I would say crafting is a huge part of my life (although a little less lately just due to being busier), but it wasn’t always. I had not one inch of space set aside for crafting and I honestly didn’t have a clue about sewing just a few short years ago.
But my life changed so much during the summer of 2014, when my dear mom patiently sat down with me to show me the basics of using a sewing machine. I realize most out there probably learned to sew growing up, but every time my mom tried to show me when I was younger, I was just not interested. Not until that summer did I ever want to really delve into the sewing world, so I was thankful she sat down with me again years later to teach me step by step.
Once I grasped the basics, I was nearly obsessed, and pretty determined to learn everything I could about every stitch, every function, every tool, every technique. It became a new little diversion of mine, and I actually began to give myself some hobby time for once. Sewing and crafting became a ray of sunshine in the dreary difficulties I had been facing. I noticed the doldrums were floating away and I was engrossed in a new adventure of design and creativity.
I started hanging out in our spare bedroom to press, cut, and stitch, and quickly realized I wanted to devote some space especially for my newfound hobby.
Part of the process of transforming that spare bedroom required a great deal of planning, because the room is pretty small. Hobby areas typically need a lot more space for all the desks, machines, fabric cutting, etc., so I had to really be intentional about which pieces of furniture I chose and how I laid it all out. But it IS possible to fit everything you need in a tiny space, and in this post, I hope to share with you some tips of how I went about it.
Tip #1: Raid IKEA.
It may seem I'm starting off a bit too broad, but I just can't put it any other way. Organizing with IKEA pieces helped me keep the tiny dimensions I needed and still stay on a budget. The niftiest thing I found there is the BRIMNES cabinet (pictured above). I love it because it is not very wide, but instead is kind of tall to make the most of your space. You can also see through the cabinet doors making it a snazzy way to visibly store your fabric!
Another piece I love is the Linnmon tabletop with the Adils legs. I ended up getting two of them, because one fits perfectly in my closet (I'll get to that in a minute), and the other I was able to place sideways to make an L shape in the middle of the room (shown below). These tabletops are super affordable and plenty sturdy for the purpose.
Other honorable mentions from IKEA include the Bygel rails and hooks for hanging patterns, the Raskog cart for your odds n' ends, and Variera plastic bag holders for Cricut vinyl storage.
Tip #2: Use your closet space!
I took out our closet doors in the craft room, and realized it opened up a nice little nook that I could potentially use. The Linnmon tabletop fits beautifully in most closets! You can set up a sewing machine, Cricut machine, you name it, and have your own station tucked away in the closet. Plus, you'll likely have some storage shelving above you to make use of as well. I added in some special star lighting (shown below) and some other decor just to make it look less closet-ish. You can really make this your own if you decide to use that space.
Tip #3: Utilize all the space underneath your furniture.
This may be a given, but it is easy to forget when trying to figure out where to put all those little boxes, drawers, and bins. Don't worry about putting them on tables and shelves, chances are, you aren't going to need all those items every single time you craft anyway. Tuck them away underneath your furniture (the Linnmon tabletops work great for this). I used to get stressed about all my bins and think that I needed to have them in easy reach, but I started to realize I preferred having my table space open for more work room!
One nifty idea is to use storage cube shelving underneath a flat table surface to hold lots of items. Then you can use the flat surface to lay out your cutting mat, like this. You can see I need to fold my fabrics, I have basically stuffed them in there lately! :)
Tip #4 Hang everything you can (think pegboard).
Anything you can hang on pegboard will create more space for you and allow you to see what you actually have. You will likely craft more often if you have everything laid out where you can easily find it. You can get a large piece of either 4 foot or 8 foot pegboard at your local home improvement store, and they will cut it down for you to the size that you need. I decided to cut mine down into two pieces, one for over my pressing station and one for over the table in the closet. Or you could have one giant piece! I decided to spray paint mine, alternating between mint green and gold with painter's tape. The main pegboard I have is pictured in the header photo of this blog page. And part of the other one is posted below. You'll be surprised by how much you can actually hang up!
Another thing that you can hang up is your iron. I purchased this iron holder and I absolutely love it as it saves space and makes my "pressing station" look neater.
Disclosure: the above link is an affiliate link, which means I may receive a small commission if you click it and purchase what has been recommended. This is at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Another thing you can do with pegboard is glue tiny dowel rods into it to hang your spools of thread. I added a frame on hinges with a magnetic closure just to keep it protected from dust, etc.
Tip #5: Organize, categorize, and label as much as you can.
This part takes forever, but if you really want to spend more time crafting, you may need to first invest some time just to organize everything so that you can find items easier.
I used to have my small pieces of fabric stuffed in a bin. I couldn't see what I had and it was a nightmare. I took some time to fold up all the fat quarters and put them in an old cassette tape holder, then added a frame so that I could see what colors I have.
I also like to have my manuals hanging up and labeled. It seems like I always need to look up something, and it's nice to have them nearby!
Tip #6: Add some personality.
It could just be a work space, or it could be your CREATIVE space. It could just be a corner of tools, or it could be your corner of INSPIRATION. So make it your own. Add some finishing touches. Think about what inspires you, and what you would like to see more of in your space. Is it color? ...vintage sewing pictures? ...quotes? ...flowers? ...a collage of pictures of family and friends? Design it to be whatever you envision. Make it snazzy!
For my own space, I chose to add in some vinyl quotes I cut out with Cricut. I just had to add the "mistakes" quote, because I often need the seam ripper when I sew, and that's okay. :)
What are some things you love about your own craft area? What do you want to change? Maybe you aren’t even willing or able to set up an entire spare bedroom as a craft room, but hopefully some of these tips can help you find ways to utilize small crafting spaces that you hadn’t considered before.
I hope these tips inspire you to set up a design space to spark your own creativity.
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Hi, I'm Tessa! I suppose I could sum myself up by confessing I am a crazy cat lady, amateur sewist, nature lover, bookworm, fabric fanatic, mental health advocate, craft enthusiast, tea addict, and an 'old soul.' Jesus is my all in all, and I'm so thankful that His love NEVER fails.