Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Paper Storage Solution - Customizing your own!

Following on from my last post here are a few more photos of my weekend project. The paper storage rack you see here is actually a Waltons Sto Away Lever Arch File shelf. It comes flat-packed, but if you're clever like me, just grab the display sample & act normal. If the sales assistant is cheeky enough to suggest you take a sealed one just reply nonchalantly "No thanks, this one's fine..." Has worked a charm for me...twice!

Apparently there is a company in Joburg that makes perspex/acrylic paper shelves (you know the stackable/unstackable ones like you see for sale on overseas websites...if anyone has the details of this company I would be most grateful for them, thanks) but, as I have failed to locate them & looked all over Durban for over 2 years for a paper storage solution, I have decided that this is as good as it's going to get. I now have 2 of these (one still to decorate) & they are functioning remarkably well.

I acquired the first one some months ago (read 4 to be exact) & have been contemplating it's dull greyness under one of my scrapbooking desks for almost as long. I have considered painting it. I have considered covering it with paper. Both of these options would be relatively expensive. After purchasing the second one over the weekend I decided (well, I decided ages ago but now I have a wee break in my scrappy schedule...) that it was high-time I got to grips with one of my 4 off-cut boxes.

In the past I have not been good about using up offcuts as I have only been able to scrap at home for the last 2 years - the 4 years before that I have had to scrap at a scrapbooking store due to space restrictions at home. Now I am blessed to have 3 scrap-desks...but I digress. Once I had the offcuts sorted into pile colours I stacked them on a little shelf unit I bought expressly for this purpose. Now in nice piles I grabbed pieces that were not too small (difficult to tear into circles/oval) & not too big (more likely to be able to be used on layouts).

Once torn (tiring I may add...by the 589th piece...lol) I began adhering. Fortunately this went faster as this was the fun part. With my newly torn amorphous shapes still colour grouped I began adhering these at semi-equidistant intervals all around the four sides of my paper rack. I used Ponal wood-glue (great glue by the way...) & found it easiest to use a paint brush (so I blobbed the glue into a dish first). I did this on my desk with a binbag beneath to protect my desktop. I just kept going in the same vein - layering it up colour/print by colour/print until I had only a few random gaps to cover. It's better to work all around the box rather than one side at a time (I 've found from past experience with similar) as this gives the item a more unified look.

I had some spiral/star shapes precut from paper (from 5 years ago) and, as I'm certainly not a bright purple layout girl anymore (blush...) I was more than happy to stick them over any offending grey spots. I lined the sides with orange cardstock (a cheap & nasty one I never want to use on a layout again ;-D) and cut strips about 6cm wide to cover the uprights between the storage spaces. I had to join these as the strips weren't long enough. I used double sided tape to adhere the straight strips. Neater & easier. I used wide sticky/cello/tape as a protective covering over the top edge of the paper rack (all around) & obviously had to cut out the little chunks where the uprights were) Then I varnished all 4 sides with Decoupage Modge Varnish. 3 coats. Just to make it sturdy & functional. I left it to dry overnight then sanded off some varnish from the base (that had seeped under it...the above picture is before the sanding).

Prior to this I had my papers in baskets. Mr Price ones (big home-decor chain here). This wasn't ideal as there were no divisions in the baskets & sorting through my papers was similar to weight-lifting...I tried the CNA (big stationery chain) scrapbooking paper-carry-cases but these DAMAGE & DOG-EAR THE PAPER AT THE TOP - SO NOT A GOOD LOOK!

The box measures 58cm long, 38cm wide & 29cm high. (If turned on it's side to function as a paper-rack, not a file store). There are 6 spaces (for the paper) & these measure 8cm wide on the inside and 36 cm long (bearing in mind that your scrapbooking papers are 30.5cm/12 inches). The inside height of each compartment is 29cm high. So your papers just peek out the top, making them easy to flick through & select. JUST DARN PERFECT FOR THOSE PAPERS!!! :-D

I have begun packing my bazzill in according to colour (I am using the other one for my prints) I have them in 6 groups (uh duh...) 1. White/cream/naturals/beiges/pale browns 2. Pinks/peaches/oranges/reds 3. yellows/mustards/browns/blacks. 4. greens & blues together, from pales to darks. 5. lilacs through to dark plums 6. I am using the last one for extra plastic album sleeves & foamcore. So far Shayne has already bought some (I told her about them earlier...) Jacqui is going to get some, and so is Brigitte. How about you? Wanna use my idea or do you already have a paper storage solution? If so, tell me about it...

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Bernadine said...

Helen you are amazing. My sister says necissity (spelling???)is the mother of invention. I have one of those bags that work quite well for me - not from CNA though and I think I might give this one a miss as I don't have a separate scrappy room.

Lynette said...

Great idea Helen. I love how bright you have embellished it.

Stefanie said...

Love all the effort you went to.
Colourful and practical.
I have 3 black paper stands but the paper does get dusty - a lot.

Andrea said...

Oh my giddy aunt what a FABULOUS idea...I almost wish I was still scrapbooking so that I could try it. Such a creative idea!


topkatnz said...

Thats a great idea. I store my ppapers in suspension drawers beside my desk ... I just had to extend the depth of the hanging files ... and that works very well... my bazzill stands upright to one side on my desk in magazine files(front cut off) in colour groups.

Vicki said...

I have the cropper hopper storage for all my paper and just ordered some more dividers to separate my Bazzill.

kma said...

Just playing catch up here, Helen :)

What a fabulous idea, Helen! It looks very funky too.

Love the photo of pussy road testing it first. Too cute!

Cathy said...

I've got one of these at home... use it as a magazine rack... but now you've sparked another idea... so might just go and find me another one and turn it into a paper storage bin.

Jenny said...

I use the Cropper Hopper ones too; the only problem is I have six and when I slide one back into its space the two pieces of c/s in the outside holders sometimes bend

Desire Fourie said...

We have had zillions of these when I was working for a legal firm and conjours up zillions of lever files towering over me. But this is a fantastic idea in more ways than one as it also gets to put those off-cuts to good use. Love your perfect tearing technique. Hugs from Desire