Bliss at Home has shared an easy way to turn furniture that’s drab into something truly fab with their How to Spray Paint Furniture tutorial!

 

We love finding easy ways to spruce up our homes, so we couldn’t wait to get our spray on!

 

Please click here to visit Bliss at Home and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: When I found out that this project was chosen, I jumped for glee until my hubby put the kibosh on painting our lovely night stand. Phooey! I settled for a chair to paint instead and will wait until he goes out of town to tackle the night stand. Ha!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

With the weather being hotter than Hades and this ridiculous humidity that blows my hair into a brillow-pad fuzz ball, it was not very conducive for spray painting. I went with it anyway. I would suggest waiting until the weather is a bit cooler to take on a painting project.  Cooler weather= faster drying times.

The original post suggests sanding and applying a clear gloss top coat. I did a half ass job of sanding and did not use a top coat. Totally optional, in my opinion.

Be sure to start painting in a well ventilated area and cover your space to protect from random flying paint.

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Pros:

This was seriously super easy!

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Conclusion:

I am totally in LOVE with my chair and the red is so bold and bright. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy and cheap this project came together. Such a huge difference in what a little paint can do. Can’t wait to start painting more things – with the hubby’s approval of course. YEAH RIGHT!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: Turn something old into something beautiful using spray paint!

 

 

Details:

  • I purchased this adorable little shelf at the Goodwill to hang in my daughter’s room.
  • For paint I chose Krylon ‘Dual’ Gloss White Paint and Primer which is a paint and primer in one. One less step! Yeah! This worked for me since I intended to have more of a worn or antiqued look to my piece (it was already very loved in life and clearly wasn’t going to ever look brand new).
  • I used the same sanding sponge used in the original post by Bliss at Home. I personally use this time of sanding tool often. It can be washed for reuse and works for so many different projects! I did add a little twist to my project.
  • After two very light coats of paint I sanded then applied a light layer of stain (then wiped it off after a couple of minutes) to give it an older look. I used Cabot Limed Oak Interior Oil Stain purchased at my local hardware store. I let it dry for 24 hours then applied Minwax Semi Gloss Polycrylic Protective Finish. This was my first time working with Polycrylic Protective Finish and I have to say I am in love! It won’t yellow over time like a lacquer and it is water based. Win-win! I chose the clear semi-gloss option. Sometimes I feel like high gloss makes it high maintenance.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t spray paint in extreme heat. It is just bad for your health and takes longer to dry.

Also, when working with Polycrylic Protective Finish do not shake the can. It is important to simply gently stir instead. If you shake the can you may create air bubbles. Apply with a brush (sponge or bristle – I chose bristle) in thin layers. It dries quickly so you can reapply several times for added protection.

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Pros:

The spray paint really saves time since it cuts down on dry time as well as application time.

I loved this because it allowed me to get a little intricate with my additional stain application.

Cons:

None!  I just love how this piece turned out!

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Conclusion:

This style of painting could be used on so many things. I can’t wait to discover the next hidden gem at our local thrift shop!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Give my bedroom furniture a complete makeover!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to prime or sand before you spray!  My husband tried to help and began the project without me.  The paint ran right off the piece without any primer for it to stick to!

Sand out all the imperfections!  Well most, as I still see a few of them!

Paint then leave it alone!  My problem is that I want it to be so perfect!  In reality, once you put this piece in your room and add your décor to it…it will look fabulous!  I love how both of my painted pieces came out!

Beware of the overspray, I have a black spotted garage floor!  Be sure to put down newspaper or a drop cloth to catch the spray!

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Pros:

So many color options!

An inexpensive change!

Quick, this paint dries quickly!
Totally transforms a room, great for staging!!

Cons:

The stress of the end result!  I had to keep telling myself, “If I hate it, I will just have to break down and buy new furniture!”

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Conclusion:

I have tried spray painting and can/brush painting, both had a process that drove me crazy but both gave me the results I wanted in the end!  I found the spray painting to be quicker but the can/brush paint to be cheaper!  Just give it a go, either method… and get creative because you’ll love it!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Maren

Mission: I love making old, new again!  I couldn’t wait to try a new method to painting furniture, especially since this one promised to please the OCD in me!

 

Details:

I found most of the same items that Kristin used in her posting with a few of my own additions.  I had a cute hand-me-down bench in our vestibule that was just dying for some color.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Number 1, always cover your work surface!  I have painted the driveway, garage and my car before and it only took my learning this lesson several times before I now automatically take an old sheet and tape it down over the ground before I start anything else.  It’s really important that you use Duct Tape or something strong to secure all the edges in case a strong breeze comes along – you don’t want the sheet to blow onto your wet paint.

