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Old 09-25-2009, 03:28 PM   #1  
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Default What are your free/cheap storage solutions?

I'm frugal. VERY frugal. I don't have $$ to spend on fancy organizers and plastic color-coordinating boxes, so I make due with what I have or what I can get super-cheap. I know I'm not the only one.... so, c'mon, please share your free or nearly-free craft organizing ideas with me!

Some of mine:

-- I have a box (that once held green bean cans) cut down to make a magazine holder.
-- I use "x" pencil holder boxes that I bought a while back in the Target Dollar Spot for sorting colored pencils.
-- I use ziplock bags to sort everything from paper scraps to my own page "kits"--- elements/photos that I know will eventually belong together on a page.
-- After reading the thread on organizing ribbon, I'm going to raid my stash of mason jars and come up with a new storage system for my ribbon. Currently, it's stuffed into shoeboxes.


Those are just a few of my free/cheap storage ideas.... what do YOU use?
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:09 PM   #2  
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Big Peanut Butter jars are great for storage. All the same size, plastic, so they are light weight, and big mouth openings for ease of use!
Plastic strawberry baskets (oblong, white, with handles) for my punches.
A metal picnic utensil holder (for spoons/forks/knives) turned on it's side is a great holder for markers. It has 6 individual sections so youcan divide by color.
The matching square metal napkin holders will hold 6x6 papers.
2 drawer file cabinets are usually sold at Thrift stores for around $5.00 each. A little spray paint freshens them up beautifully.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:42 PM   #3  
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Talking Thrift Store Finds...

My craft area is out in the "open" and I like the look of various containers, baskets and jars neatly lined up on my table and shelves. It has kind of a shabby chic look.

My free or cheap storage solutions are:

I keep completed projects in an empty licorice tub that has a lid. They stay "dust" free because of the lid. I removed the label using peanut butter so it just looks like a plastic tub.

I keep my markers and pencils in assorted glass vases/jars/candy dishes that I got at thrift stores for a few cents. They look neat all lined up on my craft table.

I use an old wooden cassette tape rack for my ink pads, $5 at the thrift store.

I use assorted baskets from the thrift store to store my Stampin' Up! stamp sets in their clam shell cases. I have different baskets for different themes. These baskets were usually a buck or two at most. They look nice lined up on my shelf.

I re-purposed a closet organizer rod with shelf to hang up my paper in cellophane bags using small "pant" style clothes hangers that I have collected over the years from purchases. When the cashier asks if I want the hangers.......I sure do!

I use an old Christmas card holder to display various samples to inspire me. I think someone gave it to me but you can find them at second hand stores.

I could go on and on I suppose but you get the idea.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:36 PM   #4  
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I haven't used this idea in my craft room, but I use it in my bedroom and bathroom . . . I love mismatched flea market china tea cups to hold small things.

I just glanced around my kitchen & family room for ideas and saw a few of my favorite things that all came from a flea market/antique store. I'm sure I didn't pay more than $5 for any of them, and some were probably a dollar. I have a rusty old metal picnic basket & a rusty old metal bread box, some old suitcases, lots of baskets & Ball and Mason jars. If you like that look, I say hit the flea market and let your imagination run wild.
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Old 09-26-2009, 04:41 AM   #5  
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Remember paint is your friend (spray paint for me). There is Kilz spray paint or any primer for covering up darker colors then going light. There is plastic spray paint to cover any plastic lids, containers, etc. I like a unified look for reclaimed frugal finds!!!
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:37 AM   #6  
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GREAT ideas! Keep 'em coming!

I am working on my craft area today and hope to get everything really organized without spending any $$.
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Old 09-26-2009, 05:39 AM   #7  
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My late husband's family were big into canning, so I have oodles of glass canning jars - they work great for just about anything you want within reach.

I have two of those spinning spice racks (Rubbermaid) and I put the canning jars on them and I can twirl them around to find what I want.

Check out your local grocery store for "throw aways!" They sometimes get very sturdy display shelf units and either end up throwing them away after use or don't even bother to use them and they're brand new!

Check out your Army/Navy surplus store for things like "military" metal map drawers - they're sturdy and hold lots of bling!

Close To My Heart stamp sets in their plastic packaging fit perfect in cute little crates that are just a buck each at Walmart!

Inexpensive "scrub pad" to clean stamps - I buy packs of two paint pads, break off the curls on the edge, attach 2 pads to a flat lid and instant scrubber pad and easy to clean, too! I attach them with double-sided tape and they've never come loose (they cost about 3 bucks for a pack of two.)

The inserts I've removed from the CD cases I use to store my unmounted stamps work great for ribbon - just wrap the ribbon and the inserts fit very well in a cheap photo storage box!

