Take a tour of my studio

Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in Fabulous & Free | 6 comments

People often ask me where and how I store all of my decorator and craft supplies.  I am a visual learner so I like to “see” what I own. I guess you could say my “studio style” is organized chaos.  I am spoiled to have a studio in which the sole purpose of that space is for creating.  My husband decided a few years ago he wanted to have our kitchen island back, as it was constantly covered in an “on going” craft project or place I was making gifts for others.  So – the motivation began for him to be able to cook without hearing, “Don’t move that – it is drying” or something along that line.  So he got busy and built me a place to house all of my supplies.  I realize not everyone has that luxury, so my best counsel is to take advantage of all the wonderful under the bed storage containers and rolling carts. I also use portable tables that have varying adjustable leg heights.  I used those items before having a studio and still use those things in my craft space.  I like the uniformity of the white containers with see through drawers.  I also highly recommend a label maker.  My husband tells me I would label his underwear if he would just stand still long enough – and that is the truth.  It is the teacher in me I suppose that loves a label on just about everything.  I bought my Brother label maker at Sam’s Club.  It was worth every cent (and wasn’t expensive but worth a million)!  The other thing I love is anything vintage….so I tend to buy containers like tins, suitcases, wire baskets etc…that can serve as decorator items but work for storage too.  All around our home if it is has a lid – there is most likely something inside of it.  Why waste good storage?  I have three closets in this space; a gifts closet where gifts, gift wrap/bags and shipping boxes are stored, a crafts closet for paper and craft supplies and a secret closet…and well, I can’t tell you what is in there just yet or it wouldn’t be a secret.  There is also a bathroom in which the shower serves as storage.  My husband said if I ever put my small frig up there he is afraid the only way to get me back downstairs is by placing a chocolate on each step.  Here are some photos of my place of whimsy and warmth and  how I use my craft space.  I hope you are inspired.  Enjoy the tour…and come and craft with me sometime.  My studio is always open!
Garden gate tag holder

I hung a garden gate to hold tags I've created. This gate is similar to the one on my Grandparents' farm so warms my heart with memories and works for storage.


Vintage jewelry boxes

I use vintage jewelry and other type boxes to store small items in . I love the look of them stacked up and the dual purpose of storage. I also use these in table scapes when doing an engagement or wedding shower.

Craft closet

I have three closets upstairs. One holds my craft supplies. I bought a paper rack from a store that went out of business. I organize my paper by color and then separate out solids from prints.

Stamps and tool storage

In my studio is a craft closet. I had my husband build open shelving so I could "see" what I have. I get these drawer stacks at Walmart and label the stamps by topic. That way when I work on a project - I pull out the drawer and bring it to my craft table.

12x12 paper

This 12x12" paper rack is organized the same way as my 8.5x11" papers - by color. When I work on a project and have usable scraps, I store the scraps in the drawer stacks labeled also by color. For example: Red Scraps

open shelves

To add some pizazz to the open dry wall shelves in my studio, I glued pages of vintage sheet music together and then using a cup as a template, I scalloped the edges and added a hole punch. It adds some "wow" to the room.

Gift wrap station

The table where I do my gift wrap has a sign I made hanging over the area. I found this great antique store sign holder at a sale and couldn't resist it's history. It is heavy as all get out!

Inspiration board

I found this antique frame and backed it with cork/fabric/ribbon. i use it for my inspiration board to keep ideas/notes in front of me that inspire me. I also include some photos of dear friends/family on it to remind me to pray for them as I craft.

Craft desk

I work on a vintage silver tray on my craft desk. This allows for glue gun drips to be easily cleaned up as well as inks.

Letter storage

I use a vintage jewelry box on my desk to hold all my game piece letters to glue onto craft projects.

Cutting station

I use an old vintage cabinet for my cutting "island" in the middle of the room. I like to stand when I cut paper on my rotary cutter so this piece I found in Idaho, works well for me. On top of it sits vintage containers with vintage sewing notions and tags.

Storage baskets

Under my desk are vintage luncheon baskets. I use them to make gift deliveries. The old typewriter serves no purpose but to make my heart sing when I look at it.

Desk lamp

On my desk sits a lamp I purchased at Goodwill. I liked the shape of the shade so I ripped off the fabric and use the metal form. I clipped on vintage family photos because it inspires me just to look at them when I sit at my desk and craft.

My favorite place

One of my favorite places in the world is my craft studio. This is where God places people and creation on my heart the most. I surrounded the room with vintage furniture. I am crazy for painted wood floors so around my desk I painted an area rug. I was hoping the painted floors would wear/chip a bit to look like "Grandma's attic" which is what I was going for in this room - but so far the paint is in tact. I may take a sander to it. I have vintage wire baskets and suitcases open to tuck in ephemera to use and display because vintage things simply inspire me and make my heart sing.

