Clutter Monster #2: Plastic Drawer DIY

For this second installment of the Clutter Monster feature is a decoupage face-lift of a ready-made organizing gem: a tabletop plastic drawer. These little plastic drawers are just perfect for organizing desks, craft spaces, and jewelry spaces, but their major drawback is the garish white plastic blob they leave on the the table. At first I tried to spray paint it, but that didn’t quite fix the problem so I have decided to use this as an opportunity to show you how the traditional craft of decoupage can liven up your organizing space.

Decoupage is really about the simplest craft you can do, and depending on how dedicated you are to the project supplies can range from the simple to to the Cadillac variety.  The first thing you need is a surface to decorate, and if you are using plastic like me, then I suggest priming the surface with some spray paint to even out any color changes and it also gives a texture for the adhesive to stick to. As far as decorations, really any paper product will work. I just loved the look of the antique maps so I picked up a wall calendar at an after Christmas sale at a bookstore. The next thing you need is an adhesive- diluted craft glue will work just fine, or you can pick up Modge Podge for decoupage. The method is simple but it does take some patience, something I desperately need more of in my life. Ha- maybe crafting will give me some zen. Essentially, apply a layer of adhesive to the surface and then the paper and then smooth the paper onto the surface. You will have to brandish out air bubbles as it dries and thicker paper will cause more bubbles. You can use a sponge or a Popsicle stick or even your au naturale finger to press the air out from underneath the paper. The adhesive mixture will act like a varnish to cover your project but I also covered mine with a coat of clear gloss Krylon paint spray- one of my best friends!!

I wanted to add a little more design to the end product so I used some rubber stamps and gold ink. This kind of project is great for mixed media and using leftover parts from past craft projects. It is also a good way to use any “pretty paper” you might have collected along the way: cards, wrapping, scrapbook,calendars, or just about anything.

Happy Crafting!



DIY Clutter Monster Solutions

Clutter MonsterI am ashamed to admit this, but I must… I have an infestation of the clutter monsters. These cute and cuddly beasties live primarily on horizontal surfaces, my floors, and (big shock) my brain space. They thrive off of a healthy diet of mail, bobby pins, and yarn scraps. Not to mention their affinity for collecting missing earrings and craft ideas. I tried calling the humane society but they were a little preoccupied with ‘gators and Mardi Gras revelers to deal with my infestation. So I decided to take action- it was getting desperate, I swear one of them whispered “resistance is futile” while I was drifting off to sleep. Alas, this brings us to the first of (I hope) many DIY projects to help you combat your own clutter monsters.

Enter: The Necklace Board

This simple project came to me out of frustration- namely, not being able to find jewlery organizers that held enough of the good stuff (really, who only has three necklaces?!?) or not finding anything that would be attractive and simultaneously cost effective (I’m looking at you Urban Outfitters…).  This was easily put together in one night from supplies gathered at le locale crafte shoppe.

Supplies (Step 1)

  • One piece of wood section- for the base
  • Decorative wood molding- for the front (seen on the bottom of the photo)
  • Plain wood molding- to make a ridge on the back (seen on the top of the photo)
  • Wooden pegs and peg-hole disks
  • Wood glue (other super-duty glue would work just fine)
  • Acrylic paint in your pallet
  • Sand paper
  • Beer
  • Optional: Cat (see photo)

Instructables Step 2: Use the sand paper or even an emery board to smooth off any big nicks or rough spots on the wood. Apply a line of wood glue along the decorative molding and secure in place- binder clips work great! Let dry.

Step 3: Grab a beer. Pet the cat. Run wood glue along the pegs and insert into the wagon wheel looking guys. Use a q-tip to wipe up any over-gush of glue, it will dry clear but this will help it look nice.

Step 4: Prime with plain white acrylic paint. This is not vital, but seeing as wood is porous and absorbs paint, and that I was using a metallic gold that I wanted to pop, I recommend priming your surface for even coverage.


Step 6: Paint designs as you see fit- I wanted a big-ole stripe of my favorite aqua blue so I just slapped it on there with some painters tape. Suggestions: chevrons, zigzags, stripes, decoupage… extra ten points for bead-azzling.

Step 7: I wanted to tone and texture the piece and give it some of that shabby-chic-antique look so I watered down some black acrylic paint and swiped it over the project using a wet paper towel. Lightly put on- lightly wipe off again- just so the black got into the nooks and crannies.

Step 8: Dab wood glue on the back of the pegs and arrange on the board- be careful not to use too much because glue-gush at this point could interfere with the paint job. Again, a damp-ish q-tip is great for clean up. Place a heavy book on top to add pressure and let sit overnight in a cat-free zone.


Damn! look at those clutter monsters go! Just to point out some of the other great clutter-combatants featured here: Chez-small square bowls, antique mirror tray from my grandmother’s house, ugly plastic drawer. Hmm…. I should be able to do something with that ugly drawer…