I had a personal problem to solve. We were using a single Command Strip hook to hang our family calendar on and stay organized with. Very lame. I made this Multi-Tasking Pallet Kitchen Organizer Center to eliminate that lameness from our lives. I like to re-purpose pallets; it's a great way to get different textures and color shading because of the many various types of woods that companies use to make them. I also like the textures involved with the different wood types/grains, and with the milling process.
I wanted to go rustic with the look, but I also wanted to incorporate a handful of different features to deal with the standard ancillary components that go into organizing our lives. To me that meant:
- White board/dry erase or blackboard (which looks cool, is trendy, but is also messy)
- Magnets: lots of magnet spots to try and catch all those damn scraps of important papers that get lost in the shuffle of junk mail
- Pencil/ Pen Holder
I had to consider where I wanted to put it. This meant working around a double light switch box without losing all of the space because of it. Additionally, I wanted to try and make it blend in. If it couldn't match, then I wanted it to at least work with the wall and tiles it was going to be next to.
Multi-Tasking Pallet Kitchen Organizer Center - Glue-up:
So, I set out designing, measuring and assembling. The first step was gluing together the four large pieces end to end to create the main bulk of it. I just used basic pipe clamps and wood glue. I didn't use a wood planer, so it kept with the rustic feel by creating gaps between the pieces of wood once assembled.
Multi-Tasking Pallet Kitchen Organizer Center - Layout:
For the second part, the right side of the organizer was a bit more complicated. I wanted to use the expanded metal grating to give a more industrial look and provide a lot of magnetic space. It also gave me the opportunity to do something under the metal. I chose to create a painted pattern. This pattern closely matched the coloring and size of the tile backsplash in my kitchen. The trick to accomplishing that was to cut a stencil square out of a thin piece of cardboard. Then, I just had to move it around, spray painting different colors to give the effect of tiles.
The metal is actually raised above the painted wood a little. I used the table saw to cut grooves into the frame pieces where the metal was inserted (only the two side pieces). This effectively sandwiched the metal into place once all four frame pieces were glued together. Cool and gives a 3-D look.
Multi-Tasking Pallet Kitchen Organizer Center -More Fun Additions:
I saved the bottom area as a place to mount a steel strip that works well as another magnet holder. Interesting side note, this was leftover from the Coat Rack project. I also mounted a small mason jar using an old automotive hose clamp to hold it in place. Works out good for holding pens & pencils. The white basket I bought from Target.com in the section listed for student lockers. They have all kinds of little magnetic things to put in your school locker (that is if you still live out of one)
Multi-Tasking Pallet Kitchen Organizer Center - Ready to Hang Up:
I used the French Cleat method of mounting to the wall. It allows me to take this on and off easily if I wanted to mount more junk to it, as well as let me adjust on the horizontal plane to line it up correctly with the light switch I worked around. (Also allowed me to take it off the wall and snap this pic so you could see it)
The matching Cleat is mounted to the wall. I just found the two studs and zipped three big screws in making sure it was level. I finished it with a rich stain and then applied a polyurethane varnish over the whole thing. Now that it's mounted, it's very convenient and keeps us all organized.