Organizing Craft Supplies

Materials for crafts can take up a lot of room, it is best to have an organized system so you can find what you want when you want it. This is a guide about organizing craft supplies.

Craft supplies for scrapbooking, including scissors, punches, paper and other decorations.
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Stacks of craft items and boxes all over the place (before)As you all know, I am a crafter. I also live in what some would consider, me included, a very small apartment. It's less than 620 square feet, which is my daughter's living room and kitchen!

When I moved in, I had a storage unit I could manage and it made life a little less crowded, if not less convenient. Then outflow increased and income did not, and I gave up the unit. My mom used to (more colorfully) say that someone was trying to put 3 lbs. of "poop" in a 2 lb. bag. That was me. When the unit was 10x10 feet, your apartment is not big enough for that much extra stuff. Plus, now the bedroom was not only the bedroom and office, but a craft room. Yeah, it was shades of madness in pretty purples and greens!

Something had to change. So, since I have plans to do a lot more on my computer in 2012, I decided to make the living and dining area into the craft room and office. I don't entertain that much and can't put more than 2 other people in here without bumping elbows, so why not? The cat still gets to look out the window everyday and I actually have a little room. Wonder how I did it? Well, sit back and enjoy - or be warned, I am not sure which!

Since I didn't have a way to set things out of the way when I needed to move things out, it took almost two months. I can only do so much per day with my disabilities. I promised myself that I would work for 40 minutes and rest for 20, and each day not work more than 8 hours. I offset that rule by working my tail off for a day or two then taking one off. This was not the promise, but what drove me was the need to stop walking over boxes and the fact that I couldn't make anything until it was done.

So, the first thing I had to do was move the furniture that was in the living room to the bedroom. I had shelving in there that I had to move out first, so you can see where this is going. Swapping stuff when you would literally have to set things outside to get anything done is never fun. I sold one chair, left the bed in the bedroom, but had to swap the TV/DVR and the computer, printer, entertainment center and desks literally piece by piece.

Closet before reorganizing, stacks of boxes and bags piled all over Closet after reorganizing. Shoe rack on back of door holds yarn, boxes are organized, more yarn and items are stored in clear plastic bins and large clear bags

The white wicker cabinet came out here, the rocker went in there. I gutted the closet, hung the clothes back up and literally put everything that wasn't going to fit on my walls or shelves in boxes and stacked them on one side of the closet. I have a small three drawer unit in there that has a few clothes and the rest is yarn. All the yarn (more susceptible to cat hair) that I can't fit in the new craft room is in that closet, as you can see. There are boxes of yarn under the clothes you can't even see.

With the white plastic shelving assembled, they went up really fast. Then, finding the right tubs and crafts to fit in them was easy. I shop at the local "As Is" store, so getting things by the pound is a great way to shop.

The white folding tables are perfect, as they fold down when you don't need them. I had one fold up table for stereo, stationary, and a desk top calendar to keep my life organized. That is where I now start the day with drink of choice and make sure I am still on point. The other, which I use for a work table for gluing, painting, and all smaller projects, I got in an abandoned apartment, along with my sewing machine, two lamps, a boom box with cassette and CD player, an office chair and two smaller shelf units.

Table stacked with boxes and bags Second crafting area after organizing. Two white folding tables with craft items - boxes stored underneath. Puzzles mounted and hung on wall

Sometimes you can find clear shoe boxes for $.25 each and they stack with a groove in the bottom that fits the groove in the tops so they "interlock". I use the zippered bedding bags as much as I can, as it's "Cornelius" proof, I can see into it and it's light weight.

A shoe rack for storing fabric The newly reorganized sewing room.

My shoe rack that is now for yardage was just $1.00. The two filing cabinets were $5.00 each, and the sewing table is the hot water heater door (submitted earlier). I use every single available space. Even the cat's "perch" is a tub of yarn with a glass door from a junked out entertainment center. If he slides off his blanket, he can see the yarn but can't get to it. So my room often has free entertainment as well!

Stacks of craft items and boxes all over the place (before) Craft "table" after reorganizing - table is door held up by two file cabinets and holds sewing machine and craft items

I left most of the pretty scenery puzzles and posters so I could be inspired by beautiful things. It's also to remind me that if I am lucky, I will make enough to get my RV and travel to some of those places again and some for the first time.

As you will see by the before and after photos, this project was a challenge. Every night when I had to walk a path to the bedroom, I kept saying "this is only temporary". Now I have my Etsy store and am making things every day, so it was all worth it.

Some of you might wonder why it's a frugal essay. Well, the entire process took me just $15.00 to do and considering that was two file cabinets, a shoe rack, shoe boxes, and extension cords - that's not too shabby!

A wicker chair and shelf in the newly organized bedroom. A nicely made bed in the newly organized bedroom. Desk and computer in newly organized living room. Newly organized living room with chair.

By Sandi from Salem, OR

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Organize fabric, ribbons, thread, trim, buttons, needles, and whatever else with cheap fishing boxes from Walmart (~$6).

open fishing supply box with craft supplies

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I do my knitting, crocheting, beading, etc. while watching TV. I usually had to get up many times to find tools or supplies. I brought in a weather beaten plastic table from the yard after I spray painted it burgundy.

