SYW109 – Dream Craft Spaces with Elisa Lessard

by | Mar 22, 2021 | Podcast | 0 comments

Elisa Lessard, also know as Scrappy Wife, is a champion for DIY projects and budget finds for a creative workspace that’s inspiring and functional. In this episode we dive in to some of her surprising solutions, ongoing challenges, and the stories behind her Pinterest-worthy craft room. After you hear our high energy conversation I’m certain you will be itching to overhaul your space.

Discussion Prompt

Leave a comment below sharing your response to this week’s question.

What is one idea from Elisa’s craft space that you would like to try?

Links Mentioned

Elisa Lessard 0:00

It's not just about having things in the right place, but do they inspire you in the way that they're organized?

Jennifer Wilson 0:08

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is Episode 109. In this episode, I'm joined by Elisa Lessard, also known as Scrappy Wife to chat about her incredible creative space, and the clever storage solutions that keep it tidy and inspiring. As you listen to this episode, I want you to think about which storage solutions you might want to try in your own space. Then head over to to leave a comment sharing your response. Here is my conversation with Elisa.

Jennifer Wilson 1:01

Welcome to the podcast.

Elisa Lessard 1:02

Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

Jennifer Wilson 1:04

Me too. I am so glad for this conversation. This organization series has been so fun. And I think you're going to have some really interesting tips today. But can you share a little bit about yourself with our audience so they can get to know you if they don't already?

Elisa Lessard 1:22

Sure. I am originally from Texas. So you'll probably hear some y'alls, jump in here. But now I live in Northern Virginia, my husband is in the military, and so we are up in the Washington DC area. We've been married for 12 years now. And we have three kids, a 10 year old daughter and twin sons that are about to turn seven. So it's busy around here. We're still doing virtual school. And it's been a little bit crazy. But yeah, that's where we're at. I am a stay at home mom, but I run my own YouTube channel, as a YouTube creator. I used to be an elementary school music teacher before I stayed home with my kiddos. And now that they are getting older, there's a little more freedom to kind of explore some of my creative endeavors, which I'm really enjoying.

Jennifer Wilson 2:15

Oh, for sure. Well, and I actually grew up in Texas and lived in Washington, DC. So we have some geographic connections there.

Elisa Lessard 2:23

Nice. Nice, very cool.

Jennifer Wilson 2:26

All right, what is one thing that's exciting you right now in memory keeping?

Elisa Lessard 2:31

I am super excited today, because I'm getting a delivery from today, and I'm pretty pumped because I ordered a Gelli Plate for the first time. And I cannot wait to play with it. I've always wanted one. And I really enjoy art journaling as part of my creative things that I like to do. And so I'm super excited to try a Gelli Plate, which I've never done before. So that's coming today, and I'm pretty pumped about it. And then I'm really getting a lot of enjoyment, I have a kind of new routine where I do creative journaling in the morning. So I got a beautiful notebook from Archer and Olive. And then every morning I spend some time with just some basic supplies, stickers and fun pens, and write down some gratitude and intentions for the day and spend about 10 to 15 minutes, just getting creative in that way. And it has been super enjoyable. I'm really, really loving that.

Jennifer Wilson 3:30

You know, honestly, both of those have been mentioned before. And I say that in a good way. Because everyone who tries a Gelli Plate loves it. Either they're excited to try it or they they're sharing that they just tried it and now they can't get enough. And they're just loving just the creative process. I've actually never tried it. And now I really want to.

Elisa Lessard 3:51

I cannot wait. So I've been watching all the YouTube videos to figure out what I want to do. And I'm sure my, my craftroom will soon be covered in like all the papers because that's what I've heard the same thing like once you try it, then you want to make 10,000 different prints. So I'm pretty pumped about it. So I think it's gonna be exciting and it's snowing here today. So I think I will get a chance to have some time in my craft room which will be exciting.

Jennifer Wilson 4:19

Very nice. And then on the same note, on the stickery journaling, I think we all need that sense of play and experimentation and fun. And also that kind of continued deeper connection with ourselves as we weather storms both you know, abstract and literal these days as well. So...

Elisa Lessard 4:38

Oh yeah, yeah. And I love how easy it is. So I'm super inspired by Amy Tangerine and her memory camp, memory keeping she does in her planner. And it's it's stickers and pens and easy things. And a lot of times we make, we make some of our crafty endeavors really hard or they become really hard and in depth. And I like being able to just do a quick little project and connect with some fun elements and kind of set my intentions for the day, I am loving, loving the new practice.

Jennifer Wilson 5:05

100% I love that so much. All right, so kind of on the flip side of that, we love to share stories that are on our memory keeping Bucket List. So these are sometimes bigger, deeper stories, sometimes they feel a little intimidating are sometimes they're just, they're just so meaningful, we haven't got to them because they feel like we have to do them justice. So what is one story on your memory keeping Bucket List?

