Hi friends! Today’s post is a little something different. Since March is National Craft Month, I thought it would be fun to give you a little look into the space that I craft from. I’m a sucker for a good craft room tour and watch a LOT of them on Youtube, and it always fascinates me to see what setups work for different people.
First, a little context. At the time of writing this, I’ve been living in my current LA apartment for about 4 months. In my previous Vancouver apartment, my craft room was at my dining table and although that wasn’t ideal, I was blessed to have a bunch of built-in storage units alongside it which were packed with all of my crafting supplies. When I was looking for my new place, my goal was to find a 2-bedroom apartment that didn’t cost a gajillion dollars so that I could have an office/craft room. (Even though the company I work for has an office locally, I’ll still be working from home the majority of the time.) Thankfully the timing just so happened to work out, I found a spot, and have been working on creating my happy crafty space ever since.
My priorities for the room were as follows:
- Must work as an office and craft room
- Should be bright, airy and clear of clutter
- Craft supplies need to be organized and concealed, but also easily accessible
Since the room is also my office, I definitely had productivity in mind while designing it. I like to stand, both when working and crafting, so I opted for a sit/stand desk that offers me plenty of space. I may be a little different to other crafters in that I NEED a clean, clear space in order to work, create and think clearly. I like my space to be similar to my card making aesthetic, which is bright and white with pops of color. Part of me thought it would be fun to have all sorts of rainbow-colored supplies out on display, but knowing how much I dislike clutter, I decided to organize the majority of my stash in drawers and storage units with doors.
My third priority about accessibility is something that I realized was a fault of my last space. I had all of my supplies stored in clear plastic 12×12 bins, and while handy for stacking in those built-in storage units, they weren’t great when I could only do a quick craft session. I found myself spending so much time getting all the bins out, and needed to clear space on my table because those bins then needed something to sit on while I dug through them. For the most part, craft supplies are relatively small and get buried in big bins, so despite labeling, I was also spending a lot of time looking for things. I knew when designing my new space that drawers would most likely solve the accessibility problem, and I can certainly confirm that they have!
Ok, now you’ve got the backstory, so let’s get started! And just before we do, I’m going to link up as much as I can in case you’d like to shop my craft room and try a few of these things for yourself. I’ve also got discount codes to share, so keep scrolling for those!
Main Work Area
This is where you’ll find me standing for most of the day – working during the week and crafting outside of my 9-5. My Macbook sits on top of an adjustable stand that allows me to tuck my keyboard underneath, which is great for freeing up more desk space. To the left, I’ve got my Glassboard Studio glass mat, a recommendation from my very talented and wise crafty friend, Carissa Wiley. I used to use my Make Art Stay-tion for all of my alignment needs, but I do all of that – plus so much more – on my glass mat now. In addition to being magnetic and having grid lines, it’s also super easy to clean. All of those things make it perfect for stenciling, ink blending, alcohol ink art, and just about any mixed media activities where you need to protect your work surface! They come in multiple sizes and mine is the 18×24″ version.
Psst: If you’d like to grab one for yourself, you can use the code ANGELA20 for 20% off site-wide. Enjoy!
Since I like my space to be uncluttered, I don’t keep a lot more than the above on my desk. I’ve got a mug filled with pens, scissors, craft tweezers, my bone folder and a glue pen, as well as two frosted glass spray bottles. One is filled with water, and the other contains rubbing alcohol – a great thing to have very close by for spills that need cleaning up fast!
Over to the left of my desk, I’ve got my phone camera mount which I use for overhead filming of videos and reels. I’ve actually only just started leaving this up, as before I wasn’t doing much filming at all! But I figured that by leaving it mounted, I’ll be more likely to switch my camera on while I’m creating. If I’m doing any sort of stenciling or ink blending, I usually bring in a barstool and mount it there instead – otherwise I get a bit of camera jiggling and I don’t want you guys to have to experience that!
Next to the desk I’ve got a super bright LED floorlamp that I researched and found on Amazon. While it looks a bit space-y and futuristic, it’s incredibly bright and I love it. There’s an adjustable brightness setting on the side, as well as 3 different light temperature settings – warm, daylight and cool. I typically rely on natural light from the window while doing photography, but if I need an extra boost, this lamp has been the answer. The top is also adjustable so you can tilt it to bounce the light off of any wall you like.
On the wall I’ve mounted a small whiteboard, which is where I keep lists of all my design team assignments. The inspiration for this came from Michelle of The Card Grotto, and I thought it was such a great idea! There’s a few magnetic whiteboard pens to the side which have erasers built into the caps, and some small glittery glass magnets that I use to hold small sketches of card ideas that randomly pop into my mind throughout the day.
