Sep 30, 2011

Storage for tiny little things

Man! Shoot! Dang it!

Here it is the last day of September and I have nothing really fall-y (Yep, new word) to show. In fact most of September has been a blur and I haven't been feeling in the mood to do fall crafts. My little scarecrows were it for me this year and that is really sad. The good news though, I do have something to share and to be quite honest, I'm in love with this low-cost storage solution.

Recently I was asked to teach a group of 12 to 14 year old girls how to make jewelry.  It was so fun.  We did three projects in total and the girls left with some fun things.  The problem for me was in the prep work.  One of the projects was a bracelet made using different colored paper circles.  I needed a way to keep the colors organized and spill proof.  So, I ended up using items I had on hand and to create the tray above.  And, since it worked so good, when I got home, I re-created for all my little jewelry findings that normally are just in a plastic bags piled in a box.

So, if you have little things that you want to have access to but don't want to invest a lot of money for storage here's a couple of ideas on how you can make these storage things.

Velcro Cups: semi permanent, good for short term

I knew taking a bunch of little paper circles into a youth group could have chaotic results.  I could just see the individual cups being spilled ALL OVER!  And I didn't want to pick them up.  So, to avoid a disaster, I took a cake board, some small plastic cups with lids, and self adhesive velcro and joined them all together.

For the light weight paper it worked perfectly.  It gave me a way to transport everything safely as well as it let the girls see their options clearly.  Perfect solution!

All you do is just add that little velro dot to your board and your cup and hook them together.  That easy.

Brads: Long term solution

When I got home I decided I wanted to keep this idea but use it for all the little small things I use when I make jewelry.  All my little metal findings like jump rings, clasps and crimp rings.  However, I knew that the velcro, with heavier items in the cups probably wasn't going to hold up long term.  (The velcro doesn't stick very strongly to the plastic bowl and I could see over time that the velcro might come off)    Again though, velcro is great for light weight items.  So, here's the steps I took to make it a more permanent solution...

You'll need the following items:

2 - cake boards, any size will work but I used the 10x14 size
Multi purpose small cups with lids (I found mine at Walmart, intended them for fry sauce - yum)
X-acto knife
Cutting board

1- Put your cake board on top of your cutting board. The photo shows the cutting board with a mouse pad on top and then the cake board. That was a little overkill, I really only needed the cutting board but I didn't want to take any chances in marking up my counters.

2- Put a small cup in one corner of your board and using your x-acto knife cut a small slit through both the plastic cup and the cardboard.

3- Next, attach your brad/fastener by pushing the item through the slit you cut and then turn the board over and fasten the prongs to the back of the cake board.

4- Complete one line of cups, making sure to leave enough room in between each cup to add on the lids, then turn your board and complete another line near the one of the other edges like shown above.

5- Then, following the same steps, just complete the rest of the board like shown.

6- You could stop here and just fill your containers and be done. However, I didn't like the back. I could just see those little exposed brad prongs scraping my work surface or snagging fabric or getting caught on things. So, I took it one step further. I put a layer of Mod Podge over the back of the board, prongs and all, and adhered another cake board over top. This way, it's clean and smooth and I don't have to worry about possible snags or scratches.

Then, after the two layers dry, just fill up your little cups and add the lids.

Seriously, I couldn't be happier with the results.  All my stuff is together, easy to see, and easy to store.  The bonus for me is that the board fits perfectly in my IKEA Prant boxes so once I'm done being crafty, I just take the whole board and store it away.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that!

Now, I know there are magnet boards you can buy that are similar, however, my solution cost under $2.  You can't beat that.  Also, the magnetic boards you have to hang on a wall and I didn't want to do that so the fact that my boards are portable is a huge plus for me.  I also like that the cups are clear which helps with visibility.  So, yes, I could have bought something similar but  this low cost solution worked great for me.

Now that I'm organized, I think I'll go make some jewelry.... later gators!