RSS Feed

Category Archives: storage and organization

Quick and Easy Desk Organizer Makeover

I seem to have accumulated (through no fault of my own I assure you) a lot of….stuff.  Bits and pieces – parts of grandiose plans that somehow, before they were fully grandios-ed, got supplanted by a different, even better, grandiose plan.

For instance,  a while ago, I got all excited and purchased a bunch of inexpensive desk/organizers that I thought would make great display pieces.

They didn’t.

I’ve just been shuffling them around and thinking “I need to do something with those….someday…….”

And that day has come!

Well…their day came because this was my thought process on Saturday:

(My inner-monologue can be a bit dramatic.)

Anyway, while I was overjoyed to realize I’d already painted one the fact that it was painted flat black threw me until I remembered this dresser that I’d seen a while ago:

I thought that was such a cool effect.

So I grabbed my Waverly Gloss Black paint and a Folk Art Stencil and got to work:


I still have some kind of a weird block about using stencils.  I never want to do it which makes no sense because it’s pretty simple to do and always seems to work just fine.  This was particularly easy and super-quick.  I just taped the stencil in place and tapped away.

(No, I Totally meant to leave the bottom bright yellow and only half-assed paint that front edge.  Why do you ask?)

Sigh.

The stencil worked perfectly and, I am quite sincere when I tell you the whole thing took about 10 minutes.

And now I have this super-cool desk organizer.

……With a totally intentional bright yellow bottom.

And while I probably should have cleaned up the room a bit more before I snapped the photo.  Other aspects of the picture are pretty good!

And, better yet, my friend Karla came over last night, saw the organizer and said “you could totally give that to me and it would be nice.” So I am!

 

OK, now what to do with the other ones?

Eh, I have a week.  I’ll wait till next Saturday to figure it out.

Disclaimer: The good folks at Plaid provided me with the stencils and paint used on this project but all opinions are my own and was not compensated in any other way.  The links provided are to the Plaid site and are for informational purposes (ie, I don’t get any money if click on them).

Advertisements

I Have Triumphed! (Also Happy Valentines Day)

Vintage Valentines Day GarlandSo everyone says the key to a successful blogging relationship is consistency.

Blog regularly. Post on a set schedule.  Always post on the same day.

……Happy Friday everyone!

OK, when last we met I was experiencing some….let’s call them minor hiccups on my road to sliding-drawer kitchen organization nirvana.

I had this.

I wanted this.

But I was thwarted by measuring (not an unusual thwarting for me), math (also not an unusual thwarting vehicle) and, of course, that old cliche – Evil Drawer Slide Manufacturers!

I kept working but somewhere around the middle of last week the drawer and I decided it would be best to see other people for a while and I focused on some other projects.

I put together some new, Classic Hollywood coaster sets for the good folks at Sweet!

I love these vintage Homes of the Stars graphics and I thought they might be fun for all those TCM lovers (they are also available on Etsy and Amazon)Homes of the Stars Vintage Hollywood Drink Coaster SetOld Hollywood Drink Coaster Set

I also got sidetracked by a random Valentine’s Day project (more on that in a sec)

But, I’m happy to say that the drawer and I worked out our differences and the aforementioned Nirvana is now mine!

Oddly sized spacers were glued and screwed together

20 inch sidemount drawer slides were installed and now……DIY Kitchen Organization Drawer

Pretty!Maximize Kitchen Storage

Who can get to his pasta pot in a heartbeat?

This guy!

Who should probably eat less pasta?

This guy!  (OK, my plan may have a flaw….)Kitchen Storage Solution

(As an extra side-bonus, upon viewing my last blog post my friend and dutiful blog reader Suzanne informed me that my pans were dirty and she was coming over to show me how to clean them.   Which she did!  You’d best believe I Tom Sawyered the crap out of that situation!)

So, in the midst of drawer-wars I realized it was almost Valentines Day and got one of those goofy-but-its-fun-to-do-something-different ideas that I just feel compelled to make for no real justifiable reason.

Why not make some hearts out of scrap wood?

I have all this beadboard that I bought a while ago – before I realized it was too heavy for what I wanted to do with it because, as we know, “advance planning” the Cheltenham Road byword.

So cut out some heart shapes using my scroll saw and painted them in shades of red and pink using Folk Art Milk Paint that Plaid provided me as part of their Ambassador Program.

