42. Before and After: IKEA Expedit Hack

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of The Home Depot, and this post contains affiliate links to homedepot.com.  I am not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. If I claim or appear to be an expert on a certain topic or product or service area, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Hey, remember back in September when I showed you a sneak peek of the IKEA Expedit shelving system makeover?  It’s FINALLY finished!

To refresh your memory, this is what I started with:

ikea expedit
Now, I am happy to present you with the final product!

Boom goes the dynamite:

ikea expedit hack
I cannot tell you how excited I am that it’s finally done.  Well, I guess I did just tell you…I’m excited that it’s finally done!

If you want to accomplish something similar, you’re in luck; I’m going to tell you how to do it.

IKEA Expedit Makeover


Assembled IKEA Expedit shelving system
Plastic dropcloth
Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Paint in Dark Pewter
Paint brush
Foam roller
Small paint tray
Fine/Medium sanding block
1/4″ sanded pine plywood, cut into 13″ squares (8 total)
Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
Minwax Wood Finish in “Early American”
Clean rags (old t-shirts work well)
Rubber gloves
16 hinges (two per door)
8 cabinet pulls
Gorilla glue
Drill and drill bits
Phillips head screwdriver

Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. Now available at a H


Step 1: First, make sure to lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor in your work area.  Wipe down the cabinet with a mild cleaner.  You don’t want any dust or dirt or your finished paint job will look (and feel) gritty!

Step 2: Add a thin coat of primer to the entire cabinet.  Allow to dry for at least an hour. (I used this Zinnser primer because it sticks to ANYTHING, even veneers, without having to sand the surface first.  Sounds good to me!)

ikea expedit hack
Step 3: Lightly sand the first coat and wipe down with an old rag.  Again, make sure you get rid of all the dust.

Step 4: Add a second coat of primer.  Trust me, you want two coats if you’d like the top coats of paint to stay put!  Allow the second coat to dry for a full 24 hours.


Step 5: Lightly sand the cabinet and wipe it down.  You’ll start to notice a pattern here…

Step 6: Add 2 coats of the Behr paint, making sure to sand after the first coat.  I used the foam roller for these coats, just to make sure everything was nice and smooth.

ikea expedit hack
Step 7: Sand all the edges of the 8 cabinet doors.  They don’t need to be perfectly smooth, but you don’t want to give yourself a splinter every time you open one of the doors.

Step 8: Choose which side will be the front of each door, and apply a coat of pre-stain using a clean rag.  The pre-stain is optional, but it really helps with an even coat of stain and prevents blotches.  Allow to set for about 5 min, and wipe off excess stain with another clean rag.

Step 9: Apply the stain and allow to set until the desired color is achieved; I had mine on for about 10 minutes.  Wipe off excess stain with a clean rag, and allow doors to dry for several hours.

raw wood stained wood

Step 10: Measure and mark for a hole to mount the cabinet pull.  I placed my pulls at the center (6.5″), 1.5″ in from the edge.  Drill a hole using the suggested drill bit (it should say on the package).  Attach the cabinet pulls.


If you like the pulls I used, you can get the same ones

Step 11: Measure for placement of the hinges.  I placed mine 1.5″ from the edge (on each side).  To attach the hinges, I ended up using gorilla glue; I couldn’t find screws short enough for the 1/4″ plywood (the screws need to grab the wood without going completely through).  If you decided to go this route, make sure to either clamp down the hinges while they dry or stack some heavy books on top.  I used a bunch of old textbooks and it worked like a charm.  Allow the glue to dry for several hours.

Important: You will need to purchase inset hinges for this project.  I used a set similar to

Step 12: Pre-drill holes for the hinges, and attach the cabinet doors.  Make sure to leave a small amount of room for the doors to swing in and out (I used a straight-edge to set the doors a tiny bit above the shelves so there wouldn’t be any friction).

cabinet details

That’s it!  I had the cabinet painted and sitting in my living room for the longest time, but I’ve been so busy the rest of the materials just sat around for the past two months.  With Thanksgiving coming up (which we are hosting), I decided it was about time to finish up this project once and for all…especially since it provides us a with a bunch of hiding places for all our junk.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Here’s a “before and after” to really convey the transformation:

ikea expedit hack before and after

I hope this project has inspired you to breath new life into your favorite piece of furniture.  Here’s to a great start to the week!


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41. A birthday gift for my mom.

