Thursday, May 29, 2014

Flashback Friday: Salvage Screen Door Before & After

It's almost time for City Wide Clean-Up in Boone. We're moving away the weekend of the clean up (very very convenient for us!), but I'm going to miss the great finds I snatched up. One of my favorite things was our new screen door to our porch.This week's Flashback Friday features our porch door before & after. Enjoy!

Salvaged Screen Door Before & After

Hello There!

I've been so excited to show off this before and after. It took FOREVER. It seemed like every time I went to work on it, we had something come up. I suppose that is just summer in general. We have this unusual entry way behind our house. The entry would be open if it wasn't for the need to keep the dogs in the fenced in yard. When we moved in (& as you know, we rent), there was a door that did the trick for a while. However, it seemed that the wind wasn't its friend, and it's looking quite brutal.

What a sad looking door. During city wide clean up, I found this awesome door. So, the door was free. However, it was in pretty rough shape. It needed a good clean up and deconstruction.

This is how I found the door on the curb. Sad and dirty.

Time to sand it down and remove that scary looking screen. I thought I might cut a finger off.
What a great chance to use my detail sander accessories for the first time! Love LOVE it. As you may remember, I did a review of my sander here. 

All sanded and repainted. I had some chicken wire sitting around from a purchase at the Habitat for Humanity store. Yes, they sell chicken wire there. I think I paid 2 bucks for a huge roll.
So, I thought I was in the homestretch when I finished this part of the door. Uh. Not even close. I knew the door was a bit too tall and narrow from measuring it, but apparently I wasn't paying attention when I measured it because it was much more narrow and tall. Tall we could deal with. Tall was actually kinda nice because it will keep the wind from pushing it through the door and beating it up. However, narrow wouldn't work. So we had to buy boards to frame the door in more. Then we had to return them since they were the wrong size (I would like the record to show I told my husband they were too narrow but he insisted he had the right ones.) Then we had to cut them, then paint them and attach them. That process took much longer than it should have.

Since we rent, this door is completely replaceable. We kept the old one just in case they would like to put that one back on, or if we decide that we would like to take this door with us. It's just a matter of removing some screws and putting the old one back up.

Here's the final product!

I love the bright color and I love how it makes the cart we keep our child's outdoor toys on just pops. The lattice isn't my favorite, but it does the trick and since we don't own the house, I don't mind it staying. I did freshen up the paint since I had to paint those extra boards to frame in the door. Does this door scream "welcome"?
As an FYI: The project was quite affordable. With new paint, chicken wire, hinges and boards to frame in the door, we spent around $20.00.


Show & Tell: Silhouette Moving Announcement Card & Envelope

Hello There!

I have a fun Silhouette project to share today with a mini tutorial. I wanted to make a card to send out to friends and family about our move and new address. Mostly, the cards are important for relatives and the few friends that aren’t online and couldn’t get an e-mail.

I did some Pinteresting (yes, that’s now a verb) and found some different ideas. Once I found some kraft paper in the dollar section of Target, I had an idea of what I wanted to do.

Moving Announcement Card and Envelope


Scrapbook paper (one 12 x 12 sheet makes 4 inserts) $1.00 for 4 sheets
Kraft paper (I found 8 x 8 kraft paper sheets in the dollar section of Target. $1.00 for 12 sheets)
Silhouette Cutting Machine
Glue Stick

Step One: Create Your Design

One of the main reasons I love my Silhouette is because I can trace shapes. I used silhouettes I found on Google for the two states I wanted on the image and used the trace function.  You could also easily buy the shapes from the store. Each insert I created was 5 x 5. Once I had designed one insert, I selected everything (ctrl-A) and then used the grouping function. Once I had grouped all the different elements together, I copy and pasted the insert on the 12 x 12 sheet online so I had four total inserts for one sheet of scrapbook paper.  

Cut your design out. Remove it from your cutting mat. Make sure you save any shapes that are formed by the negative space…you may need to add them back in or save them for something else fun!

