Thursday, 3 May 2018

Create a Cheerful Craft Nook on a Budget! (Part One)

Like many of you, I pour over craft blogs and gaze longingly when they profile their work spaces. Such beautiful storage! Such beautiful lighting! But, how do you begin?

For years, that’s as far as I went. I didn’t set up my own work space because I thought that it would be too expensive nor did I have the time or the room. I didn’t even know where to start!

That all changed when I saw a profile of a sewing space that was simple yet functional on the British Tilly and the Buttons blog. It looked like a charming place to curl up with a tea and a project on a rainy afternoon.

When I flipped through the crafter’s blog, I realized that she and I had actually been neighbours! If she could make it happen in her space, then so could I. All I needed was the UK profile of an Edmonton blogger to help me realize it!

Photo: Karlene L.

Although my space is a work in progress, it brings me joy every time I see it. Using a small corner of the basement, I designed an inexpensive, functional and eco-conscious playground for creating and exploring - and you can too! Here’s how to start.

1) Find a workstation. Your workstation needs will vary depending on your crafting interests and the space you have available. If you’re into crochet and lettering, you’ll need less flat space than someone who quilts. If you have the luxury of setting up a full sewing room, you’ll have more space for tables than someone carving out the corner of a larger room.

Photo: Karlene L.

In my nook, my eco-friendly workstation is my mother-in-law’s beautifully re-purposed dining room table. The wood is solid, the construction is meticulous and it’s expandable with two additional leaves hidden under the table top. Look for similar vintage gems at thrift stores, garage sales, Find or the Ambleside and Kennedale Eco Station Reuse Areas.

2) Think about storage. If you’re a minimalist: well done, this part will be easier! If you’re more like me, less so. Having all of your craft supplies handy makes projects faster and far less frustrating. Less time finding bobbins means more time stitching.

Photo: Karlene L.

My main storage piece is a happy yellow IKEA KALLAX, which offers space for both storage and display and is a more environmentally sustainable version of the classic EXPEDIT. I also re-purposed a pink IKEA office storage unit from several years ago, which is fantastic for storing patterns and notions. For smaller items such as buttons and crochet hooks, I reused mason jars (from preserves that we had received as a gift) and old coffee mugs (like the one from the Ambleside Reuse Area on the right).

Check back next month for Part Two where we work on lighting and accessorizing our new spaces!

-Karlene (Volunteer)