Category Archives: D.I.Y.

A collection of the many little do-it-yourself projects I’ve been working on.

The Bar [Home necessity]

One of the first things that The Sexy Master Electrician I set up in our new place was the bar. He was not a fan of my ladder turned bar in my old place, plus it didn’t fit in the space anyway. TSME saw a huge moving sale on Craigslist and in the background of a picture of a dining table was the perfect credenza. We got up early on a Saturday to get there when the sale started and almost lost it to another couple. For all of $60 dollars we had our bar.

Set up for our Labor Day BBQ

We have all the essentials, though we are missing a few mixers that we should add by the next gathering. We have the ice bucket, the muddler, the mixer, the strainer, openers, bitters, pint glasses, wine glasses, and high ball glasses. We need some Tom Collins glasses. The five major liquors, tequila, rum, vodka, bourbon and gin are in decanters on top and the bottles live below with the wine bottles.

The credenza is the perfect size for our little bar with the shelves above. There is plenty of room for everything you want on display and plenty of room to hid the stuff you don’t.  The decanters on top have mostly come from second hand or antique shops. One came with the the sweet high ball glasses TSME found for me on Gilt. The bar book and calendar are from my siblings one Christmas.
UntitledWe keep collecting clocks to go around the space and now we have one for each time zone. TSME complains sometimes that it too cluttered. I think it’s perfect.


The Island’s New Stain

As you may or may not recall, I have a large list of projects to do in my little apartment. way back in the spring, when the weather finally became warm enough for me to want to work outside and I finished my kitchen island over the course of a couple weekends. I could have finished it in one, but I had other things to do outside so I broke it up between the stain and poly coat. It was pretty easy to do, but a bit messy. You’ve been warned.

Island finished (2)I picked up a dark stain, Ebony, for the top and lower slates, thinking that the grey paint I already had for the base was lighter. It is not. It is the same stuff I used on the little dresser. So I decided to keep it white and maybe paint it later. It could probably use a touch up, but it looks pretty good as is. Plus, the idea of all the taping I would have to do was a bit overwhelming.

As I mentioned before, this wasn’t too difficult of a project, just a bit messy and takes some time to let the stain dry in between. And the taping took awhile too.  So here it is in steps, mostly based on the stain instructions. I highly recommend wearing gloves while  staining!

1. Sand the surfaces to be stained. I started with a larger grit, 80, then went to 120 and finally went over it a third time with 220. There was one spot that never seemed to lighten up, and it was a bit difficult to cover with the new stain. Some sort of oil or something must have gotten on it. Anyway, I gave up sanding it forever, cause it clearly wasn’t going anywhere.

Island (1)2. Clean the surfaces to be stained well. I did this once before and after taping everything else off. And then tape it all off to get ready to stain.

Island (9) Island (3)

3. Apply your stain. I used a normal paint brush to apply it quickly and then wiped it with a rag. After letting it dry the prescribed amount of time, I applied a second coat the same way.

Island (5)Island (10) 4. After the final coat is fully dry, us a poly to to seal the top, following the directions to the T. Let it dry and enjoy! Island finished (1)

Things collected in SD

A couple weekends ago- I went home on a rather random trip as I previously explained. On a random trip to Belle Fourche with mom, we saw a flea market. I saw many things with some DIY potential and after some debating with mom walked away with only a few. Everything was sooo weirdly cheap, or maybe I am forever scarred by New York prices, it was hard to walk away with only three things.

A few things I thought about, but didn’t get:

April SD 2  (5)

There were two of these and I almost got them, but finally decided I didn’t need them. I could have left them the color they were and painted it when I got sick of it.

April SD 2  (3)

Might have left this alone for a while

April SD 2  (2)

Repaint to match little dresser with new knobs.

Things I did get and will eventually turn into something maybe worth showing on here:

Old metal file shelf

Old metal file shelf

Tackle Box

Tackle Box

Wooden ladder

Wooden ladder

I also finally brought my Fancy bike and this sign that my brother got for me years ago but my little sister kept:

IMG_0639And this other sign that I found in the trees that my klepto little sister and friends stole:

Just needs some flattening out

Just needs some flattening out

Stay tuned for the DIY’s! Hopefully I don’t mess them up…


Director’s Chair Update | DIY

I forgot all the random stuff that I left at my parents when I moved to New York. I figured anything that was left would have been taken by my sibling. One of the things that was left behind was a director’s chair from Pier One. It was my old desk chair and until I found some thing better, I decided it would be again. I wasn’t a fan of the faded blue seat and back, so I decide it was time for some DIY.

