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How I Organized My 5′ x 17′ Craft Room

How I organized my tiny craft room using vintage storage ideas.

Don’t we all feel the need to organize something when the new year rolls around? My craft room, which also serves as my office, was the first room to get the “treatment”. It was a mess. A really bad mess. Really, really bad. I was tired of turning sideways to get to the computer, tired of seeing the cat have to jump over a little pile of stuff to go outside. Tired of the chaos. So I went to work. Two and one half days — yes days — later, I can say done. Here are the results. We’ll start with the money shot.

Suitcase Storage

I adore the look of suitcases and vintage boxes stacked for storage. But for efficiency they’re really not the best. It helps to have them on shelves like this instead of stacked on top of each other, but then you have to pull each one out and set it down somewhere to get to the contents. Kinda hard in a 5′ wide room. Ideally, the shelf itself would pull out, but hubby is way too busy to concoct something like that. I’m lucky to have the shelves!

Now let me say this isn’t a glamor post. You’re not going to say, I want a craft room just like that! Oh, you might pick up a few ideas. I’d like to think I helped in some small way, but girlfriends, this ain’t no magazine worthy room. It’s real. It’s a real room for a real person. It’s just me doing the best I can with what I have to work with. A five feet wide, seventeen feet long room (Okay, I exaggerated. It’s a few inches more both ways. But only a few.), a couple of neat-o pieces, and way, way, way too much craft crap. I’m grateful to have the room, which used to be a porch. It’s more than most people have. But let’s face it. It’s not the dream craft room for any of us.

I was pretty pleased with the handiness of this next workspace:

Craft Room Work Table

A little typewriter table, a turquoise vacuum cleaner attachment holder and two, super duper, awesome, industrial storage bins that hold jewelry bits. Have you seen how much those little bins sell for?! I was lucky and found mine for $5 each at an estate sale.

Another “pretty” shot:

Vintage Ceramic Wheels

Those ceramic wheels are in this metal tray:

Metal Compartmented Tray

The tray sits in this wonderful, old cabinet:

Antique cabinet

The top is handmade and sits on an iron stove base.

Antique cabinet

Ewww… Still looks pretty messy, huh? But it’s an organized mess. Let’s rest our eyes on this 1970s beauty pageant badge:


Whew! That’s better.

So, if you stand with your be-hind backed up to the cabinet we just saw, this is the view of the rest of the room.

Craft Room

I got the metal shelves at the far right for a song at an estate sale. Had to take them apart to get them home. And the man conducting the sale Would. Not. Help. Had no intention of helping. But that’s just how he is. The taller shelving is a Restoration Hardware knockoff I had my hubby make a few years ago. I didn’t put them together right and the top is leaning. I’m not inclined to correct that any time soon. And that little enamel top table is my desk. Where I’m sitting at this very moment. No, really! Probably when you’re reading this, unless it’s the middle of the night and sometimes even then, that is most likely where I’ll be!

Craft Room Desk

Let’s see another “pretty” picture or two, shall we?

Vintage Chalk

Doll Heads

And remember the cat? When I first brought the old cabinet in, she found a spot to lay. Lie? Lay? Which is proper grammar? That spot has been cluttered for quite awhile, but I fixed a cushion for her using the same bark cloth that’s on the windows.

Bark Cloth Cat Cushion

Oreo was unavailable for pictures.

So that’s it. Don’t ask to see the room a month from now. I’m notorious for my messes.




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Spring cleaning or no?

Cuff bracelets under a cloche


How to store cuff bracelets

The picture above is how I organize cuff bracelets.

How about you? Are you in full on spring cleaning mode or are you a yard person? Or are you skipping all that and enjoying the beautiful weather (if you’re having it)? I was really gearing up to get this place cleaned up. Don Aslett of Do I Dust Or Vacuum First fame  (He has some really good cleaning books, by the way, and you can get them for a penny on Amazon) says fall cleaning is best, but perhaps he doesn’t live in the land of spring blooming pine trees that leave a thick coat of yellow powder on everything. EVERYTHING. It’s so bad at times that you can dust, turn around and see it settling right back in. You taste it, feel it on your skin, get it in your eyes, shake it out of your clothes…. So now that we’ve had a couple of good rains that washed yellow rivers down the streets it’s time to get it out of the house.

I started in the master bedroom. Cleaned everything. Cleaned under the bed, cleaned out my closet, even cleaned out the hubby’s underwear drawer! Had plans to make a bedspread and skirt – I’ve only had the fabric for 5 years – and maybe even hem the drapes that have been hanging that long, too. Was going to do a wall arrangement of my collection of prints that are right now haphazardly hanging around the room. Washed the cloche pictured above that sits over some cuff bracelets. Then it all came to a stop. A screeching halt.

We knew we were going to get a couple of small booths at an antique mall where our daughter and her little family live and were getting some things ready to go, but as it turned out, we’re getting a giant booth and those few things need lots of friends. Ricky’s building and I’m painting. And anyone who knows me knows I’m not the painter. But ya do what ya gotta do. I’m so much more comfortable sitting in front of the computer or playing with my Silhouette Cameo die cutting machine or sewing or any other of the million of small crafty things I try to do. But painting big stuff ain’t my thang.

I do so want to get back to the cleaning and freshening of the house, but for at least the next two weeks, it’s put on hold.

Cuff bracelets under a cloche