Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Scrapbook Closet Conversion

Ok, so about 2 years ago I FINALLY decided I needed some separate space for my scrap booking, but was very limited on space and very limited on money (scroll down for pics). I had a budget of about $500.00 +/- and a closet in my office. You can probably see where this is going! I completely gutted the closet. I removed every shelf but the top shelf that is really too high to use anyhow, but everything else went! I painted the closet and then began the search for what to put in it.

It dawned on me after watching many home improvement programs on Home and Garden Television, that most low cost/high function fixes of the pro's for home organization happens at Ikea. And I just happen to have one near me. Off I went armed with the dimensions of my closet. I was surprised to find out that there were MANY affordable options to choose from and ended up spending about a week going over them (they even have "planners" on-site to help you). I finally chose a "closet organizer" (imagine that) by the Antonius line. It is versatile and if I ever want to convert the closet BACK to a closet, I can do it easily with a few accessory pieces. In the meantime, it is working perfectly as my 2' x 5' craft room! HA! Let me show you.And now: The Conversion!

There are three components that make my craft space so workable. The first is storage. The second is accessibility and the third is convertibility.

The first picture shows the front of the closet. The closet doors where removed and 2 sections of Antonius shelving was installed with desktop and magnetic pegboard. The second section (shown in second picture) tucked in the back of the closet. I had to cut the shelves to size so that I could fit them in the 2' depth (NOT a lot of space at all in the corner). But there is plenty of shelving above the desktop and below. And that leads me to.....

Vertical space was utilized with the metal pegboard that is magnetic. I used magnetic spice canisters (Ikea) for small items.

Along with shelving and pegboard, vertical space is utilized with wall-mounted racks for storing ribbon. Those were purchased at Target.
EVERYTHING is within "arm's reach". Storage under the desktop is mobile/moveable. I made sure the storage items on the floor under the work surface would be on wheels so that I can easily get to whatever I need to get to without sacrificing space, expanding if I need to and taking with me to crop nights.

In the picture above on the right, notice the white cart on wheels tucked back in the back of the closet. That was actually my first piece of craft furniture that I received as a birthday gift and has proven invaluable (and NOT part of my $500 budget mentioned above as I already owned it)! By itself, it was just simply not enough. When added to my 2x5 "craft room" it expands my useable space 100 times!

As you can see, I can use this as a sewing table or additional craft space. The tubs to the left of the desk house my left over scrap paper and came from Ikea in the children's department (of all places). When I'm finished using it, I fold up the desk and roll it back into the back of the closet. I roll it in sideways so that I can still get access to the drawers for additional storage even when it's tucked away. And that's a really great segue for the final element....

Every scrap booker knows creative juices flow everywhere. I knew when putting this together that the ability to pack and go might be hard to achieve with such a small space. To solve this dilemma, I worked to make sure that most everything I put into my "craft room" could serve me while I was creating at home, OR, could easily be transported... serve dual purposes.

I started with my tools. I purchased a tool bag with handles to organize all my tools, adhesives, etc. when on-the-go. I also purchased the $6 plastic lazy susan that it sits on when using it at home so my organizer will spin when I'm looking for a particular tool. I always know where my tools are and it's always packed and ready to go when I need it.

Oh, and then there are the embellishments. Here is my system of organization. The purple rolling case holds my embellishments and the blue case stacked on top holds all my 12" X 12" paper. Everything in it's place and ready to go. Note: the file crate (from Staples) holds my 8 1/2" X 11" paper. The wheels for the crate are sold separately.

Hopefully you can see from the pictures above how everything is organized. Can you tell that I love my label-maker? :) The embellishment containers pictured above came from Cropper Hopper.

I also wanted to point out a couple of other conveniences that I invested in (still part of the $500 budget) that make this small space seem huge. The first came from the Ikea "scratch and ding" section of the store. I got them for $35/piece and they were already assembled! Can't beat that.

The first picture is the bottom half of the cabinets and the second is the top. I ended up getting 3 very tall bookshelves/cabinets dirt-cheap. These cabinets are in the far corner of my office. I really only use the cabinet that is directly in the corner for scrap booking supplies. The cricut boxes on the adjoining shelf are empty waiting for a new home. I store additional paper on the very top (shelves are attached to the wall with wood screws into studs). The other shelves are used for my office to store my office stuff... stuff like books. That additional cabinet, to store the things I don't use everyday, frees up all the space in my craft closet (ok, let's just call it what it is...hahahaha) for the stuff I do use everyday making the closet itself a VERY functional work area.
The next convenience was light! Closets are dark and I needed light on the work-surface. I also got that at Ikea. I think I spent something like $12 for an entire light kit... and even installed it myself!

Ok, so it's an external kit, but the wires are out of the way, the work-surface is well lit and it does the trick. And, if I ever need to convert it back to a closet, it's completely removable!
My final conveniences came from Fry's Marketplace on sale and were also part of the $500 budget.

The containers are perfect for additional, and most importantly (especially for small spaces), moveable storage. The first photo is a scrapbook chest by Iris. The plastic containers hold 12 x 12 projects and can (like almost everything else), pack and go. The other containers are Sterilite shoeboxes. These are the perfect size to stack on shelves; they store a lot and are so easy to get to.
Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed the tour of my craft closet. I hope that I inspired you to make the most of the space you have. 2' x 5' doesn't seem like much, but hopefully I've shown you that it's actually all the space you need. Happy scrappin everyone and feel free to post comments.


crazyaboutcricut said...

Found you on the Cricut MB. Thanks so much for all the great ideas! I too have a small area to work with, so I will definitely be trying some of your ideas :)

Shaunta said...

Love this!!! Too bad I don't have a closet to spare in my house. I can use some of these ideas for my small corner in the dining room though! TFS