Monday, January 6, 2014

My Craft Room Make Over!

View from the front door of my room - Facing North
Hello Friends!

Happy 2014 to everyone!  I spent the holiday break cleaning and re-organizing my craft room because I had asked for a craft room make-over for Christmas!  Santa was very generous and I am so happy with the "upgrades" and changes that I wanted to share it with everyone!

I had several goals in mind for my "makeover" and had already spent late nights on Pinterest and YouTube collecting ideas on room organization.  So by the time Christmas break rolled around, I knew what I wanted to do, and my Santa hubby(!) helped me get it done in just a couple of days! 

BEFORE:  So to give you a feel for the progress, here's a few photos of my room when it was first set up back in Jan. 2008:
Desk area - 2008
Wood Mounted stamps (top), paper (bottom) in "Iris" Scrapbook Containers - 2008
Ribbon holder, Elfa shelving - 2008
Since then, I've added quite a bit (understatement!!) to what those photos show, and rearranged it a few times since then as well.  It was past time to look at everything again and do some reorganizing.

My room was/is mostly comprised of three types of storage:  Iris Scrapbook Chests (like these); various units of Micheal's white cube, wooden storage systems (like these); and Elfa Organization Systems products from Container Store.  I mostly kept with those basics during this makeover, but to meet my "storage goals", I had to get rid of a lot of unused, dated product to free up space, rearrange where I kept everything, add to my organization systems, and change out some of the existing ones.   

AFTER:  Here's a list of the main goals I had for my "makeover" and pictures of the resulting changes. I've included web links pointing to the new products that I used for my project within the text below, so feel free to click on them to see the products as they are sold.

1.)  I don't want to un-mount my wood-mounted SU stamp sets (can't make me!!) but they really were taking up more room than any of my other supplies, so to free up space, I needed to find a more efficient way to store them. 

I decided to pull them out of the drawers they were in and stand them up on their sides like books on shelves. The shelving I added for this purpose is Elfa from Container Store.  My walls already have wall brackets installed to accomodate Elfa Wall Storage, so adding the shelves for the stamp sets was just a matter of buying them and hooking them onto the existing brackets.

I intentionally chose shelves with very short depths (two rows of 5" and one row of 10") so that I have head room over the work space and can actually use the counter space for crafting!  Before this change, the counter tops were completely covered with Iris Scrapbook containers that held all my SU sets.  This new method frees up my counter space and also displays the stamp sets right in front of me. (Although they are not shown labeled in this photo, I'm halfway through making the labels so I can easily see the name of every set.)  The shelves also hold the unmounted SU sets that come in DVD cases.

As a bonus to this storage method, my awesome hubby attached iridescent lighting just under the top, large shelves; they shine directly onto the work surface.  You can see them in the above photo; they're turned on and run the length of the top shelf.

2.) I decided I wanted to get my (now-dusty) Cricket out of the corner and start using it again,  so I needed to find a prominent and accessible place in my room for it.  Now I can "test" myself to see if I really want to keep it in my crafting arsenal or not. If not, I'm going to sell it (gasp!!).  So here is it's new home, very accessible and with the cartridges right within reach - no excuses, right?

3.) Same thought process about my sewing machine. It's always been "nicely" stored away on a shelf in my closet so I would never take the time to pull it out if I thought about sewing on a card. I love the technique but have only used it once or twice. So now as you can see, I have it set up, ready to be used, and officially included as one of my craft tools.
4.)  Next, I wanted a more convenient way to store my ribbon rolls!  Although the "rod-system" I used before was a great way to store them, it was inconvenient when I needed to remove a ribbon roll for a project, especially if it happened to be in the middle of the rod.  The whole row of ribbon would have to come off the rod to get to the one roll, and then putting it back on the rod in color-group order was the same issue in reverse.  The new system I changed to is more of the Elpha storage. More wall brackets went up and instead of shelves, I added a series of baskets to hold the rolls. Now I can grab any roll and use it, and then easily put it back right where I got it from without any hassle.

5.) And finally, the biggest challenge to this make-over was how to organize my dies.  This ended up being my favorite, and most useful, renovations!  I've accumulated lots of different types of dies in every size, from different manufacturers, and I really needed to figure out how to organize them and make them easily accessible for maximum usage. This required a combination of several methods, but I am really happy with the way they ended up working together.

My heavy Sizzix type dies are now stored in Elfa "Media Racks" baskets, similar to the method I changed to for my ribbon.  These baskets are larger and sized to hold DVDs. I found that they hold Bigz-style dies perfectly on an angle with the label facing out so I can see the name of the die at a glance.  Loved this solution!

With my existing Elfa wall shelf system, I was able to attach a metal wall plate designed so you can add utility hooks and small bins for additional storage.  But for now, no hooks or bins, I'm using it for my "Movers and Shapers" dies since they are magnetic!   You can also see in this photo another Elfa basket attached to one of the wall brackets holding the different "sandwich plates" for use in my Big Kick machine.

