Where I Craft – A Mini Tour Of My Crafting Space
A few weeks ago a blog reader, Sherry, reached out to me and asked to share my craft space. In my Photography Props post I mentioned that currently hubby and I live in a small one bedroom apartment and I don’t have a separate room for my crafting, Sherry was curious to know how I am able to fit all of my craft supplies in such a small space. So this post is all about that – fitting cardmaking supplies into small spaces! Affiliate links may be used at no additional cost to you.
I have to start by saying that I recently moved from Ukraine to USA and I had to chose what supplies I could take with me. I was pretty ruthless and packed my must haves into 2 suitcases and also shipped one box. That was it. After getting here I did get a new die cutting machine, paper trimmer, cutting mat and some other large tools that are easier to buy new than ship.
My craft supplies are stored in 2 places – an L-shaped table in our living room and also linen closet in the bathroom.
I took a few photos to best showcase and describe my crafty table/corner. It is nothing fancy, very simple, but I made it work for me. If you are looking for some ideas how to organize craft supplies in a small space, maybe this post will prove to be useful.
So this is the look at my table – it’s where I make all of my cards and film my videos. I added notes directly onto the photo to help you understand what is what.
(click the photo to enlarge it)
While I love white furniture I didn’t want to have a white desk for my craft area; I have a white IKEA workstation back in Ukraine so I know what it’s like to work on a white table top and how messy it can get. I wanted the table to blend in with the furniture of our living room (and when needed just look like a desk and not a crafty disaster) and also hide any possible ink stains I might end up having on its surface.
The reason I went with this particular table is a lot of open space on the right (where I have white baskets with stamps and dies – I’m able to fit 12 baskets there) and 3 large drawers on the left. Drawers hold my colored and white cardstock sheets (I have hanging file folders in the bottom drawer); clear blocks, ink blending tools, most used inks (middle drawer); stamp positioners, scoring board and other stuff (top drawer).
I try to maintain my table top as clean and clutter-free as possible. I have a gray cutting mat from Spellbinders (it blends in with the color of the desk) and large grid pad from Simon Says Stamp – these outline my work surface. I love to use Simon’s grid pad as I can just remove the top paper sheet if it’s dirty and have a nice clean surface to work on.
I also have a Main Attraction (magnetic die finder) sitting on my desk at all times. I use it to hold dies I find on my desk that I forget to put away into their storage pockets. It also holds pins and needles and anything else that is metal an doesn’t have a home of its own.
Aside from these items I also keep my pens and brushes, ink and marker charts, stamp cleaner and water bottle on my desk all the time.
WHITE BASKETS FOR STAMPS & INKS
I use inexpensive white baskets (from Walmart) to hold my most used stamps and coordinating dies. I divide them by manufacturer and sometimes by theme (within the manufacturer; for example all Christmas stamps from Hero Arts sit in one basket, all Color Layering sit in another). I have additional baskets with less used stamps and coordinating dies sitting in my linen closet.
I love using this basket system as I can just pull the basket out and have it sitting on my desk when I am working. One basket holds a LOT of stamp/die sets so I’m able to store a lot of products within reach.
No matter how well I organized my space I always lacked a place to put new products I planned to work with. So I got a triangle-shaped RISATORP cart from IKEA and I love it. Baskets are removable and snap on/off so when needed I can grab the entire basket. I keep new products, adhesives, some rubber stamps and cards there.
IKEA ALEX DRAWER UNIT
To be able to store all of my inks I purchased IKEA Alex drawer unit. There are 6 long and wide drawers that hold all of my inks (Simon Says Stamp, Hero Arts, WPlus9, PTI, Altenew, Distress), embossing powders and pastes, coloring supplies and extra cutting plates. It sits under my desk and is rather hidden, yet is easy to access. I do have to dig to find a particular ink color when I need it, but this storage solution saves a lot of space as opposed to having each ink pad in its designated space/shelf. I keep ink charts together with the inks.
RECOLLECTIONS STORAGE UNIT
To be able to store my markers I picked up a storage unit from Recollections; these are sold at Michaels. It holds all of my Copic markers (I don’t have all colors, just a handful, but I find that to be enough for my needs) and refills, Nuvo drops, mini Distress inks in tins, card bases and pre-cut cardstock panels, sequins.
