My Craft Cabinet: Up Close and Personal

Happy weekend everyone.   I have a fun post for you today, one that many of you have been asking me about since I started blogging.  I have posted about the big armoire in my studioffice before, but today I am going to show you it – up close and personal.  A detailed peek inside to show you some of the stuff I keep on-hand so I can create just about anything I need quickly.


I call it my craft cabinet or my own little craft store in my house. I have been creating for many years and have collected lots of goodies to use in my projects – most of it I store in this armoire. I feel blessed to have a space like this and the entire room devoted to what I do. Since I am a full-time creative blogger – I need this stuff handy to produce the amount of projects I do. It is where I spend 90% of my time.

The armoire was painted orange when it was handed down from Ed’s parents to us when we were married.  We used it as a food pantry in our first house. The next house we lived in, it became the bar since we entertained a lot.  For our next house I painted it the color it still is when it became– my clothes closet.  There is a photo of it in my book, Instant Decorating when it took on that identity.     When we moved to our current home, it became my craft closet.


It is truly a unique piece.  It is just short of 8-feet tall and is on wheels – which makes it fairly easy to move. It is 56-inches wide and 17-inches deep.  It is not one solid piece, but comes apart like a puzzle.  The top, doors, and drawers are the only parts of it that stay intact.  When we moved it to this house the moving company had a specialist. He came a few days after the move and put it back together again. Better than Ed or I ever did when it was up to us to put it back together in previous moves.


I have it on the far wall in the room so it is the focal point.  My desk is placed in front of it.  My desk chair swivels around so I have easy access to it even when I am sitting down.  To open it you need a skeleton key. It was lost once and we had a hard time finding another key that would work. We finally did find one -I have the key on a big ribbon tassel now so I won’t lose it again.


It took me a few years to reach this level of organization and I am forever tweaking it.  I used to make jewelry and have many beads and buttons in all those little drawers.   I keep my sewing supplies, ribbons, spray paints, glues, cutters, crafting materials – like glitter, tape, tools, and lots of little junk that is nice to have on hand, so I don’t have to keep running out to the craft store.


Most of my sewing supplies I received from my mother-in-law and my mom. I have only had to buy white and black thread since I have been married.  I have the most used colors on the door – more are in the boxes on the top shelf next to the big spools of ribbon.    The card above the thread racks is a guide to button and bead sizes. Comes in handy every now and then – so I keep it.  I like to draw and attached a few of my favorite drawings to the door.


A good portion of the thread is old with price tags of 35 cents.  Some even came from stores or companies that no longer exist.


I keep some ribbons in a long basket along the front of one shelf.


The rest of the spools of ribbon are on tension rods. If you want to see how I did this – you can read about it in this post: Crafts Closet -How To Organize Ribbon


I keep curling ribbon to the back. I search for all types of ribbon at thrift shops. The green spool was a recent find –an unopened full spool for 5o cents.


On the shelves below the ribbon are drawers filled with beads and little bits and bobs.


These little drawer storage units are the best for organizing lots of small items. I found three at a garage sale and bought two at Sears.


On the side of the bead storage, I have folders filled with laminating sheets, transfer paper, magnet sheets, vellum, and cardboard.


If you look closely on the top inside of the door you can see the paint has peeled and the original orange color is exposed.  It is going to get a new coat of paint soon.

One of my recent advertisers – sent me one of their items they make and sell with my logo on it.  It fits nicely on the door above my Dremel tool bits that my husband bought me one year for Christmas. He got it at Costco.  I will never need any new bits  – I have enough for a lifetime.   I made the ribbon bulletin board initially for my kitchen, but moved it here.  I just cleaned it off for the new year. I use it to keep a supplies needed list and other info about the products I use.  One set of drawers holds all types of scissors and cutting tools, another – tapes, glue, and all sorts of wire.   I store my hot knife, Styrocutter, and extra glue guns in large tin cans. Oh! and a BIG magnifying glass for my eyes that can no longer read the fine print on anything.


The top of the right side holds the spray paints I use most, Mod Podge, Spray Glue and other frequently used products.


Since the wall separating the two sides of the cabinet is thin, I can’t put any nails in it to hold stuff up. Command Brand sells clear caddies that are hung with the no-damage picture hanging strips.  I have two caddies to hold tape -Glue dots, florist tape, electrical, double sided tacky, and specialty tape.


I place big rolls of duct tape on an old paper towel holder.


I am not a collector of many things, but do have a weakness for vintage clip-on earrings. I love them and can never seem to pass them by when I am out and about at flea markets and thrift stores. I have them organized by color.  I add them to gift wrap, decorate, and make many things with them. You can find out how in this post – Clipping Some Style Around the House.


There are two drawers down under.


One holds mostly sewing machine supplies, Heat N’Bond, clear contact paper, vinyl sheets, and embossing supplies.

Ribbon-storage ideas not to do

The other drawer is stuffed with scraps of ribbon, which often come in handy.


