Crafty and Crap Sort Part 4: The Crafty

Every time I sort and organize all my crafty stuff, I think about what my dream crafty area would be like. Bins and shelves and work surfaces everywhere! So for this post I decided it might be fun to take a trip into fantasy land and share my dream workspace.

My Dream Crafty Space

Craftroom3

I do imagine it would look something like that. A jar, shelf, nook, or hook for everything; and everything on display. It is organized, warm, and colorful (not to mention well lit….)

However, for me, my projects always involve tools. Somehow over the years my creativity has evolved to include screwdrivers in sewing projects and buttons when building shelves. ;p So my dream workspace would also need to include all my “garage tools” including adhesives, paints, power tools and so on.

Assuming I had my dream Workshop, it would look something like this:

shop1

 Again, a shelf, hook or bin for everything, everything organized and on display for easy finding and access.

I image that those two spaces would combine and morph into something similar to this (only a bit more girly with jars and colors! ;) ):

shop2

I also like to spend every possible minute in proximity to Hubby when he is around, so I’d also have to have a space for him and his office area, perhaps off on the right side in this picture ;)

Ah dreams, they give us things to aspire to and keep us motivated. Perhaps one day… but in the mean time, onto my actual crafty area…

The Crafty Sort

If you remember, this was my Crafty and Crap pile at the beginning of this sorting and organizing project. That counter and cupboards (behind the massive pile…) is about all the area I have to store my craftiness.

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In another room I also have this one cabinet where I keep more commonly used things (or where I stash “in-progress” projects when company calls)

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This is all my craftiness, ready to be sorted, organized and moved into it’s new home.

Crafty mess

I’ve got a bit of everything here, as I am not real “focused” when it comes to my crafts…. I do a lot of painting and a lot of needlework, some sewing, some paper crafting (paper machete, etc.), and just a bit of everything else, including scrapbooking.

Insert two whole days of me sorting though all this, assigning containers, re-assigning containers, throwing just a few things out and, of course, applying labels!

When all was said and done I spent a day moving the last of “the sort” out from in front of my cupboards, and then cleaning, said cupboards, before I moved everything back in.

Moving left to right: this is the first cupboard:

Craft organization scrapbook containers

I have all kinds of misc crafty stuff: jingly bells, craft sticks, little pieces of wood scrap I’ve saved, empty spools, broken pottery my kids made, pipe cleaners and pom pom balls, along with a horde of those fake little gemstones and a hundred other things.  All these got sorted into one of three bins depending on their use (and how well they fit into the box). I also have two boxes for craft or scrapbook paper (sorted by size) I keep an absurd amount of tissue paper in every color imaginable (Why? I like it. And I suppose it comes in handy)

In this cupboard I also keep what hardcopy photos I have, and a box with my artist grade watercolor paints (my medium of choice for artiness).

I have also found that these scrapbooking bins work perfectly for storing needlepoint projects as they can accommodate a hoop up to 10 inches. During this sort I also discovered these scrapbook containers to be a great place to store oversized stencils. I love me some stencils!

Giftbag storage

While reorganizing this cabinet I also finally found a space saving way to organize all my gift bags! I used some mini spring loaded curtain rods to create separators and keep them standing upright and still organized by size.

 Middle Cupboard

Craft storage

In the center cupboard I finally found a place for all my oversized boards, pallets of art and tracing paper and even some artwork I’ve done and have yet to find a way to display. Unfortunately, this shelf is not deep enough to accommodate a full size (20×30) sheet of posterboard/cardstock/foam board, so those are still looking for a home.

 All year round, when I’m out and about, I’m always on the prowl for gifts for my friends and family. When I find something perfect, it needs a place to stay/hide until their birthday, Christmas, or a just-because moment to give it to them. Obviously, I can’t store them in plain sight so this area, just to the right of all those boards and such makes a great hiding spot until the opportune moment.

On the top shelf I have containers (with labels!) for other crafty necessities: different types of paints, adhesives/tape, more sewing notions, stickers, paper and board scraps (the little ones), extra DMC thread, and a box with little craft activities for the kids.

