Easy Organizer Project: Cabinet Cards and Napkins

There was a nice little feature about my blog the other day on The Vintage Moth, a fantastic site for free vintage images, (thank you Abbie!) At the bottom of the post was an image of the back of an antique cabinet card (look around, she has more!) …and so my wheels began turning. That same day I was in an antique shop and one of my favorite dealers had a box of such photos. I picked up the box, turned it completely around backwards and began to thumb through the cards not by the photographs, but by looking at the fantastic 1800s graphic designs on the back. I bought 6 cards, scanned them into digital images and came up with an easy and inexpensive project for using their graphics.I found two square muslin dinner napkins at Kohls on sale for $.97 each.I laid out one, then the other on top scooted up some. It’s important to note that these pre-hemmed napkins don’t always line up evenly. I recommend you lay them out at the store to find a pair that mach up best before buying. I then folded the bottom piece up and over the top to create a section for sewing into pockets. I stitched along the side edges, across the center and up through the pocket area to create 4 pockets. (Stitching simulated in red as the stitching is nearly impossible to see in my photographs.)I reinforced the top stitched areas of the pockets with a zig-zag stitch in place. I flopped 4 of the card images and printed onto T-shirt transfer sheets as per the instructions. Cut out each card image and pressed one onto each pocket section.I peeled off the backing paper and hung the entire piece over the arm of my couch. For most all graphic design projects, I start in my living room with resource books, pens, and sticky-notes, from my my favorite chair in the corner, where I have access to my library as I sketch ideas. I now have an organizer that hangs over the arm of the couch within reach to hold my research supplies, reading glasses and more.Enjoy these beautiful free images for your own crafts!

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102 Responses to Easy Organizer Project: Cabinet Cards and Napkins

  1. #1 - Christine ~ JAZ Creations says:

    I absolutely Love the vintage images! Thank you so much for sharing them! I will let you know how I use them!

  2. #2 - QueenBe says:

    Thank you, Cathe!

  3. #3 - Lee W - The Way I See It says:

    LOVE this idea! I have a big collection of cabinet cards and love the backs too. Now I have something to do with them!!

  4. #4 - Jewell Hershey says:

    You have such good ideas…and good directions, too.

  5. #5 - mizdarlin says:

    My big living room chair is where i do all my work-what a great idea! Now, my crochet hooks, pens, and jewelry pliers will have a home (come January, when I have time to make something i'm not trying to sell)!
    Thanks so much…

  6. #6 - Apron Thrift Girl says:

    I just need to find my presser-foot which was misplaced in our move. I can't think of anything worse than losing that. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial.

  7. #7 - MARY BETH says:

    These are beautiful! I have never heard the term "cabinet cards" though…wondering where that comes from. I have lots of old photos, now I want to go look on the backs of them! Thanks once again for sharing!

  8. #8 - SharDon Exclusives says:

    Cathe, do you dream creating? You always have such wonderful ideas! Thank you for the lovely graphics. I am always so pleased to see what you are up to. Thank you for your generous spirit of sharing with us….
    p.s. check out the Santa that I posted this evening. He is so darling.

  9. #9 - SharDon Exclusives says:

    Cathe, do you dream creating? You always have such wonderful ideas! Thank you for the lovely graphics. I am always so pleased to see what you are up to. Thank you for your generous spirit of sharing with us….
    p.s. check out the Santa that I posted this evening. He is so darling.

  10. #10 - ArtSnark says:

    What a cute & clever idea! Really special

  11. #11 - Nadine says:

    I love it – thank you for sharing not only the pictures, but the ideas with us!


  12. #12 - debi says:

    I love it! What a creative and functional idea! tfs

  13. #13 - Kathy says:

    What a clever cookie you are. This is a wonderful idea and a great tutorial.

  14. #14 - La Table De Nana says:

    Wonderful and thank you..I still love my bag I made w/ your vegetables:)

  15. #15 - Connie says:

    Lady, I'm headin' out to Kohls tomorrow for napkins and then doing some roses graphics on the organizer! That is neat to hold my glasses and scissors, paperback, etc. when I'm just sitting around. Darling, chickee…

  16. #16 - Marsha's Mpressions says:

    Great idea and I love the images too!!

  17. #17 - eye_on_sparrow says:

    This is a lovely idea and I love the vintage images too.

