Category Archives: Do It Yourself

(B) Innovation on a napkin

I write on napkins for everything. The first time I wrote on a napkin, I was telling an ex boyfriend why he was insane for breaking up with me. Funny, but I still have that “letter”.

Most recently, I went back to my roots. I wrote my plan for this project on a napkin. I wanted to stay true to the idea. Plus I was at my kitchen table when it came to me and that was the closest thing to paper that I could find.

For this project, I wanted to innovate a way to save money on furniture by creating it. Creating it doesn’t always mean building it from pieces of wood. Sometimes it’s a matter of going to a consignment shop (Durham Rescue Mission is my go to place) and finding a piece of furniture that just needs a little love.

As a young professional, I couldn’t afford to buy brand new furniture and I didn’t have the credit to “pay for it later”. So, I had to get creative. This blog features a few of those projects that I have completed!

Here is my animation for the project.

DIY – Push Pin Board

This is a recycled project. I originally made this oversized piece with the damask pattern for the headboard over the platform bed I also “Did Myself”. When I moved locations from one home to the next, I decided that I no longer wanted it to function as my headboard, but rather an oversized push pin board to display photographs that I was given by family and friends or photographs I’d taken myself.

The decorative nails and ribbon was added after its use as a headboard to give it the support needed to hold photographs.


DIY: Dining Room Chair Reupholstry

I was fortunate to be given a dining room table with 6 chairs. The wood had a 70s, maybe 80s, look to it. It had brown wood and brown faux leather chairs. Knew the leather had to go. I was originally ok with leaving the table and chairs the original table, but I found a damask patterned roll of fabric at Hancock Fabric for a really great price, so I bought enough for the head board I was working on and the chairs.

DIY: Reupholstered Dining Room Chairs

Most upholstered chairs have screws on the bottom to separate the cushion from the chair. I removed the cushion and began spray painting the wood black (to coordinate with the fabric, have fun with the color). While the paint dried, I used the original foam from the chair, but removed the leather. That way I didn’t have to purchase new foam or cut it to fit the shape of the chair.

Using a staple gun, I wrapped the foam with the fabric and it was ready to go! By the time all 6 chairs were covered, the black paint was dry and ready for the top clear coat for protection. I chose to use a matte finish as oppose to glossy.

DIY – Coffee Table

This is the first DIY project that I mentioned from Pinterest. It was super easy to make as well. Probably easier than the wine rack because it didn’t require any wood cutting. The make up of this coffee table is crates found at Michaels and table feet found at Lowes. These crates are $13, but most Michael stores always have coupons for either a dollar amount or percentage off.

DIY: Coffee Table

Without the coupons, the crates were actually more than I wanted to pay, but I was able to find a 40% off one item and 25% off total purchase coupon (visit their website or sign up to receive their emails). This is how much I spent on this project:

  • 4 wooden crates from Michaels for $36.41 (after coupons)
  • 4 Artesian Small Round Bun (table feet) – $11.12 (2.78 each)
  • 4 Straight Top Plate (connects the table feet to the table) – $6.72 (1.68 each)
  • 3 cans of black spray paint – $9.20

The project ended up being more than I anticipated.  I after thinking about how functional it was, I was ok with spending $64 on a coffee table. Not only is it a coffee table, it also has storage. I would rather pay $64 than have to buy a coffee table and book shelf!


DIY: End Table Pair

I can’t tell you how palette crazy I am! I think it was the cutest idea to create functional pieces from reclaimed wood, palettes, old items around the house, etc. I used to go to furniture stores and walk right back out because nothing was ever in my budget. My budget is extremely modest these days because I have put myself on a student loan repayment plan. This plan ties up any extra money I have at the end of my bills, to pay extra towards my student loans. Right now I have put my self about 2 years ahead of schedule to pay off the highest interest loan that I have. I’ll probably write about that later.

So, I never actually said it, but this is a wooden palette creation (inspired from Pintrest as well). I found a palette that was slimmer than most and thought it would be great for an end table. Normally I get my wood cut at Lowes, but that’s when I buy it in pieces. Since palettes are already assembled, they won’t cut them. I knew at this point that I would be creating pieces in the future, so I decided to invest in an electric wood cutter (I’m sure that’s not the technical name for it). This tool cost me about $39.97 on sale. Yes! I love reduced priced items.

DIY: End Table (1 of 2)

I cut the palette at both ends. This left a piece in the middle (that I later used to create a small shelf that I will post later). I was going to cut it in half, but the brackets at the bottom would only support a 12 inch ledge.

I had to add a piece of wood that I was able to get from the scrap pile at Lowes for a small fee because the gaps in the palette were too far apart to hold anything on the surface. I had to add “l shaped” brackets at the front for support. I’m sure you can tell, but I am obsessed with black furniture, so I spray painted them black.

For the finishing touch and so that it can hang on the wall, I added decorative brackets at the bottom. These are actually small enough to use as a shelve too, but enough space on top to double as a table.

This project cost about $34.74:

  • Wood palette – FREE
  • L shaped brackets – $3.75 each (4 total – 2 for each table)
  • Decorative brackets – $10.54 (4 total – comes in packs of 2 at $5.27)
  • 3 cans of black spray paint – $2.30 each

If you chose to do this, feel free to try different sizes. Just remember to have a plan before you start!


DIY: Wine Rack with Stemware Storage

I AVOIDED joining Pinterest for months, close to a year, because I didn’t feel like I needed another addiction! I finally caved in when a friend of mine (thanks, Elle Michelle) showed me another DIY project for a coffee table. And that is how I got hooked. I saw a lot of great ideas for repurposing wooden palettes. LOVE THIS IDEA. I would make everything in my house out of palettes if that weren’t tacky. My first stab at transforming old palettes was this lovely wine rack.

DIY - Wine Rack with Stemware Holder
DIY – Wine Rack with Stemware Holder

I couldn’t WAIT to hang this. The total cost for this project was under $20. Estimated at $16.74 (I made the 74 cent part up). Here’s the breakdown of the cost:

  • Wooden Palette – FREE
  • Hooks on back to hang – $1.18 for two (one on each side)
  • Almond color spray paint – $3.00
  • Two (single row – they also come in multi row) under cabinet stemware rack – $5.99 each from the Container Store (if you do not have one near you, use a search engine to locate a store that may carry them)

The palette doesn’t have a support system on the bottom, so you have to add that. Luckily I had scrap wood from the platform bed I made a few years ago, so I was able to use that (score)! I used heavy duty nails (3 nails total) because this rack holds up to 10 bottoms of regular size wine bottles and that’s a lot of weight (these nails were also from when I made the bed). Make sure to sand the wood (I purchased a sander from Walmart for less than $30) or else the spray paint may not take the way you want.

Once your paint has dried completely, add the stemware racks for the final finished look!