Turning a Magazine Rack into a File Organizer / File Tote

Turning a Magazine Rack into a File Organizer / File Tote

One of my craft room organization conundrums is stencil storage – how to organize and store all my vinyl stencils that accumulate over time. Finally, I had an upcycling idea (or maybe epiphany) – what if I upcycled a magazine rack / magazine holder into a file organizer or file tote? And use file folders to hold my smaller craft stencils?

And lo and behold, I already had a magazine rack in my garage. I had thrifted this magazine holder a couple of years ago – where it collected dust the entire time.

Magazine rack or magazine holder at thrift store to be upcycled into file organizer for vinyl stencils

The magazine rack was already beat up when I bought it- with flaking veneer, missing knobs, and other assorted ailments. And two years of garage life hadn’t done it much good, either- so it was high time I brought it out from the shadows. My plan? To repurpose it into a file organizer or file tote, specifically to keep most of my vinyl stencils flat and organized!

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Transforming a Magazine Rack into a File Organizer or File Tote

First things first- I had to clean it up and give it a “dust-scrubbing”…because the dust had seemingly fused with the wood. How does that even happen? Once it was relatively clean, I then set up my spray paint station, grabbed a can of white paint, and gave it a fresh makeover.

Spray painting a magazine holder or magazine rack for repurposing into file tote or file organizer

I gave the magazine holder two coats of paint over the course of a day, when the unthinkable happened. A bird had pooped on my magazine rack!

Bird poop on magazine rack that was getting painted in back yard

I mean, COME ON! On fresh white paint, no less. Thank goodness for disinfectant and yet another coat of paint!

Things can only go up from here- so let’s get back to it. Sanitized and re-painted, I could now focus on the two pressed cane panels. I had three options: (1) leave it as is, (2) cross stitch on it with yarn, or (3) paint it a different color. I decided to go with Door #3 and choose a dark metallic silver to make the cane kinda-sorta look like a metal grate!

First, I started using a regular paint brush, but quickly realized that one of my stencil brushes was a MUCH better choice! Swirling and stippling gave the cane a slightly weathered, roughed up industrial look- something I was very happy with.

Giving magazine holder a makeover with industrial style to become file organizer for vinyl stencils

And when the makeover of my magazine rack was done:

Industrial decor makeover of magazine rack to become file organizer or file tote for craft stencils

Next, I focused on how I would use it as a file organizer / file tote for my vinyl stencils. I had purchased some really cool tree-free folders for my craft stencils, and found four older legal-sized hanging folders at the thrift.

File folders to go inside magazine holder or magazine rack to become stencil storage for craft stencils

Of course, not ALL of my vinyl stencils would fit in the file folders, but the majority of them could! Stencil storage has plagued me for a while now…how to keep them flat and organized without taking up a ton of room.

Stencil storage in file folders for magazine rack that is now file organizer or file tote

File Organizer for Vinyl Stencils from a Magazine Rack

After gathering my vinyl stencils into ‘like’ categories, I made some simple labels, fixed them to the file folders, and plopped everything in my magazine rack turned file organizer!

The hanging folders were simply the perfect length for the magazine holder. I also used a block of wood in the center to push the folders flat, so that they stand up straight.

Magazine Rack or Magazine holder upcycled into file organizer for vinyl stencils or craft stencils

My file organizer really is perfect for stencil storage! My craft stencils / vinyl stencils are flat and orderly – what more could I ask for?

But a file tote like this (from a magazine rack) has all kinds of organization possibilities. I could see this used for scrapbook paper or card stock in a craft room…or organizing recipe pages from magazines, etc.

Upcycling a magazine rack into file organizer or file tote for vinyl stencils and stencil storage

I LOVE it!! And now I don’t have to worry about those pesky craft stencils getting bent or lost.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for craft room storage, then you’ll love this paint brush holder, as well!

