Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: It's Chic to Be Cheap {20}

This post is linked to Kimba's Do It Yourself Day at A Soft Place to Land.

For this edition of Thrifty Thursday, I want to talk about cats. Wait...don't click on the "x" in the corner of the screen and leave! I don't want to chat about just any kind of cats.

Copycats, to be exact, are what I want to blog about today.

The blogosphere has opened my eyes to all sorts of fabulous creative ideas, particularly in the homemaking realm. I've spent the past three years or so in a sort of semi-coma; and making my house look cute was the last thing on my mind most days. Mostly, I just wondered when I'd have five minutes to read a book or maybe wash my hair. Yep, that would be nice.

Seeing pictures of the wonderful ways other bloggers have transformed their spaces gave me a little lift of confidence. If they can do it, I can at least try, right? Instead of bemoaning the fact that I can't afford those fabulous Pottery Barn pillows, I can learn to make some! Rather than whining about not being able to choose a pricey desk at the local furniture store, I can head to Salvation Army and start scouting for the perfect desk to makeover.

I've started attempting to copy some of my favorite bloggers, and I thought I'd share one of my copycat projects with you today.

Somewhere out there, I saw a blogger use brown craft paper to cover some boxes for a unique storage solution for her home. Reading that entry sparked my interest, because I am currently searching for little things to make my makeover craft desk (link above) more homey.

When I saw these boxes from The Container Store online, priced at $8 to $10 a piece, I immediately remembered the blog post I'd seen a month or so earlier. I liked the natural color of the paper, and I thought it would coordinate well with my new craft area. I just knew I could try to copy The Container Store's idea, and I could do it for much, much less!

I shopped my house for some shoe boxes one afternoon. Lucky for me, Natalie has lots of shoes and Michaela Byrd has teeny feet. Check out the little bitty box on top!

I dragged took the girls to Wal-Mart one morning and spent a whopping $2 or so on a huge roll of brown craft paper. Then I let those boxes sit on my dining room table for another week or so.

Every time I passed them, I thought about how much I wanted to try to be a copycat, but I was just too scared that I'd mess up.

I am a recovering Type A, I think. This is why the Nester's mantra of "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" rings so true with me.

Finally, I grabbed the craft paper one night after the girls went to bed and T was occupied with the History Channel.

No special directions here. I just cut big squares around the lids and boxes separately, and folded the paper up and over the inside of the box and lid until the surfaces were completely covered. Then I used Scotch tape to secure the paper to the inside of the boxes. No cutting required, unless there was an excess of paper!

This is what I ended up with:

They still need labels, but I'm not sure what exactly is going in each box, so I'm holding out.

They're not perfect, but they work for me! Free boxes, and I have a ton of that $2 paper left!

Being a copycat is fun, y'all.


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  1. Some of my best ideas are copied. Okay, I guess technically that makes them someone else's ideas...Still it takes some talent to be able to copy things and add your own spin.
    Love that you did this on the cheap! And the itty bitty shoe box? It's killing me with the cuteness...

  2. Stopping by from Kimba's! Very cute idea and I have tons of boxes and a huge roll of brown mailing paper!

  3. I love these! I am putting together a post about fabulous storage solutions, so I'll be linking sometime in the next couple weeks... lovely! :)

  4. I love the boxes...great money-saving idea. : )

  5. Yeah I love being a copy cat too! And guess what, have someone be your copy cat is quite nice too. Maybe I'll be just that, with this project, your boxes look nice!

  6. What a great idea! I love me some brown craft paper. One year I used that stuff to wrap all my Christmas presents, but used lush beautiful ribbon to tie it all up. Simple it!

    Oh, and I am a total copycat...with a capital C!

  7. Man if I didn't copy the big stores, I'd never have their cool stuff! Great job!

  8. That is super cool! Looks great. Now I want to see your craft space.

  9. wow the idea!!!!!
    stopping by from SITS.

  10. Stopping by from ASPTL. The boxes look great! I never thought of using brown craft paper. I've covered some shoe boxes, Christmas boxes, hat boxes and even some cereal boxes for storage around our house. I ususally use spray paint, fabric, scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper or pretty napkins w/ Modge Podge! Now I'll have to copycat your idea! Thanks!

  11. They look great! I have plans for this idea...oh, yes I do!


  12. That's a great DIY project! You mentioned they weren't perfect. No DIY project ever is...nothing ever goes exactly the way you want them to! :) Great storage idea! When you get the chance, check out my new blog!

  13. What a great idea! I have access to all the clean newspaper I want (I am a journalist/graphic designer at a paper) and this could be very easily done.

  14. Very cute! Stopping by from SITS.

  15. I love the box idea - something like that would be perfect for our upstairs office... hmmm.

  16. Smart. smart girl. We can get what we want, when we want it, and a price we want to pay for it.

  17. Great idea! I love the look of brown craft paper! These are awesome!

  18. Awesome! those will make great storage. You can use up that brown paper wrapping gifts! My kids love to use it for their friends gifts and decorate with markers and stickers.


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