Where do you find inspiration – and how do you store it?

van gogh

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about where I find inspiration for my creative projects. We are all bombarded with colors, images, textures and information wherever we go (online and off) that it’s almost impossible not to be inspired on a daily basis. Some of my favorite sources of inspiration include store window displays, furniture catalogs, fashion magazines, old buildings (not too many of those where I live), book shelves, vintage prints, or being outside, whether it’s in the garden among flowers and butterflies, or down at the beach. In terms of seeking inspiration online, I’ve spent many a relaxing evening browsing my favorite sewing and crafting blogs, scrolling through page after page of fabric designs, pattern stores and DIY websites and of course, everybody’s favorite…Pinterest.

Phew! My brain has gone into tingly overload just thinking about all that colorful inspiration. And that leads me on to thinking about how I record those ideas and snippets of color and design. After all, what use is all that inspiration if it goes in one ear (eye?) and out the other?

Mood boards

Mood board by Holly Becker of Decor8

Are mood boards still the preferred method to collect and record small pieces of information? I haven’t made a mood board since Pinterest came along, but there’s something to be said for having all that information on display, on the wall, staring you in the face. Adding swatches and patches with removable tape or tacks means you can easily move the elements around to change the look of a board, and that in itself is an easy and useful exercise.


Journal by Bonnie Van Esch of Living Life Creatively

Journals are a great way to store ideas and inspiration in a more personal way. Maybe you prefer to draw or jot down ideas? Having a journal in which to store them, conveniently keeps them all in one place. There’s no reason you couldn’t staple, glue or tape a collage of gathered ideas, so that each journal page becomes a mini mood board. Another great thing about journals is that each page can be as specific, or as generic, as you like.

Digital Photo album

I have a dedicated ‘Inspiration and Ideas’ album on my phone, so that any time something catches my eye, I can take a photo of it and add it to the album. I have been known to take photos of magazine pages, purses belonging to people walking in front of me down a street and road signs as we drive past them (does that make me sound weird?)


I love Pinterest as much as the next person, but I don’t always remember what I’ve pinned and where. It’s so easy and convenient, however I’m pretty sure that the simple act of ‘pinning’ something isn’t quite enough for me to have the concept firmly planted in my brain. I have to go back to the original pin time and again, in order for the little seeds of ideas to start growing roots.

I’d like to spend some time over the next month, thinking more about how I store these little ideas I stumble across, and I’d like to encourage you to share stories about your methods too. Chances are, we can all inspire each other.

2 thoughts on “Where do you find inspiration – and how do you store it?

  1. My primary source is pinterest. When I click on pins page, it shows the most recent things I just pinned. I do a print preview and then change the settings to 50% so it show up on a printed page and doesn’t get cut off. Then I print the page. I also do it on specific boards. I don’t do it all the time, but I do once in a while so I can have a printed copy of ideas when I go down to my craft room.

    Also when I am out and about and things catch my eye, I take pictures of them for inspiration! Love my camera phone.

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