Dear Craigslist, I love you…

posted on August 22, 2012 by  |  posted under Crafting, Decorating  |  53 Comments

Dear Craigslist I love you

Today I am working on yet another fabulous craigslist find. I can’t wait to share it with you, but in the meantime I wanted to repost my desk makeover. Do you remember it? If it’s your first time seeing it, I hope it sparks some DIY creativity. Hop on craigslist and find some treasures too!

Dear Craigslist, I love you. I’m sorry I forgot about you for a while. Life got busy, and I pushed you to the back burner. It won’t happen again. Pinky Promise. Thank you for not holding a grudge and for helping me find this amazing treasure.  Yours forever, Me

Dear Craigslist I love you

Let me start at the beginning. I work at my computer. The desk I had been using was, well, NOT a desk. It was really an 18″ wide nightstand of sorts. It. was. PA-THETIC. You would have felt sorry for me too if you would have seen me blogging my little heart out behind it. I was sick of feeling sorry for myself, so I took matters into my own hands.

Dear Craigslist I love you
This treasure cost me $175.

I know, I know, a little spendy, but it was SOLID wood. And the legs, OH the legs. When you find details like that on furniture, you simply can’t pass it up. AND I did barter them down from $300. My husband was proud. Well technically at first he was a wee bit mad that I bought the desk without him knowing. Sometimes you have to act fast, and the dreaded “money talk” with husband just gets in the way. So after I explained WHY I needed it, what I was going to do with it, and how I negotiated,….then he was proud. {mostly} 😉

Add a little creamy white paint…


TADA! My new improved workspace.

Dear Craigslist I love youDear Craigslist I love youDear Craigslist I love you

I took off the old nasty hardware, and found some new gorgeous hardware. It makes ALL the difference.Dear Craigslist I love youDear Craigslist I love youDear Craigslist I love youDear Craigslist I love you

This old chair was a whopping $5. I found it in beat up condition. And I left it. Because I love it just the way it is.Dear Craigslist I love youDear Craigslist I love you

I love every scratch, ding, and dent.

Dear Craigslist I love you

{Oh! You noticed my cute rug?! Well let me ZOOM in on it for you. No. I didn’t make it. -If you know how to, I want to know!!  I bought it here.}Dear Craigslist I love you

My workspace wouldn’t be complete without a small shrine to the people I love most. Dear Craigslist I love you

{Did you notice my freebies? The Canvas, Mousepad, and Desk Calendar?}

I truly am so much happier now that I have brought Craigslist back into my life. This desk is so roomy compared to my 18″ workspace.

Here is another redo I forgot about until today. I don’t have before pictures. But it was ugly. $75 from Deseret Industries.

Dear Craigslist I love you

Once again, I loved the details. The legs, the moudlings, and the crown.Dear Craigslist I love youDear Craigslist I love you

The hunt is on! I’m telling you, YOU can do this. Make Craigslist (or the nearest thrift store) your newest love. Treat it kindly and it will treat you kindly back. Grab some paint, and get some projects done before it gets too cold outside.

Dear Craigslist I love you

{We’re linking up to these fun parties!}

    1. September 28th, 2011 at 8:46 am
      alysha says:
      I love this. Thank you for reminding me of my love for craigslist. :) I love the white too. Such a pretty workspace!!
    2. September 28th, 2011 at 8:55 am
      Alison says:
      Where in the world do you find the time? This is amazing!
    3. September 28th, 2011 at 9:04 am
      CAS says:
      Great transformation! No more feeling sorry for you....LOL! Happy blogging at your new desk!
    4. September 28th, 2011 at 9:45 am
      Susan Ayers says:
      Ok, I love the desk itself but why paint such beautiful wood?

      It isn't just you.. it seems to be this huge trend going around... and yes I just painted a dresser and working on a chest of drawers... BUT in my defense, mine is PLYWOOD.. not beautiful wood with textures and colors...
      • September 28th, 2011 at 9:51 am
        Shelley says:
        I agree that it was beautiful wood. :) I personally don't care for oak though, and the white accents my home well. Who knows, maybe one day I'll strip the paint and love the wood. ;)
    5. September 28th, 2011 at 10:28 am
      Kelly Munns says:
      $75?!?!?! CRIMINAL! i'm so jealous.
    6. September 28th, 2011 at 10:38 am
      SV says:
      I love the final result but I sure cringed when I saw that you painted that gorgeous wood! I guess nothing is permanent and it IS your home so it should look however you want it to look. I'll just cry quietly in the corner for that beautiful desk. haha
      • September 28th, 2011 at 11:36 am
        Shelley says:
        LOL. ;) To each their own, right?! :) I'll let it know you shed some tears for it... ;)
    7. September 28th, 2011 at 11:50 am
      Caley says:
      Oh my goodness! I love those pieces, especially the desk! I love the white color as well! So fresh and so clean, clean! ;)
    8. September 28th, 2011 at 11:50 am
      Summer says:
      I recently bought an amazing headboard for my guest room on Craigslist (vintage for $100!)

