13 in 2013: Storing Alterable Items

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There is a portion of my papercrafting stash that always seems to be growing & growing. It’s the ‘alterable’ items.;  the blank mini albums, random items that can be turned into mini albums, canvases, frames, containers, etc. The items that are waiting to be turned into something else whenever inspiration strikes. I’m constantly collecting them.  Sometimes I even rescue them from the trash. I classify them in 2 ways: 1)blank mini albums or things that can be turned into mini albums & 2) everything else (canvases, tin boxes, bags, wood things, etc.) Either classification, they are usually bulky, odd-shaped and challenging to store.

I tackle the problem in 2 ways. First is the drawer where I keep the ‘everything else.’ Since the items vary in thickness, the depth of the drawer is critiical. (This one is about 10″ deep) I like to keep this drawer neat and purge it regularly because  I need to be able to see what is in there, it needs to inspire me, and the drawer needs to close. As with any part of the stash, once it gets too big, it just becomes overwhelming instead of inspiring.

drawer storage

The mini albums, or items I will turn into mini albums are stored in a cube in an Ikea Expedit unit:

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The Expedit cubes are nice and deep so I can store the albums vertically and flip through them. Again, I try to keep it neat and try to purge it regularly so I can see what is in there at a glance:

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My system is pretty simple because my space is very limited – so here are a few storage ideas that would be perfect for this task (I’ve seen some of these in my ‘dream’ craft space):

I love this solution from Fancy Farm Girl because everything is in sight:

Fancy Farm Girl

from The Fancy Farm Girl

This cool vintage piece found at Nest Full of Eggs would be great for storing alterable items:

Nest Full of Eggs

From Nest Full of Eggs blog

Here are 2 very cool rolling options found at the JunkGarden blog:

from JunkGarden blog

from Junkgarden blog

And a simple alternative – the Ikea Trofast storage system. I have a few of these in my house for storing my kid’s toys but this would be great for storing alterable items (and lots of them!)

I hope this post helps you get a handle on this difficult to store part of the crafting stash!

CSI Valerie

 

13 in 2013: 6×6 Paper Storage


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Okay, how many of you have a teetering stack of the cute little 6×6 inch packs of patterned paper in your craft space?  I know I fall into this category.  I was pretty excited when I stumbled on a blog to showing how to make a 6×6 paper storage box.

Chris Simon from Colorful OM  has an easy tutorial to put together this paper box.

 6x6_box_front

source

The pieces to this box have been cut from foam core board and glued together using a hot glue gun.

5 pieces to making a handmade storage for paper

The dimensions to cut the box and assemble the box

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The index tabs were made with a round tab punch and stapled to the tops of a divider

6x6_box_side

The box can be decorated to match your space

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6x6_box_front

Love having decorating options

I am ready to go make one of these or two for my craft space.  Thanks for stopping by Craft Storage Ideas!

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13 in 2013: Wrapping Paper Oganization

 

 

Do you find that after Christmas you find yourself shopping for the next year due to all the fantastic sales in the stores?  Maybe you’re like me and you manage to collect more wrapping paper?  If this is the case then storage options may become limited.  Looking for unused wall space in your home may be the perfect solution and very inexpensive.

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Unfinished basements or under the stairs you may have unfinished walls that are not closed in. You can use wire and attach the wires to the wood beams.  In the case where you have larger rolls of paper, you may need to secure in two places, at the top and the bottom, to keep the paper from falling forward.

Source

Closet ceilings are a perfect alternative when you prefer to have the paper off of the floor.  Look for ceiling space in hall closets or a pantry in the kitchen.

 source

 This is a very simplified way to organize your wrapping needs on the back of a closet door. You only need a few products: three door eye hooks, two bungee cords, four screws, and two clear, plastic baskets.  You’ll screw the plastic baskets onto the door in two places and then screw in the door eye hooks and attach the bungee cords around the wrapping paper. It appears you can get up to four rolls in each plastic basket.

Happy Organization!!!

