Garage Makeover… Or How to Utilize Vertical Space to Get More Room

So, the plan has been in the making for months. Maybe even years. No matter how big, it never seems big enough. Now that I have returned to my furniture restoration/makeovers, I have taken over more of the space in my three car garage and we are back to the point of not having enough space for any cars!

photo 4Not only is this just bugging the crap out of me, but it really means the investment in my cars is being dismissed. We’re smack dab in the middle of tornado season (along with hail and strong winds) and I hate to think about not being able to get the cars in the garage when I needed.

So… we’re doing a garage makeover. I am framing a wall between the second and third bays of the garage and utilizing the height for more storage. Besides, the uneven (not to mention ug-a-LEE)DSCN2541 table that I have my power tools is definitely not the quality that I am used to.

So, the wall is being sheet-rocked on one side and the other side has pegboard from floor-to-ten foot ceilings. Lots of things hanging and out of the way. It also means nothing to interfere with getting the car into that third bay when I need to. Me and The Kid (and even the old man himself) spent a couple of days building the stud wall and then me and the Kid did all the sheet rocking. It was fun learning how to do mudding and taping – we watched a YouTube video on how to do it. It is one of those things that is really great to have in your repertoire even if you never do it again. And it makes you appreciate those that do that job for a living… it isn’t easy!

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Update:

The mudding and taping was completed, even if not perfect. I opted with good enough and done, rather than perfect. The Kid went ahead and painted the wall, leftover paint from the original house colors and it looks good. I haven’t decided about the other side, the peg board is by default white and I think I can live with that.

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I’ve moved in some of the cabinets which used to sit side-by-side and now there are stacked. Ten feet of vertical storage only occupying about six square feet of garage floor. And it is white, like the other cabinetry that already exists in the garage. We did a California Closets setup when we first bought the house and I have loved, loved, photo 1LOVED all that storage. I found really nice cabinets on CraigsList for about $150 which will be perfect for the tools to sit on, although they are grey. But they are still very nice. We should be picking them up Saturday morning. This weekend is going to be very busy while we’re attempting to get this done.

Another Update:

Picked up the cabinets this morning and spent the day cleaning, reorganizing and discarding the useless junk that seems to pile up when you’re not looking. Months ago, I picked up carpet squares from CraigsList, so I stripped the old, dirty and stained carpets that I had on the floor of the garage and laid out the carpet squares. Then it was time to move all the project pieces into the smaller side so that (hopefully) we can finish the large side tomorrow. My arms, knees and back are killing me and I really need a solid night’s sleep so that I can get right back into it tomorrow.

julie

A New Direction for a Dresser: A Doll Dresser

Finally making some real headway on the myriad of projects that I have been working on. Finished a couple tonight and have a few more that are but details from completing.

This first project described tonight is kind of fun and only time will tell if it is successful in selling. I had seen something similar on Pinterest, but in a smaller scale. The project was to turn a dresser into a doll house/storage.dresser-to-barbie-house-after

This one, like I mentioned, is a smaller scale, intended for Barbie size or 1:6 scale. It has been a while since I’ve been around little girls to really know just how popular Barbie and her friends still are, but my own experience with my grand-nieces (ages 6 & 10) is that the American Girl dolls have taken a solid lead in little girls’ favorite playthings.

I spent a few weeks over the summer sewing clothes and bed linens for these adorable 18″ dolls. I found that I really liked sewing clothes for this size much more than the 11″ doll size. Being larger in size, they are easier to piece and they have a much nicer flow/hang on the doll. And the girls (my grandnieces) absolutely loved them. I think that being larger makes them much easier to dress and play with.

So, as I said, the project was intended to be a dresser converted into a doll house. Something like this photo. So, I started looking for dressers that might work. I knew it would have to be a bit bigger than most of the dressers that I’ve been working with, but didn’t want to go too big, like a entertainment center. After all, it was supposed to be for a little girl/girls and didn’t want to make the top half of it unreachable.Grandview MO

And then as fate may have it, I stumbled across the posting for this dresser, ready for a transformation because it was already missing a drawer. But overall, it was a beautiful piece of furniture and I wouldn’t feel bad for transforming it by ripping most of its interior out of it.

Happily, the drawer above them missing one was the same size and fit into the opening. Then it was a matter of sawing out the horizontal supports and sanding it done nice and evenly. DSCN0948

Here is where my inability to take enough pictures kicks in. I think I get on a roll with working on a project and just forget to stop occasionally and take a photo! But I built a large box out of a decent plywood to fit into the remaining space. This is easier said than done. It took a few attempts to get it just right and even at that I had some space at the top. But rather than rebuild the whole thing (I was running out of wood), I opted to leave it and just put a trim piece around the edge. I really like how it turned out.  AG Doll Dresser3

The shelf sits at 22 inches, which is about 4 inches higher than the height of the dolls. That left an awkward size at the top, but wanted at least one space that reflected an accurate height for the dolls. In hindsight, I probably should have removed the bottom drawer, but did like the concept of having it there to store the myriad pieces that come with playing with dolls.

Next order of business was a couple of coats of primer, considering that this was a very dark finish, followed by two coats of pale pink. The inner trim around the box and the interior was finished with a off-white color, something that would be very neutral for the future owner to be able to decorate. A nice blank canvas.AG Doll Dresser

For the pictures, though, I wanted to be able to accurately depict the height of the space. Since I don’t have any of this scale doll furniture (I only have one knock-off doll for clothes fittings and a great little clothes rack I made), I went with the second best idea, props. Searched Google for the right image of kitchen furniture and scaled it for the 1:3 ration of the dolls and printed it out. I then glued it onto poster board and set it aside to let the glue dry. I also printed out some checkerboard in black and white to represent the floor. Looks pretty cool, huh?AG Doll Dresser2

I’ve been watching a new series on Netflix (thank God for Netflix!!), so I opted to watch while I sewed. easy enough to create a cut little quilt, pillow and sheet ensemble for the cardboard box bed with headboard. I think the top section will make excellent place to store a doll or two.

Added ceramic handles to the drawer and this piece is ready for some little girl to enjoy this Christmas. So you don’t have to scroll back and forth to compare, here is a handy ‘before & after’ photo:

Doll Dresser B&A

I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out… and I hope at least one other person thinks so too (so they buy it!).

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

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