Elisa Lessard 5:30

So my word of the year this year is embrace. And part of that is just embracing who I am. Trying to be a little bit more authentic. And what has come out of that so far is I've just started a project that's kind of been on my mind for a while. And it's, I call it this is me, and it's just a traveler's notebook project. But I am doing a selfie, which I don't have a lot of pictures of myself. So being a mom, of course, we have pictures of our kids and our families and all of their activities. So not a lot of pictures of myself. So I am kind of jumping in or like getting into this idea of documenting myself. And in that I'm journaling some deeper questions along with those selfies. And the idea being I want it to be a snapshot of who I am so that my kids can have that someday. So I know, there's you know, there's zero chance they're going to keep every scrapbook, or every Bible journal, or everything that I create, but they're in my head there are some projects that I do hope they keep and this one will be a small one. And I really want it to be below, that are diving deeper, below the surface. Not just this is what we're doing, this is how you know things are, but this is what I'm feeling, and this is how I got here, and this is what I've learned. So it's been on my Bucket List. I've just started it this year, and I'm enjoying it so far. It's it is intimidating. So I'm just thinking of my kids who are young now. But you know, I would love to have something like that from my parents of, you know, what was it like when I was a kid? What were you feeling? how, you know, what were the difficulties, what were the successes, that kind of thing. So I'm excited about the project, but it is intimidating. So I'm really hoping I can stick with it. And really be honest in the journaling about who I am in this moment.

Jennifer Wilson 7:31

Well, I think the the reward of it and the deeper meaning behind it, I think is what will keep you going and help you move past some of that intimidation. Because this is such a powerful way to look at kind of all about me scrapbooking, whether you are maybe newer to it like you are or someone who maybe is even quite seasoned in it. But the idea that that are our legacy is not necessarily our entire library. And there are some projects that we do want to really put our hearts into, because we believe that that will be the one of the treasures that are saved.

Elisa Lessard 8:05

Yeah. And I get people that ask me all the time, what do you do with all your projects, like if you're making all of this mass amount. And you know, I talked about letting go of some projects like and it can be hard because you can be attached. But I also talked about really identifying the ones that mean more to you that those are the ones that you are going to keep. And it can't possibly be all of the things just like when my kids bring home art, I cannot save every piece of art, I save a lot of them, and I take pictures of them, but I cannot save every piece. So we talk about the meaning behind what they did the enjoyment they got out of it. And what are, where do we see this art in the future? You know, the, if it's just one random scribble on a paper, then maybe they don't see it hanging on the refrigerator forever. But if it's a if it's a project they've spent a lot of time on and they're really invested in then yes, we keep it around longer. So I think it's important as we talk to our kids about those things that we kind of think through those things too. And it can be helpful if you're identifying that at the beginning of a project.

Jennifer Wilson 9:07

That was very well said, thank you. So today's topic. As you know, this continued topic in our series is organization. And our members mentioned you again and again as someone that they wanted to hear on the podcast because of your the organization content that you've been creating on YouTube, on your blog, and Instagram. And I am so excited to dive in here. So we have kind of a couple quickfire questions to just kind of icebreak the topic. So can you tell us where you create within your home and have you always been in the space?

Elisa Lessard 9:42

Sure, I create in what we call our guest bedroom. It's now pretty much my craft space but it does still have a pullout couch so it still functions as a guest room. It's one of the extra rooms. I have twin sons that are still currently bunking together so for the time being we have this extra room that I can use. I haven't always been in this room, it's been two and a half years or so, my husband and I used to have both of our desks in our basement area when our kids were really little, because it worked out well to have a play area for them. And then the baby gates sectioned off and then have both of our desks against the wall so that we could do things but also be right where the kids were, when they, you know, certainly couldn't play by themselves. So I've, I've definitely evolved, it's I, I've been in a lot of different spaces. So as a newly married couple, I did have a tiny little scrapbook room when we first got married and our first townhouse, and then we had a baby. So that promptly turned into the nursery, and my scrapbook, my scrapbook room at that time moved into literally a walk in closet in the basement. And I like to describe it as not a Texas sized walk in closet, like this was a tiny, like, tiny pantry. And my husband and I both had our desks in there, and it was so small, but still so functional, like it was still a space that inspired me. And that's kind of what I think about whenever I think of any craft space that I've had, whether it be you know, in a dining room in our first apartment, or now in my craft room, that I get to have all to myself, I just really want the space to inspire me when I walk in.

Jennifer Wilson 11:21

Oh, 100%. I can't wait to hear more about kind of some of your smaller space ideas, too. And I think it's so cool that you've been so kind of flexible, and it's not like sometimes it's always by choice. You know, our lives often dictate how our craft spaces and craft corners fit into that too. That if you have strategies in place, you can adapt.

