Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break Project #1: Closet Shelving & Studio Organization

Every time I clean out and organize my studio, it gets cluttered again in less than 24 hours. It quickly becomes a dumping ground for every single piece of paperwork in the house. Oy. So one of my goals was to create some shelving in my studio closet. The hope was to get as much off the floor and into the closet as possible.

You can see my inspiration here.

I started the first day of break, Friday, March 30th. I borrowed Todd's truck and made a Home Depot run. I had the guys cut some board for two shelves and some 1x2s for braces. I then went to Lowes where I had the lady mix me up some paint. Why make two stops? Well last time I was at Lowes, they charged me for cutting multiple pieces of wood. Home Depot doesn't charge and I got numerous pieces cut for free! I had to go to Lowe's because they had the paint I wanted, Woodrow Wilson Putty in Valspar Signature. I had already done the room in Stone Manor in Valspar Signature and I wanted the closet to match except be a few shades lighter. 

As always, I don't get very good before pictures. I was too excited to start the project to wait until the morning to take before pictures so I took my before pictures Friday night. In the dark. Here is the before:

It's very hard to see (due to poor lighting) but there is only one top shelf. Everything else is either hanging from the hanger rod thingy or on the floor. Or spilling out into the rest of the room.

I also didn't take very many during pictures of the process. If you are interested in seeing how I did it, just check out this tutorial. Here are the pictures I did take though:

Ew. The closet was super dark because I painted it the color of the room. What was I thinking, right? In the above picture you can see the first 1x2 that went in. I don't know if you can tell or not but everything looks wayyy crooked because the builder lined up the trim around that mini door with the floor. And the floor is not level. So the trim around the mini door is not level. Now I am sure you are wondering what that mini door is for. It is the shower/plumbing access. The next two pictures are the closet after all the shelves were installed and the whole shebang was primed. I used Zinsser Cover Stain primer. It is oil based and toxic however it covers everything wonderfully. 

In the next photo, you will see some real progress! On Saturday, I painted the closet with that lighter shade, Woodrow Wilson Putty. (Horrible name, right?) And then I painted all the trim a nice white in a semi-gloss. So fresh and pretty now! Or at least on the way to being fresh and pretty.

I used some nice cheap brackets to help support the shelves. I liked the corbels but they were about 5x more expensive and I was on a budget! Keep in mind that it's not this warped looking in real life. The warped look is courtesy of my point and shoot camera, weird shadows and an old, nothing-is-ever-square house.

Here is the after....!!! (Much cropped to get rid of the other messy areas in the room!)

I even took the door off (all by myself!) to give me some more space. Taking the door off makes the room look a lot larger. It was no easy task to get the door off when all the hinges were rusted and painted together.

Here are some closeups of the closet:

Like the fabric? I love it! I sewed some quick curtains and hemmed all the edges. No measure sewing is what I like to call it! There is a tension rod holding the curtain up. On the shelf above the curtain is some artwork, mason jars with brushes for easy accessibility, a tube thing holding all my knitting needles, the printer and magazine holders with papers, book board and mat board. Maybe one day I will get around to covering the magazine holders to make them prettier.

On the floor in the corner, I put all my rolls of paper in a basket. This way, they won't get crushed.

On the middle shelf, I bought some white plastic tubs from the Dollar Tree. In each I organized my yarn collection. Kinda by color.

In the corner, I used two shorter tension rods to hold my ribbon. I got the idea from here. The ribbon was also arranged kinda by color.

I took all the clear plastic containers the Dollar Tree had left and used them to store my art supplies. One day I will get around to making cute labels for them but until then, you can at least see what's in 'em. All the clear plastic containers are on the top shelf but still within easy reach. I put the ones I use most frequently on the tops of the piles and in the center of the shelf.

Underneath the shelves and behind the curtain you can find my portfolios with flat artwork, my jewelry making supplies in the rolling drawers and computer type stuffs in the other rollout thinger.

Much better, right? Here is the before and after again:

Now if only I can keep it like that, right?

So here is the break down of costs:
  • Shelving supplies (including screws and brackets) ... $50
  • Primer ... had on hand
  • White paint ... had on hand
  • 1 quart closet paint ... $13
  • 5 heart bins ... $5
  • 10 clear plastic shoe containers ... $10
  • 3 yards fabric ... $12, maybe?
  • 1 package of 5 magazine holders ... $2
  • 3 tension rods (1 large, 2 small) ... $7, maybe?
Total-ish cost? Around $90! Not too, too bad. :)

Here are some other things going on in the studio...

I bought a nifty lamp at Salvation Army. Unfortunately it wasn't 1/2 off but it was still only $10. The brown isn't super awful but it was a bit dark for me. Time to spray paint! Since I had run out of painters tape on the closet project, I used Press and Seal to "tape off" the top of the lamp and the cord.

It seemed to work pretty well. No paint got under the plastic wrap! Here's after some primer and white paint. I had to lift the lamp onto a brick because the trash bag I had under it originally kept sticking to the paint. Looking better already!

Here it is in it's new home. I added a linen style drum shade from Target. It was about $12, a bit more than I wanted to spend but I had a gift card. I also sprayed the frames white; they were originally black and I thought with the dark wall color it was way to heavy looking.

I took some scraps of fabric from the closet curtain and put them in three of the small frames to carry the colors and patterns over to the other side of the room. Free art!

I even had enough scraps left over to make a mini pillow for my arm chair. I also happened to have a bag of filler/stuffing lying around. First pillow I have ever made!

Banner was certainly enjoying the comfy-ness. He is laying on a cute baby blanket I got at Salvation Army for only 50 cents! So I got two. The blanket features little beagle-like doggies. And it helps to protect my chair and pillows from pet hair.

I think that about sums up everything I accomplished in my studio over break. I was hoping to do a painting or two but this organization thing took way longer than I anticipated. And I still have some piles to go through! It's never ending I tell you...

{ linking up with }

Creative Me @ The Southern Institute
Making the World Cuter Monday @ Making the World Cuter
The Pinterest Challenge @ The DIY Showoff
Made by You Mondays @ Skip to my Lou
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Show Off Your Cottage Monday @ The House in the Roses
I'm Marvelously Messy @ Marvelously Messy
Making Monday Marvelous @ C.R.A.F.T. Creating Really Awesome Free Things
Make it Monday @ Brassy Apple
Manic Monday @ Serendipity & Spice
Destination: Cutesy Monday @ Destination Craft
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
Take-a-Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Tutorial Tuesday @ Hope Studios
Too Cute Tuesday @ Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Tuesday To Do Party @ The Blackberry Vine
Show Me What Ya Got @ Not JUST a Housewife
The Inspiration Board @ Homework Today's Assignment: Be Inspired  

We Did It! Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado
Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
What's Up Wednesday @ Sew Woodsy 
Wicked Awesome Wednesday @ Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Whimsy Wednesdays @ The NY Melrose Family


  1. You are so creative and crafty! The closet desk looks awesome! I can't wait to see it in person!

  2. You did an amazing job! I love all the little details that you put into organizing everything. I love the ribbon on the tension rod. I'd love it if you'd share this at Whimsy Wednesdays at We go live Tuesday night at 8 EST.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this at Whimsy Wednesdays! I have a things for an organized closet.

  3. This is wonderful! I adore the fabric that you chose for your curtain and pillows. :) Enjoy your updated space. Megan

  4. Awesome job! Great organization ideas. I would love for you to stop by and link up at my linky party via:

    PS: I am your newest Linky Follower!

    Mrs. Delightful

  5. Beautiful! And I am in love with that lamp! It's so gorgeous!


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