Thrifty Thursdays: A thrifty project

When we moved into our house, we upgraded Cecilia’s toy chest from a cardboard diaper box to a plastic tub. Since then, I have been pining for a wood toy chest for her, but felt defeated when every chest I liked was over $100. I didn’t want one that had a theme or was gender-specific, so that it could be used for many years and could be shared by our children.

The older toy chests were more expensive (obviously) and didn’t have the safety features they do now. Apparently that was the era of trial-and-error. So you can imagine my excitement when I found a toy chest for $22 at R 2nd Chance, a local thrift store, a few weeks ago. Since I donated a box of items, I got it for 30% off so I ended up getting it for only $16. Booyah! It has a soft close, and space so it won’t smash little baby fingers.

chestI took that bad boy home, cleaned it, sanded it and painted it. And then painted it again. And again. The best part is that the top is flat, so I decided to make that into a chalk board that she could create on. However, the chalk paint seeped through the painters tape a few times. Since I used spray paint on the rest of the toy chest, I would have to spray paint the parts that got the chalk paint on it and then that would get on the chalkboard, so I would have to repaint with chalk paint.

IMG_2753 photo 2 copyIt was a vicious cycle that I went through a few times until I came to terms that there would be little spills of chalk paint, and I’m hoping I can get that same color of spray paint in a little container of paint to touch up those spots. In the end, it will be in a toddler’s room and will probably get ruined after a couple days of use, anyway.

After everything, the toy chest cost was $16 plus about $10 in materials and about 6-8 hrs in labor. Next time, I would maybe use a different brush and less chalk paint on the edges so it won’t seep. Well worth the time in order to save $80-100. Plus, it’s way more special. I hope.

photo 3Have a fun thrifty project to share? Did you do this project and want to share photos? Post in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramGoogle + and Pinterest!

Stay thrifty, my friends.

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

Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July! This week has been sort of insane and it’s just now slowing down and getting back to normal. I started school a couple weeks ago and just now got my book, so lots of catching up to do! I woke up feeling refreshed today and was able to get a lot done this morning, so now it’s time to relax a little and do one of my most favorite things…blog!

My boyfriend’s sister is expecting her first child any time now. He was due yesterday, but he ultimately decided that he didn’t want to share his birthday with America, so he’s going to wait it out a little. At least I think that’s what’s going on. I don’t know, though. Babies don’t have the Facebook app.

She decorated his room SO incredibly cute! It’s an eclectic mix of vintage, schoolhouse and boy stuff. It’s really cute and it fits her style, too. She included deer antlers in the decoration (not big ol honkin ones, just this one small antler that they found at a street fair) and it fits in there perfectly.

This got me thinking about what other cute deer antler stuff there is out there. Now, I’m not a huge fan of antlers because it always makes me think of what the people had to do to get the antlers. But, I’m really intrigued with how they look. So I found some really cool stuff to do with the antlers, and with the antler design if you don’t want the real deal. Here are my favorites.

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Image belongs to SelaVeeCo

Medium Deer Antler – Argentine Design by SelaVeeCo – This antler is available at SelaVeeCo’s store on Etsy.  The store is owned by Hannah Loumeau Leonard, a studio artist, and there are several other designs available. It’s $50 and is painted with acrylic and sealed with a varnish twice. Her store is really cute and she also has cards and prints available!

Image belongs to JC McCairn

Image belongs to JC McCairn

Modern Tribal Deer Antler Statement Necklace by JC McCairn – Charity, who owns this store, noted that all of the deer antlers that she sells at her store were all found in the woods. No animals were harmed in order to get these antlers. That makes me feel really good. Her store has all sorts of accessories that use hand painted antlers and it’s definitely cool to check out. This necklace is $40 and every item is one-of-a kind.

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Image belongs to KCJO

Custom painted vintage suitcase by KCJO – Ok, so at $150, it’s a little out of my price range. I think it’s beautiful, I just can’t afford stuff like that, especially since I’m not going anywhere anytime soon! But, if you do travel, or you like to use vintage suitcases as decor in your house, this would be super cool to have in your house! Casey, who owns the store, said they also work great as gifts, for graduation or something like that. She has a lot of cool pop art in her store that is worth checking out.

Image belongs to ballpoint + pen

Image belongs to ballpoint + pen

Stenciled deer home decor from ballpoint+pen: Ali, who runs this blog, shared a tutorial on how to make this awesome deer stencil. She used an old painting and got the stencil from ManMade, and then painted it on the old painting. I love it and I have about one million old paintings that I don’t use and this would look totally awesome on there. Now I’m thinking of all the possibilities I can do! The inspiration is out of control right now!

What are your thoughts on deer antlers? Love them or leave them? Do you have a fun deer antler project or decor that you want to share? Post in the comments or share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ohdeer. And as always, see what inspires me the most on my Pinterest!