Organizing Craft Supplies on the Cheap

I pulled out my craft supplies to start on holiday projects and groaned for the umpteenth time at the stuffed mess inside my craft storage totes.

Not only did the small bins hold too much stuff, but they also held some of the wrong stuff. I often resorted to tossing small, random items into the bins when I didn't know what else to do with that stuff. And so my two bins have been a mess since before I lived on my own. In other words, for over a decade.

I finally had had enough and tackled the mess. The biggest job was sorting through all the crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens and pencils at the bottom of this bin.

For the markers and colored pencils, I used two cookie tins I picked up as a lot from a Freecycler. The rest of the tins have really cute Christmas scenes and will be used for Christmas goodie gifts.

As I sorted, I tried out every marker. Hardly any of my markers are in good shape, but some are so old that they hardly left a mark on the paper. Those ones finally went in the trash. Surprisingly, a scented Disney princess marker from the third grade -- that's 21 years ago -- works and smells good as new. I am still shocked. (Yes, I have an elephant's memory and can vividly remember picking out and using those markers in the third grade. This particular one smells like a rose.)

I wanted a box for my crayons, but lacking an actual crayon box, I improvised from my recycle bin. First I used an iced tea box, but it was too big. Like Goldielocks, I tried again. The spiced cider box was just right.

Through my binge of my bin, I found about a dozen strips of staples, an old cell phone SIM card, key chains, an award ribbon, dead batteries, push pins and more.

Once I had that tote sorted, I tackled the second, less packed tote. This one held more pipe cleaners, modeling clay and lots of glues -- fabric, glitter, tacky, paste and expoxy.

Rather than see my iced tea box go to waste -- I did, after all, trim it down to fit crayons -- I used it for the fabric paint. Like a glove, baby! And I used one of my coffee containers for the small glues.

Now everything has its place and I can create without having to go fishing for the crayon I need.

This is probably the most boring blog I've ever written, but I am just so pleased to have my craft supplies organized, I had to share.