Welcome to the Jungle

Once in a while I’ll get an email from someone asking where I put all the stuff I use to make the craft projects that appear on this blog. And since I openly admit to being a slob with some serious hoarding tendencies, I can’t blame folks for being curious to see what things look like off camera. Perhaps they suspect I am secretly collecting newspapers in the bathtub or stacking jars of expired pickle products along the stairs.

My friends, let me assure you; the pickle situation is under control. And there are no newspapers in the bathtub. There is massive collection of cardboard tubes under the bathroom sink, but that’s different. (You’ll see why in a second).
No doubt I am a serious pack rat, but when it comes to collecting things that others consider garbage, I limit it to a single cupboard in the kitchen. Talk about self-discipline!

Kiki calls it my junk yard. I call it The Jungle.

Kiki says I am crazy for keeping all of this crap, but then I reply by itemizing all the cool stuff I will do with each item. I always expect her to understand, but instead, her eyes roll back in her head like I’m trying to sell her magic beans.
Pffff. Beans. Ha!
Well the cupboard was getting full last weekend, and since I have restricted myself to just this space, I thought I would pull it all out, separate the wheat from the chaff, and identify exactly what I intend on doing with this stuff.


1. & 2.  Shallow Boxes and Lids: I use them to coral supplies and contain messy projects. They make it easy to move a project to another space while it dries or I do something else. Not very interesting, but it’s a good tip!
6. #6 Clear Styrene boxes: home made shrinky dinks
8. Green Plastic Strawberry Baskets: excellent base for a chandelier light
9.  Plastic Cookie trays: These make the best paint pallets – the little dividers keep everything separate and easy to wash or toss when you are done
11. Mini Soda Cans:  candle votives
12. Deli Containers: candy lights, and I’m thinking about using them as shadow boxes (stay tuned)
13. Expired Wheat Pasta: faux rococo frames, jewelry
15: Cardboard Tubes (PS there are 100 more under the sink): pincushions, Chinese lantern style flowers, snowflakes, nini wreath, big wreath or wall hanging,
16: Narrow Food Wrap Box: Perfect for giving away small batches of holiday baked goods.

17. Lightweight Cardboard Boxes: polyhedron decorations, notebooks,  a stampede

Now what do we have here….

Looks to me like someone has room for growth. Woot!

Quick, give me more ideas on stuff to make. Or better yet, stuff to collect.


  1. Candace Jedrowicz says

    Phew! I’m glad the pickle situation on under control! You’re so funny!
    What a great idea! I’m going to take my time, click on & explore each project! I’d love to borrow the idea for my blog, if that’s okay. I’ll link to this page if I do.
    You rock!

  2. Tina says

    Oh my goodness, are your cabinets covered in newspaper?! That is so fabulous- is that Hilary on the drawer?

  3. Charlene says

    oops, I should have read a little closer…I see you already know how to do that!

  4. Charlene says

    #12 – Deli Containers – if they are marked #6 recycle-able plastic, they make awesome Shrinky Dinks. Truly! Color them with Sharpies, cut them out, punch a hole in them if desired, stick in the oven and shrink them down.

  5. Suzonne says

    bottle caps, corks, twist ties, anything that would be make a good pattern for stamping, security envelopes, bottles to etch, matchboxes, coffee stained coffee filters (rinse well before drying), Parmesan rinds for soup, foil candy wrappers, rubber bands…and when you’re feeling crafty, would you mind making this for me from egg cartons? (I think the insides would be lovely gilded with gold paint.)


  6. says

    Gosh, looks like my hall closet (any in a few cabinets and parts of my garage). I am glad I am not the only one that saves stuff like that.

    Don’t forget the Pringles cans (great for decorating like giant candy and giving cookies – Dollar Store Crafts also had a cool tutorial for making a tier trinket box too), the rings off of bottles (saw a tutorial for making mini dreamcatchers) out of them, empty envelopes from junk mail (to sew together and save small patterns and stencils), heavier paper from junkmail (to make paper beads), cardboard circles off of pizza (can be used for a variety of things – recently used on to make a “Burned At The Stake Barbie” display, and cereal boxes (make great magazine or paper organizers). Might want to save a few boxes from soft drinks – great for making “pop art” (pun intended) projects – I have made notebooks and Easter baskets out of them in the past.

  7. Anonymous says

    It´s 3 o´clock in the night and I can´t stop reading blog – I mean reading, not only looking at some pictures….


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