Friday, July 22, 2011

Make Your Own Turning Organizer

I recently made this neat little turning organizer to hold my zippers.  I've been storing them all together in a plastic container but there are too many to have to sort through them each time I need a zipper.  I'd been thinking about items to purchase that would allow me to sort the zippers by either size or color.  Since I keep only basic white, black, natural, and navy, I knew I needed something that would allow me to sort into at least  four types.   Some time ago while trying to find a zipper, I separated the zippers by color.  Since then, I've come to realize that this is a good system for me.  Generally the color is more important than the size since I can cut longer zippers down, if necessary.  This is not frugal, since longer zippers cost more, but it will serve in a pinch.

In the end, this is the turning organizer I  build.  Here's how I did it.
Crayola Air Dry Clay
4 plastic drink mix containers 
3/8 inch dowel rod
decorative papers
4 zip ties (8 inches or longer)
double stick tape
single hole punch
sharp knife or small hand saw to cut the dowel rod
I also used my rotary cutter with a used blade to cut the paper.  However, you can use scissors.

Begin with the clay and form a base for the organizer.  I didn't worry about making it especially even, although I tried to make it look okay.  My form is about 1 1/2 inches from top to bottom at the highest point, which is in the center.  Once the shape is formed, find and mark the center of the form.  Make a hole in the center by pushing the dowel rod straight down from the mark you made through the base.  

When you slide the dowel rod out, you will have to smooth the clay down around the edge of the hole.  Use the knife or the handle of the hole punch to cut the hole larger on the bottom of the base.  I opened the hole about 1/4 inch all around and about 1/4 inch deeper.
Set the clay aside to begin drying.  This may take 2-3 days depending on the thickness of the form.

My form was based on a wooden base used for a rotating picture frame.  The two are in this photo so that you can get an idea of what I was aiming for.  Forget the pretty little ridges and the perfectly symmetrical circle....I knew neither of those would happen!  But this is not an organizer for sale.  It's meant to hold my stuff and I don't need perfection in this way.  You, however, are welcome to stress over perfection.  I'll just move on.

Now you're ready to begin working on the plastic containers.  First cut and remove the paper that is on the container, then remover the adhesive that is generally gummed up on one side of the plastic.  

Measure your container from the top just below the tiny lip to the bottom.  To measure the circumference of the container, wrap a piece of paper around the outside and overlap it by a half inch.  My containers are 6 1/2 inches tall and 9 inches around.  Mark and measure your decorative papers to fit the container.  Cut the paper out and wrap around the container, using the double stick tape on one edge to secure.  Repeat to cover the other three containers.  

Now use the hole punch to punch two holes in each container.  One hole should be directly over the overlapped paper and the second should be about one-half inch away.

Slide one of the zip ties through both holes of each container.  From the outside side the tie into the cup and then back out.  Repeat to add the remaining three cups onto the zip tie.  

As you add the cups, the space between them will naturally get tighter.  Roll the cups inward to be able to zip the tie closed.  Do not zip tightly just yet.  Set the cup aside and work on the dowel rod.

Use your knife or small saw to cut the dowel rod down to 11 inches.  You will want a way to keep the dowel in the base.  Use the lid from the container to make small washers.  Draw and cut three small circles on the lid and cut out using the scissors.  Repeat with another lid so that you have six circles.  Use the hole punch to punch out two or three circles in the middle then use the scissors to round out the center.  

You will also need a way to hold the containers up off the base once they are put on the dowel.  Use the two remaining lids to make larger washers for this.  Cut the lip off the lid and use the hole punch to make a hole as close to the center as possible.  Now use the scissors to enlarge the hole so that the dowel will just fit inside.  Because none of the washers will show, don't worry about cutting perfect circles.  

 Put the six small washers on one end of the dowel.  Under the washers add a zip tie and tighten as much as you can. 

Slide the dowel onto the base and carefully push until the washers and zip tie are sunken into the clay.  If necessary, enlarge the hole you made earlier using a knife point.

Set the base down and carefully push the two larger washers on to the dowel from the top.  Add the cups so that you can judge about where the washers should be.  The containers will sit on the washers.  I allowed about an inch and a half from the top of the containers to the top of the dowel.  Once you determine where the washers go, remove the cups and add two zip ties--one below and one above the plastic washers.  

Now you're ready to add the containers to the dowel rod.  Slide the containers on to the dowel from the top and set on the washers.  Tighten the zip tie so that the containers sit straight.  And you're done!

Note: A few days after making the organizer, I was going to paint the base and dowel but found that the dowel rod could wiggle in the base.  This could be due to the clay shrinking as it dried or from my moving the dowel as I was building and taking photos.  To resolve the problem, I added more clay to the top of the base and smoothed it down pushing some into the tiny crack around the dowel.  I allowed this to dry another two days before painting the base and dowel to match my decor.


lambs and ivy designs said...

That is so smart!! Really cute. I was trying to think what I needed one for....Have a great weekend!

Marie Söderberg said...

This was really à great idea...