Saturday, January 17, 2015

I did it! Good-bye kitchen cabinet....



So, as I posted previously, my large kitchen cabinet has started to fail.  The shelves were bowing and it started to pull away from the wall.  I had to make the decision to remove the cabinet,  restructure it, and put it back on the wall OR throw caution to the wind and remove it to explore new possibilities.


Yes, those are tree branches above the cabinets.  I use them with twinkle lights from Halloween thru winter.  It just adds a touch of sparkle to the drab winter.

I am not sure if it the promise of a new year or just an itch for change but I decided to remove the cabinet altogether!  Wait, what?  I KNOW!  I'm a little crazy for removing a perfectly good cabinet but what is life without a little adventure, right?


I emptied the cabinet, removed the shelves, and questioned my decision about 1,000 more times before removing it.  I mean, whether I fixed it or decided to eliminate it - it needed to come down.


And after some wriggling and pounding, down it came... 


The outlets on top of the cabinets allow for Christmas decorations and over cabinet lighting, etc.  That and the cabinet crown molding and trim had to be removed because it went along the top of all the cabinets for a finished look.  


So as I decided to go with the open shelving, it was off to the home store to get some wood and supplies.  I decided to go with 2" shelves for the rustic elegance.  I found scrap lumber and after going through about twenty five pieces, I found two that were perfectly straight yet with interesting graining.  I went with 2 x 12s which were four feet long.  I cut them to the width I needed.  I also bought some 1 x 2 cedar boards to serve as both a ledge for the shelf and trim for the cubby I was also building.


Then I spied some unfinished shelving for only $2.78 each!  Wait, what?  So I put back some of the more expensive wood and decided to use this to build the cubby for my glass jars of flour and sugar.  SCORE!  I love saving money!


So this project took a lot of sitting on a stool, having a snack and mulling over designs in my head, options for mounting the shelves, etc.  It was really a trial and error process but finally I got started.  I used the cedar boards coupled with large brackets to support the bottom shelf.





I had to drill a hole to run the existing under cabinet lighting through the new wood bracket.  The metal L brackets had to be off center because those were the only two existing studs in the wall.  


Living in Chicago, sometimes DIYing in the winter has its drawbacks.  Since it was about 20 below zero when I began this project, I elected to cut wood in the kitchen.  I had no choice really but it has made a HUGE mess.  Oh well, it beats frostbite!


I wanted the shelf to sit flush on the wood ledge so I chiseled the width of the bracket out before securing it to the stud in the wall.  It worked perfectly!



Now that the first shelf support was ready, I proceeded to the cubby.  I needed a closed area for glass jar storage but also to continue to line of the cabinets and trim, crown molding, and over cabinet lighting.  I used the unfinished shelving to make a very basic box.  I trimmed it out in 1 x 3s and 1 x 2s.


I chose to use the large brackets again because I didn't want to worry about anything crashing off the wall and I didn't want to have to be limited in  what I could put on the shelf.  I painted the cabinet and the metal brackets white for a uniform look.  A little caulk and some sanding and it looked like a uniform and polished cabinet.  Yay.


This was just me goofing around with options of what to put on the shelves.  I still have to add the second shelf and decide what color to stain the shelves.


I found this awesome Kate Spade inspired polka dot grey and creme cotton duck material which I was going to use as a backdrop to hide the brackets and give the kitchen some pop.  I also found these wire baskets at Goodwill for ...... $1.99 for the two big ones and .99 cents for the smaller one!  SCORE!!!


So that is where I am so far.  The weekend was spent watching Notre Dame hockey and men's basketball in South Bend so I am looking forward to finishing this Sunday evening.  I am so looking forward to how it is going to turn out.   Even though there is more work to do, I think I made the right decision.  I am excited to post the final product in a few days!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Unexpected Kitchen Project Kicks Off 2015!




Hello!  Happy 2015!  Let's start the year with a little quiz.... On New Year's Eve,  and all of a sudden I heard....

A.  Fireworks to celebrate the arrival of a new year

B.   Party horns and the sound of a fab party

C.  The collapsing of dishes in a kitchen cabinet!

If you answered C you are absolutely correct!  All of a sudden two of the shelves gave way in the main dish cabinet in my kitchen.  The little plastic things which hold the shelves in place all seemed to give way at the same time.  Very interesting!  And frustrating.


I have always had trouble with this cabinet pulling away from the wall, etc.  It is a large cabinet which holds a lot of stuff.  Thankfully, nothing broke!  I have no idea how that happened but I am extremely grateful!   Most of the items in that cabinet have sentimental meaning such as Disney mugs which are no longer available and family heirloom serving plates.  But now, I am face with the dilemma of what to do.

