Monday, July 19, 2010

A spicy desk accessory.

Today I digress. Instead of a jewelry project, I thought I'd brag on a small workspace makeover.

Here is where I make all my jewelry.

It's an old vanity table that belonged to my great grandmother. I love the scraped and worn patina and never want to refinish it.

It's quite a small work surface, though. And all my frequently-reached-for tools, findings and oddments reduced and cluttered the space even further. What I really need - what I've always hankered for - is a big rolltop desk. One with lots of cubbies and drawers and shelves. But I don't want to give up Grandma Eva's vanity. And I don't really want to spend money on a rolltop desk.

Over the weekend, I found this cute, semi-useless object at a yard sale:

It's a kitschy kitchen wall shelf. With three li'l spice drawers, and a plate rail on top. For a dollar, I couldn't resist!

I bought it with no thoughts of what to do with it...maybe I'd paint it white and hang it near the front door or something. Then a thought struck. (Ow.)

Check this out! Again, my workspace before:

My workspace after!

So much better! With everything tucked away or lifted up off the work surface, my desktop suddenly feels luxuriously large. With elbow room! Plus, I love how the worn, scratched patina of the spice shelf matches the old vanity.

I didn't do anything fancy to attach it; in fact, I didn't attach it at all. The shelf unit simply leans up against the wall. It settled into place with a slight backward tilt, and is totally secure and stable.

I betcha there are similar little kitschy shelf units at a thrift shop or yard sale in your immediate vicinity. If you like this idea, may you go forth and find them.

But wait, there's more!

Spice racks on the brain, I scurried out and bought two of these (with matching spice jars) at my neighborhood thrift shop.

They settled in just perfectly beside the wooden spice shelf, and voila!

Perfect storage for small jewelry findings, beads, scrapbooking supplies, or any other oddments you may happen to work with in your own creative life.

Those are seed beads and bugle beads in my spice jars. Handy dandy, eh?

Almost as good as a rolltop desk. And the whole makeover cost $3. Spicy!


  1. Genius and lovely to look at.

  2. I am so happy to see someone not afraid to appreciate the perfection of an imperfect, aged piece of wood. Someone who doesn't have to paint it white! The beauty in the history of the piece.
    Your addition of kitchen accessories only makes it function better. I was thinking you could put one of those jagged picture hook things on the back of the drawer thing to secure it to the wall for extra stability if needed.

  3. You are so organized! I'm jealous! Thanks for visiting my blog, hope to see you again soon!

  4. such great ideas for organizing!!

  5. Small changes, but they make a huge difference!! Good job. :) Thanks for the visit today. :)

  6. Turned out great and all the space you added back to the work surface is great.

    Visiting by way of CSi Projects

    Makaz Home

  7. it looks like a fun place to work!
    It is nice to be able to see other people's creative places, and check out their storage ideas!
    thanks for visiting