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Craft Room Organization is in the Details!

A lot goes into a new craft room organization project. It isn’t just the big things of moving furniture around, and choosing storage containers. It’s usually the small details of how we deal with individual products that make or break a new organization plan. Today, I’m going to delve into a few of the finer details of my new craft room organization plan to show I’m making this scheme work for me.

Labeling is key element of my craft room organization plan. I label practically everything that doesn’t move out of my way with my Dymo Labelmanager 160. (One of these days, the cat is going to take too long of a nap on her favorite spot by my craft room window and wake up labeled.)

But before I can label, I have to categorize items to label. There are three major ways that I divide things up: product type (such as “dry adhesives”), manufacturer, and theme. Below, you can see examples of those last two in some of my embellishment boxes from on my papercrafts shelves.

Labeled Craft Storage Boxes

I also categorize in where I put my boxes. I have tons of these storage boxes. I try to put similar ones together. So, above, my American Crafts sub-brand boxes are together. And below, my “vintage” look boxes – Tim Holtz and Graphic 45 – are shelved together for convenient use.

When labeling, it matters not just that I label a box, but where I label it. The boxes above are labeled in a usual spot on the middle of the front of the box. Since they sit on a high shelf, that is visible from my seat in my desk chair. But the boxes below, which sit on the bottom shelf, are labeled on the front corner of the lid, which is more visible when I’m seated in my chair. A label is no good if you can’t actually see it!

Labeled Craft Storage Boxes

One other thing is different in the second photo of the bins as well. The labels are clear instead of white. Since I’m viewing the boxes in the lower picture from close up, it’s easy to read them without the high contrast white background. But I need that background on the bins that are higher up and further away.

The clear label tape is also useful for creating labels that are more aesthetically pleasing than just a strip of label tape. The ones below are made using print & cut on my Cricut Explore machine on printable vinyl. I create the blank labels, and then use clear label tape to label over them when I fill the bin. I also used the clear label tape on file folder labels to label all of my small drawers that sit over my Cricut machine on my desktop.

Pretty Craft Box Labels

Sometimes, something is already labeled, but in the wrong place. When some of these dies were placed in my storage rack on my desk, the end that showed was not the side that was labeled. So I just labeled them myself.

Labeled Dies

Drawers make for great storage, but have one downfall – we end up looking down on our products, a direction that they weren’t usually designed to be viewed. In some cases, such as with this embossing powder and glitter, clear containers make that not a problem. But when you have multiple things that look the same but are actually different…such as all this white looking embossing powder….labels are in order. Using a clear label allows the label to be visible while also allowing the container’s contents to be seen.

Labeled Embossing Powder

Labeling doesn’t always mean a labeler, however. These Distress Stains are labeled 1/2″ round circles punched out of address labels, which were then colored with the stain in the bottle and stuck on the lid.

Labeled Distress Stains

Some things don’t work with simple labels though – like these Distress Re-inkers. Jennifer McGuire came up with these ingenious rings that you can print with a pdf download from Ranger’s under-appreciated “Organize Your Ranger Products” page. The page contains color charts and labels that you can use to organize and track your purchases of all of the different Ranger product lines, and create color swatches to help you choose colors to use for projects.

I printed my rings on the same heavy cardstock that I am using for my inserts in my stamp folders, and punched them with a 1/2″ punch and a 3/4″ punch. I punched the whole sheet at once even though I don’t currently own all of the re-inkers, and am saving the extras in a small zip bag to be used as I buy more colors.

Labeled Distress Reinkers

There’s no question that us crafters have some difficult shaped things we need to store. One of my favorite things to use is 3M Command hooks to hang things up. You saw some of them in action in my previous article, holding my rings of small templates on the side of my bookcase, and holding my apron the back of my door. But I also use them for holding my Cricut mats on the end of the bookcase near where my machine sits. They are out of the way, but easy to grab to use!

Cricut Mat Storage

I also use my Command hooks over in my paint area. These plastic cups (some of which I drilled holes in to hang on the hooks) are the perfect way to keep my paintbrushes organized and accessible.

