Does this photo of perfectly lined up kid paintbrushes in RAINBOW order give you a deep sense of contentment? If this kind of order is what makes you tick too, then this project might be for you.
For months on end, our formal dining room was rendered completely useless by my piles of crafting supplies. That is, until I got pregnant and had the unstoppable urge to organize everything in sight. No area was off limits: the pantry, medicine cabinet, bedrooms, office shelves, even living room walls. At 35 weeks pregnant, I finally tackled the piles of fabric, tape, paper, and glue. Because how can I bring a newborn to a home with a totally unorganized fabric stash like this?
The first problem was, I didn’t have anywhere to put my dream craft space. I felt like our guest room was more suited to a nursery than a craft room. (Your welcome, son.) I pride myself on making the space we have work instead of lusting after newer, larger, more beautiful homes. But this was a tall order. I finally decided that if I moved the small trunk in our master bedroom to another wall, I would have a small space that would suffice. It measured a mere 4 feet by 2 feet.
The second problem was that each adorable Pinterest-inspired craft area was much, much larger than this. With an Ikea only a few hours away, it was feasible to start my search for furniture there and attempt a true DIY project. And search I did! I spent hours laying on the couch and virtually sifting through both Ikea’s many offerings and through fellow bloggers’ craft organization ideas.
Here is the final product!
In terms of time commitment, here is my breakdown. It took a weekend of brainstorming, a solid day of shopping, most of day (plus a few evenings between dry times) to assemble the board, and an afternoon to finalize the organization of the supplies themselves. The furniture assembly was manageable because I did it during evening TV time. Apparently at least one piece can be assembled during each episode of SVU. Lucky for you, I did the brainstorming already so that’s an entire weekend saved! Here is the breakdown of how I accomplished the eight square foot craft room.
Step 1 | The Main Furniture
- Linnmon Table Top | Ikea $16 (white) or $26 (high gloss white)
- Ullrick Table Leg | Ikea $45
- Alex Drawer Unit | Ikea $80
- Raskog Kitchen Cart | Ikea $50
The table is created from a simple table top and two leg units. Ikea had many selections but I chose to go with one drawer unit and one open shelf unit. The table comes with little rubber nubs that prevent sliding once the table top is added. I also choose a small rolling cart to maximize storage in the middle. It contains all of the kid’s craft supplies and can be brought be easily when it’s time to paint or color. In order to slide the teal cart underneath the table, I skipped installing the wheels. It slides nicely on the carpet and this approach was the easiest for me.
Step 2 | The Pegboard Assembly
- Ribba Picture Frame | Ikea $25
- Pegboard | Home Depot $10-$20
- Spray Paint | Michael’s
- Square Dowel for Reinforcement | Home Depot $3.50 each
- Gorilla Glue | Home Depot $5
- Picture Hanger Wire & Hooks & Bumpers | Home Depot $12
Once completed, the pegboard is rather heavy. I don’t have an official weight but I’m guessing 15 pounds before loading it up? Heavy enough that my initial attempt at hanging it resulted in it falling off the wall and scattering things everywhere. The board survived the fall so at least it’s well put together! The clean up was agony though.
First, have your hardware store cut the pegboard to size for you. They should do this for free. Spray paint the pegboard whatever color makes you happiest. It will probably take two coats of paint.
Second, glue the pegboard into the frame with Gorilla Glue. Be careful, Gorilla Glue expands when drying so if you over apply, it will seep out and be visible from the front. Mine has this “character” but I’d have rather avoided it.
Third, strengthen the frame assembly. I recommend adding three vertical cross bars and gluing them to both the frame and board. Ideally, these bars will be flush with the wall once hung. Good pressure clamps come in handy during this gluing step. I also tied twine around the board at various points to hold it all together tightly.
Once dry, you can screw your picture hooks to the side cross bars at a slight angle and string your wire. Twist your picture wire with care test by pulling very hard. I had to retie my wire a second time to make sure it wouldn’t buckle under pressure once hung.
(In a perfect world, I would have dozens of detailed photographs of this step but I drew you a handy dandy diagram to help along with a photo taken mid-assembly.)
