Declutter your craft cupboard

Better Homes and Gardens

Are your ribbons in a tangle, your tools all over the place and goodness only knows what has happened to the sticky tape? Craft supplies tend to multiply like a population of rabbits, and in next to no time you can end up with an unholy mess – but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Take one old cupboard, a coat of paint, and a few quick and clever storage solutions and you just won’t believe how organised you’ve become. With a place for everything and everything in its place, it almost seems a pity to close the doors!

Transform an old cupboard into a deluxe craft box

  • You can give almost any type of old cupboard a makeover. But a smaller, lowboy cupboard is probably the most suitable style, as it’s less likely to overpower the space you put it in. Look for one in second-hand shops, they’re priced from as little as $40.
  • Before you start your fit-out, you need to spruce up your cupboard. Start with a light sand all over, apply a primer-sealer undercoat and follow with a topcoat in a colour to match your room’s decor.
  • Fill the cupboard’s hanging space with extra shelves. Measure the space and cut sheets of 9mm MDF to size. Make them narrower than the depth of the cupboard, so you have space to hang items on the inside of your doors. Don’t forget to leave enough room between the lower shelves to store your sewing machine and other heavy, bulky items. Fix your cupboard’s new shelves in place with simple screw-in brackets available from hardware stores.
  • For extra pizzazz, cover your shelves and line the inside of the doors with paper. We used a good quality wrapping paper in cheerful spots and stripes. First, seal the paper with Mod Podge (available from craft stores). Then glue it onto the cupboard with more Mod Podge. Once you have glued the paper in place, use a slightly damp sponge and work from the centre outwards to smooth out any air bubbles and excess sealer.
  • As a final touch, change the doorknobs of your cupboard. You’re now ready to close the doors and enjoy the new order.

Kitchenware stores have lots of useful products, like this set of hooks, for hanging storage. Now you’ll be able to find a pair of scissors just like that!

Use a magnetic strip to hold all sorts of things. These metal containers are perfect for organising all those tiny bits and pieces that can so easily clutter your work space.

Keep ribbons untangled with this nifty dispenser. Punch holes in the front of a shoe box for grommets. Make holes in each end of the box for a dowel and pass it through, threading ribbon spools on the way. Secure dowel ends with rubber bands, and feed ribbons through the front holes.

Attach a spice rack to the inside of one door. Then line it with small jars that contain all your buttons, beads, sequins and a whole lot more.

Sort your fabrics into drawers that fit on the cupboard shelves. Transparent panels make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Stick a couple of lights in your cupboard to illuminate dark corners. These handy battery-operated lights cost less than $10 each. To attach them, you just peel off the backing strip and press them in place.

Utilise the inside of one door for organising papers, embroidery threads and stencils. Screw eye hooks into each side of the door, then stretch plastic-covered wire with a hook on each end, or a narrow dowel, between eye hooks. Thread embroidery skeins directly onto wire, or attach clips and hang papers and cards.

Label your containers and don’t put anything in your cupboard that isn’t properly stored. You’ll never again have to rifle through unmarked boxes to find what you want.

Set aside lower shelves for the storage of your sewing machine and other heavy items. That way, you won’t need to lift them far.