Craft Storage that Really Works!

Craft Storage that Really Works via Clean Mama

On Monday I shared 5 simple steps to organize your craft area (room, drawer, jar, etc.).  I have to preface this post by telling you that I was an art teacher for nearly a decade so when I store art supplies I go for practicality and ease of use more than eye candy.  That said, I love a pretty container and a good label, so today’s post is all about good (and cute) storage that really works.  I hope you find an idea or two that you can take and use somewhere in your home.

When like items are grouped together, cleaning up is easier and little ones know where to return items.  Labeling is a good idea if you want items to be returned to ‘their spot’.

Group Like Items Together + Label via Clean Mama

I have these four little melamine dishes (from Target) stacked up on the kids’ art table.  When they take out markers or crayons they put them in the container.  It makes cleaning up so much easier.

Make Cleaning Up Easy - Use Small Containers to Keep Supplies During Projects via Clean Mama

I keep most supplies out on our art tables at all times.  If things aren’t returned to where they belong this privilege goes away, but it’s so much more fun to create when you have full reign and lots of artistic choices.  The beauty of having supplies in portable containers is that they can also take a jar downstairs for homework or a project that they’re working on in the kitchen.

Supplies are accessible via Clean Mama

Don’t be afraid to get creative when figuring out storage for your art supplies.  I use a vintage Jell-O mold to store washi tape.  My daughter put the container in the middle to keep our overflow of washi tape.  Great solution and no cost.  Win-win.

Use What You Have via Clean Mama

Any extra supplies or supplies that aren’t stored out all the time (Play-doh, Rainbow Loom, paint, etc.) are stored in a closet.  I also have a couple in-progress bins that projects that are in-progress can be stored in.

Store Supplies in Covered Boxes via Clean Mama

I like to keep things multi-purpose so the craft room also doubles as a reading room complete with a little reading nook.

Books and Reading Nook via Clean Mama

Any craft storage get a little revamp this week?  What have you been working on?


Want to make 2014 the year that you cleaned and organized everything? Me too!

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Come see how you can use printables to organize in my shop!)

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Start Here. Week 4 – Craft Area

It’s week four of Start Here. – I hope you’re still feeling motivated and like you can do this – because you totally can!  If you didn’t see the first post and grab the free printable, go back to the post for the full overview and explanation here. If you want to follow along on Instagram or post your own progress, I’d love it if you used the hash tag #cmstarthere

Start Here.  Cleaning + Organizing Calendar Infographic via Clean Mama

This week the focus is on your CRAFT AREA.  If you have a craft bin, drawer, jar, cubby, or an entire dedicated room, you can benefit from the challenge this week.  This can be your craft area or your kids’ craft area.  Do a little de-cluttering in your craft space today or tomorrow and you’ll be motivated to craft and create.  Clutter is distracting and gets in the way of getting things done.  Here are a couple ideas for what you can do TODAY or this week to get your craft area (drawer, jar, box, or room) organized.

Organize Your Craft Supplies in 5 Simple Steps via Clean Mama

  1. TOSS or DONATE – The first thing to do when you’re starting any organizing or cleaning project (large or small) is to edit.  Take a good look at what you have and decide if there’s anything that isn’t being used, is broken, and can be donated or tossed.
  2. WIPE DOWN – If you’re cleaning out a drawer or shelf, completely empty it and wipe it down.  Once you have this space cleaned out, see if it could be organized better or differently.
  3. GROUP – Group like items with like items.  Put your fabric together, washi tape, markers, crayons, and paint together.  Keeping your items grouped together makes it easier to see what you have and where it belongs.
  4. CONTAIN – Put your supplies together.  Recycle boxes, use plastic containers, canning jars, other supplies.  Think creatively and try to organize your craft supplies/area without spending money.
  5. LABEL – Use a label maker, write on washi or craft tape, or use pre-cut labels.  You can even use a permanent marker and write directly on your container.  Labels give uniformity to your supplies and show you (and anyone using the supplies) exactly where the stuff needs to be returned to.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with some craft storage ideas that I use in my home – see you then!

