Who doesn’t adore cute vintage buttons? Recently, I took a pile of vintage buttons…
placed them on my desktop scanner…scanned them as an image…and did a bit of Photoshop work to create a full sheet of same-size buttons for printing to one-inch label stock to make a nice big set of button stickers. See my post over at the World Label blog for the FREE PDF file download and ideas for using these cuties. (If you leave a comment over there you’ll put a big smile on my face.)
Disclosure: I am a compensated designer for WorldLabel.com
Any day now the April issue of Country Living magazine will hit the stands and I can hardly stand the wait. It’s going to be big I tell you! But in the meantime, and as a bit of a hint of what’s to come in that issue, I wanted to share a few fun ways I store stuff that I collect and use around the studio. I’m in my studio more than I’m not, so I really like to have delicious looking things around me in the form of practical storage items. As an avid flea-market-style collector, this not only fulfills my desires for finding goodies to use in crafts, but also unique containers to hold those collections. Ultimately, it keeps my dream space colorful and inspiring. But do know this, I am on a crafter’s budget, so I rarely spend much for anything I collect. I patiently scour weekend flea markets, and Etsy and eBay nightly for things I like, and only pounce when the pickin’s good and cheap. Here are just a few ideas for craft supply storage and organization.At one end of the studio is a very large apothecary cabinet with sliding glass doors & shelving on the top section, and storage drawers on the bottom. All the shelves hold glass canisters and jars filled with colorful supplies. On the bottom shelves are stacks of smaller vintage jars that hold multiples of things like game pieces, thread spools, wooden beads, random hardware and more miscellany. My favorite jars are those with old graphics and typography on the metal lids. I even started collecting found metal lids with graphics to replace boring lids on plain jars.I’ve been collecting old shaving brushes to use as classroom glitter dusters. I also snag up any vintage rubber stamp carousels I can find at a super low price. Turns out the two marry pretty darn well!
Have you ever come across one of those vintage travel-bar suitcases? They have the best little aluminum tumblers and shot-size cups inside. Often the cups are found on their own. I keep classroom items in there such as paper scoring styluses, metallic markers, toothpicks, glitter spoons, and paper-craft tweezers. I’ve never tried canning. But I love canned goods, and I especially love the way they look stored in a vintage cupboard. I use larger canning jars to store vintage seam binding pulled from their cards and organized by color. I can find individual packages of colored seam binding pretty easily at thrift stores. In fact, there’s one in my area that’s a thrift store with only craft items. I use the seam binding as ribbon for craft projects and gift packaging. There is an area of the barn with a little table-turned-workbench where I hammer, drill, and do the more shop-like projects. There I keep one of my beloved vintage metal toy trucks with an old cigar box in the bed and a wire test tube rack tucked inside of that. All together this set-up holds items upright that I such as small clamps, rulers, scissors, craft knives, Sharpies and more. Large vintage toy trucks are some of my favorite containers for storing studio stuff.There’s a small shelf unit atop an old dresser in the barn, and on the shelves are my many vintage tin cans that tickle my graphic designer senses daily. Those cans house markers, pens, craft knives, hot glue sticks, pencils, brushes, craft scissors, and several other tools. There’s even a small wire basket full of tins that hold blades, pencil leads, and other smalls. To the right are coat hooks attached to a larger shelf unit that hold embroidery hoops for all kinds of crafting, not just embroidery.Next to the tin can shelf is my candy rack, which in its time held bags of better nut confections, but it now makes a great rack for my wire cutters, pliers, hole punches and large tweezers.See the small pocket-size tobacco tins attached to the side of the shelving unit? They hold pens and rulers. Lard tins are filled with scissors, random hand tools, and a little tin first aid kit with bandages. The shallow meat pie tin pan holds vintage glass paper weights that I use to hold rolled paper flat for cutting, or blog photo backdrops.Well, that’s just some of the different ways I store things here at the barn. Follow me on Instagram and search #inspiredbarn for lots more studio shots. Register for my next Inspired Barn workshop and I’ll let you play with all of it!
One of my favorite projects is featured in the March 2014 issue of Country Living magazine- embroidered flour and feed sack wall art. Though I’ve been collecting sacks for a few years, my collection isn’t that big since I’m pretty thrifty about spending too much on any one. But when I happen upon a sack with a fantastic graphic or cool typography or wording, it’s hard not to snatch it up. I’ve used cotton feed and flour sacks for things like dog bed pillow covers and couch & chair accent pillows. More recently, I took to adding a bit of dimension to some by following the edges and outlines of various sections of the printed designs with embroidery floss and needle using a few simple stitches. I love the results. And instead of turning these embroidered sacks into pillows, I wrapped each around a store-bought artist canvas and turned them into wall art. Be sure to check out the step-by instructions in Country Living to learn about my favorite new craft supply (that you won’t find in a craft store!) for wrapping and securing fabric around canvases with ease. You’ll find the project on page 36 in the March issue’s Idea Notebook.
Here are some close-ups of my feed & flour sack projects.BONUS CRAFT! My sweet friend Heather Mann of Dollar Store Crafts created this brilliant and adorable matchbox project that is on the very next page! You can download free graphics at CountryLiving.com to print and create your own little library of office supplies!