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A former computer desk becomes a work area for electronic paper cutting machines.

Step 1: Take a Fresh Look at Old Furniture.

Begin by identifying machines that you own which need a new location. Measure their dimensions, then go shopping. Check your own house first, then thrift stores and yard sales. Be creative, and throw away any preconceived ideas of the “intended purpose” of the furniture. Old computer desks are very common on the resale market. Printer stands work well for CNC machines, too.

I had retired a bulky desktop computer a few years ago, and no longer needed a beautiful, dark computer cabinet. It was a good looking piece of furniture, with doors that could hide clutter. I bought a pair of dark storage bookcases with cubed shape holes to add on each side for storage of craft supplies. A nearby table, with a thick pad added, became my crafting work area for making our beautiful new line of handmade packets, “More than A Card”, which are filled with smiles and encouragement (visit our blog at www.cheapdiyprojects.com, if you are curious).

The area looks a little messy, but will clean beautifully. The cubed holes are filled with vintage tubs, old blue mason jars, fabric covered milk crate (see one of my previous posts), and a few handmade Washi boxes (also a previous post). When my supplies are put away, the collection of furniture only takes up one unused wall, and is beautifully decorated with handmade goodies.

Step 2: Adapt Your Furniture for Its New Use.

The repurposed computer desk was made very deep to accommodate a large computer monitor. The area for the monitor is really a waste of space, so I made a removable shelf. The green and white shelf in the photos (Cricut brand colors!) was upcycled from parts of an old wood bookcase from the 1970s. If you don’t have an old bookcase, the shelf can be easily made by drilling four screw holes in a piece of wood, and adding four dowels or wood legs. I added felt stickers to the bottom of the legs, so that the shelf could slide in and out, as needed for my projects.

I put my Cricut on one shelf and my Silhouette on the other shelf. The laptop which I use to run these machines sits on the pull out keyboard tray. In the lower area, formerly intended for a computer tower, I stored a sewing machine. The file cabinet drawer is useful for scrapbooking papers, partially made projects, and paper patterns. Small letter holes and drawers hold pens, scissors, and tools. The former CD file drawer still holds CDs of software, but for a different type of machine. The office organizer panels made from white board, cork, and metal are still useful. They currently now hold clippings for inspiration.

When closed, the cabinet looks very clean and elegant. When I am using my machines, I open the desk, add a chair or stool from a nearby location, and pull out the keyboard shelf for my laptop. Cables and power cords are not a problem, since the cabinet was built with premade holes for cables. My machines are heavy, but so were the former desktop computers which occupied the desk. I hope to one day add a small 3D printer to my cabinet, too!

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