The Interior Frugalista

January 19, 2017

Lateral Metal File Cabinet Makeover

Hello my friends, today I'm going to share how to turn a utilitarian lateral metal file cabinet into one you'd be happy to have on display in your home office.

If you're a thrift store junkie like myself, you've probably often seen these discarded file cabinets in thrift stores or salvage yards. They can be pretty beat up but we were lucky to find one, other than being quite dirty, in very good condition. The same model brand new costs around $500 but we scored ours for $45, more than I would have liked to spend but I was in desperate need of a larger file cabinet.

My home office is a converted bedroom on our main floor and can be seen when guests visit the washroom so it is important that it is nicely decorated and pleasing to the eye. Besides, who wants to work in an uninspiring office space.

Metal Lateral File Cabinet Makeover

How To Transform A Utilitarian Metal Lateral File Cabinet 

Priming The Metal File Cabinet

It got to work on the cabinet as soon as it entered the workshop and forgot to take before pictures. You can get a visual by looking at the gray interior in the photo below. This photo was taken after I rolled the exterior of the cabinet with Zinsser Bullseye Primer.

Lateral File Cabinet Primed

Painting The Metal File Cabinet

I let the primer dry overnight and in the morning rolled two coats of white Behr Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel Paint in Pure White. You can see in the photo below that I didn't bother painting the back of the cabinet considering it would against a wall.

Lateral File Cabinet painted white

Painting And Priming The Drawer Fronts

The drawer fronts were also primed and only the upper half, around the handle was painted with pure white.

Lateral File Cabinet Drawer Fronts primed

Painted Chalkboard Drawer Fronts

Once the paint was completely dry I ran a strip of painter's tape below the hand rail. I rolled each drawer front with three coats of black chalkboard paint. This step takes awhile because chalkboard paint has a long drying time between coats. Another alternative with a quicker drying time is using black chalk paint. Either will give you the chalkboard finish.

Painting Lateral File Cabinet Drawer fronts with chalkboard paint

Numbered Drawer Fronts And Decoupaged Hand Rails

To add a fun element to the drawer fronts I used 2-inch stencils and white chalk paint to number each drawer. Normally I would use an artists brush and paint the stencil bridge on each letter but I opted not to this time because I wanted an industrial look.

Instead of painting the recessed handle rail on the drawers, I decoupaged strips of pretty black and white Damask scrapbook paper using Mod Podge.

Lateral File Cabinet with numbered drawer fronts

Painting Grainsack Stripes On The Top

I added black grain sack stripes to the top of the cabinet using Frog Tape and black Chalkboard Paint.

Lateral File Cabinet Painted Grain Sack Stripes

I love how the decoupaged papered hand rails dress up the cabinet, especially combined with the French Grainsack stripes on the top.

Lateral File Cabinet Chalkboard Drawer Fronts

Doesn't the cabinet look great paired with my fun black and white polka dot chair? It used to be an office vinyl armchair and I removed the arms and reupholstered it in my pre-blogging days. As you can probably tell, my office is decorated in black and white with pops of red (my favorite color). 

Black and White Lateral File Cabinet Makeover

Loving the black grain sack stripes and the playful chalkboard drawer fronts.

Lateral Metal File Cabinet Painted Top

The recessed drawer rails are perfect for holding sticks of chalk when I want to jot down quick notes and reminders. 

Lateral File Cabinet With Damask Hand Rails

I think the numbered drawer fronts add a nice decorative element to the file cabinet. 

Old Metal Lateral File Cabinet Makeover

If you found my Lateral File Cabinet Makeover useful, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

I also refreshed a small two-drawer Curved Front Oak File Cabinet that is the perfect size for personal use.

If you'd like more home office inspiration, you can catch how I turned a Mid-Century Modern Record Cabinet into the perfect home office credenza, also with grain sack stripes and alphabet stencils.

One more thing I can't do without in my office is the large Fabric Magnetic Board that hangs behind my desk. Besides my daytimer, it is the most functional item in my office to keep me organized and on task and it was so easy to make.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

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January 12, 2017

How To Make A Yardstick Growth Chart

Just days before Christmas I realized I needed one more gift for my 21-month old grandson. The only day I had free to shop was on Black Friday. I'd rather go to the dentist than navigate my way through the crowds and long line-ups on that particular shopping day.

