We’ve all seen those beautiful craft studios on Pinterest that look like straight up magazine photo shoots. You know what I’m talking about: the perfectly lit modern stark white craft room with little pops of color only provided by the craft, the wall art or the clever DIY storage system.
When I started my journey with PYC, I would see these gorgeous photos and think no way am I ever going to have that.
And you know? I was right. Wait. Hear me out. What I’m saying is no, my space DOESN’T look like those photos. But yes, it is perfect for me. My space is colorful, warm, inviting and functional. Despite being short on space, my craft room is perfect for me.
When I say I’m short on space, I mean it. My craft studio is situated in the spare bedroom of my home. The spare room is not only my craft room, it’s also where I put all the things I moved from my apartment to my partner’s house (that didn’t fit anywhere else) when we combined our lives. My studio is now among boxes. 😮 Not ideal. But guess what? I make it work.
Real talk? The first step to creating a perfect space is to first recognize that this space is for you and no one else. Not for your Instagram followers or your Facebook fans. It is not a competition. You do not create a studio space with the intention of showing it off to everyone else. This is for you. Which means it doesn’t have to look like a magazine photo shoot. It can look like whatever you want!
Step One – Identify the Primary Purpose of Your Space
Decide how you want to use the space. You might be thinking, but Theresa, I know what I want to do with the space. I need a craft room. I need a studio. I need a work space. What I mean is – do you plan to actually create in this space or are you simply storing your creative tools in the space? Are you going to take photos in the space? Are you going to track your craft show applications? Are you going to do your taxes there?
For example, I tend to store my yarn and tools in the craft room and actually practice my craft everywhere, but the craft room. Literally everywhere. I knit in the damn grocery store. My work space is more storage and office space than actual crafting space. I wind new skeins of yarn, store it, update my blog, apply for craft shows, track my finances, updates my social media accounts, oh, and sometimes sew.
Your primary use for the space doesn’t necessarily need to be creating.
As a knitter, I needed storage that was easily accessible. I also wanted to my storage space to double as a way to bring color into the space by displaying all my yarn. One simple way to create this set up – without a lot of trouble – is to purchase a simple cube shelving system. It was easy to put together, it’s light enough to sit right on top of my DIY desk and it gives me ample space for my yarn, mason jars full of notions and other stuff that I’m sure I’ll find a use for later. 😂 My favorite part about the shelf is that it’s so light. I have another cube storage system from Ikea that is really heavy and takes up a ton of floor space. So that one is taking up residence in the back of my living room.
Step Two – Make a List
Once you know how you want to use your space, start making a list of all the things you need to make the space functional, or all the things you’d like to see in your space. Now remember, it’s your space, so you can include pretty much anything you want on this list of things that make it possible for you to create.
Here are a few ideas to get your rolling:
- Music. Do you like to have tunes while you’re working? Put it on the list!
- Wall Shelves or Cube Storages
- Reclaimed Pickle and Mason Jars
- White board/Chalkboard
- Chalkboard markers
- Something to store writing utensils
- Butcher paper for photography
- Binder clips
- A chair
- A desk with drawers
- A pegboard
- A ribbon holder
- Storage space for packaging products
I have a large flat work space, an electronic scale, a large white board for notes, a chalk board for more permanent notes and lots of mason jars for keeping track of knitting and crochet notions.
I even have a bluetooth speaker in my space to listen to podcasts like Lore and listen to Audiobooks like Life and Death of Great American Cities.
Whatever it is that allows you to be creative – put it on a list!
Step Three – Decorate That Shit
Add some flavor to you space! This should be a no brainer. If it’s a working space that you are going to spend many hours in. Decorate! Don’t just slap a few family photos on the wall. As much as we all love your mom… it’s a creative space. So be creative! Have a print that you’ve been meaning to frame? Take a trip to the dollar store, grab a frame and decorate that shit.
Don’t have a buck? How about some scrap fabric or yarn from the projects you do? My favorite thing to do with scrap fabric is to make a garland that can drape over the door or on your vendor booth space once you’re ready to start selling at craft shows. Garlands are relatively easy, inexpensive and there are tutorials all over Pinterest on how to make them. I’ve created my garlands out of yarn tassels and fishing line as well as rope and scrap fabric. Easy, inexpensive, fun and colorful.
Another fun idea is to take an unfinished knitting project and frame it. There! Now you meant for it to be “unfinished”. It was art all along. 😉
Step Four – Get Comfortable with Chaos
Sometimes we have to get a little comfortable with the chaotic in between times. Every maker has his or her own style and some styles are a little messier than others. If you are like me and tend to make a crazy mess in between projects – embrace the madness! Don’t be embarrassed of your crazy chaos. Get used to it. Embrace it. Learn how to live among the messy work space and thrive.
Keep your space clean, tidy and organized. When things start to get a bit insane, this will save you. You will know exactly where everything is supposed to go. When it’s time to clean up after a big project, you’ll know exactly where to put your tools. So you may be a bit anxious looking at the mess while you’re creating, but ultimately everything has a place and everything will get back to its place. No worries.
Step Five – Get to Creating!
Seriously. Just start making stuff! You’ve got a space – even if it’s a corner of the spare room in your house and you are surrounded by boxes. It is your space to create. So stop procrastinating! Get to making that space your own.