Thursday, October 15, 2009

Try something new

I have a rule that I won't pay for something if I can make it or do it myself, and the more things I try, the more I realize that I can do!  It's very empowering! 

For some reason I used to be afraid to paint or draw...maybe it stems from the fact that one of my brothers is an artist and I always felt that his work trumped my own efforts.  I'm not sure what gave me that idea, I always excelled in art and was told throughout school that I have a natural talent. I just didn't believe it about myself.  But necessity being the mother of invention, as time went on, I attempted more and more creative projects in order to make lemonade out of the lemons that life gave me. When one is strapped for cash, creativity can be invaluable! 

I've done countless projects over the years, from graphic design, decorating, web design, photography, and painting.  It's fun to experiment with something new just for the challenge of it!  And one of my favorite creative outlets is turning junk into something cute.  My husband and I love it!  He's usually the mechanical one that figures out how to make my creative vision a reality, while I'm the designer...I'm the one that sees something and has a vision of what I want it to be.  Together we've done some pretty 'out there, over-the-top' projects - like our son's playhouse!  That project started off from just a photo I saw of a design, and we took it from there!

When I was pregnant with our son, we were a little daunted by all of the things we'd need to buy for a baby so we were looking to cut costs as much as possible.  I mean sure, in a perfect world we'd just order an entire nursery of furniture, but a.) what's the fun in that?!? b.) I'm not a huge fan of mass-produced, cookie-cutter things that everyone owns and c.) it seemed like a HUGE waste of money to spend so much on something he'd out grow in a couple of years.  So one of the thrifty little projects we did was to spruce up an old curbside dresser that someone pitched. There was nothing wrong with it...just a little plain.

This was what it looked like after we sanded it and removed a scalloped bottom piece that looked a little too feminine...

I decided to paint it a neutral color to coordinate with the other natural wood nursery furniture.  My husband cut a new bottom piece of wood and affixed it. And then I decided to do some decorative handpainting on just the sides in subdued primary colors (red, blue and green).

We then took some alphabet blocks that we bought at TJ Maxx and drilled the backs to allow for a screw to go through for super cute, super inexpensive drawer pulls...(we did the same on the changing table so that the furniture looked more coordinated and there were just enough  to spell out his name in blocks!)

Voila!  The finished dresser!

My point is, don't be afraid to try...maybe you'll surprise yourself and it'll turn out great! Then again, maybe it won't...but there's no harm in trying.  I mean even if I'd hated the way the dresser turned out, so what?!  I didn't pay anything for it! 

There are so many creative, talented people out in blogland - why shouldn't you be one of them?!  Maybe you are and you just don't know it yet :)


  1. That is so cute! It looks like something from Pottery Barn Kids!
    Dropped by from SITS.

  2. Ok friend. You work full time...have an amazingly adorable little boy...make adorable things, decorate seriously MUST be wonder woman!? Seriously...I can't keep up with you! lol :-)

    Great job on the dresser.

  3. Well, how cute is that...I love it..
    very creative...

  4. I agree! We love finishing old furniture. I let Hannah do her stencils on the dresser we painted for her and although it wasn't quite as nice as your dresser, she still felt pretty crafty:)

    Great Job Indeed! Love the letters.

  5. Wow! I'm impressed. Once again, I'm inspired by you. <3 I am new to this way of thinking (regarding your rule of not buying something that you could make). I've never thought in that way until the last couple of months and it is so exciting to try to apply that to my life. Thank you for this post. This dresser is adorable too! Excellent work.


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