Category Archives: Kids’ Rooms

DIY Jewelry Cabinet

DIY Jewelry CabinetWow!  It has been quite a long time since I’ve posted any of our projects around the House on Harrison.  That little pop up camper has taken up all our time.  But I wanted to share with you a project that I worked on for Bug’s Room.

Bug is a teenager now, so getting ready for school has become an elaborate production.  She loves jewelry, and those little jewelry boxes we made awhile ago just weren’t holding all her jewelry.  We needed something to store her necklaces and keep them from becoming a tangled mess.

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I’m a big fan of Ana White.  When she posted the plans for this jewelry cabinet a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to make it for Bug.  It was perfect for all her jewelry.

Bug’s room has a shabby chic sort of feel to it, so I made some tweaks to Ana’s plans.  I used a 2×4 for the top of the cabinet.  I also used a router and an ogee bit to give the 2×4 a custom look.  Then I used extra trim at the top and around the opening of the front frame.

DIY Jewelry CabinetInstead of using cup hooks or nails to hang Bug’s jewelry, I opted to use wooden pegs.  I set up the drill press and drilled holes for the pegs along the 1×2′s that run across the inside of the cabinet.

Drilling Holes for Jewelry Pegs

I made sure to alternate the placement of the pegs so the long necklaces would fall between the pegs of the rows beneath them.  It worked out very nicely.

Jewelry Wall CabinetRather than stain the cabinet, we chose to paint it the same color as Bug’s bed.  Then we used our trusty Ralph Lauren glaze to give it an aged look.  It matches her room perfectly.

DIY Jewelry Cabinet

Other than that, we followed Ana’s plans pretty closely.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  It can hold quite a bit of Bug’s jewelry.  She is even able to set sunglasses and rings on the very bottom of the cabinet.  It was a quick, easy build and makes such a difference in her room.   :-)




Easy-Peasy {Faux} Rust Treatment

Yay!  It’s Friday!  Unfortunately, the Richardson house has caught the stomach flu…  Boo!  So with my girls home from school, there was no time to work on the half-finished trumeau mirror in the garage.  Bummer.  After about the 15th rerun of Good Luck, Charlie, I’d had enough.  I decided to tackle something small.  Something quick, easy, and able to be completed in under an hour.  I’d seen this idea on Pinterest where you take cinnamon and sprinkle it over wet paint to get the look of rust, and I’ve been wanting to do a collection of letter C’s for my son’s room.  It was a perfect quickie project!

I took a small piece of sheet metal, which my step-dad cut for me ages ago, and used that for my sign.  Then I gave it a coat of Rustoleum Colonial Red spray paint.

After the red paint dried, I used my Cricut to cut a large letter C in a rustic font out of vinyl.  Then I stuck it on the front, not being really careful or anything.  I didn’t mind crinkles and bubbles.

Once I had my vinyl placed, I gave the whole thing a coat of Rustoleum Heirloom White, and while the paint was still wet, I sprinkled ground cinnamon all over it.

I just sort of sprinkled it here and there, dusting it off in places and leaving it clumpy in others.  Then, in places, I gave it another coat of Heirloom White.

Once I had it pretty much to my liking, I removed the vinyl letter.  Because there was no “rust” on the C portion of the sign, I used a clear sealer over the whole thing.  Then I sprinkled more cinnamon over the letter.  I love the way the cinnamon gives the whole thing the texture of rust, too.  So awesome!

Then I used a drill to put some holes in the corners of the sign.  I wanted them to look a little like they were punched, rather than drilled, so I wasn’t very careful about securing the sign or evenly spacing the holes when I drilled.

That’s all there is to it.  I love, love, love the final look.  I have a major soft spot for all things vintage, but metal signs (especially in the kids’ rooms) make me nervous.  This has the look and texture I was going for, and I know there is no lead paint on it.  I can’t wait to try it on a bigger sign!

I hope you all have a fabulous {healthy} weekend!

Linking up to the parties here and also The Shabby Creek Cottage.

