Drafting Table Makeover with Cricut

We took an old drafting table we found at a yard sale and transformed it in to the perfect table for my studio by creating custom stencils with Cricut and adhering them with my Xyron Creative Station

Drafting Table Makeover with Cricut - Kingston Crafts


{This post first appeared over on the Cricut blog where I am a contributor.} My husband Don and I love to bring new life to old furniture. I was looking for a new desk for the studio and when we found this drafting table we knew we had to turn it in to something special! {FTC disclaimer: I received some of these products free of charge. This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a little something if you buy an item - at no additional cost to you!}



1. Start with a clean, smooth surface.

We bought this drafting table at a yard sale. The top was so eroded and covered in glue that we built a new top to fit right over the original. If your desk or dresser or table has a decent top - you can just sand it smooth and you will be ready to go!

Custom Drafting Table with Cricut
Custom Drafting Table with Cricut- Kingston Crafts

2. Paint the top with the color you want to see through the stencil. Even though you will not be stenciling the entire area, be sure to paint the whole tabletop to ensure an even topcoat.

Custom Drafting Table with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

3. Open Cricut Design Space and select any single-layer image or font to create your stencil. The possibilities are endless!

Custom Drafting Table with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

If you are creating a word stencil, do the following before you cut:

  • Size your letters.

  • Make sure each word is “grouped.”

  • Make sure each word is a different color, as this will ensure that each will cut on its own piece of cardstock.

4. Cut cardstock on your Explore. Remember: the color of the cardstock you use doesn’t matter, so use a shade that’s not your favorite.

5. Carefully remove negative and positive images from your mat - you will use both sets.

6. Run the positive images (the letters) through your Xyron Creative Station. Be sure you are using repositionable adhesive - the machine comes loaded with permanent adhesive.

Custom Drafting Table with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

7. Use the negative image to determine where you are going to place your stencils and loosely attach with masking/painter’s tape.

Custom Drafting Table with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

8. Peel letters from backing and place each letter inside its negative image. Firmly rub around the edges to ensure complete coverage, and then remove the negative image.

Custom Drafting Table with Cricut - Kingston Crafts
Custom Drafting Table with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

9. Use a stencil brush to tap (not brush!) the top color around letters. This will add an additional seal to the stencils.

10. Paint the entire desktop in your top color. You may need to do several coats, and be sure to leave time to dry between coats. Be SURE to watch this one minute video where you will see me in all my non-showered, bra strap showing, baseball hat wearing glory. I'm pretty sexy. ;)

11. Gently peel letters away from desktop… and behold! Cover the entire desktop with sealant if desired.

Drafting Table Makeover with Cricut - Kingston Crafts


Trash to Treasure: Yard Sale Pinata to Fun Home Decor!

Yes - I know it is Fall. But I also know it is 90 degrees outside AND I found this amazing pinata at a yard sale so I COULD NOT HELP MYSELF!!! Check out how I created this fun wall hanging in just a few minutes with my Cricut and Xyron machines. {FTC disclaimer: I received these machines for free, but was not paid to write this post. This post contains affiliate links which means I may get a few pennies (at no cost to you) if you buy something!}

pinata ($3 at a yard sale thank yeeewwwww very much!)
Cricut Explore or Maker
glitter cardstock
patterned paper
Xyron machine - I used the Creatopia (see notes below)
white pen - I used Bic Wite Out
assorted embellishments

Measure across the pinata, then size the phrase and circle to fit and cut using your Cricut.

Doodle around the outer edge of the circle. If you - like me - do not have a steady hand, go around the circle several times with the pen. It looks like you meant the lines to be "artsy"!

Run the circle and the phrase through your Xyron. I used the Creatopia because of the size of the project - it was a limited edition machine that does 12" across. If you ever see one for sale - GET IT! They still make refills for it but the machines are not available at retail. The size is PERFECT for large projects or doing multiple projects at once.

Adhere circle to the BACK of the pinata (the stickers on the front were too big and I couldn't get them off without ruining the surface), then add the phrase and your embellishments. 

Hang that baby and enjoy the sunshine!

Studio Reveal and Video Tour

If you've been hanging out with me the past few months you know I've had a studio makeover in the works. More of a move and a downsize I guess...I willingly gave up my giant 15x30 craft room in the basement for a 13x14 room on our main floor! This girl needed light! And to be near the kitchen. Because that is where all the snacks are.

I hosted a FB Live earlier this week to give everyone a tour...

but I also wanted to share a few photos here too. Some of the features in my room got lots of love so I wanted to tell you a little more about them!

I wish I could say I came up with the idea for vinyl gutter ribbon storage on my own - but all the credit goes to Vintage Chic Home. I have struggled for YEARS with what to do with my ribbon (I had it on 4' dowels before this) and this is SO MUCH BETTER. It cost us about $30 all told and because it can be customized and cut to fit any space it really is the most versatile ribbon storage I've ever come across.

Because I moved in to a space that is less than half the size of my old studio I use every square inch. I started by moving in all of my large furniture pieces first, then my smaller furniture and large storage pieces, then my smaller storage pieces, artwork and photos. Everything goes to the ceiling and surprisingly I still have room for more if I need it!

