Entryway Up-Cycle

My entryway has been a room I have struggled with for quite some time. It just never seemed to function the way I wanted it to; there was never enough storage, the layout always seemed awkward and it was dark and gloomy (The gloom could have been caused by the burgundy paint, lol…I went through a jewel tone phase a few years back.).

I got inspired by the farmhouse design that has been so popular lately and decided that was the way I would go in the entryway. (I live in an old  farmhouse after all.) The closet is a large cupboard that my husband built years ago when we had young children and a plethora of toys, so while it was sturdy and functional, it didn’t really work for our current needs. I didn’t want to completely demolish it and build new, so I reconfigured it to work and fit in the space better. In going with the farmhouse theme I decided that I wanted a bench with hooks and a shelf above it. My sister in law was getting rid of an old, very large coffee table that I thought would work perfectly; and I was right! The redesigned cupboard and table fit beautifully in the space.

So…they fit, but they were still kind of ugly (Okay, REALLY ugly.). As you can see in the picture I painted the walls a light gray so I decided to paint the closet, bench and trim a bright white. I changed out the handles on the closet with some I had salvaged from another piece of furniture and I spray painted the hinges to match. I also decided to take the doors off the coffee table turned bench.

Fortunately, I ended up having a lot of things on hand that I could use for this project; so it did not cost much to make these changes. I had the three coat hooks left over from another room refresh, I had the shelf in my pile of miscellaneous lumber, and the cushions I used on the bench were from an old camper that we had years ago. I may be a pack rat, but it sure has come in handy! Did I mention that the paint on the walls is “oops” paint from Menard’s? I painted that room for ten dollars, and I still have enough paint left over for my guest bathroom!

I still have a little tweaking to do with the accessories, but after years of just tolerating the space, I finally like the feel of the room. An entryway can seem like an unimportant place, I mean it’s essentially just a room to pass-through on our way in and out. But I think it’s really important to love that part of my house; it’s the first impression. I believe the space I greet and welcome our guests into, sets the tone for the rest of our home.

Before, the room was cluttered, disorganized and dark; I always wanted to hurry people through and just get them out of there. Now, the layout makes sense, there is plenty of storage and it seems light and airy. I’m more than happy to have visitors sit down to take off their shoes (or admire my handy-work). I’m really glad that, after years of frustration, I finally have a room that I enjoy walking in to. Whatever your taste or style, I hope that this helps inspire you to make your home a place you love. Keep creating my friends!

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Kid Kitchen Up-cycle

This has been one of the most challenging and most rewarding projects I have taken on to date. I turned an old entertainment center into a play kitchen for my granddaughter. (Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration!)

I had been gathering supplies for quite some time and I finally found a suitable entertainment center at our local Goodwill a couple of months ago. Here’s how it started out.

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I went with a mid-century color scheme because I found a really fantastic sheet of laminate that I wanted to use for the project. I also hit the jackpot and found matching paint on the “oops” paint shelf at Menard’s so I only paid two dollars for paint!

After the piece was painted I measured my laminate and cut it with a razor knife; I applied masking tape over my lines to keep the laminate from chipping. This method worked surprisingly well. I used spray on laminate adhesive to attach it to the cabinet.

The original glass doors for the cabinet had a wooden trim piece that I reused; I cut (read, my husband cut because I HATE the table saw) two pieces of 1/4 inch plywood the same size as the glass and slid the trim pieces onto them. Once they were assembled I applied three coats of Rustoleum  magnetic primer (so she could have refrigerator magnets) and then top coated it with my pink paint. I added two long kitchen cabinet handles and I used the existing hinges to reinstall the doors.

For the stove top , I used left over 1/4 inch plywood spray painted gray; the burners are cork coasters and the knobs are round wooden jar labels that I had in my stash of goodies. I painted the burners and knobs with black craft paint and used spray adhesive to attach them to the stove top. For the oven, I painted one of the lower doors pink and used chalkboard paint to add the oven “window”. I also taped off a rectangle on the end of the cabinet and created an actual  chalk board.

For the sink, my husband came to my aid once again and used a jigsaw to cut a hole in the countertop. The sink is a stainless steel mixing bowl I picked up on clearance. The faucet was my one “splurge” I bought a drinking water faucet at Menard’s because it was perfect and I wanted it.

The lower cabinet that makes up the under sink area and oven was one big space, so I installed a divider using “L” brackets. The back of the cabinet is tongue and groove pine bead board. I wanted to have a nice back so the piece can be used as a room divider if desired. The little wire rack above the stove was also a clearance find. I used a battery operated light with an adhesive back for overhead lighting. There are also battery operated motion sensor lights in the fridge and oven. Whew! I think that covers all of the elements that were added to transform a TV stand into a dream kitchen.

I am SUPER happy with how it turned out. There a few things I would do differently if I attempt another play kitchen or other kid furniture transformation, but overall it was a pretty straight forward project once I figured out all the small details.