DIY Trophy Display {& Pinboard}

This has been a crazy week, packed full of projects that didn’t go quite as planned.  Which seems to be my lot in life, anyway, but one project that did go off without a hitch was a trophy display shelf I made for Bug’s room.  Wanna know why???  Because I pulled the plan from this little book!

I’ve had Ana’s book in my hands for months now, and had been trying to decide what to build first.  I was in Bug’s room trying to organize her many soccer trophies and medals when it hit me!  The entryway mirror on page 37 would be perfect… with a few modifications, of course.  Instead of a mirror, I decided to use a cork board so Bug could pin up pictures and mementos.

I followed Ana’s plans pretty closely, and I used my Kreg Jig to put it all together.  Man!  I love that thing.  It makes all my projects so much easier.

I cut out the top and bottom shelf supports with my jigsaw–and some help from Mr. Type2Fun.  We found it easier to cut the decorative edge from a long board FIRST, then cut the straight end to the final dimensions.  If you have a scroll saw, you won’t need to do this, because you’ll be able to make precise cuts on small pieces of wood.  Our set up isn’t ideal, so this is what worked for us.  Then we attached the supports with screws through the back of the frame.

My nail gun is another tool I couldn’t live without.  I used it to attach my top and bottom shelf to the supports, once they were screwed into the frame.

Now here’s where I modified Ana’s plan just a bit.  I mitered the ends of some 1/2″ cove molding and attached it to the inside of the frame, flush with the edges of the board.

That way, when I flipped the frame over, I had a channel all the way around for my cork board to sit in.  Then I gave the whole thing a coat of primer and white paint.

While my frame was drying, I cut a piece of cork board to fit inside the frame and gave it a coat of  paint in my base color.  We chose Refreshing Pool from Behr, as that is what we used on Bug’s bed.  After the cork was dry, I used a spray adhesive to attach it to some foam core I had laying around.  The reason that I did this was that the roll of cork I purchased was pretty thin.  If you pick up a thicker cork, you may not need the foam core.  Then I used a razor blade to cut the foam core to the size of the cork.

To add some visual interest (and because I’ve always wanted to try it) I decided to stencil the cork board.  I picked up this stencil at Hobby Lobby using my 40% off coupon.

I used a dense foam roller and some leftover white paint.  I made sure the roller was not dripping with paint, but had a good amount on it.  It took a couple of passes, and I can’t say it was perfect, but after touching up a few spots, I was pretty happy with it.

Once all the paint was dry, I enlisted Mr. Type2Fun’s help to nail a piece of fiberboard to the back.  Then we added 4 hooks to the bottom to hold medals and ribbons.

To hang the shelf on Bug’s wall, we drilled holes in the sides of the frame with a countersink bit, like this…

Then we used drywall screws and heavy duty wall anchors to attach the shelf to the wall.

Because I hate looking at screws, we used button plugs to cover the holes.  I just tapped them in with a rubber mallet and used some white paint to touch them up.  Easy peasy, and so much better than exposed screw heads.

Now Bug has the perfect place to display all those hard earned trophies and medals AND she can pin up her keepsakes as well.

All in all, this was a pretty easy project.  I’d say that the cuts we had to make with the jigsaw for the shelf supports were the hardest part.  What I love about Ana’s plans is that they are easy to follow and easy to customize to fit your needs… and on a week like the last one, I needed an easy project!

Have any of you tackled any of the cool plans from Ana’s book?  I’d love to hear about it!

Thrift Store Jewelry Box Makeovers

The kids were on fall break last week, so I made an effort to find some projects we could work on together.  The girls were recently introduced to thrift store shopping, and they LOVE it.  It is so much fun for them to find something old and give it a new look.  They are just like their mom!

So while we were at Savers the other day, we came across a couple of really cheap jewelry boxes.  It never ceases to amaze me how much junk treasure those girls can amass.  I hate finding it scattered all over their dressers, so this project seemed like a perfect solution.  Tatertot picked out the box above for only $2.99.

And Bug liked this simple one for $.99.  We got right to work ripping out the insides, carefully, so we could save them and recover them with a fabric that matched their rooms.

Once we had the insides removed, we took a tiny screwdriver and removed all the hardware.  Then we gave each piece a light sanding, wiping them down with a damp cloth after.

Once everything was scuffed up, we gave it all a coat of Zinsser primer, followed by 2 light coats of Rustoleum spray paint.  Bug just wanted plain white, but Tatertot chose Green Apple in a satin finish.

Now the Green Apple paint was pretty dang bright, so I toned it down with my Ralph Lauren glaze.  I use this on a lot of my projects because it just adds so much depth.  You can’t beat it.

I recovered the existing inside pieces with fabric that matched my girls’ rooms.  I simply used some iron-on hemming tape to make sure the fabric adhered without being stiff or clumpy, which you might get if you used hot glue or E-6000.  Then I used epoxy and clothespins to glue the liners back in.

Once you get the liners back in, you simply reattach all the hinges and hardware, and you’re done.  These little pulls had a tiny nail that I pried out with a small screwdriver; then I gently tapped the nail back in with a hammer.  Some handles are attached with a little screw that is only visible once you remove the lining.  If that’s the case, you’ll want to reattach the handles before you glue the lining back in.

Here’s what Bug’s looked like after.  She’s not one for a lot of drama or bright patterns and colors.  Remember that stained glass on the top?  I just replaced it with glass from an old picture frame.  I used a glass cutter (available at Home Depot for $7, and super useful) to cut the glass down to size.

She likes simple and clean.  This box fits her personality perfectly.

And this is Tatertot’s.  She wanted a monogram added to the top, so I just used my Cricut to cut one out of vinyl.  It adds a lot of drama, and she loves the zebra lining.  So different, those two girls.

We come across jewelry boxes all the time at thrift stores.  This project couldn’t be easier, and so much fun to work on with my girls.  I love that they didn’t take much time at all.  The hardest part was waiting for paint and glue to dry.  Now we’re on the lookout for a couple more to store lip gloss and hair clips!



Linking up:

Someday Crafts | The Thrifty Home | Domestically Speaking | House of Hepworths | My RePurposed Life | Chic on a Shoestring | Tatertots and Jello | Miss Mustard Seed | 30 Handmade Days | The Shabby Nest | Fingerprints on the Fridge | Be Different Act Normal | I {Heart} Naptime | DIY Showoff | The 36th Avenue | Beyond the Picket Fence | Seven Thirty-Three | Three Mango SeedsThe Shabby Creek Cottage | Tidy Mom | The Well Crafted Home | Six Sisters’ Stuff | Positively Splendid | Flamingo Toes | It’s Overflowing

A Chair Makeover – Animal Style

Today I’m super excited to share a project I’ve been working on for a few days–my very first reupholstery project!  Woo hoo!  About three years ago, I purchased two of these chairs off Craigslist for $20 each.  I had really good intentions, but I was also very, very scared to screw them up.  So…  I put them in a corner of my family room (which Mr. TypeTwoFun HATED), and let them sit for a few years.

About a month ago, TaterTot was complaining about how I always work on Bug’s room, and I never do projects for hers.  I placated her with a PB Teen magazine, and told her to put together some ideas for what she wanted.  Well, if you remember the glamour girl art I made for TaterTot last month, you know her tastes are quite different from Bug’s.  This is what she picked out for her reading corner…


Zebra Ooh La La Armchair courtesy of PB Teen

…only at $349 (on SALE), there was NO WAY she was getting this chair.  After thinking it over for a few minutes, I realized that my ugly family room chairs just might be a good alternative, but I’d have to tackle my fears.  So searched the Internet for some good reupholstery tips,  grabbed a pair of needle-nose pliers, and started ripping one chair apart.

Once I got the trim off the first chair, I realized that whoever upholstered these in the first place, actually knew what they were doing.  There were upholstery tacks where I expected staples.  Every tutorial I’d ever seen on the Internet, explained how to remove staples.  I used a screwdriver and the back of a hammer and attempted to get these out.  About 30 minutes later, I had removed 3 tacks.  Ugh.  I was so frustrated that I set the chair back in the living room and worked on another project.

A few days later, I was at Home Depot, and I saw a tack puller!  I grabbed it and went home to try it out.  Within 30 minutes, I had the old upholstery completely removed.  Easy peasy!

Once I had the old upholstery removed, I washed the frame down with some Dawn dish soap and water.  Then, once it was dry, I wiped it down with sander deglosser.  I didn’t even sand the thing.  I used Kilz primer and Rustoleum spray paint to paint the frame.

Once the primer was on, I realized that I wasn’t fond of the white color.  TaterTot is not the neatest child around, and I knew that white would just look dirty in her room.  We decided to paint the frame black instead.  That’s the great thing about DIY!  You can customize things to your liking.  The PB Teen chair didn’t come in black, so we would have been stuck with white.

While the paint was drying, I used the old upholstery to make a pattern for my chair.  I bought some canvas duck cloth in a zebra pattern from Hobby Lobby.  Now, I’m in no way an expert on reupholstery, so I’ll leave the tutorials on that subject to the pros.  I really relied on Design Intervention’s Reupholstery 101 tutorial for a lot of my information.  Her tutorial is fabulous, and I referred to it often.

I did, however, discover something I hadn’t seen mentioned before–an amazing little secret to perfectly sharp folds on my upholstery.  When I was taking apart my chair, I noticed the upholsterer had used cardboard in certain places.  I looked it up and discovered it was upholstery tack strip.  I found my roll at JoAnn’s for $11.99, and I used my 40% off coupon.  This stuff was a lifesaver!

This is where I used it on my chair.  It prevented my fabric from puckering between staples and gave me a nice sharp edge when I folded my material back over it.  You can see it on the finished product.

The last thing I wanted to mention was that I used a double welt cord to hide my staples once the chair was all put together.  Centsational Girl has a great tutorial on how to make double welt trim if you don’t have a double welt foot for your machine.

Once you’ve made your trim, you hot glue it over your raw edges and staples to give it a finished look.  It worked perfectly!

And here’s the finished chair in TaterTot’s reading corner.  I honestly can’t believe how easy this reupholstery thing is.  The hardest part was painting the chair frame.  If you’ve been dreading it, like I was, give it a try!  You might just be pleasantly surprised once you get started!

Have a great weekend!



Linking up to…

Miss Mustard Seed | 30 Handmade Days | Be Different Act Normal | The Shabby Nest | I {Heart} Naptime | Tatertots and Jello | The 36th Avenue | Skip to My Lou | Today’s Creative Blog | Someday Crafts | Domestically Speaking | My Repurposed Life | The Shabby Creek Cottage

This and That

I’m absolutely thrilled that my candlesticks are being shared over at Knock-Off Decor today.  If you haven’t been over to Beckie’s site yet, you MUST visit, but be prepared to stay awhile.  There are some great knock-offs over there!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I’m trying my hand at reupholstery for the first time.  Yikes!

I was very intimidated by this project.  So much so, that I put it off for 2 years!  But things are going really well, thanks to some great tutorials I found around the Internet.  I can’t wait to show you this transformation and give my 2 cents on the whole affair–so check back soon!

And while we are talking about Twitter and Facebook…

You can follow The House on Harrison on Twitter here.

Are you more of a Facebook kinda person?  The House on Harrison is here.

And I’ve been pinning furiously on Pinterest lately.  I LOVE that site.  Wanna see what inspires me?  You can follow me here.

I’m off to try my hand on double welt cord.  Thank goodness for Centsational Girl!

Polka Dot Picture Frame

Today I thought that I’d share a cute frame I made for Bug’s room.  We are personalizing her room with pictures and mementos, and I was trying to find cute frames for some of her favorite photos. It’s hard to find anything that wasn’t simply white, so I decided to make my own frames.

I started with a blank frame I bought at Michael’s years ago.  I think they still have them.  This particular one was MDF, but I’ve seen them in wood as well, which should work just fine.  I took the backing out and gave it a coat of white spray paint.

While the spray paint was drying, I used my hole punch and some leftover vinyl from another project and began making my polka dots.

Then I staggered the dots and began placing them all over the picture frame.  I liked the random look that hand placing them gave me, but you could certainly use a ruler or draw lines to line them up.  You could also make a striped or chevron pattern, if that’s what you are going for.

Then I gave the whole thing a couple light coats of lavender spray paint.  I knew I wanted to distress it, so I didn’t give it many coats or go too heavy.  If you like a crisper look, you would want to make sure the white paint doesn’t show through anywhere.

Then the fun part!  I peeled up all my polka dots and gave the whole frame a light sanding with a 220 grit sanding sponge.

You could leave your frame as is at this point, but I really wanted a frame-within-a-frame (my son calls it “Inception frame”) kind of look, so I went to Home Depot and grabbed some cheap molding.  This was in the decorative molding section, and it cost about $2 for a 4′ piece.  I used 2 pieces.  I simply mitered the corners and made a frame for the outside and one for the inside.  Then I gave them a couple of coats of white spray paint.

I attached my molding with some glue and finishing nails.  Once everything was in place, I touched up any nail holes and cracks with some white painter’s calk.  I think I could have simply glued it in place with E-6000 and skipped the nail gun, and I may do that next time.

And that’s all there is to it!  It is a perfect way to display some of her favorite pictures, and it took hardly any time at all to put together.  It’s a perfect afternoon project, and now that I have one made, I think I’ll let Bug make a few in different patterns herself.   :-)

Bug’s Lavender and Turquoise {Tween} Room

When we moved into the house on Harrison, the room Bug picked out was hideous.  The walls were painted with the most obnoxious shades of blue, pink and purple you could think of.  There were fairy stickers all over the walls.  The ceiling was bright blue, and the beautiful crown molding was painted hot pink.  Who does that?  It was so traumatizing, that we didn’t even take a before picture.  Bug’s room was one of the first to get a new coat of paint, Lavender Sparkle by Behr.  She picked it out before she had anything else decided.  That’s how much she loved this color.    Then I put off decorating her room for nearly a year.  Her bed was tucked in a remote corner of the garage, unpainted, so her mattress and box spring sat on the floor.  It was pathetic.

Then one day, while at Home Goods, Bug fell in love with this bedding from Cynthia Rowley.  I had other ideas, but she could not be dissuaded.   :-)   Plus, the quilt and shams cost us $40, so it didn’t take much convincing on Bug’s part.  We had our starting point at last.  So we went to the garage to dig out her bed.

This was how her furniture looked before a coat of paint.  We bought the nightstand and dresser off Craigslist because it matched the headboard we’d had for years.  I had originally intended to paint it all white, but Bug really wanted her bed turquoise.  After stalling for a few months, I got motivated.  I painted all her furniture white, all but the bed.  It was her room, after all, so Bug won out.

Once I had the furniture done and the bedding picked out, everything else fell into place.  We’ve been working long and hard on her room, and it really reflects her personality.  She’s made a lot of the big decisions, and this has taught me a hard lesson about letting go and letting her make her own choices.   ;-)    Being the avid reader that she is, Bug had to have a bookshelf, and she has packed it with books.

And every little bookworm needs a reading corner, so here’s the one we came up with.  We have  huge microfiber beanbags in the game room, and the kids love them.  Bug wanted a girly version for her room.  We found this one online at Wal-Mart and had it shipped to our local store.  It is a pretty large beanbag with a washable cover, and it only cost us $99.

We refinished her dresser with a latex white paint from Behr (primer first!) and finished it off with a light distressing and a water based poly coat.  The knobs were from Hobby Lobby (at 50% off), and we replaced all the knobs on the dresser and nightstand for a more girly look.

On Bug’s nightstand is a $3 Goodwill lamp that started out life as an ugly brassy thing.  I really wanted to give it a faux mercury glass finish, but again, Bug won this argument.  We gave it a coat of primer, lavender spray paint, and recovered the shade to match her bedding.  The rosettes were really easy to do.  I just ripped 2″ strips, knotted one end, and twisted and hot glued them into shape.  Then I hot glued them onto the shade.

Quite a few of the accessories in Bug’s room were done on the cheap.  This little bird started off as bright red plastic cardinal we picked up at the Dollar Store.  After a few coats of spray paint and glaze, he looks perfect in his new home.  The wire basket is from the dollar spot in Target.  Bug made the candlestick birdhouses for under $5, and we found many of the bottles and books at Goodwill.  We love that place!

