Thinking Through Storage Options

Organizing our supplies is one of those never ending, ongoing challenges. It’s a personal thing and what works for one crafter may not work for another. I love to hear the different ways people organize their supplies, but ultimately, the way I store things will be unique to my space and the way that I scrapbook.

There are so many different ways to organize your stash. By theme if you are a seasonal scrapbooker. By manufacturer if you tend to think of your supplies by the company that makes them. By color if you that’s the way you work.  By type keeping all the flowers together, keeping all the brads together, keeping all the chipboard together, etc…

And essentially any combination of the above. More and more, I have been finding that organizing one way for one thing works well, but doing it that same way may not work for another category.

For example, I organize my pattern paper by manufacturer. That’s how I think about paper, that’s what works for me when I am planning my pages. I tried years ago to organize my pattern paper by color because it was the cool thing to do and it drove me insane. I could never find what I was looking for. I never started a page thinking I need a purple background so let me see my purple paper. I immediately changed it back to keeping all of one manufacturer together and it’s worked well for me ever since.

In other categories, I like to keep all of  that one thing together. Like all of my 6×6 paper pads are in one place, all of my washi tape is in one bucket, all of my 3×4 and 4×6 card pads are in one container. Having all of these items in one place allows me to see what I have all at once and quickly find something that will work.

But when it comes to my flowers, I want to see all of my yellow flowers at once, not just the Prima flowers and not every single flower in my stash. Having all the yellow flowers together allows me to find the right shade for the page I am working on.

There really is no rhyme or reason why something works one way and not another. Over the years, I have just learned that it comes down to trial and error. Try small changes and if it doesn’t work, change it again.

When I first moved into this little condo, I reorganized some of my embellishments so that all of my loose chipboard pieces were together. I had another bin that had all of my butterflies, another bin with just hearts and another bin with all my star shapes.

I use hearts and stars all the time so I’m constantly reaching for these bins. I don’t care what colors are there, I just want to see all of my stars or hearts. But I never reached for the chipboard bin, nor the butterfly bin. These bins have been sitting in the closet for two years virtually untouched.

When things are neglected, its time to think through what kind of change might work. It just so happens that I have started to notice a change in the way I embellish my pages. I am now thinking more in terms of color. Not in putting the whole page together, but just about embellishing with an accent color. If it’s red, I gather up a bunch of red items. If it’s green I gather up some green items.

For these categories of embellishments I haven’t been using, I gathered everything up and started diving them up by color.

Why go through all this detail? Because it really is important to think through how you scrapbook and how that translates into how to organize these things. Just a few years ago I wouldn’t have thought to dismantle my embellishments and put them into colors. Now? It works. And if in another year I’m scrapbooking differently, I’ll change it up. Again.

I’ve had these color drawers for years. I do keep things like brads and small embellishments, threads, and ribbons by color.

My latest container of chipboard, butterflies and other random embellishments fit in the drawers perfectly. Now, when I need a blue accent, I can pull out the drawer and have everything I need right there.

It’s too soon to tell if this will work, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for stopping by today!

A Few New Storage Options

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had an idea in my head for a storage option…if only I could find it. I just happened to run into Ross and there it was, in the bathroom section.  It’s not as big as I was hoping for (I wish the surface area of each basket was wider so I could fit more on each one) but it had the four shelves I needed.

All of my paints and mists and stains and glitter glues were scattered in various places and because they weren’t out where I could see them, I just wasn’t using them as much as I should.

This little unit keeps them contained, all in one place, but out of the way at the same time. It’s not a big, bulky unit either. And there is still a little room on each shelf for more colors.

Another idea I came up with is for Project Life cards. I’ve been making a real effort to use more Project Life core kit cards in my traditional scrapbook layouts. I love how I set up my other journaling cards, and reach into this box all the time now. But there wasn’t enough room to add all the Project Life cards too. I did have these 4×6 Iris photo cases sitting empty, however. It occurred to me that the Project Life cards might fit perfectly inside.

A perfect fit!

I pulled out one of each card from my core kits, added them to these photo cases and labeled the boxes.

The best part is that these cases fit perfectly into the empty space in this drawer. Now they are close at hand, organized and easy to reach.

