An organized craft closet

In a perfect, dreamy world I would have a ginormous craft room with built-in shelving, a dedicated sewing table, another flat surface with built-in outlets for general crafting, drawers and cubbies and cupboards galore. As you may have noticed, this is not a dreamy perfect world, and therefore my crafting/sewing space must share a room with our home office and guest room…limiting my craft storage to part of a closet and two dresser drawers. Humph. But, in the spirit of finding contentment and serenity where I am, I doggedly fought to use the space I had to its utmost potential, risking not only my own sanity but the well-being of my darling daughter in the process.

As often happens I dove into the project without taking proper “before” pictures…so here’s a couple shots of “during.”

The guest bed had become the epicenter of the madness, and since my parents were expected in a few weeks to stay with us during Christmas, the mess had to go. I could have just crammed it all into the closet, but there was really no room at all left. I had to do some serious purging and rearranging, but I am extremely happy with the end result.

**Disclaimer: This is a real space in my real home. It has not been styled or photographed by a professional. It is full of my real stuff, that may or may not match or look pretty. But at least you know it hasn’t been photoshopped! πŸ™‚

First, the closet.

As you may know, I’ve recently become obsessed with making bows for Baby Girl’s hair. It may have something to do with the fact that her hair is so long now a bow is actually necessary to keep her hair out of her eyes (I’ve scheduled her first haircut for next week…look for a detailed post to come! :)). Anyway, I’ve been stockpiling ribbon and needed a better solution than the plastic tub I’d been using. I didn’t want to spend any money, so I ended up jury-rigging this system together using twine, dowel rods, and clothespins. The shelf below it houses my wonderful sewing machine (don’t you love that it’s pink?), along with extra thread and my sewing box. Further down the shelf are extra empty boxes for wrapping things up and packing materials like bubble wrap (not pretty, so not pictured :)).

Under the shelf I stacked these plastic storage drawers which hold all those boring but necessary home office items: envelopes, stationary, paperclips, etc. Each drawer has a drawer organizer or small basket to help contain the randomness, and I labeled each with a removable label so I won’t have to open every single one looking for, say, extra printer paper. Looking at this picture I realize I should have removed the ugly barcode labels. Oh well, told you it was real life! πŸ™‚

This unit used to be outside the closet, but when we added a guest room to the space it needed another home. It fit perfectly next to the shelf in the closet, with some room on the other side for extra hanging clothes storage (mostly my fancy occasion dresses that I’m hoping to someday fit back into but will more likely become dress-up clothes for Charlotte). This shelving unit is full of random crafting and decorating supplies: scrapbooking, glass beads, buttons, paint, candles…all tucked away in various boxes and tubs. I wish it all matched, but again was trying to save money and use what I had…since it’s tucked away in a closet that no one sees but me, I didn’t think it mattered. Then I posted this picture to the whole wide world. Oh well. I organized my felt by color in a file box on top (you can see the pink sticking out) and next to that put a file organizer for my scrapbooking paper, which is also organized by color. It was one of the few things I did purchase for this project…it’s hard to find a paper holder that fits 12×12 paper unless it’s built especially for scrapbook paper. Thanks to Hobby Lobby’s 40% off coupon it wasn’t too much of a splurge. πŸ™‚ Oh yeah, and the card table that double as my crafting table sits in front of the unit…probably should have moved it out for the picture. Oh well.

As I said, I was bound and determined to use all the available space I had, which included the back of the closet doors. We are fortunate to have regular doors on our closets, instead of folding doors (the bane of my existence…is there any way to keep them on the track?) so I had all this blank empty space to work with. I’d seen this pin for organizing your wrapping paper supplies, and thought it was a brilliant idea. It didn’t work out quite as well as I hoped…I couldn’t find the system she used in the original source (we don’t have a Container Store nearby, to my husband’s relief) so I had to make due with a pantry organizing system. There wasn’t room for rolls of wrapping paper, which I house in a long rubbermaid container under the bed instead, but it did work for all those gift bags and tissue paper that I use the most often anyway, as well as ribbon and bows. I regret not taking a “before” picture…all the bags sat on top of the wrapping paper and tissue paper, which sat on the shelf that now houses my sewing machine. It was the first thing you saw when you opened the door, and looked like it was about to topple out at you. Huge difference now!

This is my most favoritest part of the whole project. All of my most used supplies, right out there for me to easily find and grab (and put back), and all I do is shut the door and they are all out of sight! I should have done this years ago! It’s just an over-the-door shoe holder with clear pockets (found at Wally World for $5 I believe). The top row has staplers, clothespins, rulers and scissors, writing utensils on the next row divided by type (chalk, gel pens, sharpies, scrapbook markers), then different types of glue including my glue gun, then painting supplies, then spray paint, spray adhesive, etc. fill out the bottom. Best Idea Ever!!

I wanted a shelf full of cubbies to organize my fabric scraps, but couldn’t find one. I used a dresser drawer instead, with pieces of cardboard for dividers. I folded everything neatly (that alone saves a ton of space) and organized it all by color, with bigger/thicker fabrics like fleece at the end. It’s not a long-term solution, since it’s already pretty full, but it definitely beats being crammed into a plastic bin all higgledy-piggledy, making it impossible to find anything.

The second dresser drawer houses miscellaneous crafting supplies, as well as finished projects that are waiting to find a home. πŸ™‚

There you have it! Chaos tamed. Now if I can just get the energy up to actually start crafting again…I think I may have burned myself out a bit by making all my Christmas gifts this year (stay tuned for some tutorials!) πŸ™‚

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