Tips for setting up a fabric friend she shed for your sewing and craft room! It’s important to make sure that your shed space won’t damage your supplies.
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I’ve been putting a lot of thought into setting up a she shed for my sewing and craft supplies. Currently, my craft room is the dining room… we just skipped using it as a dining room. And while it’s working, I’d love to have more space to spread out.
Creating a Fabric-Friendly Craft Room She Shed
Think about how big you want to make your shed. Sheds aren’t cheap, but it’s worth upgrading to a slightly bigger size if you’re worried you’ll outgrow it in a year or two. It’s a LOT more expensive to upgrade completely later on.
Consider your hobbies. If you own large quilting machines then you want to make sure that your space will fit them and still give you space to turn around.
Think you might want to teach classes someday? Or hire an employee? Make sure it’s big enough.
You can measure your current space and guess how much more room you could use. MEASURE YOUR LONG ARM if you plan to add one to this space. They take up a lot of room.
Call a local electrician to get an idea for the cost of running electricity to your she shed. Electricity is a necessity. Consider that your sewing machine, Cricut, and glue gun all require an outlet. You’ll also need light to see on cloudy days.
Metal corrugated roofing is a nice touch if you love to hear the sound of rain pitter patter on the roof. It’s also a durable roofing option. Many standard sheds come with shingled roofs, however.
Make sure your shed has an angle roof for snow and rain to run off. If you’re buying a manufactured shed then it’ll be built for the weather, but if you plan to build your own shed then this is an important consideration.
You will likely want to add some windows and/or a skylight for natural light. It’s a lot easier to see with good lighting, and while you can install good lights, natural lighting is ALWAYS better. This is particularly true if you like to photograph your crafts.
Heat and Air Condition
Heat and air condition, as well as a ceiling fan, are all good to keep air circulating in the room. You want to make sure that your fabric and other supplies aren’t exposed to extreme heat or cold.
This is likely going to mean you need to run the heat or air condition non stop… not just when you’re using the room.
Heat and cooling doesn’t make much sense if you don’t have good insulation for your space. Lower your costs by making sure your she shed has the best insulation available.
This is a matter of preference, but hardwood or laminate floors will be a good bet for your sewing area. It’s very hard to find lost needles in carpet.
You could consider adding heating elements under the flooring to help keep the floor warm for bare feet. These are easier to install before installing flooring… and likely not worth it if you have to rip up floors to put them in. Here’s a tutorial on installing heating under your flooring.
To Loft or Not to Loft
It might be smart to buy a shed with a loft if it’s not a huge price difference, simply because you can use the space above for storage or for a guest room.
Just keep in mind that you likely won’t have a bathroom in your she shed so guests would still need to come into the house to use the toilet, brush their teeth, and shower.
What to Put UNDER the Shed
Avoid purchasing a shed without a floor. This isn’t just a storage space. It will effectively need to be an extension of your home. It needs to keep out pests and you need to be able to keep heat/cool air in.
You need to discuss what should go UNDER the shed with the company that you purchase the shed from. Each state and county has different rules about the base for a shed. I would avoid a wood shed base and stick with concrete or stone.
If you’re in a flood zone, you may need/want to raise the shed up.
Writing Off a She Shed on Your Taxes
We write off the dining room space for business use, seeing I use that space for my blog projects exclusively.
If you own a craft related business, you should talk to your accountant about if you can write off the cost of building the she shed, or at least the space you use, similar to how we write off the dining room square footage.
It’s a bit too complicated for me to cover, particularly because each state (or country) is different. But KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS for tax season. Worse case, you can’t deduct it and you wasted time keeping those receipts. That’s not a big deal.
Possible She Shed Options
While a shed would be the normal option, you actually have more choices than that and some may save you money.
One option is to buy a pre-made shed. You can buy them from local companies. In Lisbon Maryland we have a company, Myers Mini Barns, that offers quality sheds. Ask around in your area to find someone trustworthy to buy from! Usually these sheds don’t have drywall or insulation.
You can also consider finding a shed used if you have someone available to move the shed to your home. This might save money.
Make a Shed
You can consider making your own shed using a kit or building one yourself.
School Portable (or an office portable)
These portables come with wiring already installed and often have a bathroom as well. These may be the easiest option, particularly if they’re in good condition. If so, you can just do the decorative updates. You’ll need a plumber and electrician to have it all hooked up, of course. But at least the existing “stuff” is there.
A friend of mine mentioned that it’s just important to be aware of the roofing type for the portable because some portable roofs, once older, fall apart and are hard to replace.
Storage Container / Sea Container
This is the ultra durable option. They’re already insulated, but you’d need to add electric and plumbing, if desired.
You will need to do some work to improve the exterior, if having it look pretty is important to you (or your neighbors/county/HOA). The good news is that your sewing supplies will stand up to a disaster your house might not survive (haha).
Mobile Home or Camper
Updating or using an existing mobile home or camper might work for you.
Some people love updating an old school bus! This would definitely be a neat idea if you plan to teach a sewing class. I’m not sure how practical it would be to run electricity to it though.
Additions to our home would run around $100k+ in our area, at least from what I’ve seen. So this is certainly not the least expensive option, but it might be the most worthwhile.
While a shed might increase your property value, an addition will add square footage to your home and improve your home’s value. This will be worthwhile when it comes time to sell your home.
Just remember that the improvements may mean paying more in annual taxes as well.
Learn about selecting the correct sewing needle for your project.
Thinking about asking for a Cricut for Christmas? Show your husband this blog post about Cricut supplies.
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Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.