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What Happened When I Organized My Craft Room … Again

Inside: Take a video tour of a professional crafter's creative space, including home office, craft room, and video studio. Get craft supply organizing ideas, the best storage solutions, and a look at the best craft room furniture.

This post has been sponsored by ArtBin.com and MyWonderfulWalls.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

Craft room tours are my favorite! And if you'reading this, I bet you love them too. Over the 15+ years I've had a craft room I've learned a ton.

I've had a lot of stuff … and a little stuff.

Huge spaces … and tiny spaces.

Lots of fancy organizers … and lots of thrift shop finds.

The one thing that is clear after all of this is one huge mistake I was making over and over. Until now.

long pin graphic for smart ways to organize your craft room without losing your mind

The Big Mistake I Was Making With My Craft Room Organization

When I shared how I almost threw away all of my craft supplies, I got hundreds of responses. Tearful emails, long heartfelt comments, and many private messages on social media told me that I was not alone in making this major mistake.

This mistake leads to:

  • Frustration
  • Over-buying
  • Disorganization
  • Overwhelm
  • Shame

Nobody wants all these bad feelings associated with crafting! I experienced these for years myself …

The mistake?

I was focused on what other people thought about my craft room.

Now, I know what you're thinking … “Obviously, Jennifer, you care what people think because you're putting your craft room on your blog and social media.”

I used to imagine people's reactions as I created my space. I wasn't creating it for me … instead, I created it in anticipation of the admiration I'd receive from people online and in-person.

While I have shared my room online for over a decade, I made a shift 6 years ago. I focused only on what serves me best in my space.

Jennifer Priest sitting at desk in her craft room

Are You Making This Mistake Too?

While you might not be in the public eye, you likely have people in your life whose input is steering how you design your craft room. Your husband's comments about your “crap room”. The picture perfect spaces you see on Pinterest. Your mother-in-law's reaction to your favorite-color-purple walls.

When you let other people influence your craft room, you end up not creating the space YOU need, want, and love.

Your space is NOT a showroom for other people.

It is 100% for you and you alone!

Take ownership of your craft space

I believe a craft room is supposed to support how you create. Push everyone's opinions out of your mind and think of what YOU need to create the perfect space.

I started by getting rid of supplies to have a streamlined space with 95% fewer supplies. And I am so much happier, spending more time creating than ever before.

But it wasn't always this way …

How My Craft Room Changed Over Time

My craft room has evolved in so many ways over the years:

  • 2010 – one room with all white furniture
  • 2012 – expanded to take over formal living and dining
  • 2013 – this was the height of having massive supplies!
  • 2014 – office and craft room combo
  • 2015 – moved the craft room back into the small room
  • 2016 – pared down space to one room
  • 2018 – when I got rid of 90% of my supplies

My craft supply hoard built to a critical mass, taking over three rooms in my house plus our three-car garage. When I realized I didn't want all of the supplies and had created that craft room for the wrong reasons, I worked to undo it all and discover a space that is truly mine alone.

Today my craft room is:

  • simplified
  • easy to clean
  • supportive of how I craft

Let's take a peek inside!

How I Organize My Craft Supplies

As a lifelong crafter, I have spent hundreds of hours organizing.

I love the process of organizing because:

  • it reminds me of what I have
  • creating order and making things pretty makes me happy
  • it gives me a chance to purge away things I don't plan to use or that don't make me super happy
Open drawer in IKEA Alex drawer unit with blue craft supplies inside

Organize for your Personality

I took an in-depth personality assessment that revealed that I function best in clean, high refinement environments. If I have piles, they have to be neat and tidy piles. This explains why I share so many crisp clean white craft rooms on Best Craft Rooms!

Find a personality assessment that speaks to you and your likes. I've used tests like Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder in the past.

We all have unique personalities. How I keep my craft space or organize my supplies might not work for you. And that's ok.

But no matter how you craft, I truly believe and live by the idea that you can:

Ever Think You Have Too Many Supplies?

Lots of supplies leads to spending lots of time organizing.

My experience building a huge hoarder's load of supplies and then paring down to just 5% of what I had previously revealed so much to me:

  • Too many supplies = too much time organizing
  • Too much time organizing = less time to craft
  • Less time to craft = stop organizing so you can spend that time crafting
  • Stop organizing = craft supply overwhelm
  • Craft supply overwhelm = over-shopping and buying things 2-3 times because you can't find it or forgot what you have

This is not why we got into crafting, right? We got into crafts so we can make things!

wood craft room video backdrop set

Why My Craft Stash is So Small … and Getting Smaller

Right now I am trying to only keep what I can use in the next 6-12 months. At some point, I'd like to try to be a zero-supply crafter, only buying what I need at the moment I plan to use it.

