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Ikea for Craft Storage

For an additional perspective on using Ikea for craft storage see our more current article on our sister publication Scrapbook Update.

I recently moved homes and into a new craft studio with lots of space to fill and no built in storage or closets. While researching my options for new furniture to fit my new needs, Ikea Workspaces came to mind and I soon discovered that a limited offering is available to order online for those of us who are not lucky to have one nearby. I ordered several pieces, but there are two that really stand out now that I have them in my new room–the Helmer and the Alex. Both of these would be perfect in any craft room. And since my life has been more about unpacking and organizing than stamping lately, I wanted to tell you all about them in case you need organizing ideas, too.

The Helmer, a small metal drawer unit on casters, retails for $39.99. I saw it in so many rooms for so many purposes all over the Ikea website, it was impossible not to notice it! And I was even more impressed when I got my hands on it in person. It is not very big, at 11″w x 16 3/4″d x 27 1/8″h and you can roll it around, so it’s easy to place or bring to you as needed. You can also put several together for a bigger impact and lots of drawers, picking just the right number of units to fill the space you have. Although the size is great, the drawers are what make it perfect. The Helmer has six drawers, each measuring 15” x 9.25″ x 3.5″, with a slot for labeling on the outside; perfect for all the little parts and pieces we collect. The drawers can also be pulled out all the way if needed for a project or simply to rearrange them. I chose to buy several units and put them together to form sort of a credenza.

The Alex is just as useful and maybe a little more impressive. I chose to list it second because it is bulkier, created mainly of particleboard, and measuring in at 26 3/8″w x 18 7/8″d x 26″h. Bigger and bulkier also means higher in price, at $119.00, but even so I wish I had room for one more! Like the Helmer, the Alex is shown in a variety of different rooms online and was hard not to notice. And also like the Helmer, I was even more impressed with it in person. This unit is very sturdy and the drawers are long and shallow–actually the top three are quite shallow and the bottom three, slightly deeper. These drawers are on metal rollers, so they don’t come out all the way, but they hold heavy items like my punches and stamps quite well. The size of the drawers would also be perfect for larger pieces of artwork.

One thing I had heard about Ikea is that you have to put it all together yourself and that it’s not always easy. As I mentioned earlier these are only two of the many pieces I purchased. All in all, I put together 12 total items, some like the Helmer more than once. While some pieces were easier than others, I didn’t find any of them to be particularly difficult. The Helmer was probably one of the easiest, so I was happy to put that one together several times! Because it was metal, most of it was clicking this here, pushing that tab there–the only screws used were for the wheels and bottom of the unit. The Alex was a little more difficult and I needed a little extra strength from my husband for some screws, but all of the holes are pre-drilled and the picture directions were easy to follow. On both units, you repeat the same thing for each drawer, so that gets easier as you go along. I was actually wowed just as much by the construction and assembly design as I was with the functionality and appearance!

I also want to point out that while a limited Ikea selection is available online, shipping can be very high depending on where you are. It really is best to go directly to the store if you can. But if you don’t have an Ikea nearby, you might want to be sure you’re ordering a lot to get your best shipping value or maybe order with a friend if you can.

So, here’s the break down…

Pros:

  • nice looking furniture
  • perfect storage spaces for crafty pieces and parts
  • casters for easy placement
  • great price

Cons:

  • you have to assemble yourself
  • if you don’t have a store nearby, shipping could be high

There are so many storage options out there and I love seeing what other people have and love. I hope this has helped some of you looking for something new for your space. And since I’m still putting my room together, I’d love to hear what storage solutions you can’t live without, Ikea or otherwise!

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15 Responses to Ikea for Craft Storage

  1. Anonymous August 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    Thanks for pointing those 2 out, if I ever get a new stamping space I will keep them in mind! I am lucky to have an IKEA nearby, and I am there 2-3 times a year- they have lots of great items. A little joke though from an experienced IKEA shopper (we did a whole kitchen and have bought many things there over the years..)- my husband and I joke that “IKEA” is “out of stock” in Swedish! The number of trips I have done back and forth over the years for parts!
    Diane Cooper
    diane7@rogers.com

  2. Krissi's Stitchery August 21, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    Here’s another one for your list!

