The Hutch Makeover

Or should I say ‘makeunder’ since I was going for a simpler look?  Or is it just weird that I’m writing a whole post about a hutch makeover in general?  Most DIY bloggers showcase entire room makeovers including hutches that they beautifully styled and primped.  Well, not me.  I’d show you our whole living room but the fact is it’s still a little bit of a smorgasbord of things and getting to a reveal is going to take a little bit longer for this tortoise.  But, you can see the mirror I painted here and the pillows hanging out here if you so wish.  :)

So, shall we move on?  Sure thing.

Here was the hutch a few weeks ago: 
Was.  It was filled with lots of hand-me-downs (that I truly love) like my grandmother’s milk glass, some frames with homemade art, some thrifted vases, and other random things.  Atop it was another jumble of things that gave the whole thing a little bit of a country vibe which is cool but which is also not my style.

Not on the agenda (or in the budget) though, was a change…until I got my very first issue of HGTV magazine a few months ago.  One page got me and got me good.
It was the after picture of a hutch they made over and it wasn’t really the hutch as much as the way they styled it.  As I was looking at all of the things inside it, I realized that I had a lot of similar items in my house.  So, that day during naptime, I took everything out of our hutch and refilled it with those similar items.

Here’s what it’s looking like today:
hutch (4)hutch (2)

On top of the things I grabbed from amongst our own things to refill it, a bunch of little diy projects went into it, and also a few thrifted treasures.  Bear with me while I elaborate.  :)

hutch (5)

Half of the hardcover books were recently thrifted; purchased based on the color of their spine and that’s it.  The large green and yellow vases were thrifted a long time ago as were the two gold candlesticks, the aqua vase, and the clear bubble candle pillar.
Some of the milk glass made the cut to go back in and the rest will be put elsewhere in the house.

hutch (9)

The white storage box on the top shelf was the box my best friend sent last year holding inside it a request to be a bridesmaid in her wedding (this ‘gram).  I can’t part with it.
hutch (8)

It used to be black.
You can see the rough section on the box where I ripped off the packing tape that held it closed on it’s journey here.  Off with the tape came the top layer of the paper the box is made out of.  I was hoping that, even though it wouldn’t make those spots smooth, a little paint would disguise that whole issue.

So, I gave it a quick coat of spray primer and then a coat of white spray paint.


Unfortunately, the paint didn’t do the greatest job of sticking and not soaking into the paper where the tape had been ripped off.  So, after the spray paint dried, I painted the whole box with some white acrylic paint I had and that did the trick.

Then I grabbed my gold paint pen (purchased for this project but that failed) and added a little fun to the area where the tape was to further hide the roughness.

Now it fits right in.
hutch (1)

The gray and white striped box on the right side of the hutch was a perfume box I’ve had pictures stored in forever.hutch (7)

It’s made of heavy duty cardboard.  I just spray painted it white and then laid some tape across it in strips.  Then I painted over the taped and un-taped stripes using some gray paint (leftover from this stenciled rug project), and then carefully removed the tape to reveal the new gray and white stripes.  The blue cut-out vase atop it was a Dirt Cheap find and the sea urchin was diy-ed (tutorial here).  The wood box on the bottom shelf is a bible box I’ve had since I was a wee girl.  I thought about sanding it down to get a more natural wood look but it has a few small latches and hinges to go around and just seemed a little too tedious of a project.

On top of the hutch I did some much needed restyling.  The mercury glass vase was diy-ed (tutorial here in yesterday’s post).  The orb-ish thing is just an embroidery hoop that I bought several months ago for a project that didn’t come to fruition.  The minty vase was a thrift find.  The large frame was an amazing thrift find a few weeks ago!  I got it for 50 cents!  It’s big and metal and it’s the same mint-green color as our sectional.  The print inside it was a thrift find from a few years ago but I just saw the same print on clearance at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago for under $2.  I cut it to fit the frame.
  hutch (11)

You might’ve also noticed the gorgeous knobs this sweet thing’s sporting.
hutch (12)

I am in la-la-love with them.
 hutch (13)
[And I also have yet to touch up the paint the old knob scratched up behind them.]
I saw these beauties at Hobby Lobby many moons ago and wished I could snatch them all up and replace every knob in this house with them.  Then, a few months ago, I went through a big closet purge and sold a bunch of my dresses and with some of that cash, I went and bought my knobs.  They were 50% off the week I bought them so I got eight of them for around $16.  You probably don’t remember because they didn’t make the greatest impression, but the original knobs on the hutch were plain, stocky wooden ones that I spray painted with some hammered brown spray paint…blah.  These make all the difference in the world.
hutch (15)

And that’s it!

