A Craft Space of My Own

I’ve been looking forward to a dedicated craft space to call my own for years. When our boys were young, Mike and I used our fourth bedroom as a home office. During the grade-school years, we added a pair of desks for the boys. They completed homework in that room and used the computer under my watchful eye. I crafted in a small area on my desk, or I joined friends once a year for a weekend away to work on our scrapbooks.

When my oldest left for university, I planned to reclaim part of this space for my sewing machine. My younger son quickly spread out using all the available surfaces. The room morphed again as a place to hang out with his friends.

In 2018, my youngest son left for university, and at long last, I had a dedicated craft space of my own.

Lindy marveling at the cleared surface

I started organizing my craft space that year, but a few months later, I found myself fully immersed in my volunteer work with Lifted Spirits and started spending a lot of my time downtown.

I put some structure in place at the time, and what a treat its been to have everything I need at my fingertips!

Now that we’re “sheltering in place” in Santa Clara County, I’ve finally put the finishing touches on this room.

My original plan was to set up a sewing area on one desk and a paper-crafting area on the other one.

The table is too deep for my machine and my foot pedal to work well together. Since I like spreading out when I sew, I decided to convert both sides into paper crafting. I can use my dining table when I sew.

Now I have a place for my Silhouette Cameo cutting machines and more surface area for work.

Cameo die cutting machine (a Christmas gift from Mike)

Cleaning up and reorganizing the space didn’t take long, and what a difference it’s made. I enjoy working on cards and assembling craft kits for the curb, and it is a pleasure working with a clean and uncluttered (for now) desk.

My reorganized crafting space

I enjoyed gathering inspirational art for the wall. It’s a collection of mixed-media, watercolor, collage, embroidery, and fiber arts from friends and family. I love having it gathered together and displayed in my creativity corner. I have several pieces from fellow bloggers, including Anne, Kelly, Marlene, Pauline, and Wilma, representing Australia, Canada, the US, and New Zealand.

I’m now surrounded by art created by family and friends.

On the pale yellow wall, the green heart is a gift from my friend, Carrielin. We met in college doing a play together, and we’ve remained friends all these years.

The custom-died monkey sitting on the heart is a gift from my self-described hippy friend, Laura.

All three read hearts we’re machine-embroidered by the talented Marlene, who blogs at insearchofitall.

From Canada, a mixed-media tag by artist Wilma Millette. You can find her gorgeous work on Instagram @creartful-dodger. To the right of Wilma’s piece is another mixed-media creation by the talented Kelly Daye. We met through blogging and have become the best of friends.

On the green wall, I hung Dad’s wooden painter’s palette. It’s a cherished memento. Oil painting was one of Dad’s many hobbies. I affixed three black and white photos to the pallette: My dad in the center, a picture of his completed model of the Golden Hinde, and the storefront of my parent’s flower shop in Seaforth, Canada. They’re all treasures. The Bay Bridge oil painting is also my dad’s work.

Below the palette is a mixed-media piece by Pauline King, a treasured gift for my 60th birthday. Pauline is known in the blogging world at The Contented Crafter.

Next to Pauline’s work are a pair of watercolor teapots by Anne Lawson. Anne is a Melbourne Artist who “captures the beauty of the #naturalworld in watercolour or ink.” You’ll find more of her work @annelawson54 on Instagram.

My father’s wooden oil painting palette

Repurposed wine crate stores stamps and punches

I like being able to see everything at a glance. Assorted cat mugs store my pens and tools. See-through bins store craft ribbon, dies, and acrylic stamps.

I removed the sliding doors to the room’s closet several years ago. It now houses our printer, most of my sewing supplies, extra baskets, and a few other crafting tools. Here’s what it looked like before re-organizing the shelves.

Starting Point: A four-foot closet in the same room stores craft materials, our printer, sewing projects and my Cameo cutting machine

This is what it looks like now.

After: craft room closet sorted with room for a chair.

Have you tackled an organizing project during your time in quarantine?