    The EXPEDIT bookshelf – with KASSETT boxes (for light, but bulky items like bubble wrap or quilt batting) or with customizable door & drawer inserts for fabrics, craft supplies & more!

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3259/2356452432_030a3a24d8.jpg

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2007/2355620417_7ee59009f6.jpg

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2131/2356452898_56f4bc3ea9.jpg

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3249/2784193099_cacdbb8f30.jpg

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3095/2729530521_26e54046b9.jpg

  3. Jen August 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    Lexi,
    Thanks so much for your post! I’m getting a new craft space too, and have been wondering about how your Ikea pieces were working for you. Thanks!!

  4. Radiogirl August 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm #

    Thanks for the details. Though I am awful w/measurements and I can not determine how tall the first one is … is it tall enough to ride on an amusement park ride ? ;-)

  5. Julie Masse August 21, 2008 at 8:44 pm #

    GREAT article Lexi!! I need some storage stuff so this was perfect! Thanks for the great write up! :)

  6. Jennifer Priest August 22, 2008 at 4:09 am #

    I love Ikea too but here is another draw back–if you don’t havea car big enought o pick up the sometimes cumbersome boxes. Hmmph…I am speaking from experience. The gas for me to drive my truck there almost cancels out any savings…

    But anyways,I AM a big Ikea fan. I lve the FIRA boxes for small things. I also have EXPEDIT bookcases in my house. My work tables are all from Ikea, the kind you can screw the legs off of if you don’t need them. I also use the Kassett boxes.

    I have alot of stamps from Close to My Heart and they fit perfectly in a dresser I got at Ikea but they don’t have it anymore. I could go on and on….

  7. Nevis August 22, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    Insanely awesome. I want these!

  8. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor August 22, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    I just got the new catalog this week and was looking at the exact same units for my studio. I think I will slide them under a counter top so I have lots of work space. Thanks for the post… makes me want to head to Ikea right now!

  9. Megan@Disorder2Order August 22, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    Great Post Lexi! I am loving the clean lines and size of each drawer! Thanks for the advice!

  10. jerseytjej August 23, 2008 at 7:40 am #

    I just picked up two of each yesterday and they so rock! They are more expensive here in Sweden, but so worth it!

  11. ashley d! August 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    do you think the alex would hold 2 sheets of 12 x 12 paper side by side? i’m thinking this would be a wonderful solution for my paper organization. i’d want to do one divider in each drawer. would it be possible & still be able to fit 12 x 12′s??

    my nearest ikea is 5 hours away :( i have to plan ahead!

  12. Sue August 26, 2008 at 6:45 am #

    Lexi –
    If you have room for one Alex, you have room for two. I have two – the one sits on top of the other. Just leave the wheels off when you are assembling it!! With the shallow drawers, it is great for punches, stamps, etc, etc!!

    Sue

  13. Siri Fjørtoft, Fjørtoft Design May 27, 2009 at 4:04 am #

    I am putting together a blog about craft room design. It is still quite “young”, but I do have some info about the Ikea kitchen cabinets if anyone are interested!

    http://craftyspacedesign.blogspot.com/

    Siri

  14. Susan Martin May 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    Beautiful! We’d love it if you’d enter our contest for IKEA Craftrooms!

    http://www.ikeafans.com/forums/creative-craftrooms-contest/

    Good luck!
    Susan Martin
    http://www.ikeafans.com

  15. ThePurplePlace March 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    @Ashleyd – I have two of the ALEX units and I absolutely LOVE them. The bad news for you is that you will not be able to store two stacks of 12×12 papers side by side in the drawers. the inside length side to side is just a little over 23″.

    However, there are so many other uses and the units are really nice and hold a ton of stuff. I bought one on my first trip and eventually went back for a second unit. If I had more room, I’d buy another one. Love them!

    I use mine for punches, glitter/stickles, inks pads, ink refills, stamps, paints, ribbons, bling and lots of other embellishments.

    I do keep 8 1/2 X 11″ Copic cardstock in one drawer and that size cardstock/paper can be stored side by side, with room to spare.

    I’m also a huge fan of the Expedit Bookcases and have two of those and they ROCK.

    Most of my craftroom is furnished with IKEA products and I think they are all wonderful. It’s a long drive for me, but well worth it!!

    Happy Shopping!!

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