Wednesday, September 18, 2013

48 DIY Portable Workspace/Collapsible Tray

I hinted to the fact that I was asked to join some stellar bloggers in a fun little color challenge.  The challenge for all of us, was to work our magic around a specific color {Hot Pink!}.  The roundup of talent is so exciting, because no two bloggers are at all the same, therefore the variety in our projects sure is fun to see!

We have the following gals participating today:


As I mentioned, the only rule is to create and share something that has to do with the selected color of Hot Pink.

Dudes.

I LOVE me some pink.  Especially since I am constantly surrounded by boys.  Everything is dirt, trucks, nerf guns, video games, blues and grays.... The hubby is sympathetic to my feminine side and turns his head to the occasional pink flowers, accent pillow or spray painted elephant that makes its way into a room.  So I figured coming up with something for this challenge would be no different.

So I started thinking.  And thinking.  And thinking some more.  Nothing.  I had nothing.  What in the world did I still need to organize around our home, which could be hot pink?!  My studio is taken over by storage room materials right now, so anything in there was out of the question.   I was stumped.  And not because I don't have spaces that need to be organized, I just don't have gender neutral spaces that need to be organized with something hot pink.  The hubby suggested that maybe I organize all of my hot pink household accessories.  Ha ha ha.  Um, no.

Although I have never actually posted about it, I have shared here and there that I use a small tray as a bit of a "portable desk".  It is basically a cheapo melamine tray, which I pile high with my daily blogging tools.  I am guessing that if you are a blogger, or even work from home, you may understand the need or desire to work from multiple areas around the house.  For me, I can only stand my studio for so long until I need to find another place to work which contains natural sunlight.  I may work at the kitchen table while the boys work on their homework, at the counter while the hubby is whipping up dinner, outside in the backyard to get my Dr. recommended dose of Vitamin D, or I may even head to the couch and tune into a romantic comedy.  Even when I am sick and don't want to get up in the morning, my bed will turn into my office for the day.  That is a lot of traveling around the abode, and I have found that it works best to use a tray to hold my favorite bloggy items for easy transporting from spot to spot.  I especially love that it keeps everything together, and when not in use it can just get stashed on the buffet in our dining room or on the counter in my studio.

The tray has been working for me for quite awhile now, however, there has always been something lacking.  Actually, a few things.  It wasn't large enough to work off of.  That meant that although things like my planner, pens, notepad, etc... could stay on the tray, I would remove my laptop to another work surface.  Also, the lip of the tray didn't allow for me to use it as a workspace either.  So although I could transport my items from space to space, I would still need to set up a place to type.

That is when the idea was born to DIY a sweet little tray with built in legs.  Sort of like a breakfast tray, but big enough to work off of.  The legs could either flip out to turn the tray into a workspace {while on the couch or in bed}, and then they could tuck back in when just acting as a means to transport and store my daily necessities.  #brilliant

Oh, and we decided to DIY this little project on Football Sunday.  Do any of you know what that means?  That means we are not allowed to leave the house.  No hardware store near us is open on Sunday, and there is no way we will drive farther than ten minutes during any given game, so the hubby would have to use items that we already had on hand, to create the tray.  I would have to use items we already had on hand, to trick it out.  That is a lot of challenges in one single project, lucky we love a good DIY and love to organize.  We had all the supplies we needed to create something totally awesome.

Ready to see?

First, we started out with some of our leftover cedar boards from this DIY outdoor table project.


The hubby had me sit on the couch, and he measured approximately how big we could make the work surface {top}.  Once we had our size determined, he used his Kreg jig to create a rectangle frame.

 
We had some pieces of white trim and backing board leftover from Preston's wall panel project, the trim pieces made the outer frame of the new tray.  Bryan just clamped them to the base and used his brad nailer to affix them.


He used his skill saw to cut down the white board, which ultimately was affixed to the frame with some Power Grab construction adhesive.


That completed the top portion of the tray, it was time to address the legs.

Bryan grabbed the same boards that he used to create the frame, and cut four down to the same size {10"}.   He then gave them each two 45 degree angles on one end.  The angles would allow the legs to rotate along the underside of the tray top.

To affix the legs, it was as simple as drilling a hole through the top of the board {the end with the angles}.


