Inexpensive bins, buckets, and other household items can help you organize and store your scrapbook supplies. Check out our ideas for innovative storage solutions and then look around your home for ways you can adapt pieces you already own.
Low-cost pencil holders found at an office-supplies store can organize everything from paper punches and scissors to paintbrushes and adhesive runners. Set them on your desk to keep them close while working or screw them to the edge of a wood shelf to keep them from cluttering your work surface.
Approximate cost: $4
A shoe rack has deep cubbies that can keep long, oversize punches out of the way, as well as tag makers, paper trimmers, and die-cutting tools and accessories. The top shelf can easily accommodate a large die-cutting machine that would otherwise fill your work area.
Approximate cost: $60
This candleholder can sit on top of your desk within easy reach. Use it to stash your favorite small embellishments for easy access. This station also is great for scrapbooking on the go; just pick it up and take it with you to your crafting spot.
Approximate cost: $5
Spools of ribbon are neatly organized in this toilet-paper holder. Align the spools so the ribbon can be accessible from the sides. Now you can keep your favorite ones within reach at all times.
Approximate cost: $10
Found at a kitchen-supply store, this tiered wire basket was originally meant to hold fruit. But repurposed as a spot for stamp storage, it not only becomes a handy desktop catchall, but it also is ideal for air-drying just-cleaned stamps. Toss ink pads in the bottom basket to keep colors visible and nearby.
Approximate cost: $10
Many of us have these mug trees in our kitchens, but have you thought about turning it into a kitschy storage unit for scrapbooking supplies? The individual cups allow you to group writing tools by color, and since most manufacturers recommend storing pens and markers horizontally, the angle is just right. It's also easy to take color groups to another room to work.
Approximate cost: $30 (with mugs)
Often found housing items in kids' rooms, these colorful metal bins come in handy in a scrap space. We found our bin at the dollar store, made dividers from solid cardstock, and then sorted papers by color. The bins come in different sizes, so you can choose to store entire sheets or just scraps.
Approximate cost: $3
Create an inexpensive yet stylish inspiration board from a tin ceiling tile. Find one at a salvage yard, garage sale, or hardware store, and use construction adhesive or screws to secure it to your wall. Make your own magnets by gluing magnetic discs found at the crafts store to drawer pulls.
Approximate cost: $20 (depending on the price of drawer pulls, which varies)
Found at the hardware store, this low-cost tool apron fits over a 5-gallon bucket. The pockets are ideal for carrying punches, brushes, and inks, while the inside space can easily hold larger items such as paper trimmers, cutting mats, and magazines. It's a great solution for on-the-go scrapping.
Approximate cost: $15
Stamps can be difficult to store due to their varying sizes and shapes. We picked up this wall louver at our local hardware store and repurposed it for use as a desktop stamp-storage unit. The units come in metal or plastic so they're easy to clean. Use it to hold your favorites and grab the tray whenever you want to work on a project in front of the TV or at the kitchen table.
Approximate cost: $7
This low-cost basket is perfect for toting your most-used tools. The tight mesh prevents scissors from slipping through, and the large compartment is sized just right to fit bulkier items like punches.
Approximate cost: $3
This organization solution is definitely easy on the budget. Pick up inexpensive binders and clear protectors at the office-supplies store and use them to sort and store stickers, die cuts, and rub-ons. You can find clear protectors in a range of pockets sizes and styles to fit different needs. Then, when you're working on a project, simply flip through the pages to find exactly what you're looking for.
Approximate cost: $3-$7 (binders), $3 (protectors)
Instead of constantly losing your favorite pens and markers to the bottom of your tote bag, stash them in an inexpensive diaper-wipe container. The flat case won't take up much room in your crop bag.
Tuck a tiered shower caddy originally designed to hold bath supplies in a corner of your scrapbook room to make the most of a small space. The baskets can hold any number of scrapbook supplies, including paints, ink pads, stamps, and punches.
Approximate cost: $30
The paper-towel holder is an easy way to store and display your favorite ribbons. Spools simply slide onto the bar, and the top shelf is perfect for jars or ribbon cards. Hang one on the wall in your space to keep counters clutter-free.
Approximate cost: $25
Saving your scraps is a great way to stretch your scrapbooking dollar, but keeping them organized is the only way you'll really be able to take advantage of the little pieces. We picked up this sturdy plastic file box at the office-supplies store and used color-coded hanging files to sort scraps into color groups. Easy-to-read tabs make finding just the right piece a snap.
Approximate cost: $6-$12
Take advantage of the vertical spaces in your scrapbook nook by creating a hanging tool caddy. We saw this project in our sister publication Do It Yourself magazine and knew it was something a scrapbooker would love. We gathered three duct joints from the hardware store and gave them a fresh coat of red spray paint. After drilling a few holes in the top of each and connecting them with lengths of ball chain -- also found at the hardware store -- we had a low-cost and funky way to store all sorts of supplies.
Approximate cost: $4 for chain, $21 for three joints
Designed to sit on a desktop, this office-supplies organizer is ideal for keeping frequently used cutting tools within reach. Scissors and craft knives fit into the pen openings, and trimmers and cutting mats slide into the paper slots. Even the paper clip spaces get used; they become homes for replacement craft knife and trimmer blades.
Approximate cost: $6
This plastic container from the hardware store was originally designed to hold nuts and bolts, but in a scrapbooker's hands it's a wonderful way to store an embellishment stash. The see-through drawers make it easy to take an at-a-glance inventory of your supplies, and when filled with pretty pieces can bring a burst of color to your scrapbook space. These containers are also stackable, which means your storage can grow with your needs.
Approximate cost: $20
Once used for sorting mail and papers, this literature sorter is ideal for organizing flat sheets of stickers, rub-ons, and die cuts as well as papers. We left ours the brown color it was when we found it at the office-supplies store, but you could personalize yours by decorating it with pretty patterned papers to match your decor.
Approximate cost: $18
This expandable tray is a great solution for storing tiny, easily misplaced items such as eyelets or brads. The long narrow slots intended for necklaces and bracelets are perfectly sized for craft knives or floss. Reserve some space for such essentials as a tape runner and scissors, and tuck the tray into a drawer within reach.
Approximate cost: $10-$15
The glass doors on this budget-friendly toiletry cabinet keep supplies dust-free while ensuring they're not out of sight (and out of mind), and the adjustable shelves are perfect for jars of paint and embellishments. Set it on a tabletop or hang it on the wall to keep messy supplies out of reach of little hands. And the lip on the top makes it a potential display area for completed layouts.
Approximate cost: $50
These colorful silicone trays are an easy, low-cost way to organize all those small embellishments littering your scraproom. Purchase a variety to organize your accents by color, type, or size, then stash them in a drawer and simply pull out the tray when needed.
Approximate cost: $3-$10