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Headboard and Footboard into Bench

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This past winter we got busy turning several headboard/footboard units into benches.  They turned out great, but I think know I frustrated my husband with so many projects all at once…during prime fishing season.   This particular set was purchased three years ago and has hung out in the garage waiting for me to get busy.   We actually cut this one up at the same time we did the other benches but it was moved over to the “finish later” pile when I could tell I would need help moving this one around and Mr. Math was in no mood to drag it around.

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Fast forward to the end of summer.  I mean maybe it is not so fast, but forward progress none the less.  This weekend we decided to knock it out.  I call this bench our hurricane bench because it is so sturdy that the house would blow away before this beast goes anywhere.  Hubby even used a 2X12 for the front cross beam.

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The headboard and footboard are not old, in fact I would guess it is from the 90’s.  It was in rough shape when we bought it and hanging out in the Garagemahal for three years didn’t help it any.

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When I got busy on the bench the first thing I did was unscrew the wrought iron on top.  I immediately started second-guessing myself.  I wasn’t sure that the iron should go back on.  As always, I shared my angst with my Facebook friends.  They were united.  It should go back on.  More on that later.

I feel like I say this a lot, but we love our paint sprayer.  I mean LOVE it.  It makes getting paint on so fast and we have learned that we can even spray on primer.

Here are a few shots of the wood filler in the holes, the sprayer and the coming rain that kept me stressed out.

wood filler in screw holes sprayer coming rain

The paint color is sea salt thanks to my Facebook friends, again.  I was torn between red, black or white.

The seat is deep.  The slats for the seats are 23 inches long and stained with Minwax Jacobean.

I knew I wanted the bench to be heavily distressed.  It turned out exactly the way I saw it in my head, in spite of the high humidity and rain showers that kept coming and going.

Here it is all finished up.

distressed wood shabby furniture heavily distressed 1-IMG_7158 bed to bench finished bed to bench distressed bench wood slat seat

You may notice that it does not have the iron on top.  In spite of my FB friends telling me to leave it on, it sold before I could finish it and the new owner didn’t want the iron on it.  She lives in an area that is close to the bay and since she wants it outside on her porch she was afraid it would rust.  I did take a picture of what it would have looked like with the iron in case you are wondering how it could have turned out.

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We have three more headboard sets in the Garagemahal, so I guess there are more benches in my future.

While we were spraying polyurethane, we  poly-ed a china cabinet that will be for sale soon.  It would be really cute in a nursery.china cabinet makeover china cabinet spray painting

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I appreciate your comments and advice more than you will know.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

Giant Marquee Letter DIY

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I have a reclaimed wood wall in my office.  I am crazy about the warm, rustic look of the wall but I wanted a statement piece for the wall.  As principal of a high school, I  knew I wanted it to reflect our school and my rustic, vintage vibe.  I settled on a large marquee style electrified letter I.  I wanted it to look industrial, vintage, and be large enough to be the wow statement for the office.

The big I is 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide.  I cannot imagine what buying one that size would cost to purchase, but I know it would be more expensive than I would be willing to spend.

Here is what we did:

First we cut out the letter from a sheet of plywood.

The I was easy to cut out because the letter has all straight lines.

Next we edged the back of the letter with 1 inch by 1 inch moulding so that there is a place for the wires and sockets to hide.

Next, the plywood was painted white.

To give the I the marquee look, we used patio lights and roof flashing.

flashing patio lights

 

Hubby attached the flashing with 1 inch sheet metal screws around the edge.

Hubby is the math dude so he taped off two rows along the big part of the I then one piece of tape on the top and bottom.

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Hubby figured out where to put all the bulbs.  We only used 24 of the 25 sockets.  the 25th one is safely covered with electrical tape and is hanging out in the back of the letter with the rest of the wires.

I don’t drill straight.  I try, but it just doesn’t come out the way I want without the awesome drill press we have at the Garagemahal.  I was too impatient to wait until then so Hubby used the paddle bit to drill holes for the sockets to fit in.

