Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Greeting Card Organizer & Storage

Ok... so this is one of those projects where you're going to smack yourself side the head and ask "Why didn't I think of that?"

I started by making a template for the dividers out of copy paper.  I cut about
1-inch off the long side and then cut that in half and then cut out for my tab
and finally, just because I like it that way, rounded the top corners.
Then I made my list of what kinds of cards I am mostly likely to send and
would want to keep in my new organizer.  (In the end I left off Valentines
Day... I may do some but they can take up space in the Other/Misc area.)
And I did make the tab for Stamps/Stickers/Labels to keep a ready supply
of those items and thus, hopefully, increase the chance I will actually become
one of those people who are thoughtful enough to send greeting cards.
Next, I cut the amount of tabs I needed from cardstock.  This shows how
I cut 2 from each sheet of paper.
Using my handy dandy Dymo label maker, I put labels on each tab.  Now
you'll set these aside until you're ready to put them in the pretty new box.
I used the box from our horrifyingly bad habit of noshing on Mrs. Freshley's
Original Jumbo Honey Buns.  It's approximately the size of a men's shoe box;
a little shorter maybe but about the same width and depth.  I used this box
because it's what I had and part of the idea behind my project was to use
stuff that would otherwise be thrown away to make something that's both
beautiful and useful.
I measured (mostly by laying the box on top and wrapping it around) how
much contact paper I needed to cover the outside of the box and trimmed
away the excess at each corner so I didn't have a lot of bulk from the
unneeded extra material.  I love the grid on the back to help me cut straight
lines and keep the paper square to the box!
This shows how I oriented the box on top of the ConTac paper.  Then I very
carefully peeled off the backing on just that little tab that's going to wrap up
and cover the words "Jumbo Honey Bun."
After that tab is finger pressed into place.  From here I tore the backing off
down the center and did the same to the other end.  Then I worked it off the
side pieces and put them in place.  ConTac paper is somewhat forgiving and
will allow you to move it a few times while straightening and smoothing.  I
just wish I'd had better color and pattern choices... not really grooving on
the green.  Hopefully it will blend when I get it in on that open shelf in
the finished room!
I also covered the inside of my box.  Same process of measure, cut, carefully
peel the backing away and work slowly so to get smooth results.
With a little time and patience...
Put the tabs in... and now I just need to go find all those stray cards.  You
know, the extras from every holiday that you save thinking you'll use them
next year when that package is just 2 short and then you can't ever find them
again and buy even more?  I got some of those tucked away here and there.

Now see... wasn't that just a crazy easy way to make something pretty and organized for the office/hobby room/woman cave?  And since the box was destined for the recycle bin and it was just a few sheets of paper I already had on hand and some labels, also from materials on hand (you could write them, too, if you have pretty handwriting) my only cost was the $5.35 for a roll of ConTac paper.  And there's plenty of it to cover several more boxes for the open shelving that I have planned for that room.  How coordinated, huh?  Now if I just loved the color and pattern...

You could also use this same idea in your pantry - and I have every intention of doing so - to organize those little mix packets.  The ones you have for ranch dressing, taco seasoning, onion soup mix, chili seasoning, chicken gravy... yeah, that kind of stuff.  I admit I have them and use them because it's something convenient and shelf stable.  Right now they are scattered all over my cabinets.  Wouldn't this be a better way to contain that clutter?  And, hey, I might even find what I want already here and not just go mindlessly buy another one!!

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