CJ - Quote

Card Jewels by Aixa M. - Food for thought: "Forever is composed of nows." (Emily Dickinson)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Craft Room/Cave! And BLOG CANDY!!!

I am finally done with the 'craft cave'! LOL.  It's taken some time but it was well worth it.  So today I'm sharing with you my experience in enhancing my craft space.  I say enhancing because, while I added a lot of new elements, I also worked with some 'older' ones and spruced them up.  I hope you find something useful and/or get inspired to do some 'sprucing-up' of your own.  So get comfy and read on! (Blog Candy's at the end, no skipping!  He, he.)

First, I really have to thank my handy dad (one of them; I have two!) for without him I could have never carried out my vision for this room.  This room was really a labor of love.  My dad custom-made the desk for me in two trips  (he lives plane-ride distance and while he visits pretty often, this was a big project to take on during his visits).  I also think I drove him crazy on a new level!  LOL.  While my mom was not able to come on these trips, she was also part of the process via phone.  I also had feedback and help from friends.    

So back to the room...  This little room (it's about 8' x 8') used to be an office/storage/craft room.  Yes, very crowded! As I got more involved in card making I was always looking for room to spread out and have everything handy.  Here are the areas I wanted to tackle:
  • Organization/accessibility: I was kind of organized but everything was in bins and staked up so searching and getting supplies out was not the most convenient process.  
  • Room to work on and spread out: I had a dedicated craft desk I shared with my daughter.  It was comfortable but not much room to spread out (spreading out is a must! LOL).  Also, it was hard for both my daughter and I to craft at the same time with the space limitation.  While there was a computer desk across the craft desk, it was a little wobbly so I used it to spread out a little but it was not a good working surface. 
  • Lighting and Ventilation: Since this room has no windows, the lack of natural lighting is definitely a downside.  Also, while there is an AC vent, it's not directly on the area I use for crafting so it tends to get hot.  I had a mini fan attached to the desk to make it more comfortable!  
  • Creative atmosphere: The space was kind of 'blah' (decorating-wise) and I really wanted a place where I could come in and feel inspired to create!  
So, without further due, here are the 'before' and 'after' pictures:

As you can see, it was very crowded.  Behind the curtains are three large shelves that go from wall to wall and they are stuffed with all sorts of things that don't really need to be there!  Therefore the curtains, which made the room look so much smaller than it is...  I have to say the shelves were good storage, though.   My dad actually gave me the idea of removing the shelves so I could have more space to work with.  I still needed storage space so I relocated two of the shelves and gave the third to my cousin.  I just had to re-organize and purge some!  

With the shelves gone, I could see large L-shape desk in the room.  I started bouncing off ideas with my dad and in the end decided to make three desk areas: two for crafting (including a section for my daughter to craft in), and a computer area.  The desk design also incorporated storage.  

Here is the new craft room (I so love it!):


I changed the light fixture for a ceiling fan with light and also added desk lamps so thats a "check" on lighting and ventilation! 

Since I had a clear goal for this room, I decided to make an inspiration board to help me keep track of my ideas.  From the color scheme to storage ideas, I defined a plan of action.  Of course with room to deviate from what was on the board...  It was more of a guide, you see.  In the end, everything came together beautifully.  

This is the wall to the right side of the room (I'm giving you a tour! LOL):


The art work come straight from my 'artist' 5-year old!    I painted 4 wooden frames a friend gave me (so nice of her!) and  used the little paint samplers I had gotten when choosing the colors for the room.  By the way, the color inspiration (yellow, green, and hot pink) came from an orchid that had those colors.   That's also why I have those orchids in the room: to remind me how inspiration is everywhere!  The yellow really makes the room light and bright, like the sun in shining!  Also yellow is supposed to inspire creativity.   I have to say I have a smile on my face every time I come in here! 

Where you see the printer is another desk area (for the computer), so the desk kind of wraps around three sides of the room:

I just love how the desk turned out!  My dad did a great job building it.  The 'fun' part was painting...  Oh, my goodness!  By the time I painted the room I was ready to not see a paint brush for a long time!  But the desk needed painting so back came the brush!  Fortunately I got some help painting part of the unit.  I used white premium latex paint  and topped it with 3 coats of clear , water-based polycrylic  paint.  Funny about clear paint:  why 3 coats?   Because it is clear and so hard to see where you're painting that by the 3rd coat you can hope to get every spot you missed on the previous coats!  That's my take on it, anyways!  Oh, yes, and it's well protected... 