Elisa Lessard 11:44

Yes, exactly. So I mean, that's, it's a hobby for most of us. And so it has to be adaptable. And I feel like if you get stuck in one place, it can be it can feel defeated. Like if I when I had lost my scrapbook room, it could have been like, well, I guess that hobbies done, but, but I wasn't ready for it to be done. So it was time to adapt and move into a closet and make it work for where life was.

Jennifer Wilson 12:07

Oh, I love that perfect perspective there. So kind with that said, what is your number one rule when it comes to organization?

Elisa Lessard 12:14

Okay, so I had some trouble thinking of this one, for sure. Because I have a lot of rules to organization. So I came up with two, so I couldn't I couldn't narrow it down. So the first one is what I said earlier about, I need my space to inspire me. And that continues to be the organization part. Like it's not just about having things in the right place. But do they inspire you in the way that they're organized? So for me, that means a lot of things out, I like to see things I like to see my supplies. And then the other biggest rule that I have is everything has to have a place. And so I call that the like containment rule, there has to be a container for every supply because if it has to be the appropriate size container. So finding the right way to store things, the right way to contain your supplies just makes your space all the more functional. And it really really goes a long way to serving your creativity.

Jennifer Wilson 13:19

Hmm, those are great rules, I think. Yeah, I can't wait to keep this conversation going because I yeah, I'm just feeling so good. I'm having a brain fart. Those are terrific rules. Okay, now what is your absolute favorite storage solution that you couldn't live without?

Elisa Lessard 13:39

All right, it's got to be clear storage. So I love, love, love, love clear storage. And my favorites would be some clear acrylic drawers. I'm like looking at them right now in my craft room sitting right in front of me and they hold like my prized paper pieces that I love using and I love seeing them. And then I have clear bins that I use for my stamp storage that I am loving. And then I have clear pocket folders that I use for paper storage to keep kits and things like that together and they're probably my biggest find of 2020, of the past year were these clear pocket folders that I just could not live without. But really when I, when it boils down to it, it's it's clear storage because like I said I love seeing my supplies. I love being inspired by the colors. You know not all supplies are inspiring, you know your average glue gun, not the most inspiring thing. So that stuff it can be stored away but I want to see all my beautiful acrylic paints and I want to see all of the pretty paper pieces that I've collected. I want to I want to have it out so when I walk in, I can see it. So the clear storage has been a big deal for me.

Jennifer Wilson 14:51

Unless you're nine years old and then my daughter is totally inspired by that glue gun because she thinks of all the possibilities of things she can glue together.

Elisa Lessard 14:58

Well, then once you add the glitter glue sticks that you can get. I mean, it is pretty exciting once you venture into that area. But see, I don't have a, mine's not a pretty one. It's like the old school. It's one of the ones I feel like that's the craft supply we're least likely to replace. So I feel like I've had my glue gun forever. So it just has never stopped functioning. So just, you know, it's trucking along.

Jennifer Wilson 15:21

Yeah, for sure. I have like an old school high temp not, you know, totally not safe.

Elisa Lessard 15:28

And there are some beautiful ones that I've had on my wish list for a while out there that are actually very pleasing to look at just out in the open. But I'd like it's, yeah, one of those craft supplies I'm much less likely to replace.

Jennifer Wilson 15:40

All right, so what is the one category of supply you don't yet have organized?

Elisa Lessard 15:44

Okay, this was another hard one for me, because I, I am the Type A, hyper organized person. So I do have most things organized. But the one that came to mind was my vinyl storage. And I say that because I have an organization solution, I'm using the bag holders from IKEA that you see all over Pinterest that kind of go up on the wall and organize your vinyl, but it's not the solution I want, if that makes sense.

Jennifer Wilson 16:13


Elisa Lessard 16:14

That is the one that I'm wanting to change. It's not, it's functional for me, but it's not the visual that I want to have with my vinyl rolls storage. So I have an idea in my head, I know what I want to do. But it's a matter of kind of implementing it and building something new, that'll be a little more slim for my space, because that's the deal, I have, you know, a finite amount of space and a finite amount of wall space. And I feel like I can make a better storage solution than what I have. So that's one that I would say I just don't have nailed down yet. It's in process. It's not chaos, for sure. But it's just it's not there all the way.

Jennifer Wilson 16:56

Sure. And you mentioned before that you want to have an appropriate size container. But there's kind of a balance there. Because sometimes it means kind of narrowing your stash to the size of container you have. And sometimes it means adjusting the size or shape of the container so that it fits the things that you have. There's kind of like an ebb and flow there too.

Elisa Lessard 17:15

For sure. And I'll be honest, vinyl is something that I'm getting more into. And so that's certainly something that's growing. And I definitely preach, you know, contain it so that you know when you have enough. So that's how my stamp storage is, I know that I'm reaching the peak of my stamp storage, and so then a destash will have to have to happen. Or if you've decided that no, you really have to, you really want some more of that, which is the case with vinyl for me, then I've got to come up with a better storage solution. Because I just refuse to start tucking roles in all the nooks and crannies in my space, which is on the verge of happening right now.

