Mason Jar School Supply Storage DIY

I’ve always had an affinity for using mason jars for storage solutions. There were always plenty of mason jars around while I was growing up and they are wonderfully useful!

I’ve been re-doing our school room this summer, and I wanted to figure out a way to use some mason jars for organizing school supplies. I’ve always grabbed a jar or mug to hold various pens, pencils, markers, etc. The cute mason jar caddy and crate options that I found online were on the pricy side, and not quite what I was looking for. I found a few blog posts from people who had put together their own solution, and decided to try it myself.

The supplies came from Walmart and the local hardware store.

  • Wooden Crate
  • Pint Mason Jars
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Sea Glass Spray Paint

I picked up the crate and the jars at the same store to make sure that I could comfortably fit four jars in the crate. Once I got home, I removed the lids from the jars and spray painted them with the sea glass spray paint. Since I have a sort of “ocean” vibe going on in our school room, the sea glass look appealed to me. I did a few thin coats, and I quite like how they turned out. I don’t know that you could wash the jars without some of the finish coming off, but since these will only be for storing school supplies, it wasn’t an issue for me.

I borrowed a small paintbrush from the kids’ are supplies and put two coats of the white acrylic on the crate. It still looks a bit uneven, but I’m calling it a “weathered” finish. (It will definitely look weathered by next summer!) Then everything dried overnight.

I grabbed markers, pencils, and twistable colored pencils to store in this particular crate. I’ll definitely be making a second one though! Who knew how much room all of those school supplies took up?

What sorts of neat uses do you have for mason jars? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

DIY Filing Cabinet Upgrade

Red Green might call duct tape the handyman’s secret weapon, but spray paint is definitely the DIY decorator’s secret weapon! A couple of cans of spray paint can transform just about anything. There’s not much that I haven’t tried spray painting, and I’m usually quite happy with the results.

My latest spray paint project was a 2-drawer filing cabinet. It all started when I came across the cute filing cabinets by Poppin. I love the combination of white and a bright pop of color for the drawers! But… I don’t need a new filing cabinet, and at $250 for the cute Poppin version…

Krylon to the rescue! I used spray primer leftover from a previous project. As you can see from the photo, this isn’t the first time that I’ve spray-painted this particular filing cabinet…

It looks pretty rough at this point, but don’t panic! Spray painting takes a lot of coats. Many light coats works better than trying to use just one or two heavy coats. My boys helped me decide which color to use for the drawer fronts, and I think they picked a good one…

I realized at this point that I should have bought an extra can of white because the coverage would have evened out a little better with another coat or two. (I should know by now that it always takes more paint than I think it will!) Even so, now that it’s inside and next to my desk, any unevenness in the white isn’t horribly noticeable. There is a drip on the bottom that I could have sanded out once dry and fixed. Since you’ll only see it if you’re on the floor looking right at the filing cabinet, I opted to let it go.

So, for the cost of a couple of cans of spray paint, I have a cute filing cabinet that matches our school/office/dining room’s new color scheme!

I used Krylon spray paint for this project, but I’ve use Rustoleum in the past as well with good results. Pick whichever one has the color and finish that you’re looking for. (If you buy the 99 cent cans of paint, keep in mind that you’re getting what you pay for in this case…) Here are a few tips to get you started with your own spray paint transformation!

  • Use several light coats as opposed to a heavy one.
  • Paint outside on a good day, preferably with little to no breeze.
  • If there is rust or a shiny finish, use some steel wool or sandpaper before priming.
  • You can skip the primer, but it’s helpful when covering a dark color with a lighter one, on unfinished wood, or when you have a surface that the paint needs a little extra help “gripping”. When in doubt, prime first.
  • Buy an extra can or two of paint because it always takes more than you expect…
  • Follow the directions for re-coating and then let the finished product sit for at least a day so that the paint really has a chance to harden before setting anything in/on it.

What cool projects have you used spray paint for?

Oh, check out what I found in said filing cabinet:

Cleaning out the file drawer and I realized that I’m a bit of a fangirl… #wellplannedgal

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Book Review: Complete + Happy Home

I’m a DIY/home project junkie. I don’t get nearly as many projects done as I’d like due to little things like time any money, but I make it a point to do at least a few projects each year when the weather is good. Just a fresh coat of paint on some walls can go a long ways! Considering how much I love books, it will come as no surprise that I have quite a few on the topics of home decorating, organization, and management. This was the first time that I picked up an Apartment Therapy book though…

I cracked open my hardcover copy of Apartment Therapy: Complete + Happy Home as soon as it arrived. And oh, the pictures! This is the type of book Mom would have loved because of all of the beautiful photos.

Complete + Happy Home covers a bit of everything that you’ll need to know as a homeowner. The book actually starts out with advice for house hunting. Then delves into setting up rooms, picking paint colors, and putting up window treatments.

The biggest part of Complete + Happy Home is the middle section which is where all of the great photos come in! There are ideas, tips, and pictures for every room in the house! The closet-office was one of my favorites, and it’s a fabulous inspiration for turning a closet or other small space into an office. The kids bedrooms caught my eye, and I was thrilled to see rooms included that were for multiple siblings. Not everyone gets their own room when they are growing up!

We end things off with a section that touches on basic home maintenance, cleaning schedules, and some easy home repairs that you can do yourself.

At first, I was a bit disappointed that so much of the book was taken up by photos of other people’s homes, but I actually found them to be a great starting point for deciding what I liked or might want to try in my own home. No, I’m not going to replicate the rooms exactly, or even closely for that matter, but I did see a number of ideas that I do want to use! I’m glad that the book is a hardcover. A volume this size that will likely be used as a reference for years to come will hold up much better when it’s a hardcover book rather than a paperback.

All in all Complete + Happy Home would be a great book for new homeowners or newlyweds. But don’t dismiss it if you don’t fit into either of those categories! I found some wonderful inspiration, and the book makes a terrific reference for anyone.

Please note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.