Showing posts with label Crafts & DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crafts & DIY. Show all posts

Thursday, March 21, 2019

DIY Pallet Book Nook - Part One

Pallet Wood Feature Wall and Window Seat
When I purchased my current country home, many of the features that most appealed to me were the quirky, whimsical touches that made it so unlike all of the other cookie-cutter properties.  After moving in, though, I discovered a few things that were just a little too different for my taste.  Still, in renovating those oddities, I wanted to remain true to what had drawn me to this house in the first place: the use of character wood (weathered wood that captures your imagination).

In today's post, I am sharing part one of a two-part series focused on creating a DIY pallet book nook from a previously unused space in my upstairs bedroom.  We will start with the woodworking elements of the project and then finish with handcrafted decorating touches (a homemade cushion, pillows, rug, and other decor to cozy up the space).

Because I have poured so much of myself into my master bedroom renovations, it has become my favorite room in the entire house.  One last improvement remained to make this space visually and functionally cohesive.  There was a funky "hallway" in the room that housed my exercise bike (because it didn't lend itself to much else).  The thing that really bugged me about that long, narrow space was a weird, uneven application of drywall.  I couldn't knock that wall down because it housed my closet and was most likely structural (helping support the roof).  And, hanging, mudding, texturizing, and painting new sheetrock just wasn't on my bucket list.  Been there, done that.  Not my idea of a good time.  So, what to do?

Funky Drywall Before Renovation
Recycled pallets are the answer to most of the truly pressing needs in my world.  Seriously.  Pallet wood can right most wrongs.  It just requires a little—well, okay, a lot—of elbow grease.  I'm good with that.  The finished product has always proven worth it.  We'll just skip over the less than scintillating details of finding, hauling, deconstructing (pulling a massive number of ornery nails), and refinishing (cutting, sizing, planing, and sanding) a tall pile of pallets.  On to step eight.

Tape Marks Studs Where Planks Will Be Nailed
With the feature wall pallet planks ready for installation, I prepped the wall by finding and marking the studs.

Leveling Wall Sections With Lath
Next, I applied thin strips of wood lath to level the two sections of drywall, which will provide a more solid backing when nailing in the pallet planks.  The wainscoting pictured above consists of three framed pieces of corrugated metal topped by a chair rail.  It provides a nice contrasting texture, as well as adding a reflective surface to lighten up the space.

Oh the Tales This Wall Could Tell
When I nailed in the rows of pallet wood, I decided to alternate different widths and colors.  I left all of the wood in its natural state, as the original saw blade marks, nail holes, knots, and checking is what adds personality.  As I started working on this step, I got the inspiration to separate rows of planks with horizontally placed strips of recycled lath removed from inside the plaster walls of an old ranch house.  The definition of the chiseled edges of lath created an effect similar to the chinking seen between bricks.  Really, though, it is the history of that lath, and the story it tells, that adds so much value and interest to the feature wall.

Rustic Pallet Window Seat 
No book nook would be complete without a window seat.  Again, I used rustic pallet parts, purposely choosing planks with nail streaks, and then trimming the bench with pallet skids.  Where there was fresh wood from making the cuts, I applied chalkboard spray paint, and then sanded off most of it to blend the color with that of the naturally weathered surfaces.

Books Feed and Seed the Mind
Above the window, I created a decorative king post truss trim that matches the actual support truss on the front of my house.  I like the way it ties everything together.  While working on this truss, I happened to find the metal  Feed & Seed sign at Tractor Supply Co.  It seemed like the perfect message for my new space, as books certainly do feed and seed our minds.  When I got home with the sign, I was amazed that it fit exactly in place between the truss and the window.  That never happens.  I knew then that it was meant to be.

My Nook is Ready for Accessorizing
With the construction work done, I am now in the process of accessorizing my new nook.  I have selected fabrics and will soon start sewing the window seat cushion and pillows.  Stay tuned for part two of this DIY series when I post the final reveal.  So, what do you think?  Could you see yourself curled up with a book in this sunny space?













