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How To Organize Your Papercraft Supplies

Updated on March 12, 2020
linfcor profile image

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

Tips And Ideas To Organize Papercraft Supplies

I am an avid scrapbook artist, card maker and paper crafter. One thing that I know for sure is that organizing your supplies is the key to a better, happier and more productive craft time. Once you get all your stuff organized, your experience will be less frustrating and more enjoyable.

The more I get into paper crafts and scrapbooking, the more "stuff " that I seem to accumulate. There are all kinds of supplies, magazines, paper, inkpads, markers and more that seem to find their way into my craft space

Step One-Consider Your Stash

Where to get started may be the first question that comes to your mind. Take a breath ! These simple step by step ideas will help you get to the organized place of bliss that you would like to be in.

Before you get started, think about the space that you have for your craft storage area. Do you have a complete room, part of a room, a finished basement area or a space that you share. Maybe it is just a corner of a table. Whatever it is, place the space on top of a piece of paper with a drawing of that space to include an approximate measurement of that space.

First, take a piece of paper and list the kinds of supplies and tools that you have. This is not a craft inventory, but rather just a list of the kinds of things that you have. At this point these are general categories. You might list things like scrapbook paper, scissors, punches, ink pads, markers. Well, you get the idea. Just make a general list of what you have to deal with. Now, take a break and grab some water or other beverage. Now really get into your space.

Storing Glitter And Embossing Powders

Glitter and embossing powders can get messy ! Even if you store them in little baggies. If you only have a little, store them in washed pill bottles. You can then store them in photo boxes. If you have a lot, get plastic containers from the dollar store. They can be stacked on a shelf. Either way, make sure to label the item !

Step Two-Pulling It All Together

Congratulate yourself on getting started. You are now ready to get the real nitty gritty of the project started. Starting with your first category, you need to gather everything from your stash that matches it in one location.

Look at each piece from that category. Now ask yourself:

  1. Are any of these tools or supplies broken, dry or unable to be used? Those are the things that you will need to throw away
  2. When was the last time that you use any of these things? Are they things that you use every time you craft or something that you use only once in a while? Make two piles-one for the tools and supplies you use most often and one for the less used items

Now look to see how everything in this category is being stored. You will want everything in the same category stored in a system that places them together. That way if you are looking for them, you will know exactly where they are. How you store them goes back to the amount of space that you have available.

Zoning Your Supplies

One system for thinking about your placing your supplies is to zone them. That means that you will place like tools and supplies together in one location. The areas that you create can be as simple as boxes with a label on them. Or it can be as elaborate as a drawer and bookcase system from Ikea. It will be a system based on your space and budget.

No matter what your space is, you need to know the measurements for the space that you have. Write those measurements and keep them handy. That way you will know what organizers will fit in your space.

There are so many ways to create your zones. The point of the system is to save you time and money. Time because you will have everything that you need for a specific task at your fingertips. Money, because knowing what you have will prevent you from having duplicates of anything.

List Of Zones Might Include:

  • Paper- all sizes and scraps
  • Inks -all kinds and sizes
  • Stamps
  • Punches
  • Glue And Adhesives
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Stencils
  • Embellishments-these can include several categories broken down
  • Dies
  • Embossing supplies and Tools
  • Glitters

The amount of zones will depend on the amount and type of supplies that you have

Simple baker twine organizer is easy to make with a few dowels and a wood frame
Simple baker twine organizer is easy to make with a few dowels and a wood frame

Peg Board Is Your Friend

Hanging a pegboard is a perfect solution to your storage problems. It can be cut to your dimensions. You can hang it against any wall. There are quite a few options for your peg board system. Measure it out and use it to fit your needs.

Create a vertical storage unit with pegboards
Create a vertical storage unit with pegboards | Source

Storing Ink Pads

Before you decide where and how your ink pads should be stored, it is important for you to know and understand the kind of pads that you have. Specifically, know the dimensions of your pads. Listing and knowing their dimensions will help you find the right storage unit for your needs.

There are all kinds of ways to store your ink pads depending on your available space and budget. Always follow the manufacturers direction for storing your ink pads. Many have specific recommendations for which end should be stored uo and down. They will tell you if they can be stored flat or on their side.