The mirrored words came from Hobby Lobby (another place we love), and we placed one in a Goodwill frame we found for $2.  The frame around “laughter” we built out of leftover molding scraps.  I build the frame around the words, mitering the ends, and using glue and mending plates on the back side to connect each end to the next.  Then I gave it a quick coat of spray paint and hung it with a saw-tooth hanger.

But my absolute favorite feature in the room is the tree mural.  My super talented sister-in-law drew it on the wall freehand.  She used a bistro chalk marker so it was easy to erase mistakes.  Then I painted over it with some leftover paint and a brush.  It adds so much to the room.

In the end, I love how this room reflects Bug’s choices, and she loves it so much more because she had a say.  We still have a few more small finishing touches we are working on for this room, and I’ll share them with you as we go, but it’s nice to feel like we have checked this big project off the list!

Linking up to:

House of Hepworths | AKA Design | Chic on a Shoestring | Tatertots and Jello | Be Different Act Normal | Thirty Handmade Days | Thrifty Decor Chick

Quick and Easy Bed Skirt {From a Sheet!}

Bug has been needing a bed skirt for her bed for a very long time.  I had searched high and low for a white bed skirt with a long enough drop to hide all the stuff under her bed, but could only find bed skirts with a 14-15″ drop, and they were upwards of $30 to boot!  Bug’s bed needed a bed skirt with a 22″ drop, and since I couldn’t find one, I decided to make my own.

I started with a plain white flat sheet.  Bug’s bed is a full size, and the way her footboard sits, I knew that a bedskirt at the bottom of the bed would never show.  I decided to just make two skirts for either side of the bed.  I knew I wanted lots of fullness, so I chose a king sized sheet.  I just so happened to find a repackaged one for $13.31.  So I snatched it up, took it home, and gave it a washing on my machines hottest cycle.

Once it was washed and dried, I cut the top and bottom seams off of the sheet.  Keep the top part.  I used mine for another portion of the skirt.

Then I laid the sheet out on my dining room floor and folded it in half so the newly cut edges were together.  I pressed the crease to make a cut line and cut the sheet in half.  I did the same thing again with each half, until I was left with four equal pieces of fabric.  If you don’t need a 22″ drop, I suggest cutting your pieces about 4″ longer than your drop measurement.  You are going to want a little extra fabric later on.

Once I had four equal pieces, I sewed two together to make one long strip for one side, then I did the same thing for the other two pieces.  I was left with two VERY long pieces.  I serged all my seams, and then I serged the top and bottom of the pieces, as well.  Once my pieces were all finished, I gave them a good iron, and I hemmed the bottoms of both skirts.  Then I used my gathering foot to gather the top edge of each piece.  If you don’t have a gathering foot, just set your machine to your longest stitch length and gather by hand.

Remember the top piece from my king sheet?  Well, I used this to enclose my gathered edge.  I cut the stitching off the bottom and pressed the bottom and top under about 1/2″.  Then I cut it to the length of my box spring, adding an inch on each side, and folded each end in about 3/8″ and pressed it.  I didn’t actually have enough fabric left to make a topper for both sides, but I had another sheet I was using for pillows, so I used the top of that sheet for the topper of my other skirt.  If you don’t need a 22″ drop, you should have enough fabric leftover from your sheet to cut yourself another length of fabric about 6″ wide for the topper for the other side.

Once I had my topper ready, I opened it up and laid my gathered skirt inside.

With the gathered skirt sandwiched between the topper, I pinned it in place and top-stitched at the bottom and sides, enclosing the raw edge of my gathered skirt completely.

Once both pieces were top-stitched, I gave everything another good ironing.

To attach the skirt, I used these twist pins.  I picked them up at JoAnn’s, and they work so well.  I always get frustrated with bed skirts and the way they seem to shift when you make the bed… or climb in bed… or look at the bed sideways.   ;-)

I just twisted these pins in every couple of inches to keep the skirt in place, and that was it.  They held the skirt in the whole time I made Bug’s bed, and they haven’t budged.

