Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY Crate Coffee Table

Recently I was inspired on Pinterest (who isn't?  and if you aren't a pinner yet, go get your invite!  SO much "PINspiration!") when I found a crate coffee table.  Yes.  A coffee table made out of those pine wood crates   at Joann that I've never known what to do with.  I always thought, "hmmm" but never sprouted an idea of my own.  Then I found this little cutie pie here: Vintage Wine Crate Coffee Table from DIY Vintage Chic.  Girl, you are a true artist!

I knew I needed this table for my family room.  A little storage and something smaller that I could move out of the way when my little ones want to play.  So I embarked on my own DIY crate table journey and enlisted my husband's help!  Luckily for me, Joann had exactly 4 crates, which is what I needed.   We then bought wood for the table frame and 4 cute little chubby legs.  Where I respect DIY Vintage Chic's design and her step-by-step process, we did have to figure out a few things on our own and some things in our process are a little different.  For instance, we used legs rather than casters because we couldn't find any that locked into place and with two kids running around I didn't want them to get the idea they could push it where they wanted to!  :)  Secondly, we skipped the center tray and are just leaving it open.  I made a separate tray to go on top of the table out of two drawers.  Now that's thinkin'! :)  Those before and after pics and my step by step follow at the end of this post.  SO cool.

And here we go!

I started off by lightly sanding and staining my crates in a new color by Minwax-Classic Grey.  I know what you're thinking, "grey stain???" I just really wanted something that was different from the "typical" stain colors.  It definitely is different and so rad.

Following the second coat of stain, I poly-ed all of the crates.  One coat is all I wanted and because honestly, I didn't feel like sanding and re-applying another coat.  Obviously, do what makes you happy. :)

Next, we made a frame for the bottom, for stability.  This was challenging because neither one of us (me or my hubs) had ever made a table frame before, or any frame for that matter, but I think we both learned a thing or two. :)
After the frame was put together it got stained.

I also spray painted these little legs flat black.  NOTE: You will hear me say this entire statement in my posts quite OFTEN:  I LOVE flat black!  It's my ultimate favorite color.  It covers so well and the mistakes are few and far between.  LOVE...IT.

 Then came time to assemble the crates together.  Personally, I wanted the prettiest sides upward, with the nicest knots showing their beautiful selves. 

Before assembling the frame to the table it had to get it's feet!

We had to try out several different drill bits before we found the right one to make a "just right" hole for the legs to screw into.  (I swear I did some of the work, it wasn't just my man.  I just had to be the photographer also. ;)


So after the legs, we put the assembled crates on top of the frame and lined it up and screwed it down.  Voile!

NOTE:  Things are not perfect on this table.  The legs were a little too wide to be hidden under the frame and stick out a little which I was totally fine with.  It gives it a different look.  I do not like perfection.  I like imperfection because it makes it uniquely mine.  :)

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I did not make the center square tray insert that was in the original design by DIY Vintage Chic.  I made my own tray to be placed on the table for extra drink spots.

Here is how I made it:

I took two drawers from a desk top organization "system" that I bought at a flea market for $10.  I had hopes of fixing it up and using it in my craft room, but sadly, it has sat in my garage for several months. :(  SO, I wanted a tray for this table, but did NOT want to buy anything.  One, I'm impatient...two, I didn't want to spend any more money, and three, I'm impatient. :)  

 As you can see, these were cherry wood.  I glued them together with my super glue and after that dried for 24 hours, I used my new air compressor staple/brad gun to nail the center together for extra support.  The glue might have been fine on it's own, but I had visions of it coming apart while full of glasses of wine and it skerred me.  

 The glue seeped a little so I sanded and was able to easily scrape it off.

 View of the staples in the bottom center that I later primed and painted over.

 I sprayed with primer because I was originally going to spray paint the tray this cool metal color, but decided that flat black would rule the school and go better in my family room.  I do LOVE flat black! :)

 Primed...not needed for black, but whatevs...

 After painting came mod podging some extra fun.

After it dried I shellac-ed it.  I dunno why, but I thought it sounded retro and cool and maybe would protect my mod podge the best, plus it made the tray SO shiny! :)  

Here it is with some cool coasters I made with white bathroom tiles that I sprayed with that rad metal paint.

I really hope you enjoyed this knock-off-DIY table and my DIY drawer tray. :)  
Get inspired today!  You will be amazed at the ideas that pop into your head while you are working on interesting things!

