Epic Craft Room De-Clutter using the Konmari Method!

Hi friends! A little over a month ago I read (listened to) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and it was the kick in the but I needed to get my home and my craft studio in order. I was feeling suffocated by all of the “stuff” that surrounded me. Up til now I’d shrug off the excess as “tools of the trade” and “this is my job so I need to keep it all” reasons excuses to keep so much. It wasn’t a problem until it started making me feel tired, overwhelmed and un-creative. It was time to clean up my act!

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Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of stuff, I think everyone has a different amount of items that feels “right” to them and your amount might be more or less than mine and that is OK. I also spend about 40+ hours a week working in my studio because it is my full-time career so I will typically have more than the hobby crafter because I am using it for videos or classes I teach. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel badly about how much they have, this isn’t a contest, I just want to share my journey and hopefully encourage anyone else who is in the same boat. With that, here is the in-depth video on how I cleaned up my act in the craft room!

If you want to jump to a specific part in the video here are the time codes when each subject is discussed.
2:45 BEFORE pan of room and overview of the mess
11:28 Punches & Deco Scissors
18:59 Dies
25:47 Mini paper pads and origami papers
29:46 Stamp & Die Sets
32:50 Embossing Folders
33:36 Background Stamps & Letterpress items
38:10 Ribbon (holy crap, there is a lot!)
44:10 Fabric & Sewing Supplies
57:09 12″x12″ patterned scrapbook paper
58:26 Cardstock
1:01:47 Embellishments (the hardest category!)
1:14:23 Glitter & Embossing Powder & Flock
1:21:26 String/twine/cord/chain
1:28:09 Watercolors (no discarding LOL)
1:30:59 Drawing/Inks/Random update
1:35:15 Stamps
1:42:35 Pens & Markers
1:46:06 Dr PH Martin Watercolors & Inks
1:48:40 Random Stuff, Packaging & Framing (under die cut bench stuff)
1:50:18 Large paper sheets and watercolor pads (too long:)
2:02:13 Jewelry stuff
2:05:15 Packaging detail
2:12:27 ALL DONE! Have a look at the clean and Tidy space!
12:17:43 Scary Discard area (not for the faint of heart!) *I have tidied that up nice and neat and it is ready for my friends to come take what they want:)

BTW, the glasses I am wearing at the end of the video are Ottoto frames from Glasses USA. I have wanted dark plastic frames since I saw Jennifer Aniston wear some in an Aveeno ad and I finally found some that look good on a pale face:) They are very lightweight too!

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I am so happy with my craft space now, it is not perfect nor is it minimalist but it is just right for me right now:) Here are some after shots of the room. Honestly I was so disgusted with my stuff before the declutter that I only took video, it was cool to look at the before video to see the improvement because when you are working it can feel like you are not making progress so if you tackle and area in your home make sure to snap a before pic so you can see the results in full!

Details!

My desk is a hollow core wooden door (we took all of the sliding doors off the closets in your home years ago and replaced them with curtains and we saved the doors, they make lightweight but strong benches. The other 2 benches in my studio are also old doors 🙂 ) sitting on two 9 cube organizers.This gives me great shelf storage (I even have some inexpensive fabric bins to hold lightweight unruly stuff) on each end of the table and room underneath for rolling carts,shelves or drawers.

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The one above is the one you see as you enter my space so I try to keep it colorful and pretty with often needed items in there. The other end of the table has stuff I use for teaching and cleaning and items I do not need to access as frequently.

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I covered my table with white shelf liner. I really brightens up the place and I can put down paper when I am getting messy to keep it looking good.

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The markers are in a pen display rack a bought from a scrapbook store that was going out of business. I have the spinner rack for supplies I use daily. I have decided to organize my work table so it is easy to clean, instead of having everything at hand like I used too.

