These instructions will show you how to upcycle your home office into a trendy, organized space!
What you will need:
7-10 mismatched furniture pieces
saw (we used an electric hand saw)
drawing or drafting software such as Adobe Illustrator
The beauty of using thrift store finds is that no two furniture wall projects will be alike. That said, I’ll give you the basic outline of how to create your own wall to fit your own style and space needs. Let’s start ReMaking!
This project is designed by RePlayGround (www.replayground.com), an eco-crafty company that designs do-it-yourself projects from the stuff you'd otherwise throw in the trash.
Step 1: Measure It Out
Measure out the space you plan to use for your furniture wall. Plan what functions you would like your space to accommodate. For this project, I wanted a lot of storage space, as well as a desktop to use my laptop and computer speakers. I drew a few sketches of a basic concept so I would have an idea of what furniture to seek out.
Bring these measurements to your local thrift store, and take measurements and photos of the pieces you are interested in using. Take notes on any pieces that are particularly heavy, or that may have adjustable legs, or that may be difficult to saw through. Take exact measurements, not only of the total height, width and length, but also the length of table legs from the floor to the base of the tabletop, as well as the length of tabletop edges that may overhang the legs (ex: the table I used for my computer station.) Precise measurements will keep your project from turning out lopsided. Take pictures of plenty of furniture pieces so you can swap them in and out in the drafting process.
See if the thrift store will allow you to put the furniture pieces on hold so you can run home and draft up your wall. During the drafting process, you may discover a piece won’t fit or function the way you need, and this way you won’t end up with unwanted furniture cramping your space!
Step 2: Design Your Furniture Wall
For this step, I used Adobe Illustrator to draft the wall to fit together with exact measurements. You can also use CorelDraw, Xara X or a free open source version called Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/). Or you can draft your design the old fashioned way with pencil, paper and ruler. There are a wealth of drafting tutorials that can be found online.
Things to keep in mind while drafting:
Not only the total height of each furniture piece, but the length of the leg from the base of the table to the floor, as well as any overhanging lips or edges of furniture tabletops. As pieces overlap one another, you’ll want each piece to rest evenly and flush with one another.
If a piece is too short, but you’re intent on using it, you can always cut a small block of wood to use as a wedge to give a piece extra height. You can see in this final picture on the far right by my computer, I used a few empty circular tape dispenser rolls to fill in a gap of several inches.
Take note of how much flat space you want for your desktop. I chose a table and file cabinet of the same height so I would have a longer tabletop to work from.
Have realistic expectations regarding the weight and size of each piece. I chose to keep the heaviest furniture piece (the file cabinet) resting on the ground, and the lighter pieces at the very top.
Have fun with your design! The more mismatched the shapes and sizes of the furniture, the more interesting the overlapped design will look. Get creative and see what a piece would look and function like if it were cut in half, or used upside down.
Once you’ve designed your wall, you can go pick up the furniture pieces you need, and get to work!
Step 3: Cut and Paint
Using your design drawing, measure out the cuts you will need to make on the furniture. I used an electric hand saw, as it gave a clean, exact cut. Sand down any rough edges.
Paint all your pieces. I went with a monochromatic look with white paint, but feel free to get creative with your color choices! If a particular piece is going to be stacked high, remember to paint the bottom, as you’ll be able to see the underside once the project is assembled.
Step 4: Assemble
I recommend enlisting a friend to help you with this last step, as it involves a little heavy lifting. Starting with the bottom pieces, line them up where you planned them to go, and make sure they fit snugly together. Use a level tool with each piece to make sure you’ve made even cuts with the table legs. If a tabletop is uneven, you can place a painted wooden wedge under the leg. Assemble the pieces all the way to the top, all the while testing to make sure everything is even, and the pieces will sturdily hold the weight of the piece above it. If you place the pieces snugly together, you won’t need to glue or nail anything down.
Now fill up your furniture wall with your office work, entertainment center, craft supplies and more. You’re soon to be organized in upcycled style!