Category Archives: Craft Room Make-over

{almost} Free Ironing Board Bookshelf


As I’ve been {finally} getting my craft room together, I was ready to get to work on a project I pinned forever ago. Unfortunately, I do not know the source of my inspiration thanks to all of the pinning and re-pinning that goes on. Here is the photo. If anyone know the source, I will most definitely link back properly.

PhotobucketI’m a huge fan of organization, and grouping things together by their purpose. When I saw this combination ironing board and fabric storage a few months ago, I was instantly in love. I began keeping my eye out for similar shelving units so I could incorporate this into my new craft room. My search proved a more difficult task that I thought.

But one day, I came home to find a perfect foundation for my project. Just sitting in my garage as if by magic. A little better than magic, maybe. It was free! Turns out, hubby dearest’s father was getting new goodies for his tool shed. He no longer needed this shelf, so he brought it to us. He suggested finding a good spot in the garage to help get things organized… HA! There’s been no organization in there since we moved in. Why start now? Besides, I knew exactly where this shelf was going. My Room!

 It was a very heavy piece of furniture to carry up the stairs… by myself… while my toddler was napping….           but I got it.

First step was to take stock of what kind of shape he was in. This piece is definitely a he. Too bulky and rough to be feminine at all. I got out a dust rag, and wiped away the dirt, grime, and cobwebs. Underneath, I found another layer of grime, so I got some warm water and wiped him down again. As you can see below, some things were going to take a little more time to get really clean… I didn’t want have that kind of time.

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So I did what all lazy cheap crafty mommas do. I covered up the mess. Dollar Tree had rolls of contact paper that were 18″x 1.5 yds… for a dollar. That was my only expense for this project. $4 worth of contact paper. Everything else was stuck somewhere in my stash of goodies. Crud. That’s not actually true. I bought a staple gun and staples because I was tired of always having to borrow my mom’s. So my project total was actually $14. Still that’s pretty sweet.

Here’s where that new staple gun comes in.

What you’ll need:

  • Your shelf (obviously)
  • Batting
  • Fabric (and trim if you want)
  • Staples & Staple gun
  • Measuring tape (this was an afterthought and I’m glad I thought of it before I cut)
  • Scissors
  • Patience (especially important when your two-year old wants to “help”)

Measure the length and width of the shelf top. I added two inches to make sure there was enough material to cover the edge of the shelf. Cut your batting {I used two layers}and lay it flat across the top shelf. I wish now that I would’ve taken pictures along the way of where to staple first. I stapled the middle of one long side, then did the same for the other long side. Repeat for shorter sides. After that, I wrapped and stapled the corners so that they laid flat {}again wishing I had taken a picture to show what I’m talking about and stapled the “middles” from where I had already stapled, working all the way around the shelf. { You use a LOT of staples. Just FYI.} And tah-dah the batting is done!



The only things different about stapling the fabric is that I only used one layer {it seemed silly to use two, but I guess if you used a thinner cotton you might} and I folded the raw edges under so there were no frays showing when I stapled them to the edge of the shelf. The rest was exactly the same.

I’m in love with how it has turned out, and got to work on a few sewing projects immediately. I am still, however, sorting my fabric. I’m in desperate need of a “system” if anyone knows where to find a tutorial of sorts on such a thing.



Craft Room {Part 4: Progress}


I honestly can’t remember how long ago I started “getting ready” to paint this room… Guess what? I did it!

PhotobucketI took a really long time to get all of my craft crap goodies cleared out so there would be room to roll. This is what happens when you put a 16×20 room worth of stuff in a 6×10 closet…

I pushed the remaining furniture to the center of the room {and found a dead spider between the mattress and box spring}  then got to work taping off the walls. I ran out of tape before I got to the ceiling. It will be fine… I thought. Ladies and gentlemen, just do it right the first time. I now have all of this to fix because I was too cheap & lazy to go buy more tape.

But I finished, and put the bed back, and my corner shelf {$10 at a yard sale} and dug out my boxes of nick-knacks from my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. I was also able to find a home for Miriam {who still needs a bottom drawer}
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This space above the bed needs something…

It’s a start. I’ll probably end up adding pieces here and there until it feels right.

At this point, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve done so much , and yet when I look at the big picture… painting seems like a drop in a bucket. I really love the way things are coming together, though. It’s just what I saw while I was planning and dreaming.

DSCN0658-teaserHere’s a little teaser of another {almost} free project I finished this week. Hope everyone else was able to get some things accomplished. If not, take the weekend to do something you love.

