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My Craft Room Overhaul

Over the school holidays I had the crazy idea of giving my craft room an overhaul, I say crazy because it took longer than expected.  I had been procrastinating about it for some time.  For a few reasons:

  • I inherited some of mums quilting and craft supplies which didn’t fit into my already full cupboards
  • I needed more storage space
  • Deciding what storage was a really big decision, did I want cupboards, drawers, open shelves
  • I think mostly the big halt to me not organising this room sooner was the emotional thought that I am adding my mums supplies with mine and the reason why I am doing it.  Wish I didn’t, wish she was still here to use it all with me.

I’m embarrassed to show you the room, but I want to be real with you.  I’m not perfect, but boy this room did get my spirits down, I hated looking in there.  I am so glad we gave this room an overhaul.

Before I left for Ikea I put some of the items in this room on Gumtree, it only took me 10 minutes to list several items using the iPad.  Before I got to Ikea I had messages for enquiries for most of the items, they were picked up the same day !!

I gave my dad our old units which he has used really well in his garage.

Steps to organising my craft room

1. Decide what storage is needed

My craft room originally had one Ikea expedit unit, a few cupboards and drawers. Then I added to it with some plastics drawer systems that mum had.  As I didn’t have much space these were just placed on top of the only tabletop bench space I had in the room, as you can see in the photo above.

Having my supplies out in the open cabinets such as the expedit and the plastic drawers on top of the drawers I felt made the room look untidy.  Being that my craft room is in the front room of the house, in a room with no doors it’s on show, so  I wanted to find storage solutions that I can keep all my supplies behind closed doors. Initially I was going to change the expedit down the track, but as you will read below I changed my mind on day 2 and decided to overhaul the whole room.

I love the expedit (shown above, when the room was tidy), but I knew there was a better solution for this space (I moved this unit into our office)

My girls each have a sewing machine (my mum spoilt them, she was teaching them to quilt) and I have one and an overlocker.  So I wanted cupboards that were deep enough to put them in.

I also wanted drawers to help organise all the little bits and pieces that crafters acquire.

2. Find a unit within budget

I initially found units that would suit at:

  • Masters – Module system – was similar to what I initially had
  • Bunnings – Bedford range – you can create a unit exactly how you would like, but rather pricey
  • Ikea – Pax System – I loved this system, as you can choose from many different combinations, the drawers were deep.  I planned out exactly the units I wanted.  But then my clever husband said I should check the  minimum height needed to install this unit.  It is 244cm, our ceiling height is standard 240cm.  I was devastated, only 4cm shy, but moved on to find something just as great.
  • Ikea – Besta system – this is the system I ended up with and I love it.  You can choose from many different size combinations, open shelves, add cupboard doors and drawers.

3. Get your unit

Now I was heading to ikea so I had to have my plan in place before I left, otherwise I would be easily sidetracked with all their goodies.

  1. Create a shopping list.  Writing down how many drawer fronts I need, cupboard doors and the width of the unit.  I was able to get all the details of which aisle and section they were in from their website, which saved a lot of time.
  2. Ensure you have enough room in the car to bring it all home
  3. If you are going by yourself make sure you visit the shop when they have customer service members working to help you load the car (at our Ikea they don’t start till midday).
  4. Visit the area that displays the unit you are wanting.  Get the customer service members to confirm the unit and items you are wanting are correct to make the complete unit you desire.  Don’t forget to add little items such as door handles to your shopping list too.
  5. When home, if your impatient like me, start installing!

4. Installing unit

Installing the unit took a few days for me, as not all drawer fronts were in stock, so I had to go back the next day to pick them up, only to find  the quantity I needed was not in stock again, despite being told the day before they would, I spoke to the customer service team and they kindly got them all in for me to pick up the following day.  While I was there I purchased a small extendable table for the middle of the room.  So, 3rd trip up I got all the drawer fronts and decided to purchase another unit (to replace the expedit). Day 4 I had to go back to Ikea because the unit I purchased the day before was damaged.  Again customer service was really lovely and looked after me well considering I had been 4 times in 4 days.  All credit given to their service team.

