Putting Some Funk Into Functional

My multi-functional craft room.

My multi-functional craft room.

How does a writer who is also an avid spinner, knitter, and scrapbooker arrange her craftroom?  Well, first you have to wait until your youngest goes off to college unless you are lucky enough to have a spare room that isn’t claimed by guest beds or widowed parents.  Then I’d recommend following the law of squatter’s rights.  Get into that room, move their things out to another area of the house before they’ve made their first visit home, and stake your claim.  Oh, they might squawk when they first see the new arrangement but you can always offer them a sleeping bag on the floor if they are determined to sleep in their old room.  Just make sure you tell them that you don’t get off your computer until 11:15 p.m. each evening.  Trust me!  You don’t want to make it too comfortable for grown children to return to the nest.  Do that and before you know it, you have a six-foot boomerang child draped on your couch eating you out of house and home. 

My son hadn’t been gone long before we had his bed moved into a guestroom, the baseball wallpaper stripped off, and the walls painted.  When our son, the minimalist, was home between semesters or on holidays, he still had a private room but now he had to share it with the yarn swift and ball winder and the cutting table.  It was also my library den but he’s a reader, too and had no problem with sharing his space with a lot of books.

Once the walls and window treatment were done to my liking, I had to figure out how I was going to arrange the small space to accommodate all my interests.  I’m a writer so I needed access to a computer and printer.  I’m cheap where I want to be if it means I can spend more on things like yarn so we managed to wrestle the old “L”-shaped computer desk down from upstairs and into the corner of the room.  I found a small printer/paper stand with pull out shelves that fit perfectly on TOP of my computer desk.  I managed to stash my TV on the top, scales and TV remote on the next shelf, and my photo printer and Dymo label writer on the bottom shelf.  Everything is within easy reach but it still leaves me plenty of workspace.  My laser printer sits on the desk next to the stand and the rest of the space is available for miscellaneous things I’m working on.  I hunted around the house and found two plastic drawer units on wheels that fit right under my computer desk.  They are great for holding all sorts of things like office supplies, bills to be filed, notepads, and sewing supplies.

I stuck my spinning wheel next to the computer desk so that I can look out the window while I spin.  I salvaged an old chord organ bench that I wasn’t using and stuck that under my work table.  It is just the right height to sit on when spinning and it is easy enough to move it over to the wheel when needed. 

A wall of organization.

A wall of organization.

The next item to go into my workspace was a shelving unit I found at Ikea.  It was perfect for my notebooks full of knitting patterns, my scrapbook albums, and my yarn stash.  This particular unit is the middle section shown on the right.   There are sixteen square cubicles within this one unit.  Ikea also sells see-through plastic storage bins that just fit into a cubicle.  I started out with four of those but I’m now up to eight.  On either side of the Ikea unit are two old storage unit pieces that we had in my home as a kid.  I can still remember helping my dad sand those down and paint them.  I had them in my mom’s assisted living apartment and one day, in a frustrated attempt to think of a way to help her remember which drawers held what, I took a magic marker and wrote on each drawer things like “Underwear” and “Socks” and “Shirts.”   My bright idea never did do any good.  When Mom had to be moved into a nursing home, I moved these units into my craft room and they were a perfect fit.  That left me with the problem of looking at drawers that were labeled “underwear”, etc.  So I took some acrylic paint and painted over the labels.  Once that dried, I used a calligraphy pen and wrote out new contents for each drawer.


Close-up of Bin Areas

Close-up of Bin Areas

On the left is a close-up of the bins in the Ikea unit.  I love to label things so that I can find them easily.  I’ve labeled the clear plastic bins with the specific yarn brands that I’m storing in each bin and numbered each bin.  This also helps when you are cataloging your yarn stash because you can identify what bin you are going to store your yarn in.  I like to store my knitting patterns in plastic sleeves and filed in notebooks.  I label the notebooks so that I can easily know which notebook to pull out when I am looking for a specific type of knitting pattern.  Since I am also an avid scrapbooker, I have books and notebooks with scrapbooking ideas here as well and have my scrapbooking albums on the bottom of the unit.    Along the top of the unit, I have knitting and crochet leaflets/booklets and certain books that I refer to quite often.

My scrapbooking work table.

My scrapbooking work table.

Finally we have my scrapbooking table.  I’ve got all my scrapbooking tools stored within easy reach here.  My scrapbooking papers are all filed by color and are stored in a bookcase in the closet in this room which keeps it out of the way but within quick access whenever I need to get to them.  I like to keep little bits of funk scattered around like the doll my kids gave me when I turned 50 or my old workplace desk nameplate.  It’s always fun to make a space a reflection of your own personality.    So there you have it.  Welcome to my craft room.

4 Responses

  1. Wow! I love your space! I love the middle shelf with all your CM albums! They look great. I need to come up with a better storage system for my albums. I moved them upstairs to the living room in case there’s ever a fire so I can grab them! But the shelf is too small – I have more albums to add. I enjoy labeling things, too! My Dymo label maker is one of my favorite things.

  2. Wow, Dee…I am so jealous. I guess I have to wait another 18 years ’til the kids leave then I can have a room like that.

  3. Hey, Jill! Those 18 years will go by so fast you won’t know what hit you. Of course, your children could all be child prodigies (wouldn’t surprise me a bit, knowing you) and go to college early, thus giving you that room faster than 18 years from now.


  4. What a great space! I was just checking some old Rav forums about craft rooms and found the link to your blog. I finished putting together my very own craft room today (oldest’s bedroom became a guest room when he went off to college five years ago, and I finally decided it makes more sense to use it for my knitting and spinning than for once a year guests). I love your advice about squatter’s rights and not letting the kids “boomerang” back home! We still have a 10 year old and a 12 year old at home, so I have great fears of becoming a grandmother, with all that entails, before the kids are even out of the house.

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