Sunday, March 4, 2012

{Child's} Office With a View

So this is the project that's moving me onto the second round of the contest at Every Creative Endeavor.  Did you guess that it was mine?  Thank you, thank you, to everyone that voted!!  I'm totally excited and STRESSED out about what I'm going to do next.  But in the mean time, here's the lowdown on this project.

My daughter got this awesome water table/picnic table for her birthday in the summer, and it was such a hit that when the cold weather arrived, we just moved it right inside the back door into our bay window.  And this is what I've been looking at for the past few months.    

















I couldn't handle it anymore!  I wanted something a little less intrusive.  So for about $10.00, I ended up with this:



My original inspiration came from Pinterest, where else? 

I started with a 1x12, and because I planned on distressing and giving it that rustic look anyway, I just went with the cheapest wood (pine I believe)--this one cost me $8.00 and I only used about 1/3 of it.  However, if you're going with the cheap wood, compare them side by side at the store and find the straightest one possible--the cheap wood tends to bow, which is not ideal for a desk. You could also easily just use one of the little wall ledges from IKEA--or pretty much anywhere.


Cut it down to the size you want, or you can have the store do it for you, but I love using this, so I cut my own.  Power tools just make me feel awesome.

Next I stained the wood so I got that nice, dark wood coming through when I distressed.  There's something about seeing stained wood and all that beautiful grain that just makes me happy.  Seriously, looking at this picture makes me just want to go stain some wood.

Next comes one of my other favorite things in the world: homemade chalk paint.  It's the Martha recipe for chalkboard paint, and I fell in love, love, love, when I painted this desk and I don't think I'll use anything else EVER AGAIN!  It's super thick, the coverage is awesome, you don't have to prime, it's durable, and it distresses amazingly.  

But I'll quit gushing and just tell you how to make it: 1 cup FLAT paint + 2 Tbsp. unsanded grout (you can see the grout in the picture above).  The grout is about $5 and will last FOREVER (get it at the hardware store in the tile section)!  When you mix them, just make sure you stir really well and try to dissolve the grout as much as possible.  Any small lumps you have left will give you that chippy look when you distress later. (The BEST part about using the flat paint is that the samples come in flat, so you can get it CHEAP!)

I brushed on a thin coat of  white "chalk" paint and let it dry.  What you see here is without any distressing.

This is the point where I have to admit that I'm pretty much over chevron.  I love it, but it's everywhere (including the background on my blog--I said pretty much).  But...I thought this would be the perfect small amount to get my fix and a fitting pattern for a child's desk.  So now I have to admit that I know why it's everywhere, because after I did this, I wanted to do more somewhere, or maybe everywhere.  There's something seriously addictive about it.

To get my pattern I just took wide masking tape and sort of freestyled the pattern.  I did lay a piece straight down the middle though so I knew where to place the points and didn't end up with a sloping chevron.

After this was laid down, I lightly traced it with a pencil (just the chevron, not the straight line).


Then, mostly because I was being lazy and didn't want to try to line up a second tape line exactly, I just carefully pulled up the tape, moved it right below the first one, and traced it again.

And here's my pattern.

Now just paint your pattern and try to color inside the lines.  I used the "chalk paint" for this part as well (Martha Stewart Sea Glass mixed with some of the white I had left over).  As a side-note, my 2 year old took this picture so although I'm the epitome of hotness here, I had to include it because I'm just SO proud.


Let it dry and then distress--120 grit sandpaper on the edges, corners, and just all over until you get the look you want.  I did a lot of sanding on the chevron to blend it in.
(This is pre-distressing)

After the distressing was finished, I sprayed a quick coat of Rustoleum clear gloss on so I could wipe off the play dough and crayon that will eventually make it's way on here.

After the clear coat is dry, attach your brackets to the wood and then to the wall.  I got mine at IKEA for around $2.00 each .  

And that's it.  Attractive creative space accomplished.


And in case you were wondering, it was a hit.  She dragged her "wimpooter" in and set up shop.  She "blogs" now--no joke--she tells me all the time that she's writing on her blog :D

And I assure you the copper stool wasn't just a prop--I hear it scraping across the floor All. Day. Long.  It was black and I decided to spray paint it copper (another recent obsession) last minute and it wasn't dry in time for her "photo shoot".  Oh, and just one more thing: please ignore my disgusting back yard--the insane winds we get here blow things around and since it's winter, I basically avoid going outside like the plague.

Linked Up At:
Tatertots & Jello / Whipperberry /  I Heart Naptime / Too Much Time on My Hands / The 36th Ave / My Repurposed Life / The Grant Life / Joy in the Jumble / Polka Dot Pretties / Skip to My Lou / The Girl Creative / C.R.A.F.T / The Southern Institute / The CSI Project


19 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea! I'll remember this as our toddler grows up and it is hard finding spaces for him to do his thing!

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  2. wow-i love that! great idea to place that right under the window.

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  3. Thanks! It's become a good way for me to be a nosy neighbor, because I now get a full play by play of neighborhood goings-on while she sits and "works" :D

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  4. awww, that is such a special place! I love looking out a window, and I'm sure your little one will love it too!
    great tute!
    thanks for sharing @ catch as catch can.
    gail

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  5. So cute--I think I want my own desk with a view! Thanks for the tip on the chalkboard paint. I'll have to give it a try.

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    1. Thank you. I was thinking the same thing after I finished it, and I promise you will LOVE the chalkboard paint!

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  6. that is adorable! i love the colors and design! hopping over from my repurposed life.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Been a follower of yours for a bit, so I'm excited to have to stopping over!

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  7. I'm dropping by as The CSI Project guest judge this week. What a great idea. I love the chevron pattern. And adding the coat of clear gloss is a stroke of genius that would not have occured to me until it was too late.

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    1. Oh, thank you. We had crayon marks in the first 5 minutes of use, so it was definitely necessary. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Perfect!!! I love it and what kid wouldn't love it too!

    Thanks for linking up to the CSI Project. You have a great blog!

    Hugs,
    Dee, the CSI Girl

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for taking the time to stop over!

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  9. Hi, Jenn!
    I love this desk, what a great idea!
    I loved your picture too, it is so nice to see that great bloggers out there are "normal" people like me, LOL!

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    1. Haha, thank you! I have to admit that it did cut back on the mess a bit, but stuff is still spread all over :D Love your blog as well. New follower.

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  10. Thank you for linking up a fabulous project...

    hope you will stop by and link up another great project..

    http://polkadot-pretties.blogspot.com/2012/03/you-inspire-linky-party_10.html

    Claire xoxo

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  11. That is awesome! I love how it's trendy yet subtle and the weathered look is way cool! Saw you on the CSI Project! :)

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  12. Found you via the CSI Project, what a wonderful tutorial. Your project turned out beautiful, your latest follower, Tanya :)

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  13. Very cute! I love that you put it right in front of the window too. Best place, ever!! I also love the chevron. I guess, I love it all! Thanks for sharing.

    Do you think you might have a second to link it up to our link party? It begins tonight at 10:00 EST.

    Thanks,
    Melissa
    redflycreations(dot)com

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