Introducting Betty: Cute Craft Organization for My Tiny Space!
Alright, so maybe I named my craft armoire. And maybe I just made that up for the title, and won't actually call this lovely thing Betty, but I don't care! We live in an old house, and most of the rooms are very tiny. Our bedroom (on the first floor) is the only room that is big enough to fit a queen-sized bed with more than a foot to spare. Monkey's room is smaller than my best friend's closet (I wish I were joking) and the office is about the same size. I originally wanted to turn the closet in the office into a desk for me (a la iheartorganizing) but that just didn't get around to happening, mainly because I haven't gotten Husband 100% on board with the idea yet. I dreamed about Husband building me something like this but that wasn't really going to happen, either.
Enter Betty. I was perusing Craigslist last June, and found this perfect piece of furniture for only $40! It was about 45 minutes away, and a monster, but I somehow convinced Husband and Sarah to caravan up there, with all three cars, to try and get the thing apart and back home. Well, that didn't work... We ended up getting help from Sarah's brother's friend, who borrowed his fathers pickup truck, and my lovely hutch-desk-thing made it home. Where it sat in the garage for four months, before I finally got sick of waiting and drove the entire darn mile to Home Depot to get felt for the bottom of the desk, and convinced Husband to help me haul it inside. Fast forward three months later, and the doors still aren't on it, because we haven't figured out how to prevent the casters from scratching up our wood floor. I got sick of it again, and trekked back to Home Depot to pick up some carpet-bottomed caster cups. They allowed the bottom doors to slide fairly well, except they made it too tall to screw in or slide under the desk! Back to Home Depot for another layer of felt for the bottom of the giant part, and, perfect! (Of course, Husband made me put it all together myself… He only helped with tipping over the giant part and holding the upper doors so I can screw them in… But I guess now I feel somewhat more confident with the drill, so there's that!)
Anywho, enough with the emotional backstory, let's get to the main event! (Yes, this post is long.)
Let's look at the outside again, just in case you've forgotten how relatively little space this thing takes up in the front room. (Its footprint is only 23 inches by 42 inches—woowie!)
And open it up, voila!
The first night that I had it organized and the doors closed and everything, I about had a craft-gasm. I had to post pictures on Facebook, and a friend's wife happened to be walking past his computer while he was looking at it, and she got a craft-gasm, too. Yes, it's that awesome.
Because I'm just so happy with this thing, you get the full tour! (And bigger pictures than usual!)
Starting on the upper right, this is my beading side. Most of this organization I've had for years, except for the pink and black buckets throughout… those I picked up at the Target dollar spot! Everything on these two columns of shelves (and the wooden cubbies/tins in the middle of the next picture) were smashed into a storage bin in the garage for the last several years… So you can imagine how excited I was to get all of it out in the open!
Front and center, I've got a cubby with tins that holds most of my jewelry findings, as well as the empty cubby that holds beads I haven't opened yet. In front is a clip-on craft light that I leave there when not in use, because it's tricky to close the top doors when it's clipped. The magazine holders are from the Target dollar spot, and are organized into "To Scan" and "To Sort." When I have a free Saturday, I will try to get everything I've marked scanned, so I can recycle the magazines and get them out of my house!
Below is my main work area. I'm not 100% happy with the placement of these Sterlite drawers, by the way… They hold my pens and markers, and I'm just not sure where else to put them. The buckets hold things I'm trying to sell on Craigslist (hopefully I can empty it soon!) and oft-used glues, and taped up are my to-do lists (though one of them fell right before I was trying to take pictures…)
The previous owners of Betty cut a huge hole in the back here, so I'm hoping to get some sheet metal, spray paint it black or pink, and cover up the hole. I could also put up the magnetic pad of paper that my to-do lists are on, instead of sticking it sideways next to the drawers…
This side is for various craft endeavors… Clockwise from the top-right is fabric supplies (fabric paints, some clearance jersey knit, and a t-shirt I want to alter), adhesion (hot glue in the bucket, spray adhesive, wood glue, mod podge, etc. are behind the crayons and cherry mug), various things (old laptop, tissue box, things to be repurposed), current project (those adorable cone trees that were everywhere last season), more miscellaneous (catch-all bucket, to-be-recovered pencil holder), and Crop-a-dile (with an extra bucket in there, because someday I'll reorganize, I'm sure). Having everything at my fingertips is amazing!
Down here on the left, I've got a drawer that I am using for bulky miscellaneous items—couple bags of foam brushes, various bits of cloth, various other bits I want to repurpose. There's also a nice little cubby for my newspaper that I use when I'm painting or mod podging, because I don't get the newspaper anymore.
This is a slightly awkward area, and I'm sure it's not meant to be storage, but that never stopped me before! The canvas tote used to have my scrapbook papers, but I grew out of that and into the plastic bin I'll show you later. There's also that huge roll of various colors of vinyl that I bought when my favorite craft store was going out of business—sad day! Plus, a nice mesh basket to toss trash into (I always need a trash spot when beading). This used to be a computer desk, so I've got a keyboard tray for a little extra space… do you see another one of my current projects in there?
And the scrapping area. I don't have terribly much, so all the papers fit here, plus I've got three canvases left over from when I made my brother's Christmas present (which I can't show off yet, because he hasn't gotten it yet! Yikes!)
And there you have it! The saddest part is that I'm so intimidated by all my options of things to do, that I can never decide, and haven't been crafting as much as I thought I would! All in all, though, it's amazing… I have three projects that I'm in the middle of, and I have enough space to tuck them away to work on something else! It's perfect for the way I work, haha. I had a lot of the organization already, and only needed to buy the buckets and magazine boxes ($1 each, for a total of $14) and the trash container ($2.50 at the Target dollar spot). I would have had to buy the scrap paper container anyway, but that was an additional $15 (on sale at JoAnn's). The furniture itself was $40 on Craigslist, then $10 for caster cups and about $10 for the felt. Less than $100 alltogether, and I have a magical me-space! I do have a few more things I want to do—I don't have the keys for the doors, so I want to get new locks to keep out little fingers, the top doors don't hang straight, and I want to sew a hanging mail sorter for inside one of the doors.
So… Tell me how jealous you are!