DIY Ping Pong Table

*This is a sponsored post by me for Lowes.  They provided me with the means to make this DIY Ping Pong Table.  However all statements and opinions are my own. 

As my children have gotten older and their friends become more important and influential in their lives, we feel a growing need to spend time with our children AND their friends.  So we try to find creative ways to encourage our children to want to invite their friends into our home.

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Now…you don’t have to have an expensive home and all the latest gadgets to do so.  But you do need to have some food (especially if they are teenage boys) and something for them that they enjoy doing.  Well, my son loves to play ping pong with his buddies.  And well, we didn’t have a ping pong table…or the real space for one to reside permanently.

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So of course, I suggested we make a Ping Pong Table Top for the kids to use.  I was a little bit concerned as to how the final product would actually work and if the ball would behave…well like a Ping Pong ball should behave…or if the kids would not enjoy using it.  The good news is that it feels and acts just like a real Ping Pong table…just with a bit smaller dimensions.  Hurray!!

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I designed it to have a big Chalkboard on the back side of it for when it is not being used as a Ping Pong Table.  When not in use, we prop it against the wall and the kids can use it as a chalkboard to play on.  This way it is out of the way and STILL functional.  Now, we don’t normally have it out on our back deck but down in the basement. 

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But it has been fun to bring it out onto the back deck when the kids friends are over and are hanging out together outside…and it is easy to do since it is portable.  In fact all you need is a table and you can set up your Ping Pong Table wherever you want too.  {We lay it on top of a blanket to protect the table top and the chalkboard}.

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This was one of the easiest LowesCreator projects we have created. 


You will need the following for this DIY Ping Pong Table project:

  • one 4 x8 sheet of MDF
  • two 12 foot lengths of moldings for frame around chalkboard side
  • Non-Sanded Grout
  • Valspar Paint in eggshell finish in two colors (gray and white)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Wood Glue
  • Ping Pong Net
  • Paint Brush/Roller
  • Wood clamps
  • chalk

We bought a 4 x 8 sheet of MDF.  Then we cut off a foot off of the length so our final board measured 4 x 7.  EASY!  Then I simply painted the surface of the Ping Pong table with a Charcoal Gray Valspar Paint in an eggshell finish.

ping pong table paint

Then for the Chalkboard side of the table we added some Non-Sanded Grout to the same paint (in a separate container) to make our own DIY Chalkboard Paint. 


Did you know you could do that?  So easy.  I shared the exact recipe for Homemade Chalkboard Paint here a couple of years ago: Homemade Chalkboard Paint.  It is SO easy and you can buy the Non-Sanded Grout in the tiling aisle at Lowe’s. 

I wanted a frame around the chalkboard instead of just having a board because I think it finishes it off so nicely…especially if it is going to be displayed against the wall of your home.  Simply take your two 12 foot lengths of molding.  We used a door frame molding for ours.  There are so many fun options to choose from, but we got one that was a bit flexible to be able to move with the table when we carried it from one place to another.

Cut the moldings so they fit across the top, bottom and sides of the board and use a 45 degree cut on the ends so they match up like a picture frame around the corners.  Glue with wood glue.  Our favorite wood glue to use is Gorilla Glue.  It works awesome!!  Hold the molding in place with some wood clamps and let dry overnight.

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Measure an inch around the entire Ping Pong Table side and then tape it off with Painters tape.  Be sure you have a really good seal on the painting edge of the tape.  I ran my fingers over it several times to be sure.  This will create a nice crisp paint edge. 

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Then tape off a line down the exact middle of the length of the table.  I made this the same width of an inch.  You will need two strips of tape on each side with an inch of space in the middle that you will be painting white.  Paint these taped off areas white.  For best results, do not let your paint dry.  Carefully pull up the tape while it is still a little wet.  I find this allows the tape to come off cleanly without pulling up any paint.

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Pick up a Ping Pong Table net that can be different sizes, and the paddles and balls.  You can find them in a lot of different places. 

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Then welcome your kids friends into your home so you can get to know them.  I am a huge believer in this.  Hang around discreetly.  It is a good way to get to know them and their friends.  You might even begin to feel like they belong at your house all the time.  They might even call you mom #2 and drink all of your orange juice in one sitting ;)!

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And you can sit out on your back porch and learn a little bit more about what great friends your kids have and gain a little insight into the type of people your man children are growing into…sniff, sniff!

