Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Hey guys! I’ve got a loooong picture filled post for y’all today, so buckle up & remember to keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times. Ready? Here we go.

I reupholstered my couch.

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I only wanted to burn it about 7 times & threw my hammer twice during the whole thing, so I’m no worse for wear. However, I’d recommend having someone around for a second set of hands. Take it from me.

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Heres what I started with. We have had a tan slipcover on it for 2 years but I was so frustrated with having to constantly tuck it back in every time I sat on it. So, one random Tuesday, I decided to take the slipcover off to see what the pattern was on it, and before I knew it, I had stripped half of the couch. Nothing like just jumping into a project with no warning. 2014-03-28_0002Originally, I was thinking about a dark gray couch (not too dark, but not light enough to be easily marked up). I searched high and low for fabrics, and basically accepted that I was going to pay no less than $75 for just material. Um. No.

Once I started ripping the couch apart (with absolutely no plan, by the way), I realized that I didn’t even have the time to wait around for material to show up in the mail, and realllllly needed supplies like, yesterday.

Off to Home Depot I went, and came home with a heavy duty canvas dropcloth, a new staple gun (I recommend it like crazy), and some Rit Dye from Walmart. And then I realized that my project just got a hell of a lot more complicated, since I now needed to hand dye my material.

I really like to just jump in with both feet, don’t I?

So first, dyeing fabric. I did it in the bathtub (which isn’t recommended, but we don’t have our own washing machine, so it was my only choice). First, I filled the tub and soaked my material thoroughly. In all the research that I did, I found that this is a crucial step, since you need to have all the material wet beforehand so the dye doesn’t look patchy.

2014-03-26_0006Once it had soaked enough, I filled an old tub with warm water, the entire bottle of Royal Blue dye, and half of the Black bottle. Then, I put the canvas in and worked it around for about 45 minutes. Because you normally dye in the washer, the material is constantly being moved around, hence the stirring. And kneading. And lifting. Do you have any idea how much 108 square feet of soaking wet material weighs!? Once it looked to me like the color(ish) I wanted to acheive had set in, I started to rinse it. I will admit that this was my least favorite part of the whole process. It was such a big piece that I felt like I had a lot of trouble rinsing it. Once it was (mostly) rinsed, it got washed in the machine, and then dried fully to let the color set.

I’m not going to lie, I actually hated the end result. In the lamplight, it looked purpley and I was worried I would have to redo the whole process. Once I started moving it around into different lights, however, it looked a lot more blue/demin, which wasn’t exactly the color I was going for, but fit perfectly in the living room.

By this point, the couch was in several pieces. Here’s another tip (actually, much more like a step): take lots of pictures. I mean, tons. It will help you when you start putting it back together. Make sure you photograph every piece that comes off, so you know how to put it back on.

2014-03-26_0005You’ll feel like its a time suck, but it’s really a huge time saver, especially when you can’t remember because it’s been three days and you haven’t been able to walk through your living room without stepping on a staple.

2014-03-26_0007Trust me on this one. Oh, and you might notice that the upper right hand corner picture shows a strange backing to the sofa. Why, you ask? Because it’s a sleeping sofa. Let’s not talk about the cursing that went into pulling the sofa bed out.

2014-03-26_0004It was ugly. However, I did make sure to take pictures of the mechanics inside the couch that were holding the bed in place; DO THIS!

2014-03-26_0001It pretty much saved my brains in the end.

2014-03-26_0008Stripped down, this is what the couch looked like. the batting was old and discolored, but for the most part nothing was screaming, “REPLACE ME!” Oh, and you’ll see the weird strips laying on the console table behind the couch. It’s tack paper and tack strips from the couch pieces. SAVE EVERYTHING. If your tack paper rips, no big deal; you can cut new ones from thin cardboard. But keep the tack strips.

