DIY Crate Locker Project Plans

TipsyOldHouse_DIY Crate Lockers

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Since we moved into our house about a year ago, I have been plagued by what to do about the corner of our kitchen that is our “outerwear dumping ground.”

With two adults and three children, we have a lot of stuff – coats, hats, boots, shoes, galoshes, purses, you name it. And since we typically use our garage as our main entrance, the coat closet located by our front door is not exactly convenient, at least for storing the kids’ things. So, keeping everything shoved into this one small corner of our kitchen has been the imperfect solution up until recently.


Perusing inspiration plans online has been challenging because this corner is not very big – each wall is about 33″ wide, which does not leave a lot of room. Then one afternoon I came across this post for crate locker cubbies on That’s My Letter and I was smitten! (Seriously, click the link and you’ll be just as obsessed!). With a few modifications, I knew that this would be the solution I was looking for to help me manage the chaos.

I set about hunting down the perfect crates – tall and not too wide, but deep enough to provide some real storage. I ended up finding crates that were 27″ long, 12.5″ wide, and 9.5″ deep. Home Depot has a great deal for them as a two-pack. These aren’t the highest quality of crates (the slats are pretty flimsy and the wood is rough), but for my purposes these worked out just fine, especially since I got four of them for around $75.

This project is perfect for any beginner because you’re technically not building anything – just assembling and painting!

Supplies needed:


Now that I had my crates, turning them into “lockers” was incredibly simple! I used wood glue to attach the crates to each other top to bottom and at the sides, with some Quick Grips (and any other clips I could find in my kitchen!) to keep the sides together until the glue dried.

I also used 1.25″ brad nails with my Ryobi Air Strike brad nailer where the crate tops/bottoms were attached to each other, to provide extra support (you could also use screws or regular nails). The slatted sides are too thin for the brad nails, so I simply made sure to glue them well.


After the glue was fully dried, I took a 1×12 from my scrap pile, cut it down so that it was about 4″ longer than the crates, and attached it to the top of the crates using wood glue and 1.25″ brad nails. If you don’t have a saw at home, you could easily get a 1×12 cut down at a hardware store, or just skip adding the board.

To finish it off, I painted it grey using Rustoleum’s Chalked Paint (a mix of Linen White and Charcoal), and stained the top board using my homemade stain.


On the sides where the two crates are joined (and therefore, the thickest/strongest spot), I added hooks for hanging coats and backpacks.


I still need to add a topcoat of polycrylic to the lockers, especially where wet shoes and boots will be placed, but otherwise, it is complete!

And to help minimize the overall clutter in this corner even more, I raised the coat rack that my husband and I use to make sure the kids have easy access to their lockers. I am also limiting him and I to one coat each on the rack, with the rest of our coats and all of our shoes and boots to be kept in the (inconveniently placed) coat closet by the front door.


This was such an easy, inexpensive project for clearing up the kids’ outerwear clutter, and I simply love that the kids each get ownership over their own little “lockers” and will hopefully help us to keep things organized over the winter!

As a bonus, we now have a set place to keep the endless amount of papers that get sent home from school, and have some wall space above the lockers to add even more organization.



Homemade Furniture Stain & Console Table Reveal

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I’m so thrilled to share that my console table is built, stained, and in its new home in my living room! After much deliberation on what console table plans to use, I ended up making the $25 Console Table from Sawdust to Sequins.

Check it out!


This was such an easy plan! I knocked it out in a couple of hours. This would be a fantastic beginner’s project if you’re just getting started building, and also if you’re starting to explore using a Kreg Jig and pocket holes.


I did make some modifications to the original plan. My local Home Depot only sells 2×4’s in 8′ lengths, which are just a little too long for me to fit in my small SUV. Since I was in a hurry to get home so that I could start building, I wasn’t in the mood to get the 2×4’s cut down in the store. Instead, I purchased 1×4’s, which means my table is a little less chunky than the original plans.

I also ended up using two 1×8’s for the table top instead of three 1×6’s because I had the 1×8’s leftover from a different project.

In addition to the lumber, the tools I used were:

I ran to my nearest Home Depot around 6:30pm one evening, picked up lumber, came home to build, and was done with the table around 9:30pm! Seriously, such a quick and easy project.

And the overall effect on the room? I think this photo says it all! There’s about 2 feet between the back of the sofa and the console table. The table helps anchor the room and makes sense of the that awkward space behind the sofa. And the best part? Adding in that lamp on the table helps immensely with lighting the room in the evenings!


What I’m most excited to share is how i finished the table! Over the past year I’ve gotten a little bit obsessed with homemade stain. I love the look of stain, but I don’t love the fumes. The mess. And the fear that I’m going to set something on fire by not disposing of rags/paper towels correctly after I’m done using stain (am I paranoid? Probably. I embrace that paranoia!).

