Inspired Barn: Storing Stuff & Studio Organization

Inspired_Barn_Organizing_14Any day now the April issue of Country Living magazine will hit the stands and I can hardly stand the wait. It’s going to be big I tell you! But in the meantime, and as a bit of a hint of what’s to come in that issue, I wanted to share a few fun ways I store stuff that I collect and use around the studio. I’m in my studio more than I’m not, so I really like to have delicious looking things around me in the form of practical storage items. As an avid flea-market-style collector, this not only fulfills my desires for finding goodies to use in crafts, but also unique containers to hold those collections. Ultimately, it keeps my dream space colorful and inspiring. But do know this, I am on a crafter’s budget, so I rarely spend much for anything I collect. I patiently scour weekend flea markets, and Etsy and eBay nightly for things I like, and only pounce when the pickin’s good and cheap. Here are just a few ideas for craft supply storage and organization.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_02At one end of the studio is a very large apothecary cabinet with sliding glass doors & shelving on the top section, and storage drawers on the bottom. All the shelves hold glass canisters and jars filled with colorful supplies. On the bottom shelves are stacks of smaller vintage jars that hold multiples of things like game pieces, thread spools, wooden beads, random hardware and more miscellany. My favorite jars are those with old graphics and typography on the metal lids. I even started collecting found metal lids with graphics to replace boring lids on plain jars.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_03I’ve been collecting old shaving brushes to use as classroom glitter dusters. I also snag up any vintage rubber stamp carousels I can find at a super low price. Turns out the two marry pretty darn well!Inspired_Barn_Organizing_05

Inspired_Barn_Organizing_04Have you ever come across one of those vintage travel-bar suitcases? They have the best little aluminum tumblers and shot-size cups inside. Often the cups are found on their own. I keep classroom items in there such as paper scoring styluses, metallic markers, toothpicks, glitter spoons, and paper-craft tweezers.
Inspired_Barn_Organizing_01I’ve never tried canning. But I love canned goods, and I especially love the way they look stored in a vintage cupboard. I use larger canning jars to store vintage seam binding pulled from their cards and organized by color.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_06 I can find individual packages of colored seam binding pretty easily at thrift stores. In fact, there’s one in my area that’s a thrift store with only craft items. I use the seam binding as ribbon for craft projects and gift packaging. Inspired_Barn_Organizing_07There is an area of the barn with a little table-turned-workbench where I hammer, drill, and do the more shop-like projects. There I keep one of my beloved vintage metal toy trucks with an old cigar box in the bed and a wire test tube rack tucked inside of that. All together this set-up holds items upright that I such as small clamps, rulers, scissors, craft knives, Sharpies and more. Large vintage toy trucks are some of my favorite containers for storing studio stuff.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_08There’s a small shelf unit atop an old dresser in the barn, and on the shelves are my many vintage tin cans that tickle my graphic designer senses daily. Those cans house markers, pens, craft knives, hot glue sticks, pencils, brushes, craft scissors, and several other tools. There’s even a small wire basket full of tins that hold blades, pencil leads, and other smalls. To the right are coat hooks attached to a larger shelf unit that hold embroidery hoops for all kinds of crafting, not just embroidery.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_11Next to the tin can shelf is my candy rack, which in its time held bags of better nut confections, but it now makes a great rack for my wire cutters, pliers, hole punches and large tweezers.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_13See the small pocket-size tobacco tins attached to the side of the shelving unit? They hold pens and rulers. Lard tins are filled with scissors, random hand tools, and a little tin first aid kit with bandages. The shallow meat pie tin pan holds vintage glass paper weights that I use to hold rolled paper flat for cutting, or blog photo backdrops.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_12Well, that’s just some of the different ways I store things here at the barn. Follow me on Instagram and search #inspiredbarn for lots more studio shots. Register for my next Inspired Barn workshop and I’ll let you play with all of it!

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