Wednesday, March 14, 2018

62 Do it Yourself! Quick and Easy Customizable Drawer Dividers

You all know I have chatted about some of my online struggles as of late, and one of those frustrations is that it has just been too long since I have had a true lightbulb moment. I have been craving a stroke of creativity that pushes me to come up with a solution I haven't seen done 1,001 times before. And it finally happened! I thought of a new use for a common product and it really helped me with organizing our son's new closet drawers. So, if you have already seen this little idea of mine somewhere else, can you do me a favor and not tell me? #bestfriendpact

To say these little things really excite me is an understatement. I selected a new unit for our son's closet that offered up five large drawers of storage, but those large drawers needed a little division to prevent them from becoming full-on jumbled messes down the road. This super quick and easy project was born out of a need that wasn't being met by retailers, and also by giving myself a few days to let my ideas swirl.

You can see the most recent photos of the closet in this post here; the interior measurements of the drawers come in at 25 1/2" x 21". That is a LOT of drawer area! And I really didn't realize it until I put some of his clothes inside and started looking for interior organizers and dividers. So much new space to play with!

I considered quite a few options, and the ultimate goal was to add front-to-back dividers to all of the drawers to categorize the articles of clothing by type.

We have DIY'd quite a few drawer organizers over the years (I will link those projects below), but none of our previous methods were standing out as great options here. Although it seems simple enough to add a divider down the center of a drawer, there are a lot of ways to achieve this, but most are permanent. Especially if you are looking for something that is a bit sturdier. My objective was to do something easy, not construction heavy, and not permanent to the drawer. He is a growing boy and how the drawers are used is sure to evolve over the years.

I have seen expandable dividers on the market, and they were my "go to" for this project. But the more I searched, the more I realized that they are generally A) costly and B) don't fit the full depth of these larger drawers. I also needed 6-7 dividers, and when I started adding all of those up, it seemed a bit silly to spend $50+ on something to hold shirts in place.

And that is when I came up with the idea to use cord clips! I have used them to hold toothbrushes, pens and of course, cords, so why not a slim piece of wood? It just might work!

The best part is that the adhesive on the rubber cord clips can be removed from any surface (sometimes with a little help from rubbing alcohol or heat), or the clip can be used with a Command Strip as well. No commitment required.

So I did a little online searching and shopping and found a pack of twelve for $7 with free shipping. I quickly placed my order and went to Home Depot to search for thin wood options. (Note: There are plenty of more expensive options in terms of the rubber cord clips, but for this type of project, these worked great for us and I didn't notice a difference in quality when compared to others I have used in the past.)

Could you use foam core? Probably! But I really wanted something sturdy. I have used foam core in the past, and while it is a cheap and great option, it doesn't always stand the test of time. And with a careless kiddo, I ruled that out quickly.

I found a few inexpensive wood types to select from (like this, this and this), but ultimately decided the biggest bang for my buck was to purchase a couple of these boards and cut them down to size. That way I could take advantage of both the height and width I wanted and get two full dividers from a single piece of craft wood. (You may also have luck finding easy-to-cut options at craft stores.)

We cut the boards to just shy of the drawer height and width and sanded down the edges to a smooth finish.

Quick Tip: You can also have the wood cut for you at Home Depot (you may just want to be prepared to still do a light sanding on the edges).

Then measured inside the drawer and used a pencil to mark the location of the dividers.

Using a straight edge, we drew a light line on the inside of the drawer that could later be erased/washed off. This gave us a visual of where to place the cord clips.

Once the cord clips are in place, it is as simple as inserting the wood pieces.

Quick Tip: We cut the wood about a half an inch shorter than the drawer, so it was still a tight fit. I found it easiest to place a finger under each clip when installing the wood pieces to prevent the clips from sliding down/slipping.

Once I had all of that figured out, I decided to wrap the boards with some white vinyl. They could also be stained or painted, this was just the cleanest, quickest solution at the time.

