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DIY | Manolo for the Home - Part 5
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Finally, I Get to Show Off a Project of My Own!

After posting so many pics of other people’s DIY projects – like this and this and this – I feel pretty proud to finally post one of my own. I’m not sure what it is about being insanely busy, but when I am already insanely busy I suddenly am able to do more more more without sacrificing any more time. As far as I can tell, I either begin to work faster or time slows down. It’s one or the other. Lately, I’ve been working on about 80 projects (professional stuff, a class, the baby’s room, etc.) and yet here I am, with our kitchen shoe and bag table somehow suddenly updated!

I don’t have a good before picture because I usually start these things at random times when inspiration strikes and so there’s none of that crazy planning ahead stuff that would give me time to get a ‘before.’ Oh well. But I can give some background – I found that table while taking the baby out for a walk. Yes, I am one of those people who will pull perfectly good furniture that’s ready for a little update out of your trash. In this case, it was a homemade side table (there were two but I only took one) that was a yucky mustard color. With some leftover paint from my office, three pieces of craft paper, and some Mod Podge, I turned it into something old and boring into something totally fun and sweet… if I do say so myself.

Frames, Revisited

A lot of easy DIY projects leave me feeling flat, especially if they involve scrapbook paper. I know, scrapbook paper has about a zillion uses besides making a book to document who got born when, but it just sticks in my mind as a grandma thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But, yeah, there are lots of things you can do with pretty paper, and yesterday’s post about vintage (or otherwise salvage-worthy) picture got me to thinking about what else you can do with a picture frame, which led me to a pretty sweet tutorial (that’s fast and wicked easy, to boot):

The ingredients are simple.

1 picture frame, 5×7″ or larger
1 piece of totally sweet scrapbooking paper or burlap
1 fancy clothespin or one you paint yourself
Some adhesive

And as you might imagine, the directions are simple. You could probably even figure them out yourself without much trouble. But you can find them nonetheless at a thousand words, where Jennifer Morris displays her buttloads of style (plus gorgeous shoes, oh em gee) and puts us all to shame with her mad DIY skills.

Oh, and as to why you’d want to make a frame like this… well, if you’re like me and you like to rotate your pictures fairly frequently, then you know that pulling off the back of most frames can be a real pain in the tush.

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A Little Something Exta

How can you make the perfect bookcase extra perfect? Try adding some color with wallpaper or even craft paper or contact paper. Not on your books or on the top and sides of the bookcase, but rather in back, where it will frame whatever is on your bookcase, absolutely brilliantly.

This is a super DIY project if you’re dealing with a flatpack bookcase, e.g., the Ikea Billy, since you can take off the whole back and simply cover it, but it’s none too difficult when you have to put the paper on the backing directly. It just means a bit of careful measuring and cutting, and a somewhat more careful application. But, oh, so worth it! See?


Stacked to Perfection

Got some old drawers laying around, maybe still sitting in that old, beat-up dresser that’s beyond repair? Why not get your craft on and repurpose those drawers into something totally sweet? Like…

The first two examples of repurposed drawers come from Crafty Nest. Freecycled drawers became a unique bookcase and a beautiful rustic shadowbox in the capable hands of master crafter Monica Ewing. The third example of repurposed drawers comes from a temporary pop-up shop in London by Tracey Neuls with walls created using drawers and c-clamps. Finally, designer Tejo Remy used repurposed drawers to create art meant to be a criticism of modern consumerism, but then the project outgrew the art and now you can buy the table top edition here.

Seeing the Potential

I remember when we were shopping for a houses, our delightful Realtor was always saying things like “You can’t just see what’s here now, you have to see the potential!” And he was absolutely correct – so correct, in fact, that we probably could have had a nicer or bigger or just more valuable home 20 years down the road if we’d listened to him. Alas, I opted for the devil I knew over the devil I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong – I love my little Cape, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pine for what never was!

*Ahem*…anyway. The same premise holds true for furniture if you’ve a knack for refinishing things or just want to get into the habit of refinishing things. That’s the whole point of refinishing furniture, is it now? If that old desk, side table, or bureau already looked just like you want it to, you could just buy it (or trash pick it) and install it in your home. To get the most out of refinishing furniture, you have to look at the bones, like Miss Mustard Seed of Mustard Seed Creations did with this yard sale dresser.

Missing, chipping, and bubbled veneer went bye-bye, hidden forevermore under paint and… sheet music! The end result maximizes the dresser’s pretty shape while masking the flaws like chips and bubbles. It’s win-win, and fairly simple to do, too.

Lovely, no? The whole sheet music thing might not be to your tastes, but one could use any sort of paper in place of it (a nice toile, perhaps, or scrapbooking paper you print yourself). A little sanding, a little Mod Podge, some new drawer pulls, and there you have it!

Cool Crafting, No Hot Glue In Sight

I was all set to post about a cute little crafting project that lets you make a ‘please remove your shoes’ sign because, hey, no one wants beach sand or road sand tracked all over their floors. But as I was poking around the Intertubes wondering what else I could include to flesh things out a little, I happened upon a much radder DIY project that is as cool as the other was country-ish.

DIY pacman chair

I won’t say this is an easy DIY Pacman couch project — think woodworking and upholstery shaping, not Mod Podge and a couple of minutes with a cordless drill. But for those with the time, energy, space, and materials money to give it a go, I say try it! Then (whether or not you’re successful) send me a link so I can feature it here, of course.

Instant Art Unboxed

After a weekend spent trying to fit all of our stuff into the nooks and crannies of a rather small Cape, I am loving *LOVING* this clever board game storage idea dreamed up by the lovely lady behind Infarrantly Creative. She needed a little color for her game room and a way to get said games out of the way. Inspiration hit, and a few short hours with a table saw later and WHAM. Art, or something close enough to it for most folks.

game board storage 2

Clever, yeah? And easy to DIY if you’re a fan of board games who doesn’t even have a game room. Even better if you happen to have vintage versions of classic games! But, you say, how are you supposed to get the boards out of the frames when you and the fam want to sit down to a round of Monopoly or Chutes & Ladders? The short answer is you don’t!

game board storage

The pieces and rulebooks are all stored in the back of the frame, so they’re right there when you take the whole works off of the wall. Love it, love it, love it!

Give Me A Palace of Pink

Looking for ideas for your little chick’s room? Meg of WHATEVER created this tented bed set-up for her wee ones using blankets and ribbons and flowers, oh my. The best part? It’s in a corner, so behind the pillows is what might be a secret princess sanctuary with ample seating and space to play in a pink-tinted atmosphere.

tent bed

Nice, right? I would have killed, figuratively speaking, for a bed such as this when I was about seven or so. Alas, my mom was never the girly type so my dreams of having a canopy bed or something similar will have to be passed on to my own daughter, who will no doubt want a racebar bed, much to the delight of her papa.

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