A Few Craft Storage Tips

Hello, fellow crafters! Since January is the traditional month of reorganization AND great storage sales at the craft and office supply stores, I wanted to share some of my craft storage tips. I’ve been wrestling with getting this post done for longer than I’d care to admit, but I got an e-mail from one of you specifically asking about paper storage… Thanks, crafty pal, for the incentive to finally get this post finished!

One note before I start… I am not affiliated with any company mentioned in this post and, unless otherwise noted, bought all of these items on my own (always on sale! lol!). I just mention them because they work for me.

I live in an efficiency apartment, which is NOT an efficient way to craft if you want to eat (with the kitchen counter and stove often covered with current projects) or sleep (as sometimes the boxes are all out and sitting on the bed and have to be put away first if I want to sleep comfortably)! In fact, the only place off-limits to my craft stuff is the bathroom. (TMI, I know!)

So, let’s start with paper storage. The hallway has been lined with some shelves and a few of the Ikea Trones shoe storage cabinets that I got on sale.

These bins tilt out and are the perfect size for storing specialty papers! You can fit two 110# 8.5″x11″ stacks side by side or 12″x12″ paper pads with 6″x6″ or 6″x12″ packs beside them (think G45 chipboard or Elizabeth Crafts Shimmer Sheets):

I struggle with scraps. Do you? What I’ve found that works okay is putting them in IRIS 12″x12″ Portable Project cases in my Ikea cabinet. Sometimes you can find them 60% off at craft stores. Being in a closed box keeps the scraps fairly organized (by color) and prevents them from falling out all over the place.

And there’s room on the shelf beside them for the larger Sizzix and Spellbinders dies or some boxes with 12″x12″ mulberry paper and vellum and some adhesive foam.

Speaking of those large dies… If you save the packaging they come in, it makes great storage for your small ink pads! (You could buy a Stufftainer, but “free” is better!)

Larger pads do fit in there, too…

Before leaving my Ikea Pax wardrobe that fits neatly beside my bed… did you know an ironing board and iron holder fits the end perfectly?! In an efficiency, every inch counts!

The main room of my efficiency is divided off at one end with a set of bookshelves and a desk on the backside… supposedly for bill paying and such, but often overrun with crafting ‘stuff.’ I can spin my chair around to the desk behind me that is dedicated to crafting that looks out onto the patio. Against the wall are a pair of Sterilite drawers. The bigger drawers hold, among other things, my rainbow of 65# letter-sized paper:

And the smaller drawers hold ephemera, dimensional glue dots and spray adhesives:

The best storage I have found for stamps are 9L Really Useful Boxes. I have found them on sale (and, occasionally on clearance) at Office Depot and Staples. Most stamp sets that are 8.75″x5.5″ or less will fit on their sides in their original packaging (= no need to go through the time & expense of putting them in a different, often larger holder that is so popular, nor label it) and larger stamps can sit on top.

What I like about these boxes is that they stack nicely and are lightweight, so I can easily move them to get to the box I need without straining. Also, they’re see-through… I put a piece of paper on the inside telling me what manufacturers are in the box.

For red rubber stamps like the older Kraftin’ Kimmie, Quietfire Design and Unity Stamp Co., I put them on 8.5″ x11″ Crafter’s Companion EZMount Lightweight stamp storage panels. They have holes to go into a 3 ring binder, but I find they fit perfectly in the 9L Really Useful Boxes, with a little room to spare at one end. I stamp the whole sheet onto a sheet of copy paper to be able to easily see what stamps are on the sheet:

Now, let’s take a peek at my 29.5″x29″x11.75″ bookshelf that I got second hand. I took some lace from Joann, backed it with a solid and made a curtain that matches my home decor. It’s on a little tension rod and keeps the unsightly out of sight:

On the bottom shelf are my ArtBins for dies. Dies that match stamps, I store with the stamps. Universal dies, like basic shapes, coverplates, words and letters are stored on magnetic sheets in ArtBins. I have found the magnetic sheets super cheap at Create and Craft and got the bins on clearance at JoAnn.

On the top shelf of my bookshelf I have two of the 9L Really Useful Boxes with divider inserts. One has my embossing powders and equipment and the other has my watercolors like Daniel Smith DuoChrome and Ken Oliver’s Color Bursts:

The other side of the top shelf on my bookcase has some Tiny Container Bead Storage Trays and Assorted Bead Storage Trays by Bead Storage Solutions (found at JoAnn or Amazon) and used to store sequins, seed beads, and googly eyes. They come with labels so you can keep track of what’s what to know what to re-order. I like the clear plastic top that holds everything in place, but still lets you see what’s inside.

