Monday, March 30, 2009

When Fabric & Plastic Collide...

I had a break last weekend. A break from my house. A break from my laundry. A break from two out of my three children. A break from the computer (more on that later.) And a break from small-town-ness.

Blondie and I took a girls-only road trip to the big town of Charlotte to see our BFF's. Woo-hoo!

I met Lily 8 1/2 years ago in our natural childbirth class. We knew we were destined to be friends when we laughed uncontrollably at all the same parts of the cheesy birthing videos...while the other mama's-in-waiting certainly did not.

Our girls were born exactly 4 weeks apart, after two long labors and two failed attempts at childbirth au naturale. They are best friends too.

Lily and I have collectively endured 6 childbirths, enjoyed 2 trips to Paris, cried a million tears, laughed a billion laughs, and talked a zillion hours on the phone.

We only lived in the same city 2 years.

But that hasn't held us back from living life together.

{Paris 2006}


And what in the world does any of this have to do with pretty plastic?

I gave Lily's laundry room and craft closet a mini-makeover. I wish I'd taken before photos, but honestly, I hadn't planned to blog about it. So she snapped a picture for me and e-mailed it.

Organizing is the one and only thing not in Lily's repertoire.

This girl is so talented, you would hate her...if she wasn't so darn lovable and endearing.

She paints murals without patterns. And sews (also without patterns.) And cooks amazing food with nary a recipe in sight. And she's fluent in French. And she decorates like noboby's business.

And she invented this. And you must buy one for every new mom you know.

I could go on but you get the picture. (Oh, and she cuts and highlights my hair when I visit. Love her.)

And while she is uber-talented, she admittedly could not organize a closet to save her life. And you can be sure that when you open up her freezer, something will fall out of it.

That's where I come in. I could not paint a mural if my life depended on it. And the two times she's taken me to Paris, I humbly followed her around and self-consciously muttered my Oui's and Merci's. And I would never have the guts or the creativity to invent something...and then raise three children and run a home while running a company out of my living room.

My home could grace the cover of any given month's issue of Disarrayed Living. But oddly enough, I do love to corral clutter and organize the nooks and crannies of life when I actually have the time. Lily does not.

So while she spent the day painting murals of Paris cafe scenes for an upcoming school play and shipped out padalilies, I organized nooks and crannies. And we took breaks to eat chocolate and talk and laugh.

Here's the crafty tutorial:

Purchase these small sets of flat, skinny drawers ($7-$10 for a set of 3.) You can see Lily has six. Here's how I organized and labeled them:
  • miscl craft supplies (glue, scissors, hole punches, glue sticks, stapler, etc.)
  • stickers
  • painting
  • pens, pencils, erasers
  • crayons & colored pencils
  • markers
Kids can take out just one drawer at a time (like the crayon drawer), take it to the kitchen table, and then slide it back in place when finished.

The more segmented you group your craft supplies, the easier it is to find what you need. This system has worked in our home for about 3 years so I think it's a pretty good one.

For the larger drawers (which she already had):
  • craft paint (Lily has tons seeing as how she paints murals.)
  • craft paint supplies
  • craft projects (like painting sets or jewelry kits the kids have gotten)
  • craft supplies (like play-doh, modeling clay, etc.)
To make them pretty:
  • Cut pretty fabric to the size of the front of drawer. Lily has lots of gorgeous fabric samples from her business, so these were free.
  • Spray the plastic with spray adhesive (can be purchased in craft section of WM or Target or at any craft store.)
  • Press fabric onto drawer.
  • Adhere cute adhesive labels or make your own and hot-glue them on.

Now I'm all inspired to glue fabric to every scrap of plastic I can find.

You may not be able to solve world clutter, but you can take strides to conquer your own. Not all at once, girl! You'll do nothing but cry and cuss and retreat to a corner with chocolate in hand.

But I dare you to pick one little corner. Give yourself an hour. Maybe two. Clean it out. Throw stuff away. Spend $10 on some plastic and $5 to make it pretty.

You'll smile and feel better about things. And then you can have some chocolate.


  1. My sweet, sweet friend. I can't thank you enough for all your help this weekend. I so enjoyed every minute of it. I don't deserve all the above - but I am so blessed to have a friend who edifies, encourages, and lifts me up in this way. You have a beautiful heart, thank you for making me feel like super-mom... even though we both know the truth. My organized spaces sure do make me feel more proud of my home... I am actually thinking of the next corner to tackle. Can you believe it?

  2. I'm inspired! I have a bunch of those horrible plastic drawers that I am now totally going to glue pretty fabric to! See, I'm so excited I'm ending sentences with prepositions!!! :)

  3. You've got to come see my bedroom. The el-cheapo decorating bug is so darn catching. But I'm stuck and need some help in some areas. That's where you come in. I have some fabulous fabric I found with my sister for 2.99/yd. I can't wait to sew pillows. I have frames spray painted and drying in the yard right now.
    So glad you got some time away.
    The two of you look like sisters.

  4. Such great ideas, thanks for sharing. I LOVE the fabric on the drawers.

  5. What a great idea to put fabric in the clear drawers! Love it!

  6. What a great idea, I'm running to my fabric stash right away to get started. Thanks

  7. Loved the organization photos! You're both so lucky to have each other as friends. :) I've been praying for God to bring a really special friend into my life...I adore the women in my MOPS group, but it's been awhile since I had someone I could really open up to and spend girl time with. :) You guys have had a lot of adventures!! :)

  8. Sounds as if you've struck a chord here with the fabric-covered drawers . . . lots of interest. So glad you got to have your weekend with Lily. Making it so productive was just a bonus.


  9. Sounds like a wonderful friend - I love that you put fabric on plastic drawers! What a great idea.

  10. We were just talking about you yesterday and I was wondering how you were doing?!? Still sad we couldn't do Blissdom together; any plans to travel to Nashville soon? Know you're being thought of!

  11. I love those drawers, I've seen places where they sell for about $30. But this is great. I know the feeling I've been eyeing a plastic travel musg n my house for a week now. Hmmm looks kind of naked to me.


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