Monday, August 24, 2009

A Train Case Metamorphosis

I've been eyeing these little train cases at the Goodwill shops for awhile and then started seeing some around on different blogs. So - a couple weeks ago I finally grabbed one and did my thing. However, like many projects - it didn't exactly turn out as fabulous as I had hoped. It did -however - teach me a lot and keep me interested to try it again. Here is what I did with this one:

  • Primed and painted it by hand (didn't spray paint).

  • Used all materials that I had on hand.

  • Actually painted contact paper and cut into decals before applying to the case.

  • Coated it all in ModPodge and then an acrylic sealer.

  • Painted the hardware.

  • Covered the handle with painted contact paper. (yeah, weird).

  • Skipped the "touching up" phase - it's sitting on top of the fridge to hold medicines and it's fine.


Some things I'll do different next time:

  • Try to use spray paint so that I don't have unsightly brush strokes - OR - cover the whole thing with contact paper and mod podge - only painting the trim.

  • Buy the color of contact paper that I need - painting it actually worked... but kind of a pain.

  • Probably just leave the hardware alone. And the handle.

This little dudes are heavy too... so my visions of actually traveling with one may not actually happen. But - it does look cute sitting around the house, no?

Linking up to Metamorphosis Monday! Check her out!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My $12 side table!

No time for witty, entertaining or even wordy in this post. But - I just had to get pictures of this side table that I made up here. It started as this:

I got this old cutting board (I guess) at the Goodwill store. One of the HEAVY items I wrote about a few posts back. Here it is just setting on top of a little plastic table that my kids use.

A few weeks of searching finally turned this up at a different Goodwill. The coolest part? The top turns. Wheeeeee!

Part way through the process - my beautiful, recently re-done cutting-board-turned-table-top ended up like this. Whoops.

But - no worries. Gorilla wood glue did the trick. As did much black paint, some Mod Podge, and an acrylic finishing coat. Voila. I love it. And the top turns. Wheeee!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Toddler Birthday Outfit

Busy days around our house. Our first child is heading to Kindergarten tomorrow! So - I've gotten to spend the last week hanging out with him (he's usually at Pre-K as I work full-time) and supply shopping and getting ready! He wanted to sleep with his new backpack on last night. So sweet.

My crafty ways have been for the most part stifled this week as I stay extra busy juggling my kids, work, and home. I did get this little beauty from my Etsy shop shipped out today though! It is a little birthday outfit I made for someones daughter. I hope she loves it! It was fun to make (that's a hair bow attached - not some weird bow tie)! In fact, looks like something I would love to wear on my birthday next month. Hmmm... do 37 year olds look OK in tutus? ;) I think so.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Transformation Thursday

Also! Click the side icon to view more DIY projects on ASPTL!

The transformation that I'm showing off this Thursday is actually an item that has been transformed before. This sad little chest was once painted a mint green (oh the horror) and then we stripped it down and had been using it in it's natural state (oh the horror) for several years now. It's been a toy chest and a coffee table and right now functions as both:

The pictures made me very sure of my decision to paint this little chest. The wood is not pretty... I was used to the way it looked, but seeing it in the photo made me realize that this baby needed something.

Part of my transformation also included this tray and this rug. The tray I already transformed once before. It also has a matching partner... but it didn't work with my new chest. The rug was in our living room before but I had moved it out. I decided to try something new with it. Here are the before pictures of those two items:

The picture below shows how I taped off an area around the edges. Did you know you can paint a rug? I was pretty sure you could... but I wouldn't have tried it on a rug that I would be upset if it didn't work out. This I originally bought at Big Lots! I can't remember how much I paid... but it was very dirt cheap reasonable.

I actually used a paint brush and black paint from a can for most of it and then finished off with a spay paint can.

So, put it all together... black paint from a can, trim color that matches the walls, a little red spray paint, and some chalkboard spray paint... and best of all - it all came from my house. I didn't buy anything new for this transformation. This little nook of the room looks much better! Yay.

