Farmgirl DIH {And A Giveaway!!}




Have you heard the acronym DIH instead of DIY?  I just recently found out that it means “do it herself”!  And I love that!  I’m very much a DIH kind of Farmgirl and that is probably because I was raised by a mother, who was also raised by a mother,  that wasn’t afraid to tackle anything.


My husband and I built our Farmhouse from the ground up all by ourselves and when I look back on it, I’m kind of amazed at all that I learned and tackled in working right next to him.


This post today is dedicated to my latest DIH project that was very unplanned and came out better than anything I could’ve ever purchased.




In my upstairs sewing room I had an old rolling shelf thing (in the above picture) that my father in law built when my husband was just a little boy… probably 60 years ago or so.  I hated to part with it so I had my husband and son in law haul it up to my sewing room and I have used it for several years for storing all my sewing things in.  But it was ugly and it drove me crazy.  It was also getting a bow on the top half (you can see that in the picture above) and that was driving my husband crazy.  I also didn’t like that the wall is a very large wall that could be fun and lively if only I didn’t have this ugly rolling shelf unit there.  I talked about painting it, putting new hardware on it, etc.  But every time I thought about it I vetoed it.  The thing was so ugly I just couldn’t stand the thought of putting time and money into it.




Finally I asked my husband if he would haul it out to his garage and I would shop around until I found something to replace it.  What I had in mind was something about table height with a nice work surface on the top.  My daughter and I were gone one day and I got the above picture in a text from my husband that said, “Well, in order to get the shelf down the stairs, this had to happen”!  He and my son in law had to cut the thing in half horizontally to get it over the stair rails.  (We remembered that we had actually brought it upstairs before the rails were finished!) He put it in his garage and said he was going to cut it up for firewood or something.  I looked at it sitting there on the porch and I was kind of sad about it.  But just kind of.


IMG_5903 2-001


So I began the hunt for a piece of furniture that was long, narrow and just the right height.  No doors, just a couple shelves, and made from quality wood.  Everyone suggested IKEA and I looked online at what they had and I just didn’t see anything appealing.  I looked at used furniture stores.  I looked at Target and Walmart.  And nothing appealed to me.


I stood in the garage talking to my husband about it and I said, “What I really want is a piece of furniture that is quality wood, long and narrow, about table height, no doors and nice shelves inside.  I don’t care if it is in poor condition, I can refurbish it”… as my hand was resting on the lower half of the piece of junk shelf that his Dad had built all those years ago.  (You see where this is going right?!)


IMG_5907 2


All of sudden I looked down, looked at him, and meekly said “Would you haul this thing back up to my sewing room?  I think it is exactly what I’m looking for!”  So he sweetly agreed.   I removed the doors and did a few other little repairs, filled the holes left from the hardware, sanded the old junky varnish off, and then I painted it a very nice Annie Sloan Paris Grey color.  I finished it with a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax and buffed it to a perfectly slick beautiful surface.  At first I wanted the rolling coasters removed and then I realized that  they ARE vintage after all! Smile!  And useful too.  So we left them.




My son-in-law helped us lift the shelf back over the stair rails and up to my sewing room.  I placed my metal crates and wooden boxes on the shelves and promptly filled them up with my sewing fabrics and supplies.




Everything fits perfectly and it is just exactly what I was looking for!




The top of it is just the right height for keeping my daughter and grand-daughters sewing machines (and a few spare ones!) handy for when we have “sew days”.




And a perfect spot for my favorite vintage locker basket.  (Have you ever seen an orange one like this one?  I am so in love with it!)




Then I pinned up my collection of mini quilts that I’ve made and a few that have been gifted to me.  I intend to grow this collection and I can change them out as I desire!





I cannot even explain how happy I am with the way the shelf came out.  It fits perfectly against the back wall.  It is the right height, the right length, and I couldn’t have found anything better brand new!


I really learned a lesson from the old, ugly rolling shelf that my father in law built all those years ago.  I know the man he was and how he would’ve built something to last and would’ve taken his time to put his heart into a project.  What a shame if I had not been able to see and appreciate what that was.  The top part of the shelf had warped and bowed through the years and really was beyond repair, but to be able to salvage the rest of it by doing some very simple work to it taught me so much.  I think we live in a world where “buy new” is the easy way out.  But honestly, putting a little time and energy into giving life to something old is so much more rewarding.




