Tag Archives: Closet

Thrifted Home Tour: Closet

25 Aug

This post is part II in my multi-part series called the Thrifted Home Tour. I am showing off different rooms of my house to display how thrifted items can be worked into the décor to be useful and inspiring items. Partially it’s because I’d love to promote my vintage Etsy shop, and partially because that’s just how I roll. You can find part I here.

I’m actually far from done as far as closet decoration goes. One of the items on my Life List is to pimp my closet. What does that mean, exactly? I want to go all out and paint and wall paper and buy all wooden hangers so my closet isn’t just functional, but a thing of beauty. Ideally, I’d want to put in a skylight, but I doubt I will ever have the money to make that happen. A girl can dream, though.

Onto the closet! I particularly love decorating small spaces. I usually have so many ideas that the minimum of options a small space provides is actually very helpful. And I have a great closet. It’s not huge, but it’s a nice size and it has the perfect built-in organization. If we ever move I’m going to replicate what we have in this closet (if possible) because it suits my needs perfectly.

This shelf is mostly for Anthony’s things, some bracelets, things he removed from his pockets, ear buds, glasses, that kind of thing. That white milk glass dish is the absolute perfect size and shape for accumulating pocket change. Once it starts getting full we raid it for burrito or ice cream money. The lovely lady in the photo is Anthony’s sister, in a beautiful vintage frame. The vintage alarm clock works when wound and the hands glow in the dark. Perhaps one of my favorite finds EVER is the vintage BART plate. For those of you not familiar with San Francisco, the BART is kind of like the subway for the Bay Area. It’s most useful for commuters who live well outside the city as a quick way to travel to it. I used to ride the BART quite frequently. My friends and I would drive halfway to SF and hop on the BART in Pleasanton and speed into the city in about 45 minutes.  Once in SF we’d wander around the city on foot or via MUNI. I haven’t done that since I developed Crohn’s disease because the walking is too much for me, but we used to do it all the time. One of my Dad’s favorite jokes is about the Fresno Area Rapid Transit system.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Apparently the worst possible time to be on the BART is after the Oakland Raiders have lost a game. God help you if you are ever around a mob of pissed Raiders fans in Oakland. Terrifying.

Anyway, this is about the greatest vintage commemorative plate I’ve ever found because not only does it celebrate the BART but it’s done in a font and in a style that is evocative of Star Trek. I started geeking out everywhere when I saw this plate, and still geek out to a degree every time I see it in the closet. I might have to be buried with it.

Our closet has enough space to fold sweaters, hang pants, coats and dresses, and hold all of our shirts. I wish I had decorative boxes for my shoes, but I don’t. (When we can afford to closet-pimp, it will happen.) Below the coats you can see our light and dark colored clothes hampers. They used to look really nice until the cats realized they make excellent scratching posts. I have a large plastic tub next to the hampers that I call my ‘memory box.’ It stores all the things from my life that I will eventually scrapbook or store in some better way. It’s 99% photographs that need to be scanned at the moment.

Above my coats and the shelf that holds my sweaters I have boxes that contain our wedding albums, Anthony’s diploma and a vintage tin that I use constantly. That vintage tin holds all the buttons and snippets of thread that come with your clothes. I keep it in my closet as opposed to my sewing box because it’s a lot less of a pain in the ass. When I find extra buttons, I’m usually in my closet, and the only way I’ll be sure it keep them if I need them is if they’re convenient. The vintage tin is not only convenient, but it’s adorable as well.

To the left of my coats I have my jewelry area. Whereas Anthony had the BART tray shelf I have this one to hold all of my jewelry. I really don’t have a lot of jewelry, actually, but I have collected a lot of vintage dishes and boxes to hold what I do have. Little vintage dishes for desks or jewelry organization are probably my favorite thing to shop for. The blue box is a bento box I got in Japan town on my honeymoon (excellent jewelry storage!) and the black lacquer box belonged to my Grandma. She served as a military nurse in Korea and brought this home as a memento.