I liked them but thought they needed a little text so I flipped one over and painted the smooth backside

And after a bit of sanding (for that “distressed heart” look….which, now that I type it sounds like an unfortunate medical condition) I used my Folk Art Stencils  to create a “Be Mine” message.Vintage Valentines Day

To be honest, I wasn’t totally sure what to do with them once I finished (a giant charm bracelet?) so I drilled some holes and strung them together.Vintage Valentines Day Banner

I like how, on the bead board side, the paint stayed in the grooves but sanded off the front leaving some great texture on the face.

So, as I said, a bit of a goofy idea but I had fun making it.Scrap Wood Valentines Day Banner

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some extremely convenient pasta to make!

Kitchen Organization (First Attempt)

I have several alternate titles for this blog post

  • Why did I do that?
  • My house is annoying.
  • Is this really a good use of time?
  • Biting off more than you can chew.  The Danger of Tiny Mouth Syndrome.

As you may have surmised, I have encountered some set-backs on the road to today’s (planned) tutorial.

You see, this was supposed to be a blog post/tutorial wherein I would share my clever idea and show how you too might execute this clever, space saving innovation.

OK – here’s how things have gone down.

Several years ago I remodeled (or rather, had others remodel) my kitchen.  I learned a lot, made some good choices and some bad choices and ended up, in the long run, with a much better kitchen.Before and after Kitchen remodel

One of the “good” decisions was that I wanted drawers rather than base cupboards.Kitchen makeover happiness.  Pull out drawers rather than cupboards

They have been awesome!  One of those “why wasn’t this always the norm?” kinda things.  I highly recommend them.

However, there was one hold out.  Not quite sure what happened but it’s been bugging me for years.  The cabinet next to the fridge is just that, a large, deep, not-very-user-friendly cupboard.

I hate fumbling around trying to get out the frying pan or the pasta pot etc.

Now, I have successfully (in my opinion) designed and made other “pull-out-easy-access-space-saving” projects.

In another cabinet I organized other pans and things.Convenient, space saving pull out drawer for pots and pans

In the Laundry Room Makeover I made a pull out utility wall that I love to this dayEasy, space saving, utility wall for the laundry room

And a roll out shelf for shoes.clutter busting, space saving pull out shoe drawer for mud room

So, I’m down with roll outs.  I work well with drawer glides.  Therefore why not (finally!) make a pull out drawer for that last remaining cabinet?

Why not?

Because life is short.

It should have been easy.  Just, basically, a box attached to glides.

After careful measuring I determined that the best way to get the most out of the space was to use “undermount” rather than side-mount drawer glides.  I would use two of them (for balance and due to the weight of the drawer).  Perfect!

……………

Three (possibly four?) trips to Lowes later I had experienced the following progression of realizations:

  • The Lowes website lies about where things are
  • All manufacturers hate me. My cabinet can accommodate, at most, a 22” undermount drawer glide.  How big do they make them?  Well, they go: 16”, 18”, 20″ and……..  22 5/8ths.  Why!??!!!!  5/8ths?!!!!  What possible purpose could the 5/8ths  serve?  And why don’t people who have 18” drawers need 5/8ths  more to live out their dreams of organization and easy utensil access?*
  • Oh wait! They make 20” ones!  Yay, that will work!
  • Wait. The 20” one doesn’t actually extend any further than the 16” one?  So my drawer would only “extend” about 8 inches outside the cabinet?
  • Oh, and you only have one anyway and it’s in the wrong bin so I had to look through all of the dreaded 22 5/8ths ones come to this realization?  Thanks!

OK, side-mount drawer glides it is.

Which means reducing the size of the drawer….which means it holds a bit less…..

OK, fine, I’ll redesign.  I can find somewhere else for that one lid.  No prob.

Oh, but side-mount also means I need to get past the face frame on the cabinet.

Oh good – the frame depth is some weird, inbetween-actual-numbers number, like 1″ and 15/93rds  to second power or something?  OK, I can figure that out….

Oh, and it’s a different depth on either side?  Well that’s just terrif!  Challenges – so satisfying!


…….Perhaps I need to rethink exactly how annoying it was to dig around to get to the frying pan.

Maybe, rather than a loud, clanging exercise in crouching down, it was a character-building, mini workout that made cooking a growth experience……

Tune in next week when I either, in very small type, admit defeat or, in very large type, crow endlessly over my amazing prowess at overcoming tremendous obstacles  (like returning things to Lowes without a receipt…….I KNOW I have them…..somewhere……)

 

*rhetorical question  – I’m not looking for answers, I’m ranting.  I’m not proud of this fact but it is, nonetheless, a fact.

