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!
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