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Spice Organizer

30 Jan

One of the best ways to save money is by cooking at home, and since this girl is back in school, the budget is tight! When cooking at home, spices are your best friend, but your cabinet’s worst enemy. My spices have completely overtaken an entire shelf of cabinet space and I have been wracking my brain for a solution. Unfortunately I don’t have the space to use magnets and hang them all up in plain sight, or the money to buy a fancy spice rack, so here is the simple solution I came up with.

Supplies:

Box – smaller size, with shallow edges is best

Paint

Sharpie marker




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Online shopping is another way to save some dough(as long as you don’t go overboard) because you can find amazing coupon deals and you don’t have to waste gas driving to the store. My most recent purchase came in this box, which is just about the perfect size for my spice collection.

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I cut off the top flap and painted the inside of the box white and used some of the gold paint from my last project on the outside. This will take a few coats to cover the natural color of the cardboard. Some other ways you could the cover the box are with patterned paper, fabric, newspaper, magazine images, spray paint, Mod Podge, etc. So go crazy with the personalization!

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Here is my disorganized spice cabinet. I have to shuffle them around every time I cook and there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to where they are placed back. What a mess!

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While all of my spices don’t fit in the box, the ones I use the most do. This is a huge help because when I go to cook something, I can just take out the entire spice box, rather than running back and forth between the stove and my spice cabinet!

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All organized and look at all the space I have now! The stuff that didn’t fit in the box are mainly back-ups that I had purchased because I will be running out of the other one very soon. This quick project can also be just as easily done with a store bought box/basket, tupperware or a serving tray.

–Heather

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Picture Shelf with Accessory Storage

10 Sep

Before I moved I realized that the tops of my furniture were loaded down with picture frames and tchotchkes. Having these things spread out and taking up so much space was really bogging me down mentally so I did a bit of research and decided to make a shelf dedicated just to displaying all of my photos of family and friends. While packing I also noticed that I had way more jewelry than I knew and figured I would wear it more often if I could see it all. Thus was born a picture shelf/jewelry display combo.

Supplies:

Lumber – I used a scrap piece of moulding and an 8′ board

Screw gun

Screw driver(yes, both)

Drill bits

Hooks – I used 80 total

Shelf brackets

Paint

Paint brush

Pencil

Level

To start I gave the piece of moulding a couple coats of gesso – basically as a primer. I wasn’t sure how was I was going to finish it at this point so I kept it simple.

While it was drying I went and picked up some hooks. Then I marked off where to pre-drill holes. The piece of moulding measured 7′-10″ which ended up being perfect for an 8′ shelf, allowing for brackets on either end that are an inch wide. After doing the math (80 hooks spread out over 94 inches) I decided to space the hooks out an inch apart, leaving 7 inches on either end.

Time for the drill! This part is obviously tedious but took surprisingly less time than I expected.

All the hooks are in and it looks a bit crazy. Everyone thought 80 hooks was overkill but those spaces fill up quicker than you may think!

Attaching the shelf to the piece of moulding took a bit of measuring and lining up. I marked off 4 spots along each to pre-drill where I wanted the screws to go to make sure they lined up evenly.

Once the shelf and moulding were attached I screwed in the wall brackets.

Using this little shelf and framed poster as inspiration, I decided to the paint the new shelf white underneath and black on the top.

Once the paint dried, I got to work on hanging this bad boy. I was home alone so I had to figure out how to do this by myself and make it even. To start, I centered the shelf on the wall and marked where one of the screws for the bracket would go. From there I was able to use my handy level app to figure out where the screws for the other brackets should be placed.

This shelf and accessory display filled up very quickly! I love having everything out and visible while still organized and neat. The project itself came together very easily – the hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry! It is also so easy to customize to fit any space and use any size scraps you may come across.

–Heather

Fine Art Serving Tray

7 Sep

Hi strangers. It’s been awhile, it’s so good to see you again 🙂

So here is a quick little project I did last night. This goes out to all our fellow art school students who have art history lining their book shelves that they’ll probably never open again.

Supplies:
Serving Tray
Magazines, books, photos
Scissors
Tape

Image

My Aunt gave me this serving tray awhile back, and I knew I wanted to do something fun with it, but I wasn’t sure what.  I moved into a new apartment last weekend, and I quickly remembered all of the Art History books I had collected when carrying them all up a flight of stairs.

ImageI figure…you can buy a great De Kooning print for $20, or you can buy a whole book of prints for $20 and rip pages out. So I got to ripping.

ImageYou can obviously do this with magazine pages, old photos, I was even thinking dictionary pages would be really interesting.

ImageAnd here it is! Sitting on my coffee table. I think doing something like this is a great conversation piece. Who needs coffee table books when you have coffee table art?

