Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Art Center

"C"'s Art Center

Here is the story:

A friend of mine sent me a picture of this art center on New years eve... Guidecraft Art Center with the question "Can you make this?" At first I looked at it and thought "no way!" Then I got to thinking about it and tried to come up with a way to build it for her daughter. So here is the plan I came up with. Go to Ikea and buy a ready to put together table and chairs, then figure out a way to build the bookcase and bins that slide inside. At Ikea I found this: Stansad Children's table
And these Chairs: Sundvik Childrens Chair

So I decided to buy the table and chairs, and build the bookcase from the Ikea As-is room of scrap wood. Ten pieces for $1 (!).

First I upholstered the chairs with a little scrap fleece (just to give a little cushion) and fabric. Then I stenciled her initial on one chair and the word "friend" on the other chair, just in case she had an artistic visitor.

Here is how the chairs turned out:

Next, I assembled the table sans the adjustable lift feet. Then I cut two holes on one support bar on the left side of the table in order to slide in a dowel rod to hold a paper roll. 

This is the finished left side:

Then, I built the "shelves" for storage on the other end. I used scrap wood for sides, rounded out the tops with my jigsaw and sanded the snot out of it. Then I attached boards to the top for a tray shelf. I added cut to size trim on the inside in order for 6 bins to fit. I wanted the top bins to be accessed from the artist while working so I ensured the top bins could slide out both ways. 

Here is what I came up with:

Then I wanted to add more jazz in order to make the art center even cooler 
(you know..just thinking like a mom).

I thought, what about storage for coloring books and papers? So I found this tutorial on Ana White's blog (a website emporium of building genius!). A Pottery Barn inspired letter bin. My letter bins were mostly inspired by this project plan though not exactly the same. 

My letter bins:

Then I wanted to add a few clips for drying artwork, and a trash can for easy clean up. 

I added some additional organizers on top for paintbrushes and scissors etc. After filling in my countersunk holes with wood filler, I sanded some more and spray painted the bookshelf white. I sprayed a fine layer of protectant overtop to protect the paint. 

Lastly I drilled extra holes on the table legs in order for the bookcase to attach with bolts, and even added extra holes in case the table needs to be adjusted higher as the kids grow. This way, the bookcase will still be attached even when the table is heightened. She can remove and reattach the bolt to the table after heightened. 

Hope you enjoy this post, this is by far my favorite build so far.....


  1. Wow, Kristen!! I just found out you had a blog and you make some amazing stuff! I love it.

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