Restyled: Kid’s Media Shelf


Finishing A’s bedroom was first on our to-do list when we moved into the new house.  We thought it would be fun to let her choose her own paint and accent colors – risky business when dealing with a 6 year old, we know!  No surprise to us, she settled on bright pink and purple paint for the walls with accents of apple green.  The combination suits her princess-loving personality perfectly, and she is so proud to have put her own stamp on the new space.


After painting the walls, we set up A’s bed {an adorable headboard/footboard set we scored for under $50 at a local resale shop and refinished a glossy white} and put an armchair in the corner for her to sit and read.  Since remaining floor space was at a premium, we wanted to find another furniture piece that could provide additional storage and multitask as a TV stand, bookshelf, and side table.


On a whim, we grabbed an old, particle board/veneer {i.e. cheap} bookshelf that was once used in my closet to store accessories, and we hatched a plan to give it a quick and inexpensive facelift.


To start, we sanded the entire shelf using a medium grit sandpaper, just enough to dull the sheen and lightly rough up the surface.  After giving the shelf a good cleaning, we then primed it using Behr Premium Plus Interior Latex Primer {I really like the coverage and consistency of this one, but you can use any good quality primer such as Kilz Odorless Interior Primer}.  Once primed, we painted the shelf with three coats of HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams Interior Semi-gloss Latex Paint in Snowbound, letting it dry thoroughly between coats to ensure an even, opaque finish.  To protect the paint and give it added durability, we then sealed it using Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2x Clear protective spray finish.


For a fun touch, we decided to line the interior back of the shelf with a green and white floral contact paper we found at Walmart for around $5.  To start, I measured the shelf opening and cut a length of paper slightly larger than what I needed to allow for some wiggle room.  A second piece of paper was needed to completely cover the back, so I made sure to line up the floral pattern when cutting the second piece, so the seam would not be visible.  I then removed the backing from the contact paper and carefully adhered each piece to the back of the shelf, working outward from the middle and smoothing any wrinkles or air bubbles as I went.  For the final step, I used a straight edge and utility knife to trim the excess paper from the inside corners of the shelf.


I’m pretty pleased with how the shelf turned out, considering we were able to do the entire project with $5 worth of contact paper and supplies we had on hand!  I love giving new life to old and underappreciated objects, and this project is a great example of what can be done with a small amount of time and an even smaller budget.

Thanks for taking a peek at the new {old} media shelf!  Feel free to share your favorite upcycling tips in the comments or to suggest another furniture update you’d like to see.  We have plenty of projects in the works, but I’m always looking for the next one!

Happy crafting!


2014: Goals for the Year Ahead

Goals 2014

I’ve never been a big believer in making New Year’s resolutions, because, well, I’ve never managed to keep one beyond the second week in January.  I think resolutions put unrealistic expectations on us to become perfect versions of ourselves.  I do, however, love the feeling of excitement the New Year brings to improve upon the previous year and make plans for the year ahead.  With January now in full swing, I took some time to write down a few goals I have for 2014.  They aren’t big, sweeping resolutions like “I will double my salary!” or “I will eat only green foods!”  This year, I’m keeping the emphasis on meaningful yet doable changes I can make and keep going throughout the year to make me a happier, more satisfied person {an important goal in itself}.


Here’s my list:

Stress less about things I can’t control. I have a tendency to let frustration and anxiety get the best of me. When I feel my stress level rising, I need to take a deep breath and ask myself what’s causing the problem. Holding onto unnecessary stress can be toxic. Instead of getting upset over things that are out of my control, I’m going to work on putting that energy to more positive and constructive uses.

Approach arguments as something to be solved, not won.  As JC and I navigate our first year together in the new house, we’re sure to encounter plenty of stressful situations.  When we do inevitably have disagreements, I want to make sure they are productive, not destructive.  For me, this means learning to swallow my pride from time to time and, instead of fixating on a point ad nauseam for the sake of being ‘right’, working to find real and meaningful resolutions.  After all, what good is being ‘right’ to either of us if, when it’s all said and done, we’re not happy together.


Drink more water.  I love coffee.  I know I drink way more than I should, but I have no intention of parting ways with my favorite caffeinated companion.  That being said, I am going to make a concerted effort to drink more water throughout the day to make sure I’m staying hydrated and keeping my body healthy.


Take a cue from William Morris.  The artist famously wrote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  I’m going to keep this clutter-free philosophy in mind as we settle into the new house.  It’s not about living without, it’s about living with only what you need or really, truly want.  The rest is just in the way.

And finally,

Be my own biggest fan.  Confidence comes naturally to some people, while others have to work a little harder to keep all of those nagging doubts at bay.  I fall into the latter category.  To cultivate a healthier outlook, I’m going to try relying less on validation from others and, instead, start putting more faith in my own instincts and talents.


Maintaining some of these goals will be easier said than done, I know, but I’m going to work to keep them in mind throughout the year, and hopefully they’ll become part of my routine moving forward.  I think these few small but important changes will go a long way to keeping me level headed and happy in the future.

So, here’s to the New Year and making the most out of 2014!  Best of luck to you as you work toward your own goals this year.  Feel free to share your progress in the comment section below – I’d love to hear how you plan to make this year your happiest yet!