Anything you could ever want, for any project, resides in Eileen’s craft room.
Ribbon, paint, pipe cleaners, card stock, felt, sewing materials, hot glue. Not to mention all of the kids crafts and holiday materials.
However, there was no room for any kind of craft room organization and storage. I usually found Eileen behind a mountain of fabric or sitting amidst a pile of felt scraps. The closet was packed with those plastic drawer organizers filled to the brim.
With hopes to organize, and perhaps even empty the closet, Eileen wanted to add storage to the walls. It was a great idea because there was tons of wall space that was barely being utilized.
She had her office desk and computer in that corner, so she envisioned being able to spin around in her chair and easily access any of her materials.
Her craft room organization and storage vision included pegboard, shelving, and wall-mounted cubby storage.
Creating Craft Room Organization and Storage
In designing a plan, Eileen was thinking that she would have pegboard in the corner, using hooks and mini shelves to hang up craft supplies that she used a lot – scissors, tape, paints, brushes, etc.
Then, above that she would have two long shelves that would hold a bunch of fabric storage bins. She also has a large supply of those fabric storage bins, as they are all over our house. She keeps holiday decorations in them, learning activities for our son, party supplies, and a lot more. The more bins she could fit on these shelves, the better.
Last, and the part she was most excited about was the wall-mounted cubby storage. These would be little cubbies that could hold all kinds of things – bins of felt scraps, stacks of card stock, envelopes, and little bins of office supplies.
Time for me to get to work on a design for all of this craft room organization and storage.
Making a Design
I took Eileen’s ideas to the drawing pad and sketched out some 3D designs in TinkerCAD. Here is what I came up with for her craft room organization and storage:
The black box is the filing cabinet. The aqua panels on the wall are the pegboard. The semi transparent block in the center represents the dimensions of Eileen’s desk chair.
The craft room organization and storage project was going to be fairly easily to get done. The pegboard and shelving was straight forward. The only slightly challenging piece was the cubby storage. I had never made cubbies before, but it didn’t seem too hard.
Must-See Before & After
Here are a few before pictures of the mess. The first one is of the corner that is now transformed. The second is a messy closet filled with plastic storage drawers filled with crafting materials (that were then emptied onto the storage cubbies, shelves, and pegboard.)
And, here was the final result.
The craft room organization and storage project truly turned a messy, wasted corner of space into a crafter’s dream.
All of this craft room organization and storage completely emptied 5 bins/dressers/plastic storage containers worth of materials. Crazy, right?!
To embark on this craft corner project, I started off with a quick trip to Home Depot.
The craft room organization and storage project was very modular.
There were three unique pieces (pegboard, shelving and cubbies) that could be worked on and installed independent of each other.
Part 1: The Pegboard
I chose to work on the pegboard panels first. They were the simplest to get done.
Pegboard needs a backing frame to ensure there’s enough space for pegboard hooks to be inserted. Most people usually use furring strips for the frame. Since I didn’t have any, I started by cutting some 1” backing strips from scrap wood with my table saw.
Here’s a picture of my self-made furring strips:
To assemble and join the strips into a frame, I used pocket holes. Here’s a picture showing my Kreg pocket hole jig in action:
Here’s the framing coming together.
When the pegboard frame was completed, I secured it to some wall studs using deck screws.
I later built another smaller frame on the right to make the pegboard paneling hug the corner.
It was now time to paint the pegboard. Eileen picked out a crafty color from Benjamin Moore. She and our son had a fun trip to the paint store, where our son picked out his favorite color paint chip and got to bring it home 🙂
Prior to rolling on the paint they picked, I laid out the pegboard on some 2x4s in the driveway. Then I rolled on two coats of paint.
The pegboard was ready to attach to the mounted frame. Here’s a picture showing the final result of the craft room pegboard:
To secure the pegboard to the frame, I used pocket hole screws. They were perfect because they had built in washers and would prevent the pegboard from ripping through the screw heads under load.
Here’s a picture showing one of the pocket hole screws:
The first part of the craft room organization and storage project was checked off my list.
Pegboard Organization Tips
Below is a picture of how Eileen organized it all. The craft room pegboard completely emptied out her plastic desk organizer and more.
