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Organize With This: DIY Back To School Projects

We are smack dab in the middle of back-to-school season and with it always comes the need to start fresh with organization. It is time to get back to daily routines, lunch packing and nightly homework, which I always find a bit welcoming after a few months of lazy yet playful summer days.

Back-to-school season typically comes with a bit of shopping for new supplies, clothing and gear to ensure everyone is well equipped for a successful year. However, all of that shopping can get expensive, and when it comes to finding ways to organize the papers and schedules, I like to try my hand at some creative DIY solutions. Often times, there are fun crafts and activities that can be done with the kids to be sure everyone is involved and on the same organizing page.

Here is a lovely round-up of DIY school related projects that are sure to help your family transition into the best school year yet.

Organized School Station

Courtesy of Centsational Girl

Grab a quart of paint and give a dated piece of furniture a whole new life and function. Above, an old media cabinet was transformed into a functional homework station complete with paper, supplies, a computer and calendar. Homework stations create a cozy and consistent place to focus on daily studies, keeping all of the essentials within reach.

DIY Craft Caddy

Courtesy of Fynes Designs

If you don’t have a specific homework station carved out, this DIY caddy is a fantastic alternate solution. Fill it with tubes and jars with daily homework essentials such as pens, pencils, highlighters, glue, scissors, etc… and you have yourself a portable homework station that can be used at the dining table or kitchen counter.

DIY Book Caddy

Courtesy of IHeart Organizing

Who knew dish racks could be so versatile? Sure, they are great for drying your daily dinnerware, however, they can also double as file storage and as the sweetest book organizer around.

DIY Calendar

Courtesy of The 36th Avenue

School and busy schedules go hand-in-hand. Keep the entire family on the same page by creating a large DIY calendar. Whether you utilize dry erase paint or a chalkboard decal, by creating an oversized version that can be mounted in a centralized location, everyone will know when baseball practice lands and what day the final exam takes place.

Homework Station Paper Roll

Courtesy of IHeart Organizing

Another way to manage daily homework assignments and chores, is to install a roll of paper on a towel bar just above their desk. By adding chalkboard clips, your child can easily check off his or her daily tasks.

DIY Clothing Dividers

Manage the morning mad dash to the bus by being prepared a few days ahead of time. Day-of-the-week clothing dividers can be made from cereal box cardboard to organize pre-planned clothing attire.

DIY Drawer Dividers

Courtesy of IHeart Organizing

Looking for more ways to re-use empty food packaging? These colorful DIY drawer dividers will keep daily school supplies nice and tidy.

DIY Lunch Bags

Courtesy of The Purl Bee

These DIY lunch bags are sure to be the talk of the lunch table! And although we are talking back-to-school, I am about to sew one for myself because they are just so charming!

DIY Pencil Pouch

Courtesy of Kireei

Small zippered pouches offer endless versatility and can store everything from charging cables to coloring pencils and work wonders for keeping a backpack organized. And bonus, they are something that you can make at home with your sewing machine!

DIY Paper Organizer

Courtesy of Crazy Little Projects

How about creating a portable desk with the help of some fabric and elastic? This DIY on-the-go organizer has the ability to hold a phone or calculator, notes, pens, a tablet and paper! This little setup is fantastic for students studying at home, at school and even in the car or bus.

Paperclip Page Flags

Courtesy of Paper & Pin

For those of you that prefer lighter DIY projects, these little paperclip flags may be just what you are looking for. Simply pair washi tape with paper clips and you will create some very functional yet fancy page markers.

DIY Color Block Pencils

Courtesy of The Crafted Life

Another charming and simple way to dress up everyday school supplies is with a little craft paint!

DIY Wall Cubbies

Courtesy of The House of Wood

And last but not least, these stunning DIY wall pockets are the perfect solution for managing the abundance of papers and books that come home from school each day.


How are you getting creative with your back-to-school organization this year?


