Although I could point out a ton of flaws in my craft room (the ceiling is super low, it suffers from damp, beetles and spiders seem to love hanging out there, the fact that it’s an attic space and gets as hot as heck in the Summer), I admit that I am mightily privileged. Not a day goes past where I’m not eternally grateful for it. If anything, just to have a place to shove all the crafty mess I create without it bothering my family too much, well, that’s enough for me! Erm, and them. They aren’t fans of having yarn in the kitchen and squished into random places.
However, I am also aware that not everyone has an entire space to keep their craft things in. Most of us creative folk have to make do with pretty makeshift areas. Let’s talk laundry baskets shoved full of yarn (been there, twice), cramming Cricut machines and macrame supplies into offices shared with other halves… The list goes on!
If you follow me on Instagram and Tiktok (I caved, ugh) you’ll have most definitely seen my craft space at some point. I do have a great deal of trouble keeping it all tidy and organised, but when it is neat and looking lahvley I take a ton of photos and pretend like it always looks that way. Sad and unrealistic I know, but I can’t resist! One of my favourite things to do is arrange things nicely – from my Kawaii sticker collection to organising my crochet hooks by composition – and just sit and look at it. I’ve also learnt some pretty cool things over the years about how to keep spaces tidier for longer, making craft areas work for you and generally making rooms look nice, and that’s what today’s article is about – yay!
The point of this article is this: you do not need to have a huge room, warehouse studio or dedicated space in order to have a functional, beautiful place to craft. Using a few of these hints and tips you can improve any area and make it work for you rather than against you. You also don’t need to spend a lot of money either, if at all! Let’s see..
1. Be a Trolley Dolly
You’ve probably seen some of these multishelf trolleys around, right? I’m not sure if ‘multishelf’ is even a word, but you get my drift. These were everywhere five or six years ago and for good reason. If you’re short on space, having a portable trolley can really save you all the energy that putting shelves up requires! The original and best (just my opinion, man) trolley is the beloved RÅSKOG trolley from IKEA but many stores now sell their own versions of this iconic space saver for around the same price or cheaper. These trolleys are great for storing hanks of yarn (notoriously hard to keep tidy due to all the flopping about), pots with pens and crochet hooks in, notebooks, actual books, the bones and organs of your enemies, anything you like. Plus you can wheel them around with you! Yay!
Don’t have an IKEA near you? No biggy. Check out these trolleys from Wayfair & Hobbycraft, the latter of which comes in some incredible colours!
2. Make Your Own Storage
One of the most inspiring and fun ways of keeping all your bits and pieces neat is by – shock – making your own storage solutions! It might sound obvious, but by making your own baskets and ‘cozies’ for your craft goodies you are not only making a totally unique item but also saving a lot of cash in the process, especially if you use up scraps of yarn. Squishy baskets are good for storing all manner of things in and make a quick, fuss-free crochet project. You can even buy wooden basket/bag bases to give your baskets extra sturdy (plus they make them look SO PROFESH), not to mention the fact that by making your own accessories you can choose colours and textures that complement your craft space perfectly.
Basket: The Joyful Basket, crochet pattern available in my Etsy shop or at Hobbii.
3. Grab Your Go-to Books
If you have a lot of craft books it only makes sense to keep them neatly together in your creative space! This might seem obvious, but, speaking from personal experience, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve had to search around the house for my fave knitting stitch books and found them nestled among some random cookery books or something. Aside from craft-related literature, I also keep books and magazines that inspire me nearby, which range from Vogue graphic and interior design magazines to children’s picture books and books about specific artists. If a book gives you creative energy, keep it close to you!
3. Show Off Your Creations
Given the amount of time we spend making gorgeous things, why not display them in your space? No matter if it’s a squishy stack of blankets or washcloths, handmade storage, granny squares used as coasters (love this) or a chunky crocheted rug or cute bunting, keeping your finished objects around you will give you an extra burst of energy and inspiration! There’s nothing better for the soul than looking at some things that you’ve made and feeling that sparkle of satisfaction.
This is especially useful if – like me – the style of your designs doesn’t match the rest of your house. My home is decidedly beige, wooden, moody and rustic-modern, whereas my creations are BRIGHT AF! Obviously a neon pink blanket wouldn’t fit in my living room, so I use my space to let those OTT bright makes shine and take center stage.
4. Surround Yourself With Joy
I have a bit of a problem regarding hoarding cute knick-knacks in my craft room. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to reign myself in and avoid buying stuff to fill every space! However, I am trying to be good and have discovered that less really is more. I now only keep objects on my shelves if they truly make me happy. I still have a lot of ornaments but I keep them stored away rather than having them spread everywhere! In my space you can find crystals, gifts from friends and objects that mean something rather than just looking nice. Here I’ve got a mint-green Buddha representing ‘hear no evil’ (right?), a golden maneki-neko (招き猫) to bring luck (and maybe a winning Lotto ticket?) and a gorgeous gift from a friend in the craft community. Surrounding yourself with joy is exactly that – meaningful objects that make you happy and inspire you every day.
5. Keep it Organized
Okay. This is probably the trickiest of all these steps! Keeping things tidy and organised is easier said than done, especially if you are working on big commissions and have all your yarn spread all over the place! One thing that really helps me keep on top of tidiness my studio is doing a little tidy every day. Put your hooks away, put oddments and scraps into wherever you keep them, take any mugs downstairs… One thing I like to do is keep a small spray bottle of my favourite surface cleaner in a drawer with a cloth so I can wipe down the shelves and units every couple of days. Doing little things like this every day or so can help you avoid those daunting, marathon cleaning sessions! It also goes without saying that having a clean, airy and tidy craft area helps those of us with depression and anxiety. Working in a place that looks and smells fresh can help clear your mind. Take it from someone who knows, #PMDDcrew!
6. Grid Inspiration
I am a huge fan of inspiration grids and pegboards and they are now the staple of any creative person’s craft area! Not only are they relatively cheap to buy and easy to assemble, they take up minimal wall space and are ideal for keeping your inspiration in order and showing off your ideas. I use mine at the beginning of each season to pin up swatches, images and notes and between projects I decorate it with cute postcards (Flying Tiger sell amazing ones) to keep my area bright and cheerful. Switching up the things you display is also a nice way of changing the energy in your craft space seasonally and can be a lot of fun!
My grid is from an independent retailer, but check out the fabulous SKÅDIS pegboard in white, available from IKEA for only €20, cool accessories sold separately.
7. Materials on Display
A lot of us like to have our yarn stored away in bags or boxes – especially if moths and insects are a problem in your home – but I love having all my yarn out in the open. Not only do I love stacking it up nicely and organising it by brand or shade, but yarn can be a decor item in itself! I also keep my scraps out in a large, shallow storage box so I can grab what I need easily. My favourite storage solution for yarn is the famous KALLAX shelving unit as it is spacious, clean-looking and available in cool colours. Even the larger options are very reasonably priced. Can you tell that I am in love with KALLAX shelving?
No matter how you store your yarn, always make sure that the yarn you have is yarn you love! Try to avoid hoarding yarn just to say you have a huge stash. It’s better to have a stash that’s filled with yarn you’ll actually use rather than yarn you don’t like. If you don’t like it, sell it or donate it to someone who will.
Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? How do you store your craft supplies? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments and share this post if you enjoyed it… ♥