Funky creation alert: pen and paper solution.

Do you have a messy pen and paper issue near your kitchen telephone? We sure did! I’ve tried several different ideas for a quick pen drop but the jar or what have you always ended up overflowing with all kinds of things other than pens, making it hard to find what you wanted in a jiffy. So this is what I invented.

I found a little bookshelf at the thrift awhile back, and painted/glazed it.

Here is my new stache of quickie sticky house numbers for a whoppin’ .20 each from the local thrift. You can never have too many of these on hand!

(look at that tool box I scooped for $1!! I’m going to copy it and make a bigger one someday. The handle is a copper pipe! worthy of it’s own post.. coming soon!)

The numbers were stuck on some wooden flower pots I had on hand, then painted, then glazed.

Notice they aren’t the standard schmandard perfectly aligned 1234? Funk it up! Each one got it’s own little twisty personality with a different position. Bouncing the numbers around created more fun to look at.

For glazing, nothing fancy was used. A deeper house paint colour was lightly spread over and quickly wiped off with a wet rag.

The components look like they were made for each other!  I still can’t believe how perfect those pots fit on the shelf. I love the black interiors and left them as is. Now, to put it to work to see how efficient it truly is.

Oh yes. Liking it very much! And the white look fabulous against the dark countertop.

BUT, I now need a quick solution for dropped off papers and a notebook.

Tip for notes: I ALWAYS keep a bound notebook by the phone for new messages. I date the top and keep entering and cross off when I don’t have to deal with the message any longer. This keeps all your notes in tact and easy to go back on time and time again if you forgot something. I’ve done this for years and have a notebook by every phone.

I had an old vintage blackish textured cookie sheet that fit the bill perfectly. Little felt liners are stuck to the underside for easy sliding.

Bingo! Easy to see, easy to contain, and easy to slide back in place. And the dark tray somewhat disappears against the countertop which is cool.

The new little phone center is working wonderfully! The separate sections keep things neat and easy to grab, and offers you the ultimate organization in an eye catching way. I had this set up without the numbers during my Christmas show and I overheard chatter on what a cool idea it was so the feedback was good! And I’m here to tell you, it works!

Too bad it’s just one of a kind. This ought to be massed produced I tell ya.

For another off the beaten track kind of pen storage, see what I did with these rusty little guys.

What about you? How do you deal with pens and paper near your telephone area? If you have a creative solution, I invite you to leave your link in the comments. I’d love to peek. 🙂

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Dec 17 2009

Dec 17 2009

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39 thoughts on “Funky creation alert: pen and paper solution.

  1. Hey Donna,

    Love this idea. Currently I have a bunch of random glass jars for holding pens and markers by my drawing table. I have to search through 100 items every time I need something. Need your idea in my office as well as your luck fitting this stuff together…Merry Christmas

  2. Oh my, I am in love! This is so fabulous – I mean FABULOUS! I am so picking up a few numbers next time I head to Home Depot and keeping my eyes open for a little bookcase or shelf! Love it…


  3. OH MY GOD> I love it. I have 4 kids and if I give each one his own holder, do you think homework time would go a bit easier.

    Or, 1 could be crayons.
    2 markers
    3 Pens
    and 4 Pencils

    I am going to hunt for those things at my thrift store now

  4. I love how this piece all came together. Those pots do look like they were made for that little bookshelf. The numbers you added made it perfect.

  5. Well now, this is right up my alley. When I homeschooled I was up to my eyeballs in papers and pens and rubberbands and paperclips and and and…..what a creative way to corral all that STUFF.

    I’m constantly trying to find organized by chic ways to organize the crap that comes in this house. Methinks I need to try something of this nature, maybe hanging on the wall? I have no counter space left 🙂

  6. Donna, you have the template right there… start sawing…lol.

    A perfect little organizer… I bet you could sell a ton of those…

    I pick up numbers everywhere I see them… I am getting quite a little collection, maybe it is time I start using them.

    Hugs Deb

  7. I wasn’t looking for pen storage but man do I love the looks of this one! I cannot wait to steal…er copy…ummm I mean be inspired by this. Love the numbers and the color and, well, all of it. You just keep topping yourself. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Well I’m leaving a comment even though I still HAVE that messy pen/paper problem. That is absolutely perfect!!
    I’ve been eyeing that corner of my kitchen for a while contemplating what to do with it. I bought a nice shallow wooden/tin apple box to put things in but of course now that’s just overflowing. I’ll put that on my list.. #1823 of things to do!! auughh!

  9. You come up with the greatest inventions! What I do is have three ceramic pitchers of varying sizes on my desk, which is next to the kitchen. I have tall things like rulers and scissors in the red one. Pens and smaller scissors in the blue one. And pencils and tiny scissors in the white one. Turned out patriotic!

  10. Donna
    How fabulous!! I am looking for something similar for my message center in my kitchen which is currently being re-worked for functionality. =D I’ve been trying to come up with a ‘charging station’ for cell phones– this would work perfectly— are there HOLES in the bottom of those little pots? That is what I need MORE HOLES! =D
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Donna……I love…love…LOVE this idea and will just have to steal it ;-D The idea that is LOL…ya live too far for me to reach into the kitchen window LOLOL Thank you soooo very much for this nifty little gem of a DIY.

  12. What a great idea! And guess what? I have one of those that’s 5 feet long! Can you guess what I’m gonna do with it now? It’s been sitting in my garage forever. Now if only I can find me some of those little square pots.

  13. I am so loving this!! The number thingie is pretty big these days. You did a lovely job and so very thrifty. I’m sure it’s more affordable than purchasing something like this at Pottery Barn. Thanks for sharing! Please be sure to visit my blog not only for the thrify post this week but also for my give-a-way post of Vintage Sterling Silver. Don’t forget to participate to win!

  14. Oh gosh… you’re all making me blush here. Thanks for the kudos!

    Polly, the shelf also looks adorable using clay planter pots too. Mine didn’t fit but that was my first draft. With your long wonderful shelf, you have more options! I so want to see this thing when you’re done with it! 🙂

    FJ Donna

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