Tag Archives | Ikea

Ikea Expedit Being Discontinued


Note to anyone with a half-finished scrap room of Ikea Expedit products: Ikea has confirmed to various media outlets that it is clearing out the popular shelving system.

Ikea Expedit shelving, which is popular among many scrapbookers for storage of paper and other items, has apparently moved to “get it while it lasts” status. In addition to its popularity with scrapbookers, the news of Expedit’s demise has sent panic through record collectors, with whom Expedit has a devoted following.

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Organization | Top Five: Ikea For Craft Storage

I’ll just say it – I love Ikea. Our closest one is almost two hours away in Orlando, so I don’t get to go as often as I’d like, but despite this, Ikea products are rapidly taking over our home decor. And my scrap studio is no exception.

If you are a crafter looking to get organized, Ikea is absolute heaven! From the basic surfaces you need to work on, to storage for all of your supplies, the store has fabulous options for practically every craft storage challenge. And the best part is – you won’t break the bank!


Ikea’s selection of interchangeable table tops & legs are a dream for the creatively minded studio designer. They are simple, versatile, durable and practical, available in a variety of sizes and finishes – and affordable. The basic white 47 1/4×23 5/8″ model shown below, a Hissmon/Adils combination, has an MSRP of only $59.99:


I have several of the previous version of these tables in my work studio (and elsewhere in my home) and they are durable and functional.

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Organization | Tour of My Scrap Room 2014

About a year ago, after spending some time with my scrap space in the kitchen, I decided that it was time to move back into my own space again. I moved back into the spare bedroom that has long been my scrap studio and office. The decision a few years ago to move my office operations into a shared space with my husband meant that this time, the spare bedroom could be devoted solely to my creative work. Rather than just go back to a modification of the previous arrangement, I decided to take the opportunity to redesign the room from the ground up (although making use of a few pieces that I did already have, for economy’s sake).

It took a year start to finish, but finally – Here’s the results!

Nancy Nally Scrap Studio
Nancy Nally Scrap Studio

The room is about 11×11 in size, with a lighted ceiling fan in the middle of the room. The walls were painted this pale green years ago, shortly after we moved in. The window looks out over the front yard, which lets me watch the world go by while I work, and is covered with 2″ faux wood plantation blinds (like the rest of the house) and a lace valance. Three of the four walls are drywall over concrete block (the closet wall being the lone exception), making it difficult to hang things on them.

The tables are pieces from Ikea’s Vika Amon modular table/legs collection. It has been replaced by a similar line that is now available, though. The large birch area is for my workspace. The smaller white table provides workspace for a second “guest” like my husband or daughter without compromising the ability to move around the room as much as if I had added a second larger table. I also use the second table for a variety of other tasks: “staging” and organizing projects, and packing and unpacking my camera gear that is stored in the closet, and photographing items for the website.

For a closer look, let’s start at my desk work area.

Studio Desk View

As I look forward while seated, this collection of tools and supplies (above) is in the middle of my desk. The buckets are from Target’s Dollar Spot awhile back. They hold a variety of frequently used items, from pens and scissors and small tools to paint brushes. The baby wipes are used for cleaning up stamps (and my fingers!), and the sticky notes and index cards are used for taking notes and for practice stamping and other such tasks. In the far left of the photo, you can just barely see my black desktop Ott Lite lamp – essential for creating a night in a room with poor overhead lighting.

Scrap Studio Peg Board

If I turn to my left, I see this work area. which contains my storage box of Project Life and related supplies, my Silhouette Portrait machine, and a variety of stamps and embellishments. Baskets hold some of my most frequently used stamp sets, and some of my most recent embellishments are on hooks so that I can see and remember that I have them. (I’ll share more about the pegboard project later this week).

Ikea Alex Scrapbook Studio Storage

Below the pegboard area, this Ikea Alex drawer unit lives under the table to my left. On top of the drawer unit are tucked my Fiskars paper trimmer, glass cutting mat, and rubber stamping mat, all out of sight and out of the way, but easily accessible.

The drawers contain a variety of inks and stamping supplies, along with a lot of mixed media mediums and some embellishments. (Check back later in the week for details on how I arrange the drawers.)

