Label Addict

Ok i have to admit i went a little label crazy. pretty sure my husband thinks im nuts. So ive been working on our Vintage Trunk/coffee table/ filing cabinet and did a file overhaul. We just had so many papers everywhere, there was no organization to the chaos. But finally… ahhh… a breath of fresh air and organization. PLUS ITS PRETTY. Yes, i think my files are pretty. I’m actually excited to file away bills. I know, super weird. But come on… this is some organizational eye candy:

For those of you that  have a silhouette, i tend to print out 12 projects at a time and smush them all together… ok so this is only two projects but i added maybe 20 more words later on. The Recipes label is for my fancy new DIY Recipe box over here. Oh and incase you like the font i used for this project, its called ChunkFive and you can download it for free over here. When printing out text, i tend to get really chunky fonts especially if its smaller than three inches wide. After typing out the word, i turn down character spacing so that the letters are overlapping slightly and then i hit “weld” to make them one solid word. Makes it easier and  i like the look of it. So win win!

Then i went to Target and picked up some clear filing bins and these oh so cute filing folders. Initially I wanted to take the Vintage Trunk makeover and throw in some hanging file bars in there but when i saw these ins i thought it would be easier. Instead of hovering over a trunk all the time, if we need to organize or sort through personal stuff, we just grab the “personal” bin. Wham, bam, thank you organization.

Here you can see some of the categories. We have three main bins seperated into “Personal” “$$$” and “Other”. We basically threw everything onto the floor and started making piles. I should have taken a picture, it was pretty crazy. There were piles and sticky notes all over the place. Some things i didnt know what category it should have so i just started piling like items and thats how we came up with some random categories like “Non – profits” and “Church”. Those are items that usually arent in a filing cabinet but we had so much paperwork that it just made sense to make its own folder. So heres all the folders we have so far:

Personal:

  • Kenny Personal (includes passport, IDs, birth cert, etc)
  • Rachel Personal (same)
  • Health – Kenny (medical bills, insurance info)
  • Health – Rachel
  • Pet info  (Shots, medical bills, etc)
  • Sponsorships (info on our sponsor kids, organizations, etc)
  • Non-profits (info on the multiple non profits we adore)
$$$:
  • Utilities (electric bills, water bills, etc)
  • Employment Kenny (Resumes, transcripts, invoices)
  • Employment Rachel
  • $$$ (Bank info, student loans, credit cards)
  • Other Bills
  • Taxes (W2s, tax info)
Other:
  • Home (Rental info, insurance,etc)
  • Auto – BMW (maintenance, titles, insurance)
  • Auto – TC
  • Church (bible studies, classes, membership info)
  • Receipts (random receipts we might need)
  • Wedding (Receipts, vendor info, $ info)

Here they are all tucked into their new home.

The other great thing about the trunk is that it had a large shelf on top of the files. This is great to throw new mail, things to be sorted, remotes, etc. As far as the plan for the interior, if it was in better shape, I’d love to keep it as is – it has a great texture and a vintage feel to it, but it has sections missing, stains, etc. We could definitely throw a cork board in the lid which would cover up most of the stains, but I’ll definitely let you know when we decide!

Well there you go! Definitely “pretty” files, right? I definitely think so. And really, who can tell that this is a filing cabinet?!

-Rachel

DIY Vintage Trunk / Filing Cabinet

If you read my last post, you know that i hate filing cabinets and also that i decided to turn this vintage trunk into a filing cabinet and coffee table.

Step one was to wrap the leather handles. I waited until after i was done to decide what to do with those…

Here is what i used:

  • Paint – Olympic All in one paint + primer in semi gloss
  • Minwax Polycrylic protective finish
  • Small foam roller (get a high quality dense foam. trust me, its worth it)
  • Paint tray
  • Small angled brush
  • screwdriver

The trick is to do multiple THIN layers. Lay it on thick and you’ll get lots of bubbles and drips. Eww. So here it is after 2 thin layers.  You can see why you need an angled paintbrush… to get in all the nooks and crannies.

