Friday, August 01, 2008

A little peak at my home based fiber art studio and some organization tips for your own arts and crafts work space

I thought it would be interesting to share this photo today. It is of my wool stash along with some of my other felting supplies. It is just a portion of one of my walls in my home-based fiber art studio. Last December, my parents helped my husband and I renovate our basement into a work area for my felting obsession. (All paid for by my Etsy shop earnings! Yay!) We converted about one-third of our basement area into a comfortable space for all my fiber art and other craft supplies. I also have plenty of room to create and leave ongoing projects out as I work on them. Before I had my basement studio, I used a tiny dining room area on our main level. Needless to say, I feel very blessed to have a much larger space now with room for everything and room to work too.

In the photo, you can see how I've organized most of my wool roving and yarns. I actually use closet organizers that hang from a rod which is fastened to the ceiling. The square bin closet organizers float freely a few feet away from a side wall. This way, there is room behind them to walk, clean, and store other things. Also, I think using the cloth and plastic closet organizers are ideal for storing roving and yarn as well as other lightweight arts and crafts supplies. I can easily see what colors and kinds of wool that I have in stock, and I can clean and rearrange very easily with the open faced cubbies.

You can't really see it very well in the photo, but I have a four foot work table sitting in front of the right two closet organizers. This way, I can sit and work on designs with ready access to all my roving choices. Behind the work table, I have shelving to store beads, jewelry findings, tools, etc., that I need access to easily when creating. With my roving storage, work table, and additional shelving all in one central location, I have access to almost everything that I need when designing and creating. As a feltmaker, you do need a water area as well. For this, I have a wet area set up in a separate section of my basement studio along with a large six foot table to work on. I keep my wet felting area apart from my dry studio area, but it is just on the other side of a wall so it is not very far to go. I also have one other sectioned off area for picture taking and storage. Technically, my studio space has three segments, each with walls separating them. There are still many things that I'd like to do for my work area to be completely to my satisfaction, but I am very thankful to have a nice area of my very own to work and conduct business.

Perhaps you also have a well organized area for your arts and crafts endeavors. Or, maybe your "studio" space is merely the kitchen table or a desk with some storage space. I think the key to utilizing and enjoying your work space is in organization. This doesn't necessarily mean keeping it clean and tidy, but rather setting it up in a systematic way for your purposes. Below are some (hopefully) helpful tips to get you on the right path to organization for your work space.

Organizing Your Studio Space

1. Keep in mind what your purpose is.
When designing the layout for your arts and crafts work area, no matter what its size, always remember your purpose. Hopefully, your purpose is to create. With this in mind, think about the placement of your most important supplies and tools. Can you easily access them? Are they where you can see your choices of materials?

2. Make all things important easily accessible.
You must admit that there are some supplies, tools, etc., that just aren't as important as others. Perhaps there are supplies that you don't need access to every day, but there are going to be supplies that you do need access to on a daily basis or each time you create. Be sure to make these supplies clearly available to you. It will save you time and effort searching for them later.

3. Be sure to have a clear work space.
When my work space was our tiny dining room area, I never seemed to have one open place to work. All the table tops and shelving were full of stuff. I often times ended up taking my project to our living room and taking over in there as well. Now that I have definite clear work table, I see its great value! Don't set up an obstacle for your creativity by not having an open place to comfortably create. Even if your space is terribly limited, make it a priority to have a small area that is always clear and open for you to begin a new project or continue an old one. Designate a work space area for yourself.

4. Store your supplies with care and thoughtfulness.
My mother is an extremely organized and clean person. She always taught me to care for my belongings so that they would last a life time. I hope that I've taken this attitude into my crafting as well. Many of you, as I do myself, spend quite a lot on supplies and tools for your arts and crafts. Therefore, it is important to store and care for you supplies properly. Choose the right type of storage for your chosen art or craft. Then regularly check on your supplies to clean, organize, and care for them.

5. Put a personal touch on your studio. Regardless of how well organized your work space is, if it doesn't feel like your little artistic safe haven where you can be free to create, then you will probably not accomplish much. This is why you should put a personal touch on it! In my own studio space, I have things that make it feel comfortable and inspirational. For instance, I keep a rocking chair in it. It is not just any rocking chair, but it is the 30+ year old rocking chair that my mom and dad rocked me in as a baby. I know it is very sentimental, but it is really the only very personal item that I have in my studio space. I like to sit in it and rock when I'm feeling uninspired.

Do you need some visual motivation and ideas for your studio?
Visit these Flickr groups for photos of craft rooms and studio spaces:
Craft Rooms
My Crafting Room (private - must join to see photos)
Art Studio
Artist's Studios


  1. I am working on making mine a more usable space. It is also a guest room so, when someone is visiting I have to haul a lot of stuff out of the room... I need to use a bunch of it up and then things would be easier to find. I think it would also help the creative process. I am working on it. Really.

  2. What a great idea! It's fun to see pics of other peoples crafting areas. Those hanging shelves would also be great for holding fabric. I might just have to try that out myself :)

  3. i am in the trenches right now trying to organize my studio. it's like a giant elephant went to lunch in the fabric and glitter jungle and came back to throw up all over my space. after 3 days of tearing though all my drawers and bins i can finally see the light and it is magnificent!

    thanks for the inspiration! i think i'll go follow some of your links now for more!



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