Small Ikea Alex in Scrapbook Studio

To my right, the support of the desk is formed by another Ikea Alex unit, this one a smaller one sized to serve as desk drawers. This set of drawers is filled with my most frequently used items – pens, rulers, craft mats, adhesive, heat gun & glue gun – as well as spray inks and punches.

Rolling File Cart for Scrapbook Paper

All of my drawers are labeled with chalkboard labels from the Martha Stewart line for Avery that is available only at Staples. Turning a little further to the right, on the floor next to my chair is this file crate that has wheels on it. With legal sized hanging files in it, it works perfectly for organizing my loose patterned paper and most frequently used cardstock (like white and kraft). I also have a few oversize items like 12×12 letter sticker sheets and stencils in it. Patterned paper is arranged mostly by company with a few exceptions for things like Christmas. After much trial and error over the years in different ways of sorting, I’ve discovered this hybrid method works best for me and I use it to sort my paper and my stamps as well.

Paper Storage Tower

Behind the paper cart, tucked into the corner, is a tower of craft storage cubes that contains Cropper Hopper paper holders. These hold my library of cardstock, along with my pads of patterned paper, and my Project Life plastics (in the binder on the bottom and some boxes as well). The top of the tower is the perfect spot for my Sizzix Big Shot to sit, easily accessible to grab and use but not in the way when I’m not using it.

Rubber Stamp Storage Shelf

Finally, on the wall behind me when I’m sitting down are a series of decorative shelves. One holds my selection of wood mounted stamps. Two smaller ones (visible in the wide angle photos of the room at the beginning) hold flower embellishments and buttons in small jars, sorted by color. They look nice and are within quick reach if I need them.

But there’s still a whole other side to the room!

Scrap Room Closet

The room’s closet is a combination of craft and other personal storage. The file cabinets are non-craft related storage. To the left of them is our camera gear and my scrapbook totes. The smaller plastic boxes above the file cabinets contain my Silhouette supplies (like various specialty media) and things like my stencils and some of my stamps. Above them are stacks of 12×12 storage boxes that contain projects in progress, like mini albums and other such ongoing creativity. To either side of those boxes are supply storage for things like plastic bags, adhesives, and various misc things that crafters seem to acquire.

Hanging above the plastic boxes are two mini shelves that contain Sizzix dies and my Xyron machine. The row of colorful boxes up top are my pre-digital photos that have yet to be scrapped. I will never run out….

Scrap Room Bookcase

To the right of the door when you walk in the room is this bookcase that I’ve had forever. It’s one of two matching ones in the room. The bottom contains my craft print books and magazines. The top contains personal mementos like my Beatrix Potter figures from my childhood and the desk calendar I inherited from my grandfather.

Scrapbook Storage Shelves
Basket Storage For Scrapbook Supplies

Three of the shelves contain scrapbooking supplies. This shelf (above), features a drawer unit from the Container Store and storage boxes from Ikea. The drawers hold Project Life memorabilia, ATC card bases, and my SMASH brand supplies. The boxes hold my Tim Holtz brand embellishments and keep my card blanks, envelopes, and completed cards organized. The top two shelves hold a bunch of baskets – one of my favorite ways to store things. There’s a basket for fabric pieces left over from various household and crafty projects, one for Sizzix dies, and two devoted to my 6×6 paper pads.

The nice thing about using baskets like this (and the boxes in the closet) is that I can get out the container I want and move it to the table to work.

Scrapbook Cube Storage

In the middle of the wall opposite my desk is this cube unit by Target (Closetmaid makes similar ones). On top is my stamp storage bins, and one shelf holds our family’s Project Life kits. Mini Albums live on a bottom shelf. All other cubbies are occupied by various bins that hold embellishments. One of the bins is my daughter’s scrap supplies for her Project Life album and the rest are mine. (I’ll share more about the stamp storage system in an article later this week.)

Scrapbook Alphabet Storage

I keep the bins sorted roughly by size and company. When I want to embellish, I pull them out and place them on my work tables. My alphabet stickers are in one of the bins as well, sorted by size and them as much as possible by company. I intend to use cut down file folders to create dividers for this file to make things easier to find.

