DIY Shelves Ikea Style

 

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I’m super excited about the new shelves in my home! There were some minor hiccups along the way, (isn’t that how it usually is with DIY… you experiment, try new things?) even with the “ack” moments, I’m really happy with the way it all turned out. This is how it went down…or up?…

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I tried to make my own stain using the steel wool method. Notice the word tried? I want to give this DIY stain another go. I believe my mistake was letting this mixture sit too long. Thus the strong rust color rather than the weathered gray I was going for.

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1. Fine steel wool in a glass jar  2. Pour white vinegar to cover steel wool (about 2 cups)  3. Let sit for a few days  4. Stain is made (again, I think I let mine sit too long)

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These brackets are from Ikea. I bought them about 10 years ago. They were light pine, lovely as is, but I wanted a weathered look. The second bracket from the left was after one coat and the third bracket was after a second coat. Neither color was anywhere near the weathered gray I was going for.

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I found the stain didn’t go on evenly even though I applied it evenly. Perhaps it was because I didn’t use a wood conditioner.

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I had hoped with a third coat the color would even out somewhat (and hoping the color would gray out as they dried…), but that was not the case. As I mentioned above, the color came out a “rust” color instead of the weathered gray I was hoping to achieve. At this point I was not in a full-blown panic, but more like “ack”! I’d been waiting for the right time and place to use these and now I’ve ruined them! What do I do now?

So… I got out my trusty DeWALT palm sander and went at the brackets. I didn’t sand them down to bare wood as I still wanted the weathered look and decided a whitewashed technique could be just what these brackets needed. You can see the whitewashed technique here.

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I wanted to mention how I hang stuff on my walls. TAPE. I use tape to “see” what the finished look will look like. You will see in future posts that the artwork is hung different from what is taped here (hence the beauty of using tape. See it before the nails go in.) I also changed the color of the walls in this room. The clock stayed in the same spot and so did the shelves. 🙂 I moved the cat house you see in the corner of the picture to the hall upstairs. I’ve noticed the cats scratch at it way more up there and it seems to be a great spot for them to go to when they need some quiet time. (see the cat post here) The lamp was moved to another room. You can see the lamp shade project here. Following At Koko’s Place you will see that things rarely stay in the same place for long!

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The boards I used for the shelves used to be one of two huge bookcases. My awesome husband took them apart for me and the boards sat in the garage where they awaited what their new life would be. Picture them stained the darkest brown color you see here. I sanded them, leaving both the natural wood color and some of the brown stain, knowing I would whitewash the boards using the technique I did on the dresser turned desk here.

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In making the bookcases, I countersunk screws… In making shelves, I didn’t want them to show. I then cut four boards down to 40 1/2 inches long using my DeWALT jig saw and then sanded the edges. 

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Patch away I did. There was a lot of patching to do! After patching, I sanded it all flat.

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Dark gray walls now! The rack of plants I move around to follow the sun. And spoiled pets…the reason we bought sofas. 😉

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Taped the walls again after the new color went on. Frog tape was used this time instead of Scotch Blue. The headlamp was because I decided to hang the shelves around midnight and I didn’t have adequate lighting in the room at the time. What? I know I’m not the only one that does projects at odd hours 😉

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I used the level as I taped the lines. It made the job easier for me. I didn’t have studs where I needed them to be, so I used wall anchors. Best invention. See them in this project here.

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Four down, four to go!

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Even though I pre-leveled, I still would check the level as I went along. I also made sure the brackets were in a straight line.

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All done! Now to add the boards.

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*Insert happy squeal here!

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Plants bought from Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, and Costco. Owl from TJMaxx. Buddha, can’t remember, I’ve had him for a long time.

I lived with the blue, then the green tapes for a bit. Over the course of a few weeks, I moved the tapes from three shelves to four and played with the spacing. I tried to picture what I would have on the shelves and how tall I envisioned the plants to grow. Since I love greenery, I knew I wanted more space to put them so that was why I added the fourth shelf. And I am happy I did!

Thank you so much for reading. As always, I appreciate YOU! Have a beautiful day!

❀Be well and just love! Peace, Koko❀

 

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Bronchitis…Pneumonia…Oh No!

The whole month of October flew out the window without much notice.  Days passed me by and I couldn’t tell you if it was Monday or Friday.  That time of year to “fall-back” with time change, and now, it’s November! What?!  Twilight zone just happened and I was cast right in the middle of a confusing episode!

I’ve been absent from the blogging world for some time.  Sadly, I’ve missed so many of my favorite bloggers posts.  Having moments here and there to read some of them has given me hope that all my days aren’t filled with coughing, fevers, aches, pains, nose blowing, and the sounds of the breathing machine whirling at what seems like a constant in the background, oh my!

