February 21, 2015

Craft Room Addition: Wrapping Paper Slide-Out Holder

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That's quite a mouthful for the title eh? Sounds simple...yet it proved to be quite a little challenge! As is with all of my DIY projects since I am attempting them for the first time :)

So after I painted and hung my craft room cabinets, there was a gaping gap between two of  my cabinets in the corner. Why you ask? Well cabinets weren't meant to be  hung in that fashion, there's usually a designated corner cabinet hung there and then cabinets properly hung on either side...had I not been cheap thrifty, I would have had one there too, but my cabinet plans changed and this is what I ended up with.

I had to cover the gap somehow, but I also knew that I had to utilize the 14"x14" space in that empty corner. So...the brain child for a slide-out wrapping paper holder was born :)

So my brilliant idea was to cut out a panel as tall as the cabinets to sit almost flush against that gap in order to cover it, so when you look into the room you don't see gap/wall, you see a white panel connecting the two cabinets (still with me here?). Well that's easy, any piece of wood 30" tall and 4" wide could be glued to each cabinet and hide the gap...well easy ain't my style! Clearly.

The only way to utilize that corner gap would be to have a box of some sort slide down and then slide back up and be hidden. I know that item definitely doesn't exist in any store! Of course...it would have to be custom made, no surprises there. And since the unit is so tall, it only makes sense to store something equally tall inside, and the only tall items that I could think of were all my wrapping paper rolls, foil rolls, drawer liner rolls, etc. so they would fit perfectly in this unit! To the drawing board!

My concept drafted out in Google Sketchup

So with that visual provided it makes more sense I hope? The sides are open so you can easily access and pull out the roll that you need, and there is a top and bottom panel on both sides so the rolls don't just...well...roll out! I envisioned using full extension drawer glides, mount them to the wall and then on to the slide-out unit, then use some kind of latch on both sides of the bottom of the unit to attach to the cabinets. Again...this is all in theory.

So on to building this unit now, all the Google searches in the world won't help me, I just needed to build pieces as I went along and test if this unit would actually work. I had a bunch of extra 1/2" melamine boards sitting in my garage (from a previously failed project) so I used those for this entire unit, I also happened to have a pair of full-extension drawer glides, all I needed to purchase were the latches and I got them from Lee Valley.

So below, I decided to mount some melamine panels on to the wall (for extra reinforcement) and then mount the drawer glides onto those panels (so they don't just rip outta the wall!).

Brilliant, I know. After building out the back panels of this unit and then mounting the drawer glides onto them, I realized that once they are attached to the wall panels, I have zero room to unlatch the drawer glides if I need to take the unit out. Crap.

I used some scrap pieces of my 1/2" melamine and mounted them onto the existing wall panels to provide extra depth, then mounted my drawer glides and did a test...success! My scrawny little hands/wrists were able to sneak behind the unit to unlatch it from the wall glide.

Next step was to assemble the back panels of the unit, attach the drawer glides, and do a test to see if the unit would actually slide up and down like how I envisioned...if it didn't...no point in building out the rest of the unit.

Drawer glides snapped into place!

More success!
 In case you were interested, this is what the unit looked like up to this point with all my testing.

Seeing as how my vision was coming to life and it was functioning how it was supposed to, I just had to build out the rest of the unit: top and bottom panels (x2 for the left and ride side), long piece of melamine that would act as the "barrier" to bride the gap between the cabinets, bottom panel.

I screwed the smaller panels onto the back panels just using some ugly 'ol particle board screws (these have a larger thread on them to help prevent the wood from splitting) and then nailed in a few finishing nails, these nails would face the back of the wall so nobody would be able to see 'em.

Did another test to ensure that the front 'bridge' panel actually did what I intended it to do, I don't have a picture of that because the unit does not stay 'up' on its own, but let me assure you that this test worked! 

I cut out the bottom panel (simply by tracing the unit onto a piece of melamine, scientific and precise, I know), attached it, and then used wood filler on all the gaps, chips and the unfinished edge of the melamine. Sanded it down and the unit was ready for some primer and paint to match the existing finish of the cabinets.

Angles are not my friend. Wood filler is.

 Ready to see if the unit worked or ripped off the wall???? I was ready once I attached the clasps!

Look ma, no gap!
 Ta daaaa!!! Worked out exactly as I had hoped :) Here's a pic of it in the 'down' position so I can access all of my rolls (not all rolls pictured here).

Yay it didn't rip off the wall!!!
So whaddya think? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? No thumbs? Don't worry, I kept all my thumbs in the making of this unit :)

Happy creating!


Missed out on my other posts for this series? Check them out here.