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Monday, March 11, 2019

Reviewing Jeans Yarn by Lion Brand

Stonewash Jeans yarn by Lion Brand.
Lion Brand Yarn Company sells some of my favorite yarns. While I'm waiting for my order of Comfy Cotton Blend yarn to arrive, I'm using some Jeans yarn that I had on hand. I had forgotten how much I love this yarn for hats. The super soft yarn, in blue jean colors, was perfect in a hat for my grandson. I think it'll also be awesome for making my Jenny Hats.

I've started crocheting chemo hats. I call them my Jenny Hats. If you'd like to know more about why I started making chemo hats the link to that article is listed below.

I've been using Lion Brand Comfy Cotton blend yarn for my Jenny Hats. Because cotton is so comfortable and because the Comfy Cotton yarn is so soft. But this weekend I did not have enough Comfy Cotton blend on hand. So I started a hat with the Jeans yarn. My goal is to make the most comfortable hats that I am able to make. 

I LOVE the Jeans yarn. It is 100% acrylic yarn - not cotton as I had guessed. It is machine washable and dryable. And the colors are awesome. "Stonewash" is the color pictured. Doesn't it look like a favorite pair of broken in jeans? 

The yarn is labeled as a size 4. In my opinion, it is on the small side of size 4. It is working up in this Jenny Hat just like the size 3 Comfy Cotton blend worked up. The Jeans yarn does not split or fray easily making it very easy to work with.

At the largest yarn store in my area, I can easily find Jeans yarn in 3 shades of blue, black and 2 shades of brown.  As I was preparing to write this, I see that Jeans yarn is being made in other colors; shades of pink, turquoise, red, and burgundy. These are labeled "Jeans Colors"

Jeans Colors - pink


Related Links:

Read about Jenny and why I began making chemo hats. I also shared photos of the Jenny Hats made with Comfy Cotton Blend yarn here

Another Lion Brand yarn that I rave about is the Wool Ease Thick and Quick. An excellent chunky yarn for neck warmers and other projects that call for a thick, soft yarn. 







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Monday, March 4, 2019

Reviewing Flexible Tunisian Crochet Hooks

Using the appropriate hook for the project. 
With a great deal of skepticism, I recently bought a 24" Flexible Tunisian Crochet hook. It is the recommended hook for larger Tunisian (also called "afghan") crochet projects. I fully expected to not like my purchase. I expected it to snag and not feel as comfortable as my preferred aluminum crochet hooks. Not only was I pleasantly surprised at the smoothness of this wooden hook, I was very happy with the longer length. I should have purchased more than just the one. I can imagine using a variety of sizes of these hooks in the future.

A friend at work asked me if I would try to crochet a scarf for her - from a pattern she found on Etsy. I told her that I'd try, but I was very new to Tunisian crochet. 

I started on the first practice attempt with regular, aluminum Tunisian Crochet hooks. I wanted to first test the pattern. I found that I could work it correctly for the most part. Then the project became wide enough that handling the straight hook was difficult. As the yarn gathered on the hook, it became bunched and too bulky to manage. 

So I ordered the ChiaoGoo 24" Flexible Tunisian Crochet Hook size H8. 

The flexible Tunisian crochet hook is a wooden crochet hook. It has a thick synthetic "cord" that ends in a wooden bead. The bead works as a stopper. The length of the hook with the length of the cord allows you to work on a longer project comfortably. As you can see in the photo, as I add stitches, my scarf easily moves on and off the hook. The bulk does not gather and bunch under my hand.

As I mentioned, I was concerned that the transition between the hook and the cord would snag my yarn. It does not. The metal cap is smooth and makes a smooth transition.

Initially, that stiff cord (think of super thick fishing line) flopped around while I crocheted and it distracted me. But after just 2 or 3 rows, I no longer noticed that naturally curled cord. 

My longer Tunisian crochet projects are much easier with this flexible hook.




Related Links:

This is the third project I've made using the Sweet Roll yarn by Premier Yarns. The color is Wild Cherry Swirl. While they offer many colors in this yarn the wild cherry is my favorite by far. 

I only began learning Tunisian crochet just a few months ago (October/November) and I'm enjoying it very much. See my first Tunisian crochet project here.

I've been taking more time to crochet and as a result I'm gathering a sizable collection of crochet hooks. This Teamoy Tunisian Crochet Hook Case is very helpful in keeping my supplies organized. 




