Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Organization Motivation

Hi Everybody!

Edited to add:  I will be posting this again to participate in The DIY Showoff Surprise Party!!

Make sure to head on over and check out all the fun!

I am linking up this post with a fun new Linky party at Shanty2Chic - check them out RIGHT HERE!!

These 2 girls are like my IDOLS - I swear, there is nothing they can't do!  

So, I believe I showed you some photos of my office/craft room earlier, just to give you a taste of what I am up against in my redecorating efforts.  I believe one comment had to do with renting a bulldozer.  Really.

Anyways, I don't know about you, but I find sometimes that if there is just TOO much to do it gets too overwhelming,  I just don't know where to start.   So instead of plunging right in and getting things done, I tend to step over and ignore the "debris", and go about my business as though this room didn't look like a tornado tore through it.

I finally started deciding to get my act together yesterday AM and was taking a good look around to see where the most logical place to start would be.   Then it hit me!  All of my storage and organizational pieces (except for one, I'll talk about her later) were UGLY.  Yes, U-G-L-Y.   Hoping that having a somewhat prettier storage area would assist me in actually STORING things away, I set about remaking a junky old white PLASTIC shelving unit.   It was something that a neighbor was actually trying to throw away and I helpfully grabbed it from his trash.  I figured that eventually I could do SOMETHING with it.

So it's a very sad and plastic piece, not quite WHITE since it's pretty dingy and it's probably missing some integral parts.  

Here's a Before photo.

Behold the Yuck.

Since I'm on this black (or in some cases, off white) kick lately, I figured that I could at least coat it with paint and make it a bit more presentable.  However, this was yesterday and it was raining here.  Raining Cats and Dogs, my friends!   

Being very impatient, I decided on the spot not to let that stop me.  So I grabbed some Acrylic craft paint and went to work. 

The above is what I used.    And, after one coat on the legs and sides of this piece.....

Okay, kinda scary actually.   I could tell that it would cleary take many coats (no big deal, this stuff dries QUICK).   But also the black legs seemed to make this "problem area"....

Stick out like a sore thumb.   I don't know why it didn't occur to be when it was all white, but I had to do something with the front pieces as well.    My solution??

Scrabook supplies!   I knew that I save everything for a reason!

I chose a Kraft cardstock paper, in keeping with the neutral tones.    Measured approx. the height of the pieces that I wanted covered (in this case about 2") and used my handy cutter machine thing to cut them exact.

Now cardstock is typically sold in 12" x 12" squares, so one strip was nowhere NEAR long enough to go the distance across.   I fumbled around for a while and figured out a way to kind of "trick" the eye into thinking that one Looooooooooooong piece was used.

I'm not sure if it is clear from the photo, but I placed two pieces together.   I drew a tiny line of glue (FabriTac being the glue of choice here lately) along the very edge of one piece and simply laid the other on top. 

Which of course, leaves a big ugly seam in the middle.   Not the look I was going for really.

So back to my Other Favorite Thing lately, a thrift store find that I had found.  

Did you notice??? Yes!  10 cents a yard!!!!!!!   I bought a dollars worth and have used this stuff everywhere lately.   It's more of a floral craft trim and holds up really well to all kinds of wear and tear.

I drew another small line of glue on the middle part of one strip of ribbon.

Lined it up so that it covered the ugly seam in the middle of my two pieces.

Flipped the whole thing over on it's back.

And glued the top and bottom together!  The photo above is where they are glued together on what is actually the BACK of the two pieces, so it looks like one pretty legnth of ribbon on the front.

Did the same thing with two more pieces of the same kraft paper.

And decided it needed just a little something more, so I tried fashioning two smal bows to add to the front.
Note to self:   Must research How To Make Bows.   There's gotta be a manual somewhere.

And there they are!

During this process, I also went back and forth adding more coats to my Ugly Shelf. 

Eh, still not sure about the whole thing at this point.  But I am starting to see a bit of improvement.

Anyways, the next step was to figure out how to actually attach my pieces to my piece.   Enter FabriTac once again.   And, like always, this is not the best way or the only way.  It was just My way on this particular occasion. 

I don't have a photo, but I basically did just run a thin strip of glue along the top edge of my kraft paper and also tried to get some on the plastic as well.    Stuck the little buggers right on there.   It's not something that would probably hold up to too much wear and tear, but it should suffice for my purposes.    My purposes being that it will remail sitting in a corner of a room holding stuff.

And it actually worked out fine!  Added alot more "something" to the overall look.   See for yourself............

Oh, the bows were trimmed slightly and then added afterwards.  With a glue dot.  You know, in case I get bored and want to change things out.   This happens.

BIG improvement!!

You want to see the whole thing?  

Really not bad.  If I do say so myself.   Especially accessorized.   My goal now is to find some additional BIG baskets that fit into it perfectly.

My point is, an old piece of trash (literally in this case!) can look really good with a little creativity and elbow grease!   Bet you think twice the next time you see an ugly white plastic shelving  unit!  



And as an added bonus (or no, it was actually the entire POINT of this whole project, wasn't it??) I am now ALOT more excited and inclined to WANT to organize all my stuff!

Which is half the battle, really.

Smiles and Hugs,


  1. Brilliant! I have to say this is one of the more impressive transformations I've seen- cause the plastic shelves are U-G-L-Y.

    The scrapbook/bow covers really make it. And is that a gingham toe kick? Too cute.

  2. It looks very cute! This is probably the first plastic storage makeover I've seen and I know I have some of those ugly things hanging around too. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Great transformation! I wish I had seen this before I threw most of my shelves like this away when I moved.

  4. It looks great. I'm in love with black & white gingham ribbon so I'm particularly jealous at your $.10 find! Nicely done.

  5. Total transformation! Girl, I never would have thought that the boring before could be such a great after. Totally impressed! I think the bows are my favorite part.

  6. That looks great- I would have never thought to do anything with those clunky shelves! You are so creative- I wouldnt have guessed that project possible!! Great job!

  7. I was a little worried when you started, but it turned out great. I love black and white. Thanks for sharing.

  8. That's amazing! Very clever... you definitely up it's value look :-)

  9. Oh. my. gosh. Joyce, this is GENIUS! I am amazed. I would have agonized over painting those "problem areas", and never thought to cover them with paper! I wonder what my husband would think if I did this in "His" garage? :)

  10. Much better! I used to have those, and I just used fabric and hot glue to make a skirt around it, then used a piece of MDF and made a "top." This makes open shelves, which can be so much more fun. Great job!

  11. Huge improvement! Well done for persevering, when you weren't sure half way through. I tend to get discouraged and send things off to Goodwill at that stage....

  12. Holy heck I had to scroll down really quick thinking there was no way you could make that look nice. You proved me wrong. WOW!

  13. What a great way to reuse that shelf! You did such a fantastic job at making something that would be sent to the garage in most houses into functional, attractive decor! Thanks so much for linking up tonight! ~Ashley

  14. Ok... I would have never thought to repurpose this one! Good thinking!! It turned out awesome!! Thanks for linking up!!

  15. So clever! Who says those have to stay boring? Yours are so pretty!

    I'm so glad you joined the Show & Tell! Off to check out more!



  16. Hi! I'm here with DIY Showoff.

    Wow, I am impressed! Love the ribbon and bows too. I could have never thought of this!

  17. Oh girl, you just rocked that plastic shelf!!! Congrats and God's blessings, Sarah :D

  18. Great idea! I have a few of these in my garage and may jazz them up a bit.

  19. What a clever idea! I am definately filing this one away at thecraftersfilebox.blogspot.net.

    Thanks so much for sharing!


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