New Mexico woman turns shed into crafting sanctuary

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – Most people have probably heard of a man cave, but what about a ‘she shed?’ It’s a trend women from all over are picking up on and a Farmington woman helped pave the way.

Kelli Stradling used her creativity to revamp an ordinary back yard shed.

“It’s usually chaotic and loud and noisy,” Stradling told KRQE News 13, about her Farmington home.

Like most moms, Stradling struggles to find time and space for herself with three kids.

“I used to stay up really late like all night drawing and painting,” she explained.

Her passion is crafting.

“Sometimes creating my own version of a thing is cheaper than buying it,” Stradling said.

But her projects outgrew the space she had in her house. Then, she had an idea when she realized her back yard shed was only being used to store Christmas decorations.

“The shed came with the house when we moved in,” Stradling said.

The family’s shed had a good amount of space that was not being used.

The shed became her project. After three months of hard work and her husband’s help, Stradling’s ‘she shed,’ is finished.

“This is my creative happy space,” Stradling said, as she stepped inside.

Stradling’s 88 square foot ‘Craft Shack’ is fully stocked with a personal and purple touch.

She refurbished an old display cabinet to store materials. There are paint brushes, ribbon and a fully organized stockpile of crafts.

“It’s different and functional all at the same time,” she explained.

For anyone who enters, it’s easy to get inspired.

“I found this old desk at a yard sale,” she pointed to a freshly painted desk which now serves as a fully functional sewing table with storage.

The craft shack is a place Stradling can feel like a kid again.

“It’s my playground,” she said.

Now that this shed is complete, Stradling’s husband wants to build a shed of his own, but he’s got a different idea of what he wants his shed to look like.

“Video games. My son’s a big gamer so we can have our own little space out here,” Ian Stradling, Kelli’s husband, explained.

Ian did the heavy lifting for his wife’s shed project.

“We definitely learned some things along the way,” he said.

He installed an air conditioning unit and routed electricity into the shed.

“I’m a computer geek at heart,” he laughed. “I’ve had to learn a lot of new tricks and skills.”

Stradling blogged about her shed online, and discovered she’s part of a new phenomenon.

“There was a whole article on ‘she sheds,'” Stradling recalled.

Stradling’s project was featured online along with other ‘she sheds’ and backyard havens just for her.

“When I come out here, I’m happy,” Stradling explained.

What most people use for storage, Stradling sees as a canvas for endless possibilities.

“I would do this for a living if people wanted me to decorate their sheds hey,” she laughed.

Stradling said she completed the whole shed project with less than $500. She said she believes they can be even more efficient with her husband’s shed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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