Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIY Dining Caddy (Thrift Store Makeover)

Want to see a completely gorgeous DIY project today? You're in the right spot! Heather from At the Picket Fence is going to show you how she made a DIY Dining Caddy from what appears to be an old toolbox.

I had the great pleasure of sitting next to Heather at dinner in Atlanta last month (during Haven), and she was so funny and friendly...not to mention extra-talented. She and her sister, Vanessa, run a very successful blog; I am so excited to introduce you to their site today! Please welcome Heather:


Hey y'all this is Heather one of the two sisters from At The Picket Fence!  We were so honored when Amanda asked if we could do a guest post over here at Serenity Now while she's digging her toes in the sand and soaking up the rays. We're so happy for her..and not jealous one bit. nope. not. one. bit. ;) 

So, I pushed Vanessa aside we drew straws and I was the luck winner who got to guest post over here! I hope you'll enjoy my fun Do It Yourself Dining Caddy!

I have been contemplating lately my consumption. And by consumption I do not mean food…even though I should probably be contemplating that as well. What I mean is my consumption of “things.” 

My first tendency is to throw out the old and in with the new. Now, mind you, I am a very frugal shopper…I just tend to lean towards running to Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby when I need to satisfy my shopping compulsion a new decorative item or housewares. But, recently I have found myself at odds… well with myself. 

Because, I have found that my conscience has started to prick me when I pick something new up to purchase.  “Do you REALLY need that?”  “Could you make do with what you have?”  “Could you adapt something and make it work?”  “Could you re-purpose something that someone else ‘threw’ away?”

So I find myself more and more reevaluating what I already own and making more frequent trips to the Goodwill and local thrift stores.  Sometimes I strike out..but sometimes I find the neatest things and finding those little treasures gets my creative juices flowing…like this little beauty for instance:

It was only $3.00 and I saw so many different uses for it!  But it just didn’t quite inspire me in it’s current state. It whispered to me as I carried it up to the register, “Paint me white!”  So I did.


Then it said to me…”Remember that adorable idea that Kristin from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, had for making knock-off antique crates?”  “You know the one where she stenciled on her wedding year?”  “Yep..” it said, “I think I would look lovely with one of those painted on me.” 

And, since it asked so sweetly, I had to comply.

First, I measured for the middle and then lightly traced the letters and numbers onto the caddy. Then, I filled in the letters with brown acrylic paint I had on hand.  I wasn’t worried about it being neat and precise, because once it dried I did this:

I sanded it all down, roughing up the edges to antique the stenciling and the edges of the caddy.  I added a quick coat of poly-acrylic to protect it in case it gets left outside…that seems to  happen a lot around here.

Then, my little caddy did a most amazing thing. It finally told me what it needed to be.

It wanted to make my life easier and hold all of our dining supplies. 


Wasn't that so kind of it? :)

dining caddy, outdoor dining, crafts

I just love my dining caddy.  I was able to deck it all out for the 4th of July but I can change the colors with the seasons.  

I also love to leave it out on my island for everyday use.  It stores my antique silverware and pretty napkins...and an occasional hydrangea or two! 

I hope this inspires you to keep an eye out for great items you can re-purpose and re-use!

Thank you, Amanda, for letting me share my dining caddy with your friends over here at Serenity Now!

Thank you, Heather, for sharing such a lovely post with us!

I love repurposed items for the home, don't you?

If you've never visited At The Picket Fence before, you are in for a real treat. Inspiration galore! Please be sure to let Heather and Vanessa know you're stopping by from Serenity Now!

Get your party hats on! My Weekend Bloggy Reading link party is scheduled as usual for tomorrow morning (8 am ET), so be sure to swing by with your best post of the week.

Here's the button code for the party if you want to get a head start! Recipes, crafts, home decor, book reviews, funny stories, you name it. Come prepared to showcase your blog and find some great weekend reads.
Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. So pretty! I love that you can change it whenever you want. That plus cheap is my favorite kind of decor, as someone who also is constantly asking herself "Do you really need that??" :)

  2. This is a great piece that you can use all year. Before you know it it will be time to decorate it for fall!

  3. Love this idea. I could see using it on a desk as well for pens, notepads and such. Great piece.

  4. awesome! I love caddies and yours is gorgeous!!

  5. This is such a great project. I love the idea of stenciling the wedding year.

  6. Beautiful and easy project! Very cool! :)

  7. Love it! I have seen tool boxes like this around, so maybe I'll have to pick one up for myself now!

  8. That's adorable! And perfect for taking utensils outside for a picnic or some simple alfresco dining. Great project : )

  9. Ps. Hope you're having fun in Myrtle Beach!! xo

  10. Okay, seriously the prettiest little caddy ever. Gorgeous pictures too! Heather, you are a genius :)

  11. I love it! Looks so pretty for everyday use and so festive for the 4th of July. :)

  12. I love this caddy - although I am a bit worried about Heather and the voices she hears from thrift shop finds!

  13. THis caddy is super beautiful, I love it, and it is very simple to do, and with just stencil how good transformation can be done. I love it.

  14. Hi Heather, What a clever project. You really turned something very ordinary into a a great design element! I love it filled with your hydrangeas sitting on your counter! It's a stunner!

    Your tutorial is so well done too! Please stop over and join TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS, my weekly linky party. This would be a very welcomed project! Linky goes live every Wednesday evening at 8:00!
    I am a new follower!

  15. Heather, your caddy turned out wonderful! And this post is an inspiration to me, I have one of these that I got in the 70's and has been lying on the floor of the storage lean-to for years. I will have to dig it out and save the poor little guy! Thanks for the tips!
    Debbie :)


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