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Home Décor DIY: 3 Organizational Solutions For Your Home That You Can Personalize On The Cheap

Updated on April 8, 2014
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Tori is a 25 year old DIYer living in Northern Atlanta with her boyfriend and two cat babies. She loves crafting & experimenting with color.

1. Personalize A Hanging Mail Organizer

this is the finished product!
this is the finished product! | Source
before...
before... | Source
and after!
and after! | Source

My roommate and I have been living in our current apartment for two years - a small college area townhome. We were students at the time that we moved in, and because of that, all of our mail from the university began being sent there. But not just that - we started getting a lot of other types of mail too once we moved - credit card notices, bills, graduation papers, packages from online shopping, etc...and we ran into some problems.

To sum it up, we weren't always getting our mail on time because it would end up somewhere we couldn't find it, such as between couch cushions. Sometimes we would even find that it had been thrown away. Not having somewhere for the mail really cluttered up the living room. To remedy this issue I began looking for a hanging filer that we could use to divide our mail between us and throw the spam mail away. But none of the ones I found looked nice or matched my stuff!

Finally I found one at Hobby Lobby that I actually really liked. It is made of wood and painted black. It has two holders with name tag slots on the front and two hooks at the bottom for hanging stuff. It was damaged - one hook was missing and the other was nearly falling off. I got it at a discount because of the damage.

There was just one thing missing - some flair. It was really plain, with no designs whatsoever. So, I decided it had to be spiced up and put a background pattern on it, as seen in the picture, using scrapbook paper.

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Measure out the area of where you would like to place the scrapbook paper. A flexible measuring tape works the best (like what you would use for measuring fabric).
  2. Cut the scrapbook paper to fit that area. Mine was a little bit of an odd shape because of where the slots are, so I had to do a lot of guess and checking by cutting off small slivers until it slid into the slot just right.
  3. Use a glue stick, Elmer's School Glue, or Mod Podge to glue the paper into place. Don't use hot glue because it will make the surface bumpy as it dries.
  4. Hang up on the wall using picture hanging hooks, and admire your handiwork.

2. Make a Bills Board Or Chore Chart out of a Picture Frame

My Roommate and I needed a way to keep track of what was due when, and I had this old picture frame laying around.
My Roommate and I needed a way to keep track of what was due when, and I had this old picture frame laying around. | Source

This Bills Board came about as a direct result of my mother gifting me a bunch of really old picture frames that she didn't need and me not having anything to put in them. I was having trouble remembering dates that the bills were due, and searching through text messages that me and my roommate would send each other to find out how much the bill was, when it was due, and who had already paid their portion was becoming a hassle.

After rummaging through my stuff to find something we could keep track of the bills on that could possibly be hung on the fridge, I found this picture frame in the back of my closet. I couldn't put a picture in it because the glass was too cloudy from age, but realized it would be perfect to use as a "white board" of sorts to write things on when we needed to in the kitchen!

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Pick up an old picture frame from Goodwill or the back of your closet. Make sure it has a glass front, not a plastic one.
  2. Measure the inside back of your picture frame. Add 1/2 inch to each edge (for gluing).
  3. Cut fabric according to the measurements you took.
  4. Take the back of the frame off.
  5. Place fabric inside the frame and adjust as needed.
  6. Replace the back of the frame and hang.

Alternatively, if your Picture Frame only has glass and not a back (like mine did)...

  1. Leave the glass in the picture frame while gluing the fabric down.
  2. Using a hot glue gun, place a dot of glue in one inside corner of the back of the picture frame.
  3. Quickly (before the glue dries) press the corresponding corner of your fabric into the glue, and hold there until the glue has dried.
  4. Repeat for each corner of the picture, pulling the fabric taut as you go.
  5. To hang you have two options. First, you can hang using nails, and balance the frame on the nails if the frame is thick enough (this is what I did). If your frame is too heavy for that or you are afraid it might fall, attach a sawtooth hanger (the little flat piece you find on the back of frames which helps you hang a photo on a picture hanging hook) and hang as such.

3. Cover your Rubbermaid Tubs and Sterilite Drawers in Scrapbook Paper

This is a great way to not only make your Sterilite Drawers opaque instead of see-through, but also to give your storage a unique look that matches the space you are decorating.
This is a great way to not only make your Sterilite Drawers opaque instead of see-through, but also to give your storage a unique look that matches the space you are decorating. | Source
see?! does her room not look like it came straight off the pages of a catalog?!
see?! does her room not look like it came straight off the pages of a catalog?! | Source

My friend Allie has the cutest room I have ever seen for a college student. Oftentimes college students aren't concerned about decorating living spaces because money is tight, and there is no point in painting walls and hanging stuff up when you'll have to cover it up again in a year anyway. When I was a college student I tried to find other ways to decorate - but only if I could do it for under $5. Now that I'm out of college and about to move to a new apartment where I can actually paint and decorate the way I want to, I'm still looking for ways to decorate that won't cost me money.

The other day I went to Allie's apartment so we could go shopping. I went into her room and, as usual, was super jealous of how it looked. Then I spotted her nightstand - a set of Sterilite Drawers - and she had made them SUPER cute. She covered the clear drawers in scrapbook paper, making them opaque and a cheap way to match her d├ęcor without looking like a college student!

I've got a couple of these types of drawers myself, and I'm going to be doing my own soon too. This is possibly one of my favorite storage solution customizations ever (because let's face it, Rubbermaid Tubs and Sterilite Drawers were made for functionality - not to look cute). This project would be easy to customize for closet storage, kids' rooms, garage storage, or even as a storage solution at your office or small business.

Mod Podge Is Your Best Friend...Seriously, Get Some of This Stuff.

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Measure the surfaces you want to cover, such as the front of the drawers.
  2. If needed, cut scrapbook paper to fit.
  3. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the surface of the drawer.
  4. Place the scrapbook paper onto the Mod Podge layer and smooth out so that there are no bubbles.
  5. Repeat until the surface is covered.
  6. To protect the scrapbook paper and seal the edges, apply another layer of Mod Podge to the top of the scrapbook paper and let dry.

Poll:

Which of these 3 ideas to spruce up your organizational solutions do you like the best?

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    • littlething profile image

      Jackie S 2 years ago

      These are some awesome ideas! I really do love the mail holder idea, I plan on making one for myself! I don't really have a spot for my mail, and tend to lose it. This seems like an easy idea. Great hub!

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