With the coronavirus still going strong, this fall season is likely to unfold quite differently from the past. With many offices still closed—and schools open intermittently or not at all—you may be wondering: What will you and your family do with all your time stuck at home?
The solution may be a simple and fun home upgrade you can all enjoy: a crafting area.
Rather than just tossing your kids’ paints and pipe cleaners on the dining table whenever they get antsy, it’s far smarter to firmly establish a permanent crafting table, desk, or corner where it’s safe to get those creative juices flowing.
“Having a designated crafting spot or even a whole room allows you to enjoy a creative space. Plus, it helps to wrangle all the supplies and keep them organized,” says Jeanine Boiko, the artsy DIY blogger at Okio B Designs.
And crafting isn’t just for kids—plenty of adults also like to get creative, whether to relax and blow off steam, or to save money by making gifts and home decor.
Even some A-list celebs have a hidden crafty side: Taylor Swift makes her own snowglobes, Pierce Brosnan paints, and David Beckham sews doll clothes for his daughter (who knew?).
Seasoned crafters know that smart organization is a critical component of successful crafting. Here are some tips from Boiko and crafts pro Cynthia O’Connor O’Hara, aka The Harried Housewife, plus key items to pick up to bring your crafts area to life.
A pegboard with supplies
A pegboard is a crafting must-have, since it helps keep your crafting tools within easy reach. And it can be outfitted with hooks in various places, as well as small shelves and containers so you can customize it to your needs.
This pegboard ($57, The Container Store) even comes with all the hooks and shelves shown, but not the supplies.
Clear crafts storage bins
You can’t glue what you can’t see, so make your life easier by storing supplies in wire baskets or clear plastic bins like these ones ($3 to $6, The Container Store).
A crafting table of adjustable height and size
It’s fine to donate an old table to your crafts area, but if you don’t have an extra one, consider a lightweight, foldable option, like this pretty number ($166, Amazon). You can adjust the height to suit both big and little crafters, and the slide-out mesh baskets and lower level make organizing easy.
To protect your workspace and make cleanup a breeze, O’Hara suggests putting down old newspaper or a shower curtain from the dollar store, before starting your projects.
Don’t skimp on a good chair when you start crafting!
“Invest in something comfortable, because you or your kids may be working for hours, and the last thing you want is pain in your neck,” says Boiko.
This well-priced wheeled wonder ($45, Amazon) comes in various colors, including black, and slides easily on wood floors and carpet. You’ll love swiveling around or pivoting gently for decoupage or beading. In addition, the lumbar support cradles the lower back.
A rolling art cabinet
We love this rolling option ($220, Wayfair), which is like a file cabinet and bookcase in one. With lots of interior slots, a drawer, and shelving, this smart-looking crafts box is a compact choice for small homes. It’s made from birch and plywood, with sturdy casters and steel hardware so that it can move smoothly across the floor.
“I rely on an adjustable task lamp to see the intricate details of the arts and crafts projects I’m working on,” says O’Hara.
This pretty lamp ($36, Wayfair) has a head that adjusts easily and a small base that won’t take up too much of your crafting space.
An over-the-door shoe bag for extra storage
Need more storage, but lack the shelf space? Purchase a see-through shoe bag ($10, Amazon) that you can drape over the door.
“This helps to free up space, and holds a variety of items,” O’Hara says.
More crafting area organization tips
The beauty of creating a crafting area is that many of the items you need are things you may already have around the house. Here are others to consider:
- Shoeboxes: Plain ol’ cardboard boxes can corral small bottles of resin, Mod Podge, and glue.
- String a line: Go old school with some twine, and run it the length of your space—and then pin up your finished projects, says Boiko.
- Cutlery trays: Paintbrushes and rulers nestle nicely where your forks used to live. And don’t forget about muffin tins for buttons, beads, and vials of glitter, says O’Hara.
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