And I feel like that little piece of furniture brought new life to my sewing and creating corner and I’m so happy with it.




And I just found out this week that Home Depot offers monthly free DIH projects at their stores.  I’m excited because their class this month is making a wheelbarrow out of a wooden crate.  You can read all about the project by clicking on a blog post that my daughter wrote here, it also gives you instructions on registering with your local Home Depot for the FREE class (all you have to buy are supplies that cost under $25)!  It looks like such a fun project and I’m registered for the class and anxious to use my wheelbarrow for my Fall decorating!




And now… for the giveaway!  I don’t know how many of you Farmgirls know but MaryJane has a Special Edition DIY issue coming out in October and I’m so honored to have a DIY article in the magazine!  (And the really fun thing is that it will be on news stands on my birthday – October 11!)  This issue is not part of your subscription and will be available on newsstands October 11th.  Or you can do what I did and pre-order your issue by clicking here.


For your chance to win a copy of this special DIY Issue all you have to do is comment on this post!  I’ve pre-ordered a copy just for one of you Farmgirls and I will ship it to you as soon as it comes out.  


Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.



Leave a comment 94 Comments

  1. Joan H says:

    Happy Greetings, Dori!
    I like to sew also, so this post is especially enjoyable! I love, love, love the tour of your room and the project you did too. For me there is nothing so special than to have my own special space. Bravo! I now have an extra machine for my granddaughter too. Fun!

    That extra edition magazine is one I’m looking forward to.

    Thank you!
    FG 6465

  2. Cindy says:

    Love your idea and your sewing room. So neat and tidy. I know a cleared up room helps to make you more creative. I need to figure out how to be more organized with my sewing things. Would love a copy of this magazine. Thanks.

  3. Jena says:

    Cute post. Definitely can agree with finding new purpose for the things we own. I just love getting outta the box for purpose!

  4. Maxine says:

    Dori, this post just amused me so much, as it’s exactly something I would do! I really do love your craft room! BTW, I’m sure that magazine copy has my name all over it! LOL!

  5. Krista says:

    I love DIY projects. Or better yet DIH projects! I know that Home Depot offered classes for children, but I didn’t know about the adult classes. They sound like so much fun. I will have to sign up for one sometime and drag my mom along. Your new shelf turned out way nice. Repurposing what you have is always the best. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Thank you for the magazine giveaway. I can’t wait to check it out.

  6. Jeretta says:

    I love to sew and do crafts. My craft room has my desk to computer, sewing machine, and wall to wall craft supplies, and projects. That was a very good idea of yours.I wish my craft room could look so neat.

  7. Denise Ross says:

    Dori, I love what you’ve done with your (old/new) shelf unit. It looks fabulous.
    I love dih ing. I’ve got a beautiful detailed did cabinet that a client was throwing out. We rescued it, painted it a beautiful white, and changed out the top on it from an ugly marble one to a beautiful high gloss hardwood timber one and it just looks amazing. I’ve done a desk/dresser that I found at a thrift store for $25, with brass handles which I polished right up and it looks so beautiful. I use it every day. I love repurposing things, making old things workable and beautiful again. The process is just as wonderful as enjoying the end result and knowing I’ve done it, is the best feeling. I’m always looking for inspiration too from others projects too. Well done. Love the wooden barrel too. I can just imagine that at your place.
    Blessings to you

  8. Good work, sister farmgirl!!! That looks amazing and encourages me to get to organizing and quilting!!

  9. Megan says:

    Your shelf turned out beautiful! I would love to win a copy of the magazine. :)

  10. Jennifer says:

    I’m an avid reader of your posts and I share them with my favorite friend. One of my vocations is Family Physician so you can imagine how pressed for time I am, but your posts inspire my thinking and provide a dreamy escape to the farm. If you’d like to come do a DIH project on our 32 acres in Idaho, you’d be ever so welcome.
    We even have a gravel road…

  11. Debbie cook says:

    I love your website and your projects, especially the quilted ones…

  12. Valerie says:

    What a wonderful and sweet story! And the project you complete such a grand idea for me too with my art stuff. i do oil painting and now it needs a good cabinet that would hold all my needs. Been such a long time I have been painting but I need to get back to it. LOVE the concept “do it herself”. Just love it. To enjoy it more with the new magazine would be so “Love it”.