13 in 2013: Packaged Embellishments

Hi everyone, Anita here and today I want to share with you some of my ideas on storing packaged embellishments. I love stuff. I am not a fan of “less is more”. Less is less and more is best! That’s just how I roll and I need a lot of embellishments to make my pages look how I like them. I tried a few different things over the years and I have found that in order to use my embellies – I need to SEE them!

I switched to a really simply system using IKEA rods and S-hooks. It keeps my packages right in front of me in my line of site.

This is the view from my scrap room door and as you can see I have three of the rods hung across the front of my desk space. On each rod I have several s-hooks. On each hook I have a binder ring and I slide the embellishment packages onto the rings.

As you can see I was right in the middle of a project when this photo was taken :)   I group embellishments by type on each ring when possible. One ring is all pearls, one is all bling, one is all MME, etc. I really do use my embellishments more because they are always right there in front of me!

My other embellishments, like flowers and those with no hole for a ring, I store a little differently.

This is my Prima Breeding Program. If the world ever runs out of Prima Flowers I will have enough to breed them in captivity. These bins are fabulous storage. I got them from a retail store that was getting rid of them. However, if you google “tip out bins” you will find some for sale. When I empty a package into the bins I add the tag so I will know what the name/type is.

My other odd ball things I store in my Alex drawers in a variety of plastic separators. These are all my rub-ons, journal cards, etc. This is a shallow drawer so nothing gets buried. Once a year I try and go through all my hoard and if there is anything I haven’t used since the last time I sorted – out it goes. I toss everything into a box and take it over to the local recreation center.

So that’s it – my plain and simple storage for embellishments. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

 

 

13 in 2013: Managing The Stamp Stash

Let’s face it – trends come and go in the craft industry. The must-haves change pretty quickly and one area where I find this particularly obvious is in my stamp stash. Since my storage space is at an extreme minimum, it’s important for me to keep a tight grip on the size of the stamp collection. Stamps – acrylic, unmounted and wood mounted rubber –  take up a lot of craft room real estate and for me, need to be purged on a regular basis.

I admit, there are so many great ways to store them. I love the ‘binder with cling pages’ idea, in fact, I have one of my own:

stamp binder

I love the cd holder idea – there are some brands of un-mounted stamps that come in similar style cases. This example from the Delightful Order blog is very nice:

cd storage from delightfulorder

And I like the simplicity of these simple, flat, plastic packages that come from a kit club. I store these together in this small bin:

small stamps

The problem is when they start to accumulate, they take up a lot of space regardless of their storage format. In addition, the wood mounted stamps can get heavy in large groups.

drawer storage

Since I store my stamps in an Ikea dresser, I always have a problem with the drawer bottoms bowing. So I need to be careful about adding to this part of the collection.

Another problem I have when there are too many; I lose track of what I have and don’t use them. Having that excess saps my creativity so keeping the stamp stash lean and mean is essential for me. Here is how I approach a purge:

Trends: The first category I focus on. Trendy imagery and shapes (like owls, hedgehogs, hexagons, chevrons, doilies, etc) usually don’t have ‘crafty’ staying power. I’m pretty ruthless here. If I haven’t used it in at least a year and it’s a trendy image, it has to go.

trendy

Sentiments/Words:  As a cardmaker these are an essential in my stash but even they can become dated. I’m on the lookout for current and/or timeless fonts & phrases. I’m not above keeping the sentiment portion of a stamp set and purging the rest of the pieces for the sake of saving space. The binder pages are especially handy for keeping these all together in one place.

sentiments in binder

The ‘Basics’: This category has more staying power. The are the lined journaling spots, classic shapes like hearts and arrows, etc. When I’m purging this group I’m thinking more about how much I’ve used them. Are they looking dated? Unless I have something specific in mind for a project and  it’s been more than 2 years, I purge them.

basics

And lastly, Condition: I have a few stamps (mostly acrylic) that I’ve used & abused so much that they no longer make a clean impression. If they are torn or no longer making a clean print, they need to go.