STUDIO LIGHTS & TRIPOD
These are the lights I use when I film videos and also as additional light when I craft. Ideally, one needs to have 3 sources of light for perfect lighting when filming, but I am able to only fit two around the table. The tripod sits directly on my desk, I never remove it. It might look like a bit of an obstacle, but I’ve had it set like that for years, so I’ve gotten used it and I hardly ever bump into it.
HEAT GUN & DIE CUTTING MACHINE
My heat tool sits in a metal can (it’s a repurposed soup can) on my desk that I embellished with patterned papers and chipboard die cuts long time ago. After I am done using my heat tool I don’t have to wait for it to cool down, I can set it in a can and keep working.
My die cutting machine, Platinum 6, sits to the right – this is where I use it the most. When needed I can grab it and set it on my main desk to fit in the video frame (when I’m filming).
So this is my main crafting area. It is tiny, cozy and functional. I have a few rules that I try to follow to keep my space small and manageable:
- Less is more. Having less supplies, but supplies that I really LOVE and USE is more for me. If I happen to purchase something I end up not loving I give it away and move one.
- Purge, purge, purge. I purge my supplies at least every 6 month, sometimes more often. First I move them to my linen closet (meaning to my less often used stash) and later, if I don’t come back to use them, I give them away.
- I make my space work for me. I move things around until I find the perfect place for them.
Do you have a dedicated room for your crafting supplies, or are you like me – limited in space?
StephanieMJune 19, 2017
It looks like you’ve made the most of your space with good storage .
I have a room for my crafty supplies. Although I keep it contained into one area since I may not always have this much room. I try to make good choices in stamp and supply purchases and only buy what I will use over and over again.
Thanks for sharing your space.
Christie SimpsonDecember 13, 2017
It was really nice of you to share your space with us! Thank you. It was very helpful. I just started making cards a few months ago and didn’t have any guidance. I now have quite a few things that I don’t need at all and there are a few things I could probably really use. But.., I’ve spent my budget.
Right now , I’m having to use our dining room. We don’t have a large house or extra bedroom . I’m making it work, but your organization tips are really going to help me.
I love watching all of your videos . Your cards are just wonderful !
Linda S.June 19, 2017
Thanks for the craft space tour. I have shared space in my basement for crafting. Someday I will purge enough of my supplies to move upstairs and into the light. But, that will have to wait until the grandchildren are grown and they aren’t such messy crafters anymore.
DebsJune 19, 2017
I love your efficiency of space and frequent purging philosophy. I use an L-shaped IKEA desk in a small guest bedroom as my craft space. Mine is white, but I use IKEA clear desk mats to cover my work areas. I use an ink storage unit which sits on my desk top and I find it very handy instead of having to look through drawers. It comes from Stamp n Storage http://www.stampnstorage.com
Thank you for sharing your ideas and pictures of your space, as always I am impressed and appreciate your creativity.
Debbie FrickeJune 19, 2017
Thank you for this post, Yana. I too have limited space and it’s good to see how someone else makes the best out of limited space. I use the small table in the dining room to craft on and since I live with myself I don’t mind using it as a desk. It’s easy if someone is coming over to return it to a table to eat off of. I using a rolling card to store what I use most (Heat tool, inks, bling and adhesive). I have a few containers on my “desk” that I keep things I most often use (scissors, acrylic blocks, pencils, paint brushes). I have a kitchen cabinet where I keep stuff I go to the most for (watercolor, Bristol and basic white card stock as well as craft foam) and then a linen closet where I keep dies and my Big Shot, more paper, and punches. I have some unique shelves in a kitchen closet where I keep embossing supplies, paints and some other stuff. So craft supplies seem to be all around, but it works for me. Sometimes I get a better or more efficient idea and change things up. Again, thanks for sharing. Oh, I love your repurposed soup can!!! GREAT idea!
Tara PrinceJune 19, 2017
Such a fabulous work area!!
Teresa DoyleJune 19, 2017
You have organized your small space beautifully! I have a room that I took for myself when our son left home, which only leaves me with one spare bedroom. (Luckily our daughter had two little boys so they share it when here.) Although my room is not huge I keep it well organized and because I can’t afford all of the latest products, its not hard to keep it that way!
If you would consider it, I would happily pay the shipping on a box of your cast-offs??? If so, you can email me about it @: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for sharing about your work space.