Make sure you have ample space around you to build the units and I recommend doing it all on carpet so you don’t damage the furniture.

5. Move it all in

I removed everything from the old units, then moved the old unit out of the way and move the new units in.  Then the fun part is organising all beloved items onto the new shelves and drawers.

I found it easier to organise without the cupboard doors on as I changed my mind where things went and it was easier to do with no doors.  Installing the doors was the last thing I did.  I did have to move some items from shelves so the hinges could be drilled in, but that wasn’t too much trouble.  We did have some trouble getting the cupboard doors to align.  Hubby googled it and found a solution.

The reveal – I love it!!

I added Besta units on both walls on the left and right of this photo.  I put the expedit unit that was on the wall on the left in the office and put the shelf that was in the office next to the Besta unit on the left.

The unit on the left is 2 Besta units (1 single and 1 double), with a half cupboard and standard cupboard on the bottom of each.

Below are 2 Besta units together, total of 16 drawers and 4 large cupboard doors

I wanted some open shelves in this unit to display a few of my mums treasures some books (which I am yet to add).  Unfortunately my Scrapbooking albums don’t fit in the cupboards so they will have to live on the shelf.  

I got this small extendable dining table for the room.  Prior to this I was using a trellis table, which was uncomfortable to sit at.  I chose an extendable table for when the girls have friends over or when we start to work on their quilts so there will be plenty of room.

These are my scrapbooking supplies inside the cupboard.  I love that doors can hide all this away now.

Still on my to-do list:

  1. I’d like to paint over the green wall.
  2. I share this room with my husband, the other half is his man cave.  He is a big kid at heart and loves his Xbox, TV and V8 racing car models.  I’d like to overhaul this part of the room too and put Besta units all around.  Besta have glass doors which would be perfect to keep the dust off the model cars.  But this is a dream….. maybe in another few years.
  3. I still have more sorting, time got the better of me and I haven’t been able to add everything into the drawers yet, but I’ll get there!

 Units – Ikea Besta System

Dining table – Bjursta from Ikea

Dining chairs – Borje from Ikea

Scrapbook albums – We R Memory Keepers

Carousel on table – no longer available for sale

Scrapbooking paper storage – Cropper Hopper Paper Holder

White boxes in cupboard, from Ikea and Woolworths

Clear containers in cupboard, from Bunnings and Kmart

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post, I purchased all items myself

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  • Julia

    Fantastic. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen those craft carousels recently on eBay ReplyCancel

    • Quite possibly Julia, I tried to find a link to somebody that sold them here in Australia, but couldn’t find any.ReplyCancel

  • love it! thanks so much for the before and after pics. love the carousel and it is the only thing no longer available! I love ikea, i have a few items in my craft area.ReplyCancel

    • Have to keep it real Richelle, reality is this is how the room became. The carousel is great, holds so much. It was suggested by another reader that you could possibly pick some up on ebay.ReplyCancel

  • stacey.hobbins

    love the besta, have never considered it before. I have expedits but agree they go from looking fab to looking so messy if you don’t completely put everything back tidy – and don’t always have the time!!ReplyCancel

    • The great thing with the Besta is there is so many different design options and you can choose doors, drawers, no doors. Options are all up to you.ReplyCancel

  • Good on you Kat! I am an interior designer & so it’s a little embarrasing that my study/craft room gives me the exact same feeling :( It used to be my home office too and I have never fully dealt with it after I moved that part of my life into new premises. I should send you a photo – it would make you feel better about yours. Everyone comments on how my house is like a display home but – it is the one and only room of my house that is out of control! An overhaul is required (but in the mean time I just shut the door – because I can :D). I definitely think you should ditch the green wall because your storage/shelving units are not the same height and the colour behind highlights this. Love the extension table!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Jefferson

    your room looks great. i have to invest in a few pieces of storage to set up the study, and really like the look of the ikea units. Thanks for the inspirationReplyCancel