Still looking for a use for all those darned wood blocks (boxes of them!) from unmounted my stamps....any ideas?
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:03 AM   #8  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sew It SeamsView Post
Inexpensive "scrub pad" to clean stamps - I buy packs of two paint pads, break off the curls on the edge, attach 2 pads to a flat lid and instant scrubber pad and easy to clean, too! I attach them with double-sided tape and they've never come loose (they cost about 3 bucks for a pack of two.)!
Ohhh-- great tip! I need a new stamp cleaner. I'm going to try this!

Quote:

Still looking for a use for all those darned wood blocks (boxes of them!) from unmounted my stamps....any ideas?
Hmmmm.... there has to be a good use for them. I'll have to think about it. I like the wood mounted stamps, myself, but I know there are lots of others here who are unmounting their stamps. Hopefully someone will have a good idea for you!
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:04 AM   #9  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeforTView Post
Remember paint is your friend (spray paint for me). There is Kilz spray paint or any primer for covering up darker colors then going light. There is plastic spray paint to cover any plastic lids, containers, etc. I like a unified look for reclaimed frugal finds!!!
I like this idea-- maybe I will paint the lids of my canning jars after I get everything organized.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:12 PM   #10  
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I used the clear plastic tray that my cookies came in to store my reinkers. They lie on an angle so that I can read all the labels to see which colour they are.
I found old wooden crate cassette holders at a garage sale for $2.00 each. I store my inks in them.
My unmounted stamps are in reclaimed cd cases.
I have a large old thread cabinet with 8 shallow drawers for miscellaneous things. It was in my family's fabric store originally and then was used by my grandfather to store stones he used for jewelry.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:36 PM   #11  
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I have 1 inch embossing inks - I stack them (ink down) in a crisco cube container! It holds about 6 inks - works great since the container stands up. My pens (gold, white, silver) are in a recycled decorated soup can. My colored pencils are in a 6" pot plant holder. I can't wait to see what other ideas come up!
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:54 PM   #12  
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I spent about 20 bucks in materials and made my own Stamp pad storage and a couple of other storage drawer things. I bought wood, foam core board, a can of spray paint, and a sample of Parsley Sprig paint! My "drawers" were little storage boxes, I just ditched the lids, flipped them, spray painted them and added drawer pulls (shhh, don't tell DH but they are the tips to some of his golf tees, LOL)
(Ignore the camera hound in the photo, LOL)
Homemade storage
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:59 PM   #13  
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I use my Clear Clam Shell boxes (from the Angel Company)

Large ones hold my Copic Markers (for easy Traveling)
Cards that I'm working on.
Small Tools.

Acrylic Blocks.

Medium ones I use for just about anything I can fit in them.

I also use the tops of the Laundry soap for holding odds and ends.

Saving the PP boxes and cutting them down to hold my Magazines and 8 1/2" X 11" Cardstock.

Pill bottles for holding Embellishments.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:22 PM   #14  
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My local grocery store sells mini-donuts in clear plastic tubs with nice fitting lids. When my kids get them for a treat, I always save the container. I have filled them with buttons, silk flowers, small chucks of ribbons, etc. I have a nice stack of empty ones in reserve waiting to be filled with other stuff the next time I get in to an organizing mood.

I also have tin pails from the Target $ spot that hold my long handled punches and decorative edge scissors.

A clear mini fishing tackle box with adjustable compartments is a great holder for brads. and eyelets.
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:41 PM   #15  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by badger-girlView Post
A clear mini fishing tackle box with adjustable compartments is a great holder for brads. and eyelets.
I made a trip to a hunting/fishing store. Between my jewelery making and card making, I now have more of those plastic tackle boxes than ANY fisherman!! Not to mention the nice scenery that you get for free if you like the outdoorsy type!

P.S. I did learn a lesson the hard way after knocking one of them off my table and consequently spending 2 hours or more sorting eyelets... Put your stuff in those mini ziploc bags you can get at the dollar store and THEN put them in the tackle boxes!!!
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:21 AM   #16  
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I use the flat rate mailing boxes from the post office to store my CS in - they are free! and if you don't like the look of it, cover it with some contact paper or patterned duct tape
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:31 PM   #17  
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I've made the rounds of our thrift stores and bought all kinds of clear decorative jars -- most a dollar or less. I've used them to hold stickles, my cats eye ink pads and other small ink pads, small containers of glitter and a bunch of either things -- I even have some that are big enough to stack spools of ribbon in. Since they are all different styles and sizes they look fun sitting on the various shelves.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:01 PM   #18  
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all wonderful ideas, love them all
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:40 AM   #19  
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Love all the ideas...A few things I use are:

1. Old record storage stand: I store all my prefolded paper for cards sorted by color so when I want to make a card I can just grab the base and get started....Easy to spray any color or use as is.

