Ikea Hack: You Can Make A Card Catalog

ikea mope card catalog

What I’m Drinking: Chocolate Protein Shake (Yum!!)

What I’m Listening To Today: Barry Manilow (because I’m a Fan-ilow!)

The IKEA Moppe is back!  Yes, this inexpensive, often-hacked item made it’s silent return to the shelves.  (Hell, I didn’t even know it was gone!)  Apparently, a lot of crafty people did and until last week, I’d never seen one before.

I guess I might be the only person in America that hasn’t seen one until now.  Just go to Pinterest to see all the amazing transformations!  From desk organizers to nightstands to a full-blown console?  People really got behind this idea and ran with it.

My sister Staci made a card catalog last week and I thought it was awesome.  For the bargain price of $33, she has a custom piece.  Custom.  As in it fits her room perfectly.  And you can have that perfect piece that matches your personality!  Here’s how she did it:

IKEA MoppeThis is the Moppe.  Yeah, I can’t pronounce it either.  The first step, (worst step).  Sanding.  Hate it.  It’s necessary, but still.

 

 Next, she stained it with Min-Wax Golden Oak that she already had.

painted mushroom buttons She Bought Birch Mushroom Buttons at Ace to use as the knobs that are typically on card catalogs.  To simulate an “antiqued brass” look, Staci used Folk Art Metallic paint.  She painted the knobs with Antique Gold and then dry brushed it with Sequin Black.

attaching drawer pulls While the stain and buttons dried, she printed out letters you would find on a card catalog drawer.  The bottom drawer is larger so it says “notes”.  Then the knobs were attached with wood glue.

drawer pulls from AmazonThe drawer pulls were ordered from Amazon.  They seriously have whatever kind you prefer.  These were simply attached with the provided little screws.

Finished card catalog

Here’s the finished product.  It’s super cute, right?  Great for desk organization, in a bathroom for make-up,  or for jewelry.  So many possibilities!

Check out all the ways others have used the Moppe.  It would be an awesome gift for the holidays and it only uses part of an afternoon to complete!

I hope my sisters’ creativity got your wheels turning and Y’all can come up with ideas perfect for your home!  If you do, send me a line.  I’d love to see your ideas.

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Inventing a Pantry: A Creative Storage Solution

vintage yardsticks

What I’m Drinking: Coffee and Jello Shots (seriously!)

What I’m Listening To Today: Sister Hazel (A great Florida band with a few national hits. Worth a listen!

The Dilemma

If you’re like me, extra storage or any storage is at a premium.  Especially in an old house that doesn’t keep pace with the modern world.  Remember what George Carlin said about “stuff”?  No?  It’s worth a Google!  Anyway, since I lack the ability to edit and I refuse to change the footprint of an old house, creative storage is my friend.

Have you ever had to brainstorm and make something out of nothing with very little money?  I think a lot of us have been there.  Well, today I’d like to show you how we made a pantry, of sorts, without taking up any space in the kitchen AND with very little money!

When we bought this house a little over 2 years ago, the kitchen was 1980’s fab!! Busy wallpaper?  Check!  Dark wood cabinets with brass hardware?  Check, check!  The worst was a peninsula that jutted out into an

ugly kitchen
This kitchen did NOT sell the house!

already small space and to make matters worse, it had a breakfast bar that wrapped around 2 sides of it.  And it was knee high!F  With these wee little stools!

After we removed the offensive “mini bar” (on Day 1), we still had the problem of walking around the peninsula to get to the fridge. There were also overhead cabinets that blocked the view of the kitchen and further cut the room in two.

Since kitchens sell houses, why buy something so hideous?  I have 3 words for you: potential, original woodwork!  Plus the cutest door that once led to a back porch that was converted into a mud broom.  And it had a roof, so put that into the plus category too!

They say you need to live in a house for a while to get used to the flow and see how to best utilize the space.  Well, we made it to the 5-month mark and then it was demo time!  When we rehabbed the kitchen, we did a lot with what we had and as inexpensive as we could get away with. Is it perfect?  Far from it!  But it’s better.  And in doing this, we lost 3 upper cabinets, 3 drawers and 5 lowers.  Prime storage space now gone.

That’s a major hit in an already small kitchen.  And with zero room, cabinetry was not an option.  Then there’s the matter of a budget.  I don’t know people on House Hunters buy a house AND remodel AND buy furniture.  God bless them, but we were tapped out.  It was time to make something out of nothing, with nothing.

The Fix

So, I had to look to what I had.  There is a landing on the way to the basement with a knee-high rock wall, ugly 70’s paneling, and a chipped up painted floor that served no purpose.  So this is where I decided to make my new pantry!  Ta-freaking-da!  This underdeveloped space was not taking up any valuable floor space and it’s already here.  It’s 2.5 foot by 6 foot, but the ceiling height is 12 foot, so it’s time to go vertical!

