What’s Cookin’ In The Studio

What’s Cookin’ In The Studio

Getting Crafty

As Makers and Crafters, we not only use creativity to create- we use our resourceful gifts to make life easier. Today I want to show you some of the everyday household items I use in my studio to help me contain the clutter- making it fashionable and functional!

Bowl Me Over

I use bowls all over the studio- they are great for holding buttons, baubles, bobbins, bacon…you get the idea. You can even stack them together to save space and create a treasure tower with items you need for a project.

Do You Know the Muffin Man?

I do, and he helps organize all the little bits and beads for my projects. Muffin tins are amazing organizers and shallow enough that its simple to find what you need. No need to dump jars out all over your workspace when looking for The Perfect One. And the muffin trays will nest securely inside each other so they are stackable and will save valuable workspace. “I have too much workspace,” said no one ever.

Reel It In

I used this vintage fishing reel to store my twine, you could use it for any sort of string or ribbon. I picked this up a one of my favorite local stores called Simply Bungalow. 

What’s Your Hang-Up?

If you’re addicted to washi tape like some people I know (not me, not ever!) you could use a wooden hanger that has a detachable dowel. Slide your collection of beauties on the rod for easy access and a fun display.

Shake it Up

To glitter or not to glitter? Why must the thing we love so much make such a mess? Well, it doesn’t have to! Salt and pepper shakers make the perfect storage container and applicator for all your Shiny Speckles of Love. Keep it from getting all over fingers, hands, floors, cats, etc. Glitter away my friends!

Roller Derby

Should you have a minor mishap while shaking your glitter groove thang, a lint roller can swiftly pick up any rogue sparkles, making cleanup a breeze. Not recommended for use on the cat.

No Mop Needed Here

This ceramic floor tile makes an excellent backdrop for photography. You can find one for less than $1 at your local home improvement store! More on creating perfect photographs to sell your handmade goods in a future post!

Encourage Loafing Around

Save your dough on unnecessary holsters and stands- loaf pans work great! Heat guns, glue guns, staple guns, taser guns (how else are you supposed to keep your husband out of your BabeCave?) all fit nicely into a pan. Watch this tutorial to see how you can double your trouble with two pans to make an organizer!

Rack em’ Up

I use dishwashing racks in a couple of different ways around the studio. They make files easily accessible- and add a splash of color if you find whimsical folders! They are also perfect for those piles of fabric and ribbon scraps that seem to accumulate. You can see what you have instead of forgetting that they’re in that bottom drawer of that one dresser in the back of that one closet in that one room you never go in!

Stick a Fork in Me, I’m Done

Utensil holders make great catch-alls for pens, pencils, markers, scissors, rulers, erasers, licorice and beef jerky. (Crafting sure works up an appetite, am I right?!?!) This countertop version works marvelously, but you can also use the drawer space savers if you are one of those people that are able to keep your drawers neat and tidy.
I’d love to know what every day items you use to create magic in your space- leave me note or a picture of your genius ideas in the comments!
Vintage Bread Pan Organizer

Vintage Bread Pan Organizer

I’m all about vintage items and I’m also big into organization. It’s a total win if I can combine both of those loves! So when I saw this idea, I had to make one for myself. You can make one as well with my step by step photo tutorial.bread pan organizer with fruit | Barb Ann Designs |

Find yourself a pair of matching bread pans at a garage sale, thrift store, or even from your own cabinets. You also need an old fashioned potato masher.

bread pan and masher | Barb Ann Designs |

The other items you’ll need are a drill to make some holes, wire, and wire cutters.

drilling hole in bread pan | Barb Ann Designs |

If you don’t have a drill you can punch the holes with a hammer and a large nail.

hole in bread pan | Barb Ann Designs |

Place two holes in each bread pan on only one side, spaced as shown. Cut yourself two pieces of medium gage wire. Think about it being strong enough to hold the pans together when choosing.

cut wire | Barb Ann Designs |

Place the masher between the pans and wire them together.

put together bread pan and masher | Barb Ann Designs |

thread wire thru holes bread pan | Barb Ann Designs |

Twist the wire together and be sure to clamp the pointed parts downward.

crimp wire down bread pan | Barb Ann Designs |

Here’s how the bottom of your bread pan organizer should look.