Lastly, this isn’t really a storage idea but I picked it up the same day I found the shower tower above. I was wandering around Hobby Lobby and saw this adorable tray.

Most of my embellishments are tucked away in the closet on the other side of the room. When I plan a layout, I typically go through my stash and pull out odds and ends that I think will work with the color scheme. But I don’t have a place to put them other than the table I’m working on and they sometimes get lost on the table, under layers of paper and I forget about them.

Cute tray to the rescue. This is totally fun, right? Now I’ll have a place to keep all the odds and ends together while I’m working on a layout and I’ll be able to look over and remember to incorporate these items into my layout.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Today is my first day on the new job… I’m super excited but I won’t be able to do my blog hopping until later tonight. If there’s wifi around the office, I hope I’ll be able to do work it into my lunch hour on my tablet eventually. But until I get the lay of the land, it will have to wait until I get home in the evening. I hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Progress & Happy News

In my spare time this week (when I haven’t been clocking in hours at my crazy retail job), I’ve made some progress purging and making some room in my space. My first priority was to find a way to contain my growing washi tape collection.

I rescued this cute pail from one of my storage boxes. It’s the perfect size. Plenty of room to add a few more rolls and but not too small that I can’t dig around to find the one I’m looking for.

I also cleared out some things and made room in a few drawers.

I love this jute collection and wanted to keep it close at hand but also contained. This pencil basket is the perfect size and makes it easy to access.

There is still plenty of room in that drawer for something else I’ve been thinking of doing. Project Life related. Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to pull it together. I also found a cool storage option at Ross that I will transfer my mists and stickles to. But I haven’t gotten that far yet. As soon as I do, I promise to post more photos!

And now for the happy news… I am thrilled to say that my retail days are coming to an END. I accepted a job offer from a real estate services firm. New job starts around August 1st.

I really was beginning to think I’d never make my way back into a professional position. I was so panicked earlier this year, facing the need to take the retail job. But a very wise friend told me that once it started and I had money coming in, I could relax. I could stop looking and that would open up the opportunity for something awesome to happen. I didn’t believe her.

Four long years of unemployment does not help a person see the world in an optimistic light.

But she was right! I relaxed, stopped looking and just worked like a dog focused on being a retail manager. In the end, this company found me. When your experience lines up, and you are the right fit, everything falls into place. Thank goodness I was home when the corporate recruiter called. After a few conference calls, a drive to south Florida for an interview and waiting on pins and needles for weeks, I have a new job!

Though I am soon going off in a new professional direction, the crafting continues! I have several layouts in progress and I just finished a fun pop-culture type of layout that sparked ideas for several more. I’m having fun with them so it may turn into a little mini series here on the blog. More to share soon!

And I haven’t forgotten that this is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year in the paper crafting world. CHA summer begins next week and being the product junkie I am, I have a couple of posts planned to share my take on some of the new releases.

Very exciting times!

Any plans for the weekend? I am counting down my remaining shifts at the retail job (just six more!) and then I have some shopping to do. My wardrobe definitely needs an update!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Journaling Cards | A Storage Idea

More and more companies are coming out with pads and packs of 4×6 and 3×4 journaling cards and I have accumulated quite a bit stack of them.

I can’t have stacks of stuff sitting randomly in my space. It drives me batty. I can’t have them on my work table when I’m working because it’s too small. They get moved. And then I forget about them. I need them contained and it got me to thinking about storage ideas.

My logical left brain wants to keep the cards on on the pad, organized along with the other cards in the set. My creative right brain (…when it shows up…) wants to take all the cards apart so they are easier to flip through and mix up.

How can I do both?

Here’s where I went. I took each card off the adhesive strip from the pack but clipped them together along with the line they are from. 4×6 in front with the 3×4 cards behind.

For some reason, it’s just easier when they are not bound on a pad. It also solves the problem of when you tear one off and then don’t use it. The loose ones won’t fall to the floor anymore. The newest cards I have fit nicely in this little tin box that had been sitting empty on a shelf. Much better filled up with pretty cards!

