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(The Printer Isn’t) Trapped in the Closet

A few months ago, I revamped my closet as one of the first steps toward completing Kim’s Stu-Stu-Studio makeover. Things went very well at first, but I slowly realized that while the bones were good, it would need some tweaking. In all honesty, things had gone downhill pretty quickly.

Jump forward a few months, and as the studio progressed, we realized that Kim would need to upgrade her printer to one with higher resolution. We settled on the Canon Pixma MG6120. It has wi-fi connectivity, all the functionality we need, and scans Kim’s work beautifully. The printer is, however, about 40% larger than our old model. This presented a problem, as the studio space remains about 40% smaller than an average bedroom.

Up until last weekend, here’s where we stood with a printer crammed under Grandma’s chair, and my closet overflowing with nonsense.

From there, the plan was simple: I gut my closet, reconfigure the shelves into a more usable orientation, pet Jack while I work, and hide the wi-fi enabled printer on a little wheelie tray inside the closet so that it’s (functionally) out of sight 95% of the time, but can be rolled out into the room for Kim’s weekly portrait scanning sessions.

Before and afters are great, no? This only required the purchase of one extra shelf, two extra supports, and about three seconds with a miter saw to chop one existing shelf in half.

The same day we went to Home Depot to pick up the extra shelf supplies for my closet, we picked up a small piece of project-plywood that started out 24″ x 24,” and we had HD cut it to 15″ x 19″ – just slightly larger than the printer itself. We also grabbed a small brass pull handle, four swivel castors, a white extension cord, a cable cover kit (more on those later), and a Behr paint sample in Juicy Passionfruit. Seriously. Juicy Passionfruit. I know, right?

As with all trips to Home Depot, the biggest time-suck of our journey was Kim’s raging internal debate between two identical shades of peachy, orange-y, coral-y, paint. (Love ya!) But we eventually checked off all the boxes on our list and were on our way home.

Upon our return to the tiny homestead, I  sanded the edges of the plywood smooth to remove any splinters and spackled the edges to finish things off nicely and keep the plywood from separating.

After I wrapped up the edge finishing and gave things a quick final sanding, Kim put on 1 layer of Zinnser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer, 2 coats of our Behr sample and 2 coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss (to protect from scuffs and counteract the flat finish that’s the only choice in the sample size).

You keen observers might also notice a longer, narrower piece of hardwood (that’s what she said?) in the background of the photo below. You’d like to know what that’s for, wouldn’t you? You will. Soon.

We gave everything ample drying/curing time. Like, an entire week ample since we’re trying this new thing where projects are largely reserved for the weekends to avoid burnout. I gotta tell you, it’s pretty great. At any rate, 3 days is more than enough time for primer, paint, and poly (alliteration!) to cure under normal circumstances.

The next step was to wrangle 16 tiny matching screws from the grandpa jar. This is the fastener equivalent of finding 16 needles in a haystack. A sharp, rusty haystack. But hey, all of our projects are done on a budget with as many repurposed items as possible. Plus, I’m up to date on my tetanus shot, I think…

Here is a rare photo of Kim using a drill. The bottom half of her face sure is pretty, huh? This is where we affixed the four little castors to the bottom of the plywood section (which we didn’t paint not only to save time, but we would never actually see it).

This is where the cable cover and extension cord came into play. There is obviously not an electrical outlet in the closet, so we had to run the extension cord from the nearest outlet.

This stuff works pretty well, huh? With Grandma’s chair back in place, you can hardly see the cord.

So, here sits the printer on a piece of plywood, with four swivel castors and a tiny brass pull handle to ease it’s exit from the closet.

Like so!

In all honesty, the handle isn’t perfectly straight. Since plywood is essentially a stack of thin, glued-together pieces of wood, sometimes you just need to let the screw go where it wants to go to avoid splitting and cracking.

All said and done, we’re super happy with how things turned out. The printer is no longer trapped in the closet, we can print wirelessly, and I somehow actually gained some shelf space in this transaction. All’s well that ends well.

Is anyone else working on a hidden electronics project?

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  • heather s.7.20.12 - 7:13 AM

    Great job! I did this years ago with a piece of closet shelving (like what is in your closet above) and casters to keep my printer under my mammoth desk. I rolled it out when necessary and pushed it back under (and against the back wall) when not in use. It worked great.ReplyCancel

  • Taryn7.20.12 - 7:55 AM

    This looks fantastic! I swear, you guys are such an inspiration to those with a small space!

    Quick question though – how have you attached the cord to the wall? Have you done a post on it previously?ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia]7.20.12 - 8:46 AM

    Oh, I love this! You guys are so. cool. And can I just comment, that is the perfect peachy-coral color. ;)ReplyCancel

  • kasey at thrifty little blog7.20.12 - 2:28 PM

    Hey, my printer *is* trapped in the closet. What a good solution!ReplyCancel

  • Trude7.20.12 - 4:45 PM

    Brilliant! I may need to do this for my printer, because right now it’s not really hidden on the bottom shelf of my little half bookshelf. :)ReplyCancel

  • Holyoke Home7.21.12 - 4:02 PM

    What a GREAT idea! seems such a shame to not use every single inch of storage and you’re doing just that! Um…..is that a flor rug? I am LOVING it!ReplyCancel

  • Kalli7.23.12 - 10:17 PM

    So smart, it looks great!ReplyCancel

  • […] Westend61/Getty Images One of the key reasons Calistoga Solage was named one of the most romantic hotels is that the resort is designed to take your mind off your day-to-day worries, Mueller says. You can do the same at home by maintaining a simple rule: If it could be found in an office, hide it from sight after work hours. That may mean moving your desk to another room, or putting your printer on a rolling cart that can slide into the closet when it’s not in use, like the bloggers at Yellow Brick Home did. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Westend61/Getty Images One of the key reasons Calistoga Solage was named one of the most romantic hotels is that the resort is designed to take your mind off your day-to-day worries, Mueller says. You can do the same at home by maintaining a simple rule: If it could be found in an office, hide it from sight after work hours. That may mean moving your desk to another room, or putting your printer on a rolling cart that can slide into the closet when it’s not in use, like the bloggers at Yellow Brick Home did. […]ReplyCancel

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