“Lego, however, is always opened and then left lying around so adults have something to tread on when they are prowling around the house at two in the morning, in bare feet, looking for the source of a noise.”
― Jeremy Clarkson, And Another Thing
I got bored. A few nights ago I was feeling all sorts of restless. I needed to do something, and I have a whole lot of projects staring me in the face. I got project guilt. All these cool things begging to be crafted, and I would rather watch reruns of supernatural. Team Dean! I forced myself to trot, yes trot, into the garage and start one of the pieces of furniture I have piled up in there. Anything.
Backstory time. I was playing with this brand new stencil I got at Joanns. It’s purdy, I thought would this be lovely on my lack table from Ikea. Oh I only have latex paint? No worries, it should work out fine. It did not work out in any sort of fine. Latex paint, although lovely looks like shit when used with a stencil. Ladies and gentlemen, the more you know. I am also lazy as well as bored, so I neither wanted to sand or scrape the paint off. Enter jigsaw! I found this lovely broken Lego table top at goodwill for a whole four bucks. It needed some loving… And um legs. No legs, no problem! I’ll just sort of Frankenstein them together, and it shall me my masterpiece. My kid will dig it, and I got rid of a piece of furniture that has been looking at me for months. Go me!
I decided one of my four black 2 x 6 expedits need a makeover. A facelift. A refresh. A cheap coating of “makeup” that will go better with my seaside meets modern meets turquoise explosion in my living room. Expedits are wonderful and very versatile furniture from IKEA. You can pretty much do anything with them, but they have a very specific look and can look very cluttered if you use all the compartments.
I have been wracking my brain for some time trying to figure out what to do with a very modest budget and this. I have, like, a gazillion pins. I have an entire pin board dedicated to what to do with bookcases. It is really important in our household. We live in 1000 square feet and have a lot of crap. I also have an aversion to clutter, but I like stuff. Go figure. Thus starts the great furniture redo.
I am going to start by apologizing. I didn’t catch the very beginning of this project like I wish I had on film. I found on IKEA Hackers dimensions for creating doors for an expedit. Door Link The plywood called for 39cm X 79.5cm. Which works out to roughly 15.35 x 31.29. I winged it and had a sheet of plywood that was faced with pine cut to 15.5″ x 31.25″. It worked out just fine size wise. Because this is a project with a strict budget and I am a picky person in terms of design, I wanted a modern feel but not modern pricing. I found a box of cedar shims at Home Depot for 4.99 and loved the shape and different wood patterns. I decided to place them horizontally using wood glue and clamps. Shims are at a 45 degree angle, so it gave the doors a really interesting texture.
Once all the shims were glued into place, I used snippers to cut the ends so that they were flush with the edge of the board. I then hit them with a sander and some natural stain to bring out all the imperfections and wood differences.
The doors are finally taking shape. Now to attack the Expedit itself.
I love teal. It is kinda an obsession. I have a lot of teal crap in my house because of it. I thought, “Let’s paint it teal. It will be easy!” Right. Here are my tried and true steps for painting IKEA furniture.
Buy half a dozen cans of spray paint that is meant to be sprayed on plastic. Price = 25.00$
Get a bottle of wine. Price = 6.00$
Drink half the bottle of wine. Price = Half my liver.
Proceed to sanding the ever living shit out of every surface you intend to paint. Price = offended my neighbors with the cursing.
Sand some more. price = more neighbors pissed. Dog is looking at me weird.
Drink more wine. Price = Other half of liver.
Wipe down excess residue from the sanding. I like windex for this. Don’t ask me why.
Apply safety equipment. Get a ventilator because these fumes make you stupid. Price = 15.00
Spray spray spray.
I tend to like light coats. They stick better.
Do not spray during super humid weather. See how there are chunks missing from the paint. That is because it was too humid and did not stick.
For this unit I went through 6 cans of paint over the course of 2 weeks. With some light sanding in between due to weather problems.
Go to home depot and purchase a heavy duty water based shellac. This is important, as it helps keep things from chipping. Price = 12.99 Worth every penny.
Apply copious coats of shellac.
I used spray paint in this project, but a good paint with a built in primer works also. Just remember to shellac the hell out of it and you will be fine.
Here are the doors stained and attached with hinges and magnetic clasps. I would write more about how to do that, but it took me 3 hours and I am sure I did it incorrectly. I was just happy that the doors opened and closed effectively. The feet were purchased at home depot for 4.50 apiece. I attached them over a seam. Be gentle with the legs. IKEA furniture is hollow on the outside so not incredibly strong for drilling and such. Also, the hinges need to be attached to the inside instead of the outside. This due to once again the outside being hollow.
If you are up for a challenge, IKEA furniture is a real pain in the ass, but it looks nice afterwards.