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Friday, February 22, 2019

DIY Upcycled Drawer Pet Bed

Grizzly was quick to call dibs on this new drawer daybed.
One of the ways I express love for my animals is by making them things.  I'm always on the lookout for fun DIY projects for my kittens and pups.  While cruising Pinterest for inspiration, I came across something I could not wait to try: making a cozy pet bed by upcycling a drawer.  At the time I didn't have any old drawers, but then, like it was meant to be, I came upon a dresser that someone had abandoned.  Just like that I had four oak drawers that needed to be saved from a premature trip to wherever unloved drawers go.  I'd like to share with you how I took those vintage discarded drawers and gave them a new purpose in life. This is a simple weekend project that anyone can enjoy.


First, pick up a used drawer that will fit your pet.  You may find one at a garage sale or thrift store.  Since my pups are too big for a drawer, I'm making these beds for my kitties.   Given that they sleep most of the time—well, except for my wild child, Minnie—a custom bed is the gift they will use more than anything else.


Next, remove the hardware and sand the surfaces in preparation for your choice of finish.  At the moment, I'm in love with chalkboard paint, so I primed my drawer with it (Tip: Use the spray paint.  It goes on much smoother.).  Though a chalky soft black color may seem like an odd choice, I knew that I wanted to cover it with a white paint that would give it a stylish grunge look.  The nice thing about a dark primer is that it immediately enhanced the drawer's imperfections.


Now it's time to use your imagination to come up with a unique twist on decorating your pet bed.  When I came upon this cute mini trellis at Dollar Tree, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  It became the muse for a kitten daybed.  On the same shopping trip, I found these fluted glass candle holders.  They gave me the idea for an unusual set of legs for the daybed.  This is my MO as a maker: using things in unexpected ways.  Never one to be a copycat, I get my thrills from coming up with something really different.


Here's where sizing adjustments happen.  After determining the desired height of the daybed ends, I used my cordless Dremel with the cut-off wheel to shorten the trellis.  If you don't have a Dremel, you can use a hacksaw for this step.  I tried it both ways and the Dremel is definitely the easier and faster method.


Time to drill some holes to insert the trellis into the drawer's side panels.  I used a 1/8th inch bit to drill holes that are 3 1/2 inches deep.  This step required some care, as the wood panels are pretty narrow (about 1/4th inch wide).  I didn't want to accidentally drill through the side of the drawer.  By taking it slowly, I kept the holes where I wanted them to be.


So, let's get back to those glass candle holder/wannabe legs I mentioned earlier.  After spray painting them with chalkboard paint, I used white chalk to highlight the fluted edges, creating a kind of pinstriping.  An important last step is to spray the containers with a clear matte sealer to keep the chalk from smearing or wearing off.


At this point, I needed to screw lids for the jar legs onto the bottom of the drawer.  I replaced the candle holder insert with a regular mouth canning jar lid.  Because drawer bottoms are very thin, I bolstered the thickness by attaching strips of wood lath.  This ensured that the sharp points of the screws wouldn't poke through inside the drawer and pose a hazard to my kitten.  Once the lids were in place, it was just a matter of attaching the fluted legs.


The final steps included creating a name plaque for my kitten and placing luxurious bedding inside the drawer.  I chose a silky faux fur rug for the mattress.  It will be easy to clean by just tossing it in the washer.  As for the pillows, I simply rolled up a comfy fleece blanket.  Easy peasy.


I was anxious to get up this morning to see who might be snuggled up in the drawer daybed.  Though I created the bed for Minnie Pearl, the kitten I rescued last August, I didn't think I would find her snoozing.  I haven't actually ever seen her sleep.  She is way too busy with her kitten shenanigans.  I was very happy to find my senior cat, Grizzly Girl (aka Miz Grizz), curled up in Minnie's place.


All throughout the day, my girls have been vying for a spot in the new bed.  Mission accomplished.  My heart is full.  I decided I better get a head start on converting another drawer.  While I was working on it this afternoon, Sugar Bear was "helping" me.