I learned that when you have a piece like mine, where you have to spray at so many different angles, you’ll have paint that dries in the air and falls like dust. Be sure to use the Microfiber Cleaning Cloths to gently remove any dried paint mist before applying the next coat.

If you can, move the piece around so that you can paint at different angles.  This will ensure that you get even coverage and don’t miss a spot!

Be patient.  This project took me a few days to complete, but it was worth it!  I have screwed up too many projects from being impatient.

Don’t panic when the Minwax Satin Polycrylic Protective Finish goes on and it doesn’t look perfect… because once it’s dry, it will be!  I nearly screamed in horror after my anal retentive spray painted finish had ridges showing after I brushed on the polycrylic, however found myself kissing the can after I check in again and it was dry and back to that OCD look that I love.

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Pros:

This piece is GORGEOUS!

I have received many compliments not only on the end color, but in the immaculate finish.  It’s flawless.  I am so proud of myself!

Cons:

When I ordered the Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Turquoise, I noticed extra Liquitex Nozzles popping up everywhere in my search.  Now I know why… this paint, although absolutely stunning, is a huge pain in the ass.  I went through 4 nozzles with 2 cans of paint.  I wanted to scream.

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Conclusion:

While I did use quite a bit of product, the results exceeded my expectations.  I am so happy with my little bench!

I am also now a HUGE fan of the Minwax Satin Polycrylic Protective Finish.  I had never used a product like this before and was incredibly impressed with the results.
I cannot wait to get to spray painting another piece!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sarah

Mission: To bring my weathered front porch wicker chairs back to life!

I purchased two naturally stained wicker chairs for our front porch in 2006 from Pier One. We’ve since lived here for over seven years and they have definitely seen better days. It was time for a facial for these darling chairs and this DIY spray paint fix was just the ticket!

Details:

  • I used Rust-Oleum 249058 Painter’s Touch Multi-Purpose Primer in Red, ooops!  Little did I know, when I bought my spray paint, I had purchased the only spray paint primer available which was red and made for a dark spray paint. Luckily, the rust color of the primer covered just fine with the pale yellow topcoat that I chose next, so I had nothing to worry about.
  • I searched for the perfect spray paint color to coordinate with our house and the darling DIY pillows I had just finished (stay tuned for a future post about these!). I chose Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Multi-Purpose Spray Paint in Satin Strawflower. It was the perfect hue to go with the soft tones of our home and was a great compliment to our olive green siding.
  • I found a piece of 120-Grit Sandpaper in our garage which I used to softly clean off the flaking wicker. That only took a few minutes to do and I made sure to cover the backs, seats and underneath the chairs and then gently tapped them to make sure everything came off so I had a clean surface to begin painting.
  • Because the chairs I was fixing have bronze toned metal legs, which I didn’t want to cover with paint, I placed plastic bags over the legs to protect them from paint. I used all of the shopping bags I had on-hand, along with Masking Tape to get the job done.

After the chairs dried for about 6 hours, I peeled off the tape and plastic bags and then placed them on the front porch to finish drying. These chairs got the pick-me-up they deserved and we have really begun to use our front porch again!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure to get enough paint… the first trip to the store!  I did one full coat of primer and then two full coats of the pale yellow topcoat. I ended up having to go back to Home Depot to get more of the Spray Paint as I ran out with half of my second chair left to finish. It was only then that I found out that the color I chose was being discontinued and was no longer available! Eeek! After calling around to other Home Depot stores, I was able to locate a few more cans of the “Strawflower” spray paint and made sure to stock up. Crisis averted!

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Pros:

Super easy once you get going! The end result is just what I was hoping for.

Cons:

Overwhelming to begin this DIY as it seems like a big project!

If you’re like me and pick a color that ends up being discontinued, you may become stressed out for a bit.

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Conclusion:

I’m beyond thrilled with the finished product and love pulling in my driveway each day to see how darling our front porch looks. It sure helps our front porch look inviting!

 

 

Reviewer #6 – Sheri

Mission: With my little guy getting bigger he needs more space for his clothes. I really didn’t want to go out and purchase another piece of furniture, so I found an old piece and figured I would try to transform it.

My only thing I’m worried about is that the piece of furniture is laminate and I’m afraid this won’t work.

Details:

  • This first thing I did with my piece of furniture was rough it up with some 120-Grit Sandpaper. I did every surface very well because I really wanted the paint to adhere to the laminate.
  • Then I waited and waited for a descent, non-windy day so that I could prime each of the pieces. The drawers were easy and the primer applied quickly.
  • I waited an hour before commencing with the gloss paint. By the time I was able to paint, the wind picked up again. I ended up bring the drawers to the basement to paint them. I ended up with blue feet and a blue floor.
  • There was no way I was going to lug the base down another flight of stairs. This is definitely not a one day project. Due to weather, it basically took me two weeks to do this project. I was wishing I could just grab paint and a roller.
  • After getting a good final coat of spray paint on the furniture, I made sure you give it a full 24 hours of drying before trying to move it.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t choose a large piece of furniture. Stick to smaller pieces unless you have your own paint booth and have a full DuPont Paint Suit with Ventilation Mask.