Moving over to the side of my desk, I’ve got the first set of IKEA ALEX drawers – one of three in the room! This is the narrower unit, and contains mostly writing and coloring supplies.
- Drawer 1 (Top): Pens, pencils, ruler, die cutters, postage, Post-Its, erasers
- Drawer 2: Copics (organized in these trays – they fit perfectly!), colored pens and fineliners, spare magnets for my whiteboard
- Drawer 3: Allllll the adhesives! Foam tape, foam strips, double-sided tape, tape runner, extra glue pens, glue dots, washi tape, clear double-sided gel tape (one of my best Amazon finds evahhh), and EZ-C transparent removable highlighter tape
- Drawer 4: Colored pencils, extra magnetic whiteboard markers, hole punch, stapler…. standard office supplies!
- Drawer 5: Tech things – my camera, its battery charger, rechargeable batteries, cords, camera lenses
Ahhh ink shelves. I’ve dreamed about owning these OrganizeMore units ever since I started making cards a couple of years ago, and they truly live up to the hype! I purchased 4 of the 60-ink pad storage units and mounted them to the wall so that I wouldn’t need to take up any space on my surfaces. As you can see, a few of those compartments are still empty, but they won’t be for long!
My Catherine Pooler ink pads (the ovals on the right) are labeled with the side labels available in the CP shop, but for everything else I used my own little labeling system. I created a 3-column Google Doc for myself, typed out all my ink pad brands/names, then printed them off on a sheet of Hammermill cardstock. I backed that with an adhesive sheet, used my trimmer to cut out the very thin strips that would fit on the end of each ink pad, then used a tiny circle stamp to add a color dot on each label. Not a fancy system, but it works!
My ink pads were all previously stored in the 12×12 bins I mentioned earlier, which, again, did the job at the time. Now when I go to select inks, I first choose the colors I want from my swatch book, then just turn around and pick them off the shelf. It’s a lot faster, and I no longer have to dig around or worry about lids accidentally coming off – a problem I used to have when I was outgrowing my bin storage.
I can honestly say that I couldn’t be happier with these ink storage units, and would absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for an ink storage solution. If you’d like to check them out, you can save 10% sitewide in the OrganizeMore shop with code ANGELA10.
More ALEX Drawer Storage
The 2nd and 3rd ALEX units in my craft room are the wider, shorter ones with 6 drawers each. Like the first set, I used transparent Avery labels to add little handwritten labels on the front of each, and when side by side like I’ve got them here, they work nicely as an extra surface for die cutting. I’ve got my Anna Griffin Empress electric die cutting machine out, but I keep my Big Shot stored away in the BESTA unit (which we’ll talk about in a moment!)
On top of the ALEX drawer setup I’ve got two magazine holders filled with the cardstock I use most, and a monstera because (and some of you know this already) it’s my favorite kind! Yep, I’m a biiiig plant lady and will always find space for another monstera. This one’s growing fast!
Here’s the run-down of what’s in the drawers:
|Embellishments (mostly): Sequins, glitter, confetti, seed beads, gems, enamel dots, embroidery floss, and ink cubes.
|Pre-cut card bases and panels
|Heat Embossing: Embossing gun, powders, glitters, coffee filters, anti-static powder bag, Versamark re-inker, ink blending tools, clear acrylic blocks.
|Envelopes, craft foam sheets, and pre-cut A2 craft foam panels.
|Ink Blending Brushes: Big ones, small ones, good ones, not-so-good ones… lots of ’em!
|Die cutting supplies: cutting plates, magnetic plates, shims, embossing pads.
|Hot Foiling: Glimmer hot foil system, shims and magnetic tweezers, my most-used foil colors (gold and silver), a tray for scraps, and more foil in various colors.
|The Catherine Pooler Drawer: Stamps, dies, stencils, spare ink pads + reinkers.
|Tools: Make Art Stay-tion, paper trimmer, MISTI, travel stamping platform.
|The Pigment Craft Co Drawer: The Pigment ink swatching system + swatch book, stamps, dies, stencils.
|More tools: We R Memory Keepers score board, grid paper pads… and space to grow!
|Works in Progress: Sentiments, leftover cardstock strips, leftover scraps (in moderation!), extra storage trays for sorting die cuts.
A few notes:
- Ink cubes: I don’t have a ton of cubes, but I do find myself reaching for them occasionally when I’m trying to ink up smaller stamps, and/or when I want to stamp in multiple colors – for example, a large sentiment stamp where each letter is a different color. The smaller cube format is a little easier to control than a full pad, but I use my full pads for most of my stamping.
