Planting Creative Seeds - Organisation Your Art & Art Space - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Planting Creative Seeds – Organisation Your Art & Art Space

| January 16, 2012 | 13 Comments

Planting Creative SeedsWelcome back to week 2 of “Planting Creative Seeds” – a collaborative effort between Alissa fromCreative With Kids and I. Planting Creative Seeds is a challenge to spark up your creativity – be it for yourself or with your children.

Recap – Planning

Last week, we challenged you to think about what you would like to do more of and how you may go about achieving. We called it the “planning stage” and had a lovely number of posts link up, as well as dicussions on Facebook and Twitter.

The bottom line: creativity is everywhere. It doesn’t just mean being able to draw or paint, but being creative can take all forms. Don’t feel as if you “can’t”. You most definitely can!

Now to Organisation

There are two main things I would like to highlight on the topic of organisation… mainly because they are problems that I face:

1) Mess/ no space for crafting

2) Hoarding (eeek)

These are my particular organisation “problems” and I will ponder them a bit more below. Yours may be different – e.g.

3) Craft Space – you may not have an area that you can create art in without worrying about the carpet – i.e. you may need a craft “nook” or “table”.

4) Time – always busy, rushing from work, to school, to activity, to home. Still want to do more. Plan your activities accordingly. E.g. you can nurture creativity with a 10min drawing session before school and you can make something bigger at the weekend. Or maybe when you have a play date over.

Identify your “issue” and try and address it.


organising your craft materialsCreativity of course cannot “just be planned” or “organised”. But I do believe that both planning and organisation significantly contribute to allowing you to become more creative.

For example. My children and I craft on the kitchen table. I have art material in several messy boxes on the table, hanging from over-flowing pouches on the wall, in the cupboard and lots lots more upstairs in a chest of drawers in my bedroom (my first attempt at organisation). The result: spontaneous creativity is limited. As you have to clear clutter and find art materials first. Not only is spontaneous cerativity limited, but ordinary creativity too – I have to consciously say to myself “come, make some space, let’s do something with the children, now!” and sometimes the inner devil wins “argh, too much to clear!”. I know that if I had more space and less clutter we would do more, more often.



organising your craft materialsI recently realised something – hording is not good for creativity. I always knew I was a bit of a horder, as well as a thrifty missus. I love collecting ribbons and old clothes and cardboard for crafting. I can’t wait to make something new out of something old. And when I do purchase materials, then I wait and wait and wait for that “perfect craft” – to make sure that I use said material “properly” and “justly”. The result? I don’t make the most of what I have.

In terms of the recycling – I have too much. which means things get lost. I have a HUGE bag of scrap fabric, how do I know what is at the bottom of it?

In terms of purchased items – it never gets used (e.g. I have some wonderful coloured clay.. and I dare not open in it, in case I don’t use it up and then the remainder dries out – how stupid is that? I hasten to add… that I DO have a plan for said clay and it will be used *soon*).

So. I need to start letting the kids use all those sequins, pipecleaners, beads and cloth pegs. I need to start using all that clay, those canvases and special paints and pens…. And I need to sort out my “recycled” craft resource bag – keeping the best items and clearing the lesser ones. If I have 100 lids, keep 20, throw out the rest. It will be a gain, not a loss.

Hoarding is no good. It is wasteful in a different way. Use your stuff or get rid off it.

I started tidying up this week.. and this is what helped me:

art organisation

1) Get a set of boxes to sort your things into – I have 6 stackable ikea ones – and have sorted our crayons, pencils, lids, stones etc for crafting.

2) If the box is full, don’t add more – give it away or throw it away. Chances are you will never need more than fits into a medium size box.

3) If you have a lot of something, don’t buy or collect more until you have used it – i.e. those bottle top lids, must all now go in the bin, until there is space in the box and we actually “need more”. Ditto the fabric. Unless you very specifically want to make something that *needs* new fabric, don’t buy more until you have used things up.

4) Be brutal and throw things out. I have strips of paper that I cut for a craft almost 2 years ago. Yes. Really. I still have it. Know idea why.. but I do. Bin.

5) Have a small amount of staples ready to hand – in our case, this is  a pot with SOME pens & pencils, SOME glue, two scissors etc. If the kids get hold of the WHOLE box, they will just empty out anyway and not actually do any drawing! Ditto paints and other crafty bits and pieces.

