I haven’t had a craft room since 2011. Pre kids when we lived in a small condo in South Austin, I had what I called a multi purpose room. Basically, a craft room with a futon so when Andy’s mom came to visit from Oregon, she had a cozy place to sleep. (You can see the before and after of my one and only craft room here.)
Since then, we moved to Florida and I had a tiny craft closet where I utilized tons of clear shoe storage bins. We moved into our current house back in 2013, and I have what I consider an extra large craft cabinet. Up until about 1 month ago the craft cabinet organization was was more of a craft supply mountain that had avalanche potential at any moment.
Let’s start with a few before pictures so you can fully understand the magnitude of my craft supply addiction. The craft cabinet is a hard space to photograph since it is a built in cabinet in our hallway, but I think you get the gist. It’s a MESS.
Tips to get started with craft cabinet organization
Starting is always the hardest part! I’d been thinking about organizing this cabinet for literally a year.
1. This will likely take more than 1 day
This craft organizing project took me about a week. I used a giant cardboard box to hold craft supplies I was unsure about so that we could still use our hallway. At the end of the week, I took all of the supplies out of the cardboard box and made final decisions. In the end, I used said box to donate tons of craft supplies to our local craft reuse store. (If your local, Austin Creative Reuse is amazing!)
2. Start with a category you feel will be the easiest
For me, that was paper. I used to be a scrapbooker, so I had tons of leftover 12×12 patterned paper that I hadn’t touched in years. I had one 5 tier paper holder already in the craft cabinet, and I wanted to minimize my collection to that organizer. Lay the paper into like piles so you know exactly what you have. Get rid of or donate what you haven’t used in years.
3. Everything must come out
You may notice things are mostly in things. Like, once upon a time, I tied to organize the crafting chaos, but it’s clearly out of control again. I have no idea what I have, and honestly would rather run to Hobby Lobby for yellow felt then try to find it in this chaos. Everything must come out of the craft closet. Everything must come out of every container!
4. Group like craft items together
For instance, I had a lot of holiday decorations hiding in my craft cabinet. I didn’t want to get rid of these things, but I moved them to our garage closet where we store all of the holiday decorations. I also realized things like I had 3 staplers and 27 pairs of scissors!
Craft storage box recommendations
The following tips are for putting the craft supplies you decided to keep back inside the craft cabinet!
1. 3 and 5 drawer organizers
I highly recommend using clear plastic drawers. I am loving the 5 drawers to hold like items. I am storing everything from google eyes to gel pens and balloons in these containers. (These are the exact ones I have on Amazon!) Vertical storage is key. I also love that when you put a few of these drawers together it makes a shelf on top of the drawers. No wasted space in this raft cabinet! It’s also fair to note that the 3 drawer organizers are meant to stack on top of each other, so depending on the height of your shelves that might be a better option.
2. Large 3 drawer organizers
The 3 drawer containers are great for things like markers, stamps, mini card stock packs, or anything else you have multiples of that you use often. I have an entire drawer dedicated to tape runners and it’s so useful! (These are the ones I wish I had!) I bought mine at Target and they have riveted fronts that made adding vinyl labels way harder.
3. Clear shoe boxes
Clear containers are best. I love using clear shoe boxes for larger items or things I want to have multiples of like ribbon, tape, glue, scissors. They stack great and you can see what is inside. Plus they’re affordable and can easily be moved from your cabinet to your work space. (These are what I use!)
4. Any clear plastic container
For my fabric and yarn I reused plastic containers I already owned. Again, look for clear plastic containers with lids. I’ve found some good ones at Tuesday Morning and Marshalls before too.
5. IKEA spice racks
For paint, I used wooden spice racks from Ikea and attached them to the inside of my cabinet doors. They are perfect and each one holds 22-24 2 fl oz bottles of paint. (I used these!)
Where to donate craft supplies
- Preschools- Teachers love free craft supplies.
- Elemnentrary teachers
- Womens shelters
- Nursing homes
- Children’s museums
- Buy nothing groups on facebook
- Children’s hospitals
- I mentioned it above, but check to see if you have a craft reuse store in your area. Our local non profit, Austin Creative Reuse, is awesome for donating and buying craft supplies!
How to make labels
Next up, labels! Now that you’ve got your craft cabinet under control and contained, it’s label time! I used my Cricut Maker to make 50+ labels for every single container in my craft cabinet. I wanted the labels to be big and black to ensure that I knew where everything lived.
All you need is:
- Cricut Maker
- Black adhesive vinyl
- Transfer paper
- A credit card or popsicle stick
The Cricut Maker is super simple to set up and use. From taking the machine out of the box to 50 labels cut took about 1 hour. Labels are probably the easiest thing to make, and I love that the Cricut Maker automatically positions the words to fit as many as possible on a single sheet of vinyl.
Oh and for the record, my Cricut Maker, vinyl and tools live in the top, right drawer in the above picture. It fits perfectly. I’m pretty sure it was meant to be! If you’re looking for more organization posts, don’t miss:
Comments & Reviews
When you said it was easier to go buy it than look for it. Same problem I have. I have 5 of the 3 ring whole punchers.
Jamie Dorobek says
haha! I feel your pain!
Gena Lipscomb says
Great ideas. Gives me food for thought. I’m about to clean/cleanse my work area. I’ll probably be in there til March!
Gretta Schermerhorn says
Great ideas. Thank you. I am slowly starting to replace my crafts after we lost everything in a house fire this past spring and these ideas have helped me a great deal. Thank you again.