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As always, I would love to know if you have any further questions about this project or if you build your own DIY Ping Pong Table.  Happy Creating! xo

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For more great ideas, you’ll love browsing through:

lowes creative ideas

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase a project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.  However all opinions and statements are mine.

DIY Shutter Tutorial

I just recently shared our Outdoor Deck Reveal with you last week and mentioned that we made these Board and Batten Shutters.  Today I am sharing our DIY Shutter Tutorial so that you can make some too if you are interested.  They are unbelievably easy.  If you are looking for an easy, first time building project, this would be a perfect one to start with.

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I literally made these shutters in less than one hour.  And I did it at night, right after getting the littles in bed which is why my pictures are kind-of blue-ish in tint do to low light conditions.

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I picked up 6 cedar fence planks from Lowes.  They were each 5 feet in length.  I measured my window and determined that it was 36.5 inches including the white window casing and inside of the window frame.  You want your shutters to be the same height as your window frame.

shutter wood

I wanted to have three planks side by side for the width of my shutters and then I wanted 2 strips to lay horizontally along the top and bottom of the shutters. 


I cut 6 vertical strips each measuring 36.5 inches in length.  I laid three strips together and measured the width where I wanted the horizontal strips as the wood can vary slightly.  Cut 4 strips…mine were all about 11.5 inches give and take a bit.

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Then I simply glued the horizontal strips of cedar 5 inches from the top and bottom of the shutter.  Then added some staples with my nail gun in 6 places on each strip…one staple at the top and bottom for each board.

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You can stain or paint your shutters.  I wanted mine white.  I used some Outdoor Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain in a white color base.  This stuff is great and we used it to seal and paint our white posts on our Outdoor deck.  It holds up and protects from the elements much  better than an outdoor paint will. 

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Then you will need to hang your shutters.  We decided NOT to drill the shutters into our brick.  Now the reason we decided this was that we are not sure we want shutters on our whole house.  We have several windows and that we be a big undertaking AND several of our windows are really high.  And since our porch is well protected by the side wall and the roof we rarely get wind or the elements any where near the window.  So we knew we could get away with using these handy dandy Brick Hangers. 

They don’t look like much.  But they really do work well.  I picked them up in the nail and picture hanger aisle at Lowes.  We finagled them a bit and drilled them right into the back of the shutter after determining where to place them so that they would line up correctly with the grooves in the brick mortar.


It ended up working out pretty good.  Now the only thing I have to worry about is if we have another freak 100 mph windstorm again.  If we do, you can bet I will go out there and pull those babies down along with everything else on my back porch.

These shutters cost very little to make and I LOVE the added impact they give the deck.  The brick wall was a bit expansive and needed to be broken up a bit and I am happy with the way that they seem to finish off the entire space!  Yay for last minute projects that are fast and easy.

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To see the entire deck reveal go here:  Outdoor Deck Reveal

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On a side note–We are in full swing Spring Break here and we decided to have a stay-cation at home since our weather was supposed to be fairly nice.  Well it rained yesterday and I let the kids built a blanket fort (against my better judgment).  Then they begged to sleep in it…which I allowed (against my better judgment) but it we were enjoying a stay-cation.  And today I am dealing with cranky, over-tired kids…(sigh)!

Here is hoping the rest of the day runs smoother than our morning did!  Now we are headed out to play some more, now that the weather has cleared up!  Do any of you have any great stay-cation ideas for us?  We came up with a fun list but would love more suggestions!

Wood Pallet Map Tutorial

Several of you requested the tutorial for the wood pallet map we made for my son’s room that I shared with you the other day.  This was a super simple project and cost literally nothing for us other than the cost of the map.  You can’t beat that now can you?


First of all we picked up some pallets for FREE at our local nursery.  They will allow you to take up to 8 pallets before they charge.  Score!

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Then comes the tough part.  These pallets have some serious nails holding them together.  It takes some serious muscle strength to get these planks off.  We ended up cutting off the two ends right up to the nails and then just pulling out the middle nails.

Then I took a heavy duty file and sanded down the edges and the rough spots of each plank.

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Make sure you have enough pallets to have a bit of overhang on the map so you can see your pallet wood.  It gives it an antiqued look.  You can cut your map down a bit so that it fits better too, which is what we did.

We connected the pallet planks together with a piece of plywood on the back and then glued them into place with Gorilla Wood Glue (my favorite wood glue).

