There are spaces in all our homes where we can hide things... Often those places are big empty closets or rooms where things become piles.
For Christmas this year I helped my mom organize one of those spaces.

Under her stairway she has a closet that has been there and been used for all kinds of things over the years. But one thing has remained constant the whole time - its been a mess of stuff stacked on top of itself in large piles in order to contain it all in the closet. Since she has grandkids now its become a toy closet. Again all stacked and tossed in there. I should have gotten a pic of the closet before we started removing stuff.... I didn't :)
We started by attaching 2x3's to the wall all the way around where we wanted the shelves. We made sure to hit the studs in order to make the shelves as strong as possible.
Once those were installed we attached the wood shelves that we purchased as well. We got nice and deep shelves (16in) since we knew we had a lot of stuff to store in there.

Support beams were added in the middle and the far left side because we weren't able to hit any studs in that wall. We wanted it to withstand small people potentially climbing on them... I mean they were starting to look like awesome mini bunk beds... If I thought that - I'm sure my nieces would think it too!!
Next we added upper shelving. Those we added with brackets because we didn't have the tools for angled installs on the bottom of the stair wall. AND again - no studs along there so this was safer and better!
Lots of shelving!!!
We wanted it to look like it was made with this in there though. No one needs to know when they look at it that its an add-on. ;) So we painted it all white. And repainted the entire closet while we were at it so that it was all fresh and clean and the same color white.
It turned out looking awesome!!

After letting it dry and removing the paper it was going to be perfect for all those toys!
Everything fit!! and it's sooo much easier to access and find things now.
I found this nightstand online and decided it was worth getting even though it was a single... Usually I only go to the effort to go and get nightstands or end tables if they are a set. They sell way better as a set so it just makes sense. . . but I liked this one so I got it anyway.
Of course it started the standard ugly brown... And the top was a bit worn as well.. I didn't get a good pic of that. Sorry.
I've actually had this one for awhile and finally decided it was time to do something with it.
I knew I wanted it light but hadn't even decided if it was going to be white or something else until I had it all ready to paint. I looked at my paint and realized I had a creamy yellow that I bought on clearance because it was a mistint... Perfect!!
This is after coat one...
Obviously not so great...
Second coat
Much better.
Looking online I have seen a lot of stuff that's been antiqued with glaze lately and I realized I haven't don't that in a LONG time. And the last time I used glaze it turned my whole piece darker... (which is why I haven't done it again) I decided it was time to try.
This time though I decided to seal the whole thing before pulling the glaze out. I cheated on this part and used the spray seal - so much easier and it dries faster :)
The glaze I used is the tiny bottle of stuff that you can get at Hobby Lobby. It was $2 I think... The instructions say nothing about sealing your piece first but I would highly recommend it. It tells you that you can use a cloth to put it on. I tried that... it doesn't work very well. I used a brush to get it in the creases one area at a time.
Then I used a dry cloth to wipe off the excess...
You can see it still left random goobers and stain marks that aren't pretty. So then I used a wet cloth to get that off. If I hadn't sealed it - this part wouldn't be possible.
Good thing I did... that looks way better. A little more cleaning up and it was good and ready to dry before sealing it again.
Reattach the handles and wala! Done and ready for sale.
So I do a lot of furniture and only occasionally do I have a craft post. But since I have spent more time doing crafts lately and less on furniture I thought I should share one of them with you!
I did get this idea off pinterest. I saw pumpkins very similar and loved them! But like usual, I had to add my own spin.
Everytime I have seen these they used standard 4x4s cut down to size. When I went to the hardware store to get wood to do my own set of these, I saw the landscaping lumber sitting right up front and thought - that would be even better!! its rounded!
So I cut it to size. I'd tell you the sizes but this part can be done any size. I have did several different sizes of these - so cut to your own specs :)
Once they are all cut then you need to sand it. Landscaping lumber does have the negative of being rougher than normal 4x4s. This meant more sanding than otherwise would be needed but I think its worth it for the fun shape.
Sanding done. Time to paint. I started with white paint but you could always go the other way around as well if you wanted to. We did this as a Super Saturday craft and I had one person stain her wood for the first step and it looks awesome too! you can see the finished picture below.
Once your base coat (white, orange, or stain) is all dry then its time for tape/stickers. I got my polka dot stickers off amazon. I wanted something larger than the price stickers that you can get at any local store and so I found larger ones online. The dot stickers I used were 1 inch. The tape is just standard painting tape. I chose to do one polka dotted, one horizontal striped and the last vertical striped.
Put your tape/stickers on where you want your pumpkin to remain white(or other base color) and then paint the rest orange (or other color :) )
While that is drying I found some scrap wood (1x2)to cut small in order to be the stems. If you don't have scrap wood you'll need to pick up something to cut down for that as well. OR go outside and find a branch you can cut - that would work too! Those pieces were cut, sanded, and painted brown.
Once the top coat of paint is dry its time to pull off the stickers and the painters tape. Don't wait too long to do this because the tape and stickers will not want to come off if you wait too long. When you pull them off its more than likely that it will look terrible... Leaked paint through all your lines. At least all mine did! If you sanded till it was perfectly smooth you may not have this issue but otherwise I am guessing yours will look like mine did. BUT don't worry - sanding fixes that and makes the imperfections look like they were on purpose!
Glue your stem to the top, and add ribbon and you're all done!!
I found this headboard/footboard set in the discount room at the shop that I have a booth at. It was in pretty rough shape but I decided that it still had potential. It's way to skinny to be a real headboard for even a twin bed as it was clearly meant to be... obviously sizes have changed. So I decided to make it a bench.