Hanging Paint Brush Cups

Paper scraps are another difficult item to organize, and one a lot of people struggle with. I don’t like mixing my paper scraps together, but instead prefer to keep my scraps with the collection they belong to. I have found a way to do that without making my vertical paper files a mess by using inexpensive sheet protectors. When I have small to medium size scraps from a collection, I collect them into one of these sheet protectors and then just file the protector along with the rest of the papers from that collection. There’s no extra cutting needed, and I always know what collection the scraps are from or if I have a scrap left of a certain paper.

Paper Scrap Storage

Sheet protectors are also a great way to store stencils and keep them from getting damaged or tangled together. I use old page protectors to hold my 12×12 stencils, and then file them in my vertical files on my bookshelf. They’re super easy to flip through to find the one that you want stored this way! This is a great way to recycle page protectors that have damaged bindings on them.

Stencil in Page Protector

I hope that I’ve inspired you on how to handle some of your craft room organization challenges! What is your biggest organizing challenge?

9

A Look at my Overhauled Stamp Storage

One of my most frequently used supplies are my stamps. So it’s very important that I have a stamp storage system that works to make my stamps easy to find, and that is flexible and expandable. I have struggled for years to find the right solution for my stamps, as well as my 6×6 pads and my metal dies. But I think in my latest room overhaul, I finally have the solution I’ve been searching for.

[Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links that pay a commission to this site at no cost to you when a purchase is made after a click.]

Like many stampers, I’m now using stamp storage based on the system designed by Jennifer McGuire. (Click here to see a YouTube playlist of her videos about the system. But set aside a chunk of time because Jennifer will have you organizing all the things by the time you are done with her amazing organizing playlist!)

But of course, as with every organization project I take on…I modified it somewhat from the inspiration source to fit my preferences and way of working – to make it work for me.

Stamp Storage

The system is based around plastic bins, with plastic bag pouches to hold stamps, and dividers cut from plastic pocket folders. For my bins, I use an InterDesign Divided Fridge Bin and four InterDesign Linus Pantry Bins. One of the pantry bins is devoted to my large Tim Holtz stamp sets, and the rest of the bins are used for a variety of things, including stamps, dies, and 6×6 paper pads.

stamp storage

My original stamp pockets were from Avery Elle, but now since those have disappeared I use a brand called CheckOutStore available on Amazon.

For my larger stamps, I use three other sizes of bags from ClearBags:

I cut the flaps off of the bags that have them, to create open top pouches.

For the paper inserts, I use 110lb Georgia Pacific cardstock that I buy affordably at Walmart in large packs. My labelmaker for labeling my stamp pockets is a Dymo Labelmanager 160 that I previously wrote a sponsored review about.

The larger flap bag (B66XL) is used for most of my supplies. I use it for my larger stamps, embossing folders, and several other things.

Background Stamp Storage

I also use those bags to hold multiple small stamps, such as my sets of Tim Holtz mini Blueprints.

Small Stamp Storage

The smaller flap bag (B6x6) I use primarily for my 6×6 stencils.

6x6 stencil storage

One of the largest places where I deviated from Jennifer’s system is with my metal die storage. Instead of using pockets, I opted to use the 6×7 magnet cards from Stamp-n-Storage. They fit perfectly filed in my bins alongside my other items.

Since the magnet cards are not exactly cheap, sometimes I put multiple small die sets from the same company on the same card. This saves money as well as saving room in my file bins.

Magnetic Die Storage

Like Jennifer, I also use this bin system to store my 6×6 paper pads. I still need to make some dividers for them. I plan to sort them into a few major themes such as various holidays. I also keep a few other things, such as paper scraps that have been cut into a standard size, and a few Close to my Heart stamps, in this section.

6x6 paper pad storage

I’m a major paper hoarder, especially for the collections that I love the most, but that can get really messy in my paper files. I found a way to solve that in the file for the 6×6 paper pads using the B66XL flap bags. Once I start using a paper pad and it has scraps that are getting annoying in the file bin, I put the pad in one of the bags. It allows me to still place it in the file with the others, but keeps the pesky little scraps contained!

6x6 paper pad storage

Initial set-up for this stamp storage system required an investment of both time and money, but now that it is up and running, it is relatively easy to maintain. I have a basket of supplies for my organizing systems that lives in my craft room closet, and when I have new things to put away I just pull it out on the desk to use to get my new goodies all put away.

Are you using the Jennifer McGuire stamp storage system? What modifications have you made to it?

