Archives For Furniture Rehab

Our New Desk

Jennifer —  September 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

I posted on Wednesday that we decided to change our desk arangement from two desks to one long desk.  The goal was to be modern, white and not bulky.  We wanted two work stations with storage in between.  Here is what it looked like before.  I explained here why this wasn’t working.  In short, it was cute but not a workable system.

Here is the space cleared out.  We wanted the desk to go on the left-hand wall. (Please excuse the mess.  Scary things come out when you move furniture)

We were willing to spend enough for it to be done right, but we also didn’t want to spend a ton, so we of course I headed to Mountian Country Homes of Hope and got this sliding closet door for $5.

I chose an old sliding closet door for two reasons.

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I love floor-to-ceiling shower curtains.  I especially love them in small bathrooms because it just makes a small bathroom feel more grand.  A few months ago I shared my moodboard/plan for my guest bathroom.  I really fell in love with this ikat print from Liora Manne.

via Liora Manne

It’s actually a rug.  I am pretty sure there is not a fabric version but I used it as my inspiration to find something similar.  My best friend and I went fabric shopping awhile back at our local fabric store.  It’s not my favorite store that is 45 minutes away, but my town has a quilting fabric store.  Its inventory is mostly small printed patterns that would look good on an old-fashioned quilt, but sometimes you can find some designer/modern fabrics.  They do have a ton of great baby fabric so we were in the store for my friend’s little girls room.  We stopped in the clearance room and I found this for $2.00 a yard.

I LOVED it!  I don’t I could have found anything so similar to my inspiration fabric rug    I immediately bought 6 yards of it for $12.00 (plus change for tax).  I went home and I grabbed two shower curtain rods that I already had.  We had one for the guest bath already and one that we used in the master bathroom until we found our shower doors.  I hung both of the tension rods up side-by-side, resembling a double curtain rod.

You can’t even seen the second one behind the first from this angle.

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Reading Material

Jennifer —  July 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

I am almost finished with my total bathroom renovation.  I have a 3-4 more posts on a few minor upgrades/ decor and then I will reveal the bathroom in all its glory!  Today I want to share a small little update that I added just last week.  You can see here that one side of the bathroom has this large blank wall.

Of course, I filled it with stripes and kept the existing towel rod there.  The trick is not placing something too bulky so it doesn’t hinder the path to the shower.  I was thinking some type of picture but I just couldn’t find anything I liked.  I came across this fun magazine holder for $14.00 at TJ Max.  I liked it because its versitle.  If I find the picture I like eventually I have not wasted any money.  I can use this in an office, maybe as book storage by a bed…the options are endless.

It was the perfect size and the color matched the charcoal metal that I spray painted my light fixture.

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Past to Present

Jennifer —  July 9, 2012 — 2 Comments

In Jane and Tanya”s house their bathroom was a blast from the past:


aaaa Continue Reading…

Today we are skipping back to my guest bathroom progress.  I shared with you here that one of the main problems with the bathroom was the light fixture hung too low for a mirror to be hung high enough for someone to see their head.

I wanted to face the mirror lengthwise and yet I didn”t want an electrician to have to come to move the wiring so my goal was to find something that did either of the following:

  1. Was short enough to allow a mirror to hang lengthwise
  2. Or the light hung out far enough that the framed mirror could go behind the mirror.

The second option was harder to find than I expected.  If you see here in this post I had a plan for this bathroom.  It included stripes that I found in a This Old House Magazine.  I loved how the white and light tan stripes looked with the brown which totally matched my existing cabinet.

via this old house

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Rehab in Progress

Jennifer —  April 18, 2012 — 4 Comments

The hubs and I are helping a friend renovate her new home. In the next few weeks we are going to help her get it done. Here is what it looks like as of today:


The cabinets are mint green and we are keeping them. The goal is to transform the backsplash in under $50. There will also be a few DIY light fixtures.


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Hack The Lack Part 1

Jennifer —  March 5, 2012 — 6 Comments

As I was putting the pieces together in my living room I started to notice that my Lack Coffee table was serving a great purpose but it didn’t look proportionally right.  I also longed to have a comfy place to prop up my feet when I watch t.v.  So, I decided to hack the lack.  I figured I could use the legs and the mounting hardware.  I wouldn’t use the top or bottom shelf in this project, but I figured I could find something around the house for those things.  Here is how I changed this:

To This:  (p.s. – I haven’t finished yet, I still have to put on the bottom)

1.)  I took a piece of plywood I had in my garage and cut it to the dimensions that I wanted.

