Monday, 29 July 2013

The Craft Cube 5000

I am one of those people that can spend hours (and probably a lot of money) in shops that sell stationary and storage items. So, me making a Pinterest account last week was absolute heaven. 

As a student crafter, I have lots of stash and very little space, when I am at uni, and not much more when I am back at home (mainly due to the clutter in my room). So what I really need is a portable, small-ish storage unit that allows me to put as much of my stash as physically possible. Oh, and being a student and having little to no money, ridiculously cheap. Hmm. 

The model in it's former glory (I won't go
into details as to what it is)
So last week, as I was lying in bed about to go to sleep, I decided that I was going to actually sort out my room and organise my stash, with Pinterest being my source of inspiration. I had an old model from my first year of architecture that had no purpose but to sit on my shelf, gather dust and take up space so I resolved to use this somehow.

The following morning, several Pinterest pages at the ready (storage, craft storage, DIY storage, DIY craft storage, . . . ) I began sorting and making.

The first image of genius I found was a way of storing clear stamps . . . .using CD boxes! All you have to do it take out the interior (the actual CD part of the box) and put the stamps in. I was definitely having that idea - my stamp collection just kept building up and because all the sheets were different sizes, I had no real place to store them so they always took up lots of space. But now that I got hold of some CD cases, they are organised, compact and easy to get to.

As for my big storage project though, the first thing to do was actually get rid of the little model as I only wanted the wooden frame in order to make my box. I thought through several ideas, including just making some trays for everything to sit in. I wanted to make sure that as much of the space available was used and each section was designed to hold something specific. That way, it would be easy to find everything when I needed it as well as making the most of what was available. Already, I knew some of the things that were going to go into my box: my stamps in their new boxes, my ink pads and all my chipboard pieces.
Previously, all my chipboard shapes were in one box (the boxes used, gradually growing in size as my collection grew quicker than it shrunk!) which made for a right pain when I was either looking for something in particular or looking for inspiration. So I decided I was going to separate them and store them separately. In order to do this, I had to make some little drawers for them to sit in my frame.

I'll admit it was a little bit trick to get them to fit - with the frame being handmade as well (and being made by me, not exactly square). However, after a bit of trimming and a bit of force, I got the two draws to fit.

I went on to make a third drawer, this time to store paper and the peel off sheets that were living in my craft tote/caddy.

As for my stamps and the ink pads, the pads themselves fitted beautifully within the top of the frame and also allowed the perfect amount of space for the CD boxes to be stored next to them. I didn't have enough CD's to warrant using the whole side of the box for them so the space that was left was just right for my pens - both my Sharpies and my ProMarkers (more architecture than card making) as well as the odd gel pen and coloured pencils. The teeny tiny gap between my pens and inks allowed me to slot my stamping block in.

I had used card to turn the frame into a box but didn't want to waste the inch of space created by the frame. During my clear out, I came across several pairs of jeans that had worn away in awkward places and therefore couldn't be worn again so I cut these up and (kind of) neatening them up by hemming them, I creating pockets around the other three sides so that I could store card blanks and other bits and pieces.

The very last bit of my box was going to be a fourth drawer but was impatient to get it finished and didn't know what to actually put in it so I just left it as a shelf big enough to store some of my business-y bits - my order book, sketch book etc - although maybe in the future, I will do something with it. Who knows?

While it definitely is nowhere near shop quality - lack of wrapping paper (I ran out, ok!), my lack of ability to hem in a straight line and the tight fit of the drawers meaning I will be forever gingerly opening them so as not to break them - it is custom made for me and my craft stash. It's something that I would never be able to find in the shops and except the cost of the CD boxes and a tube of UHU, it was completely free. Not bad really then!

The finished box

Pockets made from old jeans create pockets for my card
blanks and papers as well as protect the sides

Stamp storage - my perfectly organised stamps in their
new home

From the top - ink pads, stamping block, pens and
pencils, stamps, business cards

The bottom two drawers organise my chipboard pieces,
top draw has paper and peel offs and the shelf has my
business bits