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Thursday, January 31, 2013

diy key holder

Happy Thursday, everyone!  A few months ago, I helped my friend Alisa get her mudroom organized.  She didn't know how to best utilize the space she had, so I was able to draw up a design and give her a product list that she and her husband implemented on their own.  Check out this before, my proposal, and after:
Do you see that cute memo board on the left wall?  She made it herself and had some leftover fabric that she wanted to make a key holder out of.  I had seen a few cute key holder ideas, but she also wanted to be able to have a spot for a tube of chapstick.  So, I thought about it for a good long while, and came up with this:
It was actually pretty simple to make, just gather the following:

Fabric of your choice.
Shadow-box frame (mine was this one from Ikea for $10).
Small Hooks or cup hooks (mine were actually from an old jewelry box that I recently got rid of.  You could even use tiny little command hooks like this and poke just the hook through the fabric).
Embellishment like the little flower on this one, if you want.
Hot Glue

Start by removing the glass from your frame, you won't be using this. Then, remove the back of the frame and place on your fabric to cut with 1-2" on each side.
 Now, depending on what type of hook you have will detemine what your next step is.  If you have a small hook or cup hook like I used, you can hot glue your fabric and then attach your hooks.  I simply measured where I wanted each hook to put and poked a small hole through the fabric, and screwed them in.

But, if you are going to use the command hooks that I mentioned earlier, you will need to place those on the blank board first, poke the hooks through small holes in the fabric, and then glue the fabric down.
 Once you have your hooks and fabric in place, you can put the board back in the frame.  To keep it in place , I alternated the tabs inside and outside of the board to keep it in place.  Most shadow boxes have an extra piece inside the frame to keep the glass forward and the back in back, but I removed that piece to provide a little ledge for her chapstick.

See the tabs inside the red circles?  There is another tab where the blue circle is, but it's on the other side.
Depending on your frame, you may or may not have to paint the inside of the frame to match the outside. I had to do this with the Ikea frame.  Also, the hooks I used were a little long in back, so we had to nip off a bit of the thread in the back. 

Check out how cute this looks on the right side of her mudroom:
Just a quick note, if you have a space in your home that you need help organizing, but can implement yourself, I am now providing consultations! Feel free to email me at colburn.erin@gmail.com for more information.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

sponsor spotlight: dMagy designs

Want to see something adorable? Check out this original design from dMagy designs.  Wouldn't this look cute on a little kiddo? Love it!


Just had to share! Hope you had a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

the kitchen of our dreams - phase 1

On Monday, I shared with you the vanity that I transformed with gel stain.  I did the same thing with our kitchen cabinets, and I am in L.O.V.E.

Just like in the bathroom, our kitchen was all builder-grade oak, and it was not my favorite thing in the world.  To get the full scoop on how to use the gel stain, check out the tutorial here.  Here are some pictures of the process, starting with the old cabinets.  They were in really good shape, and they were not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but just not our cup of tea.
 First, I started on the top cabinets, which if I could go back in time, I would have done all the cabinets at the same time and just taken a few days to get it done.  But, overall the process took me about a week and a half, so not too bad.  I removed the doors and shelves that were in the way of where I needed to stain, and sanded everything as I removed them.
I just kept each cabinet's screws in their respective cabinet.
Then, went on the first coat. 
I failed at taking pictures, apparently, so this picture shows the top cabinets with all three coats, and the bottom with the first coat.  I had the most luck when I was staining with a foam brush, rather than a rag.
P.S. If you're curious why that one cabinet is still oak, it's because we plan to take it down and replace it with actual open shelving.  Didn't feel like wasting any gel stain on that guy. This is coat 2 on the bottom.
Are you ready to see how beautiful this turned out?! I actually cried tears of joy the night the poly dried, and we put all the doors back on, with hardware.
Well, hello there, beautiful new hardware.
And, of course we need some beautiful before and afters that you can pin, since you love me! :)
So, how much did phase 1 of the kitchen makeover cost us?  Well, for about $56, we purchased the gel stain and poly. Keep in mind, we did all these cabinets, the bathroom vanity, and the banister (which I will be sharing soon), with just this quart of stain, and about 1/3 of the quart of poly.

