Misc. Supply Storage

Last Updated 10/14/09

From Mary C - A plastic see-thru shoe bag with hooks for over the door hanging. The compartments are deep enough to hold colored pencils, paintbrushes, Krylon pens, stamp pads. I store my chalks in baggies (like colors together) and put them into the shoe bag...There are unlimited possibilities. I have it hanging on the back of my bedroom/office/craft room and am wishing I had another door in this room for another not for shoes shoe bag.

One organization method I use for collage stuff is that I keep everything by color, with some exceptions to separate things by type (like old postage stamps, post cards, etc.) I have a rolling cart that has a box for hanging files on it, and I filled it with file folders and have a file for each color. For smaller bits, I have large envelopes in the file (I keep meaning to buy those clear acrylic envelopes from fancy stationery stores but I haven't gotten around to that yet.) That way, when I'm working on something, I usually have an idea of a color scheme I want to work with and then things are already organized. Or, I can start with a central element like a postage stamp and then pull out the color files for the colors in the stamp... It works pretty well, as long as you're organized about putting stuff away by color.

Store small craft supplies such as beads, glitter and buttons in empty film canisters or baby food jars.

For all those single page, loose leaf, and freebee patterns that always seem to accumulate in piles, I set up notebooks. I divided all the patterns out into categories, and made use of tab dividers. Sheet protectors came in handy for anything that was too small or couldn't be hole-punched.

But I didn't stop there. I started out by using a program (Access, Foxbase Pro, etc) to creat a simple database for keeping track of all those patterns. Now I just use PageSage to keep track of my stuff. You can use just about any database, the main key is to set up the appropriate fields and categories for the information you find particularly useful. This has been one of the biggest helps to my organizational process. Whenever I want to make something, I can simply look it up on my computer, and it tells me exactly where to find a pattern for it! No more digging through piles of magazines trying to find that favorite pattern!

Use a tackle box or toolbox to organize craft supplies. The many compartments in each tier keep supplies organized, visible and convenient to transport. No more looking for that hot-glue gun or searching through drawers for the glue sticks.

Keep paintbrushes in a clean, empty potato-chip canister. Remember always to store brushes with their handles down so the bristles don't get squashed. To straighten warped bristles, put them in extremely hot water, and reshape them with your fingertips. Or place a toothpick alongside the bristles, wrap them with thread, and let the brush dry.

Organize craft paints upside down in an empty cardboard cheese-loaf container. Storing them upside down keeps the paints fresher longer and makes it easier to see the color of the paint. You can write the specific model number of the paint on the bottom of the bottle. You can store about a dozen bottles of paint in one cheese container

Store spools of ribbon on a paper towel holder (hang in your craft area if you have space). Cut centers from spools if needed to fit

Empty spice containers with shaker tops are great for storing glitter or embossing powder.

From Judi Kauffman - I organize around flat surfaces, though most of them end up disappearing under supplies. My main stamping area is a large drafting table with one of those stools where your weight goes just under your knees (the best investment I ever made!). This is in the finished part of our basement and has good light, though I put the table facing a wall and have two 9-ft. shelves and two type trays for most frequently used stamps (the shelves are door molding and only about 1-1/2" thick). We moved an old kitchen cabinet into the laundry room and that's the punching area. I have a door on raised legs for a standing work table and that's where I cut, and another long table for the Xyron and die cutting (also in the laundry room), plus a low table right near the tall one for beading and sit-down fine work. The laundry room is a big space and all of the walls have shelves and storage of some kind. I got all of the shelves and drawers in a totally haphazard fashion (someone moved and left flat files, someone got divorced and gave me a unit from his daughter's room, that kind of thing). I don't know what I'd do if I started from scratch - but probably I'd have U-shaped work areas where I could sit or stand between several tables instead of walking from place to place to work...It's good exercise, I guess.

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