For a while now I’ve been wanting to get my art studio/fiber art office/craft room (whatever you want to call it) organized better. I’ve had beading tools stashed in IKEA fabric boxes, shears tucked away in my sewing box, cutting rulers and grids tossed in a drawer and paints tucked away wherever I could find a spot. Not to mention that I had sewing thread stashed in about 4 different places and had to hunt to find the one I needed each time (now where was that red thread…). I was sure I had some variety of glues and even some paint brushes/sponges. Oh and of course the lovely glue gun. Um yeah, still “gun shy” of that puppy after the good burning I gave myself several weeks ago. Ended up with 2nd degree burns on both hands which had to be bandaged for several days. I have some nice shiny skin now. 😕 Anyhoo. I decided I needed some type of organization where I could easily reach and find many of the items I’m always using. As well, I needed extra storage space for things that were beginning to clog up my big IKEA Kallax unit. But how much money did I have to spend on fixing all the issues and getting my room to an acceptable and usable condition? Not a hell of a lot. Who does? Really, you want to be able to have a functional studio/office space but no one wants to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. So how to do this economically?
My first thought was to hop onto Safari and start searching for ideas. Pinterest came in quite handy too. I was overwhelmed with the number of ideas, options and things I could do to my little room to get it into shape. So I started making a list of things that I thought could possibly work and then narrowed that down to things that I could afford and knew that I could use. I had a few stores in mind when I was all done with my research. Lowes, Jo-Ann Fabric, IKEA, Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart and Office Max. Lowes always has home items that I find at reasonable prices and they give military veterans a 10% discount on all purchases. I feel like they give us veterans a great deal since I know other home stores will not do the same. Jo-Ann because they have some of the most awesome coupons available on items such as sewing notions and lighting. IKEA, well, do I really need to validate shopping at IKEA? Dollar Tree has more than I thought they would. After my first trip there on a whim, I’ve been back many times to pick up gift packaging, frames, pens, and many more simple items. Wal-Mart for many of the other items and Office Max, well because the one near us was going out of business so everything was up to 50% off. Well worth the examination.
With all my research done, I decided the things I needed included a storage rack for our spare room, an adjustable shelf, a pegboard, a thread rack, small open containers, a work light, a power strip and a utility cart. Oh and some paint. Lowes had a great wire storage rack on sale. It was quite easy to assemble and holds up to 350 lbs (159 kg) per shelf! I also got some wall mounted adjustable bracket shelves, and 2 pegboards 4 ft x 4 ft (1.2 m x 1.2 m). I figured if I only used one I could always find another place for the other or donate it. Jo-Ann had a great 50% off sale (+20% off total purchase coupon) for an Ott-Lite desk lamp. Of course I can’t find it on their website now, but you can find the Creative Curve lamp on Amazon. I personally love the little thing!! It has 4 brightness settings and is easy to place exactly where you need it with its flexible shaft. I also found a thread spool rack, also on sale plus the total purchase coupon made this cheaper than the one I found on Amazon. Of course organization cannot take place without a trip to IKEA. Everyone knows that, even those who poo-poo IKEA secretly know this is the place to get some awesome stuff. I’ve been wanting the RÅSKOG utility cart for like, ever, now. Unfortunately they no longer sell the Tiffany blue colour, but they did have a very lovely reddish brown colour that looked pretty perfect. I’ve been using this for a while now, and I have to say, I love it. Seriously. This thing is so handy and is such a great tool. And at $24.99, not exactly a bad purchase either. Some of the other items I’ve been gathering from Wal-Mart include paints, plastic binders, paper boxes, power strip and packing tape. Office Max was just a luck of the draw thing where I was able to pick up other packing materials, ink cartridges, a postage scale at 60% off, and some shipping labels, all on extreme discounts.
Onward to fixing the room. For the pegboard, if you Google it you’ll find about 100 different types and 100 different ways of creating and installing one. I did initially want to frame mine, but the edging trim I purchased (and then painted) wasn’t straight and curved too much to look good enough to overcome my OCD…. Yeah, it wasn’t going to work at all…. So sans boarder, I installed my pegboard after painting. I painted 2 coats of Glidden Echo Lake Aqua, I only needed a quart of paint to cover both boards 2x. I used a few pegboard kits that you can get at Lowes which include wood screws and spacers that go on the back of the board to raise it off the wall. The kits also include all kinds of pegboard hooks, holders, racks and shelf brackets. Once the board was dry, I just installed it onto the wall using a power drill and a stud finder. I placed the edge screws directly into the wallstuds to secure it. I used 4 screws across the top, sides and bottom to create a stable surface. I also installed the adjustable shelf next to the pegboard. Unfortunately the wall studs were not in the most convenient locations for this so I used wall anchors for the railings. The shelves and support brackets are simply adujtable to wherever I need them. I found all the items I wanted out in view and used my pegboard kit to hang those items. After I assembled the wire shelf in the spare room, I moved my extra fabric, patterns, foam, batting and other less used items to that shelf and freed up space in the studio. I also used the power strip to make life easier when sewing and serging. I screwed the strip to the side of my sewing table towards the front where I can more easily reach the outlets rather than trying to find the wall outlets or having the power strip somewhere on the floor. It has proved to be a fantastic idea! The total time was about two weeks of work (from painting, installing and final placements) and less than $150 for all the items (including all the sales and coupons). The most expensive portions being the wire shelf and the utility cart. The room now feels so much better. I can find what I need, it has colour and utility. I have extra room to store as I grow into the room and I now can find the items I use the most without difficulty. And the final result……