The drill bit he used, was slightly bigger than the super long screw that he placed through it {right into the edge of the underside of the tray}.


He repeated the same steps for all four legs.

After filling all of the cracks and holes with caulk and sanding the entire thing down, the construction portion of the tray was finished.  Next it was my turn to pretty things up.  So, I snagged some white chalk paint, and gave the entire top half a couple of coats.  The legs received the hot pink treatment.

But that wasn't pink enough.  I also had some incredible fabric, and I thought it would make a super fun hot pink top to the tray.


As shown above, I used clear contact paper to cover the top of the fabric, which gave it a durable, cleanable finish.  Then, I cut the contact paper/fabric combo, down to size, and affixed it to the tray top with some double sided tape.

After digging through my hardware bin, I snagged a few drawer pulls, gave them a quick coat of gold spray paint and screwed them into each side of the tray.


Tada!


I am over the moon happy with how this little project turned out.  This tray does not only work as my workstation, but also as a serving tray, a bar tray, an accessory on our coffee table and for my family to serve me breakfast in bed.  OK, that last one doesn't happen, but if it did, this tray would rock it.


You know I really love a project when I take 7,283 photos of it.  Here it is in typical fashion, holding my laptop, daily planner, writing utensils, a notepad, my phone and some office accessories.





I am a bit of a stationery snob.  Isn't that notepad beyond adorable?  Found it at the sweetest little boutique on vacation with the boys a few weeks back.


The handles work so great for toting all of these supplies from desk to couch to table.  And when I find myself on the couch with the hubs at the end of a long day, those hot pink legs make a super sexy appearance.


What we have been high fiving about around here, is that we were able to DIY this entire thing with items we already had.  Wood, paint, hardware, fabric and clear contact paper.  Super simple.  Super sturdy.  Super awesome.


Anyone else been having fun decorating, baking, DIY'ing or organizing with hot pink?  How about using project scraps to create something you will love for the long haul?






48 comments:

  1. That is awesome!
    And I am a HUGE stationary snob.
    I have a ridiculous love of pretty papers, cards, sticky notes and just the right (read: very specific) pens. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! Totally agree! I am also pen picky! :). It's the little things!

      Delete
  2. I LOVE this! But we are not handy so unless I email this to my dad, nothin remotely close will reside in our house LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel like I am in the twilight zone, I will have an idea for a project - then lo and behold - an awesome blogger will make it!! :) LOVE the tray!! And what a fun idea for a challenge. Hope there are more to come!! Off to check out the other bloggers handy work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wahoo! Glad I could come through for you! ;) Don't you love when that happens? The blog world is a beautiful place.

      Delete
  4. Can you give the actual measurement of the table and what size you cut the different pieces before you put them together? Thanks, I have been needing a tray exactly like that recently!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our tray ended up at 16" x 22". Super nice size, but could still work if made a bit smaller. :)

      xo!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info!! If anything I might want my a little longer, because I would like it to balance on the arms of my easy chair when I sit in it!! :)

      Delete
  5. This is so genius, everytime I sit down to work I have to get up 7 more times to get pens, a drink, a note pad. Genius.

    xo
    Emily
    Small Fry

    ReplyDelete
  6. I work from home and I was just researching mobile offices yesterday, and then you come along with this! How did you know? :) This is awesome, and the hot pink rocks! Now if my husband was only that handy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that! And glad to know I am not the only one who likes to switch up their work environment! It's nice to keep the scenery interesting :)

      Delete
  7. Wow i love it all!!! Where did you find the peonias picture?? I want to same beauty in my computer!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe I just Googled it. There are tons if freebie peony wallpapers out in Google land. xo!

      Delete
  8. Oh my gosh....I love this SO much! I was just telling my hubby how I feel STUCK at the kitchen table all day! I bake there, decorate cookies there, photograph cookies there, and blog there. Not to mention eat 3 meals a day there! This is brilliant...and SUPER cute! Love!

    ReplyDelete
  9. LOVE that fabric?? Do you have a name/source for it?

    Great project!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shauna! Here you go: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/489539?buy_this=true&fabric_item_id=3940847

      xo!

