Getting Crafty

Kyle and I had always planned on eventually moving Isla to a different bedroom once she got older. While we were originally going to make the move when she was to become a big sister, but since we had new carpet installed and we were moving furniture around anyway, we went ahead and relocated her ahead of schedule.

I also originally has plans to repaint her room, but with the new carpet I really didn’t want to risk getting paint on it. Instead, Kyle and I decided to let her eventually pick her own paint scheme if she wanted something other than the brown that’s currently on the walls. To make her new room seem more like a little girl’s room and less like the guest bedroom is was, we’re brightening up her space with bright accents and furniture. (Eventually she’ll have white furniture to match the bookshelf I redid for her.)

Other than that bookshelf, I also decided to repurpose some letters that spelled out her name. Isla was gifted it when she first came to the world, but we never did hang it because there was no real spot to put it in her nursery. Instead, I found a decent sized canvas at Michaels for $13 (with one of their magical 50% off coupons), took the (giant) can of purple paint that I had bought to paint the stripes in her nursery (seen here), and painted it.

After the first coat.

After the first coat.

It was super hard to see the paint coverage in the sunlight and I ended up missing some spots, so a second coat was definitely needed. The colour is definitely one that pops when it’s in the correct lighting!

After the paint had dried, I busted out the glue gun and simply glued the letters onto the canvas! It definitely could have turned out better, but when you’re dealing with wonky, uneven letters and hot glue, you just gotta eyeball everything and hope that everything is more or less even ;) Overall, I’m satisfied with my craftiness.


Please excuse the horrible lighting and wonky reflection. I swear, it looks better in person!

It really has helped brighten her room up, and Isla frequently points to it and says, “That’s Isla!” She also looks at it and attempts to recite the ABC’s, but whatever.

Upcycling Project: Bookshelf

Before Kyle and I even bought our own place, we had purchased a ridiculously heavy and old bookshelf from a company that was shutting down and purging all of its office supplies. It wasn’t exactly the most attractive  bookshelf, but it did the job in holding all of our random books, from my chick-lit novels to his welding books from school. We’ve dragged it around with us for nearly 5 years now and when we decided to put in new carpet and move Isla into her “big girl” room, I thought I’d take the opportunity to give it a little facelift.

Of course, I got started before taking “before” photos, but I did manage to find a couple of photos of it as background noise:

See? Brown and not very pretty. It’s a solid bookcase, but is wrapped in laminate, so it was going to make painting it a little tricky. Lucky for me, Kyle supported me in this project and he sanded down the finish with his palm sander. (Probably because he thought I’d sand my fingers off, or something like that, which is a huge possibility.) He also went out to the paint store and bought me the best primer and paint her could get his hands on. I had told him to get white paint and since he knows that there is no such thing as “just white” paint, he asked the lady at the paint store to help him with the right “shade.”

Anyway, the shelf ended up needing two coats of primer. Here’s a photo after I had the first coat all done:


After I was done priming it, it needed another two coats of paint:

I would have finished this a lot sooner if I was able to paint while Isla was awake, but since toddlers and latex paints doesn’t exactly go together, it took me about a week to finish everything between coats. (It also makes me very happy to have an enclosed garage where I can just shut the door when I’m done and not have to worry about the wind blowing dust all over the wet paint!)

When I was finally finished, Kyle and his uncle lugged the monster back upstairs and into Isla’s room. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and it really brightens up Isla’s room! Once she gets new furniture it will look great together. Here it is, all completed and loaded with Isla’s books and stuffies:


I thought (briefly) about doing an ombre scheme on the back of the case, but since the shelves are adjustable I opted not to incase in the future Isla (or I) wants to change the height. And I’m sure Kyle would’ve groaned at that idea and the extra cost of paint anyway ;)

While I am proud of upcycling this bookshelf, I know that I probably could have bought Isla a whole new shelf for the same amount of money it cost for the paint & supplies. Womp womp. Live and learn, right? ;)

Chair UpCycling

I would never classify or call myself a thrifty person whatsoever. I like things new and knowing that there’s no possibility that someone has urinated on them. Basically, you’d never catch me at a yard sale or thrift store hauling a “funky” old/dated couch into the back of my truck. Nope, not me. I digress …

After randomly stumbling upon a few pins of funky coloured wooden chairs, and after witnessing in person the wonders of how a simple coat of brightly coloured spray paint can give something a major facelift, I decided that I was going to tackle a bit of an “upcycling” project myself. See, I have this old (uncomfortable) wooden chair that really has no purpose other than being a spare chair in the computer room. It’s probably about 30 years old and used to go along with a desk/hutch unit that I’ve since taken to the dump. Very rarely do I sit it in for extended periods of time (and when I do, I whine at its uncomfortableness until Kyle gives up the computer chair).

Chair - Before

The chair – before – after starting the sanding process.

ANYWAY – I mentioned giving the chair a makeover to Kyle and he was all on board for my project. He showed me how to used the hand sander, bought me some sand paper, helped me pick out the spray paint, and gave me a quick “how to” for spray painting. After that, I was on my own. Really, I think I did OK.

The spray paint I used I bought at Home Depot and is just a glossy purple. I really wanted some kind of teal/turquoise blue colour, but they didn’t really have anything like that, so I went with purple.

Rust-oleum Gloss Grape

Rust-Oleum in Gloss Grape

What’s nice about this brand/spray paint is that the nozzle was a multi-directional one, so I could tip the can anyway I pleased to paint the chair. A bonus for a novice spray-bomber like myself.

After a couple coats, I don’t think it turned out too badly! There’s a few spots where I got too close and the paint ran, but I’m thinking I’ll just sand those spots out and re-spray. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my project, despite the headache the paint gave me. (Yes, I was in a well-ventilated area.)


You can kind of see the runs in the paint on the back of the chair …

Pretty, no? I’m not sure what the future holds for this chair now, but at least I know I can always repaint it in the future if I get sick of the colour! Maybe I’ll use it for a time out chair when Isla misbehaves ;)

Have you ever upcycled something? Would you do it again?