This bed has a cathedral theme.  I found a gothic garden fence for the headboard, which reminds me of stained glass windows, and experimented with an antique crackle finish for the front of the drawer.  I'm actually using plant hangers for the legs.  Go figure!  I invite you to stop back by for updates and additional photos, as I still have two more drawers to go (and two more lovely felines to feature).  Crazy cat lady?  Nah.  I'm still one cat short of crazy.










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Monday, February 11, 2019

Reviewing Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Yarn

Reviewing Wool - Ease by Lion Brand Yarn Company
I have always loved to crochet. Recently, I have mindfully taken more time to crochet. As a result, my skills are improving and I've been creating things that people really enjoy. During this time I've begun to use a new yarn: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick by Lion Brand Yarns. Outside of using Bernat Blanket yarn in a couple of patterns, I've never branched out to the Bulky and Super Bulky yarns. But I stepped out of my comfort zone and I'm so glad I did. I am thrilled with this acrylic/wool blend yarn by Lion Brand.


Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick


I've never been a fan of wool - with the exception of work socks that have a small percentage of wool. I love those. But anything that has a larger percentage of wool I imagine as scratchy. I don't know why, but I do. I just always assume that wool is going to be uncomfortable.

During shopping trips down the yarn aisles, I am a toucher. I want yarns that feel good. One day I touched a skein of yarn that was so thick and soft that I bought a few skeins. I did not realize they were an acrylic and wool blend yarn until I got home. 

Wool - Ease Thick & Quick comes in two skein sizes: a regular skein size at 5 oz (87 yards) or the bonus bundle at 12 oz (212 yards).  Be aware if you are shopping online. It appears the some outlets show the regular skein size as the "bonus bundle". Be sure to read the weight/length if ordering online.




It is in the Super Bulky category (which is #6 on the label). And the recommended crochet hook size is "N" (knitting needle size 13).

Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. 

It is machine washable and dryable using cool temps. Do not bleach or iron.

I bought this yarn as I was experimenting - trying to crochet a very small neck warmer that someone had suggested. I ended up with the wrong pattern or the wrong size yarn during my experimenting. Then I gave this yarn and a "N" hook a try. And ta-dum, I have great neck warmers that people are enjoying.


Related Links:

My neck warmers on Etsy
If you'd like an acrylic/wool blend neck warmer and don't feel like making your own, keep your eye on my Etsy Store. I will offer these neck warmers with button closures at DawnRaeCrochet as I get them made.

If you'd like to make your own scarf from this yarn, you can check out the crochet patterns on Lion Brand Yarn Company site. If you are a beginner, this "Brunch With Friends Scarfie" would be a good pattern to try. 

I am not good at writing patterns. So I cannot give you an actual pattern for my neck warmers. But for those of you who do crochet this may make sense to you:

  • chain 9 to 11 (depending on the desired width)
  • turn and single stitch in each stitch; continue for 6 rows (beginning each row with a ch 1 and turn)
  • ch 3 and turn, DC in each stitch
  • continue for desire length (mine are around 27")
  • end with a row of single crochet for a finished edge
  • attach a button (or 2 buttons) near the end of 6 rows of SC
  • the button holes are the spaces between the DCs (making the scarf able to be worn in a variety of ways/lengths).



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Sunday, December 23, 2018

DIY Battery Gift Storage Hack

When You Have to Add Batteries to a Gift but Don't Want to Put Them Inside the Item, Try This Hack

During the holiday's or for special occasions, it's safe to say once in a while we purchase gifts that require batteries.

Purchasing batteries in bulk is convenient and affordable. However, when you have to include four or more batteries in a gift, batteries purchased in bulk means there's no package to put them in.

It's not recommended to put batteries inside the item you've purchased as the batteries can begin to lose their charge from that point. Also, if you're buying a gift months before you plan to gift it, it's always best to keep the batteries separate.

Of course you could individually tape each battery onto the inside of the box, however that's not always convenient.

There's another easy hack you can use to store batteries inside a gift. Check out this hack I used to include batteries for a remote control car purchased for a grandchild:


Gift Card Holders - A DIY Hack to Store Batteries for Gifts
At the dollar store, purchase a package of gift card holders. You'll normally be able to find them for multiple occasions throughout the year. In this case, the batteries are for a Christmas Gift.

