January 27, 2013

Craft Room Storage Ideas on a Budget

I am finally feeling settled in my new place here in sunny Florida!  Enough so that my space is begging to develop it's only little personality.  I've begun decorating and organizing...and even re-organizing already.

Seems that rearranging things is never-ending for me.  I like things to be tidy and just-so while I work. And besides, changing around the old stuff makes it feel just like new again!

After working for a few months with very minimal craft room organization, I ended up with a big old messy work space.  I'm happy that happened though, because it gave me a good place to start.

After living with this mess for awhile, I came up with some pretty particular storage needs and challenges.  I based them on:
  • the way I work
  • tools and materials that I work with
  • accessability to reuseable materials
  • the size of my workspace
  • and what items needed to be tucked away from Milo's "helpful" hands
Everyone will have different storage needs obviously, but these are a few of the storage solutions I came up with for my craft room:

1. Organization for my snaps and space to assemble them
My upcycled wallets and cuffs are finished off with a heavy duty snap, but since each product requires a different snap size, finding a solution that wouldn't take up a lot of space was quite a challenge.

Not only does each snap set have four parts that need to stay separated, they also require a four-part die set each. Times that by a giant snap press plus two sizes, and you've got a big ol' storage dilemma.

I picked up these cute tin cans with clear lids at Joann's for about $1 each, and they work perfect!  Now my snaps are nicely organized, I have assembly space, and everything is tucked away from inquiring four year old fingers.

The vintage creamer and sugar bowls store the two die sets {also, they look really cheery and cute}.

2. A storage solution for scrap fabric:
I'm the girl that likes messy things to be tucked away.  But in my current financial state, I can't afford the perfect, pretty bins that are designed to go with my Ikea EXPEDIT cube shelving units.

After searching for an alternate affordable storage idea, I came across these vintagey-green plastic baskets at the Dollar Tree.

I have a new product coming out soon that will use up quite a bit of those overflowing white scraps!

These baskets are a great solution for me because they're open at the top. I can simply drop my scraps in while I cut, plus, they look adorable with all my kitschy stuff.

3. Organizing my desktop tools and shipping supplies
Shipping orders can be a giant hassle if you don't have all your things in order.  You need packing materials, receipts, pens, stamps, stickers, business cards, thank you cards, envelopes :inhale: well, you get the idea.

Organization in this area of my work space is really important to me, because it ultimately affects my customers.

While at the dollar store picking out my baskets, I noticed these matching, stackable, green plastic bins (see how well they match my green vintage box?). They're open on the top so I can quickly reach in to get what I need while everything is still tucked away and relatively hidden. Love these!

Upcycled, clear plastic food containers now keep my envelopes and thank you cards readily available

Each of my customers receive a vintage souvenir postcard with their orders.  This set from the Vienna Spanish Court Riding School is my favorite.

My sewing accessories found a new, tidy home in this plastic upcycled Lunchables container.

Plastic trays, bins, bowls and plates from the grocery store or microwave meals are excellent for all kinds of crafty projects.  From sorting and organizing, to painting and stabilizing.  Keep these on hand!

4. Storage for my ironing supplies
I don't know if you saw my post about having to cut 205 pieces of fusible interfacing.  It's safe to say that I iron A LOT.  

I already had a dedicated space set up for my table-top iron, but I needed a space-saving method of storing my interfacing and supplies.  

This plain kitchen-utensil organizer does the trick by not only organizing all of my interfacing pieces, but it easily slides in and out from under my ironing board

After one more quick sweep of my things, here are a few more fun storage solutions I came up with:
1. Napkin holder for customs forms. 2. Vintage jewelry box {and funny internet meme!} for business cards, 3. small suitcase fits my wallets perfectly! 4. Shoebox and tacklebox storage 5. Always keep your furry faced friends nearby for some cheering up

My space is definitely not design-magazine worthy and I still have a lot to do.  But it IS cheery!  I also feel like it meets my needs by being:

  • well-organized
  • efficient and functional
  • within my budget 

Most importantly, my space now creates the perfect flow for how I personally work.

If you're feeling bummed out about your storage and organization budget, try to have some fun with the things you already have. Your resourcefulness will reward you with pride and joy! 

I just have to say that organizing is the jam.  I could do it all day long every day.  What's your thing?