Tuesday, 5 June 2012

To find happiness...paint a dresser.

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     When life throws you a curve ball...go do something fun. That's my theory at least. Life may not be going exactly as we had planned, but there's always room for some happies (you may just have to look a bit harder for them). For me, that meant pushing the stress of the unknown with this pregnancy out of my mind for a minute, and focusing on the exciting part of putting the baby nursery together. Not to say that I don't spontaneously get teary eyed throughout the day thinking about the scary possibilities that we might be forced to face in the weeks or months ahead...because I do, I have and I will...but for now, I'm choosing to be happy and focus on the joy of preparing for our new baby boy. So that means prepping the furniture in his new room.

     The one thing that Terry tells me all of the time that he appreciates about me is that I don't like to spend money on certain things that people might expect that I'd like to blow a buck or two on. A typical girl like me who loves fashion, shoes, decorating, crafting and nice beautiful things would stereotypically blow the family budget in one shopping trip alone. But I can't even tell you how much I love a good deal--and I'll exert a lot of time, effort and patience to get what I want at a fabulous price. My whole theory is that if we can save money on the little things, we can therefore afford to buy the big things that we want without barely thinking about it.

     So when it came to having kids and the incredible expense that follows, I knew I'd have to get creative in order to save money where we could.

     It started with Mya's room, as we learned that you could literally spend thousands and thousands of dollars on cribs, rocking chairs, dressers, change tables, etc. So after I picked my jaw up off the floor after walking out of those beautiful baby boutiques, I decided that I could transform old furniture into beautiful pieces with just a bit of paint and creativity.

     Before she was born, I transformed my grandma's old dresser with some white paint and new handles (and decided it was much more cost effective in the end to just place a change pad on top of a dresser instead of buying a separate change table that we would only use for a couple of years).

      I then managed to get a free rocking chair from a lady my mom knew and I scrubbed that thing clean, painted it white and all of a sudden it looks like everything coordinates. And it cost me less than $20 total. Awesome.

I then transformed an old ugly side table that I found at a thrift store for $15 into a cute little tutu table for Mya.

We did however buy a new crib and mattress--but everything else was used and transformed from ugly to beautiful. (I made that little Mya name on the wall too--cost me about $12 total).

     So with this new baby on the way, my intentions are the same once again: find old pieces and make them new again---and save a buck along the way.

     After months of randomly popping into different thrift shops and looking on Kijiji all of the time, I thought we'd never find what we wanted (this is where the whole patience thing comes in). We needed a low dresser (so it could be used as a change table as well) and it needed to have at least 6 drawers or more. But when my dad came over with his phone in hand to show me a photo of a dresser that he found at a thrift store by his house I was thrilled. It was exactly what we were looking for. Nice and ugly with those gold handles. Low. Lots of drawers. AND only $40. Perfect.

    So since this pregnant lady can't be around spray paint (which, by the way, we've learned works even better for painting furniture than regular paint), my dad offered to paint it for us (thanks so much dad!).

Here is how he did it:

1) Make sure you buy 'gloss' spray paint.

2) Give the dresser and drawers a quick sanding so the paint will adhere.

3) Start spraying: you'll need to do a couple of coats.

4) We realized if we went out and bought new handles (9 of them total) for this dresser, we'd be spending more on the handles than what we paid for the dresser. So we decided to paint the handles instead. Just take them off the dresser and paint them separately, any colour you want.

5) Voila! New dresser, ready to be filled with wee little baby clothes...and it only cost us about $60 total including the cost of paint. Brilliant.

Here's the BEFORE pic again:

And the AFTER.


    Now go out to a thrift store, or even look around your house and start scoping out the ugliest pieces you can find and see what you can create!
p.s. And post pics--I'd love to be inspired and see what you come up with.


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