How to Organize Your Craft Room (or Any Room!) with “Green” Ideas

March 29th, 2011

We have some fun and easy ideas for organizing your craft room with items you already have around your home.  So don’t throw out that spaghetti jar or paper box! Take a look at what we did with items one might normally throw away or recycle! It will cost you little or no money…and you’ll be taking some small steps towards crafting in a more earth-friendly way!

Items we used in this episode can be found here:

Download the Episode 3′s accompanying PDF pattern here.
Chalk Markers
Chalkboard Paint
Clear Contact Paper
Double Fold Bias Tape

If you don’t want to use chalkboard paint, then we also like this product:
Chalkboard Contact Paper, 18″ x 6′

So here’s what we had “before”….

And then here’s the AFTER!

The beautiful pink fabric box you see in the photo above was created by the amazing Carla C with the use of her pattern, Case Study: Basic Boxes.

Thank you to this week’s sponsor, for making this episode possible. Visit “You Can Make This” to instantly download patterns and instructions for clothing, home decor, jewelry, crochet/knitting, crafts, scrapbooking, and more.

We’d love to hear from you! What kinds of things do you do to repurpose, reuse, or upcycle? Let us know by posting a comment below.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
-Kim & Kris

  • March 29, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I took some security envelopes with different patterns on the insides, and punched them out with a tag-shaped punch. I glued 2 together white sides together for stiffness and to hide any printing. I used a sharpie marker to write on them, punched a hole in the end, and tied them with string to the drawer pulls of the dressers I use to store sewing notions, etc. A classy way to label my drawers, much better than the masking tape I used to use.

  • March 29, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I am primarily a cloth doll designer and I recently designed a doll that I can demonstrate at doll clubs and community groups. The doll is made over an empty plastic water bottle. The fabric which forms her cloak is actually a sleeve from an old sweater which I felted in the washing machine. I was really happy to think of easy ways to recycle materials so that I could teach people to make a doll that is both cheap to make and doesn’t require a sewing machine – that way people who’ve never made art dolls can give it a go and be environmentally friendly at the same time.

  • March 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    this was a terrific episode!
    thanks for all the great ideas–really gets the wheels turning!

    Kim, loved your out fit in this episode–that grey cardi is super cute!

  • Pat
    March 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Great ideas for organizing my sewing room. I am going to the recycle bin and pull out the jars that I just put in there. Also cans can be used as long as you have the opener that cuts the sides and not the top. There are no sharp edges that way. Keep up the great ideas.

  • Elizabeth Keller
    March 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    awesome ideas! Thanks;o)

  • Michele
    March 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    great ideas! always looking for new ways to reuse!
    can never have enough boxes, baskets, jars, cans or bowls for stuff!!
    love the crumpled lunch bags for the box!

  • Judy S
    March 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    thank you again for more great ideas. I’ve always used odd bottles, cans, etc. but I’ve never tried the chalkboard paint and have never heard of chalk pens before. Makes them SO much nicer.

  • Kris Presley
    March 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Y’all are so cute and amazing!!! I LOVE everything y’all do!!! I love the coke bottles recycled…CUTE, CUTE, CUTE! Thanks!!!

  • Suzanne
    March 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I thought I was the queen of recycling, but you two are great! Another tip: square tissue boxes can be used for small scraps while cardmaking, scrapping, etc. The tissue boxes can also be disassembled and used for patterned chipboard or small frame on a layout. Thank you so much for all your ideas!

  • Carol Anderson
    March 29, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Thank you for the idea of the chalkboard paint and the chalk pens especially. I will go “write” out and buy those. Thank you both, I really enjoy your episodes.

  • Jessica Womble
    March 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I just recently used tall plastic containers in my kitchen to hold pasta and granola. I plan on using my silhouette and putting vinyl on the outside. I love the idea of the chalkboard paint though. I should have been saving all those diaper boxes! I need some more baskets around the house and those would be perfect!

  • Connie T
    March 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I HAVE CHALKBOARD paint….lol…have had it for YEARS….was going to paint a part of my Daughters Wall…….WELL….didn’t do that…I guess I will have to dig it out!! and have better use for it!! EXCITED!! These can make GREAT gifts too!! Yippeee..Thanks

  • Marilyn
    March 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Great ideas! I’ve been using toilet paper/paper towel tubes to control the cords for my small kitchen appliences for a long time. I try to reuse food containers to organize small items in drawers or on shelves. Some lunch meat comes in rectangular containers that work well for a lot of small items.

  • Corina
    March 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Just love your blog. There is always something creative and neat to view. Thanks for all the great ideas. I Knew about the chalkboard paint but not the chalk pen. Where do you get one?

  • March 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Kim and Kris, Thanks for the recycling crafty ideas!

  • Nancy Lindquist
    March 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I do like to recycle. My house needs organizing, not just the craft part.

  • March 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Awesome! Thanks Ladies!

  • Angela M.
    March 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I love the idea of the chalk paint and marker! I have been using a label maker all these years and had to make a new label each time I switched out what was in the container. Thank you!

