Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)              If you are a serious or novice crafter, you probably have some sort of craft room or corner of your house devoted to your DIY stash. My office also doubles as my craft room, and since making things is a full time job for me, you can believe I have quite a few supplies on hand. When we first moved into the house a year and a half ago, it took a while for me to figure out where everything should go in the new space. So it was a bit unpleasant working in here until I got it all sorted out. Organization makes life so much easier, you guys! I know it’s a pain to actually DO, but I’m always glad I took the time to do it. Here’s are the top things I use that make my DIY life so much easier…

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)     Add some shelves: There’s a bit of an odd cubby shape in one wall due to the bathroom closet on the other side, but a previous owner was smart enough to make use of the space by adding in some really simple shelves from floor to ceiling. Shelving is great because you can spread them throughout a room wherever you have the space, and you can stack several above each other like I have. Mine hold a ton of storage boxes and bins, and they have been a big help overall in the hunt to find storage space.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)          Group (and label) by category: It took a night or two to organize, but I basically spread out all my boxes and containers and then grouped all my items into categories like paint, sewing supplies, tape, glue, jewelry making, leather tools, beauty product ingredients, etc. And yes, it’s totally OK to have a few “miscellaneous” boxes as well if there are items that don’t fit anywhere else. It’s a good idea to have a variety of box sizes since not all your categories will have the same amount of items, and you can also group all your items first into piles, and then go out and get containers in the appropriate size and number. Don’t forget to label your boxes (especially ones that you don’t use everyday) so you can find items quickly when needed.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)         Keep most used items accessible: There are a few categories that I use the most that I chose to put into drawer-type cube storage for easy access. Having smaller stacked boxes on my shelves keeps items together and organized, but would be a bit annoying if I had to get a box on the top shelf (that’s also under two other boxes) every time I needed glue or tape. So keep your most utilized items within reach.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Make use of hanging storage: Making a large scale pegboard was probably one of the best things I could have done for the craft room overall. There are some items like cutting mats and rulers that are a little awkward to store (they don’t really fit in boxes), so hanging them from the pegboard is the perfect solution. Just use a crop-a-dile or other punch tool to punch one or two holes in a mat and it's ready to hang! It’s also good for hanging sharp objects like scissors, especially if you need to keep them up high and away from little hands.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)Use large baskets for rolls: For a while I didn’t really know what to do with large pieces of paper, vinyl, and leather, but I discovered that rolling them up and then using a large basket on the floor is a great way to keep them all together and organized. Some people will store rolls laying down on long shelves so there’s no weight directed on one end of the roll like there is when it’s standing up, but I think you probably don’t have to worry about that unless it’s really special material. It’s also a good option for craft paper or wrapping paper rolls as well.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)       Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)       Find unique storage options: Most craft areas will have their share of easy-to-find storage solutions like shelves, boxes, and cubes, so it’s a good idea to throw an unexpected storage solution into the mix as well. I got these lockers from Elsie when she didn’t have a need for them anymore, and they’ve been such a cute addition to my craft space. I added shelves in some of the compartments to create more levels, and it’s a great place to store some larger items I have like sewing machines, my overhead projectors, print and art papers, or some taller objects that wouldn’t fit into a box. Items like old lockers, card catalogs, or even dressers can be an unexpected way to stay organized while getting a cool piece of furniture into the room as well.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)           Spread out when needed: If you don’t have a whole room to devote to DIY supplies, no worries! You can also spread your supplies throughout your space, and as long as you know where to find what, you’ll still feel just as organized. This is a great example of when it might be helpful to have a piece of furniture (like lockers or a dresser) double as craft storage. If you have to keep them in a living room or bedroom area, they will blend right into a room without sticking out as a storage solution. I have a few decorative boxes around our home that are rather unnoticeable to others, but in reality they contain craft supplies I didn’t have room for in the craft room (I have scrapbook supplies and stamps in the grey boxes above). No one needs to know…

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)    Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)  I really do think that the more organized you are, the easier simple tasks and life in general becomes. Knowing where to find things and having a home for all your supplies will help you max out on your creative hours instead of spending half of it going, “Now where did I put that...?” Whether you can use one or all of these tips when it comes to organizing your supplies, I hope that it helps you find the best craft space that works for you! xo. Laura