Make sure you stop often to shake the can as suggested on the back of the can.

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Pros:

I love the new look of the piece and the fact that I didn’t have to buy another piece of furniture.

The paint seemed to adhere well to the laminate.

Cons:

I can see every finger print with the high gloss finish.

When bringing the piece indoors with different lighting I noticed variation in color in some spots. I’m not sure if it’s due to coverage or from not shaking the can enough between sprays.

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!

Conclusion:

This project was not quite as fun as I anticipated. I’ve learned my lesson; do not paint large pieces of furniture with spray paint, choose a paint you can roll on.

I think this would work great for smaller projects. One great thing…the paint hasn’t scratched off the laminate, it actually seems to have adhered well. Just keep in mind “where” you’re going to the painting before embarking on this project.

 

We Tried It!  Spray Painted Furniture!


The gorgeous
Spray Painted Furniture and it’s photo by Bliss at Home

 

Check out our first attempt at painting furniture by clicking here!


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My Sister’s Suitcase has a terrific way to get meals organized with the quick and easy Dry-Erase Menu Planner.

 

They make it even easier by providing a super cute printable to pop in your own frame!

 

We were excited to try out this darling DIY and get dinnertime together!

 

 

Please click here to visit My Sister’s Suitcase and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: Let’s just say my mealtime planning consists of making sure I have fresh fruit and veggies on-hand at all times. Other than that, I am extremely inconsistent in planning our family meals and could use some help in this department.

It is my mission to not only create a DIY dry erase menu board to help organize our meal time plans, but then put it to use!

Details:

  • I didn’t have any frames at home that would work for this project so when we were at Target (which is A LOT) I found this cute vintage looking yellow frame that I decided would work. And, it was only $10.00, so it wasn’t going to break the bank!
  • I had already downloaded the free printable menu and tried printing it on some engineering paper we had on-hand from our college days. It added a little dimension to the finished product and I liked the added lines and holes punched in the paper. I printed it out on our Epson Laser Printer and it turned out pretty well!
  • My kiddos craft supplies came in handy for this project as I used their black construction paper and Elmer’s Glue Sticks to finish the job.
  • I honestly felt a bit uncreative with this project, so I opted to follow suit of the example and created a little pendant style flare with the construction paper.

The finished menu board is hanging in our kitchen and I have begun using it, but we will see how far this goes. I love to be organized, but sometimes try to do too much. I am hopeful our family mealtime planning will benefit from this!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Add a little simple flair to make this functional piece personal.  Whether it’s a colorful frame, or a little embellishment under the glass; you’ll love it even more that way!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Super easy to put together – just need a printer and some craft supplies!

A fantastic tool to help you plan your meals weekly – could really save you a crazy mind if you put it to good use. And, maybe even a few dollars!

Cons:

Not sure I can think of any. Just hope I actually keep this tool in use!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Super easy to create and a cute addition to any kitchen. Could also be a fantastic gift for a friend or family member.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I have a problem with buying food with all intentions of making meals, but then end up getting lazy and not making them before said food goes sour.

 

Details:

  • Nat and Holly‘s printable was SO cute, although I needed a horizontal situation – mostly because my handwriting is fairly s#!tty and I need all the space I can get.  I used good ol’ Excel to whip up some custom print outs that met my needs.  I also took the opportunity to make a cleaning schedule since I have been wanting to make one in a really long time – Click on my finished photo for a close-up!
  • I finished my Menu Planner with a little Washi Tape and a few buttons that I had in my stash.
  • I found my super cheap frames at the drug store, and stuck them onto the inside of my pantry door with 3M Picture Hanging Strips (they’re like Velcro) – so I can change what is in the frame as often as I like.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Measure twice, cut once.  Yes, this applies to paper, too!  I wasn’t thinking that my piece of printer paper could possibly not fit perfectly into my 8×10 frame.  I not only had to trim my paper, but I also needed to reformat my printable slightly.  Ooopsies.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

There isn’t any easier way to get organized out there.  Trust me, I have checked.

Cons:

None!  Love it!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Since making this planner, I have found myself sticking to the program!  I think that when you take the guess-work out of mealtime, it really helps to keep on track, whether it’s eating up your groceries, eating healthier, or just avoiding take-out or grazing.  Amazing to me what simply writing our meals down in a place where I became more accountable has done!

