Sunday, January 16, 2011

Entertainment Center to Craft Hutch Makeover

Back in August, a 13-year-old girl from our neighborhood came by and gave me her business card. Seriously. She had a business card for her babysitting business. She also had a bag of activities, a certificate in babysitter safety from the hospital, and promised to watch four boys for four dollars an hour. I said, "You're hired!" 

It felt weird to have two hours all to myself in the middle of the day, with no little people swinging from my belt loops. I thought I better go some place special. Some place I never get to go and just browse. 

I went to Goodwill. 

Where I found this gigantic honkin' piece of solid wood for $15.

It even had bookshelves on both sides. 

My handsome husband was a good sport about the whole thing, even when we had to borrow a furniture dolly from my parents just to get it in the house. 

I didn't take any step-by-step photos because this was my first furniture makeover, and I'm not qualified to teach anybody anything on this subject. However, I did purchase this $10 e-book from Altar'd and found it extremely helpful for a newbie like me.

 I love that she gives you specific products that she uses, including paint colors, and where to buy them. If you have any interest in learning how to create shabby chic furniture, that e-book is for you. 

After many hours in the garage listening to books on tape, two or three coats of white paint, a few coats of polyacrylic, ORB on the drawer pulls, some crown molding, and then a few more months of wondering how to finish the thing, it's finally done. 

I'm more a fan of Pottery Barn than shabby chic, so I didn't distress the edges. I purchased some old shutters at the thrift store in the fall, intending to make doors for the front, but it got too cold before I could paint them. I still might add doors in the spring, although it's fine without them. 

I've admired these Jetmax cubes at Michael's before, but last weekend I had an epiphany about using them to fill in the "tv hole" instead of just plain shelving. They happened to be on sale 40% off, so I bought four, which took me hours to put together until I figured out how to use my electric drill. It went much faster after that. In the spring when it warms up I'm planning to spray paint the hardware with oil rubbed bronze to match the pulls on the bottom drawers. 

The cubes didn't quite fill in the space width-wise, so I used Cropper Hopper paper holders and albums to fill the space. Jarrod cut a shelf to go across the bottom two cubes to increase the storage capabilities. There's nothing quite as attractive as a man who can work a power saw. 

I'm thrilled that the drawers are wide enough for just about anything scrapbook related.

Look, all my stamps and fluid chalk in one drawer! I can actually find something if I want to.

My friend Jennifer was such a good sport and stood with me in the basket section of Michael's for almost an hour, measuring every. single. basket. in. the store to find ones that would fit exactly right. 
I have fabric and felt in the basket on the left, and all my gift wrapping ribbon in the basket on the right. As I filled up that basket I swore I would never again by an economy pack of ribbon from Costco. I don't plan to ever give that many gifts. 

These three little baskets up top are mostly empty. Gasp~ unused storage?! Be still my heart. I was hoping for matching baskets, but when Michael's is willing to give them to you half off, you can't nit pick on colors. Well, kind of... okay, I returned baskets three times until I settled for these. Shhhhh.

Wanna know what's hiding up top behind the crown molding?

Gift wrap and tissue paper! It fits perfect, and you can't see if from the ground. Unless you're freakishly tall. We are pretty little around here, so it's not a problem.

There are bookshelves on both sides, which are holding books (surprise!)  and my very limited collection of chotchkies. I'm not a big "stuff" collector, but I'm happy to finally have a place to keep special items that have sentimental value.

Such as this little framed quote that says "There is a special place in heaven for mothers of little boys." Amen to that.  Jarrod's grandmother gave it to his mom, because she had all boys too, and she passed it down to me. 
Anybody notice something "special" about that little figurine of the mom and her sons? One day Haydn said, "Hey Mom, you know that little statue you have of Jesus? Ummm... what would happen if someone drew a face on it with permanent marker?" 

His mom would laugh till she cried, that's what would happen. I could have washed it off, but I wanted to remember that quote forever. 

So there you have it. I'm so pleased that this 1.) turned out,  2.) didn't break the bank, and 3.) is FINISHED. I tallied up all the money I spent on the cubes, molding, paint, supplies, baskets, e-book etc. and I think I spent less than $175 on the whole thing, which was spread out over several months. I'd say that's a pretty fair price for a solid wood, functional custom piece of furniture. Can you even buy fiberboard build-it-yourself furniture for that price? 

Once again, the before and after.

Hurray, it's done! I'm going to take a nap.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a score Kira! I'm surely going to have to start going to our Goodwill to see what kind of treasures are there. Great job!!

  3. Thank you, Kar! Sorry if the comment moderating threw you off. I didn't want people to hassle with word verification any more, but I also didn't want spam. So I'm just moderating the comments before they appear on the post. Thanks for your encouragement!

    I've been back to Goodwill several times since that day and haven't seen another deal quite that sweet. You just have to keep your eye open.

  4. I love that, Kira! Adorable!

  5. This turned out amazing!!

  6. I am so proud of you! Lets celebrate by going to Goodwill and looking for something cheep and unfinished ;)!

  7. ooh la la! I likey! you got that piece for a steal, girl!

  8. Thanks so much for all the kind words everyone! Heather, how bout let's celebrate by finishing the other three pieces of furniture I already picked up on the cheap? Heeheeeeee!

  9. Love, love, LOVE!!! You even added crown molding! You rock.

    I am so sneaking over to your Goodwill. That would have cost $75 at ours, and I'm not joking. I've seen piece of junk dressers there for $35.

    And $4 an hour? Are you kidding me? You did some major scoring that day. :)

  10. Melissa, I wish I could say our Goodwill always had great deals like that. Honestly, I think it was a fluke (or a mistake!) because I've been back since then and the furniture was all priced much higher.

  11. AHHHHH!!! It is so awesome!!!! You did it and it turned out amazing. I just love all the space/storage it provides. It the person who owned that origially ever finds your blog they are really going to wish they kept it! Good job friend!

  12. It looks great! I am so impressed with the final piece! What a great idea for the wrapping paper. I am trying refinish our TV hutch right now and it seems like it is taking forever. This is just the motivation I need!

    Man, I wish a girl would knock on my door to babysit!

  13. Wow, Kira, I'm jealous of both your great find and your steal-of-a-deal babysitter! Great job!


I adore reading your comments; they bring sunshine to my day. Thanks for reading!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...