Deciding instead to come up with a quick and easy handmade gift, I went looking for inspiration on Pinterest. I found the perfect idea for a special handmade gift from Grandma that took only a couple of hours to make from start to finish. I'm sharing my Yardstick Growth Chart tutorial in the hopes that it will inspire my readers who are also grandparents. It would make a terrific birthday gift.

How to make a Yardstick Growth Chart
The picture above was taken in the makeshift nursery at Grandma & Grandpa's house. 

What I love most about this gift, is that it is portable and can be moved from room-to-room or home-to-home with my grandson. When my kids were little I charted their growth on a wood paneled wall in our basement. The panel had to be cut from the wall and now that my children are grown, I cherish that little piece of paneling.

How To Make A Yardstick Growth Chart From A Fence Board

I've included affiliate links in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to make a Yardstick Growth Chart. 

Materials List

Yardstick Growth Chart from a fence board

Staining the fence board 

All you need is a straight, unwarped 6-foot fence board (mine is pine) to make this project. The picture above was taken after I applied two coats of Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut using a lint-free rag, wiping away the excess.

Drawing Marks on DIY Yardstick Growth Chart

Drawing Measurement Marks

You will need a tape measure, pencil, and small square to draw the measurement marks along the fence board (as pictured above).

12-inch Foot Marks (look like 1-inch marks)

  • From the bottom of the board, measure 12-inches and mark it with pencil on the left side.
  • From that mark, measure another 12-inches and mark it with a pencil.
  • Repeat this step until you've reached the top of the board (6-feet).
  • Using a square, draw the lines 3-inches long.

6-inch Marks (look like 1/2-inch marks)

  • Measure 6-inches from the bottom of board and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Measure 6-inches between the 12-inch foot lines and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Using a square, draw the lines 2 1/2-inches long.

3-inch Marks (look like 1/4-inch marks)

  • Measure 3-inches between the 12-inch and 6-inch lines and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Using a square, draw the lines 2-inches long. 

1 1/2-inch Marks (look like 1/8-inch marks)

  • Measure 1 1/2-inches between the 12-inch, 6-inch, and 3-inch lines and mark with a pencil on the left side.
  • Using a square, draw the lines 1 1/2-inches long. 

Painted numbers and marks on Yardstick Growth Chart

Stencil the numbers and paint the lines

Directly BEFORE the lines marking each foot, stencil the corresponding number using a 2-inch stencil and black or charcoal gray paint (as pictured above). I used chalk paint in the color Rocky Mountain by Country Chic Paint.

Using the same paint color and chisel artist brush, paint the lines on the chart.

Personalized DIY Yardstick Growth Chart

Personalize the growth chart

  • In Microsoft Word or PicMonkey, type the name of the child using the font of your choice in 200 pt size.
  • Save it and print it onto bond paper.
  • Cut around the graphic and tape it onto the growth chart wherever you prefer (mine is on the bottom).
  • Using graphite paper behind the graphic simply trace the child's name onto the growth chart. 
  • Using a script liner art brush and the same paint used in the previous steps, paint over the transfer.
How to hang the Yardstick Growth Chart

How to hang the growth chart

Install either a large sawtooth picture hanger OR two D-Hook picture hangers onto the back of the growth chart.

Another option, especially if you're a renter and don't want to put holes in the wall, use two Large 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips (holds up to 16 pounds), one at the top and bottom.

My tutorial is based on a floor length growth chart (resting on the floor). Please note even though it's resting on the floor, you MUST ensure that it is secured to the wall for the child's safety.

Option 2 - Hang the growth chart 6-inches above the floor. 
With this option, you will need to shorten the board by cutting it on the first 6-inch mark. Hang the board on the wall 6-inches from the floor.  Also note, if you use this option, you will need to personalize the chart somewhere other than the bottom.

To make the growth chart extra special, write a sweet note from Grandma and/or Grandpa and include the date of the special occasion on the back of the growth chart. I wrote a special note to my grandson, Westin wishing him a Merry Christmas 2016 with a red sharpie marker and drew hearts.

