Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Kitchen Cabinet Labels - made from wooden craft sticks
These are labels for the cabinets for our beach cottage.  Is this over the top?  . . . perhaps.  I'm not going to deny I'm OCD.  As a matter of fact - I'm quite proud of it :o).  Here is how I see it - with different people using the kitchen (ourselves, friends, family) it helps keep track of everything and it makes things easier to find (especially within the two lazy-susans in the corners, and the other lower cabinets).  You know where to put things away, and no need go hunting for things since they will always be in the same place - easy-peasy.

These labels are made from wooden craft sticks.  I painted them a pale aqua to go with other accents already in the room. Then I wrote on them with a Sharpee permanent marker.  Finally, I did a quick coat of Satin Polyurethane for durability.

Kitchen Cabinet Labels - made from wooden craft sticks

They are applied to the cabinets with 3M poster strips (the kind that can be removed if necessary so no worry about damage to the cabinets).  Hint - cut the 3M strips in half long ways and they will go further.  I used one strip per label - one half on each end.

 They have worked out well so far, and everything is kept neat and orderly :o)

 Kitchen Cabinet Labels - made from wooden craft sticks
Kitchen Cabinet Labels - made from wooden craft sticks

Kitchen Cabinet Labels - made from wooden craft sticks

For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Upcycled Clementine Crates

I love citrus and I am particularly fond of Clementines.  Occasionally, I buy them in these crates and I had put them aside for some future project.  When we bought the beach house - I figured these could help with organization in the pantry.

Upcycled Clementine Crates - Before

I primed them first with a basic primer...


Upcycled Clementine Crates - Primed
Primed Crate

They were painted with two coats of a pretty aqua paint leftover from other projects. The color is Quietude by Sherwin Williams.  I also added a quick coat of satin poly to make the finish more durable. Craft sticks were used to make labels and these were hot glued on the front of the crates.  The crates can be stacked quite easily, and they fit in well with the rustic d├ęcor in our beach cottage.

Here they are as we use them in our pantry.  They are a great way to keep towels organized and keep small items together in easily accessible spaces.

Upcycled Clementine Crates

Upcycled Clementine Crates

For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


DIY Rope Lampshade

This was another fun project for my friend Heather's little boy's room...

The lampshade was donated by our friend Barbara.  It came with a lamp purchased for her master bedroom re-decorating project and needless to say - she was not interested in using it.  It was replaced with a MUCH cuter woven shade from Pottery Barn.


Since the lamp shade had a pattern - I wanted to spray paint it a dark color to make sure the pattern and light parts of the shade would not show through between the rope.  Before spray painting the shade, to prevent overspray - I taped a plastic bag to the inside top of the shade.



I used whatever dark spray paint I had on hand, in this case it was a dark brown.  I have tons of spray paint leftover from projects.

I found rope at Lowe's. It is one of their basic packages of twisted sisal rope...
Sisal Rope for lampshade

So here is the lampshade painted and ready to go.  The brown spray paint did not cover the pattern completely, but I felt this was good enough.

DIY Rope Lampshade

I was concerned about the rope ending up lopsided, so I drew some level lines all the way around the shade as a reference point to keep the rope level as I wrapped and glued the rope.  I marked the lines with a permanent maker taped to a ruler, marking the shade by spinning the shade, while I held the marker against the shade.

DIY Rope Lampshade - draw level lines on shade

I started with the end of the rope at the seam on the back.  Note - Put some extra hot glue on the end of the rope to keep it from unraveling.

DIY Rope Lampshade - start at seam

I proceeded to wrap and hot glue the rope all the way to the top of the shade.  With this thin rope, it took awhile.  It is important to keep pushing down on the rope to minimize the gaps.  I'm glad I spray painted the shade first - I think it is a must do step as, despite my efforts, you can still see small gaps between the rope.

DIY Rope Lampshade - hot glue rope

Once you are done, I would recommend giving the lamp a "hair-cut" as the extra strands sticking out of the rope make it look a bit messy.  Just make a quick pass with scissors to minimize the "furriness" of the shade.

Here is the completed shade on one of my own lamps.  I think it turned out well and is going to look super cute in the nautical/sea creature themed room we have planned...

DIY Rope Lampshade

Update: 6-13-2014
Here are a couple photos of the lamp shade in its final spot in the room.  I think it looks good on the orange lamp. 
In the photo below, the stained-wood school of fish on the wall behind the lamp was another fun project for this space.  See that post here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


DIY Spool Table

This was a really fun project.  One of the large bedrooms in our beach cottage has two queen beds. We had furnished the room with two nightstands (one for each bed) . . . and that left the sides of the beds on the angled walls without tables.

Guest Bedroom

My friend Nikki suggested putting small tables in those corners - "something like those cute spool tables" she said.  I knew exactly what she was referring to because I had seen these in catalogues and on pinterest.  I thought that this was a good idea as large nightstands would have overcrowded the space.  Small spool tables would be functional without visually crowding the corners of the room.  As Nikki put it - "...they will be a unique surprise as you walk around the side of the bed."

I found a post where it was suggested to find a wooden spool as the base and wrap it in rope.  This is great, but where do I find perfectly sized small wooden spools for my project?   I had seen wooden spools before but a lot of them are huge, I decided to go another route.

