January and September are the months when many people think about fresh starts and getting organized. I am determined to make my crafting space less chaotic. I thought I'd share the projects I am doing to create a more orderly work space. Maybe you will be able to use some of the storage and organization ideas that I share for your supplies.
Today I'll show you how I store my Martha Stewart punches. If you have read my blog for a while you know that I can't resist these punches even though I have several die cutting machines. Punches are quick and easy and will cut very tiny shapes in a blink of an eye. I have been buying these for years - mostly with coupons for 50% off. At the end of each holiday season you can often find them marked down even further - I have some that were 90% off. These punches eventually make their way to stores like Marshall's and TJ Maxx and I have found some great deals there. Of course, I have also fallen under the hypnotic spell of HSN and bought a few sets at regular prices (next time I think of doing that I need to just go look at the shelf - how could I possibly need more?!).
I had organized these punches a while ago, but I outgrew the space allotted for them. These are "Billy" bookcases from Ikea. They are great basic bookcases and we first bought some when we lived in Germany many years ago. We have used them for kid's bedrooms and general storage and I have adopted some for my craft space. The bookcase on the left is a size that is no longer available. Here you can see the shelves on the left cleared and ready for reorganizing.
I use a system of "risers" to store many punches on one shelf. My very handy husband cut me some lengths of 2 x 4 to fit exactly within the space. He painted them with white primer so they "disappear" on the white shelves. One 2 x 4 is placed on the narrow edge and one is flat.
Here you can see them in place at the back of the shelf. The lighting is a little odd and my good camera is still in need of repair so these photos are not quite as well lit as I'd like but you can get the idea.
I have labeled all of the punches with my Dymo label maker. You could also hand write the labels on stickers but this label maker makes me feel more organized (a little Martha influence though I think she uses the P-touch labeler). Many of the names are similar and this makes it easier for me to give the right name if I post a project that uses a punch. If I don't post the name, I usually get a lot of emails asking which punch I used so I try to give as many details as I can.
I grouped the punches more or less by theme. The top shelf here has Halloween and Valentine's Day and the bottom shelf is for Winter and Christmas sets.
The wider shelves have the more general use punches and sets. I have just a few of the green punches (I think those were made for Walmart but I have found them in other places). They stand out a little but I have managed to ignore the difference! (In an ideal world they would all be the same color but if that is my biggest problem....).
Here is another view, taken with a flash and from a higher angle. You can see how the punches fit nicely on their "stadium seating." I can see at least part of the design and quickly locate the punch I want to use.
I particularly like some of the deep edge punches and have most of these on the top row of the lower shelf. To save space, I keep the Punch Around the Page sets together and open one of the wings of the border punch to "hug" the corner punch which sits just a bit in front of the wing. You'd be surprised how this will make more fit in a row. The older border punches that don't fold up are a little trickier to fit in a row so I alternate them with folding ones to keep at least a part of the design visible.
I admit, I do have a "punch problem" - and these are just the Martha Stewart punches! I'll show you how I store some of the other punches another day.
I hope you have a great day - now go organize something!
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