Whether you’re lucky enough to have an entire room to dedicate to your favourite hobby or you’re limited to a sunny corner, the basic rules for a craft space are the same – a place for everything and everything in its place…
Choosing a spot – When choosing a spot to create your arts and crafts, opt for a room or corner in a quieter part of the house. Also, pick somewhere with a relaxing view and lots of natural light.
Your worktop – The size of your counter or work table will vary depending on your hobby. An island table on casters is a good idea as it can be moved around if need be. Also think storage under the table – drawers, shelves or bins that can be wheeled out. For a space-saving option, a folding table that can be stacked away when you’re not using it is a good choice, or one that extends out from the wall, enabling you to work on either side of it before tucking it away again. Another clever idea, space permitting, is to have a table that’s divided into two heights – one for working on your feet, the other for sitting as you craft.
The floor – A craft room’s floor should be simple to wipe clean, sweep up or vacuum. Some hardy flooring options include ceramic or vinyl floor tiles, laminate wood panelling, cement or even cork and interlocking rubber mats.
Add a work lamp – Task lighting is important, especially for finicky, small-scale projects. Think table or floor lamps with flexible, accordion-style or retractable arms and perhaps a magnifying function.
Sit comfortably – Make sure your craft room has a comfortable chair for long hours of creating. Add a cushion for extra comfort and wheels to make moving around a lot easier.
Getting organised – Without proper organisation, even the most spacious craft room can become impossible to work in. The rule of thumb is that things you use regularly should be kept within arm’s reach, while seldom-used supplies can be stored away, clearly labelled, so that you can find what you need in a jiffy.
Consider some of these clever storage solutions…
● Ribbon and gift-wrap station: A simple towel rack or curtain rods mounted on a wall will do to hold ribbon (just pull and snip) and sheets of gift wrap. Store larger rolls of wrapping paper upright in a tall basket. Baskets and bins also work well for storing balls of wool and sleeves of needles if you’re an avid knitter.
● Craft boxes: From keeping all your stamps and inks in an old toolbox, to storing brushes and paints in a trunk, handy craft boxes are an empty shoebox or biscuit tin away.
● See-through storage: Clear plastic containers, glass jars and canisters are great to use in craft rooms as there’s no guessing what’s inside them. Even spice bottles are handy for small items such as buttons, eyelets and the like. If you have a craft cabinet, replace solid doors with glass-fronted alternatives so you can easily see what’s packed in there.
● Hanging stuff: Hang a plate rack on the wall to organise your art supplies. The dividers are perfectly spaced for slotting sketch pads, paper and blank canvasses. If there’s a built-in shelf underneath the rack, use if for paint tubs, a roll-up paintbrush holder and other supplies. Attach hooks to the very bottom and hang buckets filled with markers, pencils, sponges, palette knives and more tools of the trade.
● Door to door: Use the reverse side of a cupboard door to hang scissors, a measuring tape, small gift bags and other craft essentials. Or use the space behind the craft room door to hang a shoe organiser (fabric or clear) and slot craft supplies into the pockets.
● Ideas board: A felt noticeboard is perfect for pinning sketches, clippings, swatches and to-do lists. A corkboard or chalkboard will also do the trick and offer somewhere to post your ideas.
● Shelve it: No craft room can be complete without a shelving unit or two. The main thing is to make sure that it’s an ‘adjustable’ unit, where you can update, swop out or reconfigure the shelves to suit your craft storage needs.
Lastly, a bit of inspiration to pin to your ideas board:
“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent, with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.”
– Henry Matisse