New Pinterest Projects: Staining Ikea Organizers

This was a quickie project that I put off for quite awhile and finally started in January (and finished this week). First, here are the inspiration pins:

ikea(1) Source I really like the darker stain here because it looks like a card catalog!

Ikea2(2) Source This one was a bit bright but I like the color and how they removed the middle drawer (this is the same style as mine)

Ikea3(3) Source This one too was bright and cheerful, I liked the idea of many fabrics and colors in theory but seriously doubted my ability to make decisions

While I liked the bright versions, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to get enough fabric or paint to make it look good without endlessly priming and prepping. So I chose the stain method!

Unfortunately these aren’t sold at Ikea anymore, I probably bought this back in 2006, if memory serves it was $10. I’ve been using two of these, one in the office, another in the bathroom for 4 years.

The problem is that in the original unfinished wood dust piles up and gets in the grooves and looks really dingy. So I picked up this stain:

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The process is super simple, just brush it on with a foam brush and then wipe off. I set this up on a paint tray so catch any drips and used old worn out socks to wipe off the stain.

I only stained the outsides of the drawers, knowing that the interior would be easier to view if lighter.

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While the first image on this post was ultimately the inspiration for going darker, I didn’t want to add drawer pulls. Instead I picked up these labels from the Martha Stewart line at Staples (which is awesome btw) in the clearance area. If memory serves each packet has 12 labels and was $1.

The gold and silver wasn’t really my thing so I set up a box in the garage and spray painted them with ORB.

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Really easy to peel and stick these on and then add the little paper insert.

One warning is that the stain smells terrible so if it’s January and too cold to stand in the garage, do them inside and whisk them out quickly. Then be prepared to let them off-gas for a week or so in the garage. It might be quicker if you put them outside but if it’s January and raining you may have fewer options. In July it’s much faster 🙂

I brought mine in too soon (I was excited, okay?) and the smell kept me up at night it was so bad. I’m stubborn like that.

But it’s a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive project to do!

Ikea organizer


  • Stain: $5 ish at Walmart
  • Brush: 7 cents ea at Michaels and I used 1
  • Organizers: $10 originally at Ikea
  • Labels: $1 for 12
  • Total: $28 for both

I haven’t finished labeling them yet but that’s on the list!


Pinterest Project : Recovering Nightstands

This project goes back about a year when I was working on finishing the master bedroom before August. I kept looking for a way to add texture to the bookshelf or nightstands and ended up priming and painting them all white:

2012_07_15 (22)Okay, well the drawer became gray, which I didn’t really like once it was in the room.

I really fell in love with this Moroccan stencil and thought it would be fun. Ignoring the fact that I suck at any painting that isn’t “slap it on” simple. Here’s the poorly done stencil that I covered up with more paint:

20130915_162629Beautiful, right? (there really needs to be a sarcasm font).

So in lieu of knowing what to do, I moved the nightstand out to the garage and let it sit there for a few weeks.

Then… magic. In the form of remnant fabric from Jo-Anns! I picked up this piece that was .583 yds, originally $12.99/yd on clearance for $3.80. Since the fabric was thick enough, and sorta fuzzy, I decided to use hot glue instead of modge podge.

20130915_164008I had enough on this remnant to do the tops of both and the back of the second nightstand too. Since the top isn’t covered by anything like modge podge it’s nice and fuzzy.

Then, when I finished the top I realized how much I hated the gray drawer. So I pulled it out, unscrewed the drawer pulls and found my black glossy spray paint. 17 thousand coats later:

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I would still like to find some drawer pulls in white but those are on the list for later. Here’s how it looks in the room:

 photo MFKNightstand2_zps2a6cb696.jpgFor those of you counting at home, yes this makes 4 table tops currently covered in zebra print fabric… I might need an intervention. But isn’t it cute? Since all the frames in my room and the dresser are dark I thought it was a nice way to bring the two together. Who knows? Maybe I’ll use the other remnant on my bookshelf.

Didn’t I mention that?

Yes, I found 2 remnants. And bought them both.


Beginning in the Backyard

I am so so excited to have this project a little closer to being done! I got the inspiration from this pin from my Garden board:


Last time I shared about the backyard it was in a sad state. The boards that were holding back the dirt in the rose beds was falling apart.

board fallingI lamented the fact that I didn’t have a big car to haul in these new stones I wanted to rebuilt the retaining wall:

pavers2Plus there was the little problem of my wrist which has been in near constant pain for the past 2 weeks. Not really up to hauling stones, digging out bricks and pulling up boards.