Above the shelf I have a straw star I got at local Skandinavian cultural heritage festival (RIP Skandifest), my faerie wings from halloween, a vintage gold frame, a door hanger, and a blue good luck eye that I bought in Half Moon Bay one year. That floral polyester scarf is going to end up in my Etsy shop one of these days. Really. I’m not… going… to keep it… I swears.

The shelf also holds other useful things like undergarments, swimwear, hats and gloves. The plastic boxes are not at all cute and will be changed when I pimp my closet.

Next to the shelf is a belt or tie rack that was there when we moved in. Super useful it is, too. Not very attractive, of course, but it’s useful.

I hang my two bathrobes (one vintage) on the inside of my closet door and occasionally use that hook for purse storage. I will definitely change out this hook when it comes time to pimp this room because it’s not a perfect fit over the door which prevents the closet from closing all the way. That’s okay for now, though, as Isobel likes to shut herself in the closet and I never worry she’ll get locked in.

We did add these wooden pegs to the closet. They were very cheap and we got them at one of those huge home supply and hardware stores. This is where I keep the majority of my purses and scarves. I keep a very well-edited closet and if it doesn’t fit then it doesn’t stay. Rutheless! I know. But the organization keeps me happy and ideally I only keep and wear the stuff that I really, really love.

What closet storage methods are your favorite? What could you not live without? What never really did it for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


Sharing the Crafty Love

18 Aug

Before Isobel was born I indulged both my love of crafts and my love of organizing by creating closet dividers for the multitude of tiny pink garments we were receiving by the truckload. The project ended up taking up much more time and effort than I had originally planned, but I was fueled by the nesting urge and once I started there was no stopping me.

It was so much work I wanted to share the process with others who might be trying to create the same thing so that they could learn from my mistakes. You can find the tutorial here along with a handy-dandy door hanger template I made in Photoshop.

After reading the tutorial, head on over to Mommypalooza to see her back-to-school closet dividers for her two sons that share a closet. She’s used my template to create her own version and I’m happy she’s found a way to utilize the project that doesn’t involve hours and hours of cutting and laminating and cutting. Because seriously, that was a lot of work.  (That no one forced me to do.)

(Besides myself.)

(Because I was crazy.)

(And pregnant.)

(I’m not longer one of those things, by the way.)

(I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what do to with these when I don’t need them anymore. I put so much work into these things I can’t fathom throwing them away. I thought about selling them but let’s face it, they are used and could be sturdier. If I’m still blogging by the time I’m ready to pass these suckers down I’ll probably have a giveaway for them, so if you’ve always wanted the closet dividers without all the work, stay tuned.

Closet Dividers Tutorial

30 May

I received a lot of interest in my flickr series about the closet dividers I made for my daughter’s nursery so I thought I would post a little tutorial for those of you crazy enough (or pregnant enough) to attempt it. It has been suggested that I not post a tutorial for this and that instead I create these dividers to sell on Etsy. As fun as they were they were a whole lot of work and I’d feel compelled to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation so I think we’re all better off with a tutorial.

For those of you who remember, I received more baby clothes for Isobel before she was born than my husband and I own put together. I’m talking massive amounts of ittty bitty pink onesies, dresses, overalls, footie pajamas, socks; you name it, I had four of them. Including infant bathrobes. Which, shockingly, I never used. I folded them all neatly and stacked them next to my supply of infant smoking jackets.

My trepidation grew with my belly. How on earth was I going to keep track of all these clothes? All these sizes? All these hangers? (Note to new moms: you will never have enough baby hangers. Stock up when you can.) I decided to put my nesting urge to work with my obsessive tenancy to organize and came up with the perfect solution: homemade closet dividers.

These are a lot of work, a whole lot of work, and when I first began the endeavor I didn’t realize it would be as time consuming as it was. However, if you are pregnant and in the midst of nesting like I was, you will go to ridiculous lengths to complete this project.

I’m sure there’s more than one way to do this but I’m going to post the way that I went about it. If any of you figure out an easier way to do this, please speak up in the comments. I’m sure there are crafters out there who would be eternally grateful.


