Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DIY Long desk built with 2 x 4s and filing cabinets

DIY Desk built with 2 x 4's and filing cabinets

This is the desk that I built, with some help from my son and husband.
I was inspired to build this desk by a tutorial that I seen on Pinterest, it was posted by LaughterandGrace.com. It was a great tutorial! Here is a pix of that desk.

 Didn't know if I could make one as nice as this but....I sure was going to try.
We had just moved into this small space and we had to get rid of a lot of BIG furniture. So, I kept and bought with us what I hoped would fit into our new small space. Here is a look at one wall of our bedroom, which had a small desk, with one file drawer, a small chest which held all of our office stuff and the printer/fax on top, chest of drawers and a bookcase. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't functional, it simply didn't flow.

             But, we made do until we could figure out something else.

Then, I seen the above DIY desk and I had a vision, I just needed focus. So..

First.....I spent weeks looking for filing cabinets on Craigslist (I had looked in retail stores and the cabinets I was hoping for were very expensive). Then, one day I found 2 of these on Craigslist.....I was so excited. They were in great shape and cost $30 each.

Next, a trip to Home Depot to buy 6-6ft 2x4's (the depth of the filing cabinets was 24 inches), some stain, paintbrush and I was ready to go. My husband and I sanded the planks, I stained and polyurethaned and then I enlisted my sons help in securing the 2x4's together.  He just used some strips of scrap wood, cut to size (24 inches) and nailed them along the bottom side.I didn't get a picture of this but it is covered beautifully on the LaughterandGrace.com tutorial. The wood cost about $18, the stain about $7, I already had the polyurethane. So total cost was about $85 for this beautiful ccustom desk with lots of storage.
Here we go, just getting started. We had a good amount of sanding to do.
 I applied 2 coats of stain and 2 coats of polyurethane. then, fasten together on the underside with 2-1x1 strips....  
And.....we are ready to take inside and place on top of the file cabinets.  

Our new desk looks great in our bedroom/office. Makes this small space a little prettier, and it's a lot more functional..Having all that space for files and storage is such a plus. I really love it. 

One thing that I must note here, the 2x4's were not truly 4 inches wide, more like 3.5 inches wide. therefore my desk top, which needed to be 24 inches wide, the depth of my file cabinets, was only about 21 inches. So...I have space on the backside, so I will be purchasing one more 2x4, sanding, staining, placing on the backside and attaching to the others. I had no idea to check the width of the wood....good learning experience.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


After almost five months of retirement, I am content.
I am Simply retired now..............

I am finding my way.

I have looked forward to this time for so many years .....

I have read about new retirees getting bored, not being able to fill their days, to enjoy this time in their lives, some return to the work force because they cannot adjust and I pray..... for them and for myself, I want to be able to enjoy retirement, I hope that others can, I know that others do.

Retire, the definition of... to withdraw, or go away or apart, to a place of privacy, shelter, or seclusion. Yes, we do withdraw from the workplace and yes, maybe it feels like seclusion in the beginning but I sense that retirement is so much more....different for each one but so, so much more.

I am sad for those who cannot adjust to this God given time that we find ourselves in. For that is what it is....extra time given us by God. So many have not made it this far. It is a gift.........and my heart is filled with gratitude.

I am aware that some enter this phase of their life hurting...... health problems, family/relationship problems, loss of loved ones, financial problems......different levels of pain and disappointments. Their challenges are great but cannot this time of retirement be used to find hope and strength and new meaning in spite of these challenges?

As we embark on this new adventure, with gratitude in our hearts...we realize that this time is the beginning of the end.... of our story ...... and we arrive with the wisdom that God has allowed us to accumulate during our lifetime

.....it is up to us how our story ends. Surely we know we are blessed!!

....we count our blessings, enjoy our withdrawal from the workplace and enter retirement with excitement, wisdom, hope and love.

It has been said that it takes 6 to 18 months to settle into retirement and find our way.....so hang in there fellow retirees. .....adjust....find your way.

I hope to continue to share my experiences and I would love if you would share yours with me and others that might read this blog.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Colorful table and chairs

Colorful table and chairs

This was my inspiration for this project. I seen it on Pinterest. It was pinned by Allthingsthrifty.com.

Here's my DIY project!

I had 3 of these chairs.

They were given to me and sat in the garage for some time. We recently moved to a very small space and had to decide whether these chairs would come to our new space. I don't know why but I couldn't part with them.

I still wasn't positive that I wanted to put the time into repainting and recovering these chairs. I looked on Craigs list to see if I could find anything that might work better for me, but my search only made me more satisfied with what I already had to work with. Once I was positive, I went shopping for supplies.

I chose to use this paint from Lowe's, they have lots of colors and these samples are 8oz and cost $3.00 each.
I only used about half of the sample for each chair.

I also purchased primer, because in my research I was able to quickly determine that this was a must. I also remember past projects where I had not applied a primer and the final outcome was SIMPLY not good.

Next step was to remove the cushions, they were attached by 4 screws from the underside.
I used some dish soap, warm water, soft cloth and wiped down lightly, let dry.
I lightly sanded the wood. I had read that this would give the paint something to grab on to, something to sink it's teeth into.

Next, applied the primer and let dry overnight.

Painted each chair a different color. Let dry overnight.

Applied a protective finish...my research showed that a good choice was Miniwax polycrylic finish. Again, let dry overnight.

Next was the cushions. I ordered this fabric online at fabricguru.com. I know that it is a kind of a busy pattern but, I'll SIMPLY change it, if need be, in the future.

There are lots of tutorials about covering chair cushions. Many instruct to take off the old covering first, but I cheated. I just covered over what was there. I was thinking that removing the cover might reveal a problem with the padding and since there weren't any rips,tears or holes, I just went for it.

I looked for the tutorial that I used for this but have been unable to find it. Here's what I think is important for you to know.
Cut the fabric several inches larger than the seat cushion.
I used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the underside of seat. I stapled first in middle of each side, pulling tight before each staple, work your way to the corners. At corners you'll have to fold and pull tight, just SIMPLY take your time and work with it. You don't want big folds on the seat cushion when you turn it over. Sorry no pixs of this step as I have already completed this DIY project
I sprayed the cushion with Scotchguard prior to putting it back in place with the screws that I had removed. I put 2 coats and let dry.

In the future, I'll share about the table that goes with these chairs.
Please leave any comments and/or questions, I'd love to hear from you and I will be happy to help! Also, if you google and/or look on Pinterest, you will find tons of ideas and tutorials.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lets Sew Some Jammies!

Made these "jammies" with my 2 granddaughters, ages 4 and 7, it was so much fun. We used the easy, creative tutorial over at handmademommy.blogspot.com, its titled "15 minute jammy pants" and  while it took us a little longer that that, it was so easy and fun. No pattern....we SIMPLY used a pair of the girls pajamas to help us make our own pattern. The handmade mommy tutorial explains it all, with step by step instructions with pixs, it is so well done and very easy to understand.

                                           Here's some pixs of our project!

                                                          We love our "jammies"!!

Thank you "Homemade Mommy"!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Slowly creating my blog

Yesterday and today, I have fooled around with this blog, trying to get it going. I am humbled...thought I could breeze through it but I am making progress.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ok, so I had this idea about creating a blog. Now that I am retired, I have some time on my hands and I thought it would be fun. Just want to get my thoughts down in one place and see where it takes me. I am amazed at all the creative bloggers, who not only share about themselves but also share all their wonderful creations and develop tutorials so that others can recreate them. I hope that I will be able to contribute to this creative community. All I know, at this point, is that I am Simply Retired Now and I am so excited to see what lies ahead.