Sunday, January 7, 2018

Craft Closet Organizing

A few years ago, I created a craft corner in our family room using what I had on hand. I loved everything about it and even through two moves, most of the storage elements have worked perfectly. 

Read more about how I created this space HERE.

I outgrew a craft corner a long time ago. I now use an entire room!  In our last house, I set up several  craft stations in one of the bedrooms, but in my new house, I am sharing the space with a twin bed. It is part guest room, part craft room. 

I love the idea of an uncluttered look. My craft room has recently become VERY cluttered!

In my "craft corner", I used a lot of black and red to match the furniture in that room. I want to use white and lots of bright colors now.

Here are some before, during and after photos of my set up process followed by some tried and true organizing tips:  SORT!

Moving in, boxes everywhere!

An armoire stores my rug fabric and tea cups. A small dresser is also used for craft storage.

In my first attempt, the room didn't exactly get the look I wanted. 
A rearrangement of the room and a new to me cute chair really helped!

Now onto the craft closet!

When I set the craft closet up, it looked sort of organized but in reality, nothing was sorted! The first time I tried to work on a project, I had to dig for items and pull out a lot of boxes. After a box or two fell on my head I knew it was time to do it right.

Out with the black and red! 

Ideally, we will install shelving in the closet. But I am not sure how I want to configure the shelving. Once I work in the room for a few months, I will have a better idea of what I need. For now, I am using a few white modular units and this REALLY cool wire shelf unit I scored at Goodwill!

Problem with the modular units: bins to fit inside the units are very exspensive. I had a few baskets that would work but I needed more containers. I picked up 2-3 bins from the dollar store, but they were too big.
I also did not want to unload all the plastic drawers from the rolling bins I have since that system has worked so well. But I was getting frustrated and I REALLY did not want to use the black units or buy new white rolling bins. Then, I accidentally figured out that the drawers fit in the cubbies of the white units! Once I realized that, all I had to do was tweak the arrangement and sort ALL of my STUFF.

Not bad at all. But not as neat or pretty as I envisioned. 

I decided to spruce up the plastic bins the same way I did in my craft corner. Using scrap paper and labels on the fronts of the bins was exactly what it needed!

No more black and red. Now, my organized craft closet has lots of white and pops of color to go with  the room.

I added a few small paintings to the closet doors that match the colors in the craft closet for a finishing touch.

I now have a light, bright spare room/craft room. Everything is easy to find, all labeled and organized.


On my Facebook page, I promised you I would share some of my organizing tips. Here they are:

Organizing tips:

Many of these tips came from the best orgainizing book I have ever read, 

The hardest and messiest part: 

Put EVERYTHING together that needs to be together. (You will need lots of space for this.)

Separate each group of items into categories. Make stacks or piles as needed, don't let them get all mixed together.
Heaping it all into piles will help you visualize what type of organizational item you need for each.
For example:
Some of my items were already separated into drawers or bins, but many were not. I had filled drawers on the floor and piles in sections all over the desktop, floor and bed.

I made a list of  my "piles".
I had 13 "piles" or categories that I needed to organize. For each pile, everything I need for that craft would need to go together into one bin, container, or area.
My list looked like this:
Paper Craft
Polymer Clay
Misc. sewing
Stamping supplies
Paper Punches
My list went on....

Once I knew how many spaces I needed (13), I was able to look at each pile and decide what would work best for each one. A drawer, a bin or a basket, under the bed, in the closet or in a shelf/cabinet.

When your space is limited, go UP and UNDER:
Under the bed, up the walls or on top of furniture. You may have to reach a bit, but put the least used items furthest away.

You will now need to decide where the containers will go, depending on your storage units.
Some suggestions:
Find furniture or shelving that double as storage space, like armoires, desks with cubbies, or shelves.
Small cabinets
Use baskets or other decorative storage units

Use what you've got. If you are on a budget, a little paint or paper will cover cardboard or plastic.
Repurpose items. I use cans covered with book pages. A casserole carrier now holds my large spools of thread or cording. The ideas are endless!

I use those same tips to organize everything in my house, from rooms to just a drawer. SORT!

Now, it is time for me to get crafting in my new space!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Making a Rectangle Toothbrush Amish Knot Rag Rug

I can't believe I tried it again.... but this week, I made a rug with a rectangle shape using the Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug method!