I couldn't fold and put away his clothes fast enough!

We still have some final closet details to wrap up and then I will share all of the organization and do a quick folding tutorial for the shirts. I would rather file clothes than paperwork any day!

OK, so that was a lot of words for the quickest customizable drawer divider project ever! To summarize:

Measure, cut the wood to length, mark the drawer, stick the cord grips, add the wood divider. DONE!

There are no limits to how many you can add, or the number of ways you can divide the drawer to fit your needs. This is especially helpful for those deeper drawers, like dressers and pantries, in which there may not be a lot of off-the-shelf options on the market. And the wood slats can also be customized to compliment the drawer and contents with paper, paint, stain, etc.... So many wins! Definitely my favorite DIY divider solution to date.

Speaking of DIY drawer dividers, as promised, below you can find a variety of alternative solutions that may better fit your project needs:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

19 Progress Report: Teen Boy Bedroom & Closet - A Blank Canvas!

We are finally here! The day I have been waiting for over a month worth of sanding, patching, painting, painting some more, assembling closet components, swapping outlets and switches, adding hardware, and installing base, casing and crown mouldings. The room was completely reconstructed and we are now left with an absolutely wonderful blank canvas for our growing boy.

Above you see a glimpse of our son's bedding. He picked it out last summer when we started talking about this room update, and it has been the foundation for all of the color selections in the room thus far. It is a combination of bold plaid on one side and a small scale gingham on the other, I absolutely love how the two patterns compliment. We have always wanted to do a darker ceiling and thought this would be the perfect time to play. But with a louder ceiling choice I wanted the walls to sort of fade away, so the final two colors ended up being Benjamin Moore Blue Dusk for the ceiling and Sherwin Williams Nebulous Cloud on the walls.

This point in the game my mind starts racing! This room could still go in a bazillion directions and my ideas are spilling out of me like I have been hopped up on a 30-day straight caffeine binge. These blank spaces hold so much potential, but can quickly downward spiral (been there, done that), so I am moving our son back in and taking a few days to nail down some of the bigger decisions. We have picked out a few things, but as we all know, those can change too! It always seems like one thing leads to another, eh?

As you can see a couple images back, the map we DIY'd years ago is still there. Not because I was so attached to it that I couldn't let it go, but just because I don't really have a solution for anything that is any better. We like the overall grand statement that it makes, but really aren't partial to it staying or changing.

He also has the same bed and headboard, also because it is still functioning fine and the color of the fabric still works. I am considering spraying the frame black though, just to give it some new life and a little more substance.

We are going to play with some patterns through layering bedding, which I always love to mix and match. Just like any designer will tell you not to purchase all of your furniture from a single showroom, I feel the same way about bed linens! Something from here, something else from there. Large patterns with small patterns. To get started I tossed some mossy green throw pillows on the bed and really liked the color combo and the warmth it added to all of the grays and blues.

Speaking of warmth, I am definitely planning on bringing in some wood tones, both in the closet rods and baskets, and also through some sort of shelving or over-the-desk organizer.  The desk is awesome (we have this one), and it is a really great size for our son to spread out and work on all of his projects and homework. He is also using a stand-in chair from another room until we can get him something comfortable and special. I am keeping my eye on Craigslist for a chair I can reupholster to give him a little cush for his tush.

Now that everything is trimmed out, we are 100% sold on adding a decorative sliding door to conceal the closet opening and strange trim solution. We must have gone back and forth on the trim for the closet opening about a hundred times and I am still not sure about the solution. Is it weird that a piece of trim just ends into a wall like that? I didn't think it would bug me, but it sort of does. But I have also been looking at it for far too long now. We will be adding a long black track and building a door with a pattern (here is the inspiration door), which should then conceal the trim when closed.

As far as the closet unit, I have gotten a few questions regarding which pieces we purchased specifically. We selected this tower/frame, this pull out shelf, these drawers and these shelves.

