My Thrifted Craft Room

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Would you believe that everything in my craft room came from a thrift store or bought second-hand?

Thrifted Craft Room

Yep. It’s true!

Not kidding you.

And I’ve been a busy little bee. I have been working very diligently, since one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to “finish what I start”)! I was tired of waiting until I’m “done” to show you, so I thought I might just go ahead and show you how much progress I’m making. There is still tons to do.

Plus, I’ve been busy with writing articles for my other blog, Get Your Life Straight, because my money situation sucks (does yours?), so I’ve been writing about 20 ways to make more money and cut expenses and wanting readers to share their experiences about living paycheck to paycheck, too.

So, yeah, I’ve been busy. Thanks for sticking around!!

Okay, back to my craft room.

The amazing thing is that 95% (if not more) of everything in this crafting room (slash “office” since hubby and I need to share) has come from a thrift store or is second-hand.

But that’s what so cool–being able to put a cozy room together on a shoestring budget!

Now, let’s have a quick look, shall we?

Here’s the BEFORE of what the room looked like for the first year that we lived here: cold, bare, and poo-poo brown. ICK!

Thrift Diving Craft Room

As we lived in it, it got messier….and messier…..And no “CRAFTING” was being done in there! Who could create in that mess?!

Thrift Diving Craft Room_BEFORE


I couldn’t take it anymore. It has taken 2 years (since moving in) to get it to THIS POINT, but this is what it looks like so far!


Thrift Craft Room


I’d always hated the color of that room, so I primed it. That brown HAD to go. Sorry for the “brown-bashing” for anyone who loves brown! :)

Thrift Diving Craft Room BEFORE


This is what it looks like right now. There’s all my crafting clutter on the Ikea Expedit that I bought from a coworker for a measly $40. I plan to buy some baskets for it, but those things are, like, $30 a piece from Ikea! Who has hundreds for baskets? Don’t worry– I’ll find a cheaper alternative. I always do!

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

Thrift Diving Craft Room Expedit

Anyhow, that thrift store green desk back in the corner? That’s the $12.00 green and gold “Agenda” desk that I painted from the thrift store. That thing is ROCK SOLID. Hubby works from home and that’s his little corner of the world. The lawyer’s chair that is with the desk came from a yard sale for $10.00. I plan to make a new seat cushion for it (add it to my never-ending list….LOL).


Thrift Diving Craft Room Thrift Store Desk

And remember me posting this on my Thrift Diving Facebook page? I lot of you had great ideas about where to place it (READ: NOT back in the corner like this!)

Thrift Diving Craft Room Vintage Anco Bilt Drafting Table

Well, now on the other side of the room, this $30 vintage Anco Bilt drafting table that I found from the thrift store (which I later found out was really worth over $300!) feels right at home perpendicular to the wall. And thank GOD I didn’t paint it before researching it! Anyhow, I love the vintage, rustic look.


Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

And then I made an awesome DIY pendant lamp 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

Now, for that shelf hanging above the table. I am so excited about it! It was only $5.00 at the thrift store! It’s perfect for storing my paints, die cutters, and stamps. I’ve been collecting tin cans, actually, which fit perfectly, and plan to jazz those up a little bit, for FREE :)

Thrift Diving Craft Room Shelf_BEFORE   Thrift Diving Craft Room Thrift Store Shelf BEFORE

I painted the shelf with Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint, and then waxed and distressed. Next, I added contact paper from Target, which was super cheap–about $5.00 for a big roll. Much cheaper than crafting paper or wall paper! And they had some cute styles, too!

Thrift Diving Craft Room Thrift Store Shelf

And add to my list: “Paint half-painted, dingy door to the craft room.”


Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

$5.00 shelf from the thrift store

Thrift Diving Craft Room Butterfly

And this beauty here…..this is my sewing cabinet that I found at the thrift store for a mere $40. It actually came with an old sewing machine inside, but I took it out and replaced it with my computerized Bernina sewing machine. You see…when you have kids….(mine are ages 6, 3, and 1), you NEED places to hide yo’ stuff! Otherwise, they tear it up, don’t they?! lol

Anyhow, I plan to paint this cabinet.


Right now this cabinet is housing tons of crap that, when I get enough tiiiimmmeee (insert whine here), then I will organize all the stuff into appropriate places.

Oh, and those pink buckets?? Yep. Thrift store! Only $2.00. :)

The colorful floral rug came from Home Goods some time ago, for about $40, I think??

Thrift Diving Craft Room Sewing Cabinet

Right now it’s looking like a cluttered mess, but ohhhh….compared to that poop-brown and things littering the floor, I’m a happy camper already!

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

I like how the perpendicular drafting table creates a nice little alcove on that side of the room for me. It really feels like “my space” while still sharing the room with hubby. (And yes, I post pics of my kid’s shoes on the floor. I just don’t have time to be staging, so who cares :) )

Thrift Diving Craft Room Expedit Bookcase

Sitting on the desk, I have this cool vintage shoe shine wooden kit box. Loved it! Thrift store, about $6.00. I just store scissors or note pads in there.

Thrift Diving Craft Room Vintage Shoe Shine


And on the desk, I’ve got a hodge-podge of containers holding my scissors, chalk ink pens, brushes, colored pencils, etc. Who cares if things don’t match yet?

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

This particular cup/vase thingy I got from the thrift store for about $1.00. I loved the white and black contrast.



Thrift Diving Craft Room Black and White Thrift Store cup


Thrift Diving Craft Room Black and White Thrift Store cup

These beautiful butterfly prints were cut out from the packaging of the computer paper that my company was using temporarily. I wish I could find out which brand of computer paper it was, because I want more of these glossy prints! What a pretty logo! :) See–I never let a great idea pass me by.Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

So…..the super “UNPRETTY” part of the room is the ghetto shower curtain that I have hanging at the window. I have on my agenda to make curtains. I even have the beautiful fabric (hiding under that brown box, which HAPPENS to be the new Silhouette Cameo that I haven’t yet unpacked because there’s no safe place to store it out of the hands of prying children). So, yeah, I’m working on it! And I am planning to change out the curtain rod to BLACK.

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS
And the cream wool rug came from Home Goods. It was a steal for $80 (5×7). ‘Cause if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know I don’t buy rugs from thrift stores, right? ;-)

I love cream-colored rugs!


I also am planning to use this $6.00 thrift store stool for my crafting desk, but it was too tall.

Thrft Diving thrift store stool


So I cut about 4 inches off, painted it, and will easily reupholster the top :)

Thrift Diving thrift store stool


And last but not least, my pretty little DIY card catalog has been moved over near the door. I like that it helps to create a little walk-way when you come into the room.

Thrift Diving Craft Room IN PROGRESS

And I still need to change or paint that god-awful ceiling fan, and get some art on the walls!



And there you have it, folks– my “in progress” craft room!

If you like my craft room, please considering leaving a comment! I love to hear from you silent, lurking readers ;) Plus, any suggestions for you have for the room, I would love to hear them! :)





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 (50)

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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.


    • 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!


  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 ) 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!:×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!!!

  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 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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