Tina KrauerJune 19, 2017
Wow Yana, that’s most made out of a small space!! Love all your ideas! I am lucky to have a own craft room which I share with hubby, but regardless I could find some clever storage ideas which might work for me, too! Thank you for sharing! Hugs, Tina
NicoleJune 19, 2017
This is amazing! I love the balance you have found between being fully-stocked and being organized into a small space. And it looks great. I found some new ideas for my own tiny & mixed-use space. Thanks for sharing this!
Tracey McNeelyJune 19, 2017
Yana I love having a peek into the craft spaces of other crafters. I am very fortunate to have a dedicated space in our home but I am always looking for ideas on how to organize, I have a link for my studio on my blog. I definitely picked up a few ideas today on your post. Thank you for sharing your space today, I feeling inspired from it.
AllisaJune 19, 2017
I soooo love the can idea for your heat gun! I see one appearing on my desk in the very near future!
tsurutadesignsJune 19, 2017
You are amazing! With all the design teams that you juggle, I’m surprised your space is so compact. Awesome organizing…thanks so much for sharing!
staceylovespaperJune 19, 2017
Love your post!!! I too had been wondering about your space and am so glad you posted pictures!!! I am lucky enough to have a dedicated space but love yours. I sometimes think about down-sizing in the future, but I am always wondering what I would do with all my craft stuff? You have answered that question!! As Tracey stated, your space is inspiring and leaves me with many ideas as I finish up organizing my newish space!!
Maggie BJune 19, 2017
Hi Yana ~ Your craft space is awesome!! I have a much larger space and it’s not near as functional as your space. I keep feeling overwhelmed because there’s just too much “stuff”!! The one thing I am NOT good at is purging. I’m always afraid I’m going to “need” something I’ve gotten rid of so don’t get rid of anything. I like your idea of moving items to another space and giving it 6 months and then getting rid of it if I don’t go back to use it (but I will have to keep myself from taking one last look!). Baby steps for me!! Thanks for continuing to encourage me creatively and in my creative space. ~HUGS~
Karen AtkinsonJune 19, 2017
I wish I had seen this when my space was limited. It would have helped me so much. Now I have what used to be a bedroom. It has a walk-in closet that my husband installed shelves in. He also built me a six foot tall three feet wide shelf unit that I have baskets and trays in. They hold my stamps, dies, embossing folders etc. I have three tables around the room, a computer table, and nine Recollections cubes for my cardstock, inks, adhesives etc. Keep in mind that my kids are grown and gone. So this was a long time coming.
Colleen HowellJune 19, 2017
Wow a lot into a small area, my area is a bit bigger but seems I never have enough space for my items. But I make it work like you, I am not lucky enough to have a big area to work in.
Sharon LonesJune 19, 2017
I love all of the cards you make and your wonderful ideas. I’m crushed that you do so much with such a small amount of space. It’s obvious to me that I need to purge but, oh, so many lovely things – where to start. I do think that I’m overwhelmed. I craft if my “former” dining room and it’s full!
EnnaJune 19, 2017
Your area is so efficient! I could never manage with that tripod over my work space. I am such a klutz, all those stamps in the white bins would have spilled a million times, if I didn’t get them out of my work space. I have fairly limited space within a huge room. My dedicated craft space is in my office, which also functions as a guestroom, gym (there is a huge treadmill and pilates chair in there), and an occasional movie room (the best TV is in this room, so we put 2 huge comfy chairs in there for when we want to watch 3D or Ultra HD movies). I need to have stuff in closed (with doors) storage (see klutz comment above). That is why I’ve opted for vertical storage. I have an Ikea Besta unit that’s 6′ tall and 4′ wide and 17″ deep. Other than all the space under my desk, which is taken up by 3 of the smaller Ikea Alex units, everything is in that wall unit. It stores a TON, but only takes up 4′ of wall space. I put glossy white doors on it, so it’s pretty. There is also 1 set of doors that is framed in stainless, but has a glass “pocket” in it, in which you can store art work. 🙂 I love that I can move the shelves around inside the unit to get maximum storage. Oh, I recently put 8″ legs under my desktop (which is a white Ikea closet door). It brings my work surface to kitchen counter height (I stand most of the time and my desk chair is adjustable, if I want to sit), plus, as a bonus, it gave me 8″ of space between my desktop and my Alex units….perfect for my Brother Scan n Cut, my Minc, my laminator, and a bunch of marker cubbies. I am trying not to buy additional storage solutions – I find that I just buy more supplies than I need if I expand the space. 😉
BunnyDJune 19, 2017
Amazing to see the tiny space and limited supplies your fabulous cards come out of! I thought you must have a gigantic studio to produce such works of art! You are super organized!
