Creating a family craft zone

When my parents asked if I wanted the old wooden table that that was covered with a mountain of plant pots in their shed, I said yes straight away, thinking I’d put it in my office next to my desk to use as a craft table. The table has now been in my office for over two years, and I can honestly count the number of times I’ve used it for crafting on one hand. Or possibly even one finger. It just became an overflow for my desk – my piles of paperwork, unopened post, filing, magazines and brochures spread out and the effort of clearing them to create space to do something creative never quite seemed worth it. Instead I’d use the kitchen table downstairs, or I’d find a spot on the living room floor somewhere.

Recently, I’d become obsessed by the idea of getting an old wardrobe for my office, in which I could store all my craft-related gear, such as sewing machines (the one I use, and the two gorgeous vintage Singers that I have no idea how to use), a guillotine, my beloved Cricut mini, a laminator and plenty more ‘useful’ tools and gadgets. I finally won a great vintage gentleman’s wardrobe on eBay last week for the bargain price of £28, and so a space for it in the office had to be made.

The twins have reached an age (four) where table-based activities such as Lego, colouring, painting and board games occupy them more and more, and the more the kitchen table got selected over their small play table and chairs as the location for these activities, the more I suspected I needed to update the play space in our open-plan living/dining/kitchen room which had become a bit young for them. I decided to solve the problem of the table and the play space in one go.

The play table that was here has moved into our smaller, separate playroom (they often need a surface for playing shops etc), and in its place I’ve popped the wooden craft table from my office. This area of our L-shaped room felt a bit forgotten before, and I love how the table has given it a much stronger focus and sense of purpose. The table can be pushed back towards the window when the kids are running circuits, or pulled out when we want to sit down to do something altogether. And now I don’t have to clear the Lego/colouring/junk modelling when it’s time for dinner like I did when everything was happening in the kitchen.

The kids’ craft materials are sorted in this cabinet (which they can access themselves whenever the creative urge takes them), and in a stack of plastic storage boxes (clear so I can see what’s in them quickly and easily). Glitter is the only thing I keep hidden away after I came downstairs at just before Christmas to discover the twins throwing it in the air and pretending it was sparkly rain.

Today when the kids were out all day at preschool I found myself sat here with my laptop instead of at my desk upstairs. It’s warmer in the living room, and I’m closer to the kettle when I need a cuppa. Plus my office upstairs is in a state of total chaos while I try to find a place in the newly-acquired wardrobe for all the things that used to be crammed under the table.  I staged a strategic retreat until tomorrow when I shall tackle it afresh. There’ll be a post to follow at some point, I’m sure.

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Comments

  1. January 27, 2014 / 9:21 pm

    Such good ideas! LOVE the little chalkboard cupboard especially. I’m sure your kids will adore it – lots of happy memories to be made 🙂 x

  2. February 6, 2014 / 10:39 am

    This looks great – we so often have to push our crafting to one end of the kitchen table so we can eat.

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