This Gift Card Box Holds Six Batteries
This remote control car needed six batteries. I lucked out in that one gift card box holds six batteries. If you want to give extra batteries for future use, simply fill another gift card box with six more batteries.

Tape the Gift Card Box filled with Batteries to the Inside of the Item's Box
Depending on the gift you're giving, find a place to tape the gift card box filled with batteries inside the actual gift item's box. Tape the gift card box to the item's box to prevent it from flying around inside.

So go ahead and get batteries in bulk and add them to gifts whenever your heart desires. Get your gifts early, add the batteries, wrap them and keep them until that special occasion comes along.


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Sunday, November 18, 2018

DIY or New Reusable Advent Calendars For a Treasured Family Keepsake

A Wooden, Cardboard, Cloth or DIY Advent Calendar

We've had a cloth advent calendar for Christmas for the past 20 years. Since the kids were little, the same advent calendar sees our family room annually. 

The nice thing about a cloth calendar with pockets is you can put treats inside for each of the 24 days.

Our family Advent Calendar is featured below.

Bring out your own Advent Calendar each year and make it standard part of family traditions.

However, if you're not into a store bought reusable Advent Calendar, you can make your own. Get the kids involved.

Five DIY Ideas on How to Make Your Own Advent Calendar:
Our Family Advent Calendar
by Funkthishouse.com
  1. Use 24 kiddie Christmas socks. Glue each sock to a painted cardboard or wooden backboard. Put treats in each sock for each day.
  2. Use 24 small boxes (ring size) glued to cardboard or backboard. Keep the lids on the boxes, and inside each box put treats. Decorate the boxes individually.
  3. Attach 24 small gift bags to a backboard or cardboard. Put treats in the gift bags.
  4. Use mini tree stockings. Put them all together on a piece of string with numbers on the front for each day. Put treats in each one.
  5. Use 24 empty toilet paper rolls. I know, that's weird right, but it works. Glue the rolls together in the shape of a Christmas Tree - 1 on the top for the star then, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, then 2 and 2 for the base of the tree. Glue them together then decorate each one. Place goodies inside each roll. 
Making your own Advent Calendar is a beautiful reminder during the kids growing years. When they're older, and no longer decorating with you, you'll pull out that calendar along with your past Christmas memories.

Time holds our treasures, and our treasures stop time. Think about the decorations your kids have made over the years, and what they mean to you. There isn't anything quite as precious.

Whether you use a pre-made Christmas Calendar or  DIY one makes no difference. Create memories during the little years to carry you through the big years.

When the time is right, take all the decorations your kids have made, wrap them up and pass them on. They can include them into their Christmas traditions along with your family stories.




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Sunday, October 21, 2018

5 Creative Household Pillowcase Hacks

Review of Multiple Ways to Use Pillowcases for Sorting, Storing, and Decorating

1. Use Pillowcases to Cover the Backs of Chairs

Last week I featured how to use a pillowcase to make a No-Sew Halloween Chair Cover

You can also use it to cover the backs of ratty or damaged armless desk chairs.

The worn faux leather desk chair in my son's room started to shed some of it's material. The pieces were making a mess on the floor. 

So not being in the mood to buy a new chair, I covered the back of it with a pillow case. The width of this particular chair was perfect. The pillowcase fit snuggly keeping all the worn pieces neatly inside. I simply tucked the excess pillowcase at the bottom of the chair into the seat.

2. Use Pillowcases to Line Baskets and Boxes

Have you ever been to the store and thought you'd love one of those lined hampers or decorative storage baskets but after seeing the price, changed your mind? 

You can make your own.

This no-sew pillowcase hack is very easy. Put the pillowcase inside the basket and pull it over the sides. For smaller baskets, just tuck the excess pillowcase up the side up and create a thicker border edge. If you want, use sticky double sided velcro strips under the pillow case border edge to keep it in place.

You could also put the excess in the bottom part of the basket.

3. Use Pillowcases to Cover Your Clothes

Instead of using plastic garment bags, cut a hole in the top of a pillowcase and pull it over your clothes on a hanger.

It's a handy way to store kids clothes. Place three or four items together under one pillowcase, tie it at the bottom. When you're ready to pass them down, they're neatly together in the closet.

