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How to Organize Embellishments

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.


What Are Embellishments?

Embellishments are any kind of decorative piece that you can use on a scrapbook page, card, journal or any other paper craft item. They are those little pieces of wonder that makes us the creative force that we are. They can either be items that we purchase or make. They can be shapes, brads, ribbon, plastic, buttons, corners, die cut pieces, ect.

They can be made of paper, metal, ribbon, cardboard and more. Think of them as anything that you add to the base of anything to make it pretty

We all love our bling, that is for sure. But the challenge is how to keep all that bling organized.

Signs That You Need To Organize Your Embellishments

If You Fit This Profile, You Know It's Time To Get Organized !

I know that before I tackled this project, I had a pretty disorganized craft room. I mean it was a mess. Once I tackled the main parts of the room, I started getting all the side projects done. One of them was what to do with the odds and ends of my vast collection of embellishments. I was constantly looking for that one piece that I knew would make my projects perfect. So frustrating when I could not find what I was looking for ! And more than that, I had my embellishments in so many different places. Ugh!

So my question for you is.......

  1. "Do you find that you know that you have something you want to add to a project, but just can't put your finger on it?
  2. "Do you find yourself buying something, only to go home and find that you already had it?"
  3. "Do you find yourself searching for just the right touch for a project more than 5 minutes?"
  4. "Do you have a box filled with leftovers sitting around?'
  5. "Are you sometimes frustrated looking for stuff that you know you have?"
  6. Has your husband ever entered your craft room and found one of your embellishments with his bare foot?

Well, if you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, it might be time to get all your embellishments organized once and for all !

Some folks like to store their embellishments in decorative jars

Some folks like to store their embellishments in decorative jars

What Kind Of Storage Is Best For My Embellishments

The quick answer is there is no single best storage system. The best one is the one that will work for you and your craft space.

Be flexible. It might take a few tries to get it right. What works for one may not be the logical solution for another.

Some folks tend to think in colors. So for you, organizing in colors might be the perfect solution. I use a scraprack by colors and themes. No when I am working in a specific color, everything is in that color range is right there.

Others think by categories. You might think about buttons, ribbons, or flowers. In that case, you might want to consider storing by these categories. You can further sort these by colors.

Storage containers with multiple sections are an efficient way to store embellishments. You can do them by color or product type. They can be stacked on a shelf or stored in a draw

Storage containers with multiple sections are an efficient way to store embellishments. You can do them by color or product type. They can be stacked on a shelf or stored in a draw

Every Crafter Needs A Label Maker - Wouldn't Be Without it

A label maker makes your crafty life so much easier. This is a must have tool for every crafter. The unit doesn't cost much and you will use it for years to come. Not only can you label all your containers, but you can also make titles and sayings for your scrapbook pages and cards. I keep mine handy in a drawer in my desk.

It is important to label your embellishments as you sort them out. If you don't have a label maker, you can type labels out on your computer and tape them on your containers. You may want to make labels for both the top and side of your container.

The Label Maker That Every Crafter Needs

Storing Ribbon

Ribbon is a common embellishment used on cards and paper crafts, With a hook and eye, some plastic link and some dowels, you can store it all in one place.

Ribbon is a common embellishment used on cards and paper crafts, With a hook and eye, some plastic link and some dowels, you can store it all in one place.

More Ribbon Storage Ideas

How To Organize Your Craft Embellishments

Do you have little embellishments, do dads, brads, rhinestones, chipboard, and more scattered around your craft space? Do you have all kinds of little odds and ends here, there and everywhere? Take heart my friend. You can get from outside that clutter in your space and get organized. Step by step, it is possible to get your craft supplies organized and stay organized. The reward for an hour or so of your time ? More time to craft and more fun doing it.

What are we tackling today? Brads, flowers, stickers, words, rhinestones, glitter, chipboard and all those lovely we like to add on our cards, paper crafts and scrapbook pages

So where do you start?

Containers That You Can Use-You May Have These In Your Home

There are quite a few things that you may have around your home that will help you get organized. Think outside of the box, so to speak, and you will save yourself some cash and frustration,

Tip-No matter what containers you decide to use, try to keep them in the same area or space. Keeping them together will make your crafting much more fun

  • Glass or plastic jars
  • Zip lock bags in different sizes
  • Spice jars and racks
  • Lazy Susans
  • Peg boards with hanging bins
  • Tackle or tool boxes
  • Plastic pill containers
  • Pill organizers
  • Multi draw chests.

Step One -Gather Them In One Location

This was a big enough project for me ! I have a dedicated craft room. And I must admit my stuff was all over the place. So I went here and there and everywhere gathering everything I could find.

The first thing I found was that I had more "stuff " than I realized. The second thing was that I had duplicates of things, because I did not know what I had. Place them in one location. Discard any broken pieces or things that you know you will not use in the future.

Brads And Eyelets

There are two types of options to consider for these small embellishments.

One of the most popular options is a multi sectioned plastic container. You can store by size, shape or color.

Again in my case, I use a scraprack, so my eyelets are sorted by color and size. They are then placed by color in the correct section.

Button Storage Solution

You have to love this button storage idea. Recycled pill bottles would work also

You have to love this button storage idea. Recycled pill bottles would work also


How you store buttons depends on how large your collection is.

If you have a large collection, you may want them to store them in glass jars by color.Some folks like to display their collection if there is space.

Others like to store them in smaller jars in baskets.

I store mine in a photo box sorted by colors in plastic bags.

You can also use a plastic compartment container as well.

Sequin, Rhinestone And Gem Storage

Here are some ideas to store those tiny embellishments

Here are some ideas to store those tiny embellishments

Rhinestones And Gems

Rhinestones and gems can be a little more challenging than most embellishments.