On the pegboard, Eileen used a collection of various pegboard hooks that I had, as well as some awesome little plastic buckets from Dollar Tree (3 for a $1). I did order some fancy pegboard organizers from Amazon, but I kept them for my own pegboard since she was happy with her organizational system.
I have to admit – I have already benefited from the pegboard organization. When making a few measurements upstairs, I easily grabbed her measuring tape. The scissors are found easily without digging through a drawer – and I just used the fishing line to make a kite with our son – without having to ask for where they were or dig through storage containers.
Part 2: The Cubby Shelves
Now for the cubbies.
Eileen was really excited about the cubbies, knowing they would bring a lot of organization and storage to her craft room. She had so many little paints and other crafts that would fit perfectly onto cubby shelves.
So, I looked online for ideas and came across two popular designs for cubby shelving. The first design used pocket hole screws to hold the cubby shelves in place. The second design used routed dados for the shelves. I went back and forth about which design I wanted to use.
The pocket hole method was the fastest and easiest to do. I am also a huge fan of pocket holes.
However, I felt that these cubbies needed a bit more craftsmanship. After all, they were going to be in the same room as our recent window seat bookshelf project. So I opted for the routed dado design.
As for the wood, I normally just use the common pine boards sold at Home Depot for most of my projects.
However, the cubby shelves needed an upgrade. Common pine boards are full of surface imperfection and knots. So I opted for their “select” pine boards. It was twice the price of the standard boards, but there was a huge difference in the quality.
I was excited to work with wood of this quality. It was a rare treat for me.
Cutting the Dados for the Cubby Shelves
Now on to the construction of the cubby storage shelves. First, I had to calibrate my router to the correct depth setting. I used a scrap piece of wood and made repeated cuts with varying depths until I got the 3/16” depth required for my dados:
Next, I outlined the dados with a pencil and ruler, and clamped down a piece of scrap wood for a router guide.
Now let the routing begin:
I was a little disappointed with my first dado. I’ve done many dado cuts in the past, but for some reason, this one was slightly wavy. The edges were not perfectly straight like I was accustomed to. I started to worry that something was wrong with the router. Then after closer inspection, I realized that my scrap wood guide fence had small imperfections along the surface.
Thinking this might be the root of my problem, I swapped out the wooden guide fence with a metal ruler, as seen below:
I re-ran the router through the cut and success! The wavy edges went away. I guess scrap wood isn’t the solution to everything. I had to be careful using my ruler as a fence for the rest of the cuts though. It provided a very small surface for the router to move along. The router risked slipping over the edge of the ruler and ruining the boards.
So very carefully, I cut all the boards and produced the following:
Here’s a top-down view showing how I cut dados on both sides of some of the boards:
The boards with dados on both sides were going to sit vertical inside the cubby shelf. Then square shelves would be inserted into the dados to form the cubes.
Adjusting the Cubby Design
At this point, I took a look back at my design, and suddenly remembered something that I had forgotten.
Eileen wanted some of the individual cubbies to be long enough to hold standard printer sized sheets (8.5×11) for her large card stock collection. I had intentionally gotten 10” wide boards for the cubbies to account for this. However, I forgot to factor this requirement into the rest of the design.
The dados were all cut to allow perfectly square cubbies, approximately 8”x9”x9.25”. This would result in the 8.5×11 sheets hanging off the edge slightly.
I didn’t want this to happen, so I needed to make an adjustment to the design. With the dados already cut, I really didn’t want to waste any wood. So I thought really hard and came up with the adjusted design below:
Two of the vertical boards could be cut right where the bottom dado groove was made. Then a longer horizontal shelf could be inserted spanning two cubbies.
This would result in the two end cubbies at the bottom being long enough to hold the 8.5×11 sheets easily. It also added a nice aesthetic touch to the design, breaking up the repeating squares. Both Eileen and I were very happy about the design modification.
Assembling the Cubby Storage Shelves
With that little hiccup out of the way, I proceeded to assemble the shelves. I used deck screws, construction adhesive and 90 degree wood clamps. Also, I used a countersinking bit with my drill for the deck screws. I didn’t want to risk the wood splitting.
