Friday, April 30, 2010

fix-it friday #4

 Welcome to the fourth editon of celebrating our repairs on Friday! I loved all of your stories from last week. Clothes mending is something so many of us enjoy. Today's project isn't quite a repair, but I was sick for most of the week so I'm cutting myself some slack. We have an old house with very few closets. Storage is always on my mind. At the top of our stairs is a tiny alcove where we used to keep a dresser with linens. The dresser took up more space than it gave, and it eventually moved to my son's bedroom while he awaited his broken drawer to be fixed. Linens lived in limbo in several laundry baskets. You can imagine how neatly folded our towels remained. NOT! The fix: alcoves lend themselves beautifully to built in shelves. F.I.F. (fix-it Friday) gave me the nudge to finally get it done. I took measurements of how deep and long the shelves could be. Then I determined how many would fit nicely: 5. We didn't have enough scrap wood in the garage, so we all went on an expedition to Lowe's. With the help of a very enthusiastic employee, we got our supplies and had them cut to my specifications.The plan was to rest each shelf  on top of  thick wooden shims.
 shelveson shims
So easy. I'm not a carpenter, but I'm fairly comfortable with a drill. When we got home, the reality of our slanty, tilty old farmhouse taught me that I should have measured each spot, because nothing is even in our house. While I got frustrated with our four out of five boards that were too big, my husband volunteered to cut them to size and finish it up.
building shelves
Just a little credit for my sweet, silent (and so handsome)partner... he did an amazing job!
new shelves awaiting their linens
I will finish it off with my specialty: stenciled curtains.
a new shelf awaiting a curtain
A suspension rod also is quite happy in an alcove. Don't worry, I'll straighten it out when I hang them. And yes, that is original wallpaper, with a little peeling that will be hidden by towels and said curtain.
original wallpaper upstairs
Not sure how old it is, but this part of our house dates to 1850. I can't bare to take it down.

Can't wait to hear what little mends and handy repairs you've been up to!

p.s. there have been quite a few requests for a(n) F.I.F button... you know, to put up in your own sidebar. I 've never done a button before, but gave it a try...let me know if it works and please link back to maya*made, thanks friends! 
Fix It Fridays over at maya*made Pin It


  1. This suits my whole week so so much! I recently posted about our garden ( and how we built if from scratch...
    I've also sanded, painted and varnished the name sign for our house, and today we put it together on its two legs, for "planting" it tomorrow.
    I made a sign with the number of our house too (
    I am building a coffee table for the garden using a pallet, as per Rachel's idea (
    And your shelves remind me of the ones that I built in our "old" house with the same system (
    Also, I made a curtain to hide the linens and such in that home, but I still haven't posted the photos!! I used fabric yoyos....
    Well, I love that little shelved alcove of yours!

  2. I'm really regretting not marrying a 'handyman'. At the time I thought it was ok, as I actually do enjoy putting together furniture, hanging cabinets and laying floors. But, to have someone volunteer to finish things up when I feel like pulling my hair out - now that would be lovely.

    I've just been ripping out shelves. I wish the house's previous owners had done as nice and neat a job as you when putting up the shelves...

  3. What a nice project to get finished up with gobs of storage room there.

    I've mostly been mowing and weed whacking around the place and all the while, patiently working with a temperamental weed whacker, screw driver in pocket. It felt like I was fixing something.


  4. How fun and handy! I understand about the wall paper...we ended up taking some down in a house we were renting years ago. The house was old (but not 1800's)...we ended up going through SEVEN layers of wallpaper. Crazy.

    Thanks for the wonderful fix-it photos & ideas!

  5. What a charming and handy storage area you've created in your alcove! It turned out great and looks like it will give you a lot of storage in a previously unused area.
    I'm happy to see that your husband helped you finish it up, too, as it sounds like you have had a rough week already with being sick. Get well, Maya!- Mary

  6. this definitely qualifies as a fix-it. it follows all of the repair manifestos points. you did not throw away the "broken" moved the dresser to another location.
    not only have you "fixed" this alcove space, you've improved upon it, made it work better for your needs,and made it unique in the process, adding to the history of that little corner of your home.

  7. another friday full of fixes!!!!
    PS love the wallpaper...

  8. This week had no glamorous fixes - just mending, but I thought of this project each time. It all adds up. It will be interesting to tabulate at different milestones just what has been accomplished, and saved.

    I love the little nooks in old homes. Great use!
    Feel better.

  9. Hi. Great shelving project.

    About the wallpaper. I used the same paper in the kitchen of our little house we were renting in Salt Lake City. The year was 1987. I think we still have a little roll in my "leftover" wallpaper box that has been added to over the years. This one was my first ever wallpaper experience. I'm sorry that it isn't as old as your house...but thank you for the sweet memory of our little brick home so many years ago.

  10. PS!!!!!! if anyone is looking for a button just copy the main fix it friday pic copy and save as then customize go to picture then upload picture from your computer then add the maya*made blog link et Viola!!!! button in side bar!!!! i have it on my page already!!! hope this helps!!!! xx

  11. Hi Maya - We had the same problem in our old house mudroom where I put up similar shelves in a small alcove - a small completely irregularly shaped alcove... I ended up putting up trim all around to disguise all the gaps with the wall. Yours look far better!

    I snagged a button and did my own Fix-it (Saturday) over here: - the button worked fine! Thanks!

  12. Hi, loved the shelves. How perfect for that alcove. I have some info on the wallpaper. I used this same pattern from a wallpaper book that had early american reproduction patterns. It was put up in my kitchen in an apartment I rented. The house was built in 1839. I chose this paper because it looked hand stenciled.The matte finish is lovely. My color way was in a soft federal gold where your blue is. Circa 1974.

  13. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments, projects and wallpaper history this weekend! You are all so fabulous!!!!!!
    I wonder who put up our wallpaper and when. Two different families in the 70's and 80's. There was other wallpaper in the house that I stripped, but this one has grown on me so much. I'm so happy to hear a little bit more about it.

  14. I love the name "fix it Friday," it is stuck in my head and there may never again be just a "Friday". And, it's much healthier than Mojito Monday or Taco Tuesday. I really look forward to your Friday posts, thank you!

    This week, I made a birthday present from barrettes, felt, and embroidery floss. Not a fix, unless you count that we weren't using those barrettes the way they were.

  15. Oh maya, now that you link in from Flickr i can't see your pictures! The IT admin at work don't allow access to it. What a shame! :(

  16. I love love love the wallpaper! You're right, even I can't bear having something as awesome as your wallpaper print be torn down. :P

  17. that old wallpaper is really pretty!