Thursday, March 13, 2014

Crafty Organization Thursdays: Organizing Small Paper Pads

Good morning fellow crafters, it's Thursday, and you know what that means?  It's time for another Crafty Organization Thursdays post over here at life, scrapbook, repeat. My name is Toni From and I love to organize. Yes, you heard that correctly, I love to organize. Finding solutions for storage problems makes me thrilled beyond a normal level, and you could probably safely say that I am slightly obsessed with arranging anything (and everything) in ROY G BIV order.

I started writing this column last year, and have been blessed with such great responses lately that I am going to attempt to write it on a semi-weekly basis. In February, my two most recent organizational columns were posted. The first, discussed different ways of storing mists, you can find that HERE. The second column from last month, gave some insight into a variety of ways to organize cards, and that post can be found HERE. Since this column started as a way to help fellow crafters, I would really love to hear from my readers. If you have any crafty organization problems, or suggestions for future topics, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

Today I thought we would take a look at how we organize our smaller paper pads. I am specifically looking at solutions for 6 x 6 inch paper pads, but this could also apply to 8 x 8 inch paper pads, or loose patterned paper that is trimmed down to a smaller size.

First, I thought I would show you how I store my paper pads.

This wood box was purchased two years ago at TJ Maxx and I think I paid approximately $8 for it. It has a chalkboard front and measures about 8 inches wide by 14 inches deep by 6 inches tall. All of my small paper pads (or small papers that I have cut down to fit this container) are stored here. Yes, you heard that correctly, they are ALL stored here. Well I guess that isn't completely true, I keep two small boxes of Christmas supplies (including about four small holiday paper pads) in a closet. I only pull out those boxes from early November through the end of January or so. If I run out of room for more paper pads in this box, I cannot buy anymore. My rule is this: I have to use what I have or donate before I purchase more when I run out of room. This rule applies to all of my supplies. Right now this storage piece is close to being completely full, so I am getting ready to pull some paper pads out and make a big batch of cards.

I store this wood box on a large bookcase that my husband built. I wrote a post about the start of organizing my studio last May, you can find out more about that bookcase HERE if you are curious.

While searching the Internet I found many storage solutions for organizing small paper pads. I came up with three overall themes for these types of containers.

  1. Wicker, wood, or fabric storage baskets
  2. Plastic storage containers
  3. Lidded Storage Boxes

Wicker Baskets

There seems to be a growing trend of using storage solutions made from natural materials. Wicker baskets definitely fit this category and look really cute in a crafting space. They work very well for storing all kinds of things, and they are cute to look at as well. Here are some options I found:

This adorable lined rattan basket can be found at Target. I have also seen similar baskets at Michael's, A C Moore, Joanne Fabrics, Goodwill, TJ Maxx, Amazon, garage sales, and many other retail and consignment stores. You can find this basket online HERE.
This seagrass woven basket was also found at Target. You can find this online HERE.

There are many, many other options out there. I often look for baskets on clearance racks, garage sales, or consignment shops. I love that there are so many different textures, colors, and sizes to choose from. Really, the possibilities are endless with these adorable storage pieces.

Plastic Storage Containers

Plastic storage containers are another great option. One of the benefits in using plastic containers is that they often include a lid. This feature allows you to stack numerous bins on top of one another, plus it also prevents dust, glitter, and other fun crafting supplies from getting all over your pretty paper. There are many options out there, but it is important to make sure that the inside dimensions of any container you purchase are large enough for your paper to fit inside comfortably once closed. It might be a really good idea if you are shopping at your local store to actually bring a paper pad or two with you. I do this all the time. It really saves a lot of effort and money, plus as an added bonus, you can really visualize what it will look like in your space this way. It might seem silly, but I would rather bring the item to the store than come home and discover I purchased the wrong size. Nothing is more frustrating in my book.

I found this beauty by Art Bin online through Amazon. You can find that HERE. It is the Art Bin 6990Ab Super Satchel Double Deep Box with Removable Dividers. I think this could be a great storage solution for storing small paper pads, as well as a variety of other crafting needs.

My friend, Taniesa Vlasak recently made a video about how she uses Close to My Heart plastic storage containers to organize her 6 x 6 paper pads. She even sells Close to My Heart supplies and I should also mention that she uses this storage solution for washi tape and Thickers as well! You can find the link to her You Tube video HERE. She has a lot of really great organizational ideas. I highly recommend you watch this video. If you do watch her video, be sure to leave her a nice comment, I know she must have spent a lot of time putting that together.

Lidded Storage Boxes

Lidded boxes can really be found just about anywhere: The Dollar Tree, consignment stores, and you probably already have many in your home. One thing that I did discover while researching this topic is that most boxes designed for media, or to hold large photos is generally going to work for small paper pad storage as well. Take this one, the Semikolon Multimedia Box. This adorable box can be found at The Container Store HERE. They also come in a variety of fun spring colors, as well as neutrals if you prefer that look. If you do not have a Container Store near you, you can shop online through their website, or you can also find something similar in an office storage store near you.

I also really adore THIS lacquered box from The Container Store. The colors are so adorable and I love that it has a high gloss finish. How sexy is that? Well, if a craft storage piece can be sexy I guess.

I hope this installment of Crafty Organization Thursdays at life, scrapbook, repeat was helpful. I write these posts to inspire others to think of different ways to store their crafting supplies, and I hope you found something useful in this article.

Let's talk paper pad storage today. Anyone else finding they have quite a few? (sheepishly raising my hand) I sure do, but they also fit in my assigned storage. If you learn nothing else from reading these columns, remember my number one tip. When you come up with a storage system for a particular product that is working for you and that fits in your space, don't just keep adding more. If there is no more room, use up what you have, or get rid of some before you purchase more. If you follow this, you will never outgrow your space. 

If you have any other suggestions for small paper pad storage, please do not hesitate to list below in the comments. I would also love to see links of any great storage solutions you have found in your home, on a shopping trip, or via the Internet.

Happy Organizing,




  1. cute ideas!! I never know what to do with my 6x6 paper pads! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. Great ideas I love the box you use with the chalk front :)

  3. I get a big thrill out of organizing too ;) I found a wood box at my local thrift store that was meant to hold a bottle of bourbon for .99 and it holds my 6x6 pads perfectly! (It's long enough to have two rows side by side) Love the one you found though, so cute

    1. That is awesome Lisa. What a score. I would love it if you sent me a picture of your find via the blog, plus I am also on Instagram. It sounds super adorable. :)

  4. Reading this was like being at The Container many things that I want, so many ways to organize! I like your small box the best.

    1. Thanks so much Traci for the lovely compliment.

  5. This was very helpful to me! Thanks.

    1. You are most welcome Kathleen, glad it was of help.

  6. I like your storage ideas. I write the name of the 6 by 6 pad at the top on the spine of the pad when I store my 6 by 6 pads. It helps me know which pad is which.

    1. Brilliant. I so need to do that, thanks for the great tip and comment Bevie.