How to Pull Together a Thrifted Craft Room

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When we lived in our 2-bedroom condo, I made no space for crafting. I would sit in front of the TV in the living room, with my sewing machine stacked on stop of an old cheapie card table that was hardly enough space to stretch out. So when we moved into our single-family home a few years ago, I knew a craft room was in order!

How to Pull Together a Thrifted Craft Room

Because I love thrift stores, it only made sense to buy everything second-hand.

So here are a few tips to help you pull together your own affordable thrifted craft room!

 

How to Pull Together a Thrifted Craft Room

 

TIP #1 – Paint everything the same color.

The thing about second hand is that usually everything is mismatched–different color woods, different styles…I guess that’s true for any room that gets all second-hand thrifted furniture. The best way to unify everything is to paint is the same color, or at least, complimentary. Who cares if you have different styles of furniture! Unless you’re inviting over some Furniture Connoisseur, you shouldn’t care too much :)

 

TIP #2 – Plan What You Need Before You Start Shopping

Because if you’re like me, you will end up with too much stuff :) Start with your BEFORE (this is my “before” below, ick! Cold, bare, and poo-poo brown!) and see how much space you’ll have before you start buying pieces.

 

Thrift Diving Craft Room

(Another “before” shot…..ugh….it was horrible! As we lived in it, it got messier….and messier…..And no “CRAFTING” was being done in there! Who could create in that mess?! Plus, hubby and I had to share the space for his office and my crafting).

Thrift Diving Craft Room_BEFORE

 

It needed paint, BADLY! I had to prime first, because the color was so dark. Then again, I probably didn’t need to prime. LOL

Thrift Diving Craft Room BEFORE

 

TIP #3 – Look For Cheap Wall Shelving

The point is to get things off your desk, and up on those walls. I found this wall shelf for only $5.00!! It ended up working out perfectly. If you can’t seem to find any shelves, look for crates that you could turn on their sites and mount to the wall to act as shelving. Or, even use dresser drawers from old dressers you’ve found at the thrift store!

Thrift Craft Room

 

Here’s what it looked like when I bought it:

Thrift Diving Craft Room Shelf_BEFORE

 

It’s a great place to store old cans with craft supplies in them:

Thrift Diving Craft Room Thrift Store Shelf

TIP #4 – Consider Rustic Desks

I am in LOVE with my vintage Anco Bilt drafting table that I found at the thrift store for only $30! It was truly a steal. I decided to keep it rustic and natural because, well, it is more valuable that way. But if you’re crafting on a desk, you’re going to be dropping pins, scissors, etc., and you may just scratch any desk you decide to use if it’s painted. I like the rustic look more. Any nicks and dings only add to its character :).

BONUS TIP: Position the desk perpendicular to the wall because it creates a nice little alcove-ish area for you to call your own, especially if you’re sharing the room with your spouse! Cap it off with a book shelf on the end and stack crafting books on it. I bought this one from a yard sale for $10!

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

 

Thrift Diving Craft Room Vintage Anco Bilt Drafting Table

 

TIP #5 – Ask Friends and Coworkers for Old Furniture

Sometimes deals are found outside of the thrift store! I found this Ikea Expedit from a coworker whose son didn’t need it anymore. I bought from a coworker for a measly $40. Right now, it’s a hot mess :). But I will be putting more baskets there as I reign in my crafting clutter…..

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

Thrift Diving Craft Room Expedit

TIP #6 – Buy Extra Lamps (Or DIY Your Own!)

Craft rooms need lots of light, so look for an old thrifted lamp, or make an awesome DIY pendant lamp to hang over your drafting desk. I made mine out of my broken Crate & Barrel wire fruit basket! You won’t believe the cool light art that it creates on the ceiling when I turn it on!!! I love it!

(For the full tutorial on how to create your own DIY pendant lamp like the one I did, here are the video tutorial instructions.)

