Category Archives: Organization

Concealed Media

The title of this post totally sounds like a name of a production company or cheeky pop-punk band, no? #randomthoughts

concealed media storage

I crossed something off of my to-do list!  Crossing things off of lists is really satisfying, wouldn’t you agree?

It also satisfying for me when I fix something that irks me.  I love playing Nintendo and watching DVDs, but it irks me to have media visible.  It’s just too busy to be visually attractive.  I store all of my media in this beautiful scandinavian-style cabinet, which I adore, but I had to do something about the fact that you can see inside.

concealed media storage

I have several options in my craft stash that would look nice behind the window panes of these cabinet doors – scrapbook paper, cork, mountains of scrap fabric.  I ended up going with textured, paintable wall paper that I had leftover from a dresser redo (my first post on the ol’ blizzog!)

concealed media storage

I measured posterboard panels that overlapped the glass panes by about an inch.  Because my cabinet doors were longer than the length of one piece of posterboard, I cut a few pieces at the right width and taped them together.  High tech stuff.

concealed media storage

I attached my wallpaper to these panels using mod podge instead of the adhesive thats already on the back of the paper, because the former is much less messy and time consuming than the latter.

concealed media storage

concealed media storage

I still have about two-thirds of my sample pot left of Valspar Greek Tapenade, which I used for my Instax photo display shelf. Why did I choose to use it for this project, too? I. LOVE. THIS. COLOR. SO. HARD.

concealed media storage

I used this same paint on my “FRIENDS” style picture frame around my peephole (see below pic), and I have other plans for it as well. Sometimes those little samples go a long way!

inexpensive small space decor

Once the paint was dry (two light coats), it was time to affix it to the inside of the cabinet doors. Guys, this part was so easy… I used double sided tape.

concealed media storage

The best part? They aren’t permanent, so if I change my mind (entirely possible), I can pull them down lickety split!

Doesn’t it look much better now that you can’t see my collection of horror movies and every Nintendo system ever made?

Do you prefer to conceal your media items, or do you like leaving them out in the open? Let me know in the comments!

Two-Tone Storage Crate

I love a quick and easy Sunday afternoon project.  This one was cheap, too, so… Trifecta!!!

Here’s a thing I did to get more organized in my bathroom.  My bathroom is REALLY small, so believe me, I need all of the storage and organization I can get.

two tone bathroom storage crate

I bought two little crates at a thrift store for 25c each.  They were bare wood, and frankly, a little boring.

two tone bathroom storage crate

I took some stain that I had lying around (Varathane American Walnut) and stained the outside.  One coat, no fuss.

two tone bathroom storage crate

Then I used a careful hand and a paint sample that I bought a couple of years ago (Valspar Sweet Mint) to paint the inside. Two coats, minimal fuss.

two tone bathroom storage crate

The dark stain mimics my floors and the light, blue-green paint hue matches one of the colors in my shower curtain.  I love it!

two tone bathroom storage crate 040 done

Side note: I invoked my red sticker rule and bought that Nate Berkus rug at Target for $10.98!  Pretty, pretty.

two tone bathroom storage crate

My little crates are perfect for facewash, lotion, body spray and the like.

I already had all of the supplies for this project, so, it felt “free” to me.  But, you could probably re-create this for less than $20.  All you need is a couple of storage crates, wood stain and paint!

Do you have a cute way of organizing things in your bathroom?  I’d love to see… Link in the comments section!

xo,

J

Operation Organization: Closet Storage

Confession: my closet looks like a hot mess around 70% of the time.  Okay, maybe 75% of the time.  Okay, lets just not quantify it.  Here’s a thing I did to help myself get a little more organized in the closet.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

My closet is actually considerably big for my little 571 sq. ft. apartment.  It’s just under 37 sq. ft., and at 8 1/2 ft deep, there’s a fair amount of walkin’ space.  It’s almost 5 ft wide, leaving me plenty of room to put a shelf on the back wall, and still hang my clothes on the adjacent rod.

My bookshelf is one of those inexpensive composite-wood, adjustable shelving units that you can find at most big-box stores.  Its just over 6 ft tall, around 3 ft wide and 1 ft deep.  I purchased it 6ish years ago, and it’s in good shape, so I’d say I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth… but… with all of my purses and wallets and clutches and shoes on it, it’s uggo.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

It’s nothing that a curtain rod, a curtain, some paint, and a sponge can’t fix, though.

I attached a $5 curtain rod (from Target, maybe?) to the top of my shelf.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

My curtain had visible tabs, but I didn’t want that, so I folded them over and sewed them in place.  The curtain rod now slips in the tabs behind the top hem.  Tabs be gone.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Then I hemmed the bottom of the curtain up a few inches.  I just hung it on the shelf and marked where I wanted the bottom to be with a piece of chalk.  No pesky measuring, here.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Then I cut a damp kitchen sponge into a triangle, and used black and grey latex paint to create a random geometric pattern on the curtain.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Old baking tins lined with aluminum foil make great paint trays, and allow for easy cleanup!

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Now I don’t have to stare at what could be considered a “hoarders stash” of shoes and purses every time I walk by or into my closet!  I still have a ways to go before anyone could consider this closet pinterest-worthy, but at least I’ve got the ball rolling.  Baby steps.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

I already had all of the supplies used in this project so I’m not sure of the exact cost, but I’d bet that you could easily re-create this on your own for under $50.  All you need is a composite wood shelf, a cheap curtain rod, a curtain, a sponge and some paint!

What solutions do you use to store your purses and shoes?  Link to them in the comments section so I can see!

xo

J

The Red Sticker Rule

Do you like tips for shopping on a budget?  Pull up a chair, friend, cause I have one for you today.

