My ‘make-do’ rolling craft storage cart


I want one.  I NEED one!  There are all kinds of rolling storage carts out there, and I’ve been trying to talk myself into splurging on one for years.  My craft room has a nice big work table in it for me to work one; and plenty of storage space and units.  But a good percent of my craft work (especially as I’m getting older and dealing with more health issues!) is done sitting in my big comfy recliner in the living room, listening TV while I craft.

So, what invariably happens is that I end up with little ‘plies’ of craft supplies and partially finished projects on the floor around my chair and on the end table next to it.  Which is fine by me IF I am going to be working on that same project for a good length of time.  My ‘problem’ is, I never seem to be able to work on just ONE project at a time.  I usually have 3-4 different projects going at a time and in different areas of my home.

Some items that I spray painted outside are drying in the garage.  Some faux concrete projects are curing on the table in my craft room.  A pile of old book pages are on the end table waiting for me to decide what to do with them.  There are two flat ‘tray type’ boxes filled with buttons for me to sort through to find ‘just the right ones’ to attach to some little felt hearts that I am working on.  And the pile of felt hearts is on the lamp tale on the other side of my chair!

I seldom sit in one place for very long.  I can barely stand to sit through a 2 hour movie in a theatre.  Even if I’m really watching a TV show at home (as opposed to just listening as I work) I tend to get up during every commercial to do something.  In fact sitting for too long aggravates my back pain even more than over-doing.  So getting up every 20 minutes or so to work on a different project works best for me.  But this does not make for a very neat and tidy home!  And I do like for my home to be clean and organized.

A craft cart would be ideal to keep close by my chair in the living room.  I’ve had the kind with the plastic drawers.  The two big ones (with the colored drawers) that I bought before I moved, never did ‘work right’.  The drawers came off the track every time I opened them.  I ended up giving them away.  I have an all white one with the plastic drawers, which is fine for storage, but not necessarily for easy access to contents.


THIS is the one that I coveted most.  But it’s not quite ‘tidy enough’ for keeping in the living room; and I really wanted a shelf with removable trays or drawers.  So I headed to the thrift store on a mission to find something that I could turn into a customized craft cart for myself.

It must have been my lucky day, because this cute little rolling cart was right at the front of the store.

It’s on wheels for easy moving for cleaning and pulling over to my chair.  It will FIT right at the end of that dresser you see behind it.  (my chair is just to the right)   I can probably find some plastic trays/baskets at the dollar store to put on the shelves; AND it was only $6.99!  SOLD.

I decided to rummage around the house to see if I already had anything that would work as baskets for the shelves before I went out and spent money on something new.  Low and behold I had some cardboard boxes that fit the shelves quite nicely.


I covered the boxes with some pretty wrapping papers and voila!  My make-do craft cart is ready for duty.  I can easily remove and replace the boxes; easy access and easy clean up.

I might keep an eye out for a big tray that I can place on the top for more surface space to work on, but for now it suits my needs just perfectly.


 My bedroom in the new place is ‘situated’, but by no means DONE.

P1210320It’s VERY small, and there is practically NO wall space.  Not even enough room for my old door headboard!  sigh.  Since I elected to put all the white shelves from my former craft room in the new living room; I had these two shelves to find a use for.  Decided to use them instead of night stands, and for extra storage.  No room to hang my silver angel wings either.  (they were above the old door head-board before).  Michael cut a long piece of wood for me to put across the top of the two shelves for a bit of ‘display space’.  These two shelves and the board across the top will be painted white eventually.
P1210321On the left side of the shelf is a small lamp and part of my vintage fan collection.

P1210322Then my ‘heads’ (which I sometimes use in my booth to display crowns).

P1210323My angel wings are propped in the center of the shelf as there is literally NO place to hang them in this room.  The back wall has the bed and shelves; left side is a sliding glass door.  Yes, in the BEDroom!  The closet is on the right side and takes up nearly the entire wall, except for a small area where the bedroom door opens to.  The wall with the entry door on it is just big enough for my dresser.

But it was my CHOICE to use the smaller room as my bedroom and the bigger (albeit only slightly bigger!) room for my craft room.  Priorities!