  13. Lorena Caler says:

    Would love to have a copy. But the shipping to my address is almost twice what you’re selling the magazine. I’ll take my chances on winning and if I don’t, I’ll buy the newstand copy.

  14. Sandy says:

    I would love to win the Mary Jane DIY issue. Thanks for the chance.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I would love to win a copy! You storage makeover is beautiful!

  16. beth midkiff says:

    I would love to receive one of the DIH books! It’s my style!!

  17. Linda Stiglich says:

    I love to see old things”repurposed”, as they are usually better built and have character that is so lacking these days. Good work, now you have something you can be proud of for many reasons! Thanks for the heads up on the Home Depot projects, too.

  18. I’m so glad you re-cycled your father-in-law’s work! What a great feeling! And I love D.I.Herself.

    If I don’t win the new publication, I will definitely order it or track it down! Looks awesome!

  19. Jane Parsons says:

    I too love to DIY or the newest version for us gals, DIH. That fits me so much better. I’m always figuring out how to take an object and make it better or just reuse and recycle. Very creative and love the transformation of your rolling shelve.

  20. drMolly says:

    Love that shelf. My idea of recycling to max.
    Gives me some ideas to explore myself.

  21. MarciD says:

    I just love your blogs and I love that you include so many pics. Thanks for always brightening my day.

  22. Judy says:

    Hi Dori – Your sewing room looks great. I know what you mean about repurposing – my precious husband was put to the test time and again to help me in my sewing room renovations. I would love to have a copy of the magazine. thanks for sharing your ideas.

  23. Linda says:

    I just have been reading your facebook post about the rolling book case. I too love old pieces of furniture that I have been given from time to time. I also especially love your little mini quilts. They are perfect above your table. I look forward to doing some mini quilts also. I would love one of the new books. I have her other ones and each time a new one comes out I just sit and read…… Can’t help myself I am addicted to all Mary Janes books and magazines.

  24. Denise says:

    I love that you took something old and worn and breathed beauty and new life into it! Your sewing room is awesome. I’m sure you must enjoy it immensely now. How wonderful that you spend time sewing with your daughter and granddaughter, making wonderful memories for their storehouse of good times spent with you. I am redoing a place of my own and you have inspired me to DIH. Never heard that term before your blog.
    Would love to win a copy of this special edition. Thanks for the opportunity!

  25. Gaye N. Durst says:

    I love the idea of rescuing something that is a family hand me down! I think of the awesome pieces my dad or my gramps or father in law had made, and the ways they could have been altered if need be.

  26. Carol says:

    Dori … I love how your shelf turned out! Isn’t it funny how you live with something for forever and then suddenly something happens and you find a better, prettier use for it? I love it! Carol

  27. Rosemary says:

    You reminded me of something I did a lo-ong time ago. We were given a Magnavox TV but the TV didn’t work and I hated to throw away a perfectly good but too deep mahogany cabinet. So I cut it almost in half (parallel to the front) so I had a back and a front. I set the back part (no doors) on top of the front half that has the doors. I put a couple of shelves in the top part and used brown shoe polish on the edges of the shelves and the cut parts for a perfect match of the colors. I also put one shelf in the bottom part. With a piece of plywood over the whole back it is sturdy and solid. My husband thought I was crazy when I suggested it but it has been a nice looking, useful, step-back cupboard for about 40 years!

  28. I always enjoy reading your postings and have to say I much prefer DIH to DIY, so thanks for that idea! I think remaking old things to work in your life today is not only smart for the environment but often, as in this case, results in creating something much nicer than what’s available commercially now. Good for you and congratulations.
    Yes, I would love to receive a copy, and hope it goes to the commenter who needs it most.

