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Guidelines for transforming your garage into a craft workshop

9 tips to turn your garage into a workshop

An artist working in a garage workshop.
If you have space in your garage that's unused, it could be a perfect spot
to convert it into a hobby or craft workshop that might even earn you money.

Is there a place more perfect for a craft workshop than a good ole' garage? It's already at the most convenient location imaginable. Close yet detached, it's fantastic for working in peace while having every convenience within reach. It already serves as storage for (almost) all your tools and supplies. Therefore, it's already half-ready to become a workshop. Most importantly, it doesn't require giving up livable space.

And, it gets even better! Transforming your garage into a craft workshop doesn't require nearly as much time and energy as it may seem at first glance. It's pretty easy to do, even if you full-on DIY it. So, let's see how you can turn your garage into an awesome space to pursue your fulfilling hobby.

#1 Plan out the layout

As with every remodeling project, a good plan is imperative for success. When transforming your garage into a craft workshop, you want the space to be flexible and adaptable. The thing is, while it will be your craft workshop, a garage is still a garage. So, you'll probably still use it as storage space for your craft and household items. Maybe even to park a car because, you know, it's a garage.

Therefore, planning the layout should be your priority, especially if you don't have a lot of space to work with. Therefore, grab that sketchbook, turn on that lightbulb above your head, and start drawing! It doesn't have to be perfect, of course. The most important thing is to create a tangible vision of the idea in your head. From there on out, everything will go much smoother.

A black pencil and a floor plan.
You don’t have to be an architect to plan the layout of your workshop.
A basic sketch is more than enough.

#2 Draft a budget

Once the idea is clear, it's time to see how much of it is viable. That is - unless you're working with unlimited funds. In that case – kudos! Otherwise, it would be best if you considered splitting the projects into a few smaller ones. In other words: set priorities. The best way to do this is to start with essentials. A bare minimum that is necessary for the functionality of your craft workshop. Everything beyond that, you can consider an upgrade and treat it as such. So, the worst-case scenario here will be an operational workshop. Not so bad, after all!

#3 Clean out your garage

With the first two steps out of the way, it's time to get physical. Mostly with brooms, mops, and other cleaning supplies. This will be the most tedious part of the work and the least fun one. Nevertheless, you shouldn't skip it.

Before you start transforming your garage into a craft workshop, you need to free up the space. The project will take a lot of back-and-forths, so you should clean and clear out your garage. It's a fantastic idea to declutter the space first, as this will give you more room for maneuvering and storage. And, at the same time, you'll get rid of any unnecessary belongings. Two birds, one stone!

#4 Step on it!

We don't pay too much attention to flooring until we have to clean it. Regardless of your hobby, there will likely be a lot of mess once you fully commit. Your best bet here is to go for convenience. You want something easy to install and even easier to clean. Fortunately, there are tons of options out there. Here are a few:

Rubber or PVC roll-out mats – super-easy to install on concrete floors without any preparation;

Plastic or rubber tiles – same as above, except, instead of rolling them out, you piece them together like a puzzle;

Epoxy – requires a bit more work but is durable and long-lasting. Also, it can look amazing with just a bit of creativity.

#5 Choose the right workbench

Now, we come to the bread and butter of your workshop. This is an essential piece of equipment. Therefore, quality is crucial. Whether you chose to buy a pre-made workbench or build one, you want it to be:

  • Sturdy, so it can withstand everything you'll put it through; 
  • Stable, so that no mishap can befall you, and; 
  • Durable, so you can keep using it for years to come. 

All of the above points apply, even if you're building a fold-down workbench to preserve space.

#6 Choose the right way to store your tools

Next in line - tool storage. To ensure a stable and unhindered workflow, you want your accessories and power tools within reach at all times. However, this equipment requires special care. So, you also want them to be safely stored when you're not using them. Here, you also have several options:

  • A tool chest is always a popular option. It's sturdy and practical, and it comes in wheeled variants; 
  • Pegboards are super handy and cheap. A few holes in the wall, and you're good to go. 
  • As an alternative, you can buy (or make) modular shelves to fit your specific needs. 
A collection of neatly organized tools.
How often you have spent inordinate amounts of time looking for a particular
tool? The solution is to organize your tools and find them by looking at them.

#7 Power + cable management (ugh...)

Yes, yes, we know. There isn't a person in the world who loves cable management. Alas, your workshop must work as intended. But, first things first.

If your hobby involves using powered tools, it's imperative to make your workplace safe. To achieve this, you should strategically place the outlets. Good rules to follow are:

  • Easy access, without fiddling around; 
  • Place enough outlets - when you think you have enough, add a few more; 
  • Place outlets so there's no possibility of tangling cords or, worse, tripping over them. 

The last point brings us back to the start of tip #6. Tripping over cables can lead to injury or damage. Therefore, you should always ensure cables are out of the way. Nail them to the wall, place them under the floor, run them through the wall (ideal), just make sure they're not all over the place. You'll save yourself a lot of hassle by spending a few hours organizing cables.

A word of warning: If you're not 100% sure how to do something, consult professionals. A good electrician can be a lifesaver during this step. Quite literally, at that.

#8 Let there be light!

Brace yourself; transforming your garage into a craft workshop is almost done! Lighting should be next on your list of priorities. For work, especially with a lot of small detail like miniature painting, you'll need a bright light source. Now, you might think this is simple. Install a track light, screw in some bulbs, and that's it, right? Well – no. For best effect, you want something that simulates natural sunlight. In this regard, nothing beats fluorescent bulbs. They emit the so-called soft light that doesn't cast shadows and, therefore, doesn't obstruct details of your craft. Additionally, they're economical and long-lasting.

A fluorescent light bulb in the dark.
Fluorescent bulbs are one of the best choices for lighting your workspace.
They come in different shapes and sizes and are economical to use.

#9 Stay comfy and healthy in your workshop

Last but not least: the HVAC system is an excellent addition to any craft workshop. Especially if you're into a hobby that involves a lot of dust, like woodworking, or dangerous fumes, like spray painting. These, and similar hobbies are awesome and oh-so-satisfying. However, you can't rely on natural HVAC (keeping the garage door open). Furthermore, you probably don't want to give up your hobby during winter. After all, when it's cold outside, the best place to be is your cozy craft workshop. So, consider installing a sound HVAC system, so you can enjoy your hobby without jeopardizing your health.

Final words

As mentioned above, hobbies are one way of escaping the harsh reality. But, they are so much more than that. They are thrilling and fulfilling. They boost mental health, creativity, and productivity and simultaneously keep the stress away. And, who knows – maybe one day, your hobby will grow up into a full-on business. So, whether you're into paper mache, painting, or welding, transforming your garage into a craft workshop is just the thing you need to thrive in these daring times.

Photos used: by Pixabay and Pexels

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