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How to: Make a File Cabinet Desk DIY

Posted in DIY, DIY AND HOME DECOR, FURNITURE MAKE-OVERS, HOLIDAYS, OFFICE
on September 18, 2018

file cabinet desk

Beyond sharing a fun DIY twig wall art project that hangs in the room, our home office has yet to make an appearance on the blog. The reason? I am not a clean desk/office person! There, it’s out there. Wait, you too? Whew, I don’t feel so bad then.  Luckily, I recently caught the cleaning bug and can finally share my File Cabinet Desk DIY project. It’s been a while since I took on a furniture makeover project – too long really! But like the other projects before I’m so happy with how this inexpensive DIY desk turned out.  

Our entire family uses this room (when we can find the desk), but with only one work area and five family members at home, we were in need of some additional desk space, specifically one where multiple kids could work on their homework at the same time. Being that I’m what you’d say.. frugal? (AKA: I was broke!) I came up with a cheap customized solution – A File Cabinet Desk DIY! This project is easy for beginners and those with more DIY experience alike, is relatively inexpensive, and entirely customizable for your room – which in my case means it can accommodate a bazillion kids!

How To – File Cabinet Desk DIY

The super short how to: I made this desk from three metal filing cabinets that I picked up at the thrift store and a simple DIY wood desktop out of pine boards stained with walnut. But, I bet you’re you looking for more detail? I’ve got you covered! Read on!

Everything You Will Need:

Bases
Desktop

How to Make the File Cabinet Desk Base:

file cabinet desk base

Finished File Cabinet Desk Base

Give each cabinet a thorough cleaning using TSP and a wire brush, being sure to remove any loose paint.

Add Trim

file cabinet desk diy

Cut the baseboard trim to fit at the bottom of the file cabinet with corner pieces meeting at 45° angle corners.  Pre-drill and countersink holes on each piece of trim. Line up and pre-drill holes into the file cabinet. Attach the trim to the cabinet using liquid nails and bolts securing with a nut on the underside of the cabinet. Fill holes and corner seams with wood filler, allow to dry, then sand smooth.

Paint the Cabinets

Paint each cabinet, including trim, with flat black to coat – two coats will likely be needed. Follow the flat black with a light, sweeping coat of metallic gunmetal gray, giving just enough coverage to create a metallic sheen. When dry then follow up with clear lacquer in a matte finish.

Add Drawer Pulls

Build your own file cabinet desk

 

Some cabinets have a handle rather than a pull. In that case, remove the existing handles and replace them with new ones – a chunky cup pull was perfect for this project!
diy desk drawer pulls
I was not that lucky and had to follow a few more steps to change the hardware. You’ll likely have a built-in plastic handle such as this one above – measure the holes from your handles and carefully drill holes through the plate. Attach your new drawer pulls over the plate and secure.

 

For the desktop:

file cabinet desktop

Finished DIY File Cabinet Desktop

Cut your Wood to Proper Size

My desktop is 8′ feet long and 23″ wide, which meant no cuts for the desktop boards. For an area larger or smaller than that, adjust the size of your boards and cut them to the correct length before starting.

I cut 20 sections from the furring strips at 18.75″ long, saving two 8′ furring strips for the front and back edges.

Sand, sand, and sand some more

Give all of your cut sections a thorough sanding to smooth out the surface and remove any markings or ink stamps. I used an orbital palm sander for this step – I like this one a lot! It’s not expensive, and it’s easy to use.

Create the Desktop

Young House Love and Lindsay Stephenson both have great tutorials on building a desktop and I was able to get some fabulous ideas from their DIY desk projects. Ultimately, though, I found my way of doing things if for no other reason than to keep costs down. I wanted my desktop to be relatively heavy and thick but found that giving the illusion of this was a little easier on my pocketbook than buying a thicker cut of wood. Hardwoods can be expensive y’all!

diy file cabinet desk topTo beef up the 1″x6″s, I first created a frame from the furring strips and support pieces I had cut. The frame consisted of the 20 support pieces, evenly spaced, then sandwiched between two 8′ furring strips, secured together with glue and wood screws.

diy filing cabinet desktop

The planks were then secured to the top of the frame using countersunk wood screws. Fill all holes with wood filler – sand when dry.