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My unmounted stamp storage worked great. I keep all of my UM and cling stamps in binders (I recommend 3″ heavy-duty 3-ring binders.) Since I had a mish-mash of binders I cut up a map I loved and adhered it to the spines and I made unobtrusive labels with blue card-stock because text can seem like clutter.

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Next to my stamp bench is where I keep jewelry supplies, my Brother Scan ‘n Cut2 and other stuff. I keep my Scan n Cut next to my stamps because I use it simply for scanning and cutting my stamped and colored images. This machine is why I have been able to resist most of the matching dies that are available for stamp sets now:) It has saved me tons of cash!

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I started putting paper vertically to take up less space and make it easier to access! Also putting my wooden paintboxes and table easels vertically on a shelf made them take up less space and I can grab one without having to unstack a bunch of things. If it is easy to get at I will use it! Also in the picture below you can see my wood stamp shelf and my large sheet paper rack. I keep a sarong on it to keep dust away. I was able to get this rack (a poster board rack) from Rite Aid when they were going out of business but the closest thing I have seen for sale is a school art drying rack if you are looking for something similar.

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I make use of clear plastic drawers under benches and stacked up (with wheels removed LOL) and you can’t beat it for cheap & useful storage! You can find them in different colors and with different depths, I like shallow drawers for embellishments and deep drawers for bottles of paints and mediums. A mix of depths is great to have! I might put paper in the front of the drawers to make them prettier but honestly it doesn’t bother me seeing what’s inside.

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I also recommend these scrapbook cube organizers. I keep scrapbook paper flat here because the devided cubes make it easy to sort by topic and see what I have. You can get ones with drawers which are great for supplies you don’t want to get dusty. I put my ribbons in those drawers and I like it much better compared to on a shelf. I also like that they are pretty standard and modular so you can add to the configuration or change it as your needs change and budget allows. Since my basement is unfinished these cubes actually divide the space between my craft area and my husbands wood shop and they are sturdy so I don’t fear them tipping over, each cube can connect to the one under it with pegs. I still liked storing my lace in birdcages so they stayed, probably not the best solution in a dusty area but I love them!

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My solid colored loose cardstock is in an old record (as in LPs) cabinet. I used Jennifer McGuire’s tip on using job ticket holders to store cardstock by color. It it easier to remove a color family and it keeps the edges and corners from getting dented. I have my neutrals I use for coloring and card bases on top in a letter sorter (actually, you won’t believe this but this is actually a sandpaper display that my parents no longer needed in their hardware store, talk about upcycling!) Also speaking about letter sorters, I used and upright one to help me sort and organize pattern paper during the purge and ended up keeping in and I put it on the shelf behind my manikin to hold 9″x12″ pads of art paper vertically, it works like a dream!

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I keep my Big Shot, Dies, laminator and old Cricut machine in “die cut central”. I also have plastic candy jars with silk flowers in them. I scored them for 25 cents each at a party store going out of business, you sure can get some deals on shelving and storage when places go out of business, not that I would wish that on a store but they are keen to get rid of it. I have extra space here, I might make a “new product” or “Project in progress basket on this shelf but I am in no hurry to fill it up. Truth be told I have a couple empty cubes in here too!

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You can see more of the room in the video but I realize it is long and my mess might give some people anxiety and that is NOT what this post is about. If you liked this post I would love it if you pined it on Pinterest or shared it on social media using one of the handy sharing links below, sharing is caring! I also wanted to let you know that I am now an amazon associate (they just let Mainer’s join yay!) so I looked up the storage products I used and linked to them. If you make a purchase after clicking one of my links I earn a small commission but it doesn’t cost you anything extra and I thank you for your support! I also want to thank Audible for sponsoring today’s video on YouTube and invite you to check them out if you like audio books, you can listen to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo free with a 30 day trial subscription. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Get to know your paints by making a chart & swatch binder!

