Not to disparage my beloved old house, but when we moved in there was one room that was basically scary. It was a dark room in a daylight basement. Two flickering, loud fluorescent lights hung from the ceiling by a couple of loose screws, surrounded by four walls made of wood paneling.
This is the room I chose as my future craft room.
I tend to see things not as they are but as how they should be, and I knew this room needed to be mint green with I Love Lucy decor, complete with a pink sewing machine and a colorful wall of yarn. So how to get there?
Here are my tips for transforming a dark room into a bright mid-century style craft room with an I Love Lucy theme.
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1. Declutter Craft Supplies
Start by getting rid of clutter. Eliminate duplicate tools that you don’t need, extra supplies you’ll never use, or things you saved thinking maybe you would use them someday. Be aggressive.
Decluttering requires brutal honesty. Are you ever really going to use that 3-year-old cat calendar that you could cut up and paste onto gift tags? I mean if you are, go for it. If not, get it out of your life.
Barely functioning markers? Gone. Leftover scrap paper and cardboard from old projects that you’ll never use again? Gone.
I had several boxes of donated supplies to sort through and parse down. (Yes, I might have a yarn and craft addiction. We’re not discussing that right now.) It’s not entirely my fault. The people in my life often donate their unwanted and inherited craft supplies to me. They are enablers.
Just recycle or donate the extra stuff that’s weighing you down. Let’s make space in your life for a simple craft room where you can find and use everything you need.
2. Paint the Walls and Ceiling
OK now those walls. I’m not opposed to a reasonable amount of mid-century wood paneling. But four wood panel walls is excessive and these panels were FULL of nail holes.
Grab some spackle and fill in the holes. Give the walls a coat of primer and then paint the room in your favorite color.
If you’re feeling cheerful, go with a light and airy mint green. I used Pratt and Lambert Mint Glamour. Just painting the walls gets you much closer to your craft room makeover.
Don’t forget fresh white paint for the ceiling. I used Benjamin Moore White Diamond ceiling paint.
3. Paint the Floor
Next get your floor looking good. This room started with some old carpet. I pulled it out, exposing an unattractive cement floor with paint splatter and stains.
I think there was moisture coming up from the floor, giving the room a musty smell. Seriously the worst room in the house. But I found a solution.
First, remove the baseboards and sweep and vacuum two or three times, removing dust from all crevices and corners. Then mop the floor with Odoban to kill the smell and let the musty moisture know its days are over.
After that dries for about a week, prime and paint the cement floor. Yep, turns out it’s super easy. You want to fill any holes or cracks in your cement floor with cement caulking first. Let it dry for 24 hours.
When you’re ready to paint, apply a concrete bonding primer. I started with an angled brush to prime the edges first, followed by the roller to get the bulk of the floor.
What I love about this primer is you don’t have to wait for it to dry completely before painting. You only wait 1-4 hours, then you apply paint.
You can just dump the primer or paint right onto the floor and roll it out. It’s so much more fun than painting walls. Use a long roller to spare your back.
Start at the far end of the room and work your way toward the door. Don’t leave anything you need on the far side of the room. That chai latte won’t be good by the time you can walk back in there.
Give the first coat of paint a day to dry, then apply your second coat. I painted my floor in a taupe floor paint tinted to match the Shadow Beige walls in other parts of my house (Valspar Latex Satin Porch & Floor code B 2-49817).
Once you’re happy with the floor paint application, give it at least 72 hours to dry and then nail your baseboards back into place.
4. Add New Lighting
Next the scary lights need to GO. Get rid of any old, dated, flickering or depressing lighting options, and replace them with cute and bright lighting.
Eric discovered our fluorescent lights were barely hanging by a screw or two when one almost fell on him as he went to remove it. Not a safe craft room environment.
To replace the ugly fluorescents, we found a couple of mid-century globe lights and cut the wires to about a foot long. They don’t flicker. They don’t make noise.
I also lit up my pink sewing machine with an I Love Lucy lamp. I think Lucy would have approved.
5. Build a Craft Room Table
Next make sure you have a functional place to work. My craft room desperately needed a larger workspace and more storage. I found both in this IKEA table hack.
To make the project work in my craft room, I used white Kallax cubbies instead of turquoise, painted the plywood at the bottom and used a white table top. This table is one of my favorite things. It’s bigger than my kitchen table and gives me a large surface to do all the crafts.
Be sure to check the width of your door before assembling this table. Mine won’t fit through the door so we had to put the pieces together inside the craft room.
Once my table was ready, I filled up the cubby holes with fabric and added this counter-height chair.
6. Create a Wall of Yarn
Now the reason I *needed* this room in the first place: the wall of yarn. Kallax cubbies make for a great yarn wall. Fill them up with your color-coordinated yarn or favorite craft supplies. Swoon.
Having my yarn laid out by color called attention to the fact that I didn’t have much black yarn. I went straight to the craft store to fix this, of course. (I told you, I have a problem.)
In some of the cubbies I added my craft paper, coloring books, and other supplies organized in boxes. The big box on top has gift bags and tissue paper.
7. Hang a Pegboard
The pegboard requires some planning. Start by thinking about what you use most frequently, and what will look good on display (hello ribbon and thread holders). Scan Pinterest and Google for photos of craft room pegboards for ideas.
To build the pegboard, we painted and hung two pegboards together and caulked the seam. We used spacers on the back to screw it in and keep it off the wall.
I used a few different pegboard accessory kits. The shelf brackets were perfect for holding the little wire baskets on the bottom. Hooks can leave the baskets leaning too far forward, while the brackets hold them up level with the ground.
8. Accessorize Your Craft Room
Time for the final touches. Hang your curtains, lay out a rug, and add seating and a cozy blanket. I used mid-century Eiffel chairs for the table and sewing desk, plus a rocking chair from my great grandma, topped with a blanket I crocheted.
Make sure to fill the walls with I Love Lucy posters and line any shelves with all things Lucy. My collection—including lunchboxes, knick-knacks, books, posters and a teapot—finally got a proper display.
Do you believe this is the same scary basement room, now a bright Lucy-themed craft room? I almost don’t believe it looking back at the old pictures.
Get more ideas for your craft room:
- How to find mid-century modern curtains
- Where to find mid-century modern light fixtures
- The best neutral paint colors