79. Before and After: Tiered Shelf

Guess what? I turned that trash shelf into something gorgeous!

I think this might be one the quickest furniture makeovers I’ve ever done.  There are still things sitting finished in my apartment that I haven’t written about yet, but this one I got done in record time AND actually took proper before and after photos.  I’m patting myself on the back right now, you should see it.  I look pretty ridiculous.

Let’s start off with the before shots:



Definitely not in the best condition, but definitely not awful.  It just needed some tender loving care!

I started off by lightly sanding to the whole thing and giving it two coats of Behr Premium Plus paint in the shade “Mountain Pine”.


Image credit: thehomedepot.com

I really like this color.  It’s even prettier in person!  Just wait.

After the second coat of paint (which I let dry for ~24 hours), I distressed all the edges by sanding with a light grade sand paper.  Super easy.


After that, I decided that the finished piece would need a little more pizzazz, something to make it look more expensive…or at least like I did something else to it besides slap on a coat of paint.  The solution I came up with: stamped aluminum sheets.  These are sold in the building supply aisle of hardware stores; I got mine at Home Depot (exact here).


I measured the inside portion of all the shelves and cut out the appropriate size from the larger sheet using tin snips.  A word of caution: Definitely wear gloves and eye protection when cutting!  I tore up my fingers in the process and am still wearing bandages. :/

After I had the sheets cut out to the sizes I wanted, I used contact cement (exact here) to adhere the sheeting to the inside of the shelves.  I chose to close off three sides, but doing just two sides or just the back would also be a great choice!  This stuff works really well, but it is SMELLY.  Definitely use this stuff outside if possible, or at least somewhere you can open a ton of windows.  It’s fairly simple to use: paint both surfaces you want to stick together, let the stuff dry until it gets “glossy” (i.e. shiny), and then press the two surfaces together.  The only downside is you can’t really readjust once you put the surfaces together, so try to be as precise as possible!

The finished product, which I absolutely adore:





So, what do you think?  Did I do the piece justice?!  I honestly think it’s super cute.  I was going to sell it, but I’ve decided to keep it instead.  What the crap…I’m turning into a hoarder.


Thanks for reading, check back soon for more transformations!


Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

Affiliate link:Shop Our Holiday Hub - Elevate your Gifting - Up to 70% Off

63. My first jewelry show is Friday!

My Etsy shop has been open for almost three years, but I’ve never made the steps to show my work at craft fairs and markets.  Until now!  My very FIRST jewelry show is this Friday at Bay View Gallery Night! Here’s a link to the event if you’re in the Milwaukee area and would like to stop by: https://www.facebook.com/events/141921984168333

I’m so excited for people to be able to see and touch my items in person.  It really makes a difference in terms of whether or not I’d buy something, so hopefully that translates to other people as well.  Crossing my fingers that I make some sales!

I’m really trying to make sure that my displays are on point, so I’ll be sharing my ideas (and how you can make these displays for yourself) all this week!

Here are a few sneak peeks to tickle yo’ fancy.

Wooden crate jewelry organizer:

crate jewelry storage

Recycled wine crate headband holder:

wine crate storage

I also have an old window frame that I’ll be converting into a necklace display.  The best part: it was FREE!  I totally trash-picked to get it, but it was just laying on the sidewalk begging for me to bring it home.

I hope this got your Monday started off the right way!


61. Before and After: Vintage Dressers

So…yeah.  I’ve been really terrible at keeping up with this blog lately.  I blame the nice weather!  And going to the gym.  Both fabulous excuses, if you ask me.

Here’s the next post in my furniture series: a lovely makeover involving a set of vintage dressers.  Vintage Kroehler dressers!  That I found on Craigslist for $65.  (You know I’m patting myself on the back over here…)

Here’s what they looked like when we first got them home.

vintage dressers

vintage dressers

vintage dressers
I sanded them and gave them a couple of coats of Behr Popped Corn, which is a nice “warm” white.  I also gave them a bit of distressing with a sanding block and a cheese knife shaped like a miniature meat cleaver.  My tools known no bounds.

