Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Affordable Solution to Craft Organization

One of the things that I just dread is organizing our craft supplies. L and E love doing crafts...and I love doing crafts. This equal A LOT of craft supplies. Since our move to Virginia nearly a year ago, I have had our craft supplies stored in about 5 different places throughout the house. Can you say "frustrating?" Whenever I wanted to tackle a craft, I had to hunt around to find the right supplies. After searching high and low for photo adhesive to make my DIY Photo Album, I decided that something needed to be done.

This past week after I returned from Virginia Beach with my mom, we got down to organizing things. Not only did I need a solution, but I needed an affordable solution...we are on a law school budget, after all. Mom and I made the rounds to Goodwill, an independent thrift store, Staples and Big Lots. I almost bought a Closet Maid 6-Cube Organizer that was on sale for $30. It holds cute little canvas boxes to store your items. However, since many of my supplies are small, I figured that each canvas box would end up becoming a big ol' mess. Plus, the boxes weren't cheap at nearly $7 each. Just the canvas boxes would end up costing more than the bookshelf itself! So, we passed on those and then struck out at the thrift stores.

At Big Lots, we found a workable and affordable solution -- an inexpensive bookshelf that is just the right size to fit along our "Learning Wall." Better yet, it has adjustable shelves and is just wide enough to hold two plastic shoeboxes. As for the price, everything was 20% off so we scored one bookshelf and eight plastic shoeboxes for just $26. Actually, it was free since Mom paid. Thanks Mom!

I'll be first to admit this isn't a high-quality bookshelf. I honestly don't know how long it will last. But, it is just the right side for my needs and my space...and it is getting the job done right now. I'll probably keep my eye out for a wooden one of a similar size that I can refinish, or maybe I can talk my Renaissance Man into building one for me at some point. But for now, it gets the job done.

The hard part was sorting and organizing all of the supplies. Man, does it feel nice to know where everything is! However, since there is such an assortment of stuff in the clear boxes, it looks a bit, well, distracting. I decided that some camouflage work was in order.  (My e-friend Lisa does something similar with books on her bookcases!).

I traced the shape of the box onto a piece of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper and cut it out. Then, I slipped it inside the box and secured it with tape. To make it easy to identify things, I put some labels on the outside of the boxes. Voila! An affordable solution to craft organization.

Looking for something a little more stylish than camouflaged plastic shoeboxes? Cover real shoeboxes (or make your own custom boxes) with woven paper. Check out my Woven Paper Box tutorial on DIY Your Way for instructions.


Tim, Allyson, and kids said...

I like that the supplies are easily accessible but hidden behind the solid paper (so much easier on the eyes).

Janel said...

It IS easier on the eyes. I really don't want to look at the mish-mash that is in all those containers!