Practical Solutions: DIY organization

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Jennifer Schaerer, Editor in Chief

As we celebrate the release of Practical Solutions for Paper Crafters Vol. 2, you’ve seen some fun DIY stamping techniques using everything from thumbprints to vegetables, plus a bunch of clever ideas for upcycled projects that make the most of packaging that would normally be tossed in the trash.

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Now it’s time to get serious about creating an organized crafty space in a penny-wise and practical way. This issue includes dozens of different ideas for painting, staining, embellishing, wrapping, twisting, and adhering your way to a fabulously functional and creative area no matter what size it is.

We’ve organized the ideas by the type of store you’d shop in:

  • Hardware store
  • Craft store
  • Retail superstore
  • Specialty home store
  • Thrift store
  • Dollar store

Although each one is unique in its own right, I have to admit my favorite one is the thrift store space. I’m a big fan of taking something ordinary (or ready for the trash bin) and giving it new life with some paint and creative re-purposing.

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This vignette includes some items you may not recognize right away:

  • shipping pallet
  • garden tomato cage
  • clipboard
  • soup cans
  • take-out drink carrier
  • aluminum foil dispenser
  • rotating spice rack

Because the entire storage and organization section  was completely hands-on for the editorial team as we sourced and tested various solutions, we found ourselves adapting ideas on the fly in an effort to make them even better. If the idea in theory was stronger than it was when we put it into play, we eliminated it from our list. Above all else, practical means usable, so we kept our focus on that part of the equation.

A few more of my favorite ideas from the section:

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With a quick coat of white paint, a spool rack becomes pretty and practical storage for twine as well as rolls of decorative tape.

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Create a custom-sized ephemera frame using miter-cut trim and chicken wire from the hardware store. For an added punch, cover clothespins with strips of patterned paper to clip your treasures where you can see them.

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Adhere a flexible tape measure to the edge of your work table for quick access to measurements right when you need it.

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Trust me when I tell you that you’ll love every page of this fun special issue, and I’ve got a copy to give away PLUS A CRAFTY MYSTERY BOX if you’ll leave a comment by Monday, January 6 at 5pm MST. Let me know if you’re a tidy, tuck-it-away crafter or if your stash is always out and in disarray (pssst…a messy space is a sign of a creative mind!).

Hoping everyone got a fantastic and crafty start to 2014 –

Jennifer thumbnail Practical Solutions: DIY organization



Important contest note: We apologize, but due to increased shipping costs we’re no longer shipping prizes outside the US. But we definitely don’t want our international winners to walk away empty handed. If your shipping address is outside the US and your comment is selected, you’ll receive a one-year subscription to Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking magazine or a PDF version of Practical Solutions for Paper Crafters, Vol. 2. If you’re an existing subscriber, your subscription will extend. Thank you for your understanding.
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193 Responses to Practical Solutions: DIY organization

  1. Katie says:

    I try to keep my “craftroom” neat but I share a pretty tiny room with my husband’s office (and he works from home, so he needs it more than I do!) so it is usually in a state of controlled chaos. Maybe winning this book would help me get a grip on the mess! ;-)

  2. jengd says:

    I’m somewhere in the middle. I try to keep some of it out to remind myself that it’s here and needs to be used. The rest I file away in boxes to try to keep it neat.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Hee, I am a put it all away again after getting EVERYTHING out kind of crafter!

  4. I leave out my “frequent fliers” and try to stay with controlled chaos. I love the pallett idea. It has me thinking.

  5. I’m currently working on a craft room reorganization.

  6. Roxanne Anderson says:

    Always need creative ideas to rethink the 2 small craft spaces I have. It is a challenge to have what I need in both spaces and only duplicate the essentials.

  7. Patt H. says:

    I am somewhere in between. When I start a project everything is neat & tidy but before I’m through it is a real mess. Love the idea for a tape measure on the front edge of the table. Posted it to Pinterest so I won’t forget!

  8. I consider myself a messy organized person. When I am creating I like having my stuff within reach, so that means lots of stuff piling around on my desk. Like they say messy desk is a sign of creative genius. Hah…. :D

  9. Lisa p says:

    I am a mess in the middle of a project but I have to clean and get back to organized before I begin the next.

  10. Terri Flint says:

    Love this, love organizing as well!