Thrift Diving How to Make a DIY Pendant Lamp

 

Thrift Diving How to Make a DIY Pendant Lamp

 

 

Thrift Diving How to Make a DIY Pendant Lamp

 

TIP #7 – Keep Your Sewing Machine Out of the Limelight

If you have kids, I guarantee they’ll grab your thread……your needles……and, oh, your leg press that allows you to even raise and lower the sewing machine. HA! Better to keep it under wraps when it’s not in use. Try to find an affordable sewing cabinet from the thrift store, or check Craigslist.

I got this one from the thrift store for a mere $40! I haven’t refinished it yet….

IMG_5939

 

TIP #8 – Go For the Uncommon

Yes, my friends….that right there is a vintage shoe shine caddy. And what am I using it for? Craft supplies! On my desk! Its on of my favorite things in the room! I got it from the thrift store, about $6.00. I just store scissors or note pads in there.

Thrift Diving Craft Room Vintage Shoe Shine

 

TIP #9 – Use All Your Old Cans…..and Then Some!

As a crafter, you will never have enough markers, pens, pencils–you name it. Use a bunch of cans on your desk, some of which you can easily find at the thrift store. Some of them will be food cans. And some, snack cans! The more, the merrier! :)

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

 

Thrift Diving Craft Room Black and White Thrift Store cup

 

Thrift Diving Craft Room Black and White Thrift Store cup

TIP #10 – Don’t Expect It to Be Perfect!

Look–my craft room isn’t perfect. Here is the unpretty side of the room (where hubby sits) and I haven’t had time to finish the craft room yet. But when I do, the whole thing will be great. For now, I celebrate what I have already put together, and work on what a little bit at a time the things I haven’t had time or money to finish.

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS
Thrifted Craft Room

Just get some things that you really love in your craft room (like my pretty little DIY card catalog that I love, love, love–found at the thrift store for $18!). The more you love it, the more you’ll want to create.

 

What If You Don’t Have Space for a Craft Room?

Yep, not everyone has a dedicated room for crafting. In that case, here’s what I would recommend:

  • Use your dining room table. Who actually eats there, anyhow?? If you can, get a buffet in your dining room and use it to store your craft materials. Those things hold a lot!
  • Clear out a closet. I’m sure you’ve seen the closets-turned-crafting-space. It’s an option…..
  • Craft at a friend’s house. If you have a friend that has more space than you, set up regular dates to craft over at their house instead.
  • Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

So tell me…do you have a craft room, and how have you decorated it? Are you actually getting to use it?? Leave a comment below to share!

 

 

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About the Author ()

Hey there, I'm Serena, a 36-year-old working mom of 3 young boys who can't get enough DIY! If you actually made it to the bottom of this post to read this, it means you're really enjoy my blog. That means SO much. If I can inspire just one person through my passion and energy for DIY, then I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll subscribe so we can keep in touch! ~Serena

Comments (51)

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  1. Hi Serena, you totally crack me up. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and that you kept it so real! Yep, those Ikea baskets are a major rip off. I think I swore when I saw the price too. :) And totally agree, could never buy a used rug. Gross! Your room is coming along beautifully and I love your furniture placement. Can’t wait to keep following your progress. Love your sense of humour too! Thanks for making me laugh. x Julie

    • Serena says:

      Thanks, Julie! Yeah, I was am shocked that Ikea’s baskets for the Expedit are so expensive! I need a LOT of them to cover up that clutter, and at $30 a pop….Well, That would be, like, $400! HA! Not gonna happen. And I’m so happy that my posts entertain you! I do “keep it real” but sometimes I probably need to tone it down. LOL Thanks for your compliments!

  2. Laura Brown says:

    Hi Serena! I love watching you clean up old thrift store finds! It’s a wonderful inspiration. Here’s my question though: what did you do with that old sewing machine? Sometimes those things are gorgeous (I’m dying to get an old Singer myself). Send it to me! :)

    • Serena says:

      I’m so happy that I’m inspiring you! I think we could all make life just as beautiful and affordable with second-hand finds! As for the old sewing machines, it’s sitting in my garage. I have no idea if it works. And yes, I believe it’s a Singer. Are you close to MD?