With the exception of certain themes (baby, wedding, Christmas, etc) I store everything by color. That is the way I create so it made sense to organize products to match the way my mind works! Unfortunately the IKEA CD holder on the left isn't made any more - but there are tons of creative ways to store your stuff. I created a studio makeover Pinterest board a few months back and share some cool storage/organization ideas there. 

Vintage, vintage and more vintage! I love scouring antique and thrift stores looking for cool new ways to store my supplies. An old scale (top left) is the perfect way to store my 6x6 pads, my Project Life supplies are neatly tucked away in an antique fruit box (top right) and a vintage cracker keeper (bottom left) stores my Minc supplies in one compartment and my Diamond Press supplies in the other. Because I have a yellow/teal/white color scheme I keep my eye out for anything in those colors, but don't forget that a can of spray paint can turn anything in to a customized home storage piece!

For other studio projects I've completed over the years check out these blog posts:

Totally Tiffany Metal Maid Companion Cart

My fabulous friend Totally Tiffany knows I have been redoing my studio, and she also knows my studio colors are white and teal - so she sent me THE MOST amazing surprise in the mail last week and I can't wait to show it to you!

And now I give you my very first "unboxing" video! You will notice two things. One - Don did 95% of the work. I was fiddling around with the inserts and next thing I knew it was done! Two - giant dogs are SUPER helpful when you are trying to assemble things in a small space. {FTC Disclaimer - I received this product for free, but with no agreement to review or promote it. It's called a gift! This blog post is mine all mine!}

Besides being easy to put together (even with help from Baloo) here are a few other things I've discovered about it now that I've had it in my studio for a few days.

It is very light when it is empty...which means even filled up I can lift it and move it around with ease. This will be PERFECT for me to take to crops - I can just roll it out to the car, load it up, and roll it right in to the event. 

I had been seriously eyeballing one of those IKEA carts that everybody has - but my girlfriend told me that sometimes it is hard to get stuff out of the lower shelves. In this cart the shelves slide in and out like a dresser, so I can easily get to what I want and even just take out the whole shelf and put it up on my work area if I want to.

This cart is also a little bit shorter than some of the other organization carts I've seen - so it fits perfectly under my desk if I need to get it out of the way.

While the color is perfect for my studio - it takes spray paint like a dream! Tiffany is painting hers gold and sent me an "in process" photo.

So grab one for all your organization needs - you can find them on totally-tiffany.com! Here are a few of our other favorite organization hacks!

Wood Words + Cricut Explore Air = Custom Wall Art

I love collage walls. Peek in to any room in our home and you'll find at least one wall covered in photos, wall art, memorabilia and more. So when I moved my studio at the beginning of the year I decided I was going to go all out and cover the ENTIRE room with pictures and decorations that inspired me. There was just one smaaaaaaaaaall problem. This space right here. 

No matter how I moved things around, or what I put on the wall, there was that one odd shaped space that I just couldn't figure out and it was making me nutty! Enter my Cricut Explore Air 2 to the rescue!

{FTC Disclaimer: I have received product/payment in exchange for this blog post - but all projects/opinions are mine all mine! This post also contains affiliate links so I might make a few pennies if you buy something!}

Cricut Explore Air or Explore Air 2 with Design Space
Cricut 12x24 Cutting Mat
Cricut Vinyl in Caribbean
Cricut Transfer Tape
Cricut XL Scraper
Acrylic Paint (I used DecoArt Americana in Teal Mint)
wood word (different words available at any mass craft stores)
foam brush

I did the project in this particular order because it was more important to me to center the wood word and then add the letters - but if you prefer to do the letters first you can!

Paint your wood word and set aside to dry. 

Create your phrase in Cricut Design Space. Even though it was one phrase I created it in two sections so it would be easier to customize the sizing and spacing.

Before you cut the phrases, place the wood word on the wall (I used 3M Command Strips).

Then measure on either side of the word and size the phrases to fit. You may need to select "attach" so the phrases cut in the same direction on the mat. 

Cut the phrases on the Explore Air 2 and peel off/weed the excess vinyl, then cover both phrases with transfer tape and trim.

Tape or tack the phrases on the wall to make sure you know where you want them. If you can use a tape measure to line them up with other items on the wall...great! My sunshine wall art is not even - so I just did everything by eye.

The new XL Scraper is pretty much the greatest tool on the planet - it makes working on larger projects so much easier! I started at one side of the phrase - removed the tack/tape, peeled away the backing then replaced the tack/tape and used the scraper to adhere the phrase to the wall.

And voila! A piece of home decor that you customize to any theme, color, or size! Awkward empty wall spaces be gone!

Love Studio Wall-220-3.jpg

Looking for more fun ideas about using your Cricut Explore Air to add vinyl to just about anything? How about...

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

No Sew Paper Garlands (and Drafting Table Makeover) with Cricut!