Art Bin Organizers

These are plastic bins that allows you to store your ink pads in compartments. It is small and has a lid. Which means that it is portable and takes just a little space, Depending on the size of the pad, you might store 30-40 pads.

Cassette Holders

Lots of folks have been successful storing their ink pads in cassette holders. These are often found in thrift stores and yard sales. Again, know the size of your pads to see if they fit. Will often hold up to 100 pads,

Ink Pad Caddies

These caddies hold about 48 ink pads and a few of the re inker bottles. They take just a little space on your desk or other space.They have a spin feature so you can turn the caddie to see what you have. However, you cannot see all the pads at once.It may be cumbersome to turn once it is fully loaded.

Pad Organizers

There are several versions of this type of organizer.They are basically a multi-holed shelf with little compartments where your pads will sit. These units allow you to see all your pads at once. Most will fit on a bookcase, and some will have the ability to be hung on a wall. They are generally made of a plastic material or made of wood.

You will have to consider the type of stamp pads that you have and make sure that they will fit in the compartments. You also have to measure the unit to make sure that it will fit in your space.


Another idea is to use a drawer that you may have in your craft space, Unless you are able to see the pads by having them on their sides, it will be difficult to see what you need.

Label your ink pads ! Make labels for the end of your ink pads with the name of the color. Makes it much easier to find what you need, no matter how you store them.

Ink Pad Reference Tags

If you are like me, then you have quite a few inkpads. When I am working on a scrapbook page, card or other paper craft project, it takes time to think about what colors I have in my stash. So I took each of my inkpads and inked up a tab for each. You can rite on the back of the tag or on the front what the color is and what the brand is. That way you can look at your projects with a little sample of your colors, so you know what will work. Saves lots of time and you will have better designs. Once you ink up your tags and mark them, place them on a key ring by color. That way when you are shopping for more ink, you will always know what colors you have. Great when you are buying ink to re ink your pads too.So easy to throw into your purse !

Look around your home ! There are so many things that you can re purpose and re use ! Glass jars,tumblers, containers, baskets, boxes and more can all be re purposed. Use your imagination.

Storing Colored Pencils

Some Basic Storage Tips

  • Avoid Sunlight . Sunlight can cause fading on the tips of your pencils. This is especially true of softer pencils. This can affect the color of the pencil before and after the color is applied.
  • Store In A Cool Dry Place. Make your pencils happy by storing them in a cool, dry place. Many of the better pencils come in a tin or storage container that solves this problem as well as the sunlight issue. So these storage containers should always be used.
  • Store Them Where They Will Not Be Dropped. Always store them in a container that will mitigate breakage. Dropping your pencils will break the colored cores.If you do not have a container, keep them in a safe place. Always keep the pencils in a container when not in use.
  • Consider Wrapping Them Up. If you have multiple singles of a color, or do not have the container that they came in, the best way to store your pencils id to wrap them in saran wrap. Then store them in a shoe box or other container. You can add newspaper or bubble wrap to save them from breaking if the box falls.
  • Store Your Colored Pencils By Color- If you are like me, you have a few collections of colored pencils. Make it easy by grouping colors following the color wheel.

Storing Pencils And Markers

Coffee mugs are the perfect thing to store markers and pencils. You can get them at the dollar store or at your local thrift shop. Coordinate them and place them on a desk top where they will be handy

Storing Markers And Pens

There are as many ways to store your craft markers as there are markers. How you store your markers again depends on the amount of space that you have and the number of markers you own !

Always keep the markers tightly capped ! Pens can dry out in 24 hours !

Remember to always follow the manufacturers directions for storing your markers !

CD Holders-While cds may be going passe, the holders that you can find in thrift stores have great uses to store your markers and pens.

PVC Pipes- There can be stacked on their side or upright however depending on your need in a bin or box

Snap Ware And Art Bins-Who says marker and pen storage have to be expensive? You can find all kinds of plastic wear in your local dollar store or craft suppy store on and off line.

Wine Racks- Bet you never thought about the wine racks that are so readily available beyond storing bottles of white and red ! The nice thing about using them is that you can store them horizontally (most often recommended by manufacturers). And as you expand your collection, there will be plenty of space for your add ons.