31 thoughts on “A Craft Space of My Own

  1. Alys, thank you for the delightful tour of your crafting space. Your organization and meaningful objects turn the space from a table to work on into a sacred and peaceful area. Your dad’s things are especially sweet. I’m going back in to study every photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mary Elizabeth! I’m always interested in studying other peoples crafting spaces. There are so many ways to get yourself organized. I like the mix of organization with a few treasures. It’s been fun having my own space at last.


  2. Oh Alys! I love, love, love this peek into your beautiful craft space! I know how long you have been dreaming of a creative space of your own. With your creative heart and wonderful organizational skills, you have created such a happy space! Your dad’s beautiful paint palette caught my eye right away. You have inherited a perfect blend of artistic talents and gardening talents from your dear parents, Alys!
    Your washi display is such a great idea! Did you use embroidery hoops? I have washi tapes and embroidery hoops, but would never have thought of using them together. Brilliant idea! It makes my heart smile to think of you happily creating in your new craft room!
    This week, I’m taking advantage of our rainy days to declutter and organize a bit in our basement, but I’d much rather be playing in the garden.😉 Happy crafting, sweet friend! 💗


    • Hello Dawn! I’m quite delinquent with my replies on this post. I’m so glad you stopped by. Has your rain stopped? Did you get lots accomplished while indoors? Dad’s paint palette has always been a treasure, but having it on the wall with photos has made it extra special.

      Those are indeed embroidery hoops, but I can’t take credit for the idea. I saw them in use in a crafty closet on a room makeover site. I bought three sizes just for variety, shed the inner layer, and used the outside ring so I can take the tape on and off. I sorted them by color, too, since that is usually the way I’m looking for something. It’s handy using the vertical space for tools and art. Things are nearby but they are off the desk.

      I hope all is well with you and your parents during these trying times. Sending a hug your way. xo


  3. What a perfectly laid out and beautiful craft room – and why am I surprised! 😀 I love what you have done with your dads old paint palette, that is really special. I’m so glad you have been able to claim your space at last. There’s even a silver lining to the kids growing up and leaving home. My room currently looks like a tornado just tore through it – I’m constantly amazed at how even though I have an entire double bedroom given over to my crafty endeavours, when creating I still end up working in fifty square centimetres or less. I think the part I most enjoy of any creative splurge is returning everything to rights again and those five minutes of standing admiring the perfectly arranged storage/placement of each tool and the acres of empty worktop space before I rip it all open and clutter every surface again 🙂

    I enjoyed very much looking at all the crafted and art pieces from your community, it is a privilege to be included xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have to confess I haven’t done any organising. I’ve done a bit of this, a bit of that, but for the most part, I’ve been content to just jog along as usual. I suppose it’s due to the fact that the lockdown hasn’t affected my life very greatly and I haven’t suddenly found great chunks of time at my disposal. I like your inspiration walls; I’ve arranged my sewing room so that I have a large window in front of my sewing table, both for the light and for the pleasure it gives me to look out at the garden when I lift my head. The downside is that I don’t have the ability to change the display!


  5. What a beautiful, organised space! I agree with May Elizabeth that it looks so peaceful, the perfect place to create. I am honoured that my teapots have made it to your special space. I hope they bring you inspiration! For me the star piece in your collections your Dad’s palette, especially with the photos you added. I am looking forward to seeing blog posts about your creative activities.
    I haven’t sorted or tidied anything over this time, although I had the best of intentions. In fact I have been printing and collaging, so making more mess!
    Nw, can you tell me what a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine does?
    Here’s to many creative projects! xox

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wow, it’s wonderful Alys and you’ve really squeezed ever square inch of storage into your new craft space. The artwork is really special; I would love to see some closeups. How do you like the cameo? I’ve always wanted to treat myself to one, but I could never choose amongst all the models.


  7. Hi Alys
    How lovely to finally finish off your space. Organizing can be so inspiring and you are a master at that! I am honoured that you have included my little piece here. Enjoy many hours of creative bliss.


  8. I love the way you have reminders of the creativity of friends and family to hand. That palette is a treasure. It must have felt really good to do this. I find I feel lighter after I clear out, reorganize and beautify. I did a lot of clearing out early on and have very nice files and closets. there’s likely more to be done, in the kitchen I’ve been using for three years now, but it may have to wait a bit!


