Good Idea. Sort Of.

If you’d like to see how I went about wrapping our computer cables, read on!

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In case you want to cover your cables for decorative purposes (as opposed to for prophylactic purposes– more on that later), here is a quick tutorial. If you went to camp or grew up in the 70s, chances are you already have mad macramé skilz, but if not, never fear!
This little project is super-easy. Time-consuming, but easy.

So fire up the latest season of House of Cards, and settle in to keep your fingers busy.

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I used some hand-dyed (is there any other kind?) hemp twine I picked up a few years back in the Hippie Hemp Capital of the Universe: Nelson, B.C.
The twine is soft and a good weight for wrapping the computer cable, but it could look pretty with silk cord or really fuzzy wool.  Ooh! What about ombré wool?!

I began by wrapping the twine around clothespins, in order to keep it corralled and to form a kind of shuttle that allowed me to unroll a manageable length at a time. I learned this via trial and error– for my iPad cable, I was wrestling with a messy ball of twine that had me saying the sorts of things I wouldn’t say in front of my grandmother. Ahem.

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Ready? Start at the “small” end of the charger (so that you can weave the tail of twine into your wrapping and keep it clean-looking), and tie a knot around the cable. When you start wrapping, you will wrap around the tail of twine as well as the cable, so that the tail gets hidden neatly away. Follow the instructions on the images below. It’s important to keep the twine going in the same direction as you wrap, or you will not get the spiral “spine” feature on your wrapped cable.

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That’s it– keep wrapping until your cord is covered.
When you get to the end, cut the twine and wrap a piece of pretty washi tape around it to keep it neat and to prevent it from unravelling.

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Easy, right?
Pretty, right?

Effective…..? WRONG.
Exhibit A:

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Le sigh.

 

 

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Nailed It!

True confessions: power tools kinda scare me.

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Which pains me because it goes against the very grain of my feminist core.

But I designed and M built our office desk/Ikea hack/faux built-in about 6 years ago when I INSISTED that there was NO WAY LHR and GraphicDefiner were going to be our Christmas guests with our office in a state of unfinished horror.  We got the built-ins done and the floor and paint done and then we never got around to building the drawer fronts– they had to be custom-built because we hacked Home Depot kitchen cabinets to make the desk and, thus, standard drawer fronts would not fit.  We were out of steam and out of time.
And so they stayed frontless.
For YEARS, people. YEARS.

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To say that these frontless drawers have been a bone of contention would be to understate the matter.
A lot.

So, when we got our new floors and I fell hard for Blackberry Punch and the office stopped being Vomit Brown and totally uninspiring, I was fired up to get some drawer fronts made, come hell or high water.

Which drove me to do it myself.
Which meant overcoming my fear of power tools in order to use both the chop saw and the air-compressor-powered nail gun.
Baby, there is NO TURNING BACK! While I may not be Ana yet, I am HOOKED!
What took me so long???
I want to quit my job and BUILD STUFF.

Here’s how I did it. (With M’s help to get me over my terror of Big Noisy Power Tools.)
We wanted Shaker-style fronts, so that made it pretty easy.

First, I laid in some supplies:
5/8 inch MDF, cut to size for each drawer front
1/4 inch x 3 inch poplar trim (we chose it because the grain is subtle and it is easily painted out)
Ikea drawer pulls in appropriate lengths
No More Nails adhesive (I had planned to just use this, but M insisted we also nail the trim pieces on, for increased durability. Good idea.)
Pencil for marking measurements
Measuring tape
Sandpaper for sanding the edges of the trim
Wood filler
Primer, paint, spray paint

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Here’s what I did. I started by measuring the horizontal pieces of trim and marking them. I also marked each one with a “B” to indicate which side of my measurement line the chop saw blade should be on; if you don’t do this, you run the risk of losing the width of the blade from your cut, making your trim piece too short.

Next, I dry fit the horizontal pieces and measured for the vertical ones.

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Next, I glued the pieces in place, starting with the bottom horizontal piece, then the vertical ones, then the top horizontal one.  It’s important to schmear the glue so that it does not cause the trim to sit a bit high on the drawer fronts. Next, get out that nail gun and close your eyes and pop a few nails in at the corners and in the middle of each long piece of trim. Fill the dents where the nails went in and sand them.

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Some primer and some paint, a little bit of Antique Brass spray paint to jeuje up the Ikea drawer pulls and, voilà!

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Turns out, pizza boxes are the perfect tool for supporting drawer pulls while you are spray painting them!

It only took six years.

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More office makeover to come. Stay tuned!