But, for more kicks, let’s do a whole history.  Here’s what the hutch looked like when we first got it from a friend (we traded a twin mattress for it):
hutch before

Then after we moved to Alabama, I painted it:
artbyme 001

Then the knobs made things a little happier:

And last, HGTV happened:
hutch (2)

What a journey, no?
hutch b&a 

I think I am so passionate for decorating right now because it’s really a challenge.  We don’t have it in our budget to spend much, if anything on home decor right now, so finding ways to make things pretty while only spending a little bit is so fun!  Call me crazy but it’s the truth.  This hutch is the perfect example of that!  But then again, that challenge puts these crazy ideas in my head too which don’t always work out like I picture.  For example, I looked into getting the cranberry-colored clubs chairs in our living room reupholstered and the cost was way, way, way out of our budget.  So, this crazy person is going to try to do it herself.  I haven’t found the perfect, cheap but quality fabric yet to do so, but when I do, look out…and wish me luck.  Lots and lots of luck…and wine, and help, and maybe advice?  :)


DIY Mercury Glass

Thanks to the sweet thoughts and therefore actions of friends and family, we’ve collected many a glass vase over the years that once held flowers.  Usually, I store them away under the hutch for a rainy day or a potential project.  To this day I think I’ve done zero things with all of them…until now.  I forgot to take a good before but you can see half of the vase this post is about atop the hutch in this ‘gram:
   mercury glass b4
The plan?  To go all mercury glass with it.  Here’s how.

First, the supplies:

- clear glass vase
- Looking Glass spray paint (Krylon)
- spray bottle filled 1/4 of the way with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar
- a few paper towels

There are a few tutorials online on how to do this but in the end I just winged (wung?) it with my own rendition to see what happened (hint: it turned out awesome!)  First, I gave the inside of the vase a few sprays with my water/vinegar mixture.  The mixture beaded when it hit the surface.  I probably spritzed about 3-4 times; not too much.  Just enough to wet the entire inside without forming a pool at the bottom of the vase.  (If you do spray too much, just dump it out and move along.  No big deal.  Mercury glass is very imperfect as it is so mistakes aren’t really mistakes in this project!)
[It’s hard to tell how much I actually sprayed in pictures but you can kind of see the foggy, vinegar/water covering on the inside of the vase.]

Then I grabbed the looking glass spray paint.  My Aunt gave me this spray paint three years ago for my b-day and I finally got around to using it!
You can find it here on Amazon (my affiliate link) but I know for a fact that, if you arm yourself with a coupon, it’s cheaper at craft stores (Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell it).

Next, I sprayed three light coats of the looking glass spray paint inside my vase, waiting about two minutes in between each coat.  Note:  The spray paint started pooling at the bottom of the vase after the second coat so I just picked up the vase and swirled that paint around the inside.  What little still pooled I just left.  IMG_8786

After I had sprayed the three coats, I let the vase sit for 10 minutes and then I carefully dabbed the inside of the vase with the paper towels, removing the beads of water/vinegar.  I also rubbed a little harder in a few larger spots to get a more imperfect look.  (A lot of the tutorials I read called for a light coat of the looking glass spray paint on the outside of the vase after the inside was done but I didn’t do that.)  After dabbing away the vinegar/water, I let the vase sit to dry. 

Behold, our new mercury glass vase:

This would be such a fun project to do for a holiday tablescape – grab a bunch of clear glass vases at your local thrift store and mercury them.  Then line the middle of your table with them.  :)

Ours went back to the top of the hutch which I’ll be sharing in it’s fullness tomorrow (if all goes smoothly in this household today, otherwise it’ll be Monday for sure.) 

I’ve also been working on a super fun project that I was hoping to share before this week is over but it’s looking like it’ll be next week instead because nap times just aren’t long enough…which is totally okay.  :)  You can get a sneak peek here though.

What have you been working on?  Maybe you’re smart and have started spring cleaning instead of dabbling in silly projects like me.  ;)  Anthony told me a few weeks ago we should definitely wash all of our windows soon, inside and out, and guess who hasn’t even started.  I’ll just throw that one over to fall cleaning and blame the rain.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

.           .           .

If you like it, you should put a pin in it:
diy mercury glass

Welcome Home

Lately I’ve been plugging (slowly) away at a few small projects; little projects that I can get done during the first half of naptime and that don’t cost much, if anything.  This is one of those projects.  This wall of our laundry room has pretty much looked the same for a couple of years or more.
 welcome home

The mirror on the wall is one I toothpicked a few years ago and it’s still there so that I can grab a quick glance of myself while walking out the door; trying to make sure I don’t scream overwhelmed-mom-of-toddlers in my soon-to-be public appearance.  (It usually shows that I do anyway…oh well.)  

