Making a Craft Armoire
Most people don't have the space to set aside an entire room for craft projects, but a smaller, well-organized spot can serve your purpose almost as well. Martha demonstrates how to create a "room" in an armoire or closet to provide convenient storage for craft tools and supplies.
Converting an armoire that already contains shelves involves very little carpentry work. Martha removes one shelf of her large antique country armoire to accommodate a row of magazine holders, taking advantage of the extra space left above the holders by attaching a row of small drawers to the bottom of the shelf above. The small drawers contain Velcro, raffia, twine, and similar frequently accessed supplies; Martha indicates the contents of each one with a Brother P-Touch label. Since each drawer contains a small hole that functions as a handle, the end of a piece of twine can be drawn out the hole as if from a dispenser.
On another shelf, Martha places a similar set of prefabricated wooden drawers (these particular drawers were purchased at Ikea). They come in natural-colored wood, so before organizing her armoire, Martha painted them a pretty shade of green. The drawers are removable, so she will be able to pull out and carry an entire drawer to the place where she's working on a project.
On the shelf below the small drawers, Martha inserts a large roll of white butcher's paper. The paper is inexpensive, and you can rip off exactly as much as you need for a project. It's also handy for protecting your work surface -- and wonderful to have on hand as drawing paper for kids.
Martha gets the most from recessed corner shelf space with several small lazy Susans, using single-level lazy Susans for tall bottles and jars and two-tiered ones for smaller containers.
No space in the armoire goes unused, including the insides of the doors. A cafe-curtain rod stores rolls of ribbon; a stainless-steel wall organizer, sold as a wall-mounted magazine holder, holds rolls of paper. A metal ruler and a self-healing mat, invaluable for protecting surfaces when you're using a utility knife, hang on C-hooks on the inside of one door. On the opposite side, Martha screwed in two eye hooks and strung a wire between them to hold an oversized pad of sketching paper. (Before mounting anything on your door, check to see that the hinges are strong and well attached.)
Martha protects the bottoms of the drawers in the armoire with sheets of galvanized steel (most home centers will cut sheet metal to your specifications). She organizes the drawers with galvanized bins and wooden crates, each of which contains a specific category of items such as kids' paint supplies, a flower-arranging kit, or safety goggles and masks. The top-right drawer is reserved for gift-wrapping supplies, like rolls of paper, tape, scissors, and ribbon. A small box within the drawer holds scraps of beautiful paper and ribbon that can be recycled into gift tags, greeting cards, and other small items.