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February 28, 2013

After all of yesterday's excitement, do you think you can handle some more? I hope so because today marks the 9th monthiversary in our new house! That means we're 3/4 of the way towards our one year housiversary and I can't believe it!

If you're new here (Hiiiii!), a monthiversary is where I recap all of the projects I've done around our house in the past month. This month's projects included:

My (Completely Unofficial) Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge finds

• My shocking and unexpected Homie Awards nomination

• A DIY'd pyramid stud trim vase

• A blue French horn

• My gem show recap

• My gem show finds + my first giveaway

• My DIY Network feature

• A Liebster bog award

The winner of said giveaway

Progress on our foyer

…and last but not least!

• My DIY'd trunk coffee table AKA my winter Pinterest challenge project

Wow, I ended up getting a lot more done than I though I did! Way to go me haha

What was your favorite project this month? What would you like to see me do next month?

Psst: stop back tomorrow as I kick off month 10 with another DIY project! Want a hint? It rhymes with "defiant aim" :)

Looking for past Monthiversaries?
1st Monthiversary | 2nd Monthiversary | 3rd Monthiversary | 4th Monthiversary
5th Monthiversary | 6th Monthiversary | 7th Monthiversary
| 8th Monthiversary

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Winter Pinterest Challenge: DIY Trunk Coffee Table

February 27, 2013

Last week Young House Love issued the winter Pinterest Challenge and today's the day to share our projects!

I've done my fair share of DIY projects but I've never actually participated in one of the Pinterest Challenges before so today's a big day for me!

Ready to see what I made?

I made a trunk coffee table for our loft!

I was inspired to make one after pinning these pins on Pinterest:

The one on the left is the Ludlow trunk coffee table from Pottery Barn. It retails for $699. I made my trunk table for $50. Big difference, right?

I honestly didn't think I was going to complete a project in time until I saw this listing for a beat up old military foot locker on Craigslist:

The listing was posted a little before 10:30 on Friday night and even though it was late, I texted the number anyway. After a little back and forth, I was able to set up a time to buy the trunk the next morning.

My mom and I drove to a sketchy neighborhood to meet with the seller. Money was exchanged, the trunk was tossed in my car, and we sped away.

After me and the trunk were home safely, I started to build the base. I measured the bottom of it and then cut up 2, 2 x 2 x 8 furring strips I had on hand. If you don't have any furring strips, they're only $1.82/each at Lowe's. Well, they are at mine. They might be a little more or less at yours :)

Anyway, I cut two long pieces, two shorter pieces, and 4 pieces for the legs. I made a 5" base since my trunk was 13.5" high and I wanted it to be 18.5" high. I'd tell you how long each piece is but that won't help you because the length of the pieces will vary depending on the size of your trunk.

NOTE: I also ended up cutting 3 more of the shorter pieces for center supports (not shown) but I'll get to those in a minute :)

After everything was cut, I balanced the pieces on the bottom of the trunk to make sure they all fit. They did!

I started building one side of the base by screwing two of the legs into one of the longer pieces. If you have a Kreg Jig, use that instead.

To attach everything together, I drilled a pilot hole and staggered the screw locations on each leg:

See how one screw is towards the top of the leg and one is towards the bottom? I did this so they wouldn't hit inside the wood. Again, use a Kreg Jig if you have one.

I attached the two shorter sides:

Then the remaining legs:

And the remaining long side:

Once the base was "done," we placed the trunk on top of it to see if it'd hold:

The whole thing was very sturdy but I wasn't sure what we'd be storing inside of the trunk. For safety's sake, we decided to go ahead and cut a few more pieces for center supports. You know, just in case we get wild and crazy and decide to stash a bunch of bowling balls inside:

I don't know if you can see it above but there is a bit of a gap between the trunk and the base because the "L" brackets on the edge of the trunk sit a little lower than the rest of it:

It doesn't effect the sturdiness of the trunk, and you can't see it unless you're lying on the ground looking for it, but I thought I'd mention it in case you get a trunk that has the "L" brackets too.

The center support pieces we added are the same length as the shorter pieces on the left and right so the cuts we're nice and easy!

After we measured the spacing, we drilled some pilot holes (insert Kreg Jig mention here):

And screwed the supports in place:

After I countersunk the screws, filled the holes with wood filler, and sanded everything down, I stained the base dark walnut:

Once it was dry, I took it outside and spray lacquered it. When it dried, we flipped the trunk over and positioned the base on top so we could drill some pilot holes through the center supports:

We did this so we wouldn't be guessing the location of the center supports when we screwed down into them from the inside:

Pilot hole guides from the inside:

Screwed on base from the inside:

Ready for some after photos? Here you go!

I'm slightly obsessed with this piece:

I LOVE all of the character it has and I bet it's seen some amazing things:

Check out those handles!

This plaque is on the back of the trunk:

I tried Googling it but came up empty. I'm assuming "USA QMC" is the manufacturer and maybe 1851 is the year the trunk was made or the year the company was founded? Anyone know anything about old military trunks? I'd love to know more about it!

EDIT: I received a comment from someone in the military and they provided more information about the "USA QMC" mark. The comment said "I wanted to tell you what the first two acronyms stand for on your trunk, United States Army Quartermaster Corps (USA QMC) and they would be the issuing organization. The quartermaster usually has all the supplies for the military from uniforms to cots to trunks. I'm guessing the JPNF 1851 is the unit and model of this particular trunk (since they come in all sizes and materials), but I am not sure." -- How cool is that?! Thank you again for the comment!

Anyway, our loft is coming together nicely with its new addition:

We still need some chairs and a rug and something for the blue wall but those things will hopefully be added soon. I'd also like to find something to seal the trunk with so it won't rust any further. Anyone know what to use?

Did you participate in the Pinterest Challenge? What'd you make? Any other furniture builders out there?

Disclaimer: I can't guarantee that your trunk will turn out just like mine. Differences in materials and tools used, and your skill level, will yield different results. I cannot be held responsible for a failed project or an injury of any kind so proceed with caution and build at your own risk. Remember: always use caution when working with power tools and read any instructions before beginning any project.

I'm sharing this project on Young House Love, Bower Power, Decor and the Dog, and The Remodeled Life!

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