Organized Work Space

Speaking of school (check out my post here), I decided it was high time to get an organized space going.  Since moving back in the with the folks last spring, my space is somewhat limited.  But with Sister #2 off at college, I decided to commandeer her desk area, and give it a little inexpensive face lift.

Here’s what I started with:

Gotta love the outdated calendar and the Gandhi Poster!

A little messy, since it is full of things she didn’t need at school with her.  I did a little shopping at my go-to spot, Ikea!  I picked up a plain white magnetic board, some fabric – I needed less than a yard, but have plans for the left over fabric! (I loved the blue and white pattern with the small hints of orange – this was my color scheme), magnets in orange and white (they matched my fabric so perfectly, it was unbelievable!),  small magnetic boxes, matching orange and white magazine holders, and a couple paper boxes in the same shade of orange.  Overall I spent just around $50, which I was more than ok with.

Home I went, happy as could be with my organization goodies.  First thing I did was iron the fabric to make sure there were no wrinkles.

Next up, it I plugged in the trusty old glue gun, and let it heat up.

Then, I measured my fabric and cut a piece big enough to cover the magnetic board.  Then I spread out the fabric, put the magnetic board on top and glued around the edges.  Once I got to the corners, I trimmed the sides and wrapped like a present, gluing as I went.

Wrap the corner like a present

 I had decided to prop the board against the wall, rather than hang it, but I took the time to trim off the fabric where the nail holes were incase I decide to hang it on a wall in the future.

If you plan to hang your board, steer clear of the nail holes

Here it is all wrapped and finished.

And the front view, propped against the wall.

Sorry for ALL the crooked pictures…it’s my lack of picture taking abilities, the room is straight!

And now with the matching magnets…I love it!

See the subtle hints of orange in the fabric?

Here is my finished board, covered in the essentials.

Again with the crooked picture taking…ahhh

I added a magnetic box on each side, one to hold things like a ruler, scissors, tape and the other to hold extra magnets.

Because my board is propped against the wall, the boxes are resting on the table, but they have hefty magnets and would stick to the board if it was hanging on a wall.

Then I have a couple pictures, coupons, and a weekly meal planner.

And of course a monthly pad of paper to jot down quick notes and make lists.  Pretty soon I need to go find my February list…yikes!

On each side of the board I added my magazine holders.  I love that the orange and white help tie everything together.  One side holds cooking magazines, like the Food Network and Everyday with Rachel Ray goodies.

The other side holds decorating and household magazines, like Veranda, and Good Housekeeping.

Then I put together and added the cute paper boxes on top of the wooden filing cabinet (sister #2 painted that herself!).  One box holds craft supplies, the other holds school papers.  I still need to label them, but I like the nice and organized way to hide some of my mess.

Here’s an overview of what my small area of the desk looks like.  Much better huh?

And we can’t forget the Easy Embroidery Project I made here.  And the Even easier Yarn Wreath I made here.

Now I just need to get started on some more crafts and school work…yippee!

Featured at:


**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog, or click here, to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!  Thanks for hosting Girls!**

Coasting right on through…

Something I discovered, only last year, was an elite little product called Mod Podge, and we’ve been having a casual love affair ever since.  I have not dared to branch out terribly far on my decoupage adventure, but I continue to see Mod Podge and I having a lasting relationship, which means bigger and better projects are surely on the horizon.

With Christmas ending I thought a great recycled use for all that wrapping paper would be some festive coasters.  Even if it means that I have to put them away until next year…but something as simple as this would be great for having around the house or giving as small gifts, perhaps a host gift for a holiday party you attend next year.  Never hurts to make in advance and then store for the next year!

All the supplies you need are tile coasters (16 cents a pop at home depot, beat that!), mod podge, decorative paper (I chose to recycle wrapping paper left over from the holidays, but you can use anything such as paper napkins, fabric, stickers, scraps of paper, etc.  Whatever you think looks visually appealing) a pencil, sponge brush, and some scissors.  I also like to keep a handy dandy art roller close at hand, but that is completely optional.

All the goods
My handy dandy art roller, I have found that it helps to remove wrinkles and bubbles

Step 1:  Decide what part of the paper looks most visually appealing, place the tile on top and trace around it with your pencil.  If any pencil gets transferred to the side of your tile, fret not, it easily wipes off.  The paper does not have to be the exact size of the tile, you can add small elements and have blank tile exposed, I chose to cover the whole surface.

Trace around the tile with a pencil

 Step 2:  Cut out the shape that you traced, line up with the tile and trim the edges so that the paper doesn’t over hang the sides.

Cut out squares of paper

Step 3:  Spread a very thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile

Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge to the tile

Step 4:  Carefully lay the paper down on the tile, make sure the edges match up, even out any wrinkles or bubbles.  This is where I use my trusty art roller, I feel like it really helps to even out the paper and avoid wrinkles or bubbles.  Be aware that the thinner the paper you use (ie: paper napkins) the more wrinkles you are likely to have.  But wrinkles aren’t the end of the world, they give your coasters character!

Lay down the paper over the layer of Mod Podge

Step 5:  The next step is to cover the paper with a generous layer of Mod Podge.  Make sure you get all the corners and edges, this will help seal the paper onto the tile.  Try to make even strokes, big globs of glue are more likely to dry white rather than clear, so try to evenly spread across the whole tile.

Cover in an even, but generous layer of Mod Podge

Step 6:  Your tile will look like it is covered in wet Elmer’s Glue, which is normal (and can actually be used as a substitute if you don’t have a bottle of Mod Podge lying around).  You now have to, impatiently, wait for the Mod Podge to dry.

Wet glue waiting to dry

Step 7:  Once the Mod Podge is sufficiently dry (usually 15-20 minutes) make another layer.  I’m usually happy with 2-3 layers but often times do each layer in alternating brush strokes to avoid streaks (first layer vertical, second layer horizontal).

Waiting for the second layer to dry…

Step 8:  This step is optional.  Once everything is completely dry, I recommend overnight to be on the safe side, I tend to use a spray on sealant.  This helps to preserve the paper and add an extra water proof layer (especially for coasters).  I like and would recommend Plaid, I have had a lot of success with their clear acrylic sealer.

Step 9:  The final step is to add something to the bottom of the tile so that it doesn’t scratch whatever surface you choose to put it on.  I have used furniture pads, felt, and cork.  You can come up with whatever method you like the best.  I enjoy felt because it is the least expensive way to cover the entire bottom, but I also like individual felt circles, which can be placed on the four corners.  Cork is a little more on the expensive side, but you can buy a roll of cork and cut it to individual sizes that will meet your needs.

Here is a peek at my finished products!

And here are a few other coasters I made last year, just to give you an idea of some other options:

Pretty coasters

As you can tell from the background of my photos, I completed this entire project from the comfort of my bed courtesy of my new “lap desk” (thanks mom and dad!).  This is not a route I would recommend, but just goes to show how simple it really is.  Some how in my mind I justified coming home from work nursing a migraine and a sore throat as warrant for an afternoon in bed.  It was bad enough for me to back out of the typical Thursday Grey’s Anatomy night with the girls…

Well I hope you liked my short trip down decoupage lane.  I urge you all to try it…it really is that simple, and rewarding!  Happy Thursday!

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress: EEEK, gotta get going on the less clutter part, stat!