Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to transform a dresser to Media Console {Tutorial}

Another fabulous find from Habitat for Humanity! Our farmhouse media console turned out perfect! We looked for a few months debating on what type of media console we wanted and with most manufactured sets costing well over $500 we started adventuring to the Habitat on a weekly basis to try to find the perfect dresser to convert…and by luck we did! Although it isn’t very ornate, the selling point for this dresser was it’s perfect size (70 inches long exactly). We needed the size because we have a very long wall in our family room and with the hopes for a TV upgrade in the next year, we wanted to have the balance that would work with a bigger TV.

I’m super proud of the transformation and these quotes made me so much more excited to have something in my house that I repurposed while also supporting a great cause:

“Shopping at Habitat For Humanity ReStore does even more than assist Habitat’s mission of eliminating poverty housing! Your purchases grant a second life to items and prolong the life of our landfills by reducing waste.”
“At Habitat for Humanity, we build. We build because we believe that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. More than building homes, we build communities, we build hope and we build the opportunity for families to help themselves. Your donation will help families break the cycle of poverty and build long-term financial security. With an affordable, stable home, families have more to spend on food, medicine, child care, education and other essentials. Your support can help us do more in all the many ways that Habitat builds.”

What we used and cost:
Cost of Dresser = $42.40 (with tax)
Total Materials Cost = $119.51
*The material cost will go down significantly if you want to paint the top or your dresser has a real wood top that you can sand down and re-stain. Ours was not, which made us buy lumber and create a stained rustic farmhouse top to tie in our other furniture.

    • (2) 1-2-6 select pine = $7.24
    • (1) 1-4-6 select pine = $6.96
    • (2) 1-6-6 select pine = $23.52
    • Valspar Chalky Finish Paint (color – Cathedral Stone), Quart = $29.99 (lasted the whole project) *again they warned not going with the “tinatable colors” but the paint color ended up exactly like the swatch so I was pleased
2 Wicker Baskets Cost (HomeGoods) = $40Total Media Console Cost = $201.91 (3 days of drying and labor time)

How we did it:

    1. Removed the 2 bottom drawers and drawer rail sliders on each end
    2. Dissembled drawer fronts from base and used to build the bottom of each side so baskets could sit inside
    3. Cut the holes in the center area for the wires using a 2” hole saw
    4. Used the wood from the dissembled drawers to cut a small block as the anchor for the drawer fronts to sit on – attached with nail gun
    5. Once the base was secured, the drawer doors were cut to size to fit perfectly on the bottom and were attached with a nail gun
    6. Used the wood from the disassembled drawer sides on each side of the dresser to add a little character and cover up some damage it had from transportation (cut to width)
  1. Used the cabinet drawer template to pre-drill the holes for our new hardware
  2. Wiped the entire dresser down with a damp rag and let dry for 20 minutes
  3. Painted the entire dresser (minus the top as we added the wood pieces) with one coat of paint and let dry overnight
  4. While the dresser was drying, we cut all our lumber for the new farmhouse top to fit the length of 70” and roughly sanded both ends
  5. Applied one coat of stain to all of the wood and let dry overnight
  6. 24 hours later, apply one more coat of paint to dresser and one more coat of stain to wood
  7. 24 hours later, check for missed areas on paint and apply one more spot coat if needed to dresser. I also ended up applying 3 coats of stain to my pine wood. The 3rd coat of stain was in the AM and when I didn’t like the way the stain took to 2 of the larger pieces I dry brushed the Valspar paint on in a very rustic manner to cover the botched stain. I actually like this method and glad I did it even if the stain came out, it gives it so much character!
  8. Liberlly applied Valspar wax sealant with a paint brush to the painted dresser
  9. Once everything is dry, we arranged the wood on the top and secured with the nail gun and attached the new drawer hardware
  10. Finally, we placed the baskets in to complete the rustic farmhouse look
  11. In order to keep the cable box hidden behind the doors, you can buy an Infrared Receiver Extender Cable which will allow transmission from the remote to the box…heck yes, no ugly box!
  12. All done!
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DIY Bubble Inspired Birthday Cake

Creating a special 2nd birthday cake for my precious daughter was so much fun and she absolutely loved it! I knew we weren’t having a party since we are still getting things at the new house settled and everyone is just always so busy end of August it’s hard to plan something. So just super low key this year with just the grandparents and a photo shoot, which upon the dismay of my husband, I am trying to make family photos an annual occurrence. Her birthday is the perfect millstone for those photos right now and I cannot wait to share some that my wonderful Kimberly took!

So what do you make for a bubble obsessed toddler? How about a fun bubble inspired cake!?!

The DIY glam bubble candleand cake topper were so perfect on top of the naked funfetti cake I made. Here is how I did it…

The cake was super simple. I used two boxes of the funfetti cake mixand made three batches using a 9″round cake pan. Once they cooled I followed inside the outer circle outline to get rid of the brown edges to expose the colorful inside. Then I started stacking the cakes filling each layer with a tremendous amount of rainbow chip frosting(I LOVE icing, so it was more for me than anything cake decorating wise…you will need about 3 tubs of icing if you put around the same amount as I did). I used a butter knife on the top icing layer to make swirls and finished the corners and edges with multi-colored confetti sprinkles.