DIY-ify: Easy Woven Rope Basket

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

I love baskets. They can help turn a messy storage spot into well organized and pretty space. Baskets can be expensive if you buy them new at the store, so I typically buy mine at thrift shops (I never spend more than $10 on a basket). I’ve been on the search for a lovely little tabletop basket that could hold any items that I am using that day for a project. I had no luck finding exactly what I needed, so I made my own. This easy woven rope basket DIY is exactly what I needed, plus it’s cute.


Supplies:

Directions:

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

1) Let’s get started on the base of the basket. Thread about a yard of embroidery floss onto the needle and tie a knot at the end. Important note: don’t cut the sisal rope. It will work out much better if the rope is one continuous piece.

  • a. Grab the sisal rope and twist it into a little roll (about 1.5 inches wide).
  • b. Push the embroidery floss through the side of the rope roll a couple of times to secure the roll.
  • c. Wrap a stitch around one section of rope, and instead of pushing the stitch through the gap in the rope, catch a bit of the rope section next to the piece you’re wrapping the stitch around. Note: catching a bit of rope will make the basket stronger.
  • d. Continue stitching along the rope and adding more coiling to the roll as you stitch. Note: if you’re planning on putting heavy items in this basket, I suggest randomly stitching over TWO sections of rope instead of the one as you go along.

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

2) How to end and add a new piece of embroidery floss.

  • e. When you reach the end of a piece of embroidery floss, thread the needle through the side stitch and knot it onto another stitch.
  • f. Thread the tail from the knot through the side stitches.
  • g. To add another piece of embroidery floss, thread the needle through the side stitches and knot it onto another stitch.
  • h. Continue stitching along with your new embroidery floss piece.

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

3) Continue on with the rope coil. It’s time to stop when you reach the width you’d like your basket to be (since this is the base of your basket). My width is 9.5 inches wide.

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

4) How to create the sides of the basket.

  • j & k. When you’re happy with the width of the base, stack the rope on top of the outside piece of rope and continue with your stitching.

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

5) Add some pops of color with little sections of yarn.

  • l. When you’re ready to add some color, knot a bit of yarn over some rope (before you stitch it onto the basket). Wrap that yarn tightly around the rope until it’s about 1.5 inches wide. Tie the end of that yarn to the rope piece, then continue stitching along the rope OVER the yarn. Keep adding rows of rope until you’re happy with the height of the basket. I stopped at 4 inches (and I used about 75% of the rope I purchased). Note: I created a little pattern with my yarn. I spaced the yarn by 6 stitches, and left a space of one rope coil in between.

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY

6) How to add the basket handles and end secure the end of the rope to the basket.

  • m. To add the handle, stitch about 4 wraps of embroidery floss over the rope and secure onto the rope section below.
  • n. Push out the rope a bit to create the handle shape, then secure that end as you did to start the handle. Repeat the handle steps on the opposite side. To secure the end of the rope, roll it into a tiny roll and stitch onto the inside of the basket.

Easy Woven Rope Basket DIY


Total cost: $9 (the only thing I had to buy for this project was the rope, since I had all the other materials).

If you create this DIY, I’d love to see it! You can share a link in the comments below, or tag me in Instagram with a photo (my username is @thepapermama).

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama


Organize With This: Beds That Store More!

Do you ever wish that you had more storage? I think we all have at some point in time as having proper storage typically relates to a clean and orderly space. Home storage closets and cabinets are commonly referred to as “prime real estate”. It can feel unfortunate when your home doesn’t boast the amount of storage you are after, but the bright side is that just about any piece of furniture can be altered to pack quite a bit of storage punch.

The bedroom is one area of the home that can often times be limiting in the storage department. Clothing, linens, pillows, seasonal items, shoes and books are just a select number of the items that are generally living inside of bedroom closets and wardrobes. If your bedroom doesn’t offer the amount of built-in storage you are after, there are many exciting ways that you can modify your bed to achieve maximum bedroom organization. Here are a few examples of how your existing bed can store more!