Paper – The most obvious thing you’ll need for this project is paper, gorgeous paper that you love, and the thicker the better. I went to the store in my town and found a notepad of large square crafting paper. It was gorgeous and I think I used all but one sheet. It was expensive, though. I’m not used to spending twenty bucks on paper. You’ll also need printer paper or some other paper to use as labels. Of course, you could also use printer-friendly labels found at an office supply store. Your choice.

Cutting tools – By this I mean scissors but I also mean any other nifty tools that would help you cut out the circles from the middle of the hangers and any other tool to fancy up the paper. I used a hole-punch designed for making rounded edges on photographs for rounding the edges on my labels. I won it as a door prize for attending a scrap booking party one time, but I’m sure you could find them at the craft store.

Adhesive – I used rubber cement for this but I’m sure Mod Podge would work if you want to decoupage them. I’m sure other sticky substances would work, too. Just remember that Elmer’s glue can make paper wrinkle. Experiment and find out what works for you.

Door Hanger Template – I made this one in Photoshop and posted it on flickr. Enjoy, and feel free to make any adjustments you see fit!

Laminator – You don’t have to laminate these, but it really helps them last. As I mentioned, you can always decoupage them. Lamination services are available at some office supply stores or at copy centers like Kinko’s.


The first thing I did was figure out my closet organization layout to determine what labels I wanted to use. If I can figure out a way to post my labels so you don’t have to go through the headache of making them, I will. Because that was a lot of work and I sort of want to be your personal label-making savior. You do need to figure out how many labels you need to figure out how many dividers you’ll make. And then you’ll need two copies of each label because the dividers are double-sided.

Print out the closet divider template on some very thick cardstock-ish paper. After it’s all printed and cut out and ready to go lay it on the wrong side of one of your fancy papers and trace with a pencil (oops, forgot to add that under materials – pencil!). I was able to fit three dividers on each piece of fancy paper.

You are going to trace the template twice for each divider so count out how many you need and double that. Trace them and cut them all out. Once that’s done, you can begin the long process of gluing the dividers wrong-side together. Let them dry for awhile. I matched the dividers up so that they had the same paper on either side but now I’m not sure why I bothered. It would be just as cute, if not cuter, to have mismatched sides. No matter, cut ‘em out, glue ‘em together, let ‘em dry.

Attach a label to each side of the divider. You can get as fancy or simple with this as you want. If I can figure out how to post the word doc labels I made I certainly will, but don’t limit yourself. If you have great penmanship you can write directly on the dividers themselves, or create your own lovely labels in Photoshop or Word. Avery makes those labels you just run right through the printer and that always works, too. Like I said I just printed mine out from word, cut them to side, and then fancied up the edges by using a photo-corner-roundening punch.

After the labels are created and glued on and all dried you can decide whether or not you want to laminate them. If you do decide to go that route, leaving an edge of lamination around the dividers is a good idea. I did not and some of them started to come apart a bit. The big pain about laminating is that after all that cutting you then have to go back and cut them all up *yet again* before they are done. Honestly, however, if you’ve gone to all the work of making these you’re probably going to want them to last, so in my opinion it’s worth it. Plus, if you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’re a crazy pregnant lady hell-bent on nesting and nothing will prevent you from completing this task. That’s how it was for me.


If you’ve followed these steps you now have your own gorgeous closet dividers perfect for you organizing the tons of baby clothes you’re obsessively organizing and then re-organizing at three in the morning. I’d love to hear from anyone out that who had the stamina to try this.


  1. Figure out what sections you want in your closet
  2. Print out the labels on printer paper, nice paper, or on self-adhesive, printer-friendly labels.
  3. Print out the door hanger template on thick paper and cut out.
  4. Trace template on wrong side of fancy paper
  5. Glue two fancy papers wrong-side together for each divider.
  6. Stick or glue label on each side of divider.
  7. Laminate divider
  8. Cut out divider

Questions? Experiences? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments.