Whenever I come across vintage metal hardware organizer chests at garage sales, I try to pick them up. I’ve been obsessed with cabinets with lots of little drawers since I read about them in Pippi Longstocking when I was little. These cabinets usually run about $5 at garage sales around here, so they’re a cheap way to fulfill my childhood dream of having lots of little drawers!
They have usually been sitting in a garage for the last 30 or 40 years, so it takes a bit of elbow grease to clean them up. The effort is worth it!
The multiple drawers and dividers are perfect for keeping jewelry stored without tangling. I thought about making velvet liners for the drawers, and maybe I’ll get around to it eventually. The chest does a great job of storing my jewelry.
If you see these old chests at garage sales, don’t hesitate to pick them up. I just purchased two taller ones that I’ll be using in my craft room to hold sewing and office supplies.
The former back porch of my house is only 6 x 10 feet, and I have to pack a lot of uses into a small space. It has three doors, a window, and the fuse panel, and it serves as my main entrance, coat closet, laundry room, and storage. I have a tiny strip of wall that I wanted to use for bags, keys, hats, and mittens. I looked at a lot of different types of shelves, but I worried about the doors hitting the shelves and sending the contents flying. After several months of searching, I finally found these bicycle baskets. They’re very sturdy, a reasonable price, and easy to hang.
I bought three of the baskets, one for my husband (his is pretty high off the ground, but he’s 6’4″), one for me, and one for all our hats, scarves, and gloves.
When we built this wall, I centered two studs so that I would be able to hang shelves of some kind down the road. If you don’t have studs in convenient places, be sure to use wall anchors.
The bicycle baskets are made to go on a rear rack, so they have an attachment bracket at the bottom. This didn’t bother me at all, but you could remove it if it got in the way.
Here’s a close up of the brass hangers I used to attach the baskets. I got them in a large box of picture framing hardware at a garage sale. They look like the clip part of a D-ring hanger, but I haven’t been able to find one to link to (even google image search match has failed me). If you don’t have any odd metal hardware hanging around, I’d use metal strapping or even part of an old leather belt.
I screwed several cup hooks into the wood trim above to give us a good spot for our keys, since we seem to collect them! The baskets have helped me to be more organized. No system on earth could prevent me from losing my keys (or purse … or gloves … or phone) every once in a while, but these baskets have helped!
I had an old earring display that I made several years ago that had some really bad fabric on it. I was in a hurry at the time and just wanted somewhere to hang my earrings. I decided that it needed to be updated. I also figured in the process that I would show you how it is made. I have a larger version of the earring display on the other side of my sink where I hang my necklaces. It is done in the same new fabric, but does not have the ribbon embellishment.
Ceiling Tile (cut to size needed, I used a utility knife to cut my tile)
Fabric (enough to cover ceiling tile)
Ribbon (or any embellishment)
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
I ironed my fabric and rolled it for dust, lint and pet fur. The fabric has been sitting out for a while and needed a quick lint-rolling.
I left about 2 inches of extra fabric on each edge to wrap around my tile board.
I stapled the sides of the board first. It really doesn’t matter if you do the sides or top/bottom first.
I folded the corners like you would a present. I am sure there are fancier or neater ways to do this, but I like the end result.
Fold up the bottom edge and hold to staple.
Repeat this same procedure for the other three corners, then staple the rest of the top/bottom fabric.
I decided that I wanted to have a bit of embellishment to my display, so I chose some ribbon I had left over from a previous project and cut it to fit my tile board.
Once I had decided on my placement, I used my cutting mat to make sure my ribbon would be level and even on my board.
I stapled the two vertical ribbons to the board and then added the horizontal ribbon in the same manner.
And here is the board all ready to go. I just need to add the pins and earrings!
I had been working in the loft at my craft table, but as all the pins and earrings were downstairs, the project shifted to the dining table.