My mom’s birthday was back at the beginning of October, and I promised her that I would refinish a pair chairs I picked up from Craigslist a while back as her gift.  She’ll be using them in her living room as additional seating.

The story behind these chairs is actually a bit quirky.  I sent an inquiry to the poster of the Craigslist ad, offering him $20 for both chairs (which are really just wood frames…I have to add the cushions on my own).  Lo and behold, the owner of said chairs was one of my husband’s previous co-workers.  Such a small world!

The frames for the chairs are solid wood, and they are HEAVY.  The original paint job was black and gross.  I initially intended to keep the chairs for myself, and originally stripped the paint thinking I could then sand them down and give them a clear coat.  The wood ended up being no so great, and the paint was a pain in the ass to get off.  I ended up painting ONE of the frames gray, and added some custom cushions.  You can actually see this chair in the background of our living room in the photo I showed in this post.

Here it is again to refresh your memory:

living room chair
It’s a terrible photo, I know, but I can’t seem to find any “before” shots.  I’ll have to snap a photo of the unfinished frame that is currently sitting in our basement…it is still half stripped and VERY ugly.

I decided that the chairs were too large for our space, and we don’t really need them as both couches are fairly large and provide plenty of seating.  My mom needs some extra seating for her living room, so I decided if I couldn’t keep them for me, who better to give them to?

I went through tons of fabric options with her (based on the color of her couch), and we decided on a cool blue linen for the cushions, with a nice floral print for accent pillows.  I’ll also be painting the frames a deep brown (“Espresso Beans” from Behr).


Source: fabric.com


Source: fabric.com

I really love the print, and I’m actually surprised that she picked it.  My mom doesn’t normally go for prints, but this one is pretty neutral, and has lots of color options to use as accents.

Don’t the fabrics look fantastic with the the deep, dark brown I’ll be using for the frames?

I’m hoping I can finally finish these up over the next week or so, especially now that the custom cushions are in.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress!


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40. DIY Wedding: Monogram Peacock Feather Wreaths

Huh? What is that, you say?  Two wedding posts in a row?!  Heck, yeah!  High fives all around.

Our wedding venue was a beautiful, 1920s historic building with double doors at the entrance.  They had some fake flower wreaths hanging on the doors when we first visited the venue.  There was no way they were staying for our wedding.

In order to nix the current wreaths, I had to come up with something to take their place.  I couldn’t just leave the doors naked!  Our wedding had a peacock theme, so whatever I came up with had to incorporate the feathers.

Here’s what I came up with, complete with instructions to make some for yourself.

DIY Monogram Peacock Feather Wreaths

diy monogram peacock feather wreaths


premade peacock feather wreaths (you could make them yourself, of course, by gluing a bunch of feathers to a wreath form)
papier-mâché letters, one for the bride’s first initial and one for the groom’s
acrylic paint in the color of your choice
paint brushes
paper plate
Sharpie paint pens
hot glue gun & glue sticks


Step 1: Let’s start out with the wreaths.  Our wedding was in May of 2012, but I started making things well in advance (due to how much of our wedding was DIY).  I was making my rounds at Michael’s (which went on WAY too frequently in that time period!), and stumbled upon these wreaths at Christmas time.  They didn’t scream “let’s celebrate Jesus’ birth!” to me, so I figured I could get away with using them for our wedding.  They were originally $25 each, but I had 50% coupons and got them both for $25.  Go me!

peacock feather wreath

Step 2: For the initials, use the acrylic paint to cover them in the color of your choice.  We chose turquoise since our wedding was peacock/art deco themed (our colors were gray, navy, chartreuse, and turquoise).  Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

initial letters
Step 3: Using the Sharpie paint pens, draw peacock feathers on each letter.  This is, of course, optional, but I thought the letters looked too plain without them.

Step 4: Attach the letters to the center of the wreaths using ribbon and hot glue.  Add a loop of ribbon to the back of the wreath for a hanger.

Step 5: Admire the finished products!

peacock wreaths

I was so excited when we got to the venue and saw these beauties hanging on the front doors.  Didn’t they look frickin’ fabulous?

peacock wreaths

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, stay tuned for more DIY wedding projects!


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39. DIY Wedding: Aisle Pomander Balls

Today I’ll be showing you the pretty pomander balls I used to line the aisles for our wedding ceremony.  This project is so simple, I almost feel guilty calling it a DIY.  Almost.

