Nice & Neat: Clever Ideas for Organizing Your Craft & DIY Supplies


Most of us aren’t lucky enough to devote an entire room to a craft or DIY workspace, so we’re always in search of smart storage solutions that are both functional and pleasing to the eye. Incorporating art supplies into your everyday decor can be fairly easy — but what about the ugly stuff? What about the power drill that’s been dropped a thousand times? There’s really no appropriate vignette where setting it atop a stack of books looks “at home.” So I’ve rounded up a handful of solutions for the pretty stuff, and the not-so-pretty stuff, to help keep your craft space organized and your home looking happy.

A bunch of skeins of yarn tossed together in a big bin can be overwhelming, but organized in a hutch by color, as seen above in the home of artist and crafter Tif Fussell, they add color and interest to a room by adding a little method to the madness. Organizing like-items together by color is not only a great way to find exactly what you’re looking for in the color department, but it’s also appealing to the eye.

Color coordinating also saves time when you’re working on projects and it’s so much more inspiring than a shoebox full of scraps. Not to mention, it adds a nice touch to open shelving. Melissa of A Vegas Girl at Heart added color coordinated labels to each magazine holder for her craft paper organization. I wouldn’t be too embarrassed to have these coordinating scrap bins sitting out in plain sight, would you?

Fabric scissors have no business next to paper scissors, all seasoned DIYers know this. So Caroline of Sew Can She designed this “Maker Mat” (the pattern is a free download) to help you keep everything in its place while you’re crafting. Long live sharp scissors!

An embroidery hoop is perfect for holding all types of craft tape. Samantha from Sew Crafty Shop keeps her washi tape organized by unscrewing the metal closure and slipping the tapes down and around the hoop. You can buy an embroidery hoop new, or pick one up for next to nothing at a yard sale or thrift store.

Pegboards have been around forever and they will continue to because they solve just about every problem a person in need of organization could have. Ugly wall? Cover it up with pegboard! Need to hang your tools? Pegboard. Finally ready to get organized? You get it, right? Jordon of Oh Happy Day knew she wanted pegboard in the studio, but opted for a slightly more interesting look when she decided to have a custom board from The CNC Shop installed with larger holes than you’ll find in traditional pegboard from the hardware store.

Over the door shoe organizers are everywhere on Pinterest, and they can hold just about anything. Cassie from Hi Sugarplum! used one to color coordinate and organize spray paint. The pockets hold two cans each of regular-sized spray paint and are just deep enough that all you see when you look at the organizer is the color of the cap.

(Image credit: Sew Many Ways)

If Marie Kondo has taught us anything, it’s that you cannot see under a stack of fabric when it’s in a drawer. Karen of Sew Many Ways solves this problem by cleverly wrapping fabric from her stash around hanging files, then placing each file back in her filing cabinet.

This image by Jessica Pages shows that it’s never a bad idea to invest in pretty boxes. You can put them anywhere in your apartment and no one will be the wiser that you’ve got a ball of tangled beading wire stowed away in it!

Drill holsters fall into the “what you never knew you wanted but always needed” category. HRP sells this particular model that can easily be screwed to the inside of a cabinet (mine are underneath the sink), or on the back of the utility closet door for easy access. Here’s a similar one from Amazon if you prefer. Out of sight, but not out of reach.

This beautiful image (from Lost Found Art) is an example of one of those times when you just aren’t sure if you’re looking at an art installation, or a really well executed organizational project. It looks as if the creator built a frame for this particular set of paint brushes, but you could use an old window frame with the glass removed to hang your brushes. Beautiful and purposeful are a great combination.

Paulette, from Summerland Cottage Studio created storage for her art supplies out of a secondhand train case. If you need something slightly larger, pick up a vintage suitcase or small trunk. In addition to storage pockets and dividers, add legs and turn it into a dual-purpose coffee table or night stand.

Better Homes & Gardens demonstrates how to keep drill bits in one place by using magnetic strips. Install it on the back of a cupboard door, or right above your desk for easy access.

How do you organize your DIY supplies in small spaces? What are your favorite go-to organizational methods?

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