1. Bookcases

Bookcase Headboard

By lining the wall behind the bed with a row of bookcases, you are making the most of the vertical space and dramatically increasing storage for books, baskets and treasures. The shelving can also double as a nightstand in rooms that are too narrow to accommodate the extra furniture.


2. Floating Shelves

Shelving Above Bed

(source)

Another option is to stretch a piece of shelving from wall-to-wall to create modern and simplified “built-in” storage. This option also doubles as a place to set a glass of water and your favorite bedtime reading material.

3. Built-In Bed

Built-In Headboard

Modular storage units can be pieced together around the perimeter of the headboard to create a custom wall of built-ins. The image above incorporated the nightstands right into the design which really makes the most of the wall space. To go the extra mile, consider lining the bookcases with a decorative paper or fabric and capping the furniture with a piece of decorative crown moulding.

4. Create a Closet

Headboard Closet

(source)

Apartments and homes that don’t offer any type of closet space in the bedroom can be especially tricky. How about framing out the bed with a custom wardrobe? By placing the nightstands and bed on rolling casters, you can provide easier access to the clothing and accessories being stored behind the bed. This is a prime solution to fitting an entire bedroom on a single wall.

5. Divide & Conquer

Room Divider Headboard

(source)

It is a headboard in the front and a clothing closet in the back! Such a sweet and simple solution to not only act as a beautiful room divider, but to also provide concealed wardrobe organization in a studio space.

6. Under-Bed Drawers

Under Bed Drawers

(source)

As important as it is to utilize the vertical space in the bedroom, it is equally as important to make the most of the space below the bed. There are a variety of options for adding drawers under a bed; casters can be added to crates or old dresser drawers or the drawers can be built right into the bed frame for a seamless look. Under-bed drawers are ideal for stashing away bulky bed linens and off-season clothing.


7. Basket Case

Basket Bed Storage

(source)

Not only do over-sized baskets provide a bounty of concealed underbed storage, they also give the room decorative character.

8. Under-Bed Storage Bins

Rolling Underbed Storage

The easiest way to utilize the area under the bed is with rolling totes that are designed specifically for under-bed organization. These bins are lightweight, compact, roll, are easy-to-clean and are readily available at most home department stores. You can really maximize their storage capacity by pairing them with expandable drawer organizers.


What is your favorite way to create bedroom storage where there once was none?


15 Small Baby Room Solutions

15 Small Baby Room Solutions

Trend: 15 Small Baby Room Solutions

Back in May my husband and I got a bit of a surprise, we’re expecting our second child! We are beyond thrilled and can’t wait to bring this little love into the world, but we are also realizing that we don’t actually have anywhere to put this new baby. Whoops! Our home is 950 square feet and has exactly 2 small bedrooms. Our first daughter is 5 years old and we feel bad putting a little baby into her room, so we came up with an idea: we will turn our tiny kitchen nook into the smallest of bedrooms, ever. It’s so small, but perfect for a little baby/little kid. We just need to build a wall and door, and we are done.

Since this room is so small my husband and I will need to get a bit creative with how we arrange the room and what we put in it. Below you’ll find 15 Small Baby Room Solutions that have really inspired me to get started on my little baby’s room. Enjoy!

Closets turned into baby rooms:

1) This is inspiring. This 25 square foot closet was turned into the perfect little baby nook. Talk about using the space you have, from Apartment Therapy.

This is inspiring. This 25 square foot closet was turned into the perfect little baby nook. Talk about using the space you have, from Apartment Therapy.

2) I’ve been admiring this little crib in a closet space for years now. So lovely, from Apartment Therapy.

I've been admiring this little crib in a closet space for years now. So lovely, from Apartment Therapy.

3) If your closet isn’t long enough for a full size crib, buy a mini crib for your small closet, from Lovely Morning.

If your closet isn't long enough for a full size crib, buy a mini crib for your small closet, from Lovely Morning.

