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Some of you may remember last August when I was in the midst of my “adventures in renovation”.  We had purchased a “new-to-us” house and then undertaken 6 weeks worth of renovations prior to moving in.  The renovations were motivated by the fact that we needed a place for my 88 year old grandparents to live that was easily accessible to the rest of the house and that was senior-friendly. Because we were giving up so much main floor space, because we wanted things to be as quiet as possible in a house with 5 kids (hence we needed a place the kids could play), and because I needed a place to run my business, we decided that as part of the renovations, it would be a good idea to finish the basement.  As the basement was totally unfinished it gave us a lot of flexibility in designing the layout and let me plan my dream stamping studio “from scratch”. 

I’ve been promising since I moved in that as soon as I was done getting my studio all organized, I’d share pictures. It’s been a work-in-progress but FINALLY I’m pretty much done.  I’ve taken a bunch of pictures so that I can give you a step-by-step tour and share with you how I organize my papercrafting supplies.  So let’s head on down my basement stairs, go around the corner, walk down the hall and approach the double doors.  As I open the double doors this is my first glimpse of the room:


I’m now going to take you on a full tour starting off towards the right and working our way around the room counter-clockwise.


In these four paper racks I keep all my 12″ x 12″ CS, both my 8 1/2″ x 11″ and 12″ x 12″ neutral CS as well as other assorted CS. I bought the racks at a place called West End Wire in Toronto  The ribbon rack is one that I build with my dad – we got all the materials for it at Home Depot – I keep ALL my ribbon on there (current & retired) and organize it by color.  I have one dowel per color which as you can see leaves me with plenty of room to grow *lol*  I keep my sewing machine there as well.  The little white cabinet (from Ikea) with drawers are where I keep sewing-related stuff. The French door on the left that you just catch a glimpse of, is part of a double set of French doors (they came from the main level when we closed off the dining room to create a bedroom for my grandparents).  When you walk through the French doors you get to the kid’s playroom – so I can keep an eye on them while I stamp.


 On the other side of the double French doors I have a file cabinet (Staples) that I use for all my CS scraps – I have one hanging file per color.  I also keep most of my accessories in this corner.  The walls of the corner looked a bit empty so I decorated it with some of Stampin’ Up!’s Manhattan Flower Decor Elements in Chocolate Chip and Kraft.  The shelves come from Ikea as do the little glass jars – the little jars house my paper flower and button collection. The basket you see in the corner is going to be filled with slippers in the winter for my customers because the floor down there gets pretty cold – actually the whole room does which is why I keep a heater down there which you can just catch a glimpse of in the corner beside the file cabinet.


Moving along you see my two low cabinet units – these are from Ikea.  The cubbies on the right hand unit is my “idea” station – that’s where I keep my Stampin’ Up! catalogues and Stampin’ Success magazines (past and present) as well as all the magazines I subscribe to and idea books I own. All the magazine holdes came from Ikea as well (can you tell I love Ikea *wink*?) I use the top surface of the cabinets as a workstation for my Circle Scissors Plus and my Big Shot. The card rack you see is where I keep cards that I have for sale – I bought it in the US about a year and a half ago and unfortunately can’t remember the name of the place I got it from (I found the place by doing a google search).   The small black boxes (Ikea) hold cards that I use for giving as well as sending out to customers.  The black boxes that you see along the bottom of these cabinets (Ikea) as well as the cabinets in the next picture are where I store all sorts of things such as items to stamp on (tins, boxes, test tubes etc), I keep my hostess and recruit packets, my plastic bags, stuff for trade shows and displays etc. etc.  The slat wall you see was purchased at home depot – it’s the paint grade slat wall although you can also get it in white melamine-coated.  I have two in all (they measure 4′ x 8′) I use them to display samples.  The little acrylic shelves and scrapbook page holders I purchased from a scrapbook store that was going out of business.


These two cabinet units are also from Ikea.  I use the top row to display samples as you can see.  I purchased little shelves at Ikea that fit perfectly inside each cubby so that I can elevate some of the samples.  The white plastic drawers (from Walmart) house a lot of my small stuff – adhesives, sponges, blender pens, aquapainters, Stampin’ Around wheels, Stampin’ Spots, Stampin’ Write markers, etc.  The 12″ x 12″ paper holders (from Stampin’ Up!) hold all my Designer Papers, chipboard, Simply Scrappin’ Kits etc. As you can see I have a few empty cubbies for “growth” *lol* The Black Boxes contain pretty much what I talked about above.  The white rubbermaid containers contain more cards that need to be sorted. On the wall I’ve framed scrapbook pages in shadow boxes which I purchased at Michael’s.  The little black drawer unit I purchased from Home Sense and it contains my office supplies (pens, pencils, erasers, calculator etc).


We’re now at the far end of my studio.  The two doors you see actually hide my electrical panel – so nothing exciting there.  The basket in the corner is where I keep some of the most immediate orders that are waiting to be picked up. The cubbies that you see in the picture above were purchased at home depot.  I use the top two rows for current stamp sets and the bottom row for retired stamp sets that I can’t bear to part with.  All along the top of the shelf I use for ink storage. The slat wall is once again used to display samples.