Want to make 2014 the year that you cleaned and organized everything? Me too!

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Come see how you can use printables to organize in my shop!)

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“Spring Into Organization” – My Craft Room

I am house #6 in the Spring Into Organization Blogger Home Tour!
(To start at the beginning of the blogger home tour, you can go here.)

If you are new here, welcome to my ‘clean’ cyber space! Thanks for stopping by – I hope to inspire you to do some simple organizing in your home.  I have a little Etsy shop where I sell printables designed to take the work out of organizing your life and today I have a free printable designed to help you plan, carry out, and complete your next organizing project!

You can go here forbrights and here for black + white Organizing Project Planners!
Today I’m sharing a fun space in my home with you. When we moved into our home a few years ago, I ‘claimed’ the extra bedroom as my craft room. I had grand plans for a perfect space for me to sew and paint and do crafty things. As time passed and the room started to come together, I realized that it really needed to be a room for me and the kids, so plans changed and the room has evolved and become a great little space for the us to do our activities together. I hope you see some fun ideas that you can implement in your own home too. The great thing about this room is that there are so many things that we can choose to do in the room, but everything is fairly contained in its own little space.
This is to the right of the door as you walk in – the tv and dvd player/dvd basket are hidden, but the kids like to take the cushions out of the reading closet and watch a movie every now and then.
The reading closet is a narrow closet, perfect for a little reading hideaway.  The kids love this space.
This is an antique desk that I store notecards and such in the top half and the kids use the bottom half for storage of crafty and educational items.  Easy access for them means that they can put it away too.

The opened desk – I love this piece of furniture – it’s solid and has a great profile.

To the left of the porch is the kids’ creating space – their art gallery is always rotating with their favorite art pieces.  I love using oil cloth on tables for cuteness and for easy clean up.

These clips were from a craft store, I painted them to coordinate in the room and attached them with a nail – super simple!

This is the big creating table, again covered in oilcloth, but with this one it’s secured down to the bottom of the table top.  The kids’ art supplies are stored here, but I put it on their table when they need it.  My art supplies are just for me – fancy markers and colored pencils, glitter pens, glue gun and glue sticks….
I made these labels by typing out the names of the tools in different fonts and printed the page out on cardstock – here’s a link to a freebie printable if you are interested.
I made the kids’ art supply turntable – it was so easy and cost me $12 – the turntable (unpainted) and ceramic cups were from Ikea.

These flashcards are above the big creating table – I made the clips with mini clothespins that I painted white and circle unpainted discs that I painted and hot glued to the clothespins.  I strung them all together with white cord and that was it – easy!

I love this little corner – I used a couple vintage pieces to soften up the space and to add my style to the room.

This room has another closet that I turned into a storage galore area – when we’re done, everything gets closed up and put away.
I originally saw the idea for the wrapping station via, and by searching the comments I found where it was from (see below).  I love how it works, it’s only secured with the hooks and it works great!

This is the upper area, nothing fancy, but extra kid art storage, pictures, books, and random art supplies get stashed up here.

I like to put the art kits together for the kids – so up in those boxes to the left are individual projects waiting to happen.  Play-doh, Do-a-Dot, spirograph, stamps and stamp pads…one thing at a time and not all at once makes them so much more fun!

I love this solution for craft paint paint storage – use an old Coca-Cola crate for craft paint – it’s works great!

