Friday, August 28, 2015

28 Four Days & Four Drawers Mini Organizing Challenge: DIY Kitchen Utensil Drawer Dividers

Welcome to the end of Four Days & Four Drawers week.  This week I was dedicated to accomplish four organized drawers within four days, and once again, I am sliding in just under the mini-challenge wire.  The cool thing is I almost accomplished six drawers in four days.  The not-so-cool thing is that when I was complete with the DIY portion of two of those drawers, I wasn't 100% satisfied with my work.  So although I am not quite ready to share the final two drawers yet, fingers crossed I will get those finished up this weekend.


But today is not about what I didn't get done, and all about celebrating what I did accomplish.  The final two drawers this week were both kitchen messes that I have been meaning to deal with for quite awhile now.  Next to our range we have two drawers that are dedicated to our cooking utensils and kitchen gadgets.  We have never been ones to keep an abundance of random kitchen tools on hand, but we do have a few favorites that we find quite beneficial to our daily cooking and meal preparation.

When we unpacked our kitchen boxes, we did it quickly to clear our guest room for visitors.  Everything was tossed into the specific cabinets and drawers as planned, yet not in any organized fashion.  Although the drawers and cabinets are not extremely messy, they definitely need a little love and attention.

The top drawer holds our spatulas, slotted spoons, pastry brush, can opener, masher and salad tongs, as well as our herb chopper and pizza slicer.


I had started trying to organize the next drawer down with some organizers I picked up at the Container Store awhile back, but I wasn't 100% happy with the result. 


After looking for a few options that would fit our spatulas and drawer measurements, I found myself coming up short.  And when I can't find exactly what I am looking for, I turn directly to DIY options.

We have created wooden drawer dividers in the past, but with all of the odd shapes and cuts for our kitchen tools, we decided that we needed an easier solution than the one we used previously.


For the dividers themselves, I picked up a five pieces of 3" oak hobby boards from Home Depot.  After I added a few of our unused tools to our donate box, I arranged the remaining items in the drawer.


Then we just measured and cut each drawer piece one at a time (straight and simple cuts).  We placed them into the drawer at the approximate location that fit our layout and worked our way from front to back. 


While each of the divider pieces were in their planned location, we used a pencil to mark each board to keep track of our template/layout.


After everything was measured and temped out inside of the drawer, it was time to make them stick.  We didn't want to do anything permanent to our new drawers, so we had to find a way to affix them together while keeping them removable as well.  I considered using wood glue and small nails or staples, but I didn't want the visual messiness of those options.  I found this tutorial and decided our best bet was to go with construction adhesive.


It is important to select an adhesive that will dry clear/transparent because the glue is placed along each divider seam.

Prior to gluing, we placed down a layer of parchment paper to protect our drawer.


We then put our drawer dividers back together based on our pencil markings, using the drawer as a guide to hold all of the pieces together while they dried.


We first placed glue on the edge of each board with our finger.  When the board was pressed against another board, the glue would squirt out through the seams.  I used a cotton swab to clean up any drips or chunks and occasionally also added in a bit more glue to be sure everything was going to dry solid.  Above you can see the adhesive initially comes out white, but below you can see it clearing up as it dries.


Once the dividers were dry (I waited a couple of hours), I removed them from the drawer so that I could line the drawer with true drawer liner (the same liner I used for our pantry and our essential drawer).


Although I typically use anything from cardstock to gift wrap when it comes to lining drawers, this stuff is the "real deal" and has held up quite well in the other kitchen drawers.  Plus, I appreciate keeping the lining consistent throughout the entire kitchen space.

Top drawer done and filled:


And the next drawer down also completed and filled:


Prior to this drawer project we had already purged the majority of our utensils and tools down to our very favorites, however, I did go ahead and purchase a new set of matching measuring spoons since we only had a few miscellaneous sizes of previous sets remaining (which also ended up in the donate box).  Above you may have also noticed that we had a spatula that was slightly too long to be placed in our drawer sideways, but being that it is made of wood, we were able to easily take a small portion off of the handle to make it fit where we wanted. #victory 


The entire cost of the project came down to the pieces of hobby wood and some glue.  To achieve beautiful wooden dividers that fit our exact tools and needs, I think it was $20 and time well spent.



As much as I love (LOVE) acrylic dividers, I also appreciate trying something new.  By mixing things up from our "go to" option, I was able to maximize how we utilize the drawers and create a clean look with wood that blends in seamlessly with the drawers.  Double win.




Have a great weekend everyone and cheers organizing our homes one fabulous drawer at a time!


** Catch up on the remainder of the mini series with our home office drawer here and our school supply drawer here. **

Thursday, August 27, 2015

16 UHeart Organizing: Shut the Craft Door

One of my favorite things to do is to curl up with a cozy blanket, a cup of coffee and a good storage book or magazine.  Flipping through page after page of colorful and streamlined storage solutions is oddly comforting yet invigorating at the same time.  It is a passion I have had for so many years now, and for me it never gets old.

