Creating an Ideal Workspace

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What is the most important part of any craft room?  Some people may say that it is the organization or the inspiring decor, but for me the desk space is the most critical part of any craft space.  For me the ideal workspace has three important qualities:

  1. The largest work surface possible

  2. Frequently used supplies at the fingertips

  3. Custom organization to fit your needs

My craft area used to be in our basement playroom.  This made tons of sense when my kids were super little because I didn’t feel comfortable being apart from them when they were playing.  But, just over a year ago, my husband agreed to turn our guest room into my craft space (along with keeping a pull-out couch bed for when guests do stay over).  In order to take advantage of as much of the window as possible, I decided I wanted an L-shaped desk.  However, the budget definitely was not there to buy a whole new desk system.  That’s when I had to get creative!

img_2440My current desk is actually a custom desk that I put together using two small IKEA desks that used to be in our basement.  I purchased the largest desk tops possible from IKEA and situated them in an L-shape on top of the existing desks.  I added a set of Alex drawers all the way to the left to accommodate the larger desk top.  However, the height did not match up which ended up being a blessing in disguise. My husband added some extra scrap pieces of wood to create stability with the new desk top, which in turn allowed me to create some custom storage.  These custom slots were perfect for storing my laptop out of the way, and creating upright storage for Project Life albums, Project Life insert pages, and Bible mats.

 

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img_2417Attached to the left side of my desk are plastic bag holders that I also purchased from IKEA.  These are very useful as wrapping paper storage and collage paper storage.  While most people like having these items tucked away, this really was the only logical place for me to store them in my space.  And, I like the idea of having them off of the floor!

 

The Alex drawers hold some of my most essential items that I use on multiple kinds of projects.  From the bottom drawer up, I store general stickers, alpha stickers, various cards and paper bits, watercolors and neocolors, and finally stamping and embossing supplies.  I love not having to get out of my chair to find my most used items!

The drawer at the top of my desk has been converted multiple times, but I have decided on die-cut storage for now.  I am a bit obsessed with collecting die-cuts, so when they are on-hand, I am much more likely to use them.  The small drawer to my right holds other crafting essentials like rulers, adhesives, and of course Burt’s Beeswax!

img_2426In order to create a stable work surface, the second desk we used had to be turned backward, blocking off access to the drawers and door that it had.  However, I am still able to access the back of the doored cabinet, so I use it for additional storage including cleaning supplies, a current traveler’s notebook bin, and a bin for recent purchases that I haven’t had time to put away.

 

Next to that make-shift storage area, I was able to fit a rolling file cabinet, also from IKEA.  The fact that it can be rolled is essential to the function of the room, because rolling it out of the way allows for the couch bed to be pulled out when guests are staying.  In this cabinet, I store additional alpha stickers, stencils, small collage papers, and printables.  I like to keep printables organized by artist for easy retrieval!

I try to keep the top of my desk as clear as possible in order to maximize the workspace.  I keep a small 3 tiered basket from HomeGoods that holds mixed media essentials and small personal items.  As you work around the desk, I use small Dollar Tree vases to gather various items like paint brushes, water brushes, and water.  I also store my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers on my desk, which fit brilliantly under the pegboard shelf.  You can find out more about the custom pegboard here!

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img_2435I utilize clear acrylic storage and trinket trays to corral die-cuts from kits that I am currently working with.  I also keep two traveler’s notebooks on my desk at all times, one that holds current devotionals and a prayer journal and the other that holds my current month of memory keeping.   I love lighting it every time I sit down to work. Despite what it looks like from this workspace post, I actually use a lot of non-IKEA elements in my craft room.  Check out this blog post for more non-IKEA craft room ideas!  Perhaps my favorite part of this area is the candle…it is called “Sanctuary” from Altr’d State, and it smells amazing!

Directly in front of me sits a small carousel of my most used micron pens, pencils, and scissors.  Additionally, I use the same Dollar Tree vases to organize various pens and markers that I use frequently.  This keeps them out and visible which I find inspiring to look at as I craft.  Plus, with these supplies right at my fingertips, I find that I reach for them more often than when they were stored way from sight.  The top of your desk is a great place to utilize Dollar Tree storage finds…check out this post for more Dollar Tree must-haves!

Setting up your ideal desk space is very personal!  Make sure that you think about the way you craft and what supplies you use the most.  Take into consideration lighting, organization, and work area as you are laying everything out.  Don’t be afraid to re-vamp things as needed to fit your needs.  When your desk space is customized to you, it makes crafting easier and more fun!

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Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

 

 

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12 Replies to “Creating an Ideal Workspace”

  1. This is beautiful! I really want to get that type of L-shaped desk space. I have been using an old wooden kitchen table for years, but I don’t really need it as wide as it is. Do you get your IKEA things online? Can you get their furniture anywhere else? Thanks for sharing your space and ideas!

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    1. I live close to an IKEA so I pick up in store. They do have delivery options, and I believe delivery costs have lowered in the last few months making it a bit more affordable.

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    2. Ikea is where I purchased my tables, all you have to do is purchase the length of tables you want, they comes in various sizes and colours and the purchase the type of legs you want. This was the cheapest tables we could find where we could pick the sizes we needed, every where else the tables were standard sizes and did not fit my workspace….hope this helps. Marks is where I purchased all my cubbies and containers to hold all my supplies.

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      1. Thank you, Dianne. Actually, someone recently gave me a tiled top wooden table. It is the perfect length with the extra leaf. I love it! I also kept the old kitchen table to use for other things so it’s great! 😁

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