{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover

This organizer is the kind of thing you see often at yard sales, except they’re usually cracked somewhere or missing a drawer or two.  Even if you found one in decent condition you probably wouldn’t consider buying it unless you really needed a place to store a bunch of nails and screws.

I bought this one anyway and let it sit in my garage for a couple months until I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  Hey, sometimes inspiration happens immediately and sometimes it takes awhile!  This is what it looked like when I bought it (minus the paint splatter, which was courtesy of another one of my projects. Oops!):

BEFORE: {Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

I took the drawers out, got rid of the dead bug, and cleaned it all up.  Then I took the case outside and painted it with black Rustoleum spray paint.

I went through my stash of scrapbook paper and picked out three sheets that coordinated.  I cut out six pieces from each sheet to fill the drawer fronts.  Since the front of the drawer wouldn’t be see-through anymore, I thought it would be good to number each one.  Otherwise it might be maddening to search through 18 different drawers to find what you need!  I used Wide Latin for the font in Microsoft Word and printed the numbers on off-white card stock.

{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

After lots of cutting, I laid out the papers and numbers for each drawer.

{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

Then I used Mod Podge and a thin paintbrush to glue the numbers to the scrapbook paper.  When that was done I spread a thin line of Mod Podge across the top and sides on the front of the paper and slid it into the drawers, pressing for about 30 seconds.

{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

When all 18 drawers were done I slid them back into the case.

Now I have an organizer for trinkets… or jewelry… or keys and miscellaneous items by the front door… or…?

{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

It would also be good for craft storage; buttons, thread, beads, washi tape…

{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

I bought this owl on my last trip to Anthropologie – it’s actually one half of a salt and pepper shaker set but I got it on clearance because the other owl was missing.  Lucky me!

I love this paper; I’m a sucker for anything with a French or vintage theme.  (French and vintage?  LOVE!)

{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

{Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover. A dirty hardware organizer gets a fancy French makeover.

 Do you enjoy repurposing too, or just like to see before/after makeovers?


Click here for my free printable resource list: 11 Items to Always Buy While Thrifting

You might enjoy my recent posts:

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43 Comments on {Filthy to Fancy} Organizer Makeover

  1. Kirsten @ One Tough Mother
    August 19, 2013 at 9:48 am (6 years ago)

    LOVE this organizer! What a great makeover! I could definitely use this for jewelry. I love the owl, too – I’m a collector of owls. 🙂

    By the way, my daughter played soccer when she was 3 and it is pretty hysterical to watch. The parents call it “herd ball” since the kids just jumble themselves into a big herd and kick like crazy. Enjoy!
    Kirsten @ One Tough Mother recently posted…DIY “Vintage” Wooden Tray MakeoverMy Profile

    • Jen
      August 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks Kirsten! I am def a little nervous about soccer… but we got them shin guards already. Now I have to work on teaching them that they don’t have to win to have fun. My 3-yr-old keeps saying “I’m going to WIN!” lol

  2. Denyse @ Glitter, Glue & Paint
    August 19, 2013 at 10:20 am (6 years ago)

    LOVE…LOVE…LOVE this! I have one I in my craft room that needs a new makeover. Thanks for the inspiration, Jen!

    Denyse @ Glitter, Glue & Paint recently posted…3D Picture CollageMy Profile

  3. Christy@confessions of a serial do-it- yourselfer
    August 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm (6 years ago)

    I lurv this!!!! I couldn’t even tell it was one of those garage/nuts&bolts holder thingys! I’ve git three that are actually in my garage…holding none other than nuts&bolts, but they’re so ugly! I need to do this! Thanks for sharing!! XO

  4. Tina
    August 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm (6 years ago)

    How cute. But I don’t think my DH would appreciate it if I did this to his!
    Tina recently posted…4 for InspirationMy Profile

    • Jen
      August 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm (6 years ago)

      Tina, keep your eye out for one at a yard sale! 🙂

  5. Christine Keating-Ingelse
    August 22, 2013 at 8:55 am (6 years ago)

    All I can say is “Wow”! Oh, and “I wish I’d thought of that!” I make jewelry and have a bunch of these ugly bins- I’m gonna cop your idea with a twist: I’ll take arty pictures of the stuff inside and ModPodge ’em to the front of the bins! Thanks for the great idea!

  6. Janet
    August 22, 2013 at 9:04 am (6 years ago)

    It is a beautiful make over. I love it to look at but I can just see myself searching through every drawer trying to find whatever. The numbering is a good idea but then you must have a list to consult? I’d probably lose the list. I’d have to label the drawers and then it wouldn’t be as cute or versatile.