Window Storage Cabinet

20 Aug

This project sort of just fell into my lap – I came home one day to an old window sitting in my driveway just asking to be repurposed. While scraping the old green paint off, I ran through a bunch of ideas in my head of what exactly to do with the window. By the time I chipped off as much green paint as possible, I had decided on turning the window into a clothes storage cabinet to replace the last piece of plastic dorm-style chest of drawers I had left. Adulthood here I come!

Supplies:

Old window

Scraper

Sand paper

Glass cleaner

Power drill

Paint brushes

Paint

Primer

L brackets

Door pull

Hinges

Plywood

Shelf pegs

Painter’s tape

Door catch hardware

Furniture feet and attachment hardware

Detail trim

Level

Measuring tape

Pencil

Storage bins

(This supply list looks a little daunting, but it’s mostly just the tools and hardware, I promise this was a pretty simple build)

Here’s the window – in rough shape and in need of some crafty loving care.

I found these scraping tools among my family’s tool collection, they worked great for the nooks and crannies of the trim around the window panes.

Scraped and sanded, I got to work measuring out the window to come up with a design for the cabinet.

Lucky for me, we had some scrap wood available that was perfect to build the structure of the cabinet with. I decided to go with three boards on the two sides and back to mimic the layout of window panes.

I used small L brackets to attach the sides to the top and bottom. At first it is really flimsy but once the shelves go in, the cabinet becomes very sturdy.

Here is the cabinet with two sides attached.

Here you can see the furniture foot attachment. It’s really easy to do and makes it easy to switch out the feet if you ever wanted to.

Now time to attach the window! I just used basic hinges and attached them to the inside of the cabinet. I ended up adding an extra L bracket to the top and bottom of the board the window is attached to. This helped to keep the board in place when the window swung open and close.

I marked where I wanted the shelves based off of where the horizontal mullions were and drilled holes for the shelf pegs. Once the cabinet was all built, I attached a door handle and a door catch so that the window would stay shut when closed.

After the cabinet was built, I decided I didn’t like the unfinished look of the top and bottom edges. So I went and picked up some simple decorative trim and attached with some finish nails.

Now for the fun part (sort of, haha)! I primed the whole cabinet and didn’t fuss with taping the windows off because I was feeling lazy.

I left the interior a glossy white(surprise, surprise) and painted the exterior a glossy fuschia.

I dreaded having the scrape the paint off the windows so maybe tape would’ve been a better idea. Though to get the paint off easily, I sprayed the windows down with Dirtex and let it sit for a few minutes and then took the tool above and just scraped away.

One of my major issues with this project was finding storage bins that I liked and weren’t ridiculously priced. Luckily, I found these bins at Home Goods for a decent price and if in a few years I get sick of them, I can easily just swap them out for a new set. The bottom shelf will be home to my printer, so the gaps between the boards work perfectly for all those cords!

I am excited to fill this up and put it to use! This project should have taken me just a couple days, but other things came up – projects, school, a wedding, so it was spread out over a few months. It was actually nice to work on this in stages, breaking it up into more manageable pieces and not rush through it just to get it done.

–Heather

Doodle Designed Metal Cart

13 Aug

First off, welcome to our new home! We had outgrown our humble blogger page and decided that the Two Girls were ready for bigger and better things. Thanks for sticking with us!

So, during our summer hiatus I have been working on some furniture projects. I am moving next month(yay!) and am quickly realizing that I need more storage options. Lucky for me, our house has been the family dumping ground for unused and unwanted furniture. I saw this metal cart and instantly knew it had potential for greatness.

Supplies:

Sand paper

Spray paint

Painter’s tape

Sharpies

This is after I cleaned off years worth of dust and grime. It honestly doesn’t look too bad, and if I were going for the industrial look, this is all I would have had to do. I decided this would probably end up in my bedroom, so a black/white/silver combo would go best.

After it was all clean, I sprayed on a heavy duty rust primer just to make sure that none of the rust would bleed through.

Then I went ahead and repainted the legs chrome silver again.

I let the legs dry overnight then taped them off and covered the wheels with paper towels to protect them from the next step.

Glossy white paint – I should probably buy stock in this stuff because I use it for everything. So fresh and so clean clean.

Now, I went to take off the painters tape and apparently the silver paint wasn’t happy. A lot of the paint came off with the tape and I really don’t know why. I didn’t mind the mix of chrome and matte silver though, so I just rolled with it.

Time for the sharpies! I kept a bunch of them out so I could rotate them as they started to wear down or dry out.

As you can see, I was inspired by floral henna designs with their curvilinear shapes and line patterns. I basically just dove right in and placed the designs wherever , filling in the blanks as I continued drawing. I surprisingly wasn’t much of a doodler in school, but once I got started, it became a bit addictive and I wished I had been doodling my time away during those boring history classes.