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The back is ugly.  Who cares?

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I pulled off all the shaggy parts before we got busy putting the sockets into the hole and screwing in the bulbs.

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I am crazy about how this giant letter looks on the wall.

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I am alllmooost finished with the office.  Good thing, since next week the kids show up.

I hope you have a great day!

Blessings,

 

Karen

 

Turning a Wall Cabinet Into a Side Table

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I am in the process of making my office a better reflection of who I am.  Lucky me.  I work where I have the opportunity to make where I work look like home.  I spend more waking hours of the day here than I do at home most days.

I need a table for my printer to sit on.  It needs to be narrow and have storage for printer supplies inside.  I happened to have had the exact piece I needed in the garage just waiting for inspiration.  It was designed to be a wall cabinet of a 1980’s Ethan Allen entertainment center.  I bought it as a part a set I bought for $70.00 a while back.  Two of the base sections are now my master bedroom side tables.

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The wall cabinet that was also part of the set is smaller and more narrow.  It was just too short to work for a table.

Fortunately I remembered some legs I bought at the ReStore garage sale last year.  I bought 8 brand new legs for $2.00.  They sort of had a mid-century look about them and I thought they would be perfect for the printer table.

Attaching them was easy with the brackets included.

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I used Rusteoleum Seaside to paint the side table.

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The table is going to go on a wood wall when all is said and done so I wanted to show you how pretty it looks up against my reclaimed wood door.

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The office is almost ready for me to show off.

I hope this inspires you to think outside the box when it comes to remaking items.

 

Have a great day!

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

 

Turning a Dresser into a Bathroom Vanity

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The end is near on the bathroom remodel.  I can almost hear angels singing!  I am not sure why, but this project has been a rough one.  I think we are just tired.  And old.

By far my favorite thing about the bathroom is the dresser we bought that I repurposed into a bathroom vanity.  I love the Restoration Hardware look of the refinished wood, I like the wood top- that we have covered with a million coats of marine varnish to protect it from water, I now have better storage in the vanity, and I like that it looks like furniture in the bathroom.

It went from looking like this:

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to this beauty:

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It was tough finding a solid wood dresser that was 72 inches long.  I paid too much for it ($200.00), but after a month of searching this one spoke to me.

As hard as getting the dresser to look the way I wanted was, getting it to function as a bathroom vanity has been more of a challenge.  There just are no instructions for how to make plumbing work for a piece that was never designed to have pipes run through it.  Every one is different.  We did look at these websites for ideas:

Beneath My Heart

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Domestic Imperfection

domestic imperfection

DIY

 

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I could not find any that were crazy enough to put TWO sinks in a dresser.  I think that should have given me a hint… but I am a stubborn sort of girl.

Hubby cut the holes in the top of the vanity for the sinks while I was at work one day.  I was so excited with how they looked!

 

Step one was to remove the old vanity without destroying the plumbing.  A rotozip took care of getting the back board cut out.

Step two was to get the new vanity in place.  A 72 inch vanity will fit in a 72 inch opening with some sanding. It will fit in a 71 1/2 inch opening with a saw.  We forgot to think about the 1/4 inch hardboard we installed on the two side walls.  We also had to cut out a large section from the back to accommodate the plumbing and drain.  Every sink is different, so it is my recommendation if you really want to use the area under your sink for drawers, get a drop in sink for the top of the dresser and make sure it is fairly shallow.  We chose this beauty from Home Depot.  They were less than $80.00 each, which was better than I expected.

farmhouse bathroom sink

Step three is to move the dresser into place, drop in the sink and connect the plumbing.  All the drawers will be out, we took a section of the back of the dresser off where the plumbing would go and even had to remove a few cross bars that will have to be reinstalled or reworked when we are finished.

