Thursday, August 27, 2015

8 UHeart Organizing: Shut the Craft Door

One of my favorite things to do is to curl up with a cozy blanket, a cup of coffee and a good storage book or magazine.  Flipping through page after page of colorful and streamlined storage solutions is oddly comforting yet invigorating at the same time.  It is a passion I have had for so many years now, and for me it never gets old.

I find myself most drawn to organized playrooms, craft rooms and home offices.  I just love that these spaces are ones that allow you to let go and play with color.  My eyes get all big and heart shaped whenever I see lined up craft paints and acrylic drawer dividers with bright gift wrap showing through.  #majorweakness

So when my fellow color lovin' friend, Cassie of Hi Sugarplum, shared her recent craft closet with me, I couldn't hold back my excitement.  She paired the ever-so-incredible Elfa system (yes please) with her beautiful supplies to create a very practical and drool worthy solution.  What I love most is that someone could essentially store and entire craft room worth of supplies on a single door (so no craft room needed).  But as much as the point is to conceal everything behind closed doors, I am not sure I would ever want to shut these craft doors.  Here she is to share more details so you can have the same heart eyed reaction I did.



Hello my fellow organizing fanatics! I'm so excited to be back on Jen's rockstar blog sharing my latest organization overhaul with you. Our families vacationed together last week, and in-between riding the waves and whipping up batches of icy cocktails, I picked her brain for tips and ideas! So not only was it an amazing trip, but I also came home motivated to whip every nook and cranny of my house into efficient, organized shape!

We've been in this new home about six months, and in that time we've remodeled the Kitchen and given the Master Bedroom a makeover. The design of the remaining rooms is coming along slowly as well, but I have stalled in regards to some of the major organization spots for our family... like a Command Center, Mudroom, and Craft Closet (click the links to see how we did them in our last house).

I'll admit I've been paralyzed with indecision, so much so, that six months later, this was the state of our craft and wrapping supplies. Not real convenient for a blogger with a creative daughter!


I'm lucky enough to have a spare bedroom with an amazing double-door closet... A prime spot for an office with perfect craft storage. (We're looking at the doors and vaulted ceiling, not the wallpaper border left behind by the previous owner! That's Project #187 on our list!) But without clear direction, I let my uncertainty prevent me from even getting started. Finally, I read back over my mantra for last year... and decided to just start somewhere! Besides, it could only get better, right?!


I already had a Container Store Elfa system for our gift wrap, and it fit perfectly on the inside of one door.... So I decided to utilize the other closet door with the same system for many of our craft supplies. I typically bring home an assortment of baskets and sizes to see what works best, then return the others.

Tip: There are several lower-priced door storage options, but I've found the Container Store's to be the most sturdy. So I wait for one of their big 25-40% off sales to stock up! 


I'm proud to say the contents of four boxes of craft supplies are now neatly organized on this single door...and more importantly, they are finally accessible! Roll that beautiful bean craft footage!


I'll break it down for the detail-oriented crowd. #mypeople

Basket 1: Pails of pencils, markers, paint & stain pens, scissors, rotary blades, and the taller items like Modge Podge and sealant.

Basket 2: Specialty paints and finishes


Baskets 3 to 5: Craft paints (in rainbow order, because, duh!)


Basket 6: Pails of brushes, foam brushes & daubers, tubes of Rub 'n' Buff, clips & rubber bands

Tip: Small buckets from the Target Dollar Spot are perfect for corralling and separating supplies. Yep, I basically just wrote you a permission slip to shop at Target!

Basket 7: Specialty papers, contact paper, wallpaper samples...these are used mostly for craft projects like this, and lining drawers or covering walls like this.



How about one more pic of the paints just to get our hearts racing?


Another plus of this system, is how easily my existing gift wrap station transported to the new house... I just reattached it to the door, tidied it up a bit, and was good to go!


Baskets 1-3: Assorted ribbons


Basket 4: Gift tags & ribbon remnants

Basket 5: Gift bags & tissue, pail of tapes & scissors


The magnet strip is great for holding canisters of smaller tags, and notes like birthday reminders.



Basket 6: Wrapping paper

Tip: To hold tall tubes of paper, use a deep basket at the bottom, and a gift wrap rack for the top.


Clearly I share Jen's weakness for pretty papers, and HomeGoods just feeds my addiction!


I'll admit, these organized doors are now part of the tour when friends come by to see the new house... And I may open them with Vanna White flair! #okayItotallydo (We're looking at the doors, not the inside of the closet!) 

Well obviously, now you're looking at the inside of the closet... that will be Phase 2.... Let's focus on the delightfulness of Phase 1 for now! I'm just thrilled to have all our craft and wrapping supplies out of boxes, and at our fingertips! And I crossed the biggest hurdle... Getting started!!



Do you let your fear of imperfection keep you from even getting started on projects? I'm learning that the worst thing that could happen is I have to start over later... And who said that's a bad thing?! ;) Thanks for letting me stop by.... Happy organizing, lovebugs!

