The dream room.
We see them all the time, beautiful, spacious, packed with accessible storage and organisation solutions, beautifully colour-co-ordinated, heaps of uncluttered bench space, gorgeous lighting. Everything we could wish for in a dream crafting space. We put them on our pinterest albums and gaze in wonderment with questions like…
a) how long the room stays looking so beautiful
b) how much it cost to set the room up like that
c) how much all that stuff cost in the first place (and what their other half says…)
d) whether anyone ever actually MAKES anything in there!
If you’re like me, you look at your own mess and throw up your hands in defeat. And lament that Australian houses don’t usually have basement spaces that beg for conversion into the ultimate craft retreat space… And thinking about how you can re-arrange your house to create a dedicated space somewhere. The teenager could move to the cubby now, couldn’t they?
I am lucky to have a large space for my stuff, and I have lots of storage solutions, but I can guarantee it never looks like the pictures above. Even when I really tidy things up, it tends to stay looking neat-ish for about a day, or until I actually MAKE something in the space. Then I remind myself that Einstein’s desk looked like this on the day he died and feel much better about my clutter! I usually find myself working in a space about the size of an A3 paper. A tidy desk is a sign of an idle mind, right?
Along the way, I have tried lots of different things, and when I had a tiny room, I could still put my hands on what I wanted fairly easily. I did find that when everything was put away out of sight that I would forget to use it. Moving from a small room to a larger room (which was to be my teacher office as well, a torturously bad idea!) I came across lots of stuff I had almost forgotten I owned. It was a good opportunity to re-vamp my storage and organisation, and refresh my storage mantra of ‘like with like’.
So, without further rambling, here are my top tips for various types of crafty stuff:
Ribbon Organisation and Storage
I saw a much smaller version of this when I went looking for ideas to replace my IKEA metal wire curtain rod – the new room didn’t have enough vacant wall space. However, I needed something much more substantial than the two or three rod systems I saw. This was quick and easy to make using some dowel and a board from the hardware store, costing about $30 all up. You just need to choose a dowel diameter that goes through your ribbon centres fairly easily, and gather your ribbons into same sized-spools so you can lay the sizes out on the board for best fit. Even the middle ones aren’t too hard to get to, and I don’t need to take anything off the spindles to get to it.
Thin Dies Organisation and Storage
My thin dies are in a DVD storage box if they have a plastic envelope or in an Artbin Magnetic Die box if they don’t, but I do forget what I own and get sidetracked looking for it. Its safe, economical, and it keeps everything together. One day I should make an Excel spreadsheet to describe whats in each set, or photograph them for a flip book (more on that later) but ‘one day’ may never get here! In the meantime, I did see these incredibly amazing magnet walls. Might be a great solution for the inside of cupboard doors or a large wall above your workspace. Not sure my kids(when younger) could have been trusted not to go walkabout with a shape they took a fancy to though!! I also think I would still find it hard to pick out the exact die I wanted. These walls also made me feel slightly better about my large collection of thin dies…
Chunky Dies Organisation and Storage
These live in Sizzix die boxes, or similar DVD/CD style boxes from various places. The problem is that they are very heavy when they are full, and inevitably the die I am looking for is in the last box! To help with the ‘out of sight’ problem, I use a display book to keep the original package insert with the picture (which often has those assembly instructions you really need!) A quick flip through the book reminds me of what I have. I could get *really* organised and index which box they are in, another ‘one day’ project.
Little Things Organisation and Storage
I came across this great idea of using a coffee capsule stand idea some years back, a friend told me about it, thanks Nic! It works really well with things that come in little containers, like embossing powders and glitter. Different brands of pod have different diameters, the Nespresso ones are probably too small. This one is from Aldi, and is just right for brands including Tim Holtz, Ranger, Judikins 1oz, WOW, Stampin Up etc. It rotates, and doesn’t take up much footprint space.
The other ‘little things’ idea is a spice rack! It is perfect for those tiny embellishments, brads, buttons etc. And, as a bonus, you can organise things in colour groups. It doesn’t take up much space, and you can see at a glance what you want. This one came from Costco, but KMart have similar ones. Just make sure the lids are sturdy.
What are your craft room storage concerns? What do you do if you are not able to have your own space you can leave set up? What are your favourite tips and storage solutions? Please let us know in the comments!
Stay tuned soon for Part 2, where I will talk about some of the furniture solutions I have come across.
Take care everyone, please share the link if you enjoyed the post 🙂