I hope I've inspired some of you to make a Yardstick Growth Chart for those adorable little ones in your life. If you enjoyed my DIY Yardstick Growth Chart Tutorial, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

How to make a Yardstick Growth Chart
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January 5, 2017

Rustic Marquee Bar Sign (Red To Galvanized With Paint)

Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2017 is off to a good start! Today I'm sharing another Christmas gift that I made. This one was for my son and his fiance's home. A few months ago they added a feature wall in their dining room using Stikwood Reclaimed Weathered Wood Boards. Shortly thereafter my son built a custom bar with built-in wine fridge on the wall. When I heard they were looking for a rustic industrial bar sign to complete the ensemble, a light bulb went off in my head.

I hadn't bought their Christmas gift yet and as I've mentioned before, I love to give handmade gifts so DIYing a Rustic Marquee Bar Sign fit the bill perfectly.

My son is still putting the finishing touches on the bar like building glass front doors for the top and a drawer on the base above the wine rack. I'll update this photo when he's all finished but don't you just love how the sign looks against the Stikwood wall?

DIY Rustic Marquee Bar Sign

Here is a close-up of the sign after I finished making it and photographed on top a dining table I'm currently working on.

Rustic DIY Marquee Bar Sign

Would you believe the marquee letters used to be red?

Rustic Marquee Bar Sign Letters Before

I looked all over for galvanized marquee letters but they were too large. I found these ones that were the perfect size and had a curvier style that I liked, but they were RED.

I love a challenge and so I got busy changing them to an industrial galvanized patina.

How To Make A Rustic Wood Marquee Bar Sign 

I played paint brand hopscotch on this one. To make this sign, I used products from all my favorite paint brands.

DIY Rustic Marquee Bar Sign Materials

Materials List

  • 2 Pine 8-foot 1" x 4" boards
  • 1 Pine 5-foot 1" x 2" board
  • Wood Glue or Construction Adhesive
  • D-picture hanger hooks
  • Straight edge
  • 1-inch Wood Screws
  • 11" metal B A R marquee letters
  • Modern Masters Silver Semi-Opaque Matte Metallic Paint
  • Country Chic Chalk Paint in the color Rocky Mountain 
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Provence
  • Dixie Belle Paint Company Mineral Chalk Paint in the color Fluff 
  • Dixie Belle Paint Company Gel Stain in the color Tobacco Road

How To Give Red Marquee Letters A Faux Galvanized Patina Using Layers Of Paint

Protecting the light sockets before painting

Prepping Marquee Letters before applying paint

I split cotton balls in three, rolled them tightly and inserted into the light sockets with tweezers (make sure the batteries have been removed).

First Silver Metallic Paint Layer

First layer of paint on Rustic Marquee Bar Sign Letters

I applied the first layer of matte Silver Metallic paint with a brush. It took two coats to remove most of the original red finish.

Second White Paint Layer

Second layer of paint on Rustic Marquee Bar Sign Letters

Using a small round tip stencil brush, I dabbed and rubbed random strokes of Fluff (a white with gray undertones) chalk paint. You can see in the photo above that I also carefully painted the switch on the side too.

Third Dark Gray Paint Layer

Third layer of paint on Rustic Marquee Bar Sign Letters

Again, using the same round tip stencil brush and dab, rub, random stroke paint technique, I applied Rocky Mountain (a charcoal) paint color.

Fourth Teal Paint Layer

Fourth layer of paint on Rustic Marquee Bar Sign Letters

It's hard to see in the photo above but I brushed random strokes of Provence (teal color) chalk paint using small chisel paint brushes. I hit the brush along the edges of the letters as well.

I added a hint of teal to match other elements in both their dining room and adjoining living room. You may remember last year the makeover I gave their MCM Tables With Faux Tin Tops. I also turned a 70's Coffee Table Into An Upholstered Bench for their entry.

