If you’ve ever stumbled across a piece of stash you’d forgotten you’d bought, or you’re just starting out and are looking for some simple solutions to your storage woes, then read on as Lindsey Hopkins-Westbrook shares her top tips
torage is an issue all crafters have to contend with. How big should it be? How many compartments? Where can I put it once it’s filled? These and many more are the questions we often subconsciously ask ourselves when eyeing up some new solutions to the age-old problem of storage. S
MMiiddddllee ooff tthhee rrooaadd
There are so many expandable and static paper organisers available, so here are a few choice cuts:
“To have little is to possess. To have plenty is to be perplexed” Lao–tzu
Let’s take a look at some of the storage options available today, from the bargain buys to the more expensive items on the market.
Papers & cardstock BBaarrggaaiinn bbaasseemmeenntt
Quite simply your cheapest option for the in-home storage of paper and cardstock is to pile the papers out in the open. If you tend to buy products from online craft retailers or mail order companies, you’ll often be sent your products in 12x12” bags. Keep hold of these and organise your stash by paper, pattern, theme etc. Use these 12x12” bags for storage of your scraps as well – store scraps of the same colour scheme together to save space, eg purple & pink; green & blue; red, yellow & orange. For 8x8” and 6x6” paper and card, visit your local supermarket and see what size ziplock bags they sell, as these can make a smaller and better-fitting alternative for smaller backing materials.
Chatterbox Gifts Ltd stocks a Paper Holder Value Pack (above) for £19.99. This product has the capacity to hold up to 200 sheets of 12x12” cardstock (so would probably hold 200+ sheets of paper) and includes four paper files and 12 dividers. That’s a considerable amount of paper/card stash secured in one place, coupled with the fact that you can label the dividers, making it possible to split your papers into colours, etc. You can find the similar Vertical Paper Hideaway at Storage4Crafts for £15.25. These have a drawer-like structure to them, and as a result can be stored upright on a shelf or horizontally on a work surface. They also feature fitted magnets, so that multiple Hideaways can be stacked securely. The Super Satchel (above, right) is perfect for compact and secure storage of backing materials. These are again designed specifically for 12x12” materials, but of course smaller papers can be stored in them as well. You receive four sturdy tab dividers with the Super Satchel and the depth is around 9cm, so again there’s plenty of space for a bulk of paper and card stash. These are available from Storage4Crafts for just £11.95.
BBiigg ssppeennddeerr For those with more space and a slightly bigger budget, you’ll find a fabulous organiser at your local Argos store for £24.99. These four-drawer storage units are slightly larger than 12x12” and, being 37cm deep, each drawer could probably hold at least 500 sheets. I have one of these at home and it’s been a godsend for keeping everything looking tidy! Although you’re limited to four drawers, I’ve found splitting the stash into plain and patterned papers and cardstock has done wonders for my organisation. A second very useful option would be to invest in some stackable trays. These stand sturdily on any surface and – as the name suggests – are stackable. You can pick these up for £7.75 each from Storage4Crafts, so a stack of six would cost you £46.50.
scrapbook magazine storage ideas
Ribbon Ribbons can be one of the messier items in our stash, with tangling and knotting going on every time your back is turned! Here are some options to stop those ribbons getting into trouble:
BBaarrggaaiinn bbaasseemmeenntt Every household has them and they’re as cheap as chips to get hold of... For the money-saver option, why not try coat hangers and jam jars? You can use coat hangers with the trouser bar to hang ribbons in full view, which also allows you to see everything at a glance and makes them easily accessible – all you need is a convenient place to position the hanger.
BBiigg ssppeennddeerr Strano Ribbon Keepers (below) are stylish, modern and magnetic. Brand new from Strano Designs (www.stranodesigns.com), these fab little fancies aren’t yet available in the UK but will cost roughly £12 for a set of eight. Although the price itself isn’t putting us massively out of pocket, think how many you’d need to house your entire ribbon collection! The AMM Metro Chic Ribbon Chest is truly something to behold, with its stitched faux
leather finish, five fab colours, sleek design and extra interior storage. These can dispense eight ribbons, have a drawer for charms and the like, a small storage tray for tools and crafting items, and also a mesh storage pouch in the lid. Again consider the number of ribbons held in comparison to the cheaper options available. Check out www.scrapbookingonline.co.im for stockist details.
The jam jar option (above) means you can tidily store ribbons and fibres of the same colour. Simply save your jars from marmalade, coffee etc, give them a good wash and you’re ready to go.
MMiiddddllee ooff tthhee rrooaadd For an easy-to-use and tidy spool system, get your hands on one of the Cropper Hopper Ribbon Drawers (right) available from Chatterbox Gifts Ltd. These start at £1.99 for the 11⁄2x11⁄2” drawer. Don’t worry if your ribbon isn’t on spools, as you can easily make some by cutting strips of scrap card and taping them round into a loop, repeatinga few times until they’re sturdy. Also follow the trick of taping the inner end of the ribbon to the loop to help keep it on track. If you’re not one for being regimented in your ribbon organisation, then Dodo Boxes might be the perfect solution. If you simply tie your ribbon and want to store it away neatly, then Argos sells a set of three Dodo Boxes with lids which are also stackable. These are still quite a bargain at £8.99 for the set, and are sized (H)14.2, (W)26.4x(L)36cm.
The subjects ofscrapping
Obviously the cheapest option is to store your photos in the paper wallets they come in (or on a disc if they’re digital!). Here are some other options for printed photos...
BBaarrggaaiinn bbaasseemmeenntt For tidy storage, a basic A6 storage box will serve you well. Storage4Crafts sells a bargain one for £1.50, which is a definite must-have for sturdier storage than the standard wallet.
Sized 61⁄2x61⁄2x5”, the Snap & Scrap Photo Box (above) is a great storage option for standard-sized prints, with sturdy construction and a book plate for labelling. Invest £5.39 in one of these from Chatterbox Gifts Ltd.