How Do You Organize your Craft Supplies? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need to get my sewing/knitting/other crafting stuff organized. It's a mess. But I also don't have a bunch of money to buy organizers. How do you keep your supplies neat and tidy without spending a fortune? Post pictures if you can!
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#2 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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ah, the million dollar question, lol.

i have a large walk in closet devoted to craft stuff/ my avon stuff/ and now, stuff for the baby. it's currently a nightmare, though. i've been making a little progress here and there by packing things in clearly labeled, uniformly sized (so they'll stack) cardboard boxes, and small plastic bins that i buy for under a buck at big lots. you can also make magazine organizers out of old cereal boxes. if you want them to be pretty, you can cover them with paper or something, otherwise they aren't pretty, but functional.

i'm trying to go through things to get rid of stuff that i am pretty sure i'm not actually ever going to use. i used to be forever buying crafting supplies for things that i don't actually know how to do, in hopes that i would eventually learn. i'm going to try listing some of the stuff on ebay, and then donating the leftovers to my local animal shelter, which is having a garage sale fundraiser in feb.

i was watching a show about organizing a while back (can't remember the name), and the lady whose house was being organized was a quilter. she had enough fabric to make 10 quilts, but was sort of overwhelmed at the prospect, and so never actually made any. the host asked her to get rid of most of it, saying that IF and When she got in the mood to make a quilt, she would probably not ever get around to making 10, anyway. he let her keep enough to complete 1 or 2 quilts, and even the lady admitted that she was more likely to work on them, now that she didn't have to keep digging through mountains of fabric to find anything. i keep telling myself that even if i feel like sewing, i probably won't feel like sewing 900 things, so i need to get rid of some fabric, and resist the temptation to buy more. i hate my packrat tendencies... :
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#3 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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I was excited to come and put up some answers to this, but it seems we have very different hobbies. Although, that might not matter, I'll just share my "technique" :LOL

For the last 3 months I've been working really hard on getting my crafting supplies organized despite the fact that I have no real money to do it like you said. That's actually turned out to be a blessing in disquise, though I have had to be very patient. If I'd had money, I probably would have rushed right out and bought all kinds of shelving and containers that wouldn't have worked right in the end.

So anyway, I have been very patient and have been trying to see things differently; looking for new ways I can use a container (old tins, a sturdy cardboard box that's just the right shape, a basket a friend is going to give away, etc.). If I think of something I might want to try, I'll grab the container and try it out for a while. Sometimes it doesn't work for what I initially thought of , but is good for soemthing else. So my space has been getting organized and reoorganized slowly but surely over the months as I find the right solutions.

Because of the lack of funds, I've had to be okay with an ecclectic look. Shelves my FIL passed onto me, and the random containers I've mentioned. But I am fine with it because at least I have a palce to work, right?

I have spent a litle bit of money, maybe $30 in the last 6 months. I found a couple of baskets at Target that were perfect for scrap paper. I bought a tall trashcan for wrapping paper rolls to stand up in (I keep them in my crafting area so I can use my little table for gift wrapping) and some other things like that. BUT, I had already tried some different ideas and had figured out exactly what was going to work for me so I knew I wasn't wasting the money.

One thing that has really helped me is to see pictures of others' spaces (which I know you asked for). For me, there is a website called twopeasinabucket.com that is all about scrapbooking and they have galleries where people can share their scraprooms. Some are very fancy, but I've gotten some great ideas. Here is one I picked up from there: Ribbon holders. I got them at Target, just like this person, mounted them on the wall and they are so absolutely perfect for me. Cost me $7.50. But again, I knew it wouldn't be wasted so it was a good buy for me. The point is, do some searches and see if you can find images and details about others' crafting areas online and explore. It might help you figure out your own style and what kinds of organization will work best.

Well, I sure hope that helps! Just try to be patient and be willing to try just about anything. I'm sure I could come up with more suggestions if you want them! :

Please share any ideas yu come up with yourself too!
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#4 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 05:01 PM
 
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Sadly, not very well. I'm just gonna lurk, and see if I can learn something!

