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Corralling My Electronic Devices

7 Mar

Do any of you have a mess of cords somewhere in your home that you JUST CAN”T STAND?!  A few years ago I found a solution to a mess of cords that included the cable connection for television and Internet and a mess of chargers for phones and other devices that kept finding their way to this corner next to the armoire that I keep my television in.  Unfortunately, the cable cords weren’t long enough to reach to the armoire so I couldn’t hide it inside. In addition they sat in front of the heat vent where dust bunnies seemed to congregate on my wood floors and add to my frustration every time I swept the floor.

Enter this wicker chest I found at a garage sale one day.  I think I paid $5 for it.


I gave it 2 to 3 coats of spraypaint win this orange rust color.  Then I got out my utility knife and a very sharp scissors and cut a whole on the back.


I knew that I cut could away a section of the wicker to allow the cords in and out.  Here is a photo of what the inside looks like.

IMG_8826It keeps this mess of chargers and electronic devices hidden away.  Now I simply sweep under it and around it to keep the dust bunnies at bay!

IMG_8824Here is the full wicker container with the flip-top cover. While we keep the cover closed it is easy access to the electronics hidden inside.

What ingenious ways have you found for hiding away electrical cords?

Ombre It Is!

26 Feb

A few weeks ago I polled The Craftery readers to see which direction I should take next with my Changing Table Makeover.  I had already updated the piece by painting it white, but wanted to also add some color to the drawers.





The following Ombre Inspiration won the vote!  


The question was which color?  I had finally decided on my nursery bedding, which was going to help me set the color scheme for the room.  I took it to the paint store and found these paint chip samples to match my bedding. I was either going to go with turquoise or coral for the Ombre drawers.


After finding a turquoise rug for the room, I decided to go with the coral tones on the changing table.  I picked up 3 sample pints in the darker 3 tones on the paint chip card and was on my way.


This weekend my husband kindly painted the drawers with each color as well as added a polyacrylic  coat.  It’s so fun to see these colors in the room!




3 Jan

My husband and I are expecting our first baby in the spring, so I must forewarn you all that this is likely the first of many nursery project posts in the coming months.  We started tackling the nursery over the holiday break, and first up  is a changing table makeover.

We are grateful to have recieved some hand-me-down nursery furniture from my husband’s brother and his wife.  The changing table is in great shape, but the look of the wood was a bit rustic for the style in our house, so I decided to give it a little makeover to create our own look.  Here’s what the changing table looked like before (the top shelf folds down for the changing table):

Ikea Diktad Change Table-735827

I had found a few things on pinterest that inspired me to do something fun with the drawers of the dresser, but I decided the first step was to paint the whole thing white, regardless of what I would do with the drawers.  So the hubby was tasked with priming and painting this bad-boy white (loving how this pregnancy stuff gets me out of a lot of the dirty work – I just get to be the artistic director!).

You can see more details on my furniture painting method in this previous post.  I’ve found the main thing is to use a small roller vs. a brush.  Here’s the AFTER picture of the first phase of the white changing table:

Changing Table After

Next up is to decide if I’ll do anything fun to spice up the drawer fronts.  Here is some inspiration I’ve found on Pinterest.









Paint it blue and it is brand new!

8 Oct

I haven’t made it to as many garage sales this summer as I typically do, but on the days I’ve made it out I’ve had such great luck! This is a quick project to show you what a difference a quick coat of paint can make. Generally a few times a summer I’ll have a big bbq and invite friends over for the evening.  I’ve had a few different vessels to contain silverware- none of them worked as well or looked quite the way I pictured  them in my minds eye.  Then I found this for a $1.

A little more dated and country than I was looking for so I gave it a few coats of paint with a can of Rustoleum in Lagoon I had left over from the pots I painted in this post.  Isn’t this a cheery blue? I can’t wait to use it!

And it has this lovely little handle that moves as well!

Ski – u- mah!

2 Oct

If anything, writing posts for this blog has me completing projects for which I have been dreaming  for years. Such is the case for the shotski.  I had seen a shotski years ago when my childhood next door neighbor made one for his sister’s wedding festivities.  Since that time I had picked up not one, but TWO sets of old cross country skis for this project. One set I bought for $5 and the other I picked up for free at a garage sale.  First I removed the hardware with the help of my godson.

Next I sanded down both the top and bottom of the skis with some medium grit sandpaper and then wiped off the dust with a rag.  To note- one set of skis still had a horrible old wax on the bottom.  I used a stiff putty knife to scrape this off before sanding and painting.

Then I spray painted the tops of the skis lightly with a coat of paint.  I waited fifteen minutes between coats or until they were no longer tacky and gave them between three and four coats of paint. I let the skis dry, then flipped over the skis and painted the bottoms of the skis as well. Two cans of spray paint cost me $8.00

When the ski was dry I spaced out the five POKAL shot glasses I had purchased from IKEA for $3.00.  To adhere them to the ski, but still allow for them to be removed for easy cleaning I adhered them to the ski with velcro.  With the first ski I found the velcro stuck very well to both the shot glasses and the ski.  With the second shotski I have since made I used gorilla glue to adhere to the shotski as the adhesive alone was not strong enough to hold on the shotglass.  Make sure to give the glue time to dry if you need to employ this method for adhesion!

To decorate the shotski I purchased a sticker at the U of M bookstore and used a simple paper cutter to cut it down to size.

For the bottom side of the ski I placed the U of M chant Ski-U-Mah as requested by the friend for whom I was making the shotski.  Many months before I had ordered a multi-color pack of vinyl adhesive on Amazon with hopes of using this for a project.  Using my cricut I typed in the words Ski u mah and the Cricut cut the vinyl simply and easily and it adhered to the bottom of the ski without needing any additional adhesive.