Next on the shelf is a little collection of crowns.  (the larger two are actually ‘candle rings’!)

P1210325All the was over to the right now is then one more fan, a frame and an ‘almost matching the one on then other side’ lamp.

P1210327All of the ‘containers’ on the shelves that flank my bed contain craft supplies.  The two ‘books’ on the top shelf are fake book boxes.  A few more little crowns.

P1210326Right side of the bed shelf.  The two tiny birds on the left are actually mini slat and pepper shakers that I found at the thrift store.


I’ve since found several more of these sets; which are now stocked in my booth at Stars.  (no crowns on these though; just in case the buyer wants to actually USE them for their intended purpose!)

P1210334Burlap drapes will probably end up being changed out eventually. (I envision using the assorted mis-matched white and ivory lace curtains that I have collected.)   This window faces west and my bedroom gets almost as hot as it is outside in the evening.  There are vertical blinds, which don’t do squat to keep any light or heat out.  I went hunting for some ‘matchstick’ blinds to hang OUTSIDE to provide some shade, but all I could find was white vinyl ones.  I bought 3 of them to shade that entire side of the house, but just hung one first to see how it worked.

 ZERO shade from it, so I returned the 2 unopened ones; then Michael helped me hang some of that metallic thermal sheeting stuff on the inside of the window. (6 layers of duct tape later and I THINK it’s finally staying put!)   But it was only enough to cover one side of the window, so I taped paper over the other side; then hung the burlap drapes.  Even with those FOUR layers; white shade outside, stuff covering the windows, the vertical blinds and the burlap drapes . . .it STILL gets crazy HOT in that room.

I do have a ‘room air conditioner’, in the living room, but that is the only room it cools.  I couldn’t put one in the bedroom even if I wanted to because the sliding door is the ONLY window, and the only ‘back door’ fire escape.    Oh and the white shade that I had hanging on the outside, blew apart after a week, so I returned it also.  sigh.  Definitely must PLAN something more effective for next year.   This year I really just had to ‘make do’!
P1210332My cute ‘pouty face baby boy’ thrift store find on one side of the window.  I bought this intending to sell it in my booth at Stars, but I just HAD to keep it!

P1210333Cute little girls pic on the other side.  (also a thrift find)

P1210328And my vintage night-shirt hanging in that little bit of space on the closet side wall.  In my previous bedroom, this nightshirt hung on the window, in front of the lace curtains.  (this area gets covered up when the bedroom door is open though!)

Previous bedroom.  I later added a white fabric rose garland across the top.


And the dresser wall.  Just enough room for a waste basket on the right and a chair.

P1210712I did find room to hang my big key collection, but that is IT for wall hanging space.  Again, all the containers are ‘functional’ and filled with craft supplies, mostly paper craft stuff and some jewelry making supplies.  This shelf will also be getting painted white . . .eventually.

P1210329Upcycled vintage wire lampshade ‘cloche’ sits atop a stack of boxes filled with paper craft supplies.  ‘A pair of glasses in every room’ is my philosophy!  I hate stopping what I am doing to go hunt down my reading glasses when I need to read something.  I just buy a handful of them at the dollar store and put a pair in every room and one in my purse, of course.

P1210330Grouping of botanicals on top of the shelf that is on top of the dresser.  The jar on the left actually has a removable jar candle inside another jar, (so the berries are ‘sandwiched’ between glass) in the center.  Very pretty with the light flickering through.

P1210331I really don’t NEED a lamp here, but I’ve accumulated a few too many lamps and simply have no place to store them.  I was intending to paint this cool oblong shade  and put a little ‘night light’ under it.  Just happened to find the perfect oblong lamp base at the thrift store that perfectly fit the shade.  Still, may eventually try to paint or stencil it.

P1210320And that’s my tiny boudoir.  Except I usually have the bed MADE and a pile of pillows on it.

Hopefully I’ll have time ‘after the summer heat and before the fall rain starts up’ to get all this stuff painted.  At least it will be super easy to just carry it all out the sliding glass door onto the patio for painting!