As first attempts go, my first attempt at over dyeing a rug turned my rug a slightly blue tinge, but only in the right light. It also stained my tub like a smurf crime scene. I killed Brainy. He was annoying as hell anyway. Don’t tell anyone.
I would deduce this as a pinterfail but frankly, I don’t fail pins. I do them twenty times till I have flattened my face by hitting a wall or I make the damn pin. I mean why buy a fifteen dollar lamp when you can make your own for two hundred.
What I have learned from this disaster? Hotter water, I need caustic chemicals, and probably not RIT dye. But I swear on Odin’s Nuts my fifteen dollar goodwill rug will be a glorious shade of teal or I will fray it trying. I need to bring out the big guns here. I need to read some directions and God forbid follow some instructions and it will be blue. I need a blue runner. It has to happen. It is a thing now. I sound like a crazy person… Stop looking at me like that. I’m not crazy. (Tries to bite own ear)
My husband is almost completely blind in the dark. I stand constantly in amazement when we contrast how different our vision is in the dark. I am not saying I have a superpower, but let’s just say if I was in a dark room with you. “I can see you!” Mwahaha. Conversely I have to constantly wear sunglasses because I have something called photophobia which makes it sound like my eyes are afraid of the light. Stupid scared-of-the-light eyes. But really only means that my eyes are super light sensitive.
Recently, I put a black fan in a dark hallway in the middle of the night. It was hot, our fan is black, sue me. My husband fell ass over tea-kettle. He told me I was trying to kill him. He doesn’t think much of me if he thought I would try and kill him with a fan. Sheesh..
I looked on Pinterest for good ideas for an interesting room night light. I didn’t find much, I did however come across a picture of a some text that was back lit. An idea formed and I made it happen.
The execution is simple. You will need:
1. Canvas that fits in to your space. Mine was 11 x 17
2. A can of glossy black spray paint. It could be matte, but I like the reflection of the lights on the surface.
3. A lettering template of some sort. Mine were scrapbook letters that really didn’t stick right at all. Next time I am using vinyl letters or watercolor masque.
Position your phase in letters on the canvas however you please.
Take outside, and coat the canvas with black spray paint. I did sweeping motions trying to be careful not to spray under the not so sticky letters.
Pull off letters.
Add a bright cool light source. I purchased a string of ultra bright LEDs from Amazon for seven dollars. They are duck tapped to the back.
And that’s it! Easey peasey lemon squeezey.
The next one I will make for the den is one that will say, “no sleep till Brooklyn!” Beastie Boys for life yo!
I have expensive tastes. I blame it on going to design school and not being able to withstand something that is poorly designed. I get physically ill. It is stupid and makes me feel like an ass, but it is true. When something is out of balance, it kills me. Funny story, during my husband and my honeymoon on the east coast we drove through Richmond, Virginia. I had to close my eyes the whole way through the town because of how poorly designed some of it was. No offense to those of Richmond, Virginia. This is my weird quirk.
The counter to having expensive taste is you need money, lots of money. We do not have lots of money. Like at all. This poses a great and exciting challenge for me to take something that is goodwill/thrift store bough and transform it into something esthetically pleasing. I surf Pinterest and say constantly, “I can do that shit.” I even have a folder for it called “Current Projects.” In retrospect I should probably label it as “ICDTS” or something instead. The other life problem we have is a very small house, and a very young daughter who biffs it quite often. I needed to make a coffee table of some sort. Cheaply, that was safe for my little viking and that looked somewhat aesthetically pleasing. Because I have to look at it all day, and if it bothers me it will get relegated to the furniture graveyard that is my garage.
Thus enter the hunt for a small ottoman! I was lucky in that I found a ottoman at the goodwill, perfect size and in reasonably good condition for twenty bucks. The fabric was dirty ugly. Dated and icky. Seriously foul, but it had some good prospects. Wood feet in decent shape and it was structurally sound. Purchasing new fabric is also a problem because fabric is freaking expensive if you buy it in multiple yards. Especially fabric for chairs, and sofas. I used a single panel curtain instead that was made of some rugged material. YAAAASSS. Here is the results:
The process was pretty simple and straight forward.
Purchased ottoman and curtain
Borrowed heavy duty stapler and staples.
Position curtain over ottoman making sure to get good coverage on all sides.
Flipped ottoman over and began stapling curtain to the underside of the ottoman. I attached it to the wood base.
I folded the edges inwards like I was wrapping a birthday present.
Snipped the excess material.
Tightened the legs with a phillips screwdriver and painted them white with some leftover white paint I had from another project.
I feel like a rockstar. Total cost is 27.00 dollars. I am just going to go sit on the couch and bask in my crafty awesomeness.