Shared rooms:

4) This shared bedroom is so lovely and Melissa shares where most of these items came from (if they were DIY or purchased), from Melissa Esplin.

This shared bedroom is so lovely and Melissa shares where most of these items came from (if they were DIY or purchased), from Melissa Esplin.

5) This shared space is so simple and lovely, from Bleubird.

This shared space is so simple and lovely, from Bleubird.

6) I love almost anything Joni does, but this small shared baby and kid room is the best, from Lay Baby Lay.

I love almost anything Joni does, but this small shared baby and kid room is the best, from Lay Baby Lay.

Closet solutions:

7) This open closet set up is lovely and perfect for a small space nursery, from Project Nursery.

This open closet set up is lovely and perfect for a small space nursery, from Project Nursery.

8) Use all the space in your closet with hanging shelves on the back of the doors, from The Avid Appetite.

Use all the space in your closet with hanging shelves on the back of the doors, from The Avid Appetite.

9) Maximize your closet space by installing cubbies and drawers, from Project Nursery.

Maximize your closet space by installing cubbies and drawers, from Project Nursery.

Diaper storage:

10) Turn a small closet space into the whole diaper changing space, along with other baby storage, from BHG.

Turn a small closet space into the whole diaper changing space, along with other baby storage, from BHG.

11) This changing table is actually a rolling tool cart… so cool. Just roll this thing around as you need it, from Apartment Therapy.

This changing table is actually a rolling tool cart… so cool. Just roll this thing around as you need it, from Apartment Therapy.

12) When you have a baby there are diapers EVERYwhere. I love this Ikea wall shelf turned diaper storage, from Our Dream Foreclosure.

When you have a baby there are diapers EVERYwhere. I love this ikea wall shelf turned diaper storage, from Our Dream Foreclosure.

Storage:

13) Add wheels to some old drawers and they can sit under the crib full of toys, from Oleander and Palm.

Add wheels to some old drawers and they can sit under the crib full of toys, from Oleander and Palm.

14) Use removable baskets to organize your baby’s dresser drawers, from I Heart Organizing.

Use removable baskets to organize your baby's dresser drawers, from I Heart Organizing.

15) Make these small space wall bookshelves for under $30, from Just a Girl Blog.

Make this small space wall bookshelves for under $30, from Just a Girl Blog.

I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. The images in the first photo are from: Lay Baby Lay, Apartment Therapy, and Project Nursery.


Organize With This: Pegboard in the Kitchen!

It is no secret that pegboard is about as versatile as it gets when it comes to storage and organization. Most commonly found in the garage for storing tools; it typically comes with a reputation of being basic and unnatractive. However, any kitchen can benefit from the endless variety of organizing options that pegboard offers.

painted pan pegboard

(via)

Pegboard is slender, can be customized with pegs, hooks and baskets and takes advantage of vertical space. In fact, pegboard is a prime solution for small kitchen spaces and even rental homes. I am here today to convince you that pegboard in the kitchen can be fabulous, beautiful and endlessly functional.

painted pegboard

(via)

Paint it! Just because pegboard comes in a white and brown finish, does not mean it has to stay that way. A quick coat of paint and it becomes a shining storage star.

chalkboard peg

(via)

Another painting option is to do a chalkboard finish. This allows you to trace the items you are storing to be sure everything finds a way back home.

framed pegboard

Frame it! By adding decorative moulding to the outside of pegboard, it offers a nice finished edge and instantly becomes artwork that doubles as storage.

bookcase pegboard

Don’t be afraid to tuck small pieces of pegboard in small nooks and crannies to truly maximize your storage opportunities. Think about the backs of bookcases, behind shelving, on the sides of cabinets and behind doors.

kids craft pegboard

(via)

Bring the kids into the kitchen by installing a wall of pegboard paired with pockets, baskets and organizers to create the ultimate crafting zone.

pegboard coffee station

(via)

Are you a big coffee drinker like I am? I love the idea of adding pegboard to display mugs above a kitchen coffee station.

large pegs

(via)

Selecting pegboard with larger pegs and holes creates an entirely different feel, yet still offers the same amount of storage and flexibility.

