Do you craft with small items like beads, findings, buttons or rhinestones? Do you have a good system for organizing them?
If you don’t already have an excellent system in place for keeping track of your small but expensive craft supplies, you might be wasting money by buying more than you need. A good organization system will enable you to find what you have quickly and see what you already have on hand. It can cut down significantly on wasted time in searching for things; it can also reduce wasted money by helping you eliminate un-necessary trips to the craft store when you already have appropriate supplies to complete your projects.
I can’t tell you how much money I’ve wasted over the years buying buttons. I always think I’m saving money by buying them on sale, but then I lose track of them and forget I even own them. It seems that every time I crochet or knit a sweater, I buy new buttons for it; then a few days after finishing the project, I find buttons in my stash that would have been a better match than the new ones I bought.
In the past, I’ve had a similar problem with over-buying beads and findings for the bead crochet jewelry I like to make. There have been too many times I’ve either gone to the craft store for closures, or used a closure that wasn’t quite right for the jewelry piece I was working on — all because I couldn’t find the right closure in my stash and gave up looking for it, even though I already had one that was appropriate.
There are many craft storage and organization systems available that could solve these problems. ArtBin is one trusted brand name with a number of cool craft organizers available that can help.
The ArtBin Solutions Cabinet is the first product I picked out that looks like a good bet for solving my problems with organizing small supplies like beads, findings and buttons. I’m really pleased with this product, and I think it’s one you’ll definitely want to consider if you’re in need of a home for bead crochet supplies or a number of other small craft supplies.
Design and Dimensions of the Organizer
At its widest exterior points, the Solutions Cabinet organizer measures approximately 14 1/2 inches long by 8 inches wide by 10.5 inches tall, not including the handle on top. The interior storage compartments are smaller.
The cabinet comes with 3 different clear plastic boxes, two of which have small, customizable compartments. These slide in and out of the cabinet, and they can be held in place with a hinged door that folds up or down as needed. It latches closed to secure the contents.
There’s also a large lidded storage box on top that latches securely closed.
If you don’t like the storage boxes you get with the cabinet, there are other options available that you can purchase separately.
Best Uses for This Organizer
The trays in this organizer work best for storing lots of little, fiddly, tiny items. The upper compartment can be used for related items that don’t fit in the smaller compartments, making it a great solution for storing a wide variety of different craft supplies. While knitting and crochet are my specialties, I’ve messed around with a lot of different crafts and media; my opinion is that this cabinet would be helpful for any of the following sorts of crafts
Bead Crochet and / or Bead Knitting — 2 of the 3 trays are customizable to fit loose beads and bead strands; the third tray is nice for holding packaged findings or beads that are already in small baggies. The upper compartment works well for storing scissors, steel crochet hooks, traditional aluminum crochet hooks, bamboo crochet hooks, spools of craft wire, balls of crochet thread, and pliers or other small jeweler’s tools. It could also hold circular knitting needles and shorter sets of knitting needles, but it isn’t a good solution for super long knitting needles or extra-long Tunisian crochet hooks. The ArtBin Solutions Cabinet is an excellent craft organizer for casual bead knitters / bead crochet enthusiasts who occasionally make jewelry or other needlework projects with beads. If you’re a professional beader or a frequent beader with millions of beads to organize, one of these organizers is likely going to be too small for your needs; you’d either need to buy these in multiples, or you’d need to find a different solution.
Kids’ Crafts — If your kids are old enough to be trusted with beads, this organizer is a good way to keep them organized. It’s ideal for storing loose pony beads, alphabet letter beads and more. The upper compartment can be used for storing lots of different kids’ craft supplies including craft scissors, beading cord, yarn scraps and small balls of yarn, crochet hooks, small plastic flower looms, small pompom makers and more.
Jewelry Making — This organizer is the ideal solution for organizing beads, jump rings, clasps, toggles, pendants, charms, wire and a manageable number of small jewelers’ tools. If you’re a professional jeweler or a frequent beader, with a huge stash of supplies to organize, you’ll likely need more than one of these cabinets to organize your entire stash.
Scrapbooking — This organizer could be hit or miss for scrapbookers, but there are many scrapbookers who will find it useful. Digital scrapbookers likely won’t have much need for this, but it’s a good possibility for helping paper scrappers and hybrid scrappers get organized. One of its best uses is storing scrapbooking embellishments. The trays are ideal for organizing brads, eyelets, loose buttons, small metal letters and other items of that nature. The upper compartment could be a good spot for storing items such as adhesives, ribbon, packages of Prima flowers and Petaloos.
Collage and Mixed Media Art — Many collage artists and mixed media artists utilize the same sorts of supplies that scrapbookers do. Many artists will likely be able to use it for the same types of supplies mentioned above.
Sewing — This organizer will be hit or miss for sewing enthusiasts; it’ll be ideal for some and less than ideal for others, depending on the supplies you have stashed. If you have bunches of loose buttons, snaps, hooks, eyes and similar small notions to keep track of, this organizer is a good buy. You can sort out the loose buttons in the trays with small compartments; you can organize carded buttons in the open tray; and the larger upper compartment is a good spot for storing fat quarters of fabric, your sewing scissors, pincushions, packages of elastic, or assorted other sewing supplies like those. I tried putting a couple of sewing machine feet in mine, and they fit well.
