Corner cabinet re-doozy

I just finished a fun little project (well, kinda … read on.)  I  posted a couple of weeks back about turning our office slash guest room into a playroom for our tot.  I had been searching high and low for a corner unit to fit snuggly into the petite room.  Low and behold I found one on Craigslist for $50.  It was actually listed for $100 but I said, “I’ll take it off your hands for $50.”  The seller was in the midst of moving so she was happy to let it go.  Yay.  It was pretty beat up however and wasn’t of the sturdiest construction.

The backing was very flimsy which made for a pretty wobbly cabinet.  The hardware was charming, but  FAR too rustic for a princess ;)

Time to paint.  It didn’t really even need to be sanded.  But there were a few spots that needed the TLC of some wood putty and sanding.  After several coats of Behr antique white paint she cleaned up decently.  But the greatest improvement was replacing the flimsy backing with bead board.  It was about $20 bucks for one sheet at the hardware store.  I also bought some new hardware too (more on that below, ugh.)  P.S.  A shout out to my funny nephew Woodrow for hooking us up with his dad’s finishing air power staple gun thingy.

Here’s a close up of the paint job and bead board.

Oh.  Then there were the yucky bottom corners of the cabinet.  Nephew Woody actually recommended adding moulding of some sort.

So I remembered that we had some left over plastic/foam, lightweight moulding from a previous project.  Yes, I’m not just saying that.  I actually used it a while back to frame out the plain ol’ mirror in the bathroom of our rental which is actually pretty easy to do.  Just google it.  I would have posted about framing out the bathroom mirror . . . but that was in my “pre-blogging” days.

Used some “good ol'” Elmer’s wood glue to get that moulding on good and tight (well, kinda . . . read on.)  Set with clamps by the lovely Esposo.

Aaaaah.  And the before and after.  What a difference, huh?  I should mention that I decided to replace the glass with fabric instead.  I wasn’t quite sure how that thin glass would hold up to a rogue flying Lego or weeble wobble figure.  I used the same fabric that I used for the cute little no-sew valance in the playroom.

I had to wrestle with hanging the fabric panels in the cabinet door.  The one on the right was cut a little short (hello, the downfall of being an “eye-ball it” kinda girl.)

I found these really affordable knobs at Home Depot.  I think they were like $2 a pair.

So I’ve kinda been alluding to some sort of DIY mishaps.  So here’s the deal.  Full disclosure, the cabinet hinges I bought were completely faulty.  Well, not really . . . I guess I didn’t buy the right ones.  Whoops.  So in the before and after photo above, those cabinets are just balancing every so haphazardly in place so I could snap that photo.  I snapped the photo and thought, “Hmm, I think the cabinet can squeeze into the corner a bit more snug-like.”  In my attempt to get it all snug up in there I completely forgot that the cabinets weren’t screwed in and they all came crashing down.  In my attempt to catch the top ones I managed to knock the top moulding loose.  Anyway, it felt like a scene out of  “The Money Pitt” with Tom Hanks.  So really this is what the cabinet looks like at the moment:

So she will take a trip back to the garage to get her wounds mended and cabinet doors screwed in correctly to then serve her purpose as a cute cabinet for office junk storage.  It actually looks nice as a corner shelving unit.  Maybe that will be her next life after some putty for the screw holes, a sanding and another coat of paint.

Anywhoo.  I actually really love transforming furniture like this.   I do get a kick out of it.  I’m no expert, but learning.

Just a couple of notes:

  • Furniture blemishes are sometimes highlighted when you add a coat of paint.  If you find yourself in this spot, It’s perfectly fine to putty and sand after that first coat.  Just paint it again.
  • If you putty, make sure you sand it smooth before you paint over it.  Otherwise it will look lumpy under the paint.  If that’s the case, darn.  Sand again and paint again.
  • Measure good.  Measure REAL GOOD.  (I’m not good at this)
  • I like a foam roller
  • I like a semi-gloss latex paint
  • Be patient.  Let the paint dry before you get all eager beaver to add another coat, or add hardware.
  • Buy the right hardware
  • Ask for help at the right time.  Sometimes when you ask for help that person might be in a bad mood about it because they just sat down to enjoy an episode of River Monsters.  Yeah.  So ask at the right time.
  • carry a mini tape measure in your purse or car

I’ll probably post some prettier pictures of the cabinet when she’s REALLY finished.