Utensil caddy upcycled into paint brush older and other craft storage ideas using thrifted finds and vinyl stencils

Craft on!

S

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Comments

  1. Beverly Lovegrove says

    I love it! Well done! (I snickered when I read the bird poop part…..I’ve had some close calls with the birds and my painting projects, luckily for me, their aim was a bit off….)

    Looking forward to the second Wednesday of every month, to see all the creations!

  2. Brilliant repurpose! Love how it turned out, and how you did the cane panels to look like metal. I have a wooden magazine rack that I’ve been holding on to. I was wanting to use it for storing my cookie sheets, but I really don’t have a place for that. But a portable filing rack I could use. I don’t have very many stencils so I will use it for important papers that we want easy access too.

  3. I see those ugly magazine holders at the thrift store ALL THE TIME and never once thought to make one into a file folder holder. Great idea!

  4. Great idea!! Love it, pinned it!!
    Debbie

  5. I love this makeover, this would be perfect in my kitchen, where all the “stuff” seems to pile up!

  6. Sandra Steele says

    This is a brilliant idea! I have struggled with storing my stencils now for the last two years since I have accumulated so many. I LOVE stencils and use them often and never found a good option to store them other than flat in a drawer which caused me issues finding the one I need since I had to go through the pile to get at it. I never thought about doing this! Thank you so much for sharing this idea, now I am going to keep an eye out for an old magazine rack at the thrift stores! Stencil organization will soon be mine!

  7. Where do you get your stencils?

  8. Such a smart organization idea! Love the crisp white with the metallic pop!

  9. What a great project! I love how it turned out…and so useful, too! I just happen to have one waiting for a makeover. Thanks for sharing! Pinning!

  10. Now this is a fantastic idea. So much better than my old boxful of stencils. This will be going on my must make list.

  11. Sarah,

    Welcome to the team! We’re so happy to have you on board.
    I love how you transformed your magazine rack into a stencil storage rack. Super cute!

    gail
    ps pinning!

  12. Very smart idea for storing stencils and it looks pretty too! Pinned to my Stencil Tips board

  13. That is very, very clever! And congrats on joining the Thrift Store Decor team! Well deserved.

  14. Sadie, First of all….welcome to our little group! So happy to have you with us on our thrifty journey. I have a rack very similar to this. I never thought to put file folders in it! Genius! So going to do for my stencils and the overheads that I make for tracing. XO – Christy

  15. This is a great idea! I have a couple different magazine racks hanging around & this is a good use for them. My small stencils are currently in several different binders, but a magazine rack would be a good place to store them. 🙂

  16. Great idea, Sarah! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm–pinned!

  17. Those magazine racks are definitely prolific at the thrift stores, and you are making great use of it now! Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the best use for these, but you did a good one!

  18. Fabulous idea!!! I have a magazine rack waiting to hold my stencils!

  19. This is the kind of project I enjoy the most and one of the reasons I adore going to yard sales and thrifts. Instead of just buying something to solve a problem and paying top dollar, repurposing someone’s cast off into something unique through creativity is what interests me. Creative reuse as usual!

  20. acraftymix says

    That so works for me Sarah and I know we have something similar gathering dust somewhere in the garage. I guess I’m going have to get my dust bunny suit on and haul her out of there real soon

  21. I love this, Sarah! I’ve always struggled with stencil storage too! Guess I’ll be heading to the garage to find one of those magazine racks;)

  22. Peg MacDougall says

    another great re-purpose, will use mine for files. thank you <3

  23. Oh how I would love to walk the floors of several thrift stores with you! The “special vision” your eyeballs have never fails to amaze me! Looks great!
    Theresa

  24. Sara Welms says

    Where did you find the matching knobs? I have the same rack with a missing knob but cant find any that fit

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Check a few craft stores with a decent wood section – AC Moore and Hobby Lobby (neither of which I shop at a lot, ironically) both sell little bags of wooden bits. I can’t remember which one I saw little knobs at.

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