A Quick and Easy Tool Caddy

I made myself a small tool caddy this week.

Given that I have two work spaces, one upstairs and one down, this falls into the category of things I should have done a long time ago, but didn’t. I was inspired by a picture posted on Instagram by @prairiepeasant of a caddy she made for herself recently. She covered hers in old book pages and wrapped the handle in heavy linen thread, so it is much more elegant than mine.

Mine has a recycled cardboard aesthetic. It was made by adding just a few dividers to the lower half of a box that originally contained Mandarin oranges. (I stole it from My Lovely Assistant Kemuri, leaving her the top half.) The corner compartments were already there. I just glued them in place. Here’s a guide to the contents.

It was quick and easy, is perfectly functional, but it does require two hands to carry it.


I am still working on the two garments I posted about last week. That is partly because I have top-stitched or zigzagged every seam, and partly because it is taking me an extremely long time to get the gathers on the front of the black dress adjusted to my satisfaction. (Have I mentioned that I am a bit OCD?)

I cut some lengths of twill tape and marked off the width of the gathered area. (The second mark on the right end is a half inch wider, just in case the dress was difficult to put on.) The tapes allowed me to try on the dress for fit before finishing the gathering step. They also provide a width guide for the gathers.

Here’s the gathering from the inside. The middle line is the right width, but I need to tighten the top and bottom a bit, then make all the gathers even. I plan to make this dress again, but I think next time I will do pin tucks in this area instead of gathers. For me, at least, that will be easier to handle.

Perhaps I will have at least one finished dress to show next week!


I have begun updating my presentation Altered Books: A Personal View. I first gave it at an ARLIS conference in Toronto in 2014, but I have done more with altered books since then. (The image below shows me installing one of the pieces in my 2013 solo exhibition Word View at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery.)

I will be giving the presentation on Zoom for the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild on May 26 at 7 p.m. MDT. I will post the Zoom link next week, in case you are interested.

In other book arts news:

Paper artist Nancy Akerly of Liberty Grove Paper Arts, will be presenting a virtual 3 hour Basic Treasure Box Class on June 24th. The Zoom class is part of San Diego Book Arts Year of the Box.

You can find more details here.
The deadline for registration is June 1.


The National Library of Scotland has digitised a collection of more than 240 precious manuscripts, many with Scottish origins ranging from the 9th to the 16th century. The collection also includes volumes produced in England, France, Italy and northwest Europe, as well as Greece and Iceland. Many of these are finely decorated or of major textual significance.

You can read more about it in this article.


If you’re a typography fan, you should pick up TypeTogether’s new book Building Ligatures: The Power of Type. This comprehensive guide has something for every level of type nerd, from cool fonts to expert criticism of the field.

Read the full piece and look at some preview page spreads here.

In other news:

David had some assistant gardeners yesterday morning. I didn’t manage to get a picture of the first one —a young buck just starting to grow this year’s antlers— but I did get my camera in time for the second. The doe is browsing the new growth where David previously cleared shrubbery to let more light into my downstairs studio.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004. I also create prints and drawings that are frequently text-inspired or text-based.
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6 Responses to A Quick and Easy Tool Caddy

  1. (deleted) says:

    I use the kind of dishwasher basket for holding cutlery, lining the compartment bottoms with a small piece of cardboard.


  2. Laura says:

    Glad my make was an inspiration to you, and great recycling! Mine has since gotten a lot fuller with more tools that I deem “essential.”


  3. Nancy Akerly says:

    Thanks for mentioning my SDBA class! Very kind of you!


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