I realize that I could have just replaced them, but where is the fun in that. Instead I picked up some paint and debated a pattern. I was going to do dots, but decided I would definitely mess them up and I would probably get sick of them. So I decided to go with a random taped pattern and I wouldn’t mind if the edge wasn’t perfect.

So here are your supplies for this easy little project:

  • fabric paint, I used Martha Stewart
  • paint brush
  • painters tape
  • something with a flat hard edge, like a credit card or paint scraper

Step One: Wash your fabric seat and back. Place it on a flat surface.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStep Two: Tape your lines. I did this pretty randomly, as you can see, but you could do this perfectly straight if you wanted. Use your straight edge to smooth down the tape to seal it to the fabric. I was actually really surprised by how crisp the line edges were. I didn’t think it would be so good, which is part of the reason why I avoided the dots.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStep Three: Paint! I needed two coats to cover the blue. This paint dries pretty fast, so I was able to flip the pieces over and paint them within an hour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStep Four: Allow to fully dry and slowly pull the tape off the fabric.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPut the chair back together!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow the debate is do I paint the frame and if I do what color?

A2 Updates

Apt  (1)I know at least one person, okay maybe only one person, who reads this thing has been patiently waiting for me to share plans and some updates on my little Bozeman apartment. There is a pretty big list of to do’s and DIY’s before I will really be happy with it, but it’s looking better with each little project I do. Some of them will have to wait for spring when I can take things outside and paint them after the snow melts.

Apt A2I’ve keep the main color palette pretty neutral in greys and blacks and used accessories and decorative items to add color punches. I’m not sure if they come through in the pictures below, but I like it so far. I was thinking of sticking with one color family, but since nothing in color is a huge item, I have just been using all bright colors. I will admit to being swayed towards the teal/blue family a bit though.

The kitchen and my bedroom are the most complete rooms in the place. I want to hang a few things on the wall in the kitchen and refinish the island. This is priority number one once it warms up enough. Otherwise I love all the little color pieces I have in there. And I kind of want to get another Ikea sheepskin to cut in half and put on the stools. I love the one Melissa sent me!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the bedroom I will need to get a real dresser sooner or later. I also have my eye on some curtains for the bedroom. I love my bedroom right now. Maybe it’s just that I love my new mattress so much, but it is my favorite room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bathroom is probably the next best room to me. I love the color of the rugs and shower curtain Robin basically picked out for me. I am also in love with the shells I found on Martha’s Vineyard that I use for jewelry. I am not a big fan of the wall color, though I think the blue color scheme works well in there and it annoys me less. I just can’t stand the cabinet over the toilet. It is so glaringly white, but it would be a pain to paint because it’s a veneer. I might also paint the little vanity. These are low on the to do list, unless it drives me crazy enough to bump it up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe living room needs the right furniture, which will probably be a while. And the closet in there is so damn big. I am basically ignoring the one door and will continue to put the TV or something in front of one of the doors for now. My birthday present to myself will probably be a flat screen TV, the first TV I will ever buy. My parents gave me that huge box one for now. I also have and idea for a credenza that it will sit on, just need to give my friend the money and go ahead to build it. I would love to get a couch like this in there and move the futon to the office, but for right now it works. I want to really like the pieces of furniture that I get and purchase ones that will last, so it may be slow going.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe office is the mess, it was full of boxes up until a couple weeks ago.  I finally put my “desk” (my old portable drafting board on two sawhorses) before my friend M showed up to stay with me. I had to get the boxes out of there so the air mattress had some place to go. I was going to clean off the “desk” and deflate the air mattress before taking pictures then was too lazy. Plus this is an update not a final showing. I have several things that will go on the walls, just need to get them framed and decide where they are going.