      The current color is Tiffany Blue. Suggestions?? By the way, LOVE the old chair with the polished desk. Gorgeous!
    9. September 28th, 2011 at 11:52 am
      Summer says:
      Whoops, I should have clarified that I was asking for suggestions for refinishing it. I have never actually refinished any furniture so this is my first project of many, I hope!
      • September 28th, 2011 at 11:55 am
        Shelley says:
        Here is a link to step by step tutorial:

        Have fun!! And show us pictures!!! I'd love to see that headboard.
        • September 28th, 2011 at 1:44 pm
          Summer says:
          I had totally forgotten about this post but I"m so glad you gave me the link! I will be working on my headboard this weekend. I will most definitely send pics, it's such an exquisite piece :D
    10. September 28th, 2011 at 11:52 am
      Sommer says:
      Love the desk! And the rug, which I figured was pretty easy to make. It is. Here is a linky.
      • September 28th, 2011 at 11:59 am
        Shelley says:
        Sommer, you rock. Awesome tutorial for that rug! Thank you! I want one in an 8x10. A little nervous that it will take me years to make...
    11. September 28th, 2011 at 1:05 pm
      Chelsea Strong says:
      On that Urban Outfitters site, it sort of looks like they glued the fabric to a latch hook rug. The rug underneath looks different from the fabric on top. I don't know... does the fabric on your rug looked glued on? I want to make one too!
    12. September 28th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
      Alisa says:
      It wouldn't take as long as you think to do the rug in an 8 X 10 size. The bigger problem would be how heavy it would get! I made one for my daughter's room (you can draw a design with a sharpie on the canvas, then have your fabric colors follow the design) that was a 3 X 4. I only worked on it when I was watching TV, and that wasn't very often, but it still only took me about a week or two to make it. I used fleece (I think every other hole or every third hole)and the rug was so heavy by the time I finished! I can't even imagine having one even bigger to move around! Awesome but heavy!
    13. September 28th, 2011 at 5:16 pm
      Ashley says:
      Shelley, I love it. I am inspired. And those cute kiddos, cute chair, rug, love it all.
    14. September 30th, 2011 at 7:27 pm
      Jill @ Junky Vagabond says:
      White, silver, glass knobs...I'm in love! So pretty and I'm happy you're at a real desk :) Beautiful makeover on the cabinet, and I love the chair as is too! Way to make that executive decision and leave it as is!! :)
    15. October 1st, 2011 at 8:23 pm
      Amanda says:
      So did you buy the drawers separate? Didnt see them in the 1st pic. I LOVE it. beautiful job and such a great rug. I am thinking about saving my 800 hours and just buying the thing!
      • October 1st, 2011 at 8:33 pm
        Shelley says:
        I just took them out before I took the picture. ;) It only took 4 hours,... you can do it!! :)
    16. October 1st, 2011 at 9:01 pm
      Amanda says:
      Oh I meant saving the hours on making the rug! :) Searching for my desk in need of adoption too though :)
    17. October 3rd, 2011 at 7:26 am
      Erica says:
      You did a FABulous job!! I love those drawer knobs!
    18. October 4th, 2011 at 10:10 am
      Eva May says:
      I have to laugh sometimes .. I'm always striping the paint off to get to the natural wood .. I'm an old pooh that likes the natural wood look .. I just cry when I see antique pieces getting painted ... Super! OH! NO!! .. BUT!, each to their own .. I do enjoy your website, keep up the great sharing ..
      • August 28th, 2012 at 12:51 pm
        TxGal says:
        Agree Eva May, I don't like to see antique pieces get painted either, but these are not "antiques" ... they might be loosely termed "vintage" but they are probably both from the 1970's ...
    19. October 4th, 2011 at 11:04 am
      Kerri says:
      It looks beautiful and I love the white! Great job! I don't know how you did it in only 4 hours, though - especially with kids around. (You and Sydney have great paint color choices so I'm going to ask you as well, what are the names of the paint colors and where did you get them? Love them!) :)
    20. October 4th, 2011 at 11:53 am
      Michelle S. says:
      I think Potterybarn may dislike you. This is absolutely wonderful and well worth the $175 AND you didn't even have to pay for shipping. Love it!!!
    21. October 4th, 2011 at 12:15 pm
      Kayla says:
      I love it, it's adorbs!! Great job!
    22. October 4th, 2011 at 12:51 pm
      Virginia says:
      I love both pieces. Do you know the paint names you used for the desk and the cabinet???
      • October 4th, 2011 at 1:27 pm
        Shelley says:
        Summer White by Benjamin Moore (for both pieces).
    23. October 4th, 2011 at 1:12 pm
      Mary says:
      Okay, I am inspired but I need a more in-depth tutorial. What is the best way to strip and sand stained wood? What is the best paint to use? How many coats? Etc. I have a cherry queen anne desk with medium honey-toned stain begging to be painted blue or yellow and I have yet to do it. TEACH ME OH CREATIVE ONE!!

