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How To Organize Your Papercraft Supplies

As a professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to turn family memories into legacies for 20 years.


Tips And Ideas To Organize Papercraft Supplies

I am an avid scrapbook artist, card maker and paper crafter. One thing that I know for sure is that organizing your supplies is the key to a better, happier and more productive craft time. Once you get all your stuff organized, your experience will be less frustrating and more enjoyable.

The more I get into paper crafts and scrapbooking, the more "stuff " that I seem to accumulate. There are all kinds of supplies, magazines, paper, inkpads, markers and more that seem to find their way into my craft space

My need for organization began when I realized that I was spending more time trying to find what I needed than I was spending crafting and creating. That is when I stopped and figured that somehow things had to be in a place where I could find exactly what I needed. The organization journey began.

The first step is to consider what you have and where it should go

The first step is to consider what you have and where it should go

Step One-Consider Your Stash

Where to get started may be the first question that comes to your mind. Take a breath ! These simple step by step ideas will help you get to the organized place of bliss that you would like to be in.

Before you get started, think about the space that you have for your craft storage area. Do you have a complete room, part of a room, a finished basement area or a space that you share. Maybe it is just a corner of a table. Whatever it is, place the space on top of a piece of paper with a drawing of that space to include an approximate measurement of that space.

First, take a piece of paper and list the kinds of supplies and tools that you have. This is not a craft inventory, but rather just a list of the kinds of things that you have. At this point these are general categories. You might list things like scrapbook paper, scissors, punches, ink pads, markers. Well, you get the idea. Just make a general list of what you have to deal with. Now, take a break and grab some water or other beverage. Now really get into your space.

If you are like me. you may have multiple craft hobbies. In that case, it's time to sperate those different hobbies for consideration. Some hobbies, like card making and scrapbooking may have tools and supplies that overlap. But my knitting and crocheting supplies need to be considered differently.

Now look around your home for any possible storage containers. They could be boxes, bins, baskets, plastic containers, shoe boxes. Save yourself some money. See what is available around your home.

Now It's time to get organized

Now It's time to get organized

Step Two-Pulling It All Together

Congratulate yourself on getting started. You are now ready to get the real nitty gritty of the project started. Starting with your first category, you need to gather everything from your stash that matches it in one location. Depending on how much you have, try to take your organizing tasks in small bites. You might do paper one day, pens and markers another day, stamps a third day. Don't feel that you need to do it all at once. I guarantee, from experience that you will get frustrated and exhausted.

You will want three bags or boxes for this step.

Box One-Things you want to donate-these could be things that you have duplicates of or no longer use. Teachers are always looking for supplies. You could donate things to local youth groups or thrift shop.

Box Two-Things to get rid of-these are things that are broken or have no use to anyone

Box Three-Things you plan to keep and use-these are the things you will get organized

Look at each piece from that category. Now ask yourself:

  1. Are any of these tools or supplies broken, dry or unable to be used? Those are the things that you will need to throw away
  2. When was the last time that you use any of these things? Are they things that you use every time you craft or something that you use only once in a while? Make two piles-one for the tools and supplies you use most often and one for the less used items
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Now look to see how everything in this category is being stored. You will want everything in the same category stored in a system that places them together. That way if you are looking for them, you will know exactly where they are. How you store them goes back to the amount of space that you have available.

Zoning Your Supplies

One system for thinking about your placing your supplies is to zone them. That means that you will place like tools and supplies together in one location. The areas that you create can be as simple as boxes with a label on them. Or it can be as elaborate as a drawer and bookcase system from Ikea. It will be a system based on your space and budget.

No matter what your space is, you need to know the measurements for the space that you have. Write those measurements and keep them handy. That way you will know what organizers will fit in your space.

There are so many ways to create your zones. The point of the system is to save you time and money. Time because you will have everything that you need for a specific task at your fingertips. Money, because knowing what you have will prevent you from having duplicates of anything.

