I am going cheap, but stylish to manage papers, magazines and reference books in my studio. As much as I want to fill up my open shelves with pretty things only, I need a few functional things up there too. Thankfully you can always pretty up the most functional of items.


I scored this tiered wooden paper tray at the thrift store for less than $2. It was from Ikea. I gave it a quick and free makeover…the best kind in my book. I gave the trays two coats of Early American stain (which I keep on hand). This color is perfect for giving a nice warm glow to the wood.


To finish the paper trays off in style, I dressed up the labels. I learned this trick from Jen of I Heart Organizing, who puts washi tape on file folders before labeling. I took the white labels out of my paper trays and wrapped them with teal striped washi tape. As soon as I get clear labels for my p-touch, I will be able to label the trays and the pretty washi tape will show through.


My other storage challenge in the studio is magazines and reference books. I have amassed quite a few and want to keep them handy, but not have to see them. I opted to hide them in plain sight inside mesh magazine holders.

These teal mesh magazine holders were dollar spot finds at Target and used to live in my laundry room. I love the teal color in the studio with the dark blue walls.

I thought the mesh made these look a little too college dorm for me, so I dressed them up with brass label holders. I found self adhesive brass label holders from Martha Stewart’s office line at Staples. It was a simple peel and stick operation to give these magazine holders a more upscale look.


These three magazine holders will hold all my reference books and magazines. I am a fan of pretty books on display, but when they aren’t so pretty I like them hidden away. To keep my not so pretty reference books hidden in plain sight, I nestled them in the magazine holders. I left the spine of the books facing out the open end of the holder. This way when they are turned around on the shelf, you only see the white pages through the mesh. It is a nice clean look. When I pull a magazine holder down I can easily see what all the books are.



I plan to group the books by type, like art, design, and home improvement. I will pop labels in the brass label holders on the front.  Maybe I will throw in a little washi tape for good measure :)

It is so fun to work on the little details in my studio.  I feel like it has been a long road to get to this point.  Now, I am trying to savor every little detail to make my space truly me.

4 Responses to Stylish Paper and Magazine Storage

  1. Great ideas! I especially love how you added the Martha Stewart Labels to the mesh magazine holders. It’s crazy how one little touch like that can take them from “dollar spot find” to “studio ready”!

  2. Wonderful DIY ideas. Will have to pin these for future reference.

  3. Renae says:

    Very, very cute and inspiring! I manage a non-profit from my home office and while it’s cute, it doesn’t have cute function to it. I’ll have to see what I can come up with here. We don’t live within 500 miles of an Ikea I’m afraid!! :) Thanks for the daily inspiration!

  4. Great idea adding those label tags to the magazine files. Your studio is really shaping up!

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