DIY Wine Crate Baskets

Ever since my bridal shower almost two years ago, I've been dying to transform the wine crates used in the table centerpieces into something functional for the house. I considered turning them into shelving, but there isn't anywhere in the bungalow I'd like to keep them, so I decided to use them as storage baskets instead.

I headed to Home Depot to pick up some thick rope to use for the handles and waited for a warm, sunny day when I could head out and stain them. In the meantime, I sanded them down and made use of my brand new sander - so fun!

This is what the wine crates looked like before:

When the sunny day finally came, I grabbed some stain at my local hardware store. I decided on Minwax Wood Finish in Special Walnut because I wanted a dark brown stain without much red in it. Plus I liked that it was "special" walnut!

I started by staining the bottom first in case I didn't end up liking the color (I used a cheap ikea paint brush, probably not the right utensil, but it worked). Then I stained the 4 sides and finally the inside. Jon helped a little bit. He likes to jump on and help with my projects after I've started them.

I waited 5-15 mins and then wiped the sides down, just as the directions said. Admittedly I did not read the directions right away, so the stain did sit for a little longer in some spots, but I made sure to scrub it down with a rag to get any sticky excess stain off.

It was a gorgeous day when I did the staining so I left the crates in the sun to dry for a few hours. Then I grabbed Jon and had him drill the holes for the rope handles. The rope was 3/8" thick and so was the drill bit we used.

To get the measurements for the drill holes I just eyeballed it first to decide the best position. I didn't want them exactly centered from top to bottom, just a smidge higher than the middle. So we measured 3" down from the top and 4" from each side, then consulted the level just to be sure before drilling.

Putting the rope in was little snug, but it worked. I made knots on the insides of the crates so the handles would stay.

Here are some more photos of the finished crates. I LOVE how they turned out!

My attempt at being artistic in my photography...

Close up of the rope handles...

The wood was a little different between the two crates, which I think adds some interest to both pieces...

And finally, on display in our family room...

What do you think? Have you transformed your own set of wine crates? How did you do it?



MarieBelle Frangelico Truffles & Guinness

Raise your hand if you love chocolate...ok, it's hard to write a blog post with one hand! My friends came to visit The Green Bungalow over St. Patty's weekend and they brought me a delicious housewarming gift: MarieBelle Frangelico Truffles! I hadn't heard of them, but was eager to rip open the adorable red & blue box.

I am a HUGE fan of truffles. I also happen to LOVE hazelnut chocolate. So when my friend presented me with this cute little box of four truffles I was excited to try them. I have to admit though, I kinda didn't want to unwrap them; the packaging was too cute! And it didn't end there, look at this colorful pattern painted on top!

But when my friend said, "let's try them with a Guinness." I gave her a look. Guinness? Beer and chocolate? That was not my idea of a good pairing. I've heard of chocolate and wine pairings and have been to a tasting that did just this, but have never thought about pairing chocolate and beer. Then again, it was St. Patrick's Day. I'll try pretty much anything, and I never say no to alcohol, so I wasn't against giving it a shot.

It was a surprisingly yummy combination! The Frangelico Truffles have a thin crisp chocolate shell and a delicious, smooth, nutty interior. The Guinness really complimented the truffles too. Neither one overpowered the other. The taste was clean and refreshing. What I really like about these truffles too is that they aren't real heavy. Some chocolate just weighs you down...good excuse to eat more than one! ;-)

I've been slowly enjoying the extra box that was left behind. The truffles would make a fabulous gift for any occasion. They also come with a recipe for a Frangelico Truffle cocktail. I might pick up a bottle and give one a shake this weekend. You can pick up a gift box at MarieBelle in Soho, NY, or online. Don't forget to grab a box for yourself!



In Love with Luggage Shelves

Did anyone see this incredibly clever idea of using old luggage as shelving?!! It originally popped up on apartment therapy, and of course made it's way to pinterest, where I discovered it. Anyway, how freakin' cool is this? I am obsessed with the idea and am now going to be on the hunt for old luggage to recreate this in my office. Anyone have any they want to donate?

Just thought it was too cute not to share! Stay tuned for updates on my pantry stencil (I really need to finish this before J kills me!), wine crates and pinwheels!!

What have you stumbled upon recently that you can't wait to recreate yourself? Have you been taking advantage of the gorgeous weather to get some projects done?