Pre-condition and stain

Pre-condition the desktop wood before applying your stain. After it dries, you can apply your stain. I went with a dark walnut to match the bankers’ desk in the room. To apply, use a brush recommended for stain or, use my favorite method – wearing rubber gloves, apply the stain using an old (lint free and clean) sock, working the stain in a circular motion. Once you have good coverage, remove any excess stain with a lint-free cloth. Let dry.

Apply a Protective Finish

After a light sanding, apply your polyacrylic finish of choice following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will protect your top and also give the stain depth and richness.

Finishing up

To assemble your DIY Desk, space your file cabinets evenly and lay the DIY desktop on top of the cabinets. I centered the middle cabinet and placed the left and right cabinets 24″ apart, leaving a generous opening for a desk chair.

 

desk made from old metal file cabinets

Allow 24″ between pedestals for ample seating room.

 

And, here it is all styled up and pretty! I’m in love with our File Cabinet Desk DIY. With any luck, I’ll be able to keep this desk clean. What? A girl can wish!

diy - filing cabinet desk

I hope I’ve inspired you to take on building your own customized DIY file cabinet desk solution, and please, let me know if I can answer any questions or help with your project.

DIY Filing Cabinet Desk

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Filing Cabinet Desk DIY

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I make a commission when a sale is made by clicking on the link, at no additional cost to you. I value you and your trust and only recommend products and brands that I truly love!  

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Drywall Repair Magic with Lowes and The UpSkill Project

Posted in DIY, DIY AND HOME DECOR
on April 24, 2018

Are you looking for drywall repair for a hole in your wall? In this post, I share the simplest method of repairing a hole in drywall without using a mesh patch, as taught to me by the team at Lowe’s! 

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All thoughts, opinions and rave reviews are my own.

Drywall Repair - lowes truck

Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon at one of my favorite places with a fantastic group of people – the place: Lowe’s in Richmond, Virginia and the people: A few of my favorite Virginia Bloggers, as well as The UpSkill Project Team!

About The UpSkill Project

The UpSkill Project is a Lowe’s sponsored program with a goal towards giving homeowners the confidence to say “I can do this!” The program teaches home DIY skills that help homeowners realize their home improvement and maintenance dreams confidently and successfully.  The project has two components: a contest
and a community workshop. Area residents enter by submitting a video to Lowe’s sharing what they hope to tackle in their home and the skills they’d need to learn.  Residents selected received a professional design consultation, side-by-side teaching instruction in their home over two full days AND $2,000 to purchase the materials for their project from Lowe’s. My friend Liz was fortunate to participate in the project and transformed her backyard by installing a gorgeous patio area with help from the UpSkill team. Yes, I’m jealous!! To see if The UpSkill Project is visiting your area be sure to visit their website!

The UpSkill Project Community Workshop

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - sign

I was excited to attend the community workshop event along with Liz and Ashley from Attempts at Domestication.

Drywall Repair - The UpSkill Project - Blogger Friends

The focus of the workshop is to provide tips and guidance on the most common projects a homeowner will encounter. There were four different stations with local Lowe’s employees on hand to teach the basics of plumbing, tiling, painting, and dry-walling (one word is correct).
These men and women in Red Vests know their stuff!

The Workshop Stations

I can’t say I had a favorite station because I gained a tip or two at each one, making them all my favorites!

PAINTING

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - paint station 2

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - paint station 3

The painting station had a fabulous demonstration on painting cabinets, both laminate, and wood, as well as how to use a bonding primer for a perfectly smooth finish. The bonding primer is something new for me and something I’ll be putting in my back pocket for future reference. I love knowing that Lowe’s store employees are available to help select the right products for my cabinet painting projects.

TILING

The tiling station had some great tips on spacing tiles and explained that many tiles have a built-in spacer. I wish I’d known that when we tiled our bathroom, as it would have saved so much time.

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - Tile station

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - Tile spacers 1

There was also a discussion on sanded versus unsanded grout and when or where to use each type. Our instructor shared the importance making sure the grout gets right down between the tiles. Not doing so is apparently the number one reason for cracking in the grout line – good to know!

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - tile grouting

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - tile grouting1

PLUMBING

The plumbing station led us through replacing a bathroom faucet and hooking up water lines and where I got hands on – Jim and I were fast friends!

Drywall Repair - Jim and I Plumbing

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - Plumbing parts

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - Plumbing

Replacing a faucet seems like a difficult task, but anyone can do it with help and about an hour. If you want to take on a faucet replacement, let a Lowe’s associate guide you in selecting the proper size and type of faucet. They are also there to provide knowledge on anything else you might need to get the job done.