  29. Nancy says:

    Thank you for the sweet story and inspiration! I’ll be checking out craft days at Home Depot, too. :)

  30. DJ says:

    Awesome! Your sewing room looks so nice and organized! I really love it!

  31. Lana Wolford says:

    So encouraging to see your project finished and I love the smaller quilts on the wall…all inspiring! And…winning the special edition would be as well! Thanks!

  32. Lana Wolford says:

    I commented but it doesn’t want to post…

  33. Marcy says:

    I just loved reading this and seeing your gorgeous sewing room! Truly inspirational!!

  34. Cindy says:

    I always shop stores to get ideas and then go home and see what I have to make it with. That way you get new ideas but use what you have.

  35. Rebecca Riccio says:

    I just bought an old farmhouse and it came with quite a few pieces of old furniture. Your project has given me ideas with some of the furniture I have, especially for my new craft room. Love the idea of using something old and creating something new from it. The only requirement is imagination and a desire to do the job.
    Thanks for the ideas.

  36. Nanette Boots says:

    Dori, I love your new shelf. I too am a DIH and have been all my life. I can’t imagine not tackling a project I want done before I’m too old to enjoy it. It helps to have a handy husband too. Thanks for showing us your special “ME” place.

  37. Susan says:

    Grandpa Earl would be pleased!

  38. Joyce Baker says:

    I love what you did with your cabinet!!! It looks great!!! I’m glad you refurbished it after all your father in law put alot of hard work and love into making it!! You just made it better with your hard work and love!!!!! I’m always excited to get my Mary Jane magazines!!!! Love them!!!!!

  39. Lisa Zimmerman says:

    That turned out so cute. I love up upcycling pieces that are meaningful to family. I’m very excited about the new DIY magazine it’ll be welcomed by the DIH here!

  40. Cathi Greatorex says:

    This is a fun idea! Thanks for sharing…We recently moved to our dream ranch in the Mission Valley of Montana….The kitchen is HUGE…We have an old dresser, long and narrow…that I see as an island in that kitchen! May take some time to get to..but now that irrigating season is over…there is more time! CG

  41. Tami Cole says:

    Dori. I love your idea for keeping the wooden shelf. New paint will change the look of everything from days gone by. You just gave me an idea to make fabric wall hangings. Your wall looks so awesome. I love reading your posts . Keep up the great farm gal work . Your an inspiration to me

  42. Deb Larsen says:

    I loved reading your story. A dream come true! Most all of our DIH&H( his and her or her and his) projects are on our dining room table. Sometimes more than one sharing the space (Condo Living!) .

  43. Robin Reichardt says:

    Your sewing room is inspiring me to look atound and see what furniture piece I can repurpose to help make my sewing area as organized as yours. Then maybe I’ll get with it and make it beautiful like you have with your quilted wall hangings!

  44. Robin Crittenden says:

    I love what you did. It’s awesome. My sewing room could use that.

  45. Bonnie B says:

    Dori, Your post really made me smile. I can just imagine you standing there with your hand on the cut off piece and telling your husband what you were looking for! I have also done similiar things. I have also gotten rid of something too soon and wished for it back ~ so glad you saw the possibilities before that happened. And you saved a family piece. It looks just perfect now with your little quilts above it. I wish I was as organized!
    I would love a copy of the special edition of MJ’s Farm either by winning or I will have to purchase it myself ~ looks so interesting. Thanks for the opportunity and enjoy your room.

  46. Janeen Breyman says:

    My mother was a seamstress. She had drawers full of fabric and notions. I have fond memories of playing with her button jar. I would love to win a copy of Mary Jane’s new DIY.

  47. Genevieve Caswell says:

    I sew & quilt a lot, but you just made my day. I really enjoy a good make over project, and anything else that gets me organized. Here’s hoping I win & good luck to everyone!

  48. Julie Pruett says:

    Your sewing room is an inspiration. You have some really good ideas and you are very “resourceful”… My sewing area is starting to look like “hoarders” ugh! So I would love to win the DIH MaryJanesFarm issue and get more great ideas. Thank You for your blogs…

  49. Karen says:

    I have so many dih projects and ideas. This magazine gives me the inspiration I need to complete some.

