Repurposing an Art Caddy

November already? Time seems to pass in ways that defy human perception.

I haven’t had much opportunity to draw or paint lately, but over the last few weeks, my art space has been another kind of project zone. Project #1: the annual or semi-annual organization overhaul, which always takes the better part of a week. During this, I emptied an art supply caddy–one of many that friends & family bestowed on me as a wee bairn, filled with bright colored pencils, paints, and pastels, and the obligatory small metal pencil sharpener. Rather than chuck the caddy, I thought I’d convert it into artwork storage (project #2). All it would take was adding 4 panels to prevent papers from sliding.

“All it would take” — ha. Na bi gòrach. (Scottish Gaelic for “Don’t be silly/stupid.”) Of course it took more than that. DIYers, let’s get ready to roll.

1) Remove black plastic art supply holders/lining. (Please excuse any funny-looking images; recently some blog images have started to appear stretched while others do not. Not sure why WordPress is displaying them differently.)

2) Remove or smooth as much of the hard glue that held liners in place. This involved a razor blade, flying glue chips, sandpaper, and safety goggles.

3) Cut fabric rectangles to line the box.

4) Glue fabric to interior of box.

5) Cut used mat board for panels.

6) Glue panels to box — the trickiest part (getting them to stick and to keep them from falling down).

Books, old awards, wood, and old mat board were all called into service to keep the panels from falling while the glue dried.

All done? Nope. I had to reglue the rightmost panel so that papers wouldn’t fall to the center when the caddy closed. Then it was done. Whoo hoo!

Here’s how it closes. Isn’t expanding storage great?

Presently it is only storing air because I am in the midst of project #3: sorting & digitizing hundreds of drawings from middle school, high school & college (plus some more recent things). This weekend alone, I’ve recycled 2 piles of dog-eared, battered, & other sketches I don’t feel inspired to keep. Apparently an artist’s work is never done, even when not making art.

Maybe the next post will be an artistic yearbook/blast from the past. ‘Til then, thanks as always for reading.

4 thoughts on “Repurposing an Art Caddy

  1. Jon Bergeson says:

    Hi Genevieve,
    It’s great to hear from you and read about and see what you have been / are doing.

    Your new storage cabinet looks great. Hope it works well and lasts a long time!

    Your re-organization project looks like more fun than mine has been, also still in progress. Fall cleanup, including getting rid of some things no longer needed or useful. Move easily moveable furniture and other large items to clean, vacuum and freshen up carpeted rooms with a water-essential oil spray.

    Clean / mop vinyl floors, after moving out everything moveable except the range and refrigerator.

    Original Pine Sol does a great job. It even acts as a decongestant though probably not an intended use.

    I wish you well with sorting and digitizing your older artwork!

    Lots of love,


    • Genevieve says:

      I think if I stick to papers only, it will do well. Small canvas board or hardboard paintings might knock the panels. Happy cleaning on your end.

  2. Evelyn Bicknese says:

    Congratulations on a task well done!
    We must all have some inspiration for order these days. I have donated four carloads, trunk, back seat and passenger seat loaded with goodies to donation centers in the last few months. What a good feeling to have the storage area, closets and garage looking so much better, and hoping someone else may find something useful. My art room is ready to use…now time for just the right time and inspiration.

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