Just One Tip: Organizing with Mug Racks

When I was working on my book last fall (did I tell you I was writing a book? It should be out this fall!) I went on an outing looking for different props that I could use in some of the pictures. At a local vintage shop I picked up a sweet pea green mug rack that I thought would be cute to hang a little baby cardigan from in one of the pictures.

I’m not sure I actually ended up using that picture in the book, but I still have the mug rack. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but then I realized it was the perfect little stand to hold some things that I like to keep close at hand but don’t want just lying on my desk. mug rack supply organizer

In my case, that’s sewing and paper scissors, packing tape and a flexible tape measure. It sits on my desk, within easy reach from my computer or the project portion of the space.

I love it. It’s perfect to have a place for all these essentials to go so they’re “put away” but still always within reach, not making clutter but always accessible, too.

It’s no surprise I’m not the only person to have come up with this idea.

Jenny at Allsorts took the scissors idea to the extreme, loading up a tall red mug holder with a ton of scissors.

scissor caddy allsorts

She also has a smaller one she uses for ribbon. So cute!

ribbon mug rack allsorts

I also love this idea from Better Homes and Gardens, in which a mug rack with mugs still on it is used to hold pens and markers. What a great way to keep things accessible and organized. You could probably do this with a wall-mounted mug rack, too.

mug rack markers

Have you taken any accessories out of the kitchen to use in your craft room? I’d love to hear about it!


Storage Solutions: Hanging Storage

After my post about using over-the-door shoe hangers to store yarn, you might get the feeling that I love to hang things up to store them. And you’re right. I love free-standing shelves and drawers as much as anyone, but something hanging over a door or on the wall allows you to store that much more, and it can sometimes even be cute in the process.

My Current Obsession: Vertical Files

Right now I’ve got a thing for vertical files. They’re meant to sit on a desk to hold paperwork, but the ones I have — which are just metal mesh and came from Target — also have the ability to be hung on a wall. I sometimes imagine doing my whole office in these and using them to hold paperwork, books I need to review, scrapbook paper and other supplies. Then I’d be able to see my desk again!

As it is I have one, directly on my right as I type this. It holds stationery, some notes about my book, graph paper (for drawing knitting charts, of course), some patterns I want to sew and a bunch of blank business card pages for the printer. Clearly I need more than one so it wouldn’t be such a hodgepodge! I also love to clip things to the outside; right now, there’s a status report for my book. playroom paper organizer

My daughter has a vertical file in her playroom, too, and hers is prettier so I’ll show you.

This has a small supply of white and construction paper, little scraps of paper I’ve trimmed off other projects or that she’s used to practice cutting (she’s three), a couple of coloring books and a pad of sketch paper. Hanging on the front are a couple of recent paintings, which are just clothespinned on so either of us can change them. (This could serve as a place to hang wet paintings to dry, but I’m not that brave.)

Other Ways to Hang Supplies

Of course there are many other — and prettier! — ways to contain arts and craft supplies on the walls. I love the idea of using old crates, because it’s a shelf and a basket all in one. wine crate shelves

This tutorial from Factory Direct Craft shows how to make shelves out of old wine crates, which I’ll bet you could find at a local flea market. half crate bookshelf

You could also buy new crates at the craft or hardware store and paint them for this purpose, or cut them in half and hang them on the wall for a perfect pint-sized bookshelf like this one from IHeart Organizing. This would be a great way to display inspiring books, or, if your installation can handle the weight, jars of buttons, a vase full of knitting needles or whatever pretties you might want to look at on a regular basis. medicine cabinet craft storage

There are lots of great ideas for DIY craft storage in this post from Farm House Sisters, but my favorite is this little storage shelf that must be meant to be a medicine cabinet but is darling as a craft storage center. Glass doors mean you can see what’s in there but it doesn’t get dusty, which is great because who wants to dust the craft room?

Do you have craft storage hanging out on your walls? I’d love to hear about it!