Lisa’s Storage Tip
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Hello! It’s Lisa with a storage tip and a project to share with you. Organizing the vast supplies that cardmakers seem to amass is a huge undertaking. I’m hoping this tip gives you an idea to make your supplies easier to access.

I may have mentioned before that I’m a scientist. I went to school for chemistry, worked in the lab for several years and now work in supply chain for a Life Science company. You can take the girl from the lab, but you can’t take the lab from the girl. I still use common lab items in my home and thought I’d share an idea with you today that translates well to crafting!

Here are the key things I consider when organizing craft supplies:

  • It needs to be easy.
  • It needs to be low cost.
  • It needs to be visible.

If it’s an easy solution, I’ll keep my supplies neat and won’t spend a ton of time organizing—or hunting for something. It needs to be affordable so I can buy more stamps and dies. And if I see my supplies, I’ll use them.

My solution today is a storage idea for the HUGE number of sequins I own. To help me corral them in one place, I purchased a bag of plastic test tubes and a simple test tube rack from Amazon. There are many options available online and the hunt can be a bit overwhelming. Size and composition are all mixed together when you search.

Test tubes are listed by diameter and length in metric measurements. The tubes I purchased were 16 x 100 mm (diameter x length). The diameter of the test tube will determine what test tube rack you will need to purchase. I opted for a simple rack that would accommodate a 15–17 mm-diameter tube. Racks can get VERY expensive, so my solution needed to be affordable.

Your options for tube composition are plastic or glass. When I worked in the lab, I used only glass. The really expensive glass variety will not break and can take high heat. For what we need, glass isn’t essential. And to keep the cost down, it’s probably best to avoid glass. The inexpensive glass tubes will break.

The test tubes I purchased were sold as a bag of 100 at $0.12 each and are plastic with a screw top lid. While not perfectly clear, they are transparent enough to display the contents of the test tube easily. The volume they hold are ideal. One tube will hold approximately one bag of sequins (1.5 teaspoons). Of course, this varies with the size of the sequin as the larger sequins might require two tubes. The rack I purchased was $6.50 each and will hold 50 tubes.

When organizing my sequins, I put each color or mix in a tube and placed them order in the rack. Overall, it’s a pretty display, isn’t it?  I almost filled the entire rack with my collection necessary sequin supply.

I am more apt to use my sequins because I can find them and see exactly what I want to use. BONUS: Since I know what colors I have, I’m less likely to purchase a color in duplicate.

And you’re not limited to using this set-up for sequins only. Beads, small embellishments and shaker bits are all perfect items to store in test tubes.

Because I was inspired, I pulled out a stamp set and some watercolor paper to create.

I stamped the images with watermark ink on watercolor paper and heat-embossed with white embossing powder. I colored the images with markers and a water brush. I die-cut the panel after it was dry and layered it onto a white card base.

And in the event you noticed in the photo above, I use a beaker for holding my markers. Lab glassware is amazing!

Drop me a note if this tip helped or inspired you. Let me know if you have any storage tips for small embellishments. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting!


Supplies used: Test tubes and test tube rack from Amazon; Classic Crest solar white 110# cardstock from Neenah Paper Inc.; Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Paper from Ranger Industries Inc.; Spring Flowers stamp set from Simon Says Stamps; VersaMark watermark ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; white embossing powder from WOW! Embossing Powder; Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers (green #40, light green #41, pink #25, orange #70, cobalt blue #31, light violet #81, deep violet #84) from Kuretake; Aquash Water Brush from Pentel; Stitched Mini Scallop Rectangle STAX dies from My Favorite Things; Cover Plate: Stitched Die (#PTD-0758) from Papertrey Ink; Big Shot die-cutting machinestandard magnetic platform for wafer-thin dies and standard cutting pads from Sizzix; adhesive foam tape from 3M; Wagner embossing heat gun from Hero Arts.

21 Responses to Lisa’s Storage Tip

  1. Brenda says:

    I love your ideas. I don’t use sequins a lot but this may inspire me to use more and more often. I was wondering if you had an idea for organizing the beads, etc that are self adhesive. Can’t very well remove them from the film they are attached to.

    • Lisa Silver says:

      Hi Brenda,

      Thank you for your comment and question. In regards to items like flat-backed pearls, enamel dots, or beads, I can share what I do today and works well for me. First, I have a small box that is set up with small file dividers. I remove all the packaging to save only the piece of clear plastic supporting the embellishments.

      To organize, I place the sheet of pearls (beads, etc.) in the section based on color. It could be organized by company that makes them or by type (pearls, beads, enamel dots, etc.). I like to look through the colors to pick what embellishment works best.

      If knowing the manufacturer or product number is important, you can put a small label on the plastic sheet, rather than keep all the bulky packaging.

      I hope that helps!

  2. Kathy A says:

    Brilliant idea, thanks for sharing

  3. Patty Beers says:

    Love this idea. Thank you. I have always been fascinated with glass tubes, petri dishes and beakers from my days in lab classes in nursing school. I think this will be a great pick me upper in my craft room. Thanks again. Great Idea!

  4. Edna Burgess says:

    Great ideas. Would like to learn more of your tricks. Thanks. Edna

  5. karenajo says:

    I too, work in a lab and find many ideas for storage in my craft room from that background – thanks for sharing !!!

  6. Samantha Coleman says:

    I just loved your idea! Being able to see my supplies does make it so much more fun to create cards. I will have to see if I have the space to try this too.

  7. DawnL says:

    Pure GENIUS, Lisa!! Amazon is going to have a run on test tubes and racks!!! lol! Beautiful card also!

  8. Barb Thorsen says:

    I don’t use sequins, but, have a lot of embossing powders and this is a GREAT idea for that too.
    Beautiful card. Thanks much !

    • Lisa Silver says:

      It’s a great idea for embossing powders or even glitter. You can label the outside with the color if needed and be able to direct the powder / glitter where it’s wanted. Thanks!

  9. Great idea and a gorgeous card.

  10. What a great storage idea! I’ll have to shop for these. And I like your idea of storing adhesive gems. I think I have as many bend as you do sequins.

  11. jennifer hall says:

    I love this and I am excited to organize my beads,gems and smaller buttons. thanks for another wonderful idea.

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