Gift wrap station

This is where I wrap gifts and lay out finished projects. I got the two desks free and painted them white (Pottery Barn would gasp I did that to their product!). I have metal garden chairs here for extra seating if need be.

Card/tag storage

I found this treasure at a Salvation Army store for $35. It is an old Golden Books turnsyle. It works perfectly for my finished homemade cards/tags and paper ephemera. By the way - whenever I make a card - I make several of the same design while I have the mess out. This turnstyle sits next to a hutch I also bought at Salvation Army for $100 and painted black and white.

Sitting Area

I have some comfy-cozy chairs at this end of my studio. I rarely sit in them but they look inviting and were a request by my hubby so he could come and visit while I'm working (and he indeed does come and put his feet on the ottoman). I just like the idea of sitting there and dreaming one day when I make time. That is my paper cutting island in the middle of the room. The garden gate leaning against it on this side I picked up at Urban Barn in San Diego on an anniversary trip. It just so happend to fit the back of that vintage piece of furniture perfectly. I love it when that happens! It holds more tags - clipped on with glittered clothespins.















My comfy cozy chairs

Here are my comfy cozy chairs. On top of the ottoman sits a tray that says, "Home Sweet Home" The rug I won at Bunko so it only cost me $5. My friend, Sharman the amazing party host, is an amazing shopper is all I can say. It is so comfy under my bare feet!

















Secret Closet

I guess since I told you this is a secret closet it is no longer a secret. This bookcase pushes in to reveal my daughter's secret play closet. She is now 11 so not playing in it so much anymore so I'm considering taking it over for my prayer closet.

Father Frame

This is an old window frame from my Grandparents' farm (the farm no longer exists so it is a treasure indeed). I strung twine from the farm across it and hung vintage photos of my Dad.


Printer's cabinet

I bought this cabinet at Melrose Vintage in Phoenix. It is an old printer's cabinet. All of the drawers attracted me to it to hold my different sized baggies and cello bags as well as some seasonal items. It is dreamy isn't it? It sits behind my desk.

ribbon cabinet

This old armoire serves as my ribbon cabinet which is obvious by the "ribbon" banner on the front.









inside the ribbon cabinet

Inside the ribbon cabinet I backed the door with another inspiration board. This one holds a lot of my kids art work. Clear boxes labeled by color hold small bolts of ribbon. From large hooks inside are larger bolts of toole ribbon. I feel liike white, red, and black bolts cover about any package so those are my staple bolts (even though I do have other colors). So those are the colors I keep handy. Seasonal ribbons are stored elsewhere. My scissors hang handy inside from a hook on top.
















Watchmaker's cabine

This is an old watchmaker's cabinet. It actually comes apart into five pieces. What is cool about it is the thin small drawers which came equipped with the old watchmaker boxes to keep parts separated inside the drawers. This works perfectly for all my beads.



Mailer cabinet

This small dresser holds different sized mailer/bubblewrap envelopes. I need varying sizes for my company, so this keeps them organized and hidden. On top are vintage buttons and jewelry, along with trays to hold a variety of things. (I know your eye catches the candy too - yes I have a sweet tooth and candy is never far away.)













On top of the mailer cabinet

On top of the mailer cabinet are some of my favorite things...candy, old vintage button cards, pieces of silver, an old clock.










Mama's board

I found this artist clipboard (which is huge) at a Goodwill for $3. I placed on it vintage flashcards and photos of my mom and her family.

Paint brushes

This shelf was made for me years ago by my father-in-law. It was outdated in color so I painted it black. On top sits a vintage red/white polka dot piece of German enamel ware to hold my paint brushes. Also is a vintage silver service tray I use to hold vintage pieces of jewelry to craft with. The book? Well - it was just for some "pretty".

My cutting island

This piece came from Idaho. It is a narrow cabinet that works perfectly for my cutting station. It sits as an "island" in the middle of this long room to service the paper closet and my work station. I like to stand when I cut paper and this is just the right size for me.











Just for fun



















Gift wrap shopping cart

This is an old Thrifty shopping cart. Now before you go and chastise me (you wouldn't would you?) I paid a good $24 for this shopping cart at an antique store. I'm pretty sure it isn't "stolen" as Thrifty is no longer in business. I stack rolls of wrapping paper in it next to my gift closet. This way I can roll it right next to my wrapping station if I have a lot of wrapping to do. On the bottom sit old containers i want to repurpose.