Then, we purchased these special buy packs with 6 of the door handles for $12.88, so just the handles we used in the kitchen were about $30.  The extra pack is for the other bathrooms.
The cup pulls were the most expensive, but we love the impact.  At $5 each, we spent $45 on our drawer hardware.
So, for about $130.00, we made a huge change to our kitchen, and I'd like to think (and hope!) that we added value to the house by upgrading them from the builder-grade oak.  We also plan to have a few more phases that include adding the open shelving, updating the floors, updating the counters, and someday, *hopefully* updating the appliances.

Update: Check out the new open shelving here.

I hope you love this transformation as much as we do, because we are absolutely ecstatic.  We are one step closer to the kitchen of our dreams, and it was so easy, and pretty stinkin' affordable.

Monday, January 21, 2013

gel stained vanity

I apologize for not sharing any projects in the last few weeks.  I have been extremely busy, and I am so excited to share what I've been up to.  Remember what our half bath looked like when we moved in/up to last week? Here's a pic if you don't. Just like all the other cabinetry in the house (except the laundry room), this vanity is builder-grade oak, and I cannot stand it.
Well, if you have perused the Home Decor pages on Pinterest, you may have heard of gel stain.  After looking over a bunch of tutorials in the blogosphere, I decided to go with General Finishes in Java.  It's hard to find locally, so I ordered it from Amazon for $27.49 (including shipping).  I chose to get the quart because I'm using it in the kitchen too, but if you're just doing a vanity, you could easily buy just a pint.
 To prep the vanity, I started by removing the doors and giving them a quick sanding.  I'm talking about 1.5-2 minutes per door. From all the tutorials I've read from others using this product, this is all that is necessary. You should only need to remove a bit of that shine on these. *crosses fingers*
 I sanded the actual vanity next, and after it was de-shined, I swept up the dirt and grime so that it would reduce the amount of dust that could get onto the cabinet while the stain was drying.
Next, I taped off the floors, counter and walls.  I discovered that I really didn't need to tape down this paper because I tend to work pretty clean.  But, if you are more of a messy diy-er, you can pick up this brown postal paper up at Dollar Tree to save you some clean-up and/or your floors.
Quick Tip: If you do accidentally get this stain on your floors or counter (mine are linoleum and formica), try cleaning it up with a Magic Eraser. My wonderful friend Jennifer turned me on to this guy, and he cleaned up my little gel stain mistakes perfectly!

 I applied a quick coat to the vanity using very small amounts of the stain.  This stain is interesting because it really doesn't have too bad of an odor, and it looks just like pudding.  You only have to use a little bit to cover the oak with a light layer, and you do not wipe it off. Here's what coat one looks like on the both the vanity and doors.
P.S. I didn't want to spend any additional $$ on those little cabinet triangles that prop them up so your edges aren't touching the surface, so I improvised by using the hinges on one side, and a roll of duct/painters tape on the other side.
 The can says to wait 6-8 hours for drying in optimal conditions, and up to 24 hours if it is cold or really humid.  It waited about 8 hours on these and everything dried quite nicely.  I alternated between front and back of the doors.  Then, our pieces looked like this after coat 2.
 I waited another 8ish hours, and applied coat three.  It was really perfect because coat three just evens out the beautiful java/espresso color.  You still have some small bits of red that show through, but we really love that.
After the third coat on both the vanity and doors, we let them dry for about 24 hours before drilling for the hardware.  We really wanted to upgrade them not only with the color change, but also by adding modern hardware.  We chose a simple bar from Home Depot, they are $5 each, but we actually found a 6-pack special buy for $12.88.  We are going to use these in the other bathrooms and kitchen as well, so we picked up a few packs.
We also picked up this awesome set of templates to make drilling these holes easier. 
I purchased this Polyacrylic from General Finishes as well.  There are other options available locally, but I read good things about this one in particular, so I went ahead and ordered it from Amazon for $28.49 (including shipping).
After the holes were drilled, we touched up the stain with a small brush, let it dry for about an hour, and then we applied three coats of poly to the whole thing, allowing about 3 hours between each coat (as per the directions on the can). About three hours after the final coat of poly, we added the hardware, and hung the doors.  I stood outside the room, just looking at this beauty for a good five minutes before grabbing the camera.
 And here's a close-up on the door.
Who's ready for some before and afters??

Isn't that just great?  And the best part is that it was just so easy. The only problem is that the vanity is really upstaging the rest of this room, now.  I need to get some design decisions made and get going on this space!
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