Category Archives: Get Organized

Ombre Dresser DIY


Months ago I joined a group on Facebook called Buy Nothing after circuitously reading an article about the project. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see this great community of giving in my own little neighborhood: “Give where you live” is the motto. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out! Giving through the group generally feels better than receiving, but I was pretty excited when someone posted a dresser they wanted to part ways with, which had seen better days. I had ideas for that thing! (Plus dreams about not sharing one lone dresser with my husband anymore)

The dresser as it was kindly dropped off by a neighbor I didn't realize lived on my block.

The dresser as it was kindly dropped off by a Buy Nothing member I didn’t realize lived on my block. Her partner even brought it to my door, it was so nice and neighborly 🙂

At first I had a few different concepts in mind, but I was quickly waylaid by the fact that it had already been painted many times in its previous life and needed to be sanded down. Living in a condo with no immediate outdoor access, I was worried about how I would accomplish that. Luckily, a lovely friend of mine loaned me his sander which even has a little catch bag attached to it, so the sawdust wasn’t flying all over the place. I’m sure my neighbors appreciated sawdust not getting all over their balconies as well. (Thanks to my husband for doing about 75% of the sanding, too. My shoulder injury made it difficult to do it all myself.) Note: I did attempt to use some liquid paint stripper first, but I found that as it ate through the many layers, to get the last bit off was really tough and ended up with me gouging the wood with my scraper. I switched over to sanding after that, and it was labor intensive. Read the rest of this entry

Recycled Tea Jars


If you’re like me you probably have some random assortment of items that could have gone into the recycling bin but that you stuffed into a cabinet with the thought, “I could use this for something…”


We’ve had a not small collection of glass jars growing near our sink for awhile now. I hadn’t yet decided what exactly they would be made into, but I knew I could start by at least getting all the labels off and cleaning them up.

My husband has complained many times about the ridiculous amount of tea boxes in our spice cabinet/coffee storage area, because in the winter I get a little overzealous with all the flavors (if you haven’t had Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet or Sugarplum seasonal flavors you are MISSING OUT big time!) and they take up a lot of room/aren’t very organized.

I decided this would be he perfect task for my collection of jars. Tea jars! And things will be organized! And then my husband will have to admit that most of the disorganization in that cabinet is actually from all of his spices and cooking oils and the like.

Things you will need:

Glass food jars that have been cleaned (run through the dishwasher if you have one)

Large bowl of hot water

Dash of olive oil

A few clean paper towels

Chalkboard paint or chalkboard spray paint

Junk mail or other material to protect your work surface

Painter’s tape and paper (optional)

An outdoor area to work in if you’re doing spray paint, which I prefer

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My First Sale!


…And it was for a good cause. Thursday night was a major gala and auction event for a local non-profit I support.

I made a second jewelry hanger in more neutral colors and donated it to their silent auction:

Because lava red doesn't mesh with everyone's palette.

Because lava red doesn’t mesh with everyone’s palette.

Funny enough, the winning bidder was a lovely volunteer I know, so it will go to a good home!

Selling something I created was one of my goals for 2013, so I’m pretty happy.

We clean up pretty good.

We clean up pretty good.

And me and Mr. Pandercraft had a great time.

Up next: me and the Mr. build a bedframe. We even used a saw and still have 4 hands between us!

DIY Jewelry Organizer with Antique Drawer Pulls


Happy 2013!

Let me start by saying this is the first project in a long time that I have done that comes with a long list of things I did wrong and you should do differently. Sheesh. It probably took me over 2 weeks to get this thing done for real. However, I do love the way it turned out! (Thank the universe). Second disclaimer: this was not a very cheap project by the time I bought all the supplies. Drawer pulls are surprisingly expensive.

Things you will need:

Some wood- the size depends on what you want it to look like. I got some pine that is 3/4″ by 2 and 1/2″ which I had cut to 2 feet long.

Drawer pulls (you can buy these at the hardware store, or an antique store like I wound up doing)

Paint of your choosing, and a paintbrush

Measuring tape or ruler

A drill and drill bit for pre-drilling holes (I actually don’t own one of these and just used a sharp wood screw to drill all my holes. Improvise.)

