Basement Workshop Tour - she ain't pretty but she's functional!

A basement workshop tour for the DIYer without a garage. When you are an avid DIYer but don't have a garage, carving valuable real estate from the basement for a workshop becomes a necessity.

Our multi-purpose workshop/craft room may not be pretty but she's functional! Oftentimes when I share in-process photos of my projects in my blog posts, readers ask about certain things they see in my workspace. I figured maybe it's time I write a post about this space to answer those questions and take you on a little tour.

A basement workshop/craft room when you don't have a garage and creative storage and organization solutions.

Storage Solutions For A Basement Workshop/Craft Room

Thankfully our home is a raised bungalow (bi-level) which means large above-ground level windows, offering great ventilation. Not as good as a garage mind you, so we have to be careful and use low VOC (volatile organic compound) products.

Throughout this post, I'll be sharing our creative storage organizing solutions, and answering the most asked questions about this space.

Before I begin let me introduce you to Rex, my feline shop assistant. He's a cutie but insists on having an all-you-can-eat salad bar readily available and sleeps on the job a lot. Although like a dog, he takes his lookout duties seriously. I know when someone's coming before they ring the doorbell.

Basement Workshop Tour introducing our feline shop assistant.

We'll begin the tour with our creative organization solutions.

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During a recent staycation, Mr. Frugalista and I got to work organizing our basement workshop/craft room. I couldn't take rummaging through one more plastic shoebox or bin to find a dang screwdriver! So off to Home Depot we went to get a few sheets of pegboard and pegboard hooks and hangers.

Question 1 - Did You Paint The Pegboard?

This is a question I get asked often and the answer is, yes. We sprayed the pegboard with leftover latex paint from our son's room using our Husky Pneumatic Paint Sprayer to give the room a punch of color.

A basement workshop tour with vibrant painted pegboard walls for tool organization.

You'll see in the photo above that we also used scrap wood to make narrow shelves to hang on the pegboard too. These are so handy for storing small tools that can't be hung and a wooden tool tote filled with packages of nails and screws.

We've also got stacking plastic drawer units for drill bits, tiny screwdrivers, hex wrenches, utility knives and replacement blades, and the like.

Our son built the workbenches when he was still living at home with 2 x 4 lumber and sheets of plywood. The workshop used to also be his mountain bike repair/rebuild shop. Hence, the many bike-related stickers you see are scattered around the room.

A basement workshop tour with vibrant painted pegboard walls for paint brush organization.

I can't tell you how handy it is to have all the hand tools and paintbrushes hanging up within arm's reach.

You'll also notice we built shelving above the pegboard to hold scrap wood. It runs the span of the wall with several support brackets to withstand the weight of the lumber.

Plastic shoe boxes and bins on the shelf under the workbench hold sanding pads and sandpaper, shop rags, extra light bulbs, etc. We installed hardwood flooring on the main floor of our home and stored below the workbench are extra boxes to redo our stairs one day.

Shipping Prep Zone

At the end of the wall-to-wall workbench, is our shipping zone where I package small items to be shipped. It houses packing tape dispensers, a digital shipping scale, plastic totes with flip lids filled with shipping peanuts, and bubble wrap.

A basement workshop with pegboard shipping zone organization for packaging small items to ship.

We added more pegboard on the adjacent wall for more tool storage but it also houses my stencil collection. If you are a regular reader you know that I use stencils often when upcycling furniture and home decor.

A basement workshop tour with vibrant painted pegboard walls for level and carpentry square organization.

Question 2 - How Do You Store Your Stencils

We dedicated part of the pegboard wall for stencil storage on pegboard hooks.

A basement workshop tour with vibrant painted pegboard walls for stencil organization.

Stencil Storage Tip

Since taking the photo above, I've improved stencil storage by using small binder clips to hang each individual stencil on a long pegboard hook. It is so much easier to unclip the stencil rather than pulling all of them off the hook to get to the one I need.

Wall Mount Storage Bins

Vertical organizing solutions are important for maximizing storage potential. You can never have enough storage bins for small bits and bobs. Hanging them on a wall clears up the work surface on your workbench.

Question 3 - Are those furniture knobs in the storage unit on the wall?

Being someone who upcycles furniture to sell, I've amassed quite a collection of furniture knobs. The wall mount bins are perfect to store my collection. But being clear plastic bins, I can see at a glance which knobs are where.

The smaller drawer storage unit holds things like wood plugs and dowels, picture hangers, felt pads, and the like.

Basement workshop wall mount clear plastic bins for vertical storage.

Craft Supply Storage

To the far left in the photo above, you'll notice a plastic shelving unit on wheels. I use it to store my craft supplies and it's so handy to pull over to the worktable when needed. I could use at least one more of these!

Music Is A Must

Pictured above the craft supply storage is my portable Bluetooth speaker. I can't imagine being immersed in a furniture makeover or craft project without my beloved 70s rock (I'm dating myself here) playing in the background.

Question 4 - What's inside the gray plastic hamper on the floor?

Readers are very curious about the funny-looking gray plastic hamper on the floor. When doing dresser and cabinet makeovers, I like to line the drawers with pretty paper. To make the paper rolls easily accessible and dust-free, we made the makeshift paper roll storage bin pictured below.

Basement workshop/craft room vertical DIY paper roll storage bin.