Let’s see, one more tip – Ribbon storage. A long time ago I got this useful tip for ribbon storage… wrapping ribbon around small cards of mat board (for matting pictures) and securing them with a rubber band. Time consuming, but it REALLY cuts down on space as those spools waste LOTS of space. HOWEVER, learn from my mistake: don’t wind your ribbon too tight or you’ll end up with kinks that need to be ironed like you see in the pink ribbon I’ve laid out.

Another ribbon storage alternative: I won this Ribbon Box from The Original Scrapbox (Oh, how I’d love to have one of those incredible Scrapboxes! It’s like a crafting area you can close up into a wardrobe. So cool! A girl can dream!). I’m not fond of the fabric and intend to recover it some day. You have to get used to not pulling out too much ribbon if you don’t want the fussy hassle of trying to re-wind it back onto the spool and re-thread it through the holes. That said, it is quite useful! Right now I have 66 spools stored in that 13″x13″x5″ box!

Ok, dear crafters, I hope you found some useful tips and wish you the best in organizing your crafty space! Who knows, maybe I’ll get the rest of my space organized and let you peek in on it in the future, too.

Have a lovely week!

~D.Ann

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Happily Ever After Fairy Tale Anniversary Tunnel Card – The Princess Bride

Surprise! Didn’t think I’d make it back again this year, but here I am! It’s anniversary party time (their 54th!) and I have a cool fairy tale tunnel card to share with you with some fun references from The Princess Bride!

The extra grass on the prince and princess’s levels was done by partially die cutting with a grass die. After it was put together I wanted to add the As You Wish sentiment, so I embossed it on acetate. Princess Bride fans know “As You Wish” means, “I love you!” Not a Princess Bride fan? INCONCEIVABLE!! (That means the rest of us are laughing at you right now! Lol!) I added the Happily Ever After after it was together, too.

This was my first time playing with these dies and I wasn’t sure how to color them. I started out with Aqua Blend pencils, but I wasn’t satisfied with the results (guess I need more practice!), so I went right over them with alcohol markers, which added to the shading and I was happier. Then I added a bunch of ‘gilding’ with some metallic markers and a Sparkle pen.

This was my first time using a concertina fold (the sides) to put together a tunnel card. Not as easy as it looks and hard to keep it from warping = I need more practice!!

Well, the picture of the back looked fine on my phone, but now it looks blurry. sorry. It’s already in the possession of the happy couple, so here are some of their favorite Princess Bride quotes that I used: “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togever today.” “This is true love – You think this happens every day?” “INCONCEIVABLE!” “Have fun storming the castle!”

Supplies:

  • Crafter’s Companion Happily Ever After Create-A-Card die set
  • Crafter’s Companion Happily Ever After Edge’ables die
  • Impression Obsession Small Grass Border die
  • The Ink Road – As You Wish stamp set
  • Recollections 110# cardstock – white
  • Spectrum Noir by Crafter’s Companion Aqua Blend pencils: Beeswax, Blue Marine, Bottle Green, Bright Green, Brunette, Carrot, Cobalt Blue, Deep Forest, Dove Grey, Ginger, Honeycomb, Iron Grey, Oak, Oregano, Pesto Green, Sky Blue, Slate, Spinach, Strawberry,Verdant Green, Wheat
  • Spectrum Noir by Crafter’s Companion Basics permanent alcohol markers: Apple, Bamboo, Cerulean, Earth Brown, Emerald, Forest Green, Meadow, Natural Brown, Pale Citrus, Pecan, Silk, Willow
  • Spectrum Noir by Crafter’s Companion Metallic markers: Rare Minerals – Burnished CopperGold Plate, Silver Ingot; Precious Metals – Blue Topaz
  • Spectrum Noir by Crafter’s Companion Sparkle pen – clear
  • Tsukineko Versamark Ink
  • WoW! Gold Sparkle embossing powder
  • Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black ink
  • Sookwang Scor-tape double sided adhesive
  • Simply Defined ‘Stay Put’ glue
  • Misc. gold glitter cardstock and clear acetate

I’m playing along with the following challenges – click on any one of them for more information on how you can join the fun:

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your comments!