Everything was purchased from IKEA and I am super stoked about how much storage was added! The drawers and pull out tray are really good sizes! The soft-close function is always a much-appreciated bonus feature!

So far I added some of this paper to the back of the entire tower, and I might just have enough to also do the wall behind his hanging area. We still have to add a top shelf and the double hanging rods, and then I will decide for sure. The pattern is absolutely perfect for making the most out of every inch of the paper.

You may also have noticed the new drawer hardware! I had been eying up these pulls originally but came across some with a similar shape for half of the price (I purchased mine from Wayfair for about $3.70 each, but they have since gone up in price. I also found them reasonably on Amazon here). The only problem was the finish was much shinier than the inspiration pulls, so I also grabbed a can of flat black spray paint and now they look really sharp on the new drawers!

Another really great find was the light fixture! It's about a 12" diameter, and with a higher-wattage bulb puts out plenty of overhead light! We are also toying with the idea of adding some wall sconces above or on each side of the large map.

So although we still have a lot to think about and decide, we have such a great base and some great pieces to hit the ground running. Here are a few more specifics:

1 //  Closet storage is from IKEA and designed from these Pax components: tower/framepull out shelfdrawers and shelves. This is the wallpaper and here are the pulls used (spray painted in flat black).

2 //  I saw this sliding door and promptly showed my son and he was all about it. Which was great news because so was I! Isn't it amazing? Everything down to the color is calling our names, so we hope to build something inspired by that design. We already purchased this hardware and the installation of it all is sure to be a bit of a learning curve!

3 //  The original navy ikat style curtain panels are coming back (fabric source)!

4 //  But those panels are being hung on some new black hardware!

5 //  You saw the light already, but it is an awesome price and is pairing so well with the other metals selected in the room. Props to Home Depot for having such a huge lighting selection online!

6 //  We have quite a few natural wood frames in our home and they are always one of those "for sure / no fail" accessory items. I was bummed when Target stopped selling my favorite ones, but I recently found some at TJ Maxx and I am collecting a few more! We had previously purchased some vintage bomber prints from this Etsy shop and they are coming back also.

7 //  No one wants our son to air his dirty laundry so a lidded hamper is a must!

8 //  I "borrowed" this lamp from our other son's room, and it just feels at home here. It is the right color and scale and style, so now they get to play the musical lamp game for a while. I am sure it is just as fun as musical chairs...

9 //  We have this large metal desk which works hard for our hard worker; there is plenty of surface space and even room for some storage below. I love the idea of popping some casters on it to give it a bit of an industrial vibe.

10 //  I have been eying these wood shelves for some time, but also think they could be DIY'd and customized a bit. This is just some idea chit chat for above the desk, but I am still exploring all of our options and wanting to pick what will help our son best.

11 //  I wonder if our son even knows how to read this type of clock? I kid (sort of), but it would be a stylish time teller, that is for sure!

12 //  This is the chair he is borrowing for now, until we can find his something a bit cozier.

13 //  I haven't purchased his new sheets yet, but I am considering these for now. Definitely subject to change.

14 //  This thin stripe pillow is off-the-charts versatile and plays nicely with the plaid and gingham patterns on the duvet.

15 //  And for some texture and warmth, some mossy velvet pillows too (similar).

16 //  Last but not least, the duvet cover that inspired it all!

Last week I hoped I wouldn't see a squirrel and get distracted, and although I have my hands in a few different projects right now (not all for me!), we definitely got a lot accomplished again. The trim alone was probably the biggest game changer with all of the projects so far, it just added that polished finish that the new paint jobs were needing. The lighting and hardware also brought some positive drama. And now that the ball is rolling full speed ahead, our son is over-the-moon happy about it all.

Time to finish installing the closet and get to organizing! Whoop whoop!

You can catch up on the entire room update by checking out the closet plans here and how we patched the wall removal here.