A Thrifty Project

Let me tell you a story about an old barn window. An old barn window that I got some time ago from my stepsister. An old barn window that all the glass fell out of, and I later learned that that glass was actually some kind of fancy antique glass. An old barn window that sat around and sat around, collecting dust and being passed up for more pressing projects. An old barn window that, after many paint jobs, sandings, and more paint jobs – has FINALLY been repurposed into a chalk/corkboard! YES!

Step 1: Procure old barn window

Step 1: Procure old barn window

First, I sanded this bad boy down before I could repaint it. I used an electric sander because it’s way easier than doing it by hand, and I like easier. If you are getting into restoration, invest in a sander! Or buddy up with someone who has one, like I do!

Step 2: Sand down procured window

Step 2: Sand down procured window

Obviously, I could have sanded it down completely, but that’s unnecessary. You just need it sanded down enough to paint another coat over it.

Then…I got the plywood from a home improvement store and had it cut there. I also got the backing there too, it was a thicker cardboard that could withstand being hung on the wall or any other beating it would take. I measured the plywood and painted half of it with chalkboard paint. The other half, I used spray mount to attach the corkpaper and the foamy backing.

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Note…I had to apply quite a few layers of chalk paint to get it thick enough to write on.

Then it sat around. Sat around while I completed all of my Christmas projects. Sat around while I laid on the couch, declaring that I was too tired after Christmas to work on anything for the next year or so. Sat around until I finally decided that I really wanted a cork/chalkboard and decided to finish it.

Raise your hand if you can see the gap

Raise your hand if you can see the gap

Here was one problem, though….the wood was too small and didn’t fit in the frame! There was a gap on one side! But my stubborn self decided that I would just put something over the gap to cover it. Now that it was time to put it all together… I found some old fabric that I loved and cut enough of it so it would cover the cork portion and I could pull it over to staple it to the back with a staple gun.

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Note: I used a craftsmart chalk pen, and to be honest….I’m not too excited about it. I’m going to look around for a better quality one. Please let me know if you know of any!

It was my first time ever using a staple gun (I think) and I loved it. I wanted to staple EVERYthing in the house! Then, I got over that feeling and continued. I stapled the wood to the frame so it would stay put, since it didn’t fit perfectly. Had it been measured correctly, I probably wouldn’t have needed to staple it down. Then I stapled the back on, and it’s done!

I’m waiting to attach a hanger to it so it can go up on the wall, or I might keep it on top of the dresser. Not sure yet. But I do know that I love it.

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What thrifty projects are you working on? Post a link in the comments and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google + with the hashtag #staythrifty. You can also find more thrifty inspiration on my Pinterest!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

I was lucky enough to get my dresser free from a friend a couple years ago. It has been in many a house and has treated me well. But now, parts are falling off and now that I share a dresser with my boyfriend, it’s not able to hold all of our stuff. Yeah, that’s right. I share a dresser and a closet with my boyfriend. Do you know how many clothes I had to donate/hide under my bed to get to this point? A lot.

Back to the point. We’re in the market for a new dresser, but that market better be the flea market! Luckily, there seems to be a rising trend in painting your dresser and there are actually some pretty cool designs. Again, I’m sharing a dresser with my boyfriend and I don’t think we’ll be getting his and hers anytime soon, so I need a design that will suit both of us. Like, I can’t reason with him that we need another thing with an owl painted on it.

So, I’ve done my research (ie…looked at Pinterest while feeding my baby and drinking coffee), and these are my favorite painted dressers.

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Image belongs to Potholes & Pantyhose

Silver painted dresser from Potholes & Pantyhose – Rebekah from Potholes and Pantyhose refinished a dresser with silver metallic paint she got from Lowe’s. She used a foamy brush so she wouldn’t get the normal brush stroke. This dresser was part of a master bedroom remodel. She also writes about different crafts and offers tutorials on her site. Definitely worth checking out. I love when I find new sites like this!

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Image belongs to retropolitan

Chevron painted dresser from retropolitan: Erika decided to paint vertical chevron lines instead of the normal horizontal design. She initially painted bold white lines, then decided those didn’t fit the dresser and distressed them a little with a sanding block. She has a whole bunch of DIY remodeling projects that she writes about on her blog so if you’re feeling that your house needs a little uplift, check her blog out.

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Image belongs to Holly Do

License plate dresser from hollydo.blogspot.com – Now, I found this site from a different dresser, and kind of fell in love. To say my boyfriend loves old cars is an understatement. He lives for them. And sometimes I feel like going to a swap meet or two with him. When you’re a stay at home mom without a vehicle, you really will take any opportunity you can to get out of the house. And I love old bikes…so it all works out. Well, there are plenty of old license plates at the swap meets, so this would be a relatively cheap and fun project! It should also be noted that this blog is a wonderland when it comes to repurposing dressers and desks. And she’s from Elk Grove, which is right by where I live!

Image belongs to Itsy Bits and Pieces

Image belongs to Itsy Bits and Pieces

Car door and window handles from Itsy Bits and Pieces – This would go perfectly with the old car theme for the dresser! The whole blog is dedicating to decorating and repurposing with vintage finds, so it’s definitely a resource to check out. They even used a gas pump as a hook on the wall! What?!

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Image belongs to She Makes a Home

Dresser remodel from She Makes a Home – Well, I just fell in love. I love everything about this. I love the style of the dresser and I love the way she painted it. Ashley’s blog has a corresponding magazine and she offers a free “Breakthrough Boot Camp” e-course for work-at-home moms and creatives. Definitely going to check all that out!

Ok, which dresser was your favorite? Did you repurpose a dresser and want to share your project? Post in the comments!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdaysDressers. They are awesome when you need them. Almost necessary when you need them. But, when you don’t need them, they are the worst. Huge and bulky, you can’t just store it away somewhere. You have to either give it to someone (there’s almost always someone who needs a dresser) or donate it. Maybe you could sell it on Craigs List. But what if you don’t want to go through all that? Or what if your dresser is so beat that nobody wants it?

Well, here are some ideas for what you can do with dresser drawers. So, at least half of your problem is solved, right?

1. Make it decorative

DSC_00091-1024x724Shadow box tutorial, via the JADERBOMB blog

2. Make it functional

ydrawer10_1Awesome Drawer Re-Do, by A Very Dandoislion Life

3. Make it into a hanger

img_9389DIY Project: Morgane’s Drawer Hangers via Design*Sponge

4. Make it organize your stuff

Drawer-Shelves1-768x1024Drawer Shelves: After, by Home Made: Craft Shop and Studi0

5. Make it house your garden

5333753-11310962-thumbnailDIY Garden: Dresser drawer raised beds, by The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking

There is not much that I love more than when my crafting projects end up in the garden. This drawer garden bed idea would be cute for Cecilia’s little garden. Also, The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking might become one of my favorite blogs. Pinterest might be addicting (bad) but it does get you see what other people are doing, and to check out their blogs.

This is probably my favorite thing about Thrifty Thursdays and Fridays are for Favorites, they allow me some time to check out new blogs. I try to not use big companies when I look for tutorials, so the people who are doing it all on their own can get some recognition. Now, the next step would be to actually follow the tutorials. But that’s a whole other story.