Maybe I just needed a little direction, but I love this thing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Create a fun way to keep track of weekly menu…hoping it helps with healthy eating!

 

Details:

      • Went to Joann for the fun print sheets that  I used for the circle design and the picture frame
      • I had glossy card stock at the office so this is what I printed the menu sheet on.
      • Leftover Mod Podge was used to glue down the decorate circle pattern using a sponge brush. This jar will last me for years!12 Super handy!
      • We had leftover Velcro Stickers and a dry erase marker.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

For the circular pattern, I traced several different objects to get the different sizes.

Remember to cut the paper to fit the frame first THEN add your design if you would like.  I failed to do this thinking that I would have no problem fitting the menu in. I was wrong, I had to end up cutting half of my pattern due to the frame size.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Easy and inexpensive!  Spent only $10 since I had most of the materials!

Cons:

Mod Podge was a bit sticky, but you can sew or use a glue stick if it is a mess.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Love, love! Can’t wait to use this board!! You could do this for a number of items around the office or household!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Amanda

Mission: Get organized and have a quick reference for my kids.

 

 

Details:

      • This project is great because it requires minimal prep and supplies. I purchased an 8×10 white frame from Target (all of $3.99 was spent).
      • Printed off a page using this lovely digital paper kit called Brown Basics from Lori Whitlock on jessicasprague.com. I just love these prints! I used a pretty decent card stock to print on so the colors and shapes were a little crisper. After creating my background I put the paper back in the printer and used it to print my Menu template on. Easy peasy! I decided to keep it simple and did not add any embellishments since my background has a pattern.
      • Using the glass out of my frame and a rotary blade, I cut my page down to size and put it together.
      • Affixed a dry erase maker in a cheerful teal to the top of my frame using the same Velcro Stickers used in the original post over at My Sister’s Suitcase.  Those little dots come in so handy.

Viola! You have the perfect little menu planner with tons of planning potential.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t over think this. A project this simple really is SIMPLE! Just choose a basic frame and look for your paper and go with it.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Quick, useful and cheap. All things I love!

Cons:

The dry erase marker is a little faint so I may need to switch to a deeper color.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I think I will use this idea to create a chore list too. My kids need to get more organized now that school has started and what a simple way to do it.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5  – Alicia

Mission: I am always looking to make my life a little more organized when it comes to cooking for the family each week. This project was perfect for me in every way!

 

Details:

      • The original post had such a cute menu option but I really wanted one that included some sort of grocery list so I could jot down items/notes. I found mine at delish-blog.com
      • Plain 8×10 black frame at Target for $3.99 (I wanted something simple)
      • Mini dry erase markers at the dollar section at Target
      • Cute cardstock and embellishments for decorating as well as some old magnets
      • Velcro Stickers

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used a combination of cutting and pasting 2 menu formats to give my final menu some pizzazz. I would also recommend using strong magnets and hot glue them to the back of the frame so it can stick to the fridge. If you stick this baby at eye level you will tend to actually use it.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Love- this thing gets used- ALL THE TIME

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Why have I not thought of this before?! What a simple, yet creative idea!

I have purchased a fridge menu planner in the past for about $15 bucks and the thing was garbage!  The dry erase marker ink was permanently stained onto the board and it would not erase. Because you will be writing on glass, kiss those ugly stains goodbye.

This total project cost about $5 bucks for me. You could probably make this for less $$ if you use a frame that you already have. Now- GO AND MAKE DINNER ALREADY!

 

 

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab


The lovely
Dry-Erase Menu Planner and it’s photo by My Sister’s Suitcase


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DIY Door Mat

Yellow Brick Home has the perfect pick-me-up for your porch with their easy DIY Door Mat!

 

Personalized with your own colors and design, this custom project is calling our names!

 

Please click here to visit Yellow Brick Home and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Janet

Mission: To find out if this door mat project is as simple as Kim (via yellowbrickhome.com) makes it seem.

 

Details:

  • IMG_1787I bought a patterned mat at Target for about $15 and had the spray paint on hand.
  • I printed my words on regular printer paper, cut them out with an X-Acto Knife, traced them onto a sturdy piece of card stock and cut them out again with the X-Acto Knife.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I rolled-up the tape and put it around the edge of each letter, which helped to stop the paint from bleeding.

Unless it is really windy outside, you do not need to tape down the entire thing. Cover the rest of the rug with a trash bag and place a piece of cardboard or paper above the word to stop any extra paint from flying onto places it shouldn’t go.

Spray the paint in short spurts. Keeps the color even and guards against bleeding paint.

Janet - Mat 1

Pros:

A super quick project, plus the fiancé loved it!!