I used a wide earring and a long earring to help decide the placement of my pins. I have a lot of earrings and needed to be able to display long and short earrings.
Now the display is ready to go. I pushed it in place and hung my earrings!
If you cannot tell, the earring display is in the over the toilet shelf. I have more necklaces hanging all over the shelf itself as my other necklace display is already full, another project?
I like the color, I have lots of stained pine in my house (a LOT of it) and the more color I can add, the happier I am. As I cannot paint, I will add color wherever possible.
I am really happy with my finished Tile Board Earring Display!
Lynne: In our last challenge for wooden spools I spent most of the two weeks trying to make a colored pencil stand that would:
1. hold my pencils where I could easily reach them
2. let me see the color quickly
3. keep the pencils from rolling to the floor and breaking
4. keep the point sharp
5. look cool doing all of the above.
Eventually, I came to the conclusion that wooden spools were not the answer to the colored pencil problem and instead I made the embroidery floss project box.
During the big reveal of our wooden spool projects, I began to elaborate on my search for a pencil holder when Loryn brought up the website Apartment Therapy and showed me this plastic grass countertop drying rack. She thought that the drying rack could be something similar to what I had in mind. She was right, but I had no plastic grass and was unlikely to find any cheap enough anytime soon. I kept thinking of things that were thin, straight and pointed and came up with bamboo skewers. Loryn had a website for that idea also and showed me this bamboo skewer knife holder.
Bamboo skewers work because their points allow just enough room for the pencil point to slide in between each skewer even though the skewers are packed tightly at their base. The pencils do not have to be guided into a specific slot which can be aggravating; enough so, that you end up impatiently laying the pencils down where they roll to the floor breaking the lovely point you just so carefully shaped. Best of all, those lovely points are not marred when you push the pencils in among the skewers.
Excited about finally getting my dream pencil holder, I set about finding the container I needed to keep the skewers upright and packed tightly. I didn’t want something too small because there would not be enough room for the pencils and I did not want something too large because there is a limit to the number of bamboo skewers you want hanging around.
Cheri has a talent for arranging flowers and as a gift for my birthday, she had given me a bouquet in a rectangular glass vase. As a bonus, she painted a delicate tracery of lilies of the valley around the outside of the vase. I have used the vase again for other flower arrangements but at the moment it was standing empty in my cupboard. It looked to be the right size and I liked that it was not round because that meant no pencil would be in the middle surrounded by other pencils and out of my easy reach. The vase is shown in the photo below. I love the delicate flowers.
I found the bamboo skewers I wanted at the local farm store and bought 7 packages of 195 skewers each which turned out to be just enough. Sometimes, things just work out right for no good reason at all. The skewers were longer than the vase and I had to find some way to cut them all to the same length. I tried a miter box and handsaw but I could not keep the skewers bundled together enough to cut them without splintering the ends. I finally just grabbed my wire cutters and taking about 10 at a time I turned them point-side down in the vase and cut them even with the top of the vase. This allowed me to measure and cut at the same time.
There is one thing about using the wire cutters that I should mention. When you cut the pieces go flying everywhere. You end up pulling them out of your hair, picking them up off the floor and even out of the chandelier. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would, but I need to sit down and think of a better way to cut bamboo skewers if I ever do this again.
While cutting I did have the foresight to place all the skewers with their points in the same direction in a box. I did not want to spend more time sorting through pointed sticks than I had to. When I was done I stacked the skewers into the vase as shown in the photo below.
Most of the points of my skewers are just a little above the rim of the vase. It has something to do with the curve on the inside of the bottom of the vase. I should go through and cut them all so they are just below the lip of the vase, but I have had my fill of flying bamboo.
This holds about 10 pencils and does all of the things I wanted it to do. I cannot call the project a cheap trick since the skewers were about $14.00 for all of them, but it is a good organizer and I am glad to have the pencil problem solved for now.
This view shows the dimensions of the vase from the top.