Saturday, August 10, 2013

DIY Craft Table


In the weeks before our exchange student, Marissa, headed back to her Dutch parents, I found myself thinking about how sad it would be to walk by her empty room every time I went up and down the hallway. In situations when I'm dealing with grief of some sort, I find it helpful to give myself something to look forward to doing. (After our second miscarriage, we planned an Alaskan cruise for our due date). 

My sewing experiment has quickly become a sewing passion so I decided that her room would make a great craft room. At the time, I had bins of fabric stacked up in the dining room, and part of prepping for dinner was clearing off whatever project I was immersed in that day. And if company came over, it had to be moved upstairs to our room, like this.




Not quite ready for quilting! Marissa left on a Thursday, and housekeeper (who comes every other week) was coming the next morning. I really wanted her to be able to deep clean in there. After all, a teenager was living there for a year! (Marissa was actually pretty neat and very respectful of her room). 

I did a little bit of brain storming before Marissa left. My original idea was to use Ikea Lack tables, like Brooke from Custom Style. I also saw lots of ideas like what Stef from The Girl Inspired did with a table top over to cubby shelves. I knew I would be standing at the table, so I didn't want to lose the storage space. Finally, I saw an Ikea Hack table using Expedits. It still had space underneath it, but it got me excited. Then I found this Hack using two 4x2 Expedits and I was inspired. (By the way, how cool is using a Ribba shelf for a pencil holder?

After we dropped Marissa off at the airport, we consoled ourselves with our Ikea trip. And when we got home late that night, we took nearly every last thing out of her room. This would have been a great time to replace the carpet with cork, but that we will save that for another day.


The next day, Niels set to work on putting together the Expedits. We bought two 4x2s (currently $69/each) and two 2x2s (currently $39 each) because I wanted the storage on each end. We realized when we started putting it together that we bought glossy white 4x2 and regular 2x2s. Bummer, not only because the glossy is more expensive, but it also shows chips and scratches easier--things that are prone to happen when you are working with scissors, rotary cutters, and seam rippers! However, Ikea is more than hours to our nearest Ikea, we decided to keep it.


Since we'd be making a racket across the hall, D got to stay up late and watch the progress. He thought the Expedit made an excellent mini book nook. 


If you're going to travel more than two hours and have to rent a bigger vehicle to buy furniture, it's generally recommended that you know the dimensions of the room. We didn't. We love Expedits and will probably continue to add to our collection as we finish our basement, so I knew I could put them to good use somewhere else if they didn't work in the craft room. 

First two Expedits done.


So we put the first 2x2 on the end and realized we wouldn't have room for the other one. 


I knew I was going to use some of the Sterilite clip boxes  (<---Amazon affiliate ad) I used in my pantry. I can stack two perfectly in one of the Expedit cubbies, which means there is lots of room to built my fabric stash!


Originally, we bought casters at Ikea to make the table a tad higher, but I realized I wanted a table top for a uniform flat surface instead. (I'm short, so I couldn't have both). I really had my heart set on butcher block, but I vastly underestimated the cost. I did find two reasonable options at Ikea and Menards, but they didn't come in a size large enough to cover the table. 

It took me a few weeks to figure out a solution. I was walking up and down the aisles at Home Depot looking for inspiration when I saw an unfinished, un-bored door (just the slab, no frame, no hole). We opted for the solid core door so that it would stay on the Expedits better. Only $59 

As we wheeled the door to the register, we say this teeny tiny little chip on the edge. I asked if we could get a discount, and we were able to get the door for $45. Score!


Niels helped me pick out the gray stain, and it's perfect: Varathane Sun Bleached Stain + Poly

It was my first time staining wood, so I was a little nervous. But five coats later, I had a pretty gray door table top. 


I love how it turned out!


And I have a craft table!

I probably did something wrong, but I couldn't figure out how to get the edge to take to the stain. I had the idea of trimming it with this super cool purply-gray metallic ribbon, but it was catching on fabric so it had to go. (Don't mind the purple masking tape on the walls marking where I want to put things!)


