Without further ado...
This project was something I had seen over a year ago. I thought it was super cute, but it wasn't a priority project so I just now got around to it. Since cleaning up the toy room, we needed a new place for all of our kids' books, thus the library cart. You can find the plans for it here on Ana White's website.
Without further ado...
I did modify the plans a bit because I was using leftover MDF from the toy room makeover. I had to go by my shortest widths and lengths to make this baby happen for free, so I did and it was worth it. So my version is probably about 3 inches shorter in height than Ana's plans suggest and perhaps an inch or two shorter in depth, as well. Also, we didn't add handles. And although Ana suggests them, we've had no problem without, so I think we'll leave it. Below is a picture of the bottom...I used a red basket that we had on hand, but I'd like to get one that fits a little better as this one barely sits on the lip of the bottom shelf...
But really, we haven't had any trouble with that little red basket. It holds smaller books and our puzzles. It would just look better to have one that fits inside, I suppose:) Here's another angle...
My 3 year old wanted to paint it red, so we did with red spray paint. Obviously, that plan didn't stick. I just didn't like how the spray paint looked on it. It wasn't so much the color as the finish and texture against the MDF. Instead, we painted over it with some blue we had on hand and distressed it with sand paper to let that red peek through. We then put sealer on it. I love how it turned out!
And one last pic of my little guy in action with our new cute book storage:)
I don't have a mantel, but I have this 8 ft. long shelf above our tv that I like to minimally decorate for the seasons. I always keep some kind of pictures in these big frames up usually of my boys, but the rest I change up from time to time.
A little closer look (and sorry for the poor pictures)...
The empty frames in the back were ones I had lying around and had painted for spring time last year. The eggs were also from last year. The little blue ceramic rabbit was like $4 from Hobby Lobby, and the rest I had at the house (vases, frames, candlesticks, etc.) I especially love the fresh flowers but who doesn't???
And one more look...
So, I went with less is more for this spring's decor. I do have a bit more elsewhere in the house, but this was it for my "mantel". Have a great Tuesday!
Linking up to...
You may remember this shelf I made from this post when I hung it in our dining room. It's from Ana White's website and is made from a pallet - or skid (what we called them growing up). You can find the plans for it here. It really is so easy. Anyway, after we had most of the inside of our house repainted last summer, I had yet to hang it back up until today. Yes...I said last summer. I put this in its place in the dining room and have just had too many other projects that had priority over this guy that I've worked on since. It's been sitting on the floor in my bedroom. Anyway, today, I decided to sand it down just a bit more than it was and hang it up...
I've known just where I wanted to rehang it, but just hadn't gotten around to doing it. You know how it goes, right? Anyway, I have a dilemma. I hung it on the wall you see upon entering our master bedroom. From the doorway looking in - it looks off center...
But really it is centered on this awkward little wall that connects our room and bathroom...
What's a girl to do?? Center it from the view from the doorway, or the wall it sits on and you see once inside the room?? Any thoughts?
Anyway, for now I just put a photo from our wedding day along with a couple pewter looking candle sticks, the rose from the night we got engaged, and that cute letter B I picked up from Kohl's. I like it!
Have a great weekend!
FINALLY, the BIG, GIANT, ENORMOUS project that I've been working on since, I think, the first week of January is finally complete! Woohoo! Holla Back! And Amen! I was so excited to build this, but by the end of it, it had become a thorn in my side. May I present to you the NEW toy storage system!...
Yes, I built that baby! I found the plans for it on Ana Whites website which is fabulous! She has plans for every type of furniture you could imagine. I used the Open Base Cubby plans, the Hutch with Doors plans, and the drawer for the open base cubby plans (all a part of her Cubby Collection). Its the do it yourself knockoff version inspired by Pottery Barn. Since Westen's 1st birthday 2 years ago we've been using those cubes from Target that hold the little canvas bins. You know the ones. Well, in 2 years we have 2 kids now at the toddler age and our cup runneth over, if you will. Even when the toy room was "cleaned up" every bin was overflowing and toys still ended up on the floor. I guess you could say this isn't a true BEFORE picture...it's more of a in the process picture, but since Christmas and Westen's birthday (2 days after Christmas), this is pretty much what our toy room looked like on a decent day...
