13 Ways To Organize A Workroom WIth Vintage {And Thrifted} Finds


Looking through the photos for my article about updating and refreshing my workroom, I realized that I used many of my favorite vintage finds to organize all the little things that are a part of most offices and studios. Most of the things I now use as containers were purchased super-cheap at thrift stores and yard sales or were given to me by people who know I appreciate old things.

By the way, here’s a tip: if you like vintage things, get the word out to your family and friends- it’s the best way to make sure things pass your way first before heading to the thrift store! Most of my favorite dishes, furniture and accessories were given to me…usually after I’d go on and on about how much I like old things.

13 Ways To Organize With Vintage And Thrifted Finds

1. The bulletin board above was created by edging a store-bought cork board with salvaged molding.

2. It holds push-pins made from vintage buttons and costume jewelry, which I LOVE.

3. A vintage cigar box becomes a card hold holder by drilling a hole in the top to hold a great old cabinet knob- leave as is or tie a label on the knob like I did.

4. A rustic basket holds scrap fabric balls…for the day I finally make that rag rug.

5. The photo holder on the right is my newest thrift-store find- only $2 and it holds all of the little note papers that I used to have stuck all over the place. I love, love, love this new use for an item I never thought I’d need (and the sweet tiles behind it were made for me one mother’s day day…sniff).

6. An old, slightly tarnished silver tray corrals Post-It’s and my glasses (oh yes, dear people, reading glasses happen to most of us at some point- sigh)…

7. Plus a vintage white pot I use to hold small scissors, pens, pencils and other crafty tools.

8. In the background you can see more thrift-store/vintage pots to hold craft items (the sweet little green pot that holds my business cards, though, was made by my daughter). The longer ones are particularly good for small rulers, bags of needles, boxes of sewing gadgets, and such.


9. Vintage canning jars (remember when I got mine?) are perfect for holding paint brushes. Can you tell I love buying white and green pots to use for other things besides plants?

10. More canning jars– this time old 1/2-pint sized jars on little shelves that organize buttons. With a separate color in each jar, they add a pop of color against the walls.

11. Old gym lockers (which I “rescued” when a former church was upgrading to regular storage shelves- score!) hold ribbon and fabric on top of the bookshelves.

12. Pint-size vintage jars hold my collection of shell and vintage buttons.

13. Large, quart and gallon size jars hold pieces of lace, costume jewelry, and sewing supplies like zipper and roman shade tape.

Oh- you may be wondering about all the zinc caps- they did not come with the jars I was given, but once I realized how old the jars were (and that I’d be using them for storage and not canning), I started looking for some. I found a lot of 30 for $24 on Ebay (which at less than a dollar each was a great deal!)- and I think the lids perfectly compliment the jars in their capacity as storage containers- and decorating accessories.

So now I’d love to know- what are some of your favorite things to reuse as storage containers or for organizing?


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  1. says

    I like using old canning jars, too. I have buttons, wooden spools, etc. in some with glass lids and wire bales. I have other sewing/crafting supplies in a collection of tins and baskets and some old fashioned (looking) glass storage jars with threads and lace. I collect too many things, and hubby wants them to have a purpose, so I store stuff in them! ;~P And I can look at them whenever I want!

  2. says

    I love your use of canning jars. I use them for fabric scraps, ribbon, zippers, clothespins…pretty much anything that fits in them!

  3. says

    Baskets! I find baskets at thrifts and garage sales, and I love to use them, especially the square ones. They’re great on a coffee table for remotes and odds and ends. I use them in the office for larger crafting items. And I decorate them with the ribbon I’m always buying because it’s so cute…but I was never sure what to do with it!

  4. Teri says

    I’m on board! Jars, little dishes and trays are things I always look for at thrift and antique stores, and they’re usually affordable even on a tight budget. I abide by the $5 rule for most purchases, but for a few jars, you can often make out even cheaper than that! Some of my favorites are not vintage, but are tall canisters that used to hold nice Scotch whiskey bottles. They’re great for tall crafty things like rulers and knitting needles. Thanks for your tips; I really dig your style!

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