Friday, February 13, 2015

Organization for Your Creative Space–Coloring Mediums


A full complement of coloring mediums includes a wide assortment of container shapes, sizes, and storage requirements. Our team is sharing the ways they manage the mayhem of their coloring mediums with this installment of the Organization Challenge.

The use of color mediums varies from person to person and application to application. Some of my favorites are ink—pads and refills, Copic markers, and paints. Ink pads for stamping and sponging, refills for water coloring and sprays, Copics for coloring stamped images and air brushing, and paints for mixed media projects. I try to keep them all organized so they are easy to find and don’t get damaged, so let me walk you though how I do that.

These two-tier wire slide-out baskets used to be the home of my many pads of patterned paper. Since I don’t use it any more and I’ve given almost all of it away, they now house some of my coloring mediums—sadly, the wire baskets are no long available for purchase. First up, Distress Stains.


Since they are in this basket and the label is not easily seen, I’ve color coded the tops of each bottle by inking up a round label with the color in the bottle.

I did the same thing with my Distress Paints…


Here are the labels I use for them. They’re quite affordable and do a great job. You can find them HERE.


I have quite a few Adirondack paint bottles, too, and they are on the list to get labeled ASAP.

Gelatos are great for adding bold color to mixed media projects due to their concentrated color, but when they’re rolling around inside a drawer with other things they’re not very handy. I solved that problem with these holders that my friend Tammy’s husband made for me for my Mini Misters.


Turns out Gelatos fit in the holders perfectly, too! Score!


Here are the holders with my Mini Misters that contain custom blended sprays using MFT ink refills and MIX-ables Sheer Shimmer Mist. More on that another time ;-)


Speaking of Mini Misters, you’ll notice I have each mister color coded with a circle of coordinating card stock—that makes it so much easier to to find the one I want quickly. I use a Circle STAX Die-namics to cut the card stock and adhere it with a large glue dot.


To further keep them organized, I use my own little short hand in case the top gets separated from the mister barrel while in use. In this case, GJ stands for Grape Jelly.


My ink pads, refills, and any sponges I use with them are stored in these holders. I have four of them, all from different vendors. My last one came from Organize More

Premium Dye Ink…


…Hybrid Ink… (you can see I have my Distress Ink pads and refills in another holder beside my hybrid inks)


…and Pigment ink.


Each ink pad is labeled with it’s name, and a small dot of coordinating card stock has been glued to the top of each ink refill for easy identification.


I also use sponge daubers A LOT with my ink pads and stencils. I have them all in storage boxes made for that purpose. I love these boxes—they latch closed and keep the daubers safe and dust-free in storage. You can find the storage boxes HERE. Since I knew I’d use a lot of the daubers, I bought them in bulk HERE.


Each dauber is labeled so when I get ready to use a new one I won’t have to stop and label it.


My Copic markers are stored right in front of me on my desk in X-Cube containers. These boxes also seem to no longer be available. Why is it when you find something that works they stop making it? I really love them because they’re clear and make my desk area brighter since they don’t block the light from the window. The markers are stored according to color family.


Other coloring mediums that I have are water colors, pencils, and markers. I don’t use them as much as the others but they do have their use so they are kept handy.

I just got this set of water colors and so far I’ve only used the gold color. I’m a little intimidated by them but I’m hoping to play some with them soon. They will stay in their original box on a shelf because why not, right?


My Prismacolor pencils are also in their original container on the same shelf with the water colors. Again, why move them to anything else when they’re all contained and easy to reach for?


I keep SU! markers and Distress Markers handy as well…

Additionally, I have fine point pens in lots of color that are great for making custom backgrounds—I keep them handy in my tool carousel.


I think that about covers my color mediums. I hope I’ve given you some ideas about organizing and storing your own. Thanks so much for stopping by! See you soon!

1CAS Signature2


  1. Barbara, your organization in your craft room is wonderful. IF I EVER get Copics I would love to have them in those X boxes. But you are right....When they make something that people want it seems (for some un-known reason) all of a sudden someone decides to quit making it??? Great storage!

  2. Wonderful organizational ideas. I used to use those X-cubes and I still have them, but my collection outgrew them and by then they had stopped making them. That's just so silly.

  3. Hi Ladies... they still make these. They are online order only through office depot. Type in deflecto x cubes!!

  4. Wow, that Tammy must have one sweet, talented husband because those Gelato/Mini Mister holders look awesome! :)

    I love seeing these pictures... makes me feel like I'm there with you (but sad 'cause I'm not!)

  5. Wow Barb! I'm impressed! I just don't have the space to keep my ink pads like that. Also, right now I'm coloring more so it's all good -- right now. We'll see how it goes. I bought a large box of gelatos, so mine are in the flat box like the water colors and colored pencils, but I'm going to have to go your way I think with the copics. I started with one of those, out grew it, went to something different and have outgrown that, so I may just buy a couple more of the criss cross boxes and be done with it. they're square so easy to fit places, easy to see what's there, and handy to reach and then move if I need to take them somewhere for a weekend. :) This is great! TFS! I'm guessing I'm going to find out this is an MFT share? If not, thanks, if so, thanks! :) XOXO.

  6. I have not ordered from this company yet, but they seem to have a good price on these x cube storage thingys...

  7. Fantastic storage solutions! You have given me so many ideas. Thank you!

  8. Barbara, Great job, and thanks so much for sharing.


Thank you for your kind comments--they make my day and I appreciate every one!


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