Until next Monday,

Jennifer

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DIY (Cute) Toddler Table

I hope Father’s Day was a good one for all this weekend.  Here’s the clever gift I made for my baby daddy.  I took some inspiration from something similar I saw on pinterest.

Now on to this week’s post.

I have decided to turn our little guest room SLASH office into a playroom for our daughter.  Mainly because 1.) The first thing you see now when you enter our house is a toy store.  Just a bunch of craziness to look at.   And 2.) we just don’t really ever have overnight guests that often.  Except for my mom once a year or so. (Mom, we will still have a cozy place for you when you visit :) ) Anywho,  very soon our little one will have her own little pad to play in.  I’ve been looking for a few key pieces of furniture on Craigslist and at local thrift stores for the playroom.  One thing on my list was a short, round activity table.  Just a little table where she can belly up to work on a puzzle or flip through a chunky book.   I thought maybe I could find a table that I could just saw down the legs and maybe finish with a new coat of paint.  I’ve been searching for several weeks now and unfortunately keep coming up empty, so I decided to make my own.  I didn’t want to spend more than 50 dollars.  And I think I did it, with my husbands help.  He did the sawing and screwing and drilling.  I’m  sure (?) I could have done that part too (I think?) . . . but I just wanted to avoid having several “oops” moments.

Here is what I used:

  • 1 – 24 inch round table top
  • 4 – 14 inch long wooden table legs
  • 1 piece of two by four wood cut into 4 3.5 x 3.5 squares (for added height)
  • 16 – 2 inch wood screws
  • 4 – straight top plates (to screw legs into the table)
  • paint
  • sanding block
  • an electric drill thingy
  • 1 – person who knows how to saw, drill, and screw
Here’s a closer look at the straight top plates and the table leg.  The legs already have a screw in it that you can simply screw into the top plates.  Makes it a little easier when assembling.

Drill 4 holes to “counter sink” the wood screws into the squares.  “We” did this because “we” needed to make sure the screws were long enough to drill into the table but short enough to not drill through to the topside of the table.

Screw in the straight top plates (what a weird name for that.)

Finally (and very simply) screw in the legs.

Eh.

I don’t know.  When I saw it all assembled it didn’t seem cute enough.  I know maybe adding a coat of paint would help, but I felt it needed some embellishing.  I remembered I had some trim left over from a pillow project that I worked on (but never used.)  I could somehow put this to use on the table.  I just had to figure out a way to attach the trim.

I found some cane round reed in the basket making section of the craft store. It was sturdy enough to thread through the trim loop yet somewhat pliable.  It also maintained a circle shape which was helpful.  I could simply gather the trim onto the reed and staple gun it to the underside of the table.

I don’t sew, so of course I used good ol’ iron-on adhesive to create the loop for the reed to slide through.  The fit was snug, but it worked.  PHEW!  Man I was excited about that.  I’m very much an “eye-ball it”  kinda gal, so I don’t really have measurements for you here.  This probably explains why I cannot bake worth a darn.  Here’s some pics to show you how I did it:

Aaaah.  Much better and so much cuter!

The table measures 16.5 inches tall.  Just the perfect size for my tot . . .  for a little while at least.  It’s a pretty heavy table so it doesn’t tip easily.  I know, however, that she will very shortly be standing ON TOP of that table saying “Ta Da” like she does with most things over an inch tall.  Hopefully I’ll be close by for that.  I think I will go back and glue-gun a durable ribbon over the top of the staples.  They are pretty deep, but better to have them out of sight for curious ones.

She’s pretty proud of her table.  She knows it’s made special for her, without me even making a big deal out of it.  Makes the little effort so worth it.

Until next Monday (evening),

Jennifer