6

See My Craft Room Makeover Reveal!

It seems that reorganizing the craft room is a constant state of being around here. It was just three years ago that I unveiled the last makeover of my craft room. Now I’m back to show off the recently finished new version, which has been well over a year in the making!

My revamped craft room has two full-sized workspaces in it, to accommodate guests and family members. It is also fully zoned, with areas set aside for sewing, painting supplies, scrapbooking, and general crafts, instead of everything mixed together like in the previous arrangement.

Craft Room with seating for two using Ikea furniture

Much of the furniture and storage items in the room was repurposed from the previous version of the room, or from other areas of the house. A large portion of the furniture is either from Ikea, such as the tables and chests of drawers, or Ikea has similar pieces available. There’s also huge quantities of Sterilite storage in the room – baskets and boxes, mostly. While it’s nice to have a pretty workspace, above all my priorities are practical and affordable when assembling my studio.

Craft room with seating for two using Ikea furniture

The largest dedicated area is for my scrapbooking. The larger workspace right inside the door of the room is devoted to my scrapbooking and papercrafting activities. The desk is an Ikea table, with two Alex drawer units underneath it. there’s also a rolling file crate that I use to hold my solid cardstock.

ikea scrapbooking area

Across the center of the table are buckets that hold my basic tools, such as scissors, paintbrushes, and pens & pencils. The buckets came from the Target dollar spot years ago. Each bucket holds a different type of item. Having them in the center of the table makes them usable from both sides of the table. I also keep a pack of baby wipes, a stack of blank index cards, and some post-it notes on the table as well – items that I use frequently while I work.

Supply Buckets on Craft Table

Also on the center of the table, at the end, is this three tiered stand that I picked up at Ross. It holds my spray inks so they are accessible from both sides of the table. One of the reasons for adding the second seat in the studio is that my husband occasionally joins me to make an art journal page or a tag. These sprays are an item that he frequently will use, so having them out is convenient for us both.

Three Tier Countertop Tray

Also on the tabletop, over to the right when you are seated at the main desk, is my Cricut work station! I used two small wood crates from Michael’s and put a plank over them to create something resembling a monitor stand that my Cricut machine can slide under to save desk space. The small crates are the perfect size to store my Sizzix Bigz dies, so the crates are useful as storage as well as support for the shelf.

My Cricut stays plugged in, so to use it all I have to do is slide it out and turn it on! I find that if I make tools have too much set up, I don’t use them. For this same reason, I also leave my heat gun plugged in and sitting on the table, ready to go.

Cricut Work Area

On the shelf above my Cricut, I stacked a bunch of small Sterilite drawer units that hold all sorts of color media such as pens, watercolors, Gelatos, and such. All the drawers are labeled in color coded labels so I know what is in them, and arranged in zones so like items are together. The drawers are designed with a stopper at the back to prevent them from being easily pulled all the way out, but I used a strong pair of scissors to cut it off of all the drawers. This allows them to be pulled out and placed on the table so I can work with the contents.

Small Craft Storage Drawers

Tucked in the corner next to the drawer units are some stacking closet shelves that are now my Project Life storage (among other things). Keeping the cards in bins means that they can be pulled out on to the table to be used.

Project Life Storage

My 4×6 Project Life cards are stored in Interdesign Condiment Caddies, organized by index card dividers that have been modified by cutting the tab off and then sacrificing a card from the kit to staple over the end to make a new tab. The Condiment Caddy will hold 4×6 cards from about 6-7 core kits.

The 3×4 Project Life cards are stored in an Interdesign 4x4x14.5 Fridge Bins similar to this one. I cut 4×6 index card dividers in half to create the dividers, and customized them for each kit for easy reference by cutting up a card from the kit. Each 14.5″ bin will hold the 3×4 cards from two core kits, plus some extra mini kits or accessory card packs.

Project Life storage

On one of the shelves underneath the Project Life cards, there are magazine holders turned on their sides. In them I put large envelopes with paper memorabilia (such as tickets and brochures) from big events, so that it is easily accessible to scrapbook. I write in pencil on the envelopes so that they can be recycled for a new event when I finish the one they currently contain.

Memorabilia Storage

Underneath the table that holds my Cricut is the rolling Ikea Alex drawer cart. Tucked on top of it are my paper trimmer, and glass cutting mat, out of sight but easy to grab to use.