Allows for some creativity by changing the words or their placement on the mat.

Cons:

The words are a little fuzzy (same as Kim experienced) but still are easy to read.

Janet - Mat 2

Conclusion:

I went into this project thinking it was going to be a mess and that I was for sure going to ruin it, but it actually is super easy. I loved being able to use paint and other supplies I had at home. This mat would be stolen as soon as I set it outside my apartment door, so it is making its home on the deck instead!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: Create a fun custom door mat that we could display at my in-law’s lake cabin.

 

Details:

I went to the ocean for inspiration, either an anchor or a crab, I chose the crab!

I knew I wanted a large crab to fill the entire mat so a poster board would be sturdy enough to handle the spray paint and be a stencil.

DrawingMike’s cousin, Stephanie, is a fabulous artist and drew out my crab to perfection from the photo I had. She is amazing, so I thought I would be crazy to not seek her help for this project!

  • I had an X-Acto Knife to cut out Steph’s perfect crab then we taped the outline to the mat.
  • I used Scotch Tape to hold the stencil down, and the X-Acto Knife to cut out the crab.
  • Finally, I covered the edges with paper and then tested my spray painting skills…they are coming along little by little.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Careful with the over spray, be sure to spray at a 90 degree angle, you want to hover the stencil not go underneath with paint.

You will see from my final photo that the stencil did not stick as I would have liked to the mat so I suggest using pins to hold or take a great deal more time with tape to get the stencil more snug to the mat.

Tape or pin the pages on the edges, I didn’t and you can see the outline on the edges where the over spray hit the mat! (Paper bags would work for this!)

Kristy - Mat 1

Pros:

Love it, can’t wait to go to Ikea and get more mats to create!

Cons:

Over spray,
I am going to use the tips to get a better result on the next one!

Cutting out the stencil is a bit time consuming…so worth it, I wish my stencil was a bit more reusable.

Kristy - Mat 2

Conclusion:

I LOVE THIS!  Endless possibilities with words, crabs, colors, etc.!  This would be great house-warming gifts or great client gifts!!  I love the anchor idea. I found one on the internet for $30 and I know I can make it for ½ the price! I hope Stephanie is around for the next creation!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission:  To dress up the front door mat we have with a little word play and spray paint!

 

Details:

I have had a simple tan coir mat at our front door since we moved in six years ago – so it was due time for it to get a little face lift.

  • Of course we didn’t have any spray paint on-hand, so I headed to Home Depot to find just the right one. When searching through the color options, I landed on a color called wine. I am planning to spray paint our front porch wicker chairs in addition to this mat project, so I wanted to find a color that could work for both projects.
  • I decided on the word “hello” for my mat. Yes, I know it is a simple, understated and a somewhat boring word, but my brain was feeling fried!
  • I set up shop in Microsoft Word and used the Arial Black font at a 350 point size. I printed out each letter and then cut around each so that I could place them as close together as I wanted on the piece of cardboard I used as my stencil.
  • After each of letter was taped down, I began to outline each of them with my handy-dandy old-school X-Acto Knife. Let me tell you, this step was difficult for me! I had a very hard time keeping steady around the curves of the “e” and “o”. But, no injuries happened, so it was a success!
  • I then tore off the tape and extra scraps of paper and anchored the stencil onto my mat. Using masking tape and garbage bags, I covered any of the mat that I did not want painted. I also added the weight of some of our stones lying around outside to help keep the stencil in place.
  • The small cut out shapes for the “e” and “o” were very difficult to keep in place and I ended up having to just use my finger to hold them steady as I sprayed the paint on. I did two coats of the wine spray paint and it seemed to be dark enough, so I ended there.
  • After about 10 minutes of drying, I gently uncovered the mat to find that my “hello” was slightly slanted downward on the mat. Go figure! But, I still dig it!
  • I then moved it to the front door where it dried fully within 12 hours.

Next time you stop by, you’ll be greeted by a “hello”, even if I don’t answer my door.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Find a solid piece of cardboard for your stencil. The one I used was from a small box and though it worked great, one without any creases would have been even better.

Sarah - Mat 1

Pros:

With patience, this project is a breeze! And, it is a nice way to greet your house guests.

Cons:

Super difficult to keep the cut out shapes from letters in place for painting. I’m not sure of the best way to do this. My “e” almost seems filled-in if you look close.

Could cause a serious injury if you aren’t used to working with an X-Acto Knife or something of the like.

Sarah - Mat 2

Conclusion:

This project seemed daunting to me before I began. It ended up being  pretty fun once I got all set-up and I really like the finished product as it greets me when I enter my house. I just may have to make one for our back entry.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sheri

Mission:  When I saw the post by Yellow Brick Home and her sprucing up a door mat for her husband’s man-cave I immediately thought of my brother-in-law’s garage aka “The Dome.” I figured I could make something fun for the entry way.