We’re now at the back left corner of my studio where I had a little kitchen built.  I keep a fridge, micro and my expresso maker down here so that I don’t have to leave everytime I want a cup of tea or coffee.  The cabinets primarily house more papercrafting supplies – envelopes, glitters, liquid adhesives, embossing powders, glue gun, stuff to stamp on etc.  The top three drawers on the left house my punches.  The cabinet to the right of the fridge is where I keep all my Big Shot dies.  The big drawers contain my light tables, Bind-it-all, heat tools etc.  I own multiples of many of the tools to make it easier for classes.


This is a picture of my kitchenette full on.  During classes I use the counter for coffee/tea and snacks.  When I’m there by myself I’ll keep things I use a lot out such as my heat tool, my craft mat and hobby blade, my table top cutter etc. The tins you see hanging on the left I use during classes – I put one on each table.  Inside each tin I keep paper snips, bone folders, paper piercers, pencils, 2-way glue etc.  The tins and the holder are from Ikea – actually the whole kitchen is.  The only other thing I may do is spruce up the kitchenette area with some Decor Elements, but I haven’t really decided.


As you can see from this picture, the kitchen is actually hidden by a little partial wall. On the other side of the wall I keep more paper racks where I keep all my Stampin’ Up! 8 1/2″ x 11″ CS – current color families, the naturals, the In Colors and some of the retired In Colors. These paper racks I purchased from the same scrapbook store that went out of business where I got my acrylic slat wall displays . We’ve now come full circle of my room and we’re back where we started. The next two pictures will give you a view of my studio from each end.  My actual studio is about 17 feet x 25 feet.  My overhead lighting is fluorescent lighting – there are 6 big lights like the ones you see in all. My husband asked an electrician friend of his to plan out the lighting for the room so that there would be plenty of light to see fine detail by no matter what time of night it was.


The picture above was taken as I was standing just in front of the double French doors leading to the playroom. The picture below was taken from the opposite end of the room.  As you can see I like to keep my tables (three 6 foot tables) in a row down the middle of the room – it’s more conducive to socializing for my customers. Right now I have it set up for seating for 14 people – which is what I like to cap my events at because it allows me to give people plenty of elbow room.


 My personal workspace is at the end of the table as you can see in the picture above.


When I’m actually getting ready to papercraft I set it up as you see in the picture above.  I always use Stampin’ Up!’s grid paper – I love the fact that it has the build in rulers. The yellow bucket is my garbage can, the tin bucket houses my paper snips, bone folder, 1/16″ handheld punch, 2-way glue, a pencil, paper-piercer and ribbon scissors (I like to use Stampin’ Up!’s paper and craft scissors).   The little caddy is one that I found at Home Sense.  I absolutely love it because I can keep my basic tools that don’t fit in the tin handy: i.e. a Stampin’ Scrub, Stampin’ Mist, Stamp-a-ma-jig, foam mat, paper piercing template, Tombow Multi-Purpose adhesive, Dotto Adhesive, Sticky Strip, Snail, Mini Glue Dots, Stampin’ Dimensionals, adhesive eraser & regular eraser.  Of course I always have my table-top paper cutter and paper trimmer with scoring blade at hand.

That’s it in a nutshell – that’s how I organize my studio, handle my papercrafting time & run my classes. I hope you all enjoyed the tour!

ETA (July 23):  Thank you for all your kind comments about my studio.  I know that I definitely am very blessed to own such a studio.  For those of you that look at your own space though and wish it were bigger I do want to encourage you that dreams do come true.  When I signed up as a demonstrator just over 5 years ago we lived in a much smaller house and my “studio” was a corner of my bedroom – I had a 2″ x 4″ table and one of those tall sets of plastic drawers in which I stored my stuff.  I kept my CS in a plastic file box under the table and I had a little caddy on top of the table to hold my essentials.  When I outgrew my plastic drawers I took over part of my linen closet and part of my bedroom closet. I used to hold my classes in my dining room and could only fit 4 people around my dining room table (it was really small *lol*). Now, 5 years later, with lots of hard work, we are where we are in large part because of my Stampin’ Up! business and my online business. So keep on dreaming!

Below I’ve included some of the questions you’ve been asking – if I get more questions I’ll keep adding the question and answers here:

Q. I’m curious did you get it all done at once or was it a step by step, little by little with a vision in mind?

A.  It was done a little at a time over the last 8 months.  I had a general idea of how I wanted the room to look and started picking up things here and there.

Q. I have a question, do you have covers for the paper stands stands since fluorescent light fades paper over time?

A.  Much to my chagrin, I actually did not realize that fluorescent light fades paper until I discovered it recently the hard way.  I have set my paper racks back a bit – there is a bit of a bulkhead overtop of the them but I’m currently looking into ways that I might be able to cover the papers.  I haven’t quite figured that out yet as it didn’t factor into my planning *lol*

Q. Can you possibly let me know how you made your ribbon rack? I sure could use one of those.

A. We purchased unfinished peg board that is about 1/4″ thick and was 48″ x 48″.  We had it cut down to 35″ x 48″.  I then purchased three pine pieces that were 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ and 48″ high.  We measured out where we wanted the hooks to be and then drilled pilot holes.  We then screwed the pine pieces onto the peg board from the back side of the peg board.  Once that was done we screwed the hooks (they were about 2 1/2″ long) into the pine pieces.  We used 1/4″ dowel and cut it to size. The right side of the peg board we were lucky enough to be able to screw into a stud.  The left side we used wall anchors to mount it.


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