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A Peek Inside My (Tidy!) Studio

A peek inside my clean sewing room at Shiny Happy World

Look! It’s a clean sewing room!

Over the years I’ve thought a lot about showing the space I work in here on the blog. But – frankly – it’s always been a bit of a mess. More than a bit, actually. If you follow along on Facebook you know I spent the last week doing a MASSIVE declutter. My husband has been doing the same thing in his office and between us we’ve gotten rid of fiveΒ carloads of stuff. Β (Now it’s time to tackle the rest of the house.)

I put a lot of thought into my decluttering this time and I was far more successful than I’ve ever been before. I wrote a post about how to declutter a craft room here – and you can see some scary before photos. πŸ™‚ But for now, I’m (finally!) going to share photos of my clean sewing room, followed the rest of the week with more specific posts about how I tackle some of the most common craft-supply storage issues.

First up is a bird’s-eye view of my space.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

I took this photo from the top of the stairs to my husband’s office, which overlooks my studio. He writes children’s books and also works from home. It’s nice having our spaces adjacent so we can holler back and forth at each other throughout the day.

I love my space! It has lots of windows and terrific natural light. Please ignore the fact that none of those windows have trim yet. It will happen someday, but the fact that it took me five years to remove all the factory stickers from  the windows might be an indicator of something. . .

I’m going to start my tour at the ironing board (the purple bit at the right of the photo) and take you counterclockwise around the room. But first – look up!

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

Technically I guess you’d be looking straight ahead from your stop at the top of the stairs. The corner over my ironing board has this support beam that I painted a pretty blue and then wrote “make” in purple. That’s what I do here! I love the glass baubles hanging from the support. And just to the left of the windows hangs my very first quilt. (More info about that here.)

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

If you walk down the stairs you’ll run into my supremely awesome ironing board. It’s an Ikea hack and I posted all the details and instructions here.

The baskets and drawers are a later addition. (More Ikea stuff). All my wool felt is stored in the drawers. The blue cubbies are for general supplies (starch, water bottle for filling my iron, embroidery hoops, etc.). The natural baskets hold a lot of the tools and supplies I sell in the shop.

Keep moving to the left and you come to my desk, with some things I love hanging over it. I especially love these toys by Amanda Visell.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

And here’s my desk itself. It’s a hollow-core closet door from Home Depot sitting on two glass-fronted end tables from Target. It’s the best desk ever!

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

The scanner and two printers used to be stored under my old desk so that I had to sit on the floor every time I wanted to use them. My back is very glad I don’t have to do that anymore. πŸ™‚

See the tiny bit of orange hutch in the top left corner? That’s next.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

The jars in this hutch hold buttons, trim, elastic, eyeballs and more fun stuff – but it’s also a place where I put random things I love, like this. . .

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

Behind the doors at the bottom of the hutch are random office supplies and all my shipping supplies.

If we keep moving left we’ll zoom past a tall bookcase full of kids nonfiction books. . .

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

. . . and come to these low bookshelves where I store all my kits.

Turn the corner and this is where I store Cuddle Fleece.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

The quilt over the top keeps the bolts safe from sunlight and dog hair. πŸ™‚

Turn the corner again and you’ll pass my washer and dryer, the door to Jo’s room, and a (probably overflowing) laundry hamper before you come to this.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

The right bookcase is all my picture books – great reference for when I need to know what a crocodile might look like standing upright on his back legs. πŸ™‚

The left bookcase is all my craft/sewing/drawing/design reference books and sketchbooks, plus a few favorite things like the Party Animals.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

There’s a new guy ready to join the party soon!

Continue left and there’s this long row of low bookcases along the half-wall overlooking my dining room.

A peek inside my clean sewing room - Shiny Happy World studio

This is where I keep thread, beads, markers, paints, glue, my tool basket, files of patterns in progress, and other stuff. It’s just a step away from my main work table so it’s really handy. If I want to keep a clean sewing room – I need to make it easy to put things away properly. Otherwise I’ll let those supplies pile up.

Now we’re back to the stairs. Under the stairs is some pretty art. . .

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

. . . and this piece of furniture.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

The striped bins hold my scraps and behind the doors you’ll find paper, extra printer ink, and random, bulky weird-shaped things like my tripods.

On the wall above the stairs (as you head back up to my husband’s office) is a collection of some of my favorite children’s book art.

A peek inside my Shiny Happy World studio

It’s impossible to shoot a photo without getting sun glare – I’ve tried every time of day and every time of year. But there’s some great stuff up there!

We skipped a couple of tables in the middle of the room.

A peek inside my clean sewing room - Shiny Happy World studio

This is my main work table with a big cutting mat up top, and fabric storage underneath. (And Augie Dog peeking in the side of the photo.) It’s between my desk and the low storage shelves.

Just past it you can see my sewing table – the magenta one.

A peek inside my clean sewing room - Shiny Happy World studio

That table top is a collage of picture book pages with a layer of clear epoxy over it. I love it! You can see how I did it here. There’s a futon backed up to the sewing table, because my studio is also the guest room. πŸ™‚

And that’s it! My clean sewing room! More details coming every day this week about fabric storage, tool storage, embroidery floss storage, and pins & needles.

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Happy Monday!


