The Making of a Craft Studio – Calling All Crafters: Help Me Decide the Best Layout for my New Studio!

I’m so excited that my craft studio is becoming a reality; it’s been a dream for over decade to build a studio in the basement.

Calling All Crafters_final_BOF

My husband and I divvied up the space: a studio for me and a mancave for him.  He just finished installing the shell of the Ikea Pax cabinets that I’ll be using to store all my sewing and craft goodies. Once all the interior fittings are in place,  that means I’m one step closer to ‘moving in’.  However that leads to another dilemma – the layout of the rest of the studio!

Here’s a sneak peak of the Ikea units my husband put together over the weekend:

Ikea for the Studio 249

My husband even managed to squeeze in some display space (in a niche he built to cover up the post supporting the upper stories of the house).

Ikea for the Studio 164

Ikea has a wonderful Pax planner that allows you to design everything; I think it’s awesome!  You select the size of the units and door style, then just ‘drag and drop’ the interior fittings you want. It even provides an itemized shopping list so you can take it to the store and order what you need!  How convenient is that?

Here’s how I’m thinking of arranging the inside of the Pax:

Ikea_Final Studio Storage Plan 2 w_measurements_BOF

Once the Pax system is fully built and organized, I’ll update you with how the storage space turned out! By the way, My husband safely secured these units to the wall, which is a must!

Now, back to my layout dilemma for the rest of the studio.  Below is an overview of the basement space we had to work with. I originally thought that my office/cutting room would share a space at the back where our laundry room is. The sewing room would be in the same room where the Ikea cabinets are installed.

Take a look at all three  options I’ve come up with below and let me know what YOU would choose….or perhaps you’ll have some ideas I never even thought of!

Blank Plan_BOF

Option 1

Below is Option 1 of the layout I envisioned for the ‘sewing room’ and ‘cutting room’.  I’m at odds over whether I should position my cutting table in the far room so I can access it on three sides or whether I should ‘hide’ it from view on the other side of the ‘window’ wall. I don’t think I want to see a potentially messy cutting table as my first line of sight as I enter the sewing room.  But accessibility on 3 sides would be nice to have: if I put the table up against the window wall (on the opposite side of the sewing machine), I’ll only be able to access it from two sides.

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Option 1: cutting table in line of sight as you enter

Here’s another view of the cutting table; in this view, my office area has a corner desk area and I’ll be able to squeeze in another card catalogue at the end of the run (yes, I have TWO card catalogues – a makeover project that I’ll document in  a future post!).

View of cutting table_81_bof

Option 1: card catalog makeover to come!

Overview of Option 1

81 Overview_BOF

Option 1 overview

Option 2

This is how that line of sight would change from Option 1 above if the cutting table was not the first thing you see as you walk into the far room. It has been moved to the other side of the window wall.

Line of sight to Far Room_no table_bof

Option 2: nicer line of sight into cutting room

Here’s another two views of how the far room would look if the table were tucked away out of sight. The first one is from the vantage point of looking into the sewing room, where the Ikea cabinets are installed.

82_Corner_Office_view 2_bof

The second view below shows how my office space would be arranged with the pattern table placed as shown above.

82_Corner_Office_view 3_bof.jpg

Option 2: office area and cutting table

Overview of Option 2

Here’s the full layout of the basement again with an overhead view showing Option 2.

92_Full Overview of Basement_bof

Option 2: overview of Basement with Mancave, Sewing Room and Office/Cutting Rom

Option 3

As if that wasn’t enough to think about, just to stir the pot a little, what if I switched the sewing room for the cutting room and put the table where the sewing machines were and vice versa?

In this 3rd option, the sewing machines would be arranged in an ‘L’ shape in the corner of the room shared by the laundry. The cutting table would be in the room with the Ikea cabinets (where the sewing machines were previously).

To me, Option 3 narrows the traffic flow and seems like it might feel a little claustrophobic with the cutting table taking up so much space.

Flipped Plan_bof

Option 3: sewing and cutting room flipped around

Overview of Option 3

93 Overview_Flipped Sewing and Cutting Room_BOF

Option 3: overview of sewing and cutting room flipped around

So what do you think? Where should the cutting table go? Let me know if you would choose Option 1, 2 or 3 (or leave me a comment with your questions/suggestions)!

UPDATE: To see the entire Making of a Craft Studio series, click the links below. You can also check out my new craft category, Birdz of a Feather~ Craft Rehab, to see what I’ve been up to in my new craft studio too!

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0 thoughts on “The Making of a Craft Studio – Calling All Crafters: Help Me Decide the Best Layout for my New Studio!