The best trick is to try to keep them in their original packaging. Especially when they are on acetate cards. That way they will not get any scratches or damage.

You might consider putting them in a basket, sorted by color or size.

Step Two-Decide What Works For You

Everyone thinks differently on their creative process. I tend to think in categories. I like to have all my brads in one location. But lots of people think in colors and like to be able to go to a location where they can find everything that is blue. It doesn't matter how you set it up. Chose whatever works for you. I actually use a combination storage system. I have brads in one location and then I store them by size and color. That's what works best for me.

  1. Store By Type Store each by what they are, brads, eyelets, ribbons, ect. Take them out of their original packaging to save space. You can subdivide them by color as I do, which for me saves time. I go to the eyelet container and find the blue ones-easy
  2. Sort By Theme y For some folks, sorting by themes makes more sense. You can sort by themes such as school, sports, holidays, children ect. When you use this system, you may want to add flat embellishments like stickers , die cuts and themed paper all together. That way when you are working on a project like a wedding page, you will be able to find everything in one place.
  3. Sort by Color In addition to the standard colors, you will want to be very specific in this category. You might have blue for example, but break it down into light blue, dark blue, blue violet, ect. Get as specific as you can, depending on what you have in your stash and the amount of space that you have.
  4. Sort By Manufacturer Some folks like to sort by manufacturer. This makes sense, because so many have their product lines coordinated. Sorting this way makes sense because in essence, you have created little kits. You will be able to get through projects quickly

Choose the system that works in the way you tend to think about things.

Once you have made your decision, sort them in the system you have chosen

Step Three -Decide Where You Will Store Your Embellishments

Think about the amount of craft space that you have to store your embellishments.Really look at your craft space and think about how you will store your embellishments.

How you think about this depends on how much embellishments that you own and the space that you have to store them in.

But now that you have decided what you have, what system you are going to use, it's time to decide where you are going to store them.

So, if you do not have a lot to store, then it's going to be an easy task. But if you are like me, then you really have to make some decisions.

More Embellishment Storage Ideas

Recycled Embellishment Storage Ideas

Look around you in your home and you may find lots of storage solutions right in your home for your embellishments. I save prescription bottles.(Always wash the inside and remove the labels).

1.Baby food jars are great to store buttons and small items.

2.I never throw away Altoid tins. They are another great storage item. Plus decorating them is fun.

3.Ziplock bags make perfect storage units for all your embellishments. I use the little snack bags for small items, I use the quart bags for larger collections.

4. Spice racks are perfect with their little jars. If you find one that spins, all the better

5. Paper towel holders are perfect holders for spools of ribbon

6. I use leftover blueberry and strawberry containers to hold lots of things. They are see through plastic and hold all kinds of things

Check out the Dollar Store near you ! There are an amazing assortment of all kinds of boxes and bins that will address your needs

More Embellishment Storage Ideas

  • Baskets-I would have to say that baskets are probably my favorite storage piece. They come in an infinite amount of sizes and they are pretty. Zip lock bags holding all kinds of pretty things work fine You can often find them on sale, so take some measurements and get ready to get organized with class.
  • Multi compartment containers- Perfect for brads and eyelets. You could sort them by size and then color Rhinestones and beads can also be stored in these containers
  • Glass Containers- Sort your buttons in glass containers by size or color. Check out your local thrift store where you may find discounts on mason jars and other decorative glass ware
  • Multi Drawer Chests- These are the ones with the little type of drawers. in one large unit. Perfect for organizing almost anything. They are plastic. Some come in different color drawers
  • Pill Boxes- They come in different sizes. Perfect for small embellishments
The Scraprack totally organizes embellisshments

The Scraprack totally organizes embellisshments

Using A Scraprack

My favorite storage tool is a Scraprack. The Scraprack is a tool that is basically like an open binder system. It is a 12 inch by 12 inch system where there are pages with attached little flapped sections where you can store your tiny embellishments.

You can store all those little pieces by color or by element. I keep all my ribbons, half beads and sequins together. Some folks like to place their embellishments with like colors. It's up to you how you use the system. You can't imagine how much these pages will actually store ! Now all my embellishments are located in one place. No more hunting around for all those little bottles or envelopes. I can find exactly what I need !

With this system, you can even get specialty embellishment pages, which I am eager to get for myself. These are 72 sectioned pockets made especially for embellishments.

The Scraprack

Store Them In Drawers

There are many drawer options for anywhere from small units to very large units. You need to decide what you have, how much space that you have, and what your needs are. For example, it you just have a little, a small three drawer desk type system would be perfect for you. If you are a real craft hoarder with a large collection, you may want a floor drawer larger option.

You will also decide the actual space that you have available. If you have a craft room than your options are different then someone who may only have a small desk or a closet area.

Look in your local craft store and online for options that may be available. Then plan out your craft space. You will be pleased at the results

Simple do it your self, recycled cereal box  is perfect for storing your embellishments

Simple do it your self, recycled cereal box is perfect for storing your embellishments

More Embellishing Storage Ideas

Final Thought On Organizing Your Embellishments

There is no one perfect system for organizing your embellishments. The best system is the one that will work for you ! It is a journey that begins with one step. So we encourage you to get started one step at a time.

© 2013 Linda F Correa

How Are You Doing With Your Embellishment Organizing? - Did You Find This Page Helpful?

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on January 23, 2014:

@Craftymarie: Everyone thinks differently. You just need to chose a system that works for you. I use the plastic storage boxes and also some jars stored in photo boxes. Always trying to improve my process

Marie on January 23, 2014:

I usually prefer to sort by colors and I use a number of those plastic storage boxes with multiple compartments for small embellishments. They're just really handy, inexpensive and easy to stack :) Great page on organizing your crafty bits.

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