The binder clip keeps them together so I can flip through them quickly if I know that I want a card from a particular line. But I have the flexibility of spreading them out to find mix up possibilities. The best of both worlds.

I should mention that this is not ALL of my journaling cards. It does not include my Project Life stuff or other journaling spots. These are just new cards that have come out in the last year or so. My little work area is too small to do something that would contain everything but this works now for all the newer stuff I want to keep fresh in mind.

So, how are you sorting and storing your journaling cards?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Embellishment Storage

When I was unpacking all of my supplies last month, I noticed that I have been keeping too many embellishments in their original packaging. These packages take up a lot of room and now that I don’t have a big crafting space, I had to come up with a better solution.

To open or not to open?

It really is a dilemma for me. I hate to take things out of their packaging too soon because once it’s out of sight, it’s too easy to forget you have it or who made it or what line it came from. But if you don’t have a ton of storage space, these packages can pile up quickly.

My tip is to keep these embellishments in their packaging when something is new. In our scrapbooking world, that’s about 3 to 6 months. I keep a bin full of new products right in my work area for easy access. (I talked about my “new” bins in this post.) When a new product release comes out and I buy the newest, latest and greatest embellishments, I remove whatever is left over from the bin and mix it up with the rest of my stash.

I’m starting to collect brads in these tool box drawers. It’s easy to dump the contents out and find the right color or style for the project I’ve got in progress. I’m using some of these brads in a layout on my desk right now. Out of the package, some of these more theme specific brads no longer feel so theme specific.

I was worried about taking the paper embellishments apart because it’s always good to keep the coordinating items together. But I’m actually finding I’ve been using them more now. Rather than having to open four different packages to find the right color and right size, I can just go through everything at once and pull out what works.

I may regret this one day, but for now it’s working!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Scrapbook Supply Storage Ideas

I have always wanted to do a post with a tour of my crafting space. I’m sad that I never had a chance to do it with my space in my house in Tennessee. I love to see different storage ideas because you never know when you’ll see something that you never thought of doing. Not all storage ideas work for everyone so it’s a matter of trying different things until you figure out what works for you.

I had to downsize when I moved back to Florida so I no longer have a dedicated crafting room. Because I have my scrapbooking stuff in a variety of places now, I wanted talk about how I’ve been able to incorporate my things into several areas of my condo. I need things to be accessible when I’m working on projects, but when I have friends over for bunko or a book club, I don’t want my scrapbooking stuff to be in the way.

My goal here is not to show you everything, but to show you some of the highlights.

This is the dining room corner of my great room in my condo. To take advantage of the natural light, I placed the cubes that used to form my work table against the walls. I can still stand and scrapbook at the cubes to work, but I can also sit at the table too. It’s the best of both worlds. I like that everything is right there, yet the table kind of shields the area from view when you are in the living room area.

I’m a big fan of plastic storage bins because they are relatively inexpensive. Right next to my pattern paper scrap storage is another set of 2 12×12 drawers. I have one drawer devoted to distress inks. I do not have all of the colors but thought I would mention that you can get three in a stack and the drawer will close. I have two colors in each stack so there’s room to grow! The inks fit perfectly into this 12×12 sized drawer. I also have the ink tools, some distress pens, Jenni Bowlin inks and paints in another drawer.

I store my pattern paper in Cropper Hopper paper holders and storage envelopes by manufacturer. There is also a cube that holds all of my paper pads from Die Cuts with a View and K & Co. that you get at the big box stores. My cardstock is here too, sorted by color.  On that bottom shelf, I keep a bin full of the punches that I use the most often.

In another plastic storage drawer set I keep my adhesives in the top drawer. I just recently moved my stickles and distress stains here too. These items used to be in my color drawers (more info below) but the bins were getting too full. I took out some larger items and things I use all the time and the stickles and distress stains ended up here.

This plastic bin I found at Joann’s is the perfect size for my 6×6 paper pads. This sits right on top of my work space. I can flip through them easily to find what I need. I also have my tool box right there too. And in the cube right below that, I have a place where I keep new supplies. Paper is stacked to the right and new embellishments go into the bin. I will keep these things here for a bit until a new round of supplies comes in.

