When we lived in our 2-bedroom condo, I made no space for crafting. I would sit in front of the TV in the living room, with my sewing machine stacked on stop of an old cheapie card table that was hardly enough space to stretch out. So when we moved into our single-family home a few years ago, I knew a craft room was in order!
Because I love thrift stores, it only made sense to buy everything second-hand.
So here are a few tips to help you pull together your own affordable thrifted craft room!
How to Pull Together a Thrifted Craft Room
TIP #1 – Paint everything the same color.
The thing about second hand is that usually everything is mismatched–different color woods, different styles…I guess that’s true for any room that gets all second-hand thrifted furniture. The best way to unify everything is to paint is the same color, or at least, complimentary. Who cares if you have different styles of furniture! Unless you’re inviting over some Furniture Connoisseur, you shouldn’t care too much
TIP #2 – Plan What You Need Before You Start Shopping
Because if you’re like me, you will end up with too much stuff Start with your BEFORE (this is my “before” below, ick! Cold, bare, and poo-poo brown!) and see how much space you’ll have before you start buying pieces.
(Another “before” shot…..ugh….it was horrible! As we lived in it, it got messier….and messier…..And no “CRAFTING” was being done in there! Who could create in that mess?! Plus, hubby and I had to share the space for his office and my crafting).
It needed paint, BADLY! I had to prime first, because the color was so dark. Then again, I probably didn’t need to prime. LOL
TIP #3 – Look For Cheap Wall Shelving
The point is to get things off your desk, and up on those walls. I found this wall shelf for only $5.00!! It ended up working out perfectly. If you can’t seem to find any shelves, look for crates that you could turn on their sites and mount to the wall to act as shelving. Or, even use dresser drawers from old dressers you’ve found at the thrift store!
Here’s what it looked like when I bought it:
It’s a great place to store old cans with craft supplies in them:
TIP #4 – Consider Rustic Desks
I am in LOVE with my vintage Anco Bilt drafting table that I found at the thrift store for only $30! It was truly a steal. I decided to keep it rustic and natural because, well, it is more valuable that way. But if you’re crafting on a desk, you’re going to be dropping pins, scissors, etc., and you may just scratch any desk you decide to use if it’s painted. I like the rustic look more. Any nicks and dings only add to its character :).
BONUS TIP: Position the desk perpendicular to the wall because it creates a nice little alcove-ish area for you to call your own, especially if you’re sharing the room with your spouse! Cap it off with a book shelf on the end and stack crafting books on it. I bought this one from a yard sale for $10!
TIP #5 – Ask Friends and Coworkers for Old Furniture
Sometimes deals are found outside of the thrift store! I found this Ikea Expedit from a coworker whose son didn’t need it anymore. I bought from a coworker for a measly $40. Right now, it’s a hot mess :). But I will be putting more baskets there as I reign in my crafting clutter…..
TIP #6 – Buy Extra Lamps (Or DIY Your Own!)
Craft rooms need lots of light, so look for an old thrifted lamp, or make an awesome DIY pendant lamp to hang over your drafting desk. I made mine out of my broken Crate & Barrel wire fruit basket! You won’t believe the cool light art that it creates on the ceiling when I turn it on!!! I love it!
(For the full tutorial on how to create your own DIY pendant lamp like the one I did, here are the video tutorial instructions.)
TIP #7 – Keep Your Sewing Machine Out of the Limelight
If you have kids, I guarantee they’ll grab your thread……your needles……and, oh, your leg press that allows you to even raise and lower the sewing machine. HA! Better to keep it under wraps when it’s not in use. Try to find an affordable sewing cabinet from the thrift store, or check Craigslist.
I got this one from the thrift store for a mere $40! I haven’t refinished it yet….
TIP #8 – Go For the Uncommon
Yes, my friends….that right there is a vintage shoe shine caddy. And what am I using it for? Craft supplies! On my desk! Its on of my favorite things in the room! I got it from the thrift store, about $6.00. I just store scissors or note pads in there.
TIP #9 – Use All Your Old Cans…..and Then Some!
As a crafter, you will never have enough markers, pens, pencils–you name it. Use a bunch of cans on your desk, some of which you can easily find at the thrift store. Some of them will be food cans. And some, snack cans! The more, the merrier!
TIP #10 – Don’t Expect It to Be Perfect!
Look–my craft room isn’t perfect. Here is the unpretty side of the room (where hubby sits) and I haven’t had time to finish the craft room yet. But when I do, the whole thing will be great. For now, I celebrate what I have already put together, and work on what a little bit at a time the things I haven’t had time or money to finish.
Just get some things that you really love in your craft room (like my pretty little DIY card catalog that I love, love, love–found at the thrift store for $18!). The more you love it, the more you’ll want to create.
What If You Don’t Have Space for a Craft Room?
Yep, not everyone has a dedicated room for crafting. In that case, here’s what I would recommend:
- Use your dining room table. Who actually eats there, anyhow?? If you can, get a buffet in your dining room and use it to store your craft materials. Those things hold a lot!
- Clear out a closet. I’m sure you’ve seen the closets-turned-crafting-space. It’s an option…..
- Craft at a friend’s house. If you have a friend that has more space than you, set up regular dates to craft over at their house instead.
So tell me…do you have a craft room, and how have you decorated it? Are you actually getting to use it?? Leave a comment below to share!