Here are the gopher fans in full gear with their new shotski ready to tailgate.

Just a week later I made an NDSU version of the shotski for a silent auction in my hometown.  The shotski raked in $80 for the community theater.

Framed Up

13 Sep

For years I have been searching for the perfect earring holder.  Then I joined Pinterest and a whole world opened up for me in terms of where my earrings could find their home. I’ve done this project a few different ways. In this post I’ll show you a few different options I’ve created and some basic steps on how to make them. This is the first version I made for my roommate Kristine more than a year ago. (Pardon the not-so-great ancient photo)  At her request I left the frame unpainted, but I did spray paint the chicken wire black.

During this same time frame I painted a few other frames I had lying around.  I found all of these frames at a garage sale for $1 each.  I finished the next framed earring holder with regular chicken wire and a bright cheery blue spray paint. In addition to a manual heavy duty staple gun I also used a tin snip to cut the chicken wire.

I began by stapling the chicken wire across one side of the frame.  I then continued around the corner to  complete two contiguous sides.  From there I stretched the wire taut and completed stapling one additional side, then the other.  I tried to staple so that the edges of the staple would catch where the wire met.The larger chicken wire was more difficult for me to keep taut, but I think it reflects the rustic nature of the piece.

The finished version with earrings.

At the same time I painted this lovely frame I also painted a much smaller green frame.  I decided I wanted a different look for this version.  Enter the jute I inherited from my mom’s cleaning out of her sewing room. While you probably can’t see it, the blue “oriental jute” on the left was purchased at The Gift Shop in Devils Lake, ND. I’d bet this was purchased in the 1970s, but it now has a purpose.

I used a heavy duty stapler, a needle nosed pliers, a screwdriver, scissors and jute.

I tied off the jute after stapling it to the side, then used another staple to start my criss-cross motion.

In order to space the jute apart I stapled the jute twice on each side for every turn.  Making the loop also made the stapling on this section quite easy.  See all those extra original tiny nails? I used the needle nose to pull them once once I realized they would effect my spacing.  The screwdriver I used to pry up “oops” staples where I missed the jute completely. Be sure to keep tightening the jute on each turn.

And this is the final product.

As another option, I’ve also seen examples of lace strung across as well.

The Painted Headboard

28 Aug

I was looking for a headboard on Craigslist – something cheap that I could either refinish, paint, or upholster.  I swear I wasn’t even searching the free section, but I came across a headboard listed for free, and it seemed like just the ticket.  The finish was a bit scratched up, but really not bad.  My plan was to paint the headboard to match the nightstands I had redone. See that post here.

I started by sanding it down with my orbital sander to smooth out the scratches.  I didn’t sand the entire finish off, but just gave it a quick once over before priming and painting.

When painting furniture, I prefer to use small foam rollers rather than a traditional paint brush.  This helps put on a light even coat without leaving any brush strokes behind, and helps avoid leaving too much paint on the piece, which can pool and drip and not look so pretty.

I wiped down the sanded headboard to remove any excess debris, and started priming with the foam roller. One light coat of primer is all you need for the paint to adhere.

Once the primer was dry, I started painting.  I used the same black/brown paint that I had used on the nightstands.  I used the foam roller to paint the entire piece, and used a small foam brush to fill in corners and crevices.

Two coats of paint later, I had an updated headboard to match my nightstands!

I still have a lot to do to finish this room.  Stay tuned for future updates!

Perfectly Good Pots

15 Aug

This spring I had visions of turquoise blue pots of sweet potato vine and bright fuchsia blooms gracing my front stoop. I found workable plastic pots in a similar shade at Target, but instead of planting they sat inside waiting for me to be inspired.  A week or so later I stumbled into the East Calhoun Community Organization’s neighborhood garage sale.  What could I do, but follow the signs? I found quite a few treasures that day, but chief among them were these three clay pots. I was drawn to their shape and immediately saw their potential. At a buck a piece they were a steal!

I hustled over to the local Ace hardware store to see if I was lucky enough for them to carry the color of my dreams. Lo and behold there it was: Rustoleum Paint Plus 2X Ultra Cover in Lagoon.  These pots were relatively clean so I took a dry rag and wiped them down to remove any cobwebs and extra dirt.

I sprayed them with two light coats of paint- waiting about a half hour between coats.  This is after the first of two coats so this paint really did cover quite well.

And here they are potted up bright and beautiful on my front step next to the Target model I returned.  The Target pots were serviceable, but nothing compared to the bright pop and texture these pots now have.  The photo above was taken in early June and the photo below is what they look like today- althought the plants seem to have taken over!

Have you found any great finds at garage sales this summer?

Nightstand Makeover

31 Jul

My name is Gina, and I’m addicted to craigslist. It all started with an attempt to get rid of an armoire that was much too large for our living room. I wanted to get rid of it quickly as we were having our ceilings fixed (thanks to an ugly ice dam last winter). I decided to try selling it on craigslist. I priced it to sell and it was gone in a flash. Super easy transaction. I was sold!

I started searching for a headboard and found one for FREE (what my brother says is the family’s favorite f-word)! Decided I should also look for a set of nightstands. Done and done!

I found a set of these:


Made of good solid wood, and the drawers worked well too. I was embarking on my first furniture makeover! I went for black paint. (or brown/black? I had a can of previous owners paint in my basement I decided I would use.).

Added some acrylic knobs from target , and here’s the AFTER:

Now I’ve got to tackle the headboard! I’m tossing around a few ideas, we’ll see what I come up with!

As for the craigslist addiction, my husband cut me off until I’ve completed overhauling my finds (um, yeah, there’s a few more). I told him that’s what winter is for. Yep, he’s given me a deadline. Ha!