These storage racks sit underneath the bar spanning the kitchen/great room. Now we are getting into places that will perform double duty. I don’t have room for a desk in this condo so office supplies are here along with cookbooks and some scrapbooking stuff.

I’ve used more closed options here to contain smaller embellishments. Various boxes contain tools I don’t need all of the time. I also have cardstock scraps pull out and take to my workspace when I’ve got a layout in progress.

Moving out of the great room, you come to the heart of my supplies. The only reason I was able to lease a 2-bedroom condo is because of this closet.

It’s a Harry Potter like closet under the stairs that go up to the unit above me. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be able to house some of the shelves that used to span the wall in my scrapbook space in my house. I tried to keep things in drawers and containers as much as possible so that I could bring them out of the closet and over to my work space.

This is another new thing. Considering how much I like to flip through my stamps, I thought I would gather all of my Thickers and other sticker sheets and put them all in one place. I used to keep the smaller alphas in my color drawers and the Thickers in another location. I think I will like having everything together.

The top shelf holds the baskets that contain my clear stamp collection. There’s also bin for embossing folders.

I have a large collection of 12×12 and 8.5×11 boxes that hold a variety of things from projects and mini albums in progress to themed supplies. I try to keep my Halloween paper and embellishments together in a box, back to school in another box, Christmas in another, etc… Ongoing projects like Project Life and my Childhood Memory Box both have boxes with their supplies as well. And tucked in the space left over are these open bins with paints, Copic markers and distress ink refills.

At the back of the closet I have my color bins. I don’t store a ton of stuff by color but I have found that it’s easy for me to find solid color items if they are all in one place. The types of things I keep in here are string, twine, memory thread, brads, inks, and gems.

Next to the color bins, I have storage boxes that contain all of my journaling spots and a variety of paper and chipboard embellishments. I used to keep these types of things in several locations but here, it just made more sense to consolidate them. It’s easy to pull the box of butterflies or journaling spots to find what I need for the project at hand.

I don’t have photos, but I will mention that I also have a set of wire racks in both of the bedrooms. The one in the spare room holds idea books and my chipboard alphabets. The one in my bedroom holds my actual scrapbook albums. It’s not the perfect situation to have everything scattered, but that’s the only way everything fits in this small condo.

Well, thank you for indulging me in this little tour! I don’t think there could ever be enough posts out there with storage ideas. I hope you found it helpful and gave you some ideas for incorporating crafting items into your living space if that is something that you need to do too.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Clear Stamp Storage Idea

It was a great day in the crafting world when companies started coming out with clear acrylic stamps. While I have wood mounted rubber stamps, I don’t have a huge collection of them because they are big and bulky. But when clear stamps came along, I couldn’t resist them. The price points were lower and the flat profile made them easy to store.

Or so I thought.

I’ve gone in several different directions in my quest to corral my ever growing collection of clear stamps. I loved the idea of keeping the small stamps in baseball card sized page protectors inside a 3-ring binder.

I put all of my small stamps (the $1 and $2 Studio G, Inkadinkado, WRMK, Basic Grey, etc…) into this binder. It’s a great system…if you actually fetch the book while you are creating. Mine tends to just sit on the shelf. And by that I mean a shelf that was right behind me in my work space. I could just reach for the book and have it in my hands. But out of sight, out of mind is so true. I never got the book off the shelf.

And then companies expanded their offerings and stamp sets started coming in 6×7.5 sheets and 4×8 sheets, 4×6 sheets and even some 3×5 sheets. The only way to get these to conform to the baseball card slots was to cut them up or use larger sheet protectors. I started customizing page protectors to keep stamps in a book I never used. Kind of silly.

Then I tried something different.

I found these baskets at Michaels (years ago – I’m sure they still have something in the same size if not the same style) and they are just wide enough to fit the stamp sheets 4 inches wide and smaller. So I started adding new stamp sets to the basket.

This system was working for me. If a stamp got used, 99% of the time it was in this basket. The basket is out in the open and easy to flip through. (That is not to say the 3-ring binder was hard to flip through. It’s not. It’s just closed and I forgot about it. I will never understand why some things work and other things don’t.)

