Hackety hack hack, Ikea Art Table in Black | Week 14 | #52wonderfilledweeks

My husband and I have always sort of joked that until all the variables in a situation are just right we won't move forward with something.  We are so particular and methodical about projects, and so frugal and earth conscience, that it often feels like we move at a snails pace! For example, when we bought our house almost 10 years ago we had big plans to build a privacy fence around our backyard...it ended up taking us 7 years to finally move forward with that project.  But it never felt right before then.  We knew we wanted a garage and didn't want to build a fence that would just get ripped down, wasting time, materials and money, etc.  Meanwhile we had friends who had bought a house and renovated their kitchen in the first year...and then proceeded to repaint the kitchen and other areas of their home several times in the few years they lived there.  That totally worked for them but we tend to sit and stew until all the pieces fall into place...and often for us that is the idea or concept.  Until we're sure about the design, how we will do it, how it will function we will just talk about it, and talk about it and draw it out and research all the pieces...it's frustrating being in "concept purgatory" but once you're released from it, it usually pays off in spades.  We get what we want the first time and usually with little waste of material and money.

I felt like I was in a "WONDERfilled Purgatory" this week.  I knew I needed a project but I couldn't settle on one.  I have a list...a LARGE list of things I can and should do but nothing jumped out at me and I didn't want to attempt something just to make my self imposed deadline for this challenge only to cut corners or not love it in the end.  So I sat and stewed on it.  I spent most of the week thinking about the dining seat covers I want to make for our chairs.  P was never a messy eater, until now go figure, but last week she dropped a dot marker while at the table and it left a perfect circle of ink on one of our dining room chairs (that I recovered by hand with my Mom a few years ago I might add).  I was frustrated and then I remembered that she's four and I should just make a cover that is waterproof and washable...after all Bubba is a total messy eater already and I know that an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".  So I sat and thought about how to do this, how to sew it, how to connect it...and in the end went with an entirely different project all together...HA!

P loves to draw and create art and she's like really good, especially considering she's  only 4 years old. She is always asking for blank paper to draw on and with Bubba it's often not possible to just stop and grab her paper.  We love this Paper Roll from Ikea and have the coordinating Paper Roll Holder. It's great except ripping paper off of it is not an easy concept for P and it takes up space on top of our hutch in our dining room.  In our basement we have the Ikea easel and figured out a way to roll the paper under the easel after P's art has dried so we can save a whole roll of her drawings in one compact area.  We wanted to do something similar upstairs where we spend most of our time but knew we would have to hack something to get exactly what we wanted.


  • THESE hooks from Home Depot (4 total)
  • THIS yard stick from Home Depot (2 total)
  • PAINT and brush (I actually used the largest brush in the Ikea brush set)

I looked at some hacks on Pinterest a year or so ago but the problem I kept running into was that the table we had bought is so different from all the hacks I found.  We have this table and chair set,
Sundvik Desk & Chairs, it's a little pricier than their other kids tables but we thought it fit in with our main furnishings better and we liked the idea that is was black and wouldn't show marks as easily as the lighter pine or white table offerings.  The downside is that it is a different dimension than the other tables and a roll of paper is almost as wide as the short side of the table.  I really wanted the paper to roll from side to side so the whole top would be covered and the slats that keep the paper down wouldn't be in the way of drawing.  I realized quickly that this probably wasn't a possibility and resigned myself to the fact that the paper would have to run top to bottom...Friday I ran to Home Depot with Bubba while P was in school.  I figured if I got long enough hooks and a dowel I could under mount the paper roll and just have a wooden slat across the top to hold the paper down and also create a rip bar.  Because it would run top to bottom I wouldn't be able to roll the art up as it would be in the way of anyone sitting at the desk and a hold bar at the bottom would be really frustrating to anyone drawing...but time was ticking and I needed to get this project done.  Once Bubba went down for a nap I started to dry fit the items and quickly realized that the hooks I got just were not long or deep enough...basically the paper roll was to thick...and since I actually didn't want it mounted top to bottom anyway I sat and stewed some more.  I picked P up from school and ran back to the HD...and this time grabbed some smaller hooks...(I'm not sure what I was thinking) and finally found the yard sticks I had been looking for earlier at the other location.  I got home, did some work, fed the family and at 7:30pm sat down to "make it work".

Happily, stewing in my concept purgatory paid off, and I realized that if I under mounted the smaller hooks I could position them where there would be enough play to install the paper roll on the sides.  Hooray!!! I was so excited.  I now had the design I was looking for the whole time and everything just fell into place. I decided to mount the hooks on both sides of the table as well as the yard sticks.  This way we can roll up P's art and save everything and really limit all the paper scraps laying around the house.

Figuring out the under mount and placement of the hooks.
I taped the hooks where I thought they should be to work and tried installing the paper roll making sure that it would hold and allow it to roll.  It was perfect.  *TIP* Always, always, ALWAYS pre-drill your screw holes, ALWAYS.  I grabbed some shorter screws (the ones that came with the hooks were too long and would have come thru to the top of the table) and a very narrow drill bit.  *TIP* when you want to drill a hole only to a certain depth use painters tape on the bit to give you a visual to the depth you need to go.  I pre-drilled all my holes and hand screwed the hooks into place.  If I was being extra particular I would have colored the screw heads with a black sharpie but since it's on the underside of the table and already late on Friday night I decided to move on!

I peeled the tape back to mark the screw holes.

Tape on my drill bit.  I only needed a very short pilot hole.
Paper roll installed!
I marked the yard sticks to the length I needed them and ran out to the garage to cut them.  I love having a garage with my tools set up so I can quickly take care of little things like this!  Then I grabbed some leftover paint I had in the craft studio and started painting. It took about 4 coats of paint doing 2 coats at a time.  The yardsticks are cured wood so they took the paint easily and dried very fast.  I had planned to go back over the indentations where the ruler markings were with a contrasting color but decided that might be too much visually.  And as it turned out in the morning light, you can see the markings just fine even painted black!

Cutting the yardsticks to length.

I painted the undersides just along the sides so you wouldn't see the bright wood against the black.

Difference between one and two coats.

Last coats of paint!

I used these rubber bumpers we had on hand to raise the ends of the yard sticks so there would be space enough for the 4 year old to get the paper under and thru and then used our finishing nailer to attach them to the table. I actually missed with one of the nails and split the wood...gosh darn it! But I just pulled the splintered piece off and grabbed a sharpie to touch up the wood so it wouldn't be noticeable once I got it nailed back down and it worked like a charm.

Rubber bumpers.  Handy to have on hand in the house for all sorts of projects and quick fixes.
I used two on each end.

They space the yardstick off the table the perfect amount.

I touched up the paint where I nailed the strips to the table and VIOLA! We have a great little art table where P can draw to her hearts content and it takes up NO MORE SPACE!!! I love that if/when we don't want this paper roll installation anymore we can take it off with very little damage to the table itself (yay for finishing nails).  I can't wait to see what new master pieces P comes up with next!!!

Touching up the finishing nail holes.
We love Ikea for certain things, and their art supplies are at the top of that list! If you haven't already, check out these items on your next visit:

The finished product is great! P loves it and has spent the better portion of the last few days at it!


Testing out the new space.

It's a HIT!


Popular posts from this blog

Replacing elastic in Flip diaper covers & converting aplix (velcro) tosnap closures

DIY Swiffer Duster Refills | Week 3 | #52wonderfilledweeks

IKEA Stomma Clock Hack | This WONDERfilled Life