Some Sources:
Paint Color – Benjamin Moore {Whispering Spring}
Artwork – Children Inspire Design
Craft Paint Storage – idea originally seen on Funky Junk Interiors
oil cloth on kids’ table – The Fabric Shoppe (my favorite Etsy shop for fabric)
over the door wrapping station – The Chef’s Catalog
reading closet pillows and jersey pillowcases – Target

Thank you so much for taking the time to peek into my craft/activity room today – come back for free monthly cleaning checklists and lots of practical tips and tricks that you can easily implement in your own home!
Come back here (or on any of the blogs) on Friday (March 30th) for the colossal link party – where you can link up your own organized spaces – I can’t wait to pin your ideas!  (You can go here to grab a button to put on your post.)
There’s more! Wanna win Laura Wittman’s book, Clutter Rehab? Laura is giving away two copies – you can go to the bottom of this post to enter!The next organized space up on the tour is Toni’s from the fabulous blog, A Bowl Full of Lemons  – check out her organized kitchen, mail station, and filing system!

Make It – Doll Sleeping Bag Tutorial

Five nieces, lots of dolls, and the need for cute, inexpensive gifts, necessitated some handmade goodness for Christmas gifts.  Using a doll sleeping bag that my mom made me when I was little (that my daughter uses and LOVES), I came up with this pattern and made four fleece sleeping bags with a pillow to match for Christmas gifts.  The cost?  Less than $4 each – watch for fleece to be on sale at your local fabric store.  The cute, great gift factor?  Definitely worth the small amount of time it took to make – about 30 minutes each.  My kids enjoyed helping with choosing the fabric, cutting out the sleeping bags and pillows and sewing up the gifts.  I made a little tutorial printable if you’d like to make it – the directions are general and simple – a great beginner’s sewing project.  You can go here to grab a printable for your own gift making pleasure.  I’m also thinking it would be great to have a few on hand for birthday party gifts too.
I made this like a little pocket for the doll – no zippers or ties, just a little pocket for the doll to be slipped into.
here are a couple complete with the little pillows
ready for “packaging”
wrapped with a cute ribbon – 4 gifts down

Clipboard LOVE

I’m a little bit crazy for clipboards – they’re great for organizing and keeping track of important lists,  printables, holding notebooks, chore charts….I needed  a couple for some homekeeping and my kids need one for their chore charts.  Today I’m going to share with you how I make my clipboards cuter with simple supplies and  two little kids helping me.
Start by purchasing the super cheap clipboards – I got mine at Office Max for under $2 a piece.  Using craft paint, paint the edges of the clipboard. 

Then paint the top inch or so with craft paint – no taking the metal clip out – much easier and pliar free.

Cut scrapbook paper to fit – 1 piece for the front and one for the back – I also used a corner rounder for the corners.
Use some type of a gel medium to decoupage clipboard – I use this one by Martha from Michaels – no smell, so it’s easier to use with kids than other decoupage adhesives.  Apply to the wood surface of the clip board and then you’ll need at least coats on the outside – dry between coats and apply thin layers.  My kids love helping with this step.

 Here are the four completed clipboards – I used coordinating paper on the back to make it a little cuter.  Later this week I’ll share what I use my clipboards for and how my kids use their chore charts on their clipboards.

Happy to be Linking!

Craft Room Tour

Last week I shared some of my favorite craft room projects that I’ve made and today I’m going to take you on a tour of the space.  First of all I want to say that I am truly blessed to have a space to create in like this.  For so many years, I have had a crafting stash and know that it’s a gift to have a whole room like this.

Here’s a little tour of this space – it’s really just a bedroom, but I’ve added some touches with a couple extra bucks and made a space that the kids and I can enjoy together.
I FINALLY organized the closet – here’s how I did it on Crazy Domestic from last week.
Here’s our crafting table made from our old kitchen table and chairs.
Find a spot to display your child(ren)’s artwork – they love to display their masterpieces!
See this little closet?  I want to paint it funky on the inside and put pillows and a little book basket  to make a reading nook.
I love this old desk in this space – I store decorating books and binders in the bookcase section.
So that’s our making space.  I encourage you to find a space to make things in.  Even if it’s an old shoe box that you drag out to the kitchen table when you need some time for yourself – it’s good for you.