Now that I’m settling into my new space, I realized that if I was ever going to use all of my stamps, it would make sense if they were all stored the same way. So how do you take large sets and make them smaller and create larger collections of the single stamps?

Transparencies to the rescue!

I found this almost full box of transparencies as I was unpacking. The idea came to me that using transparencies, I could convert all of my clear stamps to a universal 4×6 size so they would fit in the baskets. Some of my sets would need to be broken up in order to utilize as much of the 4×6 area as possible, but I’m OK with that. If it means I’ll actually use my stamps, it’s worth it.

I’m cutting two 4×6 transparency sheets and attaching them at the top with a piece of packing tape. The top sheet does not cling to the stamps well, so the tape holds the sheet in place over the stamps so I can place it in the basket.

So far, I’m very happy. It does take some time to get all the stamps converted though. I will be working on this project for awhile. But it’s giving me the opportunity to go through all of my clear stamps and remember exactly what I have. The true test will come when I start getting my craft on again.

Just like any storage or organizational option, this may not be the solution for everyone. To be honest, I had to overcome a few of my own objections to get this far.

First, the backers in the stamp package include a printed image of the stamp. The stamp itself is clear so when you put it back on the printed backer, you’ll always know what that stamp is. I have two solutions for this:

  1. My personal solution is to stamp each stamp with black solvent ink (like Ranger’s Archival Ink or Tsukineko’s StayzOn Ink) and let it dry. The image is then visible through the transparency and the solvent ink acts to “season” the stamp. I heard this tip directly from Tim Holtz and I trust him on this. The solvent ink gives the stamp more “tooth” so that distress inks and chalk inks will deliver a crisper image. I do wipe off my stamps with a damp cloth to remove any ink recently stamped, but I do not wipe off the black solvent ink. It’s now a permanently on my stamps.
  2. If you cannot imagine having permanent ink “staining” your stamps so to speak, use the same solvent ink to stamp the image onto the custom transparency for a reference just like the original backer. The solvent ink will dry quickly and will not fade quickly. You can use stamp cleaners that will remove the solvent ink leaving you with a clear stamp.

Second, I had the thought that isn’t this kind of a waste? Why throw out perfectly good backers and use new transparencies? Eventually, I came around to this:

  1. If my stamps are in a book with their original backers and I’m not using them, they are not doing me any good. I’m not getting my money’s worth. They would be better stored in a way that I’ll actually use them. Plus, I’m using a box of transparencies that I’ve had for years, I didn’t buy new ones. The same results could be achieved with repurposed product packaging.
  2. I’m not throwing away the clear plastic backing from the stamps. Most of these clear stamps come with two backings, one with the image printed in black and a clear backing. The clear small backers are great to die cut with and to run through embossing folders. I have some ideas for using these that I’ll share in a future post.

I’m still thinking about my cling stamps. I’m not sure the transparency is strong enough for the heavier cling stamps. But maybe that’s where I can bring in the plastic product packaging. Once I get through the clear stamps, I’ll figure out the cling stamps.

So how do you store your clear stamps?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Organizing Pattern Paper Scraps

Over the 12+ years I have been scrapbooking and paper crafting, the most valuable lesson I have learned about storage and organizing is that not every solution is going to work for everyone. You have to try out different methods. Some things need to be put away in boxes. Other things need to be out so they are easy to flip through. You have to try things until you land on something that works for you.

I have always been very happy with how I keep my cardstock scraps, but I have never found a way to keep my pattern paper scraps so that I will actually use them. They tend to get ignored or I try to use them up right away on cards.

But since I just moved, I have the opportunity to re-evaluate everything. I’m going from a dedicated craft room down to half a wall in the great room. The rest of my supplies will be tucked away in a large closet and scattered on shelves in different rooms. Because I no longer have a space, the things in my primary space have to work for me.

I want to use my pattern paper scraps so I’m trying something new.

My 12×2 paper collection is stored by manufacturer (more on this in a future post). I think about pattern paper in terms of collection and brand so sorting by color never worked for me. I tried keeping pattern paper scraps along with the 12×12 paper, but the paper holders would bulge. I tried to keep pattern scraps the same way I kept cardstock scraps only by manufacturer and it never worked either.