Here is a picture showing the wood clamps in action:
Construction adhesive was essential to a sturdy design that wouldn’t wobble over time:
Here I have the 4 main vertical boards secured in place:
The cubby shelves are starting to take form here:
I used construction adhesive for all the inside shelves too, I didn’t want them moving in the dado grooves over time. I also used some deck screws where possible too (like on the end pieces).
Here is some more progress made on the cubbies (see how I also had to use some bar clamps to pull the inside shelves tightly into the dados):
Using Ratchet Straps
When all the inside shelves were placed into the dados, I saw that the top measurement of the cubby shelf didn’t match the bottom. Little gaps here and there in the dados were adding up and making the top of the cubby wider than the bottom by about an inch.
When I squeezed in one pair of dados with a bar clamp to eliminate a gap, another gap would open up slightly somewhere else. It was getting a little frustrating.
Then inspiration hit me. Maybe I could use some ratchet straps to pull in all the shelves tightly at the same time. It seemed a little silly at the time to use ratchet straps for this project, but I gave it a shot:
Guess what? The ratchet straps worked.
As I tightened each ratchet, I could hear the satisfying creak of the dados squeezing together tightly.
I checked the upper measurement of the shelf and it was finally in agreement with the bottom. I secured the final top board and attached some strategically placed boards in the rear to help mount the cubbies to wall studs. The cubby build was pretty much complete.
Here is the cubby shelf so far. It looked so nice – and Eileen loved it. It was the perfect answer to her craft room organization and storage problem.
All that remained now was to wood putty the screw holes and paint.
I used one coat of primer and one coat of cabinet enamel paint. I had some enamel paint left over from previous projects, and thought it would be perfect for the cubbies.
Since I didn’t want items sticking to regular paint over time, the enamel based paint would eliminate this concern.
Here is the painted cubby storage shelf eagerly awaiting installation:
Cubby Organization Tips
Here is the completed shelf – including Eileen’s organization.
She used the cubby shelf for a lot of card stock, construction paper, and felt organization. That emptied an entire cart worth of messy piles. She used little bins and mason jars to organize things like paper clips, tacks, paint brushes, pom-poms, kids scissors, and popsicle sticks.
Keep reading to see how I attached the cubbies to the wall.
She does a ton of kids crafts with our son, including lots of card-making and letter-writing. With this cubby organization, she can easily access his collection of stickers which are grouped in a bin as well as card stock and envelopes.
Part 3: The Storage Shelves
Last on the list for the craft room storage project was the regular shelves above the pegboard.
Eileen wanted to use fancy decorative wooden shelf brackets. The only one I could find in stock at Home Depot was decorative and had a max weight capacity of 10 lbs.
However, the wood itself felt pretty sturdy. The low load capacity stemmed from the cheap keyhole hangers in the rear. The shelves were going to be secured to the wall with lag bolts, so I could ditch those keyhole hangers and just reinforce the brackets.
Here’s a picture of the wooden bracket (also called a corbel):
There are lots of ways to put a shelf on the wall. Depending on the design and load bearing capacity of the shelf, you can either attach directly to drywall (with toggle bolts or other drywall fasteners), attach to wall studs (with lag bolts), or a combination of the two.
My shelves needed to be able to hold a lot of weight, so pure drywall attachment was out of the question.
I had initially planned on bolting the wooden brackets directly to wall studs. However, the placement of the wall studs was not practical for the look of the shelves. Either the brackets would be really close together, or one side of the shelf would extend very oddly past one bracket. I could attach one bracket to a stud and the other to drywall, but I wanted a more sturdier design.
A Shelf Design that Worked
So I came up with an elegant alternative for the craft room shelves. I would bolt a 2×4 directly to the wall studs, spanning the length of the shelf. This would hold most of the load. Then I could position the wooden brackets however I liked, as they would rest directly on the drywall (regardless of stud position).
This design was essentially replacing the cheap keyhole hangers (that came with the brackets) with a beam bolted to wall studs.
Here’s a picture showing the final design of one of the shelf mounts (it’s upside down right now):
Once turned right side up, the surfaces currently facing you would be pressed flatly against the wall, and lag bolts would secure the 2×4 to wall studs.
