November 27, 2019

Some Random Crafts I've Finished

While at Salvation Army last week, I found this tray that was exactly what I'd been thinking about making and just hadn't gotten around to. I wanted a tray that I could use as a small "table" on the seat cushion of the couch. And this one was only $1.80, so it was even cheaper than making one myself.

I don't have a coffee table, and I don't think that I want one, but I miss having a table to set a glass, my phone, or the remote controls. We have end tables, but only on one side of each couch. The tray is not a super sturdy solution, obviously, but it'll work just fine for a temporary "I'm going to have a snack while I watch a movie" tray.

This is what it looked like before painting (after I sanded it a little--again, I'm horrible at remembering to take before pictures of anything!):

snack tray for couch (before painting)

After sanding it, I brushed on an oil-based primer (I love the Kilz brand for all my painting projects!) and then I used the oil-based orange paint that I used for the orange accents in the house. I love how it turned out!

couch snack tray after painting

I only used one coat of paint, and I expected to have to use a second, but it really didn't need it.

I started a mindless crochet project, too, while Jerry and I watched our shows when we were sick. We have SO MANY plastic grocery bags, and I need a place to put them.

I have a mesh bag holder that I knit ages ago, but the colors of it clash with everything in the house. It's also REALLY big because you can stuff about a hundred bags in there (I'm not exaggerating--maybe more!). I should have put something next to it for size reference:

It has a loop to hang it up and then a draw string at the bottom, to make the opening bigger or smaller. Insert the plastic bags in at the top and pull out from the bottom. By "insert", I mean cram.

I also need at least two more of these things. So, I crocheted this one--it's not exactly "pretty", but it's hard to make these things look good. They are just very functional!

The hair elastics are for the loop to hang it and to hold the bottom closed where you pull the bags from (I just happened to have a couple of orange ones! I only ever use black, but I have some random colored ones).

I found the one on top unnecessary (why not just crochet a loop?). I wasn't thrilled with this pattern, and it's not as stretchy as I'd like, so I'm going to make another (smaller) version of the really old one I made ages ago. Only I will use the hair elastic at the bottom instead of the draw string.

I'm going to make two more, so I have one for the pantry and two for the laundry room. I use them for cleaning out the litter box, but it feels like the supply will never end! I use my own bags or paper bags at the grocery store, but if Jerry stops at the store or I forget my bags or something, we wind up with more of the plastic bags.

Anyway, I like these type of mesh bags for storing them. You can pack an amazing amount of plastic bags inside because it's so stretchy.

For the last project, I finally got around to polishing up this table that I keep under the couch in my bedroom because it looked so bad. It's called a Table-Mate, and I bought it ages ago after seeing a commercial for it on TV.

It's definitely one of those "as seen on TV" items--the commercial was on all the time! Anyone remember it? I just looked it up, and they still sell them ("new and improved!" versions, of course--as if something can be new AND improved at the same time).

I actually really love this table, because it's very functional and handy when needing a portable table. I used it after my surgeries (my jaw repair surgeries and my skin removal surgery) when I was high on pain meds and spent most of my time on the couch. I was able to sit up and eat at the couch (haha! with a jaw that's wired shut, "eat" is a joke--more like, drink my broth and smoothie). I also use it for my laptop sometimes, when blogging on the couch, or for playing solitaire (with real cards).

I love the table, but the surface of it was horrible. It was a plastic that happened to get discolored from every little thing it came in contact with. It wasn't a smooth plastic, but had a textured surface that stained and looked grimy no matter how hard I scrubbed it.

When I painted the tray from the Salvation Army, I decided to paint the little table, too (yes, the table could be used in place of the tray, but having both options is nice). I tried again to scrub it clean, but it just wasn't working. (Sadly, I didn't take a before picture of it!)

I put on a coat of primer (although that plastic sucked up anything on it, so I imagine it didn't need primer) and then a coat of the Aviary Blue oil-based paint that I had leftover from my kitchen cabinets.

I love how it turned out! It looks a million times better and it wipes clean so easily. (The lighting makes the blue look very subtle--even white--in this photo, but I just painted the tray and not the poles, so you can see a little difference.)

Next, I'd like to build a little cabinet or some sort of hidden storage for board games. We have a lot of them, but I feel like they're an eyesore on a few shelves in the living room. I'm really itching to build something with wood, but I haven't come up with a plan yet!

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