The first thing that I did was start sanding it. I needed to clean it up a bit. I had to remove all the peeling laminate pieces and smooth out the edges of what was left. I also had to glue/wood putty some of the top curve section back in place - it was all falling out...
Once it was all sanded (at least enough to get started) I made a box for the seat just from some 2x4's And then measured for the front legs.
The headboard is think and chunky so I needed to make sure that the legs for the front of the bench were also thick and chunky. I used some wood from landscaping timbers (I liked that it was rounded) and then added feet to it.
The feet are actually fence post tops. They were way less expensive than buying similar looking actual feet... I just had to sand the tops in order to make them flat and they work great! About $3 instead of $10....
I then sanded to make sure it was all smooth and the corners near the feet were smoothed out so it didn't look hodge-podged together.

I added a wood decal to the front center. I wanted to add a little more excitement to the bench :)
This is what it looked like when I just set it all up together. Nothing but the seat box is actually attached but I wanted to get an idea of what it would look like.

I think it's looking pretty good...

Here it is all attached. Since the legs are landscaping timber and not meant to be legs I had to be creative in how to attach them and make them strong enough to actually hold a person. I had to add a board on the inside of the box to attach to, and then angle a couple screws from the front up to hold as well. Otherwise the front legs had a tendency to lean back if touched at all... All of this added a lot of screw holes that weren't super pretty...
So I added some 1x3s in order to trim it out. These covered all the ugliness and they just helped it look good.
Of course these edges all needed sanded and since the back was rounded - it needed extra sanding in order to get the boards to round with the back of the headboard.

Definitely worth the effort though because it made the whole bench look better.

Now it was time for paint.

Originally I decided to paint it black. So that's what I did... But I didn't really like it. It didn't match the style of the bench and it showed all the flaws in my sanding job.
Something I try to avoid if I can help it...

After it dried I decided to paint it teal instead and thought maybe I would sand it and show some of the black through when I was done. But right as I started painting my first brush stroke actually looked more like a dry brush feel and I thought...hmmmmm.. why not? I've never done a piece with the dry brush look.
So I decided to try it.

First color dry brushed on was teal. Then I used a very light teal tinted color...
Then dark purple....
Then I did some sanding and went back over the whole thing with black, and then super light teal again, and then more sanding...
And then the bench seat.

