This project has been in the works for 3 years… 4 years… I can’t even say for sure. I don’t even have a proper “before” picture for it, I know I took some but they’ve been lost to time. The best I found were from old posts like this one, it’s the table the lamp is sitting on:
We bought this beat up table for less than $5 at a Savers in Aurora as an add-on to the nightstands, chairs and other things we picked up. It looked to us like someones wood shop project, all the pieces of wood are different species, and different quality, the front molding doesn’t match the rest of the table, but the craftsmanship is surprisingly solid. The whole table was completely covered in graffiti as you can see above.
I have tons of scarves and it’s always been hard storing them effectively. Folding results in creases and having them out of sight means I never remember to wear one anyway. For the past couple of years I have had them on my letterpress jewelry tray: But the longer they hung on the hooks the more wrinkled they got. When I’m about to leave and decide to throw a scarf on there is no chance I’m going to take the time to steam the one I wanted. So on the empty wall of my project/dressing room I decided to make a hanging scarf storage system. Here is the wall before:
Since Matt and I moved into our townhouse last August, we have been struggling to make the kitchen work. It’s small, it’s got exactly one, really useable conveniently placed cabinet, and it’s ugly. To stretch our poor cabinet space, I bought a server to sit in the kitchen and house appliances and little used dish-ware. Here it is right after I brought it home:
Even with the server, the storage in the kitchen still lacked. So we decided to put up some shelving. We used two 4 feet by 12 inch boards, stained them and hung them with utility brackets.
The storage jars are from IKEA, you can see my labeling project here. We also added hooks under the shelves for mug storage:
Here is the mugs on the upper shelf, which I added later:
For now seldom used glassware on the top shelf, dry goods in the middle with the glasses and baking goods in jars on top of the server. All the plates are in the server and the bowls are on top. I’d like to do some more rearranging to this system, but for now it works great. I love having dry goods out to see, so much easier to plan meals and snacks.
As I talked about in this post, I am organizing the extra room in our house with all of my projects and supplies. I finished, and started to snap picture… unfortunately since all I did was organize, and added no paint or wall decor the pictures are really uninspiring:
So here are some highly stylized extreme close-ups of my great organization, that way the semi-gloss walls and disgusting mirror closet don’t frighten anyone.
Here it is! My finished redo of the letterpress tray I bought second hand a week or so ago. It was my second letterpress tray find in less than a month. I also bought this one, but I don’t know yet what I will do with it. Anyway it was a very easy transformation here are the before pictures:
To begin I washed the whole thing with a damp rag, it was very dusty and grimy. There were several broken pieces and rough spots. I broke out the damaged areas and sanded them smooth.
I also broke out several planks to make custom cubbies for specific pieces of jewelry. I wanted a variety of different storage options for my jewelry so I bought tiny eyes for earrings, small hooks for necklaces and thin bracelets and also large coat hooks for scarves/purses. The biggest problem I ran into when attaching the hardware was how thin the separator planks were. I couldn’t screw the eyes in all the way or they would poke through and I couldn’t uses the hooks anywhere but in the thick outer frame. After rummaging in my craft drawer I used leftover upholstery tacks in the thin planks for when I wanted necklaces and bracelets lower on the tray.
It’s difficult to decide where to put the eyes, tacks and hooks, when there are almost endless options. I wanted to make sure I had a good place for all the jewelry I already own plus extra room for the collection to grow. So I drew up a plan for the tray and installed 5 or so pieces of hardware at a time. Occasionally I would put the jewelry on it and see where I needed more hardware, and mark where to put in on the plan. When I had a space for all my jewelry I went through and added extra space for future acquisitions.
After I attached all the hardware I took a damp rag dipped in black acrylic paint and “inked” up the tray to give it a deeper weathered appearance and to darken the areas where I broke out planks. Then I took a paintbrush and blackened the corners of many of the cubbies to add deeper shadows to the tray. I love how it turned out, a beautiful mix of vintage wood, a piece of printing history, shiny hardware and pretty jewelry.
Here it is one more time:
UPDATE 2/28/2012: I’ve written an update post about using this letterpress tray organizer read it here.