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Thrifted Dresser Revival

Modern Dresser Revival

After we moved into the new house I was looking for a dresser for Dan because the closet space isn’t huge. I knew I wanted something kind of modern, kind of scandinavian, but also affordable. Buying anything new that fit those descriptions seemed nearly impossible. I could get the first two, but nothing that fit my (real low) budget. So I decided to hit the thrift stores and see what I could find. I ended up getting this old dresser for $25 and promptly started refinishing it!

In the Before image I’ve already removed the old hardware that was just plain and dated, and I’d removed some of the drawers to start sanding. The door’s hinges broke off when the gal was wheeling the cabinet out to my car and she hit a pot hole, so that’s why the door is sitting on the ground, but replacement hinges were easy enough to find at the hardware store!

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

I had some long legs from Pretty Pegs for a bench project that I never ended up doing, but I loved the idea of adding a bit of quirkiness to a dresser with the long legs. I used a skill saw to cut off the bottom on the two sides that served as the old legs in order to give it a straight bottom to attach the legs to, but other than that, the only power tool I really needed was a sander and a drill. And man did I do some sanding. So. Much. Sanding. I used a belt sander for most of it, then used an orbital sander for some parts, and had to do hand sanding in all the crevasses.

I decided to keep it unfinished because I liked the light, naked wood. I replaced the old dated drawer pulls with new ones, and then I added some shelves in the door space on the right because it previously held an odd slide-out hanging rod that didn’t seem practical for our purposes.

I picked up the drawer pulls from Home Depot and just made sure that they had the holes the same distance apart as the original ones so all I had to do was screw them right on, super easy update! And the Pretty Pegs legs came with brackets to attach the legs, so that was also a pretty easy update!

Since it’s relatively top heavy with the longer legs, I’m planning on attaching it to the wall with brackets, just so it doesn’t fall over with the drawers pulled out (or some crazy toddler decides it’s a good idea to climb up it).

Modern Dresser Revival

All in all, the project took 2, maybe 2.5 days from start to finish and here’s the breakdown on the cost:
Thrifted Dresser: $24.99
Drawer Pulls: $32.40
Hinges: $2.78
Legs: (c/o Pretty Pegs) $75

DIY Triangle Shoe Storage Shelf

DIY triangle ladder shelf

I knew I needed a better solution for my shoe storage and I wanted something cuter than just a bunch of cubbies, when I found a large version of this shelf on Pinterest (it was like a 6ft high version) I knew I wanted to make a small one that would fit beneath the angled ceilings of our attic closet. The wood for this was super affordable, and it only took about an hour and a half from start to finish to complete it!

What you’ll need:
2 8ft 2x2s
1 8ft 1x2
8 1.5 in screws
2 2 inch mending plates with screws
4 corner braces with screws
1 4ft 1x8 plank
1 6ft 1x8 plank
Drill
Skillsaw

step1.jpg

1/ Using a skillsaw (or a handsaw) cut your 2x2s into four 41 inch long pieces for the ladder sides, and your 1x2 into four 11 inch pieces for the ladder rungs.

step2.jpg

2/ Make a ladder by laying two 2x2s next to each other, marking a line 13 inches and 29 inches on each one. Separate the two sides and place the top of the 1x2 rungs at each line, screwing them to the 2x2s. The ends of the 1x2s should be flush with the sides of the 2x2s so the total depth of the ladder is 11 inches. Repeat for the second ladder. I pre-drilled the screw holes on the 1x2s because otherwise the screws would split the wood, so I recommend doing that.

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3/ Use your flat brackets to attach the tops of the ladders to each other. Using a speed square, make sure the angle of the two ladders is 60º at the top where they meet. In order to keep them together while I got the angle right, I used clamps to hold the tops together and then used a piece of scrap wood and screwed it into the sides to keep the angle correct. If you have a friend helping, though, you can probably just use them to help hold the ladders together while you screw the brackets at the top.

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4/ Place the planks on each shelf, the shorter one on the top shelf. Make sure they’re centered so that each side has the same overhang length. Use the L bracket and screw the vertical side to the inside of the 2x2, just below the shelf, then screw the horizontal side up into the bottom of the shelf, securing the shelf to the ladder. Do this on both sides for each shelf. I only put one L bracket on for each shelf, but you could put one on each side of the ladder for both sides of the the shelves if you want a little more security.

If you’ve screwed on a scrap piece of wood to the ladders to keep them at the right angle, you can unscrew that now. You’re all done!