Credits: Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with New A Beautiful Mess actions

Ombre hair color Clear glitter glasses Emma Chapman The Babe with the Power tee Emma Chapman  I guess maybe it's the glasses I'm wearing in these photos, but I started thinking about how when I was a kid, I had a phase where I really wanted to be a librarian when I grew up. I know a lot of people had tons of different occupations they thought about being when they were kids, but I really probably only had two or three. But librarian was one of them. I actually had a really hard time reading in school at first. I struggled and thankfully had some pretty great teachers along the way. Not to mention a very patient mom who worked with me at home as well. But once it all finally clicked, I found that I LOVED reading. Around that time is when the first Harry Potter book came out, and I was hooked from then on out. (HP forever!)

Other than loving to read, I also just loved how quiet libraries were. I've always been a bit of an introvert, and I think libraries are about the closest to being alone you can be in public. :) I also love putting things in order, so having to file books away all day sounded pretty great to me. 

It's kind of fun thinking about what you wanted to be as a kid. I don't have any regrets about not becoming a librarian, but if my path had gone that way, I still think it sounds pretty cool. 

ABM for BonLook glasses Ombre hair color
Emma ChapmanEmma's Wearing: The Babe with the Power tee/Oui Fresh, Glasses/ABM for BonLook, Skirt/F21, Coat/SheIn, Purse/Zara (similar), Tights/Nasty Gal (similar here), Boots/ModCloth

Elsie, what did you want to be as a kid? I'm guessing some kind of artist? 

ElsieElsie's Wearing: Dress/Dillard's (similar here and here), Sunnies/Crap Eyewear, Bag/Madewell, Tights/ASOS (sold out, but here's another pair), Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens

Elsie Elsie Elsie Elsie Haha, you're not wrong, sister. 

I did dream of being an artist when I was growing up. And a fashion designer. And I wanted to own my own daycare. And I spent weeks drawing out my own theme park after I found out about Disney World. Haha. I was, and am, and always will be a MIND CHANGER. Recently I learned about my enneagram type. I'm a 7, which is "The Enthusiast". It says I am "spontaneous, versatile, distractible and scattered"... and that could not be more true. If you're curious what you are, you can take a test here

xx -Elsie 

2Are you as drawn to textured pillows as I am? I love the way they add visual interest to a space and invite you in to get cozy and relaxed. Did you know you can weave your own? If you've already experimented with the basics of frame loom weaving, this will be an easy next step as you put those skills to work in other parts of your home besides your walls. If you've never touched a loom in your life, just grab the supplies listed below and follow the simple breakdown of steps, and you'll be well on your way to a beautifully handcrafted pillow. 

I went with a black and warm white color story because it's so versatile to our home's color scheme, but I think this would look equally as fabulous in all warm whites or even tonal colors. Another opportunity to make your home uniquely yours because you get to be the designer!

3SuppliesSupplies:

-24" x 32" adjustable frame loom and weaving sword. You can also make something similar by nailing two rows of nails onto a piece of plywood that are about 18" apart and spaced 1/8" along each row. 
-100 yards of fabric yarn in warm white (find similar here or here)
-300 yards of black cotton yarn for the fringe (find similar here or here)
-one 12" stick shuttle
-one 12" weaving needle (or smaller if that's what you have access to)
-one 3" plastic or metal tapestry needle
-scissors
-18" x 18" pillow form (alternative down or real down)

1-2Step One: Using your black cotton yarn, warp your loom so that it measures about 21" wide and at least 21" tall. My loom is adjustable, but I'm also not going to be weaving completely to the top. You can use any color cotton yarn here to add some visual contrast to your design or use the same color as the jersey yarn if you want less contrast. If you'd like further steps on warping a loom, read through this beginner's tutorial

Step Two: Wrap another 8 yards or so of black cotton yarn onto your stick shuttle in a figure eight pattern as shown above. This allows you to weave longer lengths of yarn at a time and decreases loose ends to stitch in later. 