Have a creative day!
~Lori :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Art Projects: Wooden Plaques

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby for the sole purpose of ....browsing. :)  That place just gets my juices flowing, but enough about my love affairs with the ultimate craft shops in the world.  Ever since I blogged about wooden plank art, I have had it on the brain...obsessing.  As I browsed, I started sprouting ideas.  I typically don't buy pre-made home decor unless it's REALLY cheap.  I found a couple of mirrors that were under $5 and thought....hmmm.  I love mirrors and putting them on a decorative piece of wood?  Now we're talkin'!

I started off with those cheap wooden plaques, pre-cut and sanded.  I touch them, I see the vision and I was off to get the rest of my necessities.

2 Wood Plaques, 2 small wooden mirrors, black paint, green tree limp scrap book paper, mod podge, 
super glue, sponges, *optional sanding sponge

I painted both boards first and the paint dried really quickly.  I didn't care that much about making it perfect because I would eventually cover them with paper and distress them.

Once dry I cut and mod podged the scrap book paper to the boards. 

(Pay no attention to the ugly bubbles in this one on the right, it worked itself out as it dried.  Magic!)

I then started working on project #2, I'm just good like that.  
I seriously think I might be part octopus.

You can see that I'm going to use that cool distressed diamond pattern paper.  
Love the color and pattern together...SO rad!
(I know that the boards aren't 100% covered with paint but again, paper is going there.)

Next, I took this softer type of sanding sponge to distress the paint and ran it over the top of the dried mod podge.
Not sure if you can see it or not, I wasn't able to capture it's new beauty on camera. :I

Super glue time!  The mirrors came with a hanger attached so I just removed it for a smoother mount.  I centered and then glued it down (pay close attention to the instructions for any type of glue that you use).  I am not sure if hot glue would've worked on these because the mirrors were on the heavy side, but it might.  I was scared if I didn't use super glue that they would come crashing down in the  middle of the night. 


And here is project #2 drying.  I then used the same sanding sponge to distress them as well.

Finished!  Aren't they cool????  I felt the need to add a bird (wall stickers) to each one so they would tie in with this other piece.   LOVE.

Yesterday was a day of many projects, actually this week has been full of projects!  I love it when I have what seems like a million ideas and can implement a few. :)  Sometimes it's quite overwhelming to have this brain inside of me, but I'm proud of what comes through my thoughts and my overflowing "box" of ideas.

The pieces I make are so inexpensive and so simple ...give them a try.  You will amaze yourself. :)

***Want some more amazing wood art ideas ???  Who doesn't??!  My sister-in-law is a master crafter in her own right and from time to time, with her permission, I will feature her amazing skills in the things she creates!  
Here are a couple of art projects she has done with wood...awesomeness.

Thanks for sharing your ideas, Lynda!

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a creative day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Baubles

I have been making jewelry for years, rather, WAS making jewelry until I got into the busy occupation of having and raising babies.  It got pushed to the back burner and even though I still wear some pieces, I still miss expressing that creative side of me.  I have done a few shows in my time as a designer and I really need to get back to it.  As I dust the cobwebs off and sharpen my skills, I will showcase more of my designer pieces, so keep a look out!  Maybe one day I will be brave enough to set up shop on Etsy.   The dream is on the horizon...

This necklace was made from cranberry garland beads I got at Michael's on super duper sale.  They worked great and I love that it's a pop of color you can wear any time.

Next is this multi-string necklace with clear and pearl colored beads of various sizes and textures.

Where I do get inspiration from other designers, I take pride in the fact that all my pieces are one of a kind and made from my own vision, by me.  I can't wait to show you the other "visions" I have created!

Have a good one!

Monday, March 18, 2013

How To: Recovering Chair Cushions

My first tutorial!  The first of many, I hope.  This one in particular is something I know a lot about because I've done it more than 5 times.  That makes me a know-it-all...right?  ;)

Chair cushions, next to painting, are a super easy way to bring something fresh and new to your kitchen nook, your front entry, or wherever you plan to put the chair(s).   The set I show you in this tutorial are from my farmhouse table project (check it out here:  The seat boards on the original craigslist purchase were in decent shape.  All I needed to do (to feel good about re-using them---they were a little wet) was air dry them for a full day on my back patio which gets lots of sun.   Good as new!

Let's get started, shall we?

