A few months back, I impulsively bought a This End Up computer hutch for $50 from someone on Craig's List. I had a vision that it would eventually be a sewing and crafts center-a place to house my sewing machine, ironing board, craft supplies etc.
When I answered the ad, I had no idea how cool this thing would be. There's a built-in power strip, a drawer, several shelves and a drop down desk with a built-in bulletin board.
Now briefly, I have to pat myself on the back and share my bargain hunting prowess with you. Remember, I paid $50 for this hutch. One day I happened to be browsing online and came across This End Up's website and found the same hutch (minus a couple of cool features) for $900!!! I'd say I got a deal, huh?
However, I digress. And I sincerely apologize for the self-congratulation.
Anyway, my friend Lisa and I shopped for some textured wallpaper and applied it to the paneled areas of the hutch, then painted the entire exterior green. Voila!
Isn't she pretty??
The wallpaper gives the exterior some texture.
Feeling lazy, I considered leaving the interior brown. But Lisa wisely pointed out that it would be very dark (and she's right-that wouldn't have been conducive to a creative environment and good visibility), so I painted it white.
Alright...drum roll please...here's the big reveal (and I'll explain some details after):
Woo hoo! A creative mecca. Tip: I left a few shelves brown to give some
visual interest and tie in with the cork board and brown wrapping paper.
1. Remove all hardware (hinges, shelf brackets etc.) with a cordless drill/screwdriver before painting. I like to store those little pieces sorted in zip lock bags, labeled, so there's no confusion later as to what goes where.
2. For the wall paper: This particular paper was off-the-shelf paper from Lowe's. Measure and cut to size, then apply according to directions. In our case, that meant giving each sheet a bath in the sink, then hauling butt to the sewing center and applying it before making a goopy mess. (I'm sure there are more efficient ways, but with a friend, it was entertaining). We then smoothed it out with a small paint roller.
3. For the paint: I confess, I didn't prime. (I've since become a proponent of priming-you'll see this is later posts). I just slapped that paint right on there using a small roller and a brush to cut in. I believe it was about three coats, inside and out.
4. After the paint dries, reassemble everything using the hardware you so carefully saved.
OK, now more details:
Top shelf holds inspiring books and more with room to grow.
Installed light ($8 Lowe's) gives great visibility (simple screw installation).
Curtain rods hold wrapping paper for gifts. (Other wrapping supplies kept on lower shelf)
*Note, I only use white and brown wrapping paper.
Bin organizers from Marshalls ($9 ea.) and round repurposed cans keep things tidy; drawer hides mess.
Slide out shelf, originally for computer keyboard, provides extra space for tasks like gift wrapping.
Pretty folders from Target (about $4.99 for all) keep papers in order.
I also bought some matching notebooks (about $6) to write down inspirations as they strike.
Clear holder from Office Depot (about $6) lets the stationary shine through.
Pink decorative geode gift from friend. Thought it looked cool there.
Power strip makes using sewing machine, light, iron, etc. very convenient.
(Nobody sees that dust underneath, right?)
Hanging hooks ($6-Target) keep often-used tools handy.
(simple screw installation)
This "pencil holder" is actually a tissue box.
The silver box was my Grannie's and holds straight pins. She was crafty, too
Pictures of the center in action:
Fabulous pink chair $19.99 from Ikea.
The ironing board in use*
*Here's the funny thing about the ironing board. It was designed to fit on the back of a regular door and this door is much shorter-so imagine my disappointment when I folded the board down and it lowered to my KNEES! However, I then realized, that if I was sewing, and needed to flip and press a hem quickly, all I had to do was spin around in my pretty pink chair and Voila! The ironing board was at the perfect height. I'll tell ya, the Universe knows what it's doing, ha!
Had I tried to, this project could've been completed in one weekend. It wasn't difficult at all. Total cost:
$18 ironing board
$40 paint (with much left over)
$10 wall paper
$60 (approx) other supplies/parts
= ~$200 (not including sewing machine)
Tools used: Cordless drill/screwdriver, paintbrushes. Too easy!
Even if you don't find the exact same hutch (I concede...that was a great find!) you can use the same principles in another piece...or even better...your closet (it's free!). You can add a small, inexpensive prefabricated desk in your closet and get the same effect. Now...go, get creative, and share your results with other readers in the comments section below. Happy crafting!