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Taking craft gear on the road


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I'm thinking about future travel on long trips, possibly in an RV, but I won't go without my miniature craft supplies and tools - which are already filling a small bookcase and overflowing onto the floor of my work area at home. I need to find or make a storage system that is (a) portable, (b) lightweight, © as compact as possible, and (d) with many compartments or drawers that can be labelled and accessed easily. It can't be too expensive, and a huge plus would be if it were made of anything but plastic (I may be asking the impossible there, I know). Any ideas?

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Two things come to mind for me and I have used both at some point in time.

The first is a craft tote. You can get them at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. There are some compartments and there is some room in them.

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/xxl-wheeled-organization-tote-281204/

The next, although plastic, is a toolbox from Harbor Freight. They have several that have compartments in the lid and/or in the front.

http://www.harborfreight.com/4-piece-nesting-toolbox-set-3721.html

These may be more portable than what you are seeking. In the stores mentioned above as well as Bed, Bath & Beyond, there are several storage boxes or crates that are stackable. They nest so they are fairly sturdy for travel in an RV. It really is going to depend on how much you want to take and how much room you have when you are mobile.

:drive:

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Wow Greg! These are great! Ok, I'm lifting my ban on plastic. I was thinking I wanted one storage unit for everything, but now I realize tiny parts, heavy tools, flat sheets of material, and cans of liquid stuff aren't really all going to fit well in one portable thing. Maybe I need a few cupboards, but different organizers in each one. Your suggestions also led me to some other cool organizers, like this one with a gazillion see-through compartments:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003P2UOCO/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p60_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=18VWSKT8N63XJQ16TQ5Y&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846

Thanks! (Love that emoticon, too)

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Well, let's see' on our first-ever long RV trip I worked on making dolls, so I took my el cheapo toaster oven and my big plastic toolbox i reserve for polymer clay & dollmaking (clay, tools, rolling pin, waxed paper, chenille stems, patterns, molds...) and put it all under a dinette seat. for the two trips where I built dollhouse kits (the Glencroft and the wood Orchid) I took the big toolbox with drawers that holds mostly hand tools and a few supplies and a bag held spackle, paint and wallpaper paste; it all went under the bench.

Until I get the workshop (mumble, mumble) the only mini projects I work on now are needlework ones; and for this trip I have three full sized needlework projects in my florr tote and totebag; the former sits on the floor behind me in the truck and the latter sits up front with me.

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Andrea, you didn't say what scale you prefer, but one of the delightful things about half scale is it takes up a lot less space, and you can use a folding TV table as a work space. Most of the time I use a banker's box lid for the structure and tools and miscellaneous bits. That way I can move it around. :)

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I had a BIG folding table that tucked flat against the wall whilst we sere chugging from place to place. As soon as we got set up and the awning up, out came the table, the house carcase and all the stuff to work on it.

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I had a BIG folding table that tucked flat against the wall whilst we sere chugging from place to place. As soon as we got set up and the awning up, out came the table, the house carcase and all the stuff to work on it.

I can just picture it! :D

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I was working on a project and my job took me out of town, to stay in a motel. Not quite the RV scene, but it was mobile and temporary. Someone had given me a little cosmetic bag for my birthday, which I didn't need but in respect for the giver I didn't toss it. Turns out it was perfect for the minis! I would only be gone 4 days, and had the after-work hours in a motel to fill, so I took all the windows for my project and sanded and painted them. Tools, paint, and windows all fit into the two-sectioned cosmetic bag and I got a lot done over the weekend :)

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I have had a traveling work box for years. It goes with me on all vacations and trips. There are seven entries about it and how to put one together on my blog. http://caseymini.blogspot.com/search/label/mini%20workbox. The entries are in reverse order, so to see how it was put together you have to go back to the first entry. I have everything in it to make clothing, small accessories, rugs, baskets and leather goods. In an emergency, I even made Tessie an old time bathing suit. Bloomers and all.

By the time I got to the second or third trip, I had it just the way I wanted it. It stays filled and ready to go at all times.

