I have been an artist and crafter for as long as I can remember, but only in the last several years have I been blessed enough to have an actual studio room all to myself! My studio has been a work in progress over the years as my interests changed and I tried out different organizational methods. I finally hit upon something that works really well for me and I am excited to show it to you here! It is still not totally complete but it is very close.
My studio set up is done purely for function and ease. I do not worry about the looks or decorativeness. I do not worry about lining up jars and jars of embellishments by color. I wanted a space that gave me maximum creative ease without getting me bogged down in excessive organization. I also needed to be mindful of my budget. Full kitchen cabinets and a built in sink would be lovely but what I really like to spend my money on is supplies and tools!
My studio occupies one room in our basement – our basement is open so there is nothing blocking it from the rest of the basement area which I really like. Although the room is on the smaller side, I wanted as much workspace as possible. I purchased one 8’ table and two 6’ tables over the course of several years, in addition to a drafting table I have had for quite some time. My husband came up with a genius idea to arrange them in a spiral (the spiral of crafting insanity he calls it).
When I enter the “spiral” I have a 4-drawer file cabinet and 2 large shelves along the left wall. The shelves were purchased at Home Depot, both on sale, and they are very deep – more so than a standard shelf.
The file cabinet was one of the more expensive items I have purchased, but worth every penny. I have all of my 8 ½” x 11” paper in the middle two drawers organized in hanging files by color.
By using a swatch of each to write the color name on for the tab, I can see at a quick glance what color I want to use. The bottom drawer contains all of my specialty papers such as grunge board, acrylic packaging, and sketches and other items I want easy access to. The top drawer is for scraps. I group scraps very simply by color – so all shades of orange go in a hanging folder, all shades of purple in another, etc.
My 12” x 12” paper is stored on the deep shelf next to the cabinet.
Originally I used the plastic bins by Cropper Hopper. Then I came across the sturdier 3 section ones also by Cropper Hopper and have been gradually switching over to them. Again my organization is fairly basic – like color groups together, dotted together, holiday patterns together and other patterns together.
The deep shelves also house all of my stamps and other items. I knew I wanted shallow drawers so they would not be difficult to dig through and I found these sets of three fit perfectly on the shelves.
I do not have them labeled yet but because they are clear it is easy enough to see the contents. Again I went for ease of organization – I classify them by broad category – birthday, Christmas, collage, floral. This prevents me from spending too much time putting things away when I have let them pile up!
To the right of the shelves is my daughter’s craft area – of course I had to include space for her! She has a child’s craft table and lots of plastic drawers for her own use as well as more drawers for my use!
Her area could use a little straightening!
Because I do so many different things I needed a lot of workspace and I get that with my large tables. I have a space for sewing, building miniatures, working with polymer clay, electronic die cutting, painting and papercrafting! I also have a small old table we had that is set up for photographing my projects.
For anyone who blogs or submits photographs of their work for publication, a good spot for photos is essential. I purchased an inexpensive yard of material which is tacked to the wall so I have a pure white background. Lighting is also essential!
Even though I had ample workspace I was seriously lacking in storage. After trying a number of different things I found I liked the plastic storage drawers the most for a number of reasons. First, they come in such a wide variety of sizes and configurations. I can get exactly the size, number and depth drawers I need for whatever I need to store in them. Second, I can see through them and know right away what is in them. Finally, the drawers are removable. I can grab the one I need and pull it out to use whatever is inside. Now I don’t need to do this for all of them but for something like my colored pencils this is quite handy – I pull it out and can place it where ever I am working, even take it upstairs.
On top of the table I have sets of smaller drawers.
These keep items like acrylic blocks and a variety of embellishments handy when I need them.
In addition, I have a variety of sizes beneath all of the tables.
Because my main work area is a spiral I have plenty of space yet everything is within easy reach!
If you are like me and have oodles of little bottles on hand, a spice rack might be just what you need. I found these at target several years ago but I think I may need to add another one!
Of course I acquire books nearly as fast as I acquire supplies so I have a tall bookshelf tucked in one corner.
My cricut cartridges take up far less space using the Scrap-cesories boxes! You can see my Cricut machines and my polymer clay roller on either side. Having the space to keep items out and accessible means I make better use of them!
As I mentioned, our basement floor plan is open so I can see what is going on, watch TV, interact with other family members who may be down there with me.
My workspace ready to go! I have ample lighting set up as well as my video camera for filming. Today I will be working with my Luminarte Artist Pigments and so I have easily pulled out the drawer and can see them all! I have a variety of buckets from the Target $1 spot which hold pens, markers, paint brushes, scissors, etc. (I swear by the Ranger water bucket!)
One final item I will mention that has been invaluable is the power strip you can barely see going across the back of my worktable. It is 5’ I think and has plug sockets every few inches. This allows me to keep everything plugged in as well as plug something in temporarily.
What is your best organizing tip? How do you keep your supplies in order?
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