Several months ago I rediscovered my love of working with scrapbooking kits. And, while I've always had a good handle on keeping the kits themselves organized when they're not in use, lately I've found it more difficult to keep my current working (i.e. the one out on my desk at the moment) kit under control. I kept losing little embellishments under piles of paper scraps, stuff would get pushed around, and I generally had a hard time seeing what I had. Not to mention that sometimes I'd need to quickly clear my desk to work on a design team layout, Project Life, or even household stuff like paying the bills since my scrap room is also my home office.
I needed a solution that would let me move all those little bits that come in kits around quickly while still allowing me to see pretty much everything in the kit at once. And I also wanted it to be fairly inexpensive and pretty to boot. No, I'm not demanding at all!
I'd pretty much determined that I needed some kind of tray system, but after scouring HomeGoods and IKEA, I wasn't finding much that I thought would work. Then a couple of weeks ago I made a quick trip to Target to pick up something entirely unrelated to scrapbooking and stumbled across their aisle of summer melamine trays and dishes. As soon as I spotted this nested chip and dip set, I knew I'd hit the jackpot- and it was only $10.99!
I picked up the turquoise/aqua set of trays, and they also have them available in a coral/pink palette if that's more your style. Each dish is perfectly sized for a different type of embellishment, like this little tray that I'm using for ribbons, trims, and tapes from my most recent kit.
I've put the medium-sized tray to use for more dimensional elements like buttons and badges. And, yes, I take everything out of the packages and mix it up when I get my kits- I find that I'm more likely to use it if it's already open and out!
The biggest tray is currently holding flatter items like journaling cards and die cuts, and I've also got the kit's stamps tossed in there at the moment (they'll later be transferred to my stamp binder).
I love that these three trays can be spread out across my desk when I'm working with the kit, but easily stacked and moved out of the way when I want to do something else. So perfect!
After a couple of days, I found that I had more flat-ish items that I wanted to have out (mostly shop items that coordinated with this kit from Studio Calico), so once again I trekked to Target and picked up this coordinating tray. It has a rubber-y bottom that keeps items from sliding around and is slightly larger than the biggest tray in the stacking set. I think it was $10.99 on its own, but I could be off by a dollar or two.
And now it holds those extra flat things!
And on the same trip I also spotted this fun striped tray in the same section...
...and now it's being used for partially cut sheets and paper scraps! (Whole paper sheets and 12x12 embellishment packs like big chipboard sets and alpha sticker sheets still have a stack of their own, but they're pretty easy to keep track of and move.)
Even with the addition of the two extra trays, everything still stacks neatly to move out of the way when I need to work with something else for a while. When the next kit comes in, I'll pack up whatever I haven't used up yet and move it to my more permanent kit storage, to be pulled out again at a later date.
I've been working with this solution for about two weeks now, and I love it! I've even stacked up everything and carried it as-is to the car (along with my basic tool tote that stays packed at all times) for out-of-town scrapping while on a work trip. I'm sure it will be perfect for crops, too.