I am very excited to finally be able to give you a tour of my studio! It’s been six months in the making, but I’m finally done with all the projects I wanted to make in order to decorate this space. You’ve seen bits and pieces of it from other posts, but now I’m going to give you the full tour!
Amanda’s Creative Studio Tour
Back in early March I announced here that after 18 years of working from home I was renting a space and planned to “go” to work each day. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was by the prospect! I had hoped that it would make me more productive and I couldn’t have been more on the money. This is the best thing I’ve done for my business in years.
So are you ready for the grand tour?? Before we go I am required to tell you that there are affiliate links in this post. That means if you click through and happen to buy something, I’ll likely earn a small commission.
(Make sure you check out the quick video tour too, it’s down toward the end of the post! There’s also an amazing interview video from Prime Publishing. They came and visited me and did an incredible job putting everything together!)
Outside Street View
This is the outside of the studio, right on Main Street in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. After being here for 6 months, about once a week I will get the occasional curious drop-in asking what I do here.
A quick thank you shout out to my neighbors, Vindictive Vinyl for making my sign!
When I signed the lease the landlord told me it would be my responsibility to take care of the planters. Little did they know how much I love flowers! I’m proud to say that I’ve had people tell me it’s the prettiest it’s looked in years.
Just have a look at this before and after shot. The before shot shows when I first planted the flowers in May. I had the planters paintedwhich made them look 100% better, and throughout the summer the flowers really blossomed! The difference a few months makes is amazing.
There are actually two flower planters. The shorter one doesn’t get much rain as there’s an awning that protects it. I had problems with dead areas, so instead I created a fairy garden there. The fairy house will need to come in for the winter, so I’m thinking about making a Halloween display using my Barbie Zombies!
You might remember this post I did on my birdcage planter. While it was beautiful for a while, there was too much drainage and the poor thing was unable to retain any water. I’ll try again next spring by adding something more solid and substantial below the soil. For fall, I’ve gone ahead and filled it with silk flowers instead.
Hanging on the door is my burlap wreath made from a coat hanger. My plan is to switch out the wreath for each season.
Ready to go in? (remember to watch the video at the end for a visual walk through!)
Before we dive in to the tour, this collage shows a few early stage photos. You can see the empty walls in the background. It was so fun putting everything together!
Coming Inside the Studio
One of my biggest concerns was that the door was also a window. While the four windows in the studio had mini blinds, the door had nothing. That meant people could look right in. Since my computer would be within plain sight and could be seen right through the door’s window, I made a no-sew roman shade for privacy.
Hanging on the left of the door is my Denim Circle Tree. Below that and to the left you’ll see a couple of ottomans. These basket ottomans are perfect for extra storage and make great additional seating if needed!
On the wall above the ottomans is this rustic coat hook shelf that I absolutely love! I have a couple of projects perched there, like these road map birdhouses, the bottle cap horse that’s from my book, Button Mania: Buttons, Bottlecaps, and Beyond! and the map frame from one of my other books, Paper Fun Mania. I love that the shelf also has coat hooks, especially for those nasty Wisconsin winters. I also hang my keys and the beginnings of my coffee cup collection here.
As you come in you’ll see my stenciled blue table as well as my 4 Seasons Button Tree.
I bought a mini refrigerator and brought a microwave from home. A good excuse to buy a new one for home! I also set up a little coffee station on top of that for whenever I have visitors. This little yellow mini Keurig is my favorite!
I have two of these storage cabinets as there’s absolutely no fixtures in this space. It was just one big open room. So the cabinets come in quite handy!
My Lovely Yellow Desk
One of the first things that I picked out for this space was this wonderful yellow desk. It was easy to put together and I just love the color! On the desk you’ll see my button lamp (from my book Button Mania) and the Jabba the Hutt I made from salt dough for my Star Wars Mania book. I also use my R2-D2 pencil can on a daily basis! The pink object you see on the left is a magnetic board and on that are all of my dictionary magnets with crafty words.
Above the desk is my dandelion painting, one of my favorite pieces in the studio. To go with the painting, I made these deco mesh dandelions, complete with fly-away seed heads made from a feather boa.
The Sewing Station
I’ll admit, I don’t sew much. I can sew straight lines and could probably fake my way through a pattern even. But I’m not an accomplished seamstress by any means. One of the reasons I never sewed at home was because I didn’t really have a dedicated space for it. That’s where this craft table came in handy. I already have a large craft table for doing all my projects on, but this smaller version was perfect as a sewing desk!
I bought the thread rack at WalMart and it turned out to be a great perch for my little button man (from my book Button Mania).
