Sheets of paper that measure 12-by-12 inches are a commonly needed size among paper crafters in general, but especially scrapbookers. Twelve inches square just happens to be one of the most widespread sizes for scrapbook albums. The challenge when working with this size paper, however, is how to store it, particularly if you're working with limited space (and a limited budget). But you can get crafty to address this problem, while simultaneously saving yourself money and space, by using plastic crates and cardboard to devise your own homemade version of a filing cabinet.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Plastic milk crates or similar store-bought crates
- Zip ties
- Pliers (optional)
- Stiff cardboard
- Scissors or utility knife
- Hole punch
Stack the plastic crates one on top of the other with each crate standing vertically. You'll notice a slight different in the length and width measurements of the crates; stand them up so they run vertically with the opening of the crate facing forward.
Tie the crates together with zip ties in the two front and two back corners, and once near the centre. Make sure to tighten the zip ties down as much as possible so the finished piece is sturdy; pliers may be of help in tightening the ties.
Measure the crate's opening height and its depth. Cut a piece of cardboard with these measurements minus an inch. Cut one piece for each slot you need. Cut the cardboard with scissors or a utility knife.
Punch holes in each corner of each piece of cardboard. Use the holes to zip tie the cardboard pieces into the crate to create slots for organising your paper. You may need to slide in the paper you want in a section first to determine where to tie the cardboard up before fastening the ties as slot size with depend on the thickness of the paper.
Slide your paper into the slots you creates so each stack or pad of paper is standing up vertically in a slot.
Tips and warnings
- This storage system is easily expandable as your paper collection grows. Simply add crates or slots as needed.
- Plastic crates by companies such as Sterilite work well for this project. You may also check with restaurants to see if they have any old plastic milk crates they are looking to unload or would be willing to sell to you for cheap.
- Cover the cardboard you are using to divide up the space in the crates with decorative fabric or paper to make it more visually pleasing for your craft space. You may also want to spray paint hte crates and zip ties before beginning.
- Place 12-by-12-inch paper pads in the storage unit with the bound edge facing down to prevent damage to the edges of the paper.
- Be careful if using a utility knife to cut the cardboard. Keep your hands out of the path of the blade and be sure to angle the cut away from your body.