A Sweet Little Side Table Before & After.

I have a problem. It’s not life threatening or anything, but it’s a problem all the same. You see…I really love furniture. And we happen to live in a spot where people put furniture out on the curb all the time. For free. I call it Picking Day. Other people call it Trash Day. Every Monday in our neighborhood is Bulk Trash day. You can literally put anything out on the curb that you don’t want. And sometimes I get very lucky and find myself in the right spot at the right time and someone else’s trash finds it into the trunk of my minivan. This is only a problem in that we do already have a house with furniture so I often find myself shifting things around, making work for myself that I don’t NEED to do. It’s a problem, but perhaps I should call it a hobby.

I can’t even tell you how many things I’ve picked up on picking day. I’ve outfitted our house with these finds. But sometimes they need a little help. And that’s when my little hand sander comes in. Honestly though…Every time I sand something I say I’ll never do it again. It’s the actual worst. But I’ll also say that I never regret it once it’s done.

I did share about this on Instagram a few weeks ago, but thought I would save it here for future reference. Am I the only one who finds it terribly difficult to find something on instagram if I forget to take a screenshot in the moment?? I can’t be. Much easier to look at a website for future reference!

  • Sand with 80 grit sandpaper followed by 120 and 220 to smooth using a detail sander or a random orbital sander. I used my detail sander for this one with its straight lines but for a larger piece I would probably recommend an orbital. An orbital sander just has more power than the detail sander.
  • You may have to get in the curves, nooks and crannies a bit by hand. Keep going until you’re happy with the color and finish. Mine had these dark lines where the previous stain had seeped in very deeply. I just kept sanding until they were gone.
  • At this point you could apply a new stain in a different color. I liked mine as it was, so I next just finished it with clear matte polycrylic applied with a sponge brush. Matte means it won’t have a shine when it dries.

A note because there may be questions: I have tried the oven cleaner method on a couple things and it does work in taking off stain, BUT I feel that it damages the wood. It seems to sort of shred the wood finish while taking the stain out. Just stresses me out for my poor wood pieces. Not to mention all chemicals in oven cleaner. I prefer sanding because it freshens up the look while making it like new again. However, if you have a piece of furniture with lots of nooks and crannies – oven cleaner may be a good place to start for you. Curves and corners are notoriously difficult to sand! There’s also always citri-strip! You might have great results with that too! But for me – I have ended up having to sand even with other stripping methods. So you may have to do a combination of things if you have an orange-y gal laying around like me that could use an update!

Hope those tips and the process are helpful in case you’re not sure how to update your wood pieces!

Seed Packet Valentines.

Sometimes I have a hard time deciding if something is worth a blog post when a picture is really all you need, but I know lots of people like to see links for the exact things used in said pictures, so here we are with a helpful little blog post to make your own seed packet valentines! This idea came to me one morning on my way to school as I was contemplating valentine options along with my deeply rooted desire for a giant vegetable garden. The two came together as if fireworks were going off in my brain. The pun options! The seed packet options! I mean, really, what could be more delightful than getting this as a valentine? I decided to give these to friends and family, and the boys are making crayon hearts to give to their classmates. They’ve been tucked away in little kraft paper envelopes and are traveling across the states to be opened and smiled over by Monday. And just in time for seed starting season for my northern friends.


  • You’re the real dill.
  • I’m wild about you, valentine.
  • I love you from my head tomatoes.
  • Lettuce be friends forever.
  • Will you be my valentine even though you’re chamomiles away?
  • It’s about thyme I told you how much I love you.
  • Where have you bean all my life?
  • It’s radish-ulous how much I love you.
  • I think you’re the sweetest pea in the world.
  • You put a pep in my step.
  • You are as cool as a cucumber.
  • I carrot live without you, valentine.
  • We were mint to be.
  • I think you’re arugula friend to have around.


And if you need another idea – we’re making these for the boys’ valentines for school, but word to the wise – soak the crayons in warm soapy water for 15 minutes and the paper practically falls off.