Before you buy the same embellishment twice or miss the opportunity to add the perfect touch to a page, get your accents in order. After doing a little sleuthing, I discovered a wealth of ideas for storing treasured accents.
Start your organization process by thinking about how you scrapbook. Do you design pages by photo subject—a person, an event, or the theme of your pictures? Or does color drive each of your layouts? Do you always know exactly the type of embellishments you want on a page, or do you like to browse through your stash for ideas and options?
Depending on your creative process, sorting your embellishments by one of these categories can make you organized and more efficient.
If, as you’re designing a page, you often know just what type of embellishment you need to decorate an open space or to attach a layer, sorting by embellishment type is likely the right approach for you. Keep all eyelets together, all buttons in another group, and so on. That way you’ll know exactly which container to grab for the piece you need.
For some scrapbookers, color drives page design. If that design style fits you, sort all your embellishments by color, even mixing dissimilar types into a single-color compartment. You’ll give yourself lots of options within a hue.
Hint: Hang small embellishments to keep them off your work surface. We found the metal rod with holes at the hardware store and used office-supply binder rings to suspend items stored in small plastic bags. Other accents were hung in the original packaging from hooks designed to be used with pegboard wall systems.
Because scrapbookers buy packaged accents by manufacturer, this often puts a visual record in mind. If you remember buying a certain embellishment, you can probably relate it to the manufacturer, and grouping by manufacturer will help you know where to look. Certain brands have particular styles, too. As you design a style-specific page, it will be easy to pick from the manufacturer’s items that share the same style.
These categories may overlap in the way you design your pages, so overlap your organizational structure, too. When you dedicate a storage box to eyelets (type), for instance, you might sort by manufacturer within its compartments to help you keep styles and sizes together. Or sort all the eyelets you have into color groups within that box. Repeat the same method for buttons in a second box.
If you design pages by themes or events, consider organizing your embellishments by the shapes and colors that fit typical events or seasons. Keep all the hearts, flowers, yellows, oranges, and pinks, for instance, grouped together for those springtime and romance pages.
Hint: Fishing tackle boxes with snap-close lids can be stacked on a paper towel holder and also used for on-the-go cropping. To keep the desk clutter-free, we mounted a metal surface to the wall (we used a pizza baking sheet) and filled magnetic canisters with small items. The canisters came from Making Memories and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and we made a few by adding adhesive magnet strips to the backs of empty tins.
Once you know how you want to organize your supplies, you’re ready to find the perfect storage system. Do a little at-home shopping before you rush to the store for the latest prefab organizer. The basement, garage, and even the kitchen can yield many great options and give new life to old clutter.
• Check your husband’s workbench for unused nail and screw drawers and other hardware organizers. Clean them up and give them new purpose.
• Put empty film canisters to good use. Add labels or glue a sample of the accent to the lid so you won’t have to open each one to see what’s inside.
• How about that spice rack you received for a wedding gift but never used? The containers are the perfect size for embellishments. Hang a wall rack above your desk or tuck a cupboard unit on the bookcase.
If your home doesn’t surrender the perfect storage solution, check out the products available through retail outlets. A straightforward option for storing embellishments is the universal clear plastic sorters sold at scrapbooking stores. Multiple compartments and secure lids keep items from spilling—ideal when you’re traveling to crops.
If you’re looking for cost-savvy alternatives, try bead boxes sold in crafts and discount stores. A particular favorite among scrapbookers are the caddies found in the fishing department. While you’re shopping “his” side of the store, don’t forget the hardware aisle. Those small tilt bins that hold nuts and bolts are the perfect size for embellishments, and they can sit on a shelf in your work space.