• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Bittersweet Storage House

This piece was one I featured in an article in the February issue of Scrapbook News + Review on altered items for your craft room/studio.  I gave up on buying pre-made storage for my craft supplies ages ago.  I’ve found that by thinking outside the box I can come up with something custom-fit for just about any supply PLUS I get to alter it – woohoo!  I pretty much stalk the unfinished wood section of Michael’s.  Hobby Lobby is my other option, but I’ve found I don’t like their selection quite as well (or their quality – always check each piece before purchasing!) and they don’t change out their stock as often as Michael’s does.  When I came across this house shadow box (I think it was $5), my mind just raced with all the possibilities for what might fit into those cute little sections!  


I’ve pictured here a variety of things that fit into the sections, but I actually use it solely for my Stickles and Glossy/Crackle Accents.  I like having those out and handy plus being able to see the Stickles colors at a glance.


First I painted the whole thing with black acrylic paint (Jo Sonja’s by Chroma – it’s a nice, thick paint in a tube.  Step above craft grade, step below artist grade).  Then I started playing with the papers from the Bittersweet line from Basic Grey and just filling in all the spaces.  Paper packs are awesome for projects like this where you want a variety of papers – they’re all pre-coordinated!  I used an Xacto knife to cut out a few strips from one of the papers to decorate the “attic” area.  Then I just started dotting away with Scribbles (Duncan) in a shiny pink to make the edges more interesting.  Even with drying time on the Mod Podge and paint, I think the whole project only took me a couple of hours.  


So next time you’re out at your local craft store, wander through the unfinished wood section and think outside the box!  Take a piece over to the scrapbook section to see what might fit – you might be surprised!!!

Mother/son mail center

This was in the September issue of Scrapbook News + Review.  I made this for my son and I to write little letters to each other.  He’s 7 and gets the biggest kick out of writing letters (usually short and sweet “I love you Mommy”) and OMG – does he LOVE envelopes, lol!  So, I took an inexpensive unfinished mail center (Don Mechanic – Michael’s) and covered it with some fun papers from Fancy Pants.  I had originally thought to possibly apply for their DT, but this ended up being the only project I finished.  Plus, I always wonder.  Do any of the manufacturers really want JUST an alterer?  They always ask for scrapbook layouts as well, and I just don’t feel like they show my style.  Anyways. Then I took a wooden gift bag and made a matching stationery holder.  Again, very simple, with the circle designs being cut with an Xacto knife from the paper used in the mail center.  I even made him some stationery.  I took really old pieces of scrapbook paper, cut them down to 6×6 and folded each in half.  The little notecards fit perfectly into regular little envelopes you can get anywhere for about $1 for 100.

Supply storage

I made this to keep some of my crafty supplies close at hand. I honestly have so much stuff that I will forget about it if it’s not in front of me so this is my solution. Here I can keep a selection of rubons, stickers, and other similarly packaged embellishments handy. I left slots for seasonal, new, and favorites. This piece is actually pretty darned big (24 inches high) so it will fit a lot of goodies. It’s freestanding, however could be mounted to the wall as well and cup hooks added to the bottom to hang even more. If I had wall space, I would, lol! The piece was originally just a craft store unfinished wood piece. Glossy spray paint is your friend when working with big items like this! It REALLY didn’ photograph well, but the top edge and all the front edges are actually covered in black ribbon with white polka dots (if you click on the pictures to see the gigantic version you can see the ribbon) . The papers I used are from EK’s Arte Blanche line – they come 3 to a pack on nice, big rolls. This happens to be my favorite set – just love all the swirlies! The flowers at the top…well they will probably come off. I just don’t know that I like them there. The labels on each bin are done with Heidi Swapp chipboard letters.

Michael’s Rock Box

I’m so glad I picked up the collection pack for Basic Grey’s Archaic line. I really have enjoyed using it over and over! This was a little box I altered for my son to put his little rock collection in. Just a simple $1 wooden box from Michael’s and now I can (cough, hopefully…) stop finding his little rocks here, there and everywhere in my house! I love the little dirt/worms/rocks sticker and thought it would probably be a good idea to use the arrow pointing to rocks to keep Michael from deciding it would be ok to bring in dirt and worms as well. We’ll see!

Patterned papers – Boulder and Primal from the Archaic Collection by Basic Grey
Adhesive – E6000
Metal buckle – 7gypsies
Leather strip -Tandy Leather Company
Mod Podge – Plaid
Acrylic paint – Delta Ceramcoat in Espresso Cafe Noir Opaque

Stickers – Basic Grey Archaic Collection

Little Boy’s Treasure Box

This was in the May issue of Scrapbook News + Review. It’s a recipe box I altered to make a little treasure box for my son, who is continually starting up new “collections”. I used the Cogsmo line from Cosmo Cricket, which I think is just such a fun line! I also used an old Making Memories ribbon slide with some ribbon poking out from the sides. Not much to it – it went pretty fast and I think it currently holds excess lego pieces…

Rubon Booklet Storage

I altered this little wooden gift bag to hold my rubon books from Making Memories. This keeps them neat and tidy because it fits them perfectly! I matched it to the alcohol ink carrier I had made and both are featured in my new article at Scrapbooking.com Magazine in the brand new June issue. All the items used are the same as for the ink carrier and still, between the two projects, I think I still came in under $10 in supplies!

Alcohol Ink Carrier

Look for this in the June issue of Scrapbooking.com Magazine!

I’ve had my alcohol inks stored in a drawer for quite some time now and always forget about them. I like having my supplies visible – I’m one of “those” people who has to SEE my stuff to remember to use it. I also rarely create IN my dedicated space these days so even when I remember, I’ve got to drag it all out to the dining room or whatever square foot of surface space I’ve invaded for the moment. So I thought I’d use one of these cute little wooden baskets from Hobby Lobby (they run about $2.50).

They fit PERFECTLY! I fit 16 little bottles of alcohol ink (I have both Ranger and Jacquard brands if you’re wondering about the different colored bottle tops) plus my big bottle of extender solution and then there was room to tuck the little pads in along the side. I didn’t like just laying the applicator over the top of everything so I grabbed a chipboard shape from the Chippies line from Zsiage, hung it by a ribbon and the applicator hangs perfectly from it! The ribbon is actually strategically glued in a few spots to make sure it stayed where I wanted it and didn’t come untied.

I used Molten Madagascar paper from Zsiage’s Out of Africa line and another Chippie on the side. Both of the Chippies have been decorated with (shhhh, I cheated) glossy black spraypaint and glittering crystal Scribbles. The flowers are from Doodlebug and also accented with the Scribbles, some flower sequins and some black Stickles. If you click on the picture below you can see how sparkly… 🙂