Thursday, June 23, 2011

Craft Dungeon Tour

(*I am a craft supply pack rat*)

It's  that time of year again, time to think about purging old Stampin' Up! goodies to make room for fabulous new items. Wow, I saw a copy of the new Stampin' Up! 2011-2012 Idea Book and Catalog, want, want, want (but don't need, need, need!) so many things in it !!!!!

This time last year I spent days reorganizing my Card Stock and Stamp collections, as  I do most years at this time. I try to make room in anticipation of getting new Stampin' goodies. The Color Renovation last year was a big incentive to reorganize the craft dungeon. A year later I realized I never shared overall photos of the place I create in, so here goes.

My craft area is a portion of the unfinished basement in a 100+ year old house. The ceilings are low, there are a couple of tiny, nonfunctioning windows in the part I chose to make my craft area, the floor and walls are unfinished. I painted the windows with faux stain glass paints.The walls are painted white waterproofing paint. I can not paint or otherwise decorate the walls since they get moisture on them at times (I keep a dehumidifier running). The cement floor has a rubberized "shop" mat surface in my craft area. It is puzzle pieced together to fit around my storage units, only covering the parts of the floor that I walk on. We screwed in an outlet adapter into the base of the lightbulb socket which allowed me to plug in a fluorescent light fixture above the work table. I have a desk lamp on the drafting table that uses a daylight bulb CFL. I have a small stereo and a large CD collection in a binder for music that is on at all times while down there. It is nice and cool during the summer and if it gets too cold during the winter, I have a portable space heater. It works, at least I have this area available to me so I can't complain - too much ;)

The craft dungeon isn't the prettiest of spaces, but at least it is a space all my own !

This is facing the craft area at the bottom of the stairs. How convenient that the washer and dryer are right there (to the immediate left in the composite photo above)

My main work table was a 4x8 piece of particle board that we cut down to fit. We also had to make a hole near the center of it to slide around one of the floor support jacks ! It rests on an old dresser (my painted stamp storage dresser) at one end. The other end is supported by a file cabinet and wooden cube storage unit. Lucky for me they were all almost exactly the same height. This is happens to be nearly the same height as two large storage tubs stacked on top of each other - so I have several of them underneath the table for storage of wood projects, fabric, candle making, paper cast kits, and so on. I used to make dozens of different crafts every year for the elementary school holiday bazaar - I miss that ! Several of the items I have made have been posted at times on my blog over the past year. I do still have several leftovers I need to put to use one day.

Not only is this make shift table my work area, but it also creates more storage surface. I have my die cut center at one end.  It all started with yet another yard sale find, a wooden two shelf unit for $2. I added another piece of scrap wood to the very bottom then turned it on its side. It was the perfect size to rest the huge, heavy Accucut die cut machine on. I bought that machine several years ago from a gal that had lots of neat things, big ticket things, at a yard sale. Come to find out, she had a scrapbook store that went out of business. I paid $200 for that Accucut IV machine, which was a bargain and before there were smaller personal sized die cut machines on the market. It is an awesome, HUGE, die cut machine. I haven't quite decided if I want to part with it just yet............

Dies are in a filing cabinet drawer underneath the die cut machines. I have them standing on end with the name showing. I made a small binder that has a diecut of each in it.

Embossing folders fit perfectly in a small plastic drawer unit in a compartment underneath the Accucut die cut machine. They are arranged alphabetically by design name, however I think I am going to reorganize them by "theme". Flowers together, winter together, etc and make little divider tabs for each section. They too have binder pages with images of each.

Texturz plates and extra cutting pads are kept in an old CD box underneath the die cut machine as well. It shares the spot with the Cuttlebug (that I really ought to get rid of.........)

Brass templates are kept in mini photo albums behind the embossing folders in that drawer . They are arranged alphabetically by design name, however I think I may reorganize them by "theme": flowers together, winter together, etc . I thought about storing the brass template inside the coordinating stamp set box, then decided it would be better to have them in the photo album so I can see them easier.

Punches have their own set of plastic drawers elsewhere. I keep them grouped by design.

I also keep my ink pads on top of the work table:

Stampin' Up! classic ink pads are stored in a CD/DVD storage. Other assorted ink pads are in the metal drawers next to it. I arranged them by colors the same way I did the card stock. I made cardboard dividers to help keep them standing in place.

If the ink color name was not on the front edge of the ink pad, I wrote it on there with a black permanent marker.

I punched little pieces of coordinating card stock, glued them to a strip of white card stock and adhered them to the edge of the storage tower to help keep the colors organized.

These are the two large wooden storage units that were reclaimed from a hospital. I love these !
They butt up next to the stairs which is nice since the old staircase is otherwise open, the backs of the bookcases make a wall for one side of the steep, open staircase. 

Plastic storage containers fit well on the horizontal shelves. Many of the containers have ribbon in them. Each container holds a different type of ribbon (organdy, satin, decorative, etc) and I keep the rolls grouped by color. I store the ribbons in this type of container to help keep them from getting dusty. Also, every time I get a packet of silica gel (they always seem to be in new shoe boxes) I drop them in one of the boxes of ribbon or paper scraps.

Other smaller plastic boxes store envelopes, precut cards, stampables, etc.

All of my nice hard back craft books are at the top behind sliding doors. 

Binders full of Stampin' Success magazines and Idea Books fit nicely in the vertical slots. 

Ink refills are in a cardboard box cut to fit a shelf.

Markers stay in the original box laying flat.

The base of one cabinet is a filing cabinet, perfect for card stock storage.

The other cabinet has more shelves behind doors that hide other assorted supplies.

Rubber stamp storage already has a post all it's own, you can see it here.

This old dresser (it was my parents when they were first married!) is the base to a wall of plastic drawer units that store all sorts of goodies. This also makes a wall partitioning the craft area off from the back half of the old basement, making it seem more like a room in a way. My drafting table (I've owned it since I was studying commercial art and drafting in High School)  is to my left, make shift work table to the right.

Another set of plastic drawers to the far right of this section holds all of my craft painting supplies.

Additional bookshelves hold 20 years worth of various craft magazines. I admit it, I can't throw out any of my magazines/inspiration. I am considering taking each of them out, photographing/scanning the projects I may actually complete (well , at least dream to one day complete) then send the magazines to the local library for a book sale. It would free up some space to get rid of all of those magazines ! But I do like to thumb through them, sometimes even ads can spark an idea..... and looking at pictures on a computer just isn't the same as thumbing through a book or magazine.

Maybe while touring the craft dungeon one of my make shift storage ideas has inspired you ;)


  1. AWESOME! You have so much more room than I thought. I could get lost down there for days!!! Wish I lived next door.

  2. Looks like a fantastic space to call your own. Love the organizational pieces you have! Have fun!

  3. I'm so envious! I'm using our kitchen table at the present time! Love that you even labeled your cat in the pic!!

  4. Hey Heather! Hadn't heard from you in a while and was just checking to see how things are going and to say 'HI!'


THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope I've inspired you to get a bit crafty today ;)