Back to the tour... My daughter's area is the one with the Hello Kitty scrapbook.  She has storage underneath and we also share the cubbies on that desk.  The chairs kind of float around depending on what we're doing.    

Speaking of chairs, those are regular office chairs (navy blue and black cushions).  I could have left them the way they were; they were in good condition.  But navy blue and black...  No... LOL.  So I thought making covers would be a good option.  Also, if they get dirty I can take the covers off, wash them, and move on!   I also had the idea of dressing up a bulletin board so I thought it would be fun to use the same fabric for the bulletin board and chair covers!  You can see it all better on Image 1.  Here's a close-up of the chair covers for one of the chairs:

I basically cut out the fabric in the shape of the cushion, with room for seams, sewed an encasing to run elastic through, closed it, and voila!  I think they add so much personality to the room...  Who says you can't have comfort and style without spending a fortune?!?  I got the fabric on sale at $8.79/yard!

While I'm at the topic of not spending a fortune, I got the little shelves you see for my stamps and supplies at the amazing price of $17.00 (all three)!  I looked for a while and was lucky enough to find them on the same day at a thrift store.  Here they are on the 'original condition' I found them:

I altered two of them because while I can appreciate the detail of the soccer ball and the truck, they don't really go with the 'atmosphere' I wanted for the room.   The shelves themselves were perfect though!  So I decided to unscrew the parts I did not need, fill them up with putty, and then paint them all white. 

Next I would like to share some other ideas I used to stay organized.  

Stamps and General Supplies 

I stored my wood mounted stamps on the shelves on the wall.  I love how handy they are and they also decorate the wall!  

Since I decided to use the large cubby shelf to store stamp pads, markers, glitter, etc. I left it on the desk for easy access.  In the end I still have a lot of desk area to work on and everything is within arms reach.  It's also a breeze to put everything away so I don't get as messy as I used to!  

As far as unmounted stamps, I keep them on the plastic sheet they come with and then place them in large plastic bins (the ones meant for scrapbook paper).  While I don't like the stacking so much, it works for now.  I'm thinking of migrating to binders, though.  It may be  easier to access the stamps that way.  

Other items that played a big role in organizing supplies like paper, punches, scissors, embellishments, and other general supplies were the white cubbies you see on the right corner on the of the room (Image 1).  There is another one on the shelf to the left.  I got those at Target along with the inserts and baskets.  They work so well for paper storage... I also love how you can add baskets that slide out like a drawer, but with the flexibility to pull them out if you need to.  The guillotine stacks perfectly on top so I can keep it out of reach for little hands!  The cubbies took a chunk of the budget but they are well worth it.  I have everything so handy now! 

Another thing I used to store small embellishments and color pencils/pens are the pink drawer containers you see on Image 2.  I've had them for a while along with some pink crates; they fit perfectly in the room.  They also store my daughter's supplies. 

Dies, Embossing folders, and Stencils

For Spellbinders dies, embossing folders, and stencils, I found this awesome bin at JoAnn:

I once read about storing dies on a CD binder, using magnet sheets to hold in place.  Then you could cut out the covers and place them on a CD sleeve next to the dies to help you identify them by name.  I thought that was such a great idea!  Then I saw this cute box and thought it could work really well to store dies along with embossing folders.   The less places I have to go through the better!  It even has a handle to pull it out of the shelf and fits perfectly on the space behind the Big Shot so I have it all together!    And the icing on the cake: it was 60% off!

Here's how I store the dies:

To store them so they would fit in the box I cut the front panel of the 'folder' they come in a bit shorter than the height of the bin.  On the back side, I adhered magnetic sheets so the dies would stay in place.  Now it's so much easier to look through and find what I need.  The magnet sheets work great! 


Over time I have gotten so many spools of ribbon that the drawer I had them in was no longer functional storage.  I think a lot of us go through that!  I originally wanted a rod to hang on the wall but since I had the cubbies for the stamps and the bulletin board, I decided to search other options.  I went with two:

Ribbon Carousel 
Got this one at Michaels.  It's much like one of those to put paper towels on.  And best of all, the rods are mounted on a rotating base so you can turn it around to get your ribbons! I put the carousel on a corner of my work area to keep them handy.

Basket Turned Ribbon Dispenser
I first saw this idea at Pinterest and loved it.  I already had the basket so all I had to get were the dowels to run through the holes.  I use this one for thin ribbons and ribbons I don't use as often.  I also have 'room to grow' on this one!  I placed the basket on a shelf underneath the desk, but still handy.  

