Top 5 Easy Studio Storage Solutions


Whenever Studios Editor Cate Prato asks readers what they want to see most in that magazine, the top answer is always–by far–storage and organization tips.

Let’s face it: art quilters and mixed-media artists have a lot of stuff. Even if you prefer to work in a messier studio, it’s better not to have to spend precious minutes hunting for your favorite scissors or the piece of yellow fabric you bought three weeks ago. 

In the Winter 2009/2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios, cover artist Mary Fisher discusses her new dream studio in Arizona, where everything is organized and there are separate areas for dry and wet areas, including quilting, embroidery, beading, and paper arts.

“When I moved to Arizona and built the space from scratch, I designed it to provide two things in equal measure: organization and inspiration,” says Mary. “Everything is on open shelves, in clear containers, organized by color so I can see, grab, experiment. It’s accessible and orderly-bins of beads on one wall, threads on another, fabrics on another. And yet because it’s all in plain sight, it challenges me to be more creative about combining different media.”

Not everyone can have the kind of studio Mary has, but everyone can apply her organization strategies to have a creative space that’s functional and inspirational. Many of the artists featured in the Winter issue of Studios use these same tips and tricks. 

  1. See clearly. See-through holders like plastic jars and bins, glass canisters, and wire baskets keep everything from beads to fabric contained, yet in plain sight for inspiration and easy access.
  2. Label, label, label. Whether you invest in a high-tech label maker or paint your drawers with chalkboard paint and identify the contents in pastels, labeling instantly tells you what’s where.
  3. Shelve it. Put it on a shelf, use it, put it back. What could be easier? Shelving units can be cheap and easy to come by second-hand or new. Tip: try to find units with adjustable shelves so you can change the heights to suit your needs over time.
  4. Color coordinate. Most quilters find it’s easiest to lay their hands on the right fabrics, threads, dyes, and embellishments when they sort and store these supplies by color. Plus, organizing anything by color makes it look more orderly.
  5. Repurpose. Organize your supplies easily and attractively in household items meant for another purpose. For example, put marking pens in colorful mugs, paint bottles in spice racks, or buttons in tiered candy dishes.

You’ll find more examples of storage and organization solutions in the Winter 2009/2010 issue of Studios, plus, a special section on how to choose the right lighting for your creative space, 10 quilting studios, adorable studio pets, and more.

The Winter issue of Studios is available for pre-order now and will be on newsstands December 2.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Quilting Daily Blog