Plan B was good ol' fashioned duct tape. In my favorite color, purple. 


Tour of the final craft table. This side is where I store my fabric stash. Soon I'll show you how I organize my scraps on the wall side. 

It's a little scary how addicting it is to build your fabric stash!


The end unit holds my non-cotton fabric, like minky, fleece, flannel, terry, etc.


The other side has my project bins. You can see how I use index cards to note the recipient and type of project. You can also see that I have room for one more bin! 


At the far cubby, I have my rulers and smaller bins with scissors, tape, pins, etc.



Finally, on the flat short side, I used Command Hooks to hang my rotary cutter, scissor, and rag quilt snipper. (<-- Amazon affiliate link) 


Now I get back to quilting!

Updated: I'm made some pretty re-usable project labels!


Linked to:

It's Overflowing  Will Cook For Smiles
  The DIY Dreamer  
Kitchen Table Art Glitter, Glue & Paint
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71 comments:

  1. What an absolutely fabulous quilting room - I don't say "work" you notice: this would have been a dream place for me when I was quilting nearly 10 years ago. Had the space then, not now though, and quilting is a no-no, as my hands and fingers could not cope now with the full weight of a biggie. Toys are much more manageable!

    Wishing you hours of happy endeavour - and many sales as a result. Happy makers usually have happy sales results!

    Isobel: www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com

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  2. The command hooks for the rotary cutter are brilliant. I'm constantly having to search for mine under piles of fabric. And, thanks for the tip too about the Sterilite boxes fit perfectly into the cubes. What a great idea to assign a project to each one.

    I'm glad you found the duct tape solution for the edge. If you would ever need to change it out in the future, you can find rolls of thin iron on veneer at hardware stores. You iron it on and then you can stain it to match your project. It came in handy on some plywood shelves that I had in my kitchen.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about the veneer! I had no idea.

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  3. Everything looks SO lovely, Jen! You are an organizing wizard...and I'm pinning this post, so I can refer to it when we buy a home with an extra room that I can comandeer as a craft room. And you know I'm a huge fan of the IKEA Expedits! ;-) (My favorite part is the purple duct tape around the edges.) Brava!

    Warmly,
    Lauren
    The Thinking Closet

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  4. Everything looks SO lovely, Jen! You are an organizing wizard...and I'm pinning this post, so I can refer to it when we buy a home with an extra room that I can comandeer as a craft room. And you know I'm a huge fan of the IKEA Expedits! ;-) (My favorite part is the purple duct tape around the edges.) Brava!

    Warmly,
    Lauren
    The Thinking Closet

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  5. One day, I know I'll have a craft room! and when I do, I'm going to follow this to make my own craft table :) I'm pinning this right away. Everything looks really good Jen. Thanks for sharing this great project at the Less Laundry, More Linking party.

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  6. I love your new craft table! I have been looking around for inspiration for my craft room that has been over taken. I can't wait till we get to take a trip to Ikea so I can redo my room :)

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  7. I'm in love with your craft room. The room itself is inspiring.

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  8. OH MY! I love this! I've been stalking Craigslist hoping to find a cheap ($30) dining type table to convert into a cutting/craft table for my sewing studio. I wish I had a bigger budget to make this instead. We have an Ikea within 20 minutes of us.

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    1. I'm jealous you are so close to Ikea! You can always stalk CL for Expedits or even Ikea's clearance section. You could also buy in part. Either 2 2x2s with a top, or just the 2 4x2s with a cutting mat as a top for now. Good luck!

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  9. Oh, how I love these big tables made from Expedits! Looks awesome!
    Someday I need to have on of these. :)

    Love, Midsommarflicka

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  10. What a great room and so much storage space. It's nice that the room has a history of housing your exchange student, but I know you will enjoy it this way. Great job!

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    1. Me too. I love knowing that Marissa spent so much time in there. Makes me miss here just a little less.

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  11. That is an awesome table! Isn't funny how large a room looks, until you try and move the furniture in :) I have even tried measuring before I go, and I still manage to get it wrong.