3-4Step Three: Weave your weaving sword over and under the warp rows and then tilt it so that it separates every other warp row. This will create a space for you to quickly pass your stick shuttle through your warp rows. It only works in one direction, but it does make quick work of weaving! If you don't have a weaving sword, you can use a yardstick. Pull your stick shuttle all the way through your opening, and then lay your weaving sword flat and push it to the top of your loom. Pull the yarn up as you pull it through until you have a 4" tail at the end where you started. Then pull the yarn down on the opposite side from your tail so that you create a little arch. Bat your arch down in the center with your fingers, a fork, or a comb, and then again in the center of each arch until you have batted all of the yarn down so that it's flush with the bottom of your loom. This keeps your rows from becoming too taut and pulling in at the sides. 

Step Four: Then weave back in the other direction using your stick shuttle, but this time, you won't mess with your weaving sword. You'll just use your stick shuttle to weave over and under, making sure it's the opposite pattern of how you wove your first row. Again, create a little arch as you pull it through and then bat it down in the center, and so on. 

5-6Step Five: You can also use your weaving sword to bat down each row. 

Step Six: Weave eight to ten rows with your black cotton yarn. End on one of your sides and leave a 5" tail. Wrap it back around like you're starting the next row and end with it tucked to the back side of your warp. 

7-8Step Seven: Cut about 5 yards of white jersey yarn and use your fingers or your tapestry needle (you'll need one with a large eye) to weave eight to ten rows. This yarn can be stretchy, so be sure you aren't pulling too tightly as you weave. You don't want your sides to start pulling in and creating an hourglass shape. End on one of the sides with a 5" tail and then wrap it around like you're starting your next row, but then tuck it to the back of the loom.

Step Eight: Add in another eight to ten rows of black cotton yarn. Each of your sections of jersey cotton will be flanked with eight to ten rows of black cotton yarn on either side. 

9-10Step Nine: Wrap your four fingers 30-40 times with your black cotton yarn and cut once. This will give you 30-40 strands for your rya knots. You'll be cutting lots of these, so don't worry too much about keeping count—it just gets to be really uncomfortable on your hand if you wrap more than that.

Step Ten: You'll need ten strands for each rya knot that will make up your fringe. Center your group of strands over the top of the outer two warp rows (starting on either side of your warp is fine) and wrap the left side of your bundle all the way around the left warp row and the right side of your strands all the way around the right warp row. Then even things up so your two sides meet in the middle and gently pull down until your knot rests on the weft row below. Don't pull so tight that the two warp rows pull together. Continue cutting your strands and making rya knots all the way across your warp rows. You'll be trimming these up later, so don't worry too much about the length. 

11-12Step Eleven: Weave in four weft rows of black cotton yarn. This helps keep the structure of your weaving intact in between layers of rya knots. 

Step Twelve: Cut more rya knots and add them in (starting from the outer edge) but wrap them so that the ends wrap up and over so that you get an upside down rya knot. If this feels confusing, you can always just flip your loom upside down. Having a second row of rya knots that mirrors the first helps create a full fringe. 

13Step Thirteen: You can see above how it should be looking on that second layer of rya knots. 

14Step Fourteen: Add another eight to ten weft rows of black cotton, and then start your next section of white fabric yarn. You can see here how I'm tucking my tails in for a cleaner edge. 

15Step Fifteen: Repeat the layers until you reach the 21" height or so. It should give you about 4 rows of layered rya knots. 

16-17Step Sixteen: Finish your weaving with eight to ten rows of black cotton yarn. I used my 12" needle for this section because my stick shuttle wouldn't fit into the tighter space. You can also use your tapestry needle. 

Step Seventeen: Gently pull a set of warp rows off the notches at the top of your loom, cut it at the top, and tie those two pieces in a double-knot to secure your weft row. Repeat with the rest of the warp row sets on the top and then the bottom. 

18-19Step Eighteen: Take a deep breathe, and then make a second woven panel! You'll start and end it with eight to ten weft rows of black cotton yarn, but then you'll just keep weaving your white fabric yarn. This will go much quicker! Just be sure you measure this panel to be the same width and height as your first one so that they measure up when you stitch them together. 

Step Nineteen: Place the back panel on top of the front panel (the one with fringe) so that the right sides are facing each other.