Scrap Paper

As a paper crafter, I'm sure you've come across the question: "What do I do with all these paper scraps?  How do I store them so I can find them later?"  I guess it really depends on what is easier for you in terms of how you work.  What I found works best for me is a filing system.  I dropped some hanging folders on a crate and inserted files for the different colors I have.  You can always add more as you go ( I know I have!)  I found this way I could store assorted size scraps and easily go to the folder with the color I need.  I keep it under my desk, and I can move it around easily.  

Card Projects

For cards I've made, I have kind of the same storage system as the scrap paper filing above.  Instead of having folders by color, I have them by occasion.  That way I can easily retrieve the type of card I need.  As far as bulky cards, I store them on plastic bins so they don't get flattened on the file crate. 


Well, this is it for the 'craft cave' tour!  Hope you enjoyed reading (are your eyes falling out?!?!) and  found something useful for your craft room...  Sometimes it helps to look around to find out what works for you.  Also, I believe we can make any space work out for our crafting needs.  In the end it's all about making what you have work for you!

So, since I am so excited and grateful to have been able to create my 'craft cave', I decided to spread the joy with some BLOG CANDY!  One lucky, randomly chosen reader will receive a Ribbon Carousel like the one I described on this post!

To be eligible just become a follower and leave a comment on this post (anything your crafty heart desires). Since I am shipping this at my own expense, only US residents will be eligible for the draw (my apologies to international friends...)  You will have until July 18, 2012  to comment and be eligible for the draw.  I will post the winner on July 20 so be sure to check back.  If the winner does not  claim the prize within one week of announcement, I will choose someone else from the pool of participants.  So keep checking just in case!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Have a bright day!


  1. Your little craft room is amazing. What a wonderful job you did to make a small space look spacious. I also admired your idea for your ribbons and I have been looking for ideas on how to store mine too. This is a wonderful idea. Thanks for inspiring me.

  2. Wonderful Aixa, love how organised you are, and your new space looks amazing, enjoy :-)

  3. That's a lovely and nicely ordered room you got there to do all your crafts. ^_^

  4. WOW! Your craft room is beautiful, and you had some great ideas for your craft room. I might have to use the basket for your ribbon one. Great Job!!!!!!
    I don't have any of the profiles you accept so I will publish it anonymously
    Penny ODell from Stamp TV

  5. I love your new craft room and got lots of ideas!

  6. Oh my....I have craft room envy now, beautiful! So very pretty....I love love it! The colour the layout everything. I love the fact you did so much of it yourself and with your dad. So very well done. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us all! Have fun in your new space!

  7. Oh My how Wonderful Aixa, love everything about it and I think to cover your chair was brilliant! You are so organized and your new space looks amazing, Enjoy creating!

  8. What a wonderful job you and your dad have done. Wow! So many great ideas and I love the colour! Although you said US residents only, I live right near the border and can provide a US postal address. Can I please be part of the draw? Pretty please? :-)

  9. Wow- neat and tidy and great colour. Lucky you to have such a lovely Dad. Thanks for the photos Aixa!

  10. WOW.. this is wonderful. You are so luck to have such a gorgeous stamping room.

  11. WOW! this is such an organized room, Your Dad, did a great job with the table, You and your daughter will have many hours of happiness here. Goood job on your new room. thanks for sharing.

  12. Thank you for your lovely comments; I appreciate them! Good luck on the draw!

  13. Beautiful room!! Love the way you have organized all your caft stuff. Fantastic job Aixa!
    You don't need to include me in your drawing :) Just wanted to leave you a comment, really like your room.

  14. OMGoodness what a fantastic craft room! Love, love all the pretty colors, those chairs are fabulous! It is soooooooo organized! I oculd look at these pictures all day long. You did a great job.

  15. I am so impressed! What a beautiful Craft Cave that looks like a beautiful sunny garden! I've juse started on a major clean up of my craft room,it seems that all the paperwork of the home lands there! Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. What a wonderful space! My father told me we could build a desk; I'm going to have to show him the one your dad made for you! :D

    1. Glad you liked the space and can show your dad an idea for your desk! It's great to have a 'handydad'!

  17. Thanks to all for your compliments on my new craft room! I'm glad to share this experience with you!

  18. I can't believe the change in your room! What a beautiful place to create, and how wonderful that your daughter is learning to craft right alongside you! She's a very lucky (and oh, so creative!) girl! Thanks for sharing :) Your dad did an uber fabulous job!

  19. Loved getting a tour of your craftroom! It turned out gorgeous! Love all of your storage ideas also : ) Thanks for the lovin' you left on my blog and now I am off to scour through your archives.