Imagine it on a bad day!!! Okay don't - you may scream! You can still get the idea - the canvas bins, the magnitude of toys (and yes this is after we'd weeded through some... twice - once before Christmas and once after), the chaos and eye sore this space was. And it's open to our living room and kitchen. Uuuggghhh! It made my husband and I cringe every time we walked by. I just kept telling him it's gonna get worse before it gets better...just wait til I finish the new toy storage.
I had researched some toy storages before Christmas because I knew we were going to need something new. Our previous one was no longer working. You can see my inspiration here which is from Pottery Barn. I found Ana's plans and read over them many times to determine whether I thought I could do it or not. In the end I decided to give it a shot. I printed her plans and started with just the open base cubbies. From some money I was given at Christmas I decided to purchase the mini Kreg Jig along with 2 KREG right angle clamps- tools that ended up being EXTREMELY helpful throughout this process and that I know I'll be using plenty more (What?? Some girls like clothes...I like DIY projects:). This tool made these babies more sturdy than what I could've done without them. Google KREG JIG to find out more about it. Anyway, Ana's plans in hand I headed to Home Depot (who around here anyway, will cut lumber for projects- not to only fit in your car like LOWES). I used 3/4 inch MDF and they cut it all to size for me for the open base cubbies. I decided to start with just one piece of the system to not get overwhelmed. And this was my first time using MDF (which Pottery Barn uses as well).
I worked on these everyday while the kids were napping, so about 1 and a half to 2 hours a day. From the moment I walked out of their bedroom, until I heard the sounds of little pitter patter feet, I worked on these. The first week, I completed the cubbies minus the drawers. The next week, was kind of busy and I was only able to work on them like 2 days. Each week after, I steadily worked on this project...a hutch, a drawer, another hutch, another drawer, doors, drawer slides, hanging doors, etc. Plus, on a side note, Home Depot makes the cuts as best as they can, so I did spend some time working with the inaccurateness (maybe I made that word up, but you get it). I had to trim a little her or compensate a little there, but still...I don't have a big truck to haul giant sheets of wood home in, so I'm thankful they made those cuts. Moving on...Then there was the painting and waiting and painting and waiting. I used Cottage White by Behr with the primer added in and I don't know if the choice was wise. The color is great but it took 3 coats for each piece. It was A LOT of painting. Then 3 coats of sealer for each piece too. This project took some serious blood, sweat, and tears, but I've gotta say...I am in LOVE with the finished project...
Now, let me also just say this baby is not perfect. The doors don't hang perfectly straight and there's a bigger gap around them than that at Pottery Barn. Also, the drawers are a little wonky. They don't open and close perfectly so the little guys may need a tiny bit of help with them but I can certainly manage that. When we finally put the toys away in them this week, EVERY toy had a place and there was still some available space. I certainly don't mind helping with a drawer to have my toy room look like this.
For a little extra sprucing up, I bought this rug from Target and since everything was truly cleaned up and we had half a toy room to work with now, we finally put up Westen's easel that he got for his birthday 6 weeks ago. I know...terrible. Anyway, how about a before and after...
And another one, because I'm just giddy about it...
I'm seriously so happy to be finished with this, but instead of cringing I smile every time I walk by it. Ana's website is the bomb dot com (sorry couldn't resist) and I look forward to sharing some more projects inspired by her. Oh, and I almost forgot one of the most important things about this project!! Again, please check out my Pottery Barn inspiration photo which costs a whopping $949. That's without shipping and handling. I spent under $250 on this and that was with a couple lessons learned along the way that would save me next time should I ever build these again. You can do the math on that! Have a great weekend!
Linking up to...
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
Best DIY Projects of February @ BeneathMyHeart.net
March Before & After Party @ThriftyDecorChick
Well, I tried my hand at this tutorial to make this not so Valentiney Valentine's pillow. Je t' aime is I love you in French. It turned out similar to what the other looks like...
I dont' know why the colors are so different in those pictures. If I did it again, I'd write the words a little more elegantly or romantically. The rest is exactly the same as my inspiration pillow...And I followed the tutorial just as it said. This was super easy and took little time.
Have a great weekend!
Well, my BIG project is still slow in coming. If I'm not finished with it next week I may lose it. It's taking time and unfortunately patience. So, I thought for today, I'd share a new recipe I tried. I got it from a friend of mine at MOPS. It's chocolate peanut butter pie...
If you're anything like me, you'd probably like about anything with an oreo cookie crust and cool whip on top, but this really is GOOD! And might I add...almost healthy. Yep, I said it. To eat this as a snack (no cool whip or oreo cookie crust), it is a pretty healthy alternative. High in protein and low in fat! Sweet!