  • Christine
    March 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    For Mother’s Day my husband is going to take the flat white old doors we removed from a house and re-purpose them into a cutting table and some shelves for a craft room. I love the box idea from the video and will have to make some of those for my shelves.

  • March 29, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Love your ideas ladies! Like someone above mentioned, it gets the wheels turning!

    I can use a lot of these ideas in our school room too!

    Keep ‘em coming!

  • Cynthia D.
    March 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    LOVED THIS EPISODE!!! I am always looking for new ways to store things! Thanks for the new ideas swimming around in my head!!! :D

  • March 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Well I love you gals and do watch the episodes. I have to tell you that I used a lot of lids from like hairspray, paint cans, etc. as they are colored and work great for containers in a drawer.

  • Chris
    March 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Whatever color is the opposite of green, that is what I want to be!

  • March 29, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I love these green ideas for organization! And they look so nice!

  • Kathryn
    March 29, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Love this. . . A LOT!!!!

  • Karen Mortensen
    March 30, 2011 at 12:25 am

    This was great. And you are coming to my house when?

  • March 30, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Enjoyed all these idea’s!

  • Sandra
    March 30, 2011 at 1:30 am

    LOVED this episode…what fantastic ideas! Especially liked how you tied it all together with the chalkboard paint. Too cute!

  • Terrena
    March 30, 2011 at 2:04 am

    I may be moving soon and will be rearranging my craft/scrap room. I have save all kinds of jars that I will be using to stash my stuff. I also save a couple of plastic serving bowls from my KFC meal tonight to put embellies in. Thanks for sharing, I needed more ideas.

  • nellie diaz
    March 30, 2011 at 2:13 am

    wonderful ideas kim and kris ,im all for going green thank you

  • Fiona
    March 30, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Just loved the ideas, especially the one with the bottom of the soda bottle. Thanks you guys!!!!!

  • Paxie
    March 30, 2011 at 3:12 am

    I’ve heard of the chalkboard paint but I’d never heard of the chalkboard pen and I LOVE that Idea. I’ll be looking for a small can/bottle of chalkboard paint and the marker at my local craft’s store. I’ll also have the office save those paper boxes for me now that I know how to make them look good.

    I use a small mail divider for my small/square quilting rulers and a larger plastic file sorter for my long quilting rulers I found them both at a yard sale for 25 cents each. My little dog eats the “Mighty Dog” canned dog food and it comes in metallic turquoise cans. I’ve been washing them and using them around the sewing room as catch-alls but I’ve got a ton of them (they’re really very cute) and need some more use ideas. Maybe someone has an Idea of something I could make them into to sell at our quilt guild’s yearly quilt show?

    Thanks for a great show (BTW I’m still waiting to hear that I’ve won the Janome sewing machine LOL)

  • March 30, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Since I was a little girl, I’ve always looked at things as what else can I do with it. There are so many possibilities! Love seeing anything anyone else does. The boxes look so “arty” – adore them. The jars are so coordinated & don’t look recycled at all! Cool, Ladies

  • Jamie
    March 30, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Loved this episode ladies! I actually just re-did some boxes of my own. Diaper boxes! Who knew how useful they could be?! I modge-podged some fabric on them and now they are darling, not to mention extremely helpful when it comes to organizing my closets. I love that you used chalkboard paint/pens. Great ideas!

  • Monica
    March 30, 2011 at 3:39 am

    love all the video, we have chalkboard paint left over from painting our daughters bedroom door…its time to get it back out! i have never seen the chalk pens where do you find those?

  • Sandy in Fort Worth
    March 30, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Hi Paxie,

    Maybe you could make pin-cushions out of them? Put a little batting in the can and cover it with some scrap material tucked and glued.

    My little dog eats the “Mighty Dog” canned dog food and it comes in metallic turquoise cans. I’ve been washing them and using them around the sewing room as catch-alls but I’ve got a ton of them (they’re really very cute) and need some more use ideas. Maybe someone has an Idea of something I could make them into to sell at our quilt guild’s yearly quilt show?

  • March 30, 2011 at 6:09 am

    I love to repurpose old glass jars to be used for storing ribbons, threads, spools, and getting old antique spools to apply my fabric binding too to hold for my next quilt.

    You are both so creative, heart you!

  • AnnCP
    March 30, 2011 at 6:36 am

    When are your winners going to be announced?

  • March 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I love your ideas! I love recycling too, but haven’t done too much purposeful recycled items YET, but you’ve definitely given me some ideas! So simple… :) Tnx for sharing!

  • March 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Oh, here is one of my purposeful recycled items done with used glass jars as well:

  • marg
    March 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

    for my son 21st I save all my my glass jars and friends too . I put tea lights in them and lined our paths and out door area with them that looked amazing it the night

  • Janette
    March 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I love the krinkle paper idea over the box.

  • Janet
    March 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Never heard of chalkboard pens. How cool. They’re my new must have item!

  • Michelle
    March 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I love these ideas. My boys use our recycling for crafts. I never thought of using it for storage but it seems to work great. Thanks for the ideas

  • Sarah
    March 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    This is one of your best episodes! Love your ideas!