And see that lovely yellow quatrefoil cover on my sewing machine? My friend and neighbor Debra made that for me. She has such a huge heart! On the wall you’ll find my embroidery hoop rainbow tree and the embroidery hoop button flowers, also from Button Mania.
Also above the sewing desk is a beautiful painting of a group of birds. I didn’t actually paint this one, my daughter happened upon it while shopping one day. She thought it looked so much like my Manual Woodworkers & Weavers pillow that she bought it for me for my birthday. :)
The Reception Area
From the very beginning, and inspired by my friend Amy’s studio, I knew I wanted a sitting area. Whether it be for me to sit and relax or as a place to talk to clients.
I chose this white convertible sofa which is super comfortable. There’s always a moment of shock or surprise when people find out it’s really a futon! I also fell in love with these light blue vinyl slipper chairs. They are quite big and very comfortable.
When I first rented the place, I wasn’t really crazy about the checkerboard tile floor. In order to embrace it, and to make the reception area work, I needed an area rug under it all. I ended up layering two rugs, this 8×10 gray area rug and this 4×6 white shag area rug and just love how it pulled it all together.
The trunk I found at a garage sale a couple of years ago and the white pitcher vase is from IKEA, filled with silk blooms I bought at WalMart.
I also found these awesome farmer’s market floor vases and filled them with silk stems. I have one by the door as well.
Storage That Hides Everything
From the first time I started seeing these cube bookshelves around I wanted them. I’ve tried different methods of organizing my supplies, but none of them ever really looked nice. That’s when I decided that my supplies all really needed to be hidden if there was to be any continuity.
I bought a bunch of these collapsible fabric storage cubes at WalMart and it worked out perfectly! In case you’re wondering how I find anything, I actually have a list of where everything is, so I just look it up on my alphabetic list and go right to that cube.
On top of the storage shelves are a few of my projects including this mosaic turtle canvas, my polka dot tree and the button wire tree from my book Button Mania. Perched on my easel is the vintage French bee painting I did a couple of years ago.
The Photography Wall
When I was working on my first two books, Rubber Band Mania and Duct Tape Mania, I found it really challenging to get good photos of kids wearing costumes or the jewelry that I made. That’s what made me order this photo set up as I knew I would be able to use it for future books and tutorials.
When winter comes and the days are shorter, the 40×40 photo cube comes in so very handy! I use two work lamps from Home Depot to shine through the sides for great light.
As you may have noticed at the beginning of this post, the photo area was pretty plain, especially since everything, including the cabinet, is white! Adding the colorful deco mesh flowers was just the finishing touch this area needed.
My Craft Table
I don’t know what I would do without my glorious craft table my husband made for me a few years ago. It’s made from two hollow core doors and four WalMart bookshelves.
I love it and do all my crafting sitting right there. And speaking of sitting, I had a pair of pretty ugly, but very functional stools that I picked up at our local flea market. When my craft table was in my basement their appearance didn’t really matter. But once I moved everything into the studio, I decided to give the stools a makeover.
A few details about the table and my work area.
- I bought an indoor/outdoor rug to protect the floor from any drips or spills
- I use these fun baskets to hide even more supplies
- I found this paint rack at a flea market being used as a fishing lure display, but you can buy one here
- This lazy susan is an absolute life saver keeping everything at my fingertips
- I keep several pieces of foam core board below the table that I use as work surfaces. It keeps the paint off my actual table and allows me to have a mobile work surface.
The Window Wall
In this panorama shot of the window wall you can see all the wall letters in one picture. There’s the flower letters to the left, the burlap & vintage jewelry letters in the center, and the string art letters to the right. You can also see my boho chic dreamcatcher there as well.
The only thing I really haven’t done yet is develop the window seat. It’s not very deep, but I think it would look good with long fabric covered cushions. Until then, it works great as a shelf for projects I’ve finished, including a bunch of my favorite characters from Star Wars!
Right now the window seat holds my gray Ruffle & Frill Polyester Throw Pillow and my favorite pillow of all, the Queen of Effing Everything. Just FYI – if my pillow offends you, you might not like me in person. I am a kind and generous person with a feisty side.
Well, that’s it! You’ve made it all the way through. Now join me for two more minutes while I bring you in the door and walk you through the studio. Thanks so much for reading this far and sharing in my excitement! If you’re ever in Twin Lakes… :)
Special thanks to Wayfair for all of their help with my new studio furniture!
Latest posts by Amanda Formaro (see all)
- Easy Yarn Crafts: Creative Ways to Use Yarn Without Knitting or Crocheting - March 17, 2017
- Egg Shell Mosaic Vase - March 14, 2017
- 40+ Creative Easter Crafts for Kids - March 6, 2017