Pass them down in a decorative way: Use pretty pillowcases and tie the bottoms with a satin ribbon.

4. Use Pillowcases to Organize Bed Sheets

How many times have you had to look for the sheets matching pillowcases? This hack is the best, it's my personal favorite. 

Put your sheets and other matching pillowcases that go with the set, folded inside one of the matching pillowcases! Best of all, your linen closet looks super organized. When you need your bedding, it's all together.

5. Use Pillowcases to Cover Stools and Create a Skirt

For taller stools this is especially simple. Pull the pillowcase over the stool. Take a ribbon or other decorative piece of material and tie it just under the seat part. The excess material will create a skirt. If there's room under the seat, you could also attach the material by using a heavy duty staple gun.

If the stools are small, use the smallest pillowcases you have. You may have to cut and hem them, or use a bit of creativity to pull the excess material up and then tie the tie below the seat.

These make a lovely decorating hack for parties and special events.

Have fun!



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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Easy No-Sew Halloween Chair Covers

Add Halloween Chair Covers for Parties or Just Because You're the Mommy with Magical Detail Decorating Powers

Small details create a finished décor scheme. Expert party planners think of the most mundane items to include when they decorate. 

The walls, the lawn, the windows, the doorways and table settings are the first choice areas most of us tend to decorate. Rarely do you see chair covers.

You Can DIY Your Own Chair Covers Simply By Decorating the Chair Backs

If you love to dip your paws into artsy festive projects, start with chair covers. 

The easiest way to DIY chair covers is to focus strictly on the backs of the chairs. The seats of chairs are little more work, so avoid those unless you're into more work.

Simple No-Sew Halloween Chair Backs:
  1. Use Pillowcases to put on the backs of each chair. 
  2. First check the size of your chair backs to see if a pillowcase will fit over it. Most likely it will. You may need king size pillowcases if your chair backs are quite high.
  3. Decorate the pillowcases.
  4. If you're not into decorating the pillowcases then purchase plain orange or black pillowcases and simply slip them over the chair backs as is.
  5. Or, get the kids involved with decorating each one.
  6. Decorate them anyway you want. Draw on them, tape or glue cut-out designs on them, use felt, or markers. Let your inner artist lose.
  7. Or buy pre-made Halloween themed pillowcases.
When Halloween is over, pack them away for next year.

Not a DIY Guru? No Biggy, Get them Ready-Made

We're not all the crafty type. Not to worry, you can find some creative pre-done Halloween chair covers online. Most are quite affordable. Here's a super cute cover for a little girl's Halloween Party:


You can find additional ready-made Halloween chair cover styles here.

Have fun, and Happy Halloween :)


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Friday, September 14, 2018

How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture

How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture
Renew Your Outdoor Furniture with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint

For the last few seasons, our outdoor furniture has started looking worn and tired.  Metal outdoor furniture is too expensive to throw away and replace, but it was definitely time to restore the beauty of the pieces.  

Last spring my husband started refinishing our outdoor furniture one piece at a time.  He choose our wrought iron table as his first project.  With a few cans of black Rust-Oleum and less than an hour, our outdoor table looked brand new again!  

Since then, he has refinished the chairs that match that table and the whole set is beautiful again. 

Last week, he refinished our wrought iron glider.  I love all of our outdoor furniture and appreciate its durability.  But, that glider is the one I use the most.  I am thrilled to have it restored to its original beauty.

My new slogan for wrought iron metal outdoor furniture:  Restore, Don't Replace!
 


Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture
Refinished Wrought Iron Patio Table & Chairs
He also painted my little ghost  in the background with a can of White Rust-Oleum - Getting him ready for Halloween



How to Refinish Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture

Time:  45 mins
Cost:  $25.00

Compared to the Cost of a New Glider:  $300.00

Because the refinishing of the metal table and chairs had been so successful, when my husband said he was going to refinish the glider, I grabbed my camera.  I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to tell you exactly how to repaint your metal outdoor furniture too.

