I'm happy to report that my office makeover is proceeding nicely. The big stuff--desk, bridge arrangement, seating, even the craft cubby is nearly complete. The only things that remain on the bullet list is artwork, light fixture, and mail organizer. In today's installment of Embracing Simplicity: A Home Office Makeover, we're going to tackle the last on that list.
I'm sure you've seen your fair share of DIY mail organizer tutorials. Me too. Which is why I wanted to construct this one differently. First, I decided to use an inexpensive canvas for the structure. The fabric, which would be used for the individual pockets, needed to be different too, so I decided to stencil it. Finally, I decided that even though there would be cloth involved, this project would require NO SEWING. (Yay for no sewing.) Even with the stenciling, this project was quick to make and the results hold all those things that used to clutter my desk, which include not only bills but flyers and invites and receipts too. (Oh, my.) Now let's get started.
- 12” x 24” canvas (I found mine for 2 for $6 at my local craft store)
- Paint and brush for canvas
- 1/2 yard white medium weight denim
- Iron and ironing board
- hot glue and gun
- stencil, stencil spouncer and masking tape (I used this stencil)
- craft paint and fabric medium
- paper plate
Start by applying one to two coats of paint onto the front of the canvas. I chose to use the same paint color as I used on my new office furniture.
Next, cut the fabric into 3 rectangles measuring 9” x 18”. Fold up each of the long sides 1/2”. Press well. Fold them up 1/2” again to fashion a. Press well. Fix each hem in place with a steady line of hot glue.
Position the stencil at the center of one of the rectangles, keeping it in place with masking tape.
Mix the craft paint with the fabric medium according to the instructions on the medium’s bottle. (Usually it’s 2 parts paint to 1 part fabric medium.) I like to mix them in a paper plate, which I then use as a palette. It makes clean-up easy too. Using the stencil spouncer, pounce the paint & medium mixture to the open areas of the stencil.
When all the painted surfaces are dry, position the stenciled fabric rectangles on the right side of the canvas, centering the images down the front.
Glue the bottom edge of each of the rectangles to the canvas, using steady lines of hot glue for each.
Next, glue the short sides of the rectangles to the sides of the canvas, making sure to angle the fabric up slightly so the front of the fabric pooches a little.
Now, hot glue the short sides of the fabric rectangles to the back of the canvas
Trim off the excess fabric from the back of the canvas.
Whichever way you decide to hang your mail organizer, it is HIGHLY recommended that you anchor it to the wall with a Command Picture Hanging Strip place at the bottom of the canvas. This will enable you to toss in your mail, flyers and receipts without the organizer going all wonky on the wall or, for that matter, falling off the wall.
Here's a picture of the finished product:
Now let’s get back to that stencil. I used it in another place in the office: on my new chair. Here’s a sneak peek:
Come back next week for an all-new "Embracing Simplicity: A Home Office Makeover" how-to, and don't forget to check out the first post in this series.