Friday, February 11, 2011

The Launching Pad

I promise that I have not forgotten about this week's weekly challenge from A bowl full of lemons!

This week's challenge is to create a launching pad - a place near the front or back door that is organized. A place where you can hang your coat, place your shoes and umbrellas, keys, mail, or whatever your specific needs are for your space.

This challenge really had me stumped for a while. There are two problems with this - my entryway is tiny, and we have no money to spend on anything extra at the moment. So I began scouring craigslist every single day for free stuff that would work as a shelf, a bench, a coat rack, anything! I also kept reading all the wonderful blogs that I follow to try to find some inexpensive project ideas. I had a few ideas, and a few options on craigslist, but none of them worked together. It wasn't until later Thursday evening when I finally figured out something that would work.

Knowing that I had no money to spend, I texted my mom, "Do you have any spare wall shelves or wood I could make into a shelf?" Later in the day, she texted me the wonderful word I wanted to hear, "Yes." Oh happy day! I went over to her house that evening, and she gave me SO many options and helped me brainstorm with different pieces of wood as to what I could do with them. Finally, I settled on an antique crate that came from my great-grandparents' storage that my mom had snagged years ago. It was sitting under her workbench being a lovely home for dust and spiders. We dusted it and brushed off the spider webs (along with a few spiders), and then I wiped it down with a damp cloth for the drive back to my house.

It was still pretty dark, so I mixed some white paint with water and whitewashed the crate.

Here's the before:

And here's the after:

I did still want a place to hang up coats, but again, I didn't have any money to buy anything. Then I remembered - we received a wall-mount coat rack as a wedding gift! I knew exactly where it was in the basement, so I went to retrieve it. It's beautiful and would look perfect with the antique whitewashed crate/shelf.

So the only thing I needed to figure out was how to mount everything to the wall. I called a family friend and he offered to come help me hang it up - and he would bring the mounting supplies. Score!

So here's the entryway before:

And here it is with the finished launching pad:

Here's the cost breakdown:
Crate/shelf - free (from mom)
Paint - free (already owned)
Drill & bit for mounting - free (already owned)
Mounting supplies - free (from friend)
Coat rack - free (already owned)
Bench - free (borrowed from my piano - I plan to put a different one there in the future)
Mirror - free (already owned)
Wall sconces - free (clearance+coupon+gift card)
Picture frame - free (already owned)
Welcome chalkboard - free (already owned)
Blue vase from Goodwill - free (birthday money)
Ceramic birds from Michaels on sale - free (birthday money)
Total out-of-pocket cost - $0 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How's that for decorating on a budget?!

P.S. My mom informed me that whenever they have been really tight on the budget, all she wants to do is clean and decorate the house. I guess it's hereditary!

I'm linking up with:
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap  up           party!

Transformation Thursday


  1. great job wish i was that talented

  2. Your entry looks great! I love the color you chose to paint the crate. I'm a new follower!

  3. Your entry way looks great. Love all your ideas and that it was all free. I'm still working on mine and trying to use things we already have. Great job!!

  4. Great job!! Love how you found everything for free!! I'm like that, when I want to buy new stuff for the house, I have NO money for it, lol!

  5. WOW! I love it! The crate & the entry - so inviting!
    I found you at primitive & proper's party. I'm relatively new to this and would love your support!

    thank you!

  6. i had a smaller crate that i used in my bathroom for a long time like that and it worked perfectly, and made great stylish storage! it looks awesome!

  7. Love, Love, Love it! Sometimes the simplest things can be so fabulous!

    Extreme Personal Measures

  8. The crate is sweet and the total transformation is wonderful.

  9. Wahoo! Love a zero cost upgrade! Incredible job!

    Thanks so much for linking up and sharing!