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We found our map on Amazon for a $1! They had a few different styles and we went for a more Old World look.

Trim around the edges in a non-patterned way to give it a more worn look without crisp clean edges.

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Then take a candle and burn the map around the edges.  We did this outside and had a pitcher of water on hand….just in case.

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We burnt the map all around the edges and then even burnt some holes in the middle of the map in some of the less prominent areas on the map.

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Lay your map onto the wood pallets.  This next part you will need and Exact-o Knife to cut the map into long strips.  Now I debated about cutting the map, but I wanted the individual wood planks to show through and give some detail to the map.  I was worried that if I just Mod Podged the map without cutting it, it would just be a flat map.

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I am SO glad I decided to cut the map.  It added so much more detail and un-perfectness to the overall look.

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We recruited the kids to help us hold the map into place while we cut it.  We did not want it to move at all and mess up the cut.


We cut the map one section at a time.  When we had a new strip, we Mod Podged it onto the individual plank.


We purposely left a small space between each plank.


After all the strips were glued onto the pallets, we let it dry completely.  Then we put two coats of water-based polycrylic in a satin finish on the map to keep it nice and protected.

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I LOVE it! And so does my son!  He wants to pin the places he has been to on this map as well.  What do you think?


I was inspired to make this map when I came across this image (below) on Pinterest.  I searched all over to find the original source of the map so I could link back and give credit to who made this and I could not for the life of me find out where it is from.

My search led me to believe that it may have been sold at Hobby Lobby a while ago. If anyone knows where I can find the original site for this I would love to know so I can give them credit and a link!


Boy’s Room Reveal

We finally got around to re-doing my oldest son’s bedroom and adding some fun boys room decor.  He and his younger brother have shared a room since the time the younger one was 18 months old.  My second and third children are 19 months apart in age, so my son was forced out of the crib and into his brother’s room.


As they got older, and bigger we decided to turn the guest bedroom into our oldest son’s room.  It didn’t make a lot of sense to keep a room empty for guests when our two boy’s were crammed in one room on top of one another.  So we just moved him over into that room but had essentially left it the same…with yellow walls and a flowered bedspread.


He has been in the room for over a year and a half now.  And I will tell you what…this kid is not a little boy anymore.  He has grown over 9 inches in the last year or so, taller than my height of 5 foot 9 inches and quickly gaining on my husband’s 6 foot 4 inches.


He will be turning 15 here very soon and I think I am having a bit of a “mom meltdown”!  Where has the time gone?  In three very short years he could be out of the house and serving a mission for our church or off to college.  THREE years!?!  I have only THREE summers left with this kid before things change.  Three years goes by so fast!

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So, I made it a priority to get his room finished so that he could actually enjoy it while he is still around…sniff, sniff!

We put the other furniture in storage (the headboard and dresser which were ones that my parents had bought for me when I was a teenager) and made a headboard out of some old pallet wood.  If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some pictures of this process.  I will share a full tutorial for how we made it here shortly.  Best part…the headboard cost us NOTHING but a little elbow grease!  You can’t beat that!

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We picked up some shelves at Lowes and some décor at Hobby Lobby to add some color to his room.  My son’s favorite color was orange.  He wanted orange walls…I did not.  Orange is my least favorite color.  So we made a compromise…I got my gray walls and we found him this fun orange bedspread at Target.  It is still there right now if you are interested.  And…I actually really love the bedspread…and so does he!


We picked up these awesome gray lockers at the  NPS store in Salt Lake City (a salvage and freight recovery company that sells used industrial and office items at a great price).  We picked these babies up for $25.  They had a dent on the side, but it popped right back out with a good hit with a mallet.  There were a bit difficult to maneuver into our basement and through a freakishly weird hallway.  We barely got them in with a fraction of an 1/8 inch to spare.

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This kid loves maps and geography so I knew I wanted to work that element into the room somehow.  I found a map on Amazon for $1 (with a $3 shipping fee haha), but it was perfect.

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We bought it and then put it onto some of our left over pallet wood from the headboard. For the Wood Pallet Map Tutorial click here:  Wood Pallet Map Tutorial


I am so happy with how it turned out.  I was inspired by a picture I found on the internet and will share that with you when I share the tutorial.  It is one of my favorite parts about his new room.