6) Speciality craft material (e.g. my modelling clay) – plan crafts that you will make with it in the next 6 months. Use it up.

7) Re-visit your creative stash/ nook/ mess every 2-3 months and remember what you have, think about what you could make with it and tidy up again!

So. This week’s challenge:

  1. What are your organisational challenges?
  2. How will your organise yourself?
  3. What do you need to tackle first?
  4. What does a good result look like?

If you have great ideas for organisation – be it from storage to nooks and planning, please come and link up on the Creative Resource Page. Please link up to SECOND link up.

Check out these DIY Storage containers too!

Here 20 more great ways to Organise Your Craft Supplies!

If you want to get your LEGO organised, check out these LEGO TABLE IDEAS

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Category: Kids Craft

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  1. Clara says:

    After our hilarious tweet-conversation on Saturday, I am so pleased to have found this brilliant post – a clear, positive, up-beat plan of action: bravo! We WILL succeed!

  2. Chris says:

    I am such a hoarder! I had a really good clear out in our playroom/craft room last spring and have been trying to stick to it and it really has made a difference!

  3. Red Ted Art says:

    Doesn\’t it just? I am for ever tidying up our kitchen table, but actually clearing most of it OFF and just leaving a few essentials has made a huge difference.. Pip Squeak LOVES to go and get her art materials herself now (she actually see them…). So sweet. MUST KEEP THIS UP!

  4. Jude says:

    As an inveterate hoarder, I would like to defend it a bit. The amount of art and craft materials I have collected over the years, and felt completely unable to give away, has meant that I have been able to be much more spontaneously creative than would otherwise be the case, having materials available when inspiration strikes either me or the kids. I\’ve found myself using things with them that I\’ve had for years, and at least I haven\’t had to go out and spend more money. Having said all that, I do believe in moderation in all things, it can get completely out of hand, and you are completely right, there comes a moment when you realise that you cannot save every single yoghurt pot or scrap of paper!

  5. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh yes Jude. NO WAY am I going to get rid of stuff. But I DO need to be less precious about it and use it more.. and I agree.. how fab it is, to have everything to hand whenever I want to make something…. Just I *really* do not 100 plastic lids (I say that.. I still have 100 orange ones.. I have an orange project coming). But I have gotten rid of lots of loo rolls and other lids etc etc. And the tidying up, reminds me of what I DO have. And I am going to start using it, rather than worry about using it properly, if that makes sense??

    I suspect we are singing from the same hymn sheet!

  6. Lulastic says:

    Oh. My. Days. This resonates SO much. I have about 6 boxes of fabric that I can\’t bring myself to heave or use, as well as stashes of craft trinkets that I am saving for the ideal make.


    But it is true, this hoarding is stifling.

    Okay, I\’m gonna do it. Starting with the fabric.


    • Red Ted Art says:

      I know I know.. it is sooo hard. Don’t throw stuff out though.. go through it, plan things to make with it and just avoid buying more!!!!

  7. Mia says:

    Very good article.
    I have learnt two things in the past year that have helped me hugely:
    – tidy the craft space/kitchen table/etc straightaway after each session even if the project still needs work. It\’s much more energising to get back to a cleared space rather than fight through mess to get back into the project.
    – don\’t recycle or buy poor quality materials that disintegrate with time or don\’t work well in the first place. Tesco striped blue glue sticks that are 10 for 50p come to mind. Waste of money, time, space and so disappointing for the crafter.
    Oh, and one more thing…only save pots/lids/boxes that truly justify the space they take up in storage. I once kept 100 empty mini cereal boxes thinking of a thousand things I could do with them. They took up a huge amount of space and were a pain in the neck- recycling them felt soooooo good!!

    • Red Ted Art says:

      LOL your place sounds like my place!!! Especially with all those cartons.. and I know what you mean about throwing them away! Good on you. And note to self not to buy cheap glue sticks!!!!

  8. sunnymama says:

    Oh my! I missed this link up at the time and I could have really done with joining it! I have a hoarding problem that has got a lot worse in the last year and you have just inspired me to get using up more of our huge collection of craft supplies. Off to read more of the posts on the linky now! :)

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Oh yes, please be inspired and join in! In some ways this should never date. Do you know I found 15 year old FIMO? What did hoarding bring me with that? I will see if I can revive it, but I suspect not :-(

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