20-21Step Twenty: Cut a 5' length of black cotton yarn and thread it through your tapestry needle so that it doubles up. Start in one of the bottom corners and stitch between the knot and the start of your black weft rows on the front panel and the same place on the back panel. Tie a double knot to secure these two places together.

Step Twenty-One:  Next, stitch between the second and third weft rows of white cotton so that you are also stitching between the first and second warp rows of black cotton. Pull all the way through so that your black cotton string is snug. 

22-23Step Twenty-Two: Wrap your needle from the back side again and stitch between the fourth and fifth weft rows but between the first and second warp rows. Continue stitching around in the same direction in between each two weft rows (where it wraps around the edge) until you get to the very top. Then tie a double-knot in between the black cotton yarn and the knot where you tied off your warp rows. This will mean you've secured one of your four sides. 

Step Twenty-Three: I opened up my pillow panels so you can see how tightly these sides are stitched together so that you can't see big gaps in between. 

24-25Step Twenty-Four: Place the right sides of your panels together again and cut another 5' length of black cotton yarn. Tie another double-knot in the corner, and this time, stitch underneath each knot you made when you tied off your warp rows. Be sure you go through the same knots on both panels to keep things even. Pull taut as you go and tie a double-knot on the opposite end. 

Step Twenty-Five: Stitch up your third side, and then leave your fourth side open. 

26-27Step Twenty-Six: Flip your pillow right side out and push out your corners with your fingers for nice points. Insert your 18" x 18" pillow form.  

Step Twenty-Seven: Pull your open end together tightly and thread another 5' of black cotton yarn. Tie a double-knot around the warp row knots just like in step twenty-four but tuck your tail end inside the pillow. Then keep folding your knotted ends down inside the pillow as you stitch under the knots. You can use a blanket stitch or a ladder stitch here. Since the black cotton yarn is the same as the black weft row yarn, your stitches will blend in. Keep stitching all the way to the end, tie a double-knot, and then stitch down into the pillow form and stitch back out about 4" away in any direction. Pull taut and then trim your cotton yarn before pulling back into the pillow form so it's hidden. 

4Once your pillow is stitched together, you can trim up your black cotton fringe so that it's more uniform. Don't get too crazy on this part, though. We all remember how our Barbie ended up looking after those cutting sprees when we were four years old! 

16I chose jersey yarn for the base of the pillow because it is so quick to weave with and extremely durable. With three kids and a dog, I needed something that wasn't going to fall apart in a week. The cotton fringe is also durable and won't shed all over your clothing. Should you want to make this a removable cover, simply add a zipper to one side before stitching the other sides together and wash it inside out in cold water. This is one sturdy pillow.

You can customize your size on a large loom to create floor pillows or something smaller and more decorative. You can also line this same design with canvas, add straps, and have a boho-chic oversized tote! 

Interested in weaving but feeling this might be too big of a project to take on? Check out my new book, DIY Woven Art: Inspiration and Instructions for Handmade Wall Hangings, Rugs, Pillows, and More! Happy Weaving! -Rachel

Credit//Author: Rachel Denbow. Photography: Rachel Denbow and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with the New A Beautiful Mess Actions.

Scrapbook Sunday with A Beautiful Mess January Messy BoxJanuary feels like the most appropriate time for lots of black, white, and blush pink. Soft colors, bright backgrounds, welcoming in a fresh, new year. I couldn't help but bypass most of the blues in this kit and fully embrace the pink and warm yellow on these two pages! This kit felt extremely easy to create two pages (so far) with all of the components included. I loved the thought bubble chipboard stickers and banners and the subtle 1940s art deco vibe.  

Scrapbook Sunday January Messy Box from A Beautiful MessStop looking at me swan!I made sure to add the mint sequins in to one of my 3" x 3" squares for a 3-dimensional element and then added journaling under another chipboard sticker. It seemed to add to the pattern and color story of the page while also allowing me to add in some thoughts. 

PuppyLove3For my second page, I decided to use another one of my 3" x 3" photos on top of this fun polka-dot pattern and then layer on embellishments and strips of patterned paper above and below to help keep the eye moving and not have the photo feel like it was just floating in the middle of the page. It was another easy way to incorporate more of the patterns and embellishments from this month's kit as well. Wishing I had more of that polka-dot pattern!!!

