Headed towards back to the basics living.


New Uses for Gift Wrap, Pt. 1

I love gift wrap! Love, love, love it! Good things often come in pretty packages! But there’s also some pretty fabulous ways to use gift wrap for things other than wrapping gifts! Here’s a few that I’ve come up with:

  1. Use it to coordinate a bunch of books on a shelf. No adhesive is necessary if you make the flaps a little longer. Then when you want a new look it’s as easy as tracing the “templates” onto the new paper.
  2. Use it with some ModPodge to cover just about anything. Here I used it on an old ugly 3-ring binder and a box of checks. If you must pay bills why not have something pretty to look at?

    Litlle bit of measuring, cutting and modpodge. Goodbye boring!

  3. Frame it. A large frame allows a pretty print to be shown off.

    A group of coordinating ones could provide a little eye candy like I did with these scrapbook papers.

  4. Or use it as mat board when framing pictures. Way more interesting than just your typical mat.
  5. Wrap empty shoe boxes with it. Add a tag and you’ve got yourself some cheap organization.
  6. Make labels to coordinate with just about any project you’ve got. Here I used it in my closet for a little laundry organization.

    A five minute project to help family members keep things straight and presorted for laundry day.

  7. Make notebook dividers with it. Take paperboard (i.e. an empty cereal box, cracker box, etc.), cut paper to fit, followed by a thin coat of modpodge, and trim as needed. Punch holes for the binder rings. Use alphabet stickers or marker for labeling.
  8. Make bookmarks out of them. Take the leftover paperboard from idea seven and use it to make sturdy, pretty bookmarks. Same procedure as in step 7. Punch a whole on one end and thread some ribbon through for a little extra flair. Try using stickers/letters or even special edged scissors for fun.

    I like making some bookmarks extra long-they're great to use with magazines!

  9. Use it to cover an old beat up closet door for coordination with the rest of your room. I haven’t done this yet myself (we’re renters), but I think it could be pretty easy and fast and make a big impact in a room.
  10. Use it to line drawers like they did over at Young House Love.  Now this is taking things to a whole new (beautiful) level!

Stay tuned for more ways to use wrapping paper and gift bags-including reusing/recycling them-tryin’ do my part for the planet, ya know?



Reduce,Reuse,Recycle…and decorate?

Oh, my! Where did March come from? I’ve lost a whole week in there somewhere-perhaps it’s from my all out obsession  to finish my kitchen command center area. I don’t know why but its the project I could not seem to gain ground on, I changed my mind twice half way through- only sheer determination (read stubbornness) got it as far as it is.Honestly, there is still at least one more project I’m thinking of doing. I’m hoping to sew a cushion for my tushie- the current wooden chair just ain’t cutting it! Other than that I decided it was far enough along I wouldn’t be too embarrassed to show it to the world.

You’re probably wondering right about now what my KCC has to do with reducing, reusing and recycling. Well, hopefully the pics/projects I did will do a better job than a lengthy drawn out explanation. My goal here was to use as little money as possible and try to repurpose/reuse things I already had. I spent a $1.27 on a new checkbook ledger (mine was 5 years old and falling apart). The fabric and ribbon were leftovers from another project that I bought on sale a few months ago. Of course the paper is just scrapbook paper. I’m a paper addict-I admit it. But occasionally it comes in handy (=

Here’s the before picture:

A repeat dumping ground at best...this is after I cleaned it off some

This is the overall After Pic:

Now, hopefully it will stay this way (cross your fingers)!

Here’s a few detailed pics:

Plain old cereal box...

...with top removed...

...become pretty fabric trays when wrapped in fabric like you would a gift and finished with ribbon &tag!

Plain old cardboard, measured to fit and taped together....

...becomes a custom bulletin board/message center when wrapped with fabric & ribbon.


Wooden clothespins go special with paper trimmed to fit & covered with Modpodge-so easy!!!

An old clean vegetable can repurposed as pen holder using craft glue,coordinating paper and ribbon. An old garden statue becomes a handy paperweight.

Inexpensive notebook gets in on the action too!

What’s behind the cabinet doors you say? Okay not AS pretty but I still tried for organization. I used small boxes of pasta noodles  measured and cut to fit, to create the dividers within the bigger plastic drawer dividers. You could achieve the same effect using  nothing but cereal boxes here too but I already had the dividers on hand and tossing them out just for the sake of not using plastic just seemed, well- wasteful. I have actually seen people do this and replace it with ecofriendly items they bought just for the sake of having an eco-friendly product even though the one on hand was totally fine.  Please, please  tell me how this helps the environment?! I just don’t see it-waste is waste! Okay, enough with the soapbox ranting-hope you enjoyed the tour!

Organized chaos!

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Never too late to organize!

Quick! Someone needs to let whoever makes up the official  ” month of organization”  know that  we are all still organizing out here in the rest of the  world. I knew I  missed the boat but have been studiously working at organizing my kitchen “command center”  anyways. I hope to have pics posted tomorrow or the next day. Not that I’m the world’s greatest organizer mind you, but I find that when I see someone else organizing it motivates me, and I just have to pass it on!

I must say I felt a sense of relief and understanding with Amy over at  Mod Podge Rocks when I saw her  recent post on a really creative (and recycled) organizer project from  Creative Home Expressions. I also saw an awesome giveaway over at Prudent Baby for this tempting  book “Sew & Stow: 31 Fun Sewing Projects to Carry, Hold, and Organize Your Stuff, Your Home, and Yourself!”

(Oh I could soooo use this book right now, so I hope you can forgive me for posting so I can get an extra entry.) And honestly this is one of my favorite sites so I thought you might enjoy!

It’s easy to enter the contest, just leave a comment, no strings attached. I’m all about blog giveaways! (They are great because you don’t get spam when you enter and many are drawn randomly.)  Besides who couldn’t use some help with organizing ideas???