Jennifer Wilson 17:53

Because that's such an important point, though, is to think about kind of what is your short term future for this product? Are you increasing or decreasing the amount that you have, as you're identifying storage solutions, because just because it fits now, doesn't mean it's gonna fit in six months. The best example I have is that I was looking at some ink pad storage solutions. And I'm like, okay, I'm in an acquisition stage, trying to build up my collection of Distress Oxides. And I'm like, I'm not gonna buy the one that holds like 30 because I'm gonna end up with 60 you know.

Elisa Lessard 18:24

Right. Yeah, you like it's room to grow. So it's really important, it's important to take stock of what are you doing right now, so will I always need a lot of vinyl storage. I don't know if a year from now, I might not be as into that. So I might be able to, you know, downsize that but I'm, I'm the same way I if it's something I'm interested in, then I'm gonna plan for growing. And I did the same exact thing with my ink pads because I feel like we're all in the process of constantly acquiring, especially Distress Oxide colors. Gotta have it all kind of mentality. But yeah, you want to plan for where you're going.

Jennifer Wilson 19:01

For sure. All right. Okay, so if anyone has seen any photos of your space, it's impossible not to notice you have this giant pegboard wall. And so it's not only gorgeous but totally functional in that I can tell that fits in with your you know, your rules. You want your space to inspire you. So I want you to I want you to tell us all about this. What do you store there? What problems does this solution solve?

Elisa Lessard 19:24

I love my pegboard. So it was the first big element we put in this room. So I remember we moved my desk up to the guest bedroom what was in the guest bedroom on a New Year's Eve like on a whim. My husband and I were like, hey, well, maybe you can start crafting up here and have a little more space from the kids. And then that next week, I drew out what I thought I wanted my pegboard to look like and it is just it's one of my favorite elements for sure. And it's actually just made with things we had in our garage, which is crazy. So it's like old fence posts make the border. And we actually had some extra pegboard from a project and then I did decoupaging on it with tissue paper and then bought the really pretty Jane Davenport rub on, that is the girl that's on my pegboard. But it is super functional. So I put probably some of my prettiest supplies that's kind of one of my rules. So I have all of my acrylic paint, which works out because I use acrylic paint a lot in my crafting. And so I line it up rainbow order is always the way to go. For sure. And it's supplies that I do use, I just love it. It's really functional, and visually impactful. So I remember when we first put it in, it's like walking past the room, I could not help but look in, like every time like just walking down the hallway. Like let me peek in and see my pretty pegboard. So it's it's really functional for me. I'd say the only challenge that I have with it, it stores a lot, and it's really large. It's pretty large, it's probably I don't know, it's probably about five feet by five feet big. And so when I'm setting it up, or when I'm rearranging it, there's almost so many options of ways to organize things that it can be overwhelming. So I just recently, around the New Year's I always like to change things up when it's a new year. And so I wanted to rearrange some things in my pegboard. And it took me probably two to three hours, just I would take everything off and put it on and wait, no, that doesn't work and then switch it around. But once you find that something that works well for you, then it's great. So I do have to climb on top of my desk to get things at the top.

Jennifer Wilson 21:49

That's what I was wondering, about the top.

Elisa Lessard 21:52

I mean, I'm pretty tall. So I'm six feet tall, so I can reach pretty high. But if I'm, I'm like looking at it now my Dylusions Paints are up at the top and I don't use them very often. But just last week, I decided to pull them out for an art journal project and I did have to climb on top of my desk to get them. So that you know, maybe that is a little bit of a drawback. But otherwise I could reach everything and see everything and it's yeah, it is really inspiring just to for me to look at. And so much so that I decided to make like a matching one like a little smaller matching one. That I'm now using, it was holding all of my Distress Oxide Sprays but my spray collection is growing so that had to move and now it's my smaller pegboard, that kind of matches, is holding some tag ring projects and mini albums that I've been working on.

Jennifer Wilson 22:43

Oh, that's so fun. Well and you raise a really important point about whatever storage you choose if you are going kind of vertical up the wall to take into account your height and accessibility. And you know, whether you're going to need a step stool to climb on your desk, like I have to climb on the kitchen counter just to get to the top shelf because I'm only five four. So you know that would be a concern for me and trying to make sure I'm, I can, storage is truly functional for my space and myself.

Elisa Lessard 23:11

So right and you're you're gonna want to work from, so you're going to work, want to plan from your command center, which would be your workspace, your desk, or whether you're standing or sitting or whatever. And so most used supplies are closest and at reach for me. And so yeah, the things that are higher up that I you know, would have to take some more effort, those are not things that I'm reaching for every day. And that's a rule that I follow in my craft room all over the place. So I have a closet that I've changed out to a filming area and the things that are at the top of the closet, most of them are keepsakes. Things that I rarely reach for, maybe once a year if that and same thing with my bookshelves, if it's up higher or down at the bottom, then those are things that I'm not reaching for. But everything that's on eye level, or easily accessible, those are the things I'm reaching for and using more often.