Step Two: Create Envelope

Fold each corner of the kraft paper so the corners meet in the middle of the page. Channel your inner 3rd grader and think of those origami fortune teller things.

Step Three: Glue Insert into Envelope.

After folding your kraft paper, you’ll have a square that is approximately 5.5 x 5.5. Apply some glue from your glue stick to the back of the insert and try place the insert center. You may need to glue in other shapes. On my insert, I had to glue back in the heart from each state. I started out gluing in the negative space for the letters, but gave up after a couple because they were so small and I was covered in glue. My table is still sticky. 

Step Four: Add Your Address

I handwrote in my family’s new address in the blank space on the bottom left of the insert. If you didn’t want to write it yourself, you could be extra crafty and use the Silhouette sketch pens or the print & cut option.

Step Five: Seal that Baby Up!

Now I had originally planned to just do a small piece of tape on the back to seal all the openings closed, but I was having problems with that. Not all my folds were perfect, so there were little gaps between the flaps. If you add tape on those flaps, you are going to tape your insert and who knows how it’s going to rip when they try to open it. To minimize this, I grabbed some of those negatives I had sitting around. I sealed the envelope with one of the cut out state shapes on the back with some packing tape. I’m sure you could use some fun tape instead, but all my fancy tape was packed up and I had a packing tape gun right next to me.  I used the other state cut out as a return address label on the front of the envelope.

Now you have a fun cheap way to tell everyone to update their Christmas Card lists!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Flashback Friday: $5.00 Umbrella Stand

Today's Flashback Friday post is a great project for the summer. Now, keep in mind this project looks better now (not nearly as sloppy) since I have used a nice big pretty planter I got for free. I also cut a piece of a wood in a circle and painted it pretty so it now functions as a nice end table and umbrella stand.

$5.00 Umbrella Stand

Hi Everyone!

I am writing this on Sunday, but probably won't submit it until Monday...just so you don't get a blog over load! It was quite a busy weekend with the craft show, but I did get one craft in. And for all of those people out there that ask me how I do this all with a full time job I have two things to say, 1) I don't sleep or clean as much as a should and 2) My husband is super awesome. I get up at 6:00 am, leave for work at 7:00, get there at 8:00, work until 4:30, get home at 5:30, play with my daughter until bed time at 7:00 or 8:00, craft or do a project while my husband studies until 9 or 10, then go to bed. I am a tired girl! Thankfully my husband does things like watch my daughter while I finish something up, paint a display at 10 pm at night or lets me take a nap on the weekends.

This week's project was a necessity for the craft show, but I'll be using it at home too. This was my first outdoor show. I didn't want to get a tent quite yet since I don't know how many outdoor shows I'll be doing, but I still wanted some shade. So, Tami from Cozy Trends had an umbrella I could use, but I didn't have an umbrella stand. So, why not make one? (or two?)

Quikrete Quick Set Concrete (The kind in the red bag!) $5.00 per 50lb bag which is good for two stands.
Bucket/Old Planter (I had these sitting around the house. Very easy to find secondhand) Free
PVC Pipe (I had some sitting around. You only need a very small piece) Free/$1.00
Duct Tape (Had sitting around)
Rubber Gloves (Concrete and hands don't mix well)

Optional: Wood Circle, Rocks, Various Pretty things

Total Cost: Less than $5.00

My new favorite product!

Planter we had sitting around...

Bucket and PVC pipe from old photo backdrop display I made a few years ago.


1. Cut PVC Pipe

Stick your PVC pipe in the middle of the planter. You will want it to be level with or slightly below the rim of your bucket and planter. You can use any kind of saw you want to cut it (I've used hand saws in the past) If you measure before you leave the house or are buying a planter new, the employees at most home improvement stores will cut the pipe for you too. (And if you buy the pipe by the yard/feet or whatever, this is a great idea.)

2. Tape & Center

Use duct tape to tape the bottom of your pipe close. Get a piece of tape as wide as the planter/bucket and tape the pipe into the center of the planter/bucket.

How backwards is this? Black PVC pipe and white duct tape.

