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Thursday, October 6, 2011

It was asking for it!

In an effort to turn our play room into a school room so we can stop doing school work at the kitchen table, we took the day off from book work today and got dirty.

Isn't this corner just ASKING to be prettier?
This is where school meets play.  The kids love to toss things into this corner, then pile on top of it as they play with their mess.  It doesn't bother me much, but that desk is really only a one-person type of desk so doing school work on it isn't too much fun and feels isolated for SJ.  So, let's upgrade!

The first thing I decided to do was install "bookshelves".  I put them in quotations because although they will be holding books, they are sold at Lowes as gutters.  Yep.  I'm sure you're giving the very same look my husband gave me when I initially ran the idea past him.  I got the idea as I was scouring Pinterest for ideas on how to better organize a play room, and saw this blog.  I didn't pin it basically because I thought it would be a ridiculously expensive and/or time consuming project.  But I just couldn't get it out of my head!  Every time I walked into this room, I would look at this corner and think to myself, "Self... (pause for effect)... wouldn't it be grand to have a better way to store SJ's books so that she can see the fronts of them and be interested in them?"  We do have one small bookshelf in the opposite corner, and it holds books for both Christina and Samantha. Every day Christina pulls every book off of the shelf in order to ensure each book gets it's due attention for the day.  It upsets SJ, and she sees her books as more of a chore to clean up rather than a story to enjoy.  So, I finally woke up this morning and answered myself, "Yes, self... (pause for effect)... I would be.  Let's go to Lowes and get this project GOING!"

I decided to only make two shelves in case gutters were expensive, or difficult to install.  Here's what I spent: (1) 10' vinyl gutter: $4.71; (2) left end caps for the vinyl gutter: $5.62; (2) right end caps for the vinyl gutter: $5.62; (6) gutter brackets: $15.96.  So, for under $32 (before tax), I was able to build two 5' bookshelves!  Here are the pictures I took... forgot to take pictures of my hanging them, but if you can hang a picture, you can hang a gutter!

My 10' gutter.  Decided on (2) 5' shelves rather than
one 10' shelf.

I measured 5', and put dots along the gutter.  This is
where I'll cut it.  Christina was SO helpful here.

Since the gutter has some pretty curvy places on it, I
decided to put some painter's tape (because that's what I
had on hand) along my dotted line rather than drawing a line.
It was much more reliable.
The first installed gutter.
What you missed: Cut the gutter with something sharp. I used some hand held power tool that I had laying around.  Peel the painter's tape off and put the second gutter to the side while you install this one.  Some websites (yeah... there are plenty of people who have done this before me) recommend that you drill your gutter brackets into a stud.  That's a lot of work for me.  You see, I own one of those stud-finders... but the dang thing always beeps at me no matter what is behind that drywall.  So, if you study my walls as you walk around my house (specifically in my kitchen) you'll see a LOT of what I like to call "recon holes".

These little babies are why I even have anything on
my walls at home.  No stud needed... it holds
So, after you have put your brackets in the wall, just slide your gutter in and voila!  You're done.  I put end caps on the edges of the gutter so it looks finished and pretty.  Some people would glue them, but we're an Army family and will move one day.  I'd like to be able to remove the end caps so we can take our "book shelf" with us to our next duty station.

The finished shelves.  My next blog will be about that
table.  Pretty, huh?
SJ just couldn't wait to "read her books for the first time".  She stood at her new school room area reading her "new" books for almost an hour.  Well worth the time and money spent!

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