Here I am today still talking about my craft room, lol! Last day, I promise! Today I'm talking about storage challenges. There's a fine line between keeping something safe and keeping things handy. If it's tucked away, you tend to forget about it. But if it's all out in the open it can be overwhelming! What to do, what to do? Here are some challenges I've faced, what I ended up doing, and why:)
The first thing I'll talk about is paper storage. I am a stickler about paper. I hate to waste paper and will do everything to prevent warping and dinged corners. I use a lot of heavy card stock (100 lb+ text weight like Avery Elle, PTI, Bazzill Card Shoppe) and this paper is so heavy that it needs to be stored a certain way otherwise it will bend on itself. Nothing is sadder than a saggy card base. I store this paper 2 ways: filing cabinet in hanging folders or laid flat in a paper rack. Below is a picture of the hanging folders.
Below is a picture of my paper rack where I keep my white card stock. Since I converted over to this method, I've had zero problems with warped cards:) For my lighter papers, I do use magazine holders that hold the paper upright, but those papers are usually glued to the card base, so I'm not as worried about bending.
For my 12X12 papers, I recently picked up a metal rack made especially for 12X12 paper. Before I got the rack, I had them crammed into a plastic bin like this and I hardly ever pulled them out. It was hard to see and organize, and I could only store a small amount of paper. The new wire rack gives me enough storage (but not too much) and I can organize by color. I'm happy to say, I've been using them a lot more and I have a lot let damage. The racks can be pricey, but I've seen them at garage sales and Craigslist. I got mine from a business closing sale.
Now let's talk stamp storage:) Clear stamp storage is a hot topic, lol! (Really, it is!) Everyone has their own method but this has really worked for me. I am super lucky to be on the Avery Elle team for many reasons, least of which was being able to get in early with Avery Elle storage pockets! When Jamie first debuted these pockets, I knew they would be a hit. They are durable and for many of us, they work with the containers we were already using (a real bonus!). I have always kept my clear stamps in Ikea DVD storage baskets. They are sturdy, not see through, and were at a price point that I could live with. Plus, they are made to fit the Ikea bookshelves I already had. Lucky for me, they also fit the AE pockets very well!
Each stamp set goes in it's own pocket with the original backer sheet (if I have it). The backer sheet keeps things easier to see and you know who the maker is. I recycled some old manila folders to create category separators between the stamps. For all my stamps except PTI, I store by category. I have always stored my PTI sets alphabetically by name, so I kept them that way. Recently, I found some smaller square pockets that are made of the same material as the AE pockets. I use them for my small stamp sets and dies. The inside of the pocket is about 4-1/2" square. These square pockets fit into the AE pockets too, so I can keep coordinating stamp/die sets together if I want. Yay for a plan coming together! I try to put a label at the top of each pocket. Keeping it at the top makes it easier to flip through when they are in the baskets. So far I've used this method for over a year and I really like it. I even converted over my PTI stamps which were in the hard plastic CD cases. So much better now!
Now let's talk about my biggest storage challenge, embellishments! I have had a terrible time with all the little bits and pieces! Honestly, there are a 1000 ways to store embellies, and I do a hodge podge of them:) I tried to give the most thought to those embellishments I use the most. For me, that would be enamel dots and sequins. For the enamel dots, I have a bunch in a basket in this drawer that I shared yesterday. I also have them hanging (as shown in the pic below). The plastic hooks from a store going out of business sale. They are hung from the fronts of my magazine holders. These are the same kind of hooks. I believe the hooks are made for wire grids, but they can hook to drawer fronts, boxes, etc. The best part is that they convert empty spaces to useful storage! Plus, I like looking at all the goodies hanging like that:)
Another issue I was having was storing sequins. Recently, I started using small containers from the dollar store. I think they are about 9 for a $1 (they're in the office supply section). To label them, I taped one sequin to the top of the lid (along with a note on the maker). All the containers live in the plastic drawers on my work table. I love to use sequins and they were getting to be more trouble than they were worth when I stored them in small ziplock bags. I also tried to use a container like this, but my sequins kept getting mixed up. I still use the container, but now it stores wood veneers which don't seem to get mixed up (no static cling?).
Okay, one last thing before I go:) I recently picked up these cool containers for my fingertip blenders at a local scrapbook fair. I used to have them jumbled up in a drawer but now they are contained and labeled. I've also updated the way I store my blending sponges that I use with my Tim Holtz blender (you know the wood handle with velcro). To make it easier to find the right sponges, I stuck 2 little pieces of velcro to the bottom of my Distress Inks to hold each blender. I also label the sponges with a Sharpie since some of the colors are very similar. No more accidental mixing of colors:)
That's it for the craft room talk! I probably bored most of you to tears (sorry!) but there may have been one or two of you who are facing the same issues as me:) Thanks for hanging in there, lol!
Have a great day!
Have a great day!
Mahalo and Aloha,