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Really! I can have a Craft Room in my Basement

Does the smell of paint, the nubby feel of fabric or the colour of paper make your heart beat faster? Does the odour of glue, the shine of glitter and the scent of sawdust make your eyes light up? If so, you’re a crafter and you need a functional and fabulous craft room. No space? How about that dingy, unfinished basement with gray concrete walls, exposed beams and little natural light? Messy or organized, big or small, your basement can become a crafter’s paradise. Here are some tips and tricks for turning your unused basement space into the perfect craft room.

  • Waterproof your basement: To avoid damp and destroyed projects, seal any cracks with a high-viscosity polyurethane polymer and apply waterproof paint to the walls. Check the window frames to see if they’re structurally sound and sealed. Install downspouts to divert water. Make sure you have a working sump pump in your basement.
  • Plan the layout: Glean inspiration by looking at magazines, checking out basement renovation sites and viewing images of craft rooms. Draw up a plan, by hand or with the assistance of planning software. Include as much detail as you can; the location of walls and doors, flooring choices, wall colour, furnishings and storage options. Use chalk to draw your plan on the basement floor. Walk through the layout making changes you deem necessary.
  • Find a certified contractor: Look for a contractor who specializes in basement finishing and has built basement craft rooms. Talk to him about your ideas and your overall vision for the space. He’ll have tips to enhance the look and feel of the room and will help you build a basement craft room uniquely suited to your needs. 
  • Choose appropriate flooring: Try Luxury vinyl flooring. It’s durable, water resistant, provides a bit of cushioning and is easy to clean. It’s perfect for crafters with sequins, string and paint! Carpet tiles bring softness to a space, are simple to install, require little effort to clean and, when a tile or two is stained, can be easily replaced. The low pile and tight loops make it simple to find small craft scraps. Ceramic tile is  durable, versatile, comes in a variety of styles and colours, is easy to maintain, water resistant and small craft scraps can be easily found. The drawback of tile is its hardness making extended periods of standing uncomfortable. Counteract this by adding a soft rubber mat to your work area.
  • Ensure ample lighting: Enlarge existing windows and/or add windows to let in as much natural light as possible. Layer your lighting fixtures; a good overhead light, adjustable task lighting and under-cabinet fixtures. Halogen bulbs mimic natural light making sewing, painting and drawing more enjoyable.
  • Invest in functional furniture and fixtures: The craft table is the most crucial piece of furniture. It should be large and sturdy, made of wood or metal with plenty of room to spread out your materials and supplies. Ensure it is the right height for efficiency and comfort and add rollers to make it moveable. Consider adding cubbies or cabinets beneath to increase storage options. Short on space? Try a collapsible wooden table with leaflets that allow it to be expanded or reduced as needed. Another creative option, install a kitchen island as your craft table. Countertops are a great addition to the craft room allowing more than one crafter to work in the space or giving you a spot to leave partially finished projects. Make sure they are the right height to prevent back pain and use bar stools if you wish to sit when you work. An office chair with wheels can be handy allowing you to move easily from one work area to another. A sink makes cleanup easy and convenient and avoids the need to tote messy materials through the house. Include a computer as it has become an integral part of crafting providing ideas, instructions and images.
  • Create abundant storage options: Ample and efficient storage makes a craft room pleasant to use. Shelving (open and closed) is a simple, effective and inexpensive storage solution. Opt for rust proof metal units, plastic or wire shelving as wooden shelves are less adapted for a damp basement. For beautiful and functional storage, consider built in shelves or cabinets. Plastic totes are sturdier than cardboard boxes, waterproof, stackable and fit on most styles of shelving. Clear totes allow you to see what’s inside. Labels can help you quickly find articles. Baskets conceal clutter, fit on most shelving systems, can hold awkward shaped items and allow air movement for objects that require ventilation. Peg boards are a great place to hang sewing essentials, painting equipment and craft tools. Insert ice cube trays, clear acrylic organizers and/or silverware trays into a dresser with several drawers to arrange and store small craft supplies and sewing notions. Jars are also useful for holding small items such as buttons and beads. A cork board is good for pinning notes, ideas, photos, inspirations and reminders. Clear hanging organizers are inexpensive and effective for storing scissors, glue, pins, tape measures, glitter and more. An over-the-door organizer can hold gift wrap, tissue paper, gift bags, bows, felt scraps and yarn. Tin cans covered in fabric organize markers and paint brushes. A magnetic strip and/or hooks can hold metal tools. Repurpose old file cabinets or try stackable cubbies. Some chairs and stools come equipped with storage space beneath the seat. Consider a Lazy Susan for storing items you wish to keep on your work table. Magazine holders are convenient for storing coloured paper. A sliding barn door or a curtain looks good while concealing the clutter on open shelves. Rollout shelves and sliding bypass units make efficient use of your basement wall space. 
  • Organize your materials: Bring order to your work space. Consider dividing the area into zones; painting, sewing, paper crafting, etc. Store the appropriate supplies in each zone. Organize items in a way that makes them easy to find and access. Think about sorting supplies by colour, size, and/or usage. 
  • Decorate: Place décor items that make your room feel personal. Use colours you love. Framed images are a nice touch and plants add life. 
  • Don’t forget the kids: Inspire your little ones! Put their materials in see-thorough plastic containers and place them in an area they can easily reach. Consider investing in a short table. 

Do you need an organized and spacious area for creating? Invest in functional furniture, have fun with storage and get those materials organized because your basement is calling to be transformed into a beautiful craft room! When you’re ready to create the basement craft room of your dreams, call the Calgary basement experts, Econo Basements at (403) 768-0256 or email at They will help you design and finish your basement in a way that’s both beautiful and functional.