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Organizing Craft Supplies

7 Hacks for Organizing Craft Supplies

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Organizing Craft Supplies

A new year is coming up soon. Are you ready for the end of year cleaning up and organizing craft supplies for the new projects you have planned?

As a crafter, I have loads of accessories and fabrics. Frankly, I do not clean up every time I finish. Things get cluttered as I work and this will turn to a disaster by end of the year. Space is precious. It requires skill to utilize my limited space. I will show you my decluttering and organizating hacks.  I hope it will help you take up the end of year decluttering challenge and you welcome the new year with a refreshed and organized working area.

Uncover the Boxes

Open Boxes

Do you have boxes that have not been touched for years? Time to uncover them. I have a very bad habit (you may have it too) of putting everything in a box and pretend everything is “organized”. I always find fabric scraps, useless packaging, pieces of threads, even paper bits, inside these boxes.

The truth is, I am hiding garbage and building my own mess.  The first thing we should do is open up all the boxes, and sort out the useless things, and organize the things we should keep. You will be surprised by how much trash and junk you are hiding from yourself.

Categorizing Craft Supplies

As I said earlier, I like to put things into boxes to so my working area looks “neat”. But while the individual boxes look neat, you must still open all these boxes in order to get what you are looking for.

Many times, I had to ransack each box to find the specific color of accessory that I wanted. Instead, buy transparent boxes for your tools and accessories. For ites that have different color assortments – floss, buttons, beads, etc., classify them by color tone. This will make your life easier when you are looking for a matching color accessory for your project. You can simply look through these transparent boxes and locate the things you need.

Pegboard

Vertical space is the best solution when you are looking for more space. Pegboards are an easily installed way to organize and they offer the most storage space. Look around your working area. Have you ever thought of making use of vertical spaces for extra storage? Empty walls can be used for pegboard, which will maximize storage space for your limited area.

I love to use pegboards to organize my tools and accessories. I have so many boxes of tools and materials that I must store in a way that allows me to have an empty desk for my projects.

Pegboard Jars

Pegboard Jars

I use pegboard for all my extra material, such as fabrics, plush filling, books, spools, cutters, markers, needles, etc. Then I use the clear pegboard jars for the tools and accessories that I frequently use – needles, buttons, push buttons, safety pins, laces, charms, etc. Setting up my own pegboard system is one of my most important tips for small space storage.

These pegboard jars are clear and hang sturdily on the pegboard with the exclusive jar top mechanism. You can see what is inside the jars without searching through your drawers or boxes anymore. It is convenient for me to work in a small space, but still able to have access to all my craft supplies at my fingertips.



Pegboard Cups

World Axiom Pegboard Cups

Crafters have different tools – rolling cutter, cutters, fabric scissors, rulers, markers, glues, color pencils, etc. These tools are normally longer in size and many of them cannot be hung to the pegboard directly. I use the Pegboard Cups to organize them.

Each different item is organized by individual cup and lined up on my pegboard. I can reach any tool I need easily. These cups are especially useful because you can simply take the cup out and put it on the desk whenever you want to.


Pegboard Rings

Pegboard Hook Rings

Some of the tools I use constantly may need a bit of thought to determine the right accessory to go with the pegboard. My glue gun for instance, the tip of it is extremely hot when I use it. If I have to leave it on the desk to cool down before I put it away, it takes up space on my desk. Instead, I use this metal pegboard ring to hold the glue gun which allows more free space on my desk. 

I also hang my fabrics on the ring. It is very convenient to flip through the fabrics and choose the right one. You can even use the ring to decorate your work space by putting a plant in it.



Pegboard Shelf

Pegboard Shelf

Books are one of the things that occupy my working space. I have plenty of sewing and other reference books which help me in preparing the next craft project. I have a pegboard shelf on the pegboard which organized my books using the vertical space.

This is a very simple shelfing system which includes 2 metal triangular brackets that sturdily hook to the pegboard and piece of MDF wood board. You can put anything on it, not juat books, providing a very useful storage space.


Take Up The Decluttering Challenge

Are you ready to take up the end of year decluttering challenge? It is never too late to start cleaning up and organizing your working area. Small space, unlimited creativity. Follow my advice and a decluttered workspace will not be just a dream.