happystamper34June 19, 2017
I love your space! Beautiful and 100% functional. I too have a small space for papercrafting. I used to have our spare bedroom set up as a scrapbook room, but when my widowed mom moved in with us 2 years ago, I had to give up my dedicated space. Now I’m set up along the back wall of our dining room; for storage I use an old dresser that we painted, plus my hubby built me a small 5-shelf unit to hold more supplies, and my work surface is our dining room table. I still have most of the supplies I had in the dedicated room, but the majority of them are stored in large bins in our basement. I created a master list of the contents of each bin so that I know exactly where to find any packed-away supply I may need.
jintyoo7June 19, 2017
Yana, you have organized your space so well – I see a few ideas that I would like to incorporate. I am lucky and have a room, but within that room is a cupboard that is a catch-all (open the door at your own peril)! Your space is very productive – I know how busy you are. Thank you for showing us 🙂
melissa b.June 19, 2017
What a great space! I love that everything is at arms-reach and how neat and tidy everything looks. Thanks for much for sharing this.
Michelle ShortJune 20, 2017
I love your space, Yana. It’s so neat and tidy and everything has a place. Love that desk!
karen marie hansenJune 20, 2017
goes to show that you dont need a big, fancy (and expensive) room to create amazing things! 🙂
Tracie Pond DesignsJune 20, 2017
Well done, Yana! A great example of less is more. Thank you for being such an inspiration.
HelenJune 20, 2017
I’m in awe of how organized your space is, Yana. I have a little more space but a lot more “stuff”. I’m a paper addict so there is much paper storage going on in proportion to the time I have for card making and scrapbooking. You’ve inspired me to take a fresh look at my space. TFS.
merryfJune 20, 2017
wow, what a terrific example of “less is more.” I love that you’ve got so much in such a small space. My crafting area is in our (rarely used) guest room, so it’s mostly my stamping room. I am constantly trying to reduce and purge. I’m in the midst of a personal “Use It or Purge It” challenge and i’m starting to see what I don’t use so I can let it go. Your desk is fabulous!
Svitlana ShayevichJune 21, 2017
Your craft space is so clean and organized and so unreal! Even seeing it on a photo it’s hard to believe that you all you need for crafting in such a small space. I’m thinking – I have maybe the same amount.. of what I need, or maybe even less. So why it takes the half of the room and always us cluttered? Your post is inspiring me to rethink my crafting space.
Thank you for sharing!
lisatilson76June 23, 2017
This is a lovely space Yana, it’s very well planned out and you really have made the most of all areas. And it still looks tidy! I am amazed at the tripod as I am sure I would bump into it, I actually have an arm for my camera on the wall in front of me, which works for me. I am hoping to move house soon, and will definitely take some of your ideas into my new craft space
KirstenJune 24, 2017
Yana, I love your space! It shows how, if you organize and store wisely, you don’t need a ton of space. I don’t know how I would choose what to keep if I could only use 2 suitcases and a box. Love your blog, videos, and photography of your cards. Thanks for letting us be a part of your crafty life.
maria f.June 25, 2017
What Amy said 😉 TFS
Stephanie ClapperJune 29, 2017
Hi Yana! Welcome to America! 🙂 I am a follower of PTI and loved your recent constellation card and video. I also greatly appreciated your tips on “crafting space”. My husband built me a small craft room in the garage of our home. Since we live in Florida, it has a SMALL window, small air conditioner, 3 TALL metal cabinets, along with a long crafting table. I have my dies in the package, hung on wall hooks. ( we repurposed some old open shelving, for the hooks to hang on). All my stamps ( in dollar tree baskets) extra inks, paper and cardstock as well as adhesives and odd tools are in 2 cabinets . The 3rd cabinet sits right next to my crafting table and everything I use frequently is right there, within arms reach. The air conditioner serves 2 purposes. It keeps me cool and keeps the humidity out of my room. While my room is small, it’s also very private. I did splurge on a very small tv, also on the wall, that keeps me company sometimes, when it gets too quiet. Like you, I find less is best. Too much product is too busy for this brain of mine. Thanks again for sharing your crafting space with us. I’m so glad you made the move to the states. 🙂 Stephanie.
