Organisation Challenge: Use Your Hidden Storage

Today’s organisation challenge may even be too simple to really talk about, but sometimes it’s in the tiny tips that we have the ‘a-ha’ moments that make things that little bit easier. Do you ever feel like things are overflowing or that there are some things you need to store for special occasions (like travel or the holidays) but you just can’t seem to work out where they would fit? Then this challenge is for you!

Organisation Challenge: Use Your Hidden Storage on Style for a Happy Home


There are little pockets of hidden storage all around your house. They are spots that you could store things but you might not notice them, because they’re not really the obvious places. If you’re somewhat of an infrequent traveller but do have a collection of suitcases, then your first gem of hidden storage is found within them.

Yes, that’s right, why not use your empty suitcases to store seasonal items or other travel items or even things that you just also use infrequently. I use my suitcases to store things like soft toys with sentimental value, back packs, handbags, travel gear and winter boots (in the summer). The larger cases take up so much room anyway that when you add things to the inside they often don’t take up any more room. If you don’t travel at Christmas (or other holidays like that) then you could use them as a place to keep wrapped gifts hidden, and maybe even birthday gifts too!

You could also use this hidden storage to keep your seasonal decorations like those for your Chirstmas tree if space permits. This wouldn’t work if you’re using your cases all the time, as it would be a pain to constantly re-arrange things, but if they don’t get much use during the year and take up space, then they can be great!

Another place for finding hidden storage is at the back of large cupboards that you can never reach all the way back too. If you have an older house you might find these in the kitchen cupboards or at the top of a linen press. If you have a few of these like I do, these are great for adding well labelled storage boxes of things you don’t need very often but can’t get rid of. They tend to be forgotten easily because they’re so difficult to access, so if you’re going to use this, it could be an idea to create a little document in your computer of where you’ve put what!! I know we’ve found some long forgotten things when we finally looked right back in the corners.

The little hidden gems will be different for everyone, and yes decluttering is great for when you feel like you have too much stuff, but sometimes they are the things worth hanging on to, but just aren’t needed year round. Having less things sitting around your home feeling out of place and more floor space for you to enjoy is always a good thing in my book!

Do you use hidden storage in your home? Where’s your favourite?

Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Covered Cork Letters

In last week’s mini makeover I showed you how you can make your own cork board letters for your home, but I know that some of us don’t really like the cork board finish or would like to use the letters just for decoration, so this week I’m sharing how to make your own covered cork letters that you can decorate in a style that suits your happy home with a bonus way to style them! Let’s get started!

Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Covered Cork Letters (before) on Style for a Happy Home

What you’ll need:

  • Cork Board Letter(s) you can find out how to make them here
  • Fabric You can choose any fabric that you love. This is cotton quilting weight. I got this from Spotlight for $7.99 per metre. You will need enough to cover all of your letters plus a little bit extra in case of mistakes. I used about half a metre for my 5 letters
  • Stapler You’ll need a sturdy one that you can flip open
  • Thumb Tacks (or Push Pins) If you want to use it as a cork board but prettier
  • Ribbon For hooking things into the cork board if you want to use it as a message board
  • Elastic Also for hooking things into the cork board if you want to use it as a message board
  • Fabric Scissors For cutting the fabric
  • Optional: Box of extra staples if you’re doing lots of letters you will need lots of staples

Note: Steps 1-14 cover your cork letters (as you will see in After A) and steps 15-18 embellish them with elastic and ribbon (as you will see in After B). 15-18 are optional steps

Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Covered Cork Letters (step by step) on Style for a Happy Home

How to:

  1. Start by placing your fabric face down and add the cork letter on top of it. Cut the fabric so that it is a rectangle with approximately 5cm (2″) overhanging all four sides of the letter. The cutting doesn’t need to be precise and I like to have more fabric and cut off later rather than trying to work with too little.
  2. Flip the cork letter over so that it is back to front (so that the fabric will be on the outside of the finished letter, not the inside. If you’re feeling confused, lift it and the fabric piece up and look at the letter through the fabric, and check it’s the right way around. Also: if you’re using a fabric that has a pattern that has a right way up (ie is a picture) make sure that it and the top of your letter are facing the same direction (or it will drive you bonkers when you’re finished)
  3. Fold the top piece of over hanging fabric up over the back of your cork letter and staple in the middle towards the top edge. Pull the fabric a little bit so that it’s tight, but not so much that the cord bends off the table.
  4. Repeat the staples, pulling the fabric around the edge one bit at a time and then stapling. The edge should stay smooth and the bunching for any curves should all be at the back. To begin with, just do the top edge. Leave the  short ends.
  5. If you have any inside curves like my S you will need to cut a couple of  straight lines so that the fabric can fold around them. Cut up the middle and then cut a couple of smaller notches where the curve is. You’ll need to cut almost to the cork so you can get the fold. Please see photo for exactly how to. It’s easier to show than to write. This is the same for an internal gap (like in an a), add extra notches where there are curves or edges as needed.
  6. Pull the smaller pieces made from the notches up and over and attach with the staples then do the upper piece followed by the lower piece. This can be a little nerve wracking the first time, but is easier once you get the hang of it.
  7. Now it’s time to continue down one side bunching up at the back if there are any curves.
  8. Keep adding staples until you come to the end of your side leaving that open for now.
  9. Repeat step 5 for any additional curves as you come to them.
  10. Repeat step 6 for fastening the fabric around the curved edges, as shown here.
  11. Once both sides are completed it’s time to trim the excess fabric from the back, leaving the ends that aren’t yet attached.
  12. Trim the ends with about 3cm (1″) left over so that it’s a little bit too long, but not so much that it’s difficult to fold up.
  13. Tuck the sides under and then pull the piece up and over the end so that there won’t be any overhang showing from the front. Staple and then trim. Repeat for any other ends.
  14. Flip it over and check out your awesome handy-work! Yay! See After A. Continue for optional steps.
  15. Measure your elastic and cut it to fit around the parts of your letters that you would like to have something hang from
  16. Flip it over and staple the elastic to the back.
  17. If you would also like ribbon to hide the look of the elastic, cut it to size.
  18. Then add the ribbon at the back as before, but with a looser loop so that the elastic can stretch underneath it. Repeat until completed! See After B.

Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Covered Cork Letters (after) on Style for a Happy Home Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Covered Cork Letters (after) on Style for a Happy Home

Thoughts on the project:

This is a really fun way to make some unique letters for your home. I love that it was really simple to do, once you have done the first tutorial, and the result looks fantastic. Whilst my first thought was to still have them as a working cork board, I actually really loved how they turned out just as covered letters. Not only can you choose a font you love, and make it in the size you want, you can also customise the fabric for your home.

It wouldn’t be too difficult to recover them over time if you decide you wanted a different fabric or when your child grows out of a kid themed print. I also love that they were pretty inexpensive to make, though they do take some time. If you wanted to you could do a shape rather than a letter, and that could also look great.

I didn’t really encounter many issues when covering these, the cork is more than thick enough to take the staples without them poking through the other side and the main thing to remember is to flip the letter over so that you cover the correct side. I got a little ahead of myself with the F and ended up covering the back! It was quick enough to recover the front, but I’d like to save you from my hasty mistake. ;)

When it comes to hanging them, you could sit them on a ledge or permanently affix them to the wall. I tried the double sided poster tape, but it couldn’t handle the weight, and you would need a lot of blutack to keep them up (and that’s without using them as a cork board. In the end I used some small screws with the looped ends and screwed them into the top of each letter and have them hanging from a nail. The H’s have two loops to keep them hanging straight (the second one over the curve). I was so happy with how mine turned out I’ve added them to my office wall above my whiteboard which I use as an inspiration board for the blog.

Would you make these for your home? What room would you put them in?

If you do try this, I’d love to see a photo or hear about how it went! Tweet me your pics at: @danniellecresp or instagram me at: @dannielle with the hashtag: #styleforahappyhome

Organisation Challenge: Frame Your Art and Photos

I’m back with another organisation challenge for you! This week it’s all about getting that Art your bought for your walls and your favourite photos, out of storage and actually getting them up on the walls (or mantle) for all the world (or at least you and your guests) to see! This is something that I have to make a conscious effort to do, so I thought it might be the same for some of you too!

Organisation Challenge: Frame Your Art and Photos on Style for a Happy Home

First on your list is, to get a notepad and pen and a tape measure and measure up all of your artwork that needs framing and write down what size they are. Next you need to decide what size you will have your photos (that are currently just digital files) printed in. I recommend getting them done professionally, at somewhere like Officeworks, rather than using all your own printer ink if you’ve got more than one you want printed. They don’t cost much depending on the size you choose. Jot them down too.

The next step is to choose where you will buy your frames and whether you want matching ones or want to go for a mismatched look. I chose the Ribba frames from Ikea, and have them in white in all different sizes. Whilst you’re deciding on what frame style(s) you like, also check that your art and photos will fit in them nicely. Measure twice, buy once. This will save you some hair pulling later on. Also decide early on if you want your frames with a mat board in them or not. I have one in all of mine, so I often have to size up my frame to allow for the print to still be seen. These can be great if you have odd sized prints as the board can often hide that.

Whilst you’re still doing the research on the frames, also look at your budget for them and add that up before you head out to buy. There’s nothing worse than thinking “that’s a really reasonable price” and then getting to the counter and realising that with the quantity you just bought your wallet feels a bit too light! I have a really bad habit of doing this when it comes to frames. “$15 seems really reasonable, oh $15 x 4 is $60, where did all my money go?”

If you can’t afford to buy them all at once, which is totally ok, then it’s worth thinking about going with frames that are not likely to be one season only, if you want matching ones. This might seem like way to much thinking and not enough doing, but I find that planning things can really help the execution.

Once you’re ready, go out and get the frames and make an afternoon of taking the time to frame them. Clear off a table and work out which piece will go into which frame. Take a cloth and wipe down the glass on the inside and outside of each frame before adding the print (and mat board if you’re using one). Pop them to one side when they’re all lovely and framed, and continue until you have all your new frames filled.

You might need a break now, if you have done a mammoth framing session, but try not to get tempted to stop there. Now it’s time to work out where they will go on your walls and actually hang them up for everyone to see! I wrote a tutorial on how to hang your frames here if you need some help with that.

Once they’re up on the wall you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done and you can admire all the lovely artwork and photos whenever you walk into that room!

Is this on your to do list? What do you need to frame?