This week, Too Cute Tuesday had it’s final installment of ‘The Month of Giving…To Ourselves.’ As the author of this blog, I got to go last. And the party lasted until 10 last night, hence posting TCT on Wednesday!

Originally I had an entirely different plan for my free labor but then, the Universe intervened. A few days ago, my neighbors had put out a bookcase in their driveway.

“You should totally take it.” my friend Sean said. I hesitated, not wanting the first introduction to my neighbors being me as the cheap-o girl next door. I waited a few days and watched it sit out in the rain longingly. Then I marched myself over and was my usual direct self. I got the bookcase!

The next order of business was how to make it pretty. Enter TCT!

Sam sands like a pro... I'll let you figure out whether those suspended particles are sawdust from the task or glitter from our party.

While I didn't have the foresight to take a 'before' picture, take my word for it. This is a vast improvement!

I love the look of stain, I was too lazy to sand down the whole bookcase. I decided instead to sand and stain the large flat areas that would be easy to do (the tops of the shelves and the front wood panel) and to paint the rest with a matte black paint. And even better is I had the TCT crew to help with the monotony of it all.

Nothing makes me feel like a woman quite like using a powertool…Imagine how I felt getting to use two in one night!

Old wood shelf
Cute knob (purchased for $2 at J and B Atlantic in Ellsworth)
Matte black paint, 1 quart (though I could have gone with the pint looking back on it!)- $5
Stain (I got the kind with polyurethane already in it to save me that step)- $8
Tack cloth- $1
Sandpaper, one coarse sheet and one fine sheet- $1
Palm sander- borrowed
Cordless drill and drill bits- borrow if you need to
Paintbrushes (I used a handmade brush made by my newest client, the Paint Brush Corporation)_ $2-$30 (yup, I have a nice brush!)
Newspapers (for floor protection)
Painters tape- $4

Cocktail of the Night: Screwdrivers (if only because Nicole has orange juice and can’t find her actual screwdriver anywhere)

Of course, the moment I get up to paint, Christie moves in on my dog boyfriend Spaz. Mark my words, Christie, he's coming back to me...

1 shot vodka, fill glass with orange juice.

1. Make a visiting friend help you lug the damp, slightly disheveled bookcase into your house earlier in the week. Let it dry out.

2. Before everyone comes over, drill a hole in the part of the bookcase that opens to accommodate the new handle you just bought. Good, it fits!

3. The party arrives at Craft Central with the palm sander and Sue, Sam, and Christie. Mix screwdrivers or variations on the orange juice with alcohol theme.

4. Take turns sanding the shelves and have really loud conversation.

5. Wipe down surfaces. Wow there’s a lot of dust!

6. Put painters tape over surfaces to do a coat of black paint.

The staining (and painting touchups) will be done over the course of the next few days but at least TCT got the party started for me, saving me about three hours of work. I’ll post the after photos when it’s completely done.

A repurposed shelf saved from a landfill and saving me money? I feel so crafty!

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