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Craft Room Studio Storage Organization: Tips and Ideas

Updated on July 29, 2016
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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Anyone with a crafting hobby knows that craft supplies have a way of taking over an entire house. While there is nothing wrong with spreading things out to work on projects, there needs to be an organizational system for supplies as well as a general method for keeping the "in progress" work from taking over everything. There is no one all-encompassing correct method of organization. There are many factors that contribute to the work spaces and storage areas that we create including general house space and layout, working preferences, and lighting set ups. The important thing is to figure out what works best for you and stick with it. You can change things as needed, but keep striving for organization.

I have primarily used jewelry storage and organization photos here because that is my main crafting passion right now. I have included other examples as I can, particularly for topics that jewelry doesn't apply to, such as larger craft supply and finished product storage.

Supply Storage Space

It is important to keep all of your supplies stored in such a way that you can get what you need when you need relatively quickly. Craft organization can be a timely process, but it will be well worth the effort for all of the time that you'll save in the future. Your storage needs may change as your shop and/or crafting interests change so take time to evaluate your storage process a few times a year and make those changes as needed.

Additionally, make the effort a few times a month to put away all spare materials from recently finished products so that your storage area stays organized.

I store all of my beads, buttons, and findings in plastic craft organizers or plastic containers.
I store all of my beads, buttons, and findings in plastic craft organizers or plastic containers. | Source
Here is a closer look at one of my button boxes.  Yep, this organization takes a long time, but it is well worth the effort because of all the time it will save you in the future.
Here is a closer look at one of my button boxes. Yep, this organization takes a long time, but it is well worth the effort because of all the time it will save you in the future. | Source
I keep all of my less frequently used jewelry supplies in here such as extra neutral colored buttons, glue, magnet blanks, and price tags.  I don't need them as frequently as other supplies so I don't mind that they aren't as organized.
I keep all of my less frequently used jewelry supplies in here such as extra neutral colored buttons, glue, magnet blanks, and price tags. I don't need them as frequently as other supplies so I don't mind that they aren't as organized. | Source
Kelly uses containers similar to mine for her smaller craft supply storage, but she puts them in these larger organizers.
Kelly uses containers similar to mine for her smaller craft supply storage, but she puts them in these larger organizers. | Source
Edi designed a new ribbon organizer earlier this year to make it easier to remove the empty rolls.
Edi designed a new ribbon organizer earlier this year to make it easier to remove the empty rolls. | Source
Wide shelving units are perfect for storing fabric.
Wide shelving units are perfect for storing fabric.

Finished Projects Space

I like to keep pieces that I have finished over the last couple months separate from the rest of my finished pieces for two main reasons.
1) People are often interested in seeing what I've been working on lately.
2) I need to sort them and put price tags on them. I like to have all of my items sorted and tagged appropriately before all shows to cut down on my set up time.

Typically I wait until the container is full to sort and tag the items.
Typically I wait until the container is full to sort and tag the items. | Source
Check out these great jewelry storage options.
Check out these great jewelry storage options. | Source
Consider boxes or other larger containers for storing sizable items, such as quilts.  Make sure that they are cushioned appropriately.
Consider boxes or other larger containers for storing sizable items, such as quilts. Make sure that they are cushioned appropriately. | Source

Shipping Supplies and Additional Business Shop Materials

If you aren't running an Etsy, eBay, or other online shop, you may not need to keep a lot of shipping and packing supplies around. However, if you do, it's important to keep an adequate supply of all of your necessary materials. Be realistic about what you will need. Buy in bulk whenever it makes sense.