2.)  I purchased some 1X2 at Lowes for $1.67 a pop and used it to border the edge of the plywood.  I did this to reinforce the plywood but also to make an upholstered edge so it would look more polished

3.)  I added some 1X3 we had leftover from a recent outdoor project.  These also gave more reinforcement to the sturdy 3/4 inch plywood.  Since it was so big I decided to make it a little more sturdy. ( I added one in the middle too but its not pictured here.  You will see it a few pics down)

4.)  I measured the plywood and found the center.  From these measurements, I figured out where I wanted the buttons.  I didn’t get a picture of this but I did in the same way I did my headboard.

5.)  I made marks and drilled holes for the buttons.  I used a 1/2 inch spade drill bit.

6.)  I didn’t like my button placement so I changed it up and had to drill more holes.  The new pattern used some of the previously drilled holes so to help my while I tufted, I covered up the holes that were not supposed to be used with some duck tape. (do you like by OU duck tape?)

7.)  Next, I attached the foam to the top of the plywood.  I used two twin sized foam mattress toppers from Target.  In my store they were $9.99 a pop.  Maybe they were on sale because they are $14.99 online.  I also used  a $5.00 coupon. The total came to about $15.00.   To make a smooth top to your ottoman place the patterned side down.  I attached them with some liquid nails.  I know that might be a little much.  I am sure that spray adhesive will work but I didn’t have any.  I had some liquid nails so that is what I used. A little trick for you:  I chose the width of my ottoman to be the same width as the foam.  That meant I didn’t have to cut up the foam that much…just wack off the end, with an electric turkey carver of course. Whoever got me that electric knife over 6 years ago for a wedding gift probably had no idea I would use it more for DIY projects than Thanksgiving day turkey carving.

8.)  I covered the side edges with some thick batting I had leftover from this slipcover project.  There is always a reason I keep scraps.

9.)  Next, I covered the entire thing with quilt batting and stapled it on the underside.

10.) Using scissors, I punctured holes through the batting and foam where the buttons would go. I just opened the scissors and stuck on end through the hole on the bottom.  I twisted to form a hole. This is where the duck tape came in handy. It kept me from punching the wrong holes in the foam. The foam covered my the holes that I didn’t use really well.

11.) I  washed and ironed my fabric  I purchased the same fabric that I used to make these new living room curtains.  I used scraps to make the curtains and I was a little nervous my favorite fabric store wouldn’t have it anymore but after some digging I found it.  I purchased 2 yards a $3.99 a pop.  Yeah Clearance aisle!  (which those of you who know this store know that I had to work for that 3.99 a yard fabric.  They just have bolts and bolts on top of each other in the clearance aisle.  I was sweating moving them all around.

12.)  The next step was to make my buttons.  To do this, I purchased 5 button kits at Wal-mart.  I needed 18 buttons so I had to purchase 5 kits that had 4 buttons.  Each one was $1.97.  I made all my buttons while watching t.v. with the Hubs.  Here is a tip:  if you are using the Wal-Mart buttons, follow the instructions for covering but put a dab of hot glue in the button before you put the back on.  Then use the tools to get it started but I use two screw drivers (one in each hand) to finish it off.  Just press all the way around.  It dents the back of the button but who cares, its sturdy and it wont be seen.  I have done this on both the headboard  in my master and guest bedroom and pulled my hardest to tuft them.  Two years later…they are still intact.

13.)  Next, I laid the fabric over the foam covered top and tufted the ottoman.  I wanted the buttons to sink in a little so I decided to attach the buttons BEFORE I stapled the fabric to the bottom.  I used fishing twine to attach the buttons and an upholstery needle I had.  An upholstery needle is key because its larger and sturdier.  Since I had made holes in the wood and the foam, it makes navigating the needle easier but sometimes it takes patience.  My trick:  use a wooden kabob skewer to help know where the needle goes.

