Saturday, July 12, 2008

Altered Desk Organizers

When I saw the sign up for a stamp camp swap and it was swap groups of 6, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. A friend had made me a desk organizer a couple of years ago and I made them for my club members two Christmas ago. I've been wanting to do these for a swap but they are time consuming and so I knew I couldn't do more than 5 or so. This swap group was perfect for these! I used several different kinds of Stampin' Up! designer series paper on them because they are all different. I'm just featuring a couple here on the blog. I'm also going to post the directions for these. I'll warn you the directions are long, when I do these as a stamp camp it's a two meeting camp and it requires the participants to do "homework" before the camp begins! Here's a couple of my organizers for this swap:

The great thing about this piece is that everyone can choose the paper they want to work with and match their personal space! Here's the long directions:
These organizers are purchased unfinished at Hobby Lobby for $4.99. They are supposed to be remote control caddies but I have one on my desk that I keep rulers, tools, and extra markers in! I love mine!
For this project you will need:
Paint, reinkers, DSP, ribbons, Pretties Kit, Rhinestone brads, Felt flowers, Hodgepodge hardware, Sticky Strip, Gluedots, Crystal Effects, Glitter, Chipboard letters, ModPodge, foam brushes
*None of these items are “set in stone”. You can choose to not have as much on your organizers.

Paint the organizer using white paint mixed with a reinker of your choice that matches the DSP that you plan to use. Make sure you mix enough paint to paint the box at least two times as you will never be able to match the color again exactly, believe me I know! Let the organizer sit and dry about 3 days until the paint is cured.

Turn the organizer on the side and trace the end and the side edge. Cut these out of paper and then cut our 3-4 sets using the backing from the DSP packages. These will be the templates you will use to trace and cut your DSP.

Ttrace and cut out their DSP ends and side pieces. They may need to trim them a little in places and that’s to be expected as these boxes are handmade and no two are exactly the same. Since the boxes are painted it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit up “just right”. Once you have your paper cut, adhere the paper to the organizer using Modpodge. I have found the best way to do this is to apply the Modpodge to both the paper and the wood piece. I don’t know why but it seems to adhere better if you do it this way. Once this is done, set these aside as they won’t be used again for a couple of days. If any additional trimming needs to be done after the paper is adhered, use an old pair of scissors to do that before the Modpodge dries.

After the organizers are covered with paper, it’s time to work on the “decorations.” The first thing is the letters. I use the SU On Board Chipboard "Lots of Letters" for this project. I’ve done letters in two ways and it just depends on what works best for you. I’ve covered the letters in craft ink and then embossed with Iridescent Ice powder and I’ve covered them with Crystal Effects and sprinkled glitter on them. Both work so it just depends on your mess factor and if you have the craft inks necessary. The Crystal Effects and glitter method is messier but some people really love the thickness of the glitter. Once the letters are done, set them aside to dry (especially the glittered ones).

Next, pull out the Pretties flowers, the reinkers, and the Aquapainters because it’s time to color some flowers. I double over two paper towels for this process. Choose two colors out of their paper and color their flowers to their liking. I normally use one large flower, one medium one, and two small ones. But, you can use as many or as few as you like. Set these aside to dry.

Now, pull out the hardware and choose a piece for the end. I've used rubons, small stamped sayings, or small stamped images for this. It’s really a personal choice. Once finished, add ribbon and set aside.

Next, choose which ribbon you want to put on your project. Cut them to length and then put them aside.

By this time the flowers should be dry (if not use a heat tool to carefully dry them). Use the Rhinestone brads, half Pretties pearls, Crystal Effects and glitter to decorate the insides. Once done set aside to dry.

Now it's time to clean up and take a break for a couple of days! You will need to let your organizer sit before you coat it with Modpodge. I usually do two coats on each box. Please wait at least two days before doing this to prevent any buckling. Once they are dry, spray the entire box (inside and out) with a matte sealer. This will hopefully keep the organizers from getting scarred up.

Once it's completly dry, it's time to decorate your organizers. I use Sticky Strip to adhere the ribbon and the chipboard letters. I use glue dots to adhere the Pretties flowers and Hodgepodge hardware.

While I know this project takes quite a bit of time over several days, it's really worth it! I enjoy looking at mine and using it every day!

Tomorrow I unveil my wedding ensemble swap pictures!

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