  How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor FurnitureItems Needed:
  • Cans of Rust-Oleum
  • Plastic Drop Cloth 
  • Tent Pegs
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Old Shoes & Old Painting Clothes
Step 1:  Clean the piece - remove all dust & dirt

Step 2:  Cover an area in the yard with a large, thick plastic drop cloth  (2.0 mil preferred)

Step 3:  Use tent pegs to hold the drop cloth down.  We used old army tent pegs at all four corners, but you could use bricks instead to weigh down the corners.

How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture Step 4:  Shake up the Rust-Oleum spray paint

Step 5:  Turn the piece over and start spraying the underside

Step 6:  Turn the piece right side up and spray the entire surface from every angle in order to cover it completely and evenly

It took about 45 minutes and 4 cans of Rust-Oleum to spray paint the glider.  That short amount of time spent renewing our glider will give us many more years to enjoy the beloved glider.  Plus, the Rust-Oleum spray paint helps to prevent rust.


Restoring Wrought Iron Metal Outdoor Patio Furniture


Additional Spray Painting Tips: 


Wear disposable gloves  (see products below)

Wear long sleeves to protect your skin

You may need to wear protective eyewear and disposable masks

Keep the spray can moving as you are painting to avoid runs.

You should do all of your painting on any individual piece within an hour.  

This spray paint, in our experience, tends to self- level any heavy areas of application as it drys, within reason.

Let the furniture piece completely dry for 24 hrs. before use.

 
How to Easily Paint & Refinish Metal Outdoor Furniture
My Wrought Iron Glider Beautifully Restored

   

 See More Crafts & DIY Reviews On
ReviewThisCrafts.com!

 

House of Sylvestermouse











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Monday, August 6, 2018

Mosaics By Maria Review

Looking for mosaic tiles? Glass tiles in the size, shape and color needed for your mosaic tile or glass projects can be difficult to find whether it be an online merchant or bricks and mortar store.

Quality glass tile can be difficult to obtain as brick and mortar stores which carry a wide selection, are very tough to find even in large cities.



I have tried more than a few tile sources and always return to the tried and true online store of Mosaics By Maria.When I was learning to create mosaic tile projects it was my teacher/mentor who referred me to Mosaics By Maria and it was a wise recommendation indeed.


Variety Of Mosaic Tiles


Mosaic tilers and stained glass artists know how much labor is involved with crafting pieces requiring small intricate glass cuts. Pieces take hours to make and the less time nipping glass the better!

Mosaics By Maria offers rectangles, squares, mini rectangles, skinnies in a variety of sizes between 1 inch and 1/4 inch; cut with accuracy for a clean and straight edge. For those of us who tend to wander when attempting to cut a straight line these tiles are perfect for backgrounds as is or can be easily nipped to adjust the size.



Off Cut Mosaic Tiles


Off cut tiles are the remnants or scraps from the cutting of tiles from large glass sheet. Mosaics By Maria always has a large selection of off cuts sold in bulk. The off cuts are all shapes and sizes which are a must have if you tile regularly. I love the off cuts in white and black as these are colors always needed when tiling and the off cuts are a nice saving for your time, tile budget and preventing tiler elbow!


Glass Tile Sheets Offer Convenience


Smaller glass sheets are also available and the main attraction is the smaller size! Glass sheets from commercial suppliers are usually large and difficult to manage for the hobby tiler. The glass sheets must be cut down multiple times before the glass can be sized to a smaller home mosaic pieces. Mosaics By Maria offers 6 inch square glass sheets which are easy to store and easy to use.
I like to use the sheets for projects such as Chauncey The Lion.



Chauncey is made with abstract cuts from a glass sheet to form the lion.



Giraffe Mom made with pre-cut tiles in squares and rectangles nipped to size.



Turning Your Dog Into A Mosaic Tile


Yes, I turned my dog into a mosaic tile as a Christmas gift for Grandma Dog. It may seem a bit overwhelming for a novice tiler to transform a pet into a mosaic tile, but I promise a DIY er can do it. If you are interested in turning your dog or cat (fish, gerbil, rabbit!)into a mosaic tile, I provide a tutorial here.




This project was a combination of using pre cut square tiles and a glass sheet cut abstractly for the background.


Recommendation

I highly recommend Mosaics By Maria for quality mosaic tiles. My orders have always been shipped quickly, the orders have been accurate and I love the selection of pre-cut tiles to meet all your mosaic tiling needs. Always a pleasure to support a company or service which delivers as promised.


