Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Two Quick Tips! Organizing My Studio

Hi, all!  Those who know me know that I'm --cough-- a smidge OCD enthusiastic about organizing my studio.  Right at the beginning of studio season, I usually clean and rearrange everything.  I just can't help it!  :) Plus, with 7 cats, the hair is a-flyin'!

As most of you know, I'm amassing quite a few Wubbers tools!  As a result, my old pliers rack wasn't cutting it, even though several pairs of my pliers are in my bead studio.  I needed a new rack.

I have a plentiful supply of moldings, dowels and scrap bits of wood in my studio from home repair projects.  I've used the scraps to make my own bead shelves and hammer rack, etc. so I never toss anything if I think I can use it.  I also tend to collect hardware, old hinges, screws, bolts, etc.

Today I spent a few hours trying to figure out where on my cramped bench I could fit a long rack with no luck.  My original goal was to hang a rack using screws on the edge of my soldering bench.  My pliers would have been in the way, so I was at a loss.

I had a shelf that I planned to use from an old CD cabinet (the cabinet is now a puppy palace for our dog).  The problem?  With the shelf straight upright, the pliers danced along the edge and fell off.  They just didn't want to sit on the edge!  Finally, I figured out that if I turned the shelf slightly so an angle was on the top edge, the pliers sat nicely and happily (my pliers do get happy).  Keep in mind that I was lucky to have the perfect width shelf.  It was about as wide as my longest pliers handles.  I think if my shelf was too short it wouldn't work out the way it did.  However, you could put feet on your shelf, attach a dowel to the bottom or something to raise the height.

 I had some "L" brackets so I screwed them to the back of a shelf and bingo!  Easy, portable pliers rack!  I can put it anywhere on my tabletop.  Here's a back view:

Here's a closer look- it couldn't be easier!  I lined the bracket with the top edge of the shelf and it created just the right angle.  You can experiment, but this worked for me!

Of course, then my table was getting scratched up, so I slipped some tubing over the ends.  The table is all scratched anyways, but no reason to make it worse.  You can tape the bracket ends with masking tape if you  want.

Another view. Ahh, pliers make me so happy!


OK, that's Tip #1.  On to Tip #2~

I really like these hooks (below).  They aren't really cup hooks.  I call them "L" hooks.  I found them in a box of miscellaneous bits and bobs from a Dollar store.  I'm sure they can be bought anywhere though.

I used two to make a hanger for my Flexshaft handpiece key.  Of course, later, the cats figured out they can make it swing to and fro... but still, I like it!  A place for everything and everything in its place.

Also, another advantage of the "L" shape is that cup hooks are curved quite a bit, and you can't always hang things on them.  For instance, look at this grid ruler thingie I use (below).  The hole for this is deep inside the plastic.  There's no way it would slide onto a cup hook unless it's a huge hook.  It fit easily on the "L" hook.  I also hang my bail templates on the hook.  I hang my saw frame, dust rags, particulate masks, etc. from them too.

Oh, before I go, I wanted to show you my new stumps!  I have another one off camera.  My mom's new house had lots of stumps sitting in the yard and I took a few.  So happy!

Today, Dante, my sweet orange/peach tabby, decided to help me in the studio.

So, nothing ground breaking of course, but I just wanted to show you that you can use things around the junk room to make cool new organizing tools.  Don't discount dollar stores!  They have tons of great little items for studio use.  I hope you enjoyed my tips!  Ciao!  ~Val


  1. Awesome idea! Frugal. Well-written. More time available for your amazing creations!

    1. Thank you! :) I'm nothing if not resourceful! I've built shelves, I made wooden bead looms for 5 of my friends one Christmas, I made my own jump ring winding device using a drill that I tore apart myself to salvage the chuck! Not to mention a hammer rack (that is now too small for all my hammers, sigh) and pliers racks.

  2. Resourceful you are! Great tips! You should come to my house and organize my creative space. Someone definitely needs too! :)

    1. LOL thanks! Organizing makes me happy, and if I spend no money doing so, it makes my hubby happy, too! :)

  3. So now you have another follower. Great blog - very well written and witty, I might add. Does Dante have his own blog or does he just contribute to yours? ☺

    1. Thank you! :) Dante pops in once in a while. We have 7 kitties so I usually will ramble on about one or more of them at any given time. :D

  4. Brilliant ideas! I have plier envy...

    1. Thank you! I can never seem to have enough beads or tools. They're my weakness.