Craft room reset in one weekend and $135

I find it to be fundamentally true for myself that productivity begets productivity, and the busier I am, the more I get done. Certainly there comes a breaking point, but I like to test those limits. In short, I’m gearing up to be productive as hell over the next couple months. My recent job change has led to an unbelievable opportunity within the organization, and I’m seizing it with both hands. It requires significantly more time and responsibility on my part. It means realigning my goals and shelving my pursuit of growing into a small business for the time being, and it is very much worth it.

I did, however, had a very successful run at the local craft fair, and it thrills me to no end that there are people walking around in this world with my handicraft in their lives. At the end the day, I sewed 56 bags and 6 pillows, and those hundreds of tiny seams have definitely improved my sewing skills.

Craft fair table | The Projectory

I’m also settling into the realization that I am not “a blogger,” which is something I did want for myself for a while, but I think has to be the thing that gives. I’m just gonna post the projects that I’m excited to share, without imposing any real kind of structure or regularity to it. Maybe that’s my New Year’s resolution this year? I didn’t really make one, which is unusual for me, because I do love the fresh start of it all.

Anyway, over the next few months, my big project is ostensibly to sew my wedding dress, which is a pretty consuming project that won’t generate much blog fodder. But to kick that off, I really needed to make a change to my craft room.

My studio is a work room, not a public space in our home, so it made sense at first to not put a lot of work into the aesthetic of it. Last time I blogged about it, it was at least neat, if not much to look at.

Studio before picture | The Projectory

The storage wasn’t quite enough, though, even after swapping out the expedit shelf you can kind of see on the left for a bigger bookcase from the living room. And the blue-gray walls were surprisingly dark at night, which left me adding a ridiculous collection of lamps to see my stitches. And I could never seem to find the tools I was looking for in the drafting table drawers.

After the big push for the craft fair, my studio looked like this last weekend:

Craft room before | The Projectory

This picture pains me! This is after cleaning up all the aftermath. You don’t even need to full-on see the shelves to tell that they’re an utter mess. And the cord situation, which admittedly has always been a challenge in this one-outlet room, was just not working. In a fit of inspiration and frustration, I made a trip to the hardware store and Ikea, bought about some supplies, and turned my workspace into this:

Craft room after | The Projectory

I almost can’t believe this is the same room from a week ago, and I was the one that put the work into it. I painted the walls Ultra White, which makes a much better blank canvas, and the room is just so much brighter without even changing the lights. It even somehow freshens up the weird orange-y beige of the drafting table. I wasn’t sure if pulling it away from the wall into the center of the room was going to be a good choice, but it turned out to the perfect thing. Somehow it makes the space seem bigger, and the function has significantly improved.

Sewing room | The Projectory

The cute little green light over my sewing machine is the same semi-terrifying interrogation light in the before. Most of the purpose of this reorganization was to give everything a place. The shelf and the iron holder are new additions, which give my thread racks and iron a permanent home. I also added more boxes to better organize my fabric.

Fabric organization | The Projectory

I used gold washi tape to label the boxes, so I can better see what I have and actually find the things I’m looking for. I love these fabric-covered boxes from Ikea, but I do wish they had lids to keep the dust and fur out.

Pegboard organization | The Projectory

I so love a good pegboard, so I was really way past due to hang one here. I’m still working on filling it up, but so far, I’m utterly smitten with a couple of my solutions.

Craft room pegboard | The Projectory

The rail and detachable white cups at the top are part of Ikea’s Bygel series, meant for kitchen organization, and at the bottom is a magnetic knife rack and three magnetic spice jars that are holding my pins and needles. The latter was actually my second biggest splurge for the space (a gallon of good paint being the first), but I have so many little odds and ends to organize that I think I might get a second set. It is very helpful to be able to see everything at a glance.

For the curious, here’s the final breakdown of my purchases:

Fintorp knife rack 1 12.99 12.99
Grundal spice containers 1 7.99 7.99
Bygel rail 1 2.99 2.99
Bygel containers 3 0.99 2.97
Drona box 3 5.99 17.97
Kassett magazine file 1 4.99 4.99
Fabian wall shelf 1 7.99 7.99
Isdan roller blind 2 9.99 19.98
Valspar signature paint 1 33.98 33.98
24″ x 48″ pegboard 1 6.97 6.97
Pegboard hook pack 1 12.99 12.99
Furring strips 2 1.73 3.46

Everything else I already owned, which is such an object lesson for me in having good things, but using them poorly. I also donated a significant amount things I wasn’t using, like five lampshades I didn’t really like and a set of glitter puffy paint I never actually used, which significantly cut down on the clutter. There’s probably more I could pare down, but it’s hard to part with potential craft supplies!

One last look at the before and after?

Craft room before | The ProjectoryCraft room after | The ProjectoryI love it! It’s simultaneously inspiring and a blank slate, and it finally feels like a room that I love as much as the rest of our home.



  1. You have magic in your hands, I swear. Every time I think of something to do with the apartment re: organization, I call it “channeling my inner Mo”!

    I don’t think my sewing skills are at box bag level, but I spent the last few months of 2014 with an idea that you’ve pushed me to see through with this post.

    Keep making beautiful spaces, boo!

  2. Hi Maura, love this! And I’d love to have your bags for my niece and pillows for my back too. While you think you’re not a blogger (which I think you’re wrong), I think there’s more to it than you know. I mean, I love your work and I love your blog too. Any how, Congratz on your renovation, sure have a lot under your sleeves!

  3. This space looks so much more functional an brighter. At less than $150, amazing! I have my sewing table set in the middle of the from like yours. Mine is against a window which gives great light. I’m in a rental so the night light is not good. I’m off to Ikea with girl friends tomorrow so who knows what may eventuate.

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