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#5 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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I'm not much help either. I finally realized that scrapbooking is not for me right now. I put all of my supplies and pics (a ton of both) in a big rubbermaid bin. Someday when I have more time, it is a hobby I hope to be able to enjoy more but for now, it was just clutter.

As for my knitting supplies, I bought a 3 drawer cart on wheels. I keep all my yarn in that and it is out of the way. The projects I am currently working on (incl yarn, needles, patterns, etc) go in a rubbermaid type box witha lid and handle. I can pick it up and take it with me wherever I want and everything is together.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 05:12 PM
 
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On second thought, I do have my scrapbook supplies all in one tote (I too have become addicted to knitting, and scrapbooking has fallen by the wayside!)

some of my yarn is in a dresser in the closet, but most of it is piled up on the craft table.

I keep current projects in a fabric magazine rack by the couch, (right under the lamp! so I can see) since that's where I knit most evenings.
I'd really love to have a wall (or a closet)that's all cubbies for yarn. Hmmmmm dreaming..... maybe it will be a job for hubby when he's done with renovating the bathroom, the spare room closet, and moving the washer/dryer up from the basement.

What I'd really really love, is a room that's just for crafts. We have plans to put that in the basement, but we can't afford to renovate the basement for a couple of years, so for now, I'm in the spare room. Someday....

Mamato Ruby Violet joy.gif(6 with autism) and someone 1sttri.gif who should make him/herself known sometime in the next month.

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#7 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 05:35 PM
 
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I have a dresser that I have put our crafty things in. Most of our craft things are markers, coloring books, string/yarn, fabric, etc. It isn't majorly organized, but enough that my kids and I know what drawer to go into to find something. If you have space for a dresser(its a long one, not a tall one) you could probably pick one up secondhand pretty cheap. I lucked out because this dresser was left in the last house we lived in and instead of the landlord taking it and probaby getting rid of it, we kept it. It works great!
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#8 of 16 Old 01-30-2005, 09:00 PM
 
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#9 of 16 Old 01-31-2005, 09:24 AM
 
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lurking too.

oh wait, I have an idea ---> if you get a handle on what you'd like i.e. three big storage boxes, fishing tackle box, whatever then go to freecyle (www.freecycle.com, I think, maybe dot org). and see if anyone in your area has some to part with.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#10 of 16 Old 01-31-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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My crafty projects involve lots of little things - notions, beads, sequins, etc. so I was thrilled to find these little boxes at Ikea that are plastic and sort of like Legos - they don't snap together, but each one has six little nubs on the bottom that rest on indentations on the one below so they don't fall over easily. Anyway, they snap shut and are the perfect size for a huge bag of beads, many little bottles of fabric paint, feathers, etc. I can't find a link to them on the website but I know they were near the kitchen area and came in a set of three for maybe $5.

I also picked up some bins at Ikea that are a little over a foot tall and maybe 8X14 on the sides. These are great for fabric rolls, holding bags of fluff and for yarn. My house only has two closets so I use these little cubbies cut into the eaves for storage instead and the bins fit perfectly.

My only other tip for organiation is that I don't start something unless I know I can finish it within a couple days (obviously I'm not a quilter!). I can live with a couple boxes and my sewing machine on the dining room table for a couple days, but not much longer than that. So I wait until I have a couple nights clear, make the thing and then put it all away. That way I'm not cluttered to death with my craft stuff and start to hate it. YMMV on this, of course.
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#11 of 16 Old 01-31-2005, 04:35 PM
 
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Pile by the sewing machine, with sharp stuff (needles, pins, scizzors) all on top of the desk where the sewing machine is. :

: -ing for more ideas!

