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Baby to Bar {It's Not What You Think}



YOU GUYS. I think that some warm {ish} weather might actually be here to stay! And you know what that means: Cocktails. I mean... patio weather... and maybe some cocktails. Since the majority of our lives in the good ole Midwest are spent cooped up inside, we LOVE to take advantage of the warm weather and use our outside space whenever possible.

This year, I am especially excited to use our patio as an extra living space, and I recently finished working on my latest DIY, which will be the icing on the cake for our patio-living days and nights. I'm not sure that I ever really even imagined saying this because this project was particularly spur of the moment (seriously, people... there's a trend happening here), BUT... I made a bar! Definitely the most unplanned project that I have to date (because I literally made it up as I went along), but I have to say that I was pretty pleased with the way that it turned out!


The Project

Changing table before in decent condition (sort of)

Rewind to a couple of months ago, as I was pulling out of my driveway when I saw a piece of furniture on the side of the road in front of my neighbor's house. As a creature of habit (impulsivity being the habit in this case), I couldn't help myself and uttered, "I've gotta be able to do something with that." What appeared to be a baby changing table seemed to be in decent condition (sort of), and so I scooped it up and put it in my garage for the remainder of the winter. Yep, that's right- I garbage picked. I garbage picked, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Well, maybe a little afraid, but it isn't really garbage picking when you know the owners.... right?? Fine, still garbage picking, but it somehow makes me feel better about the situation.


Last week, as the weather started to warm up, I really started to set up my patio (see our cute patio here), and the idea came to me- I could make a bar out of that recent garbage pick! I don't know where these amazing ideas come from, but I'm quite sure it had something to do with the endless cravings for refreshing beverages that come along with patio weather. So, the fate for the baby changing table was made. This little piece, that once held a cute little baby, was now going to house some cute little cocktails, refreshments, and other entertaining items. Now I just had to figure out how to do it.


The first thing that I did was seal the top seams of the piece. As I mentioned, this piece was in decent(ish) shape, but much of it was made up of particle board. Since I knew the piece was going to be outside, I knew that I needed to seal the seams with waterproof caulk. HA. That is NOT true. I did not want to complete this step at all. My husband made me. Also not true. My husband completed this step, because I had no idea how to do it. But here's a picture of his handiwork.


I took the reins from there, and I knew one thing for sure... the drawers had to come out, so I quickly unscrewed those. The addition of the shelf was also very simple. All I did was take 2 small pieces of wood as supports, and then measured and cut a piece of plywood to rest on top. Everything was secured with wood screws, which went in nicely. Next, I had to paint it. Lucky for me, and if you remember from this post, I knew a thing or two about chalk paint, so that was an obvious choice. Little-to-no prep work (and in this case, I didn't prep at all), and quick drying time. The next addition was actually my husband's idea, and it's really what makes the piece so cool, so I've got to give him all the credit. He suggested using some of our old pier planks to cover the outside (he's way more creative than he lets on). I loved the idea. Not only would it look great ascetically, but it would cause the piece to be made with a little piece of our hearts.


We happen to have a pile of old wooden pier planks from my in-law's lake house that are sitting in our garage, so I started to measure and cut, measure and cut my little heart out. Again, I kind of made this up as I went along, so I decided in that moment to line the sides, top, and the bottom most shelf. The original plan was to line the existing door with them, but I decided to recreate a door out of pier planks instead.


For said door, I just took 3 pier planks (measured to size), and screwed a couple of pieces of scrap wood into the back to hold them all together. Not super technical around here, folks. If there are any true wood workers reading this, I apologize for making you cringe (because I'm quite sure you must be at this point). But, it's what worked for me. I removed the hinges from the existing door and attached them to my new, super adorable pier plank door and reattached it to the cabinet. Final touches involved scuffing it up with some sand paper and making it look a bit antiqued, and also applying a poly top coat. I used an exterior poly spray this time, and it was incredibly easy. To be honest, I wasn't super concerned about this because I knew that I was going to place this piece under a window which would partially cover it, and that I would also be covering with a tarp to protect it against the elements.


In the end, this project ended up being a true example of "trash to treasure," and I am SO happy with how it turned out. Not only do we now have a cute addition to our patio, just in time for entertaining, but we also have a conversation piece, and a story to tell. And we all know how I love a good story.



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