Cut my board to size. Added the cushion and then wrapped a thinner quilt cushion around it. I do that in order to make it soft on all the sides, and keeps the board from harming the fabric when I pull it tight.
I debated on the fabric. But I ended up using burlap. It was the only fabric that I had on hand that I felt matched the rustic feel.
I then added a tiny bit of dry brushing to the fabric to try and make it look better.

I still wasn't a big fan...
So I decided to cover it again with something else that I liked better.... I did have to go shopping since I didn't have this on hand. I think it looks better though!

I think that for my first time trying the dry brushing look it turned out pretty good! It's not for everyone -but it's still a fun look. :)
Do you remember the Beach themed Dresser that I redid just last month? When I sold that she requested that I do a set of nightstands for her. And since I had just replaced the nightstands in my bedroom with new ones I had a set just sitting around that needed done.
This is what the nightstands looked like before I started.

I actually refinished them to look like this a couple years ago when I decided I wanted grey with purple/maroon accents in my room. I was just trying out the whole distressed look and although I really liked them and they worked great for a couple years... I'm no longer in love with the bright colors showing through some of the distressing... at least not like this one.
So before selling it I was planning on redoing it again anyway.
It worked out perfect that I had a set that needed refinished. They aren't exactly like the dresser... but I haven't ever seen nightstands exactly like dressers like this so as long as it was finished to match I decided they would be perfect!

First things first. Gave it a quick clean and once over with sandpaper. Then I painted it.

Because I was hurrying to get these done... I got delayed due to the hurricane and being sick ... I forgot to take pictures during the painting process. However, its just paint so I'm sure you get the idea on how that happened ;)

Then I started adding the stencils
I don't know about you but I can never get stencils to look perfect. If I want a perfect look I have to use vinyl or something similar... But since I used the stencil and sanded it for a distressed look on the dresser I got to do the same thing here... this is what the stencils looked like prior to sanding.

I decided to make the nightstands mirror images of each other... since they weren't symmetrical in and of themselves I thought I should make them symmetrical as a set.
So the knobs that I got for the dresser were at Hobby Lobby... I went back for the same ones and they either were out or no longer carry them :(
Instead I had to find something else that still looked good but wasn't the same. I went with starfish. But they were the wrong color... so I spray painted all the knobs and the handles for the bottom drawer.

Sanded all the stencils in order to get a more distressed look... and so that my bad stenciling job didn't look quite so bad... Gotta embrace what you are good at and learn to hide what you aren't right?
And all that's left is sealing the whole thing and adding the knobs/handles!
I've had this dresser sitting in my garage for at least 2 months... Sometimes its hard to make a decision what to do with some pieces of furniture... I liked the look of it but it just wasnt speaking to me.
I realized on Friday that I had purchased this deep plum paint when the hardware store was clearing out some paint and hadnt had a chance to use it yet. I decided that this was the piece!

Of course like always I forgot to take a picture before getting started - But I did get a picture before I started painting... I just didnt want to put it all back together again..
As you can see this poor dresser was pretty beat up. It had been previously painted a glossy white. Which I am sure looked great at the time of painting... but definitely didnt anymore.
After cleaning it all up and removing all the hardware I started with a coat of chalk paint. (I made the chalk paint with unsanded grout and the standard paint.)
Clearly it was going to need another coat!! lol
So much better after that second coat!
I also put a base coat of the dark plum on all the drawer fronts.
It kinda looks brown in this light... but its really not. I promise. :)

This is where it got interesting. I decided to make the dresser more fun by doing ombre drawers so I needed step functions of lighter versions of the paint I was using. Because I am not into measuring... I decided to use high tech very complicated means of lightening the paint ;)
I put it in my styrofoam bowl and as I finished painting a drawer I would add a little more white paint to my paint mixture and then do the next one!
Obviously i knew i wouldnt ever get the same color again so I had to make sure each drawer was done and fully painted before moving on. But this was soo much easier than some methods i have seen online where people premix all their colors and have a ton of extra paint...
I let that all dry and and then I coated the entire dresser and the drawers with a new poly I decided to try. I realized that most of the floor poly is actually amber - hence the extreme yellowing I was getting when I used it on paint. Here I found one that said it was clear. I decided to try it out.
It worked way better and looked great! It didnt look yellow as it dryed and it sealed everything perfectly!

