Thursday, February 18, 2010

REVAMP! Tacky Thrift Store Hutch to Great Craft Storage Solution

I'm still going on Step 3 of my craft space organization: a place for everything. I'll be honest, this step has drrraaaggg out a bit. Mostly, due to budget constraints and other project's I've been working on. This hutch revap was my last element to add to the mix, so I'll be posting my final triumphant 'before' and 'after' soon. 

When I was searching for storage solutions I went to about 5 local thrift stores and I was pretty disappointed with what I found. Finally, I found this hutch at a local store Uhuru that specializes in used furniture. If you live anywhere in The SF Bay Area I highly recommend it. It took a little work but I now have a piece that I will keep for years and gave me a boost of I-can-use-a-power-tool confidence.

I don't have any real experience with woodworking or furniture restoration so I'm pretty pleased with how this came out. My main advise to you if you want to try something like it is: BE FEARLESS! Take your time and have fun!
When shopping for your own storage solutions, try to keep an open mind. Focus on what you need not what you want. What I wanted was something this Eames storage unit. Not really in the budget. What I needed was a small storage unit, that would also give me a second work space.
Look for good construction and sturdy wood - not used stuff from Ikea! Look out for water damage and dry-root, these things can't be fixed easily. Don't get caught up with color or hardware, that's all changeable.
To remove the tacky finish, I sanded the heck out this baby. To keep my arm from falling off, I checked out a power sander from my local tool lending library. This is the first time I've used the tool lending library and it wont be the last. I've been intimidated by it up until now, but it was very easy to get what I needed, and the guys working there were very helpful. Also, per my craft philosophy, I avoid buying tools if I don't need to.
Since one of the doors fell off in my car, I removed the other one. Luckily this actually made it much easy to sand and finish. Once I sanded the layer of ugly varnish off I coated it with two coats of acrylic sealer to protect it. See how pretty the wood is? The clear coat really brings out the nice texture and the left behind varnish gives a nice weathered look. No varnish needed. 
The new handles came from the hardware store and were only $3 each. I avoided the temptation to get the really fancy ones and I'm glad I did. I wanted to let the design of the hutch come out, not draw attention to funky hardware.
I hated all of the hinges I found at the store so I ordered these from House of Antique Hardware.

The wire in the doors is called "hardware mesh," it's about $2 a foot at the hardware store. All I did was knock out the panel from the door and traced it on the mesh with a marker. Then, I cut it out with a craft scissors and stapled it into the back of the door. The doors were easily reattached with wood glue.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rad Supplies Treasury

Cute Things Box made this great treasury on Etsy and was nice enough to include one of my 1"x1" square collage sheets. I love the rainbow colors, so springy.