It really was a simple project and only took a few hours.  For under $14, I got a custom skirt that fits my daughter’s bed perfectly.  I have a few more projects to finish for Bug’s room, and then I can check this room off the list.  Woo Hoo!

{Cabinet Door} Knock-Off Holden Desk

I love everything about baby’s first birthday–baby in the highchair eating fistfuls of cake; mom opening all baby’s gifts and baby playing with the wrappings; family cooing over the birthday baby, who is pretty much oblivious to it all.  I love it the whole thing–and I miss that time with my kids, too.  So, naturally, when we realized that my niece’s first birthday was coming up, we really wanted to do something special.

Pottery Barn Holden Desk

I absolutely fell in love with the idea of a floor desk.  We loved the Holden Desk from Pottery Barn Kids, but we didn’t love the price…  $54 on sale + shipping.  Ouch!  No thanks.  Then inspiration struck.  Remember those cabinet doors I rescued from the curbside trash pick-up?  You know, the one I made into our cute snack tray?

Well, I just happened to have a few more in the garage.  So, armed with some left over wood from the never-ending stash and my trusty Kreg Jig, I made a desk frame for one of those rescued cabinet doors.

I used 2×2′s cut at 18″ for the legs.  Then for the aprons, I used 1×2′s.  I measured the length of each side and subtracted 4″ (to account for a 1/2″ inset on each side and (2) 1.5″ wide legs).  So, for example, my cabinet doors were 22″x27″.  I cut my aprons at 18″ and 23″ respectively.

Then I drilled my pocket holes and used glue and screws to attach everything.  I used leftover wood from another project, so my pieces happened to be cheap pine.  Because I didn’t feel the legs were sturdy enough on their own, I added a brace to the bottom on three of the sides.  I left the front open so my niece could still slide her legs under it if she wanted.  If you used popular or a higher grade wood, you could probably skip this step.

And then, because I knew I wanted to make this a chalkboard desk, I had my husband (yes, I was too scared to do it myself) use the plunge router to make a recess to hold the chalk.

Then I sanded it up, gave it a coat of primer, taped off the center, and gave it a couple of coats of this cute pink color.  I love this spray paint from Rustoleum.  It covers really nicely, and it has a nice wide spray pattern.  Oh!  And it’s cheap!  Gotta love that!

After I painted it, I scuffed it up a bit.  Then I used a paint pen (Minwax Early American) to darken any exposed wood.  The raw wood on the legs was quite a bit lighter than the cabinet door, so this helped to even things out.  Just use a dry rag to wipe off any excess stain.

From here, I finished it the same way I did the snack tray.  I used Ralph Lauren glaze to distress it, and once that was dry, I applied Minwax Finishing Paste to get a nice hard topcoat.

Then I just taped off the pink frame and sprayed it with chalkboard paint.  Once you let the paint dry for 24 hours, you can season your chalkboard and draw away.

Now, I did have some of the white primer show through when I distressed the pink.  The stain pen helped to hide it somewhat, but there was still some white peeking through.  If that’s a problem for you, you may want to consider skipping the primer on the frame only.  The chalkboard will absolutely need to be primed first.

I’m thrilled with how it turned out.  Here’s the breakdown on what it cost me:

Cabinet Door:  Roadside find $0

Lumber:  Leftovers from other projects – $0

Primer:  Zinsser Cover Stain – $6

Paint:  Rustoleum Sweet Pea – $4

Chalboard Paint:  Leftover from other projects – $0

Grand Total:  $10

That’s a far cry from $54+shipping, and we were able to customize it to match Lucy’s room.  And that’s what I love so much about DIY.  I can do it MY way and save a little money while I’m doing it.  It’s like having my cake and eating it, too.  (…and now I’m hungry.  Good thing I know a good place for cake… :-)  )

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Home Stories A2Z | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Not JUST a Housewife | Today’s Creative Blog | Someday Crafts | House of Hepworths | Hubby Made Me | My Repurposed Life | AKA Design | Chic on a Shoestring | Miss Mustard Seed | Tatertots and Jello | Be Different Act Normal | DIY Showoff