I’m Not a Slacker, I Just Craft a Lot: Projects of 2014!

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You know what’s funny about “time”? It has a way of wiping out your memory. As the New Year draws closer, you start questioning how much you really accomplished in the year, why you’re not further ahead, and what you’re going to do differently  next year.

But let’s not beat ourselves up focusing on what we didn’t get done.

Let’s celebrate all the stuff we did get done!

Starting with January.

And let me tell you–my accomplishments ain’t no peanuts! 🙂 I did big things I’m proud of. I’m talking’ walnuts and pecans, my friends! 😉



It’s hard to believe at this time last year, I only had 16,000 pageviews per month! If you’re not a blogger, in non-blogger speak that means that I barely existed in the blogosphere. I was a speck of dust on Google’s butt. Hardly a blip on their radar. HA! Now, I’m knocking pushing 95,000 page views per month. I’m working my way up to a piece of lint! WOO HOO! ;).

In January I made this really simple, cute drawer organizer out of scrapbook paper.  The new year was all about getting organized and this project was right on time. I made one for my own drawer and one for my middle son’s drawer.

DIY Drawer Organizer


What’s most exciting this month, though, is that I did my first TV appearance!! I was a Spokesperson for Hometalk.com! This year I went on to do four more local Baltimore news segments! Very exciting!!



I was productive this month, with two of my favorite projects! I had this $12 thrifted changing table that my youngest son outgrew. I didn’t want to get rid of it. So I turned the changing table into a desk for my oldest. It doesn’t even look like the same piece anymore!

Thrifted Changing Table

And I finally finished this awesome vintage vanity, painted in a color that most people never even considered! I even featured this vanity this month in a popular article I wrote on when you should NOT paint wood furniture. You know how people get all up in arms about wood being painted…



Not every project has to be complicated. I did a post on how to make pretty no sew pillows this month with just an iron and some Heat n’ Bond tape, and even used old pillows as the inserts! Easier project EVER! I filmed a video tutorial on my YouTube channel to go with this project!

No Sew Pillows 2.jpg

I am still kicking myself over not buying all three of these headboards that I found at the thrift store for $10! But I’m so glad I bought one of them and turned the old headboard into a pretty makeover! It turned out great! Some people couldn’t believe I painted the gorgeous wood and didn’t leave the caning exposed! What do YOU think?

Pretty Vintage Headboard Makeover From the Thrift Store

Sometimes a makeover needs more than just paint, like this project I completed this month–I gave two of these bedside tables a shabby French makeover. They were only $7.50 each at a yard sale. I didn’t stop with just paint. I chose to glue fabric on the fronts of the doors, and even filmed a tutorial on my YouTube channel on how to achieve the same look!

Thrift Diving Bedside Table DIY Makeover0


This mid-century mod dresser makeover gave me such a hard time!! No matter how many coats of white I used, it still bled through PINK. So instead of fighting it, I just chose pink and gave it a unique reverse OMBRE effect. The “AFTER” looks amazing! Sometimes projects take an unexpected turn for the better, don’t they?

Thrifted Mod Dresser BEFORE Thrift Diving

I had found this $50 vintage buffet at the thrift store and snatched it up so fast. I wasn’t sure if I would strip and re-stain it or just paint it. I decided to do both! Someone commented on this buffet and told me I “ruined” it. I lashed back, not because I’m a meanie, but when you put your heart and soul into a project and then you’re told you ruined it… well, it takes a certain kind of patience to not let stuff like that fire you up!

I’ve since regained my composure and realize that people can express their opinion however they like–I just don’t have to agree with it. 🙂

1_vintage buffet thrift diving BEFORE1

Oh, and this is the month that someone called me “obese.” Seriously!!!! The nerve! I know he wasn’t being a turd on purpose, but it sure helped to spark me on my weight loss journey! Sadly, it only lasted 5 months and then I slipped back into my non-exercise-snacking-too-much ways.

Then I broke my toe months later!! So now that the new year is rolling around, you best believe someone is getting back on that horse! YEEHAW



I was pretty quiet in May, just working on my hoarded, cluttered garage! I never quite finished. But this was a good start, and we can still at least walk out without having to turn sideways and suck in our guts. LOL.

