Garden Shed to Craft Studio

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Introduction: Garden Shed to Craft Studio

I turned my 8x12 garden shed into a craft studio because there was no room for a dedicated craft or hobby area inside my home! It took under $250 and a few weeks to complete the transformation!

Step 1: Prep Work

I wanted a dedicated place to do my crafting and hobby work, but we didn't have the space inside the house. I decided that I would turn the shed in the back yard into my craft studio!

First we had to prep the shed. It's in great shape, so the prep work was minimal. We cleaned it out, hosed it down, removed excess screws, and shelving and sealed some gaps with foam before we started.

Step 2: Painting

Next came the painting. I thought about using drywall to make it feel like an actual room, but decided in the end that I wanted the rustic shed feel to remain, and I could also use the space between studs to add extra shelving for even more storage!

We used a basic white high gloss enamel paint, and I added some purple paint on the ceiling to give it a fun pop of color, and add some personalized character to my space!

Step 3: Lighting and Floors

Next we hung a shop light, and installed peel and stick vinyl flooring. I learned a lesson here... you need to paint the plywood to get a good stick from the tiles. Thankfully I learned this lesson before getting very far into the flooring!

Peel and stick vinyl was very easy to work with, and inexpensive! I could have just left the floor painted plywood, but I wanted the room to have a more finished feeling to it, the vinyl floor tiles looked nicer.

Step 4: Counters and Work Space

We built in some counter space next with plywood, 2x4s and an old display case we found locally. The display case added some shelving under the counters, and leaving the second counter open allows me to push storage carts or boxes under the counter and out of the way. If I had been able to get two of the display cases I would have made both sides of the counter on those.

After the counters were sanded, cleaned and prepped, they were painted white with the same enamel paint I used on the walls.

So far the paint on the counters, and the walls is holding up great! They wipe down easily and they look amazing.

Step 5: Pegboard Storage

To give me more storage options, we hung pegboard on two of the walls. One above a counter across an entire wall, and the other above my sewing desk. Both pegboards give me lots of storage options and they fit in the budget at less than $20 for a 4 foot by 8 foot board.

The pegboards are just screwed to the studs right on the wall. Because we opted not to dry wall the shed, the pegboard works great and it didn't have to be mounted on anything but the wall since there is plenty of space for the hooks behind the board already.

Step 6: Moving in and Finishing Touches!

We added a bookshelf for more vertical storage, and filled the shelves with craft supplies. I can personalize the space to make it mine without worrying about making it too girly for my husband, since he doesn't have to see it!

Step 7: Some Extra Details

I get asked most often about power to the shed. Right now (temporarily) we power everything with several heavy duty outdoor extension cords. We made extra efforts to cover and protect the cords so they are not a danger while they are there. In the (very near) future, we are planning to get permits and run the power underground out to the shed.

Another very frequently asked question is how do I control the climate. I am very lucky to live in a very mild climate. The temperatures are not extreme, and the humidity is very low. In the winter, a small space heater with temperature controls keeps the room very comfortable. For the summer, we installed a small window air conditioning unit (by cutting a hole in the shed under the existing window so as not block the small amount of natural lighting). The temperature in the shed is often nicer than the house because the room is small it is easy to regulate.

Since we already had the shed, the total cost of the materials to paint, floor, and update was under $250!

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    39 Discussions

    I love the makeover!
    My husband just bought his own shed for his tools and such... So I am pretty much taking over the wooden shed we built 16 years ago...much like yours as my own.
    The tutorial was perfect for me.
    I was finally able to make decisions about how I am going to fix up the wooden shed.
    We already have electricity running underground to it.
    We have paint for the walls from other projects we've done.
    We have stain for the wooden flooring.
    We have lights.
    We only need a small ac unit and pegboard for the walls.
    We have wood for more shelving.
    I'm excited about this project!!

    I am green with envy after seeing your craft shack, which is much too cool to be called a shack. How about "Hobby Palace?" We are planning on moving from our current tiny apartment to a spacious house and I will have to do something similar. Unfortunately, our climate isn't as cooperative as yours, so I will have to use a concrete foundation and insulate the place so I can get it fully permitted. My biggest concern is for my card catalog. It is an early twentieth century piece, and I don't want moisture spoiling it. But if it doesn't live in my (future) craft shed, I will lose a whole lot of my bead storage space. Anyone have any ideas about keeping nice furniture in good shape in a coastal climate?

