restyle a filing cabinet

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When we moved into our little two bedroom house, I was so excited to finally have a space to store, well, stuff. I had big plans for Tyler to build a desk right when we moved in. I quickly realized that was a little bit further out than I had planned. So I started thinking, what could I put files in? We don’t have many, just some tax folders and vet files for our kids. But still, these files needed a designated area. I kept thinking, why do filing cabinets have to be so ugly? Wait. They don’t have to be! I remembered something I saw on pinterest about painting a filing cabinet and putting wood on the top. The wood top was a little more work than I wanted for this quick fix, so I kept it simple with a new paint job.

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I found this on CraigsList. It took me a while because filing cabinets are more expensive than I had hoped. So, I waited until I found one in my price range. $10!

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First, take the drawers out and take the hardware off of the drawer faces. Wipe it down with a dry cloth to get any dust or cobwebs off. Yeah, mine had cobwebs.

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Then start spraying! I used one can for the whole thing. I didn’t prime or sand it because aside from opening and closing the drawers, it won’t get banged around much. You can sand/prime if you want.

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After the paint completely drys, put it all back together and put the hardware back in. Then, bring it inside and fillerup! I love this project because it took half a day, but was a huge transformation! Also, it’s so cute now, we use it as a side table in the second bedroom. It’s not only functional, but now a fun piece of furniture.

What functional but cute items fill your home??

diy painted spoons

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You know what I love? Honey colored wood and bright colors and/or white. Most of our house is honey and white with pops of bright colors. I have been obsessing over wood spoons with colored handles. But, those can be pricey. So I made my own.

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I went with the cheapest pack of wooden utensils I could find at Target. This one was about $5. The quality isn’t amazing, but they are still pretty nice bamboo spoons.

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The original idea was to pick one color to create a set. Well, that didn’t exactly work well for me. I loved all three of these colors! So, why not one of each?

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This project is easy, but not quick. It may have been faster if I sanded the spoons to get the glossed finish off of them. But I decided just to go ahead and paint them. I taped them off using painter’s tape. To make sure the paint didn’t bleed through, I pressed it very firmly into the handle to seal the tape.

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I used a sponge brush because it was all we had. A regular paintbrush would work just as well. These took many coats also. That clear coating was really stubborn and if the paint wasn’t very dry between coats, it would slide off. Again, that’s why I think a light sanding would have sped this process up.

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I saw a tutorial on Pinterest a while ago about making polkadot wrapping paper using an eraser and white paint. It was so cute! So I thought, hey, why not on spoons?

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It worked really well! It would have been even better with a brand new unused eraser (mine was a little rounded on top), but heck! I was still happy with how it came out!

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They are so bright and cheery! I love the different lengths of color too. It makes them really special. This project is fun because you can customize it really easy. Any color, any pattern! These would also be a great gift for someone. You could customize it to the color scheme of their home or their wedding colors.

What colors would you choose?

4th of July diy

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It’s almost the Fourth of July! Wow! Where did June go?? Anyway, Tyler and I both agreed that one of the first parties we wanted to host at the new house would be on the 4th. Something small, but fun (sparklers!!). I used to dream of hosting parties at our house, and now it’s actually a reality! This is one of my favorite holidays too. I decided to make some simple little food decorations and drink stir sticks.

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What you need: red, white, and blue construction paper, precise scissors, skewers, glue stick, ribbon.

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I started by drawing out one star. Then after checking to see if the size was what I wanted, I (sort of) used it as a template for the other ones. They all still came out pretty different, but that’s what makes them cute and unique! I cut my skewers in half(ish) so they wouldn’t be too long. The stars with the sharp ends will go into the food, and the stars with the flat ends will be for the drinks.

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Then I glued the sticks to the back of the star. See? Easy! I doubled up a few of the stars to make more of a starburst shape. Those ended up being my favorite!

I actually didn’t like the ribbon stick as much as the stars. It reminded me of those fancy toothpicks they put in your sandwich. And after all of the trouble the ribbon was giving me, I stopped after one.

