Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Look what I found!

The other day, while perusing through Goodwill over my lunch hour, I came across a rare find -- a decent, good-quality piece of furniture. Even though it was $39 (more than I prefer to spend on a piece of furniture at Goodwill), I couldn't resist. I waited until after work, however, to return and see if it was still there. It was, so I took that as a sign that it was meant to be. Check it out in its new home:

Real wood, sturdy construction, and full of potential! Oh, and extra storage space to boot!

I found the perfect spot for this little cabinet in a corner of our dining room. It's actually not that bad as is, but I still want to turn it into a fun project and jazz it up a bit. I have no idea what I want to do yet though. I do know that paint will probably not be involved this time, like it was with my console table and guest room furniture. I don't want to cover up the wood grain and knots. So maybe just sanding it down and re-staining it, or doing something cool with the inset panel in the door.

Any ideas? Other similar inspirational projects you've seen? Do share!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkins & Paint

I normally don’t do a ton of fall decorating around the house, but there is one thing that I usually have to have - pumpkins! So when I saw that Aldi had large pumpkins on sale for $2.49 each, I had to take advantage of this bargain. With my barren front porch in mind, I picked out three pumpkins.

But this year, I wasn’t just going to plop the pumpkins on the steps like years past. No, this year I had other plans.

My fondness for all things paint has grown throughout the past year, and these unassuming pumpkins would soon find themselves face-to-face with a spray paint nozzle.

Pumpkin, meet White Spray Paint:

You might have guessed by this incredibly generic-looking can that I picked up the cheapo 97 cent off-brand at Home Depot. I figured it would be a good time to try it out since this project would only be on display for the next few weeks.

Well, suffice it to say, there’s a reason it only costs 97 cents. The spray was so broad and fine that it took about 4 coats (much closer than the recommended 10-14 inches) to get all the orange covered. (I also used ScotchBlue painter’s tape to cover up the stem.)

In between coats, I also painted my second pumpkin. For this one, I chose to show some school pride with the color of my alma mater (go K-State!).

Pumpkin, meet Purple Spray Paint:

Painting with the RustOleum Painters Touch was a dream compared to the cheapo brand. It was a much more concentrated spray and only took two coats. Lesson learned, it's worth the $3.77.

Back to the white pumpkin… I had originally thought of painting big black dots on it, but then I decided to try something a little more challenging and “artistic.” Maybe along the lines of what Sarah at Hennessey House might do, but obviously not as intricate or impressive (have you seen that girl's artwork?!).

I had bought a sample of black paint at Home Depot, so I got a little paint brush and started painting… and painting… and painting. About two hours later (including a couple breaks), I had this:

Overall, it didn’t turn out too bad. My swirly vines could have used another coat to make them more solid, but at that point I had already invested enough time in them. Plus, you can’t really tell that they’re a little streaky unless you get up close.

Just for tradition's sake, I decided to keep the final pumpkin orange. (Okay, maybe it was also because it was late and I was tired of painting.)

And here are the finished pumpkins on our front porch:

So tell me, what are you doing with your pumpkins this year? Carving? Glittering? Painting? Nothing?

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Linking up to:
Get Your Craft On Tuesday @ Today's Creative Blog
Creative Juice @ Momnivore's Dilemma
Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Under-the-Sink Panels: From Fake to Functional

You know what I'm talking about, right?

Yeah, those panels under your sink that look like drawers, but really aren't. Up until recently, I didn't think there was anything that could be done to make these usable. Then I saw something amazing at a friend's house. They had turned their front panels into a storage space.

So this weekend, we went to Lowe's in search of the kit that could make this happen for us, and found it in the kitchen organization section (imagine that). We needed the 14" size, which was $18.57 for two trays.

See where this is going? Maybe I'm behind the times, but I did not know such a thing existed.

At first, I was determined to make this my own project and do it without any of Luke's help. But it didn't take long before I realized my foolishness. These things just go much quicker when he lends his handiness (as much as I hate to admit it). Oh well, teamwork is a good thing, right?

The kit came with a pretty decent set of instructions, which we followed for the most part.

First, we had to take out the panels and remove the pesky plastic strip things that were stapled into them.

Then it was a matter of measuring and marking where to drill the pilot holes for the hinges and tray slots, as well as the holes in the frame opening itself. The kit came with templates to help do this.

The trickiest part was drilling the screws into the frame openings, because of the tight spaces we were working with. (And during this part, it really was helpful to have an extra set of hands to hold the panel in place.) Finally, we got them all tightened up. The result? Two shiny new storage trays just begging to be filled with crap!

Now I had a place to put the aforementioned, unsightly crap that normally clutters up the sink area (scrubber, scraper, drain plugs, water softener monitor that we never use, etc.)

The whole project probably took about an hour and a half, which I think was well worth it. Our sink/counter looks much less cluttered (except for the wand scrubber, which wouldn't fit), and you'd never know the sink panels are secret organizers now. Genius!

So tell me, did you know these sink tray kits existed? Have you already turned your fake panels into functional panels?

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