DIY Serving Tray

finishThis was a quick project I did as inventory for my holiday bazaar show back in November.  I had wanted to share it back then but life with the crunch of show prep I didn’t get a chance to take step by step photos to share.  Luckily, it’s such a simple project that I can explain it pretty easily and since it didn’t sell I still have it around to photograph!

I started with a plain wooden cutting board I picked up at the thrift store for around $4.  It was looking pretty worn so I gave it a good cleaning and then a light coat of stain to bring it back to life.  Next we added the leather handles.  Can you guess what they were in a former life?

1If you guessed a belt you’re right!  The Hubs had several belts that no longer fit or were worn out in spots.  This one was literally hanging on by a thread at one spot but the rest was still in good shape so I guesstimated how long I wanted the handles and cut two pieces to the same length.  The Hubs attached the edges of the belt pieces to the board with this fancy screws we got at the hardware store after pre-drilling holes for them so they wouldn’t split the wood.

32And that’s it.  See I told you it was simple!  I’m actually pretty glad it didn’t sell as we’ve been using it quite often for snacking on the couch or when I want to work on something but still be comfy.

I’d love to leave it out on the ottoman like this with some cute seasonal decor staged all the time but the Hubs assures me that the dogs would chew the handles and I know they would certainly knock off anything I had sitting on it so it typically lives on top of the media cabinet so it’s nearby whenever I need it.  It’s a good thing I love those heathens. 😉

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesday and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

TDC Before and After

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A Quick Revamp

Aloha!  It’s been quiet around the blog the last few weeks because the hubs and I had a little get away to Hawaii!  It was an amazing trip and I’ll be sharing information on all that we did while there in the next few days once I get a chance to sort through the masses of photos I took.  Until then here’s a quick little upcycle project I did a while back and never shared (hence the lack of snow in the before photo!).

I bought this wooden wall art at a furniture store when we first moved to the mainland about three years ago.  I was drawn to the details of the carved wood and always liked it but it blended in with the wall color at the new house too much for my liking so it languished in the “not sure where to put this pile”.Before

A quick coat of chalk spray paint from Michaels and a little distressing took it from pretty basic to awesome rustic!

After

Now it looks like something you’d see on HGTV’s Fixer Upper!  Although I really love the new look, I don’t have a spot for it in the house any more so I’ve got it set aside for the next bazaar and will post it on the local décor buy/sell page in the meantime.  Hopefully someone else will have the perfect home for it and snag it up.

Quick DIY Wall Art

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Today I want to share a quick DIY sign I recently created.  I’ve had this Uppercase Living vinyl for some time now, as in more than 3 years because it was purchased for the house we planned to rent in FL when we thought we were being transferred there.  Anyway, I loved the phrase so I kept it with the intention of using it at some point.  Unfortunately, I’d ordered it in “oat” which was just a shade lighter than our current wall color so I knew it wouldn’t show well if I applied it directly to the wall.  I’d considered using a scrap board as a background like I did for the Laundry Room sign, but just hadn’t gotten around to it.  Then I spotted this pallet board at Michaels and inspiration struck, especially since I had a coupon for 40% off!

SignStartThe construction was pretty basic, several boards secured on the back with cross pieces and a twine hanger at the top.  There were several color options – unfinished, white washed and this stained color, which I was immediately drawn to and knew would contrast nicely with the color of the vinyl.  With my coupon it cost me around $10.

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I was pretty sure it was just the right size for the vinyl, so when I got it home I tested it out and it fit perfectly!

SignTestI followed the instructions that came with the vinyl and applied it to the board.  I could have called it done then, but I wanted to give it a bit more character so I decided to rough it up a bit with the sander.

SignApplied

Although I did a very light pass on the entire piece there were a few spots that got a little too roughed up due to how they sat on the joints of the wood.

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I was slightly distraught about it, but decided to try to find a solution rather than give up on the project.

SignGoofClose

I started small with the leaf that that was damaged to build my confidence.  I used an exacto blade to trim small pieces of damaged vinyl away, reshaping the leaf as needed to work around the missing pieces.  I think it worked pretty well.

SignGoofLeaf

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I did the same on the lettering with decent results.  It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the rough edges I started with.

SignGoofFix

I took a step back to get some perspective and realized that neither spot was very noticeable from a distance.  Luckily, our guests don’t typically inspect my décor up close, so it passes muster.  I love that the sanding gives it a rustic feel, which also plays into being a little imperfect.

