Custom Built-In Closet Organizer

I made this! And when I say I, I mean me and my husband jointly laboring all day long for three straight weekends. I mean living out of a pile of clothes on the floor and a clean laundry basket.

Closet - Hers - Instagram Closet - His

This was clearly a custom job and will not be listed on Etsy…ever. But we made it! And I consider that fact every time I shop for new clothes to fill it up. (All of the shelves and cubbies are full now – this was taken while we were in the process of moving back in.)

We had been talking about it for years, but when we bought a new-to-us table saw at a sidewalk “tool sale” it finally started seeming like a reality.  When it came down to it we probably didn’t NEED the table saw, but it was nice to have and certainly made things easier.

I am honestly not sure why it was so difficult – could have been wonky walls, could have been the fact that I am straight up terrible at measuring… I’m not really sure.  I just know that once it was assembled, I used a full tube of wood filler, multiple sheets of sandpaper, and three full tubes of caulk to make it look pretty.

Worth it, though. I really, really like it. Things are more organized, I have more space for everything (except shoes…the next thing I have to make is a shoe caddy for the back wall, since we ended up moving the mirror. Just have to think about what it should look like, or if I’m better off just minimizing my shoe collection).

Thoughts on your favorite shoe storage solution? I think that might be something built this summer…maybe one with wheels.

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Black Beauty – Building a Bookshelf

I love Parsons style furniture.  I know most of what I own, make and like tends to be rustic, but the clean lines of Parsons desks and tables have always been my favorites.

So the only bookshelf we owned is this tiny hand-me-down that my mother-in-law gave us when she closed her shop a few years back. It was sponge painted (??) and altogether Not Okay and so I sanded it and painted it white. And it holds all of our books. We’re not huge readers.

But even painted, the thing was still not exactly good looking, so I wanted to build something straight lined and chose this Parsons style shelf from here, customizing the height to what I wanted it to be.  And we built it! And I thought it was going to be so easy but who knew that wood warped??  At the time, we also lacked a lot of the tools that would be useful for a project like this…like clamps.  It was (I think) the second thing we built, after the West Elm-ish Mirror, and again, we learned a lot from it.

Here it is while it was being painted:

Black Bookshelf

And here it is where it currently lives.  If we’re being honest, it doesn’t hold books very well, so the white one still has most of them. So, live and learn.

Black Bookshelf  - Filled2

(Feel free to judge the wire situation, I am right there with you.)

So it’s… a fine, useful piece of furniture.  My sister says that the super nice (store bought) piece that is next to it in our living room makes it look worse than it is.  She’s a sweetheart, my sister.

So that’s the story of this black beauty. She may not look like much, but I like to keep her around anyway.

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Free Tree Topper

Oh goodness it’s been about a month since I last posted!  The shop was crazy during December, along with regular holiday madness and I simply couldn’t get it together to post anything for a few weeks.

I did want to share this star project I did last year, although I’m well aware it’s currently late.

The hardest part of this project was withstanding the stink eye that I got from the lady at the Lowe’s paint counter when I asked for five paint sticks.

Then I took them home, stained them (I didn’t even sand them, because, lazy) and glued them together. I might have actually glued then stained- I can’t remember, it’s a holiday blur.

Then it wound up on top of our tree. It’s cute and rustic…right? (Just don’t look at the back, it says Lowe’s on all the sticks).

Paint Stick Star

My mother-in-law was…um, not a huge fan, but the great thing about having my own house is that I make the rules, so it stayed.

This year I ended up making something similar (though much better) with some lattice and pins. I’ll share the specifics at some point, but it’s still only half done… I’ll have to make some adjustments before I can really call it finished.

Anyone else ever make any free or cheap Christmas decorations? Anyone else’s mother-in-law side-eye them?

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Refreshed Kitchen Cabinets

I did NOT build these cabinets. Someone else did though, and when we bought the house they were…ahem, not my style.

Kitchen Before

The kitchen from our first tour.

Replacing them is obviously ideal, but it gets into a mouse/cookie situation. If we replace them we should rearrange the kitchen layout and get some new countertops. And pull up the floor to extend the hardwood.  And perhaps some new appliances?  And a new sink too…

So ultimately it just seemed like a much bigger investment than we wanted to make. But we couldn’t just continue living with yellow cabinets with stained glass, and black holes when you opened them.