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  12. Hi Jen
    I absolutely love you new craft station. I wish I had one like it.
    I have 2 blog hops going today please come over and share this post with both hops. Everyone will want one! I'm also now following you on Bloglovin Hope you will join us.
    Angel @ sewcraftyangel.blogspot.com

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  13. Your craft table looks amazing! I like the idea of sorting the projects in the bins. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. WOW I love love loooove this! I totally want to do this but find a good surface for some food photography on top, and I'd use the cubbies for food props. Great post with the step by step photos!

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  15. WOW I love love loooove this! I totally want to do this but find a good surface for some food photography on top, and I'd use the cubbies for food props. Great post with the step by step photos!

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  16. Hi Niels and Jen! Thank you so much for sharing this absolutely awesome craft table at Best of the Weekend - just wanted to stop by to let you know that this great project will be one of my features at tomorrow's party. I'm so happy that you joined the party and hope you have a great Friday!

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  17. Wow, that is one AWESOME table!! I want one of these :)

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  18. Wow, it turned out great! You are definitely fast at building that stash!

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  19. Look at all that storage!!! Impressive :)

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  20. Great table! I love all the storage space!

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  21. Wow--great way to use the Expedits! What a wonderful table!

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  22. Wow--what a great way to use the Expedits! Congratulations on your wonderful table!

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  23. This is totally perfect! I'm drooling over here! I don't currently have a craft space, but I'm pinning this for when I do. The fabric storage is just perfect. I've found that having clear containers is the best way to keep craft "stuff" corralled.

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  24. Wow, that table is amazing! I just did something similar with a solid core door and a few cube storage shelves, but it doesn't have nearly the storage space that yours does! Love it! In case you didn't see it earlier, I featured this on my blog today! I'm stopping by to pin, and to let you know you can grab a Featured button if you don't already have one! http://practicallyfunctional.com/decorate-and-organize-your-home/

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  25. This is so awesome. I've been contemplating walking away from two work spaces on opposite sides of my craft room, and creating one central workspace. What are the dimensions of this table?

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    1. The table top is the same size as the table top, 32" x 80".

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  26. Your table is really really great and I love the purple tape solution.

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    1. I love when the cheap solution is the best solution!

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  27. Fabulous! I am super jealous!! Someday I'll get a craft room back.

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  28. Love your craft room table! What a nice large space to sew and create! I featured this on Sew Woodsy today!

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  29. What a creative, clever and oh so practical way to use Expedit shelving!!!

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    1. I've featured your craft table today...
      http://www.threadingmyway.com/2013/08/threading-your-way-features_25.html

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  30. Which size are the boxes?? There are several sizes listed on the Amazon site. Great idea!! I plan on doing the same....thanks for the inspiration!!

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    1. I used the Deep Clip boxes (pictured here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QJM0DG/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=dejondrehou-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B004QJM0DG&adid=1S5M1YQYGCW5V0GCNAEJ). The Amazon price is the best for 4. I have also seen them for $5 each at Dollar General and $6 each at Target. I'd love to see your finished table when it's ready!

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  31. Wow!! That's some amazing storage! Gotta say, I'm a bit jealous! Well done! :)

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  32. I need this in my craft room!! I wonder if the hubs would go for it??? Coming over from the round-up at Wait Til Your Father Gets Home!
    Cindy @ Crazylou

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  33. I love your craft room! It's so pretty and organized.

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  34. Hi Jen! This is fabulous!!! It is so organised and gorgeous!!!

    Would you mind if I featured this on And Sew We Craft (www.andsewwecraft.com) this week? I have serious craft room envy at the moment :P

    Amy x

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  35. Hi Amy,
    Yes, please, feature away! And thank you!

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  36. I am so jealous of that craft table! If only I had the room for that beautiful thing! Found your blog on the block party. If you like to link up come over to Craft Frenzy Friday at www.craftdictator.com! I hope to see you there!

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  37. Just wondering how did you secure the table?