I made sure that all the brackets were behind the wood so you don’t see them from the front, but that’s just me being nitpicky because #aesthetics.

DIY Triangle Shoe Storage Shelf
DIY Triangle Shoe Storage Shelf
DIY Triangle Shoe Storage Shelf

DIY White Concrete Skimcoat Countertop

DIY White Concrete Skimcoat Countertops

I was hoping to have my backsplash done in time to take some "after" photos of my counter, but that project is just taking too long to complete, so I'm getting this post up anyway, demo'd backsplash on full display!

I'm super thrilled about this DIY for multiple reasons.  Not only does it create a super cool finish that's a little bit industrial, a little eclectic, a little farmhouse, but it's fast, pretty easy, and it's AFFORDABLE.  That last one is really important to us because we just don't have money to throw around on new counters (and to be honest, the reason our backsplash has looked this way for almost 3 months is because I haven't been able to afford the tile).

I did a little research on what product I wanted to use. Originally I had planned on doing walnut butcher block counters in our kitchen but since we weren't replacing the cabinets I was worried that removing the original counters would damage the cabinets.  We're also thinking about eventually putting this house up for rent and I was concerned that a more high maintenance substance like butcher block wouldn't fare as well with renters. Concrete answered both of those problems, as well as the financial issue as well. Butcher block (even the fake Ikea stuff) was around $3 - 400, which is super affordable compared to a lot of counter options out there, but this skimcoat product only cost me $173.  That's a price I can get behind.

Since I'd already painted the cabinets a dark grey, I was worried that doing the regular grey concrete color would just make for too much grey in the space and make it feel too cool (as in cool toned, not like... awesome cool), and I'd just seen a friend do white concrete counters and loved that look, so I went on the search for a skimcoat product that would allow me to do white concrete.

I found what I was looking for with Direct Colors Inc.  They do a concrete overlay product that is specifically designed to skimcoat formica counters, which is what we had.  I bought their DCI Concrete overlay, with smooth texture, white base color, and added the Pearl color pack, which was supposed to make it even more white (I didn't make a batch of it without the pearl color added, so I'm not sure how white the white base would be without it, but I think it'd probably be plenty white if you wanted to skip that.  It cost $10.95 more). I also bought the 550 Water Based matte Polyurethane Concrete Sealer in the Matte finish (I didn't want shiny counters).  And I added on a Magic Trowel because I didn't have a trowel to smooth things out.  I didn't realize that I should've also bought a primer sealer which should go on before the 550 Water Based Sealer, so I'd recommend getting that too and applying it before the 550 sealer.  Our counter is working fine, though, with two coats of the 550 Water Based Polyurethane Concrete Sealer.

You're really gonna want to prep your work space, I promise.  This stuff is messy.  Or maybe I'm just messy. But historically I'm not messy with wet/goopy stuff and I was messy with this.  So get some dropcloths/plastic to protect your lower cabinets and floors.  The concrete gets heavy when it's on the plastic, too, so make sure you tape it to the top edge really good. I had my tape let go and then I had concrete dripping down behind it onto my cabinets and was frantically trying to get it re-taped while also covered in concrete, which is about as easy as it sounds.

I'd also recommend having a partner to help you.  I did it by myself and it would've definitely been helpful to have someone to assist.

DIY White Concrete Skimcoat Countertops

If you're doing a formica counter like me, just give it a sanding before you start to give it some texture to stick to.  I used a 120 grit.

The first thing you'll do is the front vertical edge, which needs a bit of a thicker consistency to stick, so make up a small batch of that (If you're using the DCI product they send lots of instructions on how to use it/make a batch, and they also have lots of video tutorials on their site which I watched thoroughly before starting).  For the top surface you want it mixed to a pancake batter consistency, but with the vertical surfaces, you want it much more thick and sticky.  I bought a mixing accessory for my drill, which I used to mix the concrete.  Since I wasn't making huge quantities, I could just mix the product and water in a 5 gallon bucket (or smaller for the vertical surface batch) with my drill.

Once you've made up your more sticky batch, apply that just with your hands wearing vinyl gloves.  It's a little hard to get a smooth finish, but I wasn't too worried about that because I didn't mind getting a more "rustic" finish.  You can use a trowel to smooth it out too if you want it more uniform.

