Crafty Organization

Crafty Kickstart 2016 – Second round of Posts

Hello :) Here’s a warm welcome to the new subscribers on the blog and it has been wonderful interacting with you all so far into out Crafty month of January 2016. The second round of posts has begun and im back with my turn, if you are just joining in, do drop by on the team members blogs and check out the amazing posts by everyone.

Just a brief recap, the Artful Crafting Design Team is going all ‘crafty’ for the month of January and we are not having a challenge month like we have been having. Instead each day a post from either one of us goes live for the whole month, starting with me and followed by Amina, Jaihan, Saba and Shereen and then we start over with me and so on. At the end of the month we will be having 5 winners who will each receive a voucher to the wonderful Artful Crafting website. To be eligible to win you have to have subscribed to the 5 blogs of each of the team members and should comment and interact with us as well. What we have noticed is that people are subscribing but not ‘activating’ their subscription. The subscription gets activated when you click on a confirm link which you would have received in your email inbox, without confirming you wont be subscribed. To read the rules in detail do check out my first post of the month.

Coming back to my post, last time I shared some tips on how I organize my plain cardstock and a lot of people liked the post and I am very glad for that. I wanted to share how I organize my inks and stamps/dies/stencils with you all today and also decided to add in ribbon organization, a request I received from the very wonderful reader Ayesha :) I will try to make sure it doesnt get too long and really hope it helps all of you as well. Again, the organization tips I have mostly adapted from Jennifer Mcguire or have scoured Pinterest for them and have tried many in the past and have found these current ones im using to be the most effective and hence I am sharing them today.

Lets start with ribbons. I have stored ribbons in boxes, wrapped them on spools, securing the ends with paper pins or tapes but they still seem to get unraveled and end up in a big hot mess which would take an hour every time to sort through to separate and rewrap, until I did this… Wrapped them on clothes pegs :P sounds funny right? but it works! take normal wooden clothes pegs, easily available in supermarkets/plastic stores etc. All you do is open the peg, tuck one end of the ribbon right up against the hinge, close the peg and start wrapping the ribbon around the peg (peg closed), till you get to the end, then you will only be able to slightly open the peg and tuck the end towards the bottom of the peg. I hope that made some sense, the pictures should give a clearer idea as well. This not only prevents unraveling but you can store the ribbons color wise in glass/acrylic jars and they look all pretty and neat :)

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Now on to Inks… I have some of my inks laid out, while others stacked in a drawer and mini ink cubes in another box; since they all are not in one place and it isnt easy to go through all of them for a project I decided to make an ink swatch book. This you can see more professionally done in Jennifer’s ink swatch book Organization videos, but I managed with what I had available. I got hold of coin pocket pages (4×5=20 pockets on each page) but they had tiny flaps on the back, which I carefully cut of using a cutter. The size of each of the pockets is smaller than 2″ x 2″ but I didnt mind that. Simple stories has some 2×2 pocket pages available at Artful Crafting which would be perfect! (linked to in the supplies section). Now the local white cardstock that I use is quite thick and isnt able to be fed into a printer and neither do I own a label maker so I had to write down the names of the inks myself, as I wanted to have the swatches on the same paper so I could know what the final results and colors look like. Otherwise you can even download the swatch book from Jennifer’s blog and print it out and cut into squares which would save you a lot of work.

Then I decided since the names would not appear neat handwritten so I wrote them on the back of each and so had plenty of room for the actual swatch on the front. I didnt have a rectangle solid stamp and so used the side of an eraser for making the rectangular swatches (another hack :P) that you see and then later used a heart stamp to make the swatches from the more recent inks I purchased. I like the hearts better, maybe someday I’ll be in a mood to update the previous ones but I really dont mind the different shapes as long as the purpose is being served. Basically I swatched all the inks I owned and then organized them according to color family and moving from light to dark added them to the pockets after writing the names on the back of course. These include Colorbox Chalk Inks, Colorbox Pigment Inks, Ranger Dye Inks (which are a recent purchase and absolutely amazing btw) and Hero Arts Neon Inks. I havnt included the distress inks in this, hoping to organize swatches for those too but differently with distressing on the side, stamping and how the ink appears watercolored as well and when I do i will share those as well with you. The pages are held together using 3 book rings and so are very easy to flip through and the by just looking at the swatches I know what I have and the difference between the shades which makes it really easy to pick and choose for projects and especially easy to just pull out the swtaches and make ink combos for layering stamps or such.

