16 January 2014

DIY: faux wood garbage can

Back when I finally revealed the guest room last summer...


I mentioned it wasn’t quite done. Maybe at 90%. But, of course, I had to go ahead and show it to you “incomplete”. If I waited until it was 100% finished, then you still wouldn’t have seen it!

Those last few projects, man. They’re the last mile of a marathon.

But today I’m limping forward a few yards! It’s a quick, easy DIY that makes me happy and will keep me from having to awkwardly angle my photos in the future to hide unsightly, incomplete projects.

Check out the garbage can in this photo.


Oh, you can’t see a garbage can? Well, that’s because I tried to hide it from you. It’s there behind the chest of drawers. And if I was being an honest photographer, you’d know it looks like this.


Yup. Hello, 1990s teenage bedroom leftover garbage can! Why have I held onto this for so long when trash cans are so cheap? Because this one totally serves its purpose just fine... and if I could make it work in this room, well, then that’s one less discarded item in the world.

While I suppose it wasn’t in opposition to the color scheme of the room – there’s plenty of silver and blue happening! – I think it’s clearly a different style. And so I decided to do something about that. At first I thought I’d paint it, but then I remembered how lovely wood tones look in this room mixed with the white and silver.

So I pulled out the leftover wood-grain contact paper from this project:


This Plan B contact paper is really coming in handy! I’m surprised that I’m enjoying having it so much. You can get a roll yourself from Amazon for five bucks. It’s definitely not as pretty as the photo suggests, but it’s nice in small doses.

So to wrap the garbage can, I.... wrapped the garbage can. I mean, really, this is not a rocket science DIY project.


Just smooth it out with your hands and you’re good to go.

Since the can wasn’t a perfect cylinder, I had to cut away the edges with a razor.


It didn’t leave the smoothest edges ever, but you can’t see it under the lip unless you’re laying on the floor studying the garbage can. And if I invite you to my home, I assure you that there will be more fun things to do than study the underside of garbage cans.

The edges of the paper weren’t particularly obvious where they met, either. Yay!


But you know what was obvious?


OF COURSE there was a decoration on the inside. Since I had the outside of the can spiffed up, I couldn’t leave that star on the inside. I mean, it’s reflected around the whole inside! You could see it even if you weren’t looking straight down!

So I used the underside of the outside of the can to make a stencil for the inside:



Then just cut it out and stuck it inside:


Was it perfect? Heck no. But again: please don’t study the garbage cans in my house. I promise I would take you to the zoo or a fun restaurant before you could ever get that bored.

And anyway, why would you look closely when it looks so nice from afar?


I LOVE the almost retro faux-wood-and-metal style. Or is it futuristic? Maybe it’s what the past thought the future would look like. Either way, it looks fantastic in the guest room!

And with that, the guest room is officially... 91.7% complete! The last mile continues!

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