Hobbies can result in a tsunami of supplies and equipment. Whether you work on your favorite craft projects in a corner of the kitchen or have the luxury of a dedicated workshop, you’ll save your sanity if you organize first and glue, construct, carve, paint, solder, glitter and bead afterward.
Group like items together: all your fabrics, your collection of paintbrushes, your piles of scrapbooking paper. This universal law of storage organization is particularly applicable in the crafts room; once you see the extent of each storage challenge, you can devise a plan to meet it.
Explore supply stores. Art supply, office equipment, stationery and hardware stores offer a variety of tackle boxes, towers, rolling carts and totes useful for organizing craft supplies. Keep scrapbooking paper neat and accessible in stacked in-and-out boxes or in the wire display racks used in stationery stores.
Invest in an electric labeler. Using it faithfully will convert plastic shoe boxes, sweater boxes and even three-ring binders into efficient storage for craft miscellany.
Panel a wall with Peg-Board and take advantage of all the specialty hooks and brackets available. If sewing is your craft of choice, create a design wall to pin up pattern pieces rather than laying them out on a worktable. Foam core wrapped in flannel, felt or muslin works well.
Refurbish a flea-market find. Create stylish storage space by using an old card catalog from a library, an oak file cabinet or a Hoosier cabinet (a vintage kitchen piece replete with drawers and bins) to hold craft supplies. An architect’s flat files will hold a plethora of patterns or miles of N-gauge track.
Convert a computer station or armoire to a mini craft center. The pull-out central shelf designed to hold a keyboard makes a perfect place to keep frequently used tools. Add a clip-on light to a shelf.
Remove a closet door to create a space to park rolling carts holding supplies. Fill the top half of the closet with plastic-coated wire shelving to store boxes of materials and supplies.
A narrow 2-by-2–inch shelf mounted on an easily accessible spot on the wall keeps small containers handy.
Position your worktable in the center of the room rather than against the wall so you can approach a large project from all sides.
Baby-food jars make good storage containers for tiny pieces or parts. Screw the lid of the jar to the bottom of a shelf for out-of-the-way, spill-proof storage.
Don’t store family memorabilia in ordinary cardboard cartons; use archival-quality acid-free boxes.