Craft Room Favorites

I’ve been slowly making my way through our craft room during the course of the past year.  The room functions as a learning and creative environment for the kids, a crafting space for me, and a place to stash the art and craft materials.  Today I’m linking up some of my favorites all in one place – in case you haven’t seen these posts – and then next week I’ll take you on the tour of the whole space – closet included.

I’m linking this up to some fun parties – check them out!

Acrylic Paint Storage

I saw this idea over at Funky Junk Interiors a while ago and finally got around to carrying it out in my craft room.  I had an old Coca-Cola crate in the basement that I’ve been wanting to do something clever with and this fits the clever criteria for me.  I cleaned it up with the hose outside and it gave it a light coat of clear polyurethane.

I grouped my acrylic paint colors by color family in the little cubbies and now I have a great acrylic craft paint storage solution.   So much better than the plastic shoe boxes that my paints used to be stored in – I love it!

Easy Labels

I have a mommy turntable in the craft room with some of my supplies in it.  It needed labels, so I typed some up in cute fonts, printed them on craft paper and now my supplies have little labels.  
Wanna make some too?  
Here’s how I did it – easy peasy:
Measure space that will be filled with a label – use the ruler on your computer as you’re typing so you don’t go over that size.  Type words into a word processing document.
Cut a 12×12 inch square of craft paper down to 8.5×11 inches.
Send craft paper through the printer – print word document.
Cut labels down to size.
Insert in little spot for label.
And I’m all labeled up!
I’m linking this up to some fun parties this week – check them out!

Craft Room Shelves – Part 2

Last week I went from this:
 and this:
to this:

This week I’m going to show you how I added craft supplies to the shelves so they would serve a purpose and function in my craft room while adding some decorative appeal.

I placed them on either side of the door that leads into the guest bathroom.  Perfect fit.

I started by deciding what needed to be stashed in a different place.  First, it was the glitter.  On the craft table, it’s just too tempting for littles.  My glitter “collection” fits perfectly on the shelf. 

I also wanted some closed storage so I decorated a couple jam jars with ribbon and craft paper (attached with a hot glue gun) and now I have closed storage.  I put decorative paper rolls in one, some antique sewing supplies in another, and little chipboard animals in the last one.  
I also needed a place for stamps and stamp pads – I put the stamp pads on the shelf and some additional stamp pads and stamps in the drawer. 
My favorite part of the little display?  The antique ivory wool jacket and children’s hangers.  All three are my mom’s garage sale finds (thanks, mom!) from years ago – aren’t they sweet?
I don’t know if you can tell, but the guest bathroom is a soft butter yellow color – I love how the little ivory jacket connects the two rooms together.

I re-did these two shelves for the cost of two cans of spray paint – everything else was stuff that I already had – it totally “paid” to look a little harder in my basement.
I’m linking this up to some fun parties this week!

Craft Room Shelves

This week I’m re-doing a couple of cute shelves that didn’t sell in my last garage sale.  So I guess you could say that I shopped my own sale.  They fit in nicely in our last house, but the color and style is a bit off for my kitchen in this house.  I got to thinking that I need some shelving in my craft room, so what better place to make them for, right?  
Here are the two little shelves: 
This off-white one has herb labels on it – I saved them for something else, someday.
I removed the hardware.
Filled the holes with spackle/wood filler.
Lightly sanded them down to smooth out the spackle/wood filler and to “rough up” the surface to prepare it for the spray paint.

Sprayed away with my new favorite spray paint.  I needed two cans – totally worth it.
I sanded in-between the 4 layers of paint. 

I decided the white shelves needed a little sprucing up so I got out my craft paint and paint brushes.
I painted the knobs on the vertical shelf the two colors that I’ve accented the craft room with.  I also painted the little cracks in the larger shelf green.
I added some dots to the knobs of the vertical shelf.
Here’s a great art teacher tip for painting perfect dots: dip the non-bristle end of the paintbrush in your paint and make your dots.  Works perfectly every time.
Here are the shelves ready for a new spot in the craft room.  Next week I’ll show you how I arranged them, added crafty supplies and labels.  
Do you have any shelves you could re-purpose and paint?
I’m linking this post up to some great parties!

