Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wherein I acknowledge the existence of a third child

It sort of dawned on me, as I began this project that, in all of his 17 years, I have never decorated a room for Cooper. I have hung pictures for him, and even provided him once with matching bedding. His room has never really even had the minimum requisite furniture. He has had a bed, a bedside table, a desk and a bureau, but never all at the same time. I'm a shitty mom.

Without dwelling on the 5 or 6 photos I took of the before. Here are *a couple* photos, just so you can see that it indeed needed some serious attention. The view is the same from every perspective: Utter bedlam.
I knew, after having Chloe and Cooper share a room all summer, that I wanted his room to have a masculine, industrial 'steampunky' feel to it. I had purchased more than a year ago an old vintage-y hand truck from BringRecycling. I loved it for the wheels, and hoped that I could come up with a way to use the old wood that made up the bed of it. I decided to make a platform bed, and put the wheels on the bed, and incorporate a bat-storage solution. For literally years I have fought with the pile of bats that constantly got knocked over behind his door.
This past month, we got a new roof, and the roofers very kindly left me their left-overs, and when I went out to take stock, realized that they had left me just enough wood to accomplish the platform for the bed.

That went easily enough; just a simple 2x4 framework, then covered in plywood. I wanted it to look like a pallet. I used my mothers secret recipe to age the wood (a gallon of white vinegar and as much rusty metal as I could find. Put both into a sprayer and allow to sit for 24 hours.
Perfectly old wood without waiting half a century) I sprayed the wood down a couple of times, (above is without spray, middle is one application, and below that is after two applications. Voila!)
I then attached the wheels, called some big strong friends to lift the sucker, and commenced working on the headboard. My original intention was to use 4x4s to make 2 uprights and two crosspieces, but after trying VERY unsuccessfully to drill into pressure-treated 4x4s,
I revised my plan. I'm so glad I did! I went and purchased cedar, that I ran through the planer to tidy it up and make it thin enough to drill through, and I essentially made 2 big long boxes
( I love gorilla glue!) I then drilled through both sides of one, and just the top of the other, then assembled them to the 2 4x4 uprights. (also, I purchased 'new' bracket hardware, and soaked it overnight in muriatic acid to remove the coating. It rusted up beautifully.) the bats can easily be removed from the backside of the frame for use, then stored back in the headboard. I did line the upper holes with a small ribbon of rubber shelf liner to keep them from knocking loudly when laying in the bed.

The next project were the shelves he has so desperately needed. I mapped out on graph paper the dimensions of the wall, then figured out just how much pipe I would need to buy.
I purchased all the pipe, then spent a serious amount of time on the next couple of steps. First of all, home depot labels EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. that they sell. And apparently pipe gets stolen, because they taped those labels on like they own stock in a tape company. Muriatic acid burns lots of stuff, but not labels and tape. By the way, I'm still on the fence about whether the muriatic acid was worth the trouble. It removed the veneer , which I think ultimately helps the paint stick, but I didn't set out to paint... Probably could have foregone the muriatic acid anyway. Cooper is not the fan of rusty that I am, and I knew he would like the shiny black. So each piece then got painted, and finally I began building. An 18-inch nipple (Gawd, I can see the google traffic already. Move along, guys, nothing to see here. This is a DIY post) with a flange, then an 8-inch nipple attached with a t-joint, to add stability to the wood shelves, and an elbow joint, to keep everything square. Then I drilled holes in one side of a length of wood, then another length of nipple. Multiply this by 4 sets of pipe, and about 5 or 6 shelves, and you have the shelf project. The finished project came out great, but it was a little spendy and more than a little frustrating. All's well that ends well though, and that's all I'm going to say 'bout that.
The other bane of my existence were Coopers shoes. OK, one more photo of the mess, just so you can see what I was up against in this David and Goliath battle of Order.
Cooper is the Imelda Marcos of athletic shoes. I stopped and started a couple of times on this one, because I knew I wanted a vertical rack, but didn't quite have the metal/wood vision I needed. I ended up going with an all-wood 'ladder' with 2 rungs spaced close together, to stick the toes of the shoes into. The shoes cantilever out from the ladder. Easy storage solution the will hopefully get used. ;)

The final task in the room project was a bedside table. This was easy. I borrowed the pipe motif, then used that old wood from the hand-truck. Planed it down to the new clean wood, then fashioned a table top and a lower shelf. Screwed the flanges on, the lower shelf rests on a coupler between an 18-inch nipple and a 10-inch nipple, and a flange at the floor. Done. Good looking room, just in time for Coopers last year at home.

No comments:

Post a Comment