Upcycled Book Crate

Since I learned how to stain wood last year I’ve kind of been obsessed. I used a plain crate from Cut the Scrap (I love their crates; still the best quality in my opinion), then sanded, stained, sealed, and added casters. Here’s the final product:

I added the book plate with wood glue. Bought the plate and letters from Papemelroti. They can stick the letters for you, actually, but I prefer to do it myself. I got both the plate and letters last year but only recently got to use them!

Here’s a before shot of the crate:

As you can see, the crate is nice on its own, but I just wanted a darker finish to go with the rustic vibe I was after for our lanai-playroom. Oh, and adding casters for a newbie like me was the hardest thing, hahaha. I don’t think I’ll be tackling casters for a while for my next DIY projects!

For these crates, I save up thick discarded bits of carton from delivery packages or balikbayan boxes, slap them together with wood glue and masking tape, and cover them with old posters (because it’s thicker) to line the bottoms. Keeps the kids’ small toys and what not from falling through the slats.

This ONE crate took me over a week to finish, FYI, hahahahaha, because I really wait for the drying time between stains and varnish coats. Now it’s a sturdy little thing, and I am just happy to contribute something I DIYed for the kids’ playroom. The best part is, I didn’t have to buy anything for this project – except for the casters! All the other materials, even the crate, I already had. The End. 😄

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MASTER BEDROOM: Hooks

Just another tiny update on the Weekly To-Do List in my sidebar. I got the hooks I wanted for our cleaning supplies:

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Rustic mango-wood hooks

These are the H&M Home hooks I wanted – they disappeared from the U.P. Town branch where I usually go, but they’re still available in the Robinsons’ Magnolia branch. The smaller hooks are for the kids’ cleaning supplies. I still haven’t made up my mind where I want to hang them – the bigger set of hooks will definitely go somewhere in the master bedroom for my broom, etc., haha.

I’ve shared the roadblocks I’m currently dealing with for my master bedroom Checklist. So while I’m stuck with the master bedroom, I’ve been working one my other mini projects – recall, I promised the H I’d work on only 4 projects at a time. I updated it here – and one day, I’ll share our very simple linen storage!

MASTER BEDROOM: Small Strides

More updates on our Master Bedroom – we are slowly but surely chipping away on our Checklist.  We skipped ahead to our second priorities because we ended up really needing a floor fan for the ante-room where the boys sleep.   They don’t get any air circulation there when I switch off the air-con, and we don’t open our windows at this part of the house, sadly.   So last weekend we finally got our white floor fan from the Vornado booth in Trinoma.

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This is the Vornado 633

We actually had another model, but I gave it away because it was grey and white and, while I was happy with the performance, I finally admitted to myself that I really didn’t like the color scheme.  Should have gone with all white, though this model is the smaller one.  More than sufficient for that itty bitty ante-room though.

So that’s another electric fan checked off my list.  I have these electric fan sagas, I know!  Hee.

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Found the perfect container in Tokyu Hands during our recent trip to Osaka.  Got it specifically for battery organization in mind, haha.

I also finally got around to organizing all the spare batteries I am always buying when I do our grocery shopping – after I buy them, they get lost in the clutter at home.  I got so sick and tired of hunting for our extra batteries – and we seem to go through batteries a lot, unfortunately.  For some appliances, remotes, even some of the boys’ toys.  There’s always some kid asking, “Mamu, where are the batteries?”.  I also found the packet of tiny screwdrivers we bought ages ago, and they now sit in a toolbox under my side of the bed.  

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I store the battery case right behind our Wildwood pencil jar on one of the corner shelves in our bedroom.  Out of sight but still easily accessible.

I have to say, the above-mentioned corner shelves are the only storage system in our bedroom right now – save for the ledge behind our bed, and the ante-room closets do not count!  So I have to be really, really careful about what I put there – focusing on immediate, day to day items that not just I, but my whole family, needs or looks for or reaches out for.

I still don’t have a place for our extra toiletries – everything is jammed into our wardrobes in our walk-in, and it’s starting to become frustrating (this is also why I could not find our extra batteries before, hah!).   I’m thinking I’ll put the extra toiletries and other supplies in the media console once we get around to buying one.

Oh, and I’ve decided against getting a trolley/cart for the baby’s night time essentials because all we really need now is his milk, which I put on my bedside table in a little plastic container.  (We always keep 1 big bottle and 2 small ones, plus a milk powder dispenser, on hand.  Most nights he only finishes 2 bottles, but there are some nights when he goes through 3).  We don’t change his diapers at night anymore (yay for Drypers), and don’t use a burp cloth or anything else because we don’t get a lot of drool or spills either.  The only other thing I usually need to grab quickly are extra blankets, which I keep in a basket nearby.  I have extra clothes in one of the closets in the ante-room for emergencies (but nothing so far, praise God).