Scrapbook Album Storage

The second white bookcase is over in the corner by the window. Several shelves are devoted to shipping supplies, but one has plastic shoeboxes on it that contain adhesive, ribbon, and paint in easy to see containers that are toteable to the nearby work table for convenience. Several more shelves of the unit are devoted to storing completed albums. My daughter likes to come in here and sit on the floor and pull them all off and flip through them one at a time – and then leave them in a pile on the floor!

So that is the tour of my new and improved scrap space…I’m really loving it and it is helping me get things done!

Be sure to check back the rest of the week for more articles on scrap room organization, including in-depth looks at several of the features of my new space!


Organization | Tips for Redesigning Your Scrapbook Area

The start of a new year is a time that many people – not just scrapbookers – start thinking about organizing, cleaning, and purging their spaces. For me and my scrap room, this process always starts way before January. I’m an absolute wimp when it comes to cold temperatures and gray skies, so as soon as it starts to get even a touch chilly outside I retreat indoors to my warm, cozy spaces. The problem is that after I spend just a few weeks in those spaces, I start itching to rearrange them and try something new. I guess I just get tired of looking at the same old surroundings!

I started plotting and planning my scrap room revamp in late October, and then after waiting to have time to make the trip to IKEA (the closest one to me is about four hours away) I finally started the actual makeover process in early December. It took about a month of work interspersed between my regular job, family gatherings, and Christmas prep and celebration, but I’m finally finished and am thrilled that my scrapping space now looks like this!

I’ve got a full tour posted on my personal blog (where I’ll show the scary, not-so-perfect parts of my room, too – trust me, it still has its warts!), and I’ve also linked up posts showing how this room has changed in the two and a half years that we’ve been living in our current house. It definitely didn’t all come together at once!

I’ve also got a few tips to share here for those of you who are also thinking of tackling your crafting spaces – or any room in your home!

Don’t think it all has to get done at once.

I mentioned earlier that it took me nearly a month to complete finish my scrap room’s overhaul. During that period I worked in short bursts as I had time: 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there, and a couple of times for an hour or so at a stretch. It’s unusual for me to have any longer than that to devote to a project between my day job, trips to the gym, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, and all those other things that go along with everyday life. I learned the value  of working in short bursts many years ago when I discovered Flylady‘s system of housekeeping, and while I don’t follow every part of her method (I just can’t stand wearing shoes in the house), her 15 minute cleaning and work sessions truly helped me get my life together in many areas.

The trick to working on a project like this in small increments is to take some time at the beginning to plan things out. What needs to move first? Do you need to clear things like bookcases before you can move them (if so, do that in small increments, too, and put things back on the shelves as quickly as possible to avoid creating an avalanche of stuff)? When do you need to assemble new furniture pieces, if any? Should you do it now, or will it be easier to move the new items around in their flat packs before assembling them in their final homes? Take a little time make your plan of attack before diving in headfirst.

Even with all the planning ahead, there were still a couple of times that my room looked like a natural disaster had occurred, and I sat in the middle of the floor, despairing of ever getting it finished. You’re likely to go through these times, too, and the best way to move past them is to get up, set a timer for 15 minutes, and keep working in those same small increments. I promise you’ll eventually get there!

Don’t think it has to be perfect

I really don’t think that there is such a thing as the perfect scrap space. Scrappers are always bringing in new supplies, creating new albums, and learning new techniques that require new tools and new storage and working spaces. You’re learning and growing and changing in this hobby, and your space will inevitably grow and change with you. Embrace that and let your space evolve as your needs change. If you find things that annoy you about it, make a list. Eventually that list will shape up into something that will help you redesign your space to better suit your workflow.

Don’t think you have to spend a fortune

I don’t have a room filled with custom cabinetry and Pottery Barn Project Tables, but I will admit that I do have a fair number of large pieces from IKEA that make my space work. When I started this room two and a half years ago, I had saved up for a single 5×5 Expedit shelving unit from IKEA and my large Madison Trestle Desk from Target. I didn’t add any other pieces for another year, when I added the second Expedit. The narrow Expedit (the “corner” unit) and the Alex carts (more on those in a bit) came a full year and a half after that. While all of those pieces do add up to a small sum, I spread the expense out over time and allowed my space to grow with me. My advice is to start small (but not too small- more on that later, too) and build slowly, adding pieces as you find them on sale or save up for them.

