Archive | April, 2015

DIY Dish or China Organizers

25 Apr

I know it’s been a while…I’m ashamed.  I started a new job in September, and time has flown since then! Anyway…we have been doing work around the house!  One of the projects that I’ve actually been able to finish was quick and easy, and it’s made a huge difference! Our wedding china hadn’t been unpacked–ever.  For over 3 years it sat boxed, in its original packaging.  A few weeks ago I was bored, and I realized that all the china was sitting inside our house, easily accessible.  The hutch that’s in our dining room had been bought specifically with our china in mind.  So I finally brought it all together.  I unpacked our china, and came up with a plan on how to organize it within the drawers. My favorite thing about this project is that it’s not permanent.  I love the hutch that I’m using for our china, so I didn’t want to permanently alter it.  This project doesn’t require “ruining” anything. The first step was to cut an insert for the bottom of the drawer.  This insert has to be thick enough to give support to the eventual dowels, but can’t be too heavy because you don’t want to break the drawer.

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{Cabinet hutch!}

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{Drawer inserts, cut to size}

Once the inserts were cut to size, I made sure they fit…

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{Insert inside hutch cabinet}

…and they did!  Next, I laid out the china the way I wanted it organized inside the drawer.

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{China laid out inside drawer}

In order to get the accurate measurements of the dishware, I flipped it all over, and then traced the outlines of the dishes.

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{Tracing china dishes onto the insert}

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{China outlines on the drawer insert}

Once I had the outline of the dishes on the drawer insert, I had to decide how to corral the dishes with the eventual dowels.  Basically, you want your dishes supported in at least two places, taking into consideration the places that they’re supported against the drawer wall.  Mark those places as drill holes.  Does that make sense?  See below:

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{Drill hole guides}

The dowel I used was 3/8″ in size, so I used a 3/8″ drill bit.  I drilled holes through the guidelines indicated above, making sure not to drill past the outline of a dish (that would impact the dish fitting inside the area).  Once the drill holes were there, I started putting dowels into the holes. The 3/8″ dowels I used came in long lengths.  I cut each dowel down to 5″ in length, which I had measured to make sure it would fit once the drawer was closed.  With all the drill holes drilled, I started putting the dowels into the holes.  If they had been loose inside those drilled holes, I would have added wood glue to the end of the dowels.  But they were fitting so snug that I actually had to use a hammer to get them into the holes.  Therefore, glue wasn’t necessary.

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{Drilled holes in the drawer insert}

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{Dowels inserted into the drilled holes…hammer required}

Once all the dowels were inserted into the wood base, I but the insert back into the drawer, and added the dishes!

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{Custom china organizer!}

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{Custom china hutch organization}

The drawer inserts fit very snug, which means they don’t shift around at all.  The dowels keep the dishes in place, and corral them against the walls of the drawers.  The wood base isn’t actually attached to the drawer, so I can remove it at any time and the drawer will be perfect, in it’s original condition. That’s it!  That’s all it took to get my china out of storage and safely organized.  In case you’re wondering, the china you see pictured is Vera Wang Wedgwood, the Grosgrain pattern.  I absolutely love it!  It’s classic.  By the way, my friends thought I was crazy for registering for china.  Nowadays, it seems old-fashioned and unnecessary.  But we did it anyway and I don’t regret it.  It’s special and I’ll treasure it.  But I also understand why it’s too formal for some 🙂 I hope this helps anyone looking for a way to keep your own china safe! Cheers!

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