The drawers of the cart contain my most frequently used small items, mostly ink pads and my 28 Lilac Lane embellishments.

Large Ikea Alex Drawer Unit

My inkpads are arranged in drawers by company and type of ink. The top drawer holds all of my Distress ink, arranged in a stacked rainbow of color so I always know right where to find the one that I need.

Tim Holtz Distress Pad storage

I’m very fond of using drawer organizing baskets in my drawers. These ones are by Mainstays – a Walmart house brand) and are very affordable. Which is a good thing since I buy them in huge quantities!

Washi Tage Storage

If I spin my desk chair around, I can easily reach everything that is on the shelves that are behind me when I’m sitting at the desk. All of my patterned paper is on the shelves that are exactly at eye level, in vertical paper holders. My paper is organized partially by company, and partially by special categories such as holidays. I find that this method works the best for me for how I am usually looking for paper.

Patterned Paper Storage

Also on the shelves are loads of plastic latch storage boxes from Sterilite (and a few shoebox sized ones from Hefty). I like storing my supplies in boxes like these because they are easy to repurpose as my needs change. All I have to do is just slap a new label on them! The other nice thing about using boxes is that they can be taken off of the shelf and moved to my work surface to look through very easily.

Some of my boxes contain types of supplies or tools – such as twine – and some are devoted to containing embellishments from certain companies or for certain holidays.

Storage Bins for Crafting

A lot of my craft storage used to be in modular cubes. A few of the ones I have are still in my craft room, creating a tower that is a combination of album storage and die cutting station.

Album Storage Shelves

This die cutting station holds my Sizzix Big Shot machine and its various cutting accessories, as well as a few large dies. The metal rack is actually a metal vertical file sorter. It works perfectly for this application and fits exactly in the spot that I have for it. It often pays to think outside of “craft” when you are trying to organize!

Die Cutting Station

Speaking of thinking outside of craft for my organizing, right next to my die cut station is my button storage rack! Since I’m the social media and blog manager for Buttons Galore, this means I have a lot of buttons in my studio. This Closetmaid wall and door rack, designed to store canned goods and other items in a kitchen or pantry, is the perfect way to store mason jars full of buttons!

Button Storage Rack

On the other side of the door sits a rolling cart that I originally bought 6 years ago for my short-lived kitchen scrap space. After that, it lived in my daughter’s room for awhile. Now it is back in my craft room to hold my wood mounted rubber stamps. The shallow drawers are the perfect depth for the stamps. I wish it was a color that didn’t stick out so much (like plain white) but once again, form loses to the all-important function in my space.

Stamp Storage Cart

On the other side of the window from my scrapbooking space is my new sewing area! This cube unit has lived in my craft room for a very long time after leaving my daughter’s room awhile ago. The pink bins hold various different fabrics and my active projects. The grey chevron cases are for fat quarters. Mine came from Joann.com and appears to be discontinued, but similar ones are also available at Amazon. The decorative boxes hold various notions like bias tape.

Sewing Area

Next to the pink unit, on its right, sits a white cupboard that holds more fabric and my sewing machine. The machine, which was previously in the closet, sits here all plugged in and ready to use. All I have to do now to use it is pick it up and move it onto the table top, and then I am ready to sew!

I am very careful about not wasting an space that could be storage in my studio. So the dead space under the end of the table has another small plastic drawer unit tucked into it. This drawer unit holds interfacing, small pieces of batting, and fiberfill.

Sewing Storage

The pegboard existed in the previous version of my studio, but it was installed to store scrapbook items. (Click here for the how to of making and installing it.) Now, it is repurposed to store sewing items, and is working out much better for me in that application. I used small pegboard hooks to hang two June Tailor thread holders on the board, which gives me storage for 120 spools of thread. The rest of the board is covered in the same bins I was previously using, only now they hold things like containers of pins, scissors and rotary cutters, measuring tapes, and other sewing notions.

Sewing Pegboard

Next to the closet is a bookcase that holds all of my Plaid paints, along with my stencils and a few other paint related items. On top of the bookcase are some Iris project boxes that contain my “current” scrapbooking projects in progress.