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This kid LOVES to be around the water.  He is on the High School swim team and just this past week started playing Water Polo with the High School team.  He is still in Jr. High here but is a freshman (Jr. High is 7th through 9th grade) and is allowed to play on the High School teams.  It keeps us busy, but we are enjoying watching him become a man-child ;)!

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We didn’t want to buy him a new dresser since most of his clothes are stored in his closet.  But we found a great deal on a tool chest drawer set over Christmas at Sears and are using that as a dresser.  I figure he will be able to take it with him when he moves out.  He is pretty handy and helps quite a bit on the projects we do around the house.

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I am so happy this is finally finished.  And, now that his room is finished, we have moved on to repainting and refreshing my younger son’s room to make it his own.  And at 12, it might be time to get rid of those Mickey Mouse sheets…!

Christmas Vintage DIY Crate

This month, as part of the Lowe’s Creative Blogger team, we were given the challenge to create some Holiday décor items.  I always enjoy these challenges because it gives me an opportunity to finally get some of these projects that are constantly swirling around my head, out of my head and in my home.


And I am especially excited about this project…a vintage DIY crate!  I have actually spent some time looking around for some of these crates but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted and so I had toyed with the idea of making my own.  But wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.


So with this month’s #LowesCreator challenge, I decided that this would be the perfect time to try my hand at making a “vintage” crate.

I picked up some tounge and groove pine boards at Lowe’s and cut off the “tounges” and “grooves” by simply running the boards through our saw.  I picked these boards because they are really thin and inexpensive.

For the front and back of the crate, I cut 6 of these boards so that I had:

6 boards that measured 3.5 inches by 24 inches. 

They are 1/4 inch thick.

Then I made 6 more boards that measured 3.5 inches by 7.5 inches for the sides of the crate.


Then I cut a piece of a pine board 7 x 24 inches.  This is the bottom of the crate.

Then to make the corner supports of the box, I cut 4—7 inch pieces a of 1.5 x 1.5 board.

What…You don’t work in your pajamas? :) My little girl takes pretty good pictures…don’t you think?

Then you will need to nail your crate together. I didn’t use any wood glue on this project, but you can if you want.

I started with the bottom and one of the front pieces and nailed them together. Then I nailed on the back piece to the bottom.

Then you can nail on both sides. Be careful to hold your box exactly where you want it so that it maintains a nice rectangular shape.

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Then I nailed the corner supports in and finished nailing the other two front planks to the corner supports.  I chose to leave a tiny space in between each plank to give it a more vintage feel.

After the front is nailed, I added the side planks so that I could match them up with the front. When nailing these on, be sure to keep your corner pieces straight. This is very important to the overall finish of your vintage crate.

Then finally, you will nail the back planks on. This crate is made so that the sides of the crate planks actually show on the front and the back of the crate. I thought this would help with the overall vintage look.  Now your crate is done! Yay!!


To add a label I simply printed out this old vintage stamp that I found in the online Silhouette store.  I transferred it over onto the wood with the old trick of drawing on the back of the design in pencil and then coloring over the top of it so that it ends up on the wood.  Pretty high tech!

Then you simply need to draw the design with a black Sharpie.


Throw a layer of stain on your crate ( I used a walnut colored stain)…and you have a beautiful vintage DIY crate!


I was surprised at how easy this crate was to build.  And was really happy with the overall results.  I love being able to make something JUST the way I want.

I added some pine branches and a berry garland to glam it up and threw in a couple of candles.  As always be super careful when using candles.  And…since I took these pictures, I actually threw a string of white battery powered Christmas lights to give it some more holiday sparkle.

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When the holidays are over, I can replace what is in the crate so it can be in my home all year long.

Be sure to check out Lowes Creative Ideas and sign up for their free newsletter which is full of creative goodness.


*I was given a Lowe’s gift card for the supplies to make this crate.  However all opinions and statements are mine.

Monogrammed Table Runner

Last week I shared with you the simple Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece that I recently made for our Thanksgiving Feast.  I also shared how to Build Your Own Box for the centerpiece.  Did I mention that Thanksgiving is at my house for the FIRST time with our entire family?!!  I have the centerpiece covered now but it needed a little something extra, so I decided to make a simple Monogrammed DIY Table Runner.


I have ALWAYS wanted a table runner and FINALLY had the perfect excuse to make one.  It could not be easier.  If you can sew a straight line, this project is for you!


I bought 2 yards of burlap, but any heavier fabric like linen or muslin will work too.  Then measured and cut two pieces…14 in x 88 inches.