Mr. Frugalista came up with the clever idea of joining two tall plastic garbage cans together with duct tape. He cut a hole on the top garage can and used the cut out to make a swing lid, hinged with nylon zip ties.

It make not look pretty but it works like a charm! If you'd prefer something...umm...less crude, here is a ready-made plastic gift wrap storage bin option.

DIY Wall Mount Shelving Unit

The large wall mount shelving unit pictured below used to be in our son's childhood bedroom to display his Maisto Diecast Car collection. Realizing it was the perfect storage solution for small jars of paint and painting supplies we moved it to the workshop after he left the roost.

Basement workshop/craft room DIY wall mount shelving unit.

Question 5 - Are Those Pringle Containers On The Top Shelf?

I've had so many questions about the containers pictured on the top left shelf in the photo above. Keep your pringle containers, they make the best canisters for twine, string, and rope storage! Besides, it's a great excuse for snacking on some chips while you work.

Simply punch a hole in the center of the plastic lid with a hole punch. Pop the spool inside and pull the twine or rope through the center and you'll never have runaway rope again. Dress them up with pretty paper or paint them with a pop of color.

Small Paintbrush Storage

Recycling food cans make the best storage solution for small paintbrushes. If aesthetics are important to you, paint them in bright bold colors.

Basement workshop/craft room recycled food cans for small paint brush storage.

Repurposed Bookcase Paint Storage

Moving to the left of the wall shelf is an old bookcase used to house cans of paint, primer, topcoats, painting supplies, and small paintbrushes.

Because I'm working indoors my preference when upcycling furniture and home decor is to use chalk paint because of its low to no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) qualities and lovely matte finish.

On regular shelving, the paint cans would be stacked at least four cans deep and three high. A real pain when you want the can at the bottom back. Repurposing a bookcase is perfect for paint can storage for two reasons. One, the shelves are narrow so you can only store a couple of cans deep, and second because you can adjust the height of the shelving.

Basement workshop/craft room repurposed bookcase for paint storage.

Metal File Cabinet

To the left of the bookcase is an old metal file cabinet. It is great storage potential for power tool manuals, paint chips, paint and stain color charts, small stencil storage in hanging file folders. The bottom two shelves offer dust-free storage for things like foam paint rollers, my go-to topcoat sponges, furniture decals and transfers, and the like.

On top of the metal file cabinet is a small wood shelving unit that is perfect to store my small craft paints.

Wall-to-Wall DIY Shelving

Moving to the window wall in the workshop is handy wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling DIY shelving because again, vertical storage is key! They are made with repurposed bi-fold doors and metal shelf brackets. It's here that we store power tools, a portable paint sprayer, boxes of DIY building supplies, and scrap wood storage on the very top.

Forgive the clutter around them in the photo below. I was in a frenzy preparing for an outdoor market coming soon. You can also see I'm storing dismantled furniture waiting in the queue for a makeover.

Basement workshop wall-to-wall DIY shelving.

Workshop DIY Bench

Moving to the far wall where you enter the shop is another workbench our son built with 2 x 4s and plywood that we use for the compound miter saw. We store our larger latex paint and stain cans on the shelf underneath to keep them off the floor.

He also built the shelving unit above the workbench where we store spray paint and other supplies.

Easy DIY basement workshop workbenches with shelving.

You can see by the shape of the walls this room is very utilitarian. One day I may get around to painting the concrete floor and replacing the ugly beat-up ceiling tiles but like I said earlier...

Our workshop/craft room ain't pretty but she's functional!

We keep the door closed when not in use to hide the ugliness because our basement media room is directly across and how wants to look at a creepy basement workshop when you're watching a movie.

Question 6 - Is That A Portable Folding Table Used As A Work Table?

Working our way to the middle of the workshop you can see my work table caked in layers upon layers of paint. It is a very sturdy 6-foot rectangular portable folding table with a wood top. My father taught automotive electronics and this used to be in his classroom.

Besides doing crafts, it's the perfect size table for painting furniture. I like to paint furniture at eye level and so often it supports the weight of a dresser or cabinet no problem.

Basement workshop/craft room portable folding work table with wooden top and a handy pneumatic mechanic rolling stool.

Underneath the worktable is my adjustable hydraulic rolling mechanic stool. I glide all over the workshop on this thing! Instead of constantly bending up and down, I sit at eye level and glide around furniture when I'm painting. It saves the ole feet from standing all day on a concrete floor too!

Only a consummate DIYer would give up such valuable real estate for a workshop. This space would make an amazing family room with a gorgeous fireplace on the wall where the wall mount storage unit is. But like I mentioned earlier, when you don't have a garage and don't have a spot in the yard to build one, then you do what you gotta do!

Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you found some storage solution ideas for your workspace no matter where it is.

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A basement workshop/craft room tour with handy storage solutions when you don't have a garage. #basementworkshop #basementworkshoporganization #basementworkshoplayout #basementworkshopideas

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  1. Oh my gosh so much neater and more organized than mine!

    1. Too funny Susan, that's because I cleaned and organized it for this post! It seems about every six months I have to STOP and reorganize to keep it looking this clean.

  2. This is one of the few posts of yours that I have not seen! Love the basement workroom and all the organization ideas you've got in there, it looks like a workhorse of a room! I also have a rolling stool that I use when I paint furniture :)

    1. Isn't the rolling stool a godsend? I don't know what I'd do without it! I wish I could say the workshop looked this organized all the time. Right now every workbench is filled with too many unfinished projects.


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