Don’t they look perty?

vintage dressers

vintage dressers
I’d eventually like to switch out the hardware to something a little more modern, but they work for now.  Drawer pulls are expensive, and mama’s gots bills ta pay!

Happy Monday, fools.


Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

Do you like fashion?  Check out my newest blog, Gabby Gets Dressed!

20. I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 3)

This is the third installment of a four-part series.  You can catch up on the plans for our living room and dining room by clicking the links below.

Part 1: Living Room
Part 2: Dining Room

I’ve already told you all about our living room and dining room decor plans, so now it’s time to move on to the room I’m most excited about: the master bedroom.

I’ve thought long and hard about the look I’m going for in this room, and I think I’ve finally settled a color scheme.


Source: behr.com

Yep.  Navy, coral, tan, and white.  I am super obsessed with this color palette right now!  It’s really classy.  I’m serious, look:

We already have dark blue walls and white dressers, so I’m thinking adding in our natural linen upholstered bed, white linens, and some pretty patterned curtains will look awesome.  I would really love to make some curtains with this stuff:


Source: fabric.com

Remember the initial inspiration board for our master bedroom?  Here’s an updated version with an added pop of coral.


Here’s what needs to happen to have our current bedroom “match” the bedroom above.

1. Find antique/vintage suitcases.
2. Purchase/make shag carpets.
3. Purchase bedding (I’m currently the highest bidder on eBay for a duvet, wish me luck!)
4. Reupholster chair.
5. Finish building platform bed (currently ~50% completed).
6. Make curtains.

Not a terrible list, but it will still be quite a while and a LOT of work.  I know I can do it!

Next time: the spare bedroom!



Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

19. I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 2)

If you missed the first installment of this four-part series, you can catch up here.

Last time, I talked all about my plans for the living room.  It’s time to turn the corner (literally) and take a peek into our dining room.

Here’s how it looked right before we moved in:


I love the built-ins…like, a lot.  (There are actually two, one on either side of the window.)  There is no longer a door to the kitchen, it’s just an open entryway now.  I’m not sure at what point the door went byebye, but it wasn’t there when we moved in.  Again, the color on the walls is staying the way it is…it’s the same color that’s in the living room, and also the same pain in the booty textured walls.  I’m not mentally prepared to deal with something like that.  Nuh uh.

Here’s the progress we’ve made so far:


I am seriously so frickin’ proud of that table!  I love being able to tell people we built it ourselves, especially when they give the compliment before they know.  It’s like a ton of pats on the back.  All at once.  I’m really proud of the deal I got on those chairs, too…I know they were still a pretty significant chunk of money, but I totally did my research and got the very best price I could find ANYWHERE.

Our Expedit bookcase from IKEA is currently housed here as well (it’s out of frame to the left), but that will get a makeover and find a new home in the living room.  Other than that, there are only three things I’d like to add to this room to finish it off.

1. A bench or settee.  I’d love to put it along the right-hand side of the table (i.e. the side next to the window).  It will hopefully be something antique, and it just so happens I found the PERFECT bench on…you guessed it…Craigslist.

081613_2Oh. My. Gawd.  It’s chippy.  And old.  And did I mention it’s exactly the right length and width?  And the EXACT same height as our current chairs?!  I seriously wouldn’t change anything about it, I’d just park it right next to the table and be done with it.  Well, I’d probably sew up a nice cushion to make it more comfy for its patrons, but that’s it.  I am trying not to jump the gun and buy it, but I’m so afraid it will be gone right away!  And I’m not sure I would find something that perfect again.  If you read Victoria’s blog, you know about the raccoon in her head that tells her to buy things (especially awesome things from Craigslist).  I’m pretty sure I suffer from the same affliction.  We should start a support group.  Actually, it would be better to call it an encouragement group.  Anyway, I digress.  Next!

2. A desk/dresser/buffet.  The space currently taken up by the Expedit will be quite bare after it travels to the living room, so it will need to be filled with something else.  I currently don’t have a “desk”, so it might be nice to find something small…just a nice area to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while I write my blog…and do my science thinking, of course.  I know I can just do this at the dining room table, but that means constantly moving my laptop and other stuff to keep the clutter contained, and I’d rather have a designated spot where I can just plop those sort of things down and not move them.

