Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Can Always Use More Storage...
...Turning A Toy Rack Into Art Supply Storage

As you may have noticed, I am a big fan of thrift stores and re-purposing.  I am always trying to find ways to store more supplies in my modestly sized studio.  This week I found this great rack for storing children's toys.

Great for sorting Legos, this old toy rack will get a new lease on life
in my art studio.  (c)2013 Eric E. Paige

At only $6.99, I couldn't resist!  Shortly after I posted a picture to my Facebook page, a friend commented that she had had one, and though they still used the bins, the frame had not lasted.  Indeed, the design is definitely not for the long haul, but using some leftover lumber, I could strengthen the rack and be able to mount it to the wall.  At almost 6' tall, I wasn't relishing the idea of bending over to reach the bottom bins, and I have much more wall space than floor space in my studio!

The dowels are simply held in with screws, not the
sturdiest construction!  (c)2013 Eric E. Paige

The first step was to cut a couple of leftover boards to the width of the unit.  I had a piece of 1" x 4" and a piece of 1" x "8 that I was able to cut to the right length.  HANDY HINT: 'dimensional lumber' is somewhat of a misnomer: a 1" x 4" is not actually one 1" x 4", it starts out that size, but is planed down to 3/4"x 3 1/2", and the finished size of a 1" x 8" is actually 3/4" x 7".

Pieces of 1" x 4" and  1" x 8" should make 
things more sturdy. (c) 2013 Eric E. Paige

I screwed the two boards to the back of the unit, placing them so none of the rods were in the way.  Because I was so close to the edge of the boards, I drilled pilot holes for the screws. I drilled the first pilot hole and put in the first screw and then drilled the second pilot hole on the opposite side and put in the second screw. With the board secure, I could go drill the next two holes and then do the screws.  If you don't want to have to keep switching from drill bit to screw bit, you could tack the board in place with some finishing nails (though I would still drill pilot holes for the nails).

Pilot holes will help prevent the board from splitting
(c)2013 Eric E. Paige 
Screw in place, no splitting! (c) 2013 Eric E. Paige

I then screwed the unit to a wall in my studio.  How you hang a weight bearing item varies depending on your walls.  If you have drywall, you may need to use a molly bolt or some other special hanger for any screws that aren't hitting a wooden stud (a stud finder can be very helpful).  In my many aparments I have encountered plaster walls, sheet rock applied over old lath, and paneling tacked to studs with nothing else behind it, plus a few other combinations.  Each one requires a different hanging system, so try and figure out what's there and ask for help at your local hardware store or big box hardware store.

Rack mounted to the wall. 
(c)2013 Eric Paige

Note how I staggered the screws, this will give additional strength.  I am not storing anything to heavy, but if it looks like I need more strength, I could screw the right side of the unit into the wall and/or install shelf brackets underneath for additional support.

Staggering the screws adds strength. (c) 2013 Eric E. Paige

Once the rack was secured to the walls, I put the bins back.  The bins can be set at an angle or lay flat -- I chose flat, since they hold more that way!

The rack in place. (c)2013 Eric E. Paige

Looking for more Re-purposing ideas?  Here are couple more of my projects:

Making A Table From A Discarded Stool

Bringing A Lamp Up-to-date With Paint

For more DIY home improvement/repair projects, check out these articles:

Turning A Bad 70s Paneling Job Into Fresh, New Walls

Patching A Tear In the Porch Roof

Repairing Damaged Walls

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