I also realized I need a stool or step stool in this room.  The very tall tolix bar stool I’ve been using is hard on my middle age knees (ang hirap umakyat!).  I’ve been using a cracked plastic stool I borrowed from the helpers.  I need something I can (easily) climb on to water my plants and for my dusting!  So, at this point, the trolley/cart has become unnecessary, and a step stool or stool has become a priority – making the corresponding revisions to my Checklist!

MASTER BEDROOM: Looking up my cleaning essentials

We’re back from a lovely, lovely family trip to Osaka. We went with my eldest son’s friends’ families and had such a great time. I was able to think about the cleaning essentials I need, and actually, while on the plane, hehe. When we flew back home, I knew I would end up getting something from Muji because it was important for me that my tools are not only functional but also pretty, and preferably white.

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The Muji cleaning system (the mop head was out of stock in the Shang branch)

I also knew I wanted to use Muji’s cleaning system because it’s so smart and simple – one rod for all the brushes. My only issue is the dust pan, as it does not sit flat on the floor. I would need to look for another kind – except I can’t seem to find anything else that is as neat and streamlined as the one Muji makes.

This is a little too detailed for cleaning supplies, but I’m trying to make sure every single thing in our home has a purpose and every choice is intentional, and this is for my own reference in this little read corner of cyber space, so here goes:

  1. broom – for obvious reasons. I want a brush broom because the walis tambo I get always shed. I seem to be sweeping our bedroom several times a day because the 3 boys hang out there all day.
  2. dust pan
  3. desk broom and dust pan – for our shelves, window ledges, table tops
  4. mops – Muji has 2 kinds. I actually want to get one just for Bo, because he spills when we water plants, and he tries to wipe it away with toilet paper. His own mop would be great. (Muji has a short pole, and a telescopic pole, all available locally, thank goodness)
  5. duster – for pendant lights, cornices, and higher shelves
  6. natural bristle brush – for higher shelves and corners
  7. micro fiber cloths – I cannot find one that is not some garish color. The hardware stores only seem to carry blue and yellow, and the occasional grey (which is sold with one very bright yellow, ugh).
  8. all-purpose cleaning spray – I’ve always used, and still love, the one from Messy Bessy
  9. vacuum cleaner – Dyson is the gold standard. I want something I can attach to the wall, and without bags or cords, because I want it stored out of the way, but still easy to grab. So Dyson it is. (Our vacuum now, I get so lazy about using it because too many attachments, it’s big and bulky, I have to empty out the bag, etc etc).

As for storage, for now I’m going to hang them from hooks on the wall behind our dressing room door. Just simple wooden hooks from either H&M Home or True Home in Magnolia, with twine strung through the tools for hanging.

4 AT A TIME

Some time ago, seeing how frustrated I got about not finishing anything at home, my husband suggested focusing on 1 project at a time.  Oh, I know this is obvious, and this is advice I’ve seen in various sites, but honestly, it’s easier said and done.  When you’re renovating your house you see so many things you want to do, and end up dipping your toes into too many ponds.  Some people are really amazing about juggling so many projects at home – and actually finishing them all, with matching checklists, before and after photos, big reveals and all.   Other people – like me, apparently – are not as good at it.   Since I kept wanting to tackle several big projects and mini projects together, I ended up feeling discouraged about not completing anything.  My purchases felt unintentional or premature, and my efforts felt half-hearted or half-baked.

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Recently, our living room has been more boho than scandi in my attempts at scandiboho style.  The H wants the monochrome back, hehe

Well! That has to obviously change.   I’m going to allow myself to work on 4 projects at a time – major and minor ones.   (As in really minor projects, like cleaning out a closet).  We’re renovating the master suite and utility areas – 98% done with the former, and 70% through with the latter – but I’m not going to count each renovation as 1 project (because there are sub projects within each renovation area – no doubt, if you’ve renovated, you are well aware of this!).

So my 4 Projects right now are the following:

  • 1st Priority Projects for the master bedroom (described in detail here, with a quick view of the 1st Priority items here, and updates on the Weekly To-Do List in my sidebar)
  • Paper management (including re-organizing our manuals and warranties)
  • Keys organization
  • Linen organization

I’ve purged and organized relentlessly before, but I just started a better system for filing away our documents at home and I want to see it through.  New doors also mean new keys, hence, I’m back to key organization and storage.  As for the linen, that was something I’ve been doing before we even renovated and as with paper management, I just want to see it through.