I keep some of my jewelry boxes, postage scale, ribbons, tape, and business cards in one space.
I keep some of my jewelry boxes, postage scale, ribbons, tape, and business cards in one space. | Source
I keep all of my envelopes and boxes in another space.  I have some larger Priority Shipping mailers as well but don't use those as often so most of them are in the closet.
I keep all of my envelopes and boxes in another space. I have some larger Priority Shipping mailers as well but don't use those as often so most of them are in the closet. | Source
Amy stores a lot of her fabric quarters and shipping supplies in this little cabinet.
Amy stores a lot of her fabric quarters and shipping supplies in this little cabinet. | Source

Dedicated Photography Space

I say dedicated not because you need to allot a large space in your house solely for photographing your work but dedicated because you should have a regular space. This is really important for online shop appearance because it will give your photos a more consistent look. If you choose not to use a light box, find a space with lots of natural light. Determine what backgrounds and props you would like to use and stick with them.

This is my current dedicated photography space.
This is my current dedicated photography space. | Source
This post includes a great light box tutorial.
This post includes a great light box tutorial. | Source

Waiting to Be Photographed Space

I have a separate container for items that I need to photograph for my Etsy shop. I keep this container on my light box desk with my recently finished projects container. This way none of my items, especially smaller pieces such as earrings, get lost in the shuffle and don't end up getting listed on Etsy.

I keep two containers by my light box: one for pieces I need to photograph and one for new pieces I recently photographed but haven't sorted or tagged yet.
I keep two containers by my light box: one for pieces I need to photograph and one for new pieces I recently photographed but haven't sorted or tagged yet.

Space for Additional Crafty Supplies

I'm sure that many people who craft can relate with the fact that I don't stick to one craft. While jewelry making is my main passion right now, among other things, I also enjoy making cards, collages, and other scrapbook type projects as well as cross-stitching. It's important to have dedicated storage space for these additional interests so that extra supplies don't clutter any other storage spaces.

I keep a lot of my scrap book and card making supplies in a container and put larger paper and supplies on another shelf.
I keep a lot of my scrap book and card making supplies in a container and put larger paper and supplies on another shelf. | Source

Tool Box

I wrote a separate tool box article, so I won't go into too much detail about that here. I do want to stress that a tool box can be very helpful if you do one or more of the following things:
1) Work on crafts in multiple areas of the house. Personally I always bead on the sofa in front of the TV, which isn't where my craft storage is, so it's great to be able to pick up my tools and go.
2) Take crafts on the road for vacations, etc. You don't have to worry about leaving tools behind when you have everything that you need in one place.
3) Craft shows. It's great to have tools readily available for last minute repairs or on the spot alterations.

I use a small Tupperware container for my tools, but you can use any sized container that is appropriate for your craft tools.
I use a small Tupperware container for my tools, but you can use any sized container that is appropriate for your craft tools. | Source
This lampwork artist found these little storage containers at Target.
This lampwork artist found these little storage containers at Target. | Source

Work Space

In addition to my toolbox, I like to have a box for my current projects so that my supplies don't take over our entire TV area. I'll be the first to admit that many supplies still find their way all over the coffee table. However, having a portable work area or a dedicated work space in your studio will contain some of your projects.

If you have a larger craft, such as torch work or weaving, make sure that your work space stays neat so that you can make your work time as productive as possible.

I use this lined box for storing large quantities of beads for in progress pieces or for organizing bead lay outs for future pieces.
I use this lined box for storing large quantities of beads for in progress pieces or for organizing bead lay outs for future pieces. | Source
Specially designed beading boards are generally fairly inexpensive and versatile for many stringing projects.
Specially designed beading boards are generally fairly inexpensive and versatile for many stringing projects. | Source

Future Project Planning Space

I'm sure that many of you can relate with the fact that I frequently have many future projects in mind. Sometimes it's helpful for me to pull bead combinations or put buttons together so that I don't forget ideas later. Make a dedicated space for this so your ideas don't get lost in the shuffle or end up cluttering other spaces.

I bought cheap packs of cookie sheets from Wal-Mart for my planning spaces and gluing areas. You do not need to invest in nice cookware or other expensive organizers. As long as your supplies are sturdy, they will work just fine.

