Category Archives: Organization

unique lego storage [using old paint cans]

colorful paint cans used to organize legos

After painting our living room and another accent wall recently, I was left with several empty paint cans.  Instead of tossing them [plus I'm not sure if it's legal to do so in my over-regulated state...she said sarcastically] I decided to recycle them.

I think I came up with this idea after stepping on a lego piece with bare feet the other day.  If that doesn’t wake you up and cause you to blurt out a four letter word I don’t know what will.  I might have seen stars and rainbows circling around my head and came up with the idea to create a rainbow of paint cans.

Since I only had a few empty paint cans on hand I ran to Home Depot and bought a few new ones for $4.97 each.

My 4 year old still prefers the larger duplos and my 6 year old plays with legos so I decided to organize both simply by color.

using paint cans to store legos

use old paint cans to organize and store legos

I wanted my cans to look less “can-y” so I pried off the handles using my wire cutters.  I just wiggled and twisted the handle a bit and it easily came out.

how to use paint cans to organize legos

I broke out almost every color of the rainbow and started painting each can.

use paint cans to organize and store legos

While the cans were drying I got out the jute string and cut a few strands.  Then I tied a knot in each end.

how to organize legos using paint cans

Once dry, I pushed the knotted ends into each hole where the wire handle used to be. For this I used a bamboo skewer and it worked like a charm.

using old paint cans to organize legos

After I had the new handles on, I wanted to add some detail to the lip of the paint can.  I hot glued some sisal rope I had on hand to the top of the can.

organize and store legos using old paint cans

organize legos using spray painted paint cans

upcycling old paint cans to store legos

organize legos using old paint cans

I did leave one can sliver to hold all of the little accessories that go with legos [people, wheels...toilets!]

That’s pretty much it!  After a small investment of $20 worth of paint cans I had a pretty cool, colorful and unique storage system for all those legos around the house.

organize and store legos inside paint cans

colorful paint cans to store legos

store legos in old painted paint cans

Hopefully no more stumbling for my coffee in the morning and stepping on one of these suckers.  A girl can dream right?

colorful paint cans used to organize legos

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DIY: wrapping paper organizer

diy wrapping paper organizer using soup cans and scrap wood

So it’s coming up on the two year mark since we moved from Utah to San Diego; I figured I’ve run out of excuses as to why the garage is a wasteland of stuff [mostly MY crafting, decorating stuff].  One of many eyesores has been a large cardboard box stuffed with all my wrapping paper.  I decided to use what I have on hand and make something simple to store the rolls of paper I had.


  • soup cans
  • scrap wood
  • all purpose glue
  • spray paint [optional]
  • picture hangers
  • Dremmel or metal snips
  • fine grit sandpaper [not pictured]

diy wrapping paper orgainzer using soup cans

Before I begin, let me tell you about a recent find that I’m so psyched about!  If you’re a lover of the whole reclaimed wood look but don’t want to spend the $$$ or know where in the hell to find it [like moi], use fence pickets!!!  Yep, I said fence pickets. I was wandering mindlessly [as I often do] through the lumber aisles at Home Depot and spotted a pile of gnarly, raw looking fence pickets.  They look old and have such a beautiful distressed appeal.  That isn’t even the best part!!!  Know what one of these pickets costs?  $2.49!!!!  I know, right?  Crazy.  Each picket is 6 feet long x 6″ wide.  Ooooh the possibilities!

fence pickets

make a diy wrapping paper organizer

Lovely, isn’t she??

Anyhoo, back to the tutorial…


First thing you’ll want to do is clean up your soup cans for obvious reasons.  [As I was doing this project I still caught a subtle smell of chicken noodle soup].


Then remove the bottom of each can.  Some soup cans have a molded bottom where the entire can is one piece of metal.  Other cans have a separate bottom that you can easily remove with a can opener.  For those stubborn cans that are one molded piece, I had to break out the Dremmel.  If you do not have a Dremmel, then you can always use a pair of all-purpose snips.

how to make a wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

Be sure to sand the bottom of the can.  Yes, you can use regular sandpaper on metal.  Be sure all the metal shards are off.


