Monday, March 2, 2015

Show & Tell: DIY Sawhorse Desk

Good Evening!

I've been on an office remodeling streak the past two weeks. Since I work from home, my home office is where I spend a good part of each day. The way I had it set up just wasn't cutting it. Things were cluttered and crowded. I would look around and just feel irritated. Not a great way to work or live. Just ask my husband and kids. I was, to quote my daughter, "crabby."

One of the major issues was the desk. I love, love, love the desk we inherited from my husband's grandfather. It was completely transformed with some white paint and glass knobs. (Click here for the before & after). The shape of the desk is very unique, and it has tons of storage. One problem though was the surface space. I have two large monitors as part of my work set up, and the little desk wasn't cutting it. I looked like a T-Rex when I typed.

I had originally thought I would keep the curved desk as is, and then create a narrow desk/workspace along my north wall. (Click here for my office remodel plans) Late at night a few weeks ago, I was thinking about the issues in my office. I realized that creating a larger surface for the monitors should be my top priority. I switched up my plan, and decided to create a large desk and flip the curved desk to the other wall.

The problem with large desks is they cost more than small ones. (Shocking, I know) So, how was I going to create a large desk on budget? Adding another wrinkle to the plan is that anything I made had to be done within a weekend. The office had to be up and running before I started work on Monday.

I did some heavy research i.e. played on Pinterest, and decided I liked two ideas: 1) create desk from a hollow door and table legs, 2) create a desk with sawhorses.

My husband and I went on a "date" to Lowes one Saturday afternoon. (Anything is a "date" if we're without the kids) He didn't like the idea of using table legs. He thought it would look weird with a cheaper top. He also didn't like the hollow door idea since we'd have to cut it down to the fit the space.

What he did like was sawhorses. Probably because they are strong. I decided that instead of using a hollow door or individual boards, I would use one of my favorite surfaces: wood paneling.

The entire thing cost us about $70.00. The breakdown is $20.00 per sawhorse and $30.00 for four interlocking panel boards. The desk size is customizable, but at this cost, I could have gone up to 8 feet long. I used white paint I already had for the top and grey stain (Weathered Grey in Rustoleum) for the saw horses.

The concept is pretty easy. You simply have to cut the boards to the desired length and lock them into place on the top of the sawhorses. Then, I just screwed down each board. The only problem you need to watch for is making sure you find straight boards and level sawhorses as you can. We found that many boards were warped and almost all the sawhorses were slight uneven (so they would wobble when you moved them).

I'm pretty happy with my sawhorse desk, and it's a huge surface for my computer. I don't write on this desk, but if you wanted a smooth surface, you could easily add a glass or plexi-glass top. I may also route the ends eventually to create a more finished look. The entire project took just an hour or two.

I will be hiding the cords behind the sawhorses when I have the chance to pick up some velcro for the cords. 

The sawhorses are Burro Brand and feature these lovely donkey logos. I turned them so they would be facing away from you. My husband thought I should embrace them and let them show. That's why I get to design the upstairs.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DIY Paint Marker Accent Wall

Good Morning!

I have been busy renovating my home office. Last weekend my children were watching my parents, so I got quite a bit accomplished.

Remember my plan for renovating my office? (Click here for the post) Well I've mostly stuck with that plan except for my desk placement. I flipped things around, and I really like the results. I'll be posting about my DIY desk solution later this week. It only cost me about $75.00 bucks, and the desk is HUGE.

One thing that was on my plan was the painting the walls in a Valspar color called "Beach Glass." I did a couple of samples on the wall, and it was the color that fit the my inspiration print the best. So I started painting my walls. WHOA. It's bright. I was starting to get really worried when my office was looking like a green/mint/aqua explosion.

Thankfully, in daylight with furniture and wall hangings, the color isn't quite as in your face. The second part of my paint plan was creating an accent wall using paint markers.

Paint markers are simply oil based paint in marker form. I've used them on a couple different projects. Generally when I need something detailed or handwritten, I'll grab a paint marker. Sharpie makes them as well as some other brands. I went with the Elmer's Painters brand since that's what my big box retailer had in stock. They are relatively cheap at $3.00 for the super sized marker. (FYI They are located in the craft section by acrylic paints!)

DIY Paint Marker Accent Wall

Paint Marker (Mine is Painters by Elmers and is in the "Super" size)
Pencil or Pen
Tape Measure

Total Cost: $3.00
Total Time: 1 hour


1. Measure Your Vertical Line

There's no wrong or right way to choose a design. I decided on this variable herringbone design since the only precise line I needed was the vertical line. I made my vertical lines 12 inches a part.

2. Paint the Vertical Line

It's actually very easy to paint a straight line if you're using a level. Just make sure your level stays level as you work your way down the wall. Use the tiny mark you made as a guide of where to start your vertical line.

3. Paint Diagonal Lines

I decided that I wanted to alternate angles between vertical lines (some go up and some go down). The only thing I made sure is that 1) the lines didn't meet up with a line on the previous section, and 2) that I didn't paint past the vertical line. I did accidentally paint past the line once so I'll need to go back in and fix that with some of the wall color paint. I also watched the degree of my angles. I didn't want any large variation between the angle of my diagonal lines.

4. Dry & Repaint if Necessary

Depending on what color you pick, you may need to paint another coat. I found with white, it was fairly faint during my first pass. I did a second coat on any light lines. I could probably do a third, but I don't might the white being faint.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

DIY Sunday: No Sew Plaid Blanket Scarf

Good Afternoon!

Today's craft is just about as easy as a craft can get. If you follow me on Pinterest, you are probably aware that I'm a bit of an addict. One item that I found myself pinning over and over again was outfits with large plaid scarves. I didn't know there was such a thing as "blanket" scarves until I started clicking through some of my Pins to read about them.

I love scarves (and plaid for that matter). I feel like you can dress up almost anything with a big poofy scarf. I just went through my collection and donated or consigned quite a few recently, so naturally I needed to add more. My husband disagrees. However, I pointed out his baseball hat collection and he decided to avoid and further comment on my scarves.

Have you looked at the price of some of these blanket scarves? Over $50.00 for one scarf! Not going to happen in my world. I have flooring to buy, people! The next step was to make one for about 1/5 the cost.

DIY No Sew Plaid Blanket Scarf


2 to 2.5 yards of plaid fabric. Mine came from Hancock Fabrics in the "Chambray" fabric section. With a sale, 1 yard was only $4.00. So, $8.00 for one blanket scarf.

Since fabric frays when you cut it, you normally would do something to stop the fray. However, with this project, you can keep the fray as part of the rustic style.

Two edges will be frayed already. You will want to fray the sections that have clean cuts.

This is the fabric before starting your fray. Notice how one side is already frayed, but the side that was cut from the fabric bolt is not?

This process is fairly simple. You will take some thread from the end of the fabric and pull down the length of the fabric. You will want to take this slowly to avoid breaking the thread or bunching up the fabric.

Then you're done. Pretty darn easy, huh? Go to Pinterest and look at all the fun ways you can wrap your new gigantic scarf.

Side note: I totally feel weird taking a "selfie" of myself. So ignore my mismatched clothes, crazy hair and dead eyes. I'm not built for selfies, yo!