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Finally onto stamps, dies, stencils and embossing folders… I tried storing everything in the original packaging but that didnt work, then I tried to re-purpose a lamp base and the frame of the shade to hold the stuff but that wasnt very practical either. Jennifer saved the day yet again! :P I have this really sturdy cardboard box (part of the packaging of some expensive crystal pieces from abroad) the base of which I have re-purposed to hold and store all the mentioned supplies. The press and seal bags im using here again, these are 5″x8″ in size, I have white cardstock cut to size to fit each of these and these are what I use to store everything in. When I get new supplies, I get them out of their packaging (and save the packaging separately incase I need it later) and store them in each of these bags. So far everything I own does fit, maybe if I get a few of the larger stamp sets I will have to figure out how to store those but for now this works like a charm. This way I am not distracted by different packaging heights/shapes/sizes/materials and can find everything easily. The box I have parted in half down the width using some double pasted sheets and then have everything divided according to brands. The dividers I have made of the same double pasted sheet too, and have the brand name pasted on a different color so I can spot them easily.

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The stamps, thin dies and stencils all go into the bags. The embossing folders and the bigz dies I have in the box as is. On each of the bags I have a label pasted with the product name, brand name and product code, and for nested dies and smaller dies such as separate alphabets even the number of dies as well. For nested/smaller dies I have the dies stored on magnetic sheets and then slipped into the bags. This has been really helpful and has helped me focus more on the crafted piece then going through my supplies.

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And we’re done! :) My apologies for the extremely long post, but wanted to wrap up the organization tips in this one so I can move on to sharing other things with you all through out the month. I really hope these tips have been helpful and will motivate you to organize your supplies without spending a lot either on fancy storage bins etc (my motto: use that money for getting more supplies instead). Do let me know what you all think and if you do organize any of your supplies using any of the tips I shared today or in the previous post, do post a picture on facebook/instagram with the hashtag #craftykickstart16 and tag me as well, would love to see! Looking forward to hearing from you all :)

Next post is from the wonderful Amina, do drop by on everyone’s blogs and join in with us!
Will join you all in 5 days again IA.

Till then,
Amna xx


Assorted Ribbon Packs
Simple Stories Pocket Pages
Ranger Dye Inks
Colorbox Inks
Embossing Folders

Graphic designer, Paper Crafter, avid Photographer and a Foodie.
Loves all things handmade and things with clean, bold, graphic & minimalist styles. Lives in a beautiful valley north of Islamabad, Pakistan.

21 thoughts on “Crafty Organization

  1. Sharooq says:

    Yet another useful post. I’m definitely going to pay a visit to Jennifer as well. For now, the zip lock bags seem an awesome idea. Neat and affordable. I like the idea of storing dies too, but I would also recommend to make a die cut folder, in which just like swatches we can have the actual die cut shape and size, when you have a big collection, you tend to forget the actual size of the die cut. I think I’m going to make an inventory style die cut folder and one stamp folder. What do you suggest?

    • Amna says:

      Thank you for your feedback Sharooq :) Yes I made a stamps catalog earlier in which I had all my stamps stamped out, but it kindof wasnt working for me, I had them set wise and each set has stamps you could use in different categories, i hope that made sense. Similarly for dies I totally agree with having sample die-cuts as well, I decided to make a catalog for that too but now I just store 1 or 2 diecuts in the same bag with the die on the back side, that helps :) Also for stamps that have coordinating dies, I store them in the same bag too, stamps in front dies on the back. Do try I hope it works out for you too.