Paint Storage

The closet is what I consider my “general crafts” space – everything that isn’t scrapbooking or sewing or Plaid paint related. The big white baskets hold supplies and products for projects for each of the three websites I currently blog for (Scrapbook Update, Buttons Galore, and this one).

Craft Room Closet

This stack of Sterilite latch boxes has been the heart of my craft closet storage for a long time. What is in the boxes has changed over time along with my craft activities, but the boxes remain a reliable and convenient way to store my supplies.

Craft Storage Boxes

The large drawer unit on the left has been in my craft room for a long time, but in different form. It originally was a five drawer unit! If you look closely at these Sterilite drawer units, they are modular! You can snap out a level of the drawers to make your unit smaller! By doing that, I was able to fit the unit in the closet, and it is the same height as the small 3 drawer unit I purchased.

Putting the two drawer units in the closet created a narrow “shelf” on top of them that I was able to use to store my sheets of foam core that I shoot project photos. I also have photo props stored in the bottom two drawers of the large drawer unit.

Craft Storage Drawers

The closet is arranged so the items are stored in the center if they are frequently used and up high or off to the sides if they are less frequently used. These items off to the side – like my Dremel tool and clay – are less frequently used but I still need them around!

Craft Storage Closet

Although I tried to be very strict about keeping items in their own “zone”, certain space limitations did cause me to have to violate that rule a tiny bit. On one bottom shelf of the closet, I have a few scrapbooking products stored, as well as some large fabric items like batting, foam and interfacing that won’t fold up to go into smaller storage.

Craft storage closet

Thanks for touring my craft room with me! I’ll be sharing more of the details in features the rest of the week, so if you have a question be sure to leave it in the comments so I can answer it the upcoming articles!

36

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Craft Supply Organizers: What to Look For

Reported by Jessica Ripley

Recently, fellow reporter Taylor Usry wrote a great article on organizing your craft supplies. It is that time isn’t it? With Spring right around the corner, it’s time to declare war on any clutter in our craft areas. Both to start the Spring Cleaning off right, and of course to make way for all the new stuff we choose to get our hot little hands on.

Luckily, the craft industry isn’t a fool when it comes to knowing we not only love our supplies, but also love ways to keep them neat and tidy. There are a multitude of organization items geared specifically toward pretty much anything we as crafters own. From stamps and ink, to ribbon and beads, to paper and punches, if you own it someone will sell you something to put it in. In fact there are so many options, it can sometimes make your head spin while trying to decide just exactly what will work best for you. And then before you know it you need an organizer for all your organizers!

So what should you look for when shopping for a supply organizer? Here is a list of five things to have in mind to keep you both centered and sane while you make a creative space fit just for your needs.

1. How much space do I have to devote to storage?
Look at your crafting area (or room if you are so lucky) and decide first where organizers and storage could go.

  • Look Up: Do you have shelves already or can you install some on the wall? Are they nice and deep or narrow?
  • Look Down: Are there places you could have a free-standing unit? Like under your work table or in a closet?
  • Look Around: Do you have ample counter space? Or just a tiny work area that is often cluttered with your latest project?

I have square shelves and a large L-shaped desk. I never use the entire desk surface as I tend to keep my projects consolidated, so I knew I could utilize my desktop space for storage too. This carousel by Making Memories was then something I knew would work well for me.

Craft Critique’s review of the desktop carousel will help convince you. It does take up a lot of surface area, however it was space I could spare, and it’s been wonderful for having items right at my fingertips.

2. What one thing do I tend to own the most of?
Do you have so many flowers you could rival the royal gardens? Do you desire every bit of ribbon you see? Or do you have so many ink pads the police come calling when they run out at the station for fingerprinting? Whatever your addiction, that is what deserves its own specialized organizer or location. There’s nothing worse that digging through other items just to find your favorites.

In my case, I tend to collect pens. I have all sorts. Therefore they have their own drawer where nothing else is allowed, and where I can spread them out liberally for the picking.

3. Will I use it if I can’t see it? (or forget I have it?)
Are you more likely to use something from your stash if it’s staring you in the face? Or do you have a mental inventory of what you have on hand and know exactly which pieces you would like to work with?

