Sunday, February 20, 2011

Project Boxes

I'm an extremely messy crafter. When I'm in creative mode the paper scraps fly, the piles grow bigger and bigger, and tools and materials disappear before my very eyes. I've tried many different ways to get organized but nothing worked until... PROJECT BOXES!

I actually read about the idea of project boxes several months ago in one of my favorite books The Creative Habit, by renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp. She shared her method of creating a box dedicated to each project she was working on, and tossing in everything that pertained to that project. The boxes serve not only as a reference tool and storage for materials, but also as an archive when the project is complete.

The reason this tool works for me is because it's contained chaos! Yes, the box is a central location for all materials related to a particular project, but the contents don't have to be in any order. I can just toss in all the bits and pieces I need and grab the box when I'm ready to start working.

Project boxes can be any shape, size, or material. The boxes I chose were simple paper boxes with silver labels. I found them on sale at Michael's. They are large enough to hold 12 X 12 papers, but not so deep that I can overfill them!

I spent several hours yesterday working on a project for the Graphic 45/May Arts blog week {little sneak peek above} that starts tomorrow and the box was invaluable! When I needed magnets - in the box, pipe cleaners - in the box, ribbon -in the box. It was magical! I didn't have to waste time excavating the piles of materials that accumulate on my worktable. Project boxes are now a permanent fixture in my world!


  1. What a fantastic idea! heaven knows I'm a tornado when I'm creating!!! These are so PRETTY too!!! :)
    (can't wait to see your g45 project!)

  2. your boxes are cool! very neat idea. so what do you do when you are done with that project?

  3. Great question Roni! For a craft project, I would simply move the materials on to the next appropriate box or put them away. For an ongoing project, I would add and remove materials as I go along. Archived projects would be large, long term projects that required lots of paperwork, photos, research, etc. I used removable tags for the box labels so I can change them out when a project is done. This is just my system of course. The box idea is very flexible, which is what makes it so great!

  4. Great idea for keeping a tidy workspace! I think we all have little messes on our desks!! Love the May Arts box! Thanks for the sneak peak!!

  5. I have a rollable stack of drawers that I use that way - when I am working on a project or designing a class I label the drawer and toss stuff in it - when the class/project is complete I put everything away and all is ready for the next project!

  6. Thanks for sharing this tip! I get my projects published sometimes and this is a great way to keep all my supplies in one place so that when i write my tutorials I know what I used!