I have dedicated trays for planning button stud earrings and button magnets.
I have dedicated trays for planning button stud earrings and button magnets. | Source

Additional Considerations

There are many other organization options and ideas out there. Most crafty people are pretty creative when it comes to organization as well. I can't possibly share all of the ideas out there, but I've highlighted a few for you here.

This crafter created labels for all of her storage bins so she can locate what she needs quickly.
This crafter created labels for all of her storage bins so she can locate what she needs quickly. | Source
Peg boards are a great storage device for any number of supplies.  This one is designed for smaller supplies but larger boards will accommodate larger supplies.
Peg boards are a great storage device for any number of supplies. This one is designed for smaller supplies but larger boards will accommodate larger supplies. | Source
Ball jars are also an ideal smaller storage option.
Ball jars are also an ideal smaller storage option. | Source
Yarn storage boxes.  This is a very space efficient system.
Yarn storage boxes. This is a very space efficient system. | Source

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    • miccimom profile image

      miccimom 5 years ago from U.S.A

      Wow, the pictures are great! This is very informative. The cookie sheet idea is a good one. I love to scrap and am always looking for ways to be more organized. Voted up and useful! :)

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 5 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Liked this article. I specially liked the peg-board idea. I have a lot of hobbies like embroidery, jewelery-making and painting..and yes, am not at all organized...often in the commotion of my own work leaving things half-done...voting up

    • Erika Marie profile image

      Erika Marie 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great hub with lots of great ideas! I especially like the ideas on how to set up a dedicated photography space. Voted up and useful!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Wow! You are so organized. I like this hub and it is very informative. I am busy the whole week organizing my things for my creative hobbies and here you are writing this hub. Thanks randomcreative. The photos are great as well. Happy weekend.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much ladies! I'm glad that you got so much out of this hub!

    • marellen 5 years ago

      If I had the space I would be organized too. You have some wonderful tips, I'm bookmarking this for further reference. Thanks for sharing.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much! It depends on what your craft is, but if you have something smaller, you really only need a clear bookcase or two to start organizing everything. I have lots of space in our new house, but I worked out a pretty good system in our old condo, too.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 5 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi

      wow, I'd be scared to do anything in your craft rooms in case I made a mess. I built an extension to the house for all my stuff, it still didn't all fit in and is still a mess.

      good hub, but you've put me to shame.:) Tony

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Great hub! I loved the button boxes - I use these boxes as well for so many things - embroidery threads, lace, needles, embellishments and so on. But I particularly liked the peg board idea and the yarn storage boxes - my knitting wool gets everywhere but the right place.

      The photographs were amazing!

      Many thanks for sharing this great information and ideas.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Tony, it took me over two years to develop my current organization system, and I had to rethink some of it when we moved to our current house in June. Believe me, I still make a mess in there pretty regularly.

      Thanks Seeker! Those boxes are so useful for just about any sort of small craft supply or item.

    • carriethomson profile image

      carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      amazing hub!! just loved it and planning to organise a crafting corner in my room. I dont do such a lot of crafting but still whatever little i have i intend to organise. thanx a ton dear!!

      carrie

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks Carrie! It's great to have a space for your supplies even if you don't use them very often. That way they'll still be organized so it will be easier to work on projects when you want to.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      These are wonderful ideas! My craft room is a mess right now, it needs some of these solutions badly!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks! Good luck with your organization!

    • storybeader 5 years ago

      love the box of buttons! And Edi's ribbon organizer looks cool too! Very detailed - all crafters can take some hits from this post! {:-D

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Deb!

    • RiqueeBJarmon profile image

      Riquee 5 years ago from New Haven County

      I LOVE this post! It's very helpful and inspiring. I absolutely love the light-box and the way you have your yarn organized. My goal for this week is to get my room organized. You can see my room on my Web site. www.Riquee.com. I have a twin bed invading my space! I am in need of organization asap!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks! I do use a light box, but as I don't knit, the yarn picture is not my own. Best of luck with your organization!

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 5 years ago from West Kootenays

      I like how you've centered your photos on your page--very effective.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thank you!

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