List Of Zones Might Include:

  • Paper- all sizes and scraps
  • Inks -all kinds and sizes
  • Stamps
  • Punches
  • Glue And Adhesives
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Stencils
  • Embellishments-these can include several categories broken down
  • Dies
  • Embossing supplies and Tools
  • Glitters

The amount of zones will depend on the amount and type of supplies that you have

Simple baker twine organizer is easy to make with a few dowels and a wood frame

Simple baker twine organizer is easy to make with a few dowels and a wood frame

Twine And String Storage

Create a vertical storage unit with pegboards

Create a vertical storage unit with pegboards

Storing Ink Pads

Before you decide where and how your ink pads should be stored, it is important for you to know and understand the kind of pads that you have. Specifically, know the dimensions of your pads. Listing and knowing their dimensions will help you find the right storage unit for your needs.

There are all kinds of ways to store your ink pads depending on your available space and budget. Always follow the manufacturers direction for storing your ink pads. Many have specific recommendations for which end should be stored uo and down. They will tell you if they can be stored flat or on their side.

Art Bin Organizers

These are plastic bins that allows you to store your ink pads in compartments. It is small and has a lid. Which means that it is portable and takes just a little space, Depending on the size of the pad, you might store 30-40 pads.

Cassette Holders

Lots of folks have been successful storing their ink pads in cassette holders. These are often found in thrift stores and yard sales. Again, know the size of your pads to see if they fit. Will often hold up to 100 pads,

Ink Pad Caddies

These caddies hold about 48 ink pads and a few of the re inker bottles. They take just a little space on your desk or other space.They have a spin feature so you can turn the caddie to see what you have. However, you cannot see all the pads at once.It may be cumbersome to turn once it is fully loaded.

Pad Organizers

There are several versions of this type of organizer.They are basically a multi-holed shelf with little compartments where your pads will sit. These units allow you to see all your pads at once. Most will fit on a bookcase, and some will have the ability to be hung on a wall. They are generally made of a plastic material or made of wood.

You will have to consider the type of stamp pads that you have and make sure that they will fit in the compartments. You also have to measure the unit to make sure that it will fit in your space.


Another idea is to use a drawer that you may have in your craft space, Unless you are able to see the pads by having them on their sides, it will be difficult to see what you need.

Ink Pad Storage


Ink Pad Reference Tags

If you are like me, then you have quite a few inkpads. When I am working on a scrapbook page, card or other paper craft project, it takes time to think about what colors I have in my stash. So I took each of my inkpads and inked up a tab for each. You can rite on the back of the tag or on the front what the color is and what the brand is. That way you can look at your projects with a little sample of your colors, so you know what will work. Saves lots of time and you will have better designs. Once you ink up your tags and mark them, place them on a key ring by color. That way when you are shopping for more ink, you will always know what colors you have. Great when you are buying ink to re ink your pads too.So easy to throw into your purse !

Ink Pad Inventory

Have you ever been at the place in the middle of a project where you are thinking, I wonder what colors of ink I have to finish this? Or have you ever purchased an ink pad only to realize that you already had it at home? Well, it may be time to take inventory of your ink stash! I mean really get to know your ink pads on a personal level.

First step-Gather all your ink pads in one spot !

Place them on a workspace, bed or floor

Second Step-Consider how to sort them

You can sort them by manufacturer, color or type of ink. It's totally up to you ! Now sort them out in piles the way you have decided

Step Three-Check each pad

Look for any dry ink pads or nearly dry pads. If you have the correct matching reinker, reink the pad. If not, note the reinkers that you are going to need. When you buy an ink pad, it is always wise to get the reinker with the pad. That way if you run out of ink or if the ink is discontinued, you can keep using the pad for a while.

Look for any contaminated pads. If you see any ink that does not belong to that color, try to blot is off with a slightly damp paper towel. Keep blotting till the pad is clean.

Make sure all lids are closed and tight.

Step Four-Identify the end of each pad

Some companies like Stamping Up are really good at showing you the name of the ink. Others not so much. You can make computer labels for those that you cannot see any identification for

Step Five- Make color swatches or pages for all your inks

Color swatches are great because they are portable if you are shopping in a store/online or working on projects on your workspace. But ink inventory books are really handy so that you have everything you own in one space. All you have to do is go to your favorite browser and get all the swatch sheets you need. Some companies have premade sheets all ready for you !

Congratulate Yourself For A Job Well Done !