My table (which actually has not been built yet…long story…more on that later) is going to measure 60 inches square.  I wanted the runner to hang over the edge of the table, 14 inches, on each end.  So that meant that I needed a total length of 88 inches (60 inches for the table + 14 inches +14 inches = 88 inches).

Since everyone has different sized tables, you will need to figure out what length and width you would like your runner to be and plan accordingly.  You can also make a table runner that just lays on the table and doesn’t hang over the edge like I show in some of the final pictures.


Then I took the two pieces and pinned them together with the wrong side of the material facing each other. Then sew some black (or another color) bias tape around the entire table runner.  Now some people freak out about sewing on bias tape.

*Here is a little trick that I do that makes it a LOT easier to work with.  I don’t actually pin mine on.  I sew slowly and put it in the correct place and sew it on as I go.  It makes it so much easier for me and it doesn’t pucker.  Also, make sure to put the side of the bias tape that is slightly wider on the bottom so you are sure to catch it with the thread.

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Then I made a simple stencil with my Silhouette Cameo and some vinyl.  I cut out two of them to stencil a monogram on each end of the table runner.

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This is another project that you could whip up in an hour or during naptime pretty easily.  Now…here is where I fess up to a little secret…I actually have NOT finished this table runner completely.  Gasp!


My sewing machine suddenly just quit working MID Project!! Gah! So I have to get it fixed or run up to my mom’s and finish it before Thanksgiving. BUT—I wanted you to be able to make one if you wanted too and give you enough time to get it done before the big holiday rush. So don’t look TOO closely ;)!! You can see the pins in a couple of places which I just put in there to hold the bias tape on for pictures! #keepingitrealpeople


But even halfway finished, I am really excited about how it turned out!  I love how simple it is but it adds a little extra “umph” to your Holiday setting!


Oh…and as I alluded to above, we currently do not have a kitchen table that fits our entire family.  We have a square table that seats 6 and now that the baby is no longer a baby in a high chair (she’s 5!!) we have to pull out an extra chair to fit us all around.  My boys are both now full sized adults and we are running out of room (and food)!

We have searched high and low for a table that would fit our odd space and our family.  What we have found is way out of our budget…so…we are going to build one.  I KNOW!!  Think we can do it before Thanksgiving?  We will see.  Life gets crazy so we are going to have to play this one by ear and see how it goes…!

Linking up here:  Not Just a Housewife

Build Your Own Wooden Box

I shared with you earlier in the week this simple Thanksgiving Centerpiece I made for our Thanksgiving Table this year.  Today I want to give you some simple instructions so you can make this DIY Wood Box.  The great part about this is that it is a super easy project that can be whipped up in just a couple of hours.  And if you have never built anything this DIY Wood Box is a perfect beginner project.  You can do it…I promise!


Materials you will need:

Two 5.5 inch pieces of 1 x 4 poplar wood boards (ends)

Two 31.5 inch pieces of 1 x 4 poplar wood boards (sides)

*(we used poplar wood because it takes stain better than pine, if you are painting it, pine should be fine…but remember pine can tend to shrink and may split easier when putting nails into)

30 inches of 1 x 6 a pine wood boards (base)



wood glue

wood putty


sand paper

stain or paint



The overall dimensions of our finished box is 31.5 inches long x 7 inches wide x 3.5 inches tall.  Depending on your needs, you may want to adjust your measurements accordingly.

1.  Cut your wood base 30 inches in length.  We used a 1 x 6 pine board.

2.  Cut TWO end pieces of a 1 x 4 poplar wood board.  We cut them so that they were 5.5 inches to match the actual width of the pine board.

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3. Attach the end pieces to the ends of the base. Be sure that they sit evenly with the base. Add some wood glue and then throw a couple of nails on each end of the 5.5 inch pieces. Let glue dry according to your glue’s drying time.

4.  Cut TWO side pieces of a 1 x 4 poplar wood board so that they measure 31.5 inches (which should fit flush with the ends of the box).  Attach to the sides of the base and the end pieces with some glue first and then some nails to secure the hold.  Use clamps if needed and allow your glue to dry.

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5. Fill nail holes with wood putty and let it dry. Sand down any excess wood putty and your box to smooth out any rough edges or spots.