But I don’t necessarily want to paint every piece of furniture I make. So I started exploring different homemade stain recipes and have happily settled on a homemade stain that I love (and yes – the coffee table in the photo above is also finished with that same homemade stain!).


As you can see from the image above, the wood nicely darkens up after just two coats. And I love that I can just make up a batch of stain when I want it, and keep it in a mason jar.


The recipe for the stain is super simple and made from ingredients I have around the house:

  • Ground coffee
  • Steel wool
  • White vinegar

I put about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee in a pint-sized mason jar, add in a steel wool pad, and pour in white vinegar until the steel wool is covered and leave it for about 18-24 hours. When I’m ready to use it, it remove the steel wool, use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the coffee grounds, and then it’s ready to go.

The first coat tends to look really splotchy and a rather unappealing color, which the first time around made me feel like I’d made a huge mistake. But after about 15 minutes I add another coat and the overall color starts to improve. After another 15-20 minutes I’ll touch up any spots that haven’t covered well, and then I leave it be.

By the next day, the color has darkened up a bit more to a nice medium brown with gray undertones. Such an easy process, with the only downside being your house might smell just a bit like sauerkraut while you’re staining because of all of the vinegar. That’s a downside I can handle!

When I’m done, I prefer to keep the furniture with more of a matte finish, so if anything, I’ll put on a coat of Rustoleum’s Ultra Matte Topcoat one to two days after I’ve finished staining the piece.

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy building and finish projects, and getting this table completed was such a fun way to improve my living room last week! And all for under $50.

Have you experimented with any homemade stain recipes? Do share!


Console Tables from Target for Under $120


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Last week I shared some of the plans I’ve been eyeing for consoles tables! I’m so excited to head out and by lumber this evening to get started on a table (which table is still to be determined – there are so many great ones to choose from!).

But for those of you not ready to get building, there are so really awesome console table options out there. I was particularly impressed with the selection I found at Target – great farmhouse style at awesome prices! Here are some of my favorites, all under $120!

Convenience Concepts Oxford Console Table Gray Medium Convenience Concepts • $63.99
Threshold Owings Console Table with 2 Shelves • $90.99
Threshold Windham Console Table • $119.99
Threshold Wheaton Trestle Base Console Table • $83.99

So many great console table options that won’t break the bank, whether you’re up for building or buying!

I’m psyched to get started on my table tonight, I just need to hurry up and make a decision on exactly what table I want to build!

Just how tipsy is it?

tipsy [tip-see]: tipping, unsteady, or tilted, as if from intoxication.

I thought long and hard about what to name this blog, and even had a couple of false starts before I settled on “Tipsy Old House.” After going around and around in circles, the name was staring me in the face.


Readers, meet my tipsy old house.


And while my house doesn’t get tispy from intoxication, I certainly do. Sometimes via rosé from a can.


Our home was built sometime between 1848 (when the city says it was built) and 1872 (the oldest known resident I can confirm). At that age, whether it be 1848 or 1872, our home is somewhat of a grumpy old man.

In just a year we’ve tackled plumbing problems (who doesn’t love a little water pouring out of the ceiling?), fought off the mice that were easily entering the many “holes” in our old home, and creatively worked around the issues that come with a house being “tipsy.” You know, uneven floors. Resigning ourselves to interior doors cut at all kinds of crazy angles to account for slanted floors. Never having a single wall/doorframe/corner be square.

Plumbing problems are the worst!

What we don’t know at the moment is if the tipsiness that personifies our home is a problem or if it’s just part of the charm. When we purchased the home we opted only to do a basic home inspection, which revealed a lot of unknowns. What we should have done is hired a civil engineer to do some additional inspecting around the home to give us a better sense of what we were up against.

But we didn’t. We were in (house) love.

What we do know is that the previous owners had the home for roughly 12 years, and they did not notice any additional “shifting.” The bedroom doors that are all cut at weird angles were apparently like that the entire time they lived there, which tells me that the floors have likely not done any additional sloping in recent years.

Over the past year I’ve watched each and every little crack in the drywall. All of them with the exception of two have stayed the same and seem to just be a part of the home. There are two that are questionable and I keep a close eye on them. Bit by bit they get a little bit longer, but not necessarily any wider.

The working theory is that it is what it is – a 150+ year home that has had a handful of additions over the years (which is how we ended up with 3 full bathrooms and an attached 2-car garage in such an old home), while only having a minimal amount of maintenance.

However, the plan is to face reality and get a civil engineer out next spring and really figure out what the full story is with our home from a structural standpoint, so I know exactly what I need to be worrying about and what I can ignore. Because I tend to worry. A lot.

But despite all of the worry, I’ve slowly come to love the my tipsy old house for what it is. It’s settled and comfortable, and it’s been standing for almost as long (or potentially even longer) as the city around it has been in existence. I remind myself that if it hasn’t fallen down yet, it likely won’t, and each and every project that I invest myself in is a wonderful investment in the health and happiness of the home.


