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My Stampin’ Studio Journey!


Welcome to My Stampin’ Studio and journey to create a space that’s fun, efficient and artistically inspiring.  It didn’t happen overnight, however and I recognize that everyone’s budget is different.  I started with a closet (hanging magnetic sheets on the back of doors for dies, for example) when I first began to create cards.

Here’s a video of my current stamping studio in Tucson, AZ, a crafter’s dream come true.

This video is my first stamping studio in Madison, WI.  There are a lot of budget friendly ideas!

This video (below) was my studio when we first moved to Tucson.  It was the first time I had built-in cabinets–a luxury but so nice!


So here is my journey for my current stamp space, from planning to the finish line.  It’s always evolving a bit, too!  There are many tips and videos along the way that drill down to how I store things, often using products from Stamp-n-Storage.  Here’s my link if you want to shop in their store.  I receive a small affiliate fee if you use it to shop but assure you I love and use these products!


DEC. 31, 2013.  On December 31, my husband, Scott, and I closed on a new home (still in Tucson) that will have less yard (a free standing townhome), no pool and fewer responsibilities.  Our dream is to simplify our lives and have more time to enjoy travel and personal time!    However, that means my wonderful Stampin’ Pretty Ultimate Stamping Zone will belong to a new owner and I need a new, uber cool place to play with paper, stamps and ink, right?

So, are you ready to go on another journey with me as I build my new stamping studio?  It began as my scribbles on a plan of the extra bedroom I will transform into a stamping studio.  See top photo above.  The bed will be a murphy wall bed that hides in the closet except when company comes.  We went from 4 to 3 bedrooms (one of those sacrificed for my studio) so needed another sleeping option for visitors!

Here’s what the cabinet plan looks like for the empty room shot.   You are looking straight at my main crafting area.  I used my current stamping space as my model for what to store where, with a few tricks I learned along the way (of course, I’ll be sharing).  I just love those little drawers on the right and left.

Here’s my desk area to the left of my main crafting area.  It’s desk height and is where my computer and work time will be spent.  My “postal” area  (stamps, scale, packaging) is to the left and stamps will be housed in the open sheving on the right wall cabinet.  I’ll share much more in detail along the way.

These little sketches are tacked up on the wall for the electrician who today added outlets just above cabinet height plus wiring for under cabinet lighting.  My cabinets are expected in about a month but you will see some of the progress (paint, cool storage ideas, the thought process) along the way.

Although I’m not too excited about spending the next month working off a table with many of my products in a heap, my love of crafting and great organization will keep me inspired

FEBRUARY 13, 2014

Today begins the installation of My Stampin’ Studio cabinets.  Everything is on schedule, even after a brief scare that the truck delivering them had broken down.  It will take 2 to 3 days to get the cabinets installed, including my studio, laundry and a small bath across from my studio.  They will measure for counter tops once the cabinets are in place.  I’m cautiously optimistic the counters will get installed next week!  I’m itching to get everything in place!


I have teamed up with Brett at Stamp-N-Storage to design the best craft room organization I could find.  Stamp-N-Storage products have a spot for most everything a crafter needs easy access to: paper, ink, punches, ribbon, washi and more. The photo above gives you a peek at my lock-down style punch storage (whale tail punch storage is also available) as well as the ink/refill/marker storage combination below.

I had the storage units painted this week (they come ready for paint or you can keep them natural) to match the cabinets, a soft off white that contrasts beautifully with my Sherwin Williams “Contented” wall color.  Relaxing and fresh!  You’re looking at my future 12 x 12 paper holders above.

A TIP FROM ARTIE, MY PAINTER:  Spray the Stampin’ Storage boxes with the slide out inserts partially pulled out.  You can get further inside the cubbies with the paint.  Slide them back in place while they are still wet.  I won’t be able to remove the inserts once the paint is dry (think of a window being painted shut) but don’t plan to remove them to change the spacing.  This definitely is something to consider if you plan to paint.  The cute bins below are Embossing Folder and Steel Die Storage.

