Creative Studio Tour

Today I’m giving a behind-the-scenes look at where I spend my creative time.  It’s where I craft, design my patterns and printables, photograph small projects, write instructions, and everything else my work day (or night!) encompasses. And, I cleaned it for you!

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Carla Schauer Designs' Creative StudioMy studio (aka Craft Cave, Work Room, or Disaster Area, depending on who’s describing it), is in the finished basement.  It’s an average size room, 12×12 feet, but I’ve managed to make it function to fit my needs.  The biggest downside to the room is its location in the basement, since the natural light is nearly non-existent, and if the sump pump and backup battery both fail, I end up with the mess below.

Flooded creative studio before redesign.-Carla Schauer Designs

Luckily the walls stayed dry, but the carpet and everything laying on it was a loss.  My rotator cuff surgery the month before, postponed anything more than the carpet replacement for nearly 5 months.  Once I could work again, I decided on a room facelift.  This is a photo of the room from the computer desk, taken with my wide-angle lens to get the whole room in the shot.

Cabinet Wall Storage Solution--Carla Schauer Designs Studio To combat the bad combo of basement lighting and the previous wall color, I chose a cool-toned white for both the walls and the old laminate computer and printer desks.  It really helped eliminate the yellow cast the room used to have.

I put the cabinets in years ago.  The tall one holds supplies for beading, needlefelting, metalwork, wire, small wood pieces, clear stamps, punches, technique books and my portfolios.  The base cabinets hold tools like my die-cutter and dies, handheld jigsaw and wood cutters, and supplies like wet and dry adhesives, brushes, glitter, crystals, ink sticks and pastels, etc.

Wall of Shelves for Embellishment Storage-Carla Schauer Designs Studio

The wall on the right-hand side is the short wall next to the door to the room.  I’ve used narrow Ikea shelves to give me space to store lots of bits and pieces without sticking too far into the room. From top to bottom, they hold:

  • Loose ribbon jars
  • metal pails containing ribbon still on spools.
  • Odds & ends on tiered shelves, a bin of seashells and a box of flat embellishments
  • Resin, putty, and my Clearsnap Design Adhesives & foils.
  • Foil mini-pans each with a specific type of embellishment, pail of decorative scissors (the kids love these!), and velcro

Under these shelves is where I usually have the stuff that needs to be put away.

   Flower and Paper Craft Storage--Carla Schauer Designs Studio

Above the cabinets I store my patterned paper (cardstock is in a vertical file under my work desk) and my “flower tower”. To the left is my photography setup for small/medium sized projects.  I’ve only had it a couple months, but it seems to be working well so far.

Button Jar Storage Solution--Carla Schauer Designs Studio

Above are shelves that hold my button jars, repurposed from the flowers that are now in the tower.  No lids, because I like things to be easy to reach. Also on these shelves are my pens/markers & ink spritzes/accent bottles.  The top shelves hold my Ikea Muck buckets, with bakers’ twine spools, bulk chipboard, acrylic pieces and other larger items.

Computer Design Space--Carla Schauer Designs Studio

This side of the room is the tech side, where I do all my surface design.  While I’ve done my best to disguise the hardware, this is where the monitors, printers, cables, router, scanner, and other parts live.  All my to-do lists get taped to the shelf above the main monitor so they are staring me in the face.  I’m high-tech that way.

There’s also always a sketchbook here, I have them scattered throughout the house so they’re handy.   I spend a lot of time here at the desk, and I also wheel over to the craft table when I need to, so the big ugly chair stays because it doesn’t hurt my back.

Acrylic Paint Storage Shelves--Carla Schauer Designs Studio

One of my favorite storage areas is my acrylic paint shelves.  They take advantage of vertical space, and only stick out a couple inches into the room. You can find more details in this post:  Acrylic Paint Shelves

It’s definitely a work-in-progress.  Sure, some things could be cuter.  I’d like to put up some banners instead of curtains at the window to let the available light in, the chair could be covered, and I may someday convince my husband to let me paint the file cabinet.  But right now, I’m pretty happy with the function of my space.  Now if only I can keep it this clean!
There are 30+ craft rooms on this tour hosted by Angie at Country Chic Cottage.  To follow along, the stop before mine is The Idea Room and the stop after mine is Major Hoff Takes a Wife. More rooms are being added all week, be sure to stop back and visit them all!

Thanks for stopping by!