      • Laura Brown says:

        Unfortunately, no, I’m in GA. Can you post a picture of it?

        • Serena says:

          Hey, Laura! I didn’t get a pic of it, but I quickly looked at the name. It’s a Singer Touch Tronic 2010. After some research, I’m learning that they were made in 1978 (hahaha, I was a year old then).

          • Laura Brown says:

            That’s pretty cool – do you know if it still works? I’m not going to the Haven Convention, but if you’re driving down and can bring it with you, I can definitely meet up with you! I’d love to meet a celebrity! :) I can also give you some tips about the best thrift stores to hit while you’re here! :)

  3. Chris Deals says:

    Hey Serena, thanks for sharing this post with me via G+. I enjoy your writing style, I feel like I’m chatting with a friend.

    I recently moved and plan on hitting up some thrift stores, and yard sales to furnish my home office. This post offers great inspiration for that.

    Chris

    • Serena says:

      Yes, get those used deals, Chris! :) It’s very rewarding to put a room together with such small amounts of cash. It forces you to be more creative, right? And thanks so much for liking my writing style! I want who I am online to be who I am in real life. I try to keep it real, for sure! :) Thanks for your comment!

  4. Rachel says:

    LOVE it! Way to go with this room–it really looks great. I also love that you didn’t break the bank doing it!

  5. Kelly R says:

    I love it! It looks amazing.

  6. anna says:

    That blue paint is really working in that room! Don’t disparage shower curtains for curtains. Find a pretty one and attach it to a rod with curtain rings. Rods, rings and brackets are EXTREMELY cheap at Ikea.

  7. Way to go on all of your progress! I LOVE that drafting table. It’s my favorite thing in the room. Can’t wait to see more!

    • Serena says:

      Hey, Sarah! So good to see you here :) Yes, the drafting table was a total score! I walked into a thrift store that I don’t normally go to, and–SURPRISE!–they were having 50% off for the next 20 minutes. I went into “OMG!” mode, with (at the time) 2 little kids trailing behind me. I had also found my $5.00 coffee table, and a couple other things, and by the time I got to the register, the 50% off deal was over. But THEN, I saw this drafting table and it was $60. I simlpy asked, “Will you still honor the 50% deal, and can I buy it for $30?” They said YES. And now, it’s mine forever! :)

  8. Melanie says:

    Nice progress! I’ve been working on my craft room, too!

  9. Dawn says:

    That office looks great! I have to say that I am one of the brown lovers, though, lol! The blue is good, too, though!

    Dawn

  10. Tori says:

    This was a VERY smart idea. I have a junk room right now that needs to be converted and I’m thinking thrifting is where it’ll be! Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Janet Wood says:

    This is a great post! I love it, and I love the fact that you showed us pics on the way through it, thrift stores are the way to go I love the cans on your shelf, when I have cans like that I collage them with themes in sets of 4 sizes from small to large I collage and then modpodge or similar to protect them. I love the shelf from the thrift store and the backing paper for 5.00$ that is truly the way to go, crafting can mean green nowadays I thank you for your post!

    • Serena says:

      Hi, Janet! Thank you so much! I debated on whether to post pics of my “IN PROGRESS” craft room, because I feel like it wasn’t Pinterest worthy, but after all this luv that you guys are giving me, it’s evident that there was value in showing you pics now, versus trying to show you the fake staged version :) And affordable is the way to go! I know I don’t have tons of money to put together an expensive room. Plus, this is much more satisfying! Thanks for your comment!