 

 

Rustic, Distressed Paint Finish with the Folk Art Coastal Paints

Rustic Utensil Caddy image transfer

The good folks at Plaid sent me some more paint: Folk Art Coastal

The paints are super-thick and you can use them to create a textured, weathered effect. I was eager to try them out.

I just needed a project and that’s when things got….complicated.

So I ask you to bear with me as this project goes in a lot of directions.

I landed on the idea for a little silverwear caddy but since I always want to do everything RIGHT NOW and stores were closed (4th of July) I decided to make my own.

I’m not actually recommending you make your own – there are plenty of them available to purchase – but just to be thorough – here is how I made mine.

I cut some 3/8″ scrap wood down to size:

  • 2 front panels 4″ high by 10″ long
  • 2 side panels 4″ high by 6″ long
  • Center divider 10″ long, 7″ high with a handle I cut out with a jigsaw
  • Divider panels 4″ high by 2.5 wide.
  • bottom panel cut to size (not shown….I may have forgotten about that little detail until the last minute…..)

To make things easier I pre-painted the interior after marking where the joints would glue together.

I used my pin-nailer to attach the interior dividers first

Then added the end panels

Then the middle divider and the back side.

Ok, NOW it’s time to talk painting (which you may recall was the actual point of this whole endeavor)

The paint is thick, fun to work with and easy to use.  I wanted to use two colors to create that, aged, layered, crumbly effect and I started off with the blue

I laid down a base layer – fairly smooth – just for coverage then, while it was still wet, loaded up my brush and splotched/smushed more paint on to create some texture.

Once that had a couple of hours to dry I went back in with the white.

Again, I just kind of played around with it, smooshing and splotching until I got a look I liked.

THEN I decided I wanted to see how all that fun texture would work if I tried to add some graphics.

I put together a quick BBQ Restauant image

and headed into my go-to image transfer technique using polycrilic.

DISCLAIMER:  I had to photograph all this early in the morning which led to a lot of artsy shadows so please forgive the “film noir” effect.…..Although it does add a certain drama to the whole thing and I came to think of it as Patsy’s BBQ! – you know, where the murders happened!”

After reversing the image I printed it out using my laser printer.

(I seem to be having some serious problems with the whole backwards thing lately.  So, while one does want to PRINT the image in reverse one does not actually have to photograph said image upside down to add to the confusion.  My apologies.)

I laid down a good coat of polycryic

put my paper in place and used a brayer to make sure I had good contact (cleaning up any poly that I squeezed out).

After giving it a few hours in the sun to dry I rubbed away the paper using a damp rag.

This technique works so well – a bit too well actually – I actually wanted a bit more distress so when I moved over to do the other images I added some cracks to the actual graphic, used a bit less poly and rubbed a bit less aggressively.  That gave me the perfect look.

I liked it.  Loved the texture but it looked a bit too clean so I used some Folk Art Home Decor Antiquing wax.

Easy to use – just add a tiny amount to the brush and rub it in in a circular motion.

Suitably rustic.

I really like the textured layers the paint provides (especially keeping in mind that I used MDF wood which has no grain or texture of its own)

The only downside?

Now I’m hungry for BBQ and, of course, I can’t go to Patsy’s…..partly due to the fact that it doesn’t exist but more importantly because they never managed to get the blood stains off the floor.  So unappetizing.

Disclaimer: Plaid Enterprises provided me with the paint and brushes for this project as part of their Plaid Ambassador program.  The idea for the project and all opinions are totally my own.  I received no other compensation.

Farmhouse Style Shelf Idea

Thanks so much for all the kind words about my new focus (and for not virtually patting me on the head).  I truly appreciated it.

But I want to assure you that the blog isn’t going to turn into a place where all I talk about and make are gifts.  As my wise brother-in-law Rich pointed out gifts come in many forms and one can always gift themselves so we have a lot of room here.  In short, don’t worry.  I won’t be saying “gift” every other sentence.  I promise.

Gift!

(sorry, couldn’t resist)

OK, onward!

When my sisters vistited we browsed a large retail store that sells things that help you stay organized and I saw this clever shelving unit.

 

Cool!  Right?!

Simple, versatile.

But it’s a two foot long, three sided, Medium Density Fiberboard box with holes on the bottom edge.

