Tag Archives: Stain

DIY: Kids’ Art Caddy



This is my favorite DIY project to date. 

I literally walked into our garage one night (just after the hubby got home from work) after a looooong day with the kids and desperately wanted to make something before they found me again.  Does this sound familiar?  Please say “yes.” :-)

You see, when I’m a bit stressed I create.

I saw some scrap pieces of wood, old dresser knobs and some glue and thought I could make something!

That “something” turned out to be this art caddy that my kids use almost everyday!



  • Furring strips (2.5″ wide, 1″ deep)
    • Cut to: 2 at 24.5″ long & 2 at 3″ long
  • Scrap wood (1.5″ wide, .75″ deep)
    • Cut to: 3 at 24.5″ long
  • Soup cans (this caddy can hold up to 8 soups cans that are 3″ in diameter)
  • Goo Gone
  • Gorilla Wood Glue
  • Clamps
  • Your Favorite Color Stain (I used Minwax’s Ebony)
  • Two Old Dresser Knobs
  • Hammer
  • Panelboard Nails
  • Clamps
  • Your Favorite Color Spray Paint


  1. Start by removing the labels off your empty, clean soup cans (if there is some remaining glue and/or label hanging on, then use your Goo Gone as directed)
  2. Spray paint your cans any color you’d like (I chose to spray the insides and outsides with Rustoleum’s Aqua) and let dry at least 24 hours.
  3. Take your 3 pieces of scrap wood cut to 24.5″ long and run a bead of Gorilla Wood Glue along the sides and secure them together with your clamps.  This will be the base of the caddy. I let it dry overnight.
  4. Secure your 2, 24.5″ furring strips to the base by using Gorilla glue and panelboard nails. Now you should have the base and two sides together.
  5. Now secure the 2, 3″ furring strips in between the two sides also using Gorilla glue and nails. You should now have something that looks like this (a long, narrow box without a top): short_side
    6.  Once completely dry, you can now stain your piece (be sure to wear rubber gloves!) I used Minwax in Ebony.
    7.  Once that is dry you can choose to sand it a bit for a shabby, rustic look which I did.
    8.  Now you’re ready to add the “handles.”  This is a huge reason why I love this thing….it’s portable!! The “handles” are actually some old knobs from my son’s IKEA dresser.  To secure these, drill a small hole in the center of each short side of the caddy and insert  the screw on the inside.  Next screw in the knob on the opposite side.

Fill each can with crayons, markers, glue, paint, paint brushes and let the imaginations go!! 

kids art caddy using soup cans,scrap wood,dresser knobs


*Note: They did find me and quickly took over…which I love! My future DIYers…


linking this crazy project up to:



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IKEA Hack: Transforming Expedit Shelves with paint sticks!

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This piece is actually two EXPEDIT Shelves screwed together.  We purchased them individually five years ago, but you can purchase the larger size now. We have used this piece as our media stand, console table and now it serves as our entry way table.

I LOVE IKEA furniture, especially what it costs!   However, after five years I thought it was time to give this piece a little face lift.

During one of my routine visits to the local hardware store, I had a vision when I saw the paint sticks sitting on the counter in the paint section.  “Those suckers are free and they are 100% wood!  Hmmm….I could stain them all different colors and slap them on top for a cool effect!” So, without further ado, here is my little tutorial for embellishing your IKEA furniture…..

Here are the supplies you will need:


  • Miter box
  • Paint sticks (for my project I picked up apx 80- I made 5-6 different trips to the hardware store…or you could just ask an employee if you could have this many at one time)
  • 4 small cans of your favorite stain (I used special walnut, ebony, golden oak & dark walnut)
  • Liquid nails
  • Small old paint brush (I swiped one from my kids’ stash)
  • Fine sandpaper (I used 320 grit)
  • Old rubber gloves
  • Poly (I prefer a satin finish- not too glossy, not too dull)
  1. First you want to wipe down the top of the piece with soap and water. Let it dry (apx. 30 mins)
  2. Next you want to start sawing off  the “handles”IMG_4192[1]IMG_4196[1]

3. You should have a pile of these after you’re done…


4.  Since I used 4 different stains, I made 4 piles and started to stain (be sure to wear those rubber gloves!)
They will dry pretty quick (I was impatient and started gluing them on within an hour after staining)
Just follow the drying time on the back of the can (if you’re the patient-type)


5.  Time to add the glue…grab one of the millions of paint brushes on hand in your kids’ play room and brush on a line of Liquid Nails on the back of each stick.


6.  Start in a corner of the shelf and place one stick at a time down the “front” edge.  This will give you a straight edge to work from.  Be sure to alternate your colors for a “random” look. When you’re done with one row, move to the next row and be sure to stagger your paint sticks (or however looks best to you).  My kids only “let” me do two rows at a time so this project has been ongoing for quite some time.  That doesn’t bother me though.  It’s how I roll!


7. Once you’re satisfied with the look and all the paint sticks are straight and butting up next to each other, time to place some heavy objects on them while they dry (at least overnight).  I used a bunch of cook books.  You don’t need too much pressure on these sticks, as you don’t want to break them, just enough weight to be sure they stick to your piece.

8. You will have some gaps on the ends where your paint sticks didn’t quite make the full length of your shelf.  That is why I picked up some extra paint sticks so I could use for the open gaps.  Just measure the length of the open space on your piece, cut your paint stick to length and repeat steps 4-7.

9.  Once the glue has set now it’s time to seal it with a nice poly.  I like using a clear satin finish, water-base poly.  The sheen is noticeable, but it’s not too glossy.  Be sure to follow the directions on the back of the can, but I skipped the sanding in between coats (I applied two coats of poly) because I did not want to ruin all that hard work!  I suppose if you wanted a more rustic, shabby look you could sand your sticks a bit.


10. Let your artwork dry for the suggested time and enjoy your customized IKEA Expedit shelves!

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sitting pretty


TRUST ME….you are going to get a TON of people stopping dead in their tracks to admire this piece!!!

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