    • Thanks Tilly! I really appreciate the input. We’re still working on the Ikea storage, so it gives me time to get feedback like yours and make a final decision 🙂

  1. Congrats on your remodel! You are very lucky and have some wonderful options. I have done a little sewing so here is my opinion: I would think you would want the cutting table and sewing machines in the same area so you wouldn’t have to run back and forth with your materials. I like Option 1 because you can maneuver around the cutting table on 3 sides, if needed, however, I would make the following changes to it: put the desk, wall cabinets, and card catalogue(s) in the current sewing room. Extend the counter in the current cutting room to the window wall (perhaps wrap it under the window if it fits and put storage cabinets underneath). Then place the sewing machines on the long counter opposite the cutting table. Now you can turn around from the cutting table to a sewing machine & vice versa. I don’t know what kind of sewing you do, but if you do curtains or large items, you may want more counter space behind at least one of the sewing machines. To do this, you could extend the counter to the window wall but make it wider (deeper) the last 3 or 4 feet next to the window wall. That will provide extra depth for long or large fabric sewing behind the machine.
    You could still use this layout even if your machines are in their own cabinets and you want to keep them that way. Just build counter spaces between/beside the sewing cabinets. Don’t forget to place plenty of electrical outlets for machines, iron, gadgets, etc.
    Speaking of ironing, can you do that on the cutting table? Do you plan to have a drop-down ironing board in one of your cabinets?
    I know I am a detail person but I hope this helps. Just be sure to make any adjustments before the installation; it will save time and money. Thanks, Nancy

    • Amazing recommendations Nancy; thanks so much for your input! I’m going to play around with my 3D program to see how your suggestions look. I do intend to try my hand at sewing curtains in the future so you made some good points! We have ton’s of electrical outlets; my husband made sure of that!

      FYI, I trained as a fashion designer so all my equipment is commercial; I have an industrial iron, pattern table and sewing machines (you’ll see it all in the reveal)! There’s still a lot to finish in the rest of the basement, so hopefully that won’t be too much longer.

  2. I’m excited for you! I’ve dreamed of a sewing room all my life. This looks like a dream come true.

    I used to work as a costumer for a local theater many moons ago. What I liked about the cutting table was that it was centered in the room. You could get to it from any angle. It was topped with cork so you could pin directly into the table, another fabulous feature. One idea if space is an issue is to put the table on heavy duty rolling coasters. Then you could push it against the wall when not in use, but move it out as needed.

    Regarding placement of your machine, I like as much natural light as possible, so perhaps determine the flow of light throughout the day and consider that when placing it.

    Given the proximity of the two sewing rooms to the man cave, a few thoughts: would you want to chat with hubby while sewing? Then put that closer to the cave. If not, then perhaps locate it closest to the supplies you need when sewing. In my experience, once something is cut and pinned, the cutting table isn’t used that much.

    You both have great talent and ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing this project unfold.

    • Alys – I used to be in the business too – I was a fashion designer for many years and ran a home business when I was young 🙂 My old studio is still located in my parent’s basement, but I’ll be moving it all over to my new space.

      I’m just working on my newest post which will detail how to design and organize using Ikea Pax. I hope you have a chance to read it once it’s posted: I’d love your feedback, especially given that you understand better than most all the storage issues of someone who’s been in the industry (and who wouldn’t want feedback from someone who is ‘born to organize’!

      • I will definitely read it and look forward to it with warm anticipation. I’m following you via Bloglovin so I get notifications when you post.

        I hope you’ll blog about your fashion experiences one day, too. I would love to hear more.

        I can’t wait to see the sewing room transformation. Is your basement walk in or will you have to haul everything down those stairs? I hope it’s the former. Best of luck.

        • Unfortunately, it’s not a walk out basement:(

          As a matter of fact, in the past I was seriously considering selling the house just to trade up for that feature alone, but real estate over the past few years has been CRAZY expensive and it wouldn’t be practical.

          That’s cool that you are able to follow me via Bloglovin; I didn’t know you could do that. Does that mean I could customize notifications and follow you (and other bloggers at the same time) too?

          • I live in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley so I know all about crazy housing markets. I think once your craft room is complete and you’re moved in, you’ll be very happy. You’ve put in a lot of planning. I’ll bet you downsize your supplies as you put things away, too.

            Bloglovin allows you to register your own blog, or someone can do it for you. Since I entered your blog name, all you have to do is go claim it as your own. You can add a widget to your blog saying “follow me on Bloglovin”. They have you post a test post to confirm that the blog is really yours, then you’re good to go. By doing this, I was able to do away with email notifications. I just log on once a day to Bloglovin’. Give it a whirl. Let me find a link.

          • Yes, I know I’ll be happy with the new space – and I’ll be purging a lot of stuff too so I don’t have to move it all! Thanks for setting me up in Bloglovin; I was able to claim it like you said 🙂 Next time you log in, you’ll see my new post 🙂

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