Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween From My Sugar Induced Coma!

I know it is a time honored tradition for parents to raid their kids Halloween candy, but I am embarrassed to say that I may have O.D.'d on it!  I was so proud of myself for staying away from the junk and candy, avoiding the Halloween candy aisle at the grocery store at all costs... and I was actually doing it! Since we live in what I affectionately call the "boonies".. I knew we would have no "trick-or-treaters" so I didn't buy a single bag of candy.  Out of sight out of mind, right? It was totally working, then Friday came!  I took the kids an amazing "Trunk-or-Treat" event, but my kids didn't get some candy they hit the motherload.. even my 11 month old who was holding a basket just for looks ended up with enough sugar to keep a Kindergarten class bouncing off the walls for an entire month!  But surprisingly my little guy was content with picking a few pieces and putting the rest away.. what a guy, huh? His mom however.... showed little restraint!  Once my little Monkey and Ladybug were in bed... I totally raided the stash and have not stepped away from the basket since! Don't judge the trail of empty wrappers, that's so someone can find me once I pass out from this sugar high :) The really bad news is now that the actual holiday is here, I'm in desperate need of a Halloween candy detox and I still have to suffer through one more day!  So to all you candy junkies out there... I feel your pain... my pants can't handle another day of sugar!  Here's to hoping next year I can muster at least a small amount of willpower and regain my dignity!


Have a safe and Happy Halloween! Lindsey :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

End Table Transformation = Play Workbench

Now that the Play Kitchen Project is finished I can move onto my next Christmas/Birthday/Crazy Idea!  I make lots of pretty, frilly, sparkly things for my little girl, but I feel like my little man kind of gets left out of my "projects" sometimes.. that is unless he starts wearing headbands and tutus and his dad might not be ready for that just yet!!!  So I decided I wanted to make my little builder something fun, and channeling my best "Bob The Builder" manta... I decided to give it a whirl... "Yes I can!" I loved the DIY workbench so many people have posted on Pinterest, but I knew I had to put my spin on it somehow.  So I went in search of the perfect piece of not so perfect furniture and found an end table with a warped top and water damage for $2!!!  It made my day.. OK let's be honest probably my whole week.  It meant no more digging through smelly thrift stores and that I could finally get my crazy ideas out of my head and into action.  Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the BEFORE, but trust me it was a sad little end table.  So I sanded it down and was ready to start, but what to do with the top. It is pressed board so I couldn't sand it down to fix the problem or I'd just have paper flying everywhere... so while I was at Home Depot buying black spray paint and a piece of peg board... I walked past a bin of yard sticks and instantly thought I had found the answer to my problem!  And at only 60 cents a piece... it only cost 6 dollars to re-do the top and I still had some yard sticks left over.  I first cut a bunch of pieces in different lengths then glued them down with E-6000 glue totally at random.  Once everything was set I used a jig saw to even up the ends. This is the finished workbench!

The pegboard, once again a VERY patient Home Depot salesman cut for me.. then I spray painted it along with the gold hardware that came on the end table silver which I had left over from the play kitchen and nailed it on. The actual table I painted glossy black and then "roughed up" with a sander to make it look "rustic".

The chalk board is a dollar store certificate holder that I painted with chalk board paint and then I glued a few of the extra yard stick pieces together to make a frame.

The tools I found at Ross which were the inspiration for the black/silver/orange color scheme and all the little hooks came from Walmart's tool section.  The magnet board is a tray from the dollar store that I spray painted black and then I "borrowed" a couple of washers from my husbands tools and glued those onto magnets so my little guy could have a place for his "plans".

And finally the tool belt is just some pockets and pieces from old khaki shorts destined for donation that I sewed together.. using the belt loops for tool loops.  Nothing fancy, but I think he will like it!

For now this is hiding in a closet waiting for my little guys birthday... hopefully it will be a big hit! And hopefully you give this a try too!

Good Luck, Lindsey

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Entertainment Center Transformed = Play Kitchen!