      Delete
  10. Seriously....like I would pay top dollar for something that pretty! I am swooning over here. Ugh, now if I could just get my hubby to finish HIS projects so we can start on MY projects....love it Jen it's fabulous!
    Oh, and totally with you on the stationary. I'm soooo picky about notebooks and pens. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much Tiffany! I haven't seen anything on the market that would work as well, and am over the moon with how it turned out. Fingers crossed your hubby finishes his projects soon ;)

      Delete
  11. Very cute! I have been seeing so many beautiful DIY trays lately, and they are calling my name! Must make one ASAP. (And by "make" I mean ask hubby to construct it for me. ;) Thanks for the inspiration, Jen!

    ~Abby =)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would love to see the underside of the tray as well - do the legs fold in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann!

      There is a shot of the underside prior to being painted, where we screwed the legs in. The legs flip in and out, so it can either sit flat and be toted around the home, or prop up on legs while working on the couch or in bed. :)

      xo!

      Delete
  13. you're a genius!! obsessed with your blog!! so fun to be included with you today. xoxox
    -Small Fry
    www.smallfryblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. So awesome. You did a great job!! If only we had the slightest amount of construction/ wood working ability in my house, or lived closer to my dad who could do it. Ohhhhh the list I would have!!

    What is the little aqua binder on your tray? Is that your planner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! You can snag those details here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/2014-daily-planner-faqs.html

      xoxo!

      Delete
    2. Oh yes...I do remember seeing that now. I love it! However I have gotten so used to the grid/columns since using BusyBodyBook, and that works best. Unfortunately she went out if business and I have struggled to find anything I like since. Maybe you would consider adding that as an option to yours??

      Delete
  15. Genius and I'm in LOVE with it!! I was just thinking earlier today that I need to try and find a folding lap tray as if I sit in one position or place too long I tend to get twitchy legs (restless legs) :( May have to see what my boyfriend can put together this weekend :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, where is that planner from? It's lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great Project! It’s so functional and attractive! Be careful now that you’ve got that Hot Pink on the brain.. I blogged about how I used pink (maybe not exactly hot) on a barstool (inspired by Kate Spade’s Live Color Fully) and then, since I had paint loft over, I used it on a little jar to organize odds and ends on my supply shelf- I wonder what I’ll use the paint for next.. maybe collapsible legs on a work tray?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm in love with this project! I know it would be hard doing it on my own, so I'm asking my dad to help me! :D Let's see how it turns out haha.
    Thank you and greetings from Mexico!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm not even a huge pink person but this is completely adorable! I just love it and great idea to use fabric with contact paper. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is so cool! I love the little fold out legs :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. ps. the links to the rest of the blogs doing the color challenge other than the first two are broken! :(

    ReplyDelete
  22. jen, i'm in love with your blueish planner...where can i get it?

    ReplyDelete
  23. wow. It's amazing. I love it!
    I must do this for me :D


    PS I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I adore your tray! I even love more that you and your husband are able to create and build projects together. That's so special! I would love a tray like that so I can work on my laptop at night without it getting too hot on my legs or a pillow. Now, if I can just convince my husband to help me build it. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm just jealous! I don't have a tray or a husband that builds cool things for me. Lol

    ReplyDelete
  26. For all of you "stationary snobs" you should know that it's spelled stationery :P
    Stationary denotes something that is immobile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Thanks Sarah! I do that all the time, lol. I will get it right someday! Post fixed, thanks again!

      Delete
  27. That's so cute! I love those pink legs popping out, and covering fabric with contact paper? Never would've thought of it in a million years. I desperately want to make one, but I fear mine will be the Picasso version of yours.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is seriously such a smart project! I just might have to tackle this soon!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love how creative this is! I just might have to make one! Way to go!
    I'm loving the closet clutter posts by the way! They are really making me want to tackle my closets!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Where is that seafoam notebook from? I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It is the Martha Stewart Discbound Notebook from Staples, and I use it to hold my planner pages: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/2014-daily-planner-faqs.html

      xo!

      Delete
  31. What screensaver did you use and where did you get it? I really love the desk! Amazing job as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Grace!

      Found the screensaver here: http://9031.com/goodies/#fliqlo

      xo!

      Delete

IHeart you taking a moment to comment! Although I absolutely appreciate, consider and read each and every comment, I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like. This blog is my happy place, let's keep the drama at bay!

Don't see your comment? All comments are moderated and may take a moment to appear.

Thanks again my lovely friends! XO!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...