i have been pinning projects like this for as long as i’ve been on pinterest and i finally got around to it! yay for more hours in the day in summer!
last week i shared our new chalkboard wall with you in our playroom/school room/my office/studio space. its a space that needs to be super functional, and because of that we’ve lost a lot of the “pretty”. i decided it was time to add that back in!
this wall used to have rain gutter bookshelves. while i liked how they looked, i didn’t like how they functioned. i love the look of the chalkboard wall as is, but since this is our school room, it really needed to function as more than a pretty wall displaying our world map.
we need book storage. and lots of it. every year our homeschool library expands. we have never had a great bookshelf system that worked well with books of different subjects, time periods, and reading levels. they were squeezed into what little space i could find to fit them all together and that just wasn’t working for us.
i ordered these great wood crates from homedepot.com and got free shipping on them (free shipping with orders over $45). our home depot doesn’t carry these crates in store, but even if they did i would probably have ordered them online anyway. can you imagine trying to get all of these balanced on a huge cart, while my little monkey tried climbing all over them? no thank you. i’ll take front door delivery, thank you very much!
while the color of the natural pine is really pretty, i wanted to age the outside of the crates a bit so they would be a nice contrast to the bright colors i was going to be adding. thankfully, i had a few small pots of minwax stain in my garage that worked great. i used mostly walnut, mixed in a bit of ebony, and thinned it out a bit with natural. use what you have, right?
my mom and i spent a few hours late after the kids were sleeping (its been hot here, so the evening hours are much cooler for working), staining the crates. the process was pretty simple: we only stained the outsides of the crate since i was painting the insides. we also did all the edges with the stain. we didn’t bother staining the under sides (bottoms) of the crate since they would be against the wall and never be seen. the pine is very porous so we just used inexpensive chip brushes and wiped off the stain quickly with rags before the color set in too dark. you really can’t mess up unless you just let it sit without wiping it. other wise its a very forgiving process.
all the colors of paint i used were ones i found in the garage or in my craft paint piles. i wanted a rainbow of colors, so whatever i didn’t have on hand i made by adjusting existing cans of paint with craft paints.
this is a sponsored giveaway post with Proctor & Gamble and The Home Depot. they are holding a #BountyChallenge and their only prerequisite was to use Bounty to clean up our mess. good thing, too, because we were messy!
i am not much of a perfectionist when it comes to home projects. i’m more of a “looks good” girl. get’er done, you know? so i knew mistakes would happen and thats no big deal. i really wanted to be able to see the stained edges of the wood next to the brightly painted interior, so i had to be careful not to paint too heavily at the edges or it would run over. and it did, but i just slightly wet a Bounty paper towel and wiped the excess paint right off!
those little bottles of acrylic paint sure are messy! i was using up the last of several bottles and had lots of paint splatters through the process.
after we finished painting all the boxes (most needed 2 coats of paint), it was time to play!
while i still had them in the garage it was fun playing with a few ideas of how to configure the boxes to work best as a bookcase.
i needed the boxes to sit both vertically and horizontally to fit the various sizes of our books.
and i love the contrast of the bright bookcase against the dark chalkboard wall!
i filled in the shelves with all of our school books and thankfully still have room for more. and then i moved all of the school and art supplies to the top shelves.
i love that this isn’t a fixed set of shelves, mostly because i change my mind a lot. like i’m not sure how long i’ll be keeping the school supplies up there. thankfully, the shelves are really sturdy stacked 2 high and weighed down by the weight of the books. soon enough i’m sure i’ll try out the rainbow order of crates when i get bored of this!
do you have a project that has been on your list for so long, but you’ve lacked the motivation to do it? i am so with you – my list is looong! well, here’s a little something that should be just the right motivator for you to get that project done and off your list!
one winner will receive a $250 gift card from Home Depot and two rolls of Bounty paper towels to clean up the mess. because you know you’re gonna make a mess!