A few years ago, I achieved my dream of owning a Yamaha DX7 keyboard, the synthesizer behind that bell-quality sound of 80s pop music. But, I couldn’t just plop it on top of any keyboard stand. A former roommate gave me an old piano bench, and I found an unfinished Shaker sofa table to match. I shortened the table legs three inches (for correct piano height), then painted both pieces black.
To finish off the scene, I bought black frames at Michael’s and grouped photos of my favorite pilots—including my grandfather—on the wall. Now all I have to do is learn to play something other than Jingle Bells.
With a wall-mounted sink and no storage to speak of, my small bathroom needed a little help. Paint isn’t an option, and the neutral tile colors limited my color choices, so I decided to go with natural wood and the colors of seashells. I found the spacesaver on Craigslist, the jars at Ikea, the waffle-weave shower curtain at Kmart (Martha Stewart’s line), and the basket at Michael’s. The seashells are strung with twine through holes drilled in each shell. I sewed a canvas cover for the wicker tissue box and attached it with wooden buttons. I also made the seashell shadow box. Read more »
Got drawer pulls, pants hangers, and photos (or your children’s artwork) lying around? With a few supplies, you can hang them on the wall in minutes—and easily swap them out when the fancy strikes. The best part is drawer pulls look like antique picture hangers—for a fraction of the cost. And the girls? Three of my adorable nieces. Read more »
Our first guest nesters! Jessie and Dee Lorimer gave me the instructions to make these adorable accordion-style books. They’re a little more complicated than my bound books, but they don’t require any specialized tools or supplies. Plus, they’re well worth the effort! Read more »
Book binding can seem intimidating because it usually requires specialized tools and costly supplies. This is an easy and inexpensive way to bind books—and it requires minimal specialized tools. Plus you can make these books any size you want. Many thanks to Jessie for helping me refine the design! Read more »
Ever since I saw it hanging on Vanessa’s wall in a photo of her home, I adored Ikea’s plastic “Ung Drill” picture frame ($25), but the cost of replacing the glass with an oval mirror was prohibitively expensive. Then I found this carved wood mirror on Craigslist for a steal—$20. The existing finish was much too multicolored for me, though. You can’t tell in this picture, but the mirror was painted gold, then highlighted with magenta, splattered with black, smeared with a gray wash, and finally sprinkled with silver glitter. I kid you not. I think it turned out quite fabulous painted solid black—which was an easy fix. By the way, I scored that fabulous lattice bowl at a thrift store. Read more »
I’ve seen many new tray tables on the market recently. They inspired me to make my own. Top row: Julian Chichester, Ralph Lauren Home, William-Wayne & Co. Middle row: Oly, Malin Westberg, CB2. Bottom row: Svenskt Tenn, Iron Accents, Target.
My neighbor gave me this rusty old plant stand, and I knew it could make a perfect base for my round metal tray. All it took was a little elbow grease, paint, and fasteners. Read more »