When the New Year rolls around, we always make the same resolution…to organize our craft rooms. (We’re not the only ones, right?) Our goal this year was to make this task way more fun, so we set out to find storage solutions with personality and flair. Where? At the flea market!
Crates and Barrels
We headed in with organizing on our minds, and the vendors seemed to have the same idea. All their best storage pieces were on display front and center. While we wish we had room for an antique dentist’s cabinet with all its crazy compartments, we were looking for something more reasonably sized (and priced).
We noticed some good organizers right away–tool caddies, Ball jars, cigar boxes, and loads of wooden crates. Jennifer picked out a $25 trio of soda crates with dividers, great for storing notions and trims. A few booths later, Kitty bought two “OK Pears” fruit crates to put casters on and slide under her craft table for yarn. She even got a beat-up $5 crate to corral dog toys in the living room. Genius!
We window-shopped the next few booths, dreaming of expensive apothecary chests and post office boxes. Then we came upon some beautiful wooden buckets with lids. The dealer called the buckets “firkins” and explained they were casks to carry sugar, butter, or beer. Jennifer thought they’d be perfect to contain a single craft project, like an embroidered hankie or a handmade rag doll. We instantly liked a green one with a wire bail handle, but got a real shock at the price tag— $300! So we admired his authentic Shaker pantry boxes, then moved on to find cheaper craft carriers. Maybe a Charles Chips can instead!
Another vendor had a general store’s spool chest with wide, flat drawers ideal for sheet music, old maps, and German die-cuts. Kitty asked how much, pointing out that it was missing a knob. He said $75, but was willing to negotiate.
Just then, we discovered a set of handyman drawers with hand-scrawled labels for nuts, bolts, and screws. We thought it’d be a cheeky way to sort rhinestones, sequins, and pearls. And at $100 for that and the spool chest, we were feeling organized already!
We both have a thing for little drawers, especially ones with labels, so we tried to remain calm when we spotted a five-drawer card catalog. The ones we usually see are big, heavy, and super spendy. But this one was not only small enough to sit on a tabletop, it was also a deal at $49! Next door, we saw what looked like a giant jewelry box. The dealer told us it was a machinist’s tool case from back in the day, but alas it was sold. We still fantasized about turning it into a beading station with different drawers for crystals, charms, and clasps. Perhaps we’ll find one next time!