  11. Brenda says:

    Ha! I am fortunate to have a bedroom-sized room in the basement all to myself. Unfortunately, it is my catch-all room…. I wanna go scrapbook but I always have to spend more time cleaning up & putting things away just so I can sit down to scrap. Thus, not a lot of scrappin’ goin’ on around here lately. :(

  12. Lucy E. says:

    Right now, my craft supplies are in 3 different rooms of the house-eeekk! I am planning on getting the office space cleaned up so that I can get most of my stuff in there. I usually have to clean up after almost every project.
    I’d love to win this issue!

  13. Saundra Lewis says:

    Oh goodness – I try so hard to be an organized, put it all away scrapper. I’m not. sigh. I need to see, feel and search for embellishments and hold paper up to them. It takes me a while to get it all together, but I enjoy it so very much.

  14. Kris in Alaska says:

    I have to tuck it away or my five year old grandson would be into it… and we couldn’t eat dinner every night! ;)

  15. Angel S. says:

    I am creatively messy!

  16. Mai says:

    As much as I love organizing, I am a super messy crafter. I throw everything in a disarray just to organize it up again.

  17. Lynne in NI says:

    I must be very creative as my stash is always out and in a mess!

  18. Christine W says:

    I am a little of both. There are times when I have thing spread out all over my room and then there are times when I have to clean up after each project!

  19. Jill Rugg says:

    I need to organized because my stuff is out and in disarray! Every time I start to organize I found something that inspires me and instead of organizing I’m crafting!

  20. maria f. says:

    Layers of mess… but I can always find things. Eventually:-)

  21. Gwen says:

    I do have a place for everything but it looks messy because
    its all eclectic forms of storage. Pretty much scavenged items!

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  23. Mavis Long says:

    I am mostly a put it away scrapper, but when the actual project is underway, like to leave it out and clean up at the end.

  24. Wendy A says:

    I love these organization issues and would love to win this one!

  25. Liz Ortiz says:

    Well, I must be super creative ;) because my stash is always out and in disarray, my husband can’t stand it :? and my kids refer to my craft space as the “messy room”!!! But since my little word for the year is Organized, I am tackling my craftermath one table at a time ;) TFS these ideas and for the chance to win!
    Have a wonderful day!

  26. Kathryn Whittaker says:

    My stash is mostly out and in disarray, but some of my stuff is put away after I use it, so I can find it again when I need it! Maybe there is just too much stuff for it all to have a place for it to go! LOL! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome special issue!

  27. I am quite a messy crafter. I always have a bit of untidiness going on, no matter how hard I try to be neat.

  28. Cassi says:

    I am messy in crafting but tidy in the rest of my life. Never enough time to clean up!

  29. Carmen says:

    I am VERY creative (the messy kind)!

  30. Sharon Gullikson says:

    I’m tidy in every single other part of my life. But my craft room is always a MESS!

  31. Natasha Poteraj says:

    I am not very tidy when I do crafting. I leave things out because I can….

  32. Mimi says:

    Everything has to be out so I can see everything! If I don’t see it then I won’t use it.

  33. Carolyn G says:

    I would LOVE to win! Thanks for the chance!

  34. BVincent says:

    I am an organized person and generally keep my craft supplies neat and tidy but I’m very visual when it comes to creating so I tend to leave things open and out on my desk that have to do with my current project

  35. shairon vandale says:

    i like the idea of being organized but am definitely an “out and in complete disarray” type of crafter. I’m always looking for ideas that will work to help with the mess but i’m visual and like to be able to see things too. love your ideas. thx.

  36. Linda B. says:

    Oh my, do I need help! My craft area is in such disarray it almost feels hopeless to get it back to a state of “organized chaos”. I could sure use this issue to get some more creative ideas on how to do it. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  37. Jennifer Collier says:

    I’m somewhere in between. I like to be a tuck it away crafter, but my recently moved into space is still not completely unpacked. I’d love to get my hands on this issue!

  38. Joyce Howard says:

    My room is usually messy. But I work in a messy room so I clean it before I start creating.

  39. Isha says:

    I am a messy, yet organized crafter. Looks like an informative magazine. TFS

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  41. Shirley says:

    I love all crafts and I am trying to set up a craft room and we are on a fixed income so this is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing!

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