While I was cleaning out the laundry room last week though, I took the chance to hang a few more things on that wall.  It’s the wall that greets you when you walk in the door so it should be a happy place, right? 

I’d like to think so.

This says “happy”, yes?  Maybe?  Better than before at least?  Okay.  We’ll just go with that.

I relocated a cross to the wall from the entry way (it hung there awhile back) and whipped up a little watercolor print spouting “welcome home” to all who enter. 

I used the same paint and technique I used to paint this watercolor print in our dining room.  Anybody could do it.  Seriously.  Chances are that, even if you don’t have the best handwriting pen/pencil-wise, it probably looks pretty cool in watercolor.

Then, I grabbed some leftover coral-colored paint I had left from painting this desk, and rubbed a little bit over the bumps on the edge of the frame just to add a little more color to an otherwise neutral wallscape.

This frame has seen better days; it’s a little scuffed and could probably use a new coat of white paint, so I knew that if I didn’t like the coral, I could always give it that touch-up coat right away to hide it.  But, as it turns out, I kinda like it.  I’ll think I’ll keep it that way for awhile…until that touch-up coat, that is.


Oh!  And I moved the diy roman shade that hung on the front door prior to its cloak in red-orange to this door.  I don’t think it’ll stay here forever but for now it’s much better than the boring brown shade that was there.  :)

See ya later!










(Not)Under the Sea

I’ve been crushing on all the sea urchins I’ve been seeing in home decor around the web.  I want one…or several.  Target has some (and they’re on sale this week) but I couldn’t bring myself to shell out $20 for them when Sebastian needs some new kicks.  So goes my checkbook.

So, I rummaged around the house in search for urchin material, found it, and made one.  Behold:
Not bad for free, eh?

It turned out pretty great even though there are a few things I’ll do differently next time.  I’ll get to those things in a sec but first, here’s how I made this one.

I grabbed a pack of bamboo skewers I had leftover from the girl’s mirror project.  And then I searched for the easiest play dough recipe I could find via the web that needed ingredients I already had on hand (I forgot to keep note of which recipe I actually used in the end, sorry!  But, the ingredients were flour, salt, water, and cream of tartar I think.  I didn’t have any food coloring to make things more fun so I tried some lemonade mix we had and it didn’t do a dang thing.)

First, I cut the skewers down with the blades on a needle-toe pliers so that they were each about four inches long.   IMG_8709
Then, while the kids were making faux breakfast/lunch/dinner with (and eating…*cough*Sebastian*cough*) the play dough, I stole one small dollop and formed it into a half-circle.  The diameter of the bottom was about an inch and a half.  I didn’t want a huge urchin since the space it was going to rest wasn’t the largest but I wanted it to be big enough to not be missed.

Then I simply stuck in skewer pieces until I felt it was dense enough. 
And then one of the girls started screaming at the other who then needed to go potty and Sebastian went for another mouthful so I quickly turned to them and knocked my new urchin right off the counter onto the hard tile below.  I don’t know what looked worse, my face or the urchin.  Either way, I had to start over but I waited until after bedtime because fool me once…  ;)

Round two went much better.  I actually assembled the urchin on a small piece of wax paper this time though so that it wouldn’t stick to the surface it was on; I noticed the first one was a tad.  A few days later, after I had given the play dough time to dry, I took the whole thing outside and gave it a nice coat of gold spray paint (Rustoleum – my fave!)

When that dried, I very carefully lifted my sea friend off her wax paper setting and into the hutch in the living room, where she serves as both decor and museum material behind that glass…”See the sea urchin kids? They live in the ocean, move really slowly, and feed on algae.”  (Thank you wikipedia!)  Form and function; function and form.


And speaking of the hutch, I completely redecorated the shelves on it a few weeks ago.  I’m still tweaking a few things so I’m not going to show the full monty yet, but here’s a sneak peek:
It’s been really fun tinkering with shelf decor in there, having anything I want at my design disposal because the kids can’t touch it hence it doesn’t matter if it’s breakable.  I used a bunch of things I already had plus some thrifted books…in case you were wondering where most of these went.  :)

As far as what I’ll do differently the next time I make a sea urchin (our master bath is calling for some), the bamboo sticks were great because I already had them, but next time I’ll grab something with a small base that will make smaller, therefore less noticeable holes in the dough.  Maybe some pointed toothpicks?  Also, the play dough seemed to shrink just a little when it dried, also making the holes larger and more noticeable and I didn’t try it, but I bet if I pulled on a skewer piece, it’d come right out.  Actual clay might’ve worked better.  Or, you could make the urchin like I did above, take all the skewers out when the dough dried but before painting, pour some glue into each hole to fill them in, and reassemble.  That would solve the big hole problem and hold those skewers in forever.  You can be sure I’ll give you the deets on our next urchin but if you try one before me, let me know how it turns out!

