Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Organizing on a Dime, pt. 2: Storage Compartments

Well, it's about time I do the "part 2" of my organizing on a dime post.  (Click here for a link to my first post.) Here are a bunch of simple ideas for storing crafting supplies (and other things) on "a dime," and keeping them looking cute at the same time.  You can use scraps of items you probably already have on-hand to "cute-ify" them.  So here's a peak at what I've done on my college budget to organize and spruce up my crafting space.

Repurpose Old Food Canisters/Boxes

As a place for storing scissors and glue sticks, I used an old oatmeal canister. First, I Mod Podged some paper to it, and then cut out a border from my Cricut Folk Art Festival cartridge.  I got a wooden knob from the hardware store for $1.25, and super-glued it to the top for an easy-to-remove lid.

Border made using Cricut's Folk Art Festival cartridge
Save old canisters to repurpose--an old oatmeal canister or fancy cheese case
And remember my cheese party post from ages ago?  Someone brought Brie in a fancy case, so.... :) Perfect case for push and safety pins! 

Next, why throw away all your cereal boxes when you can use them as a perfect storage unit with just a little effort?  

I needed a place to store my loose Silhouette Sketch Pens, so went to cutting up an empty Wheaties box.  First, cut it down to size... 

I then filled it for a time, but one day when I looked up and saw this face smiling down at me,

...I realized it was time I finally cover hunky '70s man. ;)  To cover with paper, I again used Mod Podge, cutting the paper a little taller and longer to allow me to over-lap it and glue down the flaps on the inside.  Just cut a small slit in each corner so that you can fold it over like flaps.

Don't throw the rest of the box away yet, however!  I cut out some extra pieces of the box to use as dividers inside this new lil' case, and they work like a charm.  (I have them somewhat pulled out in a few of the following pictures to show you what I they look like.  Noooothin' fancy! But they work.)

Use an old cereal box, covered with paper, for storage of smaller items.  Cut pieces of the box to use as dividers within.
I covered it with paper to match the colors in my room, added in a cut flower image on the end from my Cricut Formal Occasions cartridge to make the flora/fauna theme I have going on with my craft supply decorations, and there we go! Handy new compartmentalized storage box for just the price of a piece of paper. :)

Make a compartmentalized storage box from an old cereal box and some paper!

Just makes it more cute.  Don't you think?  Now for just a few other random ideas that you can use for creative storage spaces:

Creative Storage Spaces

Try a bird feeder. :) I had a dear friend give me this as part of a gift with some sentimental/inside-meaning.  I wanted to keep it close (and don't have anywhere I can hang it outside) so I decided it would be a great place for storing scrap twine and vinyl pieces.  It's see-through, so that works, and I get to keep it in my room, getting good use. To add a little more to it, I used some Silhouette Frosted Glass Vinyl and cut out a border, using my Silhouette, to place on top. Yay.

Creative Storage: Use a bird-feeder.  The lid lifts off, and it's an easy way to see your scraps.
It sits on my shelf with my other pens, repurposed jars and boxes, etc. 

Don't remember my repurposed jelly and salsa jars? Check out my post, Organizing on a Dime, pt. 1.

Next, for extra shelving, try a shoe-rack (can be purchased at Target, Wal-Mart, etc.)  This isn't as cheap as some of these other things, but it's easy and it works.  Use if you have one lying around, or see about thrifting one. Yep, my printer even fits underneath. 

A more traditional storage idea would be to use baskets.  I got this short and flat basket from a thrift store for $0.50. Never buy a basket new from a retail store, unless you have to have something incredibly specific.  They are too expensive there, and there are always a plethora of baskets to choose from at thrift stores for much-much cheaper.

Pick up a basket at the thrift store to use for storing ribbon, etc. 
I keep mine on top of a small organizing compartment I bought ages ago.  I used scrap Chalkboard Vinyl pieces to label whats inside each drawer of the compartment. (It changed recently and I kept looking in a drawer for something that was no longer there.  Thus, the labels were actually helpful. ha.)

Label drawers with chalkboard vinyl
What do you do with small scraps of loose-cut ribbon?  I roll mine up and stick them in this old face-wipes jar...

These are the ribbons I save from old invitations, little gifts, etc.  Don't you love repurposing? Speaking of repurposing, and soon to be speaking of awesomeness, check out these more secretive but space-saving storage compartments I made out of some old books that someone was throwing out:

Use a utility knife to cut out the insides of an old book, turning it into a storage case! Cover outside pages with Mod Podge so they stay put.

A utility knife and many episodes of Downty Abbey later, I had cut myself out a sweet compartment. It's helpful to finish it off with some Mod Podge to hold the pages in place.  I actually Mod Podged the outside pages of the book first so that they would better stay put as I cut. (You have to cut down just a few page layers at a time.) Then use your books for height, decoration, etc., happily smiling at your own little secret of their dual purpose. ;)  I keep mine underneath my Silhouette, and love them. :) Love love them. I like books.  It works well for me.

Turn old books into extra storage compartments, then use as decoration!

So here is a picture of my main, college-student, working space:

If I can do it, so can you. ;) 

A few other ideas: save the bags that your extra buttons come in with blouses, etc., and use them to store small brads or eyelets.  (I also got that nifty silver compartment, which came from a wedding, holding their wedding favors.  Why throw-away when I can put it to good use storing funky larger brads?)

Use button bags to store brads and eyelets.
And I know we've all seen the idea of using pill-cases to store small items such as these.  I just fold up my little button-bags and place them on top of similarly colored brads.  Like getting double the space out of one compartment. ;)

Another great place to go is the Dollar Store.  They have all sorts of bins, such as the one below which I use to store my craft paints, for $1 or under.  There are all sorts of great websites to look at for nifty storage ideas made just from Dollar-Store stuff.  This post has a wider variety, but those are great too!

I think I mentioned this once in an earlier post, but I use an old binder and some sheet protectors to store my scraps of paper, keeping them color-coded. 

One more idea, is to save and use those great big popcorn or cookie tins that are popular around Christmas as easy storage.  I have yet to paint or cover this Christmas Dutch Cookie tin, but I have been putting it to good use for years now. :)  

So there you go!  Some simple and creative ideas for storage compartments, made with things you'll likely already have on-hand.  Any other thoughts or ideas of things you do?  I'd love some more! Especially, how do you store your vinyl for easy access?  And what about paper embellishments? I'm looking for an idea that works for my space. 


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