It definitely needs to be attended to and I don't want to risk just fixing the shelves and losing all the dishes the next time it decides to misbehave!  But out of adversity comes creativity!  My head is spinning with ideas!

The area where the cabinet is supported on each side by a microwave and glass cabinet on one side and the pantry wall on the other.  So I really don't have to put the cabinet back if I don't want.  I have always been intrigued by the concept of open shelving and this would be the ideal situation to give it a try.


Since the area above the cabinets houses electricity for over the cabinet lighting, the top of the cabinet cannot be removed.  So as an option, I found this adorable cubby hole system on Pinterest which would work out perfectly!  The instructions and blog post on Shanty 2 Chic can be found HERE.



I would make it a bit wider and only one level but it would also free up space in my pantry.  WIN WIN!

Then still exploring ideas and options on Pinterest, I found these rustic and cost effective open shelves which I LOVE!  These would be perfect!  I think I also have a few pieces of stone left from the backsplash to fill in if I made the shelf level with the microwave.  The tutorial and blog post from The Woodgrain Cottage can be found HERE.



So I am kind of being forced into jump starting projects for 2015 which isn't such a bad thing I guess.  I am going to think about it for a few days before I decide to simply reinforce the existing cabinet or throw caution to the wind and try something new!   This is starting off to be an interesting year already! Happy 2015  - I hope your DIY dreams come true!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Disney Frozen Themed Christmas Lights!



I have a confession!  I LOVE FROZEN!  I absolutely love it.  Here it is, over one year later and I still love the movie, the characters, the music, the snow theme, the ice, Olaf, Anna, Elsa, Sven, Kristoff, Oaken, etc.  I think the movie is fabulous and funny and highly entertaining.


So, on a recent trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, my 5th visit this year, I saw this sign and thought.... Hmmmm I could turn my house into Arendelle for Christmas.  So that is exactly what I did!



This is my sign I made to replicate the sign from the Downtown Disney Marketplace 12 Days of Christmas Store in Disney World.  I made it from frames from Michaels, a poster and foam and remnant  fabric.


I then mounted a scene setter Happy Birthday banners  to simulate Anna and Elsa looking out the castle windows.  I made the castle banners which were placed along the drive way and in between the castle windows.  I then draped them with garland and silver bows.


The next thing I made was OLAF!  I love Olaf and I knew that I had to have an awesome snowman in my Frozen Christmas display.  I cut his shape out of wood and then cut his image out of the scene setter birthday pack I purchased.  I then glued the plastic image to the wood.  I made his hair out of brown pipe cleaners and his arms out of felt which I glued to straws and attached it all to the back!  He really turned out ver cute.  I placed him in the large flower planter I have which I covered in a blue plastic tablecloth.  I then cut out some snowflakes out of foam to complete the look!


I then surrounded him with snowflake lights - this is how he looks at night.  He's really cute!



This was the front door - the garland, wreath, and snowflakes light up at night.  I love coming home at night and feel like I'm walking into Queen Elsa's castle in Arendelle!



These are the castle banners I made for the driveway.  The fabric was on clearance at WalMart for $1.00 a yard and I made the banner cover out of wood, glitter scrapbook paper and pompom trim.  I really like the way they turned out.


This was a totally fun project and I have received a lot of positive feedback from passers by!  I love Frozen and I know there are a lot of haters out there who tell me to "Let It Go"!  But, sorry.  I just can't - I love it too much!  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas week and a very Happy New Year!  Here's to a healthy and happy 2015!  CHEERS!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Merry Christmas from FROZEN's Arendelle!



I LOVE FROZEN!  I saw it the week it opened over a year ago and the obsession continues!  I am writing this from Walt Disney World in Florida and you cannot help but get swept up into the Frozen frenzy here.



A few weeks ago, WDW revealed this gorgeous holiday banner in Downtown Disney at the 12 Days of Christmas Store.  This inspired me to transform my house into Arendelle for Christmas.  It is still a work in progress and I hope to post the final pics this weekend.  But I did finish my front door!   Happy Holidays!  Frozen style!  ;-)



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Carpet is Gone! Time To Paint Some Faux Hardwood Floors!



The holidays are coming.  Slowly, but surely, the holidays are basically upon us.  And so is the nagging little head that says hey!  We need new drapes, new carpet, new sofas, etc.  So I decided to tear up the carpeting.

Ok - carpet is gone.  NOW WHAT?  I want hardwood floors but I really cannot afford them.  I want those awesome, distressed hardwood floors that have been around for a hundred years!  Like the ones Paul Revere walked upon or were once in a local pub in Ireland.

