Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kitchen items for my hallway

Recently I decided to change up my front entry just a little. The best "before" photo I could find was this one.

The entry is very small, so we used a tall, narrow cabinet with lots of drawers and two doors to hold things like change, gum, keys, tissues, etc.- things you'd want to grab as you're heading out the door.

Above that is a big mirror, and on the floor beside the cabinet was a nice big lidded basket where we keep our gloves and hats. The kids would plop their backpacks down on top of the basket (which was fine) but they had a hard time getting jackets down from the hangers inside the coat closet, and you can forget about ever getting them hung up again.

I recently acquired a little cupboard from my friend that I wanted to use instead of the multi-drawer cabinet. The new cupboard couldn't go underneath the mirror, so when I made that switch it left me with a big empty space on that wall. It didn't take me long to decide what to put there.

I visited my local Restore and picked up a nice wooden kitchen cabinet door for $5.

I also still had lots of silver utensils left from the stash that I scored at a thrift store a while ago. Do you see where this is headed?

The door got painted Heirloom White and really distressed, then I used my clamp to help me bend the handles of 5 spoons.

I played around with how I wanted to arrange the spoons on the door...

... and once I decided I put a dab of Gorilla Glue behind each one then screwed them in place.

On each side of the board I drilled a hole then used a spade bit to drill about 1/4" deep.

Some anchors, screws and wooden buttons got the whole thing mounted below the mirror firmly.

Coats, backpacks, hoodies- they all have a place now that's within easy reach of my little ones.

Here's my entryway. I love my new little coat hooks! The cupboard got a face lift with some sanding and a whitewash, and for now it's just got some loops of frayed fabric for pulls until I can find the right knobs for it. But I'm in no hurry.

I'm linking up to Wendy's party at The Shabby Nest!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Decorating for Halloween

Let me start by saying that Halloween is definitely not my favorite holiday. I won't get on a soap box here or anything, but I'll be honest and say that if I didn't have children, I'd probably just skip Halloween all together. So, when the neighbors down the street started decking out their house and yard with two-story ghouls, cobwebs, skeletons, bloody baby dolls and other gruesome things, I wasn't at all excited.

Maybe I just don't get it.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm, though, something has been different this year. I've actually been enjoying coming up with some new (non-disgusting) decorations for Halloween. In fact, I almost wasn't sure I was going to be able to stop!

It all started with these cute blackbirds that I found at the Dollar Tree.

I used one to update my front door wreath, along with some new fall-ish ribbon.

You knew I'd make a Halloween sign, didn't you? Of course you did!

A few more blackbirds, a skull, some pumpkins and a couple of big, hairy, creepy spiders complete my outdoor decorations (for now).

One day I was minding my own business, puttering around blogland and happened across a tutorial on Sawdust and Paper Scraps. She'd turned some thrift store lamps and dollar store skulls into these cool candle holders.

I really wanted to try it, too. So I made a trip to my beloved Bargain Center in search of an ugly lamp I could dismember for this project. The Thrifting Gods smiled on me that day and I came home triumphantly in possession of possibly the UGLIEST lamp I've ever laid eyes on. Yessss!!!
After removing the enormous, hideous, fringed, braided, appliqued, and torn scalloped shade, you can see that there are four candle holders underneath.

I took the lamp apart and laid everything out along with some plastic skulls I'd purchased at the Dollar Tree and spray painted it all black.

Then I reassembled everything the way I liked and it actually turned out pretty cool! (I wish I'd thought to take a picture before the candles burned down so far.)

I had to buy a length of threaded rod, some nuts and 5 candles for this project, which I think brought the grand total to about $15 for my one-of-a-kind, spooky candelabra.

Like my hot glue spiderwebs? :)

Another fun and MUCH easier project that I wanted to try was a set of specimen jars. I already had the glass containers (which I use in my kitchen), and thought they'd be perfect for this.

I made some tags in Photoshop, distressed them a little along the edges then tied them to the lids with string.

There's a skull (from Michael's)...

... a big rat (also from Michael's)...

...and since I haven't been able to find a bat like I wanted for the third one, I decided that it's creepier to have an empty jar on its side with a missing specimen!

There are several more blackbirds perched here and there in my living and dining rooms, as well as pumpkins and fall leaves scattered around.

This "boo banner" was made using a tutorial found on Smilemonsters by way of One Pretty Thing.

Yet another super easy project was changing out the pictures in the group of frames in my living room for some creepy Halloween ones. Have you discovered The Graphics Fairy yet? Awesome, awesome image source. I picked a few spooky graphics that I liked, then edited and printed them on some card stock. Here are the ones I chose.

And here they are all framed.

I set up a couple of crates in a corner and filled them with some pumpkins and pine cones and added one of my signs.

One more spooky sign for good measure...

... and my house has gotten a pretty good dose of Halloween, wouldn't you say?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Before and After: Pine Dresser and Pine & Iron Side Table

I bought this pine dresser at Idaho's Largest Garage Sale for $5. But considering its condition the price was about right.

If you click on the photo above you'll see that the drawers were in terrible shape. Almost all of them were falling apart, and the fronts were so deeply gouged that I had to cover them up completely. Old sheet music was the answer.

The sheet music came from a sale I went to a few days after starting on this dresser and had realized that I didn't have enough on hand for the drawers. Thank goodness I found some more!

I know this probably kills you piano players out there, but the books I used had no covers, were falling apart, and the pages were pretty brittle and stained. This seemed like a nice way to preserve and show off the beauty of sheet music.

The next problem I ran into was finding drawer pulls for it. It needed 10, which would be pricey. Hobby Lobby didn't have theirs on sale that week, but I remembered that I'd found this bag of brassy knobs at the Bargain Center once. Even though I only had 9 of them, I decided to try to make them work for this piece.

They got primed, then painted with Oil Rubbed Bronze, then I glazed them with some white to make the design stand out.

This little table jumped into my cart during a last minute thrift store run. I wasn't looking for another piece to refinish (heaven knows I have plenty and my deadline for Simply Content was just a couple of days away), but I couldn't pass it up.

The orangey pine color needed to go, and the cool iron hardware had been given an unfortunate sponge treatment with some gold paint.

It also looked like the top had been attacked by a very zealous toddler who'd jackhammered the table with the end of a pen.

Again, I forgot to take photos of this before I brought it to the sale, so I apologize for these "after" photos. They're kind of cluttered.

First I removed the hardware then repaired the deep gouges in the top with some wood filler. Creamy white paint and some distressing finished off the top, and some sanding of the iron pieces got rid of the gold sponged "detail".

I hope you all have enjoyed these "before and after" posts. I've got one more to share before I give it a rest for a bit. But I'll be back!