Another fab guest post today – I know that many of you are crafters, thrifters or hoarders of small beautiful things… and it’s always good to share ways of keeping these collections under control. (Is it just me, or are any of the rest of you completely shocked when you actually discover how much stash you own?!)

So, over to Drew…

It’s that time of year: the last two Sundays I’ve spent the evening sewing missing buttons onto my winter coats to get myself ready for the colder weather. Luckily, I’ve tamed my sewing paraphernalia (it wasn’t always the case – I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve skewered a finger on a needle) so here are some storage tips to keep your crafty bits and bobs in order:

Button Storage

medium_45412314(photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosapomar/45412314/ via Photopin) 

· The best way to store buttons is to have two separate systems: one for regular "common" buttons (in empty jars, for example), and one for "special" buttons (putting them onto a piece of fabric on the wall for easy reference).

· Plastic (and transparent) multi-drawered cabinets are great for buttons. Some shops like Muji offer great solutions, but they can be costly. Craft stores are a good place to look for cheaper options (hardware stores too). Clear shoeboxes can be used, as can lens cases and plastic pill organisers.

· Once you’ve sorted regular and special buttons, segregate them further by colour or material.

· A ring binder filled with business card sleeves can be useful. Most pages will hold ten or twelve buttons, and several pages can be put into a single binder and still allow it to close. Use a binder with clear plastic sleeves too (just make sure they don’t tip out from the open top end).

Sewing Tool Storage

medium_3217505972 (Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/andresrueda/3217505972/ via PhotoPin)

· Peg boards are great for tools such as scissors, rotary cutters and tape measures – taking up less of your work surfaces.

· Small baskets are great for storing sewing tools and gadgets.

· Standard plastic business card holders are good for needle holders, holding about fifteen boxes of needles, standing three across by five deep.

· A purchased scissor block (similar to a kitchen knife block) from a sewing specialty store works well, otherwise hang them on a hook. Mark your scissors "fabric only".

Storing Thread

· Thread gets brittle and breaks when it gets old and thread exposed to sunlight and heat will break down more quickly. Storing thread in airtight containers, such as Ziploc bags, will keep it from drying out as quickly.

Storing Fabric

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(Picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/tweedledeedesigns/4776025810/ via PhotoPin)

· Open shelves are fine if you frequently use your fabric. But longer term, exposure to dust and UV radiation will degrade it. Similarly, cardboard is a bad idea for storage as it’s acidic.

· Before you organise your fabric, get rid of anything you’ll never use and then sort by colour, size and fabric content.

· Stackable clear boxes are good for shelves. For large drawers, shirt boxes keep fabrics neat and tidy. Don’t use wire hangers, since they can stain over time. Long tubes (to avoid creasing) are great if you have the space. Make sure to label any boxes or tubes clearly.

· Larger boxes are great for projects and keeping fabric and patterns stored together (supermarkets often have a cheap range of clear storage boxes).

Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage. For information on large storage lockers (sizes from 9 square feet – or the volume of half a phone box), perfect for long term fabric storage, see their website or blog.

Disclaimer: I am not paid or otherwise compensated for guest posts. I only accept those which I feel fit my interests and therefore those of this blog. The content of guest posts does not necessarily reflect my own views or opinions. All images from PhotoPin and link back to their original sources, used under Creative Commons licensing.

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