Monday, August 15, 2011

Woven Dot Stripe Fate

The kitchen has this random corner nook. When we first moved into the house, we kept cardboard boxes & excess lumber in the nook. Then we replaced those oh so attractive things with a slightly better, but still unattractive microwave cart.

Ok, the cart wouldn't be so bad if it were painted white and had it's handles replaced. One of these days.

Even so, look at all that wasted space above the microwave! I mean, the nook would be perfect for a really tall, skinny china cabinet or secretary desk. Or maybe even cabinets and a small counter. But all of those things cost lots of money. So... what to do?

The answer, my friends, was particle board. I went to Lowes and asked them to cut up an 8 foot length of particle board for me. I really like the guys at Lowes. They are so helpful and tolerant even when I ask them to make 20 ridiculous cuts from one board. The whole board cost about $27 and I split it between two different projects. So, for the sake of this project, we'll say that I have spent  $13.50 so far.

I built some very basic shelves. Using a level, I measured and drew lines where I wanted the shelving to be. Then I screwed narrow strips of particle board into the studs and rested my shelf on top. It's very easy. Obviously... otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do it! And it makes for some really sturdy shelving.

Five shelves in all with just enough space to fit the microwave.

Then I grabbed a $9 tablecloth from Walmart.

And hung it using an old shower curtain rod I had lying around. Total cost? $22.50.

The green curtain stayed up for several months. It worked with the art I had in the kitchen, but I didn't love the solid color or the large gap between the rod and the ceiling.

What I really wanted for the shelving nook curtain was the same fabric that I used to make the kitchen's fixed roman shades. Sadly, that wasn't likely to happen since I made those shades out of my sister's old shower curtain and she had had that thing for years. From the tag I knew it was from Target, but after perusing their website for striped shower curtains, I concluded that the it was no more. Shucks!

Then, two weeks ago, when I was walking around Target with Joseph, I happened to swing through the bathroom aisle and, low and behold, there it was!! The exact same shower curtain!!!

I snatched it up and held it to my chest while darting my eyes back and forth in warning should any devious shopper decide to steal it from me that very second (you never know...). I would go kung fu on their butts in a heartbeat!

Unfortunately, it was $25 and I couldn't bring myself to buy it right then and there. I am nothing if not cheap. I had to at least find a coupon or something! Sheesh. The next day, while talking with my mom...

Mom: So, Caroline, what would you like for your birthday??
*enter lots of silly, enthusiastic gushing over a single piece of fabric*
Mom: OOOOO-kay. It's all yours.

Total Cost = $0

Clearly, it was meant to be. 

Ok... So it was a little short... What to do... Hmm. Ponder. Ponder.

I know! I'll fix up all the shelving so that it looks better!!

Wait? What? Caroline! FOCUS!

Sorry, people. This is how my mind works. I'm like the dog Kevin from the movie UP!

Normal conversation... blah blah blah... SQUIRREL!

So, the curtain got put on the back burner for an hour while Joseph and I fixed up the shelves together.

We dug out some plain white contact paper - acquired at Goodwill Outlet for maybe 15 cents.

And we used it to cover all of the shelves.

Then I cut lengths of white molding that I already owned and nailed them across the front of the shelves with a nail gun. I picked up a whole pack of white molding when I took all the free stuff from my Dad's garage a while back. So many white molding projects are in your future! ;)

Anyways... Joseph was responsible for picking stuff up off the floor and handing it to me to put back on the shelves whenever we finished covering a shelf.

Handing mommy 50+ cans of food? Best. Game. Ever. We counted & clapped while we went. He's such a big help!

Once we were done prettifying the shelves, it was time to return to "the curtain is too short" problem. Joseph pondered the whole problem out on his own.

"I know, Mom! Use one of the linens from upstairs!" Yes, of course he knows what a "linen" is. Duh. Genius child! I ran upstairs and grabbed an old, white fitted sheet with very dead elastic. I cut it in half, hemmed the edges, and sewed it to shower curtain.

It's done, but I think I need your help. I can't make up my mind about the smaller details.

Should the curtain be pooling on the floor? I was worried that the white would get dirty if I let it puddle, but I don't know? What do you think?

Is the bottom section of white too wide?

What about the top section. Should it be just as wide as the bottom? Or should it be thrown over the shower rod to cover up the shower curtain rings? And if it is thrown over the bar, should it be left loose and puffy or should it be pulled all the way over like this:

If it is pulled all the way over, you get a much more narrow strip of white at the top.

Or should the white at the top be the same as the bottom?

OR should I do something else???

Does the white look okay? I picked it because, well, it was free. But should I have gone with a color instead? Maybe I could spruce up the white with teal ribbon or ruffles or something. What do you think?

I just can't make up my mind.

Anyways, I also installed a little hook (free from my Dad's house) so that I could hook the curtain off to the side if need be.

Sometime this week I'm going to reorganize all of the cabinets and shelves in the kitchen. I already moved the microwave onto the kitchen counter (Stephen won't let me put it on top of the fridge because something about hot stuff and being short...blah blah). I keep automatically walking to the shelving nook to nuke stuff. I'll get over it eventually.

Here's the before & during:

And here's the $0 worth of changes after:

And please let me know what you think about those details. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated! Thanks guys!


  1. Love it! My personal opinion is for a smaller stripe of white at the top. I like it pulled all the way over so you cover the rings myself. Done this way, I don't think it's too much white or that the white doesn't look great. If you opt for more white at the top, I would definitely add a teal band or something.

    Also, I am SUPER bummed we missed the yard crawl. Colton has recently learned to bark like a dog and I had high hopes of he and Joseph spending the weekend barking at each other.

  2. You make me smile. First, you actually FOUND the fabric/curtain you were looking for and didn't buy it because it wasn't on sale. Crazy girl! That thing would have been in my cart. But that is why I'm likely going to end up in the poor house. As for the curtain, I like the white shorter at the top, but I think I'd try to get the curtain to sit closer to the floor. You could wash the curtain. I really like the white. It looks really cute and brightens up the corner.

    Great job with the shelves! You look so tough with your tool belt! And they look awesome in white.

  3. *whispers* your house looks like it could be in House Beautiful...


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