Building The Rustic Wooden Marquee Sign

Assembling the Sign

Assembling Rustic Wooden Marquee Bar Sign

Our sign measures 42" wide x 14" high
  • Cut four 1" x 4" pine boards 42-inches long using a miter saw.
  • Lay them side by side and clamp in place.
  • Cut a pine 1" x 2" board into three pieces 12-inches long (these will be the uprights).
  • Measure 10-inches from the top of the sign and mark on each side with a pencil.
  • Apply construction adhesive or wood glue onto the back of one of the 12-inch boards.
  • Lay it across at the marks you made and attach the upright using a brad nailer. Make sure to hit each board with two nails (as pictured above).
  • Repeat these steps on the other end of the sign, also at 10-inches from the bottom.
  • Measure the distance between the two uprights and mark the center.
  • Attach the third upright with the brad nailer (as pictured above).

Cutting the Arrow Point of the sign

  • Decide which side the point will face (ours faces right).
  • Measure across the boards and mark the center.
  • Measure 9-inches down and mark each side with a pencil.
  • Using a straight edge, draw a line from the 9-inch mark to the center mark.
  • Repeat on the opposite side and you have your point.
  • Using a jigsaw, cut the point.
  • Sand the rough edges with a mouse sander.

Cutting the Feather End of the sign

  • Measure 9-inches from the end of the boards and mark with a pencil.
  • At the 9-inch marks on each side, measure across the boards and find the center.
  • Using a straight edge, draw a line from the center mark to the end of the boards on one side.
  • Repeat the step above on the opposite side and you have your inverted feather end.
  • Using a jigsaw, cut the inverted point.
  • Sand the rough edges with a mouse sander.

Staining the Wooden Sign

Staining the Rustic Wooden Marquee Bar Sign

I applied two coats of gel stain in the color Tobacco Road with an inexpensive chip brush and wiped the excess with a lint-free rag. 

Whitewashing the Wooden Sign

Whitewashing the Wooden Rustic Marquee Bar Sign

First I dipped just the tips of my paint brush in water to dampen the bristles. Then I dipped the tips into white chalk paint in the color Fluff and with long and random brush strokes gave the stained boards a wash of white.

Adding the Marquee Letters to the Wooden Arrow Sign

Mounting Marquee Letters to Rustic Wooden Bar Sign

Mark the center of the sign both vertically and horizontally and lay the middle letter (A) on top, marking where the hanger on the back of the letter rests on the board. Screw a 1-inch wood screw into the mark and hang the letter onto the board. 

For the B and R marquee letters, other than measuring each letter from the top and bottom of the boards, we pretty much eyeballed the placement.

Mounting Marquee Letters to Rustic Wooden Bar Sign

The last step is adding D-Ring picture hanging hooks on each end of the top upright and you're done.

If you like my Rustic Wood Marquee Bar Sign with Faux Galvanized Letters, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Rustic Wood Marquee Bar Sign With Faux Galvanized Letters

I can't wait to see this sign hanging on my son and soon to be daughter-in-law's rustic Stikwood wall.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

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December 29, 2016

Top 10 Posts of 2016 | The Interior Frugalista

Hello friends, I hope you all had a joyous and memorable Christmas with those you hold near and dear. We spent ours close to the home front with our family. It was so much fun seeing Christmas through the eyes of our 21-month old grandson. But what made this Christmas extra special was that our son proposed to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve - another wedding in our future.

As our sights are on the brand new year ahead, it is time to reflect on the one about to come to a close. I want to thank each and every one of you who take the time out of your busy lives to pop in and visit me here at The Interior Frugalista. It gives me such joy when I learn that something I created and shared inspired or taught another. I feel so blessed by the connections and friendships made from this little corner of the blogosphere. I value your readership, support, encouragement, and feedback more than you know and I hope not to disappoint in 2017.

In the spirit of reflection, today I'm sharing the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2016 here at The Interior Frugalista. Each year when I compile this list I am always surprised by which posts resonated the most with you all. What I've learned from this annual review is that you all enjoy most when I give a found an foraged piece a new purpose, which by the way are my favorite projects to work on. I plan on doing a lot more of those in 2017. So without further ado...