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

If you’re anything like me, and maybe a fafillion other people, you might have a weakness when it comes to Target.

Target (who has no clue who I am, and definitely did not sponsor this post) can be really dangerous for folks on a budget.  They continually step up their home decor game, making a clear effort to provide curated, eclectic assortments with an affordable price tag.  So to keep myself from overspending at my beloved bullseye, I created the Red Sticker Rule.

The concept is simple but the execution is a challenge.  Essentially, when I go to Target, I only allow myself to purchase clearanced items, which all don a red sticker.  Sometimes I transgress, but mostly I have a pretty high success rate.  Here are some of the items I’ve gotten on clearance for jaw-dropping prices.

Grey ceramic catch-all bowl – $8.94 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Large fabric bin – $4.48 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Nate Berkus navy faux snakeskin 5 x 7 frame – $4.98 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Plain wood woven basket (I bought two!) – $4.94 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Pewter textured square Threshold frame – $9.98 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Melamine faux bois candle plates – large $7.94 and small $3.94 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Nate Berkus desk drawer organizer – $4.98 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Great finds, right?  And those are just the ones I kept track of for this post!  So next time you’re at Target (or any other store you love that your budget hates) challenge yourself to follow my Red Sticker Rule… And do let me know how it turns out!

What tactics do you employ to keep from blowing your budget?  Do tell…

Fancy File Cabinet

Folks, just about everything at our place gets a paint job if it holds still long enough.  And that includes a dinged up old metal file cabinet!  The fella and I found this baby on Craigslist for a cool $25.  MUCH cheaper than buying brand new.  And of course I gave it a little style and sass with color-blocking!

File Cabinet Before Makeover

The seller actually has a huge warehouse full of school and office surplus in used condition.  There were tons of neat items that filled me with nostalgia and memories, but the only item that was a practical purchase was the file cabinet. We could have used it as is, but I couldn’t stand to look at its sad, drab face. So I gave it a face lift!  Before I started, I put the cabinet on risers, which are actually just leftover table legs from my LACK Hack project…  This way the cabinet wont stick to the trash bag plastic drop cloth once its painted.

IMG_5418

Before painting, I took the hardware off. I’m not an expert in file cabinet assembly, only organizing the files in it. So before I removed the handles, latches and label holders, I used the highly scientific method of taking a picture of the latch mechanism, so I’d know how to put it back on when the time came. I’m a genius.

HON File Cabinet Latch Mechanism

I applied a couple of small strips of Frog Tape over the holes from the hardware to protect the inside of the cabinet from paint drips.  I also covered the lock with Frog Tape to prevent rogue paint swipes from messing it up.  I didn’t want to remove it, for fear I’d mess it up and render it useless.

File Cabinet Painting Precautions

If you’ve read any of my other posts (thanks!) you’ll know that Zinsser B-I-N is my go-to primer. For Pete’s sake, that stuff sticks to air. No kidding. So this file cabinet got a coat of the ol’ B-I-N.

Priming a File Cabinet

And then there was the boring wait for the primer to dry. I have this habit of adding more dry time to whatever the manufacturer’s instructions state. I live in North Texas and the humidity here is pretty much a year-round thing. Better safe than sorry I say.

After the longer than usual wait is the fun part… Painting! This file cabinet sits in our guest room / office. It lives with a gold shelf (can’t wait to share that project on here) a white writing desk and a guest bed with green and white bedding. The room is no where near where I want it to be. Baby steps. But I am a tiny bit closer with this little project!  I’ll pause while you enjoy the schematic I sent to the fella to give him an idea of what I wanted the cabinet to look like.

Schematic for File Cabinet Makeover

To achieve the diagonal line, I used a yardstick and pencil to trace a line from the top right-hand corner to the bottom left-hand corner.

IMG_5434

The paint I used was some that I actually already had on hand. It was part of the Lowe’s Color Studio 2013 Spring Palette.

Valspar Polar White and Sweet Mint

Polar White / Sweet Mint

I just happened to be at Lowe’s shortly after they were released and bought samples of a few of the colors. Same thing happened when the 2013 Summer Palette came out… I can’t help it! The samples are inexpensive and go such a long way!

So the “bottom half” got two coats of Polar White, then I taped over my pencil line, and the “top half” got two coats of Sweet Mint.  There were about 24 hours worth of dry time between each coat, since this was done on weeknights after work.

Progress on Painting a File Cabinet

And what about the hardware? Well they got the gold spray paint treatment!  No progress pics of that but the gist is that I cleaned ’em, spray primed ’em and gave ’em several light coats of gold spray paint.  I gave the whole thing two coats of polyurethane (I use Minwax) and let it dry for… You guessed it… a couple of days longer than the manufacturer’s instructions suggested. Then I popped the hardware back in (thanks to my handy photo that showed me how to reconnect the drawer latches).

Voila! A pretty, pretty color-blocked file cabinet!!

File Cabinet Redo After

I thought the fella would hate it, I mean it is a bit feminine, but I think he’s just happy to have a place to organize his paperwork (those Air Force guys, they have a LOT of paperwork).  I love how pretty it turned out.  And I still have about half of each paint sample left over for future projects!  I’m tellin’ ya, those things go a LONG WAY.  Here’s a side by side so you can see how glorious it looks after a little TLC.

Before and After File Cabinet

I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous about the paint chipping, since the metal surface of the cabinet is zero percent porous, but I have faith that my trusty B-I-N is up to the challenge of keeping the paint in place. I’ll definitely post an update if the paint starts to come up.

In the meantime – anyone else taking steps to a more organized life or visiting giant warehouses full of cafeteria tables and science lab equipment? Do tell…