My kid has been down with bronchitis and pneumonia for many weeks, poor thing.  Then my other one decides he can’t be left out and got it too!  I hear it’s going around the college campus and hundreds of kids have it!  Gah!!!!  They should have posted warnings that everyone should come to school with surgical masks or a diving helmet.  You know the kind the underwater divers wear? Or a giant bubble you can encase yourself in to protect yourself from the elements!  Seriously though, you can practice good washing habits and dress accordingly, but sometimes that just isn’t enough.

After weeks of caring for the family, I too got struck with some kind of bug.  It wasn’t a bad one, but then again, what is bad?  For me, I’d have to be almost dead on an emergency helicopter on the way to the closest hospital, before I call it bad.  I got the on and off fever and the nagging cough that wouldn’t allow me to sleep even a couple of hours through the night.  For a moment I thought I was going to have to turn in my “S” card (superwoman).  I was determined not to let it get the best of me. I powered down a ton of vitamin drinks and elixirs that could make one question my sanity.  I didn’t care.  I wasn’t going to let this bug turn into something Halloween dragged to my door.  After a few days of bewitching potions and concoctions I am proud to say my “S” card is safely tucked into the back pocket of my work jeans! Rawr! I told that bug where to go.  Okay, so my voice is still gone, but then again I never liked the sound of it much anyway.

So wash those hands, bundle up, and if all else fails and you catch it anyway…find the remote, have a good friend on speed dial and grab a huge thermos of something hot.

Miss you all and can’t wait to catch up! Hugs, Koko

 

The Great Pleasure in Life…

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“ The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. ”
— Walter Bagehot

You go through life starting at a young age with restrictions people put on you.  You can’t do this or that because you are…too short, too tall, a boy, a girl, ….  But why can’t I…?  There were many struggles I had growing up.  I was too short, a girl, and really small for my age.  I was always the last one picked for a playground kickball game.  I was never the one anyone wanted to join in their circle of friends. I was the different looking one too which didn’t help.  I heard the, “You can’t…” speech over, and over, growing up.

One would think I would want my life differently, to be treated a different way, but not really.  It was in those days where I learned to be, well…me.  I was scared a lot, especially when kids at my school threatened to cut all my hair off (I had very long hair; almost half my height long).  When the threats turned to putting gum in it and then spitting on me, well it really made me sad.  Sad I was never accepted and sad that I could not do what they all said I couldn’t. I was too scared to try.  But again, I was glad for all of that….in a way.  😉

Now I try to do everything.  If I don’t know how, then I learn.  Of course there are still things I cannot do, like dunk a basketball, though I did play basketball in high school, yep, all five foot one inch! A goofy site I’m sure, but what fun I had.  I can’t reach things high on shelves, but I can climb like any nimble spider monkey can.

You can learn to do a lot of things. How do you know you can’t, if you don’t or aren’t given the chance to try?

Raising my own kids, those words never entered the picture.  They wanted to surf; we learned it.  They wanted to know more about animals; we got memberships to the aquarium and the zoo. They wanted to learn how to play instruments; we got the drums for my son and a guitar (my daughter sold her horse to buy it.  She was five at the time), and they taught themselves how to play.  When my daughter wanted to learn algebra, she got the C/D rom out and taught herself; I think she was in the third grade.  My son wanted to build a catapult to win a contest at school.  He built it and won!  Both kids are self teachers.  They want to learn something, they learn it.  The, “I can’t do___”, doesn’t enter their realm of thinking.

So you see, I don’t regret my experiences.  I would do them again in exactly the same way, because I’ve been able to help shape two human beings into the, “I CAN DO___”.  And that was worth every fear and challenge I went through.

By the way…I was just told, my niece, who is in her last year of high school, made the high school football team.  She is their starter kicker.  A girl, who is only five feet four inches, had the “I CAN DO___” attitude.

To all that is out there that think, “I can’t do___” because someone else says you can’t, think again.  Change those thoughts, make new friends, new acquaintances, and change who you are around, because you are the only restriction.  Be that little engine that could, (cute children’s story, “The Little Engine That Could”).  And don’t listen to negative people.

You can do!  Peace all, Koko

Kissing Frogs! Erm…Toads

LOOK WHAT I FOUND IN MY GARDEN!!!! ….

Prince Charming!

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An American toad came to visit me in my garden!  What a treat!  I squealed like a little girl seeing this cutie.  The only difference between then and now is I didn’t put it in my pocket!

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Can you see him smile?

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I love him; warts and all!

Technically toads are frogs, but here are some differences between the two. Frogs have smooth skin and are usually found near water. They also are good jumpers. Frogs have mad hops! 😉

Toads have dry bumpy/wart like skin. They are not usually found near water and their jumps are short and choppy.

They both are amphibians. Amphibians are cold-blooded.

“Take the time to look; to see things that are meant to be unseen.  Surprises are everywhere if you just take the time to look.”   Peace, Koko

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