Earlier this month, Sarah got your drawing implements under control, and Ann helped get those pesky paint bottles out of your hair. That left me the formidable task of figuring out what to do with all those little bits and bobs that we artists collect over time. Tiny cut out eyeballs or four blue brads are certainly worth saving, but it’s horribly frustrating when you know you just saw them on Thursday but can’t find them on Saturday!
In my world, surface space is at a premium. so I designed a wall hung organizer that you can customize to suit your needs. Keep reading to find out how you can store – and find – your future doo-hickeys.
Here is what you need to play along:
- Piece of foam board or thick cardboard. (If you can’t find a thick piece, use two pieces, taped together.)
- Empty plastic trays from frozen meals
- White glue
- Masking tape (optional)
- Old newspaper, torn in to strips
- White glue and water mixed in equal portions
- Bowl that you do not want to eat from tomorrow
- Acrylic craft paint
- Hanging hardware of your choice
Because I wanted to hang my organizer on the wall, I chose a scrap piece of lightweight foam board to use as my base. This material kept the piece very light and offered me the bonus of not needing to add lots of layers of paper mache to make it sturdy. For pockets, I used cleaned out plastic containers from frozen meals. Just give either of my daughters a pop quiz on which is my favorite, and they’ll tell you that I’ll love Lean Cuisine Swedish Meatballs until the day I die. (Sad, but true.) After I ate my yummy meatballs and washed the containers clean – but not licked them, because low-cal frozen meatballs aren’t that good – I used scissors to cut the trays in half horizontally.
I chose to make a three pocket organizer, but you can make one with as many pockets as you like. I glued the pockets to the foam board just to keep them steady while I was applying the paper mache, but if you don’t want to wait for the glue to dry, you can use masking tape instead.
I then added layers of paper mache over the surface, using the directions in Sarah’s tutorial. If this is your first time out with paper mache, you can read the directions here. The board part only needs one or two layers but be sure you use a few layers on the pockets, paying special attention to the edges to be sure they are securely attached to the base.
Wait for your piece to dry.
Sit it by a blowing vent to help hurry it along.
Although I am not a hipster, I decided that I wanted a sort of weathered barn wood effect for the surface of my organizer. To achieve a worn, crackled effect, I used white glue and followed the steps below:
1. Paint a base layer with craft acrylic or even old latex paint. I chose black. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the whole things being black. It looked sort of like this.
2. After the base layer dries, brush white glue over the entire surface. Yay! More glue!! Use a thick layer for deep, dramatic crackling or a thinner layer for a more subtle crackled look. Let the glue layer dry until it is just tacky, not smeary.
While it is tacky, paint the top color of acrylic craft paint over it. As it dries it will start to crack and the base color will show through.
After your organizer is dry, you need to decide how to hang it up. You can add hanging hardware to the back , such as a sawtooth hanger or picture wire. If you don’t have those things on hand, do what I did and use a large binder clip.
You can leave your pockets unlabeled or put a label on them so you know what goes in each one. I had these metal findings from old file boxes laying around in my *ahem* stuff, so I glued them on and put a label behind each one.
Here are close ups of the pockets:
There you go! You can now load the pockets up with whatever makes you a happy artist. Of course, I do not recommend trying to fit your bowling ball in there because your organizer is, after all, made of paper, and as we know, gravity is a pain.
You know what is not a pain, though? Winning! You can win one of these fabulous Sugar Skull Bunnies for your very own.
All you have to do is make a paper mache storage project inspired by this project, Sarah’s project, or Ann’s project, then take pictures and post them in our flickr group by 11:59 PM on February 5th. We’ll put up a poll and let the public vote on their favorite project, and the winner will not only get a totally free custom bunny from Sarah but also be featured on our front page for the rest of the month!