It just might be next year before I post again, so y’all take care and Have fun stormin’ the castle!!

~D.Ann

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Love Card and Review of Spectrum Noir Colorista Markers & Gemini Die Cutting Machine

Hello, dear peeps!

Today I have a beautiful card to share with you and a brief review of some nifty new products, too.

First an amazing story: In December, Crafter’s Companion had an amazing sale of 75% off some of their fabulous stamp sets. I threw everything I wanted into my cart and then went back and whittled it down to what my budget would allow. When the order arrived, the box was way to heavy and as I started looking through it, I found it contained not only my order, but many of the items I had wanted, but had to put back. Flummoxed, I called the company to let them know of the mistake, thinking it was a glitch in their system. I was totally overwhelmed when they told me the extra goodies were not a mistake, but were a surprise gift!

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Woo-hoo! I am still utterly amazed and so very thankful!! They made my day!! Actually they made my dayS for years to come as I play with these fab goodies!! I’m still doing a happy dance!

Enabler alert: See something you like? They are having another 75% off sale in January – you might want to check it out HERE! (No, I don’t get any commission.)

Among the things I had ordered were a set of the new Spectrum Noir Colorista markers to try and a Premium Marker Pad with colorable glitter.

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The markers have fine nibs at each end… one is fine, the other ultra fine, with just a smidge of difference when  in use. They are alcohol dye-based inks. I drew a line with each end and you can’t tell a whole lot of difference.

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The marker pad pages are heavyweight artist’s grade paper and have various parts of the design covered with clear glitter that will take on whatever alcohol ink color you use.

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The designs are intricate and some spots are so small it is a challenge to keep the ink from bleeding outside the lines. I was able to take my colorless alcohol blender from another brand and ‘push’ the color back in most of the time. I guess I should make the time to take their free online coloring course! : ) (You can find it HERE.)

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It’s amazing that I colored this page with only five markers! I will say that on the glittered sections, the ink sat a while longer and was easier to pick up and blend (mostly I blended everything with the yellow). On just the plain paper, the ink dried quickly and took several passes to blend well.

Tip: I found that tip-to-tip blending was the easiest way to blend the colors on the plain paper.

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I got about this far when I decided I would cut out the two main hearts and make a card.

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Which brings me to the Gemini. I was recently given the funds to buy a Gemini electric die cutting machine, which will help on the days it’s too painful to crank a manual machine. HSN just had an amazing special that not only included the dies and embossing folders that normally come with it, but also the alphabet and number dies.

Enabler alert: HSN also had some Chibitronics in their clearance section! (No, I don’t get any commission.) I can’t wait to play with those, but that will be a while yet.  Stay tuned!

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The Gemini also comes with the regular cutting plates AND a magnetic shim, steel shim for intricate dies AND a rubber embossing pad – all included!. Everything is thinner and lighter than what one is used to using with a Big Shot or Cuttlebug. Because I chose to use intricate dies on my card, I used the magnetic sheet and metal shim.

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Note that the dies do make an indent in each. I am not sure how this will affect the metal shim’s function in the long run. As time goes by, I will have to update you on how that goes. The only thing that I see that will be an issue is the embossing pad I used the sandwich as instructed, but the die cut through the pad.

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The pad is still usable, but it will have to be replaced sooner than other embossing pads (I have never had to replace my embossing pads for my manual machines and neither have cuts in them. So far, that is my only negative comment about the Gemini. Everything else has worked fine and I am quite pleased with the results:

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Look at all that fabulous shine!

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Supplies used:

  • Crafter’s Companion Spectrum Noir Colorista marker pad In Full Bloom
  • Crafter’s Companion Spectum Noir Colorista markers Set 1
    • Daffodil, Rose Red, Orchid, Purple, Leaf Green
  • Crafter’s Companion Gemini Set Two & Set Three metal die packs
  • Crafter’s Companion Gemini embossing folder
  • Crafter’s Companion Die’sire Classiques – Only Words – 1″ Alphabet Decorative Uppercase and Lowercase metal dies
  • Recollections papers
  • Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L E-Z Runner Permanent Strips
  • Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue

I’m playing along with the following challenges. Click on any one for more details on how you can join the fun!

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope to be back soon with some fun organization tips… but first I have to get organized! Lol! See you soon!

~D.Ann

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p.s. any ads on this page are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed by me.