This Wondermom Wannabe is not crafty. The crafts you find here are always VERY simple because my craft ability is pretty limited. Somehow, I still have a craft supply addiction – probably because I’m sure if I find the right craft supplies I’ll suddenly become crafty. So, when a truly crafty person (she runs a craft business!) offered to share some of her craft supply organizing tips with my readers, I enthusiastically agreed. Please welcome Jeriann from Dairy Airhead. Keep reading to find her tips for keeping your craft supplies under control.
Anyone who’s ever taken on a craft project knows that craft supplies can get out of hand pretty quickly. You only need one pair of googly eyes, but you have to buy a package of 20+. You decide that since you have so many, you’ll start saving toilet paper rolls to make cute little creatures. Then you decide to start saving old clothes instead of throwing them out, because “you never know when some scrap cloth will come in handy.”
This chain of events is why so many crafters get accused of being hoarders. I’ve tried several strategies for reining my collection of craft materials without limiting my potential for future craft projects. These include:
- Only buying things when I have a specific project in mind
- Not giving in to “but it might come in handy” syndrome
- Asking my fiancé if he thinks I should keep something (usually, the answer is no)
Though these strategies can be useful, I’ve come to the conclusion that for the most part, the best way to keep my craft room under control is to organize the craft collection rather than reduce it. Here are some affordable tips I’ve found for craft room organization. These tips are all about maximizing space, so they also work even if you only have a craft closet, shelf, or corner.
Know When to Get Rid of Stuff
If you haven’t had a system of organization and are now creating one, it’s a great time to get rid of things you’ll never use. This includes items that have become broken or tattered, as well as dried-up paint or expired items (I had some year-old etching cream that no longer did its job; that stuff is time sensitive!) Just be sure to dispose of hazardous waste properly. I had a bag full of old cell phone batteries that I was saving for an “electronics collage”. When I finally decided the project was never going to happen, I found an electronic junk removal company to take them and make sure they didn’t end up in the landfill.
I know that we’re supposed to be downsizing, but saving jars will help you a lot. You can also save plastic tubs and other packaging that would otherwise go to waste, but jars are my favorite because you can quickly see what’s inside them. They’re great for storing glass rocks, beads, and other craft supplies. If you have a drill, you can even attach the lids to the bottom of a shelf like in the picture above! Talk about maximizing storage!
Go Back to School
Classrooms have great systems of organization. After all, when 30+ kids have stuff that needs to be kept track of, you need clearly labelled places for things. Make a cute cubby system out of PVC or tissue boxes. You can also find great discounts on used lockers, which could add some nostalgic charm to your craft space. If you’re looking for space-saving ideas, talking to a teacher is always a great way to brainstorm!
Make Use of Your Walls
Bookshelves and Lockers are great for storage, but sometimes you only have so much room on your floor for storage items. When you run out of space, look up… no, not to the ceiling, to your walls. Chances are, you have a lot of blank space. If this is the case, consider some wall shelving. I love this mom who put milk crates on the walls of her daughter’s room- you can store stuff inside as well as on top! I think these would work great for fabric storage! The best part is, milk crates are easy to find for super cheap! Check out the free section on craigslist and be on the lookout at yardsales!
Maximize Storage by Customizing to the Item
I make lamps out of wine and liquor bottles. This means that I have quite a large collection of bottles that will someday be lamps. For a while, I was keeping them on a built-in bench in my craft room. Eventually, I had too many bottles for the space. Luckily, my fiancé is amazing, and found a tall wine rack at a thrift store for less than $10! It holds over 50 bottles and doesn’t take up a lot of space! There are even stackable wine racks like the one below that enable you to build a shelf that fits your space. Since wine bottles for crafts are usually empty, you could even probably get away with hanging something like these on the wall, like milk crates, but with separators for bottles!
Think about how the items you have are normally stored for their regular usage. Do you make jewelry? Keep your supplies in bead and jewelry boxes! Tool and tackle boxes are also great choices, as they have lots of compartments to keep things separate. I love the tool boxes with plastic drawers you can pull out.
Do you have a lot of fabric? You could always put up a bar, get some pants and skirt hangers (or regular hangers with binder clips) and have easy access to all your swatches! This makes it easy to see everything you have without having to dig through boxes or drawers.
These are just some of the ideas that have worked for me and that I’ve seen online. Do you have any great craft room organization tips? Share in the comments!
About the Author
Jeriann blogs about her life at dairyairhead.com. There you can follow her adventures of starting a craft business, planning a wedding, and generally existing in this crazy world. You can also follow her on Twitter!