Product Highlight: Itso Containers

I’m a bit of an organizational fanatic. When I stumbled onto the Itso Storage line at my local Target I was excited because I knew I’d be able to use them to store craft supplies. They were clean lined, rectilinear and in a neutral, simple color that would blend right into my existing decor. When I investigated further, I learned they came in a variety of shapes and sizes that would serve a multitude of needs – not just in my craft space, but all over the house.

Itso Containers

I have a special place in my heart for the 13.3 x 13.3 x 2.5”h trays (Wide Tray), which are perfect for holding the contents of a scrapbook club kit.  The paper stores flat with enough space on top to hold the embellishments (even the bulky ones).

13 x 13 Itso Tray

I also use them to keep design team materials separate from the rest of my stash:

13 x 13 Itso Tray

As a bonus, I realized these trays fit easily into a Jetmax paper sorter (almost like a drawer).

Itso Trays in Cube

The 13.25L x 6.5W x 6” h (Clear See-thru Bin) are perfect for holding large Sizzix dies and bulky items like punches and bigger spools of ribbon.

6 x 13 tall Itso Container

The smaller, lower 6.5”w x 13.25”l x 2.5”h (Clear Half Tray) are great for flat items and are the perfect height for spools of thread.

Low Itso Narrow Tray

Low Itso Tray

And like all the Itso containers, they have a small inner groove so they can be stacked.

Stacked Itso

Itso containers are available at Target and also come in colors and patterns. They range in price from about $6 for the plastic and up to $35 for the fabric covered containers.

 

Room of Plenty {Scrap It Girl}

I’m so excited to introduce Kimberly Congdon, better known as Scrap it Girl, to you all!  I think you are going to love her craft rooms.  Did you catch that?  She has more than one craft room!  Check it out below!

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Hello!  I started papercrafting regularly when I was 17. I mainly scrapbooked and made home décor items or gifts.  In the last 5 years I’ve started teaching papercrafts and expanding into card making and altered items. I currently teach 3-7 classes per week at several locations and I started my Scrap It Girl business in January 2008. I enjoy working with local stores, teaching paper crafts, and meeting new people. I couldn’t ask for a better job! Life is good.  Now on to my craft space!

I have over 1,200 sqare feet of finished craft space in my basement. That 1,200 square feet is divided into four specific craft areas – the Scrap It Girl Store, classroom with a wet-bar area and bathroom, my personal craft space and scrapbook storage room for back up supplies and products not used everyday.

Having all of that space for crafting has come at a price.  When my husband and I first looked at buying our home we loved the finished basement. However, I knew we would need to make a few changes to it since I knew it would become my crafting space. We set up a playroom and family room and I took two of the rooms for my craft rooms.  Two days after we moved in and were completely unpacked…the basement flooded.

We had to replace the carpet, wood flooring and the baseboards. Trying to take advantage of a bad situation, we decided to carpet more of the basement so there was more usable space.  I also decided to move the family room into a smaller room so I could have more crafty space.

The largest open area in the basement is now my classroom. I can seat 20 card makers or 12 scrapbookers at one time. There is also a wet bar area for snack or painting projects. I have a bathroom, microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator and television in that area too.

After living in the house for a few years, we had another flood. Then came a new paint job, new carpet again, more changes. I decided my kids no longer needed a playroom so I turned that room into a mini store. I mainly sell products that are not for sale in our local big box stores. I do, however, sell some of my favorite products or items I use for classes and adhesive.

On the other side of the classroom is my personal work area, however I don’t actually work in that room.  There is also the craft room storage room in another part of the basement.  That room is full of cabinets and countertops and I use it for back up supplies, punches, stamps, inks, albums and paper.

So far we’ve only had the two floods, but each one has helped me gain more space.  As of right now, we only have one room left in the basement which is the family room.  I told my husband if we ever have another flood I will turn the entire basement into my craft space.  He has since put in two sub-pumps. I don’t think he wants to lose that room. 🙂

1. What kind of budget did you have when organizing your space?

I don’t really have a budget. I add to my space as I find new things to use for organizing. I rearrange the room at least once a month and that is when I typically add a new vintage find or take out something. My friends tend to give me pieces of furniture they no longer want and I try to refinish them and add them to the space too. When it starts to get crowded I rearrange and move things out. Some things get moved to other areas of the house, too.

2. What was/is your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is having to keep the middle of the room open. I need to keep the center area completely clear at all times, I also need to keep this room clean at all times. My customers and students need to walk through this room in order to get to my classroom and mini store. Everything I work on has to be put away right away. I also need to know where everything is just in case I need something for a class.