Creating a Crafting Space – Part IV – Art Display Idea

Every child loves to see their artwork displayed – here’s a fun way to hang kids’ artwork. 
I found these giant unpainted paper clips on sale at my local Archivers.
My oldest and I painted them the same two colors that I painted these wall clips.  I took the metal part out of the clips so we wouldn’t get paint on them.
 I put the metal clip back in when they were dry.
There are little holes on the back part of the clip so I put a nail through it to attach it to the wall.
Now we just need to get painting to put some fresh artwork on the wall.

Creating a Crafting Space – Part III – Make an Art Supply Turntable

Gotta love organized art supplies.  That’s probably the art teacher in me, right?  My kids pull out art supplies multiple times a day.  Markers, crayons, scissors, glue – the cleanup for this is overwhelming if you don’t have a system that works for kids.  Initially I looked around and tried to buy a caddy or container that would work.  Everyhing was either too expensive for me to justify or plastic-y and wouldn’t look good just sitting out.  I started thinking about would make a good art caddy for kids.  It had to have all the components accessible, be sturdy, and it should be cute.  So I set out to make my definition of a perfect art caddy for kids – my goal was to make it for about $10 and I came in at about $12.  Pretty good, right?  Here’s what you need:  
  • wood lazy susan (unpainted) –  I bought mine at IKEA, but I just saw a slightly smaller one at Target the other day
  • glazed flower pots or aluminum flower pots (I used 6 smaller pots around the outside and one larger one in the middle) – they were on sale for 25 cents each at IKEA when I made this
  • scrapbooking paper – I used coordinating prints
  • craft paint – I like Apple Barrel brand
  • Mod Podge (to seal and protect)
  • glue gun
  • pencil (to trace paper) 
  • scissors
Here’s your step by step how-to:

  1. Paint the lazy susan – let dry overnight – you’ll probably need 2-3 coats.
  2. Cut circles to go under the flower pots (I turned the pot upside down and traced around the “lip” of the pot for a perfectly proportioned circle to go under the pot).
  3. Spread some Mod Podge under the circles and place where you want them on your painted lazy susan.
  4. Paint 2-3 coats of Mod Podge over the entire surface and underneath the lazy susan – this protects the surface and will keep the paper nicely attached to the lazy susan for years and years to come.  Let dry overnight.
  5. Using superglue or a glue gun to attach the flower pots to the circles.
  6. Fill with art supplies and start creating!

This is fairly simple to make – the hardest part was letting everything dry in between coats.  Now my kids are able to choose their art medium by simply turning the art wheel instead of climbing on top of the table.  How do you organize art and craft supplies?

Creating a Crafting Space – Part II – Wall Art Clips

Hanging fun art on the walls of my craft/art/learning room is important to me.  I found these really fun number cards and was inspired to create a way to hang them.  Nothing matched my color scheme, so I schemed to make some.  Do you want to make some too?

Here’s what you need….

  1. clothespins – I bought a package of itty-bitty ones at Michael’s
  2. some type of wood cut-out to glue on top of the clothespin – I chose 1″ plain circular disks (also from Michael’s)
  3. acrylic craft paint – I like Apple Barrel 
  4. paint brush and water
  5. glue – I used my glue gun, but you can use craft or super glue 

    Once you have your supplies, this is what you do….

    1. paint clothespins and wood cut-outs
    2. glue the two pieces together – the wood cut out should cover up the metal part of the clothespin
    3. thread string through the holes of the clothespins 
    4. put nails or hooks in/on the wall where you want your wall art to be hung
    5. hang clips and art

    And there you have it – hand-made wall clips!

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