From No Man’s Land to Craft room

Hey Ya’ll!  So, last we left off with No Man’s Land (our spare room), I had just stripped and painted the new craft table.  And now, I’m happy to announce that the space has a functional new lay-out.  Woo-hoo!

Let’s recap our journey thus far…   The room began as a veritable Monica Geller Closet, which I then lovingly dubbed “No Man’s Land”.  Because, I mean really.  Just LOOK at it….


Didn’t it scream “Enter and never return!!”??   It was wrong.  Just so very wrong.   Then, one day, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I cleared it out and organized the dickens out of it.  Which basically transformed it from the Pit of Dispair to a glorified waiting room due to the hodge-podge of leftover furnishings….

And now, it looks a little something like this….

I replaced the generic, ugly light diffuser-thing on the ceiling fixture with a simple white shade for a more streamlined, custom look.   It was an easy switch that involved unscrewing the diffuser and screwing in the shade.   Ignore the table beneath the table.  My little mid-century gem is there temporarily until I can move it into the garage (some crazy stuff is going down in there right now, so I didn’t want to risk this little guy getting scratched up).  I probably should’ve removed him for these shots, but honestly, I’m just now thinking about it.

The table now lends a nice work space for projects…  Aaaaahh, function.  Such a beautiful, beautiful word.  The way the table is situated also allows it to extend easily to accommodate the extra leaves as needed for even more surface space.

To the top of the table, I added a lamp that I already had (would love to change out that shade, though), along with a tray containing books and thrift store sundae glasses filled with sharpies and colored pencils.

In the adjacent corner, I decided to leave the little sitting area that was there before…

I would love to recover that wing-back chair someday.  Mac did an amazing job covering it in the brown microsuede fabric when we moved into our first house, but alas, my love affair with brown has ended.  I’m craving some color and subtle pattern. Something a little more fresh.  The small end table actually came with our coffee table in the living room when we purchased it off Craigslist.  I can’t help but think that it would look super awesome painted a bold color.  One day I’ll get to it, I’m sure.

And just in case any of ya’ll were wondering what ever happened to my chicken-wire-hacked cabinet (don’t lie, I know this question has haunted your dreams), here she blows…

I simply topped it with a “To Do” board that I made by framing some fabric.  I just used dry erase markers on the glass.   I added lamp, a few books, a faux plant… and called it a day.  I also traded out the previous high-water brown curtains for a white grommeted pair that I already owned.   They really add some much needed softness to the room while keeping the space feeling light and bright.

Across the room, I moved my shelf for additional storage…

I would love to paint the walls, switch out the art for something more colorful and inspiring, and make the aforementioned changes to the chair and end table, but honestly, I’m just happy that the room is now a usable space that we aren’t embarrassed to show people.   Total plus in our book.

So, as of now, I officially remove the moniker “No Man’s Land” from this space and replace it with “Craft Room”.  (sniff!)  I thought this day would never come. 🙂

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TDC Before and After







A Little Ikea Lack Map Hack

I dare you to say THAT three times fast.  Even better, do it in front of a mirror.  I tried.  I failed.  I laughed.  Yes, this is what I do in my spare time.

Anyhoo, I’ve been searching for a new nightstand for Lucas’s room for some time now, but never quite found what I was looking for. I wanted something that was light colored, or able to be painted a light color, with storage.  His current night stand, as seen here…


…was too dark in my opinion and was falling apart.  The bamboo pieces around the edges were falling off, and we’d lost the door handle.  Normally, this wouldn’t bother me.  I’d just fix it, replace the hardware, paint it and move on.   What did bother me was that these pieces were basically stapled on.  And when they come loose, there were sharp staples just waiting for Lucas to hurt himself on.   And there was no telling which area would come loose.  Lucas would just walk out of his room carrying yet another broken piece.   So, it needed to go.

The other day I attempted to sift through No Man’s Land (our spare room/resident dumping ground for those who don’t know) and I came across a hand-me-down Ikea Lack table that was given to us a while back. I’d kept him (and his twin brother) with the thought of turning them into a headboard for Lucas’s bed. This plan never came to fruition because I didn’t like the scale of the tables with the bed, so they’ve just been taking up space in decorating purgatory ever since.

It’s funny how leaving an item alone for a while and then coming back to it later can give you a fresh, new perspective. Upon rediscovering the table, I realized that at least a temporary solution to the nightstand dilemma was waiting for me for free in our spare room this whole time. As I continued to organize our junk, I found a map that we’d used to find our way to Eureka Springs for our honeymoon years ago… And the thoughts connected.

Lucas’s transportation themed room + Map = YESSSSS!!!!!!!

So, I busted out my materials…


I started by cutting off the mustard trim on the edge of the map, as I wanted to finish off the table with it later.


Then, I unscrewed the legs a smidge to make it easier to trim out the top….


I thoroughly cleaned the table and used a liquid deglosser to rough up the surface. Then, I applied a coat of Mod Podge, which the little man helped with….


I applied the map over top and did my best to smooth it out….


Then, I trimmed the corners (sorry for the blurry pic. This is what happens when I multitask) …


Applied Mod Podge to the sides and folded over the edges….


Once I was through with this, I carefully lined up my border and applied it all around the edge….


And followed it up with three coats of Mod Podge over top.  I did have an issue with air bubbles. On the bad ones I simply sliced a small hole in the paper and filled it with Mod Podge to allow it to seep under the paper, then I smoothed it with my finger.  I probably should’ve applied a thicker coat of Mod Podge to the table before applying my map, but ya live, ya learn.

Here’s the final result….




It’s definitely not perfect. It has creases and air bubbles, but I actually like it that way. It looks leathery and weathered. I was actually thinking of tinting some Mod Podge and going over it again to give it more of an aged look. For now though, I’m gonna leave it as is.

I added a basket underneath that was also living an unfulfilled life in No Man’s Land to fill my storage requirement. It now holds the books that were in Lucas’s old night stand. I like that Lucas can always pull over his rocking chair and use this table to read or color or whatever. It has enough table surface to serve more than one purpose for sure.

I’m still going to keep an eye out for a more permanent solution as I feel like this table is a bit low for a nightstand, but for a completely free (and more importantly… SAFE) alternative to his old nightstand I think it’s a pretty darn good option.  🙂