Kathy by Design Studio Tour and Storage Tips with Graphic 45

Welcome to my Happy Place: Kathy by Design Studio Tour

Hello, G45’ers!  Welcome to my happy place!  I’m so excited to share today’s post with you.  Today I’m  inviting you to a Kathy by Design Studio Tour with lots of storage tips and hints for organizing your crafty stash.  I’ll also share how I’ve created my crafty space on a limited budget by re purposing common items, upcycling trash into treasure, and shopping beyond the scrapbooking aisle.  We’ll take a video tour of my room and I’ll also share still photos with you.  So let’s get started!

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 1

This photo is of my inspiration wall.  I just gave it a little face lift especially for this post. Pretty things inspire me, so I surround myself with photos of the people I love, recent projects, favorite layouts and little items that make me smile.

Almost everything you see in this photo (with the exception of my computer, printer and die cutting machine) was salvaged from a thrift store, bought on clearance, picked up at a yard sale, or built by my dear husband.

I don’t sit at this desk unless I am blogging or editing photos.  But I love the large surface when I am creating a project.  I lay out my papers, embellishments, and dies here so that I have lots of room on my actual work space.  The desk is from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  It was in near perfect condition, and to my delight it was just tall enough that I could slip a couple of storage carts beneath it.  If you are looking for desks, cabinets, shelving or other furniture for your room, check out Habitat for Humanity.  You’ll get a great deal on a great piece and help out a wonderful cause at the same time.

Kathy by Design Studio Tour: The Latest Addition

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 2 I love to go junkin’!  We live in an area with lots of thrift stores, bargain barns, antique malls and charity shops.  I found this nifty message center in a dusty corner of a local bargain barn.  And it was a real ugly duckling!  But, it had great potential to become a beautiful swan. Because it was so ugly, it was also super cheap.  Naturally, it had to come home with me.  A little dusting, a little white chalk paint, a little update with Graphic 45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe papers and BAM!  Country chic message center!

TIP: White Chalk Paint is Your Friend!

Don’t walk away from a great office fixture, frame or furniture piece because it is ugly.  White chalk paint is the next best thing to a magic wand.  You don’t have to sand or prime the surface.  Just make sure it is dust free and then paint.

The wire baskets on either side of this piece were given to me by my sister.  They are supposed to hold wine corks and they had a sentiment about wine written on them.  To re-purpose these baskets for the studio was a quick and easy job.  Start by measuring out a piece of adhesive backed cork.  Once that is in place, cover with Graphic 45 Staples Typography and Numbers DIY papers.  Then, to add a finished look, add ribbon trim.  I used Scor-Tape to adhere the black ribbon that Graphic 45 adds to their Staples Alpha Tags.  Now I have a great resting spot for my Staples Policy Envelopes and Metal Hardware.

Kathy by Design Studio Tour: The Work Table

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 3This 4 foot square peninsula is the perfect stand up work space.  And guess what?  It started life as our kitchen table!  When we downsized our home, the table was too large for our tiny eat-in kitchen.  But I loved the butcher block table top so much that I could not bear to toss it.

The solution?  Add PVC pipes, a toilet flange (new, of course…on the plumbing aisle from Home Depot) and now you’ve got a fabulous work table.    First, my husband and anchored a 2×4 piece of lumber into the studs on the back wall.  Then they added the PVC legs and anchored the whole thing to the 2×4.  Super sturdy, it is custom built to be the perfect height for me to stand while working, which is my preference.

As a bonus, I had enough room  to place my Iris Carts (Filled with G45 papers) storage carts and a dresser below the table.  I store all of my ETSY shop merchandise in plastic bins under the table so not a square inch of space is wasted.  (Watch the video to see how I keep my paper, ribbons and dies neat and tidy!)

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 4

Create Designated Work Stations

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 5I find that work stations create a good flow in my studio.  You saw my stand up work station on one side of the table.  On the opposite side, I’ve created a cutting/die cutting station.  I leave my Spellbinder Platinum machine out all the time.  Why?  Because if it is out, I will use it.  If it is tucked away, I will not get it out.  Beside the die cutting machine I have my big old fashioned guillotine.  This is great for cutting heavy chipboard.  My dies are stored in the dresser below with all my cutting pads neatly tucked between.