I don't know if you can relate or not, but the end of the year is rough on my creativity! Not only is there Christmas, but also both of my two little ones have birthdays within a few weeks of that so I always find myself in what seems like a never ending scramble for "ideas".  And for the record,  my kids have far too much "stuff" already!  With so many amazing Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles these two could lend Toys 'r' Us half of their stash and still have more than they could ever play with.  So that being said, I wanted to come up with some fun "projects" this year that I could make and that would make neat gifts. Thanks to I was instantly inspired!  I knew right away what to make.... a play kitchen out of an entertainment center and a work bench out of an end table (that post is coming soon :) But then came the hard part, actually finding the furniture pieces I had pictured in my head ... (yes it is kind of a scary space sometimes), but I had my heart set on this so after dragging my two kids to nearly every thrift store in the area, even the questionable ones :) I stumbled into store oh I'd say 52, frustrated that I couldn't find the "right" furniture for cheap I asked a very nice clerk if they had any REALLY cheap furniture and made it clear that I didn't care what it looked like, that I was going to re-do it for a kids project... I guess she took pity on me and told me about this mysterious "back lot"! I was instantly intrigued.  Come to find out many thrift store have back lots/rooms where they store donations that aren't "good enough" to be sold in their store and are either waiting for the long slow ride to the dump or to be snatched up by us crazy crafty people for a steal!  Within minutes I struck "junking gold"!  This beauty was covered in inches of dust and looked pretty sad but drum roll....... I got it for a whopping $10.


After some initial cleaning this is what I started with.  It took quite a few nap times and late nights, not to mention a smashed thumb... yes tools are not my specialty but dang it I'm trying :) And many "mistakes".. (the burlap rosettes on the fridge are to cover up the screws for the hinges that were too long for the board.. oops but they look cute so let's just keep that between us :)  ok???  This is the finished product!


 Materials: I used a mixing bowl from Ross for the sink. I found the faucet, stove/oven knobs and the metal door pulls at that same thrift store. The fabric for the curtains was some scrap stuff I already had and all of the towels, dishes, baskets, and spoons were from the dollars store.  The pictures is out our back window.. in an attempt to make this frame look like a window. The chalk board on the fridge was a gold frame from the thrift store that I painted red and then used chalk board paint to cover the frame backing.  The "burners" are old wicker coasters I had stuck in a drawer that I spray painted black and glued to the wood.  The vases are just a few old canning jars, then I glued some twine and some rosettes on and presto it was not only done but decorated! I know it will only look like this for a few more minutes... but hey now this is forever proof that it did look cute and organized... ONCE!

The oven I just spray painted silver and sprayed some kitchen racks from the dollar store as well to make the rack.  The light is a touch light, you guessed it also from the dollar store.  Are you sensing a theme here? :)  And after cutting out the center of the bottom cupboard door with a jig saw and changing the hinges to the bottom I glued a piece of glass from a dollar store (haha) picture frame to make the oven window.

I used cheap board to make the bottom of the fridge, as well as the fridge and freezer doors.  But my measurements were off and I forgot about middle the shelf so I used two (I hate to say it again :) dollar store baking racks and tied them together.


The back of the entire kitchen is a piece of white paneling from Home Depot.  At $19 it was the biggest expense, but I only needed half of the sheet.. the nice manly man at Home Depot cut it for me and the other half I'm using for another project... so really it only took $10 and some nails to transform the sad open backed tv unit into the beginnings of a cute kitchen. 


The magnet board is a tray from... that place where things cost less than 101 pennies... you know the place.  I spray painted it red and then took some rhinestones and glued them to magnets so the kids could have fun with grocery lists or menus.  And every girl needs a ruffly apron right? So the last of the fabric and rhinestones went here.

And being kind of a little kid myself I couldn't resist giving it to the kiddos early...

 He loves it just as much as his sister, which is what I was hoping for! Yay!

Everyone is getting along... all those late nights were so worth it!

Future Food Network Star... I can see it now!

...... and to say it was a hit is the understatement of the year :)

I am so glad that I took on this challenge!  Having never used a jig saw before (note to self wear the goggles ALWAYS.. I'm still picking out saw dust from my eye balls!) it was a lot of trial an error, but I couldn't be happier with the end result... smashed thumb and all :) Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think :)

Good Luck, Lindsey