As of last evening, my kitchen is now serving as a makeshift stamping studio.  The kitchen is being remodeled as well so it’s going to be a kitchen full of paper, stamps, ink and contractors for the next few days.  Yipes, more noise and dust.  Many “Calgon” moments.

FEBRUARY 15, 2014

I’m so excited to show you the progress of My Stampin Studio after Day 1.  I shared several photos yesterday on my Stampin’ Pretty Facebook page of the play by play to be sure to visit!  The photo above represents how My Stampin’ Studio looked last evening, without the melody of drills and percussion of hammers.  Of course, it it all begins again this morning!

I have planned out what will be organized in every drawer and on every shelf.  You are looking at my desk area (desk height).  My crafting area (counter height because I love to stand but will be able to sit as well) is on the main wall (right) with banks of drawers on either side for adhesive, tools and much more.  I’ll walk you through every nook and cranny as things fall into place, I promise!

This open “tower” is the future home of my 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12 paper storage.  I carefully measured so that ALL of it could be in this bookcase style cabinet (cut for extra depth) which will house my Stamp-N-Storage 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12 paper holders.  I love the look of organized, colorful card stock.

FEBRUARY 15, 2014

I included even more new photos with this post showing the crown and light molding and floating shelves installed.  The center area is where I’ll be sitting and standing (counter height).  The floating shelves will be lit above and below with tape lighting and are for decorative items (fluff over function).  This is such an exciting time for me.  The contractor measuring for countertops is coming on Monday.  There’s a chance I could be moved in by the end of next week.  Heaven!

For those asking . . . the room size is approx. 11 x 18, not including the closet where I’ll be adding a Murphy bed and some additional storage.  The countertops will be Pionite Phoenix AT391.  It’s a lovely red brick that will add some drama to the ivory/pearl cabinets (Seashell by Kitchen Kraft Aurora Cabinetry) and Contented (Sherwin Williams SW 6191)wall color.

APRIL 4, 2014

my stampin studio craft space organization
It feels so good for things to be falling into place in my new studio. I shared the photo above and others (including other parts of my new home) yesterday on my Stampin’ Pretty Facebook page.  Be sure to visit my page and “like” me so you don’t miss my early peeks.

My Stampin’ Studio has come a long way from dust, boxes and chaos.  Don’t you agree?

My full studio video tour won’t be quite ready for a bit (still a few things to resolve).  However, I put together a short video for you today that focuses on my favorite new way to store Stampin’ Up! dies and embossing folders.  As I mention on the video, the totes and magnet cards can be purchased through Stamp-N-Storage.  The P-Touch labelmaker can be found at most office supply stores.

I LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK so please leave me a comment HERE!


This past weekend, I did a Stampin’ Up! leaders presentation as part of Lisa Pretto’s Ink Big Academy Tucson Retreat.  We had an incredible time, learned so much and I have shared lots of photos of the event on my Stampin’ Pretty Facebook Page.  Members of my Stampin’ Pretty Pals Virtual Community who attended (loved having the Pals on my Tucson turf) were invited to my home the day before the main event . . . and ONE member of the Pals decided to explore My Stampin’ Studio on HIS own.  Brian King, what are we going to do with you?


Welcome to My Stampin’ Studio!  I’m so excited to finally have a permanent home for my Stampin’ Up! paper, stamps, ink and beyond!

Here are the “bones” before construction.  I started with a first floor bedroom which measures 19′ x 9’9″.  While long and skinny, this “galley” shape can be incredibly efficient.  Note how I used tape to visualize where the cabinets would ultimately be placed.

These are my initial organization scribbles.  I spent a couple weeks thinking about my inventory and how I work.  I wanted a spot for everything and easy access to those things I use the most.

Once I had a pretty good idea of what I needed, I met with Carol Bradley of Interior Innovations in Tucson.  She has 30 years of kitchen design experience and, to my good fortune, is a scrapbooker.  We spoke the same language when it came to a passion for paper.  The view above is of Carol’s design for my main crafting area.  The small drawers on each side are my “tool chest.”  Clear blocks, adhesive and cleaning supply drawers occupy the left and tools (graph paper, scissors, other tools) occupy the right.  Easy to grab.  Easy to put away.