See how the vertical surface attached to the wooden bracket wasn’t flush with the 2×4? It’s because this shelf mount was going to rest directly on the pegboard. So even though the 2×4 would be bolted to the wall, the wooden brackets would sit on the pegboard.
Eileen requested this design as it looked really good visually. So I had to offset the brackets for this mount to account for the depth of the pegboard. This wasn’t an issue with the second shelf mount, as it would rest entirely against the wall.
Assembling the Shelves
For the construction of the mount, I used construction adhesive and deck screws. It was critical to pre-drill all the screw holes with a countersinking bit.
Here’s the shelf mount turned right side up (you can see the shelf behind it waiting to be attached):
I attached the shelf to the mount with more construction adhesive and deck screws:
Here are the two shelves primed and painted (again I used the enamel based cabinet paint for the shelf surface):
I had used a ¾” Forstner bit to make a hole for the lag bolts. This would prevent the lag bolt heads from sticking out past the surface of the wood. For an even more aesthetic touch, I planned on covering the holes with some mushroom head screw hole plugs.
In no time, the last construction part of the craft room storage and organization project was completed.
Shelf Organization Tips
I purposely built the shelves so that four storage bins could fit on each shelf. Below is how Eileen utilized these shelves.
She picked up six fabric storage bins from… the dollar store! She should really take stock in that company. Each bin has a purpose – kids crafts, her crafts, sewing accessories, holiday decorations, felt scrapes, and extra office supplies.
Eileen was in awe at just how much these bins held and how organized – and easily accessible her materials now were.
Installing the Cubbies & Shelves
Since all three elements of the craft storage corner were completed, they were ready to be installed. The pegboard was already mounted to the wall. I just needed to hang the cubby storage and the regular shelves.
I started with the cubbies first. Unfortunately, the size and weight of the cubbies was too much for me to just hold it against the wall while I attached it.
So I attached a temporary 2×4 to the wall studs for me to rest the cubby on. This would allow me to position it perfectly without breaking my back. It would result in some small screw holes in the drywall after removal, but I could easily patch that up with drywall compound.
Here’s a picture with the temporary brace in place (I made sure it was perfectly level):
Here is the cubby storage shelf mounted to the wall:
The other shelves were very easy to attach. I rested the lower shelf directly on the pegboard and inserted the lag bolts. Since the pegboard was already level, I didn’t have to worry about this shelf being uneven.
Once in place, I used some 12” spacer 2x4s to hold the above shelf in place while I attached that one as well:
How did it all look?
The pegboard, wall shelving, and cubby storage all came together really nicely, providing a plethora of storage space in Eileen’s craft corner.
And here, my friends, is the end result of all of this new craft room organization and storage:
Here is how Eileen put all the storage to good use:
Here’s another shot after some creative uses of pegboard hooks:
And most impressively…
With the amount of new storage created, Eileen was able to empty out tons of storage containers. She emptied three storage towers, one cart, and one dresser. She completed underestimated the amount of space all of the new craft room storage gave her.
Here’s the impressive ensemble of containers she emptied with this project:
I was sure happy to see that black dresser emptied out. I tossed it to the curb that very day. It had been in closets for the past eight years and before that was my old college furniture. That poor dresser had long outlived its purpose.
Time & Cost of the Craft Room Storage
This was a relatively short project to work on, and it provided so much craft room organization and storage for Eileen. I accomplished everything on a weekend, which always puts a smile on Eileen’s face. The final cost was around $250.
Don’t forget to download our free plans for this craft room organization and storage project.
The new craft room storage made a huge impact in Eileen’s craft room and office. She emptied out so much space in the closet, which can now be a linen closet.
All of that wall space that was wasted before was now holding an incredible amount of craft and office supplies. Her craft room organization and storage problem was solved. And, all of her craft materials were easily accessible, rather than shoved in bins and bins in the closet.
Eileen’s craft room and office is her absolute favorite place in our home, as she has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with a window seat on one side and a highly organized craft corner on the other side. It’s truly her dream room.
It was well worth the time and investment.