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Last week I shared Part 1 of the DIY Desk project. Part 1 was mostly about the desk top and basics but if you saw the post and/or pictures you know we altered part of our design to incorporate a few pieces we already had. Which brings us to Part 2! We used a couple of the same tricks to upcycle our old storage into a pair of fab modern farmhouse pieces.
We’ve had this cube storage system for many many years. I bought them back in my scrapbooking heyday and they have served me well. (They’ve since been retired but you can find similar ones here, here, and here) They store a good chunk of my art and craft supplies as well as a handful of office supplies and files. Its been great having a “modular” system that we can rearrange and reconfigure as we move from place to place. For this reason, I really wanted to make them work in the loft. But they clearly needed a face lift! Ha!
It should also be said that you can still do this without these exact storage cubes. Ive seen great options at places like HomeGoods, Target, and Ikea. You cold also thrift a solid side table or use a small dresser you have on hand. The point is: this “technique” is easy to apply to nearly any piece of furniture you want to upcycle.
After working with the peel and stick vinyl planks I knew I could use them to update the cubes. I emptied the drawers and cleaned them with a rag and some tabletop spray. I also removed all the hardware. Once the drawers were prepped I sat them face down on one of the planks with the backing still intact and marked the dimensions. I used a t-square to extend my lines and then scored with a box cutter. Its important you use a metal ruler for this as your box cutter can actually cut right into a wood or plastic version. The metal ones will give you a straight(and sturdy!) edge every time. After the planks are scored you can snap off the excess. This is waaaaay easier than I originally imagined!
As I was getting my first drawer set up I also made a template for my hardware. Once the planks were attached they would be covering the preexisting holes and again Im not the type that is going to try measuring that out after the fact. So save yourself the headache (and time!) and do this before setting your planks! I just used a sheet of scrap card stock to measure where the holes would be when the top and side edges were lined up.
Because these planks were going to live vertical(on the face of the cubes) I wanted to really make sure they were permanently attached. The adhesive that is applied to the back is pretty strong but if you really wanted to you could peel it up. I wanted to avoid any chance of that happening(even accidentally) so I hit the back with a small amount of Gorilla Glue. If you’ve never used GG you should know it needs to be under pressure/weight for an hour after applying it. Great way to get some more use out of those heavy art history books! #artschoolgrad
While waiting for the GG to cure up I painted my hardware with 2 coats of chalk paint. I haven’t used it on something that gets this much handling but being that the part of the pull which is touched most is “under” the face I feel like it will hold up well. Yes, I have high hopes for chalk paint on this(big surprise right?) but I’ll be back after a few months with and update on this. Promise!
After an hour under a stack of books I attached the hardware using my template and filled the drawers up! Again, these 2 middle desks are an altered version of the original I posted in Part 1 but the change is pretty simple. Basically we’re using the cubes as the legs on one side of the desks. This makes the tops sit a bit higher than your average desk but I like being able to stand part time while working too.
The desks being this height also meant we couldn’t use traditional office chairs. At their most extended height we were still sitting too low. We opted for these drafting chairs and we are loving them! They do have a foot rest(the metal ring at the bottom) but we added mini ottomans for anther option. And as a bonus they give us a bit of extra storage! Win win!
So what DIYs have you added to your workspace? Are you working on a desk upcycle as well? You know I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!