It’s still rack-n-roll to me

Sometimes I think about all those people out there with their nifty little “craft rooms” and “gift-wrap stations,” largely commercialized by the Martha Stewarts of the world.  And sometimes — in my head — I secretly make fun of them, telling myself that it is all just gratuitous luxury for people with too much time and money on their hands.  (But also secretly — I’m just plain jealous!) 🙂

So while I’m working my way up to admitting that I want this… and figuring out a way to make it happen, I’ve discovered a great way to house rolls of wrapping paper in a very simple and inexpensive way — via free-standing wine racks.

Wine rack for wrapping paper

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  Didn’t this chic JUST talk about wine racks in one of her last posts — for storing rolled magazines?  Why yes, yes I did.  Who knew how much one could be inspired by wine… er… wine racks. 🙂

This idea actually came to me a while back, when I moved into a house with this lovely rack sitting in a closet.  (Sadly), I didn’t have nearly enough wine bottles to fill it, so I started thinking of ways to repurpose it.

Prior to using the wine rack for my wrapping paper, I stored my rolls in horizontal plastic bins and containers — one for the long rolls… one for the short rolls… one for Christmas… one for birthdays.  Before I knew it, I was laden with bins… or is that bin-laden?  (Okay, bad joke. :-))

Regardless, you get the picture.  This was taking up a lot of space, bin-wise, and some of the rolls were just standing against my closet walls — anxious to fall out whenever I opened the door. Plus, whenever I wanted to find a roll, I would have to pull out all the bins, open each one, and do a seek-and-find.  This did not bode well for my impatient temperament.

So I found peace in marrying the practical with the pretty and using my wine rack for my wrapping paper rolls — standing them upright.  Now the rack sits in my finished basement, next to a counter, and allows me to easily store and see what I have, making quick work for my wrapping projects.

While I may continue to secretly dream of having a glorious craft room, all pimped out with various crafting stations, multi-tiered shelving, and proper task-lighting, I can get some comfort in using my repurposed wine rack.  Oh… and drinking wine. 🙂

 

 

How’s it hangin’?

While I know we are all neck-deep into digital (thanks blog-readers!), I also know many of us still enjoy reading actual, hard-copy magazines and newspapers from time to time. If you’re throwing yours into a catch-all basket or bin, you’re missing a great opportunity to do something far more clever — and even beautiful — with your stash.

As is my mantra, if it’s not “pretty” and “easy,” it won’t end up on my blog.  Here are a few ways you can organize/display your mags and newspapers which meet both criteria in a very inexpensive way.

towel rack -magazine, wall artTowel bar(s):  This photo may showcase a more elaborate “collection” than you have, but what a great way to house your magazines by hanging them on a series of towel bars.

Obviously, this concept can be done in a much simpler way, with only a couple of bars — taking up a small corner wall or an area over a desk. Maybe you just want a single, long bar to drape your newspapers.  Regardless, choose your style of hardware and, voila, you have highly practical wall art.

magazine wine rackWine rack:  This idea is beyond easy — no drilling or hanging involved. Just take a free-standing wine rack of any style and place your rolled magazines in the compartments, tabletop- or floor-style.

If you do want to put a bit more effort into this same idea, buy a wall-mount wine rack and follow suit.  There are plenty of contemporary takes on this last idea, and lateral towel racks can serve the same purpose — with rolled magazines instead of rolled towels.

 

shutter-magazineShutter:  If you like the “cottage” look, this technique is right up your alley. An old shutter — as distressed as you want it — can be transformed into an interesting display, with publications folded right into the louvers.  Hang it… or stand it against the wall (small ones can sit atop a table).  This style is particularly simpatico with a screened-in porch or outdoor covered area… with a nice margarita next to it. (Well?! :-))

What about doing the same with your kids’ skinny picture books?  You could even paint each slat a different color.
ladder magazine rack

Ladder:  Keeping with the vertical theme, this next idea is one which, while simple, might appear a little more sophisticated.  By propping a ladder against a wall, you add a new dimension to your room — large enough for visual impact but compact enough that it can actually be a space-saver.

Wood may transmit a more rustic vibe, while metal may lend itself to a modern feel.  Whichever you select, for heaven’s sake, do not spend big $$ getting one from Pottery Barn!  Ladders abound at salvage and “junk” shops and usually come with built-in character.

Magazine file folder rackFile organizer:  Still too much trouble?  Check out this next idea.

One of the easiest methods for organizing magazines is to hang them over a stacked or “incline” wire file organizer.

A few months ago, I purchased one for a buck at Goodwill, and it took mere minutes to set this up on the lower shelf of my nightstand for convenient bedtime reading.  I get compliments all the time for this super-simple, cheap-o  display.  Ha!

 

Sure, you can buy some very nice (and very expensive) containers, organizers, or display units to perform the same function, but then you will be out dollars that are better-spent elsewhere… and you won’t be able to say “Ha!” like me. Just be a copycat and try some of the easier, less costly ideas above… and make sure to send me your photos and feedback!

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Photo credits:  Towel bar design from Sweethomestyle.tumblr.com.  Wine rack compliments of JunkChicCottage.blogspot.com.  Shutter design from MyRepurposedLife.net. Ladder style from CoryConnorDesigns.com.  File folder organizer photo from Christy Charlton (aka me!).