Check out some Linky Parties I love (and have linked to)

I Heart Nap TimeSee Vanessa CraftCherished Handmade Treasures

It’s about to get really crafty in here


Sweet hubby and I stumbled upon a financial boo boo dilemma road block this week, and so I am putting us on a very strict budget. Because of said budget, I am challenging myself to be extra cheap crafty with my projects. While I always try to get a good deal on my supplies, I am also an impulse buyer. I could probably shop around and find a similar {fill in the blank}  I have a tendency to buy cute things when I see them and not take the time to price check. Now, in addition to my “never buy if you can make it for less” philosophy I am setting new rules for my craftiness:

  1. For the next 6 months, I will only START a new project if it is free. That means really free & not “the bookshelf was free, but I need x,y,z to redo it.” Free.
  2. For projects already in the works, I will only buy supplies if I have a coupon or the item is at least 50% off.
  3. I WILL follow my priority list in my journal. There are a million-and-two things around that house that I want to do… I already have a list of things that are “time sensitive” for lack of a better phrase.
  4. I will FINISH two projects for every one I decide to start. I can’t even get a work surface cleared in my room because I keep adding crafts without finishing them.

That’s it for now, as far as rules go.

Now, on to the fun stuff…


I recieved a picture on my phone the other day with the caption “Want it?” Well, it just so happened to be a white wooden 5-drawer dresser. free. All I had to do was go get it. And so, get it I did.


I apologize for the grainy cell phone picture, but it’s what I’ve got. {random side note: the shelf behind and to the left has a redo of its own coming soon. stay tuned}

The plan for her… I think I will call her Miriam… The plan for Miriam is to go into my craft room and perform double duty. The top two drawers will be for guests {after all, my craft room is technically still a guest room}  and the bottom three drawers will hold “sewing clutter.” One of my goals for the room is to have as little visible clutter as possible. But back to Miriam, I asked my good friends for color advice since I have a strong pull toward browns and greys and wanted some color! When aqua was suggested, I nearly leaped leapt jumped out of my chair {also getting a makeover soon}  because I’m holding a can of “Melon Rind” paint for my sister who, at present, has no home to paint.

“Nik, can I use your Melon paint?” “Sure. Whatcha painting?” “That dresser you gave me.” “Yes!!!!”

So now I have a free dresser, free paint, and some antique {looking}  drawer pulls ($11 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore). I’m planning some fun touches for this little girl! Probably my favorite is lining the drawers with decoupage book pages.

Look for more updates soon!

Craft Room {Part 3}



Uh oh! I was browsing the clearance aisle at Wal-Mart… and I think I have changed my color scheme. Well, only kinda. }I am keeping the yellow as my base color, and there will still be my pine color & my dirt… I just have a few accents to change up. Instead of the coral I originally had planned, this purple is calling my name… loudly.

The pillows I already have with the coral will still work, and I have a button patterned fabric that I’m making a… whatever those round, flat pillows are called. That’s going to bug me…


I’ve always called them button pillows, because that’s what they make me think of are great big buttons. probably also why I chose a button fabric for the project  }Any way, point being the colors should all compliment each other well.

Some of the things I have already made or at least have begun making }are :

– dress form pincushion/ memo board

– button pushpins for the dress form { all made from buttons in my great-grandmother’s sewing kit }

– decoupage & button wall clock { also made with my grandmother’s buttons }

– chevron throw pillow { still toying with some additions to it }

– something for the door… probably button inspired

 That’s the fun stuff.

The not fun stuff that people always seem to forget to mention in their remodel and makeover blogs is just how much PREP goes into doing it. I kid you not, I’m still cleaning my room. I swear I don’t recall buying so much STUFF but there it is… waiting… taunting me… it never ends. I’m really hoping that as stuff comes back out of the closet once I’m done painting, there will be a home for it all. Maybe that will help it not feel and look }  like a cluttered mess. For now, I’m just trying to clear a large enough space in the center of the room to move the bed and my desk away from the walls so I can get to painting. After that, it will all start going together. hopefully }

And now, a few progress pictures… 

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As a side note, the table beside the bed is a temporary need. On & under it, I have my “work in progress” clutterjunk for my first festival booth and Thing 1’s birthday party supplies. I wonder if he’s actually Thing 3 since we did have the dogs before he was born… }

Craft Room Make-over {Part 2}


Since I left off on this topic a few weeks ago, here’s a recap of my progress thus far.

  • The room is as big a mess as ever. Possibly a bigger mess than ever.
  • Instead of getting rid of stuff I probably won’t use, I’ve been on a buying spree of “things that could come in handy for something… eventually.”
  • The list of things I need to buy is ever-growing, while my account balance is ever-dwendling.
  • I have been cheaper thriftier than ever with accessories and supplies for my finished room.
    • C-R-E-A-T-E letters from Michael’s: $1 each, decoupaged with old pages from a thesaurus. ❤
    • Empty frames to use as some type of message/photo board: free from Mom { If you don’t take it, it’s going in the trash. }
    • Cross-stitch circles to go with the frames: $0.49 at Goodwill
    • Two gallons of yellow paint: free from my sister who decided she didn’t want it anymore.
    • Floor pillows: free from my other sister, then I re-covered one with a quilt top from Goodwill { $3-ish }
    • Splatter paint table: stool base picked up from side of the road, wooden shelf from Mom, Black & White spray paint, various acrylic paints, screws. ❤
    • Painting supplies { tape, brushes, rollers, etc. } all free from my sister
  • I’m taking baby steps toward organizing my junk supplies in a way that would let me cram store things in my closet until I can get the room painted & move stuff where I want it { for now, as I have a tendancy to re-arrange frequently }
  • I have a pretty clear idea of how I want the room laid out so that it will be the best usable space for my work.