SignFinish

And here it is in our bedroom above the TV.  At that height no one will notice my little ‘patched’ areas and it also disguises my other little goof on this project.  I’m not saying what that goof was because I want to see if anyone else notices it or if I’m just being too much of a perfectionist!  If you think you know what it is, leave a comment below! 🙂

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TDC Before and After

Wall-to-Wall Work Space!

Hi everyone!  The hubs and I were so busy working on projects last week that I didn’t get a chance to write about any of them, so this week I’ll be playing catch up and have a lot to share!  Up first is the biggest project, our wall-to-wall desk in the office!

Finished

It’s come a long way from the first DIY set-up we did with two filing cabinets and a freebie door when we were in the rental. I started to get a sense of how my dream workspace would function when we expanded the desktop after we moved in to the new house and the recent addition of the industrial style shelves took it up another notch.  Next we stained the raw desktop to match the shelves, which made the desk visually ‘heavy’. Unfortunately, I somehow neglected to take a picture of this stage, but even the hubs agreed that the darker desktop made the entire unit feel a bit big and bulky. Luckily, painting the cabinets was the next step.  To prep, we removed all the hardware and gave the surfaces a light sanding. The hubs taped off the areas around the cabinets and I painted them white. It took a couple of coats, but it definitely brightened the space.

DeskDuringPaint

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I wasn’t loving the white at first, but decided to live with it for a while before I made any final decisions. A few days later the hubs installed the new hardware we’d purchased to match the pulls on the cabinet nearest the door and that made all the difference. Suddenly I LOVED the white. Maybe I couldn’t see past the displaced clutter before then or maybe I just needed some contrast so they didn’t feel like big white blobs. Whatever it was, I did another happy dance when I saw them together with the white.

Three of the four cabinets went all the way to the floor, but the cabinet nearest the door had legs. Not only did this not match the other cabinets, it was the perfect place for dust bunnies to collect which meant they had to go. The easy option would have been to cut off the legs, but that would have made the cabinet too short, so instead we opted to install molding around the legs. We picked up a plain baseboard molding with a small curve at the top and cut it to size. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite tall enough to cover the entire height of the legs, so we got creative.

Molding
A piece of scrap wood filled the space between the legs, but because the legs stick out from the body of the cabinet a bit, there was a gap between the filler board and the molding. The hubs solved this with a paint stick and some wood filler. Genius! Once everything was painted you’d never notice.

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FinishedLegs

The hubs also rigged up a shelf for the printer in the middle cabinet. He added a small platform on tracks so it can be pulled out when we need to replace ink cartridges or clear a jam.

FinishedShelf

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Because the space where the shelf was had previously been another drawer there were some odd supports on either side of the interior of the cabinet. Once again the hubs flexed his thinking muscles and came up with a solution. A thin panel attached to the supports made everything flush and quarter round hid the supports from the front.  Luna made sure to inspect his handiwork and apparently approves.

LunaShelf

ShelfPanelCover

ShelfPanelMoldingFinished

I swapped out the blue bag the local shred company provides for a much prettier basket I picked up at Target. The grey material has a bit of white, which plays off the cabinets nicely. I keep the bag tucked behind the basket so I can fill it when I need to take it in, but since we typically use our shred file for fire starter and filler in the fire pit that’s not very often.   This change was also approved by Luna, who loves her new hiding spot. 🙂

LunaBasket

I also stained the cord box so it blends in more with the flooring and is less noticeable. Now that everything is finished, I cleaned up the wires and will soon hide them in a channel that can be painted to match the wall so you’ll never even notice them.  Now that the printer is tucked away, my Silhouette sits in the middle of the desktop and both of us have plenty of room to work.

CordBox

I’m still finessing the accessories on the desktop and shelves, but it’s pretty much done. The top shelf is strictly for photography props (including some room for new items!) and we each took a third of the bottom shelf. The center third is home to models of the planes the hub’s dad flew when he was in the Navy.  On my side, my photography guides and smaller extra gear fit in two decorative storage boxes, which also hide the driveway monitor speaker. Next to that are my books and a basket for a few magazine style guides I keep.

Finished

The hub’s side became home to his cookbooks that had previously lived in the pantry. I gave him a storage box and canister so he could also store all of the cords and miscellaneous gear he wanted to have handy. And that means the tub of “stuff” that has sat on the other side of the room since we moved in is now gone!

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I’m loving the industrial farmhouse look the whole project has and the storage it provides has created so much space in this room. Now it really functions as an office, craft room and studio with style. And that make me very, very happy!

