Keeping Cool Tools: Storage Solutions for Crafters, Model Makers and Hobbyists

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As a hobbyist, you like to buy tools that will make the process of creation easier, whether you’re building model airplanes, knitting booties or forming clay figurines. However, in the excitement of acquiring the latest effort-saving gizmo, you never think about where you’ll store it, other that you need to have it close by.

These low-cost storage solutions, with most priced under $25 and only a couple over $50, can keep your favorites at a handy distance and yet out of clutter’s way.

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Workbench Apron

Unlike many storage solutions, this bench apron doesn’t occupy any space on the floor or tabletop, since it lays flat against the wall. The telescoping handle lets you slide the entire apron behind a piece of furniture when not in use. Over three-dozen pockets hold everything from small tweezers and needles to large scissors, and the reversible mounting bracket means you can screw the rod to any side of a desk or wall. The sturdy canvas has a PVC back for added durability.

Rotary Tray

All crafters have long, thin tools like paintbrushes, drill bits, knitting needles or needles. These are forever rolling off the worktop and disappearing behind immovable pieces of furniture. This Spin-O-Tray, available in black and white, easily stores your tools upright with full visibility so you can easily identify and access them. The seven mini-trays on the rim keep hold pieces like paint containers or large erasers. The organizer fits in a compact 10.5”-diameter space and yet weighs a hefty 1.3 pounds, so it’s not easy to knock over.

Benchtop Organizer

Though specifically marketed to jewelers, this benchtop organizer has the slots, shelves and drawers that make it useful for any kind of hobbyist. The compartments come in different sizes to hold different types of accessories and railings prevent objects from rolling off the back. A space under most of the organizer still allows you to use that area for your crafting if needed.

Magnetic Tool Rack

Keep your tabletop and drawers totally free of any metal tools by sticking them on these two magnetic storage solutions, which boast a total of 4 feet of storage on a wall, if mounted side-by-side. If you’re using longer, heavier tools such as hammers or vises, you can mount the racks on top of the other for greater holding power in 2 horizontal feet. The strips are rated to hold up to 5 pounds for each tool. Warning: Because the racks may magnetize smaller tools, you want to avoid them if your hobby can be affected by magnets, such as electronics.

Drawer Cart

If your worktop is too precious to spare for mundane storage, you need storage solutions that stand on the floor. This cart occupies less space than a two-drawer filing cabinet. It boasts 12 drawers, with the largest big enough to hold boxed model kits, yarn or smaller power tools. The semi-transparent drawer wall make it easy to know what’s inside without the bother of drawer labels. The flat top also serves as a small crafting area in a pinch. The wheels mean you can roll this cabinet among several benches, or even outside.

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