Thursday, September 1

Operation Organization - PANTRY PALOOZA!

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Remember when Shelley Smith
turned the world on it's ear with her
fabulous pantry makeover?

Shelly proved that even a small pantry
can be a decorative feature
in your home.

Well, I've been inspired ever since & 
I finally took on my own project.
I'm calling it PANTRY PALOOZA!
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. 
Let's go back to what my poor pantry 
looked like before . . . 

First I emptied everything out.
What a scary mess!
{Some things that I seldom used were moved to my 
food storage closet. I'll talk about that in my next post.}
My shelves were quite dirty & beat up,
so I cleaned & painted them. 
I used a professional oil-based paint.
I have a tip about using oil-based paint . . . 
Ha ha!
It is stinky & messy, but it sure does
give you a hard-as-a-rock finish.
SOO much better already.
I was tempted to leave it like this -
just clean, simple, & white.

But I decided to 
add a decorative feature on the "focal wall".

The blogosphere has been buzzing with
talk of the new Martha Stewart stencils,
so I thought I'd give them a try.
I got mine at Michael's crafts.
IMPORTANT: These stencils are made from
a thin plastic & they will warp if left in your hot car.
Don't ask me how I know ; )
BTW, I got the idea to make "chalkboard labels"
out of vinyl from the Decor Chick.

I experimented a bit on poster board  & then 
propped it up in the back of the pantry to get 
some idea of the color & pattern I wanted to use . . . 

As I mentioned earlier,
I used an oil based paint -which takes days to cure.
By the time I could stencil over it,
I couldn't bear to use oil paint & stink my home up again.
Everything I read on the internet said 
you can't put latex over oil.
Guess what, I'm a free spirit, 
so I did it anyway!

Another fun way to decorate your pantry
is found at Amber Lane Living.
Danielle mod podged pretty fabric
onto contact paper. Brilliant!

Here's a close-up of my stencil work . . .
Now for the FUN part!
It took me about six trips to Ikea to get what I needed. 
Note to self: just buy more than you think you'll need!
I put all the food I could into nifty containers.
The uniformity makes everything feel orderly.

Cooking instructions for some things are taped
to the inside of the lids.

POST SCRIPT -  I have gotten a few questions about these large jars, below. Apparently Ikea has discontinued this large size.  :{
Walmart does carry some big glass jars, though. 
Here's a link if you want to check it out.
{Apparently, I'm a fan of vinegar.}

I also have lots of spice packets 
& Jello flavors.
{I do live in the Jello capitol of the world!}
These went in these cute tin containers . . . 
I won this marvelous burlap sack from Rose Petals & Rust
{Thank you Stefanie}.
I'm going to do something great with it,
but for now it looks pretty cute with my potatoes in it.
Shelley also taught me that you don't have to keep
your cereal in those big bulky boxes.
This takes up so much less space & it's prettier.
{My wire baskets are from the thrift store- SCORE!} 
I just love these pretty white baskets from Ikea
to hide things in.
I keep re-usable shopping bags, extra paper goods, etc. in them.

Since my family constantly leaves our pantry
doors open, I'm enjoying how pretty it looks now.

AND it's so much easier to find everything.
I feel like a new woman.

{CLICK HERE} to see the follow-up post about how much I like my pantry two years later!