Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pocket Change on Display and a Sticky Solution to an Ugly File Cabinet

I'm almost entirely moved in, save for a few larger things (couch, ski box, cruiser bike) that I'll eventually get here. And by moved in I mean that the tubs and boxes that were in the storage unit and my parents barn are now in various places in the house. Mostly the man-cave. I haven't done much painting yet, even though I was able to move in at the beginning of September, before the closing (this week!). Of course, when I do get around to painting I'll need to move some furniture around, but since I haven't settled on too many colors yet, nor bought more than a gallon of the few colors I have decided on, I'm not too worried. Eventually there will be before and after pictures of the rooms, but for now, I'm still picking away at the little projects, because I need to feel like I've accomplished something. Even if it takes less than 10 minutes. It's still finishing it, right?


Pocket Change

In the process of unpacking and sorting, I'm finding a lot of treasures that have been tucked away for a number of years, and a good amount of things that are destined for new homes. The yard sale/donation pile grows by the day, and I'm thinking I might start sending random things to friends who I think would appreciate them. If you're up for a free surprise, let me know! One treasure I came across the other day was an old cardboard cigar box, which I know I've had since I was probably 9 or 10, that has a bunch of coins from other countries, as well as some paper money. Some of it came from trips abroad that I've taken (Italy, Germany, Ireland) and some of it is from others who have traveled, like my Grandmother, or my Grandad. I suppose at some point I could have taken all the money into the bank and exchanged it, but a lot of the coins are neat, and I love the colors and artwork on the paper bills.
some coins in a box.
also known as art that hides the wireless router.

I decided I wanted do have them out on display, and as much as I love the "mason-jar-filled-with-____" trend, I have enough of those full of shells and beach glass already. So instead, I went the route of a shadow-box. I found a 5 x 5 frame that was about an inch deep and the way the mats were cut and displayed, it gave the frame a shadow-box feel. The paper bills were "artfully arranged" (that's key crafting terminology) behind a mat towards the back of the frame, and the coins were settled in the front against the glass (plastic). Voila!
I'm trying to get better about putting things out on display rather than tucking them away in boxes, never to be seen. Inevitably things need to get stored, but when I can, I am finding ways to incorporate the keepsakes I've acquired over the years into my "decorating." I think this is a good solution!


A Sticky Solution

In the process of setting up my craft room/office/guest room (guest croffice), I acquired a seasoned (. . . secondhand. . . ) file cabinet that Dad had stored in the barn at their house. It's not the prettiest thing in the world, and a little rusty in a few spots, but the drawers work, and that's what really matters, right?
it's seen better days, but the drawers know how to
do the drawer thing, so we're good to go
To hide its rusty blemishes (and the dried-on masking tape) I updated the exterior by covering it with "granite" contact paper. One role covered this two-drawer, 18"-deep file cabinet with about 4" to spare. Not sure what I'll do with the extra granite contact paper, but we'll find a use.

First, I cut a piece the length of the front, with an inch or so of overlap on the top of the cabinet. There was a natural overlap on each side, since the contact paper is wider than the cabinet. I carefully (meticulously) cut each drawer-face panel, down to the handles and the lock. This wasn't hard, but I did work slowly, and first ran my thumb into all the crevices I would be cutting so that I had an indent to follow, then used an exacto knife and cut slowly. Very slowly.
zoe-approved cutting.
she's pouting because she can't help. it's hard to be a dog.
Then came the challenge of affixing the contact paper to the cabinet. As anyone who has embarked in the world of contact-papering anything, it's not easy. It's even less easy when you've decided to cut shapes out to accommodate the surface you are covering. There was some cursing, but I only needed to reposition the drawers once or twice. The more challenging part was covering the sides and top, which I attempted in one fell-swoop, mostly because I was challenging myself to use just one piece rather than one piece per side - fewer seams that way, although with the granite pattern, it's nearly impossible to see the seams. That process actually took longer than drawer fronts and I had to reposition the starting end several times until it was going on (mostly) straight. All told the project took about 45 minutes (or about the length of one episode of "Hart of Dixie" on
ta-da! like new!
It's so handsome looking, and I was so excited to finish it that I immediately moved it into the guest croffice and spent the next several hours sorting through stuff and filing things. I may have forgotten to get some grading done. But, at least 4.5 square feet of my life are now organized!
all tucked in, and the perfect stand
for the printer


  1. Hey Meg-- I love the pocket change shadow box! It never occurred to me to display money from OTHER people's trips. I have some from my own, but even more from parents' and grandparents' trips. Thanks for the idea. :) --Kris

    1. Thanks, Kris! I didn't have nearly enough to do a coffee table or side table, which is another idea I threw around (resin filled, or shadow-box style), but I figured a small-ish frame would work perfectly.