Or maybe I should call it ‘MIP’ (missing in PAIN) or ‘Missing in IN-action’!  

If it’s not one thing, it’s another in my life, it seems.  So, we had the big snow storm in early February, during with my annual respiratory infection decided to hit.  I couldn’t get OUT to go to the doctor for five days, so by that time I was very sick and had to go straight to the ER.  At LEAST it was not pneumonia this time.

Got my meds.  Followed up with my PC a few days later because I really was not feeling much better; so he added on a round of steroids.  Got better,  then got worse again.  Back to my PC and on a second round of steroids.  Breathing MUCH better now.

But in the midst of all that my right heel started hurting.  Felt like I had stepped on a nail and that the nail was still in there sending crazy sharp pains up the back of my leg.  Couldn’t even put ANY weight on my foot sometimes.  Since I couldn’t recall having DONE anything to cause the pain, I tried to just ‘take it easy’ and see if it would pass.  Nope.  Got WORSE every day.  Back to m PC who diagnosed ‘plantar fasciitis’, and a few stretching exercises, ice and rest . . . and a trip to a podiatrist if none of that helped.

It didn’t.  But it took almost 2 weeks to get an appt as a new patient with a podiatrist.  That was yesterday.  X-ray showed that I have some bone abnormalities in my right foot.  Ultrasound of the soft tissue showed that it was inflamed to TWICE what it should be.  sigh.  They taped up my foot and gave me a Velcro splint and I go back on Monday to see what’s next; which will depend upon how much this treatment has helped.  (which is so far ‘not at ALL!)  sigh.

Resting for TOO long only makes it hurt MORE when I do get back up.  But being on it for too long also makes it worse.  Slowly keeping moving seems to keep the pain level down a bit, but then after a while even that starts making it worse.  So then I sit with it propped up for a while.  Sitting at the computer is very uncomfortable; hence the lack of posts for so long.  By the time I tend to my etsy shop, answer emails and work on ads, I’m DONE!

I really don’t even have a heck of a lot of projects to catch up on posting about.  Pain really ZAPS the creativity out of me!  Mostly been working on sorting and organizing and getting rid of stuff (project supplies) that I have not touched in 11 years since I moved here.


To aid me in organizing my craft supplies, I picked up a couple of these (on sale, of course!)  I’ve seen these carts around for YEARS.  Remember almost buying one at Costco for $20.00, but they went FAST.  Then they were ‘everywhere’, but priced up to $60.00.  So when I came across TWO of them for $15.00 each, I grabbed them!

But I HATE the colors!!!  I want to have one of those ‘pretty craft studios’ like they show in the magazines.  But these carts are SOOOOOOOOOO practical!!!  What to do?!?!?  I’ll have my sweet Michael build me a little cabinet that I can roll them into!!!  THEN, I can even add a book shelf on top of the cart storage cabinet to make it look like a hutch!!!

I LOVE being me when I think of stuff like that.  The ‘other medical crap’,  notsomuch!!

Do you have any fabulous ‘decorative’ storage solutions to share??

Bedroom / craft studio progress report

Yikes!  It’s been OVER a year since I last posted about THIS PROJECT.    Finally got back to it last week when I brought home a shelf from Stars to use, and pretty much had to rearrange EVERYTHING on the ‘studio side’ of the room.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 120The big white shelf on top of the dresser is the new addition; replacing a smaller shelf that was there before.  The dresser drawers are all full of craft supplies, as are the little suitcases and picnic basket on the dresser; and ALL the other boxes and containers you see!

12.29.12 stars Val buys 111Just added all this ‘wall decor’ above the work table.  Those bulletin boards won’t be empty for long!

12.29.12 stars Val buys 133

Did you notice the super cool string and scissor holder on top of that little shelf?!?!  That was a Christmas gift from one of my best friends, and I soooooooooooooo  love it!  (Thanks B!!!)

