Marble Furniture Transformation on a Budget

My apologies for being MIA! Before we get into the nitty gritty of today’s project, a personal update: I’m expecting! My husband and I are thrilled to be welcoming our first baby this fall. Since I have been a bit distracted and lacking in energy, even my favorite hobby had to be put on the back burner. However, I am excited to share some of what I have been working on in the meantime! More updates to come later 🙂

Ever since we moved into our current home, I have fantasized about having a marble top dining table. However, since we are on a budget, splurging on one was just not meant to be. In the meantime, I made do with a hand me down glass top dining table that I hated (see my previous dining table update here!). We have since upgarded to an IKEA one that I love! It is glossy and white, and we already had white bent wood chairs to go along with it.

However, with that ugly dining table out of the way, our hand me down bar was now very much out of place. It was a matching dark wood and glass set, and I know it had to go! So off to IKEA we went, but could not find something that we both liked, that was functional, and pretty, and under $50- am I asking for too much?

During a quick thrift store stop to drop off donations after some spring time de-cluttering, I poked my head in to see what’s new. I came in with the expectation that I will probably not find anything that fits our home, but had a few minutes to spare. I ran across this white bar with perfectly proportioned cubbies in my go-to white. Ummm sold! The $29 price tag didn’t hurt either 😉

The furniture piece was fairly solid, but once we dragged into our apartment I gave all the screws a little tightening, just in case. I then wiped down every surface with sanitizing wipes, and gave some of the scuffs along the legs a little scrub with a magic eraser. It was already looking better!

The top surface of the bar had some water damage, with some areas scuffed right down to the particleboard. I know I was going to cover the top, and I also knew just the right way to do it- contact paper from the dollar store! My local dollar store, Dollarama, has a good selection of sticky back shelf liner and contact paper in a variety of colors and patterns. I picked up 2 rolls of marble printed contact paper for $2 each and got started as soon as I got home.

After wiping down the surface one more time, I smoothed on the contact paper. It is forgiving enough that if you have to lift it and try again you can, as long as you do it right away before really pressing it down. I find it easier to go slowly and squeegee the bubbles out of the way as I go along. I wrapped the paper around the beveled edges and smoothed it down around the corners, trimming as needed.

If you do end up with some bubbles during your application, you can poke a small hole with a safety pin, and smooth it down to let out the air. You can also smooth out bubbles towards the edges to get an even surface. Once it is all smooth, burnish your surface gently to adhere it securely. I find that the stickiness is enough to hold it down well, no additional adhesive is needed! I have done this project a few months ago now and it is still holding well, no peeling at all!

Unfortunately my contact paper roll was a bit too short to cover the entire length of my bar top, so I lined up my next roll to finish it off. There is a seam, as the random marble pattern is not made to be repeating / matched, however it is not too obvious in the finished piece. Here is a close up, judge for yourself!

This “marble” top bar definitely satisfied my craving for a classy and polished piece to complete our dining room. Total damage done = $33. However, you can definitely do this for any piece of furniture you already have. It is such an easy makeover, I am thinking of trying it with one of my living room side tables!

Since I finished this project, several friends who visited us commented on it. The consensus: none of them could tell it was not real marble by looking at it! many of them assumed it was pricey and heavy, and were shocked when I told them it was one of my dollar store projects 🙂

If you are needing a bit of marble elegance in your space, give this project a try! It is so affordable, quick, easy, and (so far) durable, and will easily transform even the most boring pieces in your home! The contact paper sticks to any smooth clean surface, so will work with laminate / IKEA type furniture, glass, metal, and I would assume even wood, as long as the grain is not too prominent.

Quick note- keep in mind this contact paper is removable! this means you can try a different style and take it off if you change your mind without damaging the furniture.

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DIY Canvas Monogram- Easy Room Decor

My little sister is all grown up, and will be going away to college next year, I can hardly believe it! It is also her birthday next month, so I wanted to make her a cute little décor piece for her room, something that is small enough that she can take with her to her dorm to give it some personality and color.  I was inspired by different recycled canvas art designs that have a masked quote that shows the colors of the canvas through the letters, but is painted everywhere else, kinda like these:

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So after getting inspired, I set out to the thrift store to find myself a canvas to repurpose! The ones I found were not too colorful, so I ended up picking out a more neutral one and adding in the color myself for a similar effect. The canvas I found was pretty small, about 8 inches by 8 inches, and was already decoupage-d with pages from a book, which I though gave it a really nice texture as a background. And it was only $3! What a score!

I could not decide on a quote, and since the canvas was pretty small I decided to just go with a monogram instead- simple, and doesn’t change with your mood!