  1. Love this! I am moving soon and will, for the first time ever, have a dedicated sewing room and I have been struggling with the layout for it. You have given me some terrific ideas! Thanks so much for sharing your cool space with us. πŸ™‚

  2. I LOVE seeing your creative space, and I cannot wait to hear how you tackled the clutter. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sherry SAYS...

    Love the tour! This is my dream, to have a spacious and well organized work space. Love your dog too, spotted him/her πŸ™‚

    • That’s Augie Dog. He’s usually right at my feet which makes it hard to get him in pictures. That day I was moving around too much – he kept hovering at the edges waiting for me to sit down again. πŸ™‚

  4. Louise SAYS...

    Thanks for the tour. First, I love the natural light — what an amazing gift in a studio. Second, I’m jealous of the amount of space — I have a small room that is way too cramped. Third, I’m inspired by your use of color and children’s books to decorate and promote your creativity. I love kids illustrated books and Lane Smith is one of my favorites! Finally, I appreciate seeing the place where so much fun begins. Thanks again for the tour.

    • I love hearing from someone else who loves children’s books. They really are my very best inspiration!

  5. Sewnmom SAYS...

    Your space is awesome! I love it. I love your low bookcases. Your magenta table is wonderful too. Thank you very much for sharing your sewing space!

  6. Wow, great space! And SO much storage! I recently polished up my space for a photo shoot but sadly have not tackled the real problem…the storage! I’ve evolved but the storage systems have not.

    • Thanks! I so admired your recent redo – everything looks so bright and fun and welcoming. The biggest help for my storage problems was getting rid of a lot of my supplies. Seriously – I donated 3-4 car loads of stuff that I finally acknowledged I was never going to use. Now everything has a place – and it’s all super easy to access.

  7. debbie SAYS...

    Thanks so much for the tour of your work space. It must be a pleasure – at least most of the time – to work in such a bright and colorful studio. You shared many ideas which began my creative juices flowing.

    • It is a pleasure to work in this space – I love that my husband’s office overlooks it and my daughter’s room is right next to it (and she sometimes hangs out on the futon in there). It’s right smack dab in the middle of my house. πŸ™‚

  8. Frances SAYS...

    What a great space. So big and wonderful light. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. Gayle SAYS...

    Is your sewing table (love the color btw!) out away from the wall then, if there’s a futon behind… question is, how do you get power to it without tripping over lots of cords? I would love to get mine off the wall to gain more storage space on the wall, but can’t figure out how to run the power…
    Thanks! Love your space!!

    • I do have to run a power cord from under the orange hutch to the sewing table. It’s out of my sewing machine/work table/ironing board/desk path so I don’t worry about tripping over it – but it’s not ideal.

  10. Giuditta SAYS...

    Wendi, could you tell us more about your main work station, those big tables in the middle of the room?

    • Sure – they’re workbenches/storage shelves I found at Home Depot. Each one is 36″ long and 18″ deep – so when I put all four together I ended up with a big table 6 ft x 3 ft. The shelves are really strong – they have no problem holding the weight of all that fabric. I was going to put a single big countertop on it, but I find I use that groove down the middle so much as a cutting guide that I don’t want to cover it up. I’m thinking of replacing one of the wooden pieces in the top with a thick piece of plexiglass. That way I can put a battery-operated light underneath it and have a tracing table. Right now I just trace in the window. . .

  11. Wow, I really enjoyed your blog and pictures. The bright colors are great to brighten up the day. Do you have carpet on the floor?

    • I do. They’re Flor tiles – which I love because if I spill something on one (a studio hazard) I can lift it up, wash it out in the tub, and then pop it back into place when it’s dry. The dark brown color was maybe not the best choice in a room where there’s so much thread and fuzz flying around. πŸ™‚

  12. Love your space – it’s perfection. Thanks for the tour!

  13. DIanna Baseley SAYS...

    Thanks so much for sharing your space with us! It is beautiful and useful.

  14. Pingback: How to Declutter a Craft Room - Shiny Happy World

  15. Sheila Perl SAYS...

    Thank you for sharing your space! I loved hearing and seeing your great ideas, and visiting your work room!
    I am in the midst of clearing out my sewing room and office and making the difficult decisions about what to keep and what to let go. It is not an easy job! πŸ™‚

    • It’s definitely not an easy job – but it turned out to be so rewarding!

  16. Erin SAYS...

    Love all the storage–especially your wall of low bookcases. I would love to know where you got them!

  17. Erin SAYS...

    Hi. What a great space to work! Thanks for sharing. I love the wall of low bookcases. Any idea where those are from? Thanks!

    • For our 6th anniversary (traditional gift: wood) I gave my husband a big pile of lumber and he gave me these bookcases. πŸ™‚

      • Anonymous SAYS...

        Oh wow. What a great husband! πŸ™‚

  18. Shelley Bertram SAYS...

    I finally got around to reading this post and am quite envious of all your space! I have the EXACT same calendar hanging in my bedroom, and it makes me smile every time I see it! πŸ˜€

    • I LOVE that calendar! This month’s image is really making me smile. πŸ™‚

  19. Cool space, Wendi! Interesting house tour. Thanks for sharing, Storage Denmark Hill Ltd.

  20. Anonymous SAYS...

    Wow! Just wow!!!

  21. Diane SAYS...

    Thanks so much for sharing. Am so envious or your “neat” (pun intended) work-space & organization. Especially pleased that you included a clutter pix. Great ideas. Always have been envious of your ironing table.
    But did I miss the part where you said about how large your total space is?