Friday, January 31, 2014

S(h)elf Help.

In my last post, I showed you how I made some super cute travel memento boxes.  Well, one project always seems to morph into the need for another, right?  After my travel boxes were complete, I realized that the shelves in my office needed some serious reorganization if I was going to fit the boxes on them.

...And the shelf redo/reorganization project was born!

The shelves are full, and it looks like crud.

I started off by clearing everything off of the shelves, as it's important to start with a clean palate.  Otherwise, the eyes can quickly become overwhelmed, sending Danger, Danger, Danger! signals to the brain, which will quickly shut down and say, Huh.  Another season of Teen Mom is on, let's go kill some brain cells instead of doing something productive.


Once my shelves were empty, leaving my floor a mess, I got down to business.  I had mentally "pinned" some ideas to slightly (and cheaply) change the bookshelf, which is big, heavy, and dark.  It was now or never.  I had an extra white cloth shower curtain that had been lurking in the back of my closet for awhile that seemed like the perfect and free!!  way to give my shelving unit a facelift.  I measured the inside dimensions of the backboard of the shelves, and cut my shower curtain down to match.  The middle shelf in my piece was stationary, so I had to actually cut two pieces of fabric.

If you like the fabric on a shower curtain, but want to use it for something else, go for it!!  Sometimes buying a shower curtain for use on a sewing project is pretty darn economical- the price per yard
can be pretty cheap when you crunch the numbers.

Now, here's where I could have done one of two things.  I could have:

          A.  Used spray adhesive to stick the fabric to the backboard, or
         B.  Used tension rods to hold the fabric in place.

Due to the fact that I had tension rods and no spray adhesive, and the polar vortex was continuing to swirl outside, I went with option B.

So, I actually cut my fabric 1.5 inches longer than the backboard measurements, folded one end over, and sewed a quick tunnel for the tension rods.  The fabric was then hung against the backboard, and the remaining moveable shelves were put back in place (which helped the fabric to stay smooth and flat against the backboard).

Tension rod and fabric installed behind the first two shelves.

Now here's where the project took a slightly neurotic turn.  I separated out all of the books that had been on this shelving unit and another, smaller one in the room and made two piles:

          1.  A pile with only books that had "pretty" spines in the colors orange, grey, gold,     
          green, white, cream, browns, and black
          2.  A pile of everything else.

Pile 1 was created with these colors because I decided that they looked nice together, and because they would be the first things one would see upon walking into my office.  First impressions are everything, even with inanimate objects, yo.

Dave and I are very studious people.  Look at those book choices!  BRAINIACS.

I also had a small pile of work related pieces that needed to stay on this shelf for functionality's sake.  This is a WORKING office, after all...Thankfully, my job is about 95% paperless, so I didn't need much in the way of storage or filing/organization.  I took three of the (empty- Dave never used them) white file bins from Ikea that were already on the shelf, and painted them in the same way that I painted the travel boxes.  My few files and steno pads went inside.  (Side note...those file bins from Ikea are super cheap, and because they're cardboard, can be painted/glued/papered over very easily to match your room décor). 

Dave and I are slowly working to take over the world when you least expect it.
Again, those badass book titles speak for themselves.
(Ok, FINE.  Most of these are Dave's.  My books are in the living room...I prefer historical fiction to Ted Kennedy's memoir.  Although.....)

The shelves also held a wicker basket that included some various wires, cables, and a few electronic odds and ends that I will never need, but cannot get rid of.  Anybody else have that problem, too?  The wicker basket had previously been sitting on a higher shelf, so my short self had never looked down INTO the basket, only UP at it.  When I moved it to a lower shelf, though, I thought, ICK.  Those wires, even contained, needed to be covered.  Shower curtain fabric to the rescue for Round 2!

Saving these cords to hogtie any potential robbers that try to break into my house.  
I prefer to have only dual-use items hanging around.

I turned the basket upside down and cut out the shape with 2.5 inches of room on all sides.  I then dug around in my craft closet, found some elastic, and cut that to a length that fit snugly around the top, widest part of my basket.  Out came the sewing machine again for a quick whir around the block (or fabric edge, if it so pleases you).  I did the usual when you're adding elastic to a seam...left a few inches open, threaded the elastic through the opening, and joined the ends together.  A quick stitch to close up the hole, and Voila!  A fabric shower cap for my cord basket!

Step 1...We can have lots of fun

Step 2...There's so much we can do

Step 3...It's just you for me
Step 4...I can give you more
Can anybody name Step 5?  If you're not singing New Kids on the Block at this point, you're not an 80's baby.  Just move on, and don't try to understand.

Now came the task of arranging everything back onto the shelves.  I tried to vary the book spine colors and height directions on each shelf to allow the eye to travel along and not get "stuck" in one spot. 

Shorties on the end...heyoh!

The bottom shelf is the least interesting because, well, it's the bottom shelf.  That's the last thing people look at.  Put your interesting stuff at eye level- it'll distract people from the not so nice pieces you have elsewhere.

Heck yeah, that's a Reader's Digest DIY book on the bottom right.  Represent!

And, there you have it.  A quick shelving unit redo that looks leaps and bounds better than the original version!

No mess, no fuss, no $ spent.  Best kind of DIY!!

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