Step four is to begin the process of fitting the drawers around the plumbing.  Once again we looked online for how to do this and saw several potential plans:

drawers on vanity

HGTV  (HGTV recommended dismantling the drawers.  No, thank you.)

Vanity-to-Dresser-Cutout-Drawers-An-Oregon-Cottage

An Oregon Cottage  (A more common sense approach.)

We opted to do a sort of modifed version of what An Oregon Cottage did.  The bottom drawer just needed a cut out scoop on the very back.  The middle and top drawers needed to be L shaped in order to miss the plumbing.

Here is what our  dresser looked like inside once the drawers were cut out to go around the plumbing:

dresser guts

It isn’t pretty, but I have a ton more storage than before.  I am going to get it all stained and sealed soon.  I pinky promise.

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We removed one drawer from the middle section to allow for taller items like cleaners.

 

 

Here is the finished product.  I am so very happy with how it turned out.  Enjoy.

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The color is off in this shot but you can see the finished look.

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This is the best shot of the dresser and the mirror together I can get in the narrow space.  Love the pieces together.  The light will change.  I just have to find the right one.

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The sinks look amazing.

 

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You get the best representation of the finish on this shot.

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We have the most amazing natural light in the bathroom.  I love how it reflects around the room.

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Thanks for putting up with my way too long bathroom reno.  I hope you like the look as much as we do.  I still have doorknob towel holders to add and a little touch up paint to do before we can call it DONE!

I hope you enjoy the look as much as we do and our struggles inspire you to try something out of the ordinary at your home.

Blessings,

Karen

 

 

 

Suitcase Shelf Wall

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When I took the job as principal in the suburban city we moved to there just was not time to do much to my office, which before I came on board was a storage closet.  Yes, I felt pretty special, but in the rapidly growing district I work in, I am thilled to have a space at all.

The “office” was the most awful institutional blue color with very little light. The light situation probably had something to do with the fact it was never designed to have someone working in the space.

I did what I could  (not much) last summer then got busy opening a school.

This summer I had a little more time to work on making the space more inviting. The finished office is coming soon.

Today, it is all about my suitcase wall.

I have wanted to do this wall somewhere since I first spotted it on PInterest two years ago. The long blank wall in my office seemed to be he perfect location.

First, I collected suitcases.

I had the blue suitcase in my stash and planned to use it once day to make another chalkboard. I paid two dollars for it at a thrift store.

I found the dark green travel case at Goodwill for $2.99 a while back, the alligator suitcase was in rough shape. I bought it for $5.00 off Craig’s List. I got impatient to get the wall done so when I spotted two suitcases at a local resale shop, I paid too much. I got the last two suitcases ( a hat box and a leather men’s suitcase) for $50.00. I know what you are thinking. Yes, I did pay too much….but I wanted them and the blank wall was staring at me.

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All in I have $60.00 invested in suitcases. Not bad for a whole wall of joy.

Hubby chopped each suitcase in half on the table saw. No pictures of that part. I was at work when he got that done.

suitcase for wall cut suitcases

I then ripped out all the loose lining.

We cut boards to fit inside the suitcases to make a support frame.

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Here they are all stacked with the wood inside.

I laid them all out on the floor in the office to decide where I wanted them to go, then got busy taping it out on the wall. Toggle bolts went into each wall board. The top board was screwed to the top of each wall board, and then small side pieces were attached with the air nailer.

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bracket for suitcase toggle bolts into brackets

We slid each suitcase over the wooden support then used screws to attach it to the wood. (Air nailing would have been easier and less noticeable but I want to take these puppies with me when I retire in a few short years.)

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Here it is all finished and dressed up!

I cannot wait to get the office  looking the way I see it in my head.

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Let me know what you think of my version of a suitcase  wall.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Karen

Parting

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Tonight we put the kids on a plane that will take them around the world. It is funny to me that I think of them as too young and inexperienced to do something like this. At their age we were living a good distance from our families, we owned a home, and we had two kids. I will bet my mom and dad felt the same way about us. Time flies.