Pegboard Inside Cabinet

If you are still not convinced that you love the look of pegboard out in the open, consider adding small pieces to the interior of your cabinets. This is a great solution for creating hidden memo stations, hanging keys or storing small baking tools.

slide out pegboard

(via)

Another way to conceal pegboard is to put it on casters and create a tucked away rolling system. It slides out when you need to access your items, and then hides away in-between uses.

pegboard drawer

Pegboard really does make the most of wall and cabinet space, but did you know it can also maximize your drawer storage? Add pegboard to the floor of the drawer and when paired with pegs, you can create an endless combination of drawer organizers.

cleaning peboard

(via)

Cleaning is chore enough! Adding pegboard to your kitchen cleaning closet will keep all of your supplies right within reach each day.

So what do you think, are you ready to add some colorful pegboard storage to your kitchen space?


12 Entry DIY Ideas

12 Entry DIY Ideas

Trend: 12 Entry DIY Ideas

The entryway in our home tends to turn into a catchall, so I’m constantly searching for ideas to organize the small space. Where should my keys go? Can I fit a shoe holder? Should I hang coats in the entry, or keep them in the closet? If you’re asking yourself these same questions, you should check out the tutorials I found below. They’re all great ideas, enjoy!

1. Do you have a small entryway? This entry table was cut from a larger table and I love it, from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.

Do you have a small entryway? This entry table was cut from a larger table and I love it, from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.

2. Wall organizer with mail holder straps and coat hooks, from Apartment Therapy.

Wall organizer with mail holder straps and coat hooks, from Apartment Therapy.

3. Create a shoe storage bench to sit under the coat hooks, from Remodelaholic.

Create a shoe storage bench to sit under the coat hooks, from Remodelaholic.

4. You could create a storage bench and coat hook combo, from Lowes.

You could create a storage bench and coat hook combo, from Lowes.

5. Give that boring entryway closet a makeover, from Woven Home.

Give that boring entryway closet a makeover, from Woven Home.

6. This simple shoe rack DIY is perfect for any small space entry, from Not Martha.

This simple shoe rack DIY is perfect for any small space entry, from Not Martha.

7. Does your entryway open right into the living room? Create this nifty room divider to separate the rooms and add storage, from Better Homes and Gardens.

Does your entryway open right into the living room? Create this nifty room divider to separate the rooms and add storage, from Better Homes and Gardens.

8. If you don’t need a lot of storage in the entryway, create this mini organizer for keys and other small things, from Almost Makes Perfect.

If you don't need a lot of storage in the entryway, create this mini organizer for keys and other small things, from Almost Makes Perfect.

9. Print out this free reminder print and hang it by the front door. Now you won’t forget the important things when you leave the home, from The Paper Mama.

Print out this free reminder print and hang it by the front door. Now you won't forget the important things when you leave the home, from The Paper Mama.

10. If you need a little more help to remember the important things on the way out the door, you can make this Door Organizer, from Design Sponge.

If you need a little more help to remember the important things on the way out the door, you can make this Door Organizer, from Design Sponge.

11. I love this simple and colorful key organizer, from A Beautiful Mess.

I love this simple and colorful key organizer, from A Beautiful Mess.

12. Do you feel like you need more organization in your life? This family command center sitting in the entry will really help (plus, it’s better than a bunch of clutter), from The Homes I Have Made.

Do you feel like you need more organization in your life? This family command center sitting in the entry will really help (plus, it's better than a bunch of clutter), from The Homes I Have Made.

Happy organizing!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. The photos in the first image are from Apartment Therapy, The Homes I Have Made, Almost Makes Perfect, A Beautiful Mess, and Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.


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