Today is a two-fer project post! I'm tickled to be over on the Cricut blog as part of their "Meet the Maker" series (Don and I took an old drafting table we found at a yard sale and transformed it by creating custom stencils with Cricut) and I'm also sharing a quick tutorial for creating no-sew paper garlands that would be perfect for any theme! {FTC disclaimer - I was compensated for this post but the project and opinions are mine all mine! This post also contains affiliate links so I may earn a few pennies if you buy something!}

Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker (with Design Space)
Cricut Light Grip Mat
Three sheets of coordinating cardstock
Coordinating embroidery floss

Select a shape in Cricut Design Space (I selected an arrow from the Bits & Pieces collection and used the layer without the cut out) and cut multiple shapes from each color of cardstock. String each shape on to the embroidery thread with a needle.

Once all of the shapes have been strung you can separate the shapes evenly along the embroidery thread.

These are perfect for party or kids room decor, backgrounds for photos, the possibilities are endless!

I used my garlands as a backdrop for my latest Cricut project - I'm tickled to be over on the Cricut blog as part of their "Meet the Maker" series! Don and I took an old drafting table we found at a yard sale and transformed it in to the perfect table for my studio by creating custom stencils with Cricut and adhering them with my Xyron Creative Station with Repositionable Adhesive refill. Some Valspar and Plaid Crafts paint finished it off beautifully! Head on over for a full tutorial - and be SURE to watch the one minute video where you will see me in all my non-showered, bra strap showing, baseball hat wearing glory. I'm pretty sexy. ;)

Check out some of our other fun furniture makeovers!

I {heart} spray paint - customize your plastic storage drawers!

Plastic drawers have always been my storage of "choice" because they are inexpensive and easily movable, but I've always dreamed of more. Enter Valspar Primer for Plastic!

how to customize plastic storage drawers - Kingston Crafts

I have a confession to make. I am jealous. SO jealous. One of my guilty pleasures is peeping in to the studios of other crafters around the world through Pinterest, Facebook posts, blogs and video studio tours - and I am JEALOUS when I see people with custom built ins, or studios that have been curated for years and are filled gorgeous antique pieces that are just perfect...because when you move every two years or so like we do it just isn't possible. This hack to customize plastic storage drawers is the answer to my nomad prayers!


1. Simply remove the plastic drawers (I used three sets) and spray one coat of primer. Let dry - Don did these outside on a sunny day and gave it about 30 minutes.

2. Spray your paint color of choice. We used Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Gloss in Seaside and did two coats - letting dry about 30 minutes between coats.

3. To construct the top Don used a half sheet of 3/4" plywood and a couple of select pine 1" x 2"s.  He measured the length and and width of the three sets of drawers side by side.  He then cut the plywood to those dimensions plus 1/2". He cut and finish nailed the 1" x 2" around the edges of the plywood for a more finished look, then filled all the nail holes.  He sanded it then did three coats of white spray paint.

And voila!

Yes - we are STILL plugging away on the studio...progress is coming along slowly (having a brand new puppy has brought my productivity to a halt I confess) but FINALLY having pretty matching storage has really helped me start to pull the room together.  Can't wait to show you what else we're working on!

Looking for more "what to do with spray paint" ideas? Check out these fun examples!

Shelf Liner Paper - It Ain't Just for Kitchens Any More!

We love storage - and we love cheap.  So when we came across this bookcase for $5 at our local Goodwill we snatched it up without any real plan...until I re-arranged my studio and realized I needed more room for my stuff!

This bookcase had been well loved, so Don sprayed a few coats of Krylon on the exterior of the bookcase and on the underside of the top and permanent shelf. I used a foam brush and some acrylic craft paint to cover the edges of the bookcase and the shelves.  DO NOT WORRY if you get paint inside the bookcase (like I did) - everything will be covered with shelf liner paper.

Our local home stores did not have a great selection of shelf liner, so I ordered mine from Amazon.  I ordered two 2-packs and went through about three and a half rolls.

A few tips...

Make sure you get liner paper that is wider than the sides of your bookcase.  Because we could do the sides in one piece the only place we had worry about lining up the pattern was on the back "wall" of the bookcase.

Make sure you line up your liner paper to the top and far back edges of your project (above) and work your way down and to the front at an angle (below).  If you make a mistake it is MUCH easier to fiddle with "filling in the gaps" along the bottom of your project - and they are more likely to be covered by "stuff" once you start filling the bookcase.

Get a squeegee.   I used one I had lying around in my studio, but they can also be found at most craft and home stores.  This will be a life saver - especially along the edges and corners.

When working on the shelves - line up your liner paper along one end of the shelf and hang over both sides. Pull backing straight across the shelf and smooth liner with your hand as you pull.  Use a craft knife to cut away the excess from the sides.

And voila!  This project took us less than a day (painting included - we did it outside and it dried quickly) and added a fun pop of color to my studio.

And because you know we like to keep it real...here is a typical "in action" Kingston shot.  I'm wearing a hat because I hadn't showered, the room is in total chaos and Bizzy Bee is never more than five feet from me.  Ahhhh...craftiness.

Check out a few more of our favorite furniture makeover projects!