Embroidery floss can be wrapped around a clean clothes pin and stored in the container of your choice

Using plastic cups and a simple wine rack provides great storage
Using plastic cups and a simple wine rack provides great storage | Source

Tool boxes and tackle boxes are perfect to hold tools and other supplies. Don't overlook those multi compartment boxes. All of these are very portable and have all different price points to fit in your budget. Check at your local thrift store. You might catch a deal !

Make this art caddy on a lazy susan
Make this art caddy on a lazy susan | Source

Die Cuts

Die cuts vary in size and the number of pieces in a set. Some are very tiny and are easy to misplace. Keeping them together and functional takes some efforts, but can be rewarding.

Recipe and Index Boxes- They have dividers and are easily used and stored in both small and large collections. If you have a larger collection, you can categorize by type or subject matter. You can find these easily or make them yourself.

Always store dual ended markers and pens horizontally ! That way both ends will retain the ink evenly. There will be less chance of your dual ended pencils breaking !

Mount a magnetic board to a wall ! Add metal containers with magnets glued on ! You can create a custom magnetic board.

Craft Tools

One of the best investments that I made was a three tiered wheeled cart for my craft room. You can purchase these for $50-$60 on line or in your local craft supply store.

On the top tier, I store adhesives, glue and tools. I had some office organizers that fit perfectly in my cart. You can use tumblers, boxes, cups, or whatever you have that will fit.

Tier two has my colored pencils, erasers, crayons and extras. The pencils are stored in recycled cans, decorated with paper. The bottom tier has my adhesive roll holders and some other extras.

The best thing about these carts is that you can customize your cart exactly for your needs. no matter what craft you enjoy.

Shoe Organizer- Perfect if you are short on space, these ca fit on the back of a door or inside a closet. They are available at a reasonable price. Try to find one with clear pockets if you can. Make labels for your tools to make it easier to find what you need.

Spice racks can be used to store a host of tiny supplies. The turn tables make it easy to see what you have. The little containers can hold buttons, embellishments, brads and more.

No drilling, sawing or painting required. All you need is 2 equal lengths of chain, Cafe style curtain rods and 2- S Hooks (2 eye hooks to screw into a ceiling or wood
No drilling, sawing or painting required. All you need is 2 equal lengths of chain, Cafe style curtain rods and 2- S Hooks (2 eye hooks to screw into a ceiling or wood

Ribbon Storage Ideas

Storing ribbon where you can see it is both visual and effective in keeping your self organized. Check out those thrift stores and use your imagination to find the right storage solution for your craft storage.

Here are a few thoughts on storing your ribbon:

  • Store them on wrapped around popsicle sticks in a clear container
  • Store them in a multi holed plastic contatiner-feed the ribbon out the holes
  • Empty CD holders will hold several flat spools of ribbon
  • Soda straw dispenser will hold several spools
  • Paper towel holders can often be used to hold ribbon

Pill containers can be washed and reused as glitter containers. Remove the pill labels and replace them with a label to describe the insides.

Recycled Craft Storage Ideas

As a responsible crafter, the idea of using recycled materials to organize your craft space is one way to preserve the earth we live in, but also to save some cash. Shop in your local thrift stores. There are so many things that can be re-purposed for your craft room storage.

  • Use recycled tin cans painted or covered with paper to store craft tools and paintbrushes.
  • Use unused coffee mugs for the same type of storage
  • Used cleaned margarine tubs to hold left over paint or glue. Also use them as water containers
  • Keep old newspapers, magazine and place mats in an old magazine holder to cover a work space when you use messy inks, paints, or glue.
  • Store thread wrapped around pieces of cardboard in a left over egg carton. You can use the same idea to hold spools of thread
  • Use a mug tree to hold washi tape
  • Left over plastic containers and glass jar can hold just about anything

© 2019 Linda F Correa


Submit a Comment
  • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda F Correa 

    17 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

    Thanks for your input ! Love the pepper shaker idea for glitter. I love that we can all grow together as a community with each other's ideas !

  • MimiKat33 profile image


    17 months ago from Northeastern NY State, USA

    Love this Hub- alot of great ideas for organization of my craft supplies. One other idea for glitter- Pepper shakers are great for larger quantities of glitter.


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