Here is one even the ladies can do… so don’t think you need to add this one to your honey do lists.
I was lucky enough to have a cube set and canvas totes to “recycle” which cut down on my costs and let me spend a bit more on a nice top surface…. and I already have a can of the stain I want to use. Both units cost just over $100 in materials, but if you have to buy the cubes too ….that will obviously bump the price up to closer to $200. You would be hard pushed to find a commercial cart for that price, let alone two. If you can recycle/upcycle.. all the better.
Drill and drill piece for pilot holes ( save splitting the wood when you start putting the screws in)
Screwdriver or driver piece for drill
Screws size depends on what you choose for a top and bottom surface.
Casters 4 per unit.. 6 if you want added support for longer units
Cube storage units. These can be picked up online, or in stores… Home Depot, Walmart, Target.. all carry these and you can pick up deals if you watch for them. I picked up a whole bunch of them a few years ago to build a cube wall in my baby’s room in a Home Depot Thanksgiving sale. I think I got 10 units, each of which came with 4 storage totes and the whole lot cost me just under $300, which considering they usually retail around $40 each and then an extra $10-15 for the totes.. was a total steal. He is getting to that stage of wanting to fetch his own books etc., so I removed the top layer… I know my kid….I will walk in one day and find him scaling the cubes like a monkey to get something.
This would work with reclaimed kitchen and bathroom cabinets, old bedside cabinets, or similar….depending on your needs and what you can get your hands on. If you are a handy crafter that likes to recycle, or you have a handyman available… reclaimed pallets would work great as a rustic work surface. Kitchen work tops are great for their easy clean and cut resistant surfaces too. There are lots of alternative to buying cabinets and work top that can be used, if you can lay hands on them easily. If I had more room down each side of the space I have this in….I would have put some rails or peg hook board down the side too. Another possibility; if you can get it, is some magnetic paint or magnetic sheet on the sides to hold the thin metal dies…. or a block shelf with drill holes, to hold pens and brushes etc …. as I said…. so many possibilities to customize this kind of project to suit your space and needs.
I shall probably build a pen block to hold all of my brushes and pens and other small tools. that I can just sit on top when I am using it.
Casters I got basic, non locking casters and since it won’t have a whole lot of heavy stuff in it, I didn’t see the need for the heavy duty ones. These cost around $3 each at Home Depot.
MDF base board 2×4 sheet cost around $10 per sheet for the 3/4 inch. If you have the room and ability to buy the bigger sheets and cut them down to size…. It is usually cheaper. I don’t have a truck and live in an apartment now, so no workshop space and limited tools make pre-cut easier and quicker for me. These 2×4 sheets will slide in behind the front seats across the foot well of a Ford Fusion.. for anyone in a similar situation.
Birch Plywood 2×4 precut sheets for the top surface. They have a choice of surfaces to suit budgets and tastes. So depending on how you plan to finish the top off…. you can save some money by choosing something else, if it suits. These were just under $20 a sheet. Obviously, again bigger sheets and cutting them down would be cheaper and leave you with some extra lumber for adding in extras shelving, racks etc in the rear of your cart if needed.
Ok…. assembly… that’s pretty much a drill and screw no brainer.
I flipped the MDF and attached 4 casters using 1/2 inch screws, flipped it over.. aligned my cabinets…. I set mine up against one edge so there was no gap when I pushed them together. If you are only doing one…. you should center it obviously. I set it back slightly to create a lip, so when I am using the front edge the tote handles wouldn’t be so annoying. I screwed down from the top into the MDF to secure the cubes to the base. Then I added the birch top, aligned and screwed that to the cubes from the top. If you aren’t planning to stain the top or are using another type of top surface….you will want to attach from the underneath side instead. I will be bedding my screw heads below the surface and filling the holes before staining mine, so they won’t be seen when it’s finished.
I then turned it round and installed 3 pillars for support and added in a recycled wooden crate to hold my oversized paper and sketch pads that won’t fit in the totes. I’ll be adding in a few shelves at the top of that cart, then a bunch of shelves in the other one between the two poles. To finish off I will put some backing board on the backside of the cubical frame to hide the totes from the other side and then staining.
Voila… easy peasy rolling craft cart that can easily be built from upcycled/recycled materials. I have the glass top from an old desk in my closet, but since I have a toddler who will share this craft space and is a bit heavy handed… I don’t plan to use that just yet ….but that is a great addition if you paint, ink or stain and want to protect the wood.
I live in an apartment with no dedicated craftspace…. so this makes an excellent practical solution for my crafting needs for me and my son, whilst blending in really well with our existing furniture. We live upstairs and these are low profile windows, so it also covers my safety concerns by keeping my son away from the windows when he is running around like a fruit loop without blocking natural light too much
….and also removes monkey boys chances of scaling the walls in his room
Easy to move and push together to create an activity space that all of us, as a family can use together when needed and because we have a recessed window…. it fits in without using up valuable floor space.
All in all; a totally cool project, quick and easy to do….unless you have a mini helper….in which case add on an extra day LOL.
I’m not going to wait to finish this off before posting this project.. mainly because I plan to wait a little while before staining this….and because I can’t seem to get someone off it long enough to do it haha. My son has already laid claim to HIS new crafting/play space.
But I think the pics and instructions are easy enough for anyone to follow. This is a seriously cool project for any crafter; no matter whether you live in an apartment, or a house with a dedicated craft room.
I know my son is going to enjoy this new work/play surface just as much as I am…. and hubby…. well he will just be happy to get his desk back to himself and not have to see Craft stuff everywhere LOL…
… all round a very happy family.