Top 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2016

10th Most Viewed Post - IKEA Moppe Apothecary Cabinet

For years I've been wanting something to organize our CD collection (we're old school like that). During a trip to IKEA, I was so disappointed to learn that they no longer sold Moppe cabinets because the drawers are the perfect size for holding CDs. The skies parted and the angels sang when I spotted one on my neighbor's driveway during their garage sale.

IKEA Hack Apothecary Cabinet
IKEA Moppe Apothecary Cabinet

9th Most Viewed Post - Outdoor Portable Beverage Bar Cart

We had nowhere on our deck to set up a bar when hosting Summer soirées and building a permanent structure was out of the question considering the small footprint of our deck. When we stumbled on a wooden lattice tiered table, I instantly knew it would make the perfect portable beverage cart.

Portable Beverage Bar Cart
Outdoor Portable Beverage Bar Cart

8th Most Viewed Post - DIY Computer Monitor Stand

The lack of work surface on my small home office desk was getting rather frustrating. By repurposing part of a footboard leftover from another project and two antique chair spindles, I built a stand to raise my computer monitor. It has a) provided room on my desk to keep my day timer and b) raised the monitor to eye level, eliminating neck strain I had been feeling.

DIY Computer Monitor Stand

7th Most Viewed Post - Antique Chair Back Bird Feeder

While sipping my morning java down in the workshop I glanced over at a bucket of antique chair parts. Taking a closer look at the chair back it reminded me of a butterfly and I wondered what I could possibly make with it. Just at that moment, I heard a bird chirping from the open window and a lightbulb went off in my head.

Antique Chair Back Bird Feeder
Antique Chair Back Bird Feeder

6th Most Viewed Post - Antique Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy

That same bucket of antique chair parts mentioned above also inspired building wooden garden tool caddies and using chair spindles for the handles.

Wood Caddy with Spindle Handle
Wooden Garden Caddy with Antique Chair Spindle Handle

5th Most Viewed Post - Chalkboard Menu With Oyster Shell Patina 

Playing with layers of paint, I created an Oyster Shell Patina on a metal thrift store frame. Then I painted over the art with chalkboard paint to turn it into a fun chalkboard menu.

Oyster Shell Patina Chalkboard Menu
Chalkboard Menu With Oyster Shell Patina

4th Most Viewed Post - Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf

This old gal crawled under her bathroom vanity one too many times in search of toiletries. Deciding enough was enough I built a very handy sliding shelf with cubbies. Now even my OPI Friar Friar Pants On Fire nail polish has an easy to access home.

Sliding Bathroom Vanity Shelf
Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf

3rd Most Viewed Post - Farmhouse Side Table Makeover

This solid wood table had seen it's better days and I knew with some elbow grease that the character under all that brown paint could have farmhouse charm. A friend came over one afternoon shortly after finishing the makeover and swooped that table out the front door.

Farmhouse Side Table Makeover

2nd Most Viewed Post - Suspended Clothes Drying Rod

With all the wrinkle free fabrics available, some things just need to be hung to dry. How do you do that during the winter with subzero temperatures? We designed a fabulous indoor suspended clothes drying rod for our basement laundry room.

Suspended Clothes Drying Rod
Suspended Clothes Drying Rod

Top Viewed Post of 2016 - Thrift Store Jewelry Box Repurposed Into Remote Control Storage

This being my most viewed post completely surprised me. Obviously, I wasn't the only one in need of something display worthy for hiding all those pesky remote controls.

Jewelry Box Remote Control Storage

Favorite Post of 2016

Alzheimer's Busy Blanket: A Special Gift For Mom

This is a brand new post that I shared last week. I normally don't get personal here on the blog but this was a project that was near and dear to my heart and a special Christmas gift for my Mom who has been battling Alzheimer's for the last seven years. I'm happy to report that instantly her restless hands started playing with the multi-sensory elements on the blanket.

Alzheimers Busy Fidget Blanket
Alzheimer's Busy|Fidget Blanket
If you missed my Year In Review last year, you can catch it here 10 Most Popular Posts of 2015.

If you enjoyed my Year In Review, please share your favorites with a friend and/or save them on Pinterest.

Top 10 Posts of 2016

I'd love to hear which one was your favorite and why?

 Wood Slice Cocktail Coasters
Wood Slice Cocktail Coasters

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year


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