I hope this is the first of many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) UpCycling posts. As children my sister Erika and I enjoyed painting the bedroom we shared. We had to keep the door closed when we painted in the summer because I caught a lot of butterflies and brought them in our room to live. It drove my parents crazy, but it was so much fun watching them fly around.
As a grown up, I still enjoy painting bedrooms and fixing up furniture. A few years ago my then-boyfriend and I were driving around looking for an estate sale when we came upon five drawers someone had hauled out of their garage and thrown on the curb. My eyes lite up! My man was pretty adamant that we wouldn’t be bringing them home because they were “junk!”
I told him I thought we could either spend a few hundred dollars on a hutch for our kitchen or bring the drawers home to make a bookcase for free. He said he couldn’t imagine that ever happening! He obviously spends no time on Pinterest! While he continued to debate my idea, I hopped out of the SUV and started throwing the drawers in the back seat.
Before painting them, we had to spray them off and scrub the dirt out of them. We had a fresh quart of $2 Oops paint from Home Depot. Oops paints are the mistakes Home Depot makes (or customers return). DIY folks love Oops paint because the quarts cost $2 and the gallons are $7. It is perfect it you want to save money and try out some nifty colors. You can also make your own chalk paint with it! To make your own chalk paint use three parts paint and 1 part Plaster of Paris. A big container of Plaster of Paris costs about $6 at Home Depot. If I am going to make my own chalk paint, I mix the Plaster of Paris with some hot water (1/4 of a cup) to make a smooth paste and then mix it into the paint. While I love Annie Sloan paint, to save money on a project like this, I make my own and it works like a charm!
Back to the drawers project. We had some fabric left over from some pillows my mom made us and it came in very handy! After we painted the drawers, I cut the fabric to fit in the drawers. I brought my glue gun outside and started going to town. Pretty sure this is when my then-boyfriend decided he might want to marry me after all – I am pretty handy with the glue gun!
We let the drawers dry for a couple of hours and then brought them inside to the kitchen.
We arranged them in a manner that we could fit dishes, bowls, vases, etc. in the drawers. I hung a print we bought in Denver (PEACH LOVE HAPPINESS) over the drawers as well as the spray-painted bird cage filled with candles. Tah dah!
All in all, it cost us $1 for the paint (we only used half of a quart) plus about $10 for the fabric. $11 well spent!
Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.
An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.