    March 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    GO GREEN OR GO HOME! Isn’t that how the saying goes??? I LOVE re purposing anything and everything! Thank you for this episode!

  • Monica
    March 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Love all the ideas! Looking forward to my next empty box and glass jar!

  • March 30, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This was fun, thank you. I use empty spice jars and thrifted salt & pepper shakers for glitter.

  • Heidi
    March 31, 2011 at 12:33 am

    You girls are just amazing. Sometimes I’m afraid to watch your shows, as I always feel like I need to run right out to buy the supplies to do your projects- but today, I have plenty to recycle. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • Barb Johnson
    March 31, 2011 at 12:51 am

    My husband is a computer teacher at a local school. When the school got new computers, he brought home the boxes that the keyboards came in. They are fantastic for storing fabric projects like quilts-in-process. They stack up neatly and keep all the pieces together in one place.

  • Deb
    March 31, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Great ideas. I cover boxes & use jars a lot in my sewing room. I really like the jars as I can see through them.

  • Melanie
    March 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I found a shallow shelf at a thrift store and found that used jelly jars are small enough to fit perfectly to organize all the little notions in my sewing area, I also used cup screws along the front of the bottom shelf to hang scissors and such. I also have an accordion style hat peg rack that I use to hang odds and ends from. Its so much fun to see what other people use to organize, I’m always trying to come up with new ideas!

  • Kelly Murrie
    April 3, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I like to find cool wrapping paper that has a nice pattern…and use it for decorating. You can cover boxes just like you did with the fabric, and it’s even cheaper. Some of my favorites have been the short rolls from the dollar spot at Target. Also…I started a collection of Caprisun juice pouch boxes (they are smaller rectangle shaped, but very sturdy) and will hot glue/duct tape arrange them together to make a little chair for my little ones. Actually they would likely be sturdy enough (all together) to handle “upholstery”…but I will prob just leave it like it is. :)
    Loooved the episode!

  • Carmen
    April 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I think everything could be recycled with a little creativity. I recycle water bottles into dolls but they are like piggy banks. I make an opening in the back and make the cloth doll over the bottle. I leave an opening in the dress so the coins can be dropped in.

  • Neddie58
    April 4, 2011 at 6:58 am

    I wish I had a craft space- Love the box ideal

  • Lourna
    April 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    super genius ideas…been following your videos…
    and tried the boxes, bottles ideas but i can’t chalkboard
    paint and marker today nearby so that’s my homework
    looking online…thanks for sharing

    filipina crafter in sweden

  • May 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    For my 7 yr old’s recycling project for school, we made a message board out of an old cookie sheet, and old can, old buttons, fabric yo-yos I didn’t use, pipe cleaners, scrap fabric and ribbon, a binder clip, some pencils, some bottle caps, magnet circles, and some 1″ circle designs. It ended up being the coolest memo board and magnets. She used the yo yos and pipe cleaners to make a flower design on it and some pipe cleaners to make awesome pencil toppers. When it comes off display at her school, it’s going in my kitchen!!!

  • August 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Your covered boxes are so cool! It brought back memories from my childhood. Whenever my Mom was wallpapering, she would take a cardboard box and cover it with the end pieces that she had to cut off for corners, etc. Once the box dried, it was quite sturdy and became our toy box! I guess she was ahead of her time!

  • Dollie B
    October 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    My latest repurpose was taking my old bottom dishwasher rack, removing the rollers and extras and hanging it in my craft/quilting room as a large cone size thread rack. The dish seperator prongs are just the right length. The thread is easy to sort and find and keeps it out of drawers and off shelves.

  • February 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I have so many containers. I knew I would find a great project idea to make use of them and have fun at the same time

  • April 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    [...] Card board boxes can be covered with fabric and used for storage [...]

  • September 2, 2012 at 8:00 am

    OMG I love you to. After watching this I have to go to organize my office and my crafty stuff.

    It is so hard to recyle in japan and stuff keeps piling up so I`m very happy to see how to use this

  • September 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

    [...] some of these awesome ways to upcycle them. They’re organizing and green all at once!  1. 2. 3. 4. Oh, these ideas appeal to me on so many levels. I know I have some yogurt cups in the [...]

  • September 17, 2012 at 1:19 am

    I love your Ideas girls! Gives me a little Inspiration on what to do with my Craft area. I am so upset mine is not as organized as yours. I am trying to make the most out of mine thanks.

  • October 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I am currently trying to organize my craft room. So much better to reuse household items for storage instead of buying expensive containers.
    Thanks for the great ideas.

  • December 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    [...] some of these awesome ways to upcycle them. They’re organizing and green all at once!  1. 2. 3. 4. Oh, these ideas appeal to me on so many levels. I know I have some yogurt cups in the [...]

  • genevieve
    March 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Living in Switzerland I have imported more than 50 big peanut butter jars from the States…..I use them for all kinds of stuffs in my craft room….love them especially because they have a lid and therefore I can staple them….thank you for your great ideas….

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