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My New Craft Room

My New Craft Room

When Nate and I bought our house this past July, one of the bedrooms was in pretty rough shape. It had a behemoth wall cabinet built around a bed that fit into the center. I remember Nate’s dad remarking that it looked like the drawers in a wall at a morgue, and my first thought was this thing had to go!

Behind the bed was exposed wall and mortar. We even discovered a small hole where we could see light from outside! We found little critter poo in the area behind where the previous owner had their bed. I had total heebie-jeebies following that discovery! The first step was to ensure that there were no openings to the outside where critters can enter, so my dad filled the cracks and holes both inside and out. That went a LONG way to giving me peace of mind!

Where to start?

The room was poorly painted in a funky celery green color that was dirtied with age, with patches of the former paint peeking through. Our first inclination was to tear everything out and gut that insanely HUGE cabinet. After careful consideration, we decided to repair everything, repaint the room a soft gray with white accents, and try to work with the massive shelving (that was actually very well constructed). The previous owner had built the cabinet by hand out of solid oak, so the quality and construction was excellent. We all felt it would be a shame to completely destroy it. But what to do??!

The idea of facing this DIY project was a bit daunting, yet, when we started to disassemble and remove the drawers my mom came up with the idea of using this as a yarn storage wall! That had me shifting into 5th gear with an excited, “YES, PLEASE!” So, Nate, myself, my mom, and dad reinvented this wall unit into a yarn storage and turned the bedroom into my new studio/craft-room! It’s a night and day difference, and I couldn’t be happier with the results!

 

 

A little hard work never hurt anyone. It can however make me scream.

We started with the carpets. We rented a Rug Doctor and shampooed the carpets several times over. Once the floors dried, my dad removed the remaining drawers and hardware, leaving empty openings in their place. He measured and cut the wood for each “shelf” that needed a bottom. Then, we inserted each shelf into its cubicle and secured them with nails. We had 23 to reconstruct. I left two of the bottom drawers intact for notions, crochet hooks, and other supplies.

We decided then to paint the room. Since this room eventually will be my filming studio, I could only choose from white, cream, or gray paint so the lighting didn’t cast a strange color on my videos. So, I chose the soft gray with white trim. What should have been a simple paint job, was a disaster. One, we had to wash years of grime off the existing walls. Two, it took more than 3 coats of the light gray to cover the green color beneath. Three, I stepped off the ladder and the can of gray paint tipped over spilling and splashing paint EVERYWHERE all over the carpet! I screamed!! What a mess to clean up!! It took two full days to finish painting this small room. I still have a bit of trim to fix, paint, and replace, but overall it looks 100 times better than it did!

The Fun Part

Now the task of filling those compartments of my wall unit was next. My mom and I unpacked boxes upon boxes of yarn and began organizing them into colors. That took hours and hours! I think I went up and down the step ladder a hundred times that day. My legs were burning by the end! But what a difference it made! It transformed from being this massive thing with cold, empty caverns, into a wonderful warm, colorful work of art (haha!). My excitement just grew by leaps and bounds!

My dad and Nate repaired the back wall and constructed the table where I will be filming. They custom built the table for me to work and do my tutorials. They also added lighting fixtures to illuminate my work area. Once that was complete, my mom and I began to add personal touches to the room. The first thing to be hung on the wall was my Silver Play Button I was awarded from YouTube for surpassing 100,000 subscribers. One of the last pieces to be done was changing the ceiling fan into a hanging light fixture. We also accented with a black room darkening curtain so we can eliminate light coming through the window while filming. Soon the room began to truly come to life.

 

 

Finishing touches

Over the course of the past few weeks, I added a big comfy chair and additional artwork to the room. Most of the items are second hand or gifts that add to that personal charm to make this space my own. It is one of the coziest and happiest places in our new home. It is the perfect place for me to spend most of my time!

I am still transitioning between homes as I still live with my parents until our wedding. In 5 months, I will be getting married and will be moving ALL my yarn to our home permanently and those shelves will be full! YARNutopia will have a new home with a new beginning! I am excited to make these changes not just in my personal life, but in the life of our online community! Lots of exciting things to come and I am so happy to share this journey with all of you!

We still have to add some finishing touches. I will be keep you updated on more changes to come as well as posting about the day we film our first tutorial in my NEW studio!! Thank you for joining me and sharing this adventure!

Let me know stories of your own home DIY projects! Have you remodeled a room? Share in the comments section!

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!!

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

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DIY: Repurposing a Rocking Chair

My love of crafts doesn’t start and end with just crochet. I have creative ideas running through my mind 24/7. I think it comes from being part of a family of creative people. My mom is one of the most creative people that exist on the planet. She can see potential in anything and turn it into a masterpiece. My dad is a professional photographer and videographer, My brother, Nyle, is a culinary genius, and he is a professional chef and food artist. My other brother, Nabeel, is an incredibly talented musician and video artist. I am at the tail end of all this talent with a hook and yarn trying to stitch my way through the creative process with a few added detours to do a few other crafty things. Hopefully, my family apple hasn’t fallen too far from the proverbial tree.