You can also fit spools of thread in the upper part of the organizer. However, if your most compelling need is getting bunches of thread organized, there are better organizers to consider for that purpose. Check out ArtBin’s thread storage tray to see if that would work better for you. On the other hand, if you have bunches of sewing machine bobbins that need a home, this organizer could work well for keeping those accessible in one convenient spot.
Dollhouse Miniatures — A miniature maker could put this organizer to fantastic use for storing all kinds of fun little items.
Drawing and Painting — The customizable compartments in the trays in this organizer work really well for keeping drawing pencils, erasers, conte crayons, charcoal sticks and similar drawing supplies organized. The upper compartment is handy for holding tubes of paint, markers, bottles of ink or similar art supplies.
Cosmetics — If you have a sizable makeup collection, this organizer could work well for keeping everything accessible. The trays work well for storing slim items like eyeliner and lip liner pencils. The larger upper compartment is useful for storing larger compacts, bottles of nail polish and tubes of skin cream or similar items.
Nail Art — If your acrylic nails, rhinestones, decals and nail polish bottles need a new home, this organizer could be just what you’re looking for. The compartments are nice for organizing loose rhinestones and such; the upper compartment is a good place for your adhesives and bottles of nail polish.
Things I Like Best About This Organizer
- Because the trays are clear, it’s easy to see exactly what you have in them without having to open each one and hunt around for things. When you need to find a specific item in a hurry, you can pull out all 3 of the trays and find it fast. The clear trays save bunches of time when you’re hunting for the perfect accent bead for a project in progress; it’s easy to check out all your options and pick the best one quickly.
- It’s versatile. You can customize the compartments in whatever way best suits your supplies stash at the moment. If you have bunches of bead strands but not many loose beads, you can remove some of the compartment dividers to accommodate the bead strands. Once you’ve cut the strands and used some of the beads out of them, you can put the compartments back in place for easily storing the leftover beads independently.
- It’s secure. The closure mechanisms on the organizer work well, but not so well that it’s difficult to access your supplies.
- It’s portable. A handle on the top makes it easy to move the box around, whether you want to take it along to a craft fair or you simply want to move it out to the kitchen table to work on a project while you cook dinner.
- It’s sturdy. This box can get heavy if you put bunches of metal findings in it, but it’s robust enough to hold them all.
- It’s made in the USA, so your purchase helps to support American workers who are paid fair wages for their labor.
Other Observations About This Organizer
If your craft doesn’t utilize little fiddly bits and pieces like beads or brads, this is likely not going to be the ideal organizer for your needs. Its best use is for holding a combination of tiny pieces in the trays and larger items in the upper compartment.
Would I Buy More of These Organizers?
YES! I only own one of these, and right now I have my beads and buttons crammed into it. I’m in danger of outgrowing it and needing another one; it would be ideal for me to have one for the beads and a separate one for the buttons.
These organizers come in several different colors. I’ve seen a white, a black and an aqua available. If you need multiples of these, it could be helpful to get one of each color; that way you can differentiate them by colors. Of course, you could also get multiples in the same color if you prefer to be color coordinated.
Would I Recommend The ArtBin Solutions Cabinet to Friends?
YES! I would definitely recommend this organizer to friends who craft. I think it’s well worth the money. Some crafters will be able to make it pay for itself easily in the form of saved time and / or money saved on accidental duplicate purchases. For other crafters, it might not pay for itself right away (or ever), but it’s a convenient item to have as part of your craft supplies stash.
Where to Buy the Organizer
- Click here to shop for this organizer at CreateForLess.
- Click here to shop for this organizer at Amazon.
- Click here to shop for this organizer at the ArtBin website.
More Useful ArtBin Craft Organizers You’ll Want to Know About:
- ArtBin Yarn Drum, Item#: 6934SA — If you’d like to take your yarn, crochet hooks and / or knitting needles on the go with you when you head out the door, the Yarn Drum will keep you looking stylish and organized while you’re in transit. If you craft at home, the Yarn Drum makes a fantastic project organizer and protective barrier against hazards like dog hair and kittycat claws.
- ArtBin Hook & Needle Nook, Item#: 6930AB — This hard plastic storage case is perfect for organizing traditional crochet hooks and steel crochet hooks plus some of your shorter Tunisan crochet hooks and sets of knitting needles.
- ArtBin Hook & Needle Folio, Item#: 8414SA (not pictured) — This is a large zippered case for keeping knitting needles, crochet hooks and other needlework supplies neatly organized, whether you’re crafting at home or on the go.
- ArtBin Solutions Long Open Core, Item#: 3901AB — This is a compact and versatile multi-purpose craft supplies organizer.
- ArtBin Super Satchel 1-Compartment, Item#: 6955AB — This is a fantastic multi-purpose craft organizer that’ll help you organize just about any type of art or craft supply you might need to find a place for.
- ArtBin Thread Storage Tray, Item#: 6820AG — Organize your sewing thread intuitively in this heavy-duty thread storage tray. You can wall mount this piece if you don’t have a handy table, counter or shelf to put it on, or you can tuck it inside a craft organizer if that would better suit your needs.
- ArtBin Mini Sidekick, Item#: 6815AG — This versatile hard plastic caddy is ideal for storing a variety of different craft supplies.
See Also: How to Organize Yarn
This Artbin Solutions Cabinet product review was last updated on 3/9/2018.