Fabric table cover with pockets for organizing craft supplies and tools.

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If you need more space and have no place to hang shelves you can hang open-backed shelves in front of your windows. In the kitchen, this is a great place to store colored glass ware (like depression or cobalt glass) because the sun looks great shining through the glass.

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I got this wonderful wire rack for $.25 for each panel, and $.10 for each connector. Once together, I thought of a way to hang zip lock bags for craft supplies so I can see what is in them. I got a medium binder clip and hung it through the cross wires and it works perfectly!

Click together wire rack for craft supplies.

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I used a small old garden fence to organize my craft desk. I attached hooks and used wires to attach items. I also used small flower pots to store tiny tid bits. I strung my ribbons on a strip of leather and hung that above the fence.

Fencing used to organize a desk

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My roommate has a lot of medicine bottles and she gives them to me for my crafts. Having very little room on my table, I have learned to hang things in shoe bag hangers and the like. Today this tip if for those who don't have a ton (like someone I know...), but still want to keep things off the table.

Large Medicine Bottle for Craft Supplies

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Tips for creating a craft room from the ThriftyFun Community. All of us crafters would love to have a craft room. Some of us are lucky and we have an extra room we can use.

Creating Your Craft Room

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I'm recycling my old eye glass cases. This one, I have found, is just the right size for three pairs of my craft paper scissors. I can turn back the flap and sew on a soda can tab/ring to hang it up.

Using an eye glass case for holding scissors.

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I am a "Crafty One" or that's what my family calls me. I have all kinds of things: beads, foam, feathers, all sorts of little tiny things, etc.

I've already tried Tupperware, but the lids come off and everything goes everywhere. They take up tons of space in my closet and I don't have a lot of space in my closet.
Any storage solutions for crafts?

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    Cool thanks and I Have found a spice rack at a garage sale which works for all sorts of thinks. Thanks for the great answers!

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    I have all sorts of tiny crafting materials (wiggle eyes, acrylic jewels, needles, beads, etc) and not a lot of space to store them, we live full time in our camper. I tried looking for storage boxes but the compartments were either too small or too large for most of the materials.

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    Keep your craft room organized with this over-the-door hanger made for shoes. It's perfect for keeping sharp things up high away from small hands. It also separates items nicely, and this one is clear so I can easily see where my items are located.

    Use Over The Door Organizers For Crafts

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    Use empty pill bottles to dispense elastic and similar items. Coil the item to fit into the bottle. Then cut a simple slit/opening in the lid to pull the item out as you need it, as much as you need. Use this to hold and dispense yard string.

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    Crafting can be a wonderful hobby, but you need so many different things to use. In order to try to keep some of my smaller items organized, my husband put up shelves and I used my collection of baby wipe boxes for holding different items.

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    I use fishing tackle boxes from Walmart or Kmart to store craft supplies or sewing notions like threads, buttons, needles, beads, etc. I also use one box for kids art supplies like crayons, pencils, markers, erasers, etc.

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    I love the texture and color of beads and buttons. Until recently, each attempt to organize them usefully failed. I found a shelf at a yard sale and washed small bottles until all of my beads and buttons can be seen. Moving the bottles around helps me plan projects and I can enjoy my collection every day.

    By Dutch

    Organizing Beads and Buttons

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    Gerber baby food containers make perfect storage containers. I use them for my beads, findings, buttons, etc. The lids do snap shut making spillage less possible and they are clear enough that you can see through them.

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    This is just a simple suggestion for anyone who creates crafts or does art projects. Materials add up quickly and can get scattered about!

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    I use Ziploc bags to organize my arts and crafts. I put my stickers, ribbon, scissors, markers, tape, and glue in the bags. You can even label them and a box of Ziploc bags doesn't cost that much if you buy a box at a dollar store.

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    It is time for me to start filling up a craft box for the holidays. I save cardboard and paper of green and red. I also save orange for fall harvest decorations, Thanksgiving, etc. I will pick up little stickers at the store and put things in it for the kids to do.

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    You know those egg carton-type protectors that come with new items like paper shredders or small kitchen appliances? I had the idea that they could make great crafting supplies organizers.

    Craft supplies in pasteboard packing material.

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    I buy mis-matched toothbrush holders in "my colors" at my thrift store and use them to store my paint brushes in while I'm creating.

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    I try to keep the clutter around my desk to a minimum, so I don't own a ruler. But, I do a lot of craft supply selling from there, so this helped me. I measured out a 6 inch piece of paper.

    6" paper scale on desk

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    I needed to have easy access to my sewing machine attachment presser feet. Since I've just acquired some of them, I realized I wouldn't use them if I didn't have them sorted out. So, I purchased a small plastic box with compartments at the thrift store.

    Feet in plastic compartment box.

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    I am looking for inexpensive or very cheap ways to store my yarns and paper craft items. I really want to get things organized by colour and theme, but I am stumped as to how to get it done without blowing my budget. Any ideas?

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    I keep several small bottles of of acrylic paint on my shelf in a box made from an empty Bisquick box. To save time, I open the bottles of paint and, using my finger, dab a little paint on the top of each bottle. Now, at a glance, I can see what colors I have.

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    Organizing CraftsOctober 4, 2011
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