Wednesday, March 28, 2012

cheap and creative storage

organize craft supplies boxes

In our short lives my boyfriend and I have already accumulated an impressive amount of stuff. Unfortunately a lot of it is useless junk. My boyfriend has this big stereo/CD player that I've been trying to get him to toss for years. It's been hibernating in one of two very small closets in our apartment, taking up valuable real estate from our true storageables. I've set it up in the past, foolishly thinking it might get some use. Nope. I guess digital music is here to stay. And the stereo will stay in the closet until he decides he doesn't need it anymore.

Because our lack of closet space would bring a shoe lover to tears (thank goodness I'm not one) I must stash my stuff elsewhere. And it was when we got our BRIMNES bed from ikea that my life changed forever.

brimnes bed drawers

Yeah! Those are drawers! Four of them... and I make no exaggeration when I say they are freaking huge

It was when I started filling them up with stuff that I realized there might actually be too much room. There was no structure. No order. My stuff had too much freedom and things were more chaotic than ever. I needed a way to keep everything organized and I didn't have much cash to spend on dividers. Then the idea struck. Cardboard! I got a few boxes and went to work. I started by placing different sized boxes in the drawers and fit them together like puzzle pieces. Notice that I have boxes on top of boxes and boxes within boxes to create layers for maximum organization.

drawer filled with free dividers organization

This is an idea that will work in any drawer. Just take a good hard look at what you've got and make the best out of it. You can get very creative with cardboard to figure out a way to suit your needs. The best part about this organization method is that the boxes come out easily. If I'm doing a project with ribbons I just take the box with me to my work station then pop it back in its place in the drawer when I'm done. Genius!

drawer filled with cheap dividers organization

All the dividers are immensely helpful to my craft drawer. Before it was a mess of fabric, ribbon, beads, yarn, paint, pencils, you name it. Just look at these before and after shots!

drawer filled with dividers organization

Now I can open my drawers and find exactly what I need in no time. Although this process still takes me awhile as the lovely organization is quite distracting.

cheap organization craft supplies

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

it's in the air


The weather in Chicago has been so beautiful. Scary beautiful. It's freaking 84 degrees out right now! The weather has been the main reason why I haven't posted in a bit. It's too nice to be sitting in front of a computer. More to come soon!

Monday, March 5, 2012

too cute to eat

frosted unicorn sugar cookies

My friend made one request for her birthday last month. She showed me a picture of these cookies and I told her I would make them for her. I couldn't resist the challenge!

I showed the picture to my dad who whipped up a cookie cutter like it was nothing. The recipe came from my mom who has been using it to make sugar cookies since I was little.

Dough -
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Let the dough sit in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours (over night works too). Roll, cut, then bake at 375 for 7 to 8 minutes or until done.

unicorn sugar cookies

Frosting -
powdered sugar
almond extract (or whatever flavor you prefer)
food coloring optional

The frosting all depends on how you like it. Put some powdered sugar into a bowl and add small amounts of milk until you get the right consistency that you're after. Mix in a tiny amount of flavor extract (a little goes a long way) and food coloring. You might have to add a bit more sugar to make up for the liquids you just added.

frosted unicorn sugar cookies

Tips for perfect sugar cookies:

- Make sure your dough is cold before you cut. If your dough is room temp you'll never end up with the shape you're after.

Roll your dough flat with powdered sugar. Dry floury cookies? No thanks. Cut back on extra flour by rolling out with powdered sugar. It sounds like a simple solution but this can get pretty messy pretty quick. The flour absorbs moisture while the sugar just gets sticky. So work quick and keep things cold.

- Bake your cookies on parchment paper. And this goes for all cookies. When you bake on parchment as soon as the cookies come out of the oven you can slide the paper right off the baking sheet and on to the counter to cool. This also keeps the sheet clean. Oh parchment paper... How I love thee.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

chevron painted glass

chevron glass paint DIY

This time in glass form. These little guys used to be candles that I got from the grocery store. Once the wax had melted away I cleaned them up and repurposed them into these chevron gems by using dishwasher safe glass paint. I like the elementary look. The lines aren't straight and the paint is uneven. For these I set my perfectionism aside.

They look cute with a tealight. The flame projects the pattern beautifully. I also think they would make great drinking glasses. Though they are on the small side. Portion control right?

They could also be jewelry catch alls, office supply storage, Q-tip or toothpick dispensaries... You know, a general holder of things.

Happy March by the way!