Inspired Barn: Storing Stuff & Studio Organization

Inspired_Barn_Organizing_14Any day now the April issue of Country Living magazine will hit the stands and I can hardly stand the wait. It’s going to be big I tell you! But in the meantime, and as a bit of a hint of what’s to come in that issue, I wanted to share a few fun ways I store stuff that I collect and use around the studio. I’m in my studio more than I’m not, so I really like to have delicious looking things around me in the form of practical storage items. As an avid flea-market-style collector, this not only fulfills my desires for finding goodies to use in crafts, but also unique containers to hold those collections. Ultimately, it keeps my dream space colorful and inspiring. But do know this, I am on a crafter’s budget, so I rarely spend much for anything I collect. I patiently scour weekend flea markets, and Etsy and eBay nightly for things I like, and only pounce when the pickin’s good and cheap. Here are just a few ideas for craft supply storage and organization.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_02At one end of the studio is a very large apothecary cabinet with sliding glass doors & shelving on the top section, and storage drawers on the bottom. All the shelves hold glass canisters and jars filled with colorful supplies. On the bottom shelves are stacks of smaller vintage jars that hold multiples of things like game pieces, thread spools, wooden beads, random hardware and more miscellany. My favorite jars are those with old graphics and typography on the metal lids. I even started collecting found metal lids with graphics to replace boring lids on plain jars.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_03I’ve been collecting old shaving brushes to use as classroom glitter dusters. I also snag up any vintage rubber stamp carousels I can find at a super low price. Turns out the two marry pretty darn well!Inspired_Barn_Organizing_05

Inspired_Barn_Organizing_04Have you ever come across one of those vintage travel-bar suitcases? They have the best little aluminum tumblers and shot-size cups inside. Often the cups are found on their own. I keep classroom items in there such as paper scoring styluses, metallic markers, toothpicks, glitter spoons, and paper-craft tweezers.
Inspired_Barn_Organizing_01I’ve never tried canning. But I love canned goods, and I especially love the way they look stored in a vintage cupboard. I use larger canning jars to store vintage seam binding pulled from their cards and organized by color.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_06 I can find individual packages of colored seam binding pretty easily at thrift stores. In fact, there’s one in my area that’s a thrift store with only craft items. I use the seam binding as ribbon for craft projects and gift packaging. Inspired_Barn_Organizing_07There is an area of the barn with a little table-turned-workbench where I hammer, drill, and do the more shop-like projects. There I keep one of my beloved vintage metal toy trucks with an old cigar box in the bed and a wire test tube rack tucked inside of that. All together this set-up holds items upright that I such as small clamps, rulers, scissors, craft knives, Sharpies and more. Large vintage toy trucks are some of my favorite containers for storing studio stuff.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_08There’s a small shelf unit atop an old dresser in the barn, and on the shelves are my many vintage tin cans that tickle my graphic designer senses daily. Those cans house markers, pens, craft knives, hot glue sticks, pencils, brushes, craft scissors, and several other tools. There’s even a small wire basket full of tins that hold blades, pencil leads, and other smalls. To the right are coat hooks attached to a larger shelf unit that hold embroidery hoops for all kinds of crafting, not just embroidery.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_11Next to the tin can shelf is my candy rack, which in its time held bags of better nut confections, but it now makes a great rack for my wire cutters, pliers, hole punches and large tweezers.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_13See the small pocket-size tobacco tins attached to the side of the shelving unit? They hold pens and rulers. Lard tins are filled with scissors, random hand tools, and a little tin first aid kit with bandages. The shallow meat pie tin pan holds vintage glass paper weights that I use to hold rolled paper flat for cutting, or blog photo backdrops.Inspired_Barn_Organizing_12Well, that’s just some of the different ways I store things here at the barn. Follow me on Instagram and search #inspiredbarn for lots more studio shots. Register for my next Inspired Barn workshop and I’ll let you play with all of it!

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18 Responses to Inspired Barn: Storing Stuff & Studio Organization

  1. #1 - Julia D. says:

    Wonderful goodies! Just love all of it. I have a lot of old jars and bottles that I’ve collected through the years, and use them in such delightful ways. Thanks for sharing with us and it is so great that you can now display and share all your treasures. Have fun…

  2. #2 - Tracy says:

    I love all the antiques that you store your supplies in.
    I bet I can sit here all day and still find new and interesting things

  3. #3 - Glo says:

    I live in the north bay, and every so often I pass by Petaluma. I’m curious about the thrift store all about craft materials that you mention in this article:

    “I can find individual packages of colored seam binding pretty easily at thrift stores. In fact, there’s one in my area that’s a thrift store with only craft items. ”

    I’d love to stop by one day. WHat store is that? Thank you so much!!

  4. #5 - Nancy B says:

    So many good ideas, would love to see your wonderful craft area in person, but this the next best way. Thanks for sharing your space!

  5. #6 - Andrea says:

    I love the old truck! Will definitely be keeping a out for one of those.

  6. #7 - Gail says:

    How fun to have an entire barn to organize! I’d be in heaven for sure.
    But your storage solutions can certainly be scaled down which makes them very useful and fun…..thank you for sharing!

  7. #8 - Mark Pettit says:

    Loving this sort of old-fashioned look :))

  8. #9 - Jenny Olofsson says:

    Oh how I love storing and finding new ways to do it!

  9. #10 - Susan Billmark says:

    Omg! I just looooooove your way to store! Inspiring!

  10. #11 - berta says:

    Having seen all your great storage designs in person at your “barn”, I know in person how great it all looks. So many cool and clever ideas.
    And when I bought the latest addition of Country Living, what a treat to see you and your barn when I sat down to read it. Congrats!!

  11. #12 - Heidi Woodruff says:

    Loved reading your article in Country Living! Love your new crafting set up. And, I LOVED the lumber pouches on the chairs! Could you tell me where you bought those? Hugs, Heidi

  12. #13 - Erin says:

    I ADORE your idea of putting glitter in salt and paper shakes! Brilliant! And the old shaving brushes for cleaning up -I’d spill just to clean up with them! I have bad news though… Country Livin got your web address wrong 🙁 they forgot the second I.

    I see you do workshops and blog as well. I have a really unique new DIY chipboard embellishment product what you might be interested in. You put our Totem Poppet animals or our Lace-Up designs together using either eyelets or textiles! You can paint them, stamp them, tangle them… Whatever! These are really new and unique to the market: and you will be one of the first to see them!
    Check them out at
    Contact me if you would like a free sample to play with!
    Owner of

  13. #14 - Susan Heath says:

    You are one of the most, if not THE most creative person I have ever had the privilege to meet. But what is even better than that, you give all the praise and glory to our maker, and that, makes all the difference. I cannot wait to make it up there for a workshop. All the best to you!

  14. #15 - sharon srandos says:

    Please let me know where the long white wire plate display racks are from. I am thinking they might be wonderful for platters. Thank you!

  15. #16 - Neha says:

    Gorgeous stuff and gorgeous storage. I myself have a fetish for vintage tin boxes and this just gives me more ideas how to use them

  16. #17 - tracy says:

    So many beautiful things. I love your collection of jars and tin cans and metal lids. I’m also into vintage seam bindings.

  17. #18 - Meredith says:

    Your studio is a dream! I really love how you’ve used the antique truck as storage. I’ve included it in my latest post on creative space organization. Thanks so much for sharing!