DIY Coffee Table for $85

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When we moved into our house we had just about every piece of furniture we would need, except for a coffee table. It really bugged me. A coffee table provides so much convenience and not having one was creating a huge void in our living room. We searched at a few furniture stores but it seemed like we weren’t able to find anything of quality without it costing a HUGE chunk of change. So we started researching how we could build it ourselves. We had NEVER built anything before in our lives. We needed something simple with clear instructions. That’s when we discovered Ana Whites X Coffee table. Its was just the style we were looking for! We downloaded the instructions and headed to Home Depot. The instructions came with a clear cut shopping list and we were able to get everything we needed for $85!

Once we got all of the supplies home, we measured and cut the wood. I would definitely suggest doing ALL your measurements at once and  then move to cutting all at once.  We have a Hitachi single bevel miter saw that we ordered off of Amazon a few days prior to starting the project. It was super easy to use for us wood working newbies. IMG_0231

We did have to make a few changes to the cut list due to our saw. The Ana White plans call for a 60 degree cut to make the X at the end of the table. Out table saw only went to a 45 degree angle. So we had to adjust where the end of the 2×2 met the side.

Once all of our cuts were completed, we began with assembly. We started with the two outside  long edges and then added on the bottom shelf of the table.

We used the Kreg Jig as instructed to add the pocket holes for the bottom shelf.

Once that was completed, we added pocket holes to the 5 2×6 cuts that make up the top of the table.

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We now had the table in two major pieces. The table top and the frame. We did not connect the X yet for staining purposes. We figured it would be easier to stain the 4 pieces individually and then attach vs trying to squeeze our paint brush into all those tight spaces. Next we started sanding and staining! We used a 220 grit sand paper to smooth everything out. Our color of choice was Espresso in a satin finish by Minwax. The Rust-oleum spray paint shown was for the hardware we added later.

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We ended up only doing one coat of stain. This let a bit more of the character in the wood show though. We added bolts to the X’s for an extra touch. Here is our finished product!

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Hopefully this helped anyone planning on taking on this project! If you have any questions feel free to comment! We’d love to help!

DIY Fall Wreath for less than $25!

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Fall is so close I can almost taste the Pumpkin Spice! I told myself I would wait until after Labor Day to start the Fall projects but self control has never been my strong suit. With our new house came the most perfect mantel for holiday décor and I just couldn’t wait to see how all my new Fall projects would fit together. This Fall wreath made the perfect centerpiece and it was super easy to put together!

Most of the items came from Joann’s. I waited until all Fall floral Stems were on sale for 40% off  and was able to make this wreath for less than $25! I selected 2 different  colored hydrangeas and 3 different  colors of fillers and berries. I started by cutting all stems to be just about 3-4 inches long like shown below.

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I then began laying out flowers around the wreath and secured then just by wedging them into the openings in the wreath. This made it easy to adjust as I notices spacing issues. I started with the hydrangeas, then added the off white filler. I added the orange berries just to the top and bottom cluster of hydrangeas. I used the brown filler last in all empty spaces.

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Once I had everything where I wanted it I simply lifted each stem slightly and secured with hot glue. It didn’t take much to secure everything considering the wreath provided so many groves to wedge the stem into. Let dry and hang!

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DIY Fall Wreath

Big Kitchen Make-Over on a Small Budget

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Yellow can be such a beautiful color.   I’m fond of the color yellow,  just not as counter tops. When we bought our outdated 1969 house, the kitchen was by far the room that needed the most work. With a baby arriving just a few months from the day we moved in, we knew we needed to get it up to par fast but didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars. We set out to do a quick makeover on a small budget. Here’s a little insight as to how we did it, what we wouldn’t do again and how we saved so much money!

Obviously, the biggest change was the counter tops. I wanted granite. Our budget didn’t allow at the time. I looked at other options that were less expensive but i just couldn’t let go of the granite look I had always envisioned for my family kitchen. That’s when I found it- the $70 solution to new countertops. Giani Granite Countertop Paint. Seriously- I’d like to bake a casserole for the person who created this stuff because they are just stupendous. I wish I had taken step by step photos along the way for a tutorial, but I have to admit, I didn’t do most of the project, I just supervised (6 months pregnant, remember?). My younger sister was nice enough to take on the task. I think she was just really excited to walk through the door and NOT be blinded by my counter tops. We watched the DVD that came with the kit and did a little more online research before starting. I can confidently say that you do NOT need to have a knack for artsy stuff to be able to do this. It is super simple, but you do have to pay attention to details. Do all the sanding as instructed, take the time to take off properly and as pain staking as it is, use the razor blade to remove the tape (I’m speaking from some regrettable experience). HUGE TIP- do not use the sealant that came with the kit. It will only give you one coat and that’s no where near enough for the traffic your countertops will see. We bought a small can of Polyurethane ($7 at Wal-Mart) and did 3 coats of that, sanding between each one. I read multiple reviews that mentioned rings from coffee cups or bubbled from water left standing after just a month. We have had ours for 4 months now and there have been plenty of messes left uncleaned for some time and there is no damage what so ever. It’s an extra step but SO worth it.Here are a few pictures I snapped along the way just so you can get a visual for some of the prep work we did.

 

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The cabinets were the other huge game changer for the kitchen. Let me start off by saying that if I could go back and do this over, I would either 1) use a paint sprayer or 2) hire someone to do it (but then it wouldn’t be called the under $450 kitchen makeover!) Painting the cabinets was ALOT more work then we imagined and it cost surprisingly more than I was anticipating. A good chunk of change (about $120) was spend on new hinges and handles. We used 1 can of primer and probably close to 4 cans of Polar Bear White by Sherwin Williams. We read dozens of tutorials online for how to complete the painting, but it was still a much larger job then we imagined. It took us almost a solid week to knock it all out. If  this is something you are planning on doing, ASK FOR HELP! Bribe all everyone you know with pizza and wine and invite them over. Even if you don’t trust them with a paint brush, there is so much sanding to be done (SOOOO MUCH).

Obviously that beautiful wallpaper that was installed in the 70’s had to go. We added a fresh coat of paint and a new light fixture. And that completed our makeover! It took about 2 weeks to do and was worth every penny.