Thursday, January 25, 2024

studio organization: felt stash and ornament storage

I'm often asked how I organize my felt and store my wool felt ornaments, so I thought I'd show you! I posted short reels of this on my IG and FB feeds also if you'd like to check those out. (After watching the reel and hearing me speak, one commenter was surprised to learn I'm not British! Yes, I'm American and have lived in the southeast US for most of my life, so I have a bit of a twang. But I'm also a huge anglophile, so maybe that bleeds through in my posts. Ha!) 

In the photos you can see how I manage my stash of wool and wool-blend felts: sorted in closet shoe organizers by color/kind. It was years ago when I purchased them, and I think they are from the Container Store. They are part of a system of modular closet organizers and are designed to stack either horizontally or vertically. The size of the cubbies and the depth of the boxes make them ideal for felt storage.

I usually buy felts in either 12 x 18 inch or 9 x 12 inch pieces, so I always roll them toward the 12 inch side and slide them in the shoe compartment, which is the perfect depth. 

In the photos, you can see most are sorted by color but there are a couple cubbies that contain glitter and metallic wool felts of different colors, so those are by kind and not color. You can see I've also got stacks of felt on top of the cubbies that are not sorted yet. And you can't see the scattered pieces of felt all over the rest of my messy studio.

As I work, I pull rolls of felt and stash them in a Raskog cart (I love those things) near my desk, then after I’m done with the project they get rolled back up and tidied away into the cubbies again. Eventually.

I'm also asked if I always soak/air dry the felt first before storing the rolls. The answer is yes and no. Many times I put shipments of felt straight into a bucket of water to soak and air dry before sorting it into the cubbies, just so I have that out of the way. But I also have a lot of felt in my stash that hasn't been pre-soaked, so I indicate the difference by tying the roll with string.

I do not bother separating the 100% wools from the blend wools. I can usually tell by size/feel/appearance what is blend and what isn't, so that hasn't been an issue thus far.

If the scraps are too small to tuck back inside of the roll, I stuff them into this old wooden Coke crate. I always keep usable felt scraps! As you know, many of my patterns have very small pieces, so small scraps come in handy.

OK, on to ornament storage:

Nothing fancy, y'all. I just use these white plastic Sterilite drawer units from Wal-Mart. Pretty simple. My studio is climate controlled, of course, and the drawers are located in a part of the studio which is protected from direct sunlight. 

I have the drawers organized by series. They are deep enough to accommodate the ornaments so they can lay flat in one layer, protecting all the details and fragile bits. Six of the drawers are dedicated to the Twelve Days series because I have lots of samples of those, but my other two ornament series are ever expanding. I also store my Snow Birds and Flora Needle Books here.

Getting a little crowded in some of the drawers. These are samples of All Through The House and Not Even A Mouse. My Ebenezer drawers are pretty empty at the moment, because I'm in the midst of a new pattern. So I have most of my Ebenezer samples hanging from a bulletin board and OttLite near my train wreck work area, seen below. I use them for design/color inspiration while I'm working on the new design and samples.

And you can see the LodeStar Tree Topper samples sticking out of a pencil holder on the shelf over my work table. They are too large to go in the Sterilite drawers, so I need to figure out a great way to store them. Probably will end up hanging them inside my studio closet. 

So that's how I manage my felt stash and ornament samples! I hope this post is useful to you in your own organizing. :-)

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