before and after

before & after: keyholder coat rack + rolling coffee table

by Kate Pruitt


Kara and her husband make one amazing crafting team, and I’m excited to share two of their recent collaborations. First up is this charming coat rack and key holder made from old doorknobs. Kara’s husband Tim made it for her as way to keep track of her keys. I can’t get over how clever this is and attractive to boot. The mix of brass and warm wood makes the piece look quite luxurious, even though it cost them nothing to make! Great work, Kara and Tim! — Kate

Time: Less than 1 hour

Cost: Free! (all materials were on hand)

Basic Steps: Gather old doorknobs and dead bolts. Also, find a piece of reclaimed wood. My husband Tim used a piece from an old doorjamb because he thought it fit with the feel of the piece. (Habitat for Humanity is a great place to find old doorknobs and dead bolts!)

I laid out my pieces in a playful pattern then marked where I need my holes. Then I set the depth of my router and removed enough wood so the knobs could sit flush. I drilled some holes so I could attach them with screws, and there you have it. Then, I mitered the ends of my piece of wood to make it feel more finished.
Sometimes projects that include power tools can seem intimidating, but with just a couple of key tools, you can really take your projects to the next level. So overcome your fear, take the plunge and be the DIY queen you know you are. — Kara

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)



CLICK HERE to see Kara and Tim’s rolling coffee table after the jump!


Kara and Tim’s second project is slightly larger but also employs the technique of adding hardware — in this case, rolling casters— to an old wood piece to make it infinitely more useful and interesting. Kara aged the piece beautifully, and the hand-painted numbers are a great little detail, adding more character to the piece. Great job again, Kara and Tim!

Time: Less than 2 hours

Cost: $3

Basic Steps: I gathered my supplies: a glass jar, distilled white vinegar and a steel scrubber or steel wool. Then I placed the vinegar and steel in the jar and waited for 24 hours. I used the solution and stained the piece normally. (Note: the stain will go on clear and start to darken within a few minutes and continue darkening for about 15 minutes or so.) Then I painted numbers on the drawers. Lastly, I added casters to the bottom to give the piece more height and to give it a bit of an industrial feel. This particular stain looks different on different types of wood, so do a test run before committing! Our flat file was made from oak. — Kara

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