3. Wall art.  I should just go ahead and say that hanging things on the walls is an area of complete naivety to me.  In all of the places we’ve rented (and there have been many), we’ve never bothered to hang anything.  I never had anything hanging in my room growing up either, save a poster of a baby seal on the back of my bedroom door.  I’ve never really known how to hang stuff to make it look good, but I’d LOVE to have some sort of gallery wall.  I think this room would be a great place for it.  I’m thinking above the new desk.

That’s it!  Not a ton of work, really…as long as I can find a bench that’s already perfectly shabby and a desk/dresser/buffet that only needs a new coat of paint.

Make sure to check back soon for the next installment, the master bedroom!


Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

18. So, let’s be brutally honest…I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 1)

This post is the first of a series of posts dedicated to the crazy plans milling about my brain.  Please stay tuned for all FOUR posts!   (Don’t act all surprised…you read the title, folks.)

Too many projects.  And yet, I have the urge to add more things to the list.  Poor hubbins, he will want to declare mutiny one of these days.  Some of these projects are actually completed…or close to being completed, and I just need to write up a nice, tidy blog post about each of them (tidy? ha!).  Others are in the midst of being worked on, and yet others…are just in the back of my mind and don’t actually exist yet.  Yes, I am a crazy person.  I just feel like there is always something that can be rearranged or reworked or refinished or replaced (with an equal or greater thing).

Again, if you don’t know me well enough…I WANT ALL THE THINGS.  ALL OF THEM.

Let’s begin with the living room.  Here is the blank canvas with which we started.  (I know you grammar fiends out there are smiling at my beautiful sentence construction.)


The color is staying because a. I don’t mind it, and b. you can’t tell from the photo, but the walls are textured (almost like Spanish plaster), and ain’t nobody got time for that.  Also, we can’t change anything structurally (remember, we are just lowly renters), and I also can’t paint any woodwork that isn’t already painted.  I love me some white trim, but that’s not gonna happen in this house.  That means the off white carpet and light fixtures also stay put.

Here’s what we have as of today.


Not terrible, but it’s definitely a far cry from what I’m picturing for this room.

Plans for this room:

1. Get rid of wooden spool tables.  They are super awesome and I love them, but they just aren’t practical.  They are a bit too high to use as footrests, and that was the original purpose I intended us to use them for.  They also have holes in the center (into which lots of things get lost…remotes, earrings, crumbs, etc.) and bolts sticking out of the top.  I currently have one in the corner between the couches, but it’s a little low (you can’t even see it in the photo above).  Maybe I could add some height with a few hairpin legs?

2. Fabricate new ottoman(s) to replace the tables.  I will probably make these from scratch.  I’m thinking low, tufted ottomans with a chic print.  Maybe something like this.  I’m already cooking up some plan and a tutorial!  It will be frickin’ magical.

3. “New” stand for the TV.  I haven’t decided whether I want to hack our current stand from IKEA, or replace it with a distressed dresser or buffet.  They don’t sell the exact stand at IKEA any more, but this one is pretty close to what we have:

Source: ikea.com

Source: ikea.com

I’m thinking I might try to hack it first…and I’m sure that idea would sound better to Jason than hauling yet another piece of second-hand furniture into our house.  I’m pretty sure he gets a horrible sense of dread every time I start a sentence with the words, “So, I was looking on Craigslist…”  (The TV and stand are to the right of the radiator…just out of frame).

4. New throw pillows.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the ones we have, but I feel like the colors are clashing a bit too much.  I’d like to tone it down and have them all in neutrals like gray, white, taupe, and cream.  It’s not boring I swear!  We have a pretty big antique cabinet in our living room that houses my yarn addiction…um, collection…and it’s a deep turquoise (you can see it in the back right corner).  I’d rather let that color be the focal point and not throw in too many other crazy hues.