  9. All looks perfectly spotless and well organized! Plus, how awesome to have proper desks that match ! I especially like that you have your dads painting palette with B&W photos, what a special addition. What would we do without crafts? It’d be a rather gloom isolation 😀 xK


  10. What a lovely crafting space you have now Alys. I’m fortunate enough to have a large room all to myself which I’ve expanded into – aka stuffed full of stuff and can no longer find anything. It’s nowhere near as organised as yours but then, what else would we expect from a woman of your talents. When we downsize – which is increasingly on the cards – I don’t know how I’m going to rationalise all the stuff I’ve accumulated..
    I love the art work from friends and family displayed on the walls and the cupboard without the door? Well I thought the first photo of it was already the ‘tidy shot’.


    • I’m glad you enjoyed the tour, Dawn, but fear not: it looks like a crafting space with papers and tools scattered about. What’s nice is that I now have a place for everything within reach, and I can walk away from a project without having to clean everything up. It’s a dream come true.


  11. It is so good that you have your dedicated craft space which is so well organised – much better than my desk 😉 I like the way it has been peopled with mementoes of important people. I do a bit of that, but organisation is somewhat lacking. Lindy may be marvelling but I’m not sure she would agree that it is your space. 🙂


  12. I LOVE it!!! The clear tubs are always best. I have slowly been donating my colored tubs with fabric in them to organizations that can use them. I like looking at my labeled clear tubs of fabric and know which one I want to look in for the next project. Paring down the hobbies has helped as well. I love that you have your dad’s paint palette. The photos of him on it will keep him with you every time you work in there. I was wondering what you used for a table? Is that a file cabinet underneath? Do you remember my post when I first set up my sewing room from finds at the re-purpose store and a sheet of plywood when living in my apartment? I try to clean up my room between each project or things get lost. I do have to keep it somewhat tidy or I get fuzzy headed. I love how you have so much special on display. As soon as they open thrift stores for donation again, I have more going. Lots more. I like the use of your mugs. Organization is key to successful creativity. Thanks for the ping-back and mention. Your room is very inspiring. I’m heading into mine again shortly. Another quilt to be puzzled over. It’s only been waiting 10 years and scares me to pieces. 😉 Sending love and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marlene, I remember your sewing room. I’m realizing we’ve been following each other for a long time now, as it seems you’ve always lived in your current home, yet of course you were in an apartment on Halloween when you got started with WordPress (or at least that is how I’m remembering it). The tables are part of a now-defunct IKEA line called Gallant. I loved all the components you could buy and the flexibility of the system. I even used it a few times with clients. Under the table are two Elfa rolling drawers. They’re so convenient! One of those cat mugs came from Powells on my visit to see you. It’s another happy memory in my area. Good for you for sorting and donating and paring down to the essentials. As you work on your ten year old quilt, Mike is working on an airplane model that he started before we met. It’s been underway, stalled many times due to young children, busy jobs, and life. Now he’s poring hours into it and it is almost done. I think he started the model in 1993.

      No time like the present! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mikes 1993 model makes me feel better. Everything in it’s right time. When I started my blog, I was couch surfing at my son’s house. I’d been drifting between my sister’s house and daughter’s apartment until my only option was my son’s house while I waited for SS and a pension to kick in so I could afford my own place. It was a very difficult time and my laptop saved me with help from TS walking me through the set up process. That was one interesting Halloween.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow! I’m green with envy at both your organisational ability, Alys, and what you have done with the room. I love the washi tape, as we call it here.


  14. A bit behind on reading…and that’s because I’m having a major makeover which in turn meant I had decant a lot of art supplies off some furniture so I could move said furniture elsewhere. I don’t have any closets for art supplies, everything is on ad hoc stand alone mainly shelves…

    So because lots of things ended up on the couch and then when that ran out the floor, I decided it was time to sort out some more things (I did a little a few weeks ago, when I needed some ‘paper’ for something !Arty! Now I’m working on rejigging art supplies…


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