    • they would work really well in a study for extra storage, you can change the unit around, even have a few open shelves, no doors.ReplyCancel

  • I love your overhaul! We are building a new house, and I have been looking for ideas for my craft room that will make it look pretty, but also be workable! I think I’ve just found what I’ve been looking for! Thank you for sharing! :)ReplyCancel

    • Your welcome Tanya, have a look into the Pax system as well, I would of like this but just didn’t have the ceiling height to install it. I liked the Pax because of the different alternatives to drawers you can have, wooden, wire and deeper plastic drawers. Have fun planning!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    I love the green wall, it looks really nice against the crisp white cupboards!!ReplyCancel

    • A friend was telling me the same Danielle, to leave the wall green. For the time being it will stay, one day I’d like to make it a fresher colour, but would have to be something that would suit the other half of the room which is hubby’s man cave.ReplyCancel

  • Nice job and thanks for sharing the pics and ideas! I just did a craft room overhaul as well and feel so much better for it, now everything has a space I am so much more likely to put it back and keep everything clean.ReplyCancel

    • That’s right Linda, when you have a dedicated space for everything, its easier to not be lazy and to put it all away. I love looking into this room now and seeing it tidy and fresh white. Have you blogged your overhaul, would love to see it :)ReplyCancel

      • Hi Katrina, you were actually already kind enough to share it on your craft room round up on the 25th, it’s the white room with pastel folders from Bubble and Sweet, although my before pictures are waaaaay more embarrassing than yours :) There is also a write up in the latest issue of Tickle the Imagination with some different pictures and I’ll be posting my new kitchen pictures plus a wrapping paper solution soon as well. Although my craft space was mostly custom built I used lots of Ikea stuff as well, In particular I loved the spice racks for my sprinkle draw and the plate rack for display:

        • Ooh yes, sorry I thought you meant there was more than what I had already seen. I love how you are displaying some gorgeous ornaments behind the glass doors, it’s such a beautiful space. Look forward to reading about your kitchen!!!ReplyCancel

  • charmaine

    It looks sensational! Great effort, I love it…….im a sucker for aqua, i have an expedit that i love but the rest of my furniture in my craft room is wood, so im not quite sure where im going with my room, however i want the aqua to pop from behind the expedit:)ReplyCancel

    • Aqua and white are a great fresh colour combination, I think that’s what I don’t like about the green. it’s just not a lively fresh colour. Worked really well when I first painted our wall, but it just feels a bit dull now.ReplyCancel

  • Olga

    Love it! It looks great – I can but dream of such a lovely room. And I have recently discovered the WE R MEMORY KEEPERS albums, they are so lovely.ReplyCancel

    • Olga

      And can’t wait for IKEA to come to New Zealand. Visited the Brisbane one and loved it!ReplyCancel

      • I’m surprised there isn’t one in New Zealand, are there any plans for one. I hope you get one there too, the range and price is brilliant.ReplyCancel

    • they really are aren’t they Olga, and great quality too, I love the strength of the plastic pages. No matter how many times they are turned they will always stay looking good 😉ReplyCancel

  • Looks fantastic Kat!! All crafts need loads of storage unfortunately, but you’ve managed to make it look good, and still remain functional.
    btw – when are you coming to a scrapbook retreat with me??ReplyCancel

    • I’m loving it Lisa, I’m about to go in and do a little sewing! I haven’t scrapbooked for so long, but your retreats look like so much fun!ReplyCancel

  • sorry…you are just tooooo neat and organized…where are your working projects? don’t tell me that you have finished them? lol!ReplyCancel

    • I’m not currently working on anything as the room was such a mess, but hopefully soon I can start something. Usually it does stay on the table until I am finished.ReplyCancel

  • Sooo pretty! love tons of space! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • […] My craft room is still a work in progress (I need to organise the drawers and cupboards better), plus need to overhaul the other half of the room (the boys man cave).  Bit by bit I am organising particular areas.  I’ve just finished putting together my gift wrapping station.  This will be a permanent set up on a shelf in my craft room, once Christmas has finished I will replace it all with general gift wrapping supplies. […]ReplyCancel

