The Projects


To start off with I took an idea from Pinterest… I love Pinterest!  I know most guys would never admit that, but as I previously mentioned in the About Me section, I’m not average.  This idea, was actually really easy to do and met my budget requirement of VERY CHEAP.  Unfortunately, it does not utilize any Ikea components, but I said some things wouldn’t and this is my first project, to start off with.

It’s my new coffee table.  I started with an old trunk that was left over from my step dad.  He got it in the Navy, and before this, it had set out in the garage with a bunch of old camping equipment in it.  The reason I like this idea is that coffee tables take a beating from drinks, feet and get moved around a lot, so starting with a beat up trunk seemed like a good idea.  Add to that that it does double duty by acting as a storage unit for visiting guests that want to crash on my couch.  I can easily store extra blankets and pillows inside for emergencies.

All I did was go down to the hardware store (in this case it was Home Depot, but I go to both them and Lowes), I purchased a can of Rust-oleum Nickel colored spray paint and a very small can of dark wood stain… Espresso I think.  I also bought four wood furniture feet and metal brackets.  I removed all stickers and rough sanded around the sides and top of the chest, applied the spray paint, using the entire can, and waited for it to dry completely.  I stained the wood feet with two coats of dark stain, attached the four brackets to the bottom of the chest and screwed in the decorative feet.

Later, I applied a liberal coat of stain all over the chest and wiped away the excess carefully, to give the chest a weathered look.  I did this procedure one side at a time, applying and wiping away, and them moving on.

Because of the nature of the piece I was working with, I wasn’t aiming for perfection, but am still very pleased with the outcome… and by using spray paint and stain, which are both water resilient, I avoid any problems with spilled drinks or condensation stripping the paint later.

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Okay, so far still no modified Ikea products, but I promise they’re coming.  This is a little creation that was all purchased at Home Depot (Lowes probably works just fine).  First I measured the height of my desk at work, then went to the hardware store and landed in the plumbing section.

I purchased many pieces of “black” steel tubing and assembled it on the floor, until I had the look and height I was going for, then I bought two of everything.  When I got home, I unpackaged everything and tossed it in a full kitchen sink of water and Dawn liquid to remove all of the oil from the surface of the hardware.

I dried and assembled two legs.  I purchased Cedar wood panels and built the top.  I stained the wood, then went back and “sloppily” sanded it, mostly in the middle, to strip off some of the stain and make it look uneven.  Then sealed it with an Amber sealer.

Finally, I added black steel trim on the edges.  Simple tools, like a jigsaw with a steel cutting blade and standard drill cut through the steel fairly easily.  The rest was pretty basic.  I’m planning on getting a steel chair to go with it later.

The total cost was under $150.00.  Not bad for a custom desk with tons of charm!

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I’ve wanted an ached floor lamp that was completely stainless, but everywhere I looked they ranged from the hundreds-to-over-a-thousand and I just can’t justify in my head spending that much money for that look.  Initially I found the right base at World Market, but I waited too long and they discontinued it.

One of my secret places to get decorative items is Target. Back in early 2000 Target started bringing in more designer-friendly items.  Putting them on the shelves and then rotating the inventory quickly.  There is sort of a revolving door of designer products, so the best way to keep on top of inventory is to check online… not to mention that Target also features items not found in stores on their website.  Like my headboard… but that’s another story.

I found a decent ached floor lamp at Target, but hated the cheap-looking cloth lamp shade that came with it, but I simply could not pass up it’s low price.  I decided to buy a stainless steel bowl and cut a hole in the bottom to fashion my own lamp shade… I Love the final result!

I just used a regular drill with a special bit for cutting holes in doors – for door hardware.  It has small pieces of diamond on the edges of the blade so it cut through the steel fairly easily.

The total cost for this lamp was under $100.00!




This is an Ikea hack, using more Ikea products.  First I started off with the Nyvoll dresser, but neither liked the base of it nor the handles.  I worked up a mockup of the changes in Photoshop and then went and bought everything.  My hack incorporates two pairs of Capita legs.  It makes the dresser sit up a little higher than normal, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me at all.  Next I replaced the smaller white drawer pulls with three pairs of Blankett stainless steel drawer pulls.

When figuring out the spacing for everything, I used a tape measure and packing materials from the shipping boxes to create templates for the new dimensions (seen below).  FYI – If you do this, the mounting screws for the Capita legs will pop through the inside base of the dresser, but the drawer installation allows for space under the drawers anyways, so it will all be completely concealed on the finished product.  I also used a dab of apoxy on all of the legs for greater durability, but I don’t think it necessarily needs it.

The total cost for this dresser was around $360.00.

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After a quick move during the divorce, I grabbed this old 4-drawer dresser that is somewhat of a heirloom.  It used to belong to my uncle and served as his bedroom dresser, as a boy, however, after using it with both of my boys and watching them outgrow it (other than sentimentality), it had no real use for me.  So one night as I stared at it sitting in my living room, I pondered on what I really wanted for that space… A wet bar!  But how would I do that?  I guess I could just load up the top and keep glasses, etc., in the drawers below…  So I started penciling up ideas and edited and edited until I came up with my design.  Below are my results.  Remember, I don’t have a garage to work out of and this was a pretty big job, so I made quite a mess!

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I started by removing the old knobs, the front base decorative wood pieces and dismantling the top two drawers.

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Next, I put supports in and a plywood base shelf for the main bar and checked bottle placement to make sure I had lots of room to make drinks.

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Then I created a new base that matched the curves on the sides of the cabinet/dresser.  Later I started to add subtle detailing.

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Then I added new legs that I fashioned out of oak planks, and masked the joint between the old cabinet and new legs with more detailing (this was done to bring the bar platform up to cabinet height).

More to come soon!


2 thoughts on “The Projects

  1. Hello,
    For your dresser, did you use the Capita Brackets? I’m assuming it is because it’s angled vs the legs which are straight up and down. I love the way it looks!

    • Hey Aileen,

      I did, however, I also applied a thin coat of apoxy to each leg before srewing them in. Now, a year later, I am noticing it begin to sag in the middle. My next update will be to add a center support. I am planning on doing something that’s not visible. I’ll update pics after I do the project.

      Thanks for your interest!

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