Jennifer Wilson 24:01

Makes sense. Okay, so that's this is just one example of how you use vertical space so well in your room. What other tips you have to help maximize your space and especially to make use of even a smaller space?

Elisa Lessard 24:16

Vertical, vertical, vertical is so important, like making sure you're using your wall space. And I think it can even be used if you're sharing a space. I know so many crafters that are sharing their space. They're either it's a home office/craft space, or maybe they're in their dining room and they've kind of reserved one wall of their dining room and they're a little bit more reserved about using the wall space because it's out there and people can see it but if it's organized, it's going to be beautiful. And so I I say use your wall space as much as you possibly can. And then I think if you're finding the appropriate containers, you can actually use your space a lot more efficiently. So, stacking containers, making sure that the containers you're using this is like getting into like minute details. But I really like containers that have straight lines like not curved bottoms, not curved tops like that are maximizing every little bit of space that you can use. So I'm really into the rectangular box looking things that are going to use every little bit of space. So making sure you're using your space as as much as you possibly can. And for me, and my craft room that looks like so my desk, I like to call it a Franken-desk, because it's just pieces of desks, like pushed together that we had in our house. And so I have like hidden parts that are just pockets of space behind the desk and that and I store things there, you can't see it. So that's where I store some of my less visual things, visually inspiring things, but things I need for photographs and, and things like that I try to maximize every single nook and cranny to make sure it's functioning well for me.

Jennifer Wilson 26:03

Oh, I love that for sure. And that point about rounded containers, because, you know, you mentioned you know, clear acrylic type things and I was browsing Amazon the other day, and I'm like, there are so many that have rounded corners. And I'm like, that's gonna end up frustrating me, particularly if I try to put stamps in it or other, you know, if I put rectangular things in a round box, you know, you're gonna be wasting so much of that edge space. And so it's important to kind of, you know, mentally think through how your supplies are going to fit in this container that you're you're looking at.

Elisa Lessard 26:32

Right and you're losing, you're losing shelf space, and then supplies fall over. Like if you're, you know, if you're gonna stack a bunch of stamps, or put, you know, put all your acrylic paints in one thing you don't want them rolling around, because again, that will that'll waste time when you're ready to sit down and craft. You want it to be, you want to be able to pull something out and see what's in there and not have to dig. So, yeah, I'm a big fan of as rectangular as possible.

Jennifer Wilson 26:59

All right, so beyond kind of your Franken-desk, I noticed you also have a Raskog cart, you have Alex drawers, or you know, I don't know if they're actually Alex drawers or not, even a library card catalog. I'm curious kind of what you've put in each of these. Because these are more, you know, at least the drawers in the card catalog, those are more closed storage, whereas the cart is open, how you make decisions.

Elisa Lessard 27:21

So my cart, I actually have three different carts in my room, but my newest one is functioning right now as a planner cart. And it's something, I would call that cart, one that evolves. So I am really enjoying planning right now, decorative planning and memory planning. And so I like having all my planner supplies together. And it's really helpful to be able to move them right over to my desk. So it's not something I do every day. So I don't need it right on my desk. But I like having all of those supplies together. So I'm a big fan of grouping projects together or when you're working in certain I don't know certain categories, I guess. So all my mixed media is together that is what is in my Alex doors that are part of my Franken-desk that I've put together. So I keep all my mixed media supplies together, especially the ones that aren't as pretty but that you really need for mixed media. Those are the that's what's in the closed drawers in my library catalog has got to be it's one of my favorite thrift store finds ever. And I think I feel like every crafter is on the lookout for one of those and they're so expensive so often. So I picked that up at, in Lucketts Virginia where there's a ton of vintage stores and thrift stores. And I found it and I feel like it was it was just over $100 which I thought was a pretty good deal. And so it is fantastic because you talk about finding the right container for the right thing. We have so many small pieces as crafters, so many like little bits and pieces of random things. So I have you know some different letters in there I have ribbon, fabric bits, I keep some of my themed ephemera in there like for winter or fall, things like that. It's it holds all what I call like my bits and bobs, it's filled with all kinds of random things that don't necessarily need a big box of their own and don't necessarily fit into another larger category. So it it has been super functional it has changed I you know will reorganize that I just did it in the fall because I'm a big fan of Felicity Jane supplies. But I don't use I don't use a lot of their dimensional stuff as much and I had all my Felicity Jane in a different spot. And anyway, I felt like I needed to reorganize, to remind myself to use some of the other more specialty pieces that I was getting in that subscription kit. So I reorganized and put my Felicity Jane right on top so that I would be able to see it and be reminded of it. But yeah, I guess it's the closed storage that I have, I use functionally and that it's things that I am going to use, but I don't want to see. And then my Raskog cart is really a very functional project cart. So right now it's functioning as a planner cart, because that's something that I'm really passionate about. And then as my creativity kind of journey continues, I don't think it will always be a planner cart, I'm sure it will change. But I think that's one of the benefits of carts like that is that they can adapt.