6. Wipe your box down with a damp cloth to remove all dust.

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6. Now you are ready to paint or stain your box. I decided to stain mine a darker color to go with my dark wood floors. I used a Minwax stain called Red Mahogany. I used a couple of coats to get the color I wanted. Then I added a couple of coats of a satin finish Polyurethane.

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These boxes are great because it can be used for so many other projects or home décor items.  You can also build one to fit perfectly in your own space by adjusting the measurements of the wood you use and cut.

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As always, I would love to see if any of you end up making one for your home!  Wouldn’t these also make a great Hostess or Christmas gift?  And if you have any wood scraps lying around like we did, this is a VERY inexpensive project!

Apothecary Cabinet

I have the privilege of being a Lowes Creative Ideas Blog team member. As a member, each month Lowes Creative Ideas issues our team a themed-project to create and share with our readers.  This month the theme was wide open.  We were able to create anything we wanted to for our project!  So of course I was super excited.  It seems like I have a list a mile long for a bunch of projects I would love to create.  Since I am STILL working on the finishing touches on my office (which is taking forever!!) I knew I would use this opportunity to make the Apothecary Cabinet I had been needing.

I had this unused space in the corner of my office that NEEDED something but I was having a difficult time finding the perfect piece of furniture that fit the space perfectly.  I needed something fairly narrow so that it didn’t block the doorway (which leads to the kitchen on your right and the other doorway which leads to our living room on the left.  But, I wanted to be able to put something that added some color and functionality.

I have been loving Apothecary Cabinets but they are hard to find, the wrong size, or super expensive.  So what is a girl to do?  Make her own of course!  I found an awesome tutorial for building this Apothecary Cabinet from none other than Ana White.  Of Course!  I LOVE her plans!  We made a few changes to her plan because we had some specific needs and I will share those in a later post.

Back in September I shared with you on Instagram(@theidearoom) and Facebook a few sneak peaks of some wood that I was staining.  This is the project I was working on!  I LOVE the color of stain I ended up going with.  I still need to add the polyurethane coating to the top and am planning on getting to that this weekend.

I now have the perfect spot for my Silhouette CAMEO and supplies.  I LOVE that I can use it right where it sits and set my computer up on top.  It is so nice to have it hidden away and off of my desktop.  We also chose not to put a back on the Apothecary Cabinet so that we would have easy access to the computer cords and electrical outlet which was so conveniently behind the cabinet.

And, if you didn’t notice, the outside of the cabinet makes it appear as if there are a bunch of drawers.  I would HAVE LOVED to have a REAL apothecary cabinet, but making all the drawers and the functionality would not provide me with what I needed.  So I LOVED that Ana’s plans were for a faux drawer front that were actually cabinet doors.  Thanks Ana!

Do you have any projects you have been wanting to work on in your home?  It seems like there is always something to do around the home.  Well, Lowe’w would like to give ONE Idea Room Reader a $100 to get you started on a project of your own.  How awesome is that?

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*Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase this project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.  However all opinions and statements are mine.  Giveaway will close on November 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm MT and a winner will be selected via  The winner will have 48 hours to claim the gift card or a new winner will selected.  Entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.  Limit of 4 entries per person.

Tips for Re-Painting Furniture

I have finally been getting caught up on all the projects we put on hold over the summer.  Today I want to share with you how some tips and pointers to prep for paint when you are repainting a piece of furniture.


We inherited this vanity dresser from some family and have been using it in my daughter’s room for a few years.  When we received it had been painted white.  The paint job was pretty beat up and it needed to be refinished.  We are also in the process of updating her room and we wanted to paint it in a fun color other than white.

There are a few things that you need to know and use to make the process of repainting your old painted furniture as easy as possible.


I used several 3M TEKK Protection products to get the vanity dresser prepped and ready for painting.  You will want to use the following:

1.  3M Lead Check Swabs

2.  3M Sandpaper

3.  Protective Eye Wear

4.  Face Mask

5.  Rubber Gloves if you are stripping the paint

6.  Ear Plugs

7.  ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape


It is always a good idea to test your painted surface for lead.  Since we did not know how old the paint was on the vanity dresser we were sanding down we wanted to be sure it was safe to sand the paint down.  We did not want to be using or working with any lead based paint or breathing in the dust particles.  We used this simple 3M Lead Test from 3M TEKK Protection to determine if the old layers of paint contained lead.  You do not want to be sanding down lead paint and breathe in the harmful particles.