12.29.12 stars Val buys 113

I cut out pictures that I like from magazines and glue them into notebooks and journals to save for inspiration.  Two of them you see hanging from the big key rack.  The big keys hanging with them and the ones on the bulletin board will be used for projects.  Just enjoying the ‘look of them’  on display for now.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 112Little shelf that sits on the work table.  I love having my supplies ‘on display’.  It reminds me of what I have and INSPIRES me to use the stuff. Of course I can’t artfully display EVERYTHING; so I select a few things and change them out every so often.  To the left of the shelf is a big old can covered with sheet music for me to toss paper scraps in for recycling.  (at least the scraps that are too small to save and re-use. )  My paper cutter sits just to the left of it.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 130

Close up of stuff on the shelf.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 114I TRIED putting my paper cutter away after using it.  And I really like having a ‘blank spot’ on the table when I put it away.  BUT I use that thing almost EVERY day, so now it stays out.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 115The shelf at the end of the work table and against the side wall was there before.  I just changed out what I had stored/displayed on it.  Most of those boxes are from a set of paper mache boxes, and store assorted supplies.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 118One of these days I’ll get around to making some labels for the boxes.  Jars of shells on the top to easily grab and use on projects.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 117

12.29.12 stars Val buys 116To the left of the work table shelf is a crate that sits on end and holds all my pretty scrap book paper.  And a stack of file holders on top.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 138WHY do I have that much scrapbook paper when I don’t even DO scrapbooking?!?!

12.29.12 stars Val buys 117(I need to label THESE too!)  Instead of just putting stuff in the file holders and having them look messy, I discovered that the boxes you get from the copy place when you have a LOT of copies made, fit perfectly in the slots.  But they are kinds fugly looking.  So I covered mine with plain kraft paper.  And I can store ‘little things’ in there easier this way.  I used all my old ‘checks’ boxes as little dividers in the trays.  Nice and organized!

12.29.12 stars Val buys 119And back to the newly added shelf.  Nope, it doesn’t match and no, I don’t care.  It’s functional!!  And I can ‘display’ lots of supplies on it!

12.29.12 stars Val buys 124

12.29.12 stars Val buys 125

12.29.12 stars Val buys 126

12.29.12 stars Val buys 128

12.29.12 stars Val buys 127You can see a couple more of these covered boxes on the top shelf of this shelf.  I have several more stored ‘behind closed doors’ (in my big shutter cabinet) with all my rubber stamps and inks.  At one time I had all of these ‘on display’ as you can see in this old picture:

12.29.12 stars Val buys 121MORE supplies in a stack of suitcases that sit under the work table.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 123My skeleton key collection.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 139Faux display cakes that I made to use for photo props for etsy.

12.29.12 stars Val buys 140One of two vintage grubby old electric fans.  One more and it will officially be a ‘collection’!

12.29.12 stars Val buys 136You can baaaaaaaaaaarely see my little crown collection on top of the shutter cabinet.  (Michael built it for me)

12.29.12 stars Val buys 137And a crown hook hanging on the front.

That’s IT!  That’s as far as I’ve gotten.  But I’m content.

****EDITED TO ADD ****  THIS room is not my ONLY craft work area.  It is just my ‘paper craft’ supplies in that room.  I also have a ‘craft room’ (formerly the formal living room in the house) where most (and a LOT more!) of my craft supplies are.  Here’s an old post where I showed that craft room.  And that room is almost ALWAYS too messy to take pictures of.    Usually a dozen projects in the works at any given time!

SOMEDAY, I will have whiddled down my craft supplies to a manageable amount that I can ‘pretty up’ that craft room too.  Right now, it’s half supplies and half etsy product waiting to be sold.  AND I have some etsy product out in our trailer!

BUT, when we decided to re-do that bedroom and I decided to divvy up some of my supplies to store in there, I was DETERMINED that it would stay tidy enough to STILL be used as a guest bedroom.  And it’s the one room that Michael will tolerate being ‘girly’!

I really AM ‘on a mission’ to use up my excess craft supplies and get ‘my other craft room’  as organized and pretty as the bedroom.

Even if you only have a closet or a corner to use for your craft space, SO try to ‘pretty it up a bit’.  A pretty and tidy craft area truly IS more conducive to creativity!