Cute storage

As I mentioned, I love vintage storage in any form i can get it. I found this old record holder and use it for all the printables I find on Pinterest. I organize them by theme in here by month. The red Kraft tin is much larger than it appears and I practically stole that when in Iowa for only $5. Inside it I store ziplock bags of shredded gift wrap by color. Whenever celebrating anything, I keep what would be discarded gift wrap because it cannot be recycled. I run it through a regular shredder (the kind that doesn't cross cut; I found mine at Walmart for $12). The long colorful strips are great for basket filler or shipping material.




















A basket full of vintage books and ephemera sit on the floor. I love to use pages of these when creating treasures for others whether it be a gift or a tag for something. My Mom gave me this wire shopping basket/egg basket so I love to think of her when I walk by it.


Vintage mail cart

This vintage mail cart was an anniversary gift one year from my husband. He knows my heart! It just happened to be that he could retro-fit it to hold hanging files. I save card fronts and post cards I get in the mail from others and file them in here by theme. I repurpose them into gift tags. When I buy an occasional store card (gasp) I file it here as well.

More vintage storage

This enamel pan filled with letters/keys was my Grandmother's. She died when I was a baby so I have little memory of her but love that I have her pan. The oak box next to it I picked up at "For the Love of Old" in Phoenix and it is filled with hand-written dental records (What would HIPA laws do with that knowing I have total strangers' dental records?) Old Mason & Ball jars of my Grandmother's are filled with dominoes, corks, & chandelier crystals for crafting. The God Bless Our Home stitchery was just a "happy" I picked up in Payson.

















What is behind this door?

What is behind this door with an old mailbox/newspaper holder on it? It has great craft magazines sticking out of it and the hooks hold tags when I'm working on a lot of them at once....hmmmm...what is your guess?











Behind the door

Behind the door with the mailbox/newspaper holder is my bathroom. My friend, Claudette gifted me with sewing the farm sink skirt and the shower curtain. Behind the shower curtain are spare chairs. The room is filled with sentimentals: a hook from my Grandparents' farm house, my children's artwork, photos etc. Since I'm a sentimental fool it probably doesn't surprise you my bathroom is sentimental too.















Train case storage

An old train case is used for some of my favorite magazines filled to the brim with craft ideas and sits on the bathroom floor. Along with the magazines I tucked in an old EtchaSketch. I found this one for $4 in an antique store in Iowa. It was one of my favorite toys growing up...I would "draw" on it for hours.













Behind the door

Behind the bathroom door is an old screen painted with "Home Sweet Home" I found it at Everything Goes in Phoenix. I framed "house" drawings drawn by each of my children when they were young.











Ink pad turnstyle

I recently picked up this Putnam Dyes turnstyle in Iowa for $39! I set it on my desk and will move my ink pads onto it. The sides of the turnstyle are labeled with ink colors which will help me to organize them and find the right color easily. Tip: Always store your ink pads upside down as it keeps the ink at the top of the pad and helps preserve the pad.













Vintage decor

Across my "secret closet" I strung a clothes line and layered on a few vintage hankies and some letters that spell out my last name. I picked up the letters at The Embellished House in Scottsdale.











Clothesline fun

I LOVE LOVE LOVE vintage hankies - Did I say LOVE? I have several of them I have picked up all across this great land. I use them for party garlands, basket/shelf liners etc. There is an open beam in my studio so I hung a clothes line and filled it with hankies just because I like looking at all the happy patterns/colors. I wonder what occasions these hankies traveled to and the reasons for the tears they dried? These only bring me tears of joy. The clothes line reminds me of Mom, who still at age 82 hangs her clothes on the line. Can you imagine these blowing in the breeze?










































Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Sue Gould

    LOVE it…makes MY heart sing too!!

  2. Brekyn Boxberger

    I love learning all the sentimental values of your pieces (several I already knew but not the details). You are a lovely lady. You inspire me everyday! xoxox

    • Shela-Lyn

      Oh my little tootsie roll – the day God placed you in my arms is the day He gave me the desire to create. Nothing could be more lovely than what He created in your heart.

  3. Debbie

    S-L, I always knew you were amazing (from the first day Brad brought you over…) I love your “tour” of your studio! It has been way too long that I have visited with you… Now that you are retired, maybe we can! I love all your ideas and your studio, I wish when I grow up I can be like you! :) Brekyn’s comment made me cry, what a blessing she is! LOVE you! Debbie

    • Shela-Lyn

      Yes Debbie – let’s have a craft day! I’m actually leaving Friday to travel and will be traveling basically for a month with the exception of a day or two home each week. But after Nov 13th I’m home through March. :)

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