Garage Makeover_AFTER Thrift Diving_7586


Ahhh….my favorite month of this year!! I started something called my 30-Day June Room Makeover Challenge, where my readers and I took one room in our house and totally transformed it in 30 days! Seriously–the things we pulled off in this month were phenomenal! Here’s what my laundry room looked like at the start of the challenge. By the end of the challenge, I had a pretty place to fold clothes! You won’t believe how awe-inspiring the rest of the room makeovers were, too!

Cabinets and laminate counter will be painted!


I’m starting up a new challenge in January, called the Junk-Free January Challenge! Are you ready??



July was all about getting ready for the Haven Conference, my annual trip to Atlanta for a DIY conference. People always chuckle when I tell them about going to a “blogging conference.” So I had to write this article telling them 5 reasons it’s totally NOT stupid for attending a blogging conference.

ryobi party at haven conference

I also challenged a few readers to find an outfit at the thrift store for $25 or less. We came in waaaaay under! See the other readers’  outfits!

Thrifted Outfit_pinterest


Another favorite month of mine!! Not only was I able to build my own DIY mailbox (I’m talking building it from SCRATCH, baby!), but we were back with more room makeovers! This time for the 30-Day August Upgrade Room Challenge! My readers and I rocked out rooms in our house. I took on my kids’ gross, outdated bathroom. I even found old BULLET CASINGS in the vanity!! The insanity! But it turned out very awesome, along with everyone else’s August room makeovers!

Serena's Kids Bathroom


I also got very REAL this month and confessed that I am slowly killing myself by trying to juggle too many things while trying to turn this blog into a real business and career. You guys were soooo supportive and I appreciate the love and positive feedback!



I barely did anything this month! Oh, just painted my front door a pretty red, but besides that?? NADA! I guess everyone needs a break sometimes, huh?

Modern Masters Front Door Paint with Thrift Diving Blog_0951


This month was a turning point for me. Or should I say, the tipping point. Not only did I show you how to make a compass to hang on your wall (out of an old clock), I also gave you some 10 tips on taking awesome DIY floral wall part. But even more fun, I turned this $12 thrifted jewelry box into a craft organizer. I loooooove how it turned out! You guys suggested I add some feet or wheels, too. Great suggestion!!

Make a Tool Chest from an Old Jewelry Box_6949


And remember that very popular project I did where I turned an old knife block into a crayon holder? Better Homes and Garden actually featured it on their Facebook page! I felt like a mini-superstar. Since this project, I have never looked at another knife block quite the same way. HAHA

Make a DIY Crayon Holder From an Old Knife Block (1)


I’m disappointed that I didn’t do any projects this month, but I did write two articles about how to find good deals when you can’t find anything at the thrift store. And I also address how DIY when you keep telling yourself that you don’t even have a creative bone in your body.



And here we are! This month was another slow month, but I did finish that pretty little thrifted china cabinet I had picked up for $40!! It looked amazing when I put my new thrifted dishes inside, too!

vintage china cabinet

Not to forget the super easy DIY whiteboard I made for my mom recently for helping her get organized for the new year!

How to Make a Big DIY Whiteboard - Thrift Diving7


I also made a very public announcement that I am going to be working on becoming a full-time blogger this year!


I also showed you my epic mess of a family room that’s going to be getting a makeover in January for my Junk-Free January Room Challenge! I know…I know…it could be worse, but this room is totally uninspiring and I can’t wait to clear out some of the junk and fill it with things I love!



My Videos You Probably Missed

I try to do videos for as many posts as possible on my YouTube channel, but sometimes it’s not easy to do both! I’m happy to say I was able to do 24 videos this year! Some were more popular than others, and some were just made and have a few views. Here they are, ranked by number of views.


How to Make No Sew Pillows (33,654 views)

How to Stencil on Furniture (3,897 views)

How to Glue Wood to Fabric (3,056 views)

How to Make Rustic DIY Wall Art (2,442 views)

$10 Thrifted Store Haul – My $10 Outfit (1,014 views)

 I’m Killing Myself Slowly (929 views)

How to Use Chalk Paint in a Paint Sprayer: HomeRight Finish Max Pro (898 views)

Kids’ Bathroom Makeover – My Progress! (768 views)

Removing My Outdated Toilet – Kids’ Bathroom Makeover (577 views)

How to Make a DIY Foot Scrubber from a Sanding Block (558 views)

How to Thin Chalk Paint for a Paint Sprayer (527 views)

30-Day June Room Challenge – JOIN (491 views)

Thrift Diving: Behind the Scenes at the Thrift Store (450 views)

