DIY Servant

I mean, serving tray. Tray. This post is about a tray. It all started with this tray I found for $8 at Ikea.

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Then I was browsing Etsy and found this dreams-really-do-come-true fabric. $10 a yard. I was in love. Sometimes things just come together better than you can even imagine.  It would make a beautiful tray bottom.  I wasn’t digging the bottom at all.

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I began disassembling the tray. Thanks Ikea for making it easy!

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I’m not really one for measuring so I just laid the fabric down and cut around the now free bottom.

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I gave the fabric a good ironing to get out all the folds.  I knew I would not be able to tolerate them showing up once I’d completed the project.

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I then covered the entire white bottom the tray with Mod Podge and placed the fabric down over that.

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I plastered the entire piece of fabric with Mod Podge and – this is really important – smoothed the fabric out in all directions.  The Mod Podge should dry and help any ridges to shrink down a little, but I did my best to preemptively handle that issue.

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Once it had dried completely, I trimmed the edges off.

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After sliding the bottom piece back in a few of the edges escaped the groove they are meant to rest under. I took my exacto knife and just trimmed them off.

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At this point you can stop, sit back and enjoy a really cute tray. I did not, and I wish I had. I tried using this stuff.

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Using Acrylic Water is still something I want to do on a future tray, but maybe not one that is made up of many pieces. The acrylic water leaked out of the cracks something fierce. I suppose you could try to seal up the cracks with caulk or use wood glue when you reassemble, but that all seems like an awful lot of work for a tray that you are probably trying to make on a budget. I have considered Mod Podging all the cracks and edges and then using the acrylic water, but I’m a little afraid to pull the trigger on that.

I Love Lamp: The Saga Continues

Nothing makes a home sadder than not having enough windows or light.  My house is quite sad. Very few windows make for a very distraught Katie. When we moved in, there was no shortage of brassy and oddly shaped lamps. We took full advantage by adding new lampshades and light bulbs and making due. Then I found this monstrosity. Where can I find a blissfully out of touch mom stuck in 1992 to take this off my hands?

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Then a light went on in my head (pun intended). I should just pull a YHL and paint this mutha. First, I had to scrub the dust, grime and nicotine off and….it wasn’t much improved.

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Then I wrapped the metal bits and cord in plastic and painter’s tape.  Target bag, so fancy!

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Then began the gloriously cathartic spray painting in the garage. There is something so refreshing about making something your own. Confession: I propped the lamp up off the floor with stale marshmallows. It was the best thing I could think of at the time.

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After a few coats, you can still see the raised lines from the pink glaze.

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A few more coats of navy and a few of super gloss and I was beginning to think I hadn’t gone insane. Then, one miraculous browsing trip to Target, I found this navy ikat lampshade and I nabbed it for a staggering $8. Boom. You can still see the raised stripes from the pink glaze, but thankfully the hearts are MIA for life. I like the texture the stripes add more than I thought I would.

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Thus ends the story of how I took a lamp from Full House and made into something that I actually love.

Have you done any projects with a “make do with what you have” attitude lately?

It’s a Date!

Here’s another installment of Katie-got-things-accomplished-this-Christmas! I have to admit that I’ve succumbed to the time-suck that is Pinterest. I had to work the days between Christmas and New Years and quite frankly there just wasn’t a lot for this old receptionist to do. So I just browsed Pinterest for a while. Then I saw something I liked and I wanted to pin it…so I joined. 6 boards later and I can’t stop. It doesn’t help that I just got a slow cooker and recipes are rampant on there, but I digress.

I pinned this calendar project.  It jumped out at me because I have been spending an inordinate amount of time looking at paint chips at Home Depot (convenient!).  I decided since the year was ending I would need a new calendar anyway so I got shopping.  I picked up the huge frame at Goodwill for $7 (you can still see the sticker in the upper left corner), hardware for about $4 and used some silver metallic spray paint I had on hand from another project so the total cost for this project for me was $13. 

I took what was already in the frame and just flipped it over.  You could cover it with paper or fabric too to change it up, but I was going for simple so I stuck with plain white.  I cut all my paint chips in half to make them closer to squares and spaced them out in an arrangement that looked pretty even.  I decided to go with a gradient, but my Pinterest mentor did hers with a coordinating color palette. I stuck the squares on with my glue gun and BAM! Calendar.

After having disassembled the frame, I took the wood out to the garage and spray painted it as evenly as possible. I let that cure during the glueing process.

Hanging it was another matter. The art that was originally in the frame hung portrait so all the hardware on it was going against me.  I picked up about $4 worth of hanging hardware from Home Depot (same trip I helped myself to the paint chips). I used painters tape as a template so I knew how far apart to nail the hooks. Pretty simple.

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So far, we all love it. I think it turned out pretty great especially since it was a little haphazardly planned. I like the dry erase aspect of it and it’s size. Hopefully it will help with my forgetfullness.

Busy Bee

I wasn’t doing a ton of posting over Christmas and New Years but that doesn’t mean I was lounging around eating cookies and letting my house turn into a disaster. Ok well it was a disaster, but I still accomplished something. I got my sew on. I haven’t done any real sewing for about 4 years to I was a little rusty but as soon as I saw this sweet fabric on Etsy from SewFreshFabrics, I knew I had to do something with it.

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I made these little throw pillow covers for the living room because I was starting to get the feeling that our house was losing it’s fun factor.  Solution: I made these to punch things up without blowing my budget.

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Cost Breakdown:

Fabric – $10 + shipping
Stuffing – Free. One has another throw pillow inside and one is a pillow that we weren’t using in my room cut to size.
Piping – $14 after a 40% off coupon at Joann’s (from their Android app).

Total: About $25

For two fresh, custom throw pillows, that’s not too shabby.  I wish my craftsmanship was a little better, but overall I’m happy with the result. We needed an update!

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Taking Stock.

While I was pulling out my Christmas decorations this year, I realized that we have two new additions to our little family. Last year around this time, there were only four of us living en mi casa.  Me, my man, and our two roomies.  Three days before Christmas, we adopted Loki and over the summer we adopted (or took in) my sister. I pulled out our Christmas stockings and knew that it was time to craft a few new ones. Before I get into it, “craft” is a word I’m using liberally. You’ll see.

I went to Target and picked up two more of these $1 stockings they have. 

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I whipped out my Gold Glitter Puffy Paint from last year. (I’m shocked I found it too)

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I gave it a little test run to make sure it wasn’t gummed up with any sparkly debris.

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Then I carefully penned their names on the cuff just like the others.

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The original four are scribed with our nicknames mostly because I thought it would be more fun that way. And it is. Hence the Becca Boo. Mine says Kuh-tee. This project was just something festive that we could do without breaking the bank.  Obviously, you could do a lot more or differently depending on your taste and skill level.  Maybe next year I’ll break out a new design? At $1 per stocking, that’s not a big deal.

What holiday DIY projects have you tackled/want to tackle?