I have two very personal items in the armoire that I love and will never part with. One is the Whitman’s Chocolate box.  It was from my Mom’s craft supply cabinet. She was super creative and had it for years. When she died and my sisters and I were going through her stuff -this meant more to me than most of the things that had a monetary value.  I feel like it is such a part of who she was.  I smile every time I see it.


The other item that is extra-special to me is my pin cushion. It is one of those only-a-mom-would-love items.  My oldest daughter made this for me when she was 5 years old.  I was writing my book, Instant Decorating and was at the sewing machine a lot. To keep her happy, I used to give her scraps of stuff to play with.  She didn’t know how to sew, but asked me to make a pin cushion for her out of a pink fabric scrap.  I quickly sewed her a little square and stuffed it with batting. Little did I know it was going to be a gift for me. She then drew me on it with magic marker sitting at the sewing machine along with a heart in each corner.  What looks like a waterfall on top of my head is my hair with a part in it.  It is just one of those things our kids do for us that make you want to hug and kiss them all up.

I hope you enjoyed the little peek inside a part of my world.


  1. Jackie Johnson says

    Your cabinet is beautiful, but not as much as your story about your grandmother’s Whitman box, which made my eyes water. When we broke housekeeping at my grandparents house, there were three daughters and six grandchildren in the mix. I had been left her dining room furniture of the major items, but the smaller ones went all to the sisters who drew lots in each room. I asked for something I thought no one would care about, her enamel wash tub. Everyone had one. You carried the wet clothes out to the clothesline with it. Some of my best memories are tied up in that clothesline. When I was “home” it was one of the things I helped her do. Always in the summer, with the butterflies floating, the dandy-lions puffing, the smell of cut grass wafting, but the best smell of all was those clean clothes smelling of the laundry detergent she used. My grandad did too. He poured Tide in his hands every day when he came home from his work as a machinist and scrubbed them under the kitchen faucet. It’s the one smell I have attached to both of them. Amazing thing, the sense of smell. And the memory it evokes.

  2. JKP says

    I am drawn to the case on the right door holding what looks like dremel bits…where did you get this item?

  3. suwako says

    I’ve just been feeding myself on your homepage added you on fb, and loving every single page I’ve seen so far. I grew up in mainly Europe, but am Japanese (where purchasing new things tends to be more of the thing even for my generation. I thankfully (maybe not for my hubby) managed to keep the “keep everything old and renovate” from Europe. I love the colourful chairs you spray painted, and it reminded me of my child’s chair I spray painted pink which took some effort. I will take your stance and spray paint everything and anything! The chest of drawers you adopted from your parents and painted blue is beautiful too. Since I’m located in Japan, materials may not be as easily accessible, but it’s not accessibility, but more about the change of mind, to adapt myself to this environment, and make the most of what IS accessible to make a beautiful change like you do. Will keep reading your posts. R-E-S-P-E-C-T! You are someone I want to be.

  4. Cathy says

    I dont often comment when I am on the “internet hunt” for creative inspiration, or in this case, for ideas to tame my craft space…but I honestly found this to be not only the perfect combination of classy and down-to-earth, but also, THE MOST informative on the subject that I have come across after weeks of searching on google, Pinterest etc. So many of these “show and tell” organizing ideas are too superficial, showing off the gorgeous arrangement of various storage items, but not so much what is IN them and why and how you got it that way etc. The added sentiment regarding your mom and daughter were the perfect finishing touch. WONDERFUL JOB and thank you!!!

    • says

      Hi Cathy – Thank you so much for commenting. There is so much content out on the Internet to compete against that it becomes impossible to even try. I try to always just be me. There is a quote I love that goes something like this – “Be you, since everyone else is taken”. When I right my posts, I try to write them in a way that I would find interesting. If I would not find it something I would gravitate to, I just won’t write it. The perfect stuff on Pinterest is dreamy to look at, but real life is much more interesting. It is what truly connects us – real life :) I truly appreciate you taking the time to write. Connecting with readers like you is what makes blogging so special for me. XO

  5. chrissy says

    Hi, I saw the storage drawers (the type where men would use nuts,nails and bolts for this type of storage drawers container) and i was wondering how do you arrange your beads? by colors? type of beads? or my sizes? ect.Hope to hear from you and your craft closet is beautiful :) Thanks Chrissy

  6. says

    Hi Dianne,
    I just wanted to comment because I saw you in a BH&G article and loved the piece you made for them. I immediately gravitated towards this cabinet, I have a huge craft hoard with sewing, painting, etc. and it is tucked in every corner of the house instead of one central location. I have an unused living room in the front of the house and am gathering the courage to turn it into something like this. I am going to be on the lookout for the containers you used for the beads, my mom makes beaded jewelry and would love them. Will be back for inspiration. All the hard work you have put into your site shows. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Susan – The pincushion is one of my favorite things – extra special that I will cherish forever. I am so happy that I can use it too and it is not just something to save.

  7. Rozanne Nicholes says

    Thank you for your sweet story about life. It was very uplifting and wonderful. I know you are a happy person because you craft. Have a great day.


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