2014-03-26_0009Once everything was taken apart, I laid all my pieces out on the dropcloth and maneuvered around to fit them all. It turns out that I was a little short, so luckily I had this great fabric left over from my pendant light, and was able to use it on the cushions. Once the pieces were cut (worst part), I started to put the big parts back together. Oh, and I didn’t mention that I wrote on every piece what part it belonged to so that I was able to keep them all straight.

Here’s where the pictures of reupholstering end (only had two hands), but honestly? I thought it was the easiest part of the whole thing. I would line the pieces up, and staple one side down. Once it was attached, I started with the other side, making sure to pull it snugly. I used my tack paper and strips exactly where they were supposed to be to create the sharp creases (again, pulling tightly). The material itself is very forgiving if you misstaple or need to pull it apart for some reason. Basically, I just went slow and put the pieces back on in the order they came off. Once the back and sides were finished, I screwed them back together and added the bed back in. At this point, I started working on the cushions. Those were pretty labor intensive (I threw them too; nothing says mature like getting frustrated with a pile of batting), so I’ll put them in a separate post.

The last step was adding the nailhead trim. “It’s going to be pretty!” I thought to myself. “It’s going to look classic!” I hummed.

NO NO NO. Just no. I ordered this off of Amazon, and if you’ve never used it, this is what it looks like:

2014-03-28_0004For some reason, this is not what I expected. Basically, you detach the amount of trim you want from the roll, and tap a nailhead in every fifth or so nail (where there’s a hole). Sounds deceptively easy, no?

Let’s just say I ruined 5 nailheads before I got 2 fully in the couch.

2014-03-28_0005They were super cheap, and maybe the wood I was putting them into was too thick, but we’ll never know. I ended up using a straight edge to keep them straight (duh), and tapped in a small nail before putting the nice pieces in. It went much easier with the arms, so those look fine, but the base? Not so much.

IMG_8795Next time, I’ll be buying the individual nails.

Here it is all finished:

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Worth it. Worth every single time I ripped a piece of fabric, or almost stapled my fingers, or got a splinter. The canvas is exactly what I wanted, and I love the look of it. Now that there’s no slipcover looking bulky and tucked in, the living room looks more streamlined. I swear up and down that I won’t do it again, but let’s be honest.

I probably will.

And now, some tips:

-When dyeing fabric, wear rubber gloves.

-Use a pair of needle nose pliers to help pull staples.

-Save your pieces; label your pieces.

-Take a million pictures…it will save your butt in the end.

Don’t throw the hammer.

-Keep your staples, because at the end of the day, you’ll look at it and think, “damn, I’m a badass for pulling all those staples by hand.”

2014-03-28_0003And honestly, it feels pretty freaking awesome to say, “yeah, I reupholstered my couch.”

Do it. Let me know how excellent it feels.

Then take a long hot bath, because God knows every muscle in your body will need it.

Oh, and for a budget breakdown…

Canvas Dropcloth: $26
Rit Dye: $6
Nailhead Trim: $14
Total: $46

BOOYAH!

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Top Posts of 2013

How is it already the last day of 2013!? I can’t believe that tomorrow is a new year…I’m going to still be writing 2013 for a few weeks. I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most viewed posts of 2013, and some of them are my absolute favorites of all time!

10. Sending Care Packages

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9. Valentine’s Garland

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8. DIY Boot Tray

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7. Paleo Spice Cake

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6. State String Art

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5. DIY Desk

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4. The 3rd Office Makeover

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3. DIY word canvas

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2. DIY Media Center (literally one of the most pinned projects I’ve ever made!)

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1. DIY Drum Shade

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I hope that y’all have a safe and happy new year! See you next year (sorry, corny jokes for days)!

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I am so excited that this project is finally finished!! Not only because it sat in my living room for a few weeks (oops), but I had no idea how much of a space saver it is in our bathroom!!

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So much brighter in there now! Originally, the plan was to paint the little cutouts that are on the side, but after the war I went through painting it the first time, I figured I’d just leave it the way it is.