And it costs $100!!!

So!

………..Welcome to SPITE CRAFTING: SPRING EDITION!……….

(I had no idea this was going to be an ongoing series)

OK I guess $100 isn’t crazy expensive but the idea seemed so do-able-for-less that I had to give it a shot.  So maybe not Spite Crafting so much as Idea Stealing.

Here is what I used for my version

From my scrap pile I pulled some 3/4″ plywood and cut it down to size.

  • The front is 24″ long by 3.75″ high
  • The sides are 3″ long by 3.75″ high
  • And the internal shelf is 22.5″ long by 3″ deep

On the back side I marked  a center line and indicated where I would drill the holes.

Live-and-Learn: in retrospect I realize it would have been easier to mark and drill on the front side of the board….next time! 

And then got to work with my drill press at Forstner bit.

I was drilling from the back and I wanted to minimize any tear out on the front side so I placed a piece of scrap wood under by board and didn’t drill all the way through with the Forstner bit – just enough for the point to poke through the other side.

Once all the initial holes were drilled I flipped it over to complete the drilling  for a nice clean look.

I then assembled the whole thing using wood glue and my nailer

And then it was time to get creative.

The folks at Plaid had provided me with Waverly Chalk Paint and brushes and I thought I’d give them a try.

I used their Ivory color for the base.  The special Waverly Chalk Brush isn’t required but it sure made applying the paint easy as it holds a lot and spreads really smoothly.  I think I’ll be glad I have it especially on larger projects.

I’m a new and enthusiastic convert to the chalk paint thing (I know I’m very behind on this curve).  It’s easy to apply, dries fast and comes in great colors – what’s not to like?

Once the paint dried I moved on to other newish thing  – stencils.

For this project I used the Folk Art Farmers Market Stencil Set and a small Folk Art Stencil Brush

I used a light pencil line to keep everything straight

And then stenciled away using both the Waverly “Crimson” and “Ink” colors

Stenciling is pretty easy once you get the idea of using very little paint on the brush.  But I think my inexperience showed as my only complaint about this set is that it was tricky, even with a small brush not to accidentally catch the edge of the stencil I wasn’t intending to use.  Probably a rookie mistake.  Next time I’ll use some painters tape to tape off the “unwanted” stencils.

Once everything dried I gave the edges a bit of a sanding and then a light rubbing with Waverly Antiquing wax.

I used a couple of d-ring hangers on the back and my shelf was ready for its close-up.

(I’m not crazy about my choice to stencil he “No” on the ednd there.  The stencil is fine but it would have been better if I’d had space for a number as well so, as it is, it just kinda looks….I don’t know…unnecessarily negative?)

The antiquing wax did a nice job of bringing out the texture in the wood and making the whole thing look just a bit more vintage.  It’s hard to see in the pics as I went pretty light on this first-time-out attempt but next time I think I will be a bit more daring as I really like the extra texture.

I had envisioned this as a kitchen thing but it occurred to me it could work in any room – like perhaps for crafts?Tons of possibilities!

Further Thoughts:

  • *I always hesitate to use my “I invested in some serious tools” tools on these projects for fear of turning people off.  But all of these things can be accomplished using more standard methods (a regular drill with a forstner bit, nails or screws rather than a pnumatic nailer) it just takes a bit longer.
  • I made my shelf out of scraps of plywood but the original is MDF.  MDF is a great choice for easy to work with, smooth surface finishes and I think, if I make more of these I’ll switch over to it.

Disclaimer:  The good folks at Plaid provided me with the materials for this project.  All opinions are strictly my own and I received no other financial compensation for this post.  Links provided are not affiliate links – just trying to be helpful.

beach frame

beach frame

make-it-for-less-beach-style-vintage-photo-holder-tutorial-by-cheltenham-roadI’m a silly person (it’s possible this has dawned on you previously)

And I have a question.

Is it wrong to do projects just out of spite?

Because I think I just did.

Welcome to Spite Crafting with Cheltenham Road

Backstory:  I can be a bit over-thrifty.  I don’t like to spend money.

Total Truth: I started Cheltenham Road partly because I was tired of the sticker shock I got every time I visited PB or Restoration Hardware.  My vow was that I wanted people to be pleasantly surprised when they flipped a CR price tag over and I try very hard to hold to that goal.

But I’m still subject to sticker shock.

