Trash to Treasure: Up-Cycled Craft Storage Ideas

I love seeing how people re-purpose their trash into useful and decorative storage. Here are some clever ideas to inspire you:

This great idea for twine storage, from The Scrap Shoppe Blog  started out as lowly empty Pringles containers:

twine containers

A variation on this theme from Pinterest, some re-purposed cans, make a cute desk storage unit. I love the mix of  patterns. These would be great made with different patterns from your favorite paper line:

Some more re-purposed tin from Pinterest, this time mounted to the wall. I love this idea for the craft room – particularly if your desk space is limited.  You could cover them with patterned paper or not:

This idea from Country Home uses empty cans covered with vintage labels printed on the computer. I love the idea of punching holes in them for the wires and hanging them on the rack:

From Puppy Love Preschool blog come these adorable altered jars – would love a set of these on my desk:

animal jars

Here simple jars wrapped with paper scraps become pretty desk storage for paintbrushes and pens (from Stampington and Co.):

re-purposed jars

Another clever re-purposed jar idea, this one from Curbly blog , uses washi tape to dress up cast-offs:

washi jars

This cute idea up-cycles mis-matched vintage tea cups and dishes for drawer storage that would be great for small embellishments. I’d actually glue these to the drawer bottom to prevent them from sliding around:

Another drawer storage idea, from Upcycle the Gift blog,  uses cereal boxes cut and covered with patterned paper. Great modular storage with limitless possibilities!

Hope these ideas inspire you to re-imagine your cast offs and put them to good use in your craft space!

CSI Valerie

Craft Space: Darcy Miller

When I imagine my dream craft space, it definitely looks something like this. I’ve been a huge fan of Darcy Miller for a long time.  She currently serves as the Editorial Director at Martha Stewart Weddings but she’s also an illustrator &  crafter. Her amazing scrapboxes have been featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine.  It’s no surprise her craft space is amazingly organized and well designed.

I love the repetition of the black binders mixed with the collection of wedding cake toppers and artwork. Craft spaces are great places to show off a personal collection, including your own creations. The display of pens is functional and beautiful:

wall storage

This is how she stores party-related ephemera and materials. Grouping items by theme or season is a great way to streamline the process of crafting:

ephemera storage

I love the interior of this drawer with all that gorgeous color on display:

drawer storage

The closet holds collections of inspiring items, like tear sheets from magazines and ephemera for future projects:

closet storage

Here is the photo storage area. The custom ‘wallpaper’ is simply enlarged black and white photos printed on matte paper and collaged on the wall. Brilliant and simple:

photo storage

The corkboard walls are home to more enlarged photos and a collection of ephemera:

corkboard wall

There are so many innovative ideas in this craft space that could be easily adapted to any space. I hope they’ve inspired you, too! To view more photos of Darcy’s blog, you can view them here on the Martha Stewart website.


Craft Rooms in a Closet

I have a special place in my heart for craft spaces that have been fit into small places, particularly into closet spaces. I love the thought and ingenuity that goes into fitting everything in, especially when it is done with decorative flair. Today I thought I’d share a collection of some great closet-to-craft-space makeovers.

I love how the wallcovering used on the back wall of the closet inspired the color of the door interiors. The addition of the small chandelier really makes it feel like another room:

Inspired Room craft closet
from The Inspired Room

This crafter shows the transformation of her closet to craft space. I love the before and after photos. The deep shelves in the space would be ideal for storing deep containers and bulky supplies. I also like how she removed the doors to really open up the area. A curtain conceals it all when necessary:

Fancy Frugal Closet
from Fancy Frugal Life

This clean and simple space offers some closed storage:

Style on a Shoestring
from Style on a Shoestring

This cool closet re-do doesn’t use any built-ins. The pieces are free standing and fit neatly into the space; a great solution of you need to adjust your space to accommodate your supplies.