Many of you have asked me how to make a rectangle rug.
Some have asked me to make one for them.

My answer, usually? I HATE Rectangles! lol

So why did I try again?

I have been toying with the idea of making a rectangle using a different approach than the traditional method, the method I do not like. I tried this "new" way a couple of years ago by creating a small trivet, just to see if it would work. I like this method much better! I have often thought about making a full size rug since then, but never had the motivation.

Well, this week, I was inspired to make a series of rugs, 4 in all, dedicated to the Beverly Hillbillies.
It started with a stack of fabric I was hoarding and an idea to make a rug in a primitive style rather than my usual cottage style.  A follower on Facebook said it should be named Jethro because the fabrics reminded her of him. That's all it took. I knew I would make a rug that reminded me of each of the characters of the show. (I'll post about that when I finish them all)

For "Granny's Rug", I decided to use gray fabrics since she wore a drab grey dress often. And the shape? A rectangle using a variation of the GRANNY square used in crochet! That was the method I devised a couple of years ago but never made a full size rug with the idea. This was the perfect time.

Once I got started and as I began to work out the kinks, I thought it was the perfect time to make a video to show you how to do it should you want to try.

I DO NOT recommend this for beginners. But it is something worth trying if you are really determined to make a rectangle rug.

If you are a beginner, visit my Knotted Rug Tab at the top of my page or click here for help in getting started:  Toothbrush Rug Help

If you need a tool or a starter kit, visit my Etsy Shop here: Whimsies and Rugs

The video below is long. I tried to include several tips and show how to work on several sections including the beginning, the increasing on the corners and ending. Plus, I explain the more traditional way of making a rectangle rug using the Toothbrush Rug method.
I hope it helps answer questions and get you started should you decide to give it a try.

Happy Rugging!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Learner's Project: Toothbrush Rugs

Have you been wanting to learn how to make an Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug?

If time and energy has kept you from learning, then I have a quick and easy project idea for you!

Make a Table Mat!

Learner's Project: Make a Toothbrush Rug table mat at fourelevenrox blog
You will need:

about 2 yards of fabric
a rug tool
one afternoon 

toothbrush rug kit starter kit from Whimsies and Rugs on Etsy
Use about 2 yards of cotton or poly cotton blend fabric. The best way to get good fabric is to recycle a bed sheet. But if you have fabric on hand, use one piece of fabric, 45" wide, about 2 yards long. Be sure the fabric is not white on the underside. You want a fabric that is similar on both the topside and underside. If you use a poly cotton blend, be sure there is more cotton than polyester or your fabric will be very stringy.  Prepare your fabric as I show on this blog post:
If you would prefer to have the fabric already prepped for you, consider one of my rug kits in my Etsy shop. For this project, you will want one of my $20 kits:

For this project, use 12 fabric strips, torn to width of 2.5". Add 3 strips of fabric, 2.5" wide, of coordinating fabric for the core, or runner. NEVER CUT, always tear your fabric. Cutting your fabric will create a very messy looking rug.

If you are using your own fabric and preparing it yourself, you will need a tool. A quick and easy way for a diy tool is here:
I've seen people use all sorts of items for a tool. You can even use the handle of a small spatula!

To get started, you can view this video:
My $20 starter kits come with a starter already made for you.

Once you get started, just keep going, adding main fabric strips and runner strips as needed. Using all 12 strips of fabric and the runner strips, you should end up with a small table mat about 10"-12" wide.

To end the table mat, see here:

Helpful hints:
If you really love the process, and you want to keep going to make a full size rug, use only about 6-8 strips of your main fabric, setting aside the other strips. Add about 7-8 yards of coordinating fabric (prepared into strips) and keep going. Use your remaining strips of fabric in the remainder of the rug to tie in the colors of your center to the rest of the rug. design ideas here:
You will need about 10-12 hours to make a small rug.

You can see in the rug above, that I created a center and then used a few strips of the same fabric in another section of the rug. For this rug, I also added 3 other fabrics that coordinated with the main fabric of my starter kit.

If you've started, and the project is just not for you, you can stop once it gets to 7-8" and make a mug rug!
make a mug rug using the amish knot/toothbrush rug technique at fourelevenrox blog

So there you go! Make a mug rug, a table mat or a full size rug!
For TONS more info and help, don't forget I have a "table of contents" for rug making in the tab above, Knotted Rug Help or click here:

Happy Rugging!