Shelf Re-Do, Step Three – DIY Magazine / Project Notes Storage

Whilst browsing Pinterest one day after work I saw a lady who makes all kinds of storage stuff out of cereal boxes…I can’t find the pin now, I think I just looked at her blog without pinning. Oops. Here is the project that I remember best and decided to do myself. Cereal boxes into magazine storage containers.

Who doesn’t have cereal boxes in their home? All you have to do is measure and mark where five inches is on one side, use a ruler to draw a line up to the other corner and then cut along the lines. It’s that easy.

Yeah, I still eat like a five-year-old, don’t judge. Those marshmallows are delicious.

Simply cover the cut boxes with the paper of your choice. I decided to continue the brown paper theme I had going on the rest of my shelf and only have the pretty paper at the end that folk will see. I’m too cheap to have magazines coming to my house, but this is a great way for me to keep the notes and sketches I have for various projects organized.

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Shelf Re-Do, Step Two – Storage Box Improvement


I have an awful lot of bits and pieces of things that I have collected for projects over the years. Normally these wonderful little scraps are consigned to little zippy bags in a nondescript box on a shelf in a room I hope no one will ever enter. What a sad way for them to wait to be made into something pretty. But no longer, today my little useful friends get to come live out here with me in the real house.

Just a normal $20 storage container from a hardware store.

I needed something at the store and instead of putting on my blinders like normal, grabbing that one thing and getting the heck out of there, I accidentally looked around and saw this storage container. Now, I wasn’t looking for a storage container but, I’m a crafter so I got a slight high thinking of all of the things that I could put in here. Dammit, now I had to buy it. It was ugly as sin so it sat in my tiny spare room for about a month waiting for me to put forth the effort to transfer all of my bits over … and then I got on my “organize the shelf” kick and I suddenly found myself with new pretty paper and project energy, which is really all a crafter needs.

Step One, Paint

I pulled all of the little plastic drawers out and painted the frame. At first I had everything painted in a dark teal/blue but I wasn’t loving the way that was covering the gray plastic. It had streaks and looked really dull. But, as I was painting the shelf back (see next post), I decided to latex the sides of this with the same color green. It worked out perfectly.

There are two different size drawers so I made a template of the front of each size by tracing it with a pencil and then fitting it inside and snipping away until it seems right. using these templates and two different papers that I had bought for my magazine holder project I decided upon a checker board pattern. Super simple, just Mad Podge the plastic and stick the paper in pretty side down, facing the glue. When it’s done the shiny plastic on the outside actually gives the paper almost a tile look and it matches other little accent pieces that I have in other places. Looks like I spent more than $23 dollars on it, and now I have easy access to my smaller crafting supplies.

Much Better


A shelf Re-Do, Step one – Cover books

I live on the other side of the world from my husband and family, and while I have friends here that I dearly love and a job that wipes me out every day…I am still left with too much time on my hands sometimes. And during those times I obsess over dumb things, because I live alone and no one stops me from being a little bit nutty.

One glorious Saturday it bothered me that the bookshelf I see from my bed did not have visual harmony, because that’s totally normal to worry about, right? My original plan was very simple (as they always start out), I’ll just pick up some brown paper bags from the grocery store and cover my books like I used to have to do in school. Yeah, it turns out I couldn’t figure out a tactful way to ask for 40 paper bags, and I live alone, so getting that many through the normal process of shopping would have taken for-ev-er. I’m a one, maybe two bags per trip shopper.

See! Nothing matches. Nothing! Gah!

So off to the local art store I go to look for pretty paper to cover my books with. Turns out pretty paper in Europe, not so cheap, but I do find brown wrapping paper (which I now know I could have gotten cheaper almost anywhere else – facepalm!) and a few sheets of nice patterned paper that I fell in love with and voilà, Plan B is born.

I then discovered that covering tons of books is a sloooooooowwwww process. But pretty easy, exactly as you remember it from when you were little. However, in case you have forgotten, here is a tutorial.

Ah, that’s better…things are starting to visually calm down

Still working through all of my bookshelves to cover all of my books, but already there is a vast improvement. As you can see from the picture below, I was not done with the insanity just yet – Oh no, this was only the beginning… More posts to follow.

Sneak Peek


Bling your TV


So what happens when you are desperate to avoid unpacking boxes after your SEVENTH move in 3 years…you start looking at an old TV you just hauled up three flights of stairs and think to yourself, “Self, you should throw that ugly thing out…OR!…wait for it, new idea…I bet you could waste HOURS making that billion-year-old TV look less boring…Why, yes indeed I could and I will! Thanks for the great suggestion, self. You’re so thoughtful!”

And thus I present to you, in shocking 2-D, the birth of a blinged-out TV:


Take one boring, free, mostly functional TV..

