Packing Tips for Attending Crop Events: Organizing Supplies Efficiently for Scrapbooking Workshops


Many scrapbookers look forward to opportunities to get out of the house and share their hobby with other crafters. Worrying about how many bags to pack and what tools to leave behind in order to make the best use of time take away from the anticipation of the event. Knowing how to pack efficiently can prevent stress and leave time for enjoying the workshop experience.

Tools to Leave Behind

A typical crop event, workshop or scrapbooking retreat allows each participant from 3 – 6 feet of workspace plus the space beneath to store tools, papers and embellishments. While it is tempting to pack as much as one can, the reality is that it all needs to fit withing the the allotted space.

The first step towards scaling down the amount of items to bring is to consider the size of each tool, the likelihood someone else will have a similar tool available for use and the amount of time available to complete layouts. The following list includes tips for scaling down the number of items to bring to the event.

  • Industrial sized paper trimmers are heavy, awkward to pack and take up too much space. Light weight 12 inch paper trimmers do the same job and are easy to pack and carry.
  • Full size die cut machines, sewing machines and other fastening tools should be left behind in favor of hand held similar tools.
  • 12 x 12 tray embossers will take up a large portion of the work space. Unless the only thing the scrapbooker wants to do at the crop is emboss, this tool is better off left at home.
  • If attending the crop with a personal group of friends each member of the group could be assigned a specific larger item to bring for the group to share at the event.

Use Smaller Totes

It is important for scrapbookers to be aware of their ability to carry heavy objects. Many tools packed into one large bag can make lifting and carrying difficult or even impossible. Scrapbookers should consider spreading the load into 2 or 3 smaller totes to make the bags easier to manage. When deciding how much to pack into one tote, scrapbookers should ask themselves the following questions.

  • Will there be steps or curbs to navigate between the vehicle and the crop area?
  • Does the tote have wheels and do the wheels swivel or sty in a fixed position?
  • How high off the ground is the vehicle? Remember that it will be much more difficult to to lift the tote back UP into the vehicle than it was to get it down and out at the beginning of the event.
  • Are there any disabilities that could interfere with lifting?

Pack Essentials and Extras Separately

Keeping the basic and most regularly used tools in a separate bag from the decorative products helps the scrapbooker to make better use of her limited cropping space. While working on the first stages of her layout she only has to access the one tote containing the essentials such as basic cropping tools, adhesives, journaling pens, scissors and layout packages.

Products and tools that are not needed until later in the design process should be packed in a separate tote. These include;

  • Decorative trimmers
  • Specialty papers used for finishing touches
  • Colored pens or pencils for filling in titles and captions and for doodling.
  • Larger assortments of eyelets, ribbon, fibers, flowers and die cuts.

The tote containing these extras can then be tucked away until the scrapbooker is ready to continue to the next stage of the layout process.

Advance Layout Planning

Scrapbookers can benefit from planning and preparing layouts before leaving for the crop event. pre-planning a layout can refer to anything from having a basic sketch with a few notes, to actually grouping together the papers and embellishments needed for each separate layout. Planning layouts in advance also means less need for bringing entire embellishment collections along.

Leaving larger items behind, spreading tools among more totes, pre-planning layouts and properly organizing tools can go along way towards making ones crop event experience easier to manage. Proper organizing done ahead of time can then allow the scrapbooker more time to enjoy the creative process instead of spending time digging for tools and cluttering up the workspace.