What furniture up-cycles have you all attempted that make you proud? I love seeing what others are doing. Bragging is highly encouraged on this blog!

 

Burlap and Lace Garland

IMG_E7454My daughter and son-in -law recently moved out of their first apartment and because of the timing of everything, I was in charge of turning in their keys. I decided to take the opportunity to make an imprint of the key on a homemade Christmas ornament; this is what inspired the garland project.

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For those curious about the ornaments; The one one the left is salt dough, The one on the right is a cornstarch dough.

I had most of the supplies already on hand but I did pick up the jingle bells for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  I think I paid $3.50 and I have some of the red ones left. The burlap is left over party decor from about five years ago, the lace I picked up on clearance a few years back (Because I knew eventually it would be perfect for something!), the red and white twine I found at Target last year (I absolutely love it!)  and the regular twine I used for the garland base is something I always keep on hand. Oh and I almost forgot, I had the white fabric on hand too. I try to live a somewhat minimalist life, but this paragraph makes me sound a little bit like a pack rat!

I made the stars and trees. I had a lot of cornstarch dough left over and I wanted to use it up; that’s when the garland idea hit me. I made as many stars and trees as I could, so I would be sure to have enough. It’s similar making cookies, I rolled out the dough and used my cookie cutters to cut the shapes. Once they were cut out, I poked holes in them for the string and then baked them according to the directions. Here’s a link to the recipe I used: http://the-pickled-herring.blogspot.com/2012/12/scandinavian-christmas-day-1.html

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While the ornaments were baking, I gathered my other supplies and got to work. I cut the fabric and burlap into 1/2 X 12 inch strips and I cut the ribbon into 12 inch lengths. I don’t know how many I used, I just made a bunch and then cut a few more when I ran out. I cut an 8 foot piece of brown twine to make sure it would be long enough for the project. Once I had that done, I started adding them to the twine. To attach them I folded each strip in half and the threaded the ends through the loop and around the twine. (see picture below)  Initially, I started with just the burlap and lace (that’s why the fabric isn’t in the picture) but I decided it needed another texture and color. Also, next time I think I’ll try to find a narrow burlap ribbon, because the thin strips of burlap proved a bit challenging  to work with.

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After all of the strips were attached I started adding the jingle bells, trees and stars. I used the red and white twine to tie them to the garland. I tied a knot around the twine and then finished it off with a bow. To string the ornaments, I had to thread the twine on a needle to get it through the holes. ( I wish I would have made the holes a little bigger because threading the twine on that needle made me act a little ugly a couple of times!)

This was a learning experience and I would do a few things differently next time, but overall I am really happy with the end result. I hope my daughter is too because the garland is going to her new house along with those ornaments that started this whole thing.

Outdoor Christmas Wreaths

I thought I’d take a few moments on this snowy Monday to share my most recent Christmas decor project. I live in an old farmhouse and I have always loved the pictures of houses where there is a wreath in every window. However, I do not like the idea of spending money on all those wreaths; so I came up with a plan. I went to my local Walmart and picked up five of their cheapest evergreen garlands. The were $2.38 apiece. I then went to Menard’s and found a big roll of sparkly red ribbon for $4.99. ( I just love things that sparkle!)

I did this project in my kitchen…that wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had; my kitchen was COATED in sparkly goodness. I’m pretty sure my family is still eating red glitter.

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The tools I used for this project were wire cutters and a ruler. I cut all of the garlands in half and cut pieces of ribbon to hang my wreaths. I cut the ribbon at about 33 inches to get them to hang where I liked them in my windows.  I twisted each of the lengths of garland into a circle, flattened the back and fluffed up the front. I didn’t quite loop it around twice; I left the top quarter a single layer so I could make the wreaths a little larger. Once I had the ribbon tied on, it wasn’t noticeable. I used some of the garland greenery like twist ties to hold the loops firmly together. Once the wreaths were made, I tied a piece of the ribbon in a loop around each one.

To hang them I simply opened the top sash of my windows and shut the ribbon in them, leaving the knot on the inside. At this point I thought I was done, I was so very wrong. That night it was a bit breezy and those adorable little wreaths made an absolutely awful noise rubbing against the window glass. At 1:30 am the bedroom windows were aggressively stripped of their noise makers! In the morning, I got out my husband’s fishing line (shh….) and cut pieces to loop around the bottom of the wreaths. I secured the lines by tying them around a piece of dowel and shutting the fishing line in the window with the dowel on the inside. It works well, but it isn’t very pretty, so I just decorated the window sills!

I very happy with how these wreaths are working out. I only put them in the windows on the two story section of our house but I think next year I’ll make a few more (okay, like 10 more) for the rest of the windows.

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How they look wearing today’s snow.

I’d love to see what other people are doing to bring a festive feel to their homes. So show me what you are up to! Happy Holiday Decorating!