This sounds crazy, but hear me out …

As recent as 10 years ago, craft supplies were scarce. If you found something unique or that you could use, you bought it and hung on to it for decades because you may never find it again.

Today, we no longer need to have a large stash of craft supplies. In fact, we may not even need a stash at all!

Here's why:

  • You can always buy more in stores or online
  • Craft supplies age – paint and ink dry up, trends and styles change
  • If you buy it when you plan to use it and you'll always have fresh, on-trend supplies
  • Let Amazon, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby warehouse the supplies until you need them
  • Use the free space you have to create in rather than store supplies

I know what you're thinking … what about the tools?!

wood drawer in wood drawer unit filled with clover tools pom pom makers

The Difference Between Tools and Craft Supplies

Consumable craft supplies like paper, craft paint, flowers, and buttons are easy to find and replace for very little money. These are the items I'm considering purging down to zero.

Tools, on the other hand, can run hundreds if not thousands of dollars to purchase. And some specialty tools are only available from limited retailers, such as weighted jewelry pliers or long arm embroidery machines.

You likely have several thousands of dollars' worth of tools in your craft room, such as:

  • Cricut Maker = about $450
  • Sewing Machine = $750
  • Serger = $400
  • Wubbers Jewelry Pliers = $75 for set of 3

You get the picture …

It makes sense to hang on to tools for the life of the tool if you plan to use it at all in the future. The key to choosing how to organize tools is the frequency you use the tool.

Circut Explore Air and Cricut Maker storage in craft room

How to Organize Your Craft Tools

When organizing supplies, it makes sense to stow them away until you plan to use them for one specific project.

Because tools are used for multiple projects over time, I recommend that you keep them in a place where they are easy to access over and over, such as a tabletop or shelf.

Deciding Where To Store Craft Tools

Store the most used (or the tools you want to use most) in the open. The less you plan to use it, the further it can be from your main work space or craft table.

I place my tools by priority I want to use them:

  1. table top
  2. shelf
  3. under table
  4. in back of cabinet or back of shelf
  5. high up or storage I need a ladder to reach
  6. in garage or another room

Since I want to use the Cricut Maker most, I keep it on a table top, plugged in, and ready to go at all times. I use my serger 2-3 times a year, so it's on a low shelf.

Will this work for you?

[thrive_2step id='24086′]
[/thrive_2step]

[thrive_2step id='24086′]CLICK HERE to download my free tools guide[/thrive_2step] to help you organize your tools by the ones you use most.

And now, without further ado:

What My Craft Room Looks Like Today: 2019 Craft Room Tour!

The best way to see a craft room is with a video tour! Watch this video to see a full tour of my craft room, attached office, and my video studio:

Now, let's get into the nitty gritty of some of the spaces and storage ideas I get asked about most:

Ways to Store Small Supplies and Embellishments

Small embellishments are the most challenging thing to store because they come in so many different shapes and sizes.

Here's how I organize small craft supplies:

Jars

Store loose items in large quantities in jars with lids.

  • I use IKEA jars for my paper flowers and buttons
  • Mason Jars work great too
  • Place jars on a shelf to look pretty in your space
scrapbooking supplies and project life scrapbook page on craft room table

I got this metal shelf unit at a gift shop ten years ago and spray painted it white. The company that makes it is called Creative Co-Op but I could not find this exact design on their website when I was writing this post. You can find something similar at a thrift shop or home decor store like HomeGoods.

Library Card Catalog Style Drawers

A set of 2 card catalog style drawer units from Hobby Lobby house most of my small tools, including:

  • Markers and drawing supplies
  • Pom-pom makers
  • Pliers
  • Sanding tools and files
  • Craft knives
  • Bobbins
  • Sewing Notions
  • and more

Check for these drawers or similar styles in Hobby Lobby in the summer months.

IKEA Alex Drawers

Wide flat drawers like IKEA Alex are great for displaying a lot of small things, like ink pads and pom poms.

  • Use trays or dividers to keep items separate
  • Arrange items so they're easy to access without moving other items out of the way
  • Make sure everything in the drawer is visible as soon as you open it (nothing is stacked on top of other items)
IKEA Alex drawer unit with drawers slightly open to reveal inkpads inside

Add personality to your drawers by adding paint or removable decals. I gave my IKEA Alex drawers the rainbow treatment in just 10 minutes using custom decals from MyWonderfulWalls.com.

