Lady Macguyver – Craft Storage Edition

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about finding ways to use things I already have to decorate my home. I have a whole bunch of art supplies in one of my hall closets, but it all just sits behind the closet door and doesn’t do anything. With that thought, I resolved to get some of my pretty things OUT of the closet and into the house. So I bring you TWO quick and easy projects!

First, behold the lovely Fabric Ladder! Want to know what I made it from?

The rail from my daughter’s old crib!
I’m definitely not the first to think of this – I am positive I’ve seen this idea around the wubs. I think it makes a great addition to my hallway – it’s rather narrow and bare, and this ladder adds a big punch of fun and color.
If you don’t have an old crib in your garage, I bet you can find one like this for free on Craigslist! Drop-side cribs were recently outlawed for sale in the US (I think that was dumb, but that’s not important.), so there’s bound to be lots of people near you with one that they can’t sell and are encouraged to not use. Place a quick want ad on Craigslist for a drop-side crib, and mention that you’re not going to use it for a baby. I’d be willing to bet that someone gets in touch with you and you should be able to pick it up for free. Each crib should give you two long rails like this to hang with fabric (for those of you with tons and tons of fabrics).
(I’ve got an idea up my sleeve for the springy mattress support piece, as well, by the way.)

I wanted to actually hang the “ladder” on the wall, but it ended up being far too heavy, so I just arranged my fabric and leaned it against the wall. I suppose with proper support (screws into studs, for starters), you still could hang it if you wanted. I suspect this idea would also be great for displaying things like quilts and other pretty fabric things, as well.

Secondly, behold the amazing Ribbon Rail! It’s fitted into a narrow strip of wall between my two hall closets, and it really livens up the joint.

You’re never going to guess the materials on this one. The rail is a simple metal dowel that I got at Home Depot months ago. I used it to wrap wire to make jump rings (but now I have a real mandrel so I don’t need it for that). It was cheap.
The rail is supported by… you know those little things you get to screw onto cabinet doors so that kids can’t get into the cleaning supplies? Those.

I had these laying around and they just happened to be the perfect size. I haven’t been able to look, but I bet you can find a proper L-bracket at a hardware store. The child-lock-thing was great because it has a small dent close to the end, which holds the metal dowel nicely. They are designed to bend a little, so if I want to take a spool of ribbon off, I can simply lift the top bracket and pull out the entire dowel. You can’t see it in either of these pictures, but the setup with the lock-thingie is the same at the top, just upside down.
Take care to test the weight of your Ribbon Rail, making sure that your L-bracket will support it. The things I used have no problem with the weight of my ribbons.

I am so happy with how these turned out. My hallway is now brighter with color, and I can change them on a whim!
Do you ever wish you could make some use of all your extra craft supplies instead of leaving them in the closet? Share your ideas in the comments, or better yet – go make it and share it!