Our main floor has been getting more and more cluttered all the time. That was making me more and more crazy ALL THE TIME. While I was
"Reading the Clutter" is looking at what's scattered around and taking note of what's common about them. By recognizing what your common clutter is, you can learn what is happening in your house and what needs a home. Our most common clutter: Lego Creations, Completed Crafts and Craft Supplies. None of these things had a good designated home.
What follows is how we converted two $12 shelving units from Goodwill into fun, interactive Lego Display & Craft Storage for our kids' playroom.
We made chalkboard backboards for the display shelves. The kiddos love them! They have already had gobs of fun drawing backgrounds and doing tons of imaginative play. Currently we've got a farm, a disco and a burning city - and in a few days they'll create something all new! Plus, the creations they want to keep assembled can be kept on display (and not accidentally dismantled into something new - which usually causes high-pitched screeching and tears).
Behind the doors we have a stash of craft supplies. (And, well, a bit of a halfway house for completed crafts on their way to the recycle bin. If they are out of sight for long enough we can "garboflage". That's when we hide them under recycled papers destined for the curb - without hurt feelings. But you didn't hear that from me.)
This is where Ed takes over and runs you through the How-to Steps...(and while he loves the finished project, he loathed the painting, which is subtly alluded to in his tone below.)
- Ugly old fake wood furniture (good solid 'bones', but otherwise hard on the eyes)
- Palm or Orbital sander
- Primer (we love Bulls-eye, but go with your heart/wallet)
- Solid Finish colour of your choice (ours is Cloud White by Benjamin Moore)
- Chalkboard paint (we were able to do this with one can of Chalkboard spraypaint)
- Misc. painting and other tools
1. Take apart as many things as you can.
It seems like a pain, and it kinda is for a few minutes, but this small time investment will make all future steps much easier.
Remove the hardware, take any doors off. Our piece was in two halves, so we separated them and pulled off the back of the shelves too.
|Hard to believe anyone donated these beauties?|
Tip: Check to see if any children have stowed away inside the cabinet. Return them to whatever thrift shop the furniture came from, as they will only cost you more money.
2. Fill any holes you don't want to re-use.
Part of our update for these meant losing the ugly old hardware. We wanted a new position for our new pulls. This meant a bit of tedious filling of holes that fell directly in a groove, but it is waaay better to do this now than after you start painting.
3. Sand everything all over.
You want to prepare the finish for priming so that your new paint coats stick and you don't end up with chips that show that hideous wood finish underneath.
4. The Shelves: Prime and Paint.
This is the most time consuming step, as shelves take a long time to paint and paint takes time to dry between coats. We used a white and this meant 3-4 coats over most of the shelving unit.
White over dark is the worst. If you choose a darker colour to hide your ugly-wood, you may get away with only a couple coats. That would be amazing, as painting shelves really sucks.
5. The Backboard-Chalkboard.
We reused the original backing - no extra cost! I just flipped the backing over to the less glossy side. It was something closer to bare wood and (I hope) this means that the chalkboard paint will adhere really well and not scrape off with repeated drawing and erasing.
When the chalkboard paint was dry we conditioned it with chalk. Basically, we got a piece of chalk and lightly brushed it over the entire surface. Then erased it all. This helps make the chalkboard easier to draw on and erase.
I then reattached the backs to the shelf sections.
6. Add your hardware.
This was fun! We made our own Lego Duplo door pulls. We can't imagine a better knob for this project. You can check out the whole Lego knob DIY tutorial here.
7. Grand Unveil!
The kids and their friends have already had so much fun playing in this space!
So, there you have it. Very cheap, pretty painless and a little bit time consuming, but totally worth it for an organized playroom with visible display space for nice stuff and shelves to hide the piles of UG.
Could this be a solution for some of your toy clutter? When you "Read your Clutter" what do you learn?