Love this look? Save on your decals at MyWonderfulWalls.com with code SMARTFUN at checkout!

Divided Cases

Boxes or cases with interior dividers that create sections or pockets to hold embellishments are easy to clean and pack for travel crafting.

Extra Small Embellishments

About 10 years ago, I stumbled upon the most amazing storage for tiny embellishments: Dot Boxes.

Everyone at the local scrapbook store was using them to store all of the tiny supplies papercrafters use like brads, flat back crystals, and buttons.

Dot Boxes consist of a case with lots of tiny little boxes inside. The multi-sized boxes can be moved around and reconfigured to any combination.

While Dot Boxes are perfect for tiny embellishments, they have a few drawbacks:

  • You have to open them to see what's inside
  • They're only for small items, usually no bigger than a Quarter coin
  • Refills and replacements parts are difficult to find
  • Are NOT tarnish resistant

Storing Large Embellishments, Tools, and Paper

The majority of my craft supplies for travel at stores in ArtBins.

ArtBin's Super Satchel System includes stackable cases that can be divided and used to store all types of craft supplies:

  • sewing notions
  • fabric
  • beads and jewelry making supplies
  • markers
  • steel rule dies
  • and so much more!
IKEA Raskog cart and ArtBin cube with ArtBin Super Satchels inside for craft room storage

How I use ArtBins for craft supply storage

I use my ArtBins to store large items like 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper and tiny items like seed beads for bead looms.

Sewing today, paper crafting tomorrow? No matter your project the Super Satchel System has you covered. From Fine Art to Jewelry making the Super Satchel System has you covered no matter what your project. At home or on the go with ArtBin’s Super Satchel Series

ArtBin

Unlike most plastic craft storage, ArtBin offers stackable cubes to store your plastic containers within. I stacked two of these cubes together and put them on casters for a mobile supply station in my craft space.

When I travel, I slide the Super Satchels out of the cube and directly into my ArtBin Rolling Tote and Tote Express to haul my craft supplies to scrapbooking crops and retreats.

Baskets

My favorite place to get baskets is Hobby Lobby, hands-down. Look for sturdy metal baskets and baskets without handles to store bulky items like cone threads, balls of yarn, and that explosion of ribbons you've been collecting for years.

I use wide, low rectangular metal baskets from Hobby Lobby to store:

  • crepe paper and duct tape rolls
  • cone threads for the serger
  • yarn balls
  • loose ribbons

The low profile baskets fit nicely on bookcases or shelves, like the pair of white cabinets in my office that I got from LampsPlus.

Check Target clearance for unique baskets, like the locker style baskets I have in my IKEA Kallax shelf to store fabric and paper scraps.

Boxes

White cardboard or metal boxes from IKEA have been a go-to storage tool for me for years. The white boxes have a clean look and the label holders make it easy to tell what's inside without opening the box.

Look for boxes you can upcycle for craft storage, such as:

  • jewelry boxes
  • shoeboxes
  • gift boxes
  • and the tubs detergent packs come in!

I store my loose neutral color ribbons in empty tubs for All Detergent packs.

Steel rule dies can be stored in CD storage boxes. Target has wood and fabric bins in their home storage area that perfectly fit most steel rule dies. I store these on the shelf of an IKEA kitchen work table that I use as a diecut center, with my Sizzix machines and Carl Cutter paper trimmer out and at the ready on top all the time.

I store my jewelry and papercrafting ArtBins on the bottom shelf of this IKEA shelving unit.

Bead and Jewelry Supply Storage Ideas

I've been making jewelry since I was 9 years old! You can imagine I have amassed a ton of different supplies. I've got lots of ideas to organize bead supplies but it all comes down to one solution that has worked the best: ArtBin.

ArtBins are my favorite jewelry organizers because they:

  • are tarnish resistant 
  • work with the ArtBin cube system + travel bags
  • are modular and adjustable for larger size and quantity

Ready to stop working with tarnished wire and chain?

Save 15% on your order at ArtBin.com with code “SmartFunDIY “!

Check out these new ArtBin products for 2019:

  •             Vinyl storage rack
  •             Super Satchel with Bins
  •             Sketch Pad
  •             Quick View bead box
  •             Paint Storage palette
  •             Slime box
  •             Small project box
  •             New Color options for Super Satchels
  •             1 compartment in blush
  •             1 compartment in mint
  •             Double Deep with rose gold dividers.

Best Craft Room Tables

I have 4 different tables in my craft space. Here's what they are and why:

IKEA Bekant Desk: Crafting

If you read my post about IKEA craft rooms then you know how much I love the As-Is section in IKEA stores. I scored this Bekant desk in the as-is section.

