Last month, in observance of Earth Day, Tia's school requested the students do a "Going Green" Project - to create something new and useful from materials that would otherwise be considered junk. Basically, turn trash into treasure. I like projects like these because they are rather thrifty and there are plenty of ideas floating around on the internet like the jeweled plant markers I made from wire hangers and can tops.
The same blog where I found the instructions for the plant markers also had a fantastic outdoor candle lantern made with an old paint stick (or broom stick) and a tuna can! Tia wanted to make that, but we didn't quite have all the materials (mainly just an available stick). Not only that, but transporting it to school and keeping it upright throughout the day posed a bit of a problem. The lantern is still on my to-do list though.
We decided instead to create yet another project I came across and pinned just for this school assignment. The idea originally can from an HGTV post called Clever Organizers: Can The Clutter. Multiple empty soup or veggie cans have heavy duty magnets attached to their backs and are labeled to hold all sorts of things - crayons, pencils, markers, etc. A cookie sheet (or some other piece of metal) is mounted to the wall and the magnets keep the cans stored in place.
I like this idea because the cans can be filled and stored out of the way, but when you have a project to do, you can just grab the can of supplies you need and keep it near your work surface.
Tia decided to use different can sizes from the small tomato sauce cans on up to the large family sized soup cans. The HGTV project used blank cans (no paint or anything) but we decided to use fabric scraps and ribbon (mod podged to the surface) to cover the rather rustic appearance of the plain cans.
One can had sharp a edge (from the tab-top opening) so we overlapped the fabric to cover the sharp edge, glued it and held it in place with binder clips until the glue dried.
Then we labeled each can with what we thought would go into them and mod podged over the label.
We glued the magnets to the backs of the cans. (We used E-6000 silicone glue but hot glue may work, too. We also used heavy-duty magnets. Anything less wasn't enough to hold up a can full of pencils.)
In the large cans, we stored scissors and rulers. In the smallest cans, we stored erasers and crayons. The remaining cans are for pencils, colored pencils, markers and dry erase markers. We can even add more cans as we need them!
Tia took them to school displayed on a cookie sheet, but I'm thinking a large sheet metal section of wall would be great in a craft room - and the extra wall space not being used to hold your supplies like this can be used to display artwork or fabric swatches, paint color chips and "idea boards".