All my Spellbinder die sets are now housed in two of the Michael's "Organizer Cube with Drawer & Shelf" "cubes" that I stacked on top of each other.  These two cubes each came with a storage drawer, but I pulled the drawers out to use elsewhere, and replaced them with these clear acrylic refrigerator bins that I bought from Amazon.  The idea came from watching Jennifer McGuire's organization YouTube video .  She uses them to store her clear-mount stamps.  (BTW, I love all of her organization ideas - you should check her out!)  The fridge bins come divided down the center and they are the perfect size for holding CD and DVD cases - or anything in that size range.  Since my Spellbinder die sets are already in CD and DVD cases (depending on the size of the set), these bins worked beautifully for me.  I also have dies that come in similar-sized packaging, not in CD/DVD cases (like SU dies and some Sizzix Sizzlets), and they too fit perfectly in the bins just as they are so I just left them in their original packaging. The paper rose Sizzix die in the photo on the left is one of those that I left in it's packaging.  Now I just pull out a bin and flip through them to choose a die for my project.

 For the rest of the thin dies that come individually (mostly from all the other manufacturers) I went with a completely different storage system, but I was able to still use the white cubes.  I found these CD storage file box bins at the Container Store.  They come with little, soft plastic, hanging file folder sleves and hold 120 CDs.  The acrylic boxes match the refrigerator bins, and two fit perfectly, side by side, on one of the shelves! Very cool bonus!

All I had to do was trim the die packaging to fit into the sleeve, write the name of the die on the index tab label, and drop in the die.  Could not have been easier.  There are lots of options to organizing the dies within this file box system, but for now, I just filled the folders with a die and wrote the name on the index tabs so they are ready for crafting! 

Although I don't have anywhere near 240 dies to fill these boxes up, I did go ahead and buy two of the boxes to go on the shelf because it just looked better!  ;)

Finally, I used the same cube shelving to store my embossing folders. My embossing folders had a pretty good home before and didn't need to be re-organized, but since they go with the die cutting machine, I liked that there was room to keep them with the dies so I moved them into the top bin of shelf. Again, the fridge bins were just the right size to hold the folders and all I have to do is flip through them to find one to use.

One more very cool and new thing was added to my craft room - totally initiated by my amazing husband.  He mounted a large screen Apple TV on my wall so I can now watch YouTubes, movies or listen to music while I'm crafting away!  Pretty awesome, eh??  :)

The picture below is a panoramic shot of my room taken facing my south wall.  Be sure to click on it to expand it! You should be able to see the full length of it in the expanded view. (The lead photo at the top of my post is the view of the north wall.) 

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So that's what I have for you today of my craft room makeover!  I plan to write one more post to show you the other panoramic shot of my room facing the north wall, along with more organization ideas I use in my room.  The other systems I use, that I'll write about next, were not part of this current makeover; they have just evolved over the years and I didn't feel like I needed to change them at this time.  They include my ink storage, 12x12 paper storage, 6x6 paper storage, cardstock storage, cards scraps storage, punch storage and some other miscellaneous things that I have crammed into my 10'x10' "happy place"!

Thanks for reading this far!!  If you have any questions for me about this post, please leave a comment!  Happy to share whatever info I have!

TFL, I'm so glad you stopped by!


Anne Temple said...

WOW! You have an amazing craft room! It looks great.

Helena (Gvendalen) said...

Fab craft room Anne,it looks so convenient and accurate. hugs, Helena

SMartin992 said...

OMGosh...Anne,you have really outdone yourself on this room.
It is beyond AWESOME! Me thinks that you should quit your job and fly around and organize everyone's craft room. You could become a gazillionaire!
Incredible job!
I'm your biggest fan! Sandy

Eileen said...

Hello Anne.. I've just popped over to thank you for the super comments you left on my blog... very kind of you. Got to say I'm so JEALOUS of you, regarding this fantastic craft room .... rock 'n roll time in here!
I've been looking at you fabulous work too... some clever stuff on this blog.. going to 'nick' some ideas if that is okay? I love the boy cards with the 'splats' backgrounds and stickers.... can I use that idea please?.. I'll link back of course, when I do.
Have fun.
Eileen xxx

Julia Aston said...

Hey Anne! so glad you stopped by to say hi to me! What a great room you created - SO organized and everything in a good place - I SO need to do this with my room - I'd bet I have more in my room that I DON'T use than I DO use - and the piles just keep getting higher and higher - I really need to retire!!! LOL!!! thanks for all the details about where you got your bins and all - nice job! AND a TV!!

jdmommy - Anne Harmon said...

Hi Anne,
I've been awake since one this AM, thinking about how to redo my room. You've given me some great ideas!! Hugs, my friend.