 

Details:

Sheri - Mat DesignWhat seemed like a super simple project turned out to be disappointing for me.

  • I could not for the life of me find a PLAIN coir mat. I went to six different stores and every one I found was printed with flowers, flip-flops, or signs of welcome. I figured I would just purchase any plain mat I could find. That is where I made my mistake. I should have ordered the one I saw on amazon.com.
  • My first step was figuring out a fun saying to put on the mat. My husband and I brainstormed a bit and figured “got beer?” would suit “The Dome” perfectly.
  • I set out to make a stencil. Trying my best to match the “got milk?” font as I could, I printed out the text on some heavy cardstock and grabbed my X-Acto Knife. I would love to know where the knife that goes to the blade went. I had to hold the blade directly. What a pain…literally.
  • After some tedious work my stencil was done. I taped the stencil to the mat and went outside with my spray paint.

Here’s where I was cursed for not getting the right type of mat. The mat I purchased had an embossed pattern on it, which made the stencil not work right. As you can see the paint went right under the stencil. I was really disappointed in the turn out. I hate when things don’t come out how I envisioned them.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Order a mat and save yourself time going store-to-store. Also, using a stick-on vinyl stencil might work well.

Sheri - Mat 1

Pros:

I love the idea of the project and that you can personalize it.

With the right supplies you can make a great housewarming gift!

Cons:

Aside from not getting the right supplies, none. This was really easy.

Sheri - Mat 2

Conclusion:

I’m super disappointed in how my project came out. I know with the right mat it would have come out so much better. I think I might order a mat and try again.

Overall, it was easy to do. You don’t need to be a master crafter to pull this one off, just shop for the right mat!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5 – Alicia

Mission: My front door area was in desperate need of a makeover. A total re-haul would be amazing but not practical, so I opted to update the doormat!

 

Details:

  • After searching at countless stores for a reasonable doormat that didn’t cost me a fortune, I finally found one at Walmart for $6.97- I know, I know. I seem to complain about Wally World but go there a lot because they have everything. They even have a door greeter. Bahahaha!
  • I choose the saying “hello” in the font “Impact” and blew it up to 350. I wanted a basic/clean look.
  • I also choose the cheapest black spray paint at $0.97/can.
  • Painters tape to tape down your letters. I guess any tape will do as long as it is secure.
  • Scrap paper/newspaper to protect your mat from random spray paint.
  • I used one coat of spray paint and thought it was enough. You can certainly use another coat.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure you transfer your letters onto a thick cardstock. You will get a cleaner transfer. Although my letters got a little fuzzy from the spray paint, it certainly gives it character.

Alicia - Mat 1

Pros:

Super easy. I cranked this bad-boy out within an hour and all the supplies set me back only $10 bucks. Cool!!

Cons:

None

Alicia - Mat 2

Conclusion:

Success! I love my new doormat. It jazzes up the front door, don’t ya think?!

 

 

Reviewer #6 – Maren

Mission: More cute homey things for this new house of ours?  Sign me up!

 

Details:

IMG_3506Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make little rolls with painter’s tape to stick the stencil down as close to the mat as possible, this will help prevent the spray from sneaking past the intended lines.  I wish that I would have thought of this prior to spraying my first stencil.  My mom was keeping me company during this project and had the genius idea of using dressmaker pins to get the stencil super close and tight against the mat.  I was too lazy to go inside and get them.  Next time!

Don’t plan on using the stencil more than once.  Since our address is 2290, I thought I could get away with using one “2”, twice.  Although it worked in the end, it was a pain in the ass and I am still finding neon pink paint in curious locations.

Maren - Mat 1

Pros:

Love this thing!  I like the personalized piece, paired with a punchy color.  It’s an easy way to add color to your entry.

Cons:

It’s not perfect.  I struggled with accepting my final results, but then took Kim’s lead and declared it “charming”!

I do love it though, and can only improve my door-mat-making skills from here!

Maren - Mat 2

Conclusion:

Love this mat.  Still working on feeling like my minor over-spray is “charming”.  If you’re new here, yes, I am anal retentive.  I might take my detail sander to the areas where I want to clean up the over-spray and see if that helps.  Or, I’ll just chill out.

This would be a fun way to dress up your door for the holidays as well.  Simple triangle shapes made with painter’s tape could easily be layered to create a collection of Christmas trees!  Okay, I’m excited again.  Time to get another door mat to spray!

 

 Mat Conclusion


The darling
DIY Door Mat and it’s photo by Yellow Brick Home


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If you have been searching for the perfect place for your beloved mason jars, look no further than Not Just A Housewife and her darling Mason Jar Wall Planter.  Not just for your indoor herb garden, this pretty piece can be used for storing all kinds of stuff!