To do the lettering, you have a few options:

1. Letter stickers– This would be super convenient if you are doing a whole sentence or quote, as it keeps all the letters consistent. One thing to keep in mind is to keep an eye for wonky letters and uneven spaces!

2. Tape– you can use painters tape or washi tape to tape off a letter (or any shape, for that matter) and paint around it or within it.

3. Template– you can make your own by drawing out or printing out your letter or shape on paper and cutting it out. Either use that template as a mask, and paint around it or within it, or draw the shape on your canvas and freehand paint it.

I ended up using option 3, and drew out the letter “M” myself (my printer is broken!) and cutting it out. Next came painting- I wanted to have lots of bright colors, but I don’t have a bunch of different paint colors in my craft stash, so I had to improvise! Out came my nail-polish stash!

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Using different color nail polish (including glitter and sparkle!) I carefully painted within my template. It did leak a bit around the edges, but most of it would be corrected later on.

To get a more modern look, I painted the background white with some leftover paint primer I had from our previous painting adventures. Since I wanted the texture to still come through, I diluted the primer with water to provide a more see through wash of color.

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Painting the background also allowed me to go in and correct any small mistakes where the nail polish leaked around the edges, to get a cleaner look. I ended up with 2 thin coats of the primer-water-wash all over the canvas, including the sides.

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This was a very quick project, and the whole thing came together in just 2 afternoons. Total cost= $3 how great is that! So happy I was able to achieve a very similar look to the inspiration pieces, without buying a bunch of supplies, and instead use what I had at home. I hope my sister likes it and displays it proudly an her dorm wall! ❤

Quick and cheap Halloween decor

Although the rest of our apartment remains relatively neutral throughout the seasons, its always fun to change things up, especially for holidays! I am not much of a fan of the really gory or creepy Halloween stuff, so instead I went for a more toned down look for our door decor:

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The spider garland and ‘boo’ ghost were $1.25 each from dollarama.

The rest of the shapes are paper cut outs- just regular printer paper- so free!

The whole thing was $2.50 !!!

How are you getting your space Halloween-ready? 🙂

 

New Dining Room!

With our move to the new place, there were plenty of opportunities to re-work and re-arrange the way each room looks and feels. To add to that, the apartment we bought came fully furnished- so we had 2 of everything! One of the rooms we finished first was the dining room, as we love to entertain and couldn’t wait to host our friends and families. After some discussion, we decided to give away our old wooden dining table (last seen here), in favor of this oval glass table and set of 4 upholstered chairs that came with the apartment. I was originally not a fan, as I don’t like dark wood color, and thought the “wine rack” base looked a little funny. Add to that the fact that I’m terribly clumsy, which is not a good mix with glass anything! But, the larger size meant we could host more friends comfortably, so function won over preference 😛 With the dining set also came a little glass bar/ side board, and I’m still thinking how to make it more functional with a tray on top- suggestions welcome!

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We kept our “Red City” canvas, even though it doesn’t 100% go with the rest of the room, but until we decide on something else, its a nice focal point!

We also recently painted the walls a cool gray, to help make the space feel more modern. It looks a bit blueish under certain light, so I might have to play around with the light bulbs in the hanging fixture!

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One of the major project we undertook for this room was having a focal wall covered in wallpaper! Selecting the wallpaper was the easy part, we both loved the chevron print and the subtle shiny stripe. I have never applied wallpaper before, so it was a learning process, but after watching a bunch of YouTube how-to videos, I felt confident enough to tackle it! I think it came out great!

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So glad this room is done! Still a few decorative pieces I would like to add over time, but I generally go for a more clean and modern look, so I much prefer it uncluttered!

diningroom Collage

Let me know what you think in the comments! ❤

Dining Room Decor

dining room

So previously I have shared with you some mini-transformations of different spaces in our apartment (See my vanity area here, and my SO’s office here). We have been living in our current place about 6 months, so most spots are already the way we like them, so I figure I should share that with you also!

First up, our dining room!

Now, our apartment is fairly small, so it’s not really a dining ROOM per-say, more of a dining area, that is a corner between the kitchen and the living room.

Table: We got it ‘as-is’ (previously returned) at IKEA. This table is much smaller then the previous one we had, but I really like the simple and sleek look and the color.

Chairs: Got them for about $20 each at Superstore. Yes, we bought our dining room chairs at a grocery store. Don’t judge. The curved shape makes them comfy and they are light enough that we can move them around easily for company.

Art: Got it at Home Sense for about $25. I originally was not a fan of the strong colors, but my SO convinced me otherwise, and since then we always get compliments on it!

Table decor: My DIY bottle vase made for FREE. See the DIY here.

I will continue to share other parts of our space in future posts, so check back soon! ❤