- Blending brushes: My ink blending brushes all come with caps, but I don’t normally store them that way. After each use I like to wash my brushes with soap and water, then leave them out to dry. This way I can toss them back into the drawer and not worry about any ink transferring from one to the other.
- Organizer trays: I purchased this bundle of assorted sizes which work well in the ALEX drawers because they’re not too tall, but still great for containing everything from small die cuts to scraps and strips.
The BESTA Storage Unit
This particular IKEA BESTA unit was out of stock initially and I had to wait about a month for it to come back (supply chain issues!) but it was absolutely worth it. Size-wise, it fits perfectly into the space all shelves are reachable. I mention this because I’m 5’10, and even at my height, several of the shelves in my last apartment were too high for me to see the contents. Once the doors are open, I can see everything and find exactly what I need.
Here’s what’s on the shelves:
|Cardstock and Paper: Magazine holders filled with regular colored cardstock, white Hammermill, white Neenah of varying weights, and Recollections (for card bases), plus specialty cardstocks, adhesive sheets, yupo paper, masking paper, acetate sheets, vellum.
|Stamps, dies and stencils: Various companies (none for current Design Team roles) – see note below! Empty storage envelopes, and my ink/cardstock swatch binder.
|Pinkfresh Studio: Stamps, dies, stencils, washi tape – Essentials Bin on the left, most recent release on the right.
|Ellen Hutson: Newer items on the left, older items and Essentials by Ellen shape dies in the bin on the right. Cards that still need to be photographed on the far left.
|Pinkfresh Studio: Stamps, dies, stencils, washi tape – Somewhat-recently released items on the left, older on the right.
|Big Shot die cutting machine.
|… annnnd more Pinkfresh Studio! Stamps, dies, stencils, – Older items on the left, sentiment sets on the right. Random tubs of embossing paste and texture paste in the middle!
|Basic shape dies (various brands), finished cards that need to be mailed in for Design Team assignments.
|Markers and Pens: An Artbin full of mostly Tombow Brush Markers, used for handlettering.
|Completed cards: Ready for writing/mailing, all stored in a 12×12 bin with removable dividers
|Paper pads, books, sketchbooks, holiday card making supplies.
|Seasonal/Holiday Supplies – Holiday stamps, dies, patterned paper.
Notes on the BESTA:
Stamp + Die Storage – Binders: I used to use white binders for all of my stamp and die storage because it was a very compact way of doing so. However, I soon found that this wasn’t ideal because the binders were becoming over-stretched, and most stamp/die pockets available aren’t really intended to be used that way. I still store the products from brands that I’m not on Design Teams for in this way, but have turned to a bin system for the items I need to have quicker access to…
Stamp + Die Storage – Bins: Since moving into this space I’ve converted over to a bin system for organizing my stamps, dies and stencils, and find that it’s a much better arrangement for the way I like to work. (There’s a reason why so many crafters use these!) I purchased these clear bins which fit my smallest and largest stamp sets, and I’m able to get 2 on each of my BESTA shelves with some space between for other items (washi tapes, etc.)
Storage envelopes: For all of my Ellen Hutson products, I use a combination of Essentials by Ellen medium and large storage pockets, the medium and large magnetic sheets. (The stamps and dies come in them already, so why not!?) The quality of these pockets is fantastic – they’re durable, I’ve never torn one, and obviously since this is how the Essentials by Ellen products are packaged, they fit like a glove!
For all of my Pinkfresh Studio items, I’ve been using the medium and large storage envelopes from Scrapbook.com. The main reason I like these for Pinkfresh supplies is because they’re more spacious, and that allows me to store a full product suite (stamp, stencil set, die and hot foil plate) in the same envelope, as well as any leftover die cuts I might have after finishing up a card. These are on the left, below.
Most of my Pinkfresh sets fit in the medium sized envelopes, but I like the large ones for any product suite that contains slimline stencils. The large envelopes measure 7″ wide x 10″ tall, which is tall enough for a Pinkfresh slimline stencil and die. (Many other envelopes, including some intended for slimline supplies, are not.) The Pinkfresh slimline stamp sets that come with these product suites tend to need even more space, but rather than getting an even bigger envelope (which would probably be too big width-wise for my clear organizer bins), I typically just cut the sentiment portion off the bottom and store it in the same envelope, like a second stamp set. (You can see this in the photo on the right, above.) I figure that since I’m always stamping sentiments separately to the other images in the set, there’s no reason why they need to be connected!
