Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Simple Solutions Series #1: Closet Dividers

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If you’re like me, your January is about resolutions and getting organized. Our house is getting some much needed get-rid-of-the-crap-you-don’t-need lovin’, room by room.
First stop, the kids’ closets. 
Everything but jeans and jammies gets hung up. And with two kids per room, that means all the shirts, church clothes, dresses, coats, etc. for both of them have to play nice in a single, cramped closet.
To help the kids keep their spaces tidy and organized, I’ve used dividers like this in the past.  
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The only problem (other than the fact that I didn’t have nearly enough to go around) was that it looked like a giant, yellow uterus.  I’m sorry … but that’s a deal breaker in my book.
So, I figured I could make some more using items from the recycling bin AND change up the shape a bit to make cringe-less dividers that were personalized to match the kids’ rooms.
These were so easy to make:
Grab any left-over containers/bins/jugs with areas of thin, flat plastic … here’s what I had on hand.
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I cut away the curved edges and drew an arched shape …
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… and traced a hole for the closet rod from a milk jug cap.  This pattern is so flexible … adjust the shape as you’d like.
Ah … no more uterus.
To cover, cut two pieces of patterned paper or fabric slightly larger than the divider.  Spray the divider front and back with spray adhesive and sandwich in between the paper layers.
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You can feel the divider through the paper so there’s no need to trace or precut your paper—just cut along the edges.  You can go along the edges of the dividers with marker if you’d like or just leave as is.
Labeling is easy: sharpie, vinyl, paint pens, whatever.
And sorry for the clearly photo-shopped names … I cut my kids’ names out of vinyl on my Silhouette--I just didn’t want to use their actual names on a public blog.
You can run the names down the side …
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… or along the top.  Your choice.
And feel to use much cuter paper of fabric! My boys picked out this lovely drab gray, even though I was leaning toward cute Amy Butler print.
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Of course then, you could skip covering the dividers all together and just use the plain plastic with a little lettering love.  Bows, flowers, stickers, etc. would look adorable, too.
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That black pumpkin pie tray never looked better. 
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A few THRIVE tips to save you some headaches:
1. Will this work with cardboard?
Yup. I just went with the plastic since I didn’t want to see the corrugated edges showing through. But, those edges could easily be covered with ribbon, mod podging, etc.
2. Can you use mod podge to attach the paper/fabric to plastic dividers?
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Not really.  I tried that method first, but it just doesn’t like plastic very well. The bond was pretty weak and the paper peeled away in just a few days.
3. Can I use the plastic from empty 2 liter bottles?
Nope. I tried cutting and weighing the plastic for a week to get rid of the heavy curving.  No good.  The plastic did flatten out some, but it bowed heavily once the paper was applied.
4. What about using a Xyron instead of spray adhesive?
I did make a few that way and it worked great. See?
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The only problem is that it uses a lot of adhesive and I was going through it way too fast. I figured it would take a whole roll to make enough to do all the closets in our house. I’d recommend this method for small batches.
5. Why is the divider so long? Can’t you just use a circle shape?
Not really. The long “legs” help weigh the divider down and keep the arched, labeled section upright (although you can make them short that what I show). When you use just a plain circle, the labeled area is top-heavy and ends up facing upside-down.
Happy organizing!
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25 comments:

  1. You are seriously a creative genius! I can not even believe you came up with this from all of that! W-O-W!!!!! : )

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  2. I've always wanted dividers, but never thought about making them. This will be great, even for my closet. Maybe ,my husband will put away the clothes then. No excuse for not knowing where things go.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your good efforts.... Keep it up good going...Thanks

    http://www.mumzone.com.au/baby-names.php

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  4. Ohhh, what a great idea! I'm trying to decide if it's something I would actually do and use, or if it would just be something I'd make, put in my closet, then ignore while I piled laundry everywhere. Erm, you know, hypothetically. Not that I current have a practically scale model of Stonehenge in clothing right now.

    Alicia {ProtoDoom.com}

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  5. What a cute and creative way to be organized. Awesome!

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  6. Great way to stay organized without taking up a lot of space either. I like how you used recycled items.

    Visiting from House of Hepworths.

    Elizabeth, More Than A Mom
    http://morethana-mom.blogspot.com

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  7. That's brilliant. And thanks for the good laugh--I started laughing out loud with the giant yellow uterus...still laughing........

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  8. Cute idea!! Yes, MP doesn't work with plastic very well - but yours turned out so cute, even without the Podge :D

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  9. I laughed so hard when you first described the "uterus" factor of the clip...you are too funny.

    I first read your blog the other day- your story I'm sure resonates with so many people out there- however your attitude is one so many can't find- Please keep up your fun and funny- AND CREATIVE blog stories- we love 'em!!

    Susan

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  10. What a fabulous idea!! I'm going to feature this in an upcoming post! thanks for sharing!!

    xoxo
    Marni

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  11. I love this idea and that you can personalize them however you like. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday. I'll be featuring this tomorrow.

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  12. Just found your blog via Ohdeedoh ... great ideas on upcycling trash & recyclables!

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  13. I love this idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  14. These are great!! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  15. Genius, green, and gorgeous! Can't get better than that!

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  16. Just found your blog via Thrify Decor Chick. Your creativity amazes me. I was just laughing out loud with big yellow uterus!! Love your Valentine wreath.....I'm copying that!! Love it!

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  17. You know you are too good for your own good? HUH? Well, anyway, I've been skipping around your blog, and you are one smart cookie...yellow uterus thingy and all:-) It was the Valentine wreath that got me, but I am seriously going to try the fruit roll ups too. I was disappointed you didn't use the gem clip though. Can't wait for what you do next...I'm all for no cost! Best, Vicki

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  18. Wow, what a creative person you are. You have yourself a new follower. My Tween and Teens have more clothing folded then hanging, but I'll keep the dividing idea in mind.
    You rock!

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  19. I read this post last night and noticed that you hang all your children's clothes except socks, pj's, and undies. I had a revelation! For years I have tried to cram all my children's clothes into a smallish dresser never thinking that I could hang things besides church clothes. I dug out hangers this morning and got to work. Now my kids closets are full of organized clothes that they can see! No more "where is a white shirt Mom?". The dressers have all the undies etc... but are not crammed full! Next I am going to make some closet dividers. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  20. Love this! I need to do this ASAP!!

    Thank you for the idea!

    Chrissy

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  21. I have made these before as a baby gift for new moms with craft foam, but I never loved how flimsy they were {I also have tried cardboard, but they also were a bit too flimsy for my taste}. Using the hard plastic is a perfect solution! LOVE IT! I will be saving up some random plastic to do this project for sure. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  22. You're amazing! This is genius!

    xoxo, Mallory @ Classy Clutter

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  23. So simple, I love it!

    ...and you had me cracking up at uterus :) I'll never be able to look at closet dividers the same again.

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  24. I'm going to try using a cereal box in between. Has anyone else done that? Then I'll make a template I can print onto scrapbooking paper so I can print the names/sizes and outlines right onto the paper and skip a ton of tracing.

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Thanks so much for the comment love! I do cartwheels when I read each one. Well, I imagine my pre-pregnancy self doing cartwheels, but you get the idea ...