Everything Etsy
From Everything Etsy

This is a brilliant solution for a small or single width closet featuring a table that folds up:

Redfly Creations
from Redfly Creations

This space uses the area adjacent to the closet, along with the closet for additional storage:

from creativE

I love the use of the pegboard in this closet-turned-sewing-space. This would be handy for storing all kinds of craft material:

Domestic Adventure
from Domestic Adventure

This closet is eye candy – so much pretty color tucked into this space.

 Southern Flair Crafts
from Southern Flair Crafts

You can have a craft room in a free-standing closet too, as seen in this cute armoire:

Adore Your Place
from Adore Your Place

Hope these clever storage solutions inspire you carve out your own dedicated craft space!



13 in 2013: Storing Alterable Items


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:


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:


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: 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.


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.


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!

Scrapbook Kit Storage

Since I belong to a couple of scrapbook kit clubs, I’m always curious to see how crafters store them. Here’s a round-up of some clever and practical ways to store kits.

This first example is actually my method: special Ziploc bags with handles made by Studio Calico, stored in a handled box that I picked up at Home Goods. I can keep a year’s worth in this box!

bag storage in boxpaper and cookies

Here a lidded plastic box keeps everything together and protected. These boxes can be easily stacked:

Iris box storage

 Studio Calico

I love this melamine tray storage idea from Scrappy Jedi. This group of stacked trays in various sizes is pretty and practical and you can keep all little bits and pieces in plain sight:

Tray storage

 Scrappy Jedi

I shared this stacking tray option here at Craft Storage Ideas:

stacking tray storage

Craft Storage Ideas

Love this clever use of pants hangers to store kits on a rail:

hanging kit storage

A vintage tool box corrals a month’s worth of kit product in a creative way:

toolbox storage

Creating Keepsakes Blog

Daphne’s Craft Room

I love how Daphne Wünn-Rihm’s bright and sunny space uses a variety of some of my favorite Ikea pieces to create clever and practical storage solutions.  Here she combined a small Expedit with a ribbon rack and some tall shelves to make her own custom built-in. Love the size of that ribbon storage unit and how it can handle so many full spools! Expedit Combo

Here she cleverly mounted the rails for her punches onto a large moveable surface. What great flexibility this punch storage solution offers!Punch Storage

I love lots of closed storage for the items that don’t need to be on display. Cabinets like this also provide room on top for more storage in cute containers or for display.Closed Storage

I love the playful curved edges on these wall mounted cubes and how they work with the contemporary feel of this space:Curved detail

These fun cubes are located right over Daphne’s work area and store her go-to items:


To see some of the amazing creations that get produced in this craft space, and to read more about Daphne’s organizational strategies, stop by her blog: Dapfniedesign

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.


Creative Uses for Drawers

In the traditional sense, drawers are great for storing craft supplies. In my own space I use this 3-drawer dresser to store a large portion of my stamp collection:

storage dresser

open drawerSource: Pinterest

It’s got a nice big top surface that comes in very handy, as well.

In the non-traditional sense, you can get creative with drawers for craft storage. I found these great ideas on the web. As you can see, the drawers don’t even have to be in a piece of furniture to be useful (& pretty) storage pieces.

These smaller drawers are orphaned from old sewing tables –they’d make great ‘on the desk’ storage or cool storage boxes to line up on top of a shelf like in this photo:

Vintage sewing drawers
from Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

In this example, the owner put little feet on the sewing drawers and painted them in a bright color:

painted drawers
from: Blissful Elements

Source: Blissful Elements

I love how these drawers are mounted on a wall for easy open storage:

small green drawers
Drawer wall from Anthropologie

Source: Home Made Blog

Inspired by the Anthropologie example, this shop owner painted her drawers first then mounted them on the wall:

painted drawers

Source: Home Made Blog

And here’s another great way to use them on walls. Drawers with dividers could serve as small shelves when used on a vertical surface:

pastel drawers
From Shelterness Blog

Source: Shelterness Blog

I hope these photos  will inspire you to reconsider how to use drawers for storage in your space!

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!