Spring has Sprung

It's officially Spring (at least I'm hoping this gorgeous weather is here to stay). I had friends visiting from NJ this weekend and we had so much fun! We definitely took advantage of the beautiful weather all weekend with walks and al fresco dining - I even got a little color. These photos summarize the weekend:




I also started a project that's been on my list - adding stain and rope handles to the wine crates from my bridal shower. I began the process of sanding them down - got to finally use my new hand sander! I plan to store blankets in the crates so I need them to be nice and smooth so they don't pull the knit.

However, the weather was just too nice so my little helper and I took advantage of it by laying out in the sun, hence started, but not finished. In this pic you can also see some more projects waiting to be completed - reseeding the lawn & attempting to prettify our chain link fence!

This week is supposed to be gorgeous so I'm planning to create my own yarn ball chandeliers for the guest room! Hopefully I'll have a progress update for you soon.

And yes, much to Jon's dismay, I still have not finished the pantry stencil project. I have gotten to day three, but haven't blogged about it, so there has been slightly more progress than I've already told you of. Maybe the warm weather and longer daylight will motivate me to finally finish it off. Wish me luck!

How did you spend this gorgeous weekend? Hope you were able to take advantage!



New Beauties Have Arrived at the Green Bungalow!

Our sectional is here!!! it is so comfortable and best of all J & I no longer have to fight over couch space! There’s enough room for both of us to fully spread out without touching one another. That sounds awful for some-what-newlyweds, but sometimes you just need your personal space, especially when watching Sons of Anarchy or trying to fall asleep when football’s on ;-)

So now the mission to complete the family room is on! I’m having friends visit this weekend - which I’m SO looking forward to - so I’d like to at least get some photos and art up on the walls before they arrive. Hopefully I accomplish this!

In the meantime, I picked up this beauty at my second home, HomeGoods this weekend.

I was crushing on this version from west elm, but not loving the price tag. 

The HomeGoods ceramic side table was a fraction of west elm’s price, and I actually like it better. Of course I walked away with a few other things. Plus we finally got a grill!! With the unseasonable weather we’ve been having, we should’ve picked one up sooner. We christened it Sunday with burgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken. Bring on summer!

What did you buy or make this weekend? Anyone else fire up the grill?



3 of My Favorite Things: Travel, Food & Adventure

There’s a lot of trashy reality TV out there and although I admit I am victim to some of it, this new show from Bravo is something I don’t think any of us travelers want to miss. I, for one cannot wait! I'm psyched for Around the World in 80 Plates – think Amazing Race meets Top Chef –Bravo TV is merging food, travel, culture and adventure to keep viewers engaged and hungry for more, pun intended.

Cat Cora and Curtis Stone will host as twelve contestants travel through China, England, France, Italy, Spain and beyond, learn local customs, culture and cuisine, then face-off in various culinary challenges, competing for the grand prize of $150,000. This sounds like the perfect program for travelers with an appetite for culinary diversity and a thirst for adventure! Set your DVR’s people, the show premieres Wednesday, May 9th at 10pm.

You can learn more about Around the World in 80 Plates on the show's website.

Who will be tuning in? I know I'll be drooling, err, I mean watching!



What I Pinned: Pinterest February 2012

Here are some of my February Faves from Pinterest...follow my boards & you can see them all. Pretty sweet deal ;-)

From top; left to right:

1. Cheesy Pull Apart Bread. This bread looks so delicious and you could make it in so many different ways. What can I say, I'm a sucker for cheese & carbs!

2. Sleep Slim Smoothie. This one got a ton of repins, I haven't tried it yet, but I've been on a smoothie kick for a while and this one sounds delicious and nutritious. I'll keep you posted.

3. Pantry Stencil. This pin was my original inspiration for the crazy pantry stencil project I'm currently working on.

4. Mirrored Tablescape. How gorgeous is this mirrored table with the flowers and candles? Clearly this is for a wedding, but I pinned it as an idea for an entryway table. Not sure which direction I'm going yet.

5. Pallet Coffee Table DIY. I love the look of this coffee table constructed from pallets. I think it would be so fun & easy to make!

6. Travel Quote. I LOVE to travel and think this quote says it all.

7. Travel Memory Art. Love this idea for preserving your travel memories & displaying them on your walls. This is a great way to use up those ticket stubs, maps and other souvenirs you pick up on your travels and don't want to throw away when you return home.

8. Refinished Dresser. Pinned this for inspiration on transforming my old dresser.

9. Memory Jar. Cool idea - write down everything that makes you smile this year and save it in a jar. On NYE reflect on the happy memories from the previous year.

10. Decorate your front door for Spring. Try something different from the traditional spring wreath.

Hope you liked my February pins! If you did, follow my boards!


What Pinterest projects did you work on this month? Anything fun I should know about. Leave a link to your boards so I can follow you!