Last I wanted to make the top of the dresser more interesting. I decided to go with a planked wood top.
The wood was cut to fit and then attached. I then had to sand it. I wanted to smooth out the wood and smooth the edges so that they were curved.
I decided that the wood would have a grey stain instead of the standard dark stain that I usually use.
So... I ended up doing a couple coats of grey because the first coat was super thin and didnt get me anywhere near the color I was looking for. After getting the dark grey that the stain really could get me - I then used a tiny bit of the dark brown stain on top. This added extra depth to the wood grain and make it look better :) At least I think it did! It was a little flat with just the grey but with the added dark stain it was awesome.
Since there were two different sizes of handles and its hard to get matching ones of different sizes and the dresser already had a full set of matching handles I decided that I would use the ones that the dresser came with. They were all spray painted silver. The antique brass that they were just wouldnt go with these new ombre drawers...
It turned out super fun! I hope I can find it a good home :)
I found these two end tables at a garage sale. They were not quite the same but close enough that I decided they could be a set!

It just took a little refinishing to make them match and shine!
you can see that they are slightly different colors and have slightly different builds to them.
But I like taking furniture that isn't necessarily meant to match and making them a set with their design.
I started by sanding down the tops.
When sanding down a top like this I recommend wearing a face mask. Otherwise you end up breathing in all kinds of crazy nasty dirt, wood, sealant, etc. Anything that's stuck on the top of that furniture piece. And we all know that could be anything...
I always start with a lower grit sanding paper and then make sure to finish it with a higher grit - in order to leave a nice smooth surface.

After getting everything sanded and smooth - I was ready to stain.
I ended up doing two coats on stain on these because the first coat didn't leave them as dark as I was hoping. The second coat made them perfect!

After letting the stain dry these needed sealed. I used a poly on the top in order to get a nice strong seal. No one wants an end table that isn't sealed properly...

After that staining and sealing the tops - time to paint.
Because I wanted to see what I was doing without sitting on the ground - I lifted them up! it worked great!

After the paint dried - I distressed them. I wanted to be able to see some of the redish brown through the black paint. (That's why I kept a reddish tint to the newly stained tops)
And then it was just a matter of finding matching pulls - since the current holes in the drawers were spaced for very different sized pulls I decided the knobs would be easier to match and would look just as good - if not better.
A trip to Hobby Lobby later and we were in business!
The only thing that else that needed done was sealing the paint job. I used spray seal for that. I like that it doesn't need sanded, and that it is significantly easier to apply than any other type of seal.

After that I left it overnight  - the top poly seal needed time to set properly. After a good nights rest it got a quick sand to smooth it out and all was done!
Since I refinished the trunk with a beach theme and loved it I decided that I could refinish a dresser that had the same feel.
Plus beach themed rooms and houses are very big here so it makes reselling beachy items easier :)

