Organizing Your Craft and Sewing Supplies

  • Here is an article on keeping your supplies organized. Please read it and feel free to add your ideas or comment on the ones here!

    Organizing Your Craft and Sewing Supplies
    by Rachel Paxton - [email protected]

    If you're a weekend crafter like me, you probably have a lot of crafting odds and ends laying around that get all jumbled together depending on what project you're working on at the moment.

    Over the years, I have found several ways to organize my craft and sewing supplies in a way that I can actually find them again when I need them. As I went through the process of organizing them, I was able to identify items I no longer needed and separate the remaining items into logical groups. As a result, I now have all my supplies limited to one corner of a room and well organized. Now I can find things when I need them.

    When I first started sorting through all my supplies everything was thrown together in a lot of cardboard boxes up in a hard-to-reach closet. The first thing I did was dump each box into a big pile and start sorting. My piles were: lace, trim, buttons, quilting supplies, cross stitch supplies, ribbon roses, fabric scraps, craft books, and misc.

    I first discarded the odds and ends I knew I'd never use again. I then bought two very large Rubbermaid containers (great for stacking) to store my supplies in. You may need more depending on how many supplies you have accumulated. I also bought some gallon-sized Ziploc bags.

    I sorted through all the lace and trim and put lace in one Ziploc bag and trim in another. The ribbon roses went in another. I put all the buttons in a plastic container with different compartments--sorted by color. All these items, plus other misc. like styrofoam balls, contact paper, plastic canvas, went into one Rubbermaid container.

    All my quilting and cross stitch supplies (mostly fabric scraps and cross stitch fabric) went into the second container.

    All my unfinished projects went into a cardboard box, and all my yarn for plastic canvas projects went into another.

    The containers and boxes stack on top of each other and fit nicely underneath a small square "craft table" I have set up in the corner of my home office. It's all out of the way and everything is easily identified.

    On top of the table I keep little projects I'm working on, like cross stitch, or photo albums for working on scrapbooks. My embroidery thread is organized by DMC number in plastic containers made for storing embroidery thread. These containers are also stacked on the table.

    My sewing machine thread is organized on a small wooden board with small spindles you can buy that is designed to hold spools of thread. My sewing machine sits on the floor next to the craft table while not in use.

    Next to my craft table is a stand-alone cupboard that is sold as a pantry cupboard that you can probably find at Walmart for about $100. In the cupboard I store a lot of multipurpose items like my glue guns, all kinds of glue, paper, scissors, and all of my scrapbooking supplies. This cupboard works great for items other family members also use a lot, like tape and scissors. My paper cutter and long stapler are stored on top of the cabinet.

    I also have several bookcases in my office, and I use a couple of shelves on one of them for organizing my craft and sewing books. The books are organized by craft type.

    All of my small sewing supplies I keep in a couple of small sewing baskets that I can move with me from room to room. In these I keep sewing needles, embroidery scissors, measuring tape, pins, seam ripper, etc.

    Hopefully these ideas will help you get in the mood to start organizing your own craft and sewing supplies. It's so much more enjoyable to work on projects when you know what you have and where everything is.

    Copyright 2002. Rachel Paxton - reprinted with permission from http://www.creativehomemaking.com

    Please add your ideas, tips, and comments!
  • Great Articile !

    As for my items be organized... All I have to say is "What Items are you talking about"
  • Shawn,

    I was thinking the same thing.

    Amanda,

    Did my husband contact you about the state of my crafting area? And the fact that I've go more than one "area" so to speak? Just kidding. Great article--I've got some plastic boxes already and am inspired. I'm gonna start today. I especially like the idea of using the plastic baggies to sort some of the smaller things! Thanks again. (Oh and I guess I should thank Rachel for the article).
  • Organised craft?

    I start with good intentions of keeping the "cratfing area" tidy but it does not always go to plan especially when the boys sneak things out and don't always put them back and then you can't find them. I try to clean up as I go but......
    Funny my dh has a messy garage but will complain if I ask him to tidy up
  • more storage ideas
    Last fall I discovered the best storage boxes ever made, and they were about 55 cents each. Our area discount stores and office supply stores offer plastic pencil boxes as a loss leader (a steal of a deal that gets people in the store)...their logic is: "most people buy just one." Well, I go in and buy twenty at a time. They are stackable, smaller than the plastic shoeboxes, and they're hinged, so when DH or the kids get into them they don't lose the covers (a real plus for me!)

    This spring my DH brought home very nice round "screw together" storage containers for his fish hooks. They also were a loss leader at our sporting goods store. They were perfect for my beads, safety pins, sequins, etc. And they were under $1.00 for a set of five.

    I also have saved many baby wipe containers, and the local nursing home was willing to save them for me, too. Plus, being a frequent shopper at the fabric store I have discovered that they will save the plastic lace spools, so I have all my lace stored just as it would be at the store. I also keep my fabric in the plastic zipper bags that my comforters came in. And clear plastic shoebags (the kind that hold twenty pair) are tacked up on the inside of all the doors.

    Since I have organized my craft area I have completed twice as many projects and saved quite a bit of money by not running out and buying something that I already own. I love the feeling of using something up that has been laying around for a while (try 10 years!) AND, I have discovered that it is now easier to grab a project off the shelves and take it with me when I know that I have a long wait at the MD or when we have a long car ride.
  • I have two bookcases in the garage full of plastic labeled shoeboxes and 5 lb coffee cans (from work). I also have several large rubbermaid boxes. Some hold seasonal decorations (these are in the attic), another is for party supplies (from clearance sales), and a couple others hold 'gifts' I've gotten on sale somewhere. I have several copy paper boxes that hold large quantity items. For example, I have two boxes full of just yarn.

    This way I can just toss my newfound 'deals' in the appropriate box!
  • Organizing Your Craft and Sewing Supplies
    Hi all.

    I use 2 gallon storage Zip Locks to store and separate my cross-stitch projects once I open them. Until I open them I store them in a large Tupperware like box. I store my thread on bobbins in the storage boxes designed for them by DMC Color Number.

    In the 2 gallon zip lock I have the project, seam ripper (for pulling out mistakes!), fabric, thread, scissors (?), magnifying glass, pencil, and blown up chart. All this stays in the bag till project is finished.

    I also have a database on my computer that I update when I by a new project, book or thread. I have memory problems so I keep this in a 3-ring notebook. In this book is a list of projects started, completed (with Date), colors of thread used in project and what is left over.

    I am trying this year (2003) to become more organized so that I do not have to depend on my memory - which due to health issues is not trustworthy!

    I love cross stitch and would love to chat or email other folks who love cross stitch.


  • Hi again,

    I forgot to say that I keep all thread that is not registered in a ziplock bag that hangs in front of the notebook.

    When the project is done - all working supplies like scissors, pencil and such are left in bag but chart is filed in notebook and colors are returned to the file box. I also keep track of what happened to the project and how long it took to finish. I also note who helped me out. My husband, for example, is quite good at helping me out.

    I also note where I the project came from: a book, an idea in a magazine, a magazine based chart, a gift or one that I traded for, etc.

    Sorry to be so stuttered.
  • I'm trying something with plastic egg boxes. I've put my bobbins in each place an egg would be and shut the cover. I'm hoping (and so far) it works. No tangled up threads yet.
  • Bump..... need to get busy on this and finish it!!