Who pays bills anymore? I know I don’t. Well, at least not the kind where you sit down at your desk, pull out all your bills and your checkbook, write a bunch of checks, and then inevitably give your tongue a paper cut licking envelopes and stamps.
I pay all my bills online. I figure if you can’t accept online payment, you aren’t really serious about getting paid.
(Note to my internet provider: I really DO pay my bills, especially yours!)
So when we decided to clean out our computer desk so my husband could take over some more space, we found we hadn’t really used this old bill organizer in months, for anything other than a catch-all and a few coupons, which were then never used because we forgot we put them there. (OK, “we” really means “I” in this story.)
Anyway, it was taking up a lot of space and not giving back any function, so it had to go…. Or did it? Not one to throw away anything that I may one day see at a thrift store and want to buy back, I decided to hang on to it and find a new use for it. Fortunately, it’s just the size and shape that I need to organize all my printmaking supplies for my Etsy shop.
But it wasn’t very cute. Sure, it was fine for a bill organizer on a computer desk, but not quite what I wanted for my office. Never fear, though, with a little spray paint and Mod Podge, now it’s got a whole new life!
If you ever see these at thrift stores, pick one up and try your own organizer makeover. Here’s how.
- Sand the surfaces lightly.
- Clean well. Use a damp rag to remove all the sanding dust from the surfaces. Then use a compressed air blower (the kind they make to clean out computer keyboards and such) to blast the dust out from all the dividers. You could also try your hairdryer set on high. I didn’t do this, but once I started spray painting, the forced air from the spray paint kicked up all these little dust bunnies! I had to quit spray painting and clean them all up first.
- Spray all over with a couple of light, even coats of spray paint. I used Krylon’s Classic Gray in gloss. Be sure to follow the instructions on the can for drying and re-coating times.
Once the spray paint was dry, I decided to add a little decorative touch to the drawers with scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.
Here’s a quick little Mod Podge tutorial that will work on all sorts of decoupage projects.
- Cut the paper to the size of the front of the drawers.
- Using a foam brush, lightly coat the surface with Mod Podge.
- Carefully lay the paper on the surface, starting in the middle and rolling out to the edges. Using a credit card or your fingers, gently push out any air bubbles toward the edges of the paper, and be sure the paper is lined up correctly. If you work quickly, you can pull up the paper if it ends up in the wrong spot.
- Allow to dry. You may need to weigh down the paper as it’s drying so the edges don’t curl up. I use my “Quotable Abigail Adams” for this task. It’s a great book, and quite helpfully heavy. (Slide a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper between your project and your weight so they don’t glue together!)
- Once the Mod Podge and paper is dry, paint on another light coat of Mod Podge to seal the paper. This gives it that characteristic decoupaged look, and will also help ensure the edges don’t lift up after time.
- Dry thoroughly before replacing drawers.
Or, as in my case, decide you don’t like the paper on the front, and repeat the whole process with lace instead. (You can decoupage fabric in exactly the same manner as paper.)
Finally, I added a bit of colorful paper to the inside of the drawers to give it a little extra character. Now my organizer ties in perfectly with my office, and holds all my printmaking supplies. What’s that? You’re not big into printmaking? That’s OK. You could use one of these for storing scrapbooking supplies, greeting cards, or all sorts of other crafty stuff.
I’m trying make my home office work a little better for me, and one of the things I want to do is save money on my taxes. So I’m making a few minor adjustments and I’ll be sharing those tips in a later post. Be sure to check back soon if you work from home and want to learn how to take advantage of some great tax breaks.