Homemaker Cupboard

Homemaker storage

The last cupboard is more for all things Homemaker. Cookie cutters (one bin for Holiday cutters and another for general cutters), candles, extra serving/hostess things like napkins and plastic silverware (The unique silverware, like purple or ninja turtles that I’ve picked up over the years are kept here. I have another place for the general partyware), party and holiday decor are also kept here in their own bins. Last, but not least there is one bin with all my beads and such that wouldn’t fit in one of the crafty cupboards.

There is still a lot of space left in this cupboard, but that is probably good as there is still quite a few things left in the “sort pile” that will need a home.

The Tall Things

Storing tall craft items

Just next to the last cupboard I have a box to store all the things I save/have that are too tall for anywhere else: cardboard tubes (from empty rolls of gift wrap), extra long rulers, old curtain rods, a T-square (yes, I own one…), and anything else too tall or long to fit anywhere else. I actually made this box or rather: made it match my decor, by taking an old box, cutting off the top and decoupaging fabric onto it. It looks nice and keeps everything organized and out of the way.

The Crafty Closet

20141003_130404This is my crafty closet. It is downstairs in the Manwo cave (versus the other cabinets that are on the middle level of the house). I found this cabinet on Cragislist for $20. It is a bit dated, (though I have put new hardware on it), and when we bought it, I promised Hubby that I would paint it and otherwise update it to better match the manwo cave, but I haven’t got around to it yet. I’ve also had thoughts of painting it to look like a TARDIS, but any updating or making awesome I do to this cabinet is pretty low on the priorities list at the moment.

craft cupboardThis is the inside of my little cabinet. I’ve only had it a few months, so I haven’t fully moved into it yet. I imagine that by the end of this “sort” it will also be much more full.

In the bottom I have my sewing box and vacuum. I actually ran the vacuum cord out the back of this cabinet to a wall outlet so I can just pull out the vacuum and go, and then just stuff it back in when I am done without fussing with the cord. I have a serious shortage of places to store cleaning equipment and supplies so this was one of my more genius ideas. However, I don’t use this vac, much anymore (I use my Shop Vac instead) So I should rethink/redo this idea. Maybe I can fit a little Shop Vac in there? We shall see.

 There is not much on those middle shelves yet, I think that one box has some papers in it that need a home.

The main shelf has my sewing machine, a file sorter with all my regular sized stencils and any patterns or printouts I use for needlepoint/cross stitch. It actually surprised me how many needlepoint/cross stitch papers I have. Certainly enough that they needed their own file sorter.

That wonderful blue chest of drawers contains all my floss (thread I use for cross stitch and embroidery)

Floss storageFor a couple years while I was finishing my Bachelor’s degree and working part time, the only craftiness I made time for was needlepoint. My OCD or perhaps just a need for control took over and now I own almost every single color of DMC thread. I actually carried around a printout with every available color, which is identified by a number. The printout was always in my purse and whenever I had a chance, I’d stop at the craft store, pick up a few (they are about $.40 each), and check them off the list. There are over 450 available colors, many more specialty threads (metallic or pearlized), and new colors come out all the time. I think I have around 400 of the basic colors and a few of the specialized ones. Had I tried to purchase all the colors at once it would have cost almost $200. That is a lot of money on little spools of thread, but over the years I’ve kept my little printout and now have almost all of them. Each one is wrapped around one of these flat plastic spools, labeled with its identifying number, and the spools are organized in the drawers in numerical order for quick and easy access. My OCD doesn’t always take over, but when it does: go big or go home! I’m rather proud of my floss collection, can’t you tell? ;)

Common item storage

During the sort I also repurposed these little drawers to house my most often used crafty/day to day items. Adding the labels should help with finding and putting them away again too.

Finally, on the top shelves in this cabinet, I keep a jar with all my Sharpie markers, other random bits that I need frequent access to, and one shelf just designated for microfiber cloths. It amazes me how often I use these cloths. I clean my floors and walls with them. I dust with them, detail my car, use them to remove sanding dust from projects, and a million other things. I use them enough that they actually have a special rotation in my laundry because after I wash and dry them, I take a few hours or a day, depending, and remove all the lint and debris from them with tape (lint rollers aren’t effective on most of my microfiber cloths and many of my cloths have splinters of wood and such embedded in them that takes a little more effort to remove) These cloths are a must have for both the Homemaker and the DIY Goddess.

I guess that is it for the crafty part of the sort. All that is left is the office stuff and a mountain of misc.

Stay tuned.

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