I look at pictures of craft rooms on Pinterest and Facebook, and they are typically super organized with lots of white cabinetry, and all these specialty storage units for paper or ribbon or ink pads. Here and there is something “repurposed” – a large apothecary jar filled with washi tape, or a dresser that’s been painted and holds neatly folded fabric in its glass-knobbed drawers.
My room does not look like that. Yes, I have a craft room, and though I feel very Martha Stewart, it is a whole room that is mine, with a window and a closet and everything. 2 bedroom apartment + clutter + no kids = no guests + extra bedroom, and once I kicked my husband’s stamp collecting stuff out, it was mine, all mine! It’s had a few brief, shining moments of being orderly, but then I rearrange, or buy another storage piece at the thrift store, or acquire more supplies, and my organization falls apart again.
[By the way, just as an aside, my washi tape is REALLY organized. That apothecary jar may look pretty, but it is not practical. Who wants to dig to the bottom of a heavy glass jar for the purple glitter tape when you were supposed to be done making the damn card an hour ago?]
Part of my craft room chaos (okay, to be honest, a LOT of it) is that I do multiple crafts and I craft with weird stuff sometimes. I make cards, I monoprint with my Gel Press plates, I make jewelry (well, I will once my table is cleared – I used to make a lot), I own a sewing machine (that I don’t know how to use yet…), I have a bunch of wooden blanks to paint and put clever quotes on eventually. I used to work in a preschool, and still have way too much construction paper, glue sticks, and coloring pages. I keep falling in love with new crafts. That’s part of the reason I’m Plus One Craft – I’m always adding something else.
My latest obsession isn’t helping any, either. Creative reuse stores. Imagine that a thrift store and a craft store got together and had a baby, but the baby was way cooler than its already cool parents, and got all kinds of corporate gifts, AND saved the planet! Um, okay, my metaphor went a little off the rails there. The best creative reuse stores not only take in donated craft supplies from individuals, they receive things from companies that donate them instead of sending them to a landfill. What kinds of things? Fabric sample books, old cabinets, binders, science glassware and plasticware, scrap wood – all kinds of stuff! It really depends on the store and the area. Creative reuse stores speak to my crafty side and my thrifty side AND my planet-saving side.
I was at a big creative reuse store recently and got small plastic test tubes, microfiche of the New York Times, old negatives, leather scraps, and these brown round things that might make good bracelets. I also got some old magnetic signs for cars that were cut up into pieces (refrigerator magnets!), bits of computer innards (earrings!), some old mesh produce bags (texture for my Gel Press!) and a bunch of science-y plastic droppers in a case (monster horns? tiny bud vases?). Okay, so I don’t know what I’m going to do with everything yet, but I had to have it all! Now I just have to figure out where to put it…