  50. Marion says:

    Love what you did with that piece of furniture. Thanks for the giveaway.

  51. Joan says:

    Your collection of mini quilts. They are lovely and you are so talented. Thank you for this giveaway.

  52. Marilyn says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this magazine. i love the sewing room and the brilliant ambiance. Your sewing machines are so lovely.

  53. Rebecca says:

    I love the shelving unit now. You have given it new life. I also love Annie Sloan chalk paint so good choice for the color and paint.

  54. Rose Ann wong says:

    What a great adventure! Sometimes it takes taking something out of the picture to help us see the potential that it had all along And now the shelf has even more history and special meaning, and a great new look to boot!!

  55. Carol C says:

    I love your “new” shelf and am very excited for the Farmgirl DIY Issue!

  56. A. L says:

    Love the renewed storage shelves!

  57. Dawn-Tara says:

    Great post! I love what you did with the shelf! Love Annie Sloan paint too! Thank you for the giveaway too! Hope I win! Have a great day everyone!


  58. Nancy Garabrandt says:

    Sometimes we already have what we need in front of us. Looking at it like it with new eyes turned your old piece into a fantastic piece of useful shelving :) Love the color.

  59. Sheree Norman says:

    Isn’t it amazing how moving something to another room or location can help us see it in a different light. Up and over the staircase is a bit extreme, but it worked ! Recycle, repurpose, reuse !

  60. Meredith says:

    Great reuse of the shelf. I’ll have to look at unwanted furniture in a different light.

  61. Diane Loehr says:

    I am sooooo jealous of your beautiful craft room. I wish I had a space in my house for this kind of a room, I would probably never leave it. Love that you created what you wanted. Happy Sewing!

  62. Kim VR says:

    What a great refurbishment of a family piece. Absolutely love re-thinking the use of things I already have to invent something new out of something old!

  63. LH says:

    Very inspiring.

  64. Donna says:

    I love repurposing and DIY a lot of fun and makes me happy

  65. LynB says:

    Love how the shelf turned out!

  66. Lyn moon says:

    I so love to read your post. Your upstairs is looking so good. Love the small quilts on the wall. And to reuse an old piece of furniture in a new way is a treasure. Especially since it’s made from someone family related. Looks great.

  67. Lori Moore says:

    Cute shelf, nice transformation….love the mini quilts!!!

  68. Judy McI says:

    You inspired to use my bookcase as storage for my yarn supplies. Now just to find some baskets that fit…which shouldn’t be too hard. I am a quilter, but have recently starting weaving. I think wire baskets on my book shelve to hold all the beautiful yarn I am now collecting will be perfect. Thanks for the great idea and your inspiring posts.

  69. Cathy R says:

    What an awesome upcycle! Love your “new” wall! AND I really enjoy all you share with us, so inspiring! Thanks!! What a blessed life!

  70. APPLAUSE!!! Great repurpose!!!

  71. Vivian Monroe says:

    I love your sewing room Dori. I love the mini quilts hanging on the wall, and I always repurpose and rarely ever buy new. Well, I did buy my husband a new recliner for fathers day, but then for me I bought an old metal outdoor chaise from a garage sale, and a pillow on clearance rack at lowes and put a doily on top, then parked it in my living room next to my old antique trunk that my huband put legs on and made me a table now with a lamp and doilys and MJ farm magazines along with others. *talk about repurpose. ha.
    but back to sewing, I went to an estate sale just today and bought a 1957 Pink Atlas Deluxe sewing machine in the case, I am soo excited and my husband hopefully can clean her up get her running. I thought how fun after just reading Suburban farm girls post about all her machines, and how she names them. So I thought what better name for mine than “Mary Kay” since the guy describing her said she was a sort of cosmetic pink color. haha., and since I am a former Mary Kay Sales director myself. how appropiate. Cant wait to learn to sew on Ms. Mary Kay. Thanks and be blessed. Neta

  72. Nancy Miller says:

    I would love to win the magazine!! your shelf looks amazing and I really like the organized sewing room. I desperately need that done to mine!

  73. Jessica says:

    Cute sewing room! I need to find some of those baskets.