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 6This is my mixed media area.  The cube storage and cloth bins went on super clearance at Target one year, and I scooped them up.

My wooden stamps are stored on this CD rack.  I found it at a yard sale for $2.  Best $2 I ever spent!

I also keep my Bow-it-All Tool and my jars of buttons here.  This way, everything is just a step away from my work table.

Buttons, Buttons, Who’s Got the Buttons?  I do!

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 7

Buttons.  I have a thing for buttons.  And for cute glass jars.  Rather than toss jars into the recycle bin, I wash them out and use them for storage.  My hoard of buttons is all sorted by color.  Because I can see them, I use them.  And, to tell the truth…they just make me happy.  I love buttons so much that my kids have started scouting them at yard sales and estate sales.  You can never have too many buttons!

TIP:  Look beyond the scrapbooking aisle for fun, affordable and functional storage solutions

Kathy by Design Studio Tour with Storage, Organization and Money Saving Tips Photo 8

I bought this lovely wood file cabinet at a yard sale for $10.  I use the top as a landing pad for my mixed media goodies.

See that little aqua colander?  How cute is that?  Wrap vintage style clothespins with baker’s twine and fill it up.

See that big black tiered gizmo?  That’s from Harbor Freight.  My BFF Ginny Nemchak sent that to me as a surprise gift after I told her about it.  For under $20 you get a super sturdy 4 tiered, divided metal turntable that will hold gobs of embossing powders, texture pastes, sprays, Prills, gadgets and goodies.  Why?  Because it is not pink and it does not come from the scrapbooking aisle.

Now, see the white container with all the paint in it?  That’s a Tupperware spice packet storage unit that no one wants anymore.  So you can buy these at yard sales for anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar.  I have 2 of them because they are so awesome.

Kathy by Design Studio Tour Video with MORE Tips and clever storage ideas


Thanks for joining me in my happy place today.  I hope you picked up some hints and storage solutions that you can use in your own crafty space!  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.



Supply List

Graphic 45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe Deluxe Collector’s Edition

Staples Policy Envelopes

Staples Decorative Hardware

Ribbon from Staples Alpha Banner Tags

DIY Craft Papers: Typography and Numbers

White Chalk Paint

14 thoughts on “Kathy by Design Studio Tour and Storage Tips with Graphic 45

  1. Carol Edwards

    Hi Kathy, love your room and how you’ve made use of every little bit of space without it being cluttered. Amazing organisation and you are so right how that can help save time. Love all the quirky things you’ve used. Love how Dale built the legs for your centre island and your clever son helped too. Thanks for sharing. X

  2. Helen

    Kathy, watching your video tour of your crafting space was so much fun…like stopping by for a visit! Some of your organizing ideas affirmed some of mine but others gave me a few “aha” moments, like the black circular tiered stand. I’m thinking spice caddy–do they still make those or does this call for a flea market/yard sale search? I suspect I’ll be reorganizing at least a section of my crafting space this weekend! Thanks for the ideas and the motivation.

  3. Sandy Artman

    Hi, Kathy,
    Thanks for doing this – did you find stuff you didn’t know you had? Your studio resonates with me because it is truly representative of what it means to have limited space and a large accumulation of stuff! I just love seeing studios with built-in everything but garden variety receptacles are probably what most of us use. You gave me a lot of great ideas – I love your use of shoe organizers and that black gizmo, I gotta get one of those!
    You are such a productive artist, I’m sure all this organization has a lot to do with that!
    Thanks again! Sandy

    1. kathycNC Post author

      Thank you so much, Nicole! I find that being organized helps free up my creativity. I’m so glad you enjoyed the tour, and thanks for the lovely comment!

  4. Pat Ford

    Your studio is so organized and looks great! It looks like a wonderful place to create. Thanks for sharing!

  5. tracy745Tracy Evans

    What a truly beautifully organised room. Organised but still warm and inviting. I adore the workbench your husband built and your ribbons omg what a wonderful collection. A truly inspiring space to create in . And how clever is your son vintage sewing drawers , just gorgeous. Tracy x

Comments are closed.