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Spice Organizer

30 Jan

One of the best ways to save money is by cooking at home, and since this girl is back in school, the budget is tight! When cooking at home, spices are your best friend, but your cabinet’s worst enemy. My spices have completely overtaken an entire shelf of cabinet space and I have been wracking my brain for a solution. Unfortunately I don’t have the space to use magnets and hang them all up in plain sight, or the money to buy a fancy spice rack, so here is the simple solution I came up with.


Box – smaller size, with shallow edges is best


Sharpie marker


Online shopping is another way to save some dough(as long as you don’t go overboard) because you can find amazing coupon deals and you don’t have to waste gas driving to the store. My most recent purchase came in this box, which is just about the perfect size for my spice collection.


I cut off the top flap and painted the inside of the box white and used some of the gold paint from my last project on the outside. This will take a few coats to cover the natural color of the cardboard. Some other ways you could the cover the box are with patterned paper, fabric, newspaper, magazine images, spray paint, Mod Podge, etc. So go crazy with the personalization!


Here is my disorganized spice cabinet. I have to shuffle them around every time I cook and there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to where they are placed back. What a mess!


While all of my spices don’t fit in the box, the ones I use the most do. This is a huge help because when I go to cook something, I can just take out the entire spice box, rather than running back and forth between the stove and my spice cabinet!


All organized and look at all the space I have now! The stuff that didn’t fit in the box are mainly back-ups that I had purchased because I will be running out of the other one very soon. This quick project can also be just as easily done with a store bought box/basket, tupperware or a serving tray.



Wine Crate Shelves

1 Nov

My roommate, Alex, asked if I had any suggestions on how to revamp her bedroom and for some reason wine crates had been on my brain, so I suggested she use them to free up some of her storage space and display her stuff in a fun way.


Wooden wine crates

Paint – optional

L brackets


Power drill

The wine crates are great because they’re sturdy, neatly made, free and the options for customization are endless – paint, decoupage, connect them all together, leave them separate, I even saw an amazing wall built out of them!

Here is the before photo of Alex’s room. That small set of drawers on the floor blocks the entry way, but acts as her vanity so it needed to stay close to the mirror.

We also thought a display area above the radiator would be a nice addition to her workstation.

Alex decided on a neon pink accent color painted just around the front edge.

Once the boxes were painted, we hung them on the wall using L brackets.

We wanted the brackets to be hidden, so we attached them to the wall so that the boxes would sit on top of them which you can see above.

Here is one of the boxes all set up! She went with a green accent to match her drawings already on display.

And here is Alex’s new makeup/bookshelf storage area!

So for a total of $10, spent only on the hardware, Alex has some new shelves and more open floor space. So go ask your local wine retailer to save you some wine crates!


Customizable Calendar

28 Sep

In the midst of my move I somehow lost my calendar. This was a bit of problem for two reasons: I now had a bunch of things to put on my schedule with school starting up and it is September so finding a 2012 calendar that didn’t look like a business planner from Staples was not easy. I did eventually find something similar to what I had in mind at Target, but then I realized that I could just make it myself and save $15.




Microsoft Excel

Binder rings

I had a lot of left over cardstock from the wedding place cards that I knew would work great for this project.

Using the calendar templates that are already preset into Excel, I just went through and changed the colors and font to something I liked. You could also enter the events you know of already while you are creating the document.

Once printed, I just punched holes into the top two corners and used binder rings to attach them all and also act as a way to hang it on the wall.

I filled in my family and friends birthdays and hung this in a highly visible spot in my room. This project probably took me longer than it would for others since I love to play around with fonts and colors, but if you’re looking for a way to make a calendar to your exact specifications, this is the route to go.


Picture Shelf with Accessory Storage

10 Sep

Before I moved I realized that the tops of my furniture were loaded down with picture frames and tchotchkes. Having these things spread out and taking up so much space was really bogging me down mentally so I did a bit of research and decided to make a shelf dedicated just to displaying all of my photos of family and friends. While packing I also noticed that I had way more jewelry than I knew and figured I would wear it more often if I could see it all. Thus was born a picture shelf/jewelry display combo.


Lumber – I used a scrap piece of moulding and an 8′ board

Screw gun

Screw driver(yes, both)

Drill bits

Hooks – I used 80 total

Shelf brackets


Paint brush



To start I gave the piece of moulding a couple coats of gesso – basically as a primer. I wasn’t sure how was I was going to finish it at this point so I kept it simple.

While it was drying I went and picked up some hooks. Then I marked off where to pre-drill holes. The piece of moulding measured 7′-10″ which ended up being perfect for an 8′ shelf, allowing for brackets on either end that are an inch wide. After doing the math (80 hooks spread out over 94 inches) I decided to space the hooks out an inch apart, leaving 7 inches on either end.

Time for the drill! This part is obviously tedious but took surprisingly less time than I expected.

All the hooks are in and it looks a bit crazy. Everyone thought 80 hooks was overkill but those spaces fill up quicker than you may think!

Attaching the shelf to the piece of moulding took a bit of measuring and lining up. I marked off 4 spots along each to pre-drill where I wanted the screws to go to make sure they lined up evenly.

Once the shelf and moulding were attached I screwed in the wall brackets.

Using this little shelf and framed poster as inspiration, I decided to the paint the new shelf white underneath and black on the top.

