Make Your Own Maker Space: How To Craft Your New Craft Room

The last year has seen people starting to get really into crafting. Whether it’s learning to mend your clothes for the first time or building an entire online store of handmade goods, having a craft room is much more viable an idea than ever before. You can rent studios and professional art tables in most cities, but for those of us who want to keep our projects closer to home, here are some tips on how to work with your existing space.

Gather Around the Table

Never do arts and crafts on a table you aren’t willing to damage even a little (by Robeson Design)

Like all new hobbies, you don’t want to over commit when you first get started. There are specialty table setups for just about any craft, but you can use your very own dining table. That said, if you’re doing something involving paint, carving, or other potentially destructive materials, it doesn’t take much to damage a table beyond repair. A second, cheaper dining table will give you more space to work with than a disposable card table, and allow you to not have to maneuver dishware around the mess when it’s meal time. If the hobby ends up not working out, you can simply reuse the craft table for whatever adventure comes next and not waste your investment.

An image of a small loft with a large wooden table covered in craft supplies
A quality crafting table can be a big investment – both in terms of price and allotted space – but it can make crafting much easier and more convenient (by Jute Interior Design)

If you do decide to stick with this hobby, you now know what features you need in a specialty table to maximize your comfort. Angled surfaces for better drawing posture, built-in storage for loose yarn and fabrics, and weight capacity for drying sculptures can all factor in to your research when you’re ready for a table upgrade. Once you have a little more experience under your belt, you’ll also have a better sense of how much space you take up when you’re crafting – and how much you’re willing to dedicate to craft-specific furniture.

Take a Seat (But Not for Too Long)

The clearer the chair, the easier it is to identify and quickly tackle paint stains before they dry (by Martha O’Hara Interiors)

Having appropriate seating while you work can be just as, if not more important than the table. Surprisingly, the comfiest choice isn’t always the best. Most crafting is best done with frequent breaks to stretch your legs and rehydrate, not in one all-day sitting. Plus for projects like sewing, too much cushion can become a hiding space for pins and needles. You want a sturdy back and a good height so that your feet touch the floor and you don’t have to hunch over your table. For painting or woodcarving, go the extra mile and get something like acrylic you can easily spot stains and debris for better cleaning.

Ambient Lighting for Every Craft Room

Overhead lights are good for both your crafts and your eyes (by D’Asign Source)

Media tends to depict crafters as hunched over in a dark room with a single bulb, so engulfed in the passion of their work that they don’t need regular accommodations. This isn’t true in real life. Good overall lighting is essential to the longevity of a hobby (unless your hobby involves developing photos). Natural light is best if you can place yourself near a window, and is a great way to keep yourself from losing track of time. Supplement it with overhead lighting and don’t shy away from brighter bulbs. Strong white light will energize your craft room, and make it easy to see colors clearly.

Spotlighting the Task at Hand

Needlework is especially important to have task lighting with, or else stab your fingers repeatedly (by Fox Interiors)

For fine detail work, you’re going to want a more targeted light source than general mood lighting. There are a lot of task lights available for any work setup. An adjustable desk lamp is the easiest and most accessible, letting you push and pull the light towards the exact spot of focus. A sconce, floor lamp, or pendant light can also work well, but may require extra wiring into your walls. You can get very creative with picking out a design, but go for a strictly white lampshade if you need accurate color-sourcing.

Storing Your Materials

Storage can be as messy as your hobby itself, so make sure you have a place to put all your supplies away (by Chip Cordelli)

While your craft table is an easy place to set your works in progress, it’s not the best for storage. And crafting often takes up more room than you’d think in terms of sheer supplies. There isn’t a catch-all storage unit that you can buy that keeps everything in (I wish!), so customized storage is an important element of any craft room. Different materials require different containers, which can take up a lot of space. If you have kids or pets you’re also going to want to keep them out, so you’re going to want something you’re able to close easily. Converting a closet will thin out your wardrobe and linen storage, but can make it possible to keep everything in one place. Use clear containers for supplies that come in bulk, and insert wall shelves or hooks for more delicate materials like wrapping paper and yarn.

Not every hobby you pick up this year is going to stick, but having a craft room where you can try multiple types of projects can be a good investment for years to come. And for those of you who do find a project you really like, we at HomeThangs would love to see it!