Speaking of the war…this bookshelf was that awkward dark orangey wood that requires massive amounts of primer. Which I didn’t do (just sprayed one layer), so the wood bled through 3 COATS OF PAINT. After I cried about it for a little while, I went right over the white with a few coats of primer, and the put another 2 coats of white paint on top, and that seemed to do the trick. As far as painting the back of the bookshelf, I used Behr’s Stoney Point (seriously, I’m never going to be able to use that gallon up), and mixed in some dark blue to give it more of a dark teal look. I am loving it!

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This is the best picture I could get of the paint. Oh, and disregard that terrible paint job. I got to the point where I threw my hands up in the air and called it done.

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So starting at the top, I cleaned out all of our baskets and pared down to stuff that just needed to stay in the bathroom. I got the little basket at the dollar store, and spray painted it with Rustoleum’s gold (love that stuff!). It’s got stuff that I use almost daily, so it’s easiest to keep it all together.

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Next is the hair shelf (when you have hair like mine, you’ll have a hair shelf too), and a small jar with cotton balls.

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The little chevron pails hold all of my nail polish (sorted by color family, of course), and the little mug (Goodwill find!) holds all of the necessary nail accoutrements. The big basket holds lots of lotions (which I can never use up), and other small bottles.

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And on the bottom, the basket holds all of the big tubes and containers, and my new makeup container and first aid container are there too!

I don’t think I can contain my giddiness that it’s finally back in the bathroom and we have some nice new storage! (I have no life, apparently). But seriously, that two toned look? Yum. And here’s a little before and after for you; it especially shows how much brighter it makes it!

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So. Much. Better. And it was free (well, except for the one dollar basket), since I had the paint and containers on hand already! Originally I was thinking about painting all the baskets a blue or gray, but I really like the contrast that the dark basket provides, so I’m thinking that those last two orangey baskets won’t be that color for much longer!

What do you think?? Paint them dark brown or paint them all a different color? And I can’t decide if I want to paint the heart shaped box to match the baskets! I’m kind of digging the 80’s floral print, but I need a second opinion!!

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30 Before 30.

A. I don’t have anything to post about today, and this has been sitting in my drafts folder for months.

B. There is no B.

C. I know, I’m only 24, I have a lot of time to do this stuff, blahbitty blah blah. I hope that 6 years allows me to knock some of this stuff off of it!

D. It’s not 30 things. I’ll keep adding to it. Keep on checking up there ^.

30 before 30

1. Buy a house.

2. Travel to Europe again.

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3. Swim with the dolphins.

4. Get married.

5. Write a book.

6. Become a paramedic.

7. Travel. Just travel.

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8. Meet girlfriends in Vegas for the weekend.

9. Gamble.

10. Wine taste in Napa Valley.

11. Get a dog.

12. Shoot a wedding a month.

13. Go back to Costa Rica.

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14. Have a baby.

15. Get to that place where I’m perfectly content with myself as a human.

16. Drink a latte in the original Starbucks (whaaaat!?)

17. Figure life out.

18. Get some of my photos published!

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19. Run a marathon.

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The Letter T

I mentioned that last weekend was our family reunion. It was fairly epic…lots of naked babies, insane food, and beer for days.

Which is pretty much all you need for a good weekend. But a good DIY does help round it out. During the last Pinterest Challenge, I saw this gorgeous piece and realized we could easily make one for our reunion.

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We started out by drawing out what we wanted in terms of size, since it would be hung on the wall between two windows; then picked up some picket boards at Lowes for $1.25 a piece. The wood isn’t the greatest in terms of knots and bowing, but it’s cheap and it worked with what we needed it for.

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Here is my highly technical rendering of the piece:

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Look Ma! I used algebra!! I didn’t however, plan for the 1/8″ that the table saw would take off when they were cut…my bad. So all the measurements that I’d marked off were redone when the Fireman’s brother cut everything for me. I have literally no pictures of the cutting and assembling, but once he cut all the boards, he used a staple gun with an air compresser to attach everything. The way we built the T was from the top down; otherwise we would have two separate pieces.

