Our Robin’s Egg Blue Hutch

Side note: I just wanted to take the time to send my love to those hurt in the explosions in Boston, and for the families affected… One of my closest friends is training for an Iron Man, and I keep thinking that it could have been her running if we lived in a different city. Heartbreaking. 

Shaun has quite the collection of books (I’ve grown up going to libraries instead… Why buy and store a book if you can just borrow it? Just my thoughts. I own only a few that I truly love.), so we needed a bookcase. We’ve been slogging around with a free one Shaun found at work for a while, but we decided that when we moved was as good a time as ever to get something to replace it.

We bought a hutch off Craigslist for $150 to do the job (originally 195, but we used our learned-the-hard-way bargaining skills from our travels and talked him down!). I’ve been eyeing the colourful furniture trend for a while, so I thought I would give it a try!

Blue hutch

As much as I’d love to say I played a part in this DIY, it was really all Shaun. He even scoured the internet for the piece itself. Here’s how he did it:

He started off with a 90’s dated yellow oak stain. We didn’t get the chance to snap a true before photo, but here’s one (mid-sand) to give you a good idea:

Sanded hutch

First, Shaun sanded the whole thing down with a palm sander. You could certainly do it by hand, but it was a super thick veneer, and it would take a while.


He primed the whole thing in one coat: (with a sprayer, because he’s a pro :)

image image

And gave two coats of “Lakeview” by Dulux.

Done! Here it is waiting to be organized in our living room.

New hutch


When I first laid eyes on it…

After Shaun had spent the weekend working on it…

I hated it.

I found it horribly blue and thought I was crazy for choosing it. Why hadn’t I chosen white, like I always do? I preferred the more natural, more “sophisticated”, tones in our home, that I thought the hutch was bold and childish and awful.

I pondered it, pondered it and pondered it some more… and thought I’d give it a shot. I had a tough time deciding on how to organize our books on it too. With books sprawled all around me on the floor and me staring (yet again) at our hutch, Shaun finally told me that “our place doesn’t need to look like it’s out of a catalog all the time.”

A catalog? Maybe a magazine was what he was going for? Ah anyway, I took that as a compliment. But no dear, it really does need to look like it’s “out of a catalog”. Just the way I am. (Not that it even looks magazine-worthy. Just that some thought has gone into how I decorated!)

Blue hutch front

Anyway, it took a while, but I love it! Now that I see it with my photos on the wall, it doesn’t even look like that bold a colour. It looks… pale blue actually. Just encourages me to go with even more colour as my projects continue!

It’s deep enough to store all Shaun’s DVD’s (concealed in cheap white Ikea boxes), two rows of books on each shelf:

Middle shelf 2 Top Shelf

All of Bali’s gear (not to mention our Settlers of Catan game… Yeah… I’m a big fan.) in the bottom:

Hutch Cupboard

Took me a while, but we love it. Shaun likes it because it’s functional, and I like it because it’s pretty, and functional. I’m looking forward to injecting more of that robin’s egg blue in our living room!

Hutch from the side

What about you? Any decisions you’ve been wary about at the beginning? Any steps you’ve taken out of your comfort zone that you’ve ended up loving? Hating?


An Upcycled Jewelry Box

Storage is always an nearly always an issue in a rental. Even more so as a student. And a while ago, I was still using this lovely piece from Walmart for my jewellery and accessories, left over from my university days…


Eek! As I said before, our bedroom fell to the bottom of my list of priorities. When I got along to changing it, I thought I’d like something similar, with three drawers, but maybe just a tad classier. I did not realize how expensive these things were! Take this one I pinned from Anthro for example:

Adorable, but I could hardly justify the $300 price tag! Doesn’t really look like it could store all that much either.

So I hit up my local thrift shop, and found this!

Box Before

I fell in love with the detail on the doors, so I couldn’t resist. It was a bit more of a an endeavour than I was planning to take on though… Not only did I need to paint it all, I would need to recover the inside:



I sanded (120 grit), primed and painted it in a fresh coat of white paint. I found using a small roller was easiest on the large sections, and a craft paint brush for the more detailed areas. To do the doors, I used a stiff craft brush and painted it like I would a stencil. I found this the best way to get into all the cracks and crevices.


Tip: I primed and painted both the drawers and the inside of the box itself. Unfortunately, this added a thick extra layer, and the drawers can get a bit sticky. Knowing this, I would only have painted the drawers, not the inside. Time saver too!


In terms of hardware, I unscrewed the doors and lid while painting, but I did leave the pulls on the doors and drawers. They just seemed too old and fragile to tangle with. I painted around them as best I could, and then touched up with a gold art pen. Since one of the top pulls was broken, I broke off the other and replaced them with beads.

Looks lovely from the outside, but on the inside, you’re still stuck with this unsightly and ageing orange felt. Not nearly as bad as before, and somehow the camera makes it look more flattering than in reality, but all in all, it needed to go.


Recovering the drawers:

I used Aleene’s Fabric Tape to adhere my fabric to the felt. In using a dry adhesive, I wouldn’t have any glue seeping into my pretty new material.


First, I measured out the amount of fabric I would need, and pushed it into the box like it would later sit.


Then, along the fold you see me pointing to in the picture, I cut down to the bottom of the box. I did this on all four sides, so my material ended up looking like this:


This way, I could tuck the corners behind to make a box. The shorter sides of the drawer had the excess fabric, so then I could tuck that behind the larger sections.

How to fold

I attached the bottom of the drawer first. Then, I adhered the shorter sides in place, with the ends branching over to the width of the drawer.DSC_0800

I finished the longer sides too, cutting any excess fabric if needed. I made sure to keep about half an inch at the top to tuck behind the orange felt. I pried open the top end of the felt with a basic kitchen knife, and then pushed the new fabric into place with the knife.



To do the top section, I followed a similar process, with a bit of tweaking.

First, I removed a few of the ring “holders”, since I don’t wear many rings. I adhered one piece to cover the left and right sides of this section.


Then, I cut a piece long enough to cover that section vertically, as well as all the ring holders. Using the tape and my knife, and pushed and adhered each section in place. Like I did with the drawers, I pried off the orange felt with my knife, and the pushed the new fabric in place.


To cover the square sections, I adhered small square strips of fabric to cover the sides.


Then adhered strips to the other sides and bottoms. The strips were long enough to fit all three squares and were the same width as one square.


To finish off, I trimmed any extra thread and glued any loose sections. I added little “handles” using beads to polish off the doors (the glue was E6000 from Michaels).

Here’s the before…Box Before

… and after!

Headboard FrontDrawerDSC_0919Compartments

I am thrilled with the results.  As an added bonus, the top section sorts out my jewelry so much better than plain old drawers, so I can easily find the piece I’m searching for, without having to worry about a knot of necklaces.

Completely worth the effort I put into it!

Jewelry Box Pin

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