I’m ruthless but not to the point of removing the stuff I love. I keep some stamps  just because they make me happy. I even keep them out where I can see them.

on display

Regular purging of product helps me justify keeping my faves and adding new ones. In addition, reviewing the stamp stash on a regular basis, or any part of my stash for that matter, is a sure fire way to spark my creativity. Don’t be afraid to let go of the products that aren’t working for you. The manufacturers will keep making more!

13 in 2013: Spreadsheet Organization

Sometimes organizing your craft room doesn’t mean just organizing your materials, it also includes organizing the files on your computer related to all things crafty.  Doris is here today to talk about saving hyperlinks, particularly those that you might need in addition to Pinterest.

You should know by now that I am quite the shopper/collector/organizer of all things crafty. As a result, I spend way too much a lot of time “surfing the net” for places to shop, ways to store and organize, and to inspire creativity. Before Pinterest came along, I was struggling with ways to keep up with all the websites, videos and blogs I was coming across. Even if I “bookmarked” them or wrote the URL down somewhere, I would usually forget why within the time it took to click off the page. Inspired by another lady’s spreadsheet, I set out to create one of my own. And, let me just say, while I may be proficient at shopping/collecting and organizing, I am not when it comes to Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and the like. So, what I’m going to be sharing with you is my {extremely} basic spreadsheet created in Microsoft Excel 2007.

As you can see, I have just 2 columns: (I told you it was basic!) Column A contains the “hyperlink” to the original location of what’s referenced in the Comments section in Column B. I know I’m probably the last person on the planet to learn how to insert a hyperlink, but, on the outside chance that you’re that person, here’s how I did it:

Since I knew I would need “screen shots” for this article, I did a Google search and found a tutorial. Once I followed the link to the website, I highlighted the URL (web address), right clicked on my mouse and selected “copy.”

Next, I went to my spreadsheet to enter my information.

Lastly, you will insert your Hyperlink into your spreadsheet entry.

This is what it will look like if the Hyperlink has been inserted correctly (another shortcut would be to use Control + V to insert the address). Now, if you were to click on Computer Tips, it would automatically take you to the page you want to find! The person who figured out a way for us to do this is a genius!!!

And that’s it! You just repeat that process for each hyperlink you want to insert.  Sometimes, it helps me to see how other people categorize their organization/storage, so I thought I would give you a list of the types of things I save to my spreadsheet.

Baby Ideas
Blogs
Bow Making
Candles
Card Making
Christmas
Craft Rooms
Cricut
Crochet
Cuttlebug
Flower Making
Frames
Gift Card Holders
Gift Ideas
Gift Wrapping
Inspiration
Jewelry
Kids Crafts
PDF Files
Project Tutorials
Recipes
Resources
Sewing
Silhouette
Sketches
Stamping
Storage
Vinyl

This process has really helped me so much in my quest to stay on top of all of the amazing ideas I come across. I can’t tell you how many times I refer to this list and add to it. I hope you’ll try your hand at setting up a similar system. If you have any questions, I will be happy to try to answer them – or find the answer for you. If you have any tips on how to make this whole process work even more efficiently, I hope you’ll share that with us!

Here’s to a Happy, Crafty, Organized New Year! ~ Doris

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 in 2013: Pen and Marker Storage

Hi all! Happy New Year! Are you feeling that New Year’s urge to diet, save money, and organize every aspect of your world yet? Haha, I know I am! In the crafty corner of my world, I started thinking about my pens and markers, and how I’d like to have them all where I can see them, and how I’d also like to have them all together. In my recent post about my studio, you might remember that I kept all my pens and markers in these little drawers that are in my shelving unit, and the spot I store my inkpads in, there’s another little drawer where I was keeping my Copics. There were two problems with this system, first of all, every time I needed a pen or marker, I’d end up pulling the whole drawer out (they didn’t have runners, they were just like little boxes with a handle…) and the other problem was I’d either have to rifle through the whole drawer/box to find the one I want, or end up dumping all the markers out looking for the one I wanted. This takes up PRECIOUS workspace, and I don’t have a lot to spare.

The other day, I saw this photo on Pinterest, (go ahead and ooooh, and aaaaah, at all the Copics that she has! I sure did). Here’s her blog post about this cool storage. It inspired me to do something different with my pens….

