Along with "Creating" comes.... A big mess. Well, it's the truth. I laugh my head off when I see pictures of peoples craft areas that look like they are a store display. Any crafter who is busy and produces large amounts of inventory knows that it is almost impossible to keep your work space clean.
However you can keep it organized up to a point no matter what you are doing.
I wanted to share some organizing tips that I use and that work for me. I am not a "Craft Expert" by any means but I am a hands on full time crafter and have been for many years.
Some people are able to make only one thing. Then chances are that they may be quite a bit more organized than someone like myself...
Maybe, maybe not. Anyway's without delving too much into the why's and why not's....
Fabric storage can be a challenge. Especially when you use hundreds of different types. I like the craft carts that have wheels and at least three drawers if not six or eight for this. They are awesome. And I would suggest the "see through" type and not the colored drawer type, so you don't have to memorize or list what is in each compartment. I don't know about you, but I am definitely an "eye person". That means I can learn almost anything just by watching someone do it. And I take in everything visually first. So, see through storage is perfect for me, I use see through with almost everything. I can save my brain power for important things like: My next awesome design... instead of trying to figure out where I put my seam rippers or the blue buttons or anything else.
So, for fabric I use the see through craft carts ( Most of mine came from Lowes or Costco) that are pictured below, and from there I break it down into category: 1) One drawer for buttons/fasteners, 2) One drawer for ric rac & bias tape, 3) One drawer for Lace, and then I break the fabric down into two categories: either Color or Type. For example I use a lot of Cotton and many colors, so these I do by color, but Faux Fur, Burlap, Organza or Chenille I separate by type because I don't have as many "kinds".
Now let's talk about Bead Storage. I use the same principals for bead storage that I do for fabric. I separate them by Type or Color. I use a different type of organizer for findings:
This is good for the findings I use in bulk, and again they have see through drawers, ( I believe these came from Home Depot) some people even attach an item to the front of each drawer to show what is in the drawer. I don't like to waste ANYTHING !
Now for beads I use the smaller organizers (Most of mine have come from Michael's Crafts, they travel well and they also fit into the fabric grocery bags (which I use all the time to travel my supplies). These are also see through, and I break them down into Type: Maybe some beads are only for Jewelry, Maybe some are only for Home Decor etc..., Then I break them down into color, I also separate charms, and finding I use a lot in this type of organizer.
I have a small one I keep all of the ear wires I use in, and two more I keep the findings I use the most in, and then they are ready for travel. These are also easy to stack, which saves space.
Now let's talk about Embellishments ! I love embellishments, always have. The organizer I use is made by a company called Azar @ www.azardisplays.com . They are awesome ! You can build your organizer anyway you want to. They have all kinds of different size attachments and different colors. Again I use the clear for ease in finding items. Storage for: Tools, Tape, Glue, Glitter, Decorative Scissors, Wire, Foam Tapes, Stamp Pads, Alcohol Ink and whatever else can fit over there.
Now for Paper, Card Stock, Felt Sheets and other items like stencils I use Open storage (From Michael's) as you will see below:
For items waiting to be crafted I like to use plastic shelving (I have had these a long time, not sure where they came from) or bins. That way I can store things again according to type or what it is made out of. For example: Paper Mache or Wood.
When you have your awesome "Studio" or Craft Space all set up you are going to need one more thing. A really cool area where you can get your thoughts together and come up with all kinds of ideas and maybe put your feet up for minute.
I call this my "awesome thinking area". I have some of my favorite things here, I play guitar so I have an amplifier here and my Guardian.... Batman. I also have a stereo for music and all kinds of extra lighting for detail work. I painted this space a color called "Heart's Desire" because that is exactly what this space is to me. I also like pink.
My area is messy, and no I don't take a lot of time to clean it. I usually clean it when I can't find something.... Which happens every now and then because so many items "cross over" into other areas.
It works for me.
I will leave you with a few more pointers:
1) I organize paint brushes, foam brushes, pencils, hand tools, and other like items in cups and buckets so they are easy to grab and move to another area and are kept together for the most part.
2) I store my tacky glue with the lid on up side down in a cup (only used for crafting) so it is always ready to use.
3) I keep old towels to use under items that get spritzed with water or to keep over items when I am using my saws to keep the sawdust out.
4) I use a wire paint caddy for paints, they seem to last longer. than being stored standing up.
5) I use a LOT of "coated" paper plates. I use them for painting, over and over until they are totally used up then I replace them. I also use paper plates to catch glitter when I "glitter" something. I keep a stack that I always use for this, one for each color, they never go bad, and then your colors wont get mixed together and you can easily fold your paper plate to pour your unused glitter back into its bottle.
6) I use a sharpie to mark my tools when making parts that I want to make the same size, like wire for instance or jump rings, wire loops for jewelry. (Let your sharpie mark dry first)
Have fun making whatever it is you make !