30-Day June Room Challenge Day 1 (402 views)

LifeProof iPhone 5s Case Review (395 views)

How to Make a DIY Wheel of Life (359 views)

Upcycle a Knife Block Into a Crayon Holder (330 views)

Day 3 June Room Challenge (323 views)

SoFab Conference –I Need To GO! (288 views)

How to Clean Up the HomeRight Finish Max Pro Paint Sprayer (264 views)

Cheap Ways to Entertain Kids (214 views)

How to Make a Snowman Pencil Holder (177 views)

Join the 30-Day August Upgrade Challenge (176 views)

How to Make a DIY Super Hero Shield (131 views)
Wow, those 24 videos yielded 52,411 views!! Amazing!


What’s Next for This Blog

More room makeovers! More projects! More articles! If I thought 2014 was busy, I’m about to take things to the max. Just means I’m going to have to work smarter, since I really can’t work any longer hours. I’ll also be updating you monthly on how close I am to reaching my ultimate goal: to blog full-time later this year.

For now, let’s enjoy the last days of 2014, shall we?



 So out of everything you’ve seen, which projects were your favorites, and what are you hoping to see more from this blog in 2015? Leave a comment and add to the discussion below!



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  1. Mary Stewart says:

    Saw your article in hgtv magazine congrats.enjoy looking at all your projects.
    Keep it up.

  2. WOW, you sure did have a busy year – I can see why you were feeling burnt out because it looks like you are a full time thrifter/ refinisher/crafter/ blogger now! I am really looking forward to seeing you achieve your goals in 2015. One of my resolutions is to actually complete one of your challenges this year!

    1. Hey Jen! Yes, it was a busy year, and the plan I set for 2015, it’s going to be even more busy!! 🙂 LOL. Yes, you should totally do one of my challenges. January!!!!!

  3. Gwen Condit says:

    I’m actually spoiling myself by reading blog posts as relaxation after necessary rests the last few days. It was fun to watch a video and reread and read for first time all those recaps. Ahhh. I loved the TV hostess DIY spot! And you did too do lots this year. I still counted your door and shutters and lone pumpkin as October decor that lasts for years. Not just weeks. Don’t you love the desks? The laundry room? Just going into the boys bathroom? It must feel good. You’ve painted such awesome pieces that I’d love to see a few like them make their way into your home. That ASCP salmon pink buffet sideboard. Ombré chest. Did you keep the China storage? All so classy and West Elm and Anthropologie-ee…oh and you’re only 36 and have done ALL this ? I’m so proud!!! What do I want more of??? I think you are perfect as you are. Oh dear. You’ll wear your hair fluffed now?? Nah. You’ll just do it for me who wishes for non flat hair. Truthfully I have not had Christmas with anyone in our kids families so I’m still sitting with boxes ( nice IKEA ones not used in my laundry room makeover) half filled for close to 20 people. Not shopping in May anymore. I was to organize all this for the Grandma Room makeover!!! Got rid of Bunco gifts and did that big party in October but oh that’s right. Curt was hospitalized that whole month and all mixed up here in November and half of December….
    So back to MY point about YOU I just need to get Grandmas closet organized. Get rid of lots of games. No one comes over to play or visit anyway. Take last of stuff to nearly four years married daughter but she does not want her baby book or baby/ childhood small basket of momentos labeled. So I dunno. Hard days. That’s why I like our group. We can just decorate and not criticize. We have fun. And defend each other. And build each other up. I just know without the blog and getting mixed up I wouldn’t have made my unique fall thrift project ( which was to be an outfit!!!) and my Grandma room…probably one of the last things Curt will DIY for me. Pray he gets his vision fully restored. No power saws nor tools until that happens. No driving. So I guess I get to have memories of a laundry room and Grandmas room I wouldn’t have with Curt if it weren’t for you. So keep on keeping on.

  4. first, let me say, my my my you have been quite busy. All of your ideas are wonderful and everything looks great. I do have one question about the folding table in your laundry room. After you halved it, how did you adhere it to the wall? I want to do something like that in a laundry room we just built onto our home. I have been stumped as to what to do with it. Your idea is perfect.

    1. Hi Jamie! Congrats on your new laundry room! Adhering it to the wall was easy. Just get a couple of those L-backets and mount it to the edge of the table and screw into the wall. I did a post where I showed a picture of of it. Let me see if I can find it.

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