Now, I don’t have nearly as many Copics, but I’d sure LOVE to expand my collection! ;)

Here is a color chart similar to the one in the above photo, for you to download if you like.

And if you have a smartphone, there is an AWESOME and FREE app for Copic users to keep track of what colors you already have. I am using it on my iPhone, and I LOVE it! Here’s a link go to it on your smartphone and it will give you step by step instructions on how to install it on your iPhone or Android. You will never again have to wonder “Hm, do I already have this color?”

I do have a lot of other kinds of pens, a lot of Stampin’ Up! markers particularly, since I used to be a Demonstrator. I wanted to use something that would have plenty of room for me to grow into, too. The other thing that was important to me, was keeping the markers horizontal. It really is the best way to store your markers, as most scrapbook/crafty/art markers have two different tips, and you don’t want all the ink to flow into one end or another. One thing I loved about her pen storage above was that she used a grid from a fluorescent light to make a little hole for each marker. I may end up adding that to my new storage system that I’ll show you in a minute.

Since it is a New Year and all, I knew that reorganizing my pens needed to be more than just putting them in a different place. I took the time to test out all my pens (yep, every single one!) making a note of which ones I need to replace.

Some of them ended up in the pen graveyard….

I just don’t tend to be one who likes to use a specific box made for pens, I just feel like I’ve somehow failed creatively, ha! Also I have several different brands so I knew that Copic-specific, or Stampin’ Up!-specific storage wouldn’t cut it. But if you are NOT as neurotic as me (I’d imagine that’s most of you!) ;) here are some cool products specifically manufactured for storing pens. You know for sure that they would fit well in these boxes, whereas with your own storage solution, you may not be so lucky.

Marker Organizer from Organize More

Copic Sketch Marker Case from Joann Crafts 

Kaisercraft Marker Storage from Scrapbook.com (this one is totally customizable!)

ArtBin Storage Marker Satchel at Create For Less

Copic Storage Rack at markerpop 

And here’s some AWESOME ideas to repurpose something old that you may no longer be using. Particularly if you are on a New Year’s spending freeze. I think the CD holders as pen storage are brilliant! And the drain pipe, and Crystal Light containers, what great uses of everyday items.

Baby Bottle Dishwasher Basket

Wine Bottle Rack

Storage made from drainpipe

Kitchen Tool Caddy 

Altered Crystal Light Containers 

CD Rack

Altered Shoebox with toilet paper roll dividers

For my space, I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and found this crate/wood box in my fave color at half off. The only bummer is that I wish you could see the cool numbers painted on the end, but where I have it situated, you don’t. However, it does fit perfectly in this spot, and it’s in easy reach of my workspace.

Like I mentioned above, I might add some of that fluorescent light grid stuff in the compartments, to give each pen his own little home (neuroses again, so sorry!) As for my old “pen drawers” I used them to store my ink refills, and some other inkpads. I then moved the punches that used to sit here, up to where the ink refill basket used to be. It looks great, and between my new storage, and Copic app, I can see exactly what I have, and it won’t clutter my workspace either! :)

I also like, that if I work out in my dining room, this has handles and can be carried out easily.

That’s it for me today, Happy New Year!

13 in 2013: Modifying an Existing Shelf

As your organization efforts continue in the new year, you might be sticking to a tight budget.  New furniture or fancy organizational tools may not be an option.  Doris has a fantastic idea for modifying an existing shelf to meet new needs!

Some crafters are like me, they need to have their supplies visible and easy to access. Such is the case with my wood-mounted stamps. No matter how I tried to store them, I could never seem to find the one I wanted when I wanted it! So, I thought I had found the answer when I bought the shallow hanging shelves from Michael’s. However, I found myself with too much wasted space and, when you’re a hoarder  collector like I am, you need every spare inch of storage you can get!

Necessity being the “Mother of Invention,” I decided a trip to The Container Store was in order. In my mind, I had envisioned drawer dividers being just the thing I would need to add more “shelves” to my existing ones. Sure enough, I found just what I was looking for!

