Friday, October 16, 2009

What do you do with all your craft magazines?

Elaine at Soggybottom Flats posed these questions on her blog - "Do you save all those craft magazines you buy? What do you do with them?"
I've been going to share my storage idea for a while, but reading her question finally prompted me to do it. You see, I hate having my precious space crowded with magazines that are at least 1/2 filled with ads. I also used to get quite frustrated at dragging hundreds of magazines off the shelves looking for one particular bag, or cushion, or table runner, or 2 years ago I began this system.

Firstly, you take your magazine....for my example I'll use a recent copy of Creating Country Threads.

After you've savoured all the articles, photos, ads (hmm, well, maybe not actually savour the ads), choose the designs in the magazine you'd like to keep. I choose things I'd like to make, but I also choose projects that use a technique I'd like to learn, or use a block in a size I may not yet have a pattern for.
I chose the pattern below for the centre block - it's something I've not done and I'd like to.

Cut the pages out for the design instructions, then write the name of the magazine and the issue clearly across the top - I highlight mine.

Pull out the pattern sheet from the magazine, and use a highlighter on the issue number.

These are my storage folders for all the designs I've saved over the last 4 years...

...and this is how I store all the patterns.

I have all my folders labeled for their contents (bags, dolls, cushions, wall hangings, quilts, embroideries, Christmas projects, cross-stitch, runners, sewing notions etc), so if I want to make a bag I go to the BAG folder, or if I want to make a doll I go to the DOLL folder etc. Once I have chosen the design I want, I go to the corresponding pattern sheet container and pull out the correct one. All of this takes me 2 minutes at most!

This pattern is for a quilt, so it goes into one of my two quilt folders...

...and the pattern sheet is placed in the zippered case containing all the patterns for Country Threads. I have plastic cases for all the individual magazine publishers.

Now that they are filed away I replace the display folders on my book shelf,

and the Lever Arch folders at the bottom of my fabric shelves.

This makes life so easy when I am wanting to make a gift or I remember something lovely I wanted to make. If I'm after a cushion I just go to the CUSHION folder, sit myself down with a coffee and a cookie, and browse to my hearts content. It's actually better than buying a new magazine!

What do you do with your magazines?
Elaine has a giveaway right now and you can enter just by answering her question.

Oh, and I also have a folder to store all those how-tos or tips. :-)



Janice said...

I had to laugh when I read this post. I've just finished looking for some Christmas decoration patterns. I am a really sad case when it comes to magazines. I have every Homespun, Quilters Companion, Country Threads, Patchwork and Stitching, nearly every AP&Q, years worth of Handmade and Country Crafts. They take up heaps of room, but I just can't part with them. I do look through them lots, but I am starting to have trouble finding the pattern I'm after. I have spent this evening tidying and sorting them while Mick is away. He is giving increasingly strong hints to have a serious cull. Mind you, he has lots of motorcycle magazines. Yes, I have found a few good decoration patterns. Now to find the bits and bobs to make them.

Country Nanny said...

Dear Jenny: I have so many magazines that I will need 3 or 4 lives to stitch, sew or quilt every pattern.
I have been looking for a simple way to store them.I think the way you propose is really smart! I thought to store them in my PC but I think it's quite imposible (I should scan lots of pages).
I think I'm going to have a sneak at Elaine blog to see all the others tips.

Margie said...

I've always wanted to do something with all of mine and thought of just keeping the good parts, but my interests changes often. I would probably throw away something I would want later. Has this ever happened to you? I have a large wall in the hall with shelves of magazines.

barb's creations said...

Snap Jenny! I have this system too and boy it's so much easier to find a certain pattern like a cushion or doll to make for a gift rather than going through all your mags.Mind you I still have lots of magazines :) Barb.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jenny,
I have all my books filed by designer...but as for my magazines they are in piles by year and in the dresser drawers. I love your idea and I need to get to the store and get some storage equipment and get BUSY! Kristy

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Great organizing! Will I every get there? I think not!

Allie said...

Great idea Jenny! I pull out the patterns I want to make, but I staple the pattern sheet to the article. If there is more than one per pattern sheet that I want to make, I staple them all and put them in a ziplock bag. They're all in a heap, I like your idea of different folders for different types of projects.
I have all the Mary Englebriet mags, too, but they're intact...mostly. I did use some of her illustrations for decoupage!

Denise :) said...

Hey Jenny! I used to save magazine clippings so I wouldn't have to save the whole magazine--especially if there was just a page or two out of the whole magazine I was interested in. And I had a filing system. But after six years, I realized even that was too much. And since we're moving into a fifth-wheel RV, my space (not to mention weight) was limited. So I decided to *scan* all my clippings into pdf files! It's been a perfect solution. I scan a project, name it, and file it accordingly. It's been a wonderful space saver. I've even scanned whole quilting magazines! I've got an external hard drive that I save my scanned items to, so it doesn't bog down my computer, but it's easy to get to. I can look at stuff on my laptop, or if I want, I can print it out. Very helpful!

Denise :)

Maggi said...

You are so organised. I start off with good intentions and then fizzle out and end up filing everything together which takes just as long to search through as it would have if i just kept the magazines whole!

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Jenny,
Love your Christmas quilt, sewn so beautifully.
Hey, great way to store your patterns and tutorials.
Have a great weekend.

Nina Morelli said...

WOW! Jenny, uyou are so organized...I have to learn with you.., Thanks, girl. God bless.
Hugs, Nina.

Narelle said...

Oh dear! I can feel my OCD tendancies kicking into overdrive.
Lookout magazines, here I come.

marina said...

Talk about organised! I better not show my mum your post. I don't buy too many mags but when I do I re read them till I eventually cut out those things I am likely to make and store them.
My mum on the other hand is a compulsive buyer and when I go to her house I sort them by issue and she stores them all away. She desperately needs a cull but she would disown me if I suggested your filing method!.lol

Jackie's Stitches said...

This is a smart idea! Who could ever find that quilt you saw in magazine but can't remember which one otherwise? I don't have a lot of magazine because of this issue and because I'm a fairly new quilter. Your way makes sense, seems quick and easy, and will probably inspire me to buy more magazines!

Myra said...

I like your method Jenny! I think it is time for me to get organized in that area....

So, do I understand correctly? Once you've clipped the instruction pages out, pulled the pattern sheet out, labeled everything and put into their proper file, you throw/recycle the rest of the magazine away?

Di said...

Brilliant idea!

kcenya1950 said...

I do this too but I do it right off the bat. I have limited itme so I rip as I go with every magazine and catalog I receive. It's rare that I want to review the entire book again but if it is a really phenomenal issue I might save it and do the ripping the second time around but never more than twice.

Beth Karese said...

Hi Jenny, I know my comment is "late"... I'm catching up on blogs today. About a year ago I realized that I had kept magazines for the patterns and ideas, but I'd never be able to find anything when/if I wanted it. The cutting began. Each pattern or technique is in its own sheet protector (I put multiple pages in the one sheet protector) and into 3-ring binders organized by magazine name & date. But I added one extra step... I made a copy of the pattern (usually reduced) and put them into a quilt inspiration scrapbook & I note the mag/date so I can find it. Now if someone can tell me how to live long enough to make everything!

(Btw, I've read your blog for a long time now & enjoy it very much!)