craft storage / picket fence supplies

One of my favorite storage systems are small, three-drawer, plastic containers. They work well to contain supplies that are needed only for one particular project. 

These drawers are stored in the island in the middle of the craft room. I can turn in my desk chair, grab a drawer, and turn back to my desk without getting up.

This is the side of the island that faces my desk. The island has been redesigned since I took this picture. I’ll have to take new pictures. I didn’t like the three feet on the end.

The other side faces the counter and drawers at the back of the craft room. I keep things here I don’t need as often as the items on the other side. This side is now filled with cubby baskets.

“Fence Strips” is a drawer that contains items for fences made from poster board strips. I cut strips 11″ long by 3/4″ wide from white poster board. Eleven inches fits my drawer. I draw a line down the middle. When I want a fence, I choose the decorative scissor I want for that putz house and cut the strip evenly along the pencil line. The box on the bottom has strips I’ve cut and some leftover painted strips. Maybe I’ll use them some day. Maybe I won’t. The box is my container. My limit. When the box gets too full, I save my faves and throw the others out. The box on the top, which is the right side of the drawer, has the marked strips, ready for the next fence I need. The scissors are my favorite “fence scissors.” I have other decorative scissors, but these are my fence scissors. Stored at point of use. Always where I need them.

The drawer marked “Post and Board Fence” are supplies for making the kinds of fences that are common on farms. The drawer holds finished fences, popsicle sticks, craft matchsticks, and containers of precut posts.

“Fence Posts, Railroad Tracks, Wood Stars” holds the different kinds of posts I use at the corners and the ends of some fences. Because there’s extra room, it also acquired train tracks and wood stars (not sure why the stars were stored there). The stars were moved to my “diorama ornament” supplies, which is a large drawer under the counter in the craft room. This fence drawer has round and square sticks, different widths, etc. When I need to cut some, I cut enough to have on hand for a while.

NOTE: This is a good place to give you my hint for labeling these drawers. I need to change the title of this drawer, now that the stars are stored elsewhere. I put a sticky note, or a piece of colored paper, on the inside of the drawer and hold it in place with a bit of tape, if needed. The colored paper provides a background that makes the label easy to read. I write with black marker on the front (outside) of the drawer. When the label needs to be changed, I wipe it clean with hand sanitizer and a Mr. Clean eraser. So easy. When dry, the drawer (or a tote or other plastic container) can be given a new name.

The “Picket Fences” drawer is full of completed fences that are waiting for Putz houses that need them. I store these in 7″ by 3″ plastic bags. When making fences, I usually make six sections of each fence style I am constructing. Two sections are usually enough to fence a Putz house.

“Picket Fence Supplies” is just that. Items I need to make more picket fences. I don’t store the tools I use, like wire cutters, glue, etc., in the drawer. Just the items the fence is actually made of. Stir sticks, containers of different kinds of pickets, stacks of cut “boards.”

“Steps and Paths” doesn’t have anything to do with fences, but this last drawer holds the materials I use to make steps and walkways. Balsa wood strips, worn out emory boards I used as sandpaper, cardboard of different thicknesses, etc.

It is so convenient to pull one drawer and take it to my craft desk. I have all the supplies needed for the project I am working on. If I am making new fences, I pull the fence supplies drawer. If I need fence posts, I pull that drawer. When done, the supplies go back into the drawer and the drawer goes back into the drawer container where it belongs. The drawers keep all the supplies contained and cleanup is easy when I’m done with the project. They are neatly stored away till next time they are needed.

It is a relief to me to have everything in a “home.” I know where needed items are. I can reach them easily. I can put them away just as easily. It makes my crafting time much more productive than when I can’t remember where I left a tool or where a particular needed embellishment has been stored. Easy to access storage means I can spend more time on crafting and less time on searching. It’s a work in progress, but it just keeps getting better and better. My sister’s fifth grade teacher said, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest, till your good is better and your better’s best.” I’ve never forgotten. Thank you, Miss Varner!

My tutorial for making picket fences can be found here.

Join me on my putzing craft page on Facebook.

You can see my Putz houses and Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

If you are interested in crafting Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda 🙂

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