I bought a couple of packages of these in 2″ and 4″ widths and headed home to get busy.

I used the same basic instructions given for using them in a drawer, just using them vertically.

Measure and score with a craft knife at desired length until the piece snaps apart.

Slide the connectors onto both ends of your cut pieces. Remove the paper from the adhesive strip on the connector and press into place on your shelf.

I also found it necessary to have a “brace” in the middle of the dividers (since they are not designed to be used vertically), so I followed the same steps to create the brace.

A couple of design changes had to be made, once I actually started placing my stamps of the new “shelves.” I removed the rod from the bottom section to use for more storage, rather than ribbon. I also ended up adding braces to the ends, because the adhesive just wasn’t strong enough to hold them in place (again, these were not meant to be used vertically). When I ran out of materials to make the additional braces, I decided to use pieces of foam board, rather than buy additional packages just for a few more inches. It was then a light bulb went off and it dawned on me that I could have used foam board for the whole project! DOH! In fact, I’ve even seen some very talented and creative people make amazing storage pieces entirely from foam board!  Rebecca featured some of those in this post, and I found some neat ideas here and here. I have to say, I wish I had thought of it before I used what I did – not that a trip to The Container Store is ever wasted! Fortunately, foam board can be found at just about any Walmart or craft store you have near you, it’s easier to cut and it’s not as costly. In any case, I’m glad I decided to add my new shelves to my existing ones because I love that I can easily see my stamps now.

I hope this inspires you to look at what you currently own and think of ways you could modify it to suit your needs in a better way! If you have any questions about my project, please let me know!

 

13 in 2013: Yarn Storage Solutions

I am a knitter, first and foremost. I dabble in other crafts, but a look around my craft room office reveals mostly lots – and lots – of yarn. I’m always looking for new and creative ways to store it, but before we get to that, we need to take a moment to talk about organization.

Organizing Your Stash

Whether you’re a new yarn crafter or have been going at it for years like me, odds are you’ve probably got a collection of yarn hanging about, otherwise known as a stash. The very word stash connotes something that’s hidden, possibly stuffed in a dark corner where one hopes it will go unnoticed.

But the random nature of stashing makes it easy for things to get disorganized, even if your stash is a lot smaller than mine.

The first step, then, is to gather all your yarn from its various hidey holes into one place. This can, admittedly, be difficult if your stash is huge, in which case you might need to take it one section of your home at a time.

Decide if there’s anything you can part with and make plans to donate it to a knitting club or senior center.

Then decide how you want to organize your yarn. There are many possible options: by color, by yarn content, by weight, stuff you love and want to knit with right away versus stuff that can go into deeper storage and so on.

I have some things stored in all these ways, truth be told. I have a giant box of cotton yarn and another of acrylic. I have sock yarn all in one place. Some inspiring yarns I want to work with soon are in a basket on a bookshelf (others, I’ll admit, are just sitting on my desk).

The main thing is that whatever system you choose will work for you and make it possible for you to find what you need when you need it.

(As an aside, if you really want to organize your stash, consider some sort of database or system for logging what yarn you have, how much of it there is and where it’s located in your house. I always dream of putting my whole stash on Ravelry, but I’m just not ready for that kind of radical honesty.)

Storing Your Stash

Once you have an idea of how you want your stash to be organized in storage, it’s time to figure out how to store it. As much as I love having things visible and accessible, I just can’t do that with all my yarn, so I’m really making an effort to only keep things close that I intend to use soon or just find really pretty.closet yarn storage

For deep storage I have giant bins that live in the master bedroom closet. I should not admit it, but there’s some really deep storage in my attic, which I really need to take care of soon, since that’s a pretty awful place to keep yarn.

Things I’m thinking about using soon or that I’ve gotten from yarn companies are in one shoe organizer on the closet door; a bunch of plain wool in different colors is hanging on the other door.yarn basket

That aforementioned basket is heaped with things to review and recent yarn purchases that I really want to knit with soon. For reasons unknown to me, there’s also an aromatherapy ball in there. I guess it’s pretty, too.

