Monday, 19 September 2011

How to Make... a DESK-TIDY

This is what my desk usually looks like:

Don't say anything! I know it is a total disaster zone. That's partly because I am the messiest person in the entire world, but also partly because I don't actually have anywhere to put anything. So this month's How To post is the start of Operation Tidy-Up... How to make a desk-tidy. Admittedly I am not about to show you how to make a chest of drawers or anything like that - I'm starting small and working up to the woodwork!!

Some old tomato tins - well-cleaned and labels removed
Some pretty material that you like
display wire
a thumb tack / drawing pin / whatever you call it
good material scissors
PVA glue
container to put glue in.

Step 1:

First of all measure some material to the same height as your tin and wrap it around the tin so you have enough to go around with an overlap of a few centimetres. Use some good sharp material scissors to cut your material exactly to size.

Step 2:
Use PVA glue to stick the material down - paint glue all over your tin, line up your material with the edge of your tin and make sure the top edge will be straight. Wrap the material around, ensuring that you smooth out any creases, bumps etc as you are doing it. The material should be smooth over the tin. I used a PVA - water mix (it makes papier-mache glue).

Step 3:
Paint along the side where you have the overlap. It doesn't matter if you get glue along bits where you aren't going to stick material because you're going to paint the whole thing again anyway - and even if you decide not to do this, PVA dries clear. Still keeping the material taut, glue the overlap onto the material and smooth the whole thing over. I then painted my glue-water mix over the whole time and waited for it to dry. Obviously that just meant I had time to make some more tins...

Looking at these I thought....hmmm, boring and a bit messy. So I carried out an investigation of my sewing box and found some ribbons. I decided that red would look best of the options I could find and decided to line the tops of my tins with some ribbon.

Step 4: 
Measure the ribbon so that it fits exactly around the top of the tin with a few centimetres of overlap. Paint glue onto the entire length of the ribbon and carefully stick it along the top edge of your cans.

Step 5: 
Now you get to the tricky part... getting your tins to stay together and not just sitting on your desk as seperate tins. I experimented with all sorts of things before I worked out how to do this bit. Luckily you have me to do the experimenting for you...

Get a drawing pin (pin tack or whatever it's called in your part of the world) and press it through the tin in the upper edge. Make a second hole next to it. Do the same about half way down the tin. These holes are to thread the display wire through and hold the structure together.

TIP: Make your holes at the place where your ribbon or your material overlapped - when you attach the other tins, the overlap won't be visible any more...

Step 6: 
Do the same in the same places on the other tins. Now cut a length of display wire - about 8 - 10 cm. Thread it into the lower holes first - in to one side and then twisting the wire round to come out of the other hole. It's easy enough getting it in - it's the threading out the other side that's the tricky bit!  Do the same with a second piece of wire on the upper two holes as well.

Step 7:
Line the second tin up with the first (the one with 2 bits of wire sticking out of it) and, starting on the lower wire thread, push the wire ends into the holes on the second tin. Do the same with the upper wires before trying to properly attach the lower wires.

Step 8: 
Finally use a pair of pliers to pull the wires tight together and twist them so that they are secure. I then taped my wires to the side of my tin so that I didn't get them caught on either myself or something in my tins.

I did the whole process with another tin, and I actually made a smaller version with two old tuna tins too... so now my desk has lots of desk-tidys on it! Shame I haven't yet got around to tidying the rest of it...!


PoetessWug said...

^_^ I say NOTHING!!!...Except "cute tins!"........*crickets*

Creating Trouble said...

Ha ha! You're allowed to comment really…! Operation tidy up begins in force tonight (famous last words!)

Jumbleberries said...

Thanks for commenting on my Meet Me on Monday post - hope you can join along next week.

Love the desk tidy tutorial - thanks for sharing.

Have fun.

Jumbleberries xx


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