“DIY” Aisle Pomander Balls


premade pomander balls – I bought mine from afloral.com, but they no longer carry this item. 😦
peacock feathers
hot glue gun & glue sticks


Step 1: Cut ribbon to desired length.  It’s going to be doubled, so if you’d like a 12″ drop length, cut a piece about 24″ long.

Step 2: If your pomanders already have an ugly sheer ribbon (like mine), rip those bad boys out.

Step 3: Using your hot glue gun, fasten your new, much prettier ribbon to the pomander.  Make sure to hide it underneath the flowers so everything stays nice and tidy.

Step 4: Trim the eye of a peacock feather, and attach to the base of the ribbon with hot glue.

peacock feather pomanderStep 5: Hang on a chair and enjoy.

peacock feather pomander aisle decoration

See, I told you this DIY was ridiculously easy!

I still have a long list of projects to share with you, too.  Here are some DIY wedding projects to look forward to reading about:

bride’s/bridesmaids’ fascinators
peacock feather wrist corsages
peacock feather pins
peacock feather boutonnieres
table runners
escort card ribbon board
manzanita branch centerpieces
peacock feather wreaths w/ bride and groom initials
bar sign
bridesmaids’ earrings
card birdcage

Crazy, right?  Hey, it gives me lots of stuff to write about!


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38. Before and After: Redyed Black Skinny Jeans

I love me some skinny jeans, especially in a deep, dark black.  Unbelievably chic and slimming.  What I don’t like?  The fading that happens with normal wear and washing.

My favorite pair (the sweetheart cut from Old Navy, amazing fit for us ladies with…um…well-endowed bottoms) was starting to look really faded.  Like almost acid wash faded.  I left those behind in the early 90s, mmmkay?

faded jeansI almost contemplated giving them away and buying a new pair, but it felt like such a waste because the fabric is still is good shape and they fit me so well.  Plus, I’ve only had them for about 6 months!

A few months back, Melanie over at The Love Library refreshed a pair of black jeans using some dye, and I figured I’d take a stab at it.

I used plain old RIT dye in plain old black.  I followed the instructions printed inside the package pretty much exactly.  I used hot water straight from the tap in our basement, because if you let it run for a minute or so it gets SCALDING hot.  I left the jeans in the dye for about 30 minutes or so, then washed and dried them.

Here is the final result.

redyed jeansThey didn’t come out quite as dark as I thought, but I keep reminding myself that they aren’t brand new jeans.  They’ll never be “true” black again, but they are pretty darn close.  You can definitely see a difference when comparing the before and after photos side by side.

before and after jeans
I’m pretty happy that they are black again.  Woohoo!

Now, about writing that lecture I’m supposed to give tomorrow night…


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37. Liebster Award: I’m accepting it and passing on the torch!

It’s been almost two weeks since the fabulous Bre over at Average But Inspired nominated me for the Liebster Award, and I’m finally making time to write this post and graciously accept it!  The Liebster Award is given out by bloggers to other bloggers, the main goal being recognition of new/up-and-coming blogs and a warm, fuzzy welcome to blogland.  I really appreciate the nomination from Bre; she’s a sweet gal with awesome projects, you should go check her out!

liebster-awardIn order to accept the award, ya gotta do the following:

1. Acknowledge the person who nominated you.

Thanks, Bre!  You rock, and I really enjoy reading your blog. 🙂

2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

I am right-handed, but I can only do left-handed cartwheels.

Between the ages of 3 and 5, I would make up songs and record them on a tape player.  They were utter nonsense, but my mom loved them.  (I still write songs, but I assure you the lyrics are much more developed.)

I am a huge Harry Potter/Hobbit/Lord of the Rings fan.

I hate the premise of the Twilight series and will never read them or watch the movies.  Barf.

I am the oldest of 19 grandchildren (on my dad’s side).  Yep, we’re a big ol’ Italian family.

My favorite actor is Joseph Gordon Levitt.

My favorite actress is Jennifer Lawrence.

My favorite band is the Foo Fighters.  I love Dave Grohl!

I am currently working on a science fiction novel.  It will be EPIC.

I would love to learn how to surf, but I’m deathly afraid of deep water because I’m not a good swimmer.

I was born and raised in New Jersey.  It was an awesome place to grow up, and I’m sad that people now tend to associate it first with “Jersey Shore”.  Ughhhhhh.