  2. Amina Ishfaq says:

    what an awesome post Amna! your craft stuff is SooOOOoo organised… I was supposed to be organising my ribbons and lace using wooden pegs however, I never completed the organisation!! and at the moment they are a totally entangled mess….. will work on them sOOn hopefully. I also love your idea of a ink swatch booklet… I so need to work on it! My stamps are somewhat organised and I keep my dies is a drawer system. Being organised does help a lot with the creative process. Thanks for sharing :-)
    Love, Amina

    • Amna says:

      Thank you! Im so glad you liked the post! :) the organization is mostly limited to just these things, the rest I better not mention lol But ure right it does really help in working if you have your things organized and sorted out. I really hope you complete your ribbon and lace organization soon. Lots of love your way <3

  3. Mamoona Mehwish says:

    You are amazing girl!
    definitely doing the wooden peg thing this weekend insha allah.
    I wonder how you keep your clear stamps so clean *Hint Hint*

    • Amna says:

      InShaAllah :) thank you so much! and my clear stamps clean part, I used to wash them with an old toothbrush and shampoo earlier, they got super clean but waiting for them to dry etc wasnt working, then I got hold of baby wipes and started wiping them clean, but recently I got hold of the Hero Arts stamp cleaner and the scrubber pad and that is amazing! :D

      • Mamoona Mehwish says:

        thank you Amna. I also wash my stamps & the small type writer alphabets stamps are such a pain to wash/dry. I’ll try the baby wipes for now :)

        • Amna says:

          Yes the tiny alphas are certainly a pain to wash! Do try the wipes they help or just stamp them of onto some scratch paper till the ink is off and just store them, unless of course you use stazon then do wash them…

  4. Khadija says:

    Ok this post is a bombshell. Seriously, Amna!!!! You rocks. What an adorably organised craft space you have, MASALLAH. I want to organise my dies and stamps, i keep buying more and more and the ziplock bag I have stored them in, is about to explode now.
    I agree with Sharooq, sorting dies with few die cuts is a neat idea too. I’ll have to copy that. But that means one whole week without looking ir worrying about chores :P
    Maybe one day i will be able to actually execute all the dream plans. Insha Allah.
    Looking forward to more such posts. Way to go!!

    • Amna says:

      InShaAllah you will keep executing the dream plans and get there small steps at a time :) Im so glad you liked the post, and yes the idea of having a die-cut catalogue is also great, i do hope these tips help you out :) ❤

  5. Jaihan says:

    Omg Amna, you are so organized and I now know why it shows in your work too. I love the idea if zip lock bags, although I would have to get hold of them next time. It’s amazing! I struggle with storing everything and you are giving amazing ideas. Lo ely post ❤

  6. Ayesha says:

    OOo interesting … your craft space must look like a high tech scrap book shop :P

    Good going well . i have so many oddment of ribbons that i need to probably make separate boxes and maybe install dowels etc ……….an idea that i came across online but right now poor babies are just packed away in plastic zipper bags.
    Also about complete subscription that is exactly what i was aware of after subscribing i will receive an email which i will click and confirm my subscription which i actually did…………….but………..where the real problem was, an application on my blog *my deserted blog … was holding it and so i had to confirm all my subscriptions there too. Now i am receiving updates not to mention you need to subscribe to the threads as well … sheesh what hard work :P
    Ok me off to finish a few items while my kids have finally gone to sleep but that ME time is so delayed i am nearly asleep myselfx
    best regards

    • Amna says:

      Haha far from it, trust me :P dowels would be amazing if you have a large assortment! :D Do share some of your projects with us xx

  7. Aisha says:

    Brilliant post! And Im so floored by how well organized you are with your supplies MA. You’d probably faint if you saw mine lol.
    Inspired to get some stuff done pronto. Though I doubt it would ever be this neat! Id probably just get distracted and start making stuff on the side, even with the samplers. :P

  8. Tehreem says:

    wow great post very helpful ! :) I have 12 drawers one is specific for cards rest all is very random which gets awfully annoying sometimes when I am looking for something would love to try some of these ideas! and they seem less space consuming too ! :D

    • Amna says:

      Space saving and organization is time saving too! :) do hope you get inspired to be more organized and if you do apply some of the tips do post a picture on facebook and tag me or on instagram with the #craftykickstart16

  9. Saba Musharrif says:

    OMG Amna! Please come over and help me organize too!! = D
    I love keeping things in the original packing, and it sure isn’t easy. Love the tip for the ribbons, will try it inshallah.

    • Amna says:

      I would so love to come and help anyone organize, its so much fun! :D Do try the ribbons on the pegs, certainly a lot of help. InShaAllah

  10. Erum says:

    dude! my mom will love you. yep. she will disown me and adopt you in a heart beat I tell ya.
    For stamps, I have taken photos of them and made a digital catalogue on my cell :p It is VERY helpful.

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