Wondering where I've been? Busy, busy over here! My sister (Alice, two years younger than moi) sent me an email a week or two ago asking if it would be okay with me if she and her husband David came to visit. What?! OKAY?! I was COMPLETELY stoked about the idea, and told her so!
Well, we all know that there's nothing like company coming to motivate us to finish up some projects that we've kinda sorta stalled on, and that was so the case here! My studio/workroom was nothing short of nightmarish, and I was planning to put a bed in there for them, so something had to be done, for sure. And then there was the half-baked project that I'm sharing a tutorial for today, that I decided to finish up...
When we moved into this house a year and a half ago, we were somewhat mystified by the positioning of the coat closet. It is built into the area dividing the living room and the kitchen, with the door opening into the dining area (not really a separate room - sort of eat-in kitchenish, sort of open to the living room, too). Awkward and ugly, in our opinion.
First we tried treating it like all the other doors and just painted the trim. Not happy... We tried camouflaging it by painting it - trim and all - the same color as the wall so it would (hopefully) disappear. No go... This is my final solution:
While it is the final solution for now, it is not the final solution forever - this closet is going to disappear (as in three of the walls removed) when we remodel the kitchen. Meanwhile, I've converted it to a message center. Here are a couple of the items included:
A magnetic chalkboard (more on this later),
A calendar, a few decorative pieces, and three "buckets" to hold mail, coupons, etc. (more on those later, too).
Want to convert your door, too? Here's what you'll need:
- A roll of poultry netting (also known as chicken wire) - you can usually find it in the garden section of the home improvement store
- Enough "screen molding" (thin, flat strips - look over with the other moldings) to frame out all four sides of your door
- Enough decorative molding to frame out all four sides of your door
- A miter box and saw
- Wire cutters
- A heavy-duty staple gun and staples
- Small finish nails
- Nail set
- Spackle or other hole-filling medium
- Paint of your choice (I used Krylon Fusion, since I bought plastic molding to save $$)
And here's what you do:
Remove the door from its hinges (leave the hinge parts on the door, though), remove the doorknob and lay the whole thing flat on the floor. Cut strips of the screen molding to fit around the edges (I didn't miter these - just butt-joined them) and staple them in strategic places all around to keep them in place. You may want to "bend" the strips out a bit from the hinges so they don't interfere with the swing of the door once you re-hang it:
Very carefully, and preferably wearing thick work gloves, unroll and staple the poultry netting to the molding, trimming excess off of one side and the bottom. I pre-painted mine with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint (that was tricky - you have to weight it down on each end because it wants to roll back up), but you can leave it silver and it will still look fine. Also, you will need to bend the twisty-sticky-outy-things (technical term) on the edges down as you go:
After you get that all finished, take a break and enjoy a beverage and/or tasty snack to refuel your depleted energy reserves and so that you can admire what you've accomplished so far... Wondering why I didn't mention anything about that hole where the doorknob belongs? That's because I wanted you to ignore it in the previous step, just like I did! Break time over? Okay, moving on...
Get your wire cutters and take just a couple of very strategic snips of the mesh covering the hole:
When you replace the doorknob it will hold these wires in place, I promise, and will not interfere with the functioning of the door, I promise! Now cut the framing pieces of the decorative molding to cover all of the glorious mess you made with wire and staples, mitering the corners. Nail them to the screen molding in enough places to close up gaps and make everything look finished and tidy.Keep in mind that you may need to trim out some of the edges where the hinges are to accomodate the swing of the door. Set the nails using the nail set. Dab a bit of spackle to cover the holes and touch up with paint after the spackle dries. Re-hang the door and replace the doorknob.
The door itself is finished, and you can use it just like that by clipping things all over it with clothespins (that's how I displayed my Christmas cards last season). You can also get creative and add things by hanging them with S-hooks. I re-vamped a magnetic dry-erase board into a magnetic chalkboard:
Here's how you do that:
"Scuff sand" your dry-erase board by sanding it fairly well with fine-grit (150 or 220) sandpaper to provide "tooth" so the paint will stick, then tape off the frame. I didn't have enough blue painter's tape to finish the job, so I had to use regular masking tape, too:
Following manufacturer's directions, spray the entire surface with chalkboard paint. I had to do four or five coats to get good, even coverage. Remove the tape and hang your chalkboard up. Be sure to cover the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk to "season" it before you use it (after waiting at least 24 hours for the paint to dry, of course!)
I hung the calendar up simply by folding it backwards over a length of wire and hooking the wire around the poultry netting. When I need to change months, I simply slide the previous page back behind the whole thing. I'll have to take it down and re-do it along about June-July, though...
The "buckets" I'm using to corral mail and such started life as Christmas items:
Only $1 apiece on clearance and they're metal (magnets stick to them!) and that scallopy edge is perfect for hanging onto an s-hook:
I'm ignoring the polka dots and glitter for now, but next time I get ambitious, they're getting sanded and painted with my beloved oil-rubbed bronze spray paint. Since they will hold magnets, I plan to make seasonal decorative pieces to decorate them with, and switch them around periodically. I'll be sure to show you what I'm talking about once I get a couple of examples made...
The bird plaque things were from the garden section of Hobby Lobby. I just added some ribbon through the holes in the top and stuck the s-hook into the loop of ribbon at the back to add them to the door.
I'm contemplating putting a larger something-or-other across the bottom of the door to hold newspapers or something, but haven't quite made up my mind on that. I don't want to make the door too heavy, but it still looks a bit empty along the right side and the bottom... Any ideas?
And that's all I have for you today! I'll be back another day - hopefully soon - to show you the studio revamp. Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by!