This desk matches my main computer desk (also Bekant series) and sits against the closest door in my office to create a small craft nook. This is where I sit to scrapbook, make cards, and sketch out projects.

IKEA Kitchen Island: Filming

Another As-Is score, this IKEA kitchen island has shelves underneath for storing large tools like:

  • Cricut EasyPress 2
  • Sewing Machine
  • Serger
  • Other projects I am working on

The USPS Priority Mail box on this shelf is for collecting 12×12 scrapbook pages as I create them for Crops of Luv, a non-profit who makes scrapbooks for terminally ill children. Crops of Luv also takes donations of craft supplies and monetary donations to help them do their amazing work. Find out more on their site at Crops of Luv.

The wood top of the kitchen island is porous and looks pretty bad after a few years. We sanded and stained it with Minwax stain wipes but I wanted a variety of backgrounds for the videos I make here.

I place painted wood panels or melamine sheets on the top of the kitchen island to acts as different backgrounds while I film YouTube videos and tutorials. Check out my craft and videos here!

Kitchen Table: Staging

When Gottschalk's stores closed a few years ago, I snagged their sweater displays: 4 farmhouse style kitchen tables for $20 each! I would have bought more but I could only fit 4 in my small SUV at the time …

You can find similar tables at thrift shops or garage sales.

This table is great for:

  • sewing large projects
  • hammering, such as for metal stamping
  • spreading out and organizing things, like photos

I store the other 3 tables in my garage by removing the legs. These tables are great for craft nights, game nights, and even birthday parties.

IKEA table: Staging

A smaller IKEA table sits to the right of the kitchen island as a place for me to set tools and supplies off-screen while I am filming videos.

Paint storage ideas

I store of all my paint on MOSSLANDA and RIBBA discontinued frame shelves from IKEA. The shelves are mounted to the wall with the paint bottles stacked on them in rainbow order, making it quick and easy to find the color of paint I want.

Which Craft Supplies Are Most Difficult to Store?

There are so many craft supplies to store and so many ways to store them that if I included them all here, this post might be the next great American novel!

I'll be sharing more ways I store specific supplies in upcoming posts. You know I'll be featuring my favorite storage ideas from ArtBin.com too!

What supplies do you struggle with most?

Let me know in the comments! I'm sure we can find an answer that works for you …

I may feature your questions in an upcoming post or a Facebook Live in our Best Craft Rooms group!

LOVE this craft room tour? SAVE it to Pinterest:

pin graphic for craft room tour

About the Author

Author Profile

Jennifer Priest is a 20+ year designer in the arts & crafts industry and home DIYer with a passion for creativity. An Army veteran raised on a ranch, from her experience, she shares smart DIY projects that save money and fun craft ideas that anyone can make. Besides blogging, Jennifer is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and MER, and coaches other online entrepreneurs on money mindset, business, and living an intentional life. When not blogging, Jennifer is having adventures in the wilderness, on road trips, playing with her cats, and making paleo food.

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4 Comments

  1. Dear Jennifer – your organization is the best I have seen! I have perused dozens and dozens. I have too, spent hundreds of hours organizing craft supplies/rooms for various craft pursuits. Many times I have been nearly in tears, frustrated that I always seem to spend organizing than making stuff!!! I just finished setting up my new Polymer Clay workspace. I used things I had – the folding work table has a painted door on it to make it larger. I found a vanity in the alley and made an L shape at the end of the table. I found a small bookshelf in the alley for storage. I moved a storage unit from another room for tool storage. Since I do not have a window in the room I put up a large mural of Utah canyons. My next problem is to pursue marketing my work – not my strong point. Thank you, Jennifer!

  2. Your organizational skills are very impressive, as is your supply stash! I hear ya, on getting overwhelmed and wanting to throw it all away and start over. I’ve almost been at that point several times, lol. Thanks for your ideas <3

  3. The evolution of craft space….. I have a friend who made hundreds of things to donate to a nursing home for every holiday and every event. They went from crocheted teacups to circuit items. She did this for years, planning each months in advance. I asked her what she did with the left over supplies, she said she threw them out. I was horrified! But maybe she had the right idea.

  4. I struggle not with getting rid of craft supplies but where they should go. Goodwill just throws craft items away and I’ve contacted schools to donate crafts, and never get a response. I don’t want to just throw them in the trash! I’m happy to donate them but to who??? I don’t have the time, ability or desire to sell them……I just want them to go to a good home.

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