And my biggest accomplishment thus far…

  • I put a latch on the door so that certain toddler hands will not find their way into my things, and leave them from one end of the room to another. { I’m still finding rubber stamps }

I was going to try to be creative with my photo placement, but it’s a bigger hassle than I’m up for right now. So, here you go. Crafty montage.


Check out this and other crafty goodness at See Vanessa Craft
See Vanessa Craft

Craft room Makeover {Part One}


PhotobucketAs I said previously, my craft room needs some love… among other things. Here are some before pictures to give everyone a clearer picture of what it is I’m dealing with. As of right now, the area pictured below is my “work space” and I have tried very hard to limit my things to this area. The end result being that everything is piled (more or less) in one area, and it ceases to function as it was intended… eh-hemm, not a lot of work gets done in this work space. It’s kind of sad really, because I have lots of things to be working on, and I had such high hopes for this space when I first moved my things here. BUT! I have a plan! It’s a very good plan if I do say so myself, and I do. I have to start with cleaning – by far my least favorite thing to do- which is why the other side of the room was not photographed, yet. Once the room is clean, I’ll move everything into the center and paint the walls. I picked a color from Glidden called French Mustard. The name kinda gives it away, but it’s a yellowish-brown {or brownish-yellow, I haven’t decided}. It’s going to look great with my other, nature inspired colors – Tierra Brown and Loose Leaf (green). Since I feel the most inspired by nature, it only makes sense to create a warm, natural working environment. My vision -because I don’t know what else to call it- is a field, overgrown with grasses and wildflowers, the feeling of cool dirt under bare feet, and the warmth of summer on your shoulders. I want a place to escape while I do all of these projects I enjoy so much.

Sorry. Focus.

0528122203Once the painting is done, I’m going to install {or rather help my mom install} a continuous floating work table along the three wall pictured. I’m still unsure of where the table will end on the longest wall (the one with Marilyn) but it will go at least to the window. Oh, the window didn’t make it into that last picture. Well, as I update on my progress, I’ll get that in there. Because of the height, I think I’m going to stop at the frame of the window. I’ve seen desks that come across the window, but mine isn’t floor-to-ceiling. I don’t think it would look right. Instead, I’m probably going to move my reading area from my bedroom {it was a good idea, but I’m bad with dimmensions} up to the corner beside the window. I have big plans for the chair, but I’m forcing myself to paint the room before I paint the chair. Yes, I’m painting my upholstered wingback chair. I saw some fabric spray paint, and I am determined to paint my chair versus recovering it. I’m not completely sure on the color, but I’m thinking a light tan or camel color. I also need a suggestion as to where I should move Ms. Monroe. I can’t very well get rid of her, she’s been an idol of mine for as long as I can remember. She’s soley responsible for my platinum phase through high school. It’s just that I’m going to need all the storage I can get… and she’s hanging in the middle of prime wall space. {Oh, and my husband spent more money than I cared to ask about to get her for me.}

Anyway, the space issue. I’ve got a friend who is practically giving away sheets of pegboard {$1 for a 4’x6′ piece, umm yes, please}. So I will paint it my mustard color and add this cool stencil -color yet unknown- from the csi project and hang all of my goodies on peg hooks and baskets. I’m also contemplating the use of that stencil for some pillows on the previously mentioned chair. I don’t want the room to get too busy, and I know I want to use it for my pegboard. Of everything, the pegboard probably has me the most excited. I was completely blown away at the massive amount of accessories available for pegboards. Seriously, if you need organizing solutions, you should check this stuff out. Google “craftroom pegboards” and prepare to have your mind blown. There were so many great ideas, and the best part (for me, at least) is they don’t take up room on your work surface. I also have some wooden shelves to hang {probably on the far wall that didn’t make it into the pictures} where I plan to display my collection of assorted trinkets, conversation pieces, and other whatnots. I’m planning to bring in some of my science background, especially after seeing how well it turned out for The Scientific Seamstress. I sat and absorbed SO many of her details and concepts. And I’m in a better position to get (free) glassware and other neat pieces of multi-functional science thingys {it’s a technical term}.

I’m just so in love with the idea of making this space, this catch-all, into something that’s mine and anyone who walks in will know that it’s a piece of me. Know that I poured myself into a room where I will be pouring myself into the work I love. I suppose since I have moved past the point of laying out my plans, and on to the point where I just gush about how wonderful it’s going to be… I should probably wrap things up. Can’t wait to get things in gear and post some progress. Until then, do what you love… and check out some inspiration from See Vanessa Craft