Look how cute the rug border is!

The tray actually needs some touching up... but I wanted to go ahead and post the pictures... so just ignore that part!

Head the the Shabby Chic Cottage for some more great projects!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I guess it's a spice rack...

So - on my outing to buy the heaviest things at the Goodwill Outlet last week - I got this. I'm not sure what it was. But it is such nice solid wood that I knew I'd have a use for it after I made it prettier.

I just had to clean it up, paint it white, and add some decorative paper to the back. I modpodged the paper so that if it does get dirty being in the kitchen I'll be able to wipe it clean. I actually painted it by hand with kitchen and bathroom trim paint that is supposed to be hearty and wipe clean well. It sounds very well planned - but actually I didn't have any white spray paint on hand so I just used what I had. I love how it turned out and I put all my little spices that I use almost daily in there instead of balancing them on my stove (see picture below). The other problem is the stacked dishes on top of the cabinets. I dealt with that too.

Here is a close-up of my pretty new spice box rack thingy.

I also bought some baskets that day that were on sale at - of course - Michael's to store my platters, dishes, fondue pots, etc. that were stacked on the cabinets. The finishing cute-but-useful touch were the little silver frames that are next to each basket. I bought these a few weeks ago on clearance at Michael's for pennies a piece. I painted the little cardboard inside with chalkboard paint and labeled what is in each basket so that I don't have to go searching up high when I need something.

Here's a better view of the finished product:

So, next up is to add some hardware to the cabinets. AND - does anyone have a good idea how to non-permanently but strongly attach that little rack to the back splash there? I have used TONS on the 3M mounting strips that are supposed to hold things permanently but they aren't working. My husband thinks we need to go ahead and drill into the wall - but I kind of hate to do that because we're probably going to be selling this house in less than a year. Any suggestions are very welcome! Thank you!

Click here for some more great second-hand treasures.

Also - Just found a new site that is very cute! Joining her Creative Cats Party - check it out!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I had a great weekend filled with projects. I am so excited to have some new pictures and posts... and most of all - to have prettied up some things around the house.

The first one I'll share this week (I'm starting off small here) is a little box that I found at an impromptu visit to the Goodwill last week. We actually have an outlet store here that has HUGE bins of crap treasures that you pay for by the pound. It is at this point that I need to state the obvious. If you pick out the three heaviest pieces of crap stuff, you don't get the best deal. 'Nuff said.

BUT - I did get this very cool little box - that I had a specific purpose for before even buying. I actually liked the creamy yellow color that it had already been painted. As luck would have it, I found a matching color of new spray paint at Michaels. The unlucky part - I bought two cans of this stuff and it is the worst spray paint I've ever bought. It sprayed unevenly leaving big drips and took a long time to dry. If anyone really wants to know the brand - I'll tell you. I'm not being secretive... just lazy as it is out in the garage right now and I don't remember what kind it was.

So - here is the before picture. Notice the little feet are broken and missing. When I started trying to take the other one off - I ended up taking all the trim off too because some of that was broken.
This is the space that needed help! I'm kind of embarrassed to post the picture - and I will say that this is on a bad day. But, it obviously needed some help. And one goal I've developed as I'm do these little projects is to make them useful and pretty. It's not an either/or - they should really be both - because I'm not about just doing useless things. Usually.

So - then, I did my thing with the temperamental spray paint. I might have said a few bad words as I made a mess of things due to the new brand of paint. Then, some cute black ribbon - and VOILA! It is perfect. And look at my little counter space and mail holder. Ahhhhhh. SO MUCH BETTER. I love it.

Stay tuned this week. I have at least three more projects to post... and maybe another. I'm linking up to Metamorphosis Monday! Yay - check her out! Updated: I found another party too - this is another big one! I can't believe I hadn't had the pleasure of checking out her blog until today. I know most of you have! Southern Hospitality!
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