Monica , DH :cop , DD (8) , DS1 (5) , DS2 (2/09) , and the pup
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#12 of 16 Old 02-01-2005, 06:06 AM
 
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I don't have a room, but am crammed into our bedroom. I use a long dresser, part of the tall dresser, my nightstand is a big cabinet, fabric in cardboard under the bed boxes, with larger pieces folded over hangers in the closet. I have one table and then the sewing machine. Of course the table is workspace but I don't keep it cleared because stuff in progress etc is always piled up there. I definitely need to either use up some stuff or reduce the stock! It is a BIG mess in there right now and pretty much always, so I'll be here! :
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#13 of 16 Old 02-01-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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I dont sew or knit.
My scrapping stuff is in a rubbermaid tote. It used to be organized!! DH is going to build a desk for me, and he will build one section that is all cubbies and he will build boxes to fit in the cubbies(someday!) Those cubbies will be for specific papers, one for glues, one for scissors, etc.
As far as other stuff, I bought a ton of pencil boxes at Staples during back to school sales for 39 cents each. I have one for pencils, one for markers, one for manipulatives, etc. I wrote the contents with a Sharpie onto masking tape and taped it to one end, then stacked all the boxes in a cabinet. It is for the kids stuff, but could work for other things.
Have friends save wipes boxes, or ask on freecycle. I am findign that any container will work if you write the contents on masking tape and stick it to the part of the box that shows. Also, baby food jars, or jars of any kind are wonderful. You can take a bunch of tin cans, take the lables off, sand down the sharp part and then glue them together so all the open ends are facing the same way. Then screw that into the wall and you have little open cubbies for storage of mulitpile things.
I find those Caboodles makeup cases at goodwill all the time
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#14 of 16 Old 02-02-2005, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did start going through my stuff to see what I really have. I have three big bins of "craft" stuff, and a laundry basket (that I did loosely organize) of knitting stuff, plus a container of painting stuff, and a bin of soap making materials. One bin is my faerie making supplies- that's reasonably organized already. Another bin shoudl be just fabric- I need to go through that. I can see what I really need is a new sewing basket, so I will keep my eye out for one at the thrift store. I have some nice baskets that have school stuff in them right now that I can use- there are some shelves in the garage that I can put them on, If I can clear out this corner of my bedroom, I can bring in the old kitchen table and actually have a place to work on things. Today I am working on cleaning out my dd's bedroom, because she has extra closet space where I can put these boxes of school stuff that are in my way. Thanks for all the ideas- I fele like I am on the road here!
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#15 of 16 Old 02-02-2005, 04:16 PM
 
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I have a dresser system as well- one downstairs dresser for my art supplies. I also have a big rubbermaid tote for things I can't do right now like extra canvas to stretch, pastels, pastel board etc. but want to keep.

My watercolor stuff is a little, handled "art bin" that I can pick up and take for painting on location. The rest is in a dresser drawer (paper, board, extra tubes)

Upstairs, I have a drawer for current knitting projects (need them up high to keep toddler out) and it's also stuffed with balls of yarn. My extra circs are upright in a plastic "jar" thing on a top colset shelf (one end in, one hangs out over the top).

I keep my double points in ziplock sandwich bags in my knitting bag (used to be a diaper bag). I keep stitch markers, crochet hooks, yarn needles, other notions in there.

I also have a cardboard box of yarn on top of my living room shelf and a ziplock bag of sock yarn.

Everything has a place but it could be better- unfortunately I only have so many places "up high" out of kid's reach.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#16 of 16 Old 02-02-2005, 09:14 PM
 
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i finally decided to suck it up and clean out the craft/avon closet today, to make room for some baby stuff, and also so i could even think about doing anything crafty. it took 4 or 5 hours, but it is done.

as far as cheap storage alternatives, i ended up using lots of ziplock bags to sort small things. also those shoe organizer things that hang on doors are pretty neat organizers. we have them all over the house. (for example, one in the coat closet for gloves, umbrellas, etc.)

the closet looks great. i keep going in there to admire my work. lol

the only downside is that i think i overdid it. my back is killing me!
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