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Does anyone else ever do this? Just before the holidays arrive, I often start thinking about quick and easy interior organization projects. I know that a lot of people tend to wait until January and the new year to feel the organization bug, but I have found that for me, getting something just a little bit tidier before the Christmas decorating begins serves as the stress-reducing palate cleanser that I desperately need before the house explodes in twinkly lights and glitter. This was one of them: my new photography equipment stand.
Last year, Mom picked a theme for my Christmas gifts, most of which centered around photography. It’s something I’ve always wanted to improve on (I mean, I take a lot of photos), but in order to get better at this particular hobby, you tend to need a lot of practice — and a lot of stuff. Between tripods, lighting gear, and other equipment, my office has had a pile of all of these in various stages of disarray for the last year. So finally, I decided it was time to give these things a decent home.
I looked for ideas on Pinterest with a few goals in mind:
- Most of my equipment comes with bags for safely traveling around with it. Even though I don’t really travel beyond the house with this equipment much, I liked the idea of keeping all of the equipment together and in their assigned bags for easy transport. This basically meant that I wanted a hanging system rather than a built-in closet organizer, which is most of what I found in my search.
- Given the other DIYs on my plate, getting something that worked but was also quick and easy seemed best.
- I had a number of hooks left over from an over-shipment from a previous project, so if I could make use of this, the less hardware I’d need to buy.
The closest idea that popped up on my radar was the concept of creating a post that normally would hold Christmas stockings like this one. I thought if I modified the concept, made it a little taller, etc., it could be a perfect adaptation to suit my equipment, plus I could then also move it around the house whenever I needed to have all of it accessible nearby.
- 2 – 2x4s, cut between 4-6 feet in length, your choice (I went with 6′ so I could have lots of hanging space between each hook)
- wood putty
- wood glue
- hooks (I used black robe hooks, which served well for hanging straps across both prongs)
- painter’s tape (for delicate surfaces)
- paint and/or stain
- Scotch™ Felt Pads, Rectangle, 4 x 6 inch (sponsor)
1. Create a 4×4
In most of the tutorials I found for this project idea, the plans called for using a 4×4 deck post, which wasn’t going to work for me. The main issue with using it is that decking materials are typically made out of cedar (which is rough and would require a lot of sanding for the smooth look I wanted) or pre-treated (“PT” for short) lumber. Pre-treated lumber is much cheaper, but it’s often still wet from the chemicals it is treated with when you buy it at the store. This means that you have to wait for several weeks or even months for it to dry out before you can paint or stain it. And I didn’t have that kind of
time patience. So, I went with an equally inexpensive option: making my own 4×4(-ish, since it’s more like 3×3.5″) post. To do so, I took two whitewood boards and glued them together. Then, I clamped them tight to allow them to dry…
And filled with wood putty, then sanded the whole thing down.
2. Cut base to size
I had some leftover 3/4″ birch plywood from a previous project, so it was an easy choice to square it off and use it as my base. The key is to make sure this base provides enough sturdiness to keep the post from being too top-heavy, so I would say at least 12″ or even 16″ is a good idea (mine is 13″ just because that was the largest piece I had).
3. Add edging to base
Since the edges of the plywood were really rough-looking, I once again used iron-on veneer edging to create a more polished look for the sides. I swear, I have used an iron for projects far more than actually ironing clothes!
4. Paint, stain, seal
I decided I wanted to go with a combination of white paint and stain, with white for edging and trim, and stain for the base and two sides of the post. This color combo nearly exactly matched the bookshelves I also keep in the office, so I liked the way this made the new post tie into the design of the room.
Getting the stain to match wasn’t easy, so I procrastinated a little between these steps and painted the other parts first. I found that a mix of natural, golden mahogany, and a quick wash with some antique walnut was the closest (there’s really no method to any of this; I just mix and test on a scrap piece until I find the color I like). Be sure to use painter’s tape to block off the parts that you’ve already painted (I used one for delicate surfaces since it was newly painted).
5. Add the base to the post
Once everything was dry, I marked off the center of the base and glued/nailed the pieces together. I also cut down some ready-to-install trim that I bought on my last trip to the store on a whim, and I really like the polish it added to the base.
6. Add felt pads to the base
Scotch® Brand sent me a big box of products to try out earlier this year, and one such product was perfect for adding to the bottom of the base.
These 4×6-inch Scotch™ Surface Felt Pads can be cut to size, but I used all four included in the package to cover up the splintery bottom of the plywood and keep this stand from scratching up my floors when/if I move it around the house.
7. Add hooks to the post
I hung two hooks closer to the top, a couple more about two feet lower, and two more about halfway down, alternating between the painted and stained sides of the post.
Then, it was just a matter of hanging everything up and finding it a spot in the office.
At this point, I’ve had the stand in my office for well over a month, and I’m really loving how easy it makes grabbing one or two items from my lighting kit, grabbing my camera, etc. and having a designated spot to return them when I’m done. I also like how by hanging things off the ground, these cumbersome and oddly-shaped bags don’t get squished or crushed from being stashed away in the closet. Win-win!
Got any odd organization goals of your own?