If you ever want packing tips for moving across continents with what you can fit in two carry on bags, I am your girl. There were even power tools involved. If you want help on how to live with the pain of knowing that seeing all of your children involves extended travel to different time zones, sorry. I am still working through that one.

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I thought you might not mind me sharing a few shots from our goodbye. It involved Mexican food, friends, and family.  I promise this is the last post about the kids leaving.

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The airport was hectic and the kids looked scared but they never cried.

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It all went off without a hitch.

I only cried when they hugged us goodbye.

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And after we saw them for the last time going up the escalator to their gate.

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Driving away from the airport, I got a present. It was the same present God gave Noah. God keeps his promises.

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GOD’S WORD® Translation
I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth.
Genesis 9:13

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.
– Irish Blessing

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Pulling from Pinterest to Personalize a Bathroom

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I am sure that you are tired of hearing about my bathroom, and probably wondering why in the world it is taking so long.  Well, my husband has been great about getting his part of the bathroom remodel done, but he has had to wait on me to get my parts done.  I really want my bathroom to be more of a reflection of my rustic, vintage, eclectic, style and not something that could come straight off a showroom floor.  Crazy, right?  Almost everything we are adding has been customized. What can I say?  I live in a beautiful suburban tract home.  There are at least 80 homes in this master planned neighborhood that are a version of our floor plan.   We were lucky that the original owners did spring for upgrades that some homes may not have, but they are all still options that other homes, some on my same street, may have.   I really needed one room to look like me and not “upgrade 34 in plan 27″. As usual, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and decided that I would:

  • Refinish an oak dresser for my sink vanity so that it resembled a Restoration Hardware finish.  ( It took over a month to find the dresser I wanted. Then several weeks to perfect the finish- which I absolutely love.) (Click here to see the Pinterest dresser inspiration)
    • So far:
      • The dresser is refinished.  It looks amazing.
      • The sinks have arrived and the holes are cut in the top of the dresser.  I love the square sinks we chose.
      • The wall has been painted, the board and batten has been installed, primed and painted.
      • The new vanity will have feet so Hubby has installed tile in the open spot where there was no tile installed before.
      • The outlets were moved to accommodate the board and batten.

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Here it is being fit into the space. It literally fits like custom furniture. Hubby had to sand the edges because it was too tight after the bead oar was added.

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Before the Board and Batten                                             After

 

  • Add a chandelier.  Believe it or not, I bought the chandelier on clearance in March and it hung out in my seldom used garden tub for a while waiting for inspiration.  I liked the shape and scale for the space but it had purple and green beads with a silver metal frame.  I actually found the EXACT chandelier on Pinterest redone to look like wood and was thrilled.  It took me several days to get it painted, stained and reassembled before could get the electrician to come and squeeze into our attic to run the wires.  It is soooo very worth it.   (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

wood bead look chandelier over the tub chandelier beautiful chandelier

  • Add board and batten walls to the bathroom.  Right now Hubby is 95% done with this project.  He is down to the finish work that will happen after the vanity is installed.    Thankfully the mirrors are done and waiting. (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

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  • Add some sort of fun towel holders.  I settled on making this part of a door into a faux zinc hat rack that will hold towels for Hubby and for me.

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In my crazy mind, I thought that I could get more done this summer.  I did not figure in the toll that 10 hour work days takes on me or how much the heat and travel would slow everything down.  I get home from work and turn into mush.  It is frustrating to know you have projects waiting when you literally have no energy to get them done.

Still to do:

I want to add some sort of rustic art work in the bathroom or black and white photos. Still thinking on that one. ( Pinterest inspiration here.)

 

and possibly…maybe…if I can get the energy, I want to add reclaimed wood to the toilet closet in the form of an accent wall.  (Pinterest Inspiration here.)Mandy-Jean-Chic-pallet-wall-1-450x600

 

 

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