  74. Rebecca says:

    I love your “new” old shelf. It’s wonderful when you are able to rethink something you already have and make it into something useful and beautiful.

  75. Lisa B says:

    Hi Dori,

    You did an amazing job refurbishing that old shelf! It has given me the inspiration to refurbish an ugly old cabinet that I have been wanting to get rid of. I love your wall of mini quilts! I hope to learn to quilt someday.

  76. Gail Summerlin says:

    I love your shelf and your wall. It looks so fresh and organized. So glad you didn’t get rid of that shelf.

  77. Yvonne Palagano says:

    I have a sewing room, it doesn’t look as good as THAT though; but I love all your ideas and how you upcycle and recycle things and re-purpose them into other things that are useful. Keep all the good ideas coming. And I love the Mary Janes Farm magazine! When I grow up I want to be a Farm girl–someday!

  78. denise says:

    I love your mini quilt collection hanging on the wall! and your makeover is so neat!

  79. Nancy Smith says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  80. Karen says:

    Dori! I love your post. You’re mini quilt wall is so pretty and uplifting!! Awesome work on your ‘new’ shelf. I’m just thinking about a sewing room at my house. Yours is great inspiration! K.

  81. Debbie says:

    Hi Dori!
    I adored everything about this post. You and I share the DIH gene, that’s for sure! I love that you were able to re-create your hand me down cabinet into something more fitting for your creative space. To me there’s nothing better than being able to bring new life to something old. It’s especially satisfying when you are able to redeem a piece that has sentimental value. I just bet your father in law is tickled pink you still have it and are able to enjoy it fully. Your sewing room is a dream! It has you sewn all over it!
    Congratulations on the article in MJF Special DIY Issue…I can’t wait to get a copy!
    Happy Fall, sister!
    Deb ( Beach Farmgirl )

  82. Donna says:

    the sewing room is just like a dream I would have for mine though I obviously don’t have your vision. Thank you for the inspiration!

  83. Lori says:

    Just found your post. I love quilts and using old items in my sewing room. definitely following your posts!

  84. Irene says:

    So glad you saved the shelf. It holds memories like the new memories you are making in the sewing room.

  85. Irene says:

    I also commented but It won’t post.

  86. Charlene C. Hummel-Fleming says:

    Being a fairly new still Great Grand Mother, with a 2nd little baby boy to be born by Christmas, a big part of me “wishes” I could turn back the hand’s of time, so I could have a lot more very precious “time” on Earth to get to know these precious to my heart loved one’s, and they get to know me too, “if” only, “if” only.

    And so I plan to forge! ahead, putting one foot in front of the other, with my also continued & persistent need-goal to locate a new home, & within it have at very long last my very own “creating” room; a room hope-fully with a door, a window, and large enough to install shelving to the roof top!!! so I can spend the tent of my time on Earth “creating” what-ever my heart desire’s, while also getting to know very! precious to my heart great grand babies!!!

    Wishes & Dream’s, “can” some time’s become Reality right ??!! :)

    • Joan H says:

      Charlene, it really is never too late! I ended a marriage at age 56 and was prepared to go on alone. Alone but not lonely; but fate had a different plan. I reconnected with an old love, moved far away from my childhood hometown and have started a new life. I made having my own crafting/sewing space a priority and we found the perfect place. TWICE! Our first move just wasn’t quite right, so we upped and moved again 6 months ago. I’m really ready to get off this roller coaster, but most of it has been a wonderful ride!
      Best wishes. I know your opportunity is coming. Hugs.

  87. Charlene C. Hummel-Fleming says:

    Hi again, & Opps!! “meant” to type, “so I can spend the “rest” of my life on Earth “creating” :)

  88. julia kirk says:

    Would love the extra magazine. Someday I hope to get my sewing room organized, but with grown kids and grandkids moving in a nd out, doesn’t look good for me!

  89. Karen Hopkins says:

    Dori, your sewing room is just beautiful! Your grandpop would be proud to see what you made of his old piece of furniture too. I have several family pieces I have refinished and are now proudly displayed and fully functional in my home.

  90. maria slowik says:

    great you have that special magazine I have been following you for many years

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