5. Wall art.  We don’t really have any cool pieces of art to display (besides a painting or two from my dad).  I want special pieces, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open while perusing thrift and antique stores.  We honestly have only one piece of art displayed right now.  You might have noticed it in the photos of our DIY rustic dining table.  It’s a really pretty print of “White Mums”, a painting my Neal Butcher.  I couldn’t find out much about him, so I’m not sure if the print is worth anything…but it only cost me $7 at Goodwill.  Sweet deal.  I’m debating about whether or not I should change out the frame (or at least paint it).  Perhaps that will be a future post.

6. Give our Expedit a makeover and move it into the living room.  I love the storage space, but I’ve grown tired of the dark “wood”.  We have this one:


Source: ikea.com

I’ve seen some really cool hacks for this system whilst browsing the internet, and I’m especially fond of this one.  I’d like to paint ours gray and add wooden doors to half of the cubes…perhaps the center columns, just to do something a little different?  Another reason to keep reading my posts, I suppose. 😉

Well, that’s pretty much what I have planned for the living room!  Make sure to check back soon to read all about the plans for the rest of our place.



Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

16. I love me some linen.

Spoiler alert!  I got the fabric in for the upholstered bed I’m building from scratch.  You know, that beautiful bed I keep referring to over and over again?  I bought 8 yards of a pretty, neutral linen/cotton blend from fabric.com.


It’s seriously the perfect color, and spot on with the inspiration photo, don’t you think?

Adler Tufted Platform 56" Bed (Restoration Hardware)

Adler Tufted Platform 56″ Bed (Restoration Hardware)

If you are interested in the deets, this fabric is the Essex Wide Linen Blend in Natural (by Kaufman), and you can get it here.  Make sure to check for discount codes as well!  I found one for 10% off orders over $40 (code: corner13, good through 1/28/14), and fabric.com ALWAYS ships free when your order is over $35.  You can apparently only use this code once (unless you order with a different email), so make sure to take advantage of it!

Here is the total spent on materials for the bed so far:

Batting, upholstery needles, and two kits for covered buttons – $24.79 (Gotta love Joann sales and coupons!)
8 yards of linen and upholstery thread – $59.51
Total – $84.30

I plan on purchasing the wood for the platform portion of the bed this weekend, probably on Sunday.  We will hopefully get the platform built on Sunday as well, because I’m tired of getting in and out of bed when our mattress is on the floor!

Here’s to a productive DIY weekend!



Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

15. Master Bedroom Inspiration Board

I will preface this post by telling you that we are pretty far along on the progress of the master bedroom…I’ve just never showed you our plans!

We live on the second floor of a duplex built circa 1925, and I believe the floor in our bedroom is the original hardwood.  It’s pretty close to the color in the photo.  Before moving in, we painted 4 of the 6 rooms, the master bedroom being one of them.  The before is kinda “blah”.


I am a big fan of green, but this…shall we call it sage?…was not at all appealing.  Luckily, we have fantastic landlords who totally approved of our color choices.  We painted the walls with a really soothing dark blue from Behr called “Observatory”.  It’s so pretty and calming!

Unfortunately, there isn’t much wall space in our room because there are four doors (double doors on the California closet, two entrances) and two windows, a pesky radiator, and only a 10×12 space to work with.  This, you can imagine, makes furniture choices/placement somewhat difficult.  This problem is somewhat alleviated by the fact that one of the entrance doors opens out into the hallway (as opposed to opening into the room).

Here is what I am envisioning (you know you’re “impressed” with my photo collage skills):



I’ve included the following components to make up the lovely inspiration board you see above:

1. Nightstand = stacked vintage suitcases.  Seriously the cutest idea ever.  (photo credit here)

2. Tufted platform bed. The one picture above is from Restoration Hardware, but we are definitely not dropping over two grand on a bed.  I’ve decided to tackle the bed as a DIY project, which will obviously result in a nice tutorial post.

3. Ruffled duvet/comforter.  I love the look of this bedding, especially in a clean, crisp white.  It’s super expensive at Anthropolgie, but I found a more inexpensive option on Walmart’s website.  I was considering making this a DIY project as well, but after building/tufting the bed, I doubt I’ll want to take on a project like that.  It wouldn’t save me that much moolah anyway.