bottom bread pan organizer | Barb Ann Designs |

Now comes the fun part! You can decide  multiple ways to use this new little organizing beauty! Use it for produce on the kitchen counter as I showed in the beginning of this post. This organizer would also be great for cosmetics.

bread pan organizer with cosmetics | Barb Ann Designs |

It’s a handy thing to carry out to the backyard grill.

bread pan organizer for bbq | Barb Ann Designs |

Mine is perfectly suited to my studio! It blends in with all the other vintage items I love and fills a purpose as well!

bread pan organizer with art supplies | Barb Ann Designs |

What would you use your bread pan organizer for?? I always love to see others ideas for repurposing and organizing. Share yours in the comments!

4 Button Storage Solutions For You To Try

4 Button Storage Solutions For You To Try


If you are a collector of buttons like me, you need some button storage solutions to know how to keep them orderly. Buttons come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Button storage solutions also can take on a few different varieties. I like to store my buttons in ways that are both functional and pretty. Let me show you 4 ways I’ve come up with.

Button Photograph


The Dump in Something Pretty Button Storage Solution

The easiest method to store them is just to dump them in a bowl, a jar, or any container you can find. The colorful chaos is therapeutic and fun to sort through.


pretty button storage solutions

Color Sorting  Button Storage Solutions

If your cup of tea in organizing is to have all the colors separated. Then finding a plastic divided tub is a great option for you. They can easily be found at craft stores for just a few dollars. Just don’t cry about it when you drop them on the floor. (I say this from a voice of experience.)

sort and store buttons in plastic divider tubs


Muffin Tins aren’t just for the Kitchen

If you’d like that separation but with a vintage flair for display, then muffin tins are your ideal choice for button storage solutions. They can also divide and display many other things that need to be sorted.

Muffin Tins make great storage solutions for buttons and such


Keep Those Cards

But what if your buttons are still on cards. Many of my vintage ones are and I want to keep it that way. The old cards are just as lovely as the buttons sometimes. For this storage solution I incorporated some of my enamel ware collection and wire baskets to hold my precious cargo.

vintage buttons make great display


There’s no wrong or right way to store you buttons.

I can’t say that I have a favorite way. Each one appeals to me. When I’m really needing a small purple button, most likely you’ll find me in that divided plastic storage box. If I just want a button in general, there’s nothing like digging around in the bowl to find the perfect one. If I need multiple buttons to all be matching then I go to the ones on cards. I use each of these methods for storing and more. For me if things are put away in drawers, I tend to forget about them. So, you’ll see each of these storage systems around my art studio.


For my creative spirit, collecting and storing my supplies is half the fun. Button storage is a favorite because buttons rank up there in my top nick-nack supply love list.

What do you like to collect in vast number in your crafting/art space? Do you display them with thoughts only on purpose or does design and display play a factor.

Studio Tour

Studio Tour

Welcome to my happy place!

This shot shows where the work gets done. If I’m not sitting at the desk on the computer, then I’m standing at the buffet creating. The buffet make a great standing work station. I have my clunky tools in the cabinets below and all the drawers are filled up as well. Of course the giant postal sorting box above is packed full of all sorts of supplies and tools right within my reach.

The closet is packed full. I took the doors off for easy access and visibility.

The other side of the room has a wonderful old drawer set that holds so much stuff inside and on top.

This little table is filled with all sorts of goodies.

I love this old dress form that I found at an auction for only $1

This is my favorite piece in all of my house. It is a giant antique postal sorter that I bought from an elderly neighbor. His grandfather brought it home when they did a postal remodel here in Lincoln, Nebraska. So it is easily over 100 years old. It holds so much character, stories, and loads of my stuff.

This corner holds all my printers and digital cutters

I have a thing for enamel ware! It makes great storage.

Behind the door is the preface place for my stamps. I made this shelf myself! I was quite proud of that accomplishment!

Muffin tins are great for organization.

I love these pieces. I purchased the string at an antique shop. The ink holder and gum rack came from my favorite shop, Simply Bungalow.

I never dreamed I’d have a space like this. Not so long ago, my space was relegated to the corner of the unfinished part of the basement. It was handy being next to the washer and dryer I suppose. But oh, how I love this room. This is my retreat.