What you'll need:
1. Seat boards.  If you cannot re-use the originals, measure each chair individually.  From what I've experienced, you never know when "identical" anythings mean "not that identical."  Get each board cut to their individual specs.  The Lowe's in my area will cut boards for you, so ask around if you don't have a saw at your disposal.  NOTE: You will need to screw holes into the boards (pressboard is what I have) if you get new ones.  Line the boards up to where they will be installed onto the chairs and mark where the screws will go in.  Then you can drill the holes.  Ready for step 2.
2. Poly-fil Foam.  You can choose whatever thickness you desire, but I typically go with the 1" thickness.  To save money (which we all like) get the giant roll of 24x72x1.  Walmart and Hobby Lobby have it for about the same price.  Joann has more options for foam that you can get cut to the specs you need, it was just easier for me to buy a bag of it.  I did buy 2 just in case I messed up....I do that a lot. 
3.  Your fabric!  The fun part.  choose a fabric that you love.  I'm not going to tell you what color or type to get because it's really "to each is own" so you get whatever make your little heart sing.  I will put in my two cents and say that vinyl and duck canvas (even out door type canvas) work fabulous in kitchens and places where the chairs will get a lot of use.  You can spray scotch guard upholstery protection on any of your cottons if you are concerned about stains.  I will say that stains come out with a little water and a little scrubbing or some Incredible stain remover works great too...says the mommy of two kids under the age of 5! 
4. Scissors and Staple Gun + staples.  A good set of fabric scissors and semi-good quality staple gun really makes a difference.  Invest if you are going to want to do more of the wonderful projects that involve fabric and there are a LOT.

Step 1:
Lay out your seat boards and measure your foam.  I usually complete one seat before cutting out anything else just for my own sanity.

Step 2:
Start stapling, pulling to make the foam taut.  What helps me is by securing two parallel sides, pulled tight.  Staple all along each side to make sure it is secure, in the corners fold and tuck making sure to staple the fold so that you cannot see it when you flip it over.  NOTE:  Don't cover your screw holes!

Here is is on the flip side.

Step 3:  Cut the fabric out.  I always cut the fabric to the measurement of the seat with foam on it because, obviously, it changes the thickness of the board.  Staple the same way you did for the foam.  NOTE:  Again, don't cover up your screw holes!  Yea...I did do it once.

This is what it looks like on the beautiful side!

 At one point in this project I had a little helper collecting staples. :)

This doesn't happen often, but sometimes I get a boo boo.  This happened cause I did SIX chairs in one sitting.  ouch.  Leaning to take breaks...

Step 4:  Installation time!  These are the chairs that I got at (for this super sweet deal: after my other chairs, I discovered were going to be a disaster.  Luckily for me these were the perfect size for my pre-made seats!  I took the original seats off --they were butcher block style wood (to be used in another project-nothing goes to waste here!) and installed mine with ease and my husband's beast of a drill.  See it making an indentation on my couch!

Flipped upside down and screwed in.

 Finished!  Yay, Mommy!

I hope this tutorial was informative and not too drawn out.  I'm still learning to condense my explanations of ...all things. :)  It really is an easy and inexpensive project depending on the price of your fabric (did you know Joann has an app now????  with coupons galore???  download that sucker right now!).  The price also goes up depending on the amount of mistakes you make.  Trust me.

If you are looking for a beginner DIY project to start your creative juices flowing, this is a good jumping off point.  Learning to do this will give you the confidence to take on things you might not have thought possible before.

Now get started!
Have a great day!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Letters, Words, Phrases--not just for books anymore!

I had been looking for a mirrored window for a LONG time.  Time and time again I would browse the "large frame" section of my local Goodwill and then I FINALLY found it!  It was once a peachy, beige color,   I guess you could call it neutral?  Didn't matter what color it my mind it was going to be white.  I painted it kinda rough/shabby because it was just that in texture.  After it was complete, sans letters, I put it up in 4 different places.....yea...FOUR.  It just wasn't right in any of the spots or rooms that I had envisioned.  Sitting at  my kitchen table pondering over my dilemma, I looked up and it hit me like a pie in the face.  My breakfast nook!  That's where it belonged!  So up it went with some shifting of other things to make room.  I stared at it for days thinking it still needed something.  The finished product shows you just what it desired...our family of four.  :)  I love this wall so much and now I feel like it loves me.

Don't be afraid of the cliche that has been attached to letters or words or phrases scripted on your walls.  I feel like it's the best way for me to express what is in my heart, especially on days when I shouldn't but do forget to say it.