  7. Arlene Dunbar
    August 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm (6 years ago)

    I love this. about 15 years ago I spray painted one with a textured whitish/greyish paint and used it for some of my jewellery. It is still sitting on my dresser and I use it constantly. Now I want to do another 1 or 2, updated like yours. great great DIY

    • Jen
      August 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks Ashley! And I’m so glad you came here and commented because I saw your post at a linky party and meant to go back and look at your digital scrapbook paper- and of course I forgot. ;P Going to look now- have a great weekend!

  8. Carolyn Smith
    August 24, 2013 at 1:04 am (6 years ago)

    Love this idea! I think you could still use this in the garage to hold nails and screws. Who says the garage has to look like a garage! Wouldn’t it be fun to have a pimped out workbench!
    Carolyn Smith recently posted…FabricMy Profile

    • Jen
      August 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm (5 years ago)

      Carolyn I think you’ve come up with something big.. I’ve seen pink tools before but why not a whole garage work area offered to appeal to females? Men aren’t the only ones who like to work in the garage! 😉

  9. Marty Walden
    August 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm (5 years ago)

    I love this! I took a similar organizer and used it to organize my earrings and bracelets by color. Yours looks way nicer! Great job and I’m featuring you as one of my Home{work} Wednesday favorites.

    • Jen
      August 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much Marty! 🙂

  10. Connie
    August 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm (5 years ago)

    Jen, I love this! I think I have a couple of these organizers that are holding craft supplies and I know my hubby has a really ratty one in the garage. Can’t wait to try this idea.

  11. Linda W
    September 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm (5 years ago)

    Love this project!! I’m going to keep an eye out for one of those….or maybe “borrow” the one in the cellar!

  12. Tonya
    September 6, 2013 at 11:12 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the inspiration I have been searching for to redo the exact same piece of junk….er I mean organizer I got at a yard sale!! My search is finally over! I love this!

  13. Melanie
    September 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm (5 years ago)

    Wow! Love this! Amazing how awesome it’s become!

  14. Carrie This Home
    November 27, 2013 at 7:26 pm (5 years ago)

    My father used to have one of these organizers in the basement and it came in super handy. Yours looks MUCH better though! I love what you did with this. I should keep my eye out for one of these at yard sales so I can do this project! Stopping by from Throwback Thursday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Carrie This Home recently posted…How To Cool Soup Fast!My Profile

  15. Sami
    November 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm (5 years ago)

    Wow! You are a miracle worker, that looks awesome!
    I love mod podge and french prints too. I could use the extra drawers for my girls’ hair ties, earrings, etc.
    Thanks for a great idea.
    Sami recently posted…Elf for Health and a New Upper Body Circuit WorkoutMy Profile

  16. jen allyson
    December 1, 2013 at 2:36 am (5 years ago)

    This looks great!!

  17. Deana
    December 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm (5 years ago)

    This would be perfect as a makeup organizer too! I can’t wait to get one and make this!

    • Jen
      December 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm (5 years ago)

      Great idea Deana- good luck with it!

  18. CTY
    March 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm (5 years ago)

    Love LOve LOVe LOVE IT!
    I wear many pins; I think I’ll make one of these with 12 drawers & separate the pins by month. Now if I can just get DH out of his garage long enough.
    Thank You.

  19. Sandi Nakoneczny
    March 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm (5 years ago)

    Love it, Love it! I’m also crazy about French decor and Love black and white together., Going to be on lookout for one and
    of course the paper. What brand is it?
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen
      March 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm (5 years ago)

      I’m sorry but I don’t know the brand- I don’t recall any kind of specific markings on it either.
      I’m sure you will find one – hopefully at a great price at a yard sale! 🙂

    • Jen
      July 8, 2014 at 10:58 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you so much Beth! 🙂

  20. Melissa
    July 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm (5 years ago)

    I see people using these all of the time in craft rooms but they look like they took it out of their garage. I could never use one of these in my walk through craft area. It has to stay funcational and appealing because every who walks in my house see’s it. Well now I am on a mission to find one of these draw thingings. I love what you did. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen
      July 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you Melissa- good luck with your mission! 😉

  21. Katt bailey
    January 16, 2015 at 8:08 am (4 years ago)

    WOW !!!

    I found one of these at my local Goodwill for $2.49. Mine has many smaller drawers. I have had in my garage for MONTHS. Now I know what to do with it!

  22. Cathie
    August 4, 2016 at 2:55 pm (3 years ago)

    I love this idea. I have one of these that I keep my jewelry parts in and hate the way it looks sitting on my work table. I want my area that I work to inspire me and not look like a work bench, even though it is, lol. Doing a makeover on mine like this would be such a great thing to do. Thank you for sharing.


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