Makerspace Pegboard Organization

About: Educator, maker, librarian, and Director of Community and Instigator of fun at Makey Makey! I love making and creating all kinds of stuff, but am particularly obsessed with circuits and physical computing!

A nicely organized pegboard can make even the messiest of makers somewhat tidy! Before Aaron installed this pegboard, I tended to make a mess and misplace lots of my most used tools! (Regular scissors still escape me on the daily.)

In this Instructables, you'll get a close up of all my organization hacks that help me keep me making messes without losing my tools and supplies!

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Step 1: Organizing Alligator/crocodile Clips

Last year, I realized I really needed a quick and easy way to get to my alligator clips. I use them all the time when I'm prototyping for sewing circuits or Makey Makey projects. I did a thorough Internet search for alligator clip organization and found some cool ideas (which I shared on this post about alligator clip hacks) but I realized I wanted something even easier.

I had a Magnetic Knife Strip from Ikea we hadn't hung up yet at my house, and I wondered if it would work to hold my alligator clips? So I threw it on two pegs on my pegboard and sorted my alligator clips (also known as test leads or crocodile clips) by color. Now I can reach up and grab one when I need it! When I'm done, I just place the head back onto the magnetic strip! It's one of my most favorite hacks ever.

I also have a set of artist pencils hanging right next to my alligator clips. I use these a lot for drawing circuits! Last year my 10 year old even tested each pencil to see the variance in conductivity between pencil led types. They begin to all be the same at about 6B and up, so for drawing circuits I tend to buy a bulk supply of 6B pencils!

Step 2: Pegboard Jars and Inspiration

These pegboard jars are one of the most brilliant inventions you never knew you needed. I use them to organize small conductive items: loose change, loose screws, metal marbles, brass fasteners, metal sewing snaps, etc.

All of these tiny random things bring me inspiration, but I also have this beautiful #rackproject (Random Acts of Kindness) art I found at the Austin Maker Faire one year!

Step 3: Tool Storage

I like to hang my favorite cardboard cutters the Zip Snip Cutting Tool and the Canary Cardboard Scissors on their own single peg. This makes them super easy to find! I've seen some makerspaces even outline the tool so things get put back in the right place!

Plus I have oodles and oodles of copper tape in ziplock baggies with a tail out on one hook to avoid a future tangled mess. For storing my wire strippers and needle nose pliers, I use this screwdriver pegboard accessory to them handle out so I can find them, use them, and put them back quickly!

Step 4: More Odds and Ends

Next to my Makey Makey Inventor Booster Kit, I have some LEDS sorted by color and small plastic gears for toy hacking and tinkering.

I hang rulers at the edge of the pegboard, because one always needs a straight edge or a ruler handy!

To keep pens, pencils, and a box cutter accessible, I hang them in this awesome LEGO coffee mug my librarian aide gave me a few years ago! (Thank you, Mrs. Mulvaney!)

Plus, I also keep this tiny circular storage with a handful of sewing circuit materials like conductive thread, Lilypad LEDS, sewable switches, and an assortment of things for light diffusion on my pegboard because they are tiny items I want to be able to find quickly!

Step 5: On the Desk

On top of the desk I have some important items one can't over look:

  • A Dremel 3D40 to print Tinkercad and Morphi app designs
  • My waterproof Wonderboom Speaker for jamming out
  • A new Honeytone amp for making noise art (Thanks to Mike Mitchell for this idea!)
  • This wacky tower charger that charges USB and plugs. What I like about this is that you can turn on/off parts of the tower.

Step 6: More Storage Resources

My favorite item for organizing microcontroller kits like Makey Makey and Micro:bit are these Iris Photo Keepers. You can usually find these at on sale at Michaels if you look at the right time! The best thing about these are that they are clear and you can tell quickly when a student has something missing!

For bigger items, I store everything in shelving in clear plastic tubs similar to these. Apply a label with a quick explanation of the resource (I have some labeled "Round wheel like things") and students will be pretty good about finding what they need in storage like this. (Sometimes, they do forget to put the lids back on though.)

Just make sure you measure your shelf width first and order all the same types of bins!

And last but not least, if you have the time or the need you should think about making yourself a rolling pegboard like this one built from a guide by Digital Harbor Foundation. (My husband Aaron Graves finished out this rolling pegboard tool storage for me after I failed at putting it together.)

I'm a bit obsessed with storage ideas for makerspaces! I even have a whole page on my blog dedicated to Makerspace storage with tips for organizing your Micro:bits, Makey Makey, and more. Here's the link for more in-depth details not covered here. Plus, I even blogged more storage ideas for the Makey Makey blog here.

How do you organize your pegboard and makerspace? I'd love to see your pics and see if I can use your hacks for my own space!

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