The other day I was wandering a big box store and came across this:big-store-photo-holder

Cool.  Kinda fun.  Not something I need or want but I liked it.

And then I checked the pricebeach-photo-frame

$50?!!!

And that….kinda made me mad?  I don’t know…I just suddenly had to make one.  Just to prove that it didn’t need to cost that much.

Spite crafting.

So I went home, pulled supplies and did my own.

Here’s what I used.

simple-rustic-photo-display-tutorial-by-cheltenham-road

  • 16×16  frame*
  • Folk Art Milk Paint (Petticoat and Veranda Blue)**
  • 6 pieces of thin Luan scrap wood cut to 2 inches high by 16″ long
  • Sandpaper
  • Glue
  • String
  • Screws
  • Clothespins

* I want to be honest here.  I had intended to use a thrift store frame for this project.  But my local thrift store is “closed for remodeling.”  (Who remodels a thrift store?  It’s a big room with stuff piled in it – it’s not like anyone is hoping for better lighting or a juice bar…..well,…actually I do live in Southern California so actually someone might be hoping for a juice bar…OK I take it back.  I look forward to my next combo thrift shopping/cleanse experience).  So I made this very basic frame from scrap wood.  

I cut the scrap wood backer to size and painted the frame, 3 backing strips and 3 clothespins with the Petticoat White Milk Paint.  I painted two strips and three clothespins with the Veranda Blue Milk Paint and left three of the backing strips unpainted. Once everything had dried I did a light sanding for a distressed look.

The Folk Art Milk Paint worked beautifully for this project.  It’s easy to work with, has great coverage (one coat this time) and dries very quickly.   I’m enjoying working with it.

photo-display-idea

After gluing the slats in place

rustic-beachy-photo-display-tutorial-by-cheltenham-road

It was time to attach the string.

I drilled holes through the frame at 4 inches from the top and bottom on both sidesphoto-frame-tutorial-drill

and ran the string through the holes.

To keep the string in place I wrapped the ends around screws and drilled them into the holes.diy-cottage-style-photo-display-frame-tutorial

And that’s it!simple-beachy-photo-display-holder-by-cheltenham-roadDone!  It took, at most, a couple of hours not counting paint/glue drying time.rustic-photo-display-tutorial-by-cheltenham-road

And not too different from the originalstore-bought-vs-diy-photo-display-tutorial

A beachy,  vintagy,  sorta spitefully motivated photo display!!!!

In Fairness: I do recognize that stores have lots of expenses, employees, overhead, insurance  and $50 isn’t that exorbitant.  I just….had a moment….

I also recognize that not everyone has easy access to the tools and supplies I had on hand to make this project.  But I do believe anyone could make something similar for very little money using a thrift store frame ($5-$10) and any leftover paint.  The backer strips aren’t structural and could be made out of anything – scrapbook paper, cardboard, matte board, heck, even fabric.  If you didn’t have access to a drill the string could be, as it is in the store-version, just tacked on the front of the frame.

**Disclaimer:  The good folks at Plaid provided me with the milk paint for this project as part of their Plaid Ambassador program.  I received no other compensation and all the opinions and experiences are my own.  Any links provided are simply for informational purposes – I receive no remuneration if you click on them.

Go small

So, last week was all about big and this week is all about smaller.

The good thing about this slightly slower time of year is that I have time to play around and experiment (look for Positive Thinking: The Upside of Making No Money by Cheltenham Road – coming to your local Barnes and Noble store)

The Muse came up with a smart idea (for newer readers “The Muse” is an actual person, not a voice in my head or some imaginary conversation I’m having with Olivia Newton John so don’t be alarmed).

She suggested that perhaps I could make smaller HOME signs that would work as key holders.

I really like the idea because I’m a big fan of making practical stuff.  I mean I’m all about decoration but if it can be useful decoration that’s even better.

So I started playing around.

I made 4.5″ HOME lettersHome Sign Keyholder by Cheltenham Road

Attached them to a base boardWood Sign Key Holder by Cheltenham RoadAdded little hooks (there would be more hooks of course – these were the only two I had on hand).Vintage Los Angeles HOME sign keyholder by cheltenham roadI like it!

Well, I sort of like it.  This is where the playing around comes in.

I think perhaps the base board doesn’t need to be as thick. Maybe two strips of wood rather than a big solid backer wold be better?

Some magnets along with the hooks?

I will re-consult with The Muse.

What do you all think?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to all!

%d bloggers like this: