Craft Drawer Cabinet Reveal

I’m going to start by saying that this is probably the creepiest DIY project I’ve ever done. Let me explain….

A friend of mine bought a foreclosure house that had been sitting vacant for 12 years. Vacant of people, but FILLED with stuff. Apparently the previous owner had been a pharmacist and among the items in the house were old doctor’s bags and pharmaceutical equipment. Most of the stuff was beyond repair, but I came across this gem in a tiny basement closet:

Metal Cabinet (1)

Super creepy, right? My first though was ‘this is disgusting’, but then something sparked in my mind and I saw the future of this ‘trash to treasure’ item. I have been looking for a place to store my craft supplies for a long time and I hadn’t been able to find the perfect thing. I knew this was what I was looking for. However, I had to wade through the creepiness before I could get it home. Every drawer was filled with old pill bottles, prescription pads, medicine droppers, the sinister list goes on and on:

Metal Cabinet (2) Metal Cabinet (3)

When I finally emptied it, I carried it to my car (don’t worry, I was wearing gloves this whole time) and took it home. It has been so cold in my little Colorado town for months, so this thing sat in my garage, blocking the way to my minivan. We had a couple of warm days, so my first project was to clean it up. I can’t even tell you how many times I almost gave up on this thing. I was just grossed out and swore I could feel the ghost of pharmaceutical patients swirling around my garage. But I persevered because the choice was to turn it into a work of art…..or have this asylum cabinet haunting my house. First I took all of the drawers out.

Metal Cabinet (6)

Then I sprayed two coats of white metal spray paint primer on the cabinet. Then I used 2 coats of tan spray paint on the main part of the cabinet. Here it is after the first coat.

Metal Cabinet (7)

The spray painting process took a long time because I had to wait for warm days for each coat. If I didn’t, I knew the paint would run or crack or not dry properly.  After the main part was done, I moved on to the drawers. These took forever to prep. Apparently a couple decades ago, labels were applied with super glue.  See all of these black labels on the drawers?

Metal Cabinet (5)

I had to literally chisel them off….not kidding….with a chisel. Then I cleaned the drawers and sprayed a couple coats of primer on them.

Metal Cabinet (9)

I started with 6 drawers just to see how the color would turn out. I chose a bright teal because I wanted to have a little fun with this piece.

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I loved the color so I went back to the store to get 2 more cans for the rest of the drawers. As I walked into the aisle, I saw two cans of teal sitting on the shelf waiting to transform my cabinet. A guy came from the other end of the aisle and went straight for the teal! He grabbed one and I immediately grabbed the other. I knew one can wouldn’t finish my project so I gave him my most pitiful look and said something like “too bad they don’t have more, I need two cans for my project”. And he said…. “it’s a pretty color isn’t it?” and walked away into the sunset with my other can of paint. I was so impatient at this point, I had to come up with another plan. I decided to paint the middle drawers a different color and chose a dusty blue. It turned out to be the best misfortune! I loved the blue (add a new paint color to my favorites!) and the contrast added some interest to the drawers.

Metal Cabinet (13)

Another week went by as I waited for a warm day to paint my last set of drawers. The weather was not on my side and I got antsy. I decided to just go ahead and paint…..bad idea. Immediately after I started spraying, the paint crackled and split.

Metal Cabinet (14)

 

I was so sad. I knew that I would have to sand off all of the paint, re-prime, and spray again. However, I decided to wait. I’m going to live with the crackle for a while until summer arrives. So please politely ignore the crackled finish on the bottom drawers. Other than that….Ta Da!

Metal Cabinet (16)

Metal Cabinet (19)

I used adhesive drawer liner paper on the bottom of the drawers and I have already filled every drawer with craft supplies.

Metal Cabinet (21)

I had an empty frame that is spray painted in the same color to accent the top of the piece. In the summer, I will fix the bottom drawers and soon I will be making labels for each drawer.

Metal Cabinet (17)

I absolutely adore the way it turned out. It’s functional, a little sassy and has a great story.

Metal Cabinet - B&A

~Erin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cute Valentine’s Craft and Art Organizing Tips!

When I was helping my mother-in-law clean out the Playroom Closet in her house, we came across the cutest little Valentine’s craft called the ‘Lovebug.’ Here is the one we found:

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I actually have no idea if this was made by my husband or if it was one of his siblings, but I loved the idea. Soooo…I stole it for my own kids.

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It’s so simple and we already had all of the supplies, so that made it even better! Just a Popsicle stick, construction paper, pipe cleaners and crayons. Easy!

I am constantly trying to find new ways to store and organize photos and art projects so that they don’t take over my house. I do have a scrapbook for the kids crafts, but since Evan started preschool a couple of weeks ago, I know the sheer volume of felt, crayon drawings and tissue paper animals will soon overwhelm me.

I take pictures of the kid’s crafts whether I decide to keep the actual craft or not. That way I always have a record of them. For my husband’s birthday last week, I gave him a framed collage print of my favorite of Evan’s art from 2012. Here is what it looks like:

Evan's Art - 2012We are going to do a new one every year for both of the kids. When the frames get to be too much, we will just put the 8″ x 10″ prints in a photo album. And of course, I will always have the files on my computer too.

I love to have some of the actual crafts, so I will keep on doing my scrapbook for my favorite pieces. However, I try to keep the paper in our house to a minimum, so I’m hopping on board the technology train to help me wrangle in some of the paper clutter. Scanning, JPEGs, and collage prints are some of my very favorite ways to preserve memories.

How do you preserve your family’s memories but also contain the paper clutter?

