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How To: DIY Hidden Art Station for Kids
Last week I posted some of my favorite ideas for kids’ activities, and one of them was this super cool DIY hidden art station. In Season 2, Episode 10, “It’s My Dream Home Now,” I had this fun idea to make the homeowners’ three art-loving kids these hidden arts and crafts desks. It’s essentially a wall-mounted desk with a framed piece of artwork on the front, so it could seamlessly disappear in a gallery wall when it’s not in use. Cool, right?
This DIY hidden art station idea is something I get asked about all the time. So, I wanted to provide you guys with the How-To guide for it so you can DIY to your heart’s desire and make your own!
Before you get started on this project, it will be helpful for you to watch this video clip from Hidden Potential that shows me making the desk! In other words, write down some notes!
How To: DIY Hidden Art Station
Note: When you’re ordering frame pieces to glue to the front of the desk (you can find these online), make sure the pieces will create a frame that’s large enough to cover the area of the desk size you desire. The frame size you choose will dictate how large your desk will be.
What you’ll need:
- 1×4 wood (at least 5 feet worth)
- 1 sheet of plywood (½ inch thick works)
- 2 cabinet hinges
- 1 roll of craft paper
- Frame pieces/frame sections
- Wood glue
- Reel holder for craft paper
- Jack chain
- Magnetic door catch
- Circular saw
- Screw driver
- Nail gun
- Protective gloves and eyewear
First, build out a frame for the desk using 4 pieces of the 1×4 wood. Ensure that it can comfortably fit the craft paper roll and reel holder you chose on the inside, and also is the same measurements as your frame pieces. I would recommend your wood measurement across the top and bottom of the frame be at least 4 inches longer, in total, than the length measurement of your craft paper roll. You’ll need your circular saw to make your wood cuts and the nail gun to nail the frame together. Wood glue is helpful to hold your wood pieces together before you start nailing.
Second, cut additional pieces to your preferred size for interior shelves. Slide them into your frame in place, and use your nail gun to nail them into the frame.
Next, measure and cut your plywood piece to the size of the frame.
Then, once you’ve nailed the frame together, stand it up on its side the way you’d mount it to the wall. Lay the plywood piece down in front of the frame, and place your cabinet hinges on the edge of the plywood closest to the frame. Make sure the hinge is placed in the direction that will allow it to pull the plywood up towards the frame. Ensuring your hinges are placed INSIDE the width of the frame, screw each hinge down onto the plywood first, and then the frame.
Screw your reel holder into one side of the inside of the frame on the lower level.
Next, attach your jack chain on either side of your desk, from the top of the frame to the edge of the desk while open all the way. Choose one side of your desk to install your magnetic door catch, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Finally, close your desk and affix your frame pieces to the closed front of the mounted desk. You can use the wood glue for this step too. If you wish, you can seal, stain or paint your hidden desk. I chose to display an artwork on the front. Get creative and have fun with it!
Speaking of fun, I’ve put together some of my FAVE arts and crafts supplies to stock your DIY hidden art station!
Paint & Watercolor
5 Pack Canvas // 6 Pack Canvas // Watercolor Pad // Washable Paint Jars // Kids Paint Pad // Jumbo Brush Pack // Washable Fingerpaint // Neon Washable Paint // Paint by Number Set // Washable Glitter Paint // Watercolor Kit // Glow in the Dark Paint Kit