Since it’s National Stationery Week I thought it’s the perfect time to show off my desk makeover. I wanted a cute planner/blogging/crafting corner that wasn’t a dark hole.
For as long as I remember I’ve been an avid crafter. It’s a skill and love I’ve gotten from my family…yes, my whole family. Both my mum and grandmother are tailors, my auntie is a qualified craft teacher, my other grandmother a qualified art teacher and y dad is a great artist. I’ve never really had a proper crafting corner before and the under the stairs desk was one of the deciding factors in deciding for our current house The spot is rather dark though so I decided to give it a proper desk makeover to brighten up the space.
Before I went ahead with my plan I had to ask for permission from our landlord. We aren’t really allowed to change anything in the house but since my makeover can be easily reversed I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to ask permission. I had to wait a few days for them to get back to me – it is, after all, a solid oak desk that did look nice, but in the end I got the go-ahead..yay!
Let’s talk about the desk in it’s original condition.
Where do I start?! Let’s just say that the location isn’t ideal. It’s a dark corner despite the window that’s next to it. It’s also a built in desk with a part that completely covers the access to the two VERY deep drawers…completely useless to me so I ended up putting the drawers in the garage and I use the cubicle on it’s own to store some document files. Whoever designed the desk clearly didn’t think the design through
Got some gorgeous contact paper from Wilko for just £5 per roll…obviously I got only one roll so no room for error (lol….yeah). It has a beautiful wood imitation pattern on it and looks quite natural. I went through countless of YouTube videos trying to find the best method for applying contact paper. It’s not easy at all. I came across two methods I thought would work for me : winded method for placing the contact paper on the desk and the hairdryer method for applying the contact paper on the rounded edge.
The Plan in action…
Why ,oh why did I choose a night where my husband was ill and my kids were not sleeping very well. The desk is quite near the bedroom door so you can imagine how many times I woke Elli up…countless times. But I had started the project and I wanted to finish it.
I measured out the biggest piece. I figured that I should apply the front piece first and then work on the back of the desk. Air bubbles everywhere…I then remembered the Windex method (spaying glass cleaner on the desk so that the contact paper moves around for easier placing). Totally didn’t work for me. The contact paper developed massive air bubbles that refused to bugger off and I ended up drying off the glass cleaner and proceed to carefully peel the backing off the contact paper and smoothing with my buss pass 😀
That was the easy part. Here’s a tip though: don’t be like me…lazy and in a hurry, make sure you wipe the desk BEFORE you start, even the slightest of pieces of dirt will show once the contact paper is on it.
When it came to doing the round edge I whipped out my hair dryer and heated up the contact paper and stretched it around the corner. It’s not easy! Imagine covering a round cake with fondant, you have to smoothe and stretch at the same time all the while making sure you don’t do either in excess or the fondant will tear. Same applies to contact paper. You also have to keep heating up the contact paper as it cools very rapidly. This is a place where it’s a good idea to have an extra set of hands to help with the application.
The part I had most trouble with was measuring out the back piece and applying it. It kept going askew. You will want to be very careful while lining up two separate pieces of contact paper because if you get it wrong the split will be rather obvious. Mine isn’t perfect but since I have quite a few things on my desk it’s not very obvious.
What I learnt:
Ask for help 🙂 Maybe grab a bottle of cider or beer to take the edge off when you’re screaming in frustration after sticking the contact paper in your hair….you know, the usual!
Do you have a special place for your craft projects?