So I hired some help in the form of a guy named Ryan who. is. awesome! Seriously, amazing help on this project, fast and nice to work with.

We started on day 1 at Home Depot before it got too warm and picked up 140 stones and piled them in the back of my Yaris and Ryan’s station wagon. We also got 3 tubes of outdoor adhesive to bond the first row of stones to the second. Since I was using my caulking gun for other projects we picked up a second caulking gun for outdoor projects.

Finally, a 60 pound bag of polymer sand which we will soon use to fill in the gaps between pathway stones to block out weeds.

The first day we just got the supplies to the backyard and made plans to start another day when it was cooler.


Second day started with tearing out the old crap and building the new retaining wall. I have no pictures of it in progress because Ryan was so damn fast! 3 hours in and he had the bricks out, the boards out, the dirt pushed back and the first layer of stones in place!

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The 3 tubes of caulk just barely covered what we needed so we had to grab another tube for the last bit.

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If you see above,  we couldn’t finish the middle section on the first day without taking out the final board and bricks. We’ll also work on taking out the tree!

I love how it curves in to the fence!

2013_05_04 (13)On day 3 we took out the final section and board and finished the second section of stones:


Going back to this list here’s what’s left to be done

  • Trim back the roses
  • Dig up 2 dead rose bushes
  • Begin replacing the wood retaining wall with new bricks
  • Complete the new retaining wall in 1 spot
  • Fill in the flower beds with new dirt
  • Seed the lawn in multiple bald spots
  • Plant more flowers under the guest room window
  • Cut down the tree in the corner

Of course the backyard is in progress but the side yard looks terrible still:

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I’ve been trying to get the stones out a few handfuls at a time but there will probably come a point where we toss everything in the green waste trash can.

2013_05_04 (09)(no, it is physically impossible to take a picture outside without the dogs photobombing)

So we still need to:

  • Dig out the small stones and hard dirt – halfway done
  • Recycle the wood that we pulled out of the backyard
  • Use stones to fill in the gaps
  • Measure for 2 raised flower/vegetable beds each will be 9′ x 3′
  • Buy wood and install flower/vegetable beds (newspaper to line the bottom)
  • Fill in the beds with fresh dirt
  • Dig out the scalloped edging – halfway done
  • Create another brick patio like the one below – halfway done

2012_05_27 (44)

Day 3 we also took out the walkway from the back patio to the side yard and replaced it with bricks:

20130507_133126Close up:


In the corner we’ll add more bricks to form a patio for my new rain barrel!

The side yard project got started, but we’re in that phase where it looks worse than we began:


But I think we’re making good progress!

*use of “we” should not be taken literally. I make suggestions and buy stuff. Ryan does all the heavy lifting, digging and hard work.

New Pinterest Projects – Typesetter

I’ve been working steadily on some Pinterest inspired posts over the past few months and am glad to now be sharing them with this challenge!

These type set organizers are so great – we had one growing up that held all of our Sesame Street figurines and in early 2012 Mom gave it to me to use. It sat in the garage for almost a year until I could figure out how to use it. Here was my inspiration:


The problem with this is, of course, that I have maybe 5 spools of thread… I’ve also seen it done with stamps but I have fewer stamps.



While I do like this organizer I’ve already got my earrings and necklaces in DIY solutions but I do like how this one is hung on its side.  Here’s another one made for jewelry:



It’s… okay. The color is less than my favorite though and removing a section for hooks seems odd to me. But still, I love the idea of organizing lots of little things with one.

Finally, I decided where to use mine:

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Here it is in my master bath, I tested it out with a bunch of little stuff (here it’s sitting upside down) and decided that I really liked it. So everything came out and I dusted it well, then turned it around and screwed in three drywall screws to secure it to the wall:

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I made sure that the cabinet door doesn’t hit it but it’s also really accessible – I thought hanging it on the wall behind the toilet would be awkward. Then I got to fill it up with stuff:

2012_12_24 (05)I have a ton of perfume samples, and small sized lip gloss and such. Most of it fit in here and I’m looking at ways to use the top row which are much smaller, I’ve tried dental floss and hand sanitizer but nothing fits here yet.

But I love it!


Check out my Made These Things board for finished projects (and their inspiration pins) and upcoming projects on Make These Things.

New Pinterest Projects – Necklace Holder

Note: I’d prepared these posts a few weeks ago in anticipation of the Challenge. Which was great considering I’ve been focused on the details and family in the wake of Grandpa’s passing last week.

I think this is one of my few projects that pre-dates Pinterest! But it’s very Pinterest like with modge podge, book pages and jewelry storage all rolled up in one.

In November 2011 I made a purse out of a Nancy Drew hardcover book with my friend Melissa and took home the pages for projects. You already saw them here as ornaments for Christmas.

About the same time I picked up two black necklace holders from Michael’s. I can’t remember exactly but they were about $7 and $11 for the pair. The texture was black velvet which may be nice for exhibiting jewelry but is a bitch for modge podge because it just soaks in.

2012_12_10 (01)

So I poured it on, layered the book pages and it took days to get it right. Instead of trying to fold the paper around the back I just trimmed it.

Here’s the larger version:

2012_12_18 (12)and the smaller one:

2012_12_18 (13)Aren’t they great? I was going to send them as gifts but after a year of planning and waiting to get this one done I’m holding these close and shouting mine! Because I love them!

They’re now sitting on my master bedroom bookshelf:

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2013_02_14 (03)It’s one of those projects that sat unfinished for far too long and I’m so glad to have done!

Mixing it up on Pinterest

It should be no shock to you that I’m a fan of Pinterest and with nearly 5,000 pins I decided to organize things a bit. I started with my recipes which are varied and prone to duplicates because there were nearly 200 pins and the same recipes keep popping over month after month.

I do move recipes that I’ve tried to a separate board but I needed an easier way to search for a recipe depending if I needed soup, salads, drinks or entrees.

This took me entirely too long to organize because I kept thinking how some side dishes were full courses. Sometimes you just have soup, or a salad, you know? But putting all that aside here were the new boards I can up with (click on any picture to view the board on pinterest):

Breakfast – because scones and eggs and potato recipes need to be grouped.

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.09.55 PM

Drinks well with others – everything from smoothies, coffee, alcoholic drinks and tea

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.17.03 PM

Appetizers – lots of these are hearty enough for full meals

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.07.48 PM

Salad – always looking for a good salad recipe!

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.09.32 PM

Soups – perfect for this time of year and many of these are crockpot easy

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.16.41 PM

Sides – rice, beans, potatoes and vegetable recipes

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.07.07 PM

Entrees– these are some of my favorites, everything from wraps and tacos to pizzas and casseroles

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.06.24 PM

Desserts – another board with a ton of recipes like cakes, pie, cookies and popsicles

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.08.54 PM

Other Recipes – these are the side sauces, mixes and miscellaneous recipes that don’t fit elsewhere

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 7.09.02 PM

Recently I’ve made a few new recipes from Pinterest and those all go to this board:

Screen shot 2012-12-08 at 9.29.49 PM

If you pay attention to the categories on this post you’ll see that I’ve added Pinterest as a link and will be tagging older posts too.

Pinterest Challenge, the Fourth

It’s apparently Pinterest throw down time once again so let me briefly recap my previous projects before we get on to this one:

What to do, what to do

This time around I had little time and wanted to get something finished, you know, all those random ideas and then there just the one that you can’t wait to say is “done” – or is that just me?

When I looked at my board the same images came up again and again, many ways to do a jewelry holder for necklaces.


Sources here, here, here and here

I’d mentioned creating something like this when I finished up the master bedroom and finally I had a little incentive. Here’s the spot where my own jewelry holders would go, on this short wall between the bathroom door to the left and closet to the right:


So I took my warped wood from the bench project, marked off a few places and went to Home Depot. There I used their saw to make my cuts (since my Dad refuses to let me use his saw. Something about losing a finger or blood loss. Whatever.) and picked up the hardware I needed.

Here’s the brackets:


and the hooks:


Now, you know me. I’m not going to put something brassy gold in my beautiful black, white and red room. So out came the ORB spray paint and I classed those up right away. While they dried I sanded down the wood, wiped it clean and started mixing my paint.


Now, I didn’t want these perfectly glossy white (they’re still pretty rough around the edges) nor stained so I went with a simple whitewash. I accomplished this by mixing a tiny bit of ceiling paint leftover with equal parts water. Whatever, I eyeballed it.

The technique is easy. Brush on the watered down white paint. Wipe it off with a sock. Rotate. Continue. Let it dry.

Here’s the finished pieces:


Now I just had to screw in the hooks, align the brackets and attach it to the wall. Easy peasy. But not a single one of those links tells you how to do so. And I’m currently lacking one drill. So I picked up a batter powered screw driver  to get these in:


and it’s done! There will eventually be 2 or 3 but for now I’m back to tracking Hurricane news and prepping for NaNoWriMo.

Here’s the second one installed (with longer drywall screws) and lit up with candles for Christmas: 2012_12_24 (07)