  18. #18 - GypsyNurse says:


    These are ever so beautiful..and thank you for sharing the tutorial..although I doubt I could ever get even half way through!


  19. #19 - FILIGREE MOON says:

    What a treasure trove of ideas and images. Thank you so much! Your creativity is contant amazement! ~ Angela

  20. #20 - Hopemore Studio says:

    Cathe, I love this idea, I am such a big fan of the Vintage Moth as well.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog..you are my crafting hero…lol


  21. #21 - marysworkshop says:

    Those are such wonderful vintage images you shared with us again, Cathe. Many thanks!

  22. #22 - Kitty says:

    Cathe, that is the greatest project ever! I'm going to try to make one for my grandma's favorite chair! I am using one of your free blog gadgets ("don't stop here; click on older posts") on my soon to be released website, kitty:magazine! I just love your work…thanks!

  23. #23 - Queen of Dreamsz says:


    Oh, I love this organizer…I could use these all around the house..hehe..all kidding aside….it turned out just wonderful..thanks so much the tutorial on how you made it and for offering the images to us.

    Scatter Bliss…

  24. #24 - Cynthia K. says:

    Wow! I just discovered your blog and can't believe what I have been missing. Your creativity and imagination astound me – you have been blessed with an amazing gift! I don't want to miss a thing so I just signed up as a follower.

    Thanks for your generosity in sharing the great images…

    Cynthia K. (Beauty and Blessings)

  25. #25 - Tricia McWhorter says:

    What a nifty idea. I really loved how you gave such clear instructions with the photos.

  26. #26 - Julia - "Vintage with Laces" says:

    What an awesome idea and thank you very much for the images!

  27. #27 - Theresa @ 612Riverside says:

    What a great idea, your instructions are so easy to follow also…Thanks! Love your blog, Theresa

  28. #28 - My name is PJ. says:

    These are gorgeous and I never knew to look at the backs of old photo cards! Really great idea for an organizer!

  29. #29 - whyte says:

    You are so awesome and generous, and my also thank you for adding your name and logo with your shared graphics. I always try to give credit to the source when using shared works, but honestly forget where I find many of them, I've tried adding in the saved subject line, do you know how long that can get!! I'm so appreciative of you adding your tag in those images!! Thank you for all you share!!

  30. #30 - Julie Ann says:

    That is Awesome!!!! I wish I knew how to sew because we are so in need of one of these over the arm of the couch holders!

  31. #31 - Sam says:

    Wow, just loving ALL your stuff so much. Really nice, unusual, distinct and awesome. Keri


  32. #32 - SisterDG says:

    Beautiful and elegant – and possibly the coolest use of a linen napkin ever. 🙂 Thank you !

  33. #33 - FleaMarketTrixie says:

    great idea, and as always thanks so much for sharing with us 🙂

  34. #34 - casserole says:

    This is absolutely lovely!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  35. #35 - plo says:

    I don't know HOW you come up with the amazing things! I am curious as to the title of the design books next to said chair?

  36. #36 - Muddy Boot Dreams says:

    A wonderful and very creative use of a vintage graphic. Thanks for sharing.


  37. #37 - Artistic Accents by Darla says:

    Wonderful idea and so generous to share! Thanks!

  38. #38 - Cathe Holden says:

    Hi Jen, Those are a few of my logo resource books. The top two are Taschen Logo Design books volumes 1 and 2. The rest are all the LogoLounge books, volumes 1-5.

    Fun you would ask!

  39. #39 - Anna Lemons says:

    such a cute and easy project! I have some images of my own I'm going to try with this, though I'm going to have to tweak it a bit so it doesn't slide off the leather arms of my chair. wish me luck!

  40. #40 - Susan says:

    Love the idea and creative use of the vintage postcards! I'm also a graphic designer. My sewing machine is in the garage. I think I have to get it out! 🙂 Thanks for posting the scans of the postcards too.

  41. #41 - xashee's corner says:

    you are so clever! thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea! Have a great day! 🙂

  42. #42 - plo says:

    Thank you, it was me that asked…they look like divine inspiration to me!!! 🙂

  43. #43 - Tammy says:

    What a wonderful idea! I love the cards you picked up. The images are so pretty.

  44. #44 - 32˙North says:

    Very cool!

  45. #45 - Jennifer says:

    I really like the idea and the vintage images. Thanks so much. I wanted to let you know as I tried to download other info from the blog I was unable as I rec'd a message reading the bandwith was exceeded. I will check back
    I really liked the monograms too
    Thanks so much

  46. #46 - Roberta says:

    This is so cool…I love it. I'm gonna try making one for Christmas…you know make an arm chair organizer for filling out your cards while you sit down at night. I'll keep you posted, fondly, Roberta

  47. #47 - Abbie says:

    Hi Cathe!
    Thank you soooo much for the link to The Moth. It is greatly appreciated. Your ideas are always so fabulous! Thank you for sharing the gorgeous images images.

  48. #48 - Preserve Jewelry Studio says:

    Very cool idea. I wish I had more time in a day to experiment with these types of shared ideas.

  49. #49 - Claire says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  50. #50 - Robin Ennis Willson says:

    What a great idea, and how sweet of you to share your images. Thank you!

  51. #51 - KFM Gallery says:

    great idea! you could hang it on the wall too!

  52. #52 - luckygirlgifts says:

    What a fabulous idea.
    Thanks so much for the images. I think I might actually try and make this one.
    Enjoy your Wednesday.
    Cari b.

  53. #53 - Pfeiffer Photos says:

    Anybody want to sew up 2 of these for me? I know 2 people that would LOVE these for Christmas but I do not sew–so neat, Cathe, thanks! 🙂

  54. #54 - Sreekala says:

    Thanks a lot for the vintage designs

  55. #55 - Karen says:

    That is a very neat idea! I kinda giggled thinking, "she's got the remote!" I thought only the husband got the remote!

  56. #56 - Nancy says:

    I just stumbled upon your wonderful blog and I'm so inspired! The organizer project is brilliant. Thank you for sharing the cabinet card images, I can't wait to use them.

  57. #57 - Household 6 says:

    You are so clever!!

  58. #58 - melissa deakin says:

    i love this so much.
    you just never cease to amaze me.

  59. #59 - linda says:

    hi cathe, you have a fabulous blog and surprise!! we are practically living next door to each other, perhaps on the opposite sides of the old river?? anyway, I tried to find the place with the walking cow back in the depths of your blog so that I could comment there although you might never have seen it … I was wondering if I might use it in my sidebar on a blog I want to start? I know you say it's fine but I wanted to make sure anyway. The blog is not yet open for tickets but I am getting there slowly… if it's not something you want, just drop me a note at my usual place in blogland …

    I could learn so much just hanging around here for a few years but alas, my sewing machine blew up years ago because of severe overuse and I have never sewn a stitch again 🙂 guess that says something about being "burned out" on sewing…


  60. #60 - Amie @ cHartReUsE VinTage~ says:

    Thanks for always sharing the most clever ideas & graphics. I love your style!

  61. #61 - Cameron's Mommy says:

    You just gave me an awesome idea for Christmas for the MIL! She collects Mexican folk art and does all of her jobs on the couch! How cool would it be to make one of these using images from the Dia De Los Muertos Bingo Card game???? PERFECTO!!!!

  62. #62 - {Bellamere Cottage} says:

    Such a clever idea….and soooo cute too! Thanks so much for sharing the images. They're fabulous.

    Warm blessings,

  63. #63 - Paula says:

    What a neat project Cathe! Who couldn't use one of those? Thanks for sharing:)

  64. #64 - Tonje says:

    That is such a great idea!! And it turned out so beautiful!!Thank you sooo much for sharing it with us!

  65. #65 - Miss N says:

    Oh dear Cathe, you KILL me with your creativity! Who would have EVER thought of this? I collect cabinet cards, now look what I can do! Thank you as always for sharing your creativity!

  66. #66 - Celia says:

    Brilliant idea and lovely look!

  67. #67 - Rook No. 17 says:

    What a wonderful and creative use for those old cabinet cards ~ everything was so artfully done back in those days! I'm looking forward to visiting the Vintage Moth. Thanks for the tip, and thanks for sharing all your amazing images!

  68. #68 - skimac2002 says:

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog and look forward to your posts. And thanks for you generosity in sharing your ideas and the awesome graphics!

  69. #69 - Evermore Organics says:

    This is a great project, and it came out so beautifully! Thanks for posting.

  70. #70 - QueenBee says:

    I have been looking everywhere for good instructions for an organizer project for my bedside. Thank you so much for sharing.

  71. #71 - Liz@Violet Posy says:

    Gorgeous! I really love it 🙂

  72. #72 - Centsational Girl says:

    Well darlin, isn't that just the best idea ever ? I've always wanted to try the T-shirt transfer and now I'm inspired ! Want to make pillows with me for Christmas ? See you Friday !


  73. #73 - Marie Françoise says:

    Merci pour ces jolies images
    Thanks for these beautiful cards

    Marie Françoise
    South of France

  74. #74 - Brodeuse92 says:

    Merci beaucoup!!

  75. #75 - Danaou says:

    quelle bonne idée ! Merci !
    Bizzzzes de l'Abeille du Jardinoux !

  76. #76 - Khofra says:

    Thank you very much for these nice images. I love old (embroidered)post cards and photos. It is such a good idea to use the back.

  77. #77 - MARY says:

    How lovely ! Thanks a lot for this great idea !

  78. #78 - irma says:

    Thank you for these nice images!

  79. #79 - lorhen82 says:

    What a beautiful project! Thanks for the cabinet cards! ~Lori

  80. #80 - MariesImages says:


  81. #81 - linnie-818 says:

    Very. very nice images. And a great idea too! Thank you so much for sharing!

  82. #82 - Spyder says:

    Love the imges and what a brilliant idea, thank you for sharing

  83. #83 - Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com says:

    Hey Cathe! Love this project, and linked to it from Dollar Store Crafts today http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2009/12/organizer/

  84. #84 - Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com says:

    Hey Cathe! Love this project, and linked to it from Dollar Store Crafts today http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2009/12/organizer/

  85. #85 - Jana says:

    Thank you so much. Such a clever project. And beautiful to boot.

  86. #86 - Marcela says:

    Love this idea!!!!

  87. #87 - Joyful Grandma says:

    Such a wonderful idea. Love it!

  88. #88 - Amy {The Red Chair Blog} says:

    Just found you via Tip Nut. What a great project! Thanks for sharing the vintage images as well!
    -Amy at the Red Chair Blog

  89. #89 - Lia says:

    Found you via Tipnut.
    Fantastic thanks for showing us how to do it.
    It's fabulous!!!

  90. #90 - Eva says:

    Thanks for the lovely instructions. 🙂

    I've also scanned a lot of period things including magazines, postcards, and photos. http://www.digitalchangeling.com/sewing/periodResources/index.html

  91. #91 - Halo Hill says:

    What an awesome idea, Cathe! As soon as I get a sewing machine, this is the first thing I am trying!! Thank you!


  92. #92 - Galore says:

    thank you, thank you, and thank you again!

  93. #93 - redplaid3 says:

    This is a great idea and thanks for sharing the links and the images.

    P.S. I never thought about using the backs.

  94. #94 - Kathy says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful creativity with all.

  95. #95 - Annie Rose says:

    I know that this is an old project but I had it in the back of my head for some time. Finally I got around to making one for my mother to hold her glasses, kindle and remote…She absolutely LOVED it! I then had to make one for my teenage son with a warhammer theme so he could put his book by his bed. They must be addictive because I swear the whole family wants one now!

  96. #96 - Glenda says:

    This is so beautiful. I love your creative pocket pictures. Brings the whole project to life.

  97. #97 - Rupa says:

    Your creativity amazes me! What a gorgeous and functional piece of art you have created. I absolutely love the vintage feel and only you could come up with these ideas! The day I found your blog was truly one of the most luckiest I tell you, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day and on the way home from work etc. Thanks for sharing and God Bless.

  98. #98 - Leanna says:

    Wow! I just found your website on Pinterest. I love to sew and make quilted projects and I can’t wait to incorporate some of these into my projects. Thank you so much for sharing, people like you make the world a more beautifule place.

  99. #99 - Diane Smith says:

    What size are your napkins?

  100. #100 - Pam says:

    where am I able to get these images so I can print them for my kitchen ornaments??

  101. #101 - Sue says:

    Thanks so much Cathe for the great free printables you offer. Love them all!

  102. #102 - Tora says:

    Thank you for these amazing images