So here’s to the tipsy old house, which I will lovingly clean, paint, and probably caulk throughout the weekend, as I seem to do every weekend without fail.

Happy Friday!

Roud Up of DIY Farmhouse Console Tables

I’ve been itching lately to build some furniture, and I’ve finally narrowed in on a perfect project – a farmhouse-style console table for my living room.

I tend to rearrange rooms over and over again until I land on the perfect set up (seriously – I’ve moved our piano by myself 3 or 4 times in the past 6 months!), and now that our living room is hopefully settled, I have the perfect space for a console table. Adding this table will also solve another problem in the room: lighting! We desperately need a lamp in that back corner and nothing has seemed right. This table will be the perfect place for a lamp.

To test out the look in the space, I moved the book rack console table from my kitchen (built from awesome Rogue Engineer plans). Don’t mind the little feet that decided to photo bomb this shot!


My only real requirements of this project are:

  • Farmhouse style
  • Ability to use as much wood from my scrap pile as possible (1×3’s, 1×6’s, and 2x2s)
  • A quick and straightforward build

I’ve been busy pinning away possible console table build plans, and have settled on some favorites. Clearly the letter “x” is a popular theme throughout console tables right now!

Double X Console Table | plans by Hertoolbelt for Remodelaholic
$25 Console Table | plans by Sawdust to Sequins
Diagonal Base Farmhouse Console Table | plans by Shanty2Chic
$50 DIY Console Table | Plans by Sawdust Girl
Rustic X Console |plans by Ana White

These are some of my favorites, but there are so many awesome console table plans out there! What plans have grabbed your attention lately?

Farmhouse Style Galvanized Lights For Under $100!


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In the past year, I have replaced every single light in our house except for two rooms (one of which is the master bedroom light, because of course our room always comes last). I’ve even replaced all of the exterior lighting. I went from not really caring about lighting being completely obsessed.

In the course of my research, I am pretty sure I’ve looked at every single light fixture within the categories of “farmhouse,” “schoolhouse,” “barn,” and “rustic.” Needless to say I’ve had a bit of lighting fatigue, but I also feel incredibly knowledgeable on the lighting front.

Over the course of my hours of lighting research, one style I fell in love with were galvanized lights. I have some spaces where I didn’t want to do a nickel finish but I needed to keep the finish on the light fixtures light in order to keep the space bright. And with white ceilings, well, white light fixtures don’t make sense.

The best option has been light fixtures with galvanized metal, which happen to provide a fantastic farmhouse feel without being too over-the-top.

Here is a round up of my favorite galvanized light fixtures on Amazon, all for under $100.

Urban Barn 10 1/4″ Wide Galvanized Ceiling Light | $49

This Urban Barn galvanized light, to me, just screams farmhouse style and at an amazing price! I actually just had this installed in our downstairs bathroom (I can’t wait to share updates on that bathroom!) and it looks amazing in person.

Urban Barn 11 1/4″ High Galvanized Indoor-Outdoor Wall Light | $49.99

This goose neck light by Urban Barn is the quintessential farmhouse style light and is super trendy right now. I have different versions of this light in white and galvanized, and I love it. Is works everywhere, from above bathroom mirrors to above exterior doorways.

Design House Semi Flush Mount Ceiling Light | $20

For a super budget friendly option, this semi flush mount light by Design House has great style for a really fantastic price tag ($20!!).


Franklin Park 8 1/2″ Wide Galvanized Outdoor Ceiling Light | $99

For a more industrial feel, this Franklin Park light is a great option.

Design House Kimball 3 Light Vanity Light | $55

Vanity lighting is always so challenging, and this light by Design House is nice and simple.

I hope you’ve been inspired to integrate some galvanized lighting into your house – happy light shopping!

One Year In The Tipsy Old House

Exactly one year ago we closed on the Tipsy Old House.


While I knew this house was going to be a project, I never realized that the house would truly feel like a needy fourth child (the irony is also not lost on me that this is also the fourth home we have owned!).

In just one year we have:

  • Had two bathrooms fully renovated
  • Replaced the siding, roof, and gutters
  • Removed the rooftop deck on top of the garage (and had a lot of rotting wood replaced)
  • Had the entire interior painted
  • Painted the kitchen cabinets
  • Replaced all of the interior light fixtures except for two fixtures and a few ceiling fans
  • Had all of the window screens replaced (there were holes in every. single. screen.)
  • Purchased a new oven and dishwasher
  • Purchased a new washer and dryer

Those are all of the big ticket projects. I’ve done so many little projects over time, including covering the main floor bathroom’s floor with vinyl tiles, installing faux built-ins, building and installing a faux fireplace, painting interior doors, caulking endless baseboards, and rearranging the living room about 7 times before (hopefully) settling on a layout.

I’m so thrilled to see what this next year brings, because this house is a never ending project with a rich history and so much untapped potential!

Happy house-a-versary, Tipsy Old House!