14.)  After making 5-6 loops through each button  I tied it off.  To tie it off I use scrap fabric and made little rolls.  I tied the extra string around it and knotted it.  Then, I wrapped the extra string around it and stapled the fabric down.  The bulk of it goes in the hole but if its thick enough it gets stuck and holds.  Hopefully you can see better by the picture.  Stapling the fabric down helps me make the button be taught and it also flattens the fabric for the next step.


15.)  I stapled the fabric around the edges of the underside.  (see pic above)

16.)  Now its time to cover the ugly.  I used some leftover fabric from my guest bedroom headboard to cover the bottom.  I just laid it on there and stapled it, folding the edges under on each side.


17.) I took the legs off the Lack table and cut about four inches off the bottom.  I wanted to leave the top of the legs so I could use the hardware to attach the legs.

18.)  I attached the existing hardware to my new ottoman top.  To do so I had to:

  • Mark where the hardware would go
  • Cut away the fabric
  • Drill a pilot hole in the middle so the threaded screw could go all the way into the hardware and ottoman top easily.  (The Lack leg hardware actually is made to fit in a hole pre-made by Ikea. They do this to make the leg and top look seamless.  I thought about drilling a hole out of the underside of the ottoman to make it work exactly but I realized that the edge I made with the 1X2 hid the fact that the metal mounting hardware was shown at the top of the leg so I didn’t worry about it.  This pic shows my attempt to make the hole before I realized I didn’t need to or have a drill bit wide enough.  The hardware just rest right on top of the wood.  Notice the hole in the middle for the threaded screw to go beyond the hardware.

19.)  The last thing I did was screw in the existing hardware and screw on the legs

and that is how I got it to this stage:

Now, I am still working on part two.  I need a bottom shelf for magazines and storage.  I strategically cut the Lack legs so I could keep the metal things that the old shelf rested on.  Now, I just need to cut some wood and paint a lower shelf.  I will update you when I do that.  I am also thinking about putting casters on the bottom.

I have finished, check out the finished product here!

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post you might like these:

Clamp Bedside Lights

DIY Bed Slats

Hide Exposed TV Cords

Choosing Art for My Wall

Jennifer —  February 15, 2012 — 2 Comments

I shared on Monday that I had to modify my original idea:

To make room for three 17 X 22 mats I had to space out the pictures a little more.  I tested in with my paper and I didn”t like it.  It looked too spread out.  So I decided to cut the Middle 17 X 22 mat in half.  ( I did this before I made them)  Here is what I came up with.

I actually liked it better than my original pattern.  How did I hang it all up?  Very Carefully….

  1. I drew a level line at the top where the top row would be level.
  2. Then, I hung the first row of framed pictures using a level and measuring tape.  (Make sure to use the level to line up the sides too)
  3. Then I used a large level to draw lines all the way down the wall where the top of each frame was.  That way I knew the framed pictures were lined up even though the mats were in between.
  4. I hung the first row of the drywall mat pictures
  5. I used the large level to draw lines all the way down the wall (horizontally) where the top of each mat was
  6. I hung the rows using the line that I had drawn.
  7. I  took off the pictures one at a time, erased the lines, touched the wall up with paint, let it dry, and put the picture back on.
  8. The framed pictures only had a middle picture hanger which made them wobbly.  After I erased the lines, I added double-sided tape for pictures on each corner to keep them level and on the wall.

Time of work:  Two entire Saturdays.

The funny thing is that I got for Christmas.  If I would have had , this project would have been so much easier!

Source Here

Picture Frames:

I went to Michael”s and bought 16 .35 pieces of grey cardstock that matched my fabric (not exactly but super close).  I used an extra piece of cardstock that I had to make a template for the pictures.  I measured and marked on the scrap piece where the picture would be centered. Then I cut out that area.  I would lay this template on top of the grey cardstock and taped the picture in the cut out.

Then, I simply removed the template and Volia…pictures are all centered nicely.

All my pictures are pictures of family that I had.  I scanned most of them in and edited them to be black and white.  I uploaded them to and added a white border to all of them. (You can do that on their site)  Sent them to be printed and picked them up and hour later.  Here are a few:

This is my grandmom:

This is my grandparents

This is me and my cousin who is like my sister.  Can you tell which one is me?  (Hint…left side weird face)

This is the hubs and his dad.  (isn”t my hubbie a cute kid?!)