I started with a plain dresser - someone had painted the whole thing black - and not done a very good job of painting it ... so it definitely needed a refresh.
I started with the base and painted it a fun aqua-y-teal-ish color. I got this paint at Lowes on clearance. They were discontinueing this line and so the paint was super cheap even though there was nothing wrong with it. Best way to buy paint ever! I got to pick the color and get a discounted price. Score!!
Because this piece had been previously painted and it wasn't sealed I didn't need to sand it or use chalk paint. Regular paint worked perfect and had no adhesion issues.
Next I painted the drawers. I decided to do them white to lighten the whole piece up.
It was actually at this point that I decided it should be beach themed. it already had that feel... so I took it all the way by adding the stencils.
When I got the dresser it had 4 matching handles and two mismatched ones. I decided that the top drawer could be different instead of purchasing 6 new handles for this guy.
I found some fun anchor knobs at Hobby Lobby and then painted the remaining handles to match.
Distressing, sealing and installing knobs/pulls... and he's all done!
Awhile back - like months ago.... I found these nightstands and paid WAY too much for them. But I loved them and wanted to use them for my house so I figured it was ok to overpay a little if I was keeping them right? Maybe not, but they are still dang good nightstands... taller than most and solid wood. So I bought them.
they have been sitting in my garage for ages. I kept debating what exactly I wanted to do with them and so kept putting it off. Do I put them in the guest room upstairs? Or replace the ones in my master bedroom and move those ones upstairs? Eventually I decided that I liked them enough for them to go in the master. Plus they are taller than the nightstands that I had in there and height on a nightstand is always a plus...
Once I decided where I wanted them - then it was easy to decide what to do with them. My master has all grey with wood accents so that's what I wanted to do with these. Because the wood color that they started wasn't quite the right color I stripped down the tops and drawer fronts.
I tried a new kind of stripper on these because a friend told me that's what she used and its not as harsh as the other kind I used that would melt my gloves and burn my hands.
So my review of this wood stripper  - its good. I think it does work as well as the other kind. AND its not as harsh on you when you use it. I used regular gloves instead of the big ones and it was fine. It didn't melt through them. I will definitely use it again.
BUT ... I then sanded while some of this was still on the wood and that was a bad idea. Well... the sanding wasn't but wearing shorts and short sleeved shirts while sanding was... Because it was still on the wood and the sawdust got on me... you get the picture. I got this all over me and it wasn't the best situation. It burned on my skin. Soo... Key message - This stuff is good and it strips off the varnish and paint equally well as any other stripper I have used AND it doesn't burn through your gloves or stink nearly as bad as some of them. BUT you cant assume that its completely free from harming you because of that. If it gets on you it will still burn the same as any other stripper.. Safety First!!! Protect yourself :)
So sanding all done - I stained the tops and the drawer fronts. While the stain set I painted the bases of the nightstands the same grey as the dressers in the room.

They turned out perfect!!
I've been struggling with what to blog about this week. I have finished a couple cute things, but I completely spaced on taking pictures throughout the process and just finished with with no description pics. . .

So the struggle was - which of these fun projects do you want to see without getting to see the 'how to' portion?...
I landed on this one. Mostly because I finished it yesterday and I haven't done a lot with stencils so its different than most of my projects
I purchased this trunk at a garage sale. It was understandably falling apart and looking pretty junky. It did already have the wheels on it though and that's what made me like it.

SO I brought it home and painted it white. Nasty yellow spots came through the paint though and so I had to go buy some Kilz spray paint to come back and try again.
I was planning on spraying the Kilz and then doing another layer of the creamy white paint but once the Kilz was on - I really liked the bright white instead of the creamy white I was targeting previously.

At this point I actually just left it for days... I kept going back and looking at and thinking - what next? Not sure what to do to it to make it awesome.
During this 'not sure what to do' phase I happened to be strolling around Walmarts new crafty section - they are trying to compete with the craft stores - I saw a pack of beach stencils. Living in SC right next to a beach I figuring this would come in handy. (At that point I didn't know what I would use them on.. just that I was sure they would be good for something...) And when I got home I looked at that blank white trunk and thought - perfect!
So I sorted through the stencils and picked a couple to stencil on.... Then I sanded them for a more worn look - and to cover up the mistakes I made in stenciling... I'm not super good at getting that perfect. :( But once sanded it looked great!
Last but not least I tackled the inside. It was gross and dirty and had peeling paper... I cleaned it best I could and then recovered the whole thing. I started with trying to use spray adhesive to attach the paper - but quickly resorted to wood glue instead. The spray adhesive was having issues spraying out and thus holding super well - the wood glue seemed to hold better at all the edges anyway so why not use it for the whole thing? SO that's what I did.
And wala!! Finished beautiful trunk.