Here's the low down. The ingredient measurements weren't given to me specific, so here's what I got: for the snack, just mix about a cup of Danon Greek Yogurt Vanilla with about 1 1/2 TBS. of peanut butter and a 1/2 TBS. of unsweetened cocoa or unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa (or you can even just do peanut butter if you love it like I do). For the pie, use a 32 oz. container of the same yogurt and adjust the other ingredients (so multiply by 4). Optional is agave nectar (another healthy choice) to sweeten it up a bit. It's kind of a do it to taste recipe. Mix it up, dump it in the crust, add cool whip, done! Super easy and good.
Hopefully next week I'll be showing you my biggest project yet! Have a great weekend!
Specifically what's behind these closed doors...
This is our entry closet...coat closet...whatever it's called.
That picture is from months ago when I first began cleaning this closet out and it's not really a true before picture since I'd already taken stuff out when I snapped the shot. But you do see the garbage bag full of trash and the heaping box of hats and sweatshirts there...yeah, it was all in that closet. It was such a waste of space. I don't think that box had been touched inside that closet since the day we moved in this house 3 years ago. Pathetic. Anyway, since getting a laptop last year, we decided to do away with the huge desk in our room and convert it into a little reading/train table area for the kids. We'll see how long that lasts:) Regardless, I still wanted to have a place for our "office stuff". Mailing supplies, stationary, file folders, and the like. You get the idea. We decided to make better use of our coat closet and thus was born the cloffice!
Here's the run down on this sweet space! First, after clearing everything out of this closet - trashing some things and finding new places for others, I decided to use some of the leftover paint from our living area walls and paint inside the closet to spruce it up. Paint always helps, right? Then, I basically just joined 2 1x8s with straight brackets and painted them white to get the "desk."
Oh, and I added a 1x2 on the front to give it that lip. I will say mounting this "desk" was the hardest part of this whole project. We screwed 2x4s into the studs in the wall - one on each side and one in the center. Now, because we aren't that smart here, we kinda messed up on the placement of one of those 2x4s, and we may or may not have had to take a circular saw to that said 2x4 while it was still screwed into the wall due to what may or may not have been a stripped screw:) Yeah...crazy and maybe stupid, but we made it through that giant roadblock.
We put the wire shelving from the original coat closet back in place to hold our ever trusty binders of information, stationary, mailing supplies, and more.
I took an old white frame I had whose back was missing and painted the back of the glass with black chalkboard paint (only chalkboard paint because that's what I had on hand), flipped that around (painted side on the back), and used silicone to seal the glass into the frame. This created a cool black dry erase board for the front - which, by the way, I learned will only show the neon dry erase markers on it. And I bought that cork board with the 2 frames from Target for about $15.
Over to the right of our cloffice, I used desk organization items that we used from our previous desk including those 2 magazine holders (I don't know what those are really called), the mounted file folder organizer where I put bills to be paid and items to be filed, and finally the cute little calendar of the boys I got a copy of when I put one together for my mom for Christmas.
And finally on the floor, is a file folder box to house all of 2012s files, along with a trash can. And not pictured to the left is a paper shredder and outlet to charge all our electronics up. There's nothing on the wall to the left although I may add things there eventually. So that's it! Our coat closet...
Have a great weekend!
Linking up to...
Thrifty Decor Chick
After a long break due to well... life, I'm back with project Fridays. I hope to post my ongoing list of projects every Friday. There should be some good ones;) Anyway for today I want to share my word for the year - kind of like a resolution that can help me in all areas throughout the year. Of course, I have other specific resolutions too, but this year I'm jumping on the blogland bandwagon and choosing a word of the year too! The word is...
Grow spiritually. I want to be more diligent in reading the Word. I think the following aspirations I have for growing can only be met if I do this first.
Grow as a wife. How can I better help my husband? I hope to learn more on that this year.
Grow as a mother. How can I better help my children? Being more patient. Taking more opportunities to show them the way of Christ. Etc.
Grow stronger and healthier. I plan to run a couple races this year and get this big booty a little more tight:)
Grow in risk taking. I'm always working on projects for our home and our boys. I'd love to some day be able to use those skills (which make me happy) and earn a little income for our family. So, I'd like to put my work out there a bit, and see what happens. I don't know how, but I'm looking...
