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The Many Lives of My Craft Cabinet

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Affordable craft supply storage cabinet solutions.

If you have been following me for sometime then you know I have a room in my home devoted to all things crafty and creative. It is a room of my own that I spend a lot of time in.

Craft room storage ideas on the Bloggers craft room tour

I call it my studioffice since it is a room that serves both purposes – a creative studio and…

How to create and organize a home office and craft room

an office where I can take care of the business side of my blog.

How do create a craft room in a home.

I had a similar room in my previous house where I claimed the formal living room on the builder’s plan of the house since I knew we would never use it as a formal living room since the house had a family room.

Bloggers home office and craft room

I feel lucky to be able to have such a space. I grew up sharing  a room with my two sisters and in college always shared a living space. Having a room of my own had always been something I dreamed about and when I saw a chance, I went for it in a living room I knew we would never use.

To read how I made this long desk, click over to this post: Craft Room Work Table

How to create and set up a home office

When we moved to the lake, finding a house that had a room that I could set up as my own creative business space was on a “must have list”.  I was thrilled that we found one where the room not only can be closed off from the rest of the house when it is messy, but it looks out to the lake, which is good and bad as I sometimes spend more time than I should looking out at the lake. :-)

Decorating and storage ideas for craft rooms and home offices

The focal point of the room even back in my previous house is this large antique armoire that was handed down to us from Ed’s family. I had been experimenting with makeover ideas for awhile, but took my time to actually do anything to it as I wanted to make sure whatever I did, I would like.

To see if I would like it unpainted, I stripped one of the drawers to see what the wood looked like underneath. I didn’t like it, so I opted to use paint to give it a color makeover.

Craft room storage ideas

It has been exactly one year and one week since I posted the makeover of my studioffice and when I showed you the newly painted pink armoire. I closed that post by saying that I still had to wax the pink chalk painted finish using my DIY chalk paint recipe and that maybe I would paint or even add decorative paper to the inside.

Well, the paint or decorative paper never happened (I will tell you why later down in the post.) and I just finished waxing the pink chalk paint over the weekend. It only took me a year to get it waxed.

Pink craft storage cabinet

Having to wax and buff such a large piece of furniture took lots of elbow grease to buff it all to a shine.

I tried using an electric buffer, but it didn’t work well at all, so I ended up buffing by hand using soft thick paper towels, called Shop Towels that are sold at most home improvement and hardware stores.  (The sun coming into the room is blocked by my desk making the drawers look patchy grey, but they are all pink.)

Antique furniture that comes apart

The armoire is not only the largest piece of furniture in my studioffice, but in my whole house.  It is quite old and unique. It comes apart by sections.  Here it is apart as we prepared to load it into one of the PODS we used to move 2 years ago.

The armoire has had quite a life and is one very versatile piece of furniture as you will soon find out.

The armoire started it’s life back in the 1920’s or a little earlier when Ed’s maternal grandparents bought it. It was stained in a medium brown wood finish back then. I don’t know what they stored in it, but this is where it got it’s start in life.

When Ed’s parents inherited it in the 1950’s they used it to hold record albums and musical items. They painted it a deep orange…

Armoire with many lives. Crafts closet when it was a pantry

… and that is the color it was when Ed and I inherited it in 1984.

I went in search of photos of it in the family photo albums and only found this one where you can see the side of it.  That’s my oldest when she was about 7 months old rolling around the breakfast room in our house in Durham, NC.  In this house we used the armoire as our kitchen pantry.

After it was a pantry for 3 years in our North Carolina house, we moved to Pennsylvania, the house we lived in didn’t have room for it, so it was stored in our basement. We only lived there for one year and moved again to live in New Jersey.


When we lived in New Jersey back in the early 1990’s the armoire was put back together to be used as my clothes closet in my bedroom. The house was a two bedroom house that had only one teeny tiny closet in each room. Ed used that, so I had to get creative as to where my clothes were going to be kept.