Siobhann BakkeAugust 4, 2017
Loved this post Yana! I have a tiny corner at the end of our garage – yip – which I’ve carved out for my craftiness! It is far from ideal – boiling hot in summer, freezing cold in winter, dusty etc – but that doesn’t stop my need and love for card making! I am also a firm believer in less is more ( not necessarily by choice because the options out there are limitless and keep me awake at night!! – but due to cost and the fact that crafting in South Africa is almost non-existent, supplies are hugely expensive. I import the little I have myself at ridiculous prices ( shipping is the kicker ) and then pray that the goods arrive because our PO service leaves a lot to be desired!) Still cheaper than therapy – that’s my justification and I’m sticking to it. Your set-up looks amazing. Compact, functional and organised. You’re also in the loop so to say and not secluded in another part of the home! Although with 3 kids, I quite look forward to leopard crawling out the kitchen door and scurrying to my little corner of peace and heaven, escaping reality in short bursts!!! I love what you create in your space and you’ve definitely become a firm favourite of mine! Thank you for the inspiration, always.
Yana SmakulaAugust 4, 2017
oh my, Siobhann! I think what you have is something truly magical and unique! And yes, what matters most is that it’s the place you WANT to be and WANT to craft at despite the heat or cold.
TulanAugust 29, 2017
I also have a very small space and your post was very inspiring and empowering. Thank you for sharing. I absolutely love your style and work!
LibbySeptember 19, 2017
Very nice! I’m trying to organize my room today, and this is great inspiration. I am indeed lucky to have an entire room (and it’s my home office) but your tips are great, regardless. Especially the reminder to purge, purge, purge! I really love that “main attraction” – thinking I need one of those!!
GayleSeptember 20, 2017
Yana I have been a fan of yours for awhile now. I love your space. I recently moved and have an extra bedroom I will be using. I moved from CT to FL and had a huge space I remodeled. Now once I unpack the rest of the boxes I will try to organize my new area. I love your desk but I did not see where you purchased it from. Would you mind sharing? Thanks so much and welcome to the US.
Yana SmakulaSeptember 20, 2017
Hello, Gayle! Congratulations on your move! How nice it is to have a huge space dedicated to crafting!
I have this desk – http://amzn.to/2srwJEE, got it from Amazon – love it as it is very sturdy, hope it helps!
GayleSeptember 20, 2017
Not sure my email address was typed correctly. It’s Gayleemail@example.com.
Thank you Yana❤️
vallieNovember 27, 2017
Thanks for sharing your efficient and small space. I do not have much space for paper crafts and I like to see small spaces that work. I also appreciate your shares of projects that don’t use copic markers. I would like them but don’t want to commit that much money. I enjoy seeing projects with other coloring tools that are way more affordable.
Carol DoggettDecember 13, 2017
I have a dedicated room for crafting but used to have a small space in the corner of my master bedroom. While I love having a place that I can ‘just shut the door’ and come back to everything I was working on, I find that having extra space means having too much. (I can’t believe I said that out loud!) I struggle with purging…knowing what to do with unwanted supplies. I have tried selling them but not having much success. Love what you have done with your area and I am a loyal fan of yours! Love your work!
Daniela MayDecember 13, 2017
Thanks Yana – so nice to know that people with limited space still can create such beautiful cards – I’m pinching your idea of using a can to put my heating/embossing tool in after use – BTW and I think you have a lot of copics not just a “handful” 🙂 – I am still to bite the bullet and buy some … 🙂 keep up the good work
Mitzi LuttrullMay 23, 2019
Yanna, you are an inspiration with your amazing organizing tips. I moved from having a huge dedicated space of 12′ x 20′ plus a large closet with room for lots of tables, dedicated areas for cutting, embossing, etc to a 8′ x 9′ room. I am lucky to have even this much space in comparison to what others have testified to in the above comments. The most important thing that I’ve taken from your post is to purge regularly. It just doesn’t occur to me to do that and what I end up doing is trying to accommodate space-wise more and more. Thank you so much for all of your helpful tips.