Thursday, November 29, 2012

Desk Makeover in 48 hours

My latest freebie, a "hand-me-around"
In my family, we were big on hand-me-downs.  However, when us kids became adults and sizes could/can be shared, we began the phrases, "hand-me-ups" for going up in birth order, and "hand-me-arounds" for when they travel any direction in the family.  So when me neighbor was getting rid of a children's desk, I saw the perfect hand-me-around that could be used for my youngest son.  This once unfinished pine desk had been painted white with white knobs.  The paint was in need of some sprucing up.

Always preferring to showcase natural wood, I sanded down the top to reveal the original pine. Somewhere along the way, my new Dewalt sander (only used a few times since May) decided to quit on me. Yes, kaput, dead, no sanding! So I finished the top off by hand and hoped for the best, all while grumbling about this "awesome, contractor grade" sander I had purchased. In my frustration, I forgot to take a picture of the natural wood. 

Stained and Primed!
Moving on to the stain, I went the cheaper route and chose the Minwax Honey I already had from a dresser project. I also took the time-saver route with the primer and used Zinsser 123 Primer so I didn't have to worry about sanding or cleaning the white paint. Also had this left in storage. 

Imperfections show through, but I just call that wood character
My son agreed with me on an almond color paint and some black drawer pulls. And with that, we have a great desk updated for him to use for homework!

Alex's Finished Hand-Me-Around Desk!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lighted Christmas Package

I can't take credit for the inspiration of this craft.  I saw it at a craft show several years ago and fell in love with it.  This was long before craft stores started carrying the blocks.  Being the thrift/crafty person I am, there was no way I was paying $25 at the craft show when I could go home and make one myself.  However, they didn't sell those little glass cubes...they were special order.  At least they used to be until Micheal's and ACMoore started carrying them year round!  So last year, I grabbed my 50% off coupon (never go there without a coupon!) and dug out my leftover ribbon and unused Christmas lights.  And voila.  I had myself that craft show piece for only $5!  This sits in the dining room where we eat Christmas dinner but it is also beautiful under the tree!
To make

Christmas ribbon
strand of Christmas lights
Glass cube from a craft store with hole already in it

Put the Christmas lights inside the glass block and arrange so that when they light up, it looks balanced.  Tie the ribbon around the outside of the block so that it looks like a package being wrapped.  I tied mine just like a regular bow as if I was tying shoes to keep it simple.

Linked up at:
Beyond the Picket Fence