Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The "living" craft room/area

I have discovered that my craft/stamp area is a "living" thing. What do I mean by that? Well, for instance, it never really stops changing : ) While I have not increased the amount of space I have, my storage has almost doubled through a few simple changes.

This all leads to that never ending quest for stampers to get organized. So I thought tonight I would share some organizing hints that I find helpful. Remember that we all have our own style, and what may work for me won't work for you, but you might get an idea on how to change what I do to work for you.

As you know my crafting area is very, very small, in a corner of our family room. This is what it looked like a few months ago:

Note that you can still see some walls in that picture. Fast forward to today, and well, the walls have almost disappeared.

When we got back from vacation I took a few days and unmounted most of my stamps, still have a few to do, and will finish maybe this weekend. I can't believe how much room I have now! And I cheated on the unmounting. I did not use the ez-mount, just took the stamps off the wood block and kept whatever backing was on the stamp on the stamp and stuck the stamp in a CD case.

Anyhow, I bought a small electronic machine to do labels for the CD cases (I tried to write on the cases, it really didn't work, and truthfully I didn't want to cut strips of paper for hours and hours). The machine isn't that expensive, but boy oh boy, the tape is! I made a huge mistake by purchasing tape at a local office supply store, at $18 a roll for 3/8th of an inch wide. Of course when I came home I immediately looked online and found the same tape for $8 less, and then I figured that 1/4 inch would work just fine, and that was $10 a roll cheaper! I purchased three rolls at ECom Office Supplies, and they shipped the order today. Don't, what ever you do, DO NOT buy the tape at Office Max, Staples or Office Depot.

So, what has changed in my little area? I have used more of the wall space for storage, and it has really made life ohhhhhhhhhh so much eaiser! First of all, almost all of my storage stuff is purchased at the dollar store. The crates you see in the picture below are an example, I just screwed them to the wall, and they are the perfect size to hold the CD cases filled with stamps.

If you decide to unmount your stamps, I highly suggest either the CD or DVD cases, I tried storing them in binders, that just didn't work for me, and if you do the CD case invest in the labeling machine. You can see some of the CD cases that I have started to label in this picture, and all I have left to unmount is on the top shelf.

Also, in the picture above I have my letter sized cardstock on a file holder that I screwed to the wall. Costco had the file holder for $14.00, and it has been a HUGE help! I used to have my paper stacked on the shelf and in the desk, but it was always hard to pull out the right color paper, this holder holds at least half of my card stock, and I can easily access what I need.

I am also using the crates to store some large die cuts that I use in the CuttleBug, as well as other odds and ends. You might also notice that I screwed another type of storage container to the wall, those little bin things that stack.

One of the things about organizing a craft space is to try to get what you use most nearest to you, and also to have it organized, easy to pull out, easy to put right back. That is what I have tried to do in my little area.

Here is a picture of what the area looks like when you are sitting in the chair, directly in front:

To the right a bit:

To the left:

At my fingertips I have all of my water based markers, bic and sharpie markers (I use plastic cups to separate them and hold the pens at an angle in the bins), exacto knives, sharpeners, oderless mineral spirits, colored pencils, scrubber, stamp clearner, adhesive, stumps to blend with OMS, my bone folder is there with the markers, the white box that says glitter has sharpeners in it (have to re label that), and I have a basket for my scraps (they do add up quick don't they!). Also, tucked away are prisma markers and copics, can you find them? (Remember find Waldo?) Also have baby wipes there, and then some larger stamps and some sets in the CD cases, and some stamps that I love and most likely won't unmount. The metal boxes were purchased at Target, a bit expensive, but they have magnets on the top and I use the magnets to hold my scissors in place : )

The picture above shows the wall and shelves on the left side of my work area, here I store all of the ink pads I use the most, versamark and the staz on, scissors on top of those cases, a box with some sponges that I use, and next to this stuff are the SU ink pads, distressed ink pads, stamping spots, and on the shelf are Twinkling H20's (blue boxes), some prima flowers, some new shimmer paints (green box), alcohol inks, paint daubers, and some paper. Below the wall, right next to my leg is:

Embossing fluid, liquid glue, glue sticks, more adhesive,acrylic mounts, some liquid glass, and other odds and ends, on the metal shelf I have some DYI glimmer mist and various gitters.

Here is a bigger shot this area:

The white and blue plastic drawers hold 12 by 12 paper, embossing powders, mica powders, brayers, punches, chalks, water color paints, embellishments like eyelets/brads, stickers, and some other odds and ends. Also, I use the underside of my desk as well, have some more 12 x 12 card stock there, and also some other things I use:

And on the floor, behind me when I am sitting, is my cuttlebug and scorpal (the plates, brass stencils, embossing folders and die cuts for the cuttle bug are on the shelves right above).

I keep my personal trimmers on top of the white drawers to my right, my heat gun on the wall behind me.

The point is that there are many, many ways for you to store your crafting supplies, and just because you store them one way now doesn't mean you have to continue with the same system. Even in a small area like mine you can find ways to make your crafting a much more organized and fun experience!

Here is a shot of the whole area:

Remember, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars to create a really fun crafting niche, all you really need is some imagination, a little elbow grease and the flexibility to keep changing things until they work for you. And, if like me, you don't have your own room, be creative! Find a way to steal a corner or a small space in a room. I am also thinking of getting some type of a screen to enclose the area a bit more, that way people will see the screen in the room, but not my craft area.

Hope you liked the post tonight, if you have any organizing questions please post them and if I can't answer, hopefully someone else can.

Darn, forgot a link, here is a neat blog about scrapbook organizing, and I will post some more sites in the near future. Also, I haven't forgotten about the ATC swap, look for some information early next week.


Michelle B. AKA JustPaintingAround said...

I appreciate how you used creativity instead of $$ to do your space. I can't spend money on my space when there are so many stamps I still want to buy! Ha!

Jheffner said...

Hi there Michelle,

I agree that spending money on stamps versus storage is sooooo much better : )

Since I am on a fairly low budget with my craft stuff, finding new and cheap ways to store things is at the top of my list, and the dollar store really has some great deals.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle, Love what you've done with the small space that you have, you said you needed something to separate your area from the other part of the room. Pick up one of those cheep folding doors at Lowe's or Home depot, you don't need anything fancy, them decorate it as you like. It could be a masterpiece. Gook luck Mary Jane in Florida

Cath said...

Very nicely done! I'm glad I'm not the only one with a "living" craft space!

SeaStar Creations said...

great storage ideas ... your space looks so cozy and creative :) love it!


mel m. m. mccarthy said...

What a fantastic space! Love all the colour you're surrounded with! :O)

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