When you are born with the crafting gene, you feel compelled to create something everyday. Sometimes you create an idea while other times you create an actual something. Those who wear their gene on their sleeve usually manage to eek out some space solely for crafting; if you’re lucky, you eek out an entire room. I definitely have that crafting gene, and I most definitely do not have the space, so I eek out my crafting areas wherever I can. It used to be that I would make a huge crafty mess on the mister’s desk while he was at work, but since he quite likes his desk clutter-free and it is, after all, his desk (i.e. the one and only space that I haven’t invaded), I have had to get extra creative in crafting it up.
If you’re anything like me, you will find yourself in the middle of many projects and ideas at once. And you may find that in the throes of a craft “moment” you may have made the biggest mess outside of a dozen cherry pies crashing onto the floor. At this point, it may be too dark or too cold or too something-else to fold up all that fabric and put everything away. Then the next day you move onto something new, which results in your first work in progress going missing. Works in Progress or WIP for short are very important to us crafty folk. They are something tangible to show you have been creating and are something to look forward to at the end of a workday or otherwise long day of non-crafting. Since I live in the casa otherwise known as tiny, I have had to resort to super-duper craftiness to keep track of those WIPs. I don’t have a box or a shelf or a drawer I can tuck them away in, no, I use something that works quite well for me and satisfies that other gene I got from my mom: the gathering gene. I use vintage tin TV trays, you know, the kind with the folding legs. Sometimes they are called lap trays and sometimes the happy little legs that fold out are missing, but that’s okay. They are cute, they are vintage, and they do a pretty dandy job of keeping various fabric WIPs in place. They are also not too expensive and they stack, so I can have a few WIPs going on at once; all I need is a place for one tray and the rest go on top. Though I do have to admit, I’m not exactly partial to the folding trays — any tin tray will do but the folding trays work better for sofa crafting. I use smaller vintage trays for corralling supplies. Once I get a crafty bee in the bonnet, I need to pull out all the parts to remind me of what I want to be working on. Gathering all the bits and storing them on a pretty tray keeps me current. Using TV trays to corral your WIPs only works with those flattish WIPs. This won’t work with yarn projects but small stuffed items, sachets, hand quilting, embroidering, and paper crafting all nap nicely in the trays. They are also quite portable, and you can take them with you to the park or beach or backyard. If you can limit yourself to three or four trays at a time, you will be able to manage your WIPs, finish them even, and then have happy tin trays to serve lemonade and shortbread on. I found all my trays at the thrift shop but they can also be found on Etsy and eBay Just be warned: these happy trays can invade your brain with their multiple uses. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya and have a happy, WIPpy kind of day! About the Author: Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.