DRYWALL

Drywall Repair - The Upskill Project - drywall

Drywall Repair - hole in wall

At the drywall station, Doug shared a simple solution to filling a large drywall hole without a mesh patch. Such a simple thing that makes life so much less overwhelming, and I would NEVER have thought of it! It was SO easy and so valuable that I recreated the steps in picture form for you below. It looked a little something like this:

DRYWALL REPAIR

Drywall Repair Hole

Learning this tip made the idea of drywall repair much less intimidating, and possibly even easy!

 

Huge thanks to Lowe’s, and the local Lowe’s associates,  for allowing me to be a part of The UpSkill Project! I learned so much and had such a fun time. It is nice to know that DIY guidance and technique tips are just a Red Vest away! Be sure to check out The UpSkill Project website for a list of dates and locations and see if they will be visiting a city near you!

 

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How to Make a Majestic Peacock Costume

Posted in DIY, Fall: Seasonal Decor and Crafts
on October 27, 2017

Make this majestic peacock costume with layers and layers (and layers) of stiff tulle, all attached to a modified long skirt with an elastic waist.

peacock costume

 

Halloween is a BIG deal around here! We throw an annual Halloween party and spend the entire month of October preparing for it. Putting together fun tablescapes and making props and costumes is my jam and each year, I look forward to hearing what my kids have dreamt up for their costumes. The year my daughter decided on a dressing as a peacock, I didn’t even bat an eye (well, maybe one), before diving head first (into what, I had no idea) into making her the most majestic peacock I could!

peacock costume - side

PS. Don’t let the number of steps intimidate you – it’s not difficult, I just wanted to make sure the tutorial was very clear!

peacock costume - full back

How to Make a Peacock Costume

*affiliate links included for your convenience

To make the skirt, you will need:

Other accessories for the costume: 

Adding the plumes

  1.  Cut your tulle “plumes.” Double each piece by folding each piece of tulle in half lengthwise.
  2. Turn your skirt inside out.
  3. Starting about 6″ down from the waist, attach the fold-line of 11-12 full-length tulle strips on the INSIDE of the skirt. Alternate colors and overlap the edges slightly.  Your plumes should reach somewhat below the hem.
  4. Attach a second row of 4 or 5 full-length tulle strips about 6″ below the first row, from the right side hem toward the center. Repeat on the left. Mark these rows with chalk – you will use this row in step 12.peacock costume - attach side pieces
  5. Starting 10″ from the hem, attach a row of short length tulle strips (about 11-12) on a diagonal to the right side seam. Repeat on the left.
  6.  Add a second row of short length tulle strips (about 11-12) on a diagonal, starting 12″ from the hem, near the center skirt, down to the right side seam.  Repeat on the left.
  7. Attach a row of (10) strips along the side seam from the bottom up on the right side. Repeat on the left.
  8. Turn the skirt right side out and lay flat, back of the skirt facing up.
  9. Attach the fold-line of 11-12 full-length tulle strips to the waistband line along the center of the BACK of the skirt. Alternate colors and overlap the edges slightly.  Your plumes should reach somewhat below the hem.

Finishing up

  1. Turn your skirt to the front.
  2. Starting at the center, and ending at the side seams (halfway), pull the hem of the front of the skirt up to the waistband and attach (the inside of the skirt will be visible), gathering as necessary.  Turn your skirt over.
  3.  On the right, attach the front to the back, by gluing or sewing the hem of the tulle strip marked in step 4 to the center of the back of your skirt. Repeat on the left, meeting the two sides in the middle.peacock costume - attach to center
  4.  Attach a row of tulle around the entire waist of the skirt.
  5. Cut the foam ball in half and poke the peacock tailfeathers into the top of one half.
  6. Glue the foam ball half, flat-side in, to the back of the skirt, using the flap where the two sides meet as a pocket.

You’re done! 

peacock costume - front

Fluff and arrange the tulle “plumes” before wearing. Add a mask and gloves and strut around like a peacock! I know that’s exactly what my girl did – as did I for making it!

peacock costume - mask

peacock costume - mask on

I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful – please, let me know if you have any questions, or, if you make this costume, I’d love it if you shared your final result with me!

peacock costume-back

 

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