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Monday, June 6, 2011

New Design Studio for under $1,000 from Ikea

For the past year and a half I've been using our spare guest room as my craft room.  The room was a nice size with a queen bed and some chests of drawers, but things got very tight when I'd set up a 6 foot banquet table to cut and sew on. It wasn't pretty, but it got the job done.  Recently my sister asked if she could have the queen bed. A quick call to my in-laws, our usual guests, verified they'd be fine on a sofa bed or air mattress. Suddenly the possibilities were endless! I could have a real design studio!

It took a while to dream up what I think might work, then a day and a half of graph paper planning and online browsing to make my shopping lists. Besides for the items I had already, the entire room was made from Ikea products for under $1,000!  Really! Here is the Ikea shopping list if you want the same sewing or crafting workspace. 

Now for the tour...

I completely fell in love with this Hemnes hutch. It was supposed to go on a desk, which is sold out, but it worked out even better on the sofa table.  I especially love how I added an inspiration cork board to the middle of the hutch (using Command Strips) where a monitor would usually go.   It's also the perfect size to store my sewing machine when not in use or hold a laptop.

Like most Ikea furniture, the shelves can be adjusted at any time to hold different things like books, or scrap book paper, or even file folders. An amazing find was my impromptu purchase of segmented plastic totes (Ikea Last Chance item for 2.99!). I didn't even measure them and they fit perfectly on the hutch's shelves and hold markers, clear stamps, foam brushes, and punchers.

The Shelves
The hutch is short enough, about 54" that I can use the top as a shelf for multiple mason jars filled with colorful art supplies, embroidery thread, lace scraps, and sewing supplies. It's so colorful and functional!

We also installed 160" of hanging shelves for additional storage like ribbon stands, boxes, and more mason jars.  I had always complained about the poor lighting in the room before, so I attached 5 clamp work lights, one to each shelf and the room is brilliantly lit.  I love the lights because I can reach up and reposition the shades to aim them at whatever I am working on.

The Container Storage
The sofa table was the perfect depth for the hutch, but it took a while to find things to fill the shelves.  Ikea has a lot of standard size containers for their larger product lines, but only had a few baskets for the sofa table.  Most of my online browsing time was spent trying to find the perfect combination of these containers. 

I had planned on having 4 of the plastic containers but when I noticed large scrapbook paper fit perfectly I had to return 1.   The 3 I kept hold office supplies like tape, crafting tools like my glue gun, and art supplies like rulers and palettes.

The rest of the containers are different sizes of card stock Kassett boxes including 2 which can hold hanging folders that I use to hold my custom patterns.  The boxes hold things like sewing notions, feathers, beads, jewelry supplies, water color paints, origami paper, paper and fabric scraps.

The Embellishment Wall
This is one of my favorite new areas. Instead of being hidden away in a box, all of my embellishments are viewable.  Just like the mason jars they are colorful and functional!  The spice racks (Ikea Last Chance item) and glass spice jars hold ribbon bows and rosettes.  The silver containers are magnetized and connect to the wall using 4 magnetic knife racks.  The top row contains shoe clip embellishments while the second row has sewing notions and specialty buttons. The last rail has round containers on hooks holding sewing supplies like paper scissors, fabric scissors, specialty cutting tools, fabric pencils and pins.

Penny loves the new table too!
The Table
I had thought I'd save some money and continue to use my old, ratty dark brown 6 foot banquet table. Then I put it up against all the shiny new white furniture and it totally brought the room, and my creative spirit, down.  A second trip to Ikea got me this great white gateleg table with 6 storage drawers.  With both sides up the table is about 60" wide and when both sides are down its about 10" wide making it perfect to fold away when guests arrive.  The drawers are the perfect size for cone thread saving me the trouble of dealing with my big clumsy sewing basket. I was able to save some money on this second shopping trip by using the first shopping trip's debit credit card 1% discount!

The Fabric Stash
As my collection of fabric has been growing I invest in another tote (or four) to store the yards and yards that I accumulate.  These totes I get from Staples for about $15. I like them because they are clear, they have lids that snap on tight and have groves so they stack securely.  I measured a tote once and they hold about 50 yards of cotton fabric.

The Rest of the Room
The rest of the room is full of our old furniture, most of which we got at Ikea at some point.  The two 8-drawer chest have seen a lot of different uses in my life holding clothes, make-up, craft stuff (now all in mason jars) and now they are holding patterns and paint supplies.  The dress form was a great Joann's clearance find and I can't imagine making our custom costumes like the Dr. Who Girl in the Fireplace with out it. The book case holds our bolts of fabric and the totes next to it are my future seasonal home decor projects.

That's the end of the tour, now it's time for me to get to work on our next product line, reversible placemats just in time for 4th of July!

UPDATE: I added more bookcases around the window a few months later to provide even more storage using Billy bookcases.  See the new pictures.


  1. Hi I am so happy I found this post! I am also looking to buy a Hemnes desk and hutch to use in my craft room... I was wondering if you could be so kind as to let me know what the dimensions of the "monitor alcove" (where you have your sewing machine) on the hutch are please as IKEA don't list these details on their website!

    I love your craft room - very similar to the ideas I am dreaming up for my own, though my room is only half the size! Great Blog, glad I stopped by :)


  2. Lucy,
    I'm glad this post was useful to you. I love Ikea's furniture but get frustrated with the types of measurements they sometimes include or not.

    The Hemnes Hutch monitor space is 27" wide and 21.75" tall with a bottom depth of 8.25" to the back wooden lip. There is also some hidden space behind the top wooden lip. The wood is .5" thick and there are 2 extra inches making the interior height 23.75".

    Also, when I was building the hutch, I noticed you can configure the shelves on both sides to be flat or the titled hanging folder. The hardware they use for this set is different then the usual pegs its like a long metal rod that's kind of difficult to just push in. You'll definitely want to have a mallet. On a whim I bought Ikea's $7 17-piece tool kit (so I knew I had all the tools without having to hunt in my husband's unorganized garage... yep, I'm just waiting for his go ahead to take it on as my next project!) The set comes with plastic cap you add to the hammer to make it a mallet. Kinda ingenious and one of the best $7 I've spent in a while. Here is link the kit online: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00169254

    Hope this helps you, Lucy, with your own craft room. Once you're done setting it all up I'd love to see pictures!


  3. Jenn you're an angel for posting all that info! VERY much appreciated indeed!!

    Lucy x

  4. Glad I could help! Happy craft room organizing!

  5. Love this room and am thinking of using your ideas for my home office/music room/craft room.

    Do you find that the colors of the Hemnes and Norden match pretty well?

    1. They are both 'white' but the finishes are different. The Norden gate table has a high gloss paint type of finish while the Hemnes is more of a matte stain finish so you can still see very faint wood grain through it at times.

      As you can see in my pictures I have both pieces right next to each other and they do not standout as being different. You can really only tell the difference when you run your fingers over the surfaces or look for the difference.

      I also have Billy bookcases which has a slightly less glossy finish then the Norden and an old Hemnes Toy Chest Storage Bench which has a glossy finish like the Billies.

      Hope that helps you!

    2. I was wondering how the IKEA Hemnes Sofa Table is holding up with all the weight of the desk top and sewing machining? I was wanting to get the HEMNES Sofa Table and use it as a tv stand...however the website states that the inner shelves hold a weight of 33lbs, but doesn't say anything about how much the top can hold. My TV and sound bar would total around 40lbs. And I know that your desk top is about 50lbs and the sewing machining about 10-15. So..how is the sofa table holding up with all that weight? By the way...it looks GREAT!!! Thanks so much...Nicole