I was off to Lowe's to see what I could find.  For the base of the table I got an 8 inch diameter concrete form.  The form was long enough to cut three 16" sections (perfect for creating eighteen inch tall tables with the two additional inches accounted for by the two 1" wood rounds at either end). At this point, I'm only making two tables so I have a piece of tube leftover for another project.  I thought using the concrete form was a brilliant idea, but I later found other posts showing the same idea.  Note - I found it fairly easy to cut the concrete form with a drywall knife.

DIY Spool Table - concrete form base
You can cut the concrete form with drywall knife

I purchased wooden rounds for the top and bottom of the table, from the lumber department (they were about $7 a piece, so it was $15 per table).   I could have done this cheaper by cutting a couple circles out of plywood, but I splurged since they were the ideal size for these tables, had finished edges, and they were ready to go.  They are 1" thick and 15" in diameter.

Before assembling the table, the rounds were sanded and stained.  I used a can of Minwax stain which I think was about 10 years old and never opened.  It was a stain and poly' in one, so I liked that I could skip a step later.  I used two coats of this to get the finish I wanted.  (I've also used gel stains on other projects which would have been a good option here as well.)

DIY Spool Table - wooden table top and base

The concrete form pieces were spray painted a high gloss black.  I figured any dark color would do, and that is what I had on hand.  The purpose of painting them was to avoid the yellow and black graphics from peaking through between the rope.
DIY Spool Table - assembly

I put the tables together with Liquid Nails.    I had an old tube of Liquid Nails where the tip had dried out, but I was determined to make it work (in other words - I was being cheap).  I ripped off the tip of the tube with a pair of pliers.  I was able to squeeze the adhesive out of the end of the tube and apply it with a plastic butter knife.

DIY Spool Table - Liquid Nails adhesive

If you look close you can see the circle I drew on the wood as a guide for where to put the adhesive.  I drew this by placing the tube on the wooden round and used a marker to trace around it.  Don't worry - the 3/4" of rope will cover up the line.  This showed me exactly where to spread the Liquid Nails. 

DIY Spool Table - Liquid Nails Adhesive
Once I spread the glue, I placed the cylinder on top.

DIY Spool Table - Liquid Nails Adhesive
After applying the cylinders to the table, I used the butter knife again to spread more Liquid Nails around the edges of the tube for added stability.  Don't get too carried away here - you want to make sure the rope will cover up the adhesive.

DIY Spool Table - Liquid Nails Adhesive

For a 16" cylinder I estimated it would take about 50 feet of 3/4" manila rope (I ended up using about 53 feet on each table).  Lowe's sells an entire 150 foot spool for about $90.  Enough for a couple tables and would allow for extra if necessary.  I'm sure I will find something to do with the additional rope (I'm already thinking garland on the stairway of our beach cottage at Christmas time).  Note - you can also purchase the rope by the foot.

DIY Spool Table - 3/4" manilla rope

TIP:  I found that a small hacksaw works well to cut the thick rope.

The ends of the rope will need to be finished or they will ravel when cut.  You can do this with tape (something heavy duty like electrical tape), or you can use hot glue.  If you want to use the glue method: on the cut end, stick the glue gun tip into the middle of the strands of rope and apply some glue.  Remove the glue gun and twist and squeeze the end of the rope.  You may want to apply some more glue in select spots, but for the most part this should hold.

I applied the rope to the tables with hot glue.  I applied it every 6 inches or so in two places (1) to the top of the rope (where the next row was going to sit) and (2) to the side of the table as well.  I was sure to push down on the rope as I went along so I wasn't leaving any gaps.

DIY Spool Table - hot glue rope on to table
Note - when I got toalmost the top of the table - I had too small of a gap to fit another width of the rope.   No worries - I went around the cylinder one more time, even though this piece of rope stuck out a little more than the others.  You can see this in the photo below.  I think this is fine since you cannot see this underneath the table top, but it completely covers the base without leaving a gap.
 DIY Spool Table - last row of rope
I also gave the tables a "hair-cut" since the table looked a little "hairy".  A quick pass with scissors is all you need.
DIY Spool Table - finished product
I think these tables worked out well in the room.   You don't see them unless you walk around the side of the beds (in a way this makes me sad because they are so cute).  They are perfect for the space and I like how they don't overcrowd the room.  Guests have the perfect spot to place cell phones, jewelry, glasses, etc...

DIY Spool Table - finished product in bedroom


NOTE:  All of these supplies can be found at Lowe's (or I imagine most hardware stores).

For an 18" tall table, 15" wide.

  • 2 Wooden Rounds 1" thick, 15" wide (buy them ready to go at Lowe's or cut your own)
  • Stain (I used Stain and Poly' in one)
  • Brush (to apply stain)
  • Polyurethane (I didn't need this because of the type of stain I used)
  • Concrete Form 8" in diameter.  Cut to 16" tall.  (if you would like a taller table - cut a bigger piece)
  • Drywall knife to cut cardboard concrete form.
  • Dark Spray Paint (any dark or neutral color will do - I used black)
  • Liquid Nails
  • Calk Gun (for the Liquid Nails)
  • Plastic butter knife to spread liquid nails (maybe not entirely necessary but useful)
  • 53 feet of 3/4 inch Manila rope (approximately) to cover 8" cylinder, 16" tall
  • Small hacksaw (to cut rope)
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Scissors (to trim the small strands of rope after table is put together)

For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.