Pipe taped into position.

3. Pour & Water

This is why I LOVE Quikrete. You don't have to mix. Put your gloves on. Pour the powder into the bucket around your PVC pipe. Add the recommended amount of water. (About a 1/2 gallon for 1/2 the bag) Let it set. Seriously. That's it! It will harden within 20 minutes and be strong within 4 hours. I only used a half bag of concrete so the concrete only fills half the bucket. If you fill the bucket to right below the PVC pipe, you don't have to do anything else. As it drys, make sure it's smooth on top and you'll have a (heavy) end table/umbrella stand.

This is where you can get creative. If you want to decorate your concrete, let it get drier and put things in the concrete...jewels, carve words, tile...whatever! You could also fill the bucket with a pretty rock or even cut holes on the side to drain and make the whole thing a planter!

Bucket ready for water.

My father-in-law cut me a circle out of wood that is just a bit bigger than my planter with a hole in the middle to match my PVC pipe. (out of scrap wood he had sitting around) I'll just have to set that on top of the planter and instant outdoor end table!

If you use a bucket and you don't need an end table, you can do what I did for the craft show. I just put a piece of fun fabric over the bucket and tied a piece of ribbon around the outside. It's a portable stand too because I can lift it with the bucket handle.

Ignore the ugly duct tape I used to keep it in place and the sloppy job with fabric. I was in a hurry that morning. It's much more pretty!

Umbrella stand finished.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ugly House: Overhead Lighting Solutions


I have officially bought my first item for Ugly House! Yay!

When I'm planning something, I like to start prep months early. Whether it be planning for my wedding, first child or even just a party, I try to start early so I have some time to be thrifty. I would like to think even if I won a million dollars, I would still try to find deals, and reuse & recycle materials....that I would load up into a really nice car and take to my huge restored turn of the century home. ;) Today I was walking around Lowe's, and a solution to one of Ugly House's problems...of which there are many...was sitting right there, and on clearance for half off. Score! Then a second later, a mouse ran across my feet. I did not scream like a little girl, but I did half attempt to crawl into my cart. Mostly a win for today.

One of things I noticed right away when we were touring Ugly House is there is no overhead lighting in the living room. Not completely unusual especially in the late 70's-early 80's, but something that has always driven me crazy. I hate dark rooms. So, I started searching online for a solution to overhead lighting.

Eventually we'll hard wire a light fixture into the living room, but we'll wait until we have the island done and do all the lighting (dining, kitchen, living and pendant) at once. So, I needed a temporary solution for the living room.

After searching online, I was armed with a bit of knowledge of terminology for lighting. What I was looking for was called a "swag light." Now, if you know what that is, you probably have visions of lights that look like this:

Actually, those probably are coming back in style. Side note: When I Googled "Ugly Swag Light," a picture of Jesse Williams came up. Not only is he not a swag light, he is most definatly not ugly. mmmhmmm. ;)

There are a couple of different options. Now, a very simple solution is a swag light drum shade kit. You can buy this kit from Lowes and pick a drum shade to match. Simple easy affordable solution.

Lowes also sells this light for only $30.00. It doesn't quite fit the decor we're going with, but I do love it. If it had more than one bulb, I would have been sold, but I need something with more light.

Etsy has many wonderful lights too. If we had been looking for a permanent solution, I would have definitely found a great handmade light.

All of these are great solutions. Today, I found the one that was perfect for us. Lowes had a hanging outdoor chandelier. I didn't realize such a thing existed until today! It was a light that plugs in, but has five bulbs. I was worried about there not being enough light with the one bulb options, so one that has 5 bulbs is a great solution. The shades aren't my favorite, but those can be changed or covered. Plus, once we're done with the light (once we have a light hard wired in), we can move the light outdoors where it's intended. The light includes a rope accent which I think is a nice touch of a natural element.

So, if you're looking for a modern swag light, don't forget to check out Etsy and outdoor chandeliers. You might find the perfect solution that wasn't made in 1970's in bright brass!

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