Here are my babies

Here is the hubs and I on our wedding day:

Choosing what was on the mats was not as hard as I thought.  I created these myself using Macintosh Pages.  I just recreated a quote that I liked or a verse that I liked  and wanted to be reminded of.  I put a background to it:



The Hubs and I collect vintage postcards of all the places that we have lived or been to.  I just trimmed them to be the same size and put them on the mat:



This was a free printable I found on Pinterest.  The hubs is a cyclist.  He has done tri-athalons and bike races like this crazy one.

I  found a drawing of a Vizsla online and printed it out.  I recolored it to look like a silhouette.  This was really easy to do in my home but I would never put this online as a free download for someone.  The image is not mine to sell or give away, but I can use it in my own home.

The Hubs has an English degree and He loves classic literature.  I bought him some stationary that had stick figure versions of popular classics.  I scanned four of the cards in and tweaked it on Mac Pages and then printed it off.

How did I attach the art ?  You can see the nails above.

I just gently tapped a small silver, flat-headed finish nail in the corners of each piece of art.  Using Cardstock is crucial here so it doesn”t tear.  I often stop and look at my pictures.  We live far away from family so this is a fun reminder of the ones we love.

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post you might like these:

DIY XL bulletin Board

DIY Drywall Mat

DIY Markerboard

Filling the Empty Wall

Jennifer —  February 10, 2012 — 6 Comments

I left off Wednesday with my sitting and staring at how I was going to accomplish this pattern of frames that I had picked to go on the wall:

I wanted the large frames to look similar to the smaller frames and I wanted them to not look cheap.  I searched places like Walmart and target for small poster frames.  I even bought one to try it and it just looked like a plastic poster frame.  Not only that…at $11.00 a pop that’s $100.00.  Buying lots of frames adds up.  I returned the Wal-Mart frame and decided to ask my mom-in-law, who lives in an Ikea town, to bring or ship me 20 more Ikea NYJTTA frames.  I would keep looking for another week but I was pretty sure I was going to have to go back to my original idea.

Yes, my original idea was what I wanted in the first place but I had also made a budget of about $60 for this project.  Buying more frames would put me at $80 and then another 10-15 of what I would put in the frames.  I went to Lowes to pick up some finish nails for another project and right where you walk in I saw this:

Which made me remember this project:

What if I could recreate this and tweak it to fit the big frames in my living room?  I didn’t want to use burlap so I had to find a fabric that would work  I wanted the pictures to be what stands out so it had to be plain and not patterned.  I began my search for fabric the next day.

After a long grueling Saturday of DIY, picture framing, leveling and mounting while watching about 3.5 movies….I ended up with this:










Stay Tuned for how I did this!

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post check out these:

Bulletin Board

DIY Bookcase

Chalk It Up

The Little Lack – Part 2

Jennifer —  January 9, 2012 — 1 Comment

Sorry this post is so late.  We had a minor mishap when I opened our water bill that usually is a standard $24.00 the last four years.  December was a $385 month.  Thats 92,500 gallons of water used for a 1500 sq foot house.  YEAH RIGHT!  I had to go meet the plumber to figure it out.  We did, they misread the meter Phew!  I did learn some things that could help you.  No worries, I will blog about it.

Last Friday I shared how we built our bookcases that flank either side of our newly white fireplace.  Our inspiration was Ikea’s discontinued Lack bookcase.  They don’t make a half version of their bookcase so we were not building it exactly like the Lack.  We were going for recreating its modern lines and thick wood.  You can check out this post to see how we built them.

The next step was to finish these puppies.  The goal was to try to minimize the wood grain as much as possible.  We wanted this project to be under $50.00 (which it was), so we chose cheap wood, white pine.  We knew that in choosing cheap wood we would not be able to completely eliminate the wood grain, but my goal was to finish it so well you would have to put your nose right up to the wood to be able to see the wood grain.   To accomplish this we had to call upon our  old friends; sand paper,  sander, and paintable caulk.  We would also like you to introduce you to our new friend… Durham’s Water Putty.