For a more detailed explanation of how to use the 3M Lead Test and other important tips for preparing this vanity dresser for repainting, check out the video below.

1.  Now that we have determined that the paint is lead free you can go ahead prep your furniture for painting.  Remove all hardware.  I also removed the mirror since it was just a matter of taking out 4 screws.  This makes it a lot easier to paint.  I also took out all of the drawers.

2.   Now you should be ready to sand down the furniture.  We used a hand sander for the flat surfaces and drawer fronts, then used a piece of sand paper or a sanding block for the smaller finer detail work.  Sand and remove all loose paint and any blemishes.

how-to-sand-furniture  vanity 25

3. After you have sanded everything to a nice smooth finish you can do any repair work that may be needed. We glued a couple of loose drawer joints and filled in a couple of larger gouges with some wood putty. Let those areas dry completely and use a finish sander to get them smooth again. Be sure to prime any of these areas with a primer paint.

4.  Take a damp cloth and wipe down all the surfaces to remove any excess dust.  This step is very important to getting a smooth finish!

tips-for-painting-furniture  painting-wood-furniture

Now go ahead and paint away.  I will be sharing our favorite tips for painting furniture in a future post.


I am really happy with how the vanity dresser turned out.  It adds a punch of color to my daughter’s room.  And she can fill it with her crayons and art supplies…and sooner than I want, makeup and hair products…oh boy!  I am so not ready for that stage!


We had this fun chair, so I recovered the seat and did some quick paint touch-ups on.  I decided for now to keep it white and I think I am loving the white chair with the yellow dresser.  What do you think?  Should I keep it white or paint it yellow?


And since I know some of you are going to be curious…I painted the dresser with Sherwin Williams White Raisin.  The room wall color is Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray with 50% reduction in color.

*Disclosure–This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY. To learn more about safety and preparation, visit

Wood Block Wall Art

I have had a few of you email me and ask about this yellow Wood Block Wall Art that I made for the Laundry Room in the DIY Blogger House.  (Don’t know what I am talking about? You can read more about the DIY Blogger House here).  I needed to come up with an art work project that would bring a pop of color into the Laundry Room and would not compete with the fun and cheerful wall paper.  (Which by the way, the wall paper we used can be found at and is by York WallCoverings: Bistro 750 Trellis in the Aqua Blue/White color if any of you were interested).

wood block wall art

Anyways, I needed a simple but colorful pop of yellow in the room and spent a lot of time trying to come up with something that would fit into the space.  The wallpaper was making it a bit more difficult to come up with something that would not distract or compete for your attention.  I was browsing a favorite catalog one day and found the perfect piece of art.  It looked simple enough and so I made some changes so that it would fit better in our small space and came up with this Wood Block Wall Art.

I had A LOT of scrap pieces of wood laying around from previous building projects and so the entire project cost me $1.38…the price of the carpet tacks which I show you in a later picture.

The hardest part of this project was figuring out how big to make the wood pieces so that they fit together nicely.  I did not have graph paper but made a grid on a piece of notebook paper.  I treated each square as an 2 inches.  I wanted the final art work to measure 16 x 30 inches as determined by my wall space in the Laundry Room.  So I made a grid that measured 16 x 30 inches with 2 inches per square.

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Then I just drew different sized rectangles into a random puzzle.  Then I wrote the size of each wood piece so we would know what to cut out.  I determined the size of the wood by counting how many squares I had filled out for each piece.

Then I got to work cutting out my pieces with our saw.  I used my hand held sander to sand all the rough edges and round the corners of the edges slightly.

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Then we used the picture to lay them out back into our puzzle shape onto a thin piece of plywood that measured just a bit smaller than our original 16 x 30.   The plywood will be what each piece of wood is attached too with wood glue.

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I took 3 different colors of yellow paint and just randomly painted the puzzle pieces.  Placing each piece back into it’s proper spot very carefully separated by a little space so as not to get the pattern messed up.

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After the paint had dried, I used Gorilla Wood Glue on the back of every piece and let it dry. I place a few heavy boxes on top of it so that it would dry nice and tightly.

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Then I took these carpet tacks, which I found at Lowe’s, and just hammered them into the ends of the wood pieces. Be sure to do this carefully and away from the edges as you can split the wood easily.

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And that was it. A cheap and easy project that brings some fun color and texture into your room.

wood block wall art

What do you think? I would love to see pictures if you end up making one for your home!