2. Old Chicken Feeders: Okay pay sound weird but I find them at flea markets......it was actually my husbands idea. You just clean them and insert a very thin rod and put the spools of ribbon through the rod

3. I use mason jars and clear glass jars I get from thrift stores and garage sales to sort al of my buttons by color....You wouldn't even believe how many I have

4. And my very favorite...I buy the old ceramic pots that come in beautiful colors and shapes from garage sales and flea markets to have on my craft table for scissors, stamp cleaner and all types of adheasive....you can find them for .25 to a couple bucks.

Use things you love....I love a vintage.....shabby chic so thats what I buy and find a way to use.

Have fun organizing!!!!!
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:30 AM   #20  
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I use unused coffee mugs to put my paint brushes, frequently used tools (scissors, bone folder, etc.), colored pencils, pens and pencils and some other miscellaneous items in. I also have an old kind of small Anchor Hocking pitcher that is just perfect to put my stippling brushes in. I also bought some Ball canning jars with platinum lids on from Wal-Mart and I put flowers and ribbons in, so they are out in the open looking pretty!
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:34 AM   #21  
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I am redoing the whole room after years of being way too frugal. However, I cannot throw out the nut jars from Target...they are a perfect storage for BIG flowers I am still re-doing but here is a in progress pic of them..they are under the Ikea shelves with the Container store jars...and they have silver lids!! the smaller jars are artichoke jars for smaller flowers.
What are your free/cheap storage solutions?-room-day-7.jpg

eta: that beverage is usually not there when I craft! It was a looong day and it was Miller time....

Last edited by 53queenbee; 09-30-2009 at 11:37 AM.. Reason: yep, that's beer!
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:08 PM   #22  
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We understand -- wink - wink
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:58 AM   #23  
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I don't have the money for fancy storage either...I just have the basics..nothing exciting. A small book shelf from Wal-Mart for my stamps...it was maybe $15.00 and a plasitic three three drawer bin for supplies. On top of that is a big rectangular basket someone was giving away...my punches are in there. I have a shelf that has four baskets for shelves-it's small, about three feet high and also from Wal-Mart...maybe $10.00. The top shelf holds my designer paper....it's just set upright, against the wall. The other shelves have my envelopes, SU catalogs, and cards I've made a workshops...nothing fance here and I'm very happy with it. I'd MUCH rather spend my money on stamps, paper, ink, ribbon, etc.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:58 AM   #24  
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I don't have the money for fancy storage either...I just have the basics..nothing exciting. A small book shelf from Wal-Mart for my stamps...it was maybe $15.00 and a plasitic three drawer bin for supplies. On top of that is a big rectangular basket someone was giving away...my punches are in there. I have a shelf that has four baskets intead of shelves-it's small, about three feet high and also from Wal-Mart...maybe $10.00. The top shelf holds my designer paper....it's just set upright, against the wall. The other baskets have my envelopes, SU catalogs, and cards I've made at workshops...nothing fance here and I'm very happy with it. I'd MUCH rather spend my money on stamps, paper, ink, ribbon, etc.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #25  
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Default Rubber Stamp Storage

I had an idea recently that I thought was very inexpensive!! I went to a thrift store and bought an old three-ring photo binder with the magnetic photo sheets that were used in the 70's for photos. You know the kind where you had to rip up the sheet and insert the photos? The ones that ruined all of the photos from that time period when you went to take them out of the pages!! LOL I attach my unmounted stamps on the sheet with a copy of the stamps on the other side, and then insert the whole thing in a sheet protector. It was $.75!!!
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #26  
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LOVE all these ideas! I am planning to work on my disaster... I mean CRAFT... area some more this weekend. You ladies are giving me all kinds of ideas!
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:27 AM   #27  
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I use small boxes and baby wipe containers. I cover them with DSP and make them pretty and I store images from wishrak - small tools, loose ribbon and so on. They costed me nothing.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:49 AM   #28  
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Still looking for a use for all those darned wood blocks (boxes of them!) from unmounted my stamps....any ideas?

Hmmmm.... there has to be a good use for them. I'll have to think about it. I like the wood mounted stamps, myself, but I know there are lots of others here who are unmounting their stamps. Hopefully someone will have a good idea for you!



Someone made a childs train set from some blocks.. then I saw a craft table top made here is the links to some I have seen
SU alphabet blocks by cardscrapperk at Splitcoaststampers

SU block idea 3 by cardscrapperk at Splitcoaststampers

SU block idea2 by cardscrapperk at Splitcoaststampers
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:59 PM   #29  
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I reuse spice jars for glitter. I always keep one for the small left over glitter that falls off the project and dump the left overs in there. Now I have a bottle of glitter that has all kinds of colors, it is fun.

Target $1 spot is my friend for inexpensive craft storage & repurposed supplies.