Then mix up your batch for the top, to about a pancake batter consistency.  You can pour it directly on the counter and then smooth it out with a trowel.  You want about a 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick skimcoat, and do your best to get it as smooth as you can because it's super annoying to have to sand and put another slurry coat on there.

This product doesn't require a second coat (unless you want to fix some errors) so you just have to wait 24 hours to let it dry and then seal it with the sealer!

I've only had the counters for about a month and a half, but I really like how they've been holding up.  I haven't had any staining, which I was a little worried about since they are white, and no chipping or any other issues.  Obviously that's not a lot of time for regular wear and tear to conduct a really good evaluation so I'll update in a while once it's had time to be sufficiently tested.  That being said I know two people who have refinished their counters by skimcoating with concrete and both were super happy with it (and one is in an RV, so you know that gets jostled around a lot while on the road!).  Neither of those folks used the same product that I did, so it's not exactly the same, but the finish as a whole seems solid and durable!


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Macrame Basics

Boho Eclectic Living Room-4.jpg

I've gotten lots of questions over the past few months about doing a macrame tutorial, but once you know some basic knots it's pretty easy to create your own design, or look at a picture of a macrame wall hanging and replicate it because you know how to do all the knots involved. So I made a quick video showing you how to do four super easy, basic macrame knots that you can use to make countless designs!  These are the only four knots I've ever used.  I'm no macrame pro, but once you know these knots, it's super fun to play around with creating designs on your own!

DIY Corrugated Metal Raised Beds

DIY corrugated metal raised beds

I made these galvanized corrugated metal raised beds a few years ago and always intended on doing a DIY tutorial for them and never got around to it until now!  I'm actually kind of glad because I was able to see how they held up over the years.  They've held up beautifully!  The only part that needed some TLC was the top trim, which needed to be re-stained after years of being pelted with rain for months on end during our wet winters here in the PNW.  So today I sanded those down and put a new coat of stain on and they look nice and (almost) new.

These beds are seriously one of my favorite DIYs that we did in our yard, they were pretty easy to build and I like the way they add a little bit of industrial vibes.  I'm not usually a fan of corrugated metal, it can get too kitschy and shabby chic, but these are pretty low-profile and to me they don't read as either of those aesthetics.

DIY corrugated metal raised beds

What you'll need to make one 4ft x 4ft raised bed:
(adjust quantities sizes depending on the size of the beds you're making)


1- 8ft 4x4
2- 8ft galvanized corrugated metal sheets
2- 8ft 1x4's
16- 1 in screws with small washers (to attach the metal to the 4x4s)
8- 1.5 in wood screws (to attach the top trim to the 4x4s)
Skill Saw
Metal cutting skill saw blade (to cut the corrugated metal)

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01/ Cut the 4x4 into four 15 inch long pieces to make the "legs" of your raised bed. 

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02/ Chop the two corrugated metal pieces in half to create four 4 ft pieces.  Then cut each piece down to be 15 in wide-- the height of your raised beds.

03/ Attach one of your four metal pieces to two of the 4x4s to create the first side of the raised bed. Do this again to create the opposite side. Use the screws with washers and place the screws in the dips of the corrugated metal- I used 4 screws for each 4x4.

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04/ Now you'll start putting the sides together.  Place the two sides you've just made so they stand up (they should be able to stand up on their own, but if not, have someone help hold them), and have the metal sides facing each other. Take another piece of the corrugated metal that you pre-cut and place it against the 4x4 to create the third side of your bed. Screw it to the 4x4s with your screws + washers.

Two of the sides will have the metal "inside" the 4x4s and two will have the metal on the outside.  

Do this again to attach the final side of the bed.

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05/  Cut the 1x4s into four 4ft pieces, then cut a 45º angle on every end so that they fit together to create 90º corners. Place these flat on top the 4x4's and screw them into the top of the 4x4s.

06/ optional, but I recommend staining the wood to protect it from the elements.  We built our beds about 4 years ago and I just now had to sand and re-stain the top trim because it'd been worn down by all the rain we get in the winters. 

The metal is still perfect and hasn't rusted at all!  These beds are super affordable and can be made in an afternoon!

If you're worried about the beds moving (mine haven't at all) and want to anchor them a little, you can make the 4x4's a little longer than the bottom of the corrugated metal and dig those down into the ground, or just dig the whole thing, sides and all, into the ground a few inches.

DIY corrugated metal raised beds
DIY corrugated metal raised beds
DIY corrugated metal raised beds
DIY corrugated metal raised beds

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