My Favorite Tile Nipper


I'm frequently asked what tile nipper I would recommend. I have definitely tried quite a few and always go back to one of the most affordable nippers which performs well consistently. I have found the Roberts/q.e.p. Glass Tile Nipper far outperforms the much more expensive tile nippers.







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Saturday, July 28, 2018

How To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil Ever

How to make the easiest cuticle oil ever
Photo's by Lou16
Today I'm going to review how to make the easiest cuticle oil ever. Once you see how easy it is you'll wonder why you haven't always made your own DIY cuticle oil!

Don't use a cuticle oil? You're not alone, it's a step many people miss out when they do their nails at home. I must admit, but cuticles were in pretty bad shape and I would just rub my hand cream into them and think 'oh well, that's just my cuticles!'

This year I've decided to treat myself my getting my nails done once a month (well it's about every three weeks, but my husband thinks it's a monthly thing LOL!) and I do love it when they pop on the cuticle oil at the end. My cuticles are looking much better, but they would look even better if I used it a little bit more often.

Now I like the idea of using natural products and not having some of the additives that you find in some skincare/personal care products being present. I also know that lemon oil is great for softening cuticles, I just had to look for some cuticle oil recipes ...

There are so many recipes for DIY cuticle oil that they would make your head spin, but many of them used so many ingredients that it just seem such an effort. Using sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil and about 5 different essential oils just seemed a lot for me to recommend to people, after all we don't have all these ingredients just lying around the house do we?

Well I found a recipe that used olive oil and just two essential oils and I changed the essential oils (based on my own aromatherapy knowledge, and on what I had on hand) and I've come up with the easiest cuticle oil ever -

How to make the easiest DIY cuticle oil ever - every thing ready to begin - olive oil, lemon oil, lavender oil, bottle and funnel

Easy DIY Cuticle Oil That Your Nails Will Love!


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 drops pure lemon essential oil
2 drops pure lavender essential oil.

Simply mix the ingredients together and keep in a bottle, I recommend seeing if you can find a nail polish style of bottle with a nail polish brush to keep it in (they didn't have any at my local store) or even a roller bottle.

These type of bottles will made it easier to apply, but aren't essential.   As you can see from my photo I just used a test tube style bottle (as I had it on hand) and I use a Q-tip to add the oil around my nails. I will let you know, however, that I have some roller bottles on order.

Lemon oil is fantastic for softening hard skin which is why it's a perfect addition to a cuticle oil. Lavender oil is a very nourishing oil, softening and just great for skin. The combination of these two oils works fantastically to help keep your cuticles looking fabulous and as an added bonus, using a cuticle oil after a manicure actually helps it stay looking beautiful for longer something I've only just found out!

                                                                                                                                                              
EXTRA TIP - if you take vitamin E capsules then simple pierce one of them and squeeze the contents into the cuticle oil.  It will make the oil even more moisturizing and rich (a much cheaper alternative to adding vitamin E oil!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
It's very important that you use pure essential oils and not synthetic ones when making your own skincare as each essential oil brings it's own benefits and fragrant oils don't have these benefits.

I love to use Arbonne's essential oils when available, if I'm after an oil that they don't have then I make sure that the one I buy is 100% pure essential oil.

Aromatherapy Isn't Just About DIY Skincare!


You can use essential oils for lots of different things, here's a few articles that you might find interesting ...

How Aromatherapy can Help StressHow Aromatherapy Can Help Stress
Aromatherapy has proven to be very successful at helping to relieve stress, simply by using certain essential oils stress and conditions caused by stress can be alleveiated.

Essential Oil Room Humidifier and DiffuserEssential Oil Room Humidifier and Diffuser
Using essential oils in a humidifier or diffuser can add a lovely atmosphere to a room as essential oils can really help to work on your emotions from relaxing you or making you more upbeat.

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree OilReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
The herbaceous fragrance of tea tree doesn't begin to hint at how many uses there are for this essential oil from medicinal to beauty to household uses this is one very versatile essential oil.


How to make the easiest cuticle oil with only 4 ingredients
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