Ok so want to hear a funny story? Ok its not so funny for me, but now it is a little bit. So i tend to do all my woodworking on the porch but a lot of the projects i do in my living room. Including this sucker. Its just whatcha gotta do if you have a tiny apartment and no garage. Anyway, i had JUST finished the last layer of paint, id cleaned up the roller and brush, put the lid on the paint and stood back to admire the splendor. I wasnt sure if it would need another layer or any touch ups so i didnt seal the lid to the paint. Bad idea. It was sitting in the living room on the paint drop cloth you see above. Now it was Valentines day so I was eating dinner and enjoying the boob tube when Maggie came in from the porch. Now, shes a pretty clumsy dog. She actually just recently got rid of the “cone of shame” which was even worse… ok, heres a picture because its just too dang cute not to share:

And yes, that is a tree branch stuck in the cone. Awesome. Anyway, Kenny walked to the kitchen for seconds (because im the best cook there is) and he started freaking out and yelling for me to come over. Mags had knocked over the entire can of paint onto the paint drop cloth. Thankfully it wasnt directly onto the carpet… but the drop cloth is meant for drips. Not an entire quart. So i dive to the ground and lift the drop cloth off the ground trying to keep the paint from soaking into the carpet while kenny grabbed a plastic trashbag to put in between it and the carpet (good thinking, hubs!) He then took the trunk off, and wrapped up the drop cloth and threw it on the porch (getting paint all over the porch carpet and pavement). Here is my arm after i had it under the drop cloth trying to avoid getting paint all over the carpet. We then used up an entire roll of paper towel trying to get the paint off the carpet. Miraculously, the spot is actually behind my arm. Where you might ask? I dont know. We should be professional carpet cleaners. We got maybe 98% of it up! Crazy right? Moral of the story… A. Seal your paint when you’re done painting. B. Dont paint in your living room. C. Dont own a clumsy dog.

Now that i went off on a complete tangent, lets continue…

Here she is after a little sanding. I wanted a little more dimension and character so i sanded all the edges, made all the bolts shine a little bit. Some of the white underpaint showed up too which had a cool effect.

For sanding, its best to use a foam sanding block with a fine grain. I used a 220 grit block which just makes it just look more natural. If you use 60 grit for example it will just damage the piece and it will obviously be sanded instead of a more natural “over time” look.

Heres the edge detail. You can see the white under paint and the metal as well. Love that effect!

Once i was done sanding, I decided to go with the minwax finish because its going to be a coffee table. High traffic = lots of paint coming off if you dont. So i did. Threw on three layers on the top for good measure. I chose a semi gloss but you can choose a Satin or a high gloss. It starts off looking almost yellow but it dries completely clear.

Here she is open up with my new file organization. I’ll post soon all about what i did with the files. As far as the plan for the interior, if it was in better shape, I’d love to keep it as is – it has a great texture and a vintage feel to it, but it has sections missing, stains, etc. We could definitely throw a cork board in the lid which would cover up most of the stains, but I’ll definitely let you know when we decide! Theres also a trey that goes on the inside that can hold remote controls, still that needs to be filed, etc.

See? How cool is that white/brown linen texture?

And here she is as our fancy new coffee table! Have you ever seen a more beautiful filing cabinet? The other great thing is, if we decided to use something else as a filing cabinet later, we can jut use this to hold the 57 blankets that we have hiding behind the couch. Hey, i get cold very easily, ok?

I am definitely loving it, the grey really helps balance out all the other crazy colors in the room.

Horrible Ugly Filing Cabinets

First off, i have to vent for a sec. Why on earth are there two types of filing cabinets in the world? Metal, beige, ugly as hell… or 400 bucks? I scouered Craigslist, considered repainting an ugly metal one, considered sanding an ugly metal one, considered building a wooden one from scratch… this went on for maybe a month. I’ve been looking all over the webs to find an awesome filing cabinet for cheap. Let me tell you… its non existent. Since getting hitched three months ago, we’ve had the dreaded filing issue… we both used small accordion folders to hold our paperwork but it just wasnt cutting it. My office started to look like a place where paper goes to die. There was paper piling up on my desk, on the floor, in nooks and crannys. With tax time coming up, we started misplacing W-2s, losing papers, misplacing bills… it was just not going well. I just cant have something looking ugly like this in my pretty office:

Can we say eww? So I had the idea to just bite the bullet and buy an ikea solid wood cabinet and hack it into a filing cabinet. Until i remembered seeing this on pinterest:

This was from the oh so creative Martha Steward and her “office in a chest”. I love this idea because its not a huge metal eyesore in the middle of your living room. Also there is a TON of space… i dont think we would ever be able to fill all of that with our paperwork. It also gives you the ability to have a trey for organization and the pinboard idea is pretty convenient as well.

But that involved buying a large ottoman. Not really a money saver. Until i saw this picture…

Holy cow… i have that EXACT trunk in storage! I didnt even think about it… but i stumbled across Jenna Sue’s design blog and was super excited. I bought the trunk a year ago from goodwill for maybe 10 bucks. I had great aspirations for that sucker but just never got around to it.

So here she is… aint she a beaute? Nope. Not yet. But she will be!

Its actually on its second coat of paint so i should be able to post before and afters soon! A vintage trunk / Filing cabinet is underway! Woot!