Well, Makeover Monday is a day late, but it was so fun that I couldn't hold the post for another week...so we'll consider it a treat for Tuesday (:
I love a good makeover and adore this idea from Better Homes and Gardens on transforming a mudroom for $324 - "An organized catchall that functions for the entire family." But in usual frugal fashion, I'm already "making over" this makeover in my mind (: I'm thrifty by nature and prefer to do something myself rather than purchase premade items. I wanted to see if it were possible to indeed bring in that same look for less.
In reading the article further, $324 doesn't really cover all of the items referenced in their redo. The makeover only prices out 4 things - a set of bookcases, a set of wall files, a wall cabinet/bench and a small pendant light which adds up to $324. Here's the price list...
- 2 Billy bookcases from IKEA - $34.99 each (actually $60 each)
- 2 Wall files $34.99 each
- 1 Small pendant light - $91
- 1 Wall cabinet from Lowe's - $93
The bookcases from IKEA are now actually $60 each which automatically increases that lovely $324 to $374. Call me unobservant, but I didn't even notice the wall files by the door or pendant light overhead, yet they were included in the cost list. I guess my excitement was so focused on the beauty of the project that I totally missed those decorative touches (:
What is missing from the list are the architectural features that turn those individual pieces into one cohesive unit....
~ beadboard and shelf with hooks between the bookcases
~ seating shelf on top of the wall cabinet that actually turns the cabinet into a bench
$374 for a couple of bookcases, an almost finished bench, some wall files and a pendant light seemed to be a bit much. By using a little creativity and elbow grease instead of premade elements, here's what I came up with...
- 2 sheets of 4' x 8' MDF - $19 each
- 1 unpainted wall cabinet - $58
- 4 lattice molding strips in 8' length - $14.50
- 4 double hooks - $6.50
- 2 plastic office pockets - $20
- 1 pack of 12 screw hooks - $2.50
- 1 round mirror - $25
- 2 storage baskets for the top of bookcases - $26
- 1 pendant light kit - $15
- 1 small barrel shade - $10
- 2 kitchen cabinet knobs - $2.00
- 1 gallon of semi-gloss white paint and primer in one - $23
The grand total, including paint, is just a tad over $240. Not a bad reduction from that original $374 tag, plus you're getting items that weren't even on the original list. Prices always vary upon location, but this is a simple guide to get you started. If you already have some of these elements on hand, the cost would be even less!
Bookcases are a simple construct from two 4'x8' sheets of MDF. Cut one sheet into (4) 1'x8' pieces (these will serve as the sides for the bookcases) and then from the other sheet, cut shelves 1' deep (to match the side pieces) and a width to suit your needs. If you're liking the narrow IKEA Billy bookcase pictured in the makeover, then each shelf would be 1'deep by approximately 16 inches wide. Depending on the width you choose, you should have quite a bit of MDF leftover from that second sheet.
TIP 1: If you don't have a jigsaw or circular saw, your local hardware store can do the cutting for you. Lowe's has always does this for us at no cost, but some hardware stores might charge per cut. Make sure to call ahead and see if there is a cost for the service. Planning will prevent sticker shock during check out (:
TIP 2: Once I get to the store, with my tape measure and diagram in tow, I draw the cut lines onto the MDF. They always find this amusing, but the cuts are perfect every time (:
From the extra MDF, cut two pieces to create the simple shelf shown in the photo above. Add double hooks for coats and outdoor gear and attach to the wall. Creating the beadboard feature below the shelf is a simple trick of using lattice molding strips. You could buy beadboard wall board, but lattice strips are much more economical.
For this project you should only need four 8' strips. Cut each strip in half to create 4' long pieces and space them on the wall six inches apart. Of course you might need more or less depending on your style preference. You're just trying to achieve the board and batten look You can either attach the strips with finishing nails or glue.
Instead of the $93 white wall cabinet, we found the same model in an unfinished state at our local Lowe's for $58. Leftover MDF will provide the needed "seat." Cut to desired width and depth and attach on top. If you'd like to save that $58 and there's enough MDF, you could make a simple box bench in place of the wall cabinet.
Finish things off with a pair of knobs. We found a set for $2.00, but if you have the extra hardware from previous projects, give them a facelift by applying a hammered iron finish for additional savings.
Hanging wall files by the door is such a good idea! It's perfect for mail or bits and pieces that you don't want to forget as you head out the door (: For our version, we decided to create a Pocket Plaque by taking two plastic organizing pockets and mounting them on a piece of...you guessed it...leftover MDF! Each pocket costs around $10 (shipping included) and a coat of white paint will create the illusion that the individual items are all one piece. Customize by installing as many pockets as you need, glue on trim around the edge of the board to create a frame (can use leftover lattice strips for this), apply a few labels and voilà! Instant organization.
We also like the added touch of a few screw hooks on the bottom of your Pocket Plaque to hang keys, dog leashes, etc. If you're really frugal and prefer a no-cost option, here's a great Ballard Designs inspired wall pocket organizer made by Nike from Thrive.
A pendant light kit paired with a barrel shade makes a thrifty substitution for the suggested $91 pendant light. Of course the artistic side of you could get even more resourceful by using items already on hand, but this is a simple example if you don't have the supplies. The cost conversion? $25! We were able to find a light kit at our local hardware store for $10 which locally gives us the cost of $20.
Taylor from Living in the Woods created a similar pendant light and Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick completed two of these projects....one for her office and the other in her kitchen.
cute baskets to perch atop the bookcases for $13 each. Add in your own lovelies and it's the perfect spot to keep your home running efficiently.
I'm by no means giving a step-by-step construction guide for making each piece, but this just shows how creativity and elbow grease can save you some green if you're willing to build things yourself (: Do you have any frugal redo's in the making? What are some tips you've found to be helpful? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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