  • sylvia

    i think i am more an organised chaos lover when it comes to craft rooms but so many of these ideas are fantasticReplyCancel

    • as long as you know where everything is Sylvia and enjoy your space, then it’s good enough xReplyCancel

  • brisyvonne

    Wow that was a big job, it looks brilliant. We are in the process of doing our whole house room by room. After having new carpets put in everything was moved out of each room. It is a big job. My craft/scrapbooking room is the last one. Like you I am putting it off. I will definately be doing it next week. Great job it gives me hope…lolReplyCancel

  • Diane

    Thank you so much for fantastic ideas, you are so inspiring. Unfortunately Ikea don’t deliver up to North Qld, so many of us wish they would. You have given me some great ideas and I will be on the lookout now for similar cupboards/shelving.ReplyCancel

  • Donna Mott

    Hi amazing. I’m looking at organising my room. And have fallen in love with one of your cupboards In the revel 3rd photo down. Do you by chance remember what this is called. I’ve had a look but can’t seem to find it. Thank you. ReplyCancel

  • Denise Van

    Love your craftroom katrina. I wish mine was like this. Was the end result expensive ie buying all the units?

  • Great post about craft room organization and your craft room also looks great!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      Ooh thanks Petti.:) My kids and i love using this area. It is fresh and bright.ReplyCancel

  • Melinda Barrand Young

    Looks amazing! Thank you, I think I might buy the Besta units for my daughters room as a wardrobe!ReplyCancel

  • Alison

    Hi katrina the room looks amazing!! Just wondering where you got the white boxes with the lids on???ReplyCancel

  • […] all work in the one office together it has become really cramped, so we are moving the office into my craft area, craft area into the man cave and the man cave into the old office.  Big move, but I am looking […]ReplyCancel

  • fiona

    Love the relaxing green wall. What colour is it please? I realize you have just painted over it! Lovely room. My studio is a bomb site, I’m going to try this. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I can’t remember the name Fiona, I painted it this colour to match a couch we used to have in here. Yes we painted over it recently and wow it has made the room so much brighter. Didn’t realise the dark coloured wall made the room so dark within.ReplyCancel

  • Meemaw 3

    I love this room..My daughter has lived in Prague, CZ and Berlin, Germany and have been in their Ikeas but never one in the US :o)) I love what you have done with your craft room. We plan to move in the next year and I am going to copy what you have done because I want to do it too. Like you my Mom was into crafts and painting which I treasure. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and sharing so gererously the resources.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      We have just changed the room around a little, but I love the freshness of the white furniture and being it’s modular it’s really easy to change it around.ReplyCancel

  • […] My craft room overhaul […]ReplyCancel

  • Kristy Booth

    Looks fantastic!! Want to come do my craft room?!? Lol!! Was wondering how much it cost to do your room? I’m just trying to work out a budget and not really sure if it will be way more than I think. Totally understand if that’s not something you want to divulge :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    Lots of inspiration and ideas. I love the fact that you are ‘real’ and showed your craft room, warts and all! Looks like my spare room!!ReplyCancel

  • Julie

    Great ideas & tips.

    I love white book shelves etc. I can’t stand the dark coloured ones.

    Did you find it easy to put them together? When I tried to put an Ikea table & chairs together it wouldn’t work properly & I was in tears of frustration. The next day my SIL & niece came over & helped me & the 3 of us put them together in just over an hour – yaaaaaaa.:)

    I don’t mean to sound unkind but you’ve spelt your wrong in tip no 5 & also in a reply to a comment. I’m fussy about things like that.ReplyCancel

  • Dianne

    Could you please send me your shopping list as this is exactly what I want. The Ickes site is pretty confusing. Great roomReplyCancel

  • Kirra

    Wow! How beautiful is your room now! I love ikea! Our closest is sbout 8 hours away (and we font have much else either) though so i have to make do with kmart, big w and bunnings :( My sewing room is the last visible sore point in my house after the challange. I really need to get it sorted :(ReplyCancel

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