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I will definitely make a ton more for the party. So cute! I can’t wait to decorate with these!

What are your plans for the 4th?

vintage Cosco bar cart & the grappler

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Look at this thing. I found it for $10 dollars on CraigsList. I’ve known I really wanted a bar cart for entertaining for a long time now. When I saw this I knew it was perfect. So much potential in this neglected little cart. Plus, we went on a really fun adventure to get it.

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It really needed some work. Whoever owned it completely abused it. I think it’s funny how many times we find something amazing that the owner completely gave up on just because it needed a little work. And then it turned into a rusted rotten mess (aka a fun challenge for us).

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The lining was really cute and unique, but in horrible shape. It peeled off so easy! And taking the cart apart was a cinch too.

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Once everything was taken apart, I sanded and sanded and sanded. Most of the rust came off. The really stubborn stuff just got some extra love with the primer.

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We used a white primer because we decided to repaint it yellow, and that would be easier to cover. Gray would be more ideal for a darker paint color.

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Ta-da! Awesome, right? We love it! It came out so pretty.. and it was minimal work. You could even do this without taking the whole thing apart, just tape off the metal sides (unless yours is in horrible shape like ours was, then take it apart. It’s worth it). I took it apart to give it some extra love, and we bought new screws for it which will lengthen its life and improve its sturdiness.

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I used steel wool to brighten up and remove rust from the metal handles. WOW what a huge difference it made! It’s my new favorite tool for restorations.

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I figured if I’m sharing a post about our new bar cart, might as well make one of my new favorite drinks right? Tyler named this the Grappler. This drink was one of those accidental drinks that came from an (almost) empty fridge. It’s another easy, but flavorful drink. Just two ingredients.

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the Grappler, makes one

1.5 oz Stoli apple vodka

3 oz grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed, or not)

grapefruit wedge (for garnish)

Pour vodka & grapefruit juice over ice. Stir, garnish, and drink.

This drink is pretty sweet, and the apple vodka takes all bitterness out of the grapefruit juice, which results in a really refreshing (alcoholic) drink. I was surprised by how delicious this combination was. It sounds…. weird. But it isn’t. It’s delicious.

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This drink is definitely a “base” drink for something more creative. I just don’t know what yet. It will be fun to experiment. Plus, after decorating our new cart, I realized how measly our drink collection is. I guess we will need to bulk it up soon!

If you’re not much of a drinker or a party hoster, this cart is still a fun easy project that has so much potential. It could be used in the kitchen for extra storage. It could be a cute coffee bar with mugs and an espresso machine. If you have room, it could go in the bathroom to hold pretty toiletries. It could go in the dining room to hold extra dishes or serve-ware.

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Where will you put your cart?

grandma’s table

workhardstayhappy.comToday I finally finished a project at the new house! It’s really nice working on things in our own backyard. We are both so grateful for my mom’s generosity with her backyard and house during the last three years, but it is such a nice feeling working on something at your own home. I started this project at my mom’s, and finished it here.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comThis is the table grandma was willing to trade¬†for the (now) green one. Isn’t it awesome?? So many times throughout the years of owning this table, my grandpa and uncles tried to make her get rid of the set. Lucky for us, she is pretty stubborn.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comI started by taking the whole table and chairs apart. Then I sanded and primed everything.

workhardstayhappy.comIMG_2019workhardstayhappy.comI decided to paint the table and chairs bright orange! It’s so bright and happy! So perfect for our new house.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comWe had some trouble deciding what to do with the seats. They have a metal frame, and the seat is actually made from this weird rope-ish material. It’s really awesome, but was really rotten in some spots and hard to paint. We decided to leave the centers as is for now, and maybe once they all rot through we will replace it with wood slats or something fun. We decided to keep all of the seat white, hopefully to not draw attention to the condition of the rope.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comThe chairs sat like this for a the last two weeks while we were moving in and party planning. Today I finally put them together and set them up in one corner of our backyard.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comWe love how they turned out!! Thanks Grandma!