyl cutting machine (and the actual machine), my embroidery and sewing machines, and a few party supplies that got their own section.
4. Decide what craft supplies needed to be visible vs. what can be stored away.
This is part of the organization process that is kind of unique to a craft room. Craft supplies are generally kind of pretty…use that to your advantage! With the set-up I envisioned for this space, I planned a lot of very visible and open storage ideas. Not only was I integrating a peg board into the design to hold lots of supplies, but I had several kinds of open shelving and containers that would highlight the bright, pretty craft supplies in my arsenal.
So, at this point, it really came down to deciding what supplies would be visually bright and colorful (but not chaotic) to store out in the open. The obvious choices were items that had lots of different colors included (like thread, markers, ribbon, etc.) and things that I would need to access a lot. Lucky for me, most of the really pretty craft items were the things I used the most – so I decided to keep them out!
I also decided to keep my gift wrap pretty visible, since it's a little too large to tuck away and keeping it out would make it easy to grab in a pinch. I used these containers (meant to be grocery bag holders) from Ikea to hold the wrapping paper rolls.
5. Assign everything a place; buy only the storage you have to.
Probably my biggest organization secret is to assign a place for everything…and, much more importantly, actually put things back in that place when you use them. You can complete the best organization project imaginable in your home, but if you don't follow-up by maintaining that organization, it's destined to fail.
We did invest in new organization and office storage for this room, but I tried to reuse and repurpose what I could. Here's a quick run-down of what's new…
This wall organizer (similar here) is an Amazon find – it's another example of using beautiful, colorful supplies to your benefit. Plus, it makes it so easy for the kids to grab whatever color construction paper they want.
We also had a few bigger DIY projects in this room. I'll be talking a little bit more about the peg board and murphy bed in the next couple of weeks!
I am a big fan of repurposing storage supplies when you can. We use to have this utility cart in the playroom to hold craft supplies; I repurposed it for this space because, honestly, it's much more needed in this space now. It holds the chalk for our new chalkboard and crayons/markers/pencils for homework time.
I absolutely love using command strips for maximizing vertical storage! You'll find these throughout our craft room. They hold gift bags, rulers and cutting mats, and even a small ironing board for sewing projects.
These drawers have been organizing items for me since college; I've lost count of the number of places I've used them! The last place you probably saw them was in my office organization post, but since then, they transformed from craft supply organization to extra fabric organization. I didn't really see the point in labeling them; it's pretty obvious what's in them since the front is clear ( I just made sure to organize the fabric by color for easy reference). But that lead me to my next point…
6. Label what can't be seen.
I think it's kind of pointless to have labels on the things you decide to store visibly in your craft room; but, I'm a huge fan of putting simple labels on storage containers and drawers when the contents aren't immediately obvious. I've done this in my pantry, office, bathroom and playroom objects using different methods. This time around, I decided to use the good old vinyl cutting machine!
The vinyl cutter makes gorgeous, vivid vinyl labels in basically any font you could imagine. I use Oracal 651 vinyl to make these labels. It literally took about an hour and added so much to this desk space. (The font is Creative Block for those interested; it's one of my favorites!)
I also gave these cute little (Dollar Tree!) bins a label, since it's kind of difficult to immediately know what's in them.
And, I haven't shown a lot of this side of the room yet, but we do have the same fabric bins in here that I used in our playroom. I glue simple little name plates to them and label with card stock. It worked beautifully in our playroom, so I thought I'd reuse the method in here too.
Now that it's organized, I can't wait to share a few really fun DIY projects we've completed in this room! Stay tuned – I'll be sharing those in the next few weeks.