For the glam bubble inspired candle I took a cheap dollar
store candleand just hot glued the beads of choice onto the candle
layering and alternating the colors and sizes of the beads. At first I freaked
out, because duhh…wax melts, but be patient! Once you get a few on, it will
start building upon one another and start coming together. I was able to do the
beginning layer by just putting hot glueenough for about 5-6 beads directly on
the candle and then just sprinkled them on randomly. Once you do the first
layer you can start building upon with more precision one at a time either
pinching with your fingers (be careful, I took some stings from the glue) or
buy $1 store tweezers and use those for the precision areas.

For the cake topper I actually found small water balloonswere the perfect size and extremely reasonable than paying for mini or regular balloons. I got a bag of 50 balloons 25% off $1.25 so it was practically a steal!  I chose to use the neon pinks colored ones and just blew all of them up (well not me, Willie blew them up for me) in random sizes and picked the best ones I liked to apply the stickers to. I used aqua glitter letter stickersfrom Michaels and put one word on each balloon to have the full quote of “never get TWO old for bubbles” across the cake. Once you put the balloons on the wire, you can always make adjustments to the word orientation if some balloon won’t go in the direction you want them to. Once all the words were on the balloons, we pierced the balloon ends carefully with a brass wireto attach each balloon in the order we wanted. I did a blank balloon on each side of the quote just as a little filler. Then just attach the wire to some long bamboo skewersor straws, place in your cake, and viola the most fun cake topper EVER!

Hartley absolutely loved her cake and for the following days went around the house yelling “cake, cake, cake, eat, cake”!! I cannot believe I have a 2-year-old daughter. Time is going way too fast and I’m trying to not miss a second. The pressure of being a working mom has gotten to me recently, but all you can do is try you best and embrace every moment you can spend with your children. I cannot wait to see what the next year brings us. I hear the 2s are the worst, but fun days like this and creating something magical for her is totally worth all the tantums I am about to endure. Wish me luck!

Cake photos: Kimberly Lyddane Photography

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Our First Home

It’s a little bittersweet to say we have SOLD our first home.
I bought this home as a young 23 year old and never expected that 5 years later this would be the home that welcomed us home after an engagement, marriage, and our first child. This home was an effort of love and devotion that taught Willie and I so much about each other and I will always cherish the special moments we had living there. This home really craved the foundation of our marriage of building a beautiful home and family together and I hope it brings as much joy to the next family.
I’m so excited to start our next chapter and can’t wait to share some fabulous before and after photos from our new house, but for now, here are some of my favorite before/after shots of our amazing first home. Each picture I’ve made little comments of what we did to transform the space.
paint, light fixture, banister stain, flooring
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, flooring,
appliances, grantie, stone backsplash
Kitchen/Breakfast Nook:
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, flooring,
appliances, granite, stone backsplash

Dining Room:
paint, light fixture, flooring,
Dining Room (other view):
this is my beautiful chalk painted dining table

Guest Bath:
paint, light fixture, mirror, storage shelf, granite, new faucet, new vanity hardware

Main Floor Bath:
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, mirror, granite,
new faucet, new vanity hardware, painted vanity, industrial pipe accents

Master Bathroom: 
paint, mirrors, granite, new faucet, new vanity hardware, painted vanity
paint, recessed lighting, new carpet, theather equipment

Friday, July 15, 2016

Simple Rustic Shelving

Hartley’s bathroom was my first project at the new house and it turned out fabulous! I just finished a few days ago and can’t wait to share the before and after photos.  But for now, how amazing did these simple (and cheap) rustic shelves  turn out? They were the perfect accent to complete my little girls fun boho/beach inspired bathroom.

I jokingly refer to these shelves as my vacation brain shelves. Originally when I started designing this bathroom I wanted to just buy a white storage cabinet and get it hung. But when our beach crew hit up the local TJ Maxx in our beloved Outer Banks over 4th of July and found these adorable quote pieces and the cutest elephant, I knew I had to display them somehow. So I was on a mission, and to my luck, I found the perfect brackets at a local store called Class and Trash (special thanks to my crew for running back to get them for me when I finally made an executive decision haha). This store had the most stunning pieces. I literally could have bought EVERYTHING! So thanks OBX for some wonderful inspiration!

To start out I bought a 1″x8″x8′ piece of whitewood lumber. For each shelf I decided on a length of 22″, which I measured and cut accordingly. I sanded all the edges to clear any roughness from cutting. Then, I used a staining rag to apply minwax’s espresso color stain. This went on super easy and I only did one liberal coat getting all the grooves well covered. Once applied, I did one last dry rag wipe down to remove excess and dried overnight. Motherhood lesson/ husband I told you so moment– clean up anything and everything…my little toddler thought finding my stain can and shaking and throwing it against our deck and her leg was so much fun!

Once dried, I attached the brackets. I measured them 4″ in from the end of the wood and attached them with small screws.

Then for the placement on the wall. We couldn’t decide center of the wall or center of toilet (both looked a little odd in the scheme of everything) so we compromised and put it just where we thought it looked good and just directly screwed in the brackets with the level on top…and hey it worked out!

Aren’t they the greatest? I love them so much and you can easy change the display over the years and add baskets, mason jars, etc.

The total cost for the shelves was about $30. $5 stain + $11 lumber (I have leftovers) + $17 for the 4 brackets. I had the screws from the hubby’s tool shed so we were all good!