When I moved to Chicago in 2014, I had to fit about 800 sq. feet of furniture and belongings into roughly 450 sq. feet. My galley kitchen seriously lacks counter space, so I IKEA hacked two lack side tables I already owned and other hardware into a kitchen island. The tutorial for that DIY project is one of my first blog posts.
Over the years, the cart has become a bit of an eyesore – overwhelmed with pantry items and kitchen gadgets.
Lately, I’ve been on a purge and organize kick and figured out a super-simple way to cover the clutter using tension rods, safety pins, and dinner napkins.
Tension rods are the shit. I have used them all over my apartment to create vertical space, hang decorations, and organize belongings. I usually buy tension rods at my local Target, but the length I needed (18″-28″) had been out of stock for sometime. Luckily, I found the length I needed at Bed, Bath & Beyond for a few dollars less.
In my many trips to Target hoping to find the tension rods I needed, I also scoped out their home textile section. Although I like sewing things, I guesstimated that dinner napkins would have the same dimensions as the openings on my kitchen island. The plus-side to this is that I didn’t have to cut fabric and the edges were already hemmed and finished! These dinner napkins matched the color scheme of my kitchen (turquoise and red) and provided a colorful ombré effect.
After measuring the height of the opening, I folded the napkin over and pinned it about 1.5 inches from the edge. Using the pattern on the napkins as a guide, I pinned across every 2-3 inches to create an enclosed tube for the rod to fit through. I repeated it for all four of the napkins and ironed out the creases.
The last step was adjusting the length of the rods to about half an inch past the desired length to create enough tension for the spring to keep the rod in place.
Then I just threaded the rod through the napkin and hung the rods/napkins up in each of the exposed sides of the cart. I can either lift the flap up to grab something, or push it to the side to see more.
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, or want more options when it comes to the look of the covers, buying the fabric and sewing a straight seam across is also an easy and simple option. It may also be a little more cost-effective if you find a good deal on fabric. By using safety pins, I also retain the ability to wash them and reuse them as actual dinner napkins if I ever feel like changing the fabric in the future.
All in all, this DIY cost about $28. I bought four tension rods at $4.99/each and the dinner napkins cost $6.08 for a set of four.