My “business center” and computer area frame the window.  The cabinets to the left are where I store most of my cards (ready to go) and office supplies.  The drawers on the left side of the desk hold envelopes, stamps, address labels and lots of chargers and cords in the bottom drawer.  I have two legal sized desk drawers for files on the right.  I prefer to keep as much organized in files (personal as well as business) and tucked away as possible.  The bookshelf wall cabinets to the right are where my stamps will hang out.

To the right of my main crafting area is where ribbon (on the wall), dies, trimmers, big shot and all my card stock/designer series paper are slated to go.  From the top, the four drawers house the following:

Drawer #1:  Two Stampin’ Trimmers (one has the Rotary Addition (arm) always installed and ready to go)
Drawer #2:  Tabletop Paper Cutter (I’ll never give it up, even if it’s retired)
Drawer #3:  Envelope Punch Board and Simply Scored Scoring Tool
Drawer #4:  The deepest drawer is perfect for my Big Shot dies

Choosing the right color for your space is all about personal preference.  I wanted something soothing that would look crisp and fresh against my ivory cabinets.  After testing these two colors on the wall, I selected the color on the right, “Contented” #6191 by Sherwin Williams.

Since we love guests, I opted to add a Murphy bed in the studio closet.

Be sure you have enough clearance to do this.  Mine was a tight fit but worked!  The full-size bed frame was purchased through Wilding Wallbeds and the foam memory mattress (oh, so comfortable) through Walmart.

After we moved into our new home full-time, it was a challenge living and working in the chaos and dust of the “pre-studio” days!  It’s worth it!

The turning point was when my Stamp-N-Storage organizational products began to arrive.  My Stampin’ Studio was really happening.  I’ll share videos in the future of how I use these incredible items in my space.  You can learn more about storage for punches, ink, paper and much more at Stamp-N-Storage.   Brett, the owner, was gracious enough to honor my “OCD” tendencies and customized a few things for an extra (reasonable) charge.  For example, he created custom punch storage that would accommodate my wider punches like the Stampin’ Up! Chevron Punch and Scallop Tag Topper Punch.

The Stamp-N-Storage items come with a natural finish that you can paint if you want.  I matched my pre-painted cabinet color to Natural Choice, Sherwin Williams #7011, and painted the storage items the same.  The cabinets and storage units look like they were always meant to be together!  TIP from my painter, Artie . . . for those items that have lots of cubbies, pull the inserts out as far as you can without pulling them out completely.  Then spray with paint.  It’s much easier to slide them back in this way.

After what seemed like an eternity (but truly was only 5 weeks), my Kitchen Craft Cabinetry began to arrive.  I selected the more budget-friendly Aurora Touren, pre-painted in Seashell (a soft, ivory).  They are truly beautiful.  It’s phenomenal how these guys figure out how to install the pieces to the “puzzle” so quickly.  Most of the cabinets were up in a day!  This is before the crown and undercabinet light molding were installed.

With the cabinets installed, lighting became a priority.  I like lots of light with minimal or no shadowing where I’m crafting.  I have eight can lights in the ceiling.  After initially struggling with undercabinet tape light that wasn’t bright enough, I had extra strength tape light installed.  I now have plenty of light.  However, if I were to do it over (you often asked me this question about my previous crafting space), I would stick with standard undercabinet LED lights.  More light for the buck!

My Stampin’ Up! 12 x 12 Designer Series Paper and Paper Holders are stored on the bottom two shelves and behind two doors. My 8.5 x 11 Cardstock and Paper Holders are stored above.  My paper storage units are from Stamp-N-Storage.  When determining dimensions, be sure to measure very carefully so that everything, including paper holder storage inserts will fit.  I made sure mine fit like a glove.

Things are looking pretty dapper with supplies and my storage products filling in the space.  I’m nutso about the artful play of color created with stacked card stock!  How about you?