I have a huge project I've been working on, but it's not finished, so I can't share it yet. Assuming all goes well, this baby is the biggest project I will have completed to date. I'm super excited about it, but a post on it will have to wait, so stay tuned. In the meantime, speaking of growing... I just recently discovered paperwhites...
Am I an idiot?? I'd never heard of these 'til recently and apparently they're a holiday flower. Missed the boat on that one, but since I'm a late bloomer, I got these babies on sale for about a dollar a bulb. I got 8 of them for our dining room table.
I guess they grow and bloom really fast so they're a fun little project for kids to watch too. Thus, I let Westen help me today pour the water in all the vases so he could be in on the action. In about a month, I should have some pretty white flowers sittin' on our table. Perfect for Valentine's day, huh?
And I have a new quote up on my chalkboard that I really like...
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Have a great weekend! Linking up to...
So, we have a couple weddings coming up this month and while Austin and I are usually money givers, after last week's project and some searching the web, I decided to change it up a bit...
I found something similar to this here that ran a steep $50 and I knew I could make one for far less myself.
It was super simple. I cut a 1x6 board to about 10.5 inches, spray painted it Krylon's Ivory, printed out the text from Word on regular printer paper, shaded the back of that paper with a pencil, flipped it over, centered it on my board and traced the text (this left a very light stencil on my painted board), then I used, for the first time, 2 sharpie paint pens (one fine tip, one thick tip) to fill in my stencil. This was way faster than using paint and a paint brush. Then, I sanded down the edges a bit and put a light coat of minwax dark walnut stain on the edges, let it sit for a minute, then wiped most of it off using what I wiped off to rub into the painted wood over the text a little to give it a worn look. Last, I just sprayed a flat sealer over it. The little holder I got from Jo Ann's for about $3. I really love how it turned out! If you'd like one, let me know:) Here it is again.
I've seen these cool family established signs all over the place. I wanted a big one for us, but didn't want to pay the price for the size I wanted. Sooooo, I of course, thought I could make it myself. Check it out...
I'm really trying to spend as little $$ has possible right now on my home projects. Instead of buying lumber for this, I cut up and used parts of 2 pallets that I had left over from other projects. I don't know the exact dimensions for this but the top and bottom rows are made from 1x6s and the middle is a 1x4 so it's 14.5 inches tall (no I didn't do my math wrong, typically a 1x6 is actually 1x5.5 and a 1x4 is 1x3.5:). I'd say it's about 40ish inches wide. Here's a front view. You can see it's wider than that coat closet doorway.
This was a bit time consuming but pretty simple. After cutting the boards to my desired length, I used 3 extra boards on the back to nail these all down to. But as you can see from the nail heads, that's what I did last. First, I just used wood glue. I let it dry overnight, then put 2 coats of that blue paint on it. I had that paint left over from last week's project. While letting that dried, I got on Word and chose the font and size letters I wanted for the words. I printed those out on regular printer paper, then used an exacto knife to cut those letters out. The next day, I traced my letters onto my boards and filled them in with 2 coats of white paint. And it's hard to see in these pictures, but I followed that up with a black shadow of paint on the top and right sides of the letters. You can see that black paint on the tops of those E's.
After that, I went over the whole thing with a light coat of minwax dark walnut stain. Last was the nails. I used 2 in. ones which are actually a little long. They poked through a tiny bit in the back. I haven't put a sealer on it and don't know that it needs it. It will be hanging high where nothing will be touching it, so I may not. It's going above the coat closet near our entryway. I love the rough textured wood from the pallets. It turned out just how I envisioned. I love when that happens.
Have a great weekend!
Outnumbered as in - the only girl living in a house full of boys! That's right. Wife of my husband of almost 7 years, mother of my 2 precious sons, and mother of our (also male) sweet Boston Terrier. I'm a stay-at-home mom or maybe what you'd call (the term I prefer) - Homemaker. Being the maker of our home is important to me. I certainly don't have the creative mind to inspire others with my ideas, but I do have the ambition to DO. I am a doer. I love DIY projects and I can follow instructions, so there's not much I won't try when it comes to making things for my home and boys while trying to be thrifty. To learn more about me and my fam, click here.
Before I started this particular blog of just my DIY projects, I was posting them on my family blog. To see those past projects click on the links below:) Otherwise check in the categories.
I Am Momma
Miss Mustard Seed
Thrifty Decor Chick
The Lettered Cottage
Beneath My Heart
Young House Love
House of Smiths
The Idea Room
Brown Paper Packages
Hammers and High Heels