Monday, September 21, 2015

A $12 Dollar Desk and a Lesson in Photoboming

What's up peeps?  My random thought of the day is how pretty the color pink is...until its in the eye of your 5 year old.  Then its the bane of your existence because she's a kindergartener who still LOVES school, and is super upset that her goopy eyes means she can't go.  So my week has been...trying, because pink eye really stinks.

So years ago we had a farm-style table that was given to us (who doesn't love freebies).  It had extending leaves that were stored in each end of the table.  One of our moves required us to put the table in storage for a few months.  The table didn't fair well in the humid, non-climate controlled storage arrangement that we had.  The table got super warped and janked up so we had to ditch it.  The leaves however were still in super great shape.  The finish was impeccable, and the stain color was pretty much awesomeness.  So I convinced Señor Hotness that they were worth saving because I would do something with them (I left out the word eventually, but it was implied).  Then I proceeded to move them with us 5 stinking times.  Don't judge me.  Sometimes I have a hard time pulling the trigger on a project.

Good things take time, though, am I right?  I promise I'm not a horder.  When we moved to the new house we sold off the bunk beds that we had been rocking for years since this home gave us enough space to ditch the bunks. I think bunks are very functional, and they have their purpose; but they're also super hard to change the sheets, make the bed, and they don't really work well with a nightstand.

So, needless to say we never had nightstands to go in the kids rooms before.  In addition to needing some kind of nightstand solution, we also really wanted a desk in the big girls rooms.  A place where they can do homework, draw in peace, or do any other desk related activities.

Which brings us back to the leftover table leaves, and the fact that they would be the perfect thing to repurpose as a desk/nightstand for the new bedrooms.  

We decided that instead of attaching 4 legs that we were only going to use two legs on the front, and then screw the back into the wall.  Señor Hotness routered out a space along the bottom and back of the leaf to allow a 1 x 4 piece of pine (that we had leftover from another project) to sit right in the groove.  The attached 1 x 4 would be the piece that we attached to the wall.  

Did I mention this was going in the tween's room so she was on deck to help dear ole dad get this desk project done.

She was not the only interested child, Pretty Miss P took time out of her peddling to see what all the fuss was about.

Even Pretty Miss J decided to strike a pose, and the teen photobombed her way into an honorable mention.

Señor Hotness measured the 1 x 4 to fit in the routered area.  A neat trick that Señor Hotness always does is using a speed square as a guide to ensure a nice square even cut.

Apparently, helping looked like so much fun that the teen decided she was the perfect assistant for the tween.

After cutting the board he glued, and clamped it into place. (and the teen photobombed...again)

Then he predrilled holes, and secured the board to the leaf using wood screws. (and another photobomb credit, this time to the tween)  Then, I used minwax dark walnut to stain the pine board to match the existing finish on the leaf.  I knew the board was going to be on the underside of the desk, but leaving it raw would have been just the kind of brain bug that would have made me twitchy...literally.  So I sacrificed the 5 minutes needed to slap some stain on that bad boy, especially as it would keep me twitch free.  Twitch free is the way to be.

The Tween struck her best 'founder father' pose to show off the table legs we had picked out.  I honestly thought that a chunkier leg would have looked better, but since this desk would be shared, we decided to use a skinnier leg so that two stools could fit under it, comfortably.

The legs we bought were already equipped with a screw top, and these are the receiver for the leg.  So Señor Hotness predrilled for the screws that would mount the receiver to the underside of the leaf.

Then he let the tween screw one in, and...

the moody 7 year old got screw in the other.

Then it was time to do the turn over test to make sure we didn't mount the legs wrong, and some how get one on there all janky.  Luckily for us they looked great, and the table was level.  Then it was time to turn our attention to finishing the legs.

The tween and moody 7 year old chose to paint them silver.  Which was lucky because I just so happened to have a can of silver in my spray paint stash.

What does every desk need?  A lamp.  I bought this cool silver barley twist lamp at the Super Goodwill in Tyler Texas for $6, a few years back, and had just not found the right place in our house for it so it had just been kicking about in our garage for a while, probably because it didn't have a shade.  A few weeks ago, I ran into the local thrift store of awesomeness, and there, sitting on a shelf, was a brand new lampshade (with original tags and everything) for $3.  So, yeah, that came home with me.  I think it looks pretty good for a $9 dollar lamp that I did nothing more than put a new light bulb in.

Next time I paint legs I'll need to rig up something to hold them upright while I paint.  As it is I did the old spray and flip on a piece of cardboard, then waited until they were dry enough to touch, and then screwed them onto the table to fully finish drying.

Okay so lets take a minute, shall we, and ignore the cool upcycled desk, and instead look at these gorgeous beds.  Señor Hotness and I found these for a steal at an antique shop in West Monroe.  They are antique mahogany, and they make me so happy to look at.  I'm still trying to research, but so far it appears that the furniture manufacturer that made them went out of business sometime around 1910.  As you can see this room hasn't gotten an updated paint job yet, but these beds can totally rock it out to the boring beige anyway.

Fun Fact: I didn't accessorize the desk all.  All the cuteness was added by the tween and the moody 7 year old, including the Eiffel Tower picture hanging on the wall.

I've been working on a fun design for storage stools to work with the desk, but we haven't had time to get started working on them yet.  Until then they are using a plain old folding chair, and yet it still looks fabulous.

I loved the things that my ladies had set up on their desk so much that I thought I would take a few close ups of all the extreme cuteness.

To give a quick rundown it was $12 (and change) for the legs and mounting accessories, $9 for a rad lamp, and that was all that we needed to transform this simple left over table leaf into custom, cool desk.  It was exactly what we needed to give this room the more sophisticated feel that my elegant young ladies wanted in their "big girl bedroom".

The lesson I learned was don't be afraid to look at what you might have in your own garage to repurpose into something incredibly cool.

Stand by to see the desk we are going to be making for the teen with the remaining table leaf.  We are going to be trying something a little different on it.  Until then...


  1. Sarah I LOVE it! I love the table, the beds, and your cute girls. I have three boys, one girl, and don't anyone every tell me girls aren't more! Oh and those beds. What a find! They are just beee-yoo-tiful. Lucky girls! Please come and share t his at Five Star Frugal this week? It's too good to miss! Love, Mimi xxx

    1. I'm glad you came and shared with us. Such a great find. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Sarah your desk turned out great, can't go wrong with so many helpers! And it's just the perfect size too. I just finished a room makeover for my teen daughter as well, it was exhausting but well worth it in the end to see the smile on her face.

  3. Oh my! This looks so incredible! Pinned and tweeted. We love partying with you and we appreciate you stopping by! Please take a minute to stop by next week, so we can pin and tweet your new creation. The party starts on Monday at 7 pm! Have a great Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  4. Super cool desk!!! It was very nice to see your kids being part of the desk making!

  5. Sarah, the desk turned out great! I love that the kids get involved. Hope the little ones eye heals quickly! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  6. What a great upcycle. It looks fantastic as a built in. And those beds are wonderful! Pinned and Tweeted. Thanks for partying at Snickerdoodle Sunday.

  7. That looks really great! Thank for joining Home Sweet Home!