After it was assembled, I brought it to my family to stain and paint it.

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The outside was stained with Minwax’s Jacobean (a seriously lovely dark stain), and the inside was painted with Behr’s Pineapple Soda, then the whole thing was covered in Polycrylic to seal it.

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I love how the dark stain really popped against the weathered wood of the house. To attach it to the house, we marked off lines on two boards that stuck out, and my uncle screwed in four screws.

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He’s rather handy to have around. After that, we simply set it on top of the screws so that we could remove it at night, since we had some serious storms blow through. And sadly, here is the only picture I have of it on the wall. #utterfail

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And a phone picture, no less.

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I adore it. I only wish I’d had people take pictures with it…oh well, there’s always next reunion!

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DIY Giant Pinwheels!

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Last weekend, we participated in our local Relay for Life, which is a 24 hour walk that raises money for cancer research. Cancer has touched many people in my family and the Fireman’s family, so we were more than happy to walk. The Fireman was our chair, which meant that decorating fell to myself and his sister in law (like I hated it). We brainstormed for the circus theme via Pinterest, and then the Fireman and I stayed up until 1 am the night before finishing them up. Nothing like procrastination.

The biggest thing that I made were these giant pinwheels.

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I started with 48″ dowels and 22 x 22″ poster boards, along with some small picture nails, beads, and hot glue. The first 3 up there were painted with normal acrylic paint, and the last one was spray paint.

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I used a bunch of the residual paint that I had left over, and gently sprayed it over the board, trying not to saturate it.

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Once it was dried, I used a template from the first one I made to trace lines in from the corners to the center, stopping about 6 inches from the middle. Once they were cut, I pulled every other corner into the center to double check that the cuts didn’t need to be made any bigger.

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Using a hammer, I gently tapped a nail into every dowel, a few inches from the top. I found the best thing to do was to wiggle the nails around to ensure that you’ll be able to push them in with your fingers.

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Using a coordinating piece of poster board, cut out a small square and pierce it (it was easiest to do first with a pushpin). Then take every other corner and push the pin through it.

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Once all the corners are pulled together, push them down through the exact middle of the back of the pinwheel. Make sense?

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Once all the holes are punched, take a bead and thread it on the nail, then thread the nail back through the holes. Then put another bead on the other side between the wheel and the dowel (they’re there to make sure the wheel turns). The nail will stick out through the back of the dowel a little bit, and the best way to protect yourself from getting stuck is to cover it with hot glue.

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I was so excited about these pinwheels!! They looked AMAZING at the Relay! And speaking of, here are some pictures from the afternoon we set up.

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We were able to get ahold of a parachute (from the school gym) to drape over one of the tents, which was amazing when it started raining. There was a face painting station, 4 raffles, a small cornhole type game, and a “stick your face in a funny poster” station.

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The tent was draped in the green, yellow, and blue banners (which was also DIYed), and there were tons of little pinwheels all over the table in little jars. My favorite part, though, was the inside of the tent.

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We twisted crepe paper and wrapped them around the tent edges, then hung some paper lanterns from the center. The kids LOVED it, and it was such an unexpected surprise to everyone who stopped by.

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The Fireman’s mom found this in her attic (let’s just say the box was straight outta the 80’s), and the super little kiddos had a blast with it.

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Clearly this was the biggest hit though :). The Fireman’s brother built the entire setup, and everyone loved having their picture taken. At night, we all lit luminaries (in the rain), and lined the track with them.

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It was beautiful.

So there ya go! Have you ever made any pinwheels? They were super easy! The Fireman’s sister in law has plans to pin the big ones on the wall in her playroom. I can’t wait to see them!

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When we moved in here almost 2 years ago (wow, has it really been that long?) I made a frame wall down our hallway.

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At the time, I used Command hooks and tape “because I didn’t want to do any damage to the walls.” Want to see what happens to walls when you use Command tape?

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It ain’t pretty. Turns out when the place was built, they never PAINTED THE WALLS. They only primed them…which lead to the above catastrophe. I was on such a DIY kick when the Fireman was gone for training that I decided I should take down all the pictures and rehang them with nails (it was a project really far down on my list that I just didn’t want to tackle).

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Can you see why? I mean, seriously, WHAT IS THIS?

Once they were all down, I patched the walls using Premium Grade Patch and Paint Lightweight Spackling. It was awesomely light and fluffy, almost like a mousse. It dried super quickly and adhered really well to the walls. After the walls were patched and sanded, I used some leftover white paint to cover them all up.

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This was prepaint, but you can see how much spackling there was to tackle.

The one thing that I hadn’t liked about the frame wall before was that I was unable to take frames down and switch pictures around if I wanted to, plus let’s face it…I hoard frames like a fat kid hoards cake. So once I gathered all of my frames and pictures, I started playing around with arrangements, laid out on the floor like last time.

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Easiest way to do this is to measure out your wall space and fit in what you want. It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle. To mark where the frames went, I used this technique with butcher paper. Verdict: probably easier with two people. It kept falling on me and I may have had a mini meltdown when IT JUST WOULDN’T STICK. Basically, I decided I’m just never going to make another frame wall again. (That was a total lie. I love frame walls.)

Once the paper was up and the nails were in, I hung the frames up…

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So much better!

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You’ll see that I turned two empty frames into clothesline frames (is there such a thing, or did I just make that term up?). I simply stuck thumbtacks into the sides, strung some twine, and used baby clothespins from Walmart (the same pins I used to make jewelry holders in my sister’s bathroom). I’m also still totally obsessed with my canvas art.

I’m super excited to be able to switch up our wall art now & actually have pictures of myself up. #photographerfail

Have you ever done a gallery wall? Any tips, tricks, etc? Lemme know!!

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DIY Media Center

Once upon a time, a boy and a girl were very broke and moving into an apartment that they needed to fully furnish, like, yesterday. Luckily, they were moving during prime garage sale and thrifting season, so the girl found many things for little money. As time went by and the boy and girl became not so broke, she decided that she wanted to get a new media console since she rescued the table holding their TV off of the side of the road.

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(Sidenote: we paid a total of $342 for all of our furniture. #varsitythrifter)

She mulled over it for a long time, even writing a blog post about her obsession with pretty media consoles. Then the boy left for training for a week, which never boded well for him (see here, and here for reference) and the girl saw an opportunity to hit up Ikea and make some changes. Unfortunately for her, Ikea is 3.5 hours away and more expensive than she could afford.

Okay, I can’t talk in the third person anymore. While the Fireman was gone, I tossed around a lot of ideas about cobbling together an entertainment center on my own.

Problem 1: $. What I wanted was  a form of built in bookshelves/entertainment center, like this one that Kate at Centsational Girl made:

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But big furniture = big money. I’d dreamt about an Ikea set up like this for such a long time:

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But seriously??  $700 + driving 3.5 hours for pickup + 12 hours of assembly by myself = no freaking way. Also, I thought that something that big (mostly tall) would dominate the room and still leave funky spaces on the sides, which leads to…

Problem 2: A strange and open floor plan that necessitates something that isn’t dominating.

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Here is a terribly not to scale drawing of the area. The wall I was contemplating is the far right one and as you can see, it’s visible from literally 70% of our apartment, so something low key was what I was hoping for.

While I was tossing around ideas and scouring the internet for something that would work perfectly, I remembered the bookshelves I’d used in a previous room makeover and had a moment of revelation. I dragged one out and VOILA! It fit perfectly. I sketched up this, so you can get an idea of the piece:

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Are ya feeling me yet? Basically, the base of it is three bookshelves and then it’s topped with some 2x4s. Easy enough, right?

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These are the bookcases that I used. We have them in the office and I’ve had no complaints about them so far.

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I got the 2x4s at Home Depot, and had them cut to the size that I needed (love that they cut for free).

