You can't bake it easy if you can't find your stuff! There's nothing worse than having the time, ingredients and energy to dive into a project and not having your tools and supplies at the ready. Here are a few of my top tips for cake decorating organization.
Know your space
Before you let your organizational flag fly, take a look at what you're working with. Like the old adage says, no use trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. As clever as any organization tip may be, it's only as good as its usefulness in the space that you have.
Whether you have drawers galore, a cake closet all to yourself or a nook carved out in the garage, lack of organization will throw a wrench into your cake works every time. Just be sure to apply the right storage solution to the space you're working in.
13 tips for cake decorating organization
Large, flat items
Before you decorate, you gotta bake! Cutting boards, cake and cupcake pans can be some of the bulkiest, trickiest things to store. For as long as I've been baking, I've never come across a 100 percent foolproof solution to this problem, since there are so many different pans for so many different things and of course, we need them all.
My advice here is to think before you buy. Instead of buying one round pan that's 2" tall and another round pan that's 3" tall, why not pick up the 3" one instead and only fill it as much as you need? Bingo!
Nestle pans of a similar size together, then take a trip to the office supply store for a metal file organizer or plastic magazine holder to line them all up! Got a tall, narrow space with cake pans toppling over every time you reach into grab one? Turn that organizer on its side and never have another pan avalanche again.
2. Cake boards
While you're at it, pick up another file organizer to keep your cake boards and rounds from rolling away.
3. Hanging ribbons
If you have room to hang, then a picture frame and a few tension rods are all you need to create a seriously cute and practical ribbon storage solution.
4. Stacking ribbons
If you've got to space to stack, then pick up a few storage boxes that have holes on the sides or poke holes of your own. Line up the ribbon spools and unravel lengths as you need them. Store your fabric scissors in the same box.
Small tool storage
Take your cake tools for a spin with a handy-dandy desk-top carousel. This is the perfect solution for all of those small hand tools like exact-o knives, sculpting tools, spatulas, piping tips, tweezers and more.
It's kind of a no-brainer, but tool boxes were made for tools! Wielding a spatula instead of spackle doesn't make you any less worthy of a killer toolbox. Pick up a small one with a handle if you're often on the go or a large one on wheels if you never leave your kitchen (like me).
Piping tip storage
7. On a rack
Take a cue from our sewing buddies and pick up a spool rack . This tip right here just about changed my life back when I owned my bakery. Hanging tips on a spool rack provides them with a place to dry, keeps them dent free and the same rack works for any size tip.
8. Stackable craft storage boxes
Craft stores sell containers specifically designed for storing tips, but they can be limiting with the current variety of tips available from various sources (like Russian tips or ruffle tips ). More generic craft storage boxes or bead boxes can be customized to fit whatever tips you need to stash.
9. Stacking plastic bins
Reusable plastic storage containers might not be the sexiest sprinkle storage solution, but they are practical. They're cheap, see-through, stackable and readily available online or from your grocery store. Smaller containers are perfect for teeny nonpareils, while larger containers are ideal for storing Sixlets, gumballs or sprinkle blends .
10. Spice or mason jars
Spice jars full of sprinkles. Is there anything on Earth more glorious? It's definitely a pricer solution than deli containers, but a prettier one if your sprinkle supply will be on display each and every day. Line them up on spice rack shelves hung on the wall or inside a cupboard door.
Knives, icing spatulas and more
11. Hanging on a magnetic strip
Magnets are a cake decorator's best friend! I always have at least 7-10 knives and icing spatulas on hand. Magnetic strips can easily be installed inside drawers and on the backs of doors to keep metal tools hidden away and easy to access.
12. Tucked away in a knife roll
Take a cue from our chef-y friends and invest in a good knife roll. Not only is it the best and safest way to travel with knives, it's also one of the neatest and most convenient ways to carry and store icing spatulas of all sizes. Toss it in a drawer or hang it on a hook.
13. Reusable damage-free hooks
You know the ones I'm talking about. They're made by the same company that graced the world with sticky notes and clear tape. Odds are you've hung a holiday decoration or two, or ten with one of these genius little hooks.
Use them in your baking area for literally everything. Throw two hooks on the wall with a dowel across the two for hanging ribbon. Stick a few on the inside of your cupboard doors for hanging measuring cups and spoons.
Tuck a few under your counter top to keep your mixer attachments at the ready. Best part — no commitment! Slide and switch these bad boys out as your needs change and your tool supply grows.
There's little I love more than a new organization tip. Share your favorite ones below!