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brown paper packages: {back 2 basics} tater tots and jello

Thursday, September 29, 2011

{back 2 basics} tater tots and jello

 I just love Jen.  She is one of the first people that started reading my blog, and was so encouraging and kind. Not only is she the nicest girl around, but she's incredibly creative and talented.  It's an honor to have her here today!

Hi there!! I’m Jen from Tatertots & Jello. I’m so excited to be here at Brown Paper Packages. I have loved hearing all of the great ideas in Kierste’s Back to School series.

jennifer i heart faces profile

I am not a naturally organized person. So one of the things that’s hard when my kids go back to school is keeping track of all of the papers and notes that come home in their backpacks. There have been many times that some “crucial” papers have been accidentally swept into the garbage in one of my efforts to tidy up my kitchen. And the kitchen is where everything seems to get dumped after school.

messy desk

I have a desk in my kitchen that was the catch-all for everything that came in the door. Plus, the area right above my desk was full of outlets, a very unattractive intercom system thing-a-ma-bob and phones. Very ugly.

before with cords

So I tried to come up with an idea that would take all of those papers, plus make the space a little prettier.


here’s what I came up with. I scored a big old frame at a garage sale for $1.

So I spray painted it white and then I found this adorable Bicycle Fabric at Spoonflower. Have you heard of Spoonflower? It’s a really great site that lets you print your own fabric designs or buy some that from artists all over the world. I love this fabric – it’s playful and it matches my new Kitchen Remodel colors.

bik fabric

I took a piece of sheet metal and trimmed it to fit over the original painting. Then I covered it with this fabric. I fitted it back in the frame and voila – a pretty magnet board that covers up all of those unattractive cords and outlets – yay!!

picture before

message center how to

inside the frame

Then I found a clear file folder from Office Depot. I covered some manila file folders with scrapbook paper and printed off labels for everyone in the family. I attached the file folder holder to the wall with some 3M Command Strips. So if I ever want to take it down, my painted cabinet will not be ruined.

clear folder

file folders

a folder for everyone

And directly under the clear folder, I put a tray from Ikea. I put some vintage jello molds inside of an old bread pan with paper clips, rubber bands and other office-y things. Plus I put a couple pot-it note pads so people can take down messages when people call.

message station

So now I have a place to put those important school papers that are filed away, but easily accessible. And best of all, hopefully nothing important will end up in the trash this school year!!

closeup of message station board

school lunch menu

Thanks for letting me come by!! I’d love it if you came over and said hi sometime over at Tatertots and Jello!!



Okay, I have that same darn ugly cord thing going on!  I'm so happy to have some inspiration!  Thanks so much Jen!  Don't forget to stop by Tater Tots and Jello for even more of her fabulous projects and ideas!


Blogger .Amelia.Bedelia. said...

My two favorite bloggers in the same place today?? YAYY! As always, lovely.
Love following both of you! ~Amy

September 29, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Love it! LOVE IT! Where did she get the paper pads that say, 'To buy', 'To do', 'To call'. I need them. Seriously.

September 29, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger BluBabesCreate said...

How clever, handy and ATTRACTIVE! Once again, thanks for showing us how it's done Jen!

September 29, 2011 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I, too, want to know where to buy the pads of paper. Very cute!

September 29, 2011 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Kerri said...

This is EXACTLY what I need to do too! Love how simple the Office Depot clear file is. I've been making it too complicated in my head.

I have a suggestion for all you creative bloggers. If you're on Pinterest, I would love to follow you.... share your username?

September 30, 2011 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

i love the command center! i would like to that a little table lamp in the corner under the cupboards or is it hard wired in? where did you get it, jen?


September 30, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Whitney said...

Would love to know where you got your sheet metal? I have looked at our hobby lobby and michael's and the one at home depot was super expensive - $29 dollars for the sheet. Thanks!

October 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger ESTHER BEAZER said...

Yes, Where did you get your sheet metal?

November 27, 2011 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I'd love to know a source on the sheet metal too!

November 30, 2011 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Ashmckbrown said...

I am wondering how you cut the sheet metal. I've been wondering about the most convenient/easiest way to do this.

January 20, 2012 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Ashmckbrown said...

I am wondering how you cut the sheet metal. I've been wondering about the most convenient/easiest way to do this.

January 20, 2012 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

OH my heck. I love everything about this post. You are brilliant!

January 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger KatieMae95 said...

Hey I have been looking around at these tutorials and another girl I just read about used joist sheeting which is only about $5 a sheet! Pretty much the same! I can't remember what she said the difference was. You can get it at lowes!

October 21, 2012 at 12:34 AM  

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