Colored Pencil Storage


Storing Colored Pencils

Some Basic Storage Tips

  • Avoid Sunlight . Sunlight can cause fading on the tips of your pencils. This is especially true of softer pencils. This can affect the color of the pencil before and after the color is applied.
  • Store In A Cool Dry Place. Make your pencils happy by storing them in a cool, dry place. Many of the better pencils come in a tin or storage container that solves this problem as well as the sunlight issue. So these storage containers should always be used.
  • Store Them Where They Will Not Be Dropped. Always store them in a container that will mitigate breakage. Dropping your pencils will break the colored cores.If you do not have a container, keep them in a safe place. Always keep the pencils in a container when not in use.
  • Consider Wrapping Them Up. If you have multiple singles of a color, or do not have the container that they came in, the best way to store your pencils id to wrap them in saran wrap. Then store them in a shoe box or other container. You can add newspaper or bubble wrap to save them from breaking if the box falls.
  • Store Your Colored Pencils By Color- If you are like me, you have a few collections of colored pencils. Make it easy by grouping colors following the color wheel.

Storing Markers And Pens

There are as many ways to store your craft markers as there are markers. How you store your markers again depends on the amount of space that you have and the number of markers you own !

Always keep the markers tightly capped ! Pens can dry out in 24 hours !

Remember to always follow the manufacturers directions for storing your markers !

CD Holders-While cds may be going passe, the holders that you can find in thrift stores have great uses to store your markers and pens.

PVC Pipes- There can be stacked on their side or upright however depending on your need in a bin or box

Snap Ware And Art Bins-Who says marker and pen storage have to be expensive? You can find all kinds of plastic wear in your local dollar store or craft suppy store on and off line.

Wine Racks- Bet you never thought about the wine racks that are so readily available beyond storing bottles of white and red ! The nice thing about using them is that you can store them horizontally (most often recommended by manufacturers). And as you expand your collection, there will be plenty of space for your add ons.

Using plastic cups and a simple wine rack provides great storage

Using plastic cups and a simple wine rack provides great storage

Make this art caddy on a lazy susan

Make this art caddy on a lazy susan

Here is one type of system to hold clear stamps

Here is one type of system to hold clear stamps

Storing Stamps

There are many ways to store your craft stamps. How you store them depends on what kind of stamps that you have and how many you own. If you are like a lot of us, collecting stamps is like a hobby of it's own.

One of the things you want to consider is that with any stamps you want to make sure that they are away from the sunlight. This is especially true with rubber stamps. The sun can dry the rubber and cause bad images. You also would not want to store any of your stamps in too cold or two hot temperatures. Again, you may find them not producing the images that you were hoping for.

Your options here are to sort by manufacturer or by theme. Some folks chose to store by manufacturer and then by theme. I am more a theme person, butit is your choice

What Can You Use To Store Stamps?

  • CD Cases
  • Stamp Pockets
  • Zip lock bags

Creating Categories For Your Stamps

No matter how you decide to store your stamps, you will want to create categories to store them in. How many of these categories depend on how many stamps you have. You may for example just have one category called holidays, But if you have a lot of holiday stamps, you may want to break them down into categories like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, ect.

Here are some of my favorite categories

  • Animals
  • Birthdays
  • Butterflies
  • Christmas
  • Flowers
  • Holidays
  • Sentiments
  • Shapes

Rubber Stamps

  1. Always store your rubber stamps with the image side down on a smooth surface. Any uneven surface may cause damage to the surface if the stamp.
  2. Don't pile lots of layers of stamps on top of one another. The weight can cause damage to the stamps on the bottom
  3. If you have rubber cling stamps it is super important to use acetate covers in them. top and bottom. Dust can get on them and that will keep the stamps from staying on the blocks when you go to use them.

Clean unused pizza boxes are perfect for storing these stamps.

Acrylic Stamps

  1. Using acetate will keep these stamps clean. You will be also able to see them easily. Most often the sets come with two acetate sheets, One acts like a cover and another has images of the stamp on the acetate so you can replace them easily.
  2. Most stamp sets come in plastic bags. But these bags will rip after use. It is better to store them in heavier plastic pockets that will last over time. You can make labels that include the manufacturer and name of the set.
  3. Plastic refrigerator bins are perfect to store your stamps vertically. You can find these in dollar stores. They come in single and double units in different sizes. They will last forever. You can also use boxes and baskets the same way.
  4. There are stamp binders with sheet protectors in different sizes that are available.
  5. CD and DVD cases are a reasonable alternative to stamp storage. You can label the end if the cases and store them like books. Make sure that both sides of the set is covered with acetate to prevent damage.
  6. Do you have certain sets that you use most often? A hanging magazine rack may be the answer for these special sets.
  7. In a file draw. You can use hanging files to organize your stamp sets

Die Cuts

Die cuts vary in size and the number of pieces in a set. Some are very tiny and are easy to misplace. Keeping them together and functional takes some efforts, but can be rewarding.

There are many ways to store your die cuts:

  • By manufacturer
  • By theme
  • By size

Recipe and Index Boxes- They have dividers and are easily used and stored in both small and large collections. If you have a larger collection, you can categorize by type or subject matter. You can find these easily or make them yourself.

Special Binders-you can find specialty binders just to store die cuts.

In A Rolodex-Limited to a smaller size die

Photo Storage Boxes

Clear Plastic Shoeboxes

Divided Plastic Boxes

Clear Plastic CD Cases

Die Storage Cases

Magnetic Sheets

Washi Tape Storage Ideas

Craft Tool Storage


Craft Tools

One of the best investments that I made was a three tiered wheeled cart for my craft room. You can purchase these for $50-$60 on line or in your local craft supply store.

On the top tier, I store adhesives, glue and tools. I had some office organizers that fit perfectly in my cart. You can use tumblers, boxes, cups, or whatever you have that will fit.

Tier two has my colored pencils, erasers, crayons and extras. The pencils are stored in recycled cans, decorated with paper. The bottom tier has my adhesive roll holders and some other extras.

The best thing about these carts is that you can customize your cart exactly for your needs. no matter what craft you enjoy.

Shoe Organizer- Perfect if you are short on space, these ca fit on the back of a door or inside a closet. They are available at a reasonable price. Try to find one with clear pockets if you can. Make labels for your tools to make it easier to find what you need.

Craft Tool Organization Solutions

No drilling, sawing or painting required. All you need is 2 equal lengths of chain, Cafe style curtain rods and 2- S Hooks (2 eye hooks to screw into a ceiling or wood

No drilling, sawing or painting required. All you need is 2 equal lengths of chain, Cafe style curtain rods and 2- S Hooks (2 eye hooks to screw into a ceiling or wood

Ribbon Storage Ideas

Storing ribbon where you can see it is both visual and effective in keeping your self organized. Check out those thrift stores and use your imagination to find the right storage solution for your craft storage.

Here are a few thoughts on storing your ribbon:

  • Store them on wrapped around popsicle sticks in a clear container
  • Store them in a multi holed plastic contatiner-feed the ribbon out the holes
  • Empty CD holders will hold several flat spools of ribbon
  • Soda straw dispenser will hold several spools
  • Paper towel holders can often be used to hold ribbon

Ribbon Storage Ideas

Recycled Craft Storage Ideas

As a responsible crafter, the idea of using recycled materials to organize your craft space is one way to preserve the earth we live in, but also to save some cash. Shop in your local thrift stores. There are so many things that can be re-purposed for your craft room storage.

  • Use recycled tin cans painted or covered with paper to store craft tools and paintbrushes.
  • Use unused coffee mugs for the same type of storage
  • Used cleaned margarine tubs to hold left over paint or glue. Also use them as water containers
  • Keep old newspapers, magazine and place mats in an old magazine holder to cover a work space when you use messy inks, paints, or glue.
  • Store thread wrapped around pieces of cardboard in a left over egg carton. You can use the same idea to hold spools of thread
  • Use a mug tree to hold washi tape
  • Left over plastic containers and glass jar can hold just about anything

More Craft Organizing Ideas

© 2019 Linda F Correa

We would love to hear your thoughts, comments and ideas on craft organization

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on February 07, 2019:

Thanks for your input ! Love the pepper shaker idea for glitter. I love that we can all grow together as a community with each other's ideas !

Mimikat from Northeastern NY State, USA on February 07, 2019:

Love this Hub- alot of great ideas for organization of my craft supplies. One other idea for glitter- Pepper shakers are great for larger quantities of glitter.

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