Add some thinned out acrylic paint,


Add a liberal amount of Mod Podge and paper,

And still more layers of acrylic paint and some gold swirly paint,


And you have successfully killed a potentially productive day of work and now have a TV that, while still not nearly as impressive in picture quality as everyone else you know…BUT…way more fun to have in your living room.

Total cost:
Zero
(Free TV + craft stuff just sitting around.) Booyah!

🙂

More stuff I am pretty sure I don’t need…But BOY do I want it!

Ooooooooooooohhhhh, Nikki likey, Nikki likey! OK, I have a confession…this is yet another of my dirty little secrets, along with my deep love for Mike Rowe, Jensen Ackles and young Harrison Ford (I repeat only the young version is acceptable)…I also want to marry wool felt.  Just look at these cuties, we would be so happy together.

Read the rest of this entry »


Refurbishing a Desk on the Cheap

Every house has it, the dreaded ugly piece of furniture. (Sometimes this horrific fiend has an entire family of ugly friends clogging up your space.) And like me you walk past it and sigh. You know you should do something about it…but who has the money to replace it or time to deal with it? Then one day your brain snaps and the ugly must be dealt with, but how you ask? Super Cheap I reply.  Behold the ugly desk.  This dark beast labored under my computer and piles of crap in a darkly painted entryway with no windows, relentlessly sucking out what little light managed to peek into that corner. (Whose bright idea was the dark brown paint anyway?…Oh wait, mine…moving on.) Due to drying times this project will require a weekend to accomplish.originalSomething must be done, so I took stock of what I had – you can see it there sitting on top of the desk. Three pretty pieces of paper and some Mod Podge…I’m totally prepared. My plan was to cover the drawer pulls with the gold paper and use what I could of the tiny amount of cranberry paisley paper that was super pretty and super scarce. Off to the store I go with a sample of these two papers. Turns out no paint matches both so I buy a perfect match for the background color of the paisley paper…Salmon.

Newsflash: Salmon is Benjamin Moore code speak for shocking band aid pink. You have been warned.after first coat
I determined very quickly that my new giant, band aid pink desk is not in fact an improvement over the previous incarnation. Think, think, think. New plan. Go under the sink and pull out more of the light brown paint from when we first moved in and I was painting the apartment. Using a giftcard to maintain an equal distance from the edge of the desk I tape off a square with painter’s tape and make a brown square.

Hint: for clean lines paint a quick edge inside the tape with the background color and let dry for a few minutes before moving onto the next color.
top
While watching TV that night I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut out the swirly flowery pattern on one of the pretty papers that I liked. After letting the paint dry over night I traced the edge of the square with a gold paint pen I had left over from an old project. (You can’t tell much but it’s nice up close.) Then I played with the best arrangements of the design for a while and put a thin layer of Mod Podge under the paper and a thicker layer on top to decoupage it to the desk. Let this dry completely, a few hours should do it. I would hit it with another layer of glue to help protect the image.
drawer details
I also decided to paint the front of the drawers brown (there was still WAY too much pink going on.) the only thing I left pink was the handles which I Mod Podged little strips of the paisley paper onto. It still looked a bit unfinished so I hot glued some mint green buttons on top of the whole shebang after the top and drawers of the desk got a quick coat of Minwax. (Along with everything else in the house I have been avoiding sealing for the past three years.) The fumes…Oh the fumes…

finished deskHere it is, my brand new desk ready to handle all of my crafting needs in style, all for the whopping sum of $15 dollars and I still have a TON of Salmon paint left, you know…should you be dying to paint something in your home the color of band aids.

Full list of supplies for non-crafting, non-packrats. Keep in mind this grew out of what I had on hand.  If you don’t have something improvise. I never would have come up with so many pretty things if the pink hadn’t been so unexpectedly ugly.

  • Mod Podge (or Elmers Glue)
  • Foam Brush
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Gold Paint pen
  • Decorative Paper
  • Exacto knife
  • Minwax sealant
  • Buttons
  • Hotglue Gun

I just don’t know…

combined-houses

You’ll know what specific project this is for when I have time to take some pictures for a future post…but I drew this quick mock up for a potential paper cut last night.  Not as “haunted house” as I was hoping for, but still pretty cool I think. I wasn’t worried too  much about details.  I was barely looking at it any more by the time I got to the fence at the bottom – hence the “never gonna happen” fence posts.  (I was busy marveling at how bad season 2 of X-Files is, really terrible…so glad we finished that season last night.)

The question is when I do the cutting should I go though a white paper to reveal a colored or textured paper behind (as in the left choice), or should I cut through a black paper to reveal a lighter color or white paper (as seen on the right).

I am leaning toward black in the front…but I am worried about long-term fading.

What do you think?