Printable Party shop is Moving to Etsy

Looking for the Carla Schauer Designs Printable Party Store?  You can now find me at the Carla Schauer Designs Etsy Shop!  I’m working on streamlining the store, and after a lot of thought, I decided to move the whole printable shebang to Etsy to allow for listing of individual kit pieces and the upcoming addition of wall art downloads.   Currently, all Deluxe Party Kits are moved to Etsy, and the Mini Party Kits (and NEW kits) will be following soon.

Surf's Up Deluxe Party Kit


For now, you can still find links to individual parties using the dropdown “Printable Shop” tab, but look for a new tab in the next few weeks as I continue to update the entire shopping area.

I can’t wait to show off the entire redesigned area!

Thanks for stopping by,

Quick Teacher Appreciation Candy Jar Gift

With a family full of teachers, I know how important it is to show appreciation for all they do every day.  I’m a big fan of giving consumable gifts, since no storage is needed.  To go along with a container of favorite candy or other treat, I created some printable candy labels, along with a tag and card, to show a teacher some appreciation this year.

Teacher Appreciation Candy Labels and Gift Tag--Free Printable from Carla Schauer Designs

Use a 3/4″ circle punch for circles that fit Hershey Kisses, as I did here, or a 1″ punch for larger candies.  A simple glue dot or double sided tape will attach the circles to the candy.  I used a small, wide mouth Ball jar as my container, but you could use whatever you have handy.

teacher apprec circles free

I added a circle of red cardstock to fit the lid of my jar, and a yellow dotted ribbon to match the printable tag and candy labels threaded through the hole-punched tag and tied in a pretty bow.

teacher apprec card free_web

Our school gives students an idea of a small, consumable gift to bring to class each day during Teacher Appreciation Week.  One day may be a single flower, so the teacher has a bouquet for the classroom all week, another day may be a handwritten note of gratitude.  I know the teachers in my family love to get a note of thanks from a student, so I added a mini-card to the printable sheet so your child can add a note as well.

Download the free Teacher Appreciation Candy Jar Gift printables by clicking the image below.

Free teacher appreciation candy jar gift printable from Carla Schauer DesignsThanks for stopping by!  Be sure to check out the rest of the Craft Lightning Teacher Appreciation series hosted by The Country Chic Cottage and 30 Minute Crafts, and show those fantastic teachers some love.

Until next time…

Spring Button Flower Topiaries

Button flower topiaries are a fun splash of spring color, especially since winter seems to be never-ending this year.  Add a trio to a curio cabinet or shelf display, or tuck a single topiary under a glass dome for an unexpected bright spot on a side table.  Coordinate button flowers with your decor, or use a mishmash of spring colors like I did here.

Button and Felt Flower Topiaries from Carla Schauer Designs


  • 3 Paper Mache’ Flowerpots (2 small, one medium)
  • Yellow acrylic and glitter paints (DecoArt)
  • 1″ Paintbrush
  • 22 gauge craft wire
  • buttons (various shapes, colors, and sizes)
  • button shank remover (if necessary for chosen buttons)
  • needle nosed jewelry pliers
  • STYROFOAM brand foam balls, cut (diameter of pots)
  • felt flowers
  • Coordinating ribbon
  • Green surface material (like that used for models)
  • Beacon Fabri-Tac liquid adhesive


  1. Paint each flowerpot using yellow acrylic paint applying multiple coats as necessary. Finish with one coat of yellow glitter paint and let dry completely.   Cut foam balls in half, gluing one half in each painted flowerpot. (Steps a & b)  Spread glue over foam ball and press green model foliage into glue to secure (Step c).Paint paper mache flowerpots for topiaries with tutorial from Carla Schauer Designs
  2. Remove shanks from buttons if necessary.  Cut 8″ length of craft wire (or longer length if making larger topiaries).  Choose 3–4 buttons of various colors and sizes.  Thread one end of wire up through holes on buttons, bend wire in half using needle nose jewelry pliers, and thread back down through button holes from top.  Twist wire ends together under button “blossom” to add strength.   Glue felt flower to back of several blossoms if desired (I added them to large button flower topiary only).Make button topiary flowers with tutorial from Carla Schauer Designs
  3. Once all the flowers are finished, gently push stems into the foam ball one by one.  I used a small dab of glue to the ends of the twisted wire stems to secure.   Fill in remaining spaces, bending wire stems as necessary to create arrangement.  Repeat for other flowerpots.Add button flowers to topiary flowerpots, tutorial from Carla Schauer Designs
  4. To complete the button topiary, wrap each flowerpot with coordinating ribbon and glue into place.  Glue flower-shaped button over ends of ribbon to hide ribbon ends.

Button and Wire Flower Topiary from Carla Schauer Designs

Enjoy your spring button flower topiaries, and THINK SPRING!

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time…