 

Round up the jars and a drill; we could hardly wait to dive into this project!

 

Please click here to visit Not Just A Housewife and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: This just looks awesome, and I have wanted to try it for a while. What a fabulous and unique way to brighten up my kitchen.

 

Details:

As far as directions go, I didn’t find them to be very clear. The final pictures were great, but I would have loved to have seen more of a step by step. Lucky for me, my husband was there to help.

  • My first step was taking care of the drainage. I added rocks to the bottom of the jar, but after reading comments and suggestions on the blog post, I put a straw in for some extra air. I then planted my plants into the mason jars. To be honest, what a pain in the behind. I managed to squeeze them in there, but getting the soil snug around the roots was difficult and I missed a few spots. I’m hoping they survive.
  • I found a great board and cut it to size.
  • Now getting the pipe clamps screwed to the board…I had to call in the big guns, Mr. Hubs…and we broke one or two drill bits trying to do so.  His extra set of hands were also helpful in tightening the mason jars into the clamps and screwing the board to the wall.

This project is definitely a two person job. We had a much needed beer together afterwards.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Duct tape a straw for extra drainage. Just make sure you put it in the back when you clamp the jar. Make sure you have good quality drill bit to put a hole through the metal clamp. Screw the hole first and then screw the clamp to the board

Sheri - Planter 1

Pros:

It looks remarkable.

Cons:

Getting those plants into the small mouth of the jar is difficult. Oh, and the broken drill bits. I’ll be replacing those for my husband.

Sheri - Planter 2

Conclusion:

We absolutely LOVE the final outcome. It came out great. I find myself just staring at it while waiting for my coffee to brew. I hope the plants survive. I would love to do one with herbs.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: I love the idea of growing fresh herbs and making a lovely piece of wall décor!

 

Details:

Maren and I got together for this project as I felt it was a bit intimidating and a great excuse to get together!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

5Stain or Paint your board if you want to. Maren and I decided to go bare finish as you can always change it later.

Be sure to measure where your planters will need to be hung, then predrill your holes on the board.  Be sure to also drill holes for hanging!

Ok, here was the tough part, drilling through the metal holders. Just picture Maren with the drill and me fearful of this gal drilling into my fingers as I had to hold metal holders in place.  (Fear left with each cocktail we had…be careful!  Ha!!) Maren was having issues getting the drill through the metal so plan B, she grabbed her pink hammer to nail through it.  Bad idea did not work, just bent the nail.  We went back to the drill and replaced with a new battery then bam…worked perfectly. Well…a couple of broken drill bits later!

Once the holes are drilled, fasten the metal hangers onto boards then you are ready to fasten your awesome jars!

Best tip, when working with the metal hangers loop the tail end to the screw end then just start turning to the right to tighten. It is a simple as that, but we had to learn this.

Maren had a bright idea, to place rocks at the bottom of the mason jars…not only is it cute but I would assume it is also supposed to help with the plant’s survival.

M + K Planter 1

Pros:

Super cute wall décor and a great way to cook healthy with fresh herbs on hand!  There are such a wide variety of fresh herbs so the options are endless!  As for the board, you could be so creative with jars or painted boards!

Cons:

Holy cow, the metal hangers…you need some muscle action and a full battery to break through those, but well worth it!

Kristy - Planter

Conclusion:

Love, love, love! Get your favorite herbs and get busy!  I hope to make these for a few of my real estate clients that love gardening!  I know they will love this gift as much as I do!  My plants are thriving indoors…now Maren has a different story!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission:  I was so excited to try this project out, I love to have fresh herbs.  This is the perfect way to get a start on some gardening as well, since we don’t have a yard quite yet at our new home.  Kristy and I did this project while our husbands cooked burgers on the grill!

Details:

I didn’t have time to hit the store for all of my supplies so I hit up Amazon instead.

Then, I had no idea how big they were or what size of clamp to order, until I found the All American Canner site after a quick Google and got the dimensions of my jars!

Kristy‘s honey grabbed a few of our items at the Home Depot:

  • The dimensions of my oak board were 5″ x 22″ x 3/4″
  • Our screws were 3/4″ long with a flat, Phillips head.
  • For my plants, I chose Moroccan Mint, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley and Cilantro.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t drink and drill.  You heard me.  This was probably my biggest take-away of the night.  Kristy and I took a dinner break and when I came back to finish the project, I wasn’t um, quite as qualified for the job.  I almost amputated my finger trying to push a screw in, when after [what felt like] 15 minutes we realized that the drill was set on “reverse”.  Nice.

