Finding that Perfect Piece

by Megan Hoeppner

How to score found items for your craft space!

When it comes to organizing scrapbooking supplies, sometimes the best tools are hidden in disguise. Found items, whether they come from a flea market, an antique or consignment shop, or even the crawl space in your basement, can hold great storage potential. Here are few tips for uncovering that potential and finding the right piece.

1.  Determine Your Unique Needs

Do you have a bunch of small supplies that need divided? Do you want to keep your loose scraps of ribbon from tangling up? Do you want storage solutions that are also decorative? Do you want to save money and repurpose what you have? Deciding what you're looking for will help you in your search.

Sande Krieger - vintage cheese boxes


2.  Be Inspired

Sometimes you won't know what your needs are until you've seen the item, which is why a trip through your local consignment shop is highly encouraged. Pay close attention to the kitchen supplies, former farming goods, and even old toys. Items like these offer excellent storage possibilities.


Keri Babbitt - butter dishes

Turn the lid of an old butter dish upside down, and you've got an awesome place to keep your washi tape or small rolls of ribbon.


Shelli Gardner - antique spools

Vintage industrial spools are the perfect thing to keep your trim stash tidy.


Sande Krieger - antique toys

Antiques and found items are great for more the sorting. Use them to add a bit of character to your space.


3.  Know Your Limits

If you're traveling, make time to scout out the local found-item flavor. Some of the best finds in my space have come from out of state. The key here is to remember your packing limits. Did you fly? You should probably stick to smaller items or making shipping arrangements. Did you drive to your destination? Remember to stick to what you can fit in your car.

Megan Hoeppner - card catalog

I picked up this antique card catalog at a little shop in Castle Rock, CO, called The Barn. I was so excited about my purchase that I failed to think about how I was going to get it home in my Mustang. Lucky for me, I have a very kind father who hauled it to Utah for me, but we can't always be this lucky, and shipping can be a hefty expense on large ticket items such as this, so you'll want to make sure you balance that enthusiasm with reality.


4.  Try a Little e-Travel

You don't have to cross state lines to find awesome deals. If there's a specific must-have item on your list, check sites like eBay and Craigslist. Also, look into your local public surplus auctions. They often have things like old school lockers, library furniture, book shelves, and more that you can get for next to nothing.

Marion Smith - repurposed lockers


5.  Have Fun

Sometimes the search is half the fun. Consider making a weekend out of it. Scout out stores in neighboring cities, grab a buddy, and hop in the car for some found item fun. Even if you don't find that perfect storage supply, you're sure to have a blast on your adventure.

For more found-item inspiration, check out our Creative Spaces series from Creating Keepsakes magazine. Both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are loaded with excellent ideas when it comes to repurposing and seeing new potential in old things. Happy storing!


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