3. Are you a “organize it once” kind of girl, or are your storage solutions constantly evolving?

My storage solutions are constantly changing. Sometimes weekly. I get things dropped off from friends when they come to a class, or I pick up something new, or I get an order for new products, so I need to make room.

4. What is one thing you’d like to improve about your storage/organization?

I would like to improve on organizing projects I am currently working on for stores or design teams. I feel like I have piles of projects on my tables. It is kind of out of control. I also need to keep track of what products are being used on what projects. I wish I had a storage solution for each store or design team.

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Isn’t Kimberly’s space amazing?  I’m so jealous!  And if I lived near her, I think I’d take my stuff to her workroom, plop down and never go home!  To see more of Kimberly’s work and see her schedule of classes  (if you are lucky enough to be nearby), check out her blog!

 

 

 

 

Contemporary Vintage Mix {Lexi Bridges}

Lexi Bridges currently designs for October Afternoon and is a Two Peas Garden Girl. I’ve been a fan of her work for a long time.

When I see the details of her craft space I am instantly reminded of her scrapbooking style: whimsical simplicity with contemporary and vintage flair. She effortlessly mixes these elements in her craft room – vintage finds combined with spare white contemporary furnishings. Here are a few peeks of Lexi’s cool scrap room:

Lexi's Desk

Ikea picture rail shelves are a great storage solution for a mist collection:

Lexi Mist Storage

I love how Lexi mixed in vintage artwork like the paint-by-numbers painting:

4 details

Here a variety of vintage containers corral small and loose items:

vintage small

vintage containers

Washi and twine storage with a clever Scrabble sentiment:

washi storage

A vintage mail sorter serves as the ultimate ribbon and punch organizer:

mail sorter

A vintage shelf with lots of personality contains stamping supplies:

stamp shelf

I love a craft space that reflects the owner’s personality!  For more details, check out Lexi’s blog!

Simplicity in Storage {Nicole Heady}

Nicole Heady, owner of Papertrey Ink has always been a source of inspiration.  When discovering her craft room there was a sense of warmth that grabbed my attention.  I was drawn into her room because of the color and simplicity of her storage containers.

The entrance into Nicole'e room just looks so inviting
This is where the simplicity in storage comes from. I enjoy how uniform her boxes are and with the label holder on the box, it makes it easy to identify what inside each one
Freezer containers used with a letter tag to store the chipboard alphabet.
The color splash of these bin are a perfect addition

As stated by Nicole in her article, “My studio has been a work in progress” I would have to say so far what is laid out here, this is a studio I would for sure like to walk into on a daily basis.  For additional information and studio photos please visit Nicole’ s blog

The Small Stuff

If you are like me, when you make a project, or even take apart a kit club kit,  you are left with the ‘craftermath.’ The big stuff has a designated home and gets cleaned up easily but what about all that little stuff? The perplexing little pile of bits and pieces; buttons, extra stamped images, die cuts or tiny fussy cut pieces that you decided not to use but can’t bear to throw out. These items used to pile up at the end of my desk and the pile would grow with each new project made or kit dismantled. Here’s how I manage this little stuff…

As I’m working on a project, I sort them into a variety of little boxes and containers (new and vintage) that fit in the work space of my desk. This step helps to eliminate the pile before it even starts:

VMdesk close

Here’s a view of how they fit onto my desk– I keep them close where I can see them and use them. I’m an out of sight/out of mind scrapbooker. If I put these in a drawer, or even a box with a lid, I’d never use them:

The white stacking boxes are Martha Stewart. They stack up and conserve valuable desk space. There’s even a long tray component that would be perfect for those patterned strips that get cut from the end of 12 x 12 sheets. I’ve got a huge collection of those!

If there are tiny parts that I’d like to set aside, I use these clear tubes to separate them from the pile.

VMtube storage

I love them because they can stand on their own, you can see immediately what is in them and the opening is wide enough for big brads and buttons. I don’t label them because they are constantly getting emptied and refilled. I love having a stash of these clean, simple containers on hand.

Another related ‘small stuff’ area that I like to organize this way is my journaling spot/tag and tiny envelope stash (aka the ‘whatever trendy item I am in love with at the moment’ stash) I sort and store these in a similar fashion and keep them where I can see them and hopefully use them:

VM tag envelope storage

As with any storage system, it’s got room for growth and change. What works right now might not work in a few months when my obsession du jour is some other craft item. One of the keys to managing the little stuff is to purge regularly. If you do this every month or so you re-familiarize yourself with the stuff at the bottom or back of the containers – maybe even inspire yourself to make something new!

Stack Fit Boxes by Martha Stewart for Staples

Ceramic peach and fruit baskets from Sur la Table

Plastic Tubes by SRM Stickers