When I first organized my current craft studio, I created a unique craft organizer from quart-size paint cans. I wish I could take all the credit for the idea, but I had actually seen a picture of something similar in a magazine, with no instructions attached (though I never could remember which one), and thought, “Hey, I could do that!” My first organizer was made with store-bought, clean cans, and covered with simple scrapbooking papers. My next organizer was made as a gift for a friend, out of larger, 24-oz recycled infant formula canisters, and it was at that time that all of my friends began asking for instructions on how to make this organizer!! This is a fun and simple project, can be done in a few hours, makes a great gift or storage unit for your own studio, AND is a great way to recycle – it doesn’t get much better than that!
Clean out your cans well. I recommend against using water if your cans are metal, as it is very hard to prevent them from rusting. I used a baby wipe to clean mine out, and then dried them well with a paper towel. Be careful with the edge – it’s not super sharp, but it’s still possible to cut your hand if you’re not careful.
I chose not to remove the paper from my cans, but you may decide to – it’s your choice. Since I left the paper on, I needed to put a coat of gesso on before starting my decoupage.
I had some GORGEOUS vintage music to use for covering my cans – check out the copyright date on this music!! Tear the music into strips. Using a foam brush, paint on layers of Mod Podge, and then lay on the strips of music ( or other paper), gently but firmly pushing the paper down into the glue and smoothing out any wrinkles. Let each layer dry before adding any additional layers.
Using an ink foam applicator, add Distress Ink as desired to highlight the torn edges of the music sheets and add depth to the paper. I used Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain. Then cover the paper in another coat of Mod Podge. I used Matte Mod Podge. Two final layers of Mod Podge will give a nice protective finish while keeping any stickiness and/or brush strokes to a minimum, but make sure to let the cans dry thoroughly between layers.
After the cans have dried, add whatever embellishments are desired. I added vintage-y looking trims around each can to complement the vintage music. Once you are happy with your cans, use a hot glue gun to build your pyramid. Starting with the bottom row, use the glue gun to hot glue the cans to each other at the points where they touch in the center and on the backs of the cans. For the middle and top rows, also add glue where they touch the cans below them. Once they are all glued together, the pyramid will be quite sturdy – however, I still recommend always picking it up by the bottom row, to avoid stressing the glue points on the top can.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial – and that you’ll find some cans to recycle in your own home to turn into a great crafty organizer for YOUR studio!! Make sure you leave us a comment with a link if you do!
This post partially a reprint from designer Jennifer Clark’s blog, with updated photos.
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Jen writes a craft blog at http://mycraftyfriendjen.blogspot.com/, and has been featured on One Pretty Thing, Sew Mama Sew, Simple Mom, and The Tip Junkie. She has also been a guest designer for The Paper Trail. You can connect with her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jen-Clark-Designs/168798893156390?v=wall, or on Twitter under her user name JenClark74.