Alas, my budget cannot afford any of the above so I decided to PAINT my version of these floors.  And I must admit, they didn't turn out too badly.


I swept the dust and dirt away, removed all staples and tack boards and wiped the underlayment wood down with a very damp cloth.  I used a scraper to remove any globs of paint or glue.  Then, I used a basic brown porch floor paint and rolled it on.  Then, I took a 6" wide piece of wood and used a thick black magic marker and drew lines to simulate planks.



Then, I took a small bowl and added basic black paint and added some water and a darker grey paint.  I swirled it all together - I didn't mix it together - I wanted the colors to stay separated.  Then I used a sponge craft brush and painted the paint onto the floor, let it dry for about 30 seconds.  Then I used a damp rag and gently wiped the floor to create the desired effect.  I left some darker patches and some lighter areas to create the worn, vintage tavern floors I so desired.



Once that dried, I added a coat of polyurethane gloss to make them shiny and complete!  I love the look and the price even more!  They make the room turn out exactly as I had hoped.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ugly Refrigerator Makeover! With WALLPAPER??



Ok, let me start by saying the picture above is my DREAM refrigerator.  I have always wanted the Sub Zero glass front fridge - it is just the coolest thing EVER.  (No pun intended)   Alas, until I win the lottery, that is not happening any time soon.  So this is what I ended up with - I LIKE IT!




Yucky and rusty!  

My current refrigerator works but it is UGLY and dated.  There is absolutely no reason to buy a new one yet other than I want a shiny new one.  It is kind of like when your neighbor gets a new car and suddenly you need one too!  ;-)



So I decided to fix it up!  My first idea was to paint it silver so it would resemble one of those fancy stainless steel appliances.  There is only one word to describe this idea... FAIL!  Wow this couldn't have been more of a nightmare.  Ok - now what?  Hmmmm.... plan B.    Wallpaper.  Whaaaaa?


Yup - beadboard wallpaper.  Why not - it couldn't get any worse, right?  Found it at Lowes.  So I removed the handles with a screwdriver - the screws were right there when you open the door on the top.  Then I primed over the silver paint and the glossy original finish.  I gave it about three coats.



Then,  I simply wallpapered it.









Once this was completed, I added some trim in the form of 1/4" birch underlayment!  I cut it into strips and used Powergrab adhesive to adhere it to the fridge.

This is PowerGrab by Loctite - its awesome!  It doesn't smell, its white, and is an easy clean up with soap and water.  It is a bit more expensive than regular tubes of adhesive but SO worth the extra cost!



In order to add a handle, I had to saw the head off of a screw and insert an anchor into the wood.  This allowed for a standard cabinet knob to be used.  I found this fancy pull at Hobby Lobby and I spray painted it metallic silver.  I love the way it turned out.  Also at Hobby Lobby, I found a large pull for the bottom door and sprayed that as well.  Once it was all painted, I added the pulls.


* * * UPDATE * * * 
The answer to why there are SCREWS in the picture above question....

In the above picture you see screws holding the wood on the top of the fridge.  When I first came up with this crazy idea, I could not get the wood to stick using the PowerGrab by Loctite.  This stuff is awesome but I obviously wasn't using enough to get it to stick.  So I stuck these drywall screws in.  Then my sister came in during the middle of this project and she put a TON of the PowerGrab in it and held it in place for two minutes and walah - it worked!  It adhered just fine and looked so much nicer than the top.  So I had to countersink the screws and fill them in with spackle and joint compound and sand them smooth.  SO much more work.  Alas, as much as I hate to admit it - sometimes a sister does know best!  ;-)  Hope this helps!

Here is the picture of the screws I used.   SO glad I didn't have to use any screws on the bottom piece - it made such a difference:



Once all the wood was adhered, I primed everything with two coats of basic white primer.  Then I used this ACE paint.  It is cabinet and wood trim and it makes everything look so bright and clean.  Since I covered over the paper and wood, it actually created a pretty durable surface so dirt and stains can be wiped away.  I am not sponsored by ACE or Loctite - actually I am not sponsored by anybody LOL - but these are the products I have found to work the best for me and so I am simply passing it along.


This ACE metallic spray paint is the BEST one I have found and I have basically tried them all.





When all was said and done,  I am thrilled with the result.  Granted it isn't as fancy as the new stainless refrigerators with electronic display panels, in the door ice and water dispensers and usb ports, but hey, I like it.  Until I am forced to buy a new one, this one will do just fine!  Drumroll please......



TA DA!  


The bubble you see in the wallpaper on the top, eventually dried and disappeared.    Thank you for stopping by!    Have a wonderful day today!  ;-)