I will be honest, when I asked the hubs to buy some more wood filler he came home with this.  Its powder that you mix with water.  I was skeptical but it has a $2.77 price tag I was wooed by the price tag.   Elmers is $6 and it dries out if you don’t store it right.  After using it, I am officially smitten.  This is an honest referral because they are not paying me a dime to say this.  They don’t even know I am blogging about it.  If I married a wood filler, it would be this one.  You just put a little scoop full of powder in a bowl, mix it with water, and you are ready to go.  It has a runny consistency at first, which is great to get into the little cracks of the knots.  After a while it gets mushy like the wood filler you are used to and then it becomes hard as a rock.  You can use as much or as little as you want and it will not go bad.  It also hardens and make those pesky knots in your wood unbreakable.

Step 1:  Fill the Holes/crackers

I mixed two spoonfuls of the putty in a plastic cup and mixed it up.  I started with the runny substance and filled all the knots with the liquid.  I spooned it in and smoothed it over. I still had the holes from the screws to fill so I waited for the putty to get clumpy.  3 minutes later I filled those holes with the clumpy putty just like using Elmers wood putty.  The great thing is that Durham’s water putty is initially wood colored but it dries white making it fool proof.  I also filled any nicks or dings present, along filled the cracks where the wood meets on the front and top of the bookcase.

Step 2: Lightly sand sand the dried holes/knots and then repeat step one.

Step 3:  Caulk where the middle shelf meets the side pieces.  It helps give a seamless look

Step 4:  Sand the entire bookcase with 60 grit sand paper

The 60 grit helps you even out the wood.  Its rough and will wear down any inconsistencies really fast.  For example, if you ran your hand over the top of one of the bookcases you could feel the left side piece was a little (like 1/64 inch) taller than the top shelf.  60 grit fixed that. The 60 grit also gets off any excess wood putty really well.

This step can be done by hand but do yourself a favor and borrow someones hand sander if you don’t have one.  If you are going to do more projects like this (which will save you moolah in the long run), go ahead and buy one.  The hubs and I always save a little money every year to buy a tool on black friday.  We had our eye on a belt sander so we saved up and bought it on sale.  Here is the hubs using it. (please forgive my old camera’s photo.  This won’t happen with my new camera!)

It didn’t last long because the sander we bought would start smoking after about 5 minutes of use.  It had a malfunction (not the brand’s fault.  Many of our tools are this brand and we love them)  It was just a bad egg.  We returned it and decided to purchase an orbital sander that was on clearance instead.  I guess the sander put us over budget but I don’t really count it in the cost of this project.  We were saving for something and had decided to buy this tool anyway.  I guess you could say that we were motivated to build the bookshelf because we bought our sander.

Step 5:  Wipe off all the dust and refill any holes one more time

Step 6: Sand with 150 grit sand paper.  This gives the fine finish.

Step 7:  Wipe off all the dust and CLEAN YOUR work space.

There is nothing more annoying than getting wood dust on your freshly painted project.  Clean it up!

Step 8:  Prime

We used a sprayer that we got in the summer.  To be honest with you it is hard to spray with oil based primer.  It doesn’t go through the sprayer well so I wouldn’t advise it, but we toughed it out.  Make sure you set up a good tarp for spray protection and use even spray strokes. (here is the tutorial we used.  We don’t have a Graco but the technique is still the same.  Make sure you don’t take your hand off the trigger until you have passed over the bookcase.  Also, with oil based primer/paint make sure you clean out your sprayer immediately.  We used oil based primer because that is what we had leftover from the fireplace.  If I had to buy primer I would have purchased latex primer.

We did two coats of primer and let it dry for about three days between each coat.  Why?  Cold weather is a bad dry time environment.  Be patient.  For some surfaces you need to wait a week.

Step 9:  Sand if you need to.

This is a light sand.  We didn’t need to.

Step 10:  Spray on the paint.

We did this in the same way above.  One thing I did not mention is that we used about 10 painting triangles to allow the bottom of the bookcase to get a good coat.  I love these things and have used then on so many projects, including my kitchen cabinets.  (You can see them under the bookcase)

Step 11:  Patiently let dry and then repeat for how many coats you need.  We did three coats.

Step 12:  Put the bookcases in their new homes!  Yipee!!!!!


Here is the actual Lack Bookshelf:

Source: halcyonhousedesign

I think we got it pretty close…the half version that is:

Stay tuned for how we decorated them.  I also will show you how I hid the wires and made them sturdy for our tv.

Thanks for reading,


Here is part 1 of how we built this living room bookcase

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