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    1. I just put the door over the Expedits. It's not secured with brackets, although we could have picked up some of those at Ikea. The door slides a little bit if I lean against it, but I actually like having the option of having it flush or hanging over depending on what I'm working on. If I had the unit on casters, I would secure the table with brackets and bolts.

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  38. Jen....I have craft room envy!!! Love, Love, Love your craft room. Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.

    xoxo
    Denyse

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  39. Wow, LUV your craft table creation, Jen. I put something similar together but it doesn't look nearly as professional or organized as your beautiful setup. ;-)

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    1. Do you have a photo of your craft table on your blog? I'd love to see!

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  40. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Expedits and have several formulations...and this post just gave me wonderful inspiration! I love that now I know which plastic bin to buy! Thank you so much for an awesome inspiratino post. I found your blog from Beneath my Heart.

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  41. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Darcy

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  42. This is wonderful!! The only thing I would do different is add wheels. I will have do see it they ship. :)

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    1. Ikea does sell casters for the Expedit (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S19903848/). I'm short though, so I didn't want the extra height!

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  43. Great Table. I am looking forward to making one for my wife. What did you use to connect the table top to the Expedits?

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    1. You are going to have a happy wife! I just have the door sitting on top of the Expedits. It slides if I press against it, but otherwise stays stable. This works for me because sometimes I want a flush edge, and sometimes I want the overhang. If you want to secure it, you could use bolts or brackets. I think you could also put a rug protector over the Expedits and under the door to prevent slipping.

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  44. This is amazing, amazing, amazing! I soooo wish I had more room for something like this! It would make my crafting life so much easier.
    xoxo

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  45. You guys did a great job putting this craft island together! Those sterilite boxes looked so huge I thought those couldn't possibly be Expedit shelves. Hopefully you can find them on sale at JoAnn's etc. What a wonderful, supportive husband you have! Congratulations on a job well done and all that hard work!

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  46. I love, love, love this idea. I saw in an earlier comment the tabletop isn't secure. Do you secure the Expedit units together or are they heavy enough to stay put without being secured together? I would need Ikea to ship them to me as the closest one is in Atlanta and I live in Nashville. Rumors have been around for a couple of years Ikea would be coming to Green Hills Mall but it hasn't materialized yet.

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    1. Thanks! I don't have anything secured. I wanted to freedom to move everything around if I wanted. Of course, I love this set up, so I haven't. You could use brackets to secure the Expedits together, but I find that the weight of the door keeps them in place. If you put casters on the bottom, I would use brackets to keep them secure. As far as the top, I like being able to shift it. Sometimes I want a flush edge, and sometimes I like the slight overhang. You could uses bolts to secure it down, or even a rug grip would work, I imagine. (By the way, I love Nashville. I used to go there several times a year for work. I haven't been back in way too long. Great city!)

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  47. OH, WORD!!! I am making this for my laboratory!!!!

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  48. Oh it's fantastic - I am very jealous, I would love to have the space. Thanks so much for sharing at #EmptyYourArchive Alice @ Mums Make Lists

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  49. What a beautifully organized workspace! Great idea to use the door.

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  50. I have 2 of the 2x4 Expedits that are side by side length wise, so it appears to be a pony wall separating my crafting area from the kitchen. Once I move into my official craft room, I will probably go with this idea you have!! GREAT thinking about the door as a table top.

    I think I would put some rubber sticky 'bumpers' on the shelf tops to keep the table top from moving so easily. I did that with some glass for my craft desk.

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  51. Where did you get the plastic bins (with green handles). Those seem to fit perfectly.

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    1. They do! They are Sterilite Deep Clip Boxes. They have changed the color from green to turquoise. (If you don't like that color, wait a year or two and they'll change it again!) Here's a link to them on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sterilite-Deep-Clip-Box-Pack/dp/B004QJM0DG/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=dejondrehou-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=MXMVC77LGQYLFG2T&creativeASIN=B004QJM0DG, but you can also find them at Target, Dollar General, and other stores.

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