When I was at the thrift store the other day, I happened upon this sad little blue metal hardware organizer for a couple dollars.
It was dirty and greasy, and the plastic drawers had issues of their own. There was glue dried onto the bottom of some of them and the backs of some of the others were misshapen, like the plastic had melted.
All the pieces were there, though, and the drawers opened and closed, so I decided I’d take it home and give it a makeover, similar to the one that Katie at Little House of Four had done. (Check out the link; she made hers look like a miniature card catalog. It’s soo stinkin’ cute.)
My first step was to clean everything up, and then put a coat of black spray paint over both the metal cabinet and the plastic drawers.
I wanted to make the drawer fronts look like wood, so I bought the thinnest piece of balsa wood that I could find, which was 1/32″. The wood was so thin, a kitchen shears could easily cut through it.
I found a can of Minwax golden oak stain in my basement and used that to stain the wood.
Then I measured the drawer fronts and cut the balsa wood into pieces. I needed smaller strips for the tops of the drawers and larger strips for the bottoms.
Once I had all the pieces cut to size, I glued them onto the drawer fronts with Gorilla Glue. (Gorilla Glue dries really fast, which makes it perfect for impatient crafters like me.)
Then I headed to my local JoAnns craft store to see if they had any hardware that I could attach to the font that would make my drawers look card catalog-y or at least give them kind of a vintage industrial vibe.
I found these idea-ology brads on clearance for $4.49. The brads were numbered 1 through 31, and I had 15 drawers, so there were more than enough for my project.
I wanted to attach the numbers with glue, which meant I had to cut the pokey parts off the backs, so they’d lay flat. A wire cutters did the trick.
Next I eyeballed where I wanted the numbers to go and glued them on.
At that point, I rounded up all the beads, buttons and baubles that I had laying around in various spots around the house and sorted them into the drawers that were going to be their new homes.
Then I slid the drawers back into the cabinet. There’s something very satisfying about organizing things and putting them all in one place.
Here’s a look at the new and improved hardware organizer. It’s so pretty I decided to leave it set out on a shelf with some of my other vintage finds instead of hiding it away in my crafts closet.
All told, it cost me under $10: $2 for the organizer itself, $1.99 for the balsa wood and $4.49 for the numbers. Everything else (paint, stain, glue) I already had on hand.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with the numbers 16 through 31. If you’ve got any ideas, let me know in the comments below.