This post is sponsored by IKEA. We’re sharing how we turned a small under utilized room into an organized craft room for any craft lover!
For far too long, our former ‘work room’ has been under utilized. Coming in at 6′ x 6′ with a barely 2′ door opening, it’s an incredibly small and slightly awkward space. Years ago, we added a large IKEA kitchen island* to use as a work surface (which we had to build in the room so it could fit through the door!), installed a couple of decorative shelves above and stashed shipping supplies below. It was wonderful; I shipped pet portraits from my little work top, and I was able to keep our home office free of tissue paper and paint supplies as a result. *Our island is no longer available, but this one is similar!
Fast forward to the end of my portrait business, and that room quickly became the catch-all for stuff. So much stuff! Unsorted mail. Gifts in need of wrapping. Christmas gifts in hiding. I needed to free myself of the clutter – both mentally and physically – and so Scott and I emptied out the room to give ourselves a blank slate:
Since the day Lucy was born, I’d been squirreling away scraps of wallpaper, bakers twine, stacks of stickers, washable paints, and pencils. As a child, I could spend hours coloring and crafting, and we’ve already started to see this love in Lucy. (My heart!) And so the plan for my lifelong (um, childhood) dream to create a craft lover’s organized oasis was hatched! This would be a room for the bits-n-bobs that nurture Lucy’s creativity, the tools that allow her to dream BIG. Also? Plants. This room receives the most beautiful filtered sunlight all day, and we were going to take advantage of that!
As a refresher, this room is tucked up above our stairs, just off of the second floor landing:
Below, I’m sharing what we did to carve out Lucy’s craft room, and how you can do the same. Oh, and a quick note to let you know that everything will be linked at the bottom of this post!
1| We gave ourselves a large, deep surface for crafting
The former butcher block atop the island was 24″ deep, but we wanted something that would at least fit a roll of wrapping paper. As soon as I spotted the KARLBY countertop, I loved it. The oak was perfect, and we saw that it was available in a 42″ depth! Because our room is so small, however, we cut it down to 34″ deep. The island itself now floats away from the back wall, but you can’t tell at all. It feels so luxurious to have so much counter space!
2| We contained small items together in concealed storage
Stickers. A paint shirt and water cup. Oil pastels. Crayons. I literally unboxed everything and tossed them in varying sizes of KUGGIS boxes with lids. (No more torn paper boxes or wondering where the missing crayons are!) Now, if Lucy would like to color, I can quickly grab the box of crayons – which is filled to the brim with every color imaginable! Fun fact: KUGGIS boxes are made almost entirely from recycled PET plastic.
All of our bins are stacked and stored neatly on three perfect rows of extra wide LACK floating shelves. The shelving runs almost wall to wall, and we’re keeping heavier use items down low and lesser used items up high.
3| Frequently used items are stored in glass jars for easy access
For quick grab items – such as this pretty twine for wrapping or foam brushes for paint touch-ups – I’ve stashed them in large glass vessels. I love the look of bakers twine in large glass jars, plus it’s easy to take a quick glance, see what’s available (and what’s running low!, then grab-and-go as needed.
4| We made room for empty bins and boxes
Any stacked box or bin without a label is completely empty by design. I think it’s so important to allow for empty space – whether that’s in a cupboard, drawer or on a shelf – to allow for change. Lucy is only getting bigger (by the minute, it seems!), and as she grows, so will her needs for this room.
5| Magnet boards serve as inspiration (and keep the counter clutter-free)
The former room had endless photos, hand written letters and paint swatches tacked to the wall with push pins. Needless to say, I was so happy to find these SVENSÅS memo boards! We hung two side-by-side, which allows us to have these things on display without damaging the walls while also keeping inspiring cut-outs and swatches off the countertop.
6| Every last thing is labeled
You know I love my embossing label maker, and I had too much fun labeling everything. Like, everything. (Sidebar: How sweet are these pale pink SOCKERBIT boxes? They’re almost an exact match to our pink island!) I wanted this room to be an organized dreamboat, and I think we nailed that. Labeling bins is my little life hack; it’s one less thing to be frustrated about. One less thing to add stress to our busy days.
7| We incorporated pull-out storage
Make your shelves work harder for you! We added two pull-out KOMPLEMENT trays and installed these drawer glides underneath. It’s always a little tough to reach in the back of a shelf, never mind the very bottom shelf! Our pull-out trays hold tissue paper, shipping boxes and my cutting mat, all in the name of keeping that countertop – you guessed it – clutter-free.
8| We used an everyday item in an unconventional way
My many rolls of wrapping paper have always been a thorn in my side, but I solved the storage dilemma using… a spice rack! We already had the DIY conduit rod you see above, so we installed the spice racks at the bottom, and the conduit holds it in place up above. We mounted the spice racks low enough so that the paper only barely peeked above the countertop:
On the other side, we mounted another one beneath the sightline of the counter to hold our packing tape! It’s a perfect fit.
9| We added task lighting
The NYMÅNE wall lamp is petite and unobtrusive, but it casts a surprising amount of light! I loved it for the built-in dimmer switch, and the white cloth cord is pretty enough to have on display. Someone asked me if this lamp would be cute hanging above a piece of art, and I’m enthusiastically answering, yes! It would be pretty perfect for that application, too.
10| A paper roll sparks creativity
You know we love a paper roll around here, so we made another one to fill this wall! This time, we added the MOSSLANDA picture ledge at the bottom to hold drawing supplies – a tip I actually learned from one of you that DIY-ed our original kraft roll! We attached the picture ledge pretty low in the hopes that Lucy can reach it soon, and we used a remnant from the countertop for the top – a perfect perch for plants. We love the possibilities that a big, fresh sheet of paper can provide, don’t you?
11| We added things that make us smile
Last and certainly not least, we added things that make us smile. A photo from my grandparents’ wedding day sits next to a photo of us the morning after our wedding day. I can’t wait until Lucy wants to paint the papier-mâché dinosaur. My mom’s old camera next to Scott’s grandpa’s camera. Plants. So many plants! I love a good terracotta pot, and these are it. And these enamel pots are too cute!
This organized craft room makes us so happy every time we pass by. It may seem, well, cheesy, but we made every part of this room with Lucy in mind. I imagine her in here, helping me wrap gifts. Or giggling with a friend as they dump over bins and make a mess of glitter and glue. Or drawing on the roll (and subsequently, on the wall?). I can’t wait, I can’t wait.
IKEA Items Used In This Makeover:
KARLBY countertop | LACK wall shelves | SKOGSTA bar stool | MOSSLANDA picture ledge | KUGGIS boxes with lids | VARIERA boxes with handles | SOCKERBIT boxes with lids (pink) | MALLIGRODA ash veneer round box | IKEA 365+ jars | GIVANDE twine | GIVANDE gift wrap | KOMPLEMENT pull-out tray | SVENSÅS memo boards | INGEFÄRA pots (terracotta) | CITRONSYRA pots (white) | BEKVÄM spice racks | NYMÅNE wall lamp