I am about to reveal to you two of my pet peeves. They are odd, but hey, we're dealing with Odd Brain, remember? The first is bifold doors. I know that the concept behind them is to save space because they can be opened and closed in a smaller area than a normal door, but I've never encountered a bifold door in my personal living space that was not causing me grief on a regular basis. They are always on the closet that I need to be in and out of constantly, so they are always open, so they are always in the way!
The second pet peeve is drawers. I know - can you even believe it? Here's the deal: I am impatient on certain fronts, and when I need something, I need it NOW, so unless the drawer is shallow enough to allow me to see the entire contents at a glance, I am losing precious time and getting annoyed. This does not apply to dresser drawers, so much, since I rarely have a t-shirt or underwear emergency. I'm referring to drawers in my work/craft/sewing room. Many a fabulous project has been derailed by the need to plow through a drawer for something. The hazards are twofold:
- I will lose interest in the project by the time I find the needed item
- I will get distracted by other shiny things in the drawer and forget why I was there to begin with
Quite the dilemma, yes? This is exactly how extreme my peevishness in this area is: I have some of those plastic three-drawer units you pick up at WalMart that are all stacked up nice and neat with all of my ribbons and flowers in them, and those are neatly contained within clamshell boxes (stamps from Stampin'Up! came in them, originally), and there are only two layers, but I inevitably need the clamshell on the bottom, so I have to move the one on top to get to it every single time. I know - I'm ridiculous - but I have to live with me, so I try to work around these little idiosyncrasies and accomodate them as much as possible...
All of that nonsense is background for today's DIY project:
TUTORIAL (sort of): DIY Shelving:
What you will need:
- A dresser you hate
- Screws (details below)
- A drill and/or screwdriver
I started with this dresser:
It was appropriately hideous and missing hardware (what appear to be handles on the bottom drawer is actually wire...) and the drawers were deep enough to hold all manner of crap treasures, which, in my case, quickly became "buried treasure", so they had to go.
One dresser yields TWO shelving units. The first is incredibly easy.
- Step one: remove the drawers.
- Step two: admire your completed shelving unit
Wasn't that fun?! Since it's hideous, move Shelving Unit #1 to the unfinished side of the attic for storage (mine holds alterable items), or the basement, or the garage, or wherever. Shelving Unit #2 is only slightly more attractive - we're going for function here - but it's going to be in a closet, so who's to care? A few more steps required, too:
- Remove all the hardware from the drawer fronts
- Determine what size of screws you will need, and acquire them. Screws are sold by gauge (#4, #6, #8, etc.) and length (1/2", 3/4", 1 1/2", etc.) You can find the correct gauge by using the screws that were holding the pulls onto the drawer fronts. The length needs to be the thickness of the drawer front + the thickness of the drawer back. Do not exceed this length or you will regularly impale yourself on screws that are sticking through where they have no business being! Make sure that the heads of the screw are larger than the holes where the pulls were on the drawers.
- Acquire several sheetrock screws as well.
You will be building this unit upside down, then flipping it over to install it. Here's how:
Take the smallest drawer and set it on the floor on its front (where the pulls used to be). The back of the drawer should be facing up. Take the next drawer and set it on top of the first, again with the front down. Keep the bottoms (which will become the back of the unit) lined up. Using the drawer pull holes as a guide, screw the drawers together.
Continue on with the rest of the drawers, moving from smallest to largest, until they are all screwed together. Flip the unit right side up and place it in the closet (or against the wall) and place shims under the front edge to level it so that the back sits flush with the wall.
Mark the shims with a pencil line across where the edge of the drawer sits, remove the shim and cut off the excess; replace. (I never cut mine off, as you can see in the first pic - oops!) Use the sheetrock screws across the top of the unit to screw it to the wall, so it doesn't come crashing down on you when in use.
Stand back and admire Shelving Unit #2!
See those bifold doors? I've been battling them for a year - they are gone, baby, gone! I'm going to put up a pretty curtain instead. I can leave the curtain pulled back until company's coming, at which time I can pull it neatly across to hide the crap treasures on the shelves.
I used mine for punches (previously way too visible, as seen in this post) and other unsightly items that I need to have handy, but don't want to look at all the time. I installed a curtain rod inside two of the drawers (if the brackets are 3" down you will have enough room for this configuration) and used wood blocks (intended for mounting rubber stamps) to support yardsticks cut to length to create shelves for more punches.
The border punches have wings? legs? arms? extended pieces on them that I just tucked under the shelves. Some of the punches were sizes/shapes that didn't fit in, so they got dealt with differently. Taller wood blocks with yardstick shelves and an unfinished wood pencil case turned on its side help out this group:
And a wooden CD crate helps out here:
I also have a mongo jar of glitter, gesso, UTEE, my date whomper, and my stash of paper bags and coffee filters here. On the very top shelf (you can see it on the first pic of the post) is my iron and some other things like mineral spirits and acrylic sealer.
I positioned the unit away from the side wall so that there was a gap wide enough to slide my ironing board into, and installed pegboard on that wall to hang gridded rulers, squares, yardsticks, cutting mats, etc.
And that's the rest of the story! If you want your unit out in the room for all to see you could "prettify" it easily enough with paint, papers, etc. I didn't have any enthusiasm for that, since it's not part of the decor, per se. It's functional and I can hide it if need be and that's all I care!
I promise not to be so wordy in my next post! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!