Today is the perfect day to create something with someone you love....or like a whole lot. :)
Have a good one!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Plywood and Wall Stickers

Let me start off by saying that I am not an artist, well not in the professional, super fantastic way.  I am an amateur at best and basically just let my mind TRY to tell my hand how to do things.  Nothing EVER comes out the way I want it to, even so, whatever transpires still impresses me. :)

Purchasing artwork can be very expensive, so I generally make my own these days when I need to "fluff" my nest (which is quite often).  My most utilized materials include blank canvases (you can get a steal of a deal when Joann has them on sale) and fabrics.  For some reason I felt the need for something "new" on my walls.  A few months ago I was looking through the cut plywood section of Lowe's while hunting down some peg board and discovered these cheap medium-ish squares that I thought would be perfect for some kind of homemade art.  My only problem was how and what would I paint on it, or even maybe glue to it?  Then it hit me....wall stickers!  Wall stickers are awesome and the only artistic prowess you need is where to place them....yes please!  I actually have a whole tree of these little gems in my daughter's room that wasn't horrible to put up thanks to my sister in law.   I will admit to having trouble with other types that pealed and just plain fell off in a short amount of time.  Now, I AM willing to admit that this could very well have been user error....but I'm not 100% sure about that!  

What I did with each one of these pieces is use craft paint with sponge brushes and let them dry, then on went the wall stickers!  Gotta love how easy it is and how well they all stick to the plywood!  I don't know about you, but I tend to have scraps of plywood hanging around once in a while so when I want to "express myself" they are the perfect go-to no-cost option for something FAB.
Here are my examples ....I left both of them in their natural stat aka no sanding, it gives it a rustic, artsy feel even with the paint.

I got the straight line of this dual colored piece with painters tape.  The wall sticker kit was for birds on a wire that included some cool mirrored cool, huh?  Not all the birds or "wires" were used, so I have them available for other things!  BONUS

Wall stickers with a little sheen on this latte colored, scuffed up piece of wood.  Nail the tooth/claw hooks in or screw in door knocker-type hooks to the back to hang on the wall.

You can really find any cheap wood, pallets, peg boards, cork boards, etc to use as art work.  Spray paint or even craft paint works (as seen here).  It's all about what you put on them that matters.  Your vision may not transpire exactly how you wanted it, but it is truly what it was meant to be and you should be proud of every inch of it!  Go make something today, there is something so calming and fantastic about creating.

Have a good one!

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Furniture Makeover

Greetings fellow idea hunters.  This is an exciting post for me because it features all the furniture (my own and thrift store finds) that I have either lightly sprayed a glorious new sheen or sanded down to bare bones with 3 or 4 coats of latex.  Either way you paint it, it breathes new life into things you or someone else once loved, or just some awful thing you inherited from your Aunt Edna. :)

Without further adieu here are my lovelies...

This coffee table was my first furniture painting adventure. The top was espresso that I painted white, then I zig-zagged.  Fun, fun.

 This dresser was $60 at Salvation Army and it is perfect for a mini buffet in my dining room that holds my place mats, napkins, candles and seasonals. 
This table was bought on auction for $50....distressed and dimpled wood top was crazy to paint, but I did  a lot of priming and sanding, then spray painted it ocean blue.  Excuse the monkeys cheesin' in their hiding place. :)
And here it is in it's gorgeous blue glory!  I love the pop of color people are greeted with as they walk in the front door.
My cheap 70's teak dresser that had to belong to an older woman who sewed because it was in perfect condition and had left over sewing needles in one of the drawers.  My hubs sanded it and I painted it white and used the original knobs painted with flat black spray paint.
Ikea kids' table set for $20 that was au natural.  After owning it for a year, I decided it was time to pretty it up with the Krylon Watermelon, glossy white and modge podge the seats with this demask scrap paper.  My girls feel so fancy now as they spill their snacks.:)  It's protected with spray worries. 
This is my latest project.  Side tables that sit in different rooms of my house.  Grey is the new black in my mind and so white on grey sounded lovely and hip.  Primed then sprayed with glossy white and satin granite grey because I had a can left over from my farmhouse table project.

I hope y'all enjoyed this little tour of my DIY furniture make overs! I want to give a shout out to  Brooke @ All Things Thrifty  Her post (here: everything-i-know-about-spray-paint) taught me a thing or two or ten.  If nothing but to be patient so you get it done right, not just fast, which is a hard pill for me to swallow.  Thanks Brooke!  

You are now free to grab a piece of drab furniture in your house and turn it into something new.  I know you've been thinking about, I know you want to.  :)  BE BOLD!

Thanks for stopping by!