Sunday, February 19, 2012

Organize Ribbon and Punches!

When scrapbooking and card-making turned to the ribbon for embellishment, my non-existent stash of ribbon grew overnight.  I was faced with a new storage challenge.  The fact that most ribbon spools have a hole in the center makes it easy to utilize common dowel rods from the home improvement store.  The walls of my art studio are old knotty pine paneling that has been painted, so it made it easy to take a big eyelet and/or a large hook, screw them into the wall, and hang the dowel between them.  The dowels have warped slightly from the weight over the years.  (A third hook in the center would stop that warping.)  This ribbon storage area is above the media storage units holding my packaged stamps--again, behind the door.  The yard-long dowels reach from the edge of the wall to the window facing.  The loose end of the ribbon is secured to the spool of ribbon with a short map pin.  

It is true that when running out of one type of ribbon in the middle of the rod, some spools have to be removed to get rid of the empty one. That gives me a chance to re-organize the ribbon left on the dowel and to add new acquisitions to it as well.  Note the small spools of actual scrapbooking ribbon to the right of the rod next to the bottom.  These are on a large ring, since those spools have holes that are too small to put on the dowels.  I am sure there are better methods out there, but this one works for me.  And it does add an awesome splash of color to the studio wall!

Recently someone posted a great storage idea for punches using curtain rods inside a door.  That inspired me to share this storage method with you.  When organizing the studio seven years ago, these racks for storing spices inside a kitchen cabinet became fantastic storage for punches.  The punches in the top two racks are larger punches, and they can be stored two deep.  Oval punches are stored together, as are squares and rounds.  There are two different sized tag punches stored together, and other shapes that are related are together.  It is easy to find the punch needed by using this method.
When the new style of punches began coming out the past couple of years, I was excited, since they can be stored several deep, depending on their size.  The third rack from the top holds several of these punches, and the picture of the shape is stored up and forward facing, so it can easily be chosen from the rack.  Note the border punches stored beside them by inserting one 'wing' from the punch into the wire slat in the rack.  I have some of these newer punches stored in another rack a little lower, too.

There are four racks in each unit, and each unit is secured by four screws.  My door hold two units comfortably.  They are very sturdy, and my door is a hollow-core door.  Neither unit has ever gotten loose since its installation.

The bottom unit holds lots of the older style punches, and I have removed a bunch of old-style Christmas punches.  Those old punches are rarely used, so they will just sit in a cloth bag in the bottom of the closet until Christmas comes around.  It also gives my toddler granddaughters something to poke around in when they want to see all the stuff in my closet!  Here is a close-up view that shows the storage and the rack itself a little better. 


Monday, February 13, 2012

Organize Your Thick Dies and Packaged Stamp Sets!

 A reader asked for more storage ideas, so here goes!  A few years ago I realized that I had a potential storage problem when it came to my larger dies--the thick ones that cut all kinds of materials.  So I began looking for something that would house them without taking up precious space in my already over-crowded studio.  I realized there was some unused space behind open doors.  Since I had already installed a nice bookcase with the door barely clearing it when open, I took some measurements and  went shopping.  I discovered narrow media storage cabinets at Wal-Mart in the electronics department.  They wound up being the perfect size for my purpose.  So I bought two and stacked them, anchoring them together and also to the wall behind them.  They are narrow enough for the door to remain open without obstructing the traffic flow through this walk-through room.  

The photo above shows the cabinets installed between the bookcase and an old painted Coke crate I have had for years (it also holds some dies and ink pad overflow).  The door is not shown, but is on the right, and it is closed. Note that the bookcase next to the media cabinets holds some of the Sizzix alphabets and Sizzlets in cases on the bottom shelf.  I am also storing my stamping wheels in this great media storage case.  The shelves are adjustable in inch increments, allowing for many storage combinations.  So the bottom of the cabinet houses the BigZ longer dies.  The Tim Holtz's Movers and Shapers dies are stored inside some of the dies that will hold them, as well as the empty tray, but these are stored horizontally.  The next step is to buy a metal storage board and mount it beneath the Coke crate for the magnetic dies.  See a close up of the stacked cabinets in the photo on the right.

Like most stamp artists, stamp storage has also become a nightmare for me.  I love Stampin' Up stamps in their nice storage containers, and the collection acquired from belonging to a monthly card club for years has outgrown the regular wood stamp storage cabinets. To free up more room for other brands of stamps, I decided to go back to Wal-Mart a couple of years later to see if the cabinets were still available.  They were, but they came in a different wood tone.  That was okay, since I have an eclectic studio.  So I bought two more to put side-by-side behind the door to the half bath and adjacent to my workspace area.  This has become a very convenient storage space for the cased stamps.  Now that these last two cabinets are full, buying unmounted Stampin' Up stamps is top priority.  Since they are marketed in DVD cases, they are going to be perfect in media storage.  Unfortunately, I can't find the same cases, and I am pretty much out of behind-the-door storage, so I am on the lookout for another style of media storage.  The next photo (above and left) shows the stamp storage in the cabinets.

So where can you find similar cabinets?  Check your  local Wal-Mart first, and then just go online for a ton of ideas.  I briefly Googled "media storage shelves", and lots of hits came up.  Garage sales, thrift stores, and other second hand stores might yield a bargain for those wishing to play sleuth.   

Coming next:  Punch storage and more!