I let this drawer idea grow on me and now that I’ve set it up, I think it’s going to work.

I am going to dedicate two 12×12 drawer files (there are three drawers to each unit) to my pattern paper scraps. I will be grouping colors by red/pink, yellow/orange, blue/green, brown/kraft, white/black and cream. All shades of each color will go in the drawer — aqua in blue, peach in orange, seafoam in green, etc… Where’s the purple? Well, I do not use purple enough for it to have it’s own drawer. But I have figured out where purple papers will go.

Here is the first pile I was working with:

The question that always comes up when sorting pattern paper by color is: what do you do with multi-color patterns? I never could figure it out, so in general, I don’t sort by color. (There are exceptions – cardstock, flowers, brads, buttons and other solid color embellishments all go in color drawers – maybe a topic for a future post?)

But I really wanted this drawer system to work for my pattern paper so I established one rule from the beginning: I go by the background color.

This pattern has several colors but the background is obvious: green. It goes in the green/blue drawer.

While the yellow is bright and dominate, the background is pink. It goes in the red/pink drawer.

There are quite a few colors here, but the background is yellow. It goes in the yellow/orange drawer.

Some patterns are tricky. The background in the top pattern is kind of grey. The bottom two are obvious. Red and pink. Since this other pattern coordinates with the red and pink and there is a lot of red and pink in the paper, it’s filed in the red/pink drawer. You can improvise. I’m keeping to my background color theory 95% of the time, but there will be exceptions.

What happens when the background is white and all of the colors are more or less equal? It goes in the white/black drawer.

Here, I’ve got another grey background paper. I don’t have a grey drawer. Because the dots are white, it’s going in the white/black drawer. I don’t have a lot of patterns with black backgrounds, so if there is white running through it it goes in the white/black drawer.

Cream has a drawer to itself because by far, most of the patterns I use have a cream background. In a plaid print, there isn’t a dominate color. But if it’s got cream in it — like these patterns do — it goes in the cream drawer.

This is a good example of a rule breaker. My eye sees blue as the background so it could go in the blue/green drawer. But the pink edge almost makes me want to put this in the red/pink drawer. Because I couldn’t decide, I’m going with cream as it’s also there in the background.

And here’s one of the few purple patterns I had (it is lilac even though this photo makes it look more blue). Lilac is the background color but I don’t have a purple drawer. Since there’s white running through it, it goes in the white drawer. This might not always work if the paper is all purple and tonal, but that would be very rare.

What about text patterns, notebook paper and grids? I tend to stick with the background first. If it’s a white background, it goes in the white/black drawer. If it’s a cream background, it goes in the cream drawer. If I feel like that isn’t quite right, I might go by the text. If the text is brown, it goes in the brown/kraft drawer. If the text is black, it goes in the white/black drawer. Keep it simple, but flexible.

As I continue to unpack my supplies, each time I’ve come across pattern paper scraps, I’ve been able to find a drawer to put them in. So far, this is working

And you can’t beat how fun this looks. I love plastic storage bins because they are easy and inexpensive. They may not be the most attractive things in the world, but they work. I really wanted to go to IKEA and buy a ton of new furniture, but that just isn’t in the budget. I’m working with what I already have.

If you made it this far, thank you for indulging me. I hope that this gave you some ideas if you are thinking about sorting pattern paper by color. I could never do this for my 12×12 sheets, but I think it’s going to work for the scraps.

Do you have a fabulous way of storing your pattern paper scraps?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Inexpensive Project Life Storage Solution

I wanted to share my cool find with any Project Lifers out there. I do much better with these kinds of projects if it’s easy to pick up and work on whenever I have an extra 15 minutes. Meaning, the cards need to be easily accessible, pens need to be right there, additional embellishments (I like to embellish my Project Life layouts because I am a scrapbooker and I have extra stuff….but you totally don’t have to!) need to be nearby.

I love the set up Michelle Wooderson has in her space, but this does not work for me as I can’t leave stuff out right now. I love all the things Leena has collected to work on her album. But again, I’d have to find a place to store all the different bins. I’ve been looking in the school supply isles at different places to see if I could find something that would work.

