Posts tagged ‘DIY’

June 25, 2012

Perfect Picnic Table

by Gillian

When my parent’s purchased their weekend home in upstate New York – which we refer to as “the farm”- several years ago, there was an old picnic table in the back yard that stayed when the former homeowners left. The picnic table was in very poor condition so we hadn’t been able to use it.¬† But recently my daughter had been asking us to eat outside so my husband decided to take on this project of refinishing it. (Disclaimer – he’s a city boy with very little DIY experience). Here’s how the table looked before…

We purchased a hand sander and my husband sanded down the bench as best he could. He applied an anti wood rot product and used some wood filler in a few spots that had been eaten away.

Then it was ready to be primed…

And finally the green spray paint could be applied. The girls couldn’t wait to have their dinner outside on their “new” picnic table! My husband did a fantastic job breathing new life into this old table and I know we are going to get a lot of use out of our upcycled table.

March 4, 2012

Chevron Heaven

by Gillian

I was recently browsing through¬†Pinterest and came across a children’s bedroom with a chevron wall that I became obsessed with and absolutely had to have. My daughters’ bedroom is already complete so I didn’t do this in a nursery although I think it would be amazing in one. Instead, I painted the wall behind my bed in the master bedroom! This is what my bedroom looked like before…

My first step was to do some research online to try to find the easiest way to tackle this project as I am little DIY challenged. I thought using a stencil would have been the best way but, unfortunately, my wall is huge ( 17′-3″ w x 8′-6″ h) and I was unable to find a stencil in the right size. With some mathematical assistance from my brother, we were able to come up with the right proportions. I wanted my “V” to be fairly wide so there weren’t too many zig zags. We decided on 9 “V”s running horizontal and 6 white “V”s vertical. Each total “V” is 23″ from left to right and 7″ thick.

Then with the help of my detail-orientated husband (and a few cocktails) we first cleaned the wall of all dust and then mapped out the points on the wall starting in the upper left corner. We put a dot of colored chalk every 7″ from the ceiling down to the baseboard and every 11.5″ across from left to right. Then with a chalk line tool, we snapped a straight line from the ceiling to the baseboard. We repeated this process 17 more times across the whole width of the wall. With a ruler, we would check after each time we snapped a chalk line making sure there were 11.5″ between dots. Any imperfections would have thrown off the whole stripe. Then with FrogTape we connected the dots in a “V” formation. This part of the process took about 4 hours to complete.

On day 2 we took an exacto knife and cleaned up all the peaks of the “V” making sure they were crisp and also checked to make sure each line of tape was pressed securely to the wall so no paint would bleed through. With a baby wipe we cleaned the walls again removing the chalk dots and the vertical chalk lines that we used as our guide. Then it was finally time to paint! With a small roller, I painted only the larger section of stripes in Benjamin Moore Decorators White (my wall was already Benjamin Moore Bird’s Egg Blue which I wanted to show through underneath).

This is what it looked like after one coat of paint. I ended up using 2 coats of paint because some of the blue was showing through.

It took about 2 hours to paint the stripes (so a total of 7 hours from start to finish) and a total cost of $70 for materials. Once the paint was dry I removed the tape with the help of my 3 yr old and I was left with a perfectly crisp chevron wall which I adore. (My daughter told me it looked magnificent!)

This project was not difficult, but it was time consuming and requires a lot of patience. Since my husband and I didn’t kill each other doing this, maybe he’ll be up for another project next weekend.

February 2, 2012

Books On Display

by Gillian

My children have so many books it can sometimes be difficult to find just the one they want to read! Here are two great solutions to make your bookshelf functional and create an ever-changing wall of artwork.

The first was built by a NYC dad for a brother and sister’s shared room based on a Martha Stewart Project

Making Children’s Bookshelves – Martha Stewart Crafts.

The second is a series of ledge shelves from Land of Nod that can be arranged to accommodate your wall space.

Kids Wall Racks: Kids Wooden Book Wall Ledge.

Straight and Narrow Book Ledge


$20 each