Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Drawers to Dress Up the Studio

Since we moved to Aelfheim last fall, we've spent lots of time making this house a home.  Although we have gotten a lot done, we keep finding little things we can do to improve our space.  These clear plastic drawers used to have a home in a giant cabinet at our old house, but at Aelfheim, they ended up being used in my studio, and were one of the first things you would see when entering from the front door.  Not so nice.
This is the "before" view as you enter our front door.  See those nice plastic drawers? You can also see all the junk, i.e. art supplies etc. jumbled up inside of them. Not a great first impression.

The view from my art table when I turn around.  Pretty crap-tastic!

So Dan came up with a great plan to replace those ugly old plastic drawers with something much nicer.  I loved the idea, so we picked up two ClosetMaid Cubicals 3 cube organizers and 6 of their fabric cube shaped drawers and went to work.  
What's in my drawers?!  Holy cats, what a mess! Step one, organize and release!  I went though this mess and figured out what to keep, put it in a category, and what to pitch.

Next we built the two ClosetMaid pieces.  Now I have to tell you something really important here. ClosetMaid makes two lines of organisers, the Cubicals line will work with their fabric drawers, however... their Shelf Stackers line do not work with their fabric drawers, they look like they will, but they are about an inch too small. Yes, this was a lesson learned the hard way, one set had to be returned and the correct set purchased. We went with their 3 Cube Organizer.  We found two in a coffee color.  These are designed to be used horizontally or vertically, but they are designed to only stack in the horizontal position.  That cabinet that you see our ugly plastic drawers next to?  That's actually part of the house and can't be moved, so we needed to stack them vertically. 
Dan and I have built tons of these crazy boxed up furniture pieces in our day, we're like a well oiled machine working together.  Now to figure out a way to hack their design and make  the two pieces stack vertically.
Our homemade bamboo skewer peg tapped into place with a hammer.

Here's how we stacked them. We made 4 of our own pegs out of a bamboo skewer I found in the kitchen, they were the perfect diameter to make a tight fit.  Then, we put the top board onto the cubical that was going to be on the bottom of the stack and instead of using the screws to attach the board, we tapped the homemade pegs into the board as shown in the photo above. Then we built the second cubical and left the bottom board off. We stacked it on top of the other cubical lining up the pre-drilled holes with our homemade pegs and voila! We now had a 6 cube tower! I wouldn't stack these that high unless you have a nook like we did to put it in or at least a corner to add stability.  They also include a wall bracket which might be good to attach if you decide to try this little hack.  We didn't because it's pretty tight in that corner and clearly isn't going anywhere.

Now, I wanted some pretty labels for each fabric drawer so I wouldn't have to open each one to see what's inside.  I really wanted those fancy tags that look like luggage tags, heavy paper with a little metal strip around the outside. I've seen them in craft stores for use in scrap booking. But I had already spent more than my meager limit on this project, so I looked around to see what I had that I could make something with instead.
I found some pretty scrapbook paper and cut it to size, then folded it in half and glued both sides together so it would be thicker and two sided in case they ever flip.  
These are the only fancy scrapbook scissors I had at my house, I think my daughter Brittany left them here years ago...ummm...perfect!

Hole punched the top, threaded pretty green ribbon and tied it to the handle of the fabric drawer.

Then I used a cool font and printed labels for each drawer, aged them with some brown watercolor, and cut them to size.
I'm really happy with these, fancier than the tags I actually wanted, and they were free!

So now my studio has a nice upgrade! I have much more storage, I can find everything I need, and everyone that walks through doesn't have to look at all my junk in clear plastic drawers!
Didn't it turn out nice?! You can't even tell that it's two pieces that weren't meant to stack that way. It's really sturdy and visually a big improvement, not to mention all the extra storage!

Acrylic paint, I still have room for more!

Candle making supplies, a crafty witch's must-have!
Household tools, "I need a phillips head screwdriver!" Ha! I know right where that is! I added some empty tin cans so I don't have to dig to the bottom to find anything.

The new and improved view as you walk in the front door!  Oh so much better, that's a nice first impression!
And the view from my art table when I turn to stand up from my chair! 

I'm so much happier with this new storage solution! It's not a super expensive piece of furniture, but it really added function, class and personality to my studio and the adjoining library.  Sometimes being creative with what you can find and what you already have really pays off.

Brightest Blessings,


1 comment:

I love to read your feedback, please leave a note on my old wooden art table!