Organizing excess crafting supplies

During the five years we had our retail shop, my supply of crafting materials pretty much DOUBLED.  I kept some stuff at the store and some stuff at home, so that I always had ‘something to work on’ during down time. 

Once we closed the store and I had to bring all those extra craft supplies home . . . YIKES!  There was absolutely NO PLACE to store them.  The overflow has been piled in our living room ever since.   I’ve ‘been on the hunt’ for a nice BIG nine drawer dresser to fix up and put in the living room to store all the ‘small stuff in’.  FINALLY found one last week!

And here she is!!!  Big and UGLY.  But nice drawers that open and close easily; and were CLEAN. Clean drawers are paramount.

Very worn top, so not much sanding required there.  I sanded the entire thing and applied a coat of KILZ primer.

No drawer handles to deal with made the work go quicker.  But this wood was DRY!  It soaked up the paint like a SPONGE.  Took THREE coats of paint ON TOP of the coat of primer!

After doing ALL that painting my arms and back were hurting too much to do any distressing.  The jury is still out on whether or not I’ll lightly distress the edges later on.

The plain drawers needed a little ‘oomph’, so I added some carved wood embellishments.

This picture was taken using the flash.  The ‘ture color’ is not this white, nor as yellow as the non flash photos.  YOu can barely even see the carved embellishments on the top drawers in this photo!  I could not get a good picture either way because it’s against the window the light coming from behind messes it up.

While waiting to find the dresser, I made these storage boxes out of old show boxes with attached lids.  Just covered them, inside and out, with torn book pages. 

Still working on organizing the insides of the drawers.  The big drawers will hold SIX empty kleenex boxes as dividers.  (with my allergies we go through a LOT of kleenex!) 

Next up on the living room make-over is a settee made from an antique head and foot board.


My ‘Creating Space’ . . .

Aka ‘the craft room’ .  Since the store is now only open one day a week, and it’s too busy on that one day to work on any projects; I had to start hauling all the assorted supplies that I had lugged TO the store over the past 3+ years, back home. 

BUT FIRST, I had to clean up my messy craft room!  Now I don’t have ‘one of those beautifully decorated art studios’ that you see so many others share pictures of in their blog.  I LOVE those pictures and WISH my work space could be that pretty.  (especially since the FORMAL LIVING ROOM is the space that serves as my craft room in this house!)  Alas, it’s all about ‘functionality’.  AND lots of storage space!  And making-do . . . .

This is as good of a picture as I can get of the entire space.  As I said, it’s the formal living room of the house, and right off the front entry.  No one ever uses the front door.  HA!  No one ever comes out here period!  (too far away from civilization for everyone!)  So, the front door is kind of cordoned off by shelves (which you’ll be able to see in a later picture).

I have two tables.  Only managed to keep ONE of them uncluttered long enough to take this picture!  Shelves line both ends of the room, and my computer desk and office supply cabinet are opposite the work tables.  We even utilized the space above the windows for storage! 

I keep a plastic table cloth on my ‘painting table’.  This is the FIRST time in probably FOUR YEARS that it was clean enough to take a picture of it!

This next picture is looking to the right of the room.  Michael built those shelves for me and they cover the entire length of the room.  They are 2′ deep, so I can double stack boxes on them.  And we put up a rod so I could hang curtains to pull shut to ‘hide the mess’ just in case anyone ever comes to visit’.  Or sometimes I just need to hide the mess from myself!


This is the left side of the room.  These are SIX 6′ tall Dania shelves.  Three, side by side. and then back to back (I have to go around into the front entry way to access the other ones)

I couldn’t get a picture of the shelves on the back side because there isn’t enough room to get back far enough in the entry way.  But you can get an idea from this.  It’s a good way to utilize this otherwise ‘wide open and unusable’ space.

And this is my little ‘office area’.  My computer desk (closed up cuz I am NOT showing THAT mess!), a supply cabinet, and the big white one is for office supplies.

And that’s my little nook of the house that I do my creating in! 

The separate WORKSHOP (which I have to share with Michael) is a whole other world, and will NEVER be tidy enough to take picutres of!