      Thanks, Mother of 4 little ones. :)
      • August 28th, 2012 at 12:59 pm
        TxGal says:
        You DO need to de-gloss or lightly sand prefinished wood furniture before painting. Existing varnish or old finishes on wood pieces will cause the new paint to come off pretty quickly. The paint needs something to "grab onto" if you want a lasting finish with normal wear.
      • August 28th, 2012 at 1:01 pm
        TxGal says:
        Meant to add, you don't need to strip wood furniture unless you intend to re-stain it. To repaint, just lightly sand by hand or use a liquid-sand product.
    24. October 4th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
      Courtney says:
      Oh I love this and am about to do the same thing with my daughter's new vanity/desk that someone generously gave to me. Thanks for posting the tutorial I will be going by that!
    25. October 5th, 2011 at 9:48 am
      nancy says:

      Did you just paint the furniture or did you also first sand it?

      • October 5th, 2011 at 9:59 am
        Shelley says:
        I didn't. Probably should have. ;) It turned out fine though.
    26. October 5th, 2011 at 9:56 am
      trish says:
      I'm getting ready to paint a china cabinet myself. Looks like the glass on either side of the door is stationary in yours, so how did you manage painting the shelves? That's an issue I'm facing since the glass and shelves are both stationary in mine, if you have hints I'd love to hear them!
      • October 5th, 2011 at 9:59 am
        Shelley says:
        Does it have a back? Can you take it off. That would be easiest. It is tricky for sure. Let me know if you figure anything out. Good Luck!
    27. October 5th, 2011 at 4:01 pm
      Nickelle @noVae Clothing says:
      I LOVE painting & re-doing Furniture!!! Nothing else around the house get's done for days - BUT it's so Worth the Extra work when it's Completed!! Congrats on the bigger space! I think my desk a bit bigger than your old one -- but not much! ;o) xo
    28. October 10th, 2011 at 7:52 am
      AndreaR says:
      I love this! I have a friend in my ward, just like you....she can find amazing deals at thrift stores and turn them into the greatest things. I found a dresser and crib for my youngest child last yr--both from Craigslist. They turned out amazing too. :-) Thanks for sharing.
    29. November 28th, 2011 at 11:29 am
      Connie says:
      Thanks for reminding me about microwave just bit the dust :) Venturing there now!!!!
    30. January 25th, 2012 at 4:33 pm
      Lara says:
      your house is so dang cute shell.. i want you to come do mine!
    31. June 3rd, 2012 at 7:16 pm
      Erin says:
      where did you get the glass knobs? I am refinishing a dresser and I love those!
    32. August 22nd, 2012 at 7:20 pm
      Marsha B. says:
      Here's a tutorial for a braided t-shirt rug:

      Here's a no-sew braided rug tutorial:

      Here's a shag rag rug, like the one you have. The cool thing is, if you have a sheet of fabric about the size of the rug you want, you can cut holes in it and use it like a latch-hook mesh and it will be softer and fully machine washable. I had a tutorial for it, but I can't find it.
    33. August 22nd, 2012 at 7:30 pm
      Taylor says:
      LOVE IT!!! I LOVE seeing furniture makeovers, they make me want to stalk craigslist like crazy!
    34. August 22nd, 2012 at 8:57 pm
      Trish @TheOldPostRoad says:
      Looks great! I just bought a Christmas tree on craigslist, today. Barely wedged it into my car!
    35. August 25th, 2012 at 5:04 pm
      pgstrat says:
      You've got great taste, Shelley! Your remakes look great!
    36. August 28th, 2012 at 12:03 pm
      Amber says:
      Wow your pieces are BEAUTIFUL! I gave a beautiful dresser off of Craigslist a makeover for my daughters nursery. I would love for you to come by and check it out sometime!
    37. August 28th, 2012 at 12:17 pm
      Elli says:
      I love both of these transformations, especially the hutch! Makes me rethink the "ugly" pieces I have passed up. It looks like the screws on the knobs for the center desk drawer are too long, so that the back plates are not flush against the desk. I had the same problem and used a Dremel to cut the screws off so the pulls fit flush and won't wiggle.
    38. August 28th, 2012 at 12:45 pm
      Katy Lunsford says:
      I { L O V E } this and the chair! and the rug! I am searching now on how to make one! Thanks for sharing!
    39. August 28th, 2012 at 1:02 pm
      TxGal says:
      I winced a little too seeing that pretty desk repainted but it does look good !

      Love that china hutch too ! Thanks for the inspiration ... I have the same thing in mind for a chest and nightstand !
    40. October 13th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
      Krystal says:
      Can you tell us more about this? I'd care to find out some additional information.
    41. April 20th, 2013 at 8:14 am
      Sarena V says:
      I love your work, and I just love recycling old furniture instead of junking it, my mother was going to junk a end table because the top had come unglued and one of the two doors was falling off, I painted it cream and lilac purple with a ring of fleur de lis on top added a round pillow and maid it into a doggie den, Her Chihuahua and my two love it.
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