All covered! I decided not to do the bottom shelves because I figured they wouldn’t be seen at all anyways. I am so happy with the way this turned out and am pretty excited to incorporate some more doodling into my day.

–Heather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apartment Redesign

2 Jul
I told you guys I have been working on some big projects and I wasn’t lying! My friends Patrik and Francine live in a little studio apartment that was in desperate need of some reorganization and furniture upgrades. They had seen the work I had done for the blog and asked if I would be interested in helping out. A real life interior design project? Yes please!
Supplies:
A truck
Power tools
Lumber
Paint
Stain
Brushes
Wood glue
Wood putty
Screws
So here is a look at what the apartment looked like a couple months ago. The clothes armoire took center stage on the most prominent wall, along with a small shoe rack and some storage bins.
The couch was essentially unusable and sagging in the middle(as covered by the pillows).
The windows were blocked off by the tv, a desk, a catch-all table and other odds and ends. The bookshelf to the left also took up valuable floor space.
So with all these things in mind, I drew up a few quick sketches for a new desk, a shoe rack and some wall-mounted bookshelves.
With the sketches and a list of materials in hand, we headed to Home Depot and stocked up.
Patrik got to work drilling the holes for the shoe rack. We just used a couple 2×6 boards with 1/2″ wooden dowels as the shelves.
Once the shoe rack was put together, I sanded down all the dowels so they were flush with the boards, filled in any imperfections with wood putty and let dry.
Meanwhile, Patrik started drilling the holes for the shelves on the desk – we made a row of holes on each section so that the shelf height can be adjusted as needed. Also, you probably want to prop up whatever you are drilling onto something else so that you don’t accidentally drill holes into your floor. But if you do end up drilling through, rub a little olive oil(or any available oil) into the holes and no one will ever notice!
Here is the desk all put together. Afterwards we decided that the desk would look better with some feet on it, so we just picked some up at Lowes and screwed them onto the bottom.
Their pans were taking up a lot of counter space so we screwed some hooks to the underside of the shelves in the kitchen to hang them from.
Here is the shoe rack all painted. We had decided to paint one of the walls an accent color so the shoe rack corresponds with that.
The desk got a coat of stain to finish it off and the bookshelves were stained as well.
Here is the accent wall!
The bookshelves all in place above their bed – looks like Patrik and Francine can now expand their library!
We moved the armoire over to the wall where the couch was and put the shoe rack conveniently by the door.
The wall sconces were a faded brassy color so we gave them a facelift with a coat of sleek black paint and crisp new white shades.
The tv was mounted on the accent wall with the desk below. This allowed them to watch tv both from their new couch and from their bed.
We also found some organizers at Ikea that we mounted on the wall behind the computer to collect little office odds and ends – pens, pencils, mail etc.
I wish I had gotten a better picture of this. But we picked up a nice fairly new couch from a craigslist ad and almost everything is gone from in front of their windows. The last thing to do is frame and hang some artwork above the couch! We did all of these projects in a total of four full days, just spread it out over the course of about a month and a half. The total cost, including the couch, came to just around $500 – not too shabby for a couch, desk, shoe rack, bookshelves, tv mounting bracket and a fresh coat of paint on the accent wall! The apartment is so much more efficient now and really feels spacious.
–Heather

Shoe Hangers

21 Feb
If you hadn’t noticed yet, I have a tendency to pick projects that organize my stuff more efficiently. I’m living at home and have about 100 square feet to work with in my room, so I need to be thrifty with both my space and funds. I came across a fun way to hang up shoes using old wire hangers and decided to give it a try. 
Supplies:
Wire hangers
Wire cutters
Pliers
As you can see, this girl likes her shoes. And this is after I got rid of at least 10 pair during my closet deep cleaning… 

With the words of Stacy and Clinton from “What Not To Wear” running through my head about how awful wire hangers are for your clothes, I felt no remorse in gathering all of the wire hangers in my house and cutting them up. 

To start, I cut a big chunk of the bottom off. 

Then I bent the top part down where it sort of looks like shoulders.

And straightened out the ends.

Then I bent the wires about two inches down from the shoulders – honestly you could bend and shape this however you want, but these are the basic beginning steps I used for all of them. 

Then I made a little curly cue on the ends. This was the first one and definitely turned out rougher than any of the others. 

And here you can sort of see how there are endless ways to shape the ends depending on your aesthetic. Sorry for the poor picture quality, these babies were hard to photograph. If you click on the image it will enlarge and you may be able to see the details a bit better. 

My shoes are much happier to have their own space and not be stacked all on top of each other. This project took some time and a bit of patience in getting the wire to do what you want, but it was well worth it to have just the tiniest bit more space in my closet.
–Heather
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