Friday, April 4, 2014

Craft Room Makeover with Homework Station CHEAP!

After the birth of our third child, I had complications that required emergency surgery.  I was unable to do a lot of the things I used to do for quite some time.  The recovery has been lengthy but I feel like I am ready to get back in the game, slowly but surely.  I am under a lay off at work, so I have had extra time to bond with my new baby and recover.  I have also had a lot of time to look at this house and nit pick all the things wrong that need to be updated.  I have been on a major updating spree.

First on the list was my craft "room".  Technically it's the dining room my dear husband let me transform to my work area.  I have rearranged, removed, added, you name it, trying to get it just right.  Here are some pictures to show how it started.



This worked great for a while but then the tables became "catch all's" for everything from mail to homework, groceries to laundry.  It was a hot mess.

I started cleaning everything out before taking pictures of it at it's worst, but here are some.



After searching through Pinterest and doing some research, I came up with an affordable solution.  I was able to get it done in one day which was great too.

What I used:

2-Five Shelf Book Shelves from Wal-Mart less than $30 each (total $60)
2-Three Shelf Book Shelves from Wal-Mart less than $20 each (total $40)
1-Flush unfinished door from Lowes about $23
2-Cans of Spray paint around $4 each (total $8)
16-Storage Bins from the Dollar Tree (Total $16)
Baskets I had on hand

Total Project Cost? Approximately $147


I'm so in love with this.  It's not as fancy or expensive as some other systems, but this does exactly what we need.  I had 2 large plastic drawer sets on wheels and 4 small ones (like you see under the table).  I was able to store away everything on to the shelves in the bins or baskets.  What couldn't fit in them, went in the short book shelves where they are harder to see.  My dining room is wide open into my living room.  The way it was before was becoming an eye sore to me.  Anytime someone came over, my craft cluster was the first thing you could notice.  Now, this just feels so much better.

My wall is 12 feet in length.  I put the two 5 shelf cases on each end against the wall.  Next, I turned the three shelf cases facing inward, to create the base for my table top.  We took the flush door purchased at Lowe's and spray painted a rustic black on the top and sides (took about 1 1/2 cans).  The door is 30 inches wide and each shelf was just over 29 inches in width, so it made the perfect fit.  The two plastic rolling bins underneath contain all of my daughter's craft supplies.

I have seen many great ideas to make work benches, craft stations, homework areas, ect.  This was very practical for us and the function is perfect.  The kids come straight in from school and have a snack at the counter, then move to this area to do their homework.  No school work where we eat thank goodness.  Here are some close ups of a few extra things I did to enhance our work station.

 Here is my current stash of all season fabric, ribbons for hair bows and thread.  I keep the seasonal fabric put up and out of sight until I need it.
 This side contains our rainbow looms, crochet/knitting, beads and sizzix tools.
 Our Lazy Susan full of school supplies was less than $1 to make!
I found the Lazy Susan in my Mom's garage sale pile, the cups we part of a 6 cup pack from the Dollar Tree and the crayon holders?  Baby food jars!  Everything is hot glued in place to keep from spilling.  The kids loved this idea.  Functional and used daily.  No more: "where is the homework box?" "why does the glue stick go missing so much?" "I can't find the scissors."  

Simple. Functional. Cheap.

I took a notebook and started writing down different options on how to make this.  I wrote the sizes and costs for closet storage systems, actual craft desks, and cube storage.  I went to Lowe's and took photos of different items and their price tags.  It may seem like a lot of work but it really wasn't.  We are all bad to just jump in to something without fully thinking it through and sometimes spend way too much.  I took about a week researching and planning the right way to set this up.  I knew I was going to need my husband to help get the big items with his truck and what day he was off, so I gave myself time to plan and I am so glad I did.  I really don't think these pictures do it justice.

Recycling items you have on hand for storage can save you a ton of money.  Also check Dollar Trees, Mighty Dollar, and thrift store before paying full price for any storage.  These collapsible bins can cost $6 and up depending on size and color.  I went to the Dollar Tree and bought all they had in two different sizes and made sure they were all in the same color family.  This worked perfect for me.
Another great trick was this one:
Can you guess what the cylinder containers are?  Good Start Formula containers!  I've been cleaning and saving them since she was born.  I wrapped some decorative scrapbook paper around them and sealed with double stick tape.  What you can't see is that I wrote on the top of each one in a sharpie what is stored in them: Buttons, elastic, bias tape, safety pins and so much more.  All those little items now have a safe place!

I really am happy with how it turned out.  Oh and that table and stool sticking out in the right hand corner of the picture?
My sewing machine and serger.  I love having these in front of the window for natural sunlight, it makes sewing so much easier when your eyes get tired.

So that's it, you have my craft and home work space make over directions!  The possiblities are endless so get busy creating one for yourself! 

Things to remember:

Measure, measure, measure.  Your wall space, the width, height and depth of the storage items you are looking at.  Draw it out.  You don't have to be an artist, just a ruler and some squares and rectangles is all you need to do!  Good luck!

Please let me know if you make one of your own, I'd love to see photos!  If you find this information helpful, please be sure to leave a comment and share!!

Until next time...

Amy...The Dixie Diva ;-)