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!

 

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!

 

My Workshop

I’ve been spending some time out in the barn this fall getting my workshop set up. (So has my loving husband. I’m so glad he puts up with my shenanigans!)  I’ve had a shop out there for a while but it wasn’t set up to my liking; I was just using it as is and there were things being stored in the space that really didn’t belong there and they took up a lot of my space. Junk was cleared, workbenches were relocated and supplies were reorganized. I super happy with the end result and I can’t wait to spend some serious time out there making things!

 

Now that it’s getting colder, I wanted to have a way to heat the shop, but it’s a pretty big room in a drafty old barn so I needed to get a little creative. The shop has a ceiling mounted heater and I have hung some moving blankets across the center of the room to temporarily create a smaller space to heat during the winter months. I picked up the blankets at Harbor Freight and I hung them from nails using medium sized binder clips. It’s working out pretty well and I’m glad that I can now use the space year round.

Speaking of using my shop…I better get out there and make something to blog about!

Christmas Tree Farm Sign

I am very fond of the current farmhouse decor trend, especially all the Christmas stuff. (I mean I do live in a farmhouse, so…) I have seen vintage inspired tree farm signs EVERYWHERE and I decided I wanted to make one of my own so I could personalize it. And, as we all know, I am a cheapskate so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this project.

I scored a big time find at Goodwill recently and I decided it would be perfect for my sign. It’s a fairly large oval embroidery hoop that I picked up for $3.99. I also found a large round one and I bought that one too. I had a canvas drop cloth that I purchased last year but never used, so I cut pieces out of that to stretch in the hoops.

 

Once I had the fabric nice and tight, I broke out my handy dandy overhead projector. (another awesome Goodwill find) and lightly traced on my designs with a pencil. after that I set up shop at the dining room table with my craft paints and brushes.

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It was a bit of a time consuming project, and it’s not my prettiest work, but overall I am pleased with the rustic charm of the end result.

 

On to the next project!

Green Thumb

I’ve been working on a couple of thrift store finds that I’m quite excited about. I’m turning two candle holders into plant holders…plant art…plant sculpture? I’m not sure what to call them, but I’m pretty happy with the end result.

The first one is a wall mounted piece that cost me about three dollars.  It has the little spikey things in the bottom of each circle that is supposed to hold a candle. I thought about trying to cut them out, but since I used pots with drain holes in the bottom, they don’t pose a problem and I left them as is. I painted the candle holder with some copper spray paint I had left over from my daughter’s wedding. (She did copper before it was “in” and I had to spray paint some of the decor; she’s always been on the cutting edge of cool) The pots are just inexpensive terra cotta pots that I picked up for eighty cents apiece at the home improvement store.  I painted them with the white latex paint that I always have around the house. When the pots are in place, they tip forward just a bit; not enough to fall out, but I secured them to the frame with some copper wire just to be sure.

The second one is a table top candle holder. It was also about 3 dollars and it did not have spikey bits. (Yay!) I sprayed it with off-white paint that I had from another project. I should mention that I sealed both candle holders with a matte clear coat. These pots are also from the home improvement store.  The bottoms of them are painted with some gray “oops” paint that I bought at Menard’s for fifty cents. ( I always head back to the paint department when I’m there, I’ve found some really great colors) The rim of the pots were painted with some craft paint that I also had left over from the wedding. I thought about adding some highlights on the stand, but I really like the simplicity of it so I’m going to leave it as is.

 

Now that these items are done, I’ll be working on a small shelving unit and a couple of projects with burlap coffee bean bags. I’m also in the process of reorganizing my shop, so I’m keeping busy but look for another post soon!

In The Works

It has been a while since I posted anything on this site but that will be changing in the near future. I have been working on some home redecorating projects and some smaller projects that I need to write about soon.

In next week, I should have my entryway project finished and I’ll be able to post all the before, during and after pictures. I’ll talk about how my tendency to save things that I can reuse or up-cycle meant that the whole project came in under $100 dollars!

I’ve also been scouring Goodwill and other exciting places (yes, Goodwill is exciting). I’ve found a few gems that I’m working on redoing now; I’ll write about those too! I’m also working on some  next steps and hoping that I can find a way to turn this into my full time gig.

Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of the before images:

 

Stayed tuned…

Feeling inspired 

Life has been busy. I started a new job and am studying for certification exams; it hasn’t left much time for creating or writing. But today I got inspired. My daughter got married in May and like most newlyweds, she doesn’t have many Christmas decorations and she loves Christmas…so I made her some.


The letters on the Noel picture are cork and they are from the banner that was hanging at her high school graduation open house. The candle holder is from her wedding. 


It was fun getting my hands “dirty” . I hope the inspiration keeps coming!