Here is a cool tip to help you cut a completely straight line on a soup can.  You can put that on your resume.  Grab a piece of paper and wrap it around the can.  Line up the edge and trace a line on your soup can.  This will guarantee you a straight line every time.

how to make a diy wrapping paper organizer

make your own wrapping paper organizer from soup cans


You can leave your soup cans silver or spray paint them, which I chose to do.  I used this lovely shade of turquoise.  Same color as the other soup can projects I’ve created.

make a wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

make an organizer for wrapping paper from soup cans


While the paint was drying I cut my piece of wood down to 40″.


I attached two picture hangers to the back so this could easily be hung on the wall.

making a wrapping paper orgainzer from soup cans


Attach your soup cans to your piece of wood with glue.  I placed a rock in each can to keep it in place while drying.

diy wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

STEP SEVEN [optional]:

This step is totally optional, but I added a few cup hooks to the side to hold my washi tape.

diy a wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

I simply pre drilled a few holes, then screwed each cup hook in place.


I hung my newest creation on the wall in our coat closet at 30″ from the floor.

diy wrapping paper organizer using soup cans

Add your wrapping paper and you’re done!

diy wrapping paper holder using soup cans

how to make your own wrapping paper organizer

make a wrapping paper holder using soup cans

make an easy wrapping paper organizer from soup cans

I love these soup can projects and love the thought that I’m the soup lady around our neighborhood.  I even have my daughter’s teacher collecting them for me at school!

diy wrapping paper organizer using soup cans and scrap wood


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Organizing my project space [the garage]

I am not a frilly girly-girl.  Never have been.  I’ve gone through my years of self-doubt and wondering why I just never felt comfortable wearing skirts and heels like a lot of girls do.  Thankfully, those days are over and I’m happy wearing jeans+t-shirts+comfy shoes.  I have also found my “happy Mom-spot” in the house is not a bubble bath sipping a nice glass of red [although that does sound mighty fantastic], nor is it standing in front of the mirror doing my hair+make-up.  It’s the GARAGE!  Yes, that’s the spot where I feel the most productive and inspired.  If I’m missing from my kids’ sight for more than two minutes they say, “Oh, she’s in the garage AGAIN!”  That brings a huge smile to my face.  More on that later.

So because I spend a lot of time in the garage I figured it was time to spruce it up a bit and organize it so I can finally find stuff! Nothing frustrates me more than digging through piles and tubs of crap to find the right screw, a cup hook, some wire, you get the picture.  Because it’s the garage I did not want to spend a dime.  So what better thing to use than SOUP CANS and other stuff I had laying around in the….GARAGE!!

organize any workspace for free

Since we do not have garages here in California [at least where I live] it is the catch-all space and we store just about everything in there.  We are using our old IKEA wardrobes to store our skis, winter gear, and all of my project paraphernalia.

They are pretty beat up and I decided to paint “mine” with my chalkboard paint.

organize the garage workspace with soup cans and cup hooks

organize the workspace with stuff around your house

organizing my garage with items around the house

Now I have a spot to write down my ever-growing list of things to do and make!  And the kids can keep me company and doodle.

organize the garage with stuff around your house

Now please don’t judge me by this next picture.  We I haven’t touched the garage since we moved in.  It’s the last frontier!

organize your garage workspace with household items

Ugh!  Isn’t this inspiring?  To rip your hair out maybe.  I grabbed our stockpile of soup cans[the hub loves his soup] and decided to organize the little things that I use frequently and to put them within easy reach.  I screwed a few soup cans onto the inside door and threw a chalkboard label on each.

organizing my workspace with stuff around the house

organizing the garage with objects found around the house

I attached a few cup hooks onto the opposite door and hung up my little tools I use almost daily.

organizing my workspace with objects around the house

I have small kiddos.  I have curious kiddos.  To keep them safe and give me peace of mind I attached a lock at the top of the wardrobe.  Now I can worry about something other than them getting into the spray paint or glue.

organizing the garage with objects around the house

I know this isn’t ground-breaking stuff, but I wanted to share some quick tips that have helped me get a little organized in my Mom Space.

organize any workspace for free

And if you have a spare minute and are so inclined would you mind voting for my little blog over at Apartment Therapy?  They are hosting “The Homies,”  and I am listed under “Best Home Project & DIY Blog.”  I would so appreciate your vote!!  Simply click below, look for Amy Krist and click the +1 button next to moi.  Big hugs for doing this!!

the homies

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