12×12 Storage Bin with Dividers for Completed Cards: I like this particular bin because it’s deep enough to store cards on their long edge, and the removable dividers allow me to keep each card type (thank you, congrats, birthday, etc) together. This way, I don’t need to search through all of them each time I need to send one. If your space just doesn’t allow for drawers and you need to be able to put all your supplies away at the end of each session, I still think these are a good solution.
The Alcohol Ink Cart
I only recently started playing with alcohol inks (more on that here and here), and while they’re a lot of fun, they’re not my most-used supplies. For this reason, and because there are quite a few other supplies that I need on-hand while creating with them, I decided to designate an IKEA RASKOG utility cart to this category of products, and I keep it stashed away in a closet along with my photography equipment. On the cart I’ve got the inks stored in a metal tin, rubbing alcohol and blending solution, baby wipes (also used for stamp cleaning), a few needlenose bottles, disposable gloves, paper towels, a mask, a few blending tools and paintbrushes, a handheld ink blower, and a multi-heat setting hairdryer. (I prefer the latter these days for making my backgrounds.)
Long before I was a crafter, I was a food blogger. (You may have noticed by the hundreds of recipes posted before all the cards started making their way onto this blog!) It was back then that I first learned to use my Canon DSLR camera, and it’s what I still use today to photograph my cards. I use it along with my tripod to make the shots as crisp as I can, and usually set myself near the window in my craft room to take advantage of the natural light. I like a bright white aesthetic, so I use these large, inexpensive foam boards as my backgrounds, and store them in the closet with my light reflector. For a long time I didn’t think the light reflector made much of a difference, but it certainly does! I’ll save all the details for another day, but let me know if you’d like a post about card photography. I’m certainly not a pro but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned!
Annnd that’s a wrap!
I think that about does it, and if you’ve stuck around this long, I’m incredibly impressed! Below you’ll find links to everything mentioned above. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to pop ’em in the comments below. Thanks as always for stopping by, and I’ll see you back here soon with some new cards!
- LED Floor Lamp (mine has a brushed steel finish) – Amazon
Photography Equipment + Tech Things
- Canon EOS Rebel – Amazon
- Phone mount for overhead videos – Amazon
- Camera Tripod – Amazon
- Reflectors – Amazon
- White foam boards – Amazon
- Silver Adjustable Laptop Stand, (adjustable up to 18″ height) – Amazon
- Clear 21-piece Organizer Trays – Amazon
- Clear Storage Bins (these fit every stamp and die set that I own) – 11.25 x 8 x 6 inches – Amazon
- White + Clear Lucite Magazine Holders – Amazon
- Magnetic Whiteboard – 17×23″ – Amazon
- Magnetic Dry Erase Markers with Eraser (15 pack) – Amazon
- 48-pack Glass Magnets – Amazon
- Artbin Super Satchel Double Deep with Removable Dividers – Amazon
- SKARSTA/TROTTEN Sit/Stand Desk – IKEA
- BESTA Storage Combination with Doors – IKEA
- Wide ALEX Drawers on Casters – IKEA
- Tall ALEX Drawer Unit – IKEA
- Casters for ALEX Drawers – IKEA
- RASKOG Cart – IKEA
Stamp + Die Storage
- Medium Storage Envelopes – Frosted Plastic – 6×8.75 – Scrapbook.com
- Large Storage Envelopes – Frosted Plastic – 7 x 10″ – Scrapbook.com
- Essentials by Ellen Medium Storage Envelopes – 5 1/2 x 9 3/8″ – Ellen Hutson
- Essentials by Ellen Large Storage Envelopes – Ellen Hutson
- Essentials by Ellen Medium Magnetic Sheets – Ellen Hutson
- Essentials by Ellen Large Magnetic Sheets – Ellen Hutson
- Glassboard Studio Magnetic Glass Mat, 18″ x 24″ – Use code ANGELA20 for 20% off site-wide
- Glassboard Studio 3-pack Super Strong Neodymium Pawn-Shaped Magnets – Glassboard Studio
Accessories and other Crafting Essentials
- 2-Pack Glass Spray Bottles – Amazon
- Bone folder – Ellen Hutson
- Fiskars Paper Trimmer – Ellen Hutson
- Score board – Ellen Hutson
- Recollections cardstock for card bases (not stamping, foiling or ink blending – I typically use Hammermill cardstock for these purposes) – Amazon
- Neenah Solar White 110b Cardstock – Ellen Hutson || Amazon
- Glimmer hot foil system – Ellen Hutson || Amazon || Scrapbook.com || Pinkfresh Studio
- Anna Griffin Empress Electric Die Cutting Machine – Anna Griffin
- Sizzix Big Shot – Amazon
- Wendi Vecchi Make Art Stay-tion – Ellen Hutson || Scrapbook.com