Craft Room Transformation

Pardon the delay in posting this… I am just sitting in craft room heaven!  This was about 18 months in the making (and after lots of doodles on paper coming up with design after design) and I could not be happier with how it turned out!  I headed over to Ana White’s page to get the inspiration and plans for the cabinet base units, and then got to work!

Not too long ago, this is what my space looked like:  boring contractor paint, desk shoved in the corner next to some book shelves, and of course, LOTS of moving boxes.

005 Pre- Build


I know, I know- it is an uninspiring mess of a room!

First things first- I cleared out everything and got to painting!  I chose Valspar’s Tropical Bay as the wall color.  I chose to paint the three main walls, but to leave the window cutout white- there is only one light fixture in the room (yes, it is the dreaded “boob” style lighting too) and I needed to keep some brightness in the room!

After about 3 trips to Lowes I finally had all my supplies to get working!  First thing built was a 12 cubby fabric storage unit.  I had to modify the plans from Ana’s page slightly to allow for maximum storage within the width of the wall.  I wrap my fabric around acid free cardboard 11 inches tall, so I needed the cubbies to be at least that width on the inside.  When you’re building your unit, you always want to take into account the width of the material when calculating total dimensions.

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After building the cubby, I made sure to “mud” all of the dents, holes etc and sanded them down well when dry.  I brought the unit up to the room to paint in place so that I could clear out garage space to work.  Don’t mind the keyboard in the corner.. we’re still unpacking…3 months after our move.  We will probably still be unpacking 3 years from now!

photo 2 (3)Once it was dry, I loaded it up with the cotton fabric and immediately decided that I needed more storage… especially since I had about 2 more moving boxes full of fabric and embroidery blanks to open.  Here is the finished cubby with all of that beautiful fabric loaded up!

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Next plan of action was to build the desk base units. I used the rustic nightstand plan from Ana White’s page, but with some slight modifications.  I needed the units to be about 28 inches high so that my sewing machines would be ergonomically correct and I wouldn’t get a backache or shoulder pain when sitting at my machine for hours (yes, hours) on end.  The desk top would add about another inch in height, bringing the total desk height to about 29 inches tall.

The first base unit came together smoothly, and for that fact I am grateful.  I did call my father once or twice for some advice- as this was the first time that I had build anything with drawers.  I may have even done a happy dance a the end when the drawers actually worked smoothly!photo 1 (4) photo 2 (4)

I used white Euro Style drawer slides for this build- they are a bit more forgiving with drawer box squareness, and they worked out great.

To attach the faces of the drawers, I used shims to ensure that the drawer face was evenly spaced on all sides, then used my nail gun to temporarily nail in place (I added screws after for strength).

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The second base unit was similar in build to the first- minus the drawers.  I simply used scrap wood to build the shelves- I had wicker baskets that I wanted to place on the shelves and simply needed them to fit.

The desk top was much easier than it looks- I used the Kreg Jig to make a series of pocket holes along each piece of the desk top.  The width of the boards was 1 x 4, and I simply attached them at a 90 degree angle on my garage floor.  I wanted a “herringbone” look to the corner joint, so as I was building each row I made sure to follow the pattern.  To connect the boards I used 1 1/4 pocket screws- you can usually find them by the kreg jig display in your local hardware store.

Before bringing up the desk, I added 4 load bearing L brackets to the corner of the room.  These would bear the weight on the desktop that would not be supported by the two end cabinets.  I used a stud finder to ensure that each bracket was mounted to the studs to maximize load bearing and support.  The desk top (sanded and prepped for stain) was placed on top of the two base cabinets and then screwed to the brackets.

Once everything was in place it was time to stain! I used minwax dark walnut as the stain color- and only did one coat as it took so well to the wood.  

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After the stain had dried, I applied 3 coats of rustoleum poly.  I sanded with 320 grit sandpaper between each coat and removed all dust with a tack cloth.


Herringbone design of the corner joint with stainDSC_0326

Smooth and beautiful desktop!!

Once the desk unit was completed, I had to finish up the additional storage unit and fold out cutting table.  The storage unit was a modified plan that allowed for extra sewing machine storage.  have 5, yes 5 sewing machines… Hi my name is Stephanie and I’m definitely a sewing addict.  It also allowed for additional fabric storage (currently all my knit fabrics and specialty fabrics are stored in this unit).

The fold out cutting table was simply a 24″ x 36″ w piece of ply wood added to the existing storage unit I made for the window cut out a few years ago.  I added edge banding to the plywood to finish it off.  Legs were added by using balusters from Lowes- I simply used some parts from the table leg section in Lowes (brackets to screw into etc) and cut them down to the right height.  The top was attached via piano hinge to allow for folding away of the table when I’m not using it.

A ribbon/wrapping storage unit was added behind the door- simply used two 2x 2 furring strips with multiple hooks screwed in.  I ended up with 14 dowel rods FULL of ribbon and wrapping paper!  I painted the unit when it was already attached to the wall which took a little extra time, but it was worth it to have the finished appearance.

The only items I needed to purchase for this room were 2 floating shelves and the Alex storage unit from Ikea.  I did the cost/time analysis and they were simply cheaper to purchase than to build.  The floating shelves only came in Birch, so I had to paint them prior to installation (hint… use a good bonding primer!).

Here are the photos of the final room!  The storage in here is wonderful and I find that I’m able to be much more productive with everything in plain sight and within my reach.


I do realize I have a fabric obsession… this isnt’ even all of my fabric!


Cutting table folded out for use… finally no kneeling to cut out patterns… no more knee pain, no more back pain!


Ribbon and wrapping paper storage- and finally a way to display my great grandmothers sewing table!

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Floating shelves installed… office portion of desk is set up and ready for use!


Three drawer base cabinet


Two shelf base cabinet with wicker basket storage

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Finally space for my sewing machine, serger and coverstitch machine to be out at the same time!

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Plenty of storage in the Alex cabinet… my OCD is really showing through here!

Thanks for checking out my craft room transformation… I hope that you enjoyed the tour!

Happy Sewing!




  1. Victor Beaudoin says:

    you need an old reconditioned 2 needle Singer Machine, I have one and will send it to you without a motor to drive it if you want it. You will most likely have to build a base for itr.

    1. Thanks Uncle Victor- I don’t know if there is anyone around here that could fix it with the motor (we are kind of lacking in repair shops here. I think nearest is about an hour and a half away.) Thank you for offering though!! I appreciate it 🙂

  2. Angel says:

    I’d like to learn more about how you connected the 1×4 planks to create your desk top. I loved the herring bone look… But I’m just creating a long 2 person 10′ desk and want to keep it simple and smooth.

    1. Hi There! I used the Kreg pocket hole joiner to connect the desk- allowing for pocket hole connections on the bottom while keeping the top smooth. For the herringbone portion, I made sure that there were two pocket holes on the end of 1 of the abutting boards and then screwed it into the side of the abutting board.

  3. Sara says:

    I’d love to ask my hubby to build a similar but smaller l-shaped desk for my sewing area. Wondering what your dimensions of the base cabinet are and how deep the top is? You did an amazing job!

  4. sherry sue! says:

    This room is perfect!!! Great use of space and cuteness!

  5. Carol says:

    We have 4 bedrooms. Our children have moved away, but our mid daughter and son in law are temp living in our finished basement. My problem is….I sew, paint, do florals, wreaths….I do it all or I get bored too easy. I’m wanting to get into wood working, this may be my opportunity! I’m about to invest a fortune in Clear containers. I have so many that aren’t which is a waste of time searching for things. Keep the pics & leads coming

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