I’d talked to the Fireman’s brother about what I wanted to build and he lent me his Kreg Jig (Sidebar: I am literally not allowed near power tools unsupervised, but he told me it was going to be easy to do by myself…so if I can do it, so can you). Let’s just take a minute here and extol the virtues of the Kreg Jig. Seriously, I want to marry it. It’s used to drill pocket holes in boards to secure them together. Confusing? Let me explain.

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First you clamp the wood into the jig. Since I was drilling 2x4s, the jig was set at 1.5 (which in all honesty, didn’t make any sense to me either, the Fireman’s brother set everything for me when I got the stuff).

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Once the board is clamped, you drill down into the board. Do you see that hole in the bottom left of the board? That’s a pocket hole. It allows for the boards to be placed side by side and drilled together.

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Here’s what they looked like after I was done. Makes more sense now, right? Oh, and you might see that I actually used 3 2x4s and 1 2×3 for the back part of the top. Why? The whole unit was going to stick out from the wall because of the baseboard heaters, and a 2×3 left more room for wires to be threaded through.

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The boards were stained with my favorite Minwax gray stain (I’ve used it in the past on a backgammon board), and they took about 3 coats apiece. I really love how the texture of the wood comes through the stain so well.

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As I started to assemble the bookcases, I made sure to drill pocket holes on the tops, bottoms, and sides so that I could really solidify the whole structure. I wasn’t worried about it collapsing, but it made me feel better to have more stability.

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If you’ve never used these bookscases, the backing is just a thin particle board, and I was worried that painting it would warp it. I found the best way to do it was prime it first with some Kilz primer so the board wouldn’t suck up the paint itself. The backs took 2 coats apiece in Behr’s Peacock Blue. The above picture is the most accurate to the actual color.

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These were the two choices that I had for paint, mostly because I worried that such an expanse of blue would be a light sucker, but broken up with the white shelving, it turned out perfect.

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Also since the Fireman wasn’t home and didn’t know what I was doing (surprise, honey!), I had to rely on my cousin’s expertise.

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Once the shelves were assembled, I put them where I wanted them since there was no way I would be able to move them myself once they were all secured together.

P.S. I’m really sorry about the grainy pictures. No light in the room + high ISO = what my nightmares are made of.

Anyways, back to life on the farm. I drilled the boards together to form the top (um, super heavy and awkward to maneuver) and then put it on top of the shelves. It turned out that since the cases weren’t all exactly tothemillimeter the same, they leaned away from each other at some strange angles, which made the boards on top too small lengthwise. So I ended up drilling the bookcases together at the top and bottom…

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And solved my problem. Plus, more screws = more stability. This sucker is never moving.

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Once they were all secured together, the top fit perfectly. Like a glove!

At this point, I did a series of happy dances and drooled a little bit. I have so much love for the turquoise and the gray wood together.

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The last thing to do before I could put the shelves in was to secure the top to the shelves, which I did using some of those pocket holes I mentioned earlier. I drilled up into the 2x4s after clamping them together so the screws would bite right into the wood. Oh, and see the other screw in the top right? That’s holding together the top piece and the right side. Makes a little more sense now, right?

Once everything was secured, I put all the electronic stuff back first and then filled the shelves. Are you ready????

(God, I hope so, otherwise this is just a really long post.)

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UHHHHH-mazing, AMIRIGHT!? Sorry, even though its been two weeks, I’m still in love with it. Not only is it so pretty, but it fits so many books!! And in all honesty, we haven’t even filled all the shelves yet.

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I love the pop of the color the turquoise gives, and paired with the gray wood and white shelves? Mmmm. Mama likey.

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Here’s my favorite part…there’s so much more room for our textbooks, which insanely rocks my socks.

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Another awesome thing? No more awkward spaces on either side! Love that.

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Oh, and those lamps? Tarjay, baby. The bases and shades were sold separately but both part of the Threshold collection (which I was mildly obsessed with), AND scored on major clearance.

