User Friendly Creative Space – Before and After

Reorganising your Creative Space to make it more practical and user friendly can be challenging especially when you have a limited budget. If you have a Sewing or Craft Room that needs some rearranging this series of Before and After photos might prove helpful and provide the necessary incentive to give your Room a Make Over!

Do you have a creative space that looks like the site of a huge explosion of the ‘creative’ variety? I know I do & sometimes it is difficult to keep the “Organised Chaos” tidy enough to work in so I keep my eyes ‘peeled’ for ways to make it better! My creative space is realistically called “The CraftyMess Room” though my husband loves to tease me by referring to it by the alternative name of “The Messy Craft Room”.

Is it possible to have an inexpensive “honest working craft room” that looks good or do we all have to aim for the ‘high price tag’ glamorous work spaces perpetuated by the glossy magazines? Is it possible for a creative person who also happens to be “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys” to live, hope, dream and create in such a place without going totally crazy trying to keep it in order?

Before and After view of the Resource Storage area of my CraftyMess Room

Messy Craft Room Versus CraftyMess Room

Which will win? Or is this simply a “cover up”?

Living in a remote area you learn to make the most of what you have. When our neighbour (second closest by distance i.e. 4 km away) offered us furniture that failed to sell at a Clearance Auction I was keen to refine the ‘Organised Chaos’ that I refer to as my CraftyMess Room! The TV Cabinet was an obvious choice and was about the same width as the very unstable Card Table that was propped in the messiest corner. I also had big plans for a stacking set of drawers that were made for Audio Cassettes. They would be perfect for small items such as buttons, buckles & assorted but ‘sorted’ useful items.

Naively I thought that the reorganisation would only take a few days & I would have everything ‘spick & span’ by the New Year but alas as always everything I attempt to do takes at least a week longer than expected. If I was going to do this I was going to do it properly which also meant sorting and amalgamating sewing supplies that belonged to my late Mother-in-law (that were no longer wanted by my sister-in-law) with my collection of lace, ribbons, zippers, bias binding, piping, chords, elastic etc.

Things could get messy!

In fact they got so messy & I was so driven to get it all sorted I simply forgot to take many of the ‘sorting in progress’ photos I had planned to take.

FYI: This room remains a work in progress because the Gyprock Plasterboard/Drywall has not been set or painted at this stage and the date for this to be done is on the “To Do this Century List”! Many of the items/furniture & even computer equipment have been loaned to me by family members or were received as a free gift. The new items were purchased on special or came from discount stores.

The Room serves many purposes and has been roughly divided into various ‘zones’ according to use and available space.

  • Sewing Corner = Sewing Desk & Drawers (threads, tools & toy making supplies)
  • Library = Photo Albums, Novels/Books + Farm Reference books/magazines/journals
  • Office Space = Computer/ Internet Hub & separate Filing Cabinet storage area
  • Gallery = Sewing & Craft Sampler Wall plus Art School Etchings
  • Resource Storage = Fabric, Supplies, Sewing /Art/Craft Books & Folders
  • Backdrop Photography = Length of Vinyl supported by Bed & Pillows
  • Guest Bedroom = Double Bed & Lamp on a stand
  • Overhead Photography = Exercise Mat, & Tripod for overhead photos
  • Market Equipment = Farmers Market Gazebo & Awning, Fold-up Tables & Banner

Anyone who has ever attempted to reorganise their ‘Creative Space’ will understand that tidying up always creates even more ‘mess’ as the makeover proceeds so it is easy to forget what the room looked like ‘Before’ in order to appreciate what it looks like in the ‘After’ state. Photographs can help to clarify the situation.

In order not to embarrass myself totally I will show the least messy area of the room first of all. Please note here that my Sewing Corner desk is unusually tidy in the ‘Before’ photo due to the fact I was in the process of making sewing videos during the construction of a Spoonflower fabric, Cut n Sew Soft Toy Red Kelpie. The toy dog Pet Portrait of my Granddaughter’s dog “Hunta” can be seen in the lower ‘After’ image.

Before and After view of the Sewing Corner of my CraftyMess Room

The Library Zone of the room needed a rethink following my husband’s request that the Current & boxed Back Order issues of the “Small Farmers Journal” have their own shelf space. As I wanted easier access to the Folders and storage cases inside cupboard I relocated them and put the least used Folders in their place.