But it wasn’t until I was in Joann’s the other day that I found the piece I had been looking for:

It’s a plastic insert for a 12×12 storage box. I found it in the scrapbooking section near the Iris boxes and plastic photo boxes. You can also find them here on Amazon: Darice Tray Insert. It’s got several different sized compartment perfect to hold the bits and pieces I need.

Whenever I have scraps of cardstock or pattern paper that I’m going to throw away, I grab my punches first (check out this post if you missed it). In one of the compartments — on the left photo above — I have a variety of punched shapes in neutral colors that I use all the time — butterflies, scallop circles, hearts, etc… and some flowers, some additional journaling cards and some office supply index tabs.

The next row — on the right photo above — is long so I can actually fit 12 inch sticker sheets (sometimes you have to trim the bottom and/or top to get it to fit), packages of embellishments, large title cards from My Mind’s Eye that I’ve never used. This is the perfect row to tuck in any ephemera I want to use that week too.

In the next row, I plan to keep the 4×6 date card inserts — on the left photo above. This row of compartments is also perfect for my BIC Mark-It Ultra Fine Point Markers.

In the final row — on the right photo above — I will keep the journaling cards and a few other stickers and embellishments. If you have any of Jenni Bowlin’s mini bingo cards, they fit perfectly into the journaling card slot in the Style A page protectors. I still have a stash and hope to use some in my Project Life album this year.

I may not be able to keep this out in the open in my craft space, but I did make room on the shelf in the closet for it.

Whenever I go to work on this album, I can just grab my insert, bring it to the table and I have enough to work from. I will still need to grab punches and stamps and adhesive, but all of these items are also easily accessible and don’t need need to be inside this insert.

If you are looking for more project life ideas, here are a few fun things I found in my web wanderings this week:

  • Lisa has a great tutorial for making custom PL embellishments with the Silhouette
  • Kerri Bradford has some cool PL shapes for electronic die cut machines, sized perfectly for the PL page protectors
  • Wendy shares another storage solution. Love the idea – on a smaller scale, I was thinking a cookie sheet would also work
  • Ali has a free PL digital download to this week
  • Jessica Turner has a free printable of all the stuff you should be collecting for PL

Have you found a storage solution for all of your Project Life goodies yet?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Packing Your Supplies

Since my house is for sale and I had to pack up most of my scrapbooking supplies ahead of the move, I thought I would post a few a few of my favorite packing and moving tips over the next few weeks. It might not come up for everyone, but if you are ever faced with packing and moving your scrapbooking/card making/crafty stuff, you know what a big task it can be.

Small Embellishments

The easiest way to get small embellishments from point A to point B is to put them in small plastic bags. Not only will the bags contain them and keep them from getting loose in your boxes, but the bags will also protect whatever is inside.

This is where I keep my small embellishments that are out of the packages:

It’s a Sterelite narrow 3-drawer storage container that can hold 8.5 x 11 sized paper.

The trays inside each drawer came from an inexpensive tool storage case like this one. I used to have several of them, but that ugly maroon color just didn’t add to the decor of my scrapbook room. When I discovered that the trays fit perfectly inside these units, I ditched the maroon cases and kept all of the trays.

For the move, I put the embellishments into a plastic bag and returned them to the tray. I still have access but everything is sealed and ready to move whenever I am. The bags keep like items together and everything won’t get mixed up when I place these units into boxes to move them. I also store my loose alphabet letters the same way and I’ve already bagged them up as well. A’s went into one bag, all the B’s went into a bag, etc…

You can find these bags in a variety of sizes at your local craft store. I usually find them in the jewelry section. I also like the small snack size bags you can find at the grocery store. It may not be the most environmentally sensitive way to go, but the bags are reusable. I always have a stash in my craft room to keep embellishments together when I create kits. The largest ones worked perfectly to hold my various journaling cards.

If you store your small embellishments in small jars or containers with lids and you don’t mind everything inside the jar/container getting mixed up, this step probably isn’t necessary. But for anything that you want to keep separated, these bags are a lifesaver.

Do you have any great tips for packing and moving your stash? I’d love to hear them!