Step 3 | Pegboard Organization
You can use the pegboard as is at this point or you can bedazzle it with various accessories:
- Pegboard Hooks | Home Depot $8
- Ribba Picture Ledge | Ikea $10 each
- Grundtal Magnetic Knife Rack | Ikea $15 each
- Grundtal Container Trio | Ikea $8 for three
- Bygel Container | Ikea $1 each
- Wooden Dowels | Michael’s & Home Depot
- Wooden Monogram Letter | Michael’s
- Glass Canning Jars
- Small Ledges: In order to mount the ledges, two screws were required that did not line up with the pegboard holes. I simply created an extra hole using a drill. In order to be sure that the shelves would be strong enough, I wanted to screw them into more than the pegboard holes. I cut “cubes” from the extra pieces of square dowel used as reinforcements for the board itself. My husband helped me drill pilot holes into the cubes and I screwed each of the ledge screws into a cube. It worked perfectly! (See hand written diagram above.)
- Thread Dowels: I thought the easiest way to organize my thread spools would be to hang them on narrow dowels. However, the dowels were not fitting very tightly into the pegboard. To fix this problem, I drilled the perfect size hole (for a snugger fit) into a narrow block of wood and glued it behind the pegboard. I cut the narrow dowels, spray painted them, and stuck them through the pegboard and into the wood block. (See hand written diagram above.)
- Ribbon Dowels: To hold my ribbon stash, I simply cut a dowel that fit through my ribbon spools, spray painted it, and attached it to the board using pegboard hooks. To include the rick rack without spools, I used small clothespins to hold them into small rolls.
- Buckets: These buckets from Ikea are designed to be held by a fancy metal rod. I found a dowel did the trick just fine and made one just like the ribbon dowel. I’d suggest going as thick as you can here because the dowels do sag with the extra weight.
- Magnet Bars: The magnet bars are my favorite feature because they can hold scissors, needles, and other miscellaneous tools as well as the round magnetic tins. The magnet bars mount using two screws as well so the little wooden cubes were used to attach them.
Note of caution: Be aware your middle reinforcement bar when placing items as it can get in the way.
Step 4 | Pegboard Wall Mounting
- Heavy Duty Drywall Anchors | Home Depot $4
I’d recommend skipping the 50 pound rated picture hanger and heading straight to the type listed above rated for 300 pounds. Sure, it requires a 3/4 inch hole in your wall but that bad boy isn’t going anywhere.
Once the board is assembled with your accessories, it may not be evenly weighted. Be careful when hanging and load items onto the board in a way that evens things out.
Step 5 | Fabric Storage
- Bigso Bright Stockholm Desktop File | The Container Store $20
It was tricky finding a basket or bin to fit inside of the shelves of the desk but the file box above was perfect. It was also teal, which frankly, mattered quite a bit too. It is large, has a lid, and stores my fabric scraps perfectly.
I stacked my felt in rainbow order and simply placed it toward the back of one of the shelves.
In order to make my large fabric pieces easy to access, I folded them according to this fabric folding tutorial that a crafty friend sent. Sure, it was time consuming. But I think the final product proves that it was time well spent! The hardest part is deciding which color family each fabric should be placed with!
Step 6 | The Finishing Touches
- Flip Bin | The Container Store $8
- Brother 2600XLi Sewing Machine | Amazon $85
- Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set | Joann’s $30 with coupon
I had been using an old mixing bowl as a trash can and felt like a step up was in order. This inexpensive find looks cute on it’s own and is completely irresistible striped with washi tape. If you’ve never been introduced to the wonder that is washi tape, you can thank me later. It’s amazing stuff. (Note to self: Make new dowel for washi tape for the craft board and wait for a sale to get a rainbow of designs!)
I also included the model numbers of my sewing machine and cutting mat. These two purchases have been some of the best creative money I spent in the last few years. I highly recommend them.
That should cover it! If you have any questions at all, feel free to shoot me a email anytime! You also might want to check out my tutorial on on “How to Make Photo Rails” Part I and Part II. Admittedly, that tutorial is more applicable to my photography specialty but who is really keeping track?