Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From Trash to Treasure Tutorial: Double-Duty Sewing Desk and Craft Station

My neighbor had this out his driveway the day before trash day & I put a note on it explaining that I'd like to refinish it if he was going to throw it away. He called me, drove it over, & actually delivered it to my garage. Now that's service! Originally, it was going to be a vanity for my bedroom, but during the refinishing process, I decided it may not be appropriate for my bedroom, but I still needed a sewing desk.
 so it was still a valuable piece for me to refinish. 

It had a thick laminate on it that was even peel up in some places. I went about scraping & sanding, but this was before I bought my finishing sander & had to use the belt sander for the large areas. This was the project I was doing when
I realized I needed something a little more lightweight...

The scraping all had to be done by hand & the laminate was REALLY glued on tight in a lot of places, which resulted in lots of little cuts, bruises, & other wounds.

I started priming & that was when I noticed I'd really have to go to work on the 
one side that's flipped up in the air because some of the wood 
was stripped off in chunks when the laminate was removed. 
I used wood filler to smooth out the splintered area & sanded it by hand.

Here are the pictures of the finished side after much patience with the filler & sandpaper.
It took a few days because the filler would have to dry, then I'd sand & have to 
use more filler because it was uneven, until it was suitable for priming.

Finally, it was primed. 

While it was drying in the garage after two coats of white, semi-gloss paint, 
I went upstairs to what was our guest room & removed the shutter-type, folding 
closet doors. They came off their track easily, & the plan is that if we ever want to 
put them back on, I'll just have my husband or a handyman pop them back in. 
For right now, I stored them in the giant walk-in closet in the room where 
my son sleeps because while he uses the bedroom part of that room 
(for his crib a changing table/dresser that he doesn't even use anymore 
because he's 2-years-old now), all of his stuff is in the other 
bedroom (his big boy room!) & closet .

I found beautiful, brand-new curtains at a thrift store that is near a Target & receives 
a lot of new merchandise that they don't put on their shelves (only because the 
packaging may have been damaged) to hang over the closet frame. 
Then I can open the curtains when I'm using the area as my crafting & sewing station, 
& close them when guests are over so it looks like a beautiful part of our decor! 

(I need my husband's help to hang the curtains... in other words, who knows when that will get done! :( I might just attempt to tackle it myself, but I know that's a bad idea & that's why I'm still being patient.)

This also solved the problem of my different supplies being all over the house in different places: paints in the dining room, sewing supplies in the guest room, fabric in a linen closet, cotton filler & batting under a bed, & on & on... I'm still organizing this area, but at least all of the large components are in place now so I can get started & find everything it's place.
I want to decoupage some fabric on the drawer-fronts when I find the time (a 2-year-old decides when I have time), but I  needed the space to be functional NOW! So until then,
here's the finished desk!

Here's the desk & the area around it, inside the closet. Again, this area is FAR from 
organized right now, but at least I have a place to start. When the curtains are hung, 
all of it will tuck neatly inside & no one will know what's behind them!

I set up my sewing machine & have decided to use the small center drawer & 
top two drawers on each side for sewing stuff so it's easily within reach. 
I'm also in the middle of attaching cork-board to the wall above the desk 
for displaying fabric swatches, inspirational ideas, pictures & 
things that make me happy, etc.
Here's a close-up of the new hardware I installed on the drawers. 
I went with a fun, flirty, girly look by finding some 
glass knobs at the Home Depot.

Here are some other areas of the same room as of now, 
which also serves as the guest room when people visit.

I set up this table so I had extra space to iron, cut fabric, etc. 
The basket is where I organized my knitting supplies!

As soon as I finish the whole room I'll make a post with pictures 
to illustrate storage/organization techniques for a craft center. 

"It was more than discovering something that I loved to do - 
It was discovering someone I had always been." 
 ~ Natalie ;-*
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