Sorry Andrea. I'm with Holly. It's in a good old Plano plastic box, from the fishing dept. at Walmart, but it works great. Holly, between the two of us, we should own the Plano factory by now! LOL

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I should probably buy stock in Plano!

Does anyone actually use Plano's cases for real live tools?! I know several pipers who use them for their pipes, and we have several we use for the horses in the barn to load in the trailer for shows. I also have a couple for my sewing shop/upholstry items so I can make house calls. Great product line.
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Gloria, the Plano boxes are really for fishing gear... I can't say thar I have ever seen one used as such. I must have about 40 of various sizes. Some are over 20 years old and still going strong. They don't seem to ever wear out. And the added advantage is, you can change the size of the compartments to fit your needs.

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I guess I am odd woman out-I've never heard of a 'Plano'....? Never mind,I Googled it-I guess it's a brand name for a tackle box or storage boxes....never heard the name before. My daddy just called his a tackle box,no particular brand name. Okay,another mystery solved.

Edited by kat57
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I used a Plano case for years for my cosmetics. We traveled a lot and everything fit, was tough enough to kick around in the car, and opened up nicely on bathroom counter. I did hear a rumor that they were designed for fishermen. Silly fishermen :)

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Talk about looking in your own backyard! I live about 20 miles from Plano IL, the home of Plano Molding, and drive through there at least once a week. I think I even know a few people who work there. But I don't fish and I never knew they made tackle boxes. Now I have to get one! Plus a craft tote (placed on my birthday wish list today), small toolbox, makeup case, and folding table. And maybe a toaster oven. :) I am just loving the idea of being a traveling, outdoor crafter - thanks for all these great ideas!

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Kat, there's a hyperlink to the Plano site in my post above. I think I mentioned I use one of the smaller Plano toolboxes for my doll making gear. Their tackle boxes are da bomb! When I finally get my workshop and can unpack the garage I'm going to count just how mini I have; I expect it's at least a dozen!

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Andrea, you didn't say what scale you prefer, but one of the delightful things about half scale is it takes up a lot less space... :)

Debora, I've never done anything in half scale. I like the idea for space saving even at home, and it really makes sense for traveling. My reservation is that the smaller things get, the more trouble I have seeing what I'm doing and handling them. But I'm thinking about trying one of the little villages soon, and if I can handle that, then maybe I'll tackle a half-scale house. :)

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Debora, I've never done anything in half scale. I like the idea for space saving even at home, and it really makes sense for traveling. My reservation is that the smaller things get, the more trouble I have seeing what I'm doing and handling them. But I'm thinking about trying one of the little villages soon, and if I can handle that, then maybe I'll tackle a half-scale house. :)

You probably know that the villages are quarter scale, so they are even tinier. I have to wear readers (sometimes I wear two pair for greater magnification), and I have to plan my builds a little differently. I usually complete interiors as I go, and sometimes I build parts of the exterior, but don't glue them in place until all painting is complete. But I love the precision and challenge of the smaller scale. Also the Greenleaf kits are laser cut, which is important to me because of hand issues (sanding is difficult for me). :)

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And as to those Plano boxes, with a good sized box you could get everything you needed into one along with the sheets from a half scale house kit. In quarter scale you could probably take along the whole village, and don't even get me started on 1/144 scale (guess you could use a smaller box!) :lol:

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Thanx for pointing out the "hyperlink",Holly. I still haven't ever heard of this company before,but they do make some really neat stuff. Since I don't travel,I just use a lot of dollar store plastic 'shoe boxes' and egg cartons to organize my mini stuff. Might not be good for most extended travel,but they are secure enough for short transports,and they're either dirt cheap or free!

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I had no idea they were for tackle! Some of ours are veterans of our Navy life, and some are newer, but they are great for all manner of things and very durable. Our Irish draft horse stepped on one we use for brushes and braiding supplies, and it popped right back into shape. (She thinks she's a pony. . . NOT.)

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