Woodworking For Dummies
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Setting up a workspace where you can do your scrapbooking makes organizing your materials and creating stories for your scrapbooks easier and more fun. Give yourself permission to put together your own studio — a special spot where you can think, dream, and create.

Before deciding where your workspace will be, take a look at this checklist of must-haves for your scrapbooking studio:

  • Good lighting: The proper lighting (bright enough and easy on the eyes) instantly professionalizes your space.
  • A comfortable chair: If possible, purchase an ergonomic chair in your favorite color. Make sure the chair is adjustable because the term ergonomic indicates that the chair adjusts to the contours of an individual's body.
  • A bulletin board (or two): You need a place to tack up those lists, reminders, layout ideas, and all kinds of ideas and materials you get from magazines, fellow scrapbookers, Web sites, and other sources.
  • A flat, easy-to-clean working surface: Give yourself plenty of room to lay out a cutting mat and spread out all your stuff.
  • A good-sized filing cabinet: Your filing cabinet needs to accommodate 12-inch-x-12-inch hanging-file folders.
  • Label tags: Get extra label tags for the file folders, because you inevitably add and reorganize items in the folders.
  • Trash receptacle: Line your trash receptacle with a trash bag to make managing all those snips and scraps a breeze.
  • A rod: Rods are great for hanging things that don't fit easily into drawers, file cabinets, shelves, or cubby slots. They're good for rolls of stickers, ribbons, and other items you like to have out where you can see them. If you can hang the rod at eye level inside one or more of your cabinets, you can easily eyeball the supplies you store on it.

Clear a space just for you and set up shop. Take a room if you can get it, or a corner of a room, or a closet. Even a table will do. Anywhere that you can call your own and feel assured that your family won't disturb your supplies.

Get as much room as possible. You need it. You want to be able to take your supplies out, set them up, and leave them in your room. Putting stuff away and taking it out whenever you work takes up far too much precious time.

You can build your own scrapbook-organizing system using desks, tables, shelves, drawers, containers, and filing cabinets you may already have, or if you're ready to invest more money, you can buy one premade. Scrapbook-industry manufacturers offer options to meet any scrapper's organizational needs. Whether you have plenty of space or little to none, you can find your organizational answer somewhere within the wide range of storage and organizing choices (from fully furnished rooms to organizational backpacks).

Many companies sell premade home organizational systems for scrapbookers that you can order online. Here's a list of just a few of the systems you may want to consider:

  • Store In Style by Crop In Style is an easy-to-use, modular home-storage solution. Made from laminated, medium-density fiberboard, these modules come in classic white and vintage honey. You can customize three 16-1/2-inch-x-16-1/2-inch cubes (the accessorizer, the filer, and the organizer) based on your demands. Inserts, like drawers ($29.95 for two), shelves ($9.95 each), and paper dividers ($26.95 for five) fit into the cubes and serve as organizational dividers. One empty 16-1/2-inch-x-16-1/2-inch cube costs $29.95.
  • Cropper Hopper's simple Home Center is a component system. Each piece is a vertical storage module. One of the cubes holds 1,200 sheets of paper, and the vertical-sticker envelopes organize stickers by theme. The cubes measure 19 x 16 inches and are priced at $49.95 each. Divided drawers for organizing materials are $74.95 each, and the file cube for hanging file folders is $89.95.
  • The KeepsSake Creation Station looks like a piece of furniture. It stores an entire scrapbook room behind the doors of a beautiful armoire that comes in different finishes. The finish determines the price: from $1,499 for a white or wood-grain melamine to the walnut, cherry, antique maple, and dark oak finishes at $1,799. The entire cabinet measures 75 inches high x 25 inches deep (46-1/2 inches deep with desk extended) x 48-1/2 inches wide with doors closed (87 inches wide with doors open). Scrapbook supplies are at your fingertips on a lighted desktop you can roll away so that you don't have to disturb your pages-in-progress when you get up from your work.

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