The time that I get in my craft room is precious. It is my quiet from the storm of chasing two kiddos all day. I need to be able to get right to it, before someone wakes up from their nap and I go back to “Mommy Mode.” Here are five tips (*and one freebie) to get your space ready for maximum crafting in 2011!
1. Fabric Stash Sorted by Color (and NOT by size!)
I sort my fabrics by color, and keep novelty prints separate. Fold smaller scraps inside of the matching larger piece of fabric. (This is in contrast to some suggestions of keeping a small scrap bin aside from your folded yardage.) This way, you only need to look in one location, and you can immediately see exactly how much yardage you have.
2. Hang Completed Quilt Blocks on Pants Hangers
Pretty self-explanatory here, but I really like this tip because most of us work in a spare bedroom, and this is a great way to use the available closet space.
3. Group Supplies by Medium
I have a tower of shelves filled with paper crafting supplies, a tower for jewelry making, one for basic office supplies, and one for sewing supplies. This keeps me from continually dashing around the room. I set up shop next to whatever tower I’ll be working from, and all supplies are within arms reach.
4. A Centered Work Table
Shelving, supplies, and stashes are all located around the perimeter of my craft space. My largest work table is centered in the room. I can work from any side (which works well with tip #3, and working closest to where my supplies are located), and I can walk all the way around it while working on a project. This doesn’t sound like much, but it makes certain things run much smoother. Take, for example, cutting fabric. Now, there’s no reason to rotate your cutting mat and risk your fabric shifting or moving with it.
5. (And this is THE most important tip!) Individual Bags/Boxes For Each Project
This really is the key to how I get so much done, while taking care of the kiddos!
I have a separate bag (or box) for each of my portable works in progress. I have a bag for my latest knitting project. I have a bag for my current hand applique quilt. I have a box for my next card making idea. In each bag (or box) I have every single thing I could possibly need while working on it. (Even if it means that I have a pair of scissors in each of those bags!) This way, I can grab whatever I’d like to work on without even looking, bring it with me around the house wherever the kids and I decide to hang out, and there is no need for me to repeatedly leave them to “dash up to my craft room” for all the little things I forgot I would need. When we’re ready to move on, or it’s time for lunch, I just put everything back in the bag. It’s really easy to clean up, and it’s ready to come back out when I get another free minute or two.
6. (This one’s on the house!) My little man has a “project” bag, too!
I also keep a goodie bag for my son always loaded up and ready to go. I have a few punches and stamps in there, a glue stick, a few markers, etc. I’ll throw in small paper scraps, ribbons…little things I know I probably won’t end up using, but don’t make too much of a mess for me to clean up. This bag has been known to keep him busy for hours! To make it fun, I’ll sometimes put supplies in there that I’m also using, and he thinks he’s helping Mommy. I’ll surprise him with new little things in there that I find on clearance at my craft store, like stickers or rubber stamps that are out of season. He loves it, and it’s a great way to extend your crafting time by working together!