  1. Get a light fixture for living room corner.
  2. Refinish the island in same grey paint as little dresser.
  3. Finish organizing office- get all boxes out!
  4. Get office art framed.
  5. Get the door that is to be the headboard from home, strip and refinish.
  6. Replace cabinet door knobs in bathroom.
  7. Do something about the light fixture in the bedroom and living room maybe kitchen too.
  8. Spray paint tops of sawhorses- gold? green? purple? ombre it?  or just get a real desk made to match future credenza, top choice.
  9. Get a dresser.
  10. Take off bedroom closet doors and replace with curtains.
  11. Get stuff to organize insanely large living room closet.
  12. Get a tv credenza.
  13. Get flat screen TV.
  14. Paint bathroom walls or white cupboard
  15. refinish library cart (on the to-do list since I got it like 3 years ago…)
  16. Get a modern couch.
  17. Reupholster Nintendo chair- or get a real chair.
  18. Repair trunk.
  19. Repaint bathroom vanity

That’s a lot. I kinda wish I hadn’t written it all out, yikes. Wish me luck and stay tuned for the DIY’s as I go!

Red Frame | Easy DIY

When I left New York, I got rid of most of my stuff, but not art work. I did give away, sell or toss most of the frames though. I also collected new prints and photos during all my adventures over the summer. One of the first things I brought to Bozeman from my parents was my boxes of art work. Even though I wasn’t sure I was going to stay here, I need to look at something besides blank walls, so I need to find some frames.

My friend K, gave me a large map of Brooklyn when I left. (Side note: I love these gift wraps! Does anyone actually wrap a gift with it???) I gave my brother the same print and helped him pick out a frame for it that was red. It looked really good. I wanted a red frame too.  But, I wasn’t finding any large poster sized red frames, so I decided to make one.



I picked up a cheap poster frame at Michaels and some spray paint.  Now, you really shouldn’t do this inside or if you do have great , but it was/is really cold out, soooo… Anyway, I used a dollar store table cloth to protect the floor and moved everything far away. I also found some cardboard to prop the frame off the floor so I could get the sides covered well.

Protect, Prop, & Sand

Protect, Prop, & Sand

I grabbed some fine sand paper and roughed up the surface a bit and followed the directions on can of paint. I ended up putting on three coats of paint and was sure to let each one dry for at least a half hour between each one. I let it dry overnight before moving it. Then let it dry again for another day before putting everything back together.

Second Coat

Second Coat

Now it’s hanging up looking pretty good. That was easy. Why did I spend so much time at way to many different stores looking for frames?

I need a new camera, but the color looks great!

I need a new camera, but the color looks great!

Merry Christmas! [ & Holiday Cards]

xmas cards 1Merry Christmas everyone! I am heading to South Dakota today. My aunt, uncle and cousin from Austin, as well as my little sister have already arrived and are waiting with my parents and dad’s parents for me and my brother, who will arrive tomorrow with our other grandma. It’s going to be a full house. I hope everyone keeps warm, merry, and has a wonderful holiday! And if you are interested check out my holiday card design for this year.

I decided to make my holiday cards again this year. I got the idea from a watching this video. I wasn’t really thinking about how many cards I was going to be making, (over 50), or the fact that I would be cutting all of the snowflakes out by hand, (I didn’t have the silhouette cutter this year), but since until about a week ago, I had time on my hands, I figured, why not go for it? I cheated a bit by getting white 6″ diameter round paper with for the snowflakes. After trying a few different cutting ideas, I decided making them all similar was going to be faster and easier when it came to attaching and stuffing in envelopes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I found a package of paper with a few blues that I liked for the card. I cut the regular size sheets down to A10 size for each card with my paper cutter. Once everything was  cut, I glued one arm of the snowflake in the corner of the card so that I could fold them back up to quarter size to fit in the envelope.

xmas cards (3)After trying to use white ink and failing for the “in the meadow we can build a snowman” stamp, I switched to silver. It showed up really well on the darker blue cards. It shows up fine on the light blue ones too, just have to move them around a bit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI signed them with white on the light blue and silver on the darker ones, stuffed them and did a lot of addressing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI hope everyone liked them! One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting cards from my friends. Now go enjoy your Christmas!