Near my home, there is a Bethesda Thrift Shop that periodically has in-store sales. Last Friday, they happened to have a 50% Off on almost all their merchandise! I happened to come across this 1970s rocking chair that had a hint of musty smell coming from the cushions (ewww), hidden back in the corner of the store with a price tag of $8. Did I read that right!? $8.00??!! Does that mean it would be only $4 on the sale?? Surely, that isn’t possible?! Well, Shirley doesn’t work there, but Darlene did, and she confirmed that YES it was $4.00. WHAT A STEAL! I ran out of that store so fast, yet awkwardly, because carrying a chair like that isn’t easy when you are running.

I didn’t bring that into the house. NOPE. NO WAY! It stayed out in the driveway overnight while I combed over the pages of Pinterest looking for tips on what I could do to this chair to bring it back to life again. Pinterest never fails me. NEVER! Ideas were pouring out of me and before long a plan was hatched. By Saturday morning, I was ready to hit the ground running! My season of repurposing was about to begin and I was ready!!

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Of course, Saturday arrived and my personal friend, Mother Nature, decided to bring clouds, cooler weather, and a forecast of rain. That deterred my planning ’til later in the day, but hence, I would not be stopped. I ran to the store buy paint, fabric, stuffing for the chair and other supplies needed for my project. I was looking for things which could stand the test of time and one day be in my “forever home.” I decked myself out in my super sexy sweatpants, bandana, oversized painting shirt, flip flops, and my trusty mask and decided to get the party started!

I began the process of disassembling things first and removing all the hardware from the chair. Once I removed the cushions and ruffle, the batting and cover underneath were gross and there were probably 45 years of skin flakes that came out in a ball of brownish dust, but if that was the worst of it, I would live. Whoever assembled this back in the day, (could not find a stamp or label) did a decent job, but the amount of furniture tacks used was astronomical. I had a bad thought cross my mind about someone who would do that, until I rethought that, and praised them for being so mindful of making a quality piece when this was once shiny and new.

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This is where I stop and have a moment of reflection. Every time I embark on a new DIY project, I reflect back on the history of a piece. It may sound odd, but I think of whose home this belonged to. Who sat in this chair? Did someone rock their crying baby trying to nurse or to cuddle? Did someone’s Grandpa read his newspaper every night by the old lamp while his wife cooked him dinner? There is history in here. There is a story in this chair and I love that and the mystery surrounding the journey of what it took to end up in my care. That is pretty powerful stuff! Because of that, I always try to respect each piece and bring it back to life. Sometimes, items I find are so tattered and beaten, I just love to breath new life into it. Everything deserves that. Even people. Especially people. Ok, Ok, let me jump down from my metaphorical and philosophic soap box and get back to the nitty-gritty of this project.

Here is what the rocking chair looked like when I brought it home from the thrift shop:

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These are the cushions. Just look at those cushions. Look at them for a little while. Did you see the steam boat? The pistol? That Anchor though!

Into the trash it went!

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Here is a picture of the rocking chair without that filthy cushion.

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I had to make a stop at the store for some supplies. Below you will see what I needed for this project.

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These were the two colors used:

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I got this fabric and some batting on sale for $4.88.

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Once I added the priming coat and it was fully dry, I took this sponge with some Vaseline and applied it to areas that I did not want my second (darker) coat to stick. By placing Vaseline, it allowed for me to apply the paint and then later wipe it off when the second layer was dry. That way, the bottom painted layer shows through, making a distressed look. I also chipped at the paint a little and took a paint brush to it to give it a more worn out look.

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I used a hammer, a sander, screwdrivers, and pliers.

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Once I got all the fabric off the chair, I sanded it with a fine sandpaper. My glasses were fogging up during the sanding process!

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Then I applied the first coat of primer. Once that dried, I spread the Vaseline on the edges and areas I wanted this color to show through.

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Spray Paint can get a little messy!

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See the video of me applying the second coat. Once the darker coat of paint was applied and dried, I took a cotton cloth and wiped down the areas where the Vaseline was applied. The rain forced me to do the rest inside.

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I cut the pieces of Batting and Fabric to fit around the seat of the chair.
I used the tacks that came with the original rocking chair to secure the new fabric.

I may have hammered my thumb a few times and had to ask my dad for assistance. He generously helped attach the rest of the fabric.

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I wrapped the fabric neatly around the wood posts since they were not removable and tacked it all underneath so it was hidden.

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Voila!! Here is a before and after photo of this beautiful piece! 13150065_10204853580098780_1100234469_nI added a lovely throw pillow to jazz this piece up a little bit!

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Have you repurposed a piece of furniture or something you’ve found at the thrift shop? Share your experiences by leaving a comment to this post!

“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” ~Anonymous

~Nadia