My carpenter, Todd, whipped up wood blocks for behind my stamps so that they would all line up evenly and not push to the back of the shelving.  So much easier to see the images and titles on the binding.   Love button, please!

Easy on and easy off. My Ribbon Holders from Stamp-N-Storage are the best.  Magnetic blocks keep the ends in place (like bookends) so every color of ribbon lines up at attention!  I have some inexpensive little buckets (Ikea) that hang on the edge for storing Baker’s Twine.

MAY 21, 2014

I compare my ink storage to the dashboard of a plane . . . I want all the “controls” in front of me for a smooth crafting experience.  It’s not only easier to find the colors I need, it’s easier to keep your crafting space uncluttered (I don’t do well in chaos).  The video above shares a close up look at my ink, marker and refill storage from Stamp-N-Storage.  I painted mine to match my new cabinets.

DON’T MISS . . . See how I’m storing my framelits dies and embossing folders HERE.  Slick!

JUNE 13, 2014

The final pieces are falling into place in My Stampin’ Studio, including this new and improved punch storage that arrived last week from Stamp-N-Storage.  I’m confident I have found the perfect home to organize and store my lock down punches and especially enjoy the new taller and wider cubby options (64 compartments in the Large-Sized Lock Down Punch Holder).  The video above shares my review and tips on how I personally use this storage.

You can order the storage products I use in My Stampin’ Studio (including the Large-Sized Lock Down Punch Holder from the video) through Stamp-N-Storage HERE.  Please note that I have painted my storage units to match my cabinets.  They come unpainted but look pretty snappy natural as well as painted.

JULY 23, 2014

I have another craft room organization video for you today from My Stampin’ Studio.  I love pretty and easy access to my craft room supplies.  This video shares my 12 x 12 and 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock and paper storage ideas (including Stampin’ Up! Designer Series Paper).  It’s just me . . . I’m camera man as well as narrator and producer.  Hopefully, this video will still give you a good summary of my paper organization.

The 12 x 12 and 8 1/2 x 11 paper holders I use can be purchased through Stamp-N-Storage.  Please note I painted mine to match my cabinets.  They come natural.

DECEMBER 17, 2014

Click on the photo above to watch my video!

Here’s the scoop on how I store my Stampin’ Up! Blendabilities Markers.  Everything integrates with my ink, punch, washi tape storage and more!

For more details or to shop for all these STAMP-N-STORAGE products, please click HERE!

I love hearing from you!  Please leave me your questions or comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to . . . 

9 thoughts on “My Stampin’ Studio Journey!”

  1. Hi Mary:
    I remember reading before Christmas 2016 that you were planning on combining your washer/dryer area into a shared crafting studio. I assume that is now finished as you are still producing beautiful cards daily. When are we going to see the reveal? I haven’t been on your Facebook page so maybe the photos or videos are there. I will go over there right now. Take care and love your cards and talents. Wish I lived in the U.S.A. and could have you as my demonstrator.

  2. Hi Mary, I’m loving the pictures and the descriptions on this blog! Best of all, you provided dimensions, and it turns out that’s approximately the size of the studio I have in my basement today, and I’ll probably want that size again when I build one more like yours someday! Question – do you have other crafters in your studio at any time?

    • What a wonderful coincidence, Peg! Yes, I have other crafters in my room. We all stand and work. Usually 4 or 5 comfortably. I have a large island in my kitchen if we need to spread out!

      • Yes, please keep us posted in regards to your new home. Real excited for you. Have been enjoying your e mails. Thanks, Thessa

  3. Mary, thank you so much for taking the time & effort to share with us. I always look to your studios for organizing inspiration!
    Do you remember where the white chairs came from? — looks like one raised and one regular height for your desk area. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for asking. Frankly, it wasn’t in my budget to use a solid surface (but it would be beautiful). They are a Formica type top. Work and look great!

  5. Hi there! I am planning on building my craft room, and am curious, what type of counters you have? Have you found granite vs quartz vs corion, to be a better choice? Thank you!


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