My wood blocks I donated to our school's SPED department for use for fine motor skills.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:00 PM   #30  
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I use sturdy cardboard tubes from various places (except the TP roll!) to make containers. I cover them with my favorite patterned paper and embellish with ribbon or cord. My favorite is covered in recycled brown paper ffrom something or other, that I stamped with hand made stamps created by my artist daughter.I turned it on its side and made a marker holder, and put wood beads on it to make it not roll off the table! I have used the core from a roll of packing tape. This is a great size for pins and clips and tiny things. I made pencil holders out of coffee creamer cardboard canisters from the office. I'm currently recycling large paper core tubes from work. I cut them down and am making holders for my scissors, paintbrushes, etc. Using designer paper is what I love about making these.

I buy a couple kraft and brown shoe boxes whenever they go on sale at Michael's and stand up my Stampin UP sets in them, with homemade large labels on the stamp box's side facing up so I can quickly see what's where. I use the lids of these shoe boxes to hold my little embellishment packages. These simple items look nice on shelves and reduce the look of clutter from too many different sized baskets, etc.

I had a rolling steel file holder that I converted to a cardstock holder. It even rolls around where I need it! I combined 2 hanging folders for the 12 X 12 size, making them 13" deep instead of the usual 9". I bought colored inserts on E-Bay for about a $1 for a complete set of Stampin Up colors. The color name is printed on a piece of the actual color of the cardstock and is cut to size for the hanging tab holder. This makes it very easy to find the color I'm looking for.

I also put old tension curtain rods inside a bookshelf and line up my punches on them.

I keep a couple small baskets at my work area to hold the items I use every time, like a pair of scissors, tape runner, ruler to measure. I don't like to have to dig for the essentials.

My favorite containers are the pottery pieces my daughter left behind from her pottery classes. Makes me think of her and how we are a pretty creative family!

Good luck! Post a photo!!
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:02 PM   #31  
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Giant pickle jars for my flowers.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:03 PM   #32  
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Quart mason jars for my buttons.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:57 AM   #33  
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  • Cardboard Freezer Boxes: Painted, covered in paper, and used as card storage (have a picture on my blog). It's adorable and didn't cost me a dime.
  • Mr. Potato Head Container: Drilled four lines of holes (about 1 1/2" apart) and stacked ribbons inside and fed ribbons through holes. It's so cute (and, again, totally free).
  • House-Shaped Shelves: I assume these were originally used to hold smal knick knacks, possibly thimbles or shot glasses. I find them at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, etc. I spray them black and hang them for single-stamp storage. Love them.
  • Pencil Boxes: You can get these for less than $1 on back to school sales. I store all sorts of junk in there
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:01 AM   #34  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by wearefromfranceView Post

I also put old tension curtain rods inside a bookshelf and line up my punches on them.
Oh my goodness. I need to try this! I am drowning in punches (and hate shifting through my drawer full of them. Excellent idea!
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:43 AM   #35  
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wow lots of awsome ideas
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:15 AM   #36  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by 53queenbeeView Post
I am redoing the whole room after years of being way too frugal. However, I cannot throw out the nut jars from Target...they are a perfect storage for BIG flowers I am still re-doing but here is a in progress pic of them..they are under the Ikea shelves with the Container store jars...and they have silver lids!! the smaller jars are artichoke jars for smaller flowers.
Attachment 162737

eta: that beverage is usually not there when I craft! It was a looong day and it was Miller time....
Hey there,

In one of your other pics of these incredibly cute baby shelves (Hesnik), you had white baskets/containers... any idea where you got those from? I just bought this shelf from Ikea but now need the baskets to fit inside and I could not find anything at Ikea.

Thanks for your help!!
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:37 AM   #37  
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Some of my favorite storage containers are Christmas Chocolates and buiscuits tins, tea tins, Insant flavoured coffe mix tins (which are great cause you can cover them in patterened paper and label them). Making a few selective choices when you do your graocery shopping can help!

One project that seems weird but works well is the Tanpax Multi Pak box. It is large and has 3 sectioned off boxes in it. Cut off the top and cover the outer box with patterend paper. Good desk top tool holder, etc....

Happy hunting!
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:41 PM   #38  
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eta: that beverage is usually not there when I craft! It was a looong day and it was Miller time....
Lol, that was the first thing I noticed in your picture and thought "Ah, a crafter after my own heart" hehe

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Old 10-07-2009, 04:31 AM   #39  
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Lol, that was the first thing I noticed in your picture and thought "Ah, a crafter after my own heart" hehe

Nikki
That is hilarious! I noticed that too...lol...I'm a beer girl myself and enjoy one while making my cards
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:46 AM   #40  
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My DSIL eats a lot of Pringles! I use a large one for my stipple brushes, and the smaller ones for my shorter brushes 'n stuff.
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