Making Our Bills Look Pretty: The Office Filing System

Ah, the office. It’s nearing completion friends, thanks for your patience. One of the major things I’ve been trying to cross of the list is a way to organize our bills/paperwork that we need to get to on a regular basis. Neither of the two desks (my husband and I each have our own) have any storage to speak of, other than a skinny long drawer. I didn’t know exactly WHAT I wanted, just that I wanted something that wouldn’t be an eyesore.

Lo and behold, on a recent trip to Target, I spotted these super attractive wooden crates in the office section of the store, and THEY WERE MADE FOR FILES!!!

Oh happy day.

The wheels were in motion. Since I’m uhhhh-bsessed with shopping our home, I had an idea.

You might remember long ago when I took a bookcase from my daughter’s room and used it as an entry table? Wish I could link that post up for you, but it appears that one disappeared with the Great Blog Hack of January 2014. 🙁

ANYwho…I ended up returning it to my daughter’s room and going back to a bench after a while.

Welp, poor kid, I’ve taken it again. The size is just right for the room.

Good thing this is totally normal to my kids, they don’t bat an eye when things get moved around, God love ’em. And don’t worry about her, she’s got plenty of furniture in her room still.;)

The bookcase has two shelves that I thought could house 2 of these crates a piece, for a total of 4 file crates. Enough to store all our important stuff of the moment.

But they were a little plain…


(Please ignore the rest of the bookcase – nothing is finished yet)

The wheels started turning again…

I hit the Dollar Tree. Picked up four silver frames. Headed home and could wait to get started to see if my vision would pan out.


You see there, I grabbed my chalkboard spray paint, and some white craft paint. I ended up nixing the white craft paint when I noticed I still had some white spray paint in my stash. See? Pays to be a spray paint hoarder, I’m telling you.

Took the inserts out and sprayed them with the chalkboard paint…


A couple coats will do – just until you can’t see through them anymore.

I sprayed the silver frames white – again, just a couple coats is enough.


The next day, I hot glued the chalkboard glass inserts inside the frames. I used PLENTY so these guys aren’t going ANYWHERE.


I let the chalkboards hang out 24 hours before I wrote on them, as the can tells me to do. Such a rule follower;) Then I “primed” the chalkboard surface by taking a piece of chalk sideways and drawing all over the surface before writing on it. I believe the can states to do that as well.

Once it was ready to go, I freehanded a stencil font as best I could since I didn’t have one, and wrote the letters: A-F, G-M, N-S, T-Z.  Not only is this gonna look good, we MIGHT just get organized while we’re at it! Woo-hooooo!

Last step was to attach these puppies onto the crates.

It got tricky because I had to make sure these frames were even. I measured the distance from the top (2.2 in) and the sides (3.5 in), and marked each corner with pencil. That way I could pick up the frame to apply super glue to the back without losing the spot where it should go.

This will all make sense once you see what the finished product is…so here it is!




I’m digging the contrast. Always love a chalkboard too!



So that’s how I solved the filing system dilemma.  I like! Who knows, maybe we’ll actually enjoy doing bills when it’s this pretty?!

Or maybe not…




  1. I love this!!!

  2. How do you plan to keep the wooden crates from scuffing up your pretty white shelves?

  3. Love it! I have a feeling your bookcase has found a permanent home! (well, at least for the next 6 months!) btw, love the Target file cabinets! The frames really finish them off – well done.

  4. How much were the crates, and will the glass ever break?

  5. Michelle says:

    We all learned to cure a blackboard at Dogwood

  6. Rebecca says:

    That looks amazing. Is there nothing a chalk board can’t do?

  7. Heather says:

    I do love the white/wood contrast.

  8. Awesome job! Very clear directions, too!

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