Jennifer Wilson 30:33

Oh, yeah, very easily. And to make sure that the things that you're really using frequently are easily at hand and grouped together like that.

Elisa Lessard 30:42

Right, right, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 30:43

I also want to highlight one other point that you made about, you know, rearranging your supplies. And I think sometimes we can think that if something's no longer working, that, that we failed, or we're disorganized. And no, it's kind of like a natural evolution as, as you your interest change as the things that you own and end up disowning change. It's you know, we're always going to be kind of needing to shuffle things around to optimize the space.

Elisa Lessard 31:09

For real, your creativity isn't going to stay the same, because that's the nature of creativity. So I, you know, I used to be a 12 by 12, scrapbooker. And that's what I did. And now I don't do that anymore. And so I have, I don't have a need for those supplies, or I use them in a different way. And so it's okay to go through and change how your space is working for you. To, you know, and to let go supplies just because you loved it at one time doesn't mean you have to still keep it forever. So I've gone through lots of different phases. I did a wood burning phase, at some at one point where I was, you know, enjoying, like, sketching onto wood with the wood burning material and just changing it up. And now it's in that has passed. And so it's important to kind of continually take stock of what are you passionate about. You know, we talked about before, like, where are you going? Are you getting into stamping? Are you you know, imagining that you're going to start collecting more? Okay, well, then let's plan ahead for that before you're overwhelmed with supplies, if you can see that that's where your interests are headed, then make sure your organization is set for that before before you're overrun with product.

Jennifer Wilson 32:21

Yeah, so it has that home when something new does come into your world.

Elisa Lessard 32:25

Yeah, and it's one of the first things I think of especially when I'm acquiring like a larger tool. So when I was first going to get a cutting machine when I was first going to receive my Cricut in the mail, the first thing I thought about is where am I going to put it in how's it going to be functional because I want it to be usable. And I don't want to just stick it in a corner. I'm excited about the machine but before I bring it into my room, I tend to plan ahead before any larger supplies like that. And then when I'm going to have an influx of new supplies like I mentioned, I'm going to have a large order that's coming. I've already looked ahead and kind of planned where are these things going to go, before I'm overrun. I'm just staying on top of it.

Jennifer Wilson 33:08

Oh, I love that. All right, so talking to you, we have to talk about IKEA. I noticed that your crafters guide to IKEA video has more than three quarters of a million views which is so amazing.

Elisa Lessard 33:18

I know, that is crazy. And it's a, like that's it's crazy. That is crazy to me.

Jennifer Wilson 33:24

So why do you think crafters love IKEA so much and what is your number one favorite IKEA solution?

Elisa Lessard 33:30

Oh my gosh, it's hard to pick a number one IKEA solution. So I'm super lucky, I live about 10 minutes from an IKEA. So I feel like when we moved into this house I think I went to IKEA every day for two weeks straight.

Jennifer Wilson 33:43

Oh yeah.

Elisa Lessard 33:44

Like there's just so many solutions. I think what we love about IKEA, what crafters love about IKEA is that the pieces are really functional and a lot of them are designed for smaller spaces. So very few crafters have their own craft room and those of us that do are super lucky but most of us are fitting hobbies into other places and so their furniture is just scaled so well to fit into multiple places. It's really versatile and really affordable. Depending on you know what you're getting there. It's it's pretty good quality for what you're paying. I just love IKEA, it's hard to pick one solution. I mean I've I'm like sitting here I'm looking at my Billy bookcase which I have had for forever. I love my Billy bookcase I've been able to rearrange the shelves to add shelves. I've been able to customize it which I think is something else that we kind of like about IKEA is that you can really customize it's not a one size fits all. You're able to pick and choose, and put pieces together, and change pieces out. Paint them and as crafters I think we rarely just want to buy something and stick with it. We're gonna want to make it our own because that's, you know, our that's our mojo, I guess you'd say. We, we like to make things and we're creative and we want to make it our own. So, I mean I'm looking at my Billy bookcase I love it. It's I took off the backing and changed out and put those same wood slats that we had just left over in our garage as the backing for my Billy bookcase. So it looks a little more rustic, which I think is awesome. I guess it's, it's so hard to pick one. I think Alex drawers are some of the best drawers that you can get for a craft room. So they have them in three different sizes that I can think of and so kind of the slimmer size, the taller tower looking one and then the wider one. And it's it's the depth of those drawers that work so well for crafters. So we don't need deep drawers very often. Especially for me, I'm a paper crafter so I don't do a lot of sewing or fabric. And I know there are some things that might need deeper drawers. But when I had deep drawers or when I was working with big bins, things got lost way too often.