So, let’s recap. We went from this…

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To this!

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Now, not only is the TV up higher (which I had no idea makes such a HUGE difference), but the lamps bring in so much more light than we originally had. Pretty, functional storage with a little dash of pride for making it myself = happy Caitlin.

For a budget breakdown:

3 bookcases @ $15.87/each = $47.61
2 paint test pots @ $3/each = $6
3 2x4s @ $2.83/each and 1 2×3 @ $2.44/each = 10.93
Total: $64.54

65 beans for a customized entertainment center? Yes please.

Oh, and one last sidenote: when you live in New Hampshire in April, you end up doing most of your home improvement projects inside…

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Let’s just say that my vacuum got a really good workout that week.

Have you ever had to DIY your own furniture because you can’t find what you want? Ever used a Kreg Jig? I’m eager to build some more furniture ASAP!

Images found here and here.

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Sweet Care Packages!

Guys, before I launch into today’s post, I found out yesterday that my backgammon board had been featured on Apartment Therapy’s website! Cue the drink spitting, hyperventilating, and squealing that occurred. But seriously, I am so proud and honored that they were interested in my little project! Okay, moving on now.

This is my BFF Amy. We’ve been friends since our freshman year of high school. She grew up in Boston, and after 4 years at Boston University, she moved back to California in July of last year.

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I know that she’d been stressing lately about work and other life matters, so I sent her a care package.

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And I don’t mean Channing Tatum in a box. Although that WOULD make any woman instantly feel better. YUM.

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I mean a pretty box filled with lots of luscious goodies! I grabbed one of those flat rate shipping boxes from the post office (can I get a HOLLA! for how amazeballs these suckers are!?) Then using my other BFF, ModgePodge, I glued some super adorable wrapping paper ($1 section at Target) to the sides, lace doilies to the tops, and stuck some chevron duct tape on the bottom (also Target $1 section).

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Then I filled it up with tons of fun stuff. Since it was right before Easter, I used some cheap fake grass and got some giant pink Easter eggs (Target), and cute little painted eggs (Walmart) and filled them with Hershey’s kisses and Whopper Robin Eggs. The big eggs wouldn’t stay closed so I assisted them with some washi tape. Some other things that got tossed in were some yummy strawberry body lotion, DD coffee (any good self respecting Boston girl yearns for her Dunks), Essie polish, and the most delicious smelling candle ever (Target). I’m wishing I got one for myself too. I also tossed in a gift card to Trader Joe’s for her favorite wine.

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After stuffing the top with more Easter grass, I used some of that adorbable duct tape to seal it shut.

She absolutely loved it! It’s things like this that can change someone’s whole day. Even if it’s just a card that you put in the mail to say hi to a friend, it really brightens up their day.

Try it today!

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I seriously have no idea what is going on with me…I’ve been on a serious DIY-ing kick lately. I mean, I’m completely loving it and will ride it out as long as I can, but DUDE our house is full of crafty stuff!

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Last week I tackled these dudes above. I’ve had them for a few years and freaking LOVE them, but the whole different colored top thing was starting to get to me. So what better way to change it up than paint? My favorite thing!

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I found this at Walmart and decided to give it a whirl.

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First I made sure those babies were clean…

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And then applied something like 4 or 5 coats on each one. The paint said it would only take 2 coats, but the colors kept showing through. It was fairly fast since the paint dried quickly on the metal. And for those worried about mixing paint with food, I only painted the tops and sides and left the bottoms au naturale.

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After letting them cure for over 24 hours, I primed them with chalk…

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And VOILA! Labeled streamlined storage!

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It’s painfully obvious that I need to get either 1) a chalk pen, or 2) calligraphy lessons.

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I’m super stoked about how they now all match and we can change out the labels as needed.

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Have you ever painted container tops with chalkboard paint? Did it work? Lemme know!

(Psst…the Fireman is away for a week for military training…you know what that means: there is an AWESOME project currently sitting half finished in my living room! Stay tuned!)

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