I need to see as many of my supplies as possible or I’ll neglect them. I am horrible at neatly putting something away, only to find it months later, and then not be as in love with it as I was before (I admit it, I like the newness of the trends). So, I knew I needed something that would display what I had or I’d never get to it (or just keep buying new). The solution to this for me was the Clip it Up by Simply Renee.

It’s been perfect for keeping me using what I have, and fit my need for counter top items. I also have see through drawers to remind me I do not need any more beads, ink pads, etc. You can read reviews of the Clip it Up on Craft Critique here and here, and also a recent review of the upper extension piece here.

4. Is it functional for what I create with?
Meaning, is it a good fit for what I like to keep on hand? Or am I just wanting it because it makes for a pretty view?

I have been tempted by many an organizer simply because it looked pretty on the wall when filled with certain products. You’ve seen the pictures too, where a perfectly organized wall unit or shelf is filled with embellishments all in the same color and they are placed just so. That’s not a realistic and working craft room, that’s a photo shoot. If you have the room to enjoy such a thing I say have at it, but if not, remember the difference when you shop.

And finally,

5. Can I re-purpose something I already own, or purchase something less expensive?
While there are a multitude of products to choose from for craft organization, this elite description does come with a price tag. There are many times when with a little thinking outside the box, you can create or find something not specifically meant for craft supplies, but that will do just dandy. So ask yourself:

  • Have I checked the hardware of thrift store for something similar?
  • Do they have something in the office supply store that would work?
  • If I just washed out this spaghetti sauce jar and peeled off the label would anyone besides me ever know it wasn’t meant for buttons?

For example, I used a clear over the door shoe holder just like this one for many of my supplies. It was less than $10.00, and is perfect for my punches and stamps.


I’ve also found many options at thrift stores. An old paper towel holder becomes a ribbon spool, or an outdated spice rack a place for bits and baubles. There is also a bonus of getting to re-purpose thrift store items. Raise your hand if you like to alter things too!

So, whether you are reorganizing what you already have, or purchasing new, keep the above five questions in mind when you go. It will keep your organization process as it should be, simple and stress free.

You can also find lots more ideas and reviews on organizational products right here on Craft Critique. Some examples:

Organizing Done Cheaply

Librarian’s Guide to Organizing Scrapbook Paper

ACDSee for Organizing Digital Supplies

An Organization Blog Carnival (and Part 2)

ScrapOnizer Toolbox

Ribbon Ring

Photo Storage Boxes

Scrapbook Organization: A Manifesto

Ikea for Craft Storage

And more! Use the handy Google search box in the sidebar to look for whatever you might desire. And if you can’t find it here, let us know you want us to review it!

What other things might you look for when deciding on which organizational items work best for you? Any tips or tricks to share with our readers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Clip It Up! by Simply Renee Upper Tier Extension Kit

Reported By: Morgan Novak
I fell in love with the Clip it Up! by Simply Renee back when it first came out and quickly bought the Base Unit and Upper Tier and loaded them up. Over the next few months I realized that, although I’ve seen people store all manner of cool things on the shorter Upper Tier, it didn’t really work for my own personal storage needs
because what I wanted stored on the Clip It Up! most was my Thickers and other large title alphabets. I ended up buying a second Base Unit and that was working out pretty well for me, other than the large footprint two Clip It Up’s have.
Then, lo and behold, I found this little beauty on the internet!

I was thrilled! Because I had kept my discarded Upper Tier in the back of my craft room closet I would be able to bring it back out and extend it to the same height as the Base Unit!
Needless to say, as soon as the package arrived I ripped right into it and got ready to re-assemble my Clip It Up! When you open the box you will find; a 6″ extension pole for your Upper Tier and a replacement pole for the bottom of your Base Unit. This replacement pole has a wider base so your Clip It up! can support the extra height without wobbling.
I couldn’t believe that there were just 2 pieces, and therefore just 2 easy steps necessary to customize your Clip It Up! The instructions are on the side of the box.

It only took me about 5 minutes to re-assemble the new version and in the end, both my upper and lower tiers were the same height, enabling me to have two levels of Thickers and alphabets (yes, I am aware that I have a Thickers problem). Here is what my desk space looked like before and after I used the Upper Tier Extension Kit, along with one of my old Upper Tiers.


Pros:
  • Allows you to store two Base Units worth of supplies in the space taken up by only one Base Unit.
  • Assembly was super quick & easy.
  • Enables you to easily store more of your longer craft supplies.
  • Can be used to store just about any type of craft supplies.

