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DIY pencil and pen caddy

I had a scrap 4×4 piece of wood sitting around and decided to put it to use. Drilling the holes in this desk caddy was a bit harder than it looks. This was my third try. It made me wish for a drill press. But, if you have a steady hand and a good eye, a standard drill will work. I love that it echoes the shapes of the keys on the keyboard. I went with a sleek look, but you can paint or decoupage the caddy any way you want. Bonus: It makes a great bookend too. Read more »

Bistro table and café chairs - after

Bistro table and chairs - before

The secret to painting this faux-mosaic table top? Dot stickers. Plus some white paint followed by a few coats of fabulous French blue paint. Add matching French bistro chairs (don’t you just adore these café chairs and these Fermob bistro chairs?) and an old Ikea chandelier, and you’re ready for an al fresco candlelight dinner. But not just any dinner. Snag a copy of Julia Child’s cookbook and whip up a tasty French recipe for you and your honey. (If you haven’t seen Julie & Julia yet, go see it now!) Bon appétit. Read more »

Bistro table and chairs - before

I haven’t finished this week’s project yet, so here’s a sneak peek. I picked up this table curbside last year. The top was weathered and warped, and the base was rusted but sturdy. Then I found these French bistro chairs at Ikea, a replacement tabletop at The Home Depot, and exterior paint on Freecycle. I decided to paint the set to match—but not just any paint job. Problem is, the oil-based paint is taking forever to dry, so please check back next week to see the reveal.

DIY paper organizer

I told you I had a plan for the mini chests that were leftover from my DIY rolling toolbox. I had a plethora of printer paper and envelopes and nowhere to store it all. The solution: stack three mini chests together, add molding, casters, and paint—and voilà a paper organizer. The casters were leftover from Ikea plant glides that I used to make my starburst mirror and nailhead clock. What can I say? I’m a very organized pack rat. I get it from my dad. Read more »

Rolling tool cabinet - after

Drawer organizers and trays

$10 Craigslist dresser - before

I posted a sneak peek of this project in May. It took me a couple months, not a couple weeks, but my tool cabinet is finally finished. I outgrew my toolbox end tables, but I refused to pay hundreds of dollars for one of those ugly Craftsman tool chests. Handles on both sides make this bureau easy to pull around. Ikea’s mini drawers form dividers and lift-out trays. What about the mini chests left over? I have a plan for those (coming soon). Please come back Friday to see my complete tool/craft corner. Read more »

Painted & rewored lamp - after

Southwest lamp base - before

Jill Rosenwald lamp

Inspired by Jill Rosenwald's gorgeous lamps found at mainecottage.com

My friend Julie Chai (watch her videos here) at Sunset magazine gave me this lamp base as a project. Southwest isn’t my style, plus it had rusty hardware and a tattered, taped cord. I adore Jill Rosenwald’s lamps from Maine Cottage, but they’re out of my price range. So I decided to rewire and paint this table lamp instead. I got a bit carried away with all the flowers (in eight different shades of green/blue), but it was so darn fun! All the supplies I had on hand, which would make the lamp practically free—except I got soaked on the $50 lampshade. It still beats $425, though. In the end, my favorite part was the super inexpensive DIY round finial. Read more »

Side table - after

Plant stand - before

I decided to try a different take on the tray table I made nearly a year ago. This time, it would have a more practical permanent top. Plus, it’s an ideal opportunity to use more of my furniture nails, which I adore. I’m volunteering at a girl’s camp next week, so I’ll post my next project in two weeks. Hope you’re all enjoying your summer! Read more »

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