Jennifer Wilson 36:10


Elisa Lessard 36:10

And so I like shallow drawers. I like working in things, like if I have to have a big bin. Like I know this will be controversial. I know a lot of people love the Kallax units, those big cube units. And I think they're beautiful. Those bins are really hard for me personally. And so I have to have containers within those containers to make it work. If that makes sense.

Jennifer Wilson 36:34

Oh yeah, cause they're so deep.

Elisa Lessard 36:35

Oh, they're so deep. And I've gone and I've had them I've used them in craft spaces before and have rotated them out into, they work really well for kids spaces actually. So those deep bins work well for kids toys, but for my craft supplies, they were always getting lost. So the Alex drawers are I think by far the best thing any crafter could have as far as drawer storage in their craft room.

Jennifer Wilson 36:59

Yes, for sure. I okay, I have so much to say. One I used to live like five minutes from IKEA to when I lived in College Park and that was I basically treated the IKEA like my Target at the time.

Elisa Lessard 37:10


Jennifer Wilson 37:10

You know if you need something you just go to IKEA.

Elisa Lessard 37:14

And I got it's it's very convenient. I love it. So I mean a lot of people when they see I have a whole series of IKEA videos so when they see those videos, they're like, do they let you in when there's no one there? I'm like no, I but I can go right when it opens like it's not a trek for me. So I feel super happy.

Jennifer Wilson 37:30

Very cool. And then yes, kids,the kids stuff. I have like probably 10 Branas baskets and all my daughter's stuff has been in that and we've like cycled through it over the years. And you know, if a basket doesn't get opened for a while you realize, okay, maybe she's not playing with plastic horses anymore or whatever. And, but being able to just dump stuff in it, because that's you know, kids stuff is very dumpable. Makes so much sense.

Elisa Lessard 37:55

Well, yeah, and the lids versus no lids like kids, no lids. They don't need lids on stuff unless you're trying to keep it away from them. But the open bins are the way to go with this kid, with kids stuff. So they can easily clean up and there's no barrier to keep them from putting away their supply, or their toys, except for the fact that they're kids and they don't want to clean up.

Jennifer Wilson 38:15

Ever. Yes, for sure. And then I'm curious about your Billy bookshelf. I don't, did you happen to buy one when they were, they had the deeper version? Or do you have like the standard depth?

Elisa Lessard 38:25

I have, I have the, let's see. I feel like I had the slimmer version. Mine is old. So...

Jennifer Wilson 38:32

Because there was a certain period of time there that they made a version of the Billy that was deep enough for like scrapbook albums.

Elisa Lessard 38:41

No, so mine's got to be I'm looking at it. Now I'm looking at my 12 by 12 paper sticking out ever so slightly. So I'm guessing mine is about 11 inches.

Jennifer Wilson 38:49

Yeah, that's the standard one. Yeah.

Elisa Lessard 38:51

That's probably the standard one. And I mean, this one has traveled with me this one was in my classroom when I taught. So it was it has gone through the paces, and it is holding up really well. So yeah, it's not the deeper one. It doesn't bother me there was one point where I thought I wanted to put doors on it. Which again is one of the things I love about IKEA. Like this bookcase is old, but I could go right now and buy doors that will fit this if I decided I wanted it covered or needed it in a different space. But it doesn't bother me because I don't have a lot of albums that are sticking out of it. So I do have some 12 by 12 paper storage that sticks out. But I put it at a height where I don't kick it or run into it. If that makes sense.

Jennifer Wilson 38:51

Yeah, yeah.

Elisa Lessard 38:51

It's at the eye height so I can see it. And it's it doesn't bother me.

Jennifer Wilson 39:25

Oh, that makes sense too. Yeah, we always need to make sure that we don't run into things. Some of my filming equipment is constantly being run into these days. So...

Elisa Lessard 39:51

Right yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 39:52

And then I want to make a note for our listeners on the Alex drawers and maybe by the time this episode comes out, which is you know, a month from when we're recording, that the Alex doors will be back in stock. But because of the pandemic and all of these, this organization that people have been doing, like especially the wide unit is completely sold out nationwide.

Elisa Lessard 40:12

Yes, it is crazy. It is crazy. So that started last spring. So I know, it's really frustrating at times to order from IKEA. So I've had people comment on my videos and say that, so I you know, if it is the perfect solution for you, though, it might be worth waiting. That's what I would say. And there are some different variations out there. So definitely, you know, do some research. So not everyone has access to IKEA or wants to order from IKEA. And there are some different variations. But I think it's a great place to look for inspiration. So if that's what you'd like, if you'd like to Alex drawers then start looking online for some white drawers that have similar depth.

Jennifer Wilson 40:51

Oh, yeah. And you know, because I was just looking at this, those are all sold out too now too.

Elisa Lessard 40:56


Jennifer Wilson 40:56

Oh, yeah, you can't buy anything like that anywhere, anywhere.

