Craftside: Recycled film canisters are transformed into pretty and practical storage
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December 11, 2009


Kathy M

My favorite storage containers are cigar boxes and other interesting cardboard boxes. I'm also fond of old oak file cabinets with lots of drawers. I, too, love the plastic storage containers but can't stand the look or smell.


I hate clear plastic storage containers! I use vintage, fabric lined glove boxes, old card file boxes, pretty vintage hat boxes, etc. I make little hang tags for each box so I know what's inside.


Jan Lopez

I like to use watchmakers tins ( from Lee Valley Tools)for small parts, single beads and pendants. They come in various sizes - are metal and have clear plastic tops, so you can see inside. I arrange them on cookie sheets or plastic food trays (dollar store). I can stack them if I keep the watchtins to one level or spread the trays on a table, so I can see what I have at first glance.


Lots of cardboard boxes, some plastic (I need the strength to hold all the paper and cardstock). For smaller stuff I recycle - mint tins for beads and other tiny things, larger gum containers (the ones that are supposed to fit in your car's cup holders) for Scrabble tiles, etc. And of course, coffee mugs for pencils, scissors, and other tools.


not the most practical, for seeing what's inside, but i just love old, wooden boxes. apple crates, craft "cheese food" boxes, and i store buttons, wool roving, ribbons, snappers, etc. in ball canning jars of various sizes. pretty, pretty with all the colors!

Sandy Sapienza

I love Iris boxes (clear plastic portfolio boxes), I use them for printing blocks and stamps, for sorted collage images and papers. However, my favorite storage things are baskets. You can find all shapes and sizes .... and of course you can make your own if need be.I especially like them for them for oencils and pens.

Julie Bowman

At my office, we get fruit from Harry and David every month or two. Those boxes are perfect for alcohol inks, reinkers and some acrylic paints. I also love flat cigar boxes for Twinking H2Os.


I found some wooden cassette boxes that work perfectly when turned on their side to store ink pads. Now I can see every color I have and they are neat and orderly.

Gayle Richmond

I wish I lived in L.A. to score some of those film canisters but as boring as it is the majority of my storage containers are the clear plastic shoebox sized tubs. Of course, I have my share of tins and decorated boxes for my special supplies but the clear tubs keep me organized and on track. I got tired of all the shelves and shelving units so I got rid of all (well almost all) of them and replaced them with a beautiful dining room hutch I found in the classifieds. I love it. I keep my pretty and special storage in the top to show though the glass and store the plastic tubs on the enclosed botton shelves. The drawers are perfect for my ribbons. I wish I had thought of this years ago.

Jane Farr

I love the rectangular, hinged Altoid tins. Anytime I receive those thin magnets people use for advertising, I save them and then line the inside, top & bottom of the Altoid tins with them. I use the tins to store my calligraphy nibs. The nibs stay nicely in place. They would also work well for sewing needles and other small metal pieces.

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