Sunday, May 20, 2018

Organizing Your Crafty Stash, Day 5–Stencils, Embellishment, and Tools

Hello and welcome to the last day of MFT’s Organizing Your Crafty Stash feature. Today we’re discussing stencils, embellishments, and tools. That’s a lot of stuff for one post so I’ll be as concise as I can. My craft room is very much a working room—I’m in it most days doing something, and while I put away everything when a project is done, I do like to keep things I use the most often close at hand. This means I don’t have magazine-photo clear desktops. When these photos were taken I was in the middle of prepping for my class for the upcoming MFT Retreat, so it’s a busy room :)

First up, stencils. I store my stencils in sleeves like I store stamps and dies and arrange them according to type: Nature, Geometric, etc. They are in a bin along with molding pastes, palette knives, and anything else that I might use with stencils other than ink. This means I can grab that bin and have everything I need to use my stencils—other than ink. I have boxes of labeled sponge daubers in a drawer right under the bin so I can grab them at the same time if I’m using ink. I have two of some stencils, especially sunrays and brick walls, if I’m going to be doing dry embossing with them. I’ve found inks will stain the stencils and I don’t want any chance of that transferring to my paper so one is strictly for dry embossing and the other for molding pastes and ink.


I have a ton of embellishments, many of which I don’t use often, if at all, so I’ll show you the ones I use most often. This stack of drawers contains heat embossing supplies in one drawer…


…and glitter in another. The other four drawers hold miscellaneous tools like punches, rulers, quilling tools, brayers, etc.


Just above my paper cutting area is a shelf with more drawers where I keep fibers—some ribbons and mostly baker’s twines. Embroidery floss is on bobbins in a case on a shelf—where they’ve been for years but easily accessed if needed.


I keep Sprinkles and other enamel dots in a bin and do the same with my Nuvo drops. I add a sample of each drop on it’s top so I know what it will look like before I use it.



On top of this set of drawers to the left of my chair I have a simple tote that holds acrylic stamping blocks, several MISTIs (one large one is strictly for backgrounds, the other for larger stamps, but I use the Mini for almost everything else. In that tote I also have a couple of pieces of craft sheet—I use a craft sheet for almost every card for one medium or another--and a small paper cutter handy for trimming card stock.


On the other side of my chair is a stand that holds my air compressor, my Copic Airbrush system, a heat tool, and a flat iron (for straightening ribbon or other fiber), along with a tray of glue sticks. I did clean that tray out pre-photo—there were as many small paper scraps in there as there are glue sticks. I toss them in the direction of the trash can and sometimes they make it and sometimes they don’t--I clean up later ;-) My DH strapped a power strip onto a table leg for me so I can plug in lots of things, including the light over my desk. When I flip the switch the light comes on, the glue gun starts to heat, and everything else is ready to go when I need it. Not elegant but oh, so handy!


On top of my desk I have a tool caddy and a large clear mug from last year’s MFT Retreat. I use it to hold small frequently used tools—it replaced a small canning jar that I used to use. My Scor-Buddy is there, along with my tape runner, glue gun, and a basket with a chamois that I keep wet while I’m working for cleaning stamps. And, of course, my MFT Grid Paper pad—canNOT craft without it. Other small items are also there such as erasers, tapes (regular, repositionable, Post It, foam), and my black inks—they never get put away. Scor-Pal and larger rolls of foam tape are under the desk and more adhesives are in drawers just to the right.



Moving along to the right is my paper cutting area. I have two paper cutters because I’m lazy. I put a line of foam tape on the 5 1/2” line on one and on the 4 1/4” line on the other as stops. When I go to cut an A2 card base or panel I simply use the stop and don’t have to worry about lining up card stock. Quick and easy! Between them you see a well-used box. I have it divided into months and days and use it to keep me on track for projects due. I’ve used this box for a number of years now and the numbers are coming off the dividers—I guess it needs revamping.


Next is my die-cutting area. I use a Vagabond for virtually all my die cutting needs. I do drag out my Cuttlebug for dry embossing, however. There’s so much pressure in the Vagabond that paper comes out badly warped—not so from the ‘Bug. I have a small tray to the right where I keep scraps handy. Every now and then I’ll go through it and toss anything that’s ridiculously small. To the left of the Vagabond is a rack with ink sponging handles. I’ve done a bit of rearranging lately so there may be a better place for it now. There’s a stack of drawers under the table to the left—on top is my metal shim and Embossing Pad Combo at the ready. New cutting plates are in the drawers below.


Three other must-haves for my craft room: my TV and Roku box, my light tent—because I don’t get a lot of natural light into my room—and I’m usually taking photos at night, camera on a tripod, and my furry stamping companion—whichever one decided to visit that day :)



And that’s it from me for Day 5 of MFT’s Organizing Your Crafty Stash feature. There are, of course, too many supplies and other items to show in one blog post but I think I’ve covered the biggies. Hopefully I’ve given you an idea or two to use in your own crafty space.

Thanks so much for stopping by! See you soon!



  1. I saw a lot of efficiency in your set-up, but an outstanding new (to me) idea is using the foam tape as guides on your paper cutters. That's got to make cutting so much easier and faster! Love it!

  2. Well, hello Miss Pearl! All of these posts make me more anxious to come visit in a few months!!!!!!!

  3. posted your cup. My desk looks remarkably like mine. Very very "full" ..... xoxo


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


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