"I have a built in china cabinet like the one in the bottom picture, but it's positioned right behind our table, so I can't store dishes in there--it's too difficult to get to frequently. I was wondering if you could give me ideas or better yet--pictures of how I could use that space. I was thinking it would be fun as an art supply cabinet, but I don't have good storage ideas for all the supplies--ribbon, scrapbook stuff, glue, paint, markers, brushes, etc."I instantly remembered seeing it when she posted pics of their new home online a few years back. It has glass doors and is built in the wall, kind of like this one.
I asked if she'd ever considered covering the glass doors but she said she'd rather not.
So my challenge was to find ideas for craft storage that would be both functional and attractive, since you'd be able to see it through the glass doors from their dining area. As I began looking online, I realized that it really wasn't much of a challenge at all. There was simply so much inspiration out there. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that people who enjoy doing crafts also enjoy the challenge of making their craft stations look nice.
If there was anything challenging about this it was deciding what photos to share! In fact, I'm afraid my computer's going to crash with all the photos and links I'm sharing tonight.
First of all, the inside of the cabinet could be painted, wallpapered, stenciled or lined with fabric to help add a little pizazz to the space. Kind of like Ange from The Blooming Hydrangea did with the inside of the "Cloffice" in her former home.
Or it could be lined with materials to make it multifunction. It could be lined with cork. Or tin... as shown on the doors of this armoire.
Tin's magnetic quality would be perfect for hanging papers with magnets or for those magnetic spice containers that could be repurposed for craft storage (buttons, paperclips, etc.)
Here's a really attractive space that I fell in love with. I've seen those chartreuse green baskets on sale at Target. And it looks like the "backsplash" area is covered with pegboard. That would open up a whole new world of storage opportunities if the china cabinet were lined with that.
Here's more pegboard...
The inside could also be painted with magnetic chalkboard paint then repainted with regular paint to give a surprise magnetic quality to the whole inside like John & Sherry on Young House Love did here.
My absolute favorite idea for attractive ribbon storage involved using a tension rod inside the cabinet and looping the ribbon spools onto it. This would be super easy and inexpensive. Plus, it would be adjustable for bigger or smaller spools and wouldn't require any permanent alternations/damages to the china cabinet itself.
If it would work better to be able to easily transport the ribbon spools to the dining table while working on projects, the following idea would be very portable. I've seen similar baskets with small holes in them for sale at Target and the Container Store. And those baskets are stackable as well.
Another inexpensive ribbon storage solution involves repurposing and beautifying an oatmeal canister. Check it out...
I am not sure how deep Bethany's china cabinet is, but perhaps some of the drawers/ shelves shown underneath this desk (in Jen's cloffice from IHeart Organizing) would fit inside for scrapbook paper storage.
I actually purchased these same organizers from Target a few years back for my scrapbook supplies. Not sure if they still carry them or not. Here's my old scrapbooking table set-up (pre-blogging, de-cluttering days...)
The drawers shown in the cabinet below are not quite as attractive but could definitely be useful.
You could also use colorful storage boxes or magazine files for all kinds of supplies, papers, stickers, etc. And I LOVE the small white drawer units shown halfway down in the photo below. They are so cute!
Some of those storage boxes (similar to the turquoise ones below) even come with dividers in them like you'd see in a desk drawer for office supplies. I know I've seen letter boxes like that at Wal-Mart for like $7.
Small vintage suitcases could also be used to store supplies. See above and below...
Another tension rod use - make a "shelf". It is shown here in a spice cabinet but similarly, this could be used for craft paints, glues, etc.
And you can not underestimate the power of a caddy. Here Jen from IHeart Organizing used a caddy for art supplies. This would be extremely handy for toting supplies around the house and then tucking them back into the china cabinet.
Mason jars coupled with pipe straps...genius!
Jam jars hanging underneath shelves - that could work!
Small canisters holding buttons galore!
Lots and lots of glass jars - beautiful!
And they even fit a sewing machine and some fabric in this china cabinet.
Moving onto repurposed tin cans...this would be so easy to do...
But if you don't like the "industrial" look, just wrap the cans with decorative papers.
Turn the tin cans on their sides and you've got another type of storage. You could put all kinds of craft supplies in here, rolled pieces of fabric, etc. I've also seen this done with pieces of PVC pipe.
A small lazy susan like the one shown below would add a ton of function to the cabinet.
Similarly, one of these Pampered Chef utensil carousels could work well for organizing paint brushes, markers, pens, pencils, etc.
Tackle boxes. So functional. So portable. Could be "beautified".
I love the look of the colorful storage boxes and the clean look of all the magazine files. I'm all about concealed storage. And labels!
Use a pipe strap from Lowe's on each box for a "handle". Be sure to check out the source here. This gal details how to make magazine files out of CEREAL BOXES!
I really think the key to this project is choosing attractive containers that really work well for the supplies that you have on hand and making sure that you incorporate some sort of labeling system that will help you to keep your space organized while you work. And if you can repurpose something like food cans, cereal boxes or jam jars along the way that benefits the earth and your checkbook!
Plus, all of these options could be used not only in a china cabinet, like Bethany's, but on a bookshelf, in an armoire or a closet. Even on an open desktop. Anywhere you want to store craft supplies.
And if you're not into crafts, a lot of these ideas could be used for basic home office storage as well.