Friday, June 10, 2022

Organizing Embellishments

Today's brilliant idea originally came from the brilliant Stacy Julian, the editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and author of The Big Picture:

In The Big Picture, Stacy recommends organizing embellishments by COLOR, not by type. When I read this bit of genius, it changed my life. I'd been forgetting what embellishments I had, finding bins of, say, embroidery floss or buttons only after finishing a card. It was frustrating. But as she points out, we actually USE embellishments based on the color, and so organizing them by color makes perfect sense.

Now, there's no such frustration. All my embellishments are in 12 x 12 drawers right beside my craft chair. Easy peasy. 

The drawers make it easy to purge unused supplies, and I go through them at least once a year for that purpose. I realized while taking these pictures that I recently combined the yellow/orange and green drawers into one but haven't changed the labels. Must take care of that little OCD detail. 

You'll note the trays that keep items organized. Those are lids and bottoms to Christmas card boxes. Since I mail out so many Christmas cards and can't make them all, I buy cards at Barnes and Noble every year. The boxes make excellent (and cost-effective) trays for keeping embellishments organized.

These drawers used to be packed full of stuff, but over the years, trends and my taste have changed, so things like eyelets, buttons, ribbon, and brads have mostly been culled as a result of disuse. 

That funky stick on the left of the metallics drawer is a stone burnishing tool for gold leaf. Just in case you were wondering. And you'll notice I do still have a few brads and eyelets and paperclips. Those occasionally get used on non-card crafts, like Christmas ornaments or bookmarks. I used to have those locking "pill-case" containers for every color. They contained buttons and other small but bulky embellishments. After not using them for years, I moved them out of the drawers and into storage. I recently gave them all to a friend who collects craft supplies. She appreciated them!

I recently pulled out my seals and sealing wax to play with. Those are extremely cool, but the wax can be oily and of course rather bulky for cards. Still, it's beautiful and has its uses.

I'm trying to use up all my colored gemstones. They are often not the exact color I want, and it's easy enough to use Sharpies to color clear gemstones. You can even blend Sharpies on gemstones to create just the right shade for a project. 

So if you're feeling frustrated, give Stacy Julian's idea a try. It's truly genius!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,



  1. This is pure genius!!! Thanks for sharing, Susan! (and Stacy!)

    1. You're welcome! It feels scary when you're setting it all up, but once you do, it makes total sense! Stacy is a genius.

  2. Great idea, but it would be a major project for me...I'll add it to my To Do list - which is quite long at the moment! :)

    1. It was a major project for me, too, but worth every bit of effort.

  3. Since I am leaving Monday to enter the next chapter of my life, I will be organizing a new to me craft area which will likely be the dining room. I mean. Just me. I can do fine at the island or whatever it is called. And the dining set if I should decide to keep it may fit in the kitchen. I am so excited. These last days of the final packing is overwhelming. I am on the downswing now. My car won't hold to much but I actually mailed 4 Priority mail boxes to my niece to save for me. Three arrived. Hope the last one arrives soon. This is a genius idea so I know what I shall be doing. I have so many embellishments. I actually parted with several of my plastic things. I have a crafty friend who is willing to take them. Thank you!

    1. I hope that fourth box arrived as expected. And good luck with your move!


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