New & Very Much Improved Table

A few months ago my husband and I decided we wanted a new dining table.  After looking around online we fell in love with a dining table from Restoration Hardware (I mean, who doesn’t love RH?).  However we did NOT love the price tag.  So we decided to make our own, and we are super happy with the results!

Our old dining table was a Craigslist purchase, and we fixed it up and painted it a blue-ish grey.  We loved the color and the shape of the table, but it slightly sagged in the middle and we were constantly worried that the paint was going to get messed up and our table would look horrible (it’s not fun to have to sand down multiple layers of paint & primer and re-do everything).


Our old dining table

Our new dining table measures 106″ long,  43″ wide, and 30″ tall.  We wanted to have something that could accommodate a large number of people, and we think we achieved that!  For the color we wanted something that looked like a “farm table,” which proved to be pretty hard since Douglass Fir is a pretty red wood.  To achieve this color we stained this table with 2 layers of pre-stain, 2 layers of Weathered Grey (with poly), and 2 layers of Kona (with poly).

I’m going to post some more of our finished pictures below, but please keep reading on the next page to find out how we made this gorgeous table!

Fast & Easy Table Runner

I have been really wanting a table runner in the dining room for a while now, but I had no idea what I wanted it to look like.  Well, I googled “table runner ideas” and discovered a lot of really cool ones!

I was torn between a table runner that was painted to look like a really long ruler across the table (the teacher in me just LOVED that), and a table runner made out of wood shims.  After asking several people for their opinion, I decided to go with the wooden shims table runner.

The best part about this project was that it cost me less than $10 to complete! Also, I think it’s completely adorable (that may be because I made it…).

I went to Home Depot & bought this pack of shims for $3.98.  I bought 2 packs because I wasn’t sure how many I was going to need.  I also talked to an associate there and they said that the cedar would stain really well.  Turns out I only needed 1 pack of the shims, but my husband has claimed the other pack for himself!

I laid the shims out on the table and took measurements on how long they were and how wide.


Once I had the measurements I took them all into the basement and first sanded them down as best I could, and then I stained them (tops and all 4 edges).  I stained them with the same stain we used on our coffee table since I wanted to try for a weathered look, and I didn’t want them to be too dark and match too much with our wood floors.  I LOVE this stain because it already has poly in it, so I didn’t have to worry about trying to poly all of them afterwards.



Once they were all stained I went upstairs and looked around my fabric pile.  I cut a piece of fabric that was about 1.5 inches shorter in length than the shims, and also about 1 inch shorter in width.  I used Power Grab glue to glue each piece onto the fabric.  After letting it dry for a few hours we carried it upstairs & put it on our dining table!  I think it looks fabulous.

I am still at a loss as to what do to for a fall tablescape.  Let me know if you have any ideas! Thanks 🙂

How to Make a Shelving Unit from an Old Door!




This is by far one of my most favorite things in our house.  We had been wanting to do this for a long time, but it took us a while to find the perfect door to use.  We had looked around some of the antique shops down the street from our house, as well as Craigslist, but nothing was PERFECT.  Either the size was wrong or we didn’t like the colors.

Then, one day I’m at an antique store to buy Annie Sloan clear wax and I spied this door in the corner! I took the measurements, texted them to my husband, and BOOM it everything we wanted!  I loaded that door into my Jeep and took it home ASAP.

See how perfectly it fit into the corner of our dining room!

Our Refinished & Fabulous Buffet (& how we made our own chalk paint!)




This was a really fun project that turned out way to be way more time consuming than we originally planned for!  We bought this buffet for a really awesome price at a local antique store that’s open once a month.  If you’re ever in the Frederick area, you should definitely check it out!  It’s called Chartreuse and you can click here for their FB page.

Once we got it home and set it up in our dining room we decided to change some of the parts.  The handles were really rusted, and my husband didn’t like their shape (he wanted some “manlier”), so we replaced them with these from Home Depot.  The only issue was that even though our new handles were pretty large, you could see still some of the outline from the old handles, so we then decided to repaint the entire buffet.

We wanted to use chalk paint, but we refused to pay a lot of money to buy the popular chalk paint you see in stores.  So, we decided to try to make our own and it turned out perfect!

How we made our own chalk paint:

Materials required: a bucket, Plaster of Paris, flat interior paint (in the color you desire), water, and something to mix it with.


You’ll need 3 parts paint and 1 part Plaster of Paris (mixed with water) for your project.  I recommend first mixing the amount of plaster of paris you’ll be using with water until it’s completely smooth.

Once it’s smooth you can mix it with your flat paint (we used Stealth Jet by Behr).  I used a small bucket I bought from Home Depot to mix everything together.

When it’s completely mixed together you can go ahead and use it! I sealed mine overnight with a piece of plastic and a rubber band.  I wouldn’t make too much at once, try to make enough for your project and a little extra for touch ups, but I’m not sure how long it will stay good!

Anyways, when we were painting we also decided to replace the top of the buffet.  The original top had a huge crack down the center, making it uneven, and also one of the corners was completely smashed.  My husband used some pieces of MDF wood in the basement to create a new top.  We painted that white and here was our current progress on the buffet:

0510142224It looks pretty finished, right??

DIY Dining Room Art



First of all, we are OBSESSED with this artwork that we made.  We saw some ideas on Pinterest that were similar to this, and we decided it was a great way to fill up the huge wall space in our dining room.  It gave us another opportunity to give our wall space some color, and it let me show off some awesome stripe painting skills!

Secondly, it was incredibly easy to make this.  We started off with 3 pieces of MDF wood we bought from Home Depot.  We decided to use MDF because it was light and was a lot cheaper than buying “real” wood.

When we got it home my husband built a frame onto the back of each piece to hang them on the wall (otherwise we would have had to screw each piece into the wall from each corner, and we didn’t like how we envisioned that).  Once the frames were glued into place (we used wood glue.  That was a lot easier than nailing it or screwing it) we primed the pieces with latex stain blocking primer.  Once that was dry we gave them a good coating of white semi-gloss paint that we had in our paint collection from previous projects.


We spaced our canvasses out evenly by placing a piece of wood in between each piece.  Now it was on to the most tedious part of this project: drawing the stripes onto the boards.  My husband helped a lot with this project: he’s definitely way more into math and numbers than I am!

Building a Bench


We recently bought a dining room table and 4 chairs from Craigslist for our dining room.  Once we got it home we realized that 4 chairs was definitely not enough for this table: it’s huge!!!  So, we decided the best solution was to create a bench for one side of the table.  It would help fill the space and would let us seat a lot of people for dinner parties!

My husband claimed he was good at wood working and could easily make a bench.  I was only slightly skeptical…but, he pulled it off and our bench is AMAZING.

We decided that we wanted to design our bench to match our dining table.  Both the dining table & the bench have 45 degree chanfer corners.