Hi friends! Recently I have been more diligent about what is in my paint. I want to know what I am painting with (and paying for) and I want to know how long it will last. I want to avoid buying duplicate colors with different names as well. You can also substitute colors with confidence if you know what pigments are in them. You can easily find pigment info on the tubes you buy or on online either on a company’s website or your favorite paint seller. Next time you buy a tube or pan of paint in store grab a free color chart or two and tuck that in your binder. Before I got the binder I have swatches tacked upon the wall and in random piles, this is so much better and more convenient.

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Watch the video to see how!

Video!

Personally I only have a binder for watercolor because it is my favorite medium and also because watercolor is more vulnerable than other media such as oil and acrylics (they are protected in a thick coat of oil or acrylic medium and are less suseptable to fading or other environmental harm.) I do swatch out my watercolor pencils but I tape those swatches to the inside of my pencil tins. You can feel free to swatch whatever you like. Many artists find it extremely useful to take their swatch binders to the store with them so they don’t make duplicate purchases. Plus, think of how smart you will feel when you know what pigment is what not to mention how much you will save when you don’t buy doubles.

I also wanted to mention that if you want to learn more about mixing colors with a limited palette Craftsy has a great class called Improve Your Paintings, Luminous Watercolor Mixing and it is 50% off through Labor day along with all of the other wonderful classes at Craftsy!

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FIY if you purchase any class after clicking my affiliate link I receive a commission on the sale and I thank you so much because that support keeps my blog tutorials free for everyone! Thanks friends & happy crafting!

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Craft Table Clean Up and Makeover!

Hi friends! I have been feeling like I was loosing my crafty mojo lately. I’d walk down to my craft area and nothing was inspiring me. At first I thought it was the weather (it’s hard to be inside when it is hot and sunny since we only have 2 months of hot and sunny in Maine and I hate to waste it) but even on rainy days my craft room was bringing me down. I needed to clean and brighten things up and I had a full roll of white shelf liner at my disposal!

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I had always intended on painting my table top (which is an old hollow-core door) white but it had never sat vacant long enough to do that so I decided today I would take everything off the tables and cover them with shelf liner and re-evaluate all the stuff on my table while I was at it. You can watch the process in the video below. If I can do it so can you!

Video!

All you need for today’s project is a bit of ambition and some shelf liner from our sponsor Papermart!

Many times all we need is a bit of inspiration to improve our mood and surroundings! I hope I inspired you tonight! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Travel Palette from a Baby Wipes Container (And a source for them!)

Hi friends! About a year and a half ago I posted a video about making a DIY rubber stamp cleaner using a travel baby wipes container. People were very excited about this but then people kept telling me that they could no longer find the travel wipes containers as manufactures had switched to the soft bag style packaging. Well, I found a place that sells the empty travel wipes containers in lots of 6 and they are the sponsor of today’s video! And since I got a bunch of these to test out (hey, I have to do my research) I thought that would be perfect for travel palettes too!

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Watch the video on how I made a DIY travel watercolor palette. If you know an art teacher on a budget please share this idea with them, it is a great way to cheaply outfit a class!

Video!

You can find the travel wipes container and alta caps from our sponsor Craft Chamelon.

  • Travel baby wipes container
  • Alta caps or shallow bottle caps
  • Tube watercolor
  • White crayon or piece of wax (for resist effects)
  • Piece of credit card (for scraping)
  • 2 paper towels folded
  • Watercolor paper cut to 3.5″x7″ (cut an 11″x14″ into 6 pieces)
  • Water brushes (so you don’t need to carry extra water)
  • Hot glue gun and sticks

Directions:
Glue the caps to the bottom of the wipes box leaving space to one side for the brushes to fit. Fill caps with paint. Let paint dry them place all the other supplies in the wipes container. I recommend storing the paper and towel in a plastic bag so it will stay dry and clean.

Let’s go outside and paint this summer! I think I will demo my kit here during the live show on Friday so you can see it is action then! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

Studio Tour & Craftsy Class Launch!