  12. Kerry La says:

    Your room looks awesome!! I have to say too that I love the Blue butterflies!!!(notice fb name above and blog name http://bluebutterflyrenew.blogspot.ca/ ) i am addicted to thift stores :) Do you have a Michaels craft store where you live?? They have 40% coupons every week for one item (you can print them off their website). An idea for baskets would be to go each day and buy one using the coupon till you have the amount you need :)

    • Serena says:

      Kerry, that is a great idea! We do have a Michael’s, as well as a Hobby Lobby. Do you have one of those? They’re awesome! Okay, I’m going to take your suggestion and get one basket at a time :) And thank you for finding that link to the blue butterlies printer paper! I’m going to post it here for anyone that wants to know the paper brand. Their website doesn’t make those butterflies look as gorgeous and glossy as they are in real life!:

      http://kellypaper.com/shop/11×17-hammermill-laser-print-28lb

  13. Wendy says:

    What a transformation already! I love seeing things in progress and the best thing about it is you’ve repurposed a ton of stuff, my kind of gal!

  14. Glad you shared this at my party but now I am looking around at my craft/office room and feeling really guilty. I need to get off the computer and start organizing myself. This room looks great!!!
    Hugs,
    Marcie

  15. Samantha says:

    You did awesome! I love you thrifty style. The cans and that green desk are some of my favorite details. I see you found Cowgirl Up via “Stone Gable”. I hope you come back to the party each week- I like your blog and your style!

    :) Samantha @ Crafty Texas Girls and Cowgirl UP!

  16. Tammie says:

    Love the pics of your work in progress. I was planning on having my sewing desk on one wall with storage on the ajacent wall L-shape. But now I’m thinking about trying the desk perpendicular to the wall with storage behind it like yours. Just sayin’… :>

  17. Renee says:

    Hey Serena!
    I’m a ‘newby’ to your blog. LOVE it!
    What are your room dimensions? I have an extra bedroom (small) that I need to convert to my craft/futon for extra extra guests room. And I’m thinking u r just the inspiration for me!

  18. Wonderful, very nice posting and also the precise product information, allow me to show to my buddies throughout facebook or myspace.

  19. Rachel says:

    Serena, I met you at BlogHer last August, and I just wanted to say thank you for your awesome inspiration here. It takes hard work and guts to tackle projects and I love to see your finished results! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

    Have you ever looked at little green notebook? That’s a super fun diy blog as well!

  20. Ann Marie mills says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your creativity! What are the measurements of your room? My “playroom” is a work in progress & is a 10 x 12.

  21. marybyrne says:

    I love all the ways that you can re purpose stuff that you can get for next to nothing at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, reuse stores, and some times on freecycle.org You have done a beautiful job with your craft room. Love the new color of the walls.

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  23. anne says:

    Hello, just found your blog by accident today and love it! And then I saw that you have the exact same drafting table that I just picked up on the curb last week!! Total score for both of us! I have sanded mine down and was planning to refinish (not paint) it, was wondering what you did with yours? Did you refinish or just leave as is? Mine is in great condition after sanding but was thinking it would look amazing re-stained. I usually embrace the rustic look but thought this might be fabulous all polished up. I am keeping it for myself, not reselling or anything. What do you think?

  24. Alys Milner says:

    Okay, you caught me…lurking. I love reading your posts and look forward to the DIY and before and afters. I found you through Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith. She did one of the room challenges.

    I do not know how you manage to do what you do with three small boys. When my boys were small (I have two boys, three years apart) it was so consuming.

    Anyway, love your style of decorating, all your handy tips, and your go-to attitude.

    As for this room, I especially like the card catalog set up at the door with the pretty ‘blooms’ above. What a fresh view while you’re sitting at your crafting desk.

    You’re going to love your Silhouette when you find time to set it up. If you have any left over contact paper you could recover the box it came in and use it as a makeshift cover till the boys are older. Just a thought.

    My hat is off to you.

    • Thank you so much, Alys!!! Glad you found me through Leilani’s sight! I love her blog, too :). DIY’ing is tough with kids. But thankfully, when they’re doing something they love (electronics or playing with the neighbor), I’m usually able to squeeze some time in! I’m glad you like my craft room! I still haven’t finished the curtains. EEK! It’s been a long time. I’ve been focusing on all the other rooms that in much worse state, so once I get them done, I’ll back-track to the craft room. LOL. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I sure how you subscribe and stay in touch!!! :)

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