~Erin

 

Closet labels – gone right or wrong?

I recently made some clothes dividers for my kid’s closet. I was inspired by a few different versions from Pinterest and blog land. As I searched I realized how popular these are becoming. Most of the one’s I found have sizes for baby clothes, such as Newborn, 3-6 months, etc. However, I decided this was not the direction to go (even though I have a baby) because I don’t have more than one size hanging in the closet at any one time. So I decided to go by type of clothes. Here are the categories:

-Short Sleeve, Long Sleeve, Pants, Jackets

Since I have 2 boys, I wanted a set for each of them, so I needed 8 total dividers. First I bought some wooden O’s at Hobby Lobby and got out some craft paint I already had:

I painted the backside of the O’s, which didn’t go quite as planned. I have mentioned before that my craft skills leave something to be desired and I have actually had these craft paints in a ‘craft supply drawer’ for about 5 years. So some of the paint was a little dry and didn’t cover well. I figured that was ok because they would be the backside of the labels. However, it still looks like my 3 year old did this part of the project.

Then I traced the O’s onto scrapbook paper and cut out the paper.

Then the plan was to Mod Podge the scrapbook paper onto the O’s, sand down the edges, and put a coat of Mod Podge on top. Easy right? Well, not so much. When I tried to cut out the paper with an exacto knife, the paper was a little rough around the edges. Sanding will take care of that, I said to myself. Well, I just started sanding away more and more of the paper so I threw my hands up in disgust at my sandpaper and left it on the floor of the garage.

When I put the Mod Podge over the top to seal it a little bit, it just left visible streaks on the paper instead of drying clear and smoth. Maybe it’s my Mod Podge naivety and I just don’t know what I am doing, but I definitely did not like the finished result at all. It looked sloppy and jagged.

Luckily I had only done 4 O’s in the first round, so I made some tweaks for round two. First off, I decided not to paint the backs of the 2nd set.

After I had traced out the O’s, I Mod Podged them on and LIGHTLY sanded the edges. Then I just used a clear coat spray on top. This added a little protection but there were no brush strokes.

Time for the labels! I just made the labels in Word. I did some on transparent paper and some on cardstock, so I could see how each style looked.

You can see how I did labels for the 4 sections, but I also did the letters ‘E’ and ‘O’ because I was making a set of each kid.After I had glued almost all of the transparent letters on (just using a VERY light layer of Mod Podge), I realized I liked the cardstock on Evan’s better. Too late! I had already done 3 out of 4, so one of E’s got the cardstock and is now mismatched. Then I did a quick once over with the spray sealer.

You’ll notice that the ‘short sleeve’ label is on the left side while all the others are on the right. This is because the short sleeves are on the right side of the closet and everything else is on the left, so I wanted to make them as easy as possible to read.

You can definitely see the rough edges, but I do like the overall look. When I first started this project, I was daydreaming about how I would write my blog post on it. I would leave you with all sorts of encouraging words and inspirations like “These turned out better than I imagined” or  “This was so easy and fun” or “I love how quickly it came together”. Buuuuuutttt…..they didn’t turn out nearly as good as I thought they would, it was not an easy project and it took FOREVER! But I”m still proud of myself for pushing through the project and again, I learned a lot from my mistakes. And I actually have some great ideas and lessons on how to improve them for next time. Yes, I am already plotting a project redo!

Just a beginner

So in my journeys through blog land, I am constantly coming across cute diy/craft projects I would love to try. The problem is that I’m not very crafty. I try my darndest and usually disappoint myself, but I get an A for effort. I have oodles of scrapbooking stuff, but it sits mostly unused…It’s sits well organized, but still unused. I also have a plethora of yarn, material, paint, and other stuff I just ‘know I’ll get to someday.’ Because I WANT to be crafty. I mean I desperately want to be!

So, I’m taking baby steps. Today’s project was finding a cute and cheap way to store plastic trash bags in my bathrooms. Up until now, they have just been shoved under the sinks, only to have me find that they have somehow grown and multiplied and now take up about 80% of the space. I had to get these under control!

So I took two empty containers I had been saving for just this sort of thing (one was a powdered Gatorade container and one was for powdered baby formula).

My plan was to cut one small hole in each lid so I could get the bags out and then cover the bin with scrapbook paper. Easy breezy right? Well, I hit a couple of roadblocks:

-First, the diameter of the cans was bigger than my scrapbook paper so the paper didn’t fit all the way around! I thought to myself: “Not only is this under my bathroom counter, but if I turn the uncovered part to the back, no one will see right? Well, in theory that is correct. But I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my first craft project so sub par.  So I cut an additional strip of paper to cover the blank areas.

-New problem! Now there were two visible seams on each container. Again, I could have just turned them around, but no! I needed a way to cover them. So I took some ribbon and glued it down the length of each seam.

-Ta da, right? Well, no. Now the space in between the ribbons looked weird and empty so I needed to add something. So I found some scrapbooking letters I had and personalized a little bit.

-Now for the lids. I thought I was soooo smart. I was going to use up the rest of a can of textured spray paint we had to paint the lids since they were either bright white or bright purple. So I started spraying. Well, one of them got a giant pool of spray paint in the middle and then I ran out of the paint when the other one was halfway done. After the paint dried, the ‘pool’ didn’t look so bad so I used that lid. I just used a different white lid for the other one and it doesn’t bother me.

So here they are!

Bag Holders – Before & After

A homemade, cute and essentially free place to store my little trash bags! And after one day, my husband said “I already used your little trash bag holder thingy”.

Cute and useful!

More projects to come!

~Erin