Learn out how to organize your scrapbook paper so it is easy to use and easy to keep organized while crafting!
How to Organize Your Scrapbook Paper
Organizing your scrapbook paper can make a world of difference when crafting! The tricky part is keeping it organized and finding a system that works well for you. Last year I spent the month of January organizing my scrapbook paper, and after a year of using my “system,” I am happy to say I love it! Today I thought I’d share what has worked well for me in a post all about how to organize your scrapbook paper!
A little background about my crafting and sewing space: It is relatively small and since it is half of our family room, it is important that most of my crafting supplies are tucked away. Everything needs a place of its own so I can quickly clean the area up when I am done working.
In this post I’ll show you the ways I have found to organize all of my different types and size of paper including scrapbook paper of all sizes, chipboard and even oversized poster board!
To see some of my storage solutions for my entire craft room, visit my Craft Room Storage Ideas post!
How to Organize 8.5″ x 11″ Scrapbook Paper and Scraps
I have organized all of my paper that is 8.5″ x 11″ or smaller into file folders. It is easy to access and easy to keep organized. Plus, it is tucked away and out of site when not in use. The folders all live on a small file cart that slides out from under my desk. This cart is from The Container Store and is part of their Elpha system. It was too tall to fit under my desk with the wheels on it, so I had to remove them. Under the legs of the cart are sliders which allow it to still slide out easily on our carpet.
The paper is sorted by color and then also by pattern; including stripes, polka dots, plaid, floral, Christmas, wood grain, and print. Print covers all of the printed paper that doesn’t fit into one of the other categories. I also have folders for specialty papers like vellum and textured paper.
At first I used tabs that had the names of each section written on them. After using those for a while, I switched to using the actual paper as the tab and found it was quicker to grab what I needed. Especially with the colored paper, the visual tabs were easier.
I created the tabs for each file folder using my Cricut Explore. The tab design I used is available in Cricut Design Space. You could also cut these by hand or cut a rectangle of each paper and insert it into the clear tabs the file folders come with. The gray and white patterned file folders are from The Container Store and the solid gray folders are from Office Depot.
The front of my file folder cart stores important papers. I printed the tabs for these folders also using my Cricut Explore. I keep all of these tabs to the left and all of my paper tabs in the center. This way I can move the paper folders around and not worry about keeping them in a certain order – with the exception of my colored paper, which I keep in rainbow order. This is also helpful if I add a folder – I don’t need to rearrange the tabs to make room for it!
How to Organize 12″ x 12″ Paper – Loose Sheets
I use the same tab system for my loose 12″x12″ paper, which is stored in an Iris Scrapbook Paper Case that lives under my desk. It works well for me to keep the 12″ x 12″ paper separated since I know if I need a larger piece of paper, to check this case first.
For my 12″ x 12″ paper I used larger file folders that I’m pretty sure came with the Iris paper storage holder. I have tried finding another container but haven’t had any luck. Recollections at Michael’s Craft Store sold something similar with 14″ x 13″ hanging folders, but they also don’t seem to be available right now.
I created more hanging folders to fit my 12″ x 12″ paper by cutting apart legal-sized hanging file folders along the bottom edge and adding cardstock to the bottom to lengthen them. The legal-sized hanging folders were at least 14″ wide and fit my container so I just needed to lengthen them.
How to Organize 12″ x 12″ Paper Stacks
The rest of my 12″ x 12″ paper is paper stacks which wouldn’t work in my file storage bin. I love the Iris storage carts and have a few of them. The drawers slide out all the way so you can bring the drawer to where you are working. Their wide storage cart is perfect for holding 12″x12″ paper stacks. I labeled the drawers using vinyl and my Cricut Explore. The labels are in an ombre, white to black, which match a storage cart I have that has the same colored ombre drawers.
Update: Here is a link to the Iris scrapbook storage carts, they have doubled in price on Amazon since I purchased mine a few years ago. The drawers are also slightly different and come with cases that close rather than open drawers. Michaels Craft Store also sells Iris carts that are closer to what I paid for mine.
I like keeping my paper stacks together so this system works well for me. The last three drawers are all 12″x12″ paper stacks. I have a special drawer for glitter paper, which is where I keep my glitter paper stacks and glitter paper scraps. Another drawer keeps all of my small paper stacks like 4″ x 6″ and 6″ x 6″ and the top drawer is for all of my tiny paper scraps. These scraps are so small they’d be putzy to keep in my file folders. These drawers are really big, and surprisingly, fit a lot of scraps!
Update: My paper stack collection has grown and it can longer all fit in my cart. I have started the bottom three paper stacks drawers for specific paper stacks like Christmas, and moved my paper stacks to book bins that sit on top of my storage drawer cart. The book bins are from The Container Store and are 15″ deep so they hold paper stacks really well.
I have a couple more Iris paper cases that have latches on them that are stored underneath my craft dresser. One of them holds all of my chipboard perfectly.
How to Store Poster Board and Large Paper
Finally, I keep all of my large poster-size paper in a cardboard box designed to hold bulletin board pieces for teachers. I was so excited when I discovered this since it is perfect for holding all of my large sheets of Canson paper and keeping them from bending and folding. Before using this cardboard box, I used a large plastic bag, but my paper was always getting bent. I purchased a few of the large cardboard file folders that fit inside the box. They are a bit pricey but I purchased 3 and they been great. Two hold paper and I use one for all of my cutting mats.
Update: The cardboard box is the Trend Enterprises File N Save System Bulletin Board System Storage Box. I found my box and file folders on Amazon but I have also seen them at my local teacher supply store and online at office stores like Ace Office Machines.
When I first started organizing this craft space, I really tried to get all of the paper in one spot. This didn’t work since I didn’t have the space for a huge shelving system devoted to just paper. This system is a bit more scattered than I think I’d ideally like, but it has worked really well and everything has it’s own place!
When I am finished with a paper project, I try to sort all of the paper instead of just shoving it away in a hurry. Sometimes this doesn’t happen right away, but I try to get it done within the week so I don’t fall back into old habits!
How do you organize your crafting papers? Paper is something I hate throwing away because even the smallest scraps can come in handy – plus nice scrapbook paper is pricey! I hope seeing how I store all of my paper is of use to you! Looking at how others organize their craft spaces has been a huge source of inspiration for me! My next big organizing task is fabric….but that really seems daunting! :)
- Under desk storage cart – The Container Store
- Gray and white decorative file folders – The Container Store
- Solid gray file folders from Office Depot and also gray file folders on Amazon
- 12″ x 12″ paper file case – Iris purchased on Amazon
- Legal-sized hanging file folders – I used these to create file folders large enough for 12″x12″ paper
- Colorful book bins for paper stacks – The Container Store
- Drawer Storage Cart – my book bins sit on top of this
- Iris paper cases – hold my chipboard and craft plastic
- Iris scrapbook storage carts, also available at Michael’s Craft Store
- Trend Enterprises File N Save System Bulletin Board System Storage Box – for large poster sized paper