Tag: organization

Easy Cheap Closet Updates

In Matt and I’s grand master plan for the house, we want to add a walk in closet to the master bedroom in the basement. With big wardrobes, and lots of shelves. However, since there isn’t even the bedroom part of the plan done yet, our clothes are in separate closets. Mine are in my studio/workshop room with my dresser and scarf storage wall. When we moved into this house a year ago, the closet looked like this:image

I couldn’t stand the sliding doors. How is anyone suppose to get dressed looking at half the closet at a time! The first little update was taking the doors off. I’ve done this mini update to a couple of ugly rental closets too, since it’s easy to put the doors back up when you move out. If you don’t keep your closets tidy though than the interior might be just as much of an eyesore as the ugly doors!

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Scarf Storage Wall

I have tons of scarves and it’s always been hard storing them effectively. Folding results in creases and having them out of sight means I never remember to wear one anyway. For the past couple of years I have had them on my letterpress jewelry trayScarve OldBut the longer they hung on the hooks the more wrinkled they got. When I’m about to leave and decide to throw a scarf on there is no chance I’m going to take the time to steam the one I wanted. So on the empty wall of my project/dressing room I decided to make a hanging scarf storage system. Here is the wall before:

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Letterpress Tray Jewelry Organizer: Update

One of my most popular posts ever has been my letterpress tray jewelry organizer. The concept wasn’t mine, do an image search and there are pages of examples. It’s a beautiful way to display jewelry, and since I’ve used it now for about 6 months, I wanted to do a little update to tell people how it has worked out. I always wonder if people actually use their do it yourself projects, or if it turns out it only looked good in the pictures.

I moved my entire jewelry collection to the tray, and it’s great to be able to see all the pieces at once. On the downside though, it gets very dusty every couple of months, and to throughly clean it the jewelry has to be removed.

I have used this time to go though my jewelry, and remove any that I no longer wear, and separate pieces that need repair or cleaning. I also found that if I don’t wear the scarves often enough, they need to be rotated so creases don’t form around the hooks.

Other than that I’ve loved the transition to my letterpress tray. I would advise anyone who wanted to make/buy a similar one, this concept works best with a jewelry collection that is fairly stable. If you are constantly adding new pieces, it would be hard to get each new piece to fit and be accessible on one tray. Another thing to consider, if you don’t wear jewelry much the pieces will get just as dusty as their holder over time.

So in conclusion, the letterpress tray jewelry organizer isn’t just a cool idea that everyone online has jumped on and tried. It’s practical, and it’s beautiful.


Here it is looking very eclectic on my very plain bedroom wall:

Hand Stamped Labels for Ikea Jars

While checking out the dusty junk aisles of ARC yesterday I came across a little rubber stamp printing kit. It was $3.99 and taped shut, worried that it would only have Qs and Xs, I looked around for any employees and sliced through the tape with my car key. It looked like the last owner used it to stamp the same account info over and over and nothing else. Almost all the others letters had never been touched. So I brought it home.

I didn’t buy it for any particular purpose, but I quickly thought of a great project. Lovely little labels for the generic looking IKEA jars in my kitchen. It was pretty simple to do, but it was time consuming. It wouldn’t take nearly as long to arrange the stamp if it was easier to get at the right letters. I’m going to look out for a small divided box at thrift stores, the organizing tray it comes with isn’t much help.

If you want to copy my method, it’s really simple. If you have a similar stamp kit use that or just print out your labels in a cool font. Cut out the labels and affix to your jars with a piece of clear contact paper cut slightly bigger than the paper.

Some of my labels before contact paper:

Something look off? Yeah I know I spelled roasted wrong. I’m terrible at spelling correctly when it’s during a project. When I do lettering or calligraphy I have to spell out the text on scrap paper and reference it before I do each letter. I noticed I’d spelled roasted wrong after I had cleaned up everything so I just cut off the “rosted” part and labeled the jar almonds.

I did this in the middle of the night so it was necessary to take the pictures in my light box. My kitchen is red and orange and it’s impossible to take a decent picture in it at night. Anyway we are moving to a whole open storage system for the kitchen dry goods and I love having all the plain jars labeled. I’ll post pictures of my sweet kitchen setup as soon as I remember to take them when the lighting is good!

Playing With Books

I’ve been putting the finishing organizing touch’s to my project room. I want to eventually paint it and make curtains and so on but until then I have to settle for keeping it organized and neat.

Matt and I have had this little bookcase from Target for years:

Right now it’s holding my collection of novel’s and project reference books. The other day I was arranging said books and started to play with the options. Changing around your book collection or just organizing them in some fashion can make a cluttered or chaotic shelf look interesting and tidy. For example:

These are arranged by height, this isn’t my favorite look but it does give the shelf a sense of unity. Here is another option, color:

I love this one, it would look especially good with a more extensive collection, perhaps where a single color took up the whole shelf.

Here is my favorite way to organize books:

Most design or organization books/blogs/websites say that you should leave room on the shelf because it looks uncluttered and there is always room to add to the collection. I like to use stacked books as bookend so I can leave space on the shelf without an actual bookend. Plus I love the shape of this arrangement.

The possibilities of organization are endless and it always looks far more polished than having a shelf of random books. Here’s another combination:

There are other and far better ways to organize if the goal is functionality, like alphabetical for instance, but for a small to medium collection I like a more aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

Stockpiling or Hoarding: A Guide to Craft Closets

My husband recently expressed a wish for a living room that doesn’t double as my project studio. Apparently it is hard to relax with all the surfaces (floor included) covered in drying painted objects, sketchbooks, thrift store merchandise and empty Dr. Pepper cans… silly boy. Subsequently I have spent the last few days attempting to organize all my project supplies into the extra room in our house. Going though it all has got me wondering: At what point does stocking supplies turn into hoarding?

For me there are three categories of items filling my project room:

Unfinished Projects like those above, a letterpress tray, empty frames, decorative plates etc. Things that I bought or had that need work or don’t yet have a place in the rest of the house.

General Supplies like spray adhesive, paint, glue, screwdrivers anything not project specific.

My third more vague category Saved Materials I Might Use For A Later Project (I couldn’t think of a more succinct way to say that) like packets of unused chopsticks, plastic pearls I took off a broken necklace, old sheet music just anything I have saved/bought that I might use for a future undetermined project.

Any of these could get out of hand, I think for now I have a good handle on it. To make sure a craft closet doesn’t turn into a junk closet: 1. Don’t buy/save too many “Saved Materials” hanging on to extra buttons is one thing, buying a bag of buttons you might be able to work into a project as some point in time is clutter. 2. Keep the amount of unfinished projects to a minimum (I’m terrible at this one). The more projects you take on the more objects are cluttering up your project space. 3. Lastly keep everything organized, having tons of fabric you can’t navigate is not only just clutter but increases the chances you will buy doubles of material you didn’t remember you had.

These are just my craft closet categories and rules, the main thing to keep in mind about creating your own project space is to make it function perfectly for you… and to keep it out of your spouses way.