Before and After view of the Library Zone of my CraftyMess Room

The Office Space is divided into 2 parts with the Farm Filing Cabinet being under the wardrobe shelf on the opposite wall to the Computer Desk. The Office Space Computer Desk now has the storage cases that contain my ‘scrap paper’ sewing patterns for Prototype toys on the lower shelf as seen in the “After” image. I hope to one day turn them all into Sewing Pattern PDFs. If I live long enough!!

Before and After view of the Office Space section of my CraftyMess Room

The Gallery Sampler Wall has remained untouched during this latest makeover and as can be seen by the ‘After’ image is in need of a little attention! Oopsy!! The cheap backing of the photo frame peeled off & the frame fell. The frame came apart on opposite corners but the glass thankfully didn’t break. It just needs some glue & time or is that time and glue?

Before and After view of the Gallery Sewing & Craft Sampler Wall of my CraftyMess Room

A door less Wardrobe space with hanging rail below a heavy duty shelf has become my Resource Storage. As shown in the “Before’ image under the Wardrobe shelf I had various second hand pieces of furniture….plus mess! This is the area I most wanted to remake!! It was no longer User Friendly! It simply wasn’t working the way it should be & I had to climb on the bed to get at anything & everything including the Light Table!

Before and After view of the Resource Storage Corner of my CraftyMess Room

The “During” photo below shows half of the Folders relocated from the Library cupboard. I needed a strong shelf for the rest of the Folders. I asked my husband if I could use the discarded kitchen bench cut-out from my Sister-in-Law’s kitchen that was gathering dust in the shed. After a cleanup it was positioned, then stacked with Folders! Packaging from Children’s T-Shirts were re-purposed as handy hanging scrap fabric storage for small pieces of fabric & craft materials.

Close up Before, During and After view of the Wardrobe Space of the Resource Storage area of my CraftyMess Room

By this stage I thought I was almost finished but a vague comment to my husband about wanting to hang a curtain as a ‘fake door’ for the wardrobe area prompted him to search in the shed for some gifted second-hand curtain tracks he had discovered during a recent tidy up. We pulled the chord drawn one apart to obtain a third section of Track to make a full room width hand drawn Track that could be screwed wrong way around onto the front of the heavy duty wardrobe shelf. Knowing that I was likely to make my new neater area look cluttered by hanging bags of Toy Stuffing on the rod using coat hangers I was very keen to be able to close the Curtains for added neatness when visitors came.

Finally I had a use for fabric that had been purchased way back in 1991. It had originally been set aside for Roman Blinds in a different room in a different house in a former existence. A temporary mess was created by pulling everything out of the box of Curtain making supplies that was recently amalgamated & sorted. I had one long piece of standard heading tape that I cut into 3 for the three curtains which left yet another too short length to add to the large collection of short lengths! I had just enough hooks and plenty of track runners. After sewing the curtains I trained them overnight to ‘set’ the undulating folds using scraps of the curtain fabric.

Curtains become Wardrobe doors in my CraftyMess Room

Being able to perform Backdrop Photography in the room is made possible using a Length of Vinyl supported by the Bed & Pillows of the Guest Bedroom.

When not in use as a Guest Bedroom the Double Bed is used as an extra work surface in my CraftyMess Room

The floor area below the northeast facing window is perfect for Overhead Photography using an Exercise Mat & Tripod when not being cluttered by the Farmers Market Equipment. Plus the old ‘dead’ Computer is destined for recycling!

The floor below the window is a shared zone in my CraftyMess Room

For the time being My CraftyMess Room is much more User Friendly and I am pleased with how the Make Over turned out!

The untidy corner within the Wardrobe space becomes a User Friendly Zone complete with Curtain Wardrobe doors in my CraftyMess Room

The untidy mess within the Wardrobe space becomes a User Friendly Zone complete with Curtain Wardrobe doors in my CraftyMess Room

There are still a few minor tasks to be completed such as a new cushion and cover for my Sewing Stool and that Picture Frame to be mended…but that will involve making a ‘mess’ won’t it?

Mess is part of having a Creative Space and I am looking forward to the next creative adventure.

Keep your eyes ‘peeled’….. Perhaps I will have the time to show you some of my repurposing & Storage ideas in a bit more detail!

Thanks a Bunch for reading & please leave a comment if you have any questions or would like to know more about my CraftyMess Room Make Over.




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