corkboard jewelry display / organizer

Smaller apartment means new set of challenge on how I can store & organize my jewelry.  Continuing with my previous theme of “needing to see everything to remember wearing everything”, I decided to make something else for my new bedroom.


  • $o for old cork board
  • $0 for old acrylic paint, paint brush
  • $0 for old fabric head band that I no longer use
  • $0 for little screw hooks I already used for old hanging jewelry boxes.

diy, jewelry organizer

Step 1:  mix colors & paint the boarder of the board.  I wanted a deep grey to mimic other metallic frames in the room.

Step 2:  cut head band to pieces & take out the screw hooks.

Step 3:  position the fabric strips with thumb nails.  Insert the screw hooks. 

A word of advice – take an inventory of what you have and how you’d want to organize them first before you start putting things on the board.  Otherwise, you might find yourself pulling and re-inserting.


Step 4:  hang your beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.


Toilet Paper Rolls turned wall art

I saw this post on Design *Sponge of this quick project from Tali and thought I can use some home made art to decorate my wall space 🙂


  • $0 for toilet paper rolls.  This wasn’t hard but just time consuming to gather all the rolls
  • $0 for scissors, pen, ruler, paint, glue, staple that I already had


  • 2 hour

Step 1: Collect your rolls and take off the remaining toilet paper pieces

Step 2:  cut each roll to roughly 5 equal parts

Step 3:  arrange the pieces in different patterns.

I wasn’t sure where I was going to put it, so I just started to play around.

Step 4:  painting the rolls with different colors.

I glued some of the mini rolls together first before I started painting.  That wasn’t too smart.  I would’ve been better off with my paint job if I had painted the rolls first, cut them, then arrange into the pattern I want, then glue them.

Step 5:  After glue and paint had dried, I used thumb tags to arrange the rolls on the wall.

A month later…

Hanging Wine Labels

Yay for another post, finally!

Since the wine collection slowly expands in our apartment, I realized there was no good way to know much about the wine by just looking at the bottle.  Most likely, there isn’t any information on the bottle itself, and sometimes the bottles would come with a nice write-up that’s on another sheet of paper.  With storing our wine in boxes stashed inside of our wall closet to keep them cool,  locating the bottle itself AND the write-up paper can often be very laborious.  I always thought there has to be an easier way to do it and finally I had the ‘ah-ha’ moment.  This is a fun, quick weekend project.


  • $0 for old, unused hanging folders & shipping stickers
  • $0 for screwdriver, needle, strings


  • 1.5 hour

I found some old hanging folders in my overly crowded stationary box and old UPS shipping stickers.

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Step 1: Creating custom size labels using MS Word.

Using the Envelope & Label function, you can create new labels, specifying the size you want.  I went with 2″W x 3″H.  After setting the label size template, I searched for the fonts & icons I want.  Fonts are such fun things to browse through 🙂

I also wanted simple, clean wine glasses icons on my label so I can tell if it’s a red or white wine without pulling the bottles all the way out from the storage boxes.  Then type in the information.  I used the write-up that already came with the bottles, and/or information I found online.  Mostly, I wanted to know about “what it will taste like”, “drink it now or open it when I turn 40?”

Step 2:  Print labels, attach onto old folders, and cut out the individual labels

This is a pretty straight forward step.  Use your imagination. 🙂

Step 3:  Drill 2 holes for the string to go through

I used a small screwdriver for this.

Step 4:  Use a needle to thread the string through.  Tie knots on the back of the holes

Insert from the back side of the label to the front.  Tie the first knot on the back side.  Then go back through the 2nd hole.  Adjusting to the desired length, then tie the 2nd knot.  Cut off excess.

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Step 5:  Put the label on the bottle.


Hanging jewelry boxes made from old picture frames


  • $0 for picture frames (already had)
  • $4 for wrapping paper
  • ~$8 for all screw hooks
  • $5 for spray paint


  • about an hour including dry time

I originally saw the idea from the now-not-in-publication Blueprint magazine.  (aw, how I miss it.)

I had some basic IKEA frames from before that I no longer use.  While choosing frames, you’d want one that has some depth.  The shallow frames that you usually see in stores don’t work as well.  Find something that’s like the “shadow box” or “display box”.

Step 1: wipe the original frame clean.  If you don’t like the original color, paint it with something that works with your paper color/pattern.  I spray painted mine red.

Step 2: take out the cardboard backings that came with the frames.

Step 3: cut the wrapping paper to slightly bigger than the cardboard backing.  Wrap the cardboard and secure it with tape, like you’re wrapping a present.

Step 4: screw in the hooks on the front side.  Place them at spaces that work for your jewelry lengths and widths.

Accessories shadow box (4)

Step 5: put the finished cardboard backs into the frames.  Then hang them on the wall!

I put my next to the mirror above my dressing, so I have the whole area like my vanity. 🙂

random wire shelf turned spice rack


  • $0 for shelf (found)
  • $0 for paint (left-over)


  • 20 min.

When we first moved in, we found this wire shelf left by the previous tenant(s).  The back side is completely open/without wire on the back side.  We found it in the bathroom, and there was no logical place at all where this piece could’ve been used.

I painted the wires blue with an old toothbrush and hammered some nails on the wall.  Then I just set this shelf over the nails.  Now I don’t have to keep opening the cabinet to reach the basic cooking ingredients.

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Wine Boxes turned free-formed shelf


  • $3/box -> $24 for boxes
  • $12 for paint + small brush (used a $10 coupon)


  • about 4 hours of actual work time. (definitely a learning curve)

After reading about the salvaged-drawers-turned-modular-shelf by Monica Ewing of (post here), I’ve been yearning to try it out myself.  Finally!

I came across someone selling used wood wine boxes on Craigslist.  After hauling 10 of them home, I peeled off the stickers as much as I can, sanded the boxes, and wiped them down.  Not all the stickers came off cleanly… I need a better way of getting them off.  Any suggestions?

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Repurposing IKEA shoe rack


  • Old shoe shelf – $0


  • 20-30 minutes of measuring, cutting, and installing.

Bottom of our pantry has this large space with no shelf.  While it’ll be very useful to hold rice sacks large enough to feed a village, we are not really in the market of buying such item.  Most of other tall condiments and oddly shaped bottles still don’t fully utilize the height of the space.  Unfortunately, my trials of bringing home different racks & baskets from The Container store (a.k.a. Mango’s happy place) haven’t worked out so far.  Time to make our own solution instead of buying one.

flowRoot3311 ClearStackingBins_xl.jpg OurBasicStackBasket_xl.jpg

I had an old shoe rack from IKEA like this, which I had previously spray painted red. My willing partner-in-crime said to me: “let’s cut it”.   He took out the electric saw, ruler, pencil, and went to work.  The 4 support pieces got attached to the sides of the pantry.  The two shelves were cut down to size to sit on top of the new side rails.

Tada!  Now we have shelves in the large, unused spa to store containers!

shoe shelf in pantry (1) shoe shelf in pantry