Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ana White Bench

Chelsea recently introduced me to the world of Ana White. Cue the lights and soundtrack now. It was one of those “ahhhh haaaaaaa” moments like from the movies.

I spent quite a bit of time drooling over so many of her amazing designs! I pretty much wish I had the know-how, time, and tools to build absolutely everything she has available.

While I was home for spring break I convinced Ted to help me build one of Ana’s designs. I loved the look of the rustic x bench! My persuasive abilities must be decent since he agreed and we fled to the nearest home improvement store to purchase supplies.

A few days after purchasing the lumber and the screws for the project, we finally got to work! I got to use a table saw (ohhh yeaaaa!). I still have all of my fingers too! Ted will tell you, I was very careful around it.

Although the instructions came with pictures, I sure had no clue how to cut at an angle and what point to point meant. I would have relied on Google to help us figure it out, but Ted knew what he was doing.

After making all the cuts, I started sanding all of the edges. I wanted the edges to be smooth and cornered anywhere someone may touch or accidentally run into the bench.

The assembly was probably the toughest part of the process since it involved countersinking screws and centering all of the different parts of the bench. Counterskinking the screws was a great idea on Ana’s behalf since that means they wont show and add to the polished look of the bench.

I let the wood filler dry overnight and sanded off the excess. My original plan was to paint the entire bench a light green color that I got at Lowe’s (I think) for $5 – instead of $30! Then I got to thinking though…

I’ve really been digging furniture that is painted a light color on the bottom and stained a darker color on the top. I had stain… soooo it was quite simple to change the plan.

After just one super light coat of walnut stain.

I’ve been looking at this bench with love eyes since yesterday! I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. If you have the tools and know-how to build something, I highly recommend it. It feels GOOD to tell someone “hey, I built that.”
Don’t forget to check out Ana White for some inspiration! She seriously has fantastic plans for just about anything – and no we aren’t being paid to say that.

Happy building!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dresser Win!

Finding the perfect dresser for the perfect amount of money is hard. I’ve been in love with the IKEA Hemnes dresser forever.


Symmetry is my cup of tea and this dresser has it!

As a college student, the price is much less delightful. I cannot justify spending $300 on a brand new dresser even IF it will last me forever as most IKEA pieces do.

Thus, when it came to furniture shopping I scoured Craigslist for a dresser deal. I did find a deal – a five piece white bedroom set including a nightstand, bookshelf (which I love oh so much!), headboard, mirror, and dresser for $325. Considering that I got five pieces of furniture for what I would have spent on ONE piece at IKEA, I was pretty thrilled.

After two years, I’ve had it with the stupid dresser. It seems to be falling apart on one side, while on another side a leg truly has broken off, and it is highly impractical. It looks more like a buffet than a dresser and if I fix the leg one day that is exactly what I will use it for. After all, I have an abundance of table linens because of the Dillard’s clearance center and Goodwill so close to my house. 

On a recent trip to South-ish Florida, I purchased this beauty! Yes, that is a French style dresser in an antique white/yellow and gold finish! I’m more excited about the dresser than the finish though.

It has got to go! At $25 (yes TWENTY-FIVE) I could not let it go. This dresser is solid! The top is condensed white particleboard so it is un-paintable, part of the sides are particleboard, and the rest is wood.

I’ve decided that I would most appreciate this dresser in a bright white finish. I don’t want to paint it a punchy color like corral or apple green or a bright light blue since I’m not exactly sure if I’ll still like that in a few years. White is classic and safe.


Stay tuned for a follow up post to see what it looks like!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Change for the Cheap!

Well, I’ve been a bit busy as of late. So has Chelsea. For good reason, we’re in the final stretch of college – literally! Graduation is less than a month away! We’ve been interning at different schools everyday, all day and loving every second of it! Yet, after a long day of teaching, a crafty project (yet a simple one) is always relaxing.  These are simple, less than 10-minute projects with a personal touch.

Project #1: Change Jar

Loose change. I find it in the bottom of my purse. I find it in my laundry hamper. I find it in the trunk of my car. I find it on the floor in my room. Don’t get me wrong. I like love loose change! Especially when I run out of places to store it and finally muster up the courage to roll it up and take it to the bank.

I’m still working on the collection (the more loose change, the better the happy dance after counting!), but seeing loose change all over my dresser was DRIVINGMECRAZY since it was not fitting into the little wooden box I usually keep it in anymore.

So… here’s what I did. I found a Smucker’s jelly jar in our collection of random things. I found some scrapbook paper that coordinated with the colors of my room and cut off a thick strip of it.  I then taped (yes, that easy) the paper around the jar and then used dollar store vinyl letters to spell out “change” on the jar. The last step was using spray paint to cover up the red and white checker pattern. ORB was the obvious choice. I had it already and it matches my room. There aren’t many/any how-to photos since I figured it was rather simple.

Project #2: Monogram “Art”

I’m not the biggest fan of monograms (I wouldn’t have a bunch of different “A’s” all over a wall or monogram every towel and pillow case and blanket and sock I own) but I’ve recently started to like them more.

My teacher bag that I’m obsessed with (L.L. Bean) is monogrammed. I have a cool monogram painting on my room door that Val made for me and now I have this super cool picture frame!

The picture frame itself is old. I got it at Jo-Ann’s light years ago. Well, I’m not that old… but it was definitely in my high school era. Whenever I got it, I painted it white and used turquoise paint for the edges to make it cute I guess. Well, it wasn’t really my style anymore soooo I used lots of primer (that turquoise was a pain to cover) and then two or three coats of white spray paint to cover it up.

Anywhoooo, I used another coordinating sheet of scrapbook paper and cut it to size (4x6).  Once upon a time (December, I believe?) my mom spotted these awesome black and white damask pattern sticker letters. The black is actually velvet!

After snipping and mathematically determining eyeballing the center of the piece of paper, I slapped that “A” on there and stuck it in the frame. I added it to my collection of frames on my dresser. I love photos and art so looking at my dresser makes my heart happy each day!

Happy thoughts,

Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design