If you love fabric shopping or looking for craft accessories, Nippori Fabric Town will not let you down with its 1 km of shops full of sewing supplies.

Fabric Shopping in Tokyo – Nippori Fabric Town

If you love fabric shopping or looking for craft accessories, Nippori Fabric Town will not let you down with its 1 km of shops full of sewing supplies.

My dressmaker friend is always going fabric shopping in Japan. On her last trip there she bought many beautiful types of fabrics that I had never seen before.  I finally went fabric shopping with her in Tokyo last month. It was such a great experience that I think I will make this trip an annual event!

Tokyo, a city full of vibe and rich in culture. Everyone thinks of shopping, amazing food, temples and hot springs when travelling to Tokyo. I have been there many times, and just like other travelers, I am fascinated by their beautiful shops and the complicated train network.

Nippori Fabric Town

Nippori Fabric Town is a place all textile crafters should visit to fabric shop. This cozy district is hidden in the city of Tokyo. You can find all kind of textiles, accessories and anything fabric-related here. My spirit was lifted as soon as I stepped out of the train station – there was a big sign right outside of the station – Welcome to Nippori Fabric Town!

How to Get There

To get to Nippori, take the JR Yamanote Line (light green color), get off at Nippori station and take the east exit. You will immediately see signs leading to your destination. The Fabric Town is located few minutes from the station. Almost all the shops are situated along this street, but there are some hidden gems in the neighboring streets.

You can also get an official map of the area from most of the shops which shows you almost all the shops location in the area. You can plan your route before starting the shopping spree.

Sewing and Crafters Paradise

Although Tokyo is a city that never sleeps, some districts do have a slower pace. In Nippori, you cannot find skyscrapers or big shopping malls. All the craft shops are small, but every one of them is unique. Each shop has a different specialty, such as webbings, leathers, fabrics, sequins and beads, buttons, sewing machines and other accessories. You can easily spend a day in this area. This was my first time visiting this town and I was so overwhelmed that I spent over hour in just a button shop. My friend pulled. me away and took me to a big store called Tomato with multiple shops along both sides of the street which sells  upholstery, garments, sewing tools and discounted goods. I decided to go into the main shop.

Tomato – Paradise of Fabrics

This place sells everything! The main shop is 5 stories tall, each floor sells different fabrics and accessories. They have a large variety of printed fabrics – from high-end imported prints to traditional Japanese prints. The fifth floor sells mainly imported and designers’ fabrics. The fourth floor sells traditional Japanese printed fabrics and sewing accessories, the third floor sells upholstery and the ground and second floors sell fabrics for formal wear and discounted fabrics. 

If you love fabric shopping or looking for craft accessories, Nippori Fabric Town will not let you down with its 1 km of shops full of sewing supplies.

Don’t worry about choosing so many fabrics that you can’t carry them all; each floor has its own set of rolling fabric baskets which can be used to wheel your selections to the cutting table.

6-44-6 Higashi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku. Open daily, 10am-6pm. www.nippori-tomato.com

Tomato – Seamstresses’ Paradise

Tomato not only has all sorts of fabrics, they also have different accessories – sewing tools, pattern kits, fabric scissors, quilting tools, bag or pouch accessories, sewing floss, different sewing needles, buttons, etc. You can easily spend half day at Tomato! As a first time shopper at Tomato, I bought almost everything, from fabrics to floss. I am lucky that my friend gave me some very useful shopping tips before getting there, such as preparing a list of things you want to buy and the projects you plan to do. This helped me to focus on the things I need instead of just being distracted by all the beautiful fabrics and accessories.

Fabric Shopping and Accessories Will Never Be The Same

Tokyo is a highly populated metropolitan area with advanced technology and one of the busiest train networks in the world. Tokyo preserves its own traditions and handcrafts. After visiting Nippori, I felt their passion to make every single detail perfect. They are so proud of their products when they introduce them to their customers.

My visit to Nippori was an eye opening experience to me. I discovered another side of Japan – friendly and relaxed. Sewing to me is a way to slow down and enjoy the process of creating something stitch by  stitch. If you are planning a trip to Tokyo and you are a sewing enthusiast, put Nippori on your itinerary. It will never let you down.