More Good Advice

I love the idea of using an old shelf or cabinet for yarn storage. I have a giant bookshelf that used to house yarn, and may again someday if I ever pare down my book stash.yarn storage cabinet

This gorgeous storage unit was meant to house DVDs, but I like its current use a lot better (via the Loopy Ewe).

yarn storage cabinet

Or there’s this lovely drawered unit that I guess must have been part of a desk at some point and is now home to a lot of yarn (Sunset Cat Designs).yarn storage cabinet

Ravelry user lesliehsimon has another beautiful cabinet with pull-out drawers that is a colorful inspiration.yarn rack wine rack

Or how about a “yarn rack” instead of a wine rack, like this one from Prudent Baby?

Make Your Own

Finally, baskets, bowls and cute little storage pieces are a great way to show off little special bits of yarn or contain current projects. But why not get double craft bang for your buck and make the containers, too?sew sweet knitting tote

There are great instructions at Sew Sweet for a knitter’s tote that holds yarn on the inside and has space for needles on the outside. It even has a handle so you can carry it wherever you’re working.sewn yarn baskets

I also like the Sewn Stash Baskets from Purl Bee, which are great for holding a small amount of yarn in a lovely way.

If you have other ideas for storing yarn I’d love to hear them. Goodness knows I need all the help I can get!

13 in 2013: Brads and Ribbons

Happy Monday!  Welcome to 13 in 2013!  We are so excited to bring you thirteen fresh and exciting ideas for organizing your crafty space in January!  If you are anything like us, the beginning of a new year brings so may possibilities and the need and want to get organized.  We are here to help!  Today’s tips are all about brads and ribbons – here’s Anita!

Howdy everyone, are you ready to get your craft space organized? Well my friends, we are here to help you! If you are like me, you are invested with a sense of renewal after the holidays and want to make everything around you nice and tidy. Today I want to share some of my favorite storage supplies and ideas for brads and ribbons.

I have serious issues with both of these craft supplies. Serious issues. When we first built my studio I ordered a custom built cabinet just for my brads. I am not making that up.

I loved this cabinet, but it turned out that it was just too large to fit into my space. When I rearranged my room I had to move it out, which made me very sad. I trimmed down my brad collection considerably and bought this very handy storage box from Best Craft Organizer and it is just as handy, but a lot smaller. It has 8 drawers and they are the perfect size for holding my brad jars.

The little jars are from the jewelry department – they come 24 in a little clear box for around $10. As you can see I group my brads by color, so I can just pull out the drawer and there are all the brads in that color group.

Sooo, once I got my brads tamed, I needed to move onto my ribbon. I had drawers and boxes of ribbon. I tried that system where you rolled the ribbon up and put it in the little boxes so that you could pull out a little at a time, but I was not very successful at that. My ribbons are not uniform in size, so they never fit in the little boxes. So I had some in and some out. I ran across a fabulous product at the LSS one day call The Ribbon Ring – I have been in love with this thing ever since. I bought one.  A week after it came I ordered six  more, plus I don’t remember how many refill kits.

A set comes with a ring and the little plastic tabs you see here. You thread your ribbon onto the tabs and put those on the ring. Super easy. Again, I have mine sorted by color – one ring per color.

This photo only shows half of mine – as I said I have issues with ribbon.  There are several things I love about this product:

  • Portability – just grab the rings, toss them into your bag and go
  • Visibility – I can see in one glance every single ribbon I have, so I will use them
  • Space Saver – I have hundreds of ribbons stored in a few inches of space
  • Best of all…when I am working on a project I can grab my ring, throw it on the table and drape the ribbons across my project to see which one works the best before I take it off the spool/out of the little box/unpin it and have to rewind it. Best feature, I swear.

They come with little orange dot stickers that you can add to the tabs to remind yourself that you have more of that ribbon. I decided it was easier to just tie a knot in one end to remind me there was more in my overstock bucket.

So there you have it – my brads and ribbons, contained very neatly within their space, organized by color and so easy to reach for and use. What are your plans for organizing your space this year? Be sure to stay with us all month as we have more fabulous ideas coming.