    I absolutely love this transformation. The colors are wonderful, and the storage and counters are ample. I love what you have done with your space.

    My setup is a bit different and I wish I had seen yours before I created mine. One thing I have is a long homemade ironing board that fits on top of one of the counters. I put my cutting mat right on top of it when I don't need it for ironing. Because I have arthritis in my hands, I can stick my pins in the padding at a slant and easily pick them up, as I do all of my prep work right on the mat. Another change for me is I have a secondhand wooden computer desk with a sliding tray where the keyboard would be. This is my sewing table, and I keep my sewing tools right on the tray so they are easily accessible when I need them and out of sight when I don't. I also installed directional strip lighting over each counter, including the sewing desk, so that I can see what I'm doing.

    My building is 12' x 12' and I made a big mistake by having two double windows on both the south and west sides, and one window on both the north and east sides. The south wall has a full-length sofa (argh!) that has no other place to go. My drafting table is on the west side, my sewing table is on the north side, and my ironing table is on the west side, along with the entry door. I use my ironing table the most and it is high enough that I am able to stand up and work. By adding so many windows, I feel jammed in and have very little wall space, whereas you have that awesome pegboard that covers one wall. I would love that! It's so beautiful to look at! Your setup is excellent. Loved this tutorial.

    1 reply

    I erred in saying that my ironing table and the entry door are on the west side. They are on the east side. Not much space in the center of the room!

    That is such a cool idea! I would love to do this, but a) I live in Michigan and at times it can get extremely cold. I' m not sure that even with insulation and space heater ( which would cost a ton in electricity) it would be warm enough and b) we are required to have a rat wall (no , we don't really get rats) which amounts to a 4" slab of concrete so you have to attach the shed to that. All and all it would be very expensive. With the cost of the shed, insulation, something to cover the insulation, space heater, paint and flooring, it would probably end up about close to $1,000. Not to mention if we used an outdoor extension cord we would be in violation of codes. I do think you have done a great job and I'm very envious. Happy crafting.

    What a great space! I'd like to know, how do you keep spiders and other creepy crawlies out? I'm planning on building my own shed, but I want the door and windows to close tight enough to keep the bugs out. Thanks for sharing your cool craft space!

    1 reply

    Everything was sealed up nice and tight with caulk or foam the door closes tight.We have it sprayed for bugs at the same time as the house when they come every few months. I have not seen a single bug inside yet! Hopefully that remains the case.

    Beautifully executed – the only thing I would change is the chair. Yours looks lovely and fits in really nicely, but an office chair on wheels, adjustable in height and rake etc is probably much better for your posture...

    That's nice! But where are you that the climate allows for no insulation or air conditioning? Seriously, condensation water damage is something to consider when setting up work space in unheated/ uninsulated spaces. And I'm jealous, cause it's averaging 94 F during daylight hours here. Can't use my wood shop.

    For portable sewing machines a lot of us like an end table and a bench. The machine sitting lower puts the stitch table at the right height for long sessions. And better control over the process.

    3 replies

    Hi there you say you cannot use your wood shop due to it being 94 if you just use a fan to move the air it should be usable I lived in the caribbean for 10 years and as long as the air was moving then it was ok but as soon as it was still then you start to overheat.

    Regards Poppy Ann.

    This is true, I work in an upstairs warehouse type of space (in NY state) and 96 degrees inside is not unusual in the summer and the air is SO dead. But a fan even though it doesn't actually cool the air makes the space more bearable for 40 plus hours a week.

    I live in a high desert region. no insulation, but I did mention that there is a small air conditioning unit.

    What an amazing, beautiful and inspiring space!!! Since you live in a mild climate, might I suggest tucking a few scented dryer sheets behind the pegboard to discourage spider room mates?

    1 reply

    What a great idea but of corse where I live I would have to cut a hole for a AC unit! :)

    1 reply

    I am about to do something similar as soon as the shed arrives but I can only have a 8X8 shed I had not even considered painting the walls and roof or using pegboard so thanks for the great ideas.

    Regards Poppy Ann.

    I tried this with my shed, but people keep putting shed stuff in it