Organizing my craft closet with thrift store finds

Ok, so you already know that I am a piler, not an organizer.  But since I have declared 2012 “the year of organization” (not really, I just made that up), I decided to jump right in.  My first project was one that was staring me in the face every day.  My crafting closet was literally spilling out into the hallway outside of our bedroom door.

Lovely, I know.

The problem was that the closet held all of my crafting supplies and all of our games plus a bunch of books.  Something needed to move.  Thankfully, we moved the kids into the same room a few months ago, and now we have an actual office.

No, it is not organized yet.  One step at a time.

Jeff helped me move all of the games and books and anything else not craft-related out of the closet and into the office.  I didn’t want to just pile and stack things up though because I knew it would be a mess in no time if I didn’t get some kind of real organization going on.

I texted my mom and invited her to go thrifting with me.  She was in, so we headed to Goodwill.  I am so thankful that she came along for two very important reasons:

1. She has an amazing eye and found pretty much all of the stuff you see below.
2. It was senior day and even though she looks way too young to qualify, she got me a nice 25% discount.  Thanks Mom!

thrift store finds

We came walking through the door with hands and arms full of thrifty finds, and the look on Jeff’s face was priceless.  “I thought you were organizing, and you bring home all of this stuff!  Where is it all going to fit?”  Apparently he is not sold on “Alysa the Organizer” quite yet.

I have no idea why…

messy craft closet

I told you it was bad!  Pretty embarrassing actually.  But look at what I did with my thrifty stuff!

organized craft closet

Looks better, right?  Way better!  And all for under $30.  Let me show you what we bought and how I am using it.

organized thread

A rustic orange roasting pan holds my large spools of thread.  A large flat-bottomed basket holds the smaller thread.
ribbon and buttons

Glass jars hold ribbon and buttons.
vintage notion box

A vintage-looking toile box holds vintage buttons, trims and other notions.
organized cross stitch

A tall skinny basket holds embroidery hoops, and a wicker magazine holder keeps my patterns organized.
organizing scarves

A fun box is the new home for my vintage scarves and hankerchiefs.

small bucket

A small bucket holds raffia for tying up gifts and Etsy sales.

A basket holds my cross stitch and embroidery materials.
wooden box sewing

A large wooden box sits next to my sewing table to hold current projects (so they don’t end up in a big pile on the desk).
sewing spools and scissors

An espresso pitcher holds pens, pencils and scissors, and a mason jar shows off my nicer threads.
clean sewing table

After showing my dad the new and improved craft closet, he asked how long it would stay that way.  I told him forever.  He laughed.  Now I’m even more determined to keep it organized!


Do you ever shop at thrift stores?  How do you keep your crafty stuff organized?


  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean January 23, 2012 at 6:26 am

    thrift store finds are the best! i love finding dishes and stuff there

    • inspiredrd January 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      I found some amazing dishes there too, just didn’t show the pics on this post. One of my vintage plates that are so hard to find was there for only $1 and in great condition.

  • Becky @ TOHG January 23, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Man, your mom is awesome for picking out such great and useful items. Can I take her with me next time?! Just kidding. But, your improved closet looks great!

    • inspiredrd January 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Becky! I know, she is so good at it. I guess she has a little more experience than me 🙂

  • Samantha January 23, 2012 at 8:06 am

    What a great idea and very inspiring for the new year! Organization is always an ongoing project in my home as well so I will definitely use this for inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

    • inspiredrd January 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Glad my project could inspire you Samantha!

  • Jeff Bajenaru January 23, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I was misquoted…what I said was, “…you brought home all this CRAP!” 🙂

    • inspiredrd January 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Oops, sorry about that…Thanks for the correction 🙂

  • Chef Danielle @ Cooking Clarified January 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

    This has encouraged me to do the same with my pantry, which is SO out of control. My worst nightmare is that Martha Stewart stops by (I know it’s never gonna happen) and asks to see it. This is a great, affordable way to get it together. Thanks!

    • inspiredrd January 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      My next project is the pantry!! And that cracks me up that you have nightmares about Martha. So funny!

  • Kathleen January 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Your story hits home with me. My husband will say the same thing everytime I start an organizing project and buy new stuff to put the old “crap” in. He also tells me that I am not organizing – I am just reshuffling all the same stuff. I say – he just doesn’t understand. Sometimes I think we need to move to a new home with more closet space to get really organized. I feel your situation because I have tons of crafting supplies and bins of yarn that are all over the house ticked into every crevice. Your closet looks amazing.

    • inspiredrd January 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks Kathleen. I tried really hard not to just reshuffle but to actually make it functional. So far it’s working really well. On to the next project!

  • Mindy @ Clueless Nut January 23, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Awesome! I love thrifting with my Mema!

  • Adrienne January 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Wow! This looks so awesome! Great work- love the thrift store idea too! 🙂

  • Katie January 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Looks awesome! I recently FINALLY organized my craft closet with baskets and jars and such. It’s made such a difference! I actually enjoy my time more and I can find everything!

    • inspiredrd January 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      Katie, I feel the same way. It’s so much more fun to craft now!

  • Selene@ABCsofMealtime January 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I’m jealous!! I have fun organizing my stuff, that is when I actually take the time out to do it. I have a large flat rubbermaid container that I keep all my scrapbooking stuff. Other than that, just lots of little boxes and whatnot.

  • Kelly @eclecticmommy January 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I never thought of thrift shopping for organization! What great finds you got.

  • Teri@ManagedMacros January 24, 2012 at 3:31 am

    I LOVE your treasures!!! You know I love me some Goodwill really got quite a haul in one day, it usually takes me quite some time to acquire that much goodies! I love your pictures and your new organization. I didn’t realize you were a sewer…do you post on what you have created? That would be fun to see..hint hint! Love Etsy too!

    • inspiredrd January 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Teri! I go through sewing phases…sometimes I sew a lot and sometimes I don’t sew at all. I have posted a few things under the craft section. Now that I am organized, I plan to sew more often!

  • Melanie Machut December 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    My whole craft room is built from thrift finds! An old desk with an upturned draw at the back makes for a shelving unit, Lots and lots of glass jars store my buttons (sorted by colour) Yo yo flowers and bits and bobs. A little shelf unit I got for $4 AU spray painted to match my colour scheme holds all my ribbon which is wound around cardboard pieces and sorted by colour. Second hand frames with photo’s of “pretty things” adorn the walls. I sprayed the frames aswell so it didn’t matter if they weren’t in perfect condition. My best DIY project yet- A piece of cord suspended between 2 screws high on my wall with retractable badge reels (yes the id card things) with my elastics hanging off them. They are within arms reach and I can just pull the bottom, the reel winds down, cut the elastic and let go and it retracts itself out of the way 🙂 Best idea yet!

    • inspiredrd December 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Wow Melanie, I love all of your ideas! One day I hope to have a craft room big enough to sort my buttons by color 🙂 Do you have a picture of your cord invention? I would love to see it!

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