….We were so delighted when we were approached by the talented team at Martha Stewart to compete for an opportunity to join the “12 Months of Martha Stewart Crafts Team”. As part of the program, Bloggers receive a monthly box of Martha’s newest and hottest craft product, create something amazing, and post about it on their sites. These projects are promoted on the @MarthaStewart Pinterest board and MarthaStewart.com. All we needed was a point of inspiration, so I looked around my home for something that would be functional as well as aesthetic and soon found something that was long overdue to be tackled.
My husband and I have both the convenience, and inconvenience, of working from home, in very different careers. We share a light-filled, lofty, space on the 3rd floor of our suburban NJ home. In general, the pros do outweigh the cons when both partners are home-based and working, but we desperately needed something to divide our office areas and provide a sense of privacy and definition of workspace – without losing all of the luminosity we enjoy from opening the space up when we remodeled. So, Michelle and I decided to create a stylish, yet affordable, room divider and build it ourselves from scratch, to serve as a distinct border between the two offices. Sounds ambitious, right? Actually, it was surprisingly easy and affordable – and not to mention a lot of fun. Here’s how we did it…..
1) Wooden Dowel rods (we selected three different sizes, by thickness)
2) Eye screws (the smallest we could find in the local arts and crafts store)
3) Aluminum jump rings (12mm size)
4) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Gloss Spray Paint Kit
5) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Sprayable Gloss Enamel Finish
6) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Multi-Surface Glow-in-the-Dark Acrylic Paint
7) Martha Stewart Crafts® Stains
Here’s a walk-through of the process:
We had an old patio garden table we didn’t mind to work on with paints and materials and stained the dowel rods by wiping on the stain with a cloth and leaving them to dry. If you don’t have an old table, make sure to put down dust sheets or newspaper whenever you use paints and stains.
Masking / Painter’s tape is the best method for covering any areas that you do NOT want to color or stain.
We then created a makeshift ‘dryer’ from an old plastic tub and made a grid from the painter’s tape to prevent the painted rods from sticking together. We then applied the spray paint to the sticks, using the white paint with first and allowed them to dry. Note that you may need to apply a couple of layers of spray paint for a clean,consistent, finish.
Repeat the last two steps for any other color you would like to introduce to your project. We chose colors that are very current, i.e. dark wood with white contrast and a splash of luminous pink.
Once the paint is dry, simply remove all of the masking / painter’s tape and begin fixing the eye screws in 2 at the bottom and 2 at the top (for our project we measured 1.5″ from the edge, which was also at the paint line on one end of each dowel rod). A good tip to help you with fixing the eye screws in place is to use a micro phillips-head screw driver (we improvised and did it this way), or better still a Bradawl (we couldn’t find ours), to make a small hole in which to begin fixing the eye screw. This will save your fingers feeling like you just went 15 shelves deep with Ikea’s finest.
We connected the rods, via the eye screws, with three 12mm jump rings, but you can choose whatever amount you feel is appropriate. As a rough rule of thumb, the thinner the dowel the less rings you would want to place between them so you do not lose the feeling of something physical between the rooms.
We then stained a piece of wood that we had measured to the desired length of the three columns of rods, with some space between each column. Using nylon fishing line, we connected the columns of rods to the top piece of wood and voila! – we had a beautiful room divider. From start to finish, without considering time to gather the materials or for the paint to dry, it took around two hours to prep and complete the project. If you started in the morning, on a warm sunny day, as we did, you can be installed and putting the drill down in a single day!
The bonus for us was when we realized that when we’re bored with the color scheme, or just looking to change, we think this project would make an outstanding statement as a piece of wall art. It was a lot of fun, provides a lot of function and style, but most of all – it was easy and affordable!