Art Supply Storage Ideas

October 23, 2008

  Okay, I’m an organizing junkie and I admit it.  It’s one of the few areas that I *think* I can control. Of course that is self delusional since I have more stuff than I’ll probably ever use in my life time.  Like most artists, I can’t help loving my tools and materials!
  So here are some more ideas for art supply storage:   

Magazine storage file 

Magazine storage file

Specialty papers stored in magazine files –  I have papers I’ve made, collected and procured stored in cardboard magazine files.  They’re kept vertical this way and are easier to get at then if I had them stacked in some drawer.  I just leaf through the top corners and grab what I want.  This also saves drawer space since I have them stored on a book shelf, (the cardboard ones are pretty inexpensive, too).
Ink Pads– I store rubber stamp ink pads in old plastic cassette tape boxes that I found at Storables for cheap.  Who wants to play cassette tapes anymore?  These are perfect for storing ink pads! 
  There are fins inside the boxes to keep the cassette tapes in place and once in awhile I’ve had to cut a fin out to get one more ink pad in.  It’s simple to do that with an Xacto knife.  Now I have all of my favorite line of inks in one flip-top box that is great for taking with me to the beach, my backyard or to play with friends.  I have a couple of these boxes and marked which brands are in each box using a Krylon copper pen for quick identification.
Jewelry Findings, Beads, and Sequins –  I finally figured out a better way after a disaster on my Spring teaching tour with my whole collection of precious sequins.  I was using a ‘Craftables Locking Caddy’ to store my various colors of sequins in one nifty container…but I didn’t think about how my stuff would get bumped around when traveling to the East coast and back.  Boy, was I sad to find 20 colors of sequins splashed around the bottom of my Navigator, (nicknamed “Killer” because of how heavy it gets for me when I’m on these teaching tours).  Anyway, Killer had sequins everywhere. Being the kook that I am for color, it’s important to me that my sequins are stored by color so I don’t have to hunt for what I want. Otherwise a color “salad” might be okay – for someone else. Not me.  I about wrecked my hand sorting them all back out into their colors.
  That’s when I decided that a better solution to storing small things like this was required. I turned to WhimBead ( for their lovely plastic boxes filled with flip-top boxes. I figured the extra protection of an outer box holding the individual sequin boxes would be a good thing.
   I’m not a genius – I use these same boxes to store all of my seed beads by color because again, I just want what I want, when I want it. I don’t have time to hunt through a salad of stuff to find what I want and when I’m working with seed beads, I work right out of the containers because I don’t have time to do it any other way.
   Now the brilliant part was applying this same solution to all of my jewelry findings! Ho ho! At last, a solution that makes sense for every application. I have marked the little flip-top boxes for plated gold, silver, sterling, and nickle jump rings, etc. so I can grab what I need immediately. When I pull out the plastic box holding all of the findings I know that everything I need is in there and don’t have to go digging around for crimp tubes or a different type of earring wire. It saves me time and makes making things so much simpler to do.
     Can you see the handprint on my forehead? Maybe I should have one tattooed there. =)

5 Responses to “Art Supply Storage Ideas”

  1. Binky said

    Well, that is just nuts!! I knew anyone who could even use those seed beads was an organizer and/or terribley anal.

    When you run out of ideas for organizing your place fell free to come do mine.

  2. libzoid said

    I really love those flip top bead containers too. I especially like the fact that they can’t roll away from me.

  3. marie said

    You are definately more than just a pretty face!

  4. meredith11 said

    =) Okay, so that means I’m an anal retentive brain with something in common with Libby? Just kidding.
    It’s taken me years to figure things out like this. I won’t explain why I have to organize these things except suffice it to say that it helps keep me sane and minimizes my losing things other than my mind!
    And Binky – some of us can’t resist the sparkly stuff no matter how small it is!

  5. Patricia Perrine said

    Hi Mer,
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who is organization-obsessed! I love that these come in different sizes. And they fit so nicely in all my ikea drawers.

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