Cons:

  • Even with the new broad base pole the unit is still a little shaky, but nothing unmanageable.
  • The Extension Kit ($20), along with the Base Unit ($65) & Upper Tier ($38), are a little pricey but easy to find on sale.
The Clip It Up! Extension Kit from Simply Renee for Simple Solutions is available for purchase directly from their website for $20.

I totally love how much space this simple little Extension Kit has opened up for me (about 2 feet) and how drool-worthy my alphabets look in two layers! yum! It’s clear that I personally have a Thickers addiction, but what would you use the extra height to store?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Ikea for Craft Storage

For an additional perspective on using Ikea for craft storage see our more current article on our sister publication Scrapbook Update.

I recently moved homes and into a new craft studio with lots of space to fill and no built in storage or closets. While researching my options for new furniture to fit my new needs, Ikea Workspaces came to mind and I soon discovered that a limited offering is available to order online for those of us who are not lucky to have one nearby. I ordered several pieces, but there are two that really stand out now that I have them in my new room–the Helmer and the Alex. Both of these would be perfect in any craft room. And since my life has been more about unpacking and organizing than stamping lately, I wanted to tell you all about them in case you need organizing ideas, too.

The Helmer, a small metal drawer unit on casters, retails for $39.99. I saw it in so many rooms for so many purposes all over the Ikea website, it was impossible not to notice it! And I was even more impressed when I got my hands on it in person. It is not very big, at 11″w x 16 3/4″d x 27 1/8″h and you can roll it around, so it’s easy to place or bring to you as needed. You can also put several together for a bigger impact and lots of drawers, picking just the right number of units to fill the space you have. Although the size is great, the drawers are what make it perfect. The Helmer has six drawers, each measuring 15” x 9.25″ x 3.5″, with a slot for labeling on the outside; perfect for all the little parts and pieces we collect. The drawers can also be pulled out all the way if needed for a project or simply to rearrange them. I chose to buy several units and put them together to form sort of a credenza.

The Alex is just as useful and maybe a little more impressive. I chose to list it second because it is bulkier, created mainly of particleboard, and measuring in at 26 3/8″w x 18 7/8″d x 26″h. Bigger and bulkier also means higher in price, at $119.00, but even so I wish I had room for one more! Like the Helmer, the Alex is shown in a variety of different rooms online and was hard not to notice. And also like the Helmer, I was even more impressed with it in person. This unit is very sturdy and the drawers are long and shallow–actually the top three are quite shallow and the bottom three, slightly deeper. These drawers are on metal rollers, so they don’t come out all the way, but they hold heavy items like my punches and stamps quite well. The size of the drawers would also be perfect for larger pieces of artwork.

One thing I had heard about Ikea is that you have to put it all together yourself and that it’s not always easy. As I mentioned earlier these are only two of the many pieces I purchased. All in all, I put together 12 total items, some like the Helmer more than once. While some pieces were easier than others, I didn’t find any of them to be particularly difficult. The Helmer was probably one of the easiest, so I was happy to put that one together several times! Because it was metal, most of it was clicking this here, pushing that tab there–the only screws used were for the wheels and bottom of the unit. The Alex was a little more difficult and I needed a little extra strength from my husband for some screws, but all of the holes are pre-drilled and the picture directions were easy to follow. On both units, you repeat the same thing for each drawer, so that gets easier as you go along. I was actually wowed just as much by the construction and assembly design as I was with the functionality and appearance!

I also want to point out that while a limited Ikea selection is available online, shipping can be very high depending on where you are. It really is best to go directly to the store if you can. But if you don’t have an Ikea nearby, you might want to be sure you’re ordering a lot to get your best shipping value or maybe order with a friend if you can.

So, here’s the break down…

Pros:

  • nice looking furniture
  • perfect storage spaces for crafty pieces and parts
  • casters for easy placement
  • great price

Cons:

  • you have to assemble yourself
  • if you don’t have a store nearby, shipping could be high

There are so many storage options out there and I love seeing what other people have and love. I hope this has helped some of you looking for something new for your space. And since I’m still putting my room together, I’d love to hear what storage solutions you can’t live without, Ikea or otherwise!

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