Puppyluv2
Hello Messy BoxI also loved the brush stroke overlay in blush tones. I cut a bit off of the bottom to use in my 'Puppy Love' page and just stapled it over the patterned paper. I think it'd also look really fun in one of the 3" x 3" slots or as a page divider with a photo stapled or taped on to both sides. 

1I have plenty of leftover 4" x 6" cards that I think I may turn into Valentines this year. The typography on them is so good! 

What were your favorite elements from this month's Messy Box? -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Edited with the New A Beautiful Mess actions.

Our Must-Have Craft Tools! (click through for links!)If there's one thing that we really know here at ABM, it's crafts! When you are doing multiple DIY projects a week, you quickly start to know your favorite and must-have tools for your crafty arsenal. Since it's our goal to encourage you to do more DIYs in your homes as well, we thought we'd share our most used tools for those of you building up your craft room supplies!

1. The Crop-A-Dile! This multipurpose tool is great for setting eyelets, washers, and grommets, but to be honest, it's the hole punching capabilities that we use it for the most. It has a few hole sizes and will punch through just about anything!
2. Always having a set of paintbrushes in multiple sizes and shapes comes in sooo handy! Whatever you need to paint, you'll have the right brush for the job!
3. You don't have to be an expert woodworker to reap the benefits of a cordless drill—whether you are hanging a DIY shelf or making a simple plant stand, you'll be so glad you have one!
4. The X-Acto knife may hold the title of "most used tool" in our toolbox. Cutting paper? Photos? Balsa wood? Cardboard? This baby does it all.
5. Even if you never make it past "beginner sewer", you'll still have a whole new world of pillows and curtain DIYs available to you if you own a sewing machine—it's so worth it!
6. We use painter's tape for everything from marking where things should be hung on walls to taping off parts of your project you don't want to paint. Since it comes off easily and without a mark, it comes in really handy.
7. A cordless drill will come with a screwdriver end attachment for screws, etc., but you'll also want a multi-size drill bit kit for drilling holes as needed. You can even use them to drill into acrylic, particle board, and other materials besides wood!
8. Remember how much we love X-Acto knives? Well, if you also love your dining room table, you'll want to cut things on a self-healing craft mat instead of your favorite dinner spot to save your flat surfaces from harm.
9. Glue guns foreveeeeer! These babies make attaching one thing to another a snap, and a glue gun like this one has a high and low temperature setting so you can switch back and forth as needed.
10. These small jewelry pliers and cutters are essential for jewelry making but also get used for lots of other projects that involve wire or metal accents. Definitely multipurpose tools for sure!
11. This rotary cutter is basically an X-Acto knife for cutting fabrics and leather. When you need a long or straight cut, this tool is the one for you (and it's another reason you'll want to have a cutting mat around).
12. Worried you can't make a straight cut with the X-Acto knife or rotary cutter? No worries, a metal ruler is just what you need. It has a cork backing so it won't slip around while you cut on your mat, and they come in lots of lengths so you can have a 3' long one for big projects and a 6" one for small jobs (like cutting out photos for scrapbooking). 
13. While a glue gun will hold some fabrics together, it's not something that you can use to adhere things you may want to wash in the future (like pillow cases or fashion DIYs), so it's a good idea to have some fabric glue nearby. You can use it to attach trim to fabrics, glue a quick hem in place, or attach embellishments like jewels or rhinestones too.
14. This is probably only the millionth time we've said it, but get a jig saw. They are so inexpensive and easy to use, and the list of projects you can now tackle will multiply like crazy. FOR REALS!
15. So, I know we have a lot of cutting tools on this list, but we are going to also add a good pair of fabric scissors to the list. Cutting felt, fabric, leather, vinyl, or any similar product with dull paper scissors is going to make you want to pull your hair out. So make sure to have a pair of sharp tailor scissors in your stash (and don't forget to have them sharpened when needed!).

As you can see, most of these are smaller ticket items (with a sewing machine being a bigger investment but SO useful), so it won't break the bank to add a few at a time to your DIY storehouse. Think of all you can make and do with these tools at your fingertips (check out our crafts section for more inspiration)! What are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating! 

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