Flashback Friday #4 – Stow your stuff

Since the daily temperatures have been too high to spend time outside, many of us have been indoors organizing our creative stash areas.  These Flashback accent pieces (from Create & Decorate June 2005) are perfect to stow your cache of buttons, clips, and other small items.

Vintage Desk Storage

Designed by Mary Ayres

Simplify the clutter on your desk with vintage appeal.


9” x 15” wooden frame
Apple Barrel Play Wood 11⁄2” x 7” x 6”
Tall Wood Cigar Box with Bamboo Handle
All Night Media Anna Griffin
Brass Embellishments Brass Corners, four
Large Blossom Motif Rubber Stamp
K&Company Life’s Journey Printed Paper in Old Crate Labels in Kraft and Script Kraft
Beacon Adhesives Zip Dry Paper Glue
Americana Acrylics in Antique Gold Deep and Soft Black
Dazzling Metallics in Glorious Gold
Weathered Wood Crackling Medium
Ebony Gel Stain
Royal & Langnickel Paintbrushes in Series 355 Nos. 6 and 8 Short Round, Series 985 1” Angular Sash
Fiskars Dye Ink Pads in Hunter Green and Jet Black
Color Box Pigment Stamp Pad in Gold
JoAnn Fabrics Scrap Essentials Brass Book Plates in six 7/8” x 1- 5/8” and one 3/4” x 2-3/4”
• 14 small and 12 large brass brads
• 1⁄8”-dia. round brass eyelets, two
• Mottled green print paper
• Cardstock in brown, dark green, light green, white
• 2-1⁄2” square peat pots (6)*, circle hole punch (1/16”- and 1/8”-dia.), computer font Courier New (font size 16), fine-grit sandpaper, heavy cardboard, hemp cord, paper towels, personal computer and printer, scissors , small piece of sponge

*Available in the gardening department of most local hardware stores, or at most local nurseries.



  • Edging—Rub a small piece of dry sponge on inkpad, then rub on edges of paper.
  • Dry Brushing—Dip a dry round bristle brush in paint. Wipe brush on a paper towel until it is almost dry, then wipe brush back and forth across surface of frame and box.

Wall Organizer

1. Paint wooden frame with Glorious Gold. Let dry, then apply one coat of Crackling Medium on top of the gold. Let dry thoroughly. Apply one coat of Soft Black on top of the Crackling Medium; the cracks will appear as paint dries. Let paint dry thoroughly.

2. Lightly sand wooden frame to give it a distressed look, then drybrush frame in areas with Antique Gold Deep.

3. Cut cardboard to be the same size as frame opening, then cut Label Paper to cover the cardboard. Piece the paper and adhere in place. Place covered cardboard in frame. Adhere Brass Corners in the top left and bottom right corners on top of the Label Paper.

4. Tear peat pots apart from one another. Cut six squares from brown cardstock to fit inside bottom of pots to cover the hole; adhere in place. Tear a shape that is slightly smaller than one side of the pot from the Script Paper. (You may create a template from cardstock, draw around the template onto the Script Paper, and then tear the paper.) Edge torn shapes using the Hunter Green Ink Pad. Adhere to the side of the pot.

5. Lightly sand all of the Brass Book Plates. Apply the Ebony Gel Stain to the Book Plates and wipe away using a dry paper towel to give it a distressed look.

6. Using computer and printer, print item names onto white cardstock. Make sure to leave space between the words. Cut rectangles around the words so that they will fit behind the Book Plates. Adhere rectangles into the Book Plates, then adhere Book Plates to front of pots. Push ends of small brads through holes in Book Plates and bend ends down inside the pots.

7. Adhere assembled pots symmetrically to the Label Paper into the wooden frame. Using 1/8-diam. hole punch, create two holes in the top back of each pot, 1-3⁄4” apart. Insert large brads through the holes and bend ends down to the back of the cardboard.


1. Lightly sand brass hardware on the Wood Cigar Box. Apply Ebony Gel Stain to inside box and on brass hardware. Wipe excess Stain away using a dry paper towel.

2. Paint outside of box the same as in Steps 1 and 2 of Wall Organizer.

3. Cut pear and rose or other motifs from Label paper. Cut shapes from light green and dark green cardstock slightly larger than the label motifs. Edge the cardstock shapes using Gold Ink Pad. Adhere cardstock shapes to back of motifs.

4. Cut a 1-5⁄8” x 4-1⁄8” rectangle from mottled green paper and edge using Gold Ink Pad. Tear a 1-3⁄8” x 3-7⁄8” rectangle from Script Paper and edge using the Hunter Green Ink Pad. Adhere Script rectangle to center of green rectangle. Distress Book Plates in the same way as in Step 5 of Wall Organizer.

5. Using computer and printer, print “notions & sundries” onto a piece of white cardstock. Cut rectangle around words that will fit behind Book Plate, and adhere into place in Book Plate. Place Book Plate in the center of the Script rectangle and mark placement of holes. Using 1⁄16”-dia. circle punch, punch holes in the Script rectangle at the marks that you just created. Adhere Book Plate to Script Paper and attach small brads through holes, bending ends down in back.

6. Adhere label motifs and assembled Book Plate rectangle to front of box, using color photo as a guide. Adhere brass corners to opposite corners on pear motif.

7. To create tag, stamp a blossom to the back side of Label paper using Jet Black Ink Pad. Tear a 2-1⁄4” x 2-1⁄2” rectangle around blossom and edge using Hunter Green Ink Pad. Using the 1⁄8”-dia. circle punch, create a hole in the top corners and set the two 1⁄8”-dia. eyelets. Insert hemp cord through eyelets and tie around handle.


6 thoughts on “Flashback Friday #4 – Stow your stuff

  1. How cute!! I just love that it is very functional yet lovely to look at it. These are the kinds of storage containers I am striving to surround myself with in my crafting area. I am doing away with all plastic containers and trading them out for wooden and metal pieces that inspire me. Thanks for sharing such a cool and thrifty idea!

    • Hi Angie! We understand your efforts. At the office, we have some wooden crates to organize magazines and papers in, and at home I use vintage suitcases for storage and then stack them to serve as an end table. Noelle has begun a collection of blue Ball jars to keep tabs on smaller items. Pretty and purposeful!

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