Elisa Lessard 41:01

You know, there was a big run on desks. So like, when virtual school was starting, all up near me, everyone was virtual, and I needed, my kids didn't have desks necessarily to sit at. And it was a it was a, you know, challenge to find them three white desks that were in stock. And IKEA was like, yeah, don't ask us. That people were like, yeah, we don't have, we're not going to have those for a while. So hopefully, everything will start, you know, catching up.

Jennifer Wilson 41:30

Yeah, I think so. And, and also, you know, a lot of this these conversations, this is, this is wisdom that you're gonna be able to take with you as you are planning and growing. And maybe your space is going to change but to think about, here's the options and, and do that mental brainstorming of how can I make my space even better, you know, as I can afford it and as as things evolve over time, so...

Elisa Lessard 41:52

Right, exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 41:53

All right, so I also noticed that you've launched an online course called Creating and Organizing Your Dream Craft Space. Which just seems...

Elisa Lessard 42:01

I have.

Jennifer Wilson 42:01

It's so fitting, especially with your pegboard, and everything is and your space is just so colorful. You mentioned rainbow order, but you have rainbows kind of throughout your room as well. And it's just so beautiful.

Elisa Lessard 42:14

I love, I have a thing for rainbows. So it's, I just had a friend that sent me a picture yesterday. Apparently Target has a new lightup rainbow wall decor piece. And so she saw it and she was like you need this for your craft room. I'm like, you're right, I probably do.

Jennifer Wilson 42:32

And so I noticed part of your course includes this destashing it's not just about acquiring more and more and more, we have to be practical about it. So why is destashing important? And maybe can you give us like one tiny tip from the course as a preview?

Elisa Lessard 42:47

Sure, destashing is kind of, I feel like it can feel like an abrasive word in the craft world because we love our supplies. And we don't want to let things go. And some of us are collectors of supplies. I know I have been at times, just because I think they're beautiful. And I don't always have a purpose for them when I buy them. But I think we're all working with a finite amount of space. So whether you have a large room or you are working with just a couple of craft carts, there's, there's only a certain amount of space that you're going to be able to take up with your craft supplies. And when that space becomes overwhelmed and disorganized, and there's just so much product in it that it is it's a lot. It's a lot to walk in and see. It's gonna really stifle your creativity, it's not gonna feel good, it might you know, it feels good to buy the things sometimes, but you're not actually going to get a chance to use the things if your space is overwhelmed. So destashing, I think is an important thing that we all have to focus on from time to time. And so the biggest thing I would say about destashing, my biggest tip is before, before you go in and destash, we kind of start the class with this, is make a list of what your hobbies are right now. Not what you want your hobbies to be, not what you were once into. But what are you passionate about in this moment? And then as you're going through, do those things pertain to those hobbies? So I think a lot of times we realize that, you know, maybe once we were into cardmaking, and now we don't, we don't like that, we're, we've changed. Now we're into art journaling. And so it's okay to let things go. And I think sometimes we have to give ourselves permission. So in the class, I give you a list of permissions of you know, it's okay to let things go and it can be hard and it you know, represents a hobby, but it was fun at the time or represents money. But if it's crammed into a nook in your craft room and you're never using it, then that money has already gone to waste. So it's a matter of being able to let things go and giving yourself permission. And once you do that, I think you'll find you'll really enjoy the supplies, you have a whole lot more.

Jennifer Wilson 45:06

100% Great, great wisdom. And we will include all the links to basically everything we've mentioned in this episode, which is a lot this time around in the show notes for this episode, but can you share where we can find you online and find the class and anything else you have new or exciting coming up?

Elisa Lessard 45:24

Sure. You can find me on Instagram pretty easily. My handle is @scrappywifeblog, and on there is a link to my YouTube channel.Which I'm on YouTube, you can find me and you can, I think you can just search Scrappy Wife or the Secret Life of a Scrappy Wife, which is the longer title. I also have a blog that's, needs a little more attention these days, but it's And I'll send you a link to get to the new course. And if it's okay with you, I'd like to offer a coupon code for anyone that's listening for that new course.

Jennifer Wilson 46:04

Oh, that'd be awesome.

Elisa Lessard 46:06

So yeah, it's we can do 20% off and if you just enter in Simple Scrapper, then that will get you that 20% off of the course. And I'd love to have you join us. It's a it's a fun course it's we have a fun Facebook group that's going on where we're cheering each other on and asking questions and posting some inspiration. When people kind of post their really specific spaces to me, then I tend to go and look for some inspiration rooms for them that I think will fit their style. It's we're having a really good time over there. So feel free to check it out.

Jennifer Wilson 46:40

Oh, sounds like it. Thank you so much.

Elisa Lessard 46:43

You're welcome.

Jennifer Wilson 46:43

This has been so delightful, Elisa and I yeah, I'm so glad we had you on the show.

Elisa Lessard 46:49

Thank you, Jennifer. It was a lot of fun.

Jennifer Wilson 46:51

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