To transform the armoire to a closet, I removed the shelves and installed a wood pole to hang clothes. I added a full length mirror inside the right door and hung a scarf, belt and jewelry rack on the inside of the left door. It was one very functioning closet. It held everything except my shoes which I stored under the bed.  I even added a pink floral stencil to the center top. Do you remember when stenciling was the trend?  I scanned this photo from the decorating book…

Instant Decorating Book by Diane Henkler of In My Own Style blog

Instant Decorating that I wrote and was published in 1994.  You can still find copies of it online for a few dollars and in my Amazon Shop.

Some of the fabrics I used for the projects in the book look dated, but if you can overlook that and envision the project’s being done using fabrics that are popular today you may find a few budget friendly and no-sew decorating projects that can transform your home in an afternoon.

Organization ideas for storing craft supplies

Four years later, we moved back to Pennsylvania to the house where I eventually started my blog. I painted the armoire antique white which erased the stencil. I removed the mirror and clothes rod and put the shelves back in so it could become the place where I organized and stored my craft supplies.  I centered it between two IKEA bookcases. You can read about the Billy Bookcases in this post: Bookcase Makeover

How do I make chalk paint?

For the past 24 years the armoire has been my craft storage place. I love it pink, but the reason I didn’t paint or paper the inside yet is that sadly, age has taken it’s toll on the wood on the back of the base section. It is cracking and becoming weak which is making the armoire lean backwards.  :-(

I will soon have to take her apart to replace the sections with new wood that have become brittle with age. Once I get this done, I plan to paint the inside pink or even add decorative wallpaper to really make her a feast for my eyes every time I open her up.  She is officially a girl, especially now that she is pink.

So in her 100 years, she has had a few lives before my time. For me… a pantry, a clothes closet and a craft storage cabinet. Once we fix the base, she will continue to be a craft closet, but I think her future looks bright and she has a few more lives to live that will be determined by one or both my daughters who will inherit her someday.

Do you have a piece of furniture in your home that has been transformed many times in it’s life or has been in your family for many generations?

To find out more of the details about how I put my studioffice – craft room together. Head over to this post:

Craft Room Tour – Changes in My Studioffice

If you have been thinking about getting all your crafting and decorating supplies organized in one handy place, I found a few affordable armoires in different sizes and styles.

Affordable storage cabinets to hold craft supplies, pantry items or become a clothes closet in your home. #storagecabinets #prettystorage #affordablestorage #armoires

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 I am showing them in white, but most come in other colors and even wood tone. They are not as unique as mine, but would do the job just the same and may become a piece of furniture with a highly functioning past.

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  1. I miss a lot of my grandmother’s furniture too – they bought everything they would ever need in one felled swoop, so all of her things were perfectly matched, maybe around 1940 … and the rugs all matched… I miss all of it, but I do still have her secretary, sort of a Duncan Phyfe reproduction. I’m going to try to keep it with me always! I love your armoire, too!

  2. My Grandmother always had by her bed, a little two-door small, storage cabinet with little turned legs on it. Her daughters would repaint the white color from time to time to keep it looking nice. At one point there were gold floral stencils on the doors.

    It is quite an old piece evidenced by the joinery etc. and I always remember sneaking into Grandma’s room, opening the cabinet to use her Jergen’s hand lotion (the original cherry almond formula) and I’d also look at her lace mantilla she used to wear for church “in the old country”.

    Years passed, Grandma died, the cabinet stayed in what became a guest room. I painted it myself again to refresh the paint. There must be a lot of history in that piece before Grandma had it, but to me, it was just “Grandma’s cabinet”. Who knows where it came from or its former life. ;-)

    I would love to have that piece of furniture ….some day…..

  3. My daughter uses my old childhood bedroom set (headboard, desk with hutch, and chest of drawers), given to me by my grandparents! It used to have flowers stenciled on it but we used chalk paint to paint it white and very light lavender. In the living room, our coffee table and a side table were Tom’s grandmother’s. We chalk painted them a very light blue, with dark blue accents on the coffee table. The side table is one of those hexagonal ones with doors–we took off the door and put a little dog bed inside for a “puppy cave”.

    1. Hi Danielle – I love that you have kept some family pieces alive and have made them your own with some effort and paint. The puppy cave sounds ADORABLE!!! I know a few cats who would like something like that, too.