You’ll also see a mix of inexpensive storage items (some are downright cheap!) mixed in with a few pricier options. Take this section of one of my bookcases, for example.

The larger Pjas cube baskets from IKEA (about $16 each) are my more expensive storage options. I do have several, but I’ve acquired them over the years. The medium sized baskets that hold my punches are actually repurposed from another part of the house. I’d stopped using them there, so I brought them into my scrap room. The white bins that hold my embellishments sorted by color are the cheapest storage pieces of all – they’re actually white plastic dish tubs from Target that cost  $2.25 each! And before I got to this stage of my scrap room storage, I went through a plethora of even less expensive options like cardboard boxes and recycled paper shopping bags (think Bath and Body Works).

Building your dream scrap space definitely doesn’t have to be a budget breaker!

Do choose pieces that multitask

One of my favorite new additions to my scrap room is this pair of Alex carts (also from IKEA).

I purchased them because I needed something for my Cricut Expression and Silhouette Cameo to sit on so I could get to them easily when I wanted to use them. The tops of these carts are the perfect size for that, and the amazing bonus is the amount of drawer space they have underneath. The drawers are shallow and flat, perfect for cutting mats, paint, glitter, ink, and host of other tiny items.

Do leave room to grow

This tip may seem at odds with my earlier advice to start small, but I promise it isn’t. Instead, it’s a matter of planning. When you’re looking at how much paper storage you’ll need, for example, plan for those new purchases that you know you’re going to bring in. There’s not a scrapper alive who doesn’t enjoy a little shopping now and then, after all! The trick is to plan for a little growth, but not go overboard.

Remember those Alex cards I talked about earlier? When I was showing the contents of the drawers, I didn’t show the bottom two that look like this.

Yes, that’s glorious, free, empty space! But only two drawers worth, which should be just enough. And if you’re wondering what going overboard with extra space would have looked like, it would probably have been me buying a third cart. Two, in this case, is plenty of room for me.

When I purchased these baskets ($4.99 each at Target) to hold my kits, I bought two more than I needed at the time. That turned out to be a great choice, because now I have one free to hold the supplies for my current projects, and the other was pressed into service to hold paper scraps. In this case I grew into those baskets pretty quickly, so I was glad I’d planned for a little extra room!

Do use what you have

So far I’ve shown the newer pieces that I purchased specifically for this space, but there are also a fair number of pieces that have been repurposed. For example, when we moved, our new entry didn’t have room for this large table that used to sit by the door at our old house. It made a great addition to my scrap room, though!

I’ve had this dresser since I was a baby, and when I moved into this space I repainted it to use as a stand for my sewing machine (the drawers hold unfinished sewing projects and supplies). I also replaced the knobs with several pretty new ones that I found on clearance at Anthropologie – their sale bins sometimes hold a treasure trove of decorating items!

This bookcase is nearly 10 years old and has moved house a couple of times. It’s one of the cheap ones from Walmart, but it’s the perfect thing to have nestled right behind the door. Behind the curtain (that I hung with a tension rod) you’ll find boxes of unfinished projects and other assorted items.

Do make it yours

You may have noticed the Star Wars prints and the Ninja Bunny painting in some of the photos I’ve shown thus far. I love finding little things like that to personalize my space, and I think it’s one of the most important things you can do to make your scrap room an inviting and cozy place that you’ll want to spend time in. Whatever your passion is – sci-fi, horses, or teacups, for example – make sure it’s represented in your crafty space.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you as you rework your current crafty space or perhaps plan a new one!

Want to see more of Melissa’s scrap space? Visit her blog for the full tour!

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Organization Talk: The Big Picture

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Organization Week on Scrapbook Update! This week we will be bringing our readers a whole series of articles on scrapbook organization. Today, we are starting out with May’s discussion on the basic philosophy of how she chooses products and systems to use that are right for her.

