Trash to… Bar Table!

I love flea markets and antique hunting. Taking something someone believes to be trash and then breathing new life into the piece is so much fun. We “rescued” this bright orange tool table from the curb a few years ago and repurposed it into a bar, which is now in my apartment and one of my favorite flips ever.

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The metal table was most likely in someone’s garage and used to hold tools and was a surface to do small projects. The wood top and paperboard shelves were stained from use but the good bones of the table lay in the sturdy metal frame. We took some of the screws and washers out to remove the shelving but left the rest to spray paint all at once. We cleaned the frame and sanded it down to be sure the spray paint would cover the original orange paint.

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We chose a matte black spray paint for the bar, which translates well into its industrial design. We covered the exposed wood top and got to spraying. We followed up with a second coat of paint and loved the finished look. Spray paint is one DIY project that always looks so easy on TV but can be difficult to master due to weather, humidity and space issues. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area and cover as much of your spraying area as possible.

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After ensuring there were no drips of paint and that all the orange paint was covered, we waited about a day for it to dry. We re-assembled the table and painted any screws we had missed. We found some old maps and decoupaged them onto the paper board shelves to give the table an interesting visual element; I love the way it turned out! It would be fun to use old fabric or book pages too, depending on what the table’s use is.

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We finished by varnishing the table top with two light coats of a wood varnish after we sanded out stains. I like that a piece looks like it has some age to it and has stories to tell, so I didn’t mind that some stains did not come out. We set up our bar table with some fun bar tools, like drink pourers and mixers, mostly found at estate sales.

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This piece was a labor of love and lots of fun to work on from start to finish. It is a great conversation piece and everyone always love to hear more about it. It is the only bar I know of made out of a tool table and it barely cost anything to make, as we had most of the supplies we needed. So, the next time you see something on the curb, it could just be your next treasure to transform!

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*I wrote this post a few years ago on a different blog but wanted to share it here with some updates.

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Easy Easter Crafts for Kids

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When it comes to crafts, the more, the merrier! This was the idea when I worked on some Easter-themed projects with my nieces as we welcome spring. These ideas are a great springboard for other spring/Easter crafts and are easily adaptable to all ages.

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We found these oversized foam eggs at A.C. Moore for $1 apiece and the girls loved them. Younger kids can color them with washable markers for less mess, but we dove in with our smocks and paint. The paint is acrylic and was also purchased for a few dollars at A.C. Moore. (They often have great coupons available, so be sure to use them on your bigger ticket items like paint or paint brushes.)

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Next, we tackled “Q-tip painting” on some paper eggs we cut out with our Cricut cutting machine. We cut egg shapes out of pink and purple scrapbook paper and used Q-tips to decorate the eggs with paint.

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After they dry, they can be used as a simple garland by hole punching the eggs and stringing with twine, or they would make adorable Easter place cards. This is a great craft for younger children as they like painting with a smaller item.

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Finally, we made our own Easter egg potato stamp! Again, this one is great for older and younger kids and the stamps can be designed any way you like. An adult should cut a raw potato in half and cut out a design in each half of the potato. Once the design is cut, dry the “stamp” part off with a paper towel and apply paint. There should be a nice, even layer of paint and assist the child, as needed, with stamping the potato down firmly. We chose to make some greeting cards with our potato stamps to send for Easter. (Our craft paper cards were purchased at Michaels.) You could try using fabric paint and make some festive cloth napkins or tea towels.

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Keep it simple, keep it fun! The girls were occupied with these crafts for about 45 minutes and loved getting “messy.” It helps kids work on fine motor skills and you have some adorable decor for years to come. Win-win!

DIY Spring Garland

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When I was chatting with my mom recently about blogging again and not knowing where to start, we were in Target at the Dollar Spot, of course. She said to start small, literally. She picked up some paper bunnies and carrots, new to the section for spring, and asked me what I would make out of them. I immediately rattled off a million ideas: place cards, gift tags, a spring garland… Needless to say, inspiration struck and here we are.

I have been an on and off hobby blogger for years but the one thing that has always been constant: my love of crafting. So it only made sense for my first post in nearly four years would be about a spring craft.

I found these adorable packages of paper bunnies and carrots in Target’s Dollar Spot (which is a little like heaven on Earth) and knew I liked the colors and shape of them right away. They were $1 each, for a pack of 16 bunnies or 16 carrots. Each pack comes with four colors each and endless possibilities.

Since I live in a small apartment and a large amount of seasonal decor can be overwhelming, I decided to make a short garland of 8 shapes total: 4 bunnies in multiple colors and 4 carrots of the same color. Next, I eyeballed about how long I wanted the garland to be and cut out two holes at the top of each shape with a single hole punch.

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To finish, all I needed to do was string my shapes and hang up the garland. I chose a chunky white yarn that I had a leftover piece of and strung the shapes until I was happy with their spacing and pattern.

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With the rest of the shapes, I may make gift tags by simply hole punching at the top and stringing with ribbon on a gift or they would make cute place cards at a spring party. The carrots would be cute at an Easter party for kids to “pin the carrot on the bunny!”

This mini-DIY took me about 15 minutes to complete from start to finish and cost me less than $2, since I didn’t even use all of my bunnies and carrots. I see lots of fun decorative garlands in stores or online and they can be expensive, so this was a great alternative for my wallet and it allowed me to be creative!