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The Podcast Host

DIY Podcast Studios: Cloffices, Pillow Forts, and More

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“Cloffice?” Yes. Ever since March of 2020, the closet to office conversion has been a home upgrade trend. This brought the portmanteau word, “cloffice.” You’ve probably read our post about making a silent home podcast studio, full of vital information to make your DIY podcast studio sound great. But what can you do to make it comfortable, inspiring, and fun?

If you don’t have a lot of room in your home, either your entire home becomes devoted to podcasting, or the space you use to make a podcast has to be small. I feel like I live the former, so I endorse the latter. Our workspaces are like bells for Pavlov’s dogs. They trigger how we feel about work, so when we only use that space for work, we’re more likely to be focused and productive. If finding time to work on your podcast is a problem too, this mindset can help. Let’s look at some ways to build a fortress for your podcast.

Before I go any further: some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that we earn a small commission if you buy something through them. This won’t add to your purchase price.

The Cloffice DIY Podcast Studio

You may have seen pictures of these on Pinterest or Instagram. Designers love the cloffice, because it’s a blank canvas. The walls are ripe for peel-and-stick wallpaper, shelves, and loads of cute little storage containers. Framed pictures and pendant lamps can turn an unloved space into a self-expression oasis. Most beautiful is the door or curtain you can open when it’s work time, and close when it’s not.

What makes a DIY podcast studio cloffice necessary, but different, is the need to block extraneous sound, and surfaces that don’t echo. You might want to leave some of those clothes in the closet while you’re recording.

Set Up Your Cloffice Podcast Studio

Those hard walls are going to reflect sound and reverberate. You can line the inside closet walls with acoustic foam panels. You can also put up tapestry hangers on the back wall of the closet, and line the back wall with a quilt or rug. Better yet, hang an extra-large padded memo board on the back wall, to hold your notes while reducing reverb.

Think about your desk. Measure the inside of your closet, to find out what will fit. Now is a good time to streamline your workspace, and determine the minimum amount of stuff you need. If your podcast setup is small and simple, like a laptop, mic, and maybe an interface or digital recorder, you might think you can use a shelf. Treat yourself to a small, stable desk. A wobbly little folding tray table or a shelf meant to hold socks might hold your gear, but is it comfortable to work on?

Electricity, is, unfortunately, necessary in your podcast studio, (though here are some tips for podcasting without it!) and you don’t want cord clutter. If you have grounded electrical outlets in your closet, bully for you, Ms. Kardashian, and where are you going to put all those clothes?

Seriously, let’s start with lighting. You can stick battery-powered LED “puck” lights to your closet walls with heavy-duty double-stick tape. GE’s UltraPro 7-Outlet 36362 surge protector has a 15-foot power cable, 2 USB ports, and three of the outlets are spaced for larger adapters. Plus, it has keyholes on the back for wall mounting, so you won’t have to worry about the cat stepping on the power switch.

Most of the cloffices making the rounds on Pinterest and Instagram have shelves for nifty knickknacks, clever storage containers, and pendant lamps. Just remember that hard things bounce sound, soft things don’t. If you need visual inspiration, use a padded memo board, or canvas wall art.

The Pillow & Blanket Fort Podcast Studio

If you’ve ever thrown a blanket over a couple of chairs and put some pillows inside it to make a cozy hiding space, you’ve made a blanket fort. The advantages of a DIY podcast studio in a blanket fort are obvious:

  • it’s cheap and simple
  • soft surroundings make you sound better
  • you feel like you’re having an adventure.

The disadvantages are less obvious. Better posture means better mic technique, so you have to make sure there’s enough headroom inside to be able to sit up properly and comfortably. You need something solid for your podcasting setup, and you need light.

Another issue is that pillow and blanket forts tend to be inviting. Other people who live in your home might decide to interrupt you because it doesn’t look like work.

cat bed podcast studio

How to Set Up A Blanket Fort Podcast Studio

Set up the interior, first. Get a small lap desk, bench, or stool and designate an area for your laptop, mic, and recorder. if you have a good microphone boom arm that you can bracket to one of your chairs, even better. You’ll want a surge protector to plug everything into. Make sure you can keep your pillows and blankets away from electrical outlets.

Light is important. The light from your laptop screen may be enough, but eye strain can put a damper on your workflow. Battery-operated fairy lights are fun. A camping lantern is something you can use not only here, but also for life outside of podcasting.

Set up a couple of chairs around your work area, and make sure there’s enough room to keep your legs from falling asleep. Then, cover everything with a duvet or a blanket. If you weigh down the edges of the blanket with a couple of books, it’ll stabilize your podcast studio roof.

Ella Watts, a producer for the BBC, shared a photo of one of her blanket fort recording studios with us.

Ella Watts' blanket fort podcast studio
How could you not make magic in a DIY podcast studio like this?

The Taller Blanket Fort

If you feel like spending some money, there’s also The Flex Tee Stand. This is, basically, a collapsible mic stand with a metal frame to attach to the top. If you already have, or buy, acoustic blankets, then you can set up a table and chair for your podcast studio recording setup in a corner, and set up the Flex Tee Stand so the blankets surround your recording setup.

You could also probably use a big duvet for this. If you can’t sit on the floor (which happens to the best of us) a tee stand or a couple of rigged-up mic-stands, could be useful.

Making Your Podcast Studio By Any Means Necessary

It’s hard to feel confident about making a podcast when your time and budget are limited. But, if you can build a boundary around your podcast workspace, it’s easier. Bonus points if the space is cozy and attractive. Podcasters are creative. Use that creativity to make the space and time you spend on podcasting as pleasant as possible.

Making a podcast is an expression of who you really are. The more you know about how to do it, the more unique your podcast will be. In Podcraft Academy, we seek out the best strategies for making new podcasts with a minimum of fuss. Our courses, checklists, launch sequences, and growth plans not only can help you bring your story to life, but also help you sustain that podcast and bring it to new audiences. Join us, won’t you?