This post linked to Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza, Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party and

TDC Before and After

Our Massive DIY Desk – Part I

From the moment we signed the contract to build our home I envisioned a massive wall-to-wall desk in my office/studio, with enough room for both the hubs and I to have workspace.  But that wasn’t a high priority project, so the DIY desk we fashioned from a freebie door and two filing cabinets while in the rental was serving the same purpose at the new house.  It was certainly functional, but definitely not anything amazing.

DeskBefore

After moving into the house we’d purchased a few other filing cabinets to serve as the bases for the rest of the desk, but they sat collecting dust in the garage for months.  Then, a few weeks ago the hubs decided it was time to make room in the garage get this project rolling and purchased wood for the desktop.  He brought in the other two filing cabinets and then lined up the wood planks to form the top.

DeskSwap

At some point we took the top drawer out of one cabinet and Luna decided that was the perfect hiding spot, at least until she realized it was right at doggy viewing height!  Tequila was very concerned that her kitty was trapped in the cabinet. 🙂

DeskPrep

The hubs had prepped the boards with small biscuits to create joints between the planks.  He also predrilled counter-sunk screws down the length of the boards.  The combination of the biscuit joints and the screws make the entire top a sturdy and solid piece.

DeskBiscuit

DeskScrew

Here’s the new set up!  As you can see the desktop doesn’t go all the way to the wall on the near end, but that leaves room to install the sliding barn doors in the future which will allow me to close off the studio for clients when needed.

DeskCurrent

We still need to add molding around the bottom of the two new cabinets, add a pull-out shelf to the middle cabinet for the printer to sit on, paint all the cabinets white, stain the top and then install shelves above the desk for storage, but for now it’s just nice to have a little extra room for us both to work.  I’ve since found a new chair to replace the camp chair on the hub’s side, thanks to a great deal at Target.  Watch for a post on that soon!

Rustic Laundry Room Sign

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I tackled several projects over the long holiday weekend and this is one of my favorites. When we thought we were being transferred to Florida a few years ago I purchased a couple Uppercase Living vinyl phrases for the house we contracted to rent. But plans changed and we didn’t transfer and the fancy phrases got tucked away for future use. Now that we’re in our own home I’ve been deciding how to use them and knew that the laundry room phrase I had would make a perfect sign for the top of the cabinets in that space.

I found a scrap piece of wood left over from when the hubs took apart the old dog beds. It was destined to be used for this sign because it was the perfect size without any further prep.

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I painted the perimeter of the board gray since I wanted to rough up the edges and have some color come through.   Then I gave the whole thing a couple coats of white.

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Next I randomly sanded the edges until I was happy with the look of the texture. I was pretty pleased with how the grey peeked through.

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Then came the hard part of prepping the vinyl and making sure I applied it centered and straight! It took a few attempts, but I finally got it right.

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The hubs helped me add a little more sanding around the lettering and gave the words themselves a light sanding for texture.

I climbed up on the washer and dryer to reach the cabinet top, where I used some shims and a small easel to make it stand just the way I wanted. It ties in with the other fun signs in this room and it fits the space perfectly. Another project done and I couldn’t be happier with the result!

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Next up for this room is a fold down drying rack and a cabinet for the laundry sink, but those are both projects for the coming months when Alaska’s winter weather traps us indoors.

Gettin’ Spicy!

As a hobbiest chef, my husband has LOTS of spices.  We’re talking more than the tiny spinning thing on the counter can hold.  In our old rental, he filled the cabinet above the stove and even had some rows double stacked!

So I knew that our new kitchen needed to have some way to organize this stash of spiciness and of course turned to trusty Pinterest, where I found this DIY pantry door spice rack.  I then promptly had a Gru ‘light bulb’ moment.  I showed it to the hubs, who was definitely game to build something that not only put his spices within easy reach of the stove, but also gave them a dedicated space to stay.

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Please just ignore that tool pile on the counter behind the door.  With all the on-going projects I’ve lined up for the hubs, I have set aside my twitchy OCD ways and agreed to keep tools in the kitchen for quick access – that is UNTIL the major projects are done, which should be fairly soon!

He followed the building plans with a slight modification.  He used freebie paint stir sticks from the orange box store instead of dowels for the front retaining rungs.  Told ya, he was smart! And he’s becoming quite the thrifty DIYer.. of course not counting the tools he’s recently acquired.  😉

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I will probably paint it white at some point, but for the time being it works just fine a’ natural.  Now if only our measuring spoons had cutesy little holes to be hung on the side!  Mental note: be on the lookout for clearance heart measuring spoon sets after Valentines Day.