Creating a Craft Bookcase

Turning our guest bedroom into a nursery has meant this mama lost her craft closet. Before I evoke too much pity out of you, take a peek at how much of a mess this “craft closet” was.

There was virtually no organization to anything in this closet. I could never find any of my craft supplies (and Bradley’s antics certainly didn’t help with that). Wrapping paper also hid in here, along with dozens of gift bags I had been hoarding to reuse one day. A long time ago, I started using a multi-level pants hanger to store ribbon. It looked cute at first, but it became really annoying whenever I wanted to use a ribbon that was on the interior of the rod. Not to mention, having so many dangling, shiny objects is just too tempting for cats. In addition to the assorted craft and gift wrap supplies, grocery bags contained my small stash of fabric. Oh, and this space had also become our coat closet. (We ripped ours out during the kitchen renovation, and the closets in our bedroom are small.)

I was previously resistant to moving everything out of this room because where could it all go?? but the truth is, sometimes you just need to take everything out and evaluate what you’re dealing with.

Re-Homing the Crafts

Downstairs, we have a little hallway in between the clarinet room and the half bath. It is a completely neglected space that has housed various ugly items, including forgotten furniture and unassembled kitchen cabinets. Most recently, it was the home of our kitty condo.

Not only was this an eyesore, but the cat didn’t even use it anymore. We were just using it to store grocery bags, tools, and random objects like picture frames. It had to go. I spent a few minutes brushing it off, then we took it to the curb and made a post on the Nextdoor app. It was gone within the hour. (Are you guys as big of a fan of the Nextdoor app as I am? Maybe we just have a bunch of hoarders nearby, but everything I have posted on that site as a curbside pick-up has been gone within an hour.)

With the kitty condo gone, we now had a bit of wall space to store crafts. Downstairs came the bookcase…and the scary drawers full of junk.

All of the drawers looked like the ribbon drawer. There wasn’t even supposed to be a ribbon drawer, but that’s how frustrated I got with the hanger solution. So, the best way I know to deal with drawers upon drawers of junk is to dump it all out and go through it all. There were definitely a few bags of trash. Everything that made the cut was then sorted, and I was very excited to be able to use these great little clear containers.

A Crafting Bookcase

After decluttering, sorting, and containing, it was time to re-home everything on the bookcase!

Oh, and putting the label maker to work also.

On the bottom, we’ve got sewing supplies. I keep a few things in the Scout bag (scissors, pins, chalk, measuring tape, etc) because I usually sew on the dining table. Having fabric folded and visible in a basket is way better than piles of grocery bags.

Above the sewing section are the boxes of craft things. After tossing the things that were literally just junk, I realized I don’t have a ton of craft stuff. (And that’s fine!)

Next up is the gift wrap shelf. Shoe boxes were the perfect compliment to the clear storage cases, and they nicely contained all of the ribbon, tape, labels, and bows! I just tucked shirt boxes to the side and folded tissue paper and gift bags into a couple of old IKEA magazine racks. I love being able to see everything!

If you’re wondering what happened to the wrapping paper, it is still in the white planter. Now it resides behind the door to this hall.

The top shelf of the bookcase is a bonus! As it turned out I really didn’t need all of this space for crafts, so now we have a formal spot for paper office supplies. (If you’re a label-lover like me, don’t be afraid of sticking one directly onto furniture! Remember, labels are helpful if you want anyone else to follow your systems.)

That was a fun project! And it was really therapeutic to go through everything in that closet. Thinking through each item with “Would I like to see this on display every time I leave the clarinet room?” helped me be judicious about what to keep. Now, I love looking at that wall rather than cringing and hurrying on by!