See more of our Organized Spaces here, and Home Tour here.





 "Hi, I'm Cassie, a DIY and design-obsessed Texas girl, and lover of travel, fashion, sarcasm and Mexican food. When I'm not hanging with my sweet and funny family, you can find me kicking the '80s out of our home, one budget project at a time, on my blog Hi Sugarplum!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

19 Four Days & Four Drawers Mini Organizing Challenge: School Supply Drawer

Another day, another organized drawer.  Yesterday's home office drawer was just what I needed to boost the functionality of today's drawer.  With the boys starting school this week, we were in need of an organized school supply drawer to give them all of the necessary homework tools for a successful year.  In the past we have purchased each boy individual sets of supplies and stored them within their own personal study boxes.  Although the boxes work fairly well for a good part of the year, eventually supplies start missing, the boxes are left all over our home and cars and the contents become so jostled that they are no longer helpful to the boys.  Now that we have a set of drawers near our dining room table (where our younger boys do their homework), I wanted to dedicate one of the drawers to their studies.  This way I only had to purchase a single set of supplies and could expand the contents of the drawer to the types of items we found we needed during previous school years.


So as part of the Four Days & Four Drawers challenge, I knew it was perfect timing to get this drawer in top working order.


Because this drawer is new-to-us, there are no messy before pictures today.  Just a blank slate.


The first step was to gather all of the supplies and dedicate organizers to fit those supplies.  I went with my go-to dividers because they come in a variety of sizes to customize our layout (and once again, I love the durability, versatility and cleanliness they provide).   Here is another fun animation to show the evolution of the main portion of the drawer (I think I am officially in love with .gif making).

Organized School Supply Drawer

This time around I just lined the drawer with some blue cardstock to anchor the acrylic and colorful supplies.  After the initial set of organizers went in, I started getting happy goosebumps.


However, as I started planning this project, I realized that I had more supplies than I had room for in my drawer.  I also realized that the amount of organizers and dividers I had were not all going to fit.  These drawers are not as deep as what I am typically use to, measuring in at 9 1/2" deep x 20 1/2" wide.  I had room for one set of dividers, but still had two more trays to factor in.  But that is why yesterday's project was a good place to begin, because the concept allowed for me to re-think how to make the most of today's drawer.

What worked so well for me yesterday, was the ability to add a second layer of organization that still allowed me to easily access the first layer.  The specific organizer I utilized with my filing cabinet drawer was not going to work for this setup, but that didn't mean I couldn't try to replicate the concept.

One "tray" was intended to hold loose leaf paper, a blank notebook and a few stacks of memo pads for extra note taking and scribbles.  The tray was actually just part of an inexpensive acrylic box picture frame.  The other tray was an organizer I picked up awhile back at HomeGoods and was nicely divided into smaller sections for those smaller items.


See how those two trays are now have enough clearance to place items below?  The process was much more simple than I initially had planned.  I am so excited about this!

Step one was to measure the width of the drawer and determine the height for the new trays to easily glide (and offer clearance for the items below).  Once we had our measurements, we found a piece of scrap wood to cut to size.


Because our IKEA drawers have an odd angle where the bottom joins the walls, we cut the ledge at a 45 degree angle.


Like a glove!

Wanting a nice finished appearance that would just blend in with the face of the drawer, I grabbed some white vinyl (typically used with my die cutting machine).  I could have also used paint, but didn't want to risk a sticky finish.


I then found some adhesive mounting strips that I cut and stuck to the front of the drawer.



Ten minutes later I had an edge for my organizers to sit and slide on.


The back of the trays rested nicely on the back side of the drawer (but we easily could have mimicked this idea on the back side if necessary).  To prevent them from falling behind the drawer, I added some sticky feet to the bottoms.



And now we have double the school supply storage area in a single drawer.


Here is a side angle to show the drawer closing without any height issues or hangups.


Another animation?  OK!

DIY Drawer Organizer Layer


Here is a detailed list of the contents of our study drawer:

  • Mechanical pencils
  • Scissors
  • Page flags
  • Calculator
  • Flip cam (for school projects)
  • Paperclips
  • Colored pencils
  • Charging cords/brick
  • Tape
  • Erasers
  • Stapler
  • Rubberbands
  • Ruler


  • Sharpie
  • Highlighter
  • Pens
  • Large Paperclips
  • Small Paperclips
  • Earbuds
  • Glue sticks
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Stopwatch/timer
  • Washi tape
  • Butterfly clips


  • Loose leaf paper
  • Spiral notebook
  • Memo pads


Everything is easy to find and I love that the organizers can swiftly move to the table and be put right back. I have a feeling this is going to become the most utilized drawer in our home. One day in and it has already been a definite hot spot for our boys.


Don't forget that you can join in on the challenge with me!  Small organizing projects are contagious and motivating and I am still on fire to tackle two more drawers.  I hope some of you are excited to take on a drawer or two as well.  Friday will be "link up" day and you can also share your photos with me anytime via Instagram with the #4drawers4days hashtag.

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