3. Answer 11 question given to you by the nominator.

1.  How did you come up with your blog’s name?
I wanted something that was pretty general since I dabble in just about everything.  “The Craft Queen” pretty much sums that up!

2.  What’s your favorite blog post that you’ve written (share a link, too)?
Hmmm, I would have to say the “Before and After” post for some antique dining chairs I got from a little old lady for just $20.  You can see it here.

3.  If you could eat one “unhealthy” food without suffering any negative consequences, what would it be?
OMG, definitely mac and cheese (the homemade kind, not the blue box).  It’s my favorite.  I already eat it at least once a week, but I usually don’t feel guilty about it!  I live on the edge, people.

4.  What’s your favorite color?
Right now, I’m obsessed with gray.

5.  Will you be shopping on Black Friday, and if so, are you looking for anything in particular?
Most likely no.  I’ll probably scope out some deals online, though.

6.  What’s your favorite childhood memory?
I’m drawing a blank picking out a specific one, but I just remember how awesome it was to be a kid and have little to no responsibility.  My brother and I played outside all summer long, whether it be careening down a slip-n-slide or catching fireflies in a jar.

7.  Do you have a vacation planned anytime soon, and if so, where to?
My husband and I are planning a trip out to Los Angeles sometime next year.

8.  What’s your favorite way to be creative?
I love a good transformation.  If it started out ugly and I turned it into something awesome, there’s no better feeling.

9.  Should thank you notes be sent via snail mail, or is email okay?
I think it depends on why you’re thanking the person.  If it’s for a bridal shower/wedding/baby shower gift, I say snail mail.  Anything else, email is just fine (as long as it isn’t a generic email sent out to a bunch of people at once).

10.  Target or Wal-Mart?
Target.  I avoid Wal-Mart like the plague.

11. Do you promote your blog, and if so, how?
Lately, I’ve just been posting to Pinterest.  I guess I need to step up my game!

4. Nominate 11 other bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers.

In no particular order, here they are!

This Sarah Loves
Old Pearly Jenkins
Turquoise Compass
Redesigned by M
Pikki Farm
The Domestication of the Running Rose
Home For Now
The Official Lex
Restore Design
Dramatique Designs

5. Come up with 11 questions for your nominees.

1. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
2. If you could pick anyone to switch closets with, who would you pick?
3. What do you do to relax after a long, hectic day?
4. If you could pick a different name for yourself, what would it be?
5. What one destination is a must on your list of travel plans?
6. If you could work in any field (money and degrees required don’t matter), what would be your profession of choice?
7. Who is your favorite cartoon character?
8. Can you speak more than one language?  If so, which ones?
9. Righty or lefty?
10. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
11. Coffee or tea?

6. Notify the bloggers whom you have nominated.

Will do, as soon as this post is up!

Thanks again for the nomination, Bre!  And a big thank you also goes out to everyone who takes the time to read about my crafting antics…I love yas all.


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36. Yet another glorious Craigslist find!

I rearranged our living room furniture a while back and, in the process, moved in a large bookshelf from our dining room.  The real estate formerly taken up by the bookshelf was now quite bare, and I was considering two options.  First, I thought a buffet might be nice, but…what would I put in it?  It would basically just sit there and look nice, but I wasn’t sure what stuff I would actually cram in the thing.  Option 2: a desk.  Yes!  However, it has to look awesome and cost not a lot of money.  Guess where I’ve been looking?  (If you didn’t say Craigslist, you obviously don’t know me that well.  Alternatively, you live under a rock.)

I was taking a gander at CL this morning, when I stumbled upon the perfect candidate…for only $35!  I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself, but it really was a beautiful, antique desk for 35 smackaroos.

It’s seriously perfect for the space.

Here it is!

It’s missing hardware, but the wood is in fantastic condition.  The photo above is BEFORE I even wiped it down and polished it up!  I’ve been on a painting kick with furniture lately, but this desk is in such nice condition, I’ve decided to leave the finish “as-is”.  Are you shocked, or what?

I’m thinking of ordering some cup pulls in an antique brass finish, and the drawers will get a nice wipe out (they are gah-ROSS right now) followed by a lining of pretty patterned contact paper.  I’ll make sure to update you on the final product!

So, have you found any goodies on the cheap lately?

Oh, Craigslist…how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…


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