The space that was once a nursery in Leah's Southern California home got a new life as a cozy crafting studio thanks to a coat of paint and some smart storage systems. Rather than opting for expensive custom storage units, Leah built her room on a budget, rethinking stock furniture pieces and hardware-store staples. Check out the organization ideas Leah packed into this 100-square-foot space.
Leah's small room was blessed with several large windows. She took full advantage of the space's natural light by placing her desk near the corner bank of windows. Wood shutters let light flood the room while still offering a privacy option. A custom-made valance softens the look.
Leah's valance is made from a fabric in the Better Homes and Gardens Alfresco Collection, available at Jo-Ann Stores.
Leah's desk -- purchased at Target online -- is an open style, forcing her to be tidy. Baskets nestled on the lower shelves provide a spot for in-progress projects, which allows her to maintain a clutter-free work surface.
Leah also uses a double-decker tool carousel from Making Memories to corral often-used tools. The flowers in the center don't serve any practical purpose, but they bring a smile to Leah's face while she's working!
And, not one to waste, Leah keeps tidbits of ribbon handy by tying them around the handle of her sewing machine, which she keeps out on one corner of her desk. Having the snippets in sight makes it more likely they'll get used.
Leah organizes her foam stamps by size or subject, then places them in jars so she's always able to tell which stamp is where, and they are easy to pull out. She stashes her jars of stamps on a shelf below her desk for quick access.
Behind her desk, Leah mounted a large pegboard made out of $5 sections she purchased at the hardware store. Before hanging it on the wall, Leah primed and painted the board white for a crisp look, then outfitted it with different stage hooks, creating a tidy and tailored home for her tools.
Make your own version of the calendar hanging in Leah's room in her Create a Calendar class.
Also hanging on Leah's tool-packed wall storage system are colorful buckets where she stores thread, writing tools, paintbrushes, and other small gear. Found in the dollar aisle at Target, the little buckets are handy. If you need to use a particular set of items, simply remove the bucket and set it on your worktable, then hang it back up when you're done.
Leah organizes paper scraps by color in this Elfa rolling cart tucked within reach of her desk. She gave each file a color tab. Any similar-color patterned paper or cardstock goes into the file, with patterned paper in the front, cardstock in the back. The two drawers below the files contain scraps she hasn't had time to sort.
Also on the wall behind Leah's desk is this wood tiered shelving unit from Target where she stores bulky tools, such as her die-cutting machines and cartridges. The increasingly larger shelves accommodate the most items possible in that space.
Leah dedicated part of her closet to these sturdy plastic containers that she uses to store cardstock and patterned paper. She organizes cardstock by color and patterned paper by manufacturer. The containers, from The Container Store also double as a portable scrapbooking station when Leah doesn't want to work in her scrapbook room. She just works right on top of the lid.
The sliding doors on Leah's closet hide big storage containers (like her paper drawers), as well as some tools that she uses infrequently. A colorful wall transfer from Wonderful Graffiti provides inspiration while she works and was inexpensive to add.
Leah uses another section of pegboard to store packaged products, whether open or still new. It helps to remind her what she has on hand.
Leah attached an Elfa wire shelving system on the wall opposite her desk to hold everything from bottles of crafts paint to embellishments. The customizable system mounts easily on the wall and makes the most out of vertical space without shrinking the room.
Leah uses shatterproof plastic jars from Making Memories to hold the small embellishments she stashes in her wire wall shelving system. The jars keep the contents visible and won't break if dropped.
On the pegboard near the wire shelving unit, Leah houses in-progress projects and supplies no longer in their original packaging. She used her sewing machine to stitch down the center of several low-cost, resealable plastic bags to make smaller pockets in which to stash cards of ribbon, books of rub-ons, and other supplies. She then attached a clip-on drapery ring to hang the bag upside down on the pegboard. This way she can open the bag to reach the contents without removing the bag from the board.
These baskets in Leah's room serve a dual purpose: One of them holds seasonal decorating items, such as Christmas trims and Halloween decorations. The other is her purge basket, a home for all the supplies she's decided not to use. Leah tosses items she wants to donate or give to friends or family into the basket, then gives the items away once the basket is full.
Leah uses green magnetic memo boards as a spot to display new ideas and photos that she wants to use on upcoming scrapbook pages. They're also a great way to coordinate scraps if you don't want to find a place for them until after your project is finished.
This low-cost clear plastic shoe organizer provides a budget-friendly way to stash everything from punches and glue guns to acrylic stamp blocks and dies. Simply hang the organizer over a door in your scrapbook room, and your tools will be accessible but organized. Leah also uses the wall space behind her door as a storage and display area for idea books and magazines, keeping them neat, tidy, and easily accessible.