My approach to setting up my stamp area has always been to keep the tools and supplies I use most often close to my working area. If I don’t use something often, it doesn’t get precious nearby space. It goes into a drawer that is further away and less handy. BUT, do you see the problem that this approach introduces?
Yep, the problem is “out of sight, out of mind”. I’ve been sorting through my craft area over the past few weeks and I’ve started noticing a trend. Many of the supplies hidden away in drawers further away simply don’t get used. My favorite inkpads and art mediums get used all the time. But others just sit. There is no point in investing the money and space in supplies you don’t use. So what is the solution?
I’ve decided to tweak my approach just a little bit. I still favor the supplies I use most often when it comes to nearby space, but I’ve decided to leave a little room for some of the stamp supply orphans that haven’t been getting enough love lately.
This pair of wood-topped IRIS carts sits two and a half feet behind my main work area. If I turn around 180 degrees from my work area, this is what I see. This table space holds things that I use often: my most used inkpads in a tape cartridge storage case, a variety of brushes and tools, alcohol ink markers and artist pens, stamp pad handles and water spray bottles.
But I’ve also decided to provide some space here for things that I have not been using lately and want to challenge myself to use more. So for example, I pulled three different inkpads that I haven’t used in a while and put them into the inkpad storage case and I pulled out two ColorBox petal pad sets (one dye ink and one pigment ink) and put them right where I can see them.
I put a bunch of sprays that I haven’t been using in the narrow basket on the left and some brush topped inks in the narrow basket on the right. I’m hoping that having them right in front of me will inspire me to use them more often. My plan is to swap things out periodically for other supplies I haven’t used in a while so I can keep challenging myself to use the supplies I’ve already got!
My brush and tool storage takes up most of the second table here. I like to keep my brushes and tools close. Most of these tools aren’t really the kind you can hang up and if you put them into drawers, you get a big jumble and it is hard to find things. (If you have to use drawers, I’m thinking that divided drawer organizers might be good though.) From this picture, you might think that I’ve got a jumble here on the table, but the picture is deceptive; it’s actually neater than you might think.
Here is a view from above so you can see what I mean. I’ve got my brushes and tools divided out into a series of smaller containers on a glass lazy-Susan salvaged from an old microwave oven. I originally had all my brushes in one big acrylic box but it was a jumble and hard to find things. In the center are tall brushes in a wide-mouth glass canning jar. At the top is a terra cotta pot with things like craft sticks, straw pieces and eye droppers. Working around clockwise, is another pot with foam brushes, a small metal paint can with wood skewers and other odds and ends, a small jar with my bone folder, paper stumps, small scoops and clips, a ceramic mug with Styluses and a popsicle mold full of paint brushes divided by type and size.
I originally checked local stores to try and find some divided brush storage, but couldn’t find anything. I thought I might use a silverware caddy instead but couldn’t find that either. I came across this popsicle mold in a box in my basement. It works surprisingly well for sorting out paintbrushes. I wasn’t using it, so it became my brush storage.
Do you find you have supplies that you don’t use often? What works for you to get them out of storage and used in a stamp project? How do you store these types of supplies?