Once the paint dried, I got to work on hanging this bad boy. I was home alone so I had to figure out how to do this by myself and make it even. To start, I centered the shelf on the wall and marked where one of the screws for the bracket would go. From there I was able to use my handy level app to figure out where the screws for the other brackets should be placed.

This shelf and accessory display filled up very quickly! I love having everything out and visible while still organized and neat. The project itself came together very easily – the hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry! It is also so easy to customize to fit any space and use any size scraps you may come across.


Fine Art Serving Tray

7 Sep

Hi strangers. It’s been awhile, it’s so good to see you again 🙂

So here is a quick little project I did last night. This goes out to all our fellow art school students who have art history lining their book shelves that they’ll probably never open again.

Serving Tray
Magazines, books, photos


My Aunt gave me this serving tray awhile back, and I knew I wanted to do something fun with it, but I wasn’t sure what.  I moved into a new apartment last weekend, and I quickly remembered all of the Art History books I had collected when carrying them all up a flight of stairs.

ImageI figure…you can buy a great De Kooning print for $20, or you can buy a whole book of prints for $20 and rip pages out. So I got to ripping.

ImageYou can obviously do this with magazine pages, old photos, I was even thinking dictionary pages would be really interesting.

ImageAnd here it is! Sitting on my coffee table. I think doing something like this is a great conversation piece. Who needs coffee table books when you have coffee table art?

Quick Fix – School Supplies

30 Aug

I’m heading back to school in a few short weeks and realized that I am in need of school supplies for the first time in 3 years! My organization style has changed over the years and these days I am really enjoying the free form of sketch books as opposed to lined notebooks. I stopped by Michaels and picked up three new sketchbooks but was a little concerned that since they all look exactly the same I would mix up the class subjects that they correspond with. Here is my quick fix:



Spray paint


Here are my fresh new sketchbooks alongside one that I currently use for just about everything. Check out my schedule for today – yikes!


I just laid the sketchbooks down with the covers open and spray painted each one a different color. It took me less than 5 minutes and now I don’t have to worry about grabbing the wrong one. I love the size of these because they fit in almost all of my purses while still being big enough to allow some space for taking notes and drawing out ideas. The paper has a nice weight to it and the spiral is wide enough to accommodate a pen on the inside, keeping them from getting lost so easily!


Window Storage Cabinet

20 Aug

This project sort of just fell into my lap – I came home one day to an old window sitting in my driveway just asking to be repurposed. While scraping the old green paint off, I ran through a bunch of ideas in my head of what exactly to do with the window. By the time I chipped off as much green paint as possible, I had decided on turning the window into a clothes storage cabinet to replace the last piece of plastic dorm-style chest of drawers I had left. Adulthood here I come!


Old window


Sand paper

Glass cleaner

Power drill

Paint brushes



L brackets

Door pull



Shelf pegs

Painter’s tape

Door catch hardware

Furniture feet and attachment hardware

Detail trim


Measuring tape


Storage bins

(This supply list looks a little daunting, but it’s mostly just the tools and hardware, I promise this was a pretty simple build)

Here’s the window – in rough shape and in need of some crafty loving care.

I found these scraping tools among my family’s tool collection, they worked great for the nooks and crannies of the trim around the window panes.

Scraped and sanded, I got to work measuring out the window to come up with a design for the cabinet.

Lucky for me, we had some scrap wood available that was perfect to build the structure of the cabinet with. I decided to go with three boards on the two sides and back to mimic the layout of window panes.

I used small L brackets to attach the sides to the top and bottom. At first it is really flimsy but once the shelves go in, the cabinet becomes very sturdy.

Here is the cabinet with two sides attached.

Here you can see the furniture foot attachment. It’s really easy to do and makes it easy to switch out the feet if you ever wanted to.

Now time to attach the window! I just used basic hinges and attached them to the inside of the cabinet. I ended up adding an extra L bracket to the top and bottom of the board the window is attached to. This helped to keep the board in place when the window swung open and close.

I marked where I wanted the shelves based off of where the horizontal mullions were and drilled holes for the shelf pegs. Once the cabinet was all built, I attached a door handle and a door catch so that the window would stay shut when closed.

After the cabinet was built, I decided I didn’t like the unfinished look of the top and bottom edges. So I went and picked up some simple decorative trim and attached with some finish nails.

Now for the fun part (sort of, haha)! I primed the whole cabinet and didn’t fuss with taping the windows off because I was feeling lazy.

I left the interior a glossy white(surprise, surprise) and painted the exterior a glossy fuschia.

I dreaded having the scrape the paint off the windows so maybe tape would’ve been a better idea. Though to get the paint off easily, I sprayed the windows down with Dirtex and let it sit for a few minutes and then took the tool above and just scraped away.

One of my major issues with this project was finding storage bins that I liked and weren’t ridiculously priced. Luckily, I found these bins at Home Goods for a decent price and if in a few years I get sick of them, I can easily just swap them out for a new set. The bottom shelf will be home to my printer, so the gaps between the boards work perfectly for all those cords!

I am excited to fill this up and put it to use! This project should have taken me just a couple days, but other things came up – projects, school, a wedding, so it was spread out over a few months. It was actually nice to work on this in stages, breaking it up into more manageable pieces and not rush through it just to get it done.


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