Screwdriver with both phillips and flat heads

D-ring hangers/hooks (I bought 1″)

A hammer


Patience (whoops, I showed up to this project without this and it sucked)

An adult beverage (optional, helpful if you forgot the above item)


First you’ll want to paint the wood you bought/salvaged, or stain it if you prefer the natural look.



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Magnetic Makeup Board with a Twist!


The magnetic makeup boards were a hit, but I got to thinking….

I really wanted to make a jewelry organizer for myself. How could I combine something for makeup AND jewelry?

Don’t worry, I still have plans to make a super cool jewelry holder for my office (coming up next!) but I figured that this would be a great combination for my sister, since she gets ready for work and stuff in her room.

I got some brass “cup hooks” at the hardware store ($4 for 100 of them):

Screw the hook into place.

Screw the hook into place.

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Magnetic Makeup Organizer (and Bathroom Art Piece)


Happy October! I love fall. That whole spring cleaning thing? Yeah, no. I’m way more interested in FALL cleaning, because sometime soon I’ll be trapped indoors by the unpleasant Chicago winter. So it’s time to get organized!

This project is based on yet another pinterest find. Seriously, a million thanks to whoever thought that site up. Original concept from:

Between my sister and I sharing a bathroom now, what was already a near counterspace-less room has become even more cramped. As soon as I saw this project I thought it was a brilliant (and cute) solution to the problem. My sister ruined our shower curtain with hair dye awhile back and I made her replace it, so I had some matching shower curtain fabric laying around and decided this would be a perfect use for it!

Things you’ll need:

A somewhat large frame (size depends on how much makeup you own) – I got mine at the thrift store for $2

Sheet metal (mine is 26 gauge)

Snips for cutting your metal- I bought “straight cut Aviation Snips”

Spray or regular paint

Fabric in a coordinating or complementary color/print

Magnets – 3/4″ round, I bought “Magnum Magnetics” kind off of Amazon. They’re plenty strong for makeup.

Hot glue gun (with glue, preferably)

Spray adhesive or, if you didn’t buy any and are working on this project late at night like me, super glue will do in a pinch.

I have to warn you. All the supplies for this kind of added up quick. With the snips and metal alone, I spent almost $35. Spray paint ain’t that cheap these days, either. If you want cheap fabric i recommend recycling something, or buying fat quarters on sale at the craft store.

My thrift store finds:


Ugly thrift store art! Looks like something a little old lady would hang in her bathroom. No offense, little old ladies with taste.

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Crochet Hook Roll & Shadow Box


Since graduation on the 6th (huzzah!) I’ve been working on setting up my new office craft room. One large haul from Ikea later, I’m still trying to get everything organized and force myself to get rid of some things. It’s awesome to have places for things though! Even just halfway done the new setup is pretty awesome.

This morning I got rid of a whole box of stuff, and finally went through the box of wedding paraphanelia – it’s been almost a year, I figured I should sift through it and at least downsize it. Months and months ago I got a set of 4 picture frames which are actually deep enough to be shadow boxes for $4 at Goodwill. I might paint them, but I might not- in the meantime, one of them is large enough to accommodate my headpiece from the wedding! It has gotten a bit banged up, to my dismay, so I was thrilled to find a safe place for it to go.

My veil and fascinator (which I wish I could wear in regular life).

That’s not really a craft since all I did was put it in a frame, but I am jazzed that it’s safe now! I might find some colored backdrop to put behind it. But I might be lazy and leave it as is.

Anyways, In the spirit of getting organized, I decided to make a roll for all of my crochet hooks, so they’re not scattered all around and next time I’m in the mood for a crochet project, I can have everything with me all neat and tidy like.


Upcycling clothes into something new.

I used an old pair of jeans that had some thigh holes going on, and a skirt I got at the swap-o-rama several months back because I loved the print. So this project was nearly free! That always puts me in a good mood. I hesitate to call this a tutorial, because I’m not sure I did the best photo/explanation job, but maybe between this and other images it will help someone figure out how to make their own. I did not use a pattern, simply looked for examples of what I was thinking of in my head and got started.

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