archive for 2012

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My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Dressing up a boring bookshelf, Part 1-3, originally published August 2007.

DIY china cabinet - after

Bare bookshelf - before

This small unfinished pine bookshelf was shuffled from room to room. I planned to paint it, but never did. I was on the verge of kicking it to the curb. Then, after unsuccessfully searching for a china cabinet for my tiny dining room, I decided to dress this bookshelf up as a china cabinet.

I started with a sketch (see below). I wanted to lift the shelves off the ground, hence the legs. I also added crown molding and trim boards on each shelf. After a friend cut and routered all the salvaged wood I had piled in my car, I was ready to start building.

I bought the molding and other pieces of wood (for trim and reinforcement) at a nearby salvage yard. I love salvage yards (two others that I frequent are Urban Ore and Omega Salvage). But beware: Most salvage yards are for-profit businesses, and they often aren’t cheaper than buying brand new, so compare prices first.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

Rubbermaid Bento Boxes

I tend to hoard craft supplies. Glue, duct tape, wood, carpet samples, lamp parts—you name it. I keep all of it neatly stored in labeled boxes and bins so I can access everything easily and often.

I’m also kind of anti plastic bins. Partly because they look cheap. Partly because they’re see-through, which makes visual clutter. Partly because plastic storage boxes tend to not be square. They have ridges or are angled on the sides to make them stronger but that diminish the effective storage space.

Large Bento Box & Topper

Instead I use wooden crates, galvanized metal bins, fancy cardboard boxes, etc. But accessing my supplies regularly means wear and tear. Some pretty boxes don’t hold weight or last long. So, when Rubbermaid asked me to review their Bento™ Boxes and Toppers, I agreed because they looked handsome and strong. I tested them in the living room, office, and guest room and found handy uses for every size box.

Watch the video and read the review after the jump! Read more »

My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Making the perfect ottoman, Part 1-5, originally published May-June 2007.

Reupholstered ottoman - after

Reupholstered ottoman - before

Pottery Barn Alexandria ottoman

Inspired by Pottery Barn’s Alexandria Ottoman.

Lately I’ve been coveting a coffee-table ottoman. You know: one of those oversized ottomans that you can kick your feet on from nearly any seat in the room and use as a coffee table. I loved Pottery Barn’s Alexandria Ottoman, but $700 was more than I wanted to pay.

Then I found this ottoman on Craigslist, and bought it for $60. The only thing it had going for it is its size and sturdy frame, so I gave it a makeover. I had never attempted reupholstering anything before, so with a little trepidation, I forged ahead.

After several weeks and copious amounts of stray threads strewn about my apartment, the ottoman was finished. People asked me if it was worth all the work. The answer is yes. The total cost (including the price of the original ottoman) was only $137.

And now, five years later, I concede that white fabric is impractical—even for a single gal with no kids. So this footstool needs to be recovered again. Someday. Next time, I’m thinking slipcover.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »


When I first saw the SYLVANIA’s video (click “read more” below) showing how you can use their new MOSAIC Flexible LED Light, my response was, “Ok, that is SO COOL!” I couldn’t wait to try it, so SYLVANIA sent me a MOSAIC kit to review.

It took me a while to choose where I would place these amazing little remote-controlled light strips. I tried the MOSAIC on top of my armoire, inside my china cabinet, under my bed. I really wanted to put it behind the outside edge of my magnet board (how awesome would that be?!), but it would take 2-1/2 sets to reach the 20 feet total that I would need.

In the end, I settled on placing the light strips over my kitchen cabinets. And I didn’t have to adhere them to the surface. They just lay across the back of my cupboards, making it easy to take the MOSAIC with me when I move.

Watch the video and read the review after the jump! Read more »

Chandelier - after

Chandelier - before

My heartfelt apologies to everyone who has been waiting since last summer’s blog post for me to share this chandelier tutorial! A few detours and roadblocks delayed my ability to pass on this information.

First there was girls camp, and then I got a new job, and then I moved. I’m still waiting for Troy to help me hang the chandelier in my bedroom. Yes! I’m moving it from the dining room to the bedroom. Meanwhile, the chandelier sits on the floor in the corner. I gave up waiting for my brother and slung it over the bar in my closet to take some photos.

And then the hooks I used were so old that I could not remember where I purchased them. I searched Michael’s, Jo-Ann Crafting Supplies, and every online bead store that I knew of and came up empty. Nobody seems to sell the exact hook-and-eye that I used. I finally found some that are close enough at Fire Mountain Gems, to which I linked in the supplies list. I sincerely hope they work for you.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

To DIY, or not to DIY, that is the question.

One of the comments I often see on blog posts describing particularly difficult or time-consuming DIY projects is something to the effect of “Why?”

For example, recently Raine @ Bucilla asked in regard to my mini side table, “This is a cool idea, and very ingenious, but wouldn’t be easier and simpler to just buy a mini side table right from the start ? :)”

That’s a good question, Raine. I’m glad you asked. (BTW, thanks for the compliment.) Read more »

Crafts for sale

The reason I haven’t been blogging lately is because I’m up to my elbows in moving boxes. I’m moving in less than two weeks. And you know what a move means? You got it. Time to purge stuff.

I’m selling a bunch of old Crafty Nest projects at my Etsy shop. With the exception of the poster, everything is one of a kind, so now’s the time to snag it. I’ve priced them low because I’m hoping they sell before I move so I don’t have to take them with me.

I only offered shipping to the U.S. and Canada because shipping elsewhere was outrageously expensive. If you live in another country, and you have to have something in my shop, convo me, and I’ll quote you the shipping cost.

As always, thank you for your support. Your purchases will help me buy supplies to make more Crafty Nest crafts.

I’m moving from the Peninsula to the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Basically, I’m relocating from one college town to another (Stanford to Berkeley). Why I’m moving: 1) Much shorter commute to my day job—which means more time for crafting. 2) Bigger apartment—and bigger craft room. I’m so excited. See you on the other side!

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