Happy Thursday folks!

 diy sea urchin

Old to the New Navy

We are back from the Mile High City and let me tell you, traveling with toddlers is no easy undertaking!  We spent two hours on a bus and two and half hours on a plane, both ways.  I won’t go into details on the crazy but let’s just say we’ve sworn off major travel for severalllll months until there’s a little more independence amongst the toddlers in the fam and, therefore, a little more sanity amongst the adults.  ;)

So, moving on…

I’ve been drooling over these K & Elphy sandals for the girls:
[image via K & Elphy]

But, at $56 a pair, they’re way out of the park when it comes to our tiny budget.

So, armed with a gift card I’ve had since Christmas, I bought a couple of pairs of these from Old Navy:

[image via Old Navy
With a 30% discount code, I got them for about $11 each.  The thing about them though is that, while they’re cute with the fabric flowers, I feel like they’re a little too top heavy and being that the flowers are very notneutral colors, I’d have a hard time pairing them with every outfit I bedeck the girls in.  So, I bought them with the intention to change things up a little. 

And change them I did…

  A little bit different than how they came packaged, right?  Improvisation at it’s finest.  When I can’t have the ones I really want, I get them in a slightly different way. 

I was 90% sure I could take the flowers off the sandals when ordering them since I removed the bows off these shoes last year pretty easily and I was right.  All I had to do was remove the stitches holding the flowers on using a seam ripper.

See the stitches?
The stitching around the outside of the bottom of the felt piece holding the flower on was the same color as the stitching along the faux leather sides of the t-strap (does that make any sense?) so I had to be really careful that what I was ripping was the flower stitching and not the actual stitching holding the shoe together. IMG_8501

One down, one to go:
The flowers will make some cute headbands or clips sometime in the future.  :)

After I had both flowers off, I measured the t-strap into six even sections and painted those sections starting with white.  I didn’t paint the very top of the t-strap, where it meets the top strap, for no reason other than just because.  I just stuck to painting inside the stitching on the strap.
When the white was dry, I went in and painted on the black.  I used regular acrylic paint so the paint dried pretty fast and I was able to get both shoes done in about 20 minutes.  Originally I was going to use puff paint so you wouldn’t be able to see the tiny holes left behind from the stitching but the paint filled them in pretty well and I’m really loving the matte finish of the acrylic so we’ll see how it holds up in the long run.  So far, so good!

I love how they turned out!  Anthony isn’t the biggest fan of them but I’m hoping they’ll grow on him.  :) 

(Side note:  Old Navy also has these sandals which, if you painted the front strap, would imitate the K & Elphy’s even more but I wasn’t sure if paint would stick to the patent faux leather so I went with the t-straps instead.)

I took the girls outside in the rain this morning to grab the ‘after’ pictures and caught more than I needed so it’s only makes sense to share them.  I don’t like black and white stripes at all apparently…


My bribe of “I’ll let you hold my umbrella” was a winner and they leapt out the door to do so. 

Oh and their scarves!  I debuted them to Instagram a couple of weeks ago but I might as well give the low down here since this is supposedly a DIY blog or something…  I found this long-sleeved tee on clearance (I found it for 70% off in-store but click the link to find it 50% off online!) at Target last month and knew it’d make great infinity scarves for the girls.  I grabbed the biggest size they had.  To get the scarves out of it, I first cut off the top portion by cutting off the bottom of the tee right under each armpit.  Then I cut the big square that gave me down the middle so I had two halves of the bottom of the tee. 

Placing the right sides of fabric together for each piece, I sewed the two cut sides together and that’s it!  You could totally do this with no-sew tape too – see this tutorial.  Since it’s cotton, I didn’t hem the top (the bottom was already hemmed since it was the bottom of the tee) because it won’t fray.


I’m kinda wishing I’d have gotten another for myself!  :)

.           .           .

I hope it’s nicer in your neck of the woods than it is in ours.  Our forecast shows nothing but rain and thunderstorms for the next five days and that just makes this moms cabin fever warning siren go off loud and clear.  The last time I took the kids out in the rain I lost my car keys so I’m going to pretend I learned from that mistake and stay inside the casa…until desperation plays devil’s advocate and I suddenly find myself and the kids wandering those dangerous-to-the-wallet aisles of Target…  ;)


Kisses to you and yours!  :*