4. White shag carpet.  I know you’re thinking, “No!  Shag went out of style years ago!  WHY?” Because it’s awesome and fuzzy and warm and soft on your feets.  That’s why.  The carpet pictured above can be found at overstock.com for about $124.  However, I’ve recently realized that I can just buy faux fur by the yard and add my own backing to get the same effect for much cheaper.  You know how I love them deals.

5. Distressed white dresser(s).  We currently have two of these, one long and one tall.  I’ve already completed the redo of both dressers (and the mirror that came with them).  Stay tuned for the reveal on those lovelies. 🙂

6. A cute, small chair.  The one pictured above is the Flax Vanity Chair from World Market.  I have a cute little chair that my husband’s grandmother gifted to us when she moved to a smaller apartment, and I’m thinking that would be a great upholstery project to finish up the room.

7. Chandelier of sparkly goodness.  Okay, so I totally don’t think we’ll be able to replace the ceiling fan in our bedroom unless our landlord was particularly fond of crystal chandeliers (he isn’t), but wouldn’t it just be the frickin’ cherry on top of the amazing sundae I’ve dreamed up?  Sigh.  If you love the chandelier above, you can get it at IKEA.

So, there you have it, folks.  Please make sure to check back on my progress!



Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

11. Updated inspiration board for our living room.

I’ve been playing around with the inspiration board I posted last week (see this post), and I think I’ve improved upon it greatly!  I’m not very adept when it comes to manipulating photographs, so please excuse the errant mess of pixels.  I added in our actual fireplace, along with some pretty curtains I found on Overstock.  I also added in the carpet, so you can really see how everything pulls together.  You may notice that the paint color shown is different as well…I just might have changed that, too.  (Can you tell I’m a perfectionist yet?)  It’s “night mist”, another lovely shade from Benjamin Moore.

Here ya go.


Also, be sure to stay tuned for an inspiration board for our bedroom!  It’s shaping up into something really beautiful, and I’m excited to show you!



Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

10. We’re moving…again. Time to redecorate!

My husband and I will be moving again during the month of March…three cheers for paying double rent! UGH.

It all works out though, because this place has so many benefits over our current apartment:
1. It’s closer to both of our jobs.
2. Rent will save us almost $100/month.
3. It has a dishwasher.  Heck. Yes.
4. We will have our own private washer and dryer.  Heck. Yes.
5. It has a faux fireplace in the living room.
6. Way more cabinet space in the kitchen, and the landlord is putting in a brand new floor before we move in!
7.  Hardwood floors in both bedrooms.
8. We are allowed to change the paint colors, given that we let the landlord know what we are changing them to (see below!).

I’ve been trying to make up my mind what paint color(s) I’d like to see, and I’m thinking we’ll paint the majority of the flat (it’s an upper duplex) this really pretty light tannish-gray from Benjamin Moore called Revere Pewter.

Classic and beautiful, yet trendy and modern, no?  I also think it will go with pretty much EVERYTHING.

The current couch and loveseat we have look something like this one.Untitled

The shape is slightly different, but they are the same color beige microfiber, with two-cushion backs and dark wood feet (almost black, definitely darker than what’s shown).

I would love to add a coffee table/ottoman made of natural fibers, like this one from Overstock:


However, that $510 price tag doesn’t sit too well with me!  Fortunately, there are some similar options for a much nicer price.
From Pottery Barn, $129:

From Ikea, $30:

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but I absolutely LOVE Ikea!  We have a few things from there already, including our TV stand.  This is the TV stand we have, but the color is black-brown.  I’m also pining over this adorable chair, especially since it’s in one of my favorite colors.
3Finally, I’m trying to figure out a way to decorate the fireplace in our new living room.  It’s nonfunctional, but definitely gorgeous!  Here it is (yes, this is our ACTUAL living room):

I’m really digging this decor idea, which incorporates slices of birch and lots of candles:d6a86aa722de86883394e518644c0111

That’s about where I am with the design of the living room.  Here’s an inspiration board with a few extras…I think everything pulls together quite nicely!  Please let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend!



Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!