So a couple of summers ago I took a staycation, replaced the stained glass (and sold it!) and then painted everything white. Inside and out.  I added shelf paper liner to the cabinets and cork liner to the drawers. I actually quite liked the pulls and knobs so those stayed.  And as a bonus, I painted the buffet and added the shelves above.

Kitchen Middle

Prepped for paint!

Kitchen After R Kitchen After L Buffet

It was a long project but TOTALLY worth it. I had always thought I might make my own cabinets one day, since I like building so much…but after seeing these ridiculous creatures, I think I might just go with Ikea.

There are a thousand tutorials on the interwebs for painting cabinets and I mishmoshed all of the tips. I used a deglosser and primer, and then Benjamin Moore Advance paint in White Dove. (I use BM Advance for basically all of my projects and swear by it).  Cabinet painting is one of the easiest and impactful visual changes you can make in your kitchen, so if you’re thinking about it, I highly recommend diving right in!

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Recycled Table Runner

Last winter I got this idea into my head that I wanted to start sewing. And to do that, I needed a sewing machine.  I picked out the one I wanted and as luck would have it, I won a Super Bowl pool for about half of what it cost so I went for it. And it arrived and I sewed up a storm. (False.)

I practiced a bit on some scrap fabric and then I sewed this little curtain thing:


I learned after that I did it all wrong so maybe someday I will fix it, but my husband likes it and I don’t actually use the kitchen, so it’s all good.

Then prior to Easter I decided to make a table runner. Rewind to Christmas when we thought we would use our Ikea table to host, we bought a tablecloth to um, just cover it up and hide it. But then we built our farmhouse table and I wanted to show it off! And we still had the tablecloth fabric so I chopped it up, hemmed the sides and there we are.

Table Runner

This is the most complicated sewing project I have undertaken thus far. (And as you can see, it was four straight-ish lines.) I need to man up and try something a bit more complex, but I am not sure what. I have no need for baby clothes now, I get enough free bags from work that I don’t need to make more, I am VERY far from making or altering my own clothes. So what to make? Any suggestions for semi-complex projects?

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I love this sign! (And puns!) Also, sentimental things that become useful.

So we were supposed to get married at a barn and it was supposed to be super rustic and I made these signs from some pallet wood that would tell people where to go and alert them to the fact that they were at a wedding and also remind them what date it was and who was getting married. (Um, it was us.)

Wedding Signs

But it rained, and so while we got to take some pictures at the barn the whole thing was inside a hotel and therefore nobody really need directions in the form of wooden signs.

We did take the “Love” one and use it as a photobooth prop, though and some of my favorite favorite FAVORITE pictures from the night feature it.

And wanting to extend that sentiment (and also being kind of cheap) I decided to hang it on the wall in my bedroom and display my jewelry on it, mainly in hopes that if I saw it, I would be more likely to wear it.  So I bought some small knobs from World Market and screwed them into the board at regular intervals.

Voila! A jewelry holder! That I made!

Love Signed Zoomed


I use it every day, but still wear only a small selection of the jewelry I own.  However, I’ll admit that now that I can see it, I definitely consider the statement necklace a little more often, even if it doesn’t actually make it out of the house.

How about you? Any sentimental pieces that you’ve made useful? How about some rainy wedding days and fun photobooth props?

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Romantic Long Weekend: Laundry Table

Laundry Table

My husband and I made this in one weekend. Memorial Day weekend, to be precise, so it was an extra long weekend.

I wanted a rustic farmhouse-esque table to go over our front loading washer and dryer. Hubs wanted to use some leftover plywood and polyurethane. So… we kinda just winged it and came up with this:

Laundry Table, Making It, Co

We learned so much! It is nice that this lives in a room that we don’t spend a TON of time in and can avoid pretty easily because there are lots of little errors.  For example- I didn’t sand the legs enough- should have used a belt sander and not just a mini sander; I painted in the screw holes to hide them rather than filling and sanding them (lazy); I didn’t miter the corners because I didn’t think it would matter – as a result, they look a bit wonky up close; and finally, just minutes after we put it into place I set the laundry basket on top and then slid it over and surprise! It scratched the top. Oops.

Lots of lessons learned. But it is nice to have, and the natural wood top looks nice next to all the “utility” in the laundry room. We also agreed that in future spaces, if we end up not needing a laundry table, we can always cut down the legs and use it as a normal table or desk. (It’s laughably tall and skinny when it is standing alone without the washer/dryer underneath. Reminds me of a giraffe.)

So yeah – it was kind of a practice project, but they lead to bigger and better things.  What about you? Any projects that you felt were good practice for future things?


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