Hi Friends! Wahoo! Today is launch day for my class at Craftsy! It is so cool to see 4 months or work finally come together! The class is called Mix it Up Mixed Media Step-by-Step and I get to give all of my blog readers a 50% discount on the class! Just click the link in this post to get the discount, if you go to Craftsy and look up the class it will be full price ($29.99) but because you are the most awesome, supportive people ever you get the class for $14.99 and you can be the first to take the class! Oh, and I have a winner to announce from the random drawing for a free spot in the class, drumroll please … it’s Stephanie Drury!!! I sent you an email with your prize so check your SPAM folder if you don’t see it!

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So after I got back from filming in Denver I had so many ideas on how I could improve my studio for filming, it is a work in progress but so far it is working out well. We all have different stuff and take part of different hobbies but hopefully it will help you get some storage and workflow ideas to fit your needs.

Studio Tour Video!

What are your best storage ideas? I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Don’t be afraid to move your room around and try different storage ideas. My room is a work in progress, as my interests change I want to have different supplies within reach and that’s OK! The worst thing you can do is expect your room to perfect and static, give yourself permission to change what doesn’t work AND to do what is right for you. We are all different and have different needs so out craft rooms will be different. I hope you got a few ideas that will work in your space or at least you have a video to show your husband to prove that you are not a crazy craft horder, or at least you are not as bad as me LOL!

Thanks for stopping by, thank you for having a look at my new class Mix it Up Mixed Media Step by Step (and don’t miss out on the 50% off deal!) I’ll have a new pastel tutorial for you tomorrow, til then, Happy Crafting!

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Stamp Storage Quick Tip!

Hi friends! Here is a quick way to store peg stamps!

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If you want to check out the stamps I am storing they are from Rubber Stamp Tapestry. This method is good for storing lots of craft supplies from jewelry tools to gelatos. Have fun and happy crafting!

DIY Modular Craft Storage in a TINY Space!

Hi friends! It is January which means we are all going to try and get organized right? Keep dreaming the dream folks LOL! Joking aside, today I have a quick storage DIY to make great use of wasted space like this side of a shelf in my office.

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During the cold months I move my arts and craft operation out of my basement and into a corner of my office upstairs so I can enjoy the luxury of heat. The trade off is that my office desk is tiny and I have very little room to store my stuff so every inch of space matters. I was given this knife & ammo case from a general store that went out of business and since it has a small footprint I moved it in next to my desk. Everything is visible and it holds quite a bit considering how narrow it is. It is next to my office filing cabinet on one side (I store a couple large pads of paper there) but the side of the shelf behind where I sit was bare. I wanted to get my jars of pens, pencils and adhesives off my small desk so I came up with the idea of making a velcro wall to stick all of my often used stuff on.Here is how I did it!

Supplies:

  • Hook and Loop Tape (AKA Velcro) *Unfortunately Papermart is no longer carrying hook and loop tape, I recommend Velcro brand available at any craft or department store.
  • Hot Glue Gun & Sticks TIP! a viewer (xBoneOrchardx) noticed that I had to keep pushing my glue stick in my glue gun and told me I could glue the new stick to to end of the old one to prevent this, awesome!
  • Bin Boxes
  • Clear Pails *I am not sure how these will work out but they are really cute and useful for other projects:) I ended up putting my paint brushes in the velcro pail, we will see how well it holds up, so far, so good!
  • Scissors

Directions:
1. Glue felt to area you want to use as storage.
2. Glue hook side of Velcro to boxed and other items you want to stick to the wall.
3. After all glue is dry press boxes to wall.

Tip, this is a great way to store small items as well. If you can glue a piece of Velcro to it will work as long as it’s not too heavy.

So, what are your favorite storage tips for tiny craft spaces? Lots of viewers shared great tips in the comment section of this video so be sure to check that out if you want more ideas! There were many ideas I had never thought of and I thought I knew all there was to know about cramming art stuff in small spaces LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Sponsored by Papermart

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