No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Paint-Can Cubbies

Don't let your desktop disappear under piles of paperwork. Inexpensive, unused cans can be purchased at paint stores; lined up on a shelf and anchored in place with Velcro, they become organizing cubbyholes with a modern flair. Assign cans as storage spaces for bills, catalogs, and personal mail, or one for each member of the family. Label the shelf beneath to make sorting easy.




  • Paint cans, without handles
  • Self-adhesive Velcro strips
  • Scissors
  • Labels


  1. Step 1

    Line up as many cans as will fit on the shelf. Working from one end of the row, attach them one by one: Cut Velcro strips slightly shorter than the length of the cans.

  2. Step 2

    Peel backing from one side and apply strip to a can; remove backing from other side and affix to shelf in desired spot. Center and adhere labels to front edge of shelf beneath cans.

Martha Stewart Living, May 2003



Reviews (11)

  • agoaye 13 Apr, 2015

    Hi ! I've pin your idea in my blog (whith your link of course), I hope you'll enjoy it !

  • jen42c 2 May, 2013

    Martha, please tell us where you purchased the shelf. I have shopped everywhere in my area (Cleveland, OH) and have not been able to find anything like it! I have scoured the internet! HELP!!

  • jen42c 9 Apr, 2013

    I would love to make this, but am having a very difficult time finding a shelf like this. Any siggestions?

  • blondebobbi 17 Sep, 2010

    You can also buy thin cookie tins from CVS, I think they are called "Absolutely Devine" round pirouette cookies. I think those would work well.

  • Anarie 22 Feb, 2010

    There are several brands of ground coffee that come in cans with rims like these. Even if you don't use the coffee, on sale, the can of coffee costs less than the empty can from a craft or home supply store!

  • gmcg1 19 Jun, 2009

    Clear acrylic cans can also be purchased at craft stores, often on sale!

  • rachaelk7 23 Jan, 2009

    For those of us with formula fed babies - empty cans of formula would probably work too - just cover with pretty paper.

  • americanduckyDOTcom 4 Sep, 2008

    She means Velcro the top of can to the bottom of the shelf. (underneath) so cans do not waste shelf space.

  • americanduckyDOTcom 4 Sep, 2008

    She means Velcro the top of can to the bottom of the shelf. (underneath) so cans do not waste shelf space.

  • StarLucy 26 Aug, 2008

    Hi comment 1 , I just dont get it? canyou please explain ..thanks!

  • craftgasm 11 Jun, 2008

    If you're storing light items in the cans, you could hang them upside down from a shelf, too, and save some space.