The first thing to address was the walls.  They were white(ish) 1970’s paneling.  Someone did an awful lot of work to make it ugly!  I had some leftover tan paint, not my favorite, but it was on hand and free.  Maybe I’ll repaint when I run out of other things to do, but it’s ok for now.

Next, it was on to the stone wall.  Ugly with a ragged, unusable shelf.  At my step-fathers’ parents’ farm, I got a bunch of old yardsticks.  I cut each one of them and Gorilla glued them to luan we cut down to size.  We built a frame out of 2×4’s and then covered up the wall!

The wood for the shelf on top and on the walls are all new wood! Ever try that super easy trick to distress wood?  Take a mason jar, add vinegar, steel wool, and coffee grounds, things we all have, and leave it overnight.  Then rub it on the wood, I used a sponge brush and wiped it off with an old t-shirt.  Let it dry and now it looks as old as the yardsticks!

To put up the shelves, I bought 3 sets of wood brackets, 2 small and 1 large.  Plain, not fancy and under $30 for all of them.  I always have spray paint, because…instant transformation!  So I painted them a pretty antique white.  I used red on the stairs.  It was a can of tester paint, not so pretty, but better than the orange!  Again, the idea was to do this as inexpensively as possible, so sometimes what you have on hand isn’t always the best but it will do in a pinch.

The floor was A LOT of work!  First off, sanding just sucks.  The prep, the process, and the mess!  and doing this in such a confined area with zero ventilation was misery.  Thank God the surface was so small!  After taking off the 5 layers of paint, we just stained it and put 3 coats of poly on it.

All right.  With the hard part done, the fun can begin!  I went to this shop in a neighboring town that upcycles furniture and I saw a sconce for $149.  I usually don’t buy upcycled because I figure, if they can do it, then I can do it too.  Plus, there’s not much savings in it.  I agree that hard work and creativity deserves a high price tag, but when you’re on a budget, it’s not very practical.

This sconce was made from what I call a “creepy crawler”.  It’s what mechanics use to get under cars (not too sure what it’s really called!)  It was gorgeous, but a little too “done” for me.  I found a creepy crawler at a garage sale for $2!  Then I went to Menard’s and bought a galvanized light for $29.  After drilling a hole in it, I had a new light!  For $31!  It says “Uncle Bill’s” on it, which is my husbands’ name, so even better!

The shelves hold dry goods (noodles, rice, coffee, tea) stored in jars that were from my Florida pantry. (trust and believe you will get bugs in everything if it’s not contained!  Even with quarterly pest control!)  The rest is decorated with things that I’ve had.  Old molds that I painted, a kids cookbook, enamelware

and some old coffee cans.  This box with dividers I found in a barn and cleaned it up. (my mom laughed…until she saw it!)  The orchard basket holds grocery bags and the milk crate stores paper towels.

This project was well under $100!  By using what I had on hand, I was able to create a decent amount of storage and it doesn’t look like a total eyesore anymore!

Maybe y’all have done something similar?  Got any tucked away spaces that you’ve done something with?  Let me know your ideas!  So I can totally copy them!

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My Love For All Things Camp Wandawega

What I’m drinking: Diet Pepsi, “Nectar of the Gods”

What I’m Listening to today: Indigo Girls (ever listen to them? Sublime! Check them out!)

Camp Wandawega
From Pinterest.

This is sooo exciting!  I get to share my love for Camp Wandawega! Ever heard of it?  This slice of Americana and childhood all wrapped up in wooded land in Elkhorn, WI? I hadn’t either.  Funny how a jug thermos kind of lead me to all things Wandawega.  I think I’ve mentioned this thermos before.

My then-fiancee and I went to Micanopy, Fl.  A quaint, sleepy little town with live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.  This town of around 600 people is “area famous” for being a great weekend getaway to browse through antique shops, get ice cream or eat in quaint little restaurants.  It’s also known for the filming of the Michael J. Fox movie, “Doc Hollywood”, mentioned in the Tom Petty song, “A Mind With a Heart of its Own”, the James Taylor cover song “Seminole Wind” and River Phoenix had lived there and his ashes were scattered there. (The More You Know!)  That’s a lot for a small town!

Ahem, anyhow, this jug thermos was $2 and it was kind of awesome!  It was made in my hometown which was the real reason we bought it.  And this was the start of all things camp.  Thank God I started way back when!  I mean, you can still find good deals, but back then it was like fishing with dynamite!  Cheap and everywhere! Read more