For a kids' crafting area, consider using interlocking floor tiles to protect the flooring underneath and to provide fun and colorful decorating theme (figure A). Interlocking floor tiles come in various colors and install very easily simply by laying them in place and interlocking the adjoining edges. There are no base layers or adhesive necessary with this product. Place the tiles as desired, following a pattern of your own design. To custom-fit tiles around air vents or other permanent fixtures in the floor, use a utility knife to cut the tiles. Keep several extra tiles in storage so that if one is damaged it can be pulled up and replaced.
To help protect walls in a kids' room, a variety of fun and durable display surfaces can be employed. Do-it-yourself blackboards, magnet boards and cork boards not only provide a great space for showing off kids' crafts and activities, but they'll help prevent permanent damage to the wall surfaces. The panels can be removed easily later to return the space to its former use. Create simple chalkboard panels by painting pieces of sheet metal with chalkboard paint, available at home centers or craft stores. To create a magnet board, cut sheet metal to size and affix it to plywood using contact adhesive. Use tin snips to cut sheet metal. Whenever cutting sheet metal, be certain to wear work gloves as the metal edges are very sharp. Create a corkboard panel by attaching cork tiles to plywood using construction adhesive.For display panels made in this way, cover the rough or sharp edges using wood trim. Framing the panels in trim also provides a means for anchoring them to the walls. Anchor the panels to the wall with wood screws, making certain to secure them to the wall studs, not just the drywall.
A work and storage station can be created by mounting a stained, pre-cut piece of 3/4-inch plywood, with wood trim facing, on top prefabricated shelf units which work ideally for the base. The units can be fit with adjustable shelves for versatile storage. Assemble the shelving cabinets according to the manufacturer's instructions, secure it to the wall using the provided brackets, then mount the plywood top to the completed cabinets using plastic brackets and screws. For a work station that's to be used in a kids' room, be sure to attach the unit to the wall to avoid the possibility it could topple forward. For safety, cut off the corners of the work surface that face out into the room and sand the edges smooth before painting.