I find myself most drawn to organized playrooms, craft rooms and home offices.  I just love that these spaces are ones that allow you to let go and play with color.  My eyes get all big and heart shaped whenever I see lined up craft paints and acrylic drawer dividers with bright gift wrap showing through.  #majorweakness

So when my fellow color lovin' friend, Cassie of Hi Sugarplum, shared her recent craft closet with me, I couldn't hold back my excitement.  She paired the ever-so-incredible Elfa system (yes please) with her beautiful supplies to create a very practical and drool worthy solution.  What I love most is that someone could essentially store and entire craft room worth of supplies on a single door (so no craft room needed).  But as much as the point is to conceal everything behind closed doors, I am not sure I would ever want to shut these craft doors.  Here she is to share more details so you can have the same heart eyed reaction I did.



Hello my fellow organizing fanatics! I'm so excited to be back on Jen's rockstar blog sharing my latest organization overhaul with you. Our families vacationed together last week, and in-between riding the waves and whipping up batches of icy cocktails, I picked her brain for tips and ideas! So not only was it an amazing trip, but I also came home motivated to whip every nook and cranny of my house into efficient, organized shape!

We've been in this new home about six months, and in that time we've remodeled the Kitchen and given the Master Bedroom a makeover. The design of the remaining rooms is coming along slowly as well, but I have stalled in regards to some of the major organization spots for our family... like a Command Center, Mudroom, and Craft Closet (click the links to see how we did them in our last house).

I'll admit I've been paralyzed with indecision, so much so, that six months later, this was the state of our craft and wrapping supplies. Not real convenient for a blogger with a creative daughter!


I'm lucky enough to have a spare bedroom with an amazing double-door closet... A prime spot for an office with perfect craft storage. (We're looking at the doors and vaulted ceiling, not the wallpaper border left behind by the previous owner! That's Project #187 on our list!) But without clear direction, I let my uncertainty prevent me from even getting started. Finally, I read back over my mantra for last year... and decided to just start somewhere! Besides, it could only get better, right?!


I already had a Container Store Elfa system for our gift wrap, and it fit perfectly on the inside of one door.... So I decided to utilize the other closet door with the same system for many of our craft supplies. I typically bring home an assortment of baskets and sizes to see what works best, then return the others.

Tip: There are several lower-priced door storage options, but I've found the Container Store's to be the most sturdy. So I wait for one of their big 25-40% off sales to stock up! 


I'm proud to say the contents of four boxes of craft supplies are now neatly organized on this single door...and more importantly, they are finally accessible! Roll that beautiful bean craft footage!


I'll break it down for the detail-oriented crowd. #mypeople

Basket 1: Pails of pencils, markers, paint & stain pens, scissors, rotary blades, and the taller items like Modge Podge and sealant.

Basket 2: Specialty paints and finishes


Baskets 3 to 5: Craft paints (in rainbow order, because, duh!)


Basket 6: Pails of brushes, foam brushes & daubers, tubes of Rub 'n' Buff, clips & rubber bands

Tip: Small buckets from the Target Dollar Spot are perfect for corralling and separating supplies. Yep, I basically just wrote you a permission slip to shop at Target!

Basket 7: Specialty papers, contact paper, wallpaper samples...these are used mostly for craft projects like this, and lining drawers or covering walls like this.



How about one more pic of the paints just to get our hearts racing?


Another plus of this system, is how easily my existing gift wrap station transported to the new house... I just reattached it to the door, tidied it up a bit, and was good to go!


Baskets 1-3: Assorted ribbons


Basket 4: Gift tags & ribbon remnants

Basket 5: Gift bags & tissue, pail of tapes & scissors


The magnet strip is great for holding canisters of smaller tags, and notes like birthday reminders.



Basket 6: Wrapping paper

Tip: To hold tall tubes of paper, use a deep basket at the bottom, and a gift wrap rack for the top.


Clearly I share Jen's weakness for pretty papers, and HomeGoods just feeds my addiction!


I'll admit, these organized doors are now part of the tour when friends come by to see the new house... And I may open them with Vanna White flair! #okayItotallydo (We're looking at the doors, not the inside of the closet!) 

Well obviously, now you're looking at the inside of the closet... that will be Phase 2.... Let's focus on the delightfulness of Phase 1 for now! I'm just thrilled to have all our craft and wrapping supplies out of boxes, and at our fingertips! And I crossed the biggest hurdle... Getting started!!



Do you let your fear of imperfection keep you from even getting started on projects? I'm learning that the worst thing that could happen is I have to start over later... And who said that's a bad thing?! ;) Thanks for letting me stop by.... Happy organizing, lovebugs!

See more of our Organized Spaces here, and Home Tour here.





 "Hi, I'm Cassie, a DIY and design-obsessed Texas girl, and lover of travel, fashion, sarcasm and Mexican food. When I'm not hanging with my sweet and funny family, you can find me kicking the '80s out of our home, one budget project at a time, on my blog Hi Sugarplum!

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