I have been crafting for a very long time, and struggling with organization and storage for nearly as long. From pulling supplies out to sit at a TV-table to having my own space, odds are I’ve crafted in nearly every way possible in every home I’ve lived in. This week, I will be sharing a three part series with my thoughts on craft storage and organization.

Whether you have a dedicated room or a shelf in a closet, a small or large stash of supplies, every crafter knows the need for storage and organization of supplies. I have three rules I believe in strongly when it comes to this stuff:

  • Simple is always best. While highly specialized products are visually appealing, the more simple methods are more versatile, and will serve you better over the years.
  • Be OK with change. Over the years, I have changed my style, needs, and way of creating (not to mention the space I craft in) too many times to count. I understand that change, re-organization, and re-prioritizing is not only OK, it’s part of the process.
  • It’s only good if it works for you. I will give a number of suggestions of items that have worked for me, but that doesn’t mean my way is the only way. Items are only useful if they are useful to you. Don’t jump on a bandwagon just so you’re not left out – do it your way and create happy.

To start off, I’m going to talk about the big stuff. Before you get into detailed organization and how you store ribbons and buttons, it’s important to think about how you’ll work, and what pieces you’ll need.

A wheeled tote may be just the solution for all your needs if you have a small stash and need something portable. For crafters who attend a lot of crops, or for those using dining room tables or other family areas for crafting, this can be a great product. I recommend MiMi brand to anyone looking for a great wheeled tote or bag of any kind. I’ve been really pleased with their products.

For a much less expensive alternative, I suggest a plastic milk crate. They can be purchased at any number of stores (Target, Wal-Mart, office supply chains, etc.) and are a great tool so long as you can lift them. I have been using this method for at least ten years, and not only is it budget-friendly, but as a basic container they are versatile and can hold any number of items or smaller storage containers.

What if you are fortunate enough to have space for a dedicated table or desk? My top suggestion is to go for a work surface that is both wide and deep to give you plenty of working space around your layouts, not just space for the 12×12 paper you may have out in front of you. I found the desk pictured above at Ikea, and it’s worked as everything from my scrapbooking table to printer and computer holder to kids’ art table. The desktop is adjustable and can be raised or lowered a great deal – something I’ve taken advantage of over the years to change it from standard seating height to bar stool/standing height. The single shelf above as well as the adjustable square shelf have made this a great piece in my studio.

Remember: A simple design that can suit your changing needs is a good thing.

My second suggestion, when it comes to tables and desks, is to look outside the craft zone. Crafters aren’t the only ones who need work tables. I found this heavy duty workbench (similar to this product) at Costco. Because I needed a long, narrow piece to fit my space, I purchased it. The height, which is great for standing scrappers as well as keeping little fingers off my stuff, is a huge benefit to my needs, and thanks to its simplicity it will work in any number of capacities as needed.

Important to remember: While plastic-top tables may be less expensive, keep in mind that some craft techniques demand a harder, less flexible surface such as wood and won’t work on softer, more flexible surfaces.

Finally, don’t forget to look around your own home, garage sales, and extended family for used items that are no longer needed. I have a desktop set of shelves and my children’s former diaper table both in my studio. I actually purchased the diaper table with a future sewing table in mind, so it’s nice to finally have it to myself!

Shelves like this by Doodlebug are adorable, and no doubt useful to as any variety of supplies can be stored on them. The price tag of such specialty craft items can be unfriendly to the modest budget though, and so before splurging I believe in making sure it’s the absolute perfect item for you. While much less attractive, I’ve found a number of simple shelving units (both wall and floor units) from hardware, bed & bath, and department stores (like Target) for a fraction of the price.

Bottom line: Let your needs, usage, space, and budget determine what you use – not trends or what looks cool!

My studio is in no way magazine perfect, or the vision of vintage shabby chic loveliness that I wish it could be. I choose to be OK with this because it’s the most useful, productive space I could imagine within my limitations of space and budget, and for that reason I am happy. Whatever your budget, style, and space restraints, making the most of existing furniture and purchasing pieces that will be useful to you in a number of ways is the first place to start.

Want to hear more? I will be posting two more organization posts here this week, as well as posts on my personal blog about my studio and organization as well.