Use the Phillips-type drill bit to make the holes in your clamp.  We tried drilling and nailing and both were total failures.  The only thing that worked was pushing the Phillips bit into the clamp while running the drill.  I needed Kristy‘s fingers to keep the clamp open while I pushed and drilled.

Don’t cry if you break a drill bit.  I broke two.  I think that it didn’t help that I had my board sitting on a towel instead of a solid, flat surface.  That of course, and the booze.

The clamp closes by a screw mechanism running along a little track.  Having said that, tightening the clamp by hand could take a while.  Save yourself some time and use your drill – just be sure to go slowly so you don’t take off and break your jar.

Be sure to add little rocks on the bottom for drainage!

Put your plants in before you tighten the clamps around the jars.  Duh.

Do not over-water your cilantro or leave it outside in cooler temps unless you want it to die in 3 days.

Be sure to also have a trusty Quality Assurance Supervisor nearby.  See if you can find ours in the photo below!

Maren - Planter 1

Pros:

This project was easy to do and cute as heck.

Cons:

“Don’t drink and drill.”

Maren - Planter 2

Conclusion:

Since my initial review, I have painted my board aqua and now love my planter even more!  I did give my Cilantro the ax after a few days, but have high hopes for the plant that takes it’s place!

I have also already started on a second planter to use to store my paint brushes – the long ones that don’t really fit anywhere else.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: Any project that uses Mason jars is a project I’m instantly going to try! I love them to pieces!!

 

Details:

I love the idea of this project so much, but honestly am not a good houseplant owner, as they always seem to die on me at some point. So I instead opted to create this project to store my jewelry tools for my Sarah Vonne creations.

  • Mason jars can always be found in my house, so I searched through my supply and found two of the three, wide mouth, quart size Mason jars. The lovely Maren loaned me the third and also had extra clamps for me to use!
  • We still have lots of extra barn wood from my grandfather’s barn that was torn down late last year – this is the same wood I used in the Knob Organizer review. I just love it as it is a constant reminder of my grandfather and anywhere I can sprinkle it into a project, I just have to! My husband helped me pick out the right board for this project and did all the hard carpentry work for me.
  • The barn wood needed to be cut down to size for use on this project, so my husband took care of that with the table saw. We opted to leave the height of the board as it was and just cut it down to 22” in length. I wanted to maintain as much of the character of the board as we could.
  • Once the board was cut, we drilled holes into the metal brackets and then screwed them into place on the board. After this, I slid each of the Mason jars into place and tightened the brackets with a screwdriver until the jars were secure.

I have yet to secure it to the wall above my crafting table, but I have placed all of my jewelry tools within the jars so I’m ready to set up shop.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Find your handsome hubby and put him to work! Just kidding, this isn’t a mandatory, but I always love  when mine is willing to help.

Sarah - Planter 1

Pros:

Purposeful – which is a factor I absolutely love! And, this project has an array of uses for each individual out there; a planter, a tool holder, a utensil holder, etc.

Cons:

In my case, I needed a handy man, so it would have been a bit difficult for me to finish this one on my own.

Sarah - Planter 2

Conclusion:

Love it and can’t wait to get it secured onto the wall.

 

Planter Conclusion


The darling
Mason Jar Wall Planter and it’s photo by Not Just A Housewife


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The Self Life took on a Do-It-Yourself Pinterest challenge and landed on DIY Concrete Planters; we couldn’t be more thrilled that they did!  The result was easy-enough instructions and some great tips for the rest of us!

 

We couldn’t get to the hardware store fast enough to mix up some cement of our own and get started.

 

Please click here to visit The Self Life and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Attempt a DIY medium I have never even thought of working with – cement – to create an adorable home for some sweet little succulents.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Amanda - Planter 1bFirst mistake was not mixing my cement in a separate container. I of course didn’t realize just how much of a mistake until 24 hours later when I pulled the hardened cement out of the containers.

Also, I wished I would have let it harden for another few hours. It seemed like it was not completely dry on the bottom. Once I got them out I realized the largest container was a great size but I did not fill it high enough and didn’t push the cup low enough. Sadly that one may need to be a candle holder or a giant paper weight!

Oh, and use a sturdy spoon. My plastic number didn’t hold up well!

Amanda - Planter 1a

Pros:

The cement is a really cool look. The texture is very industrial and the color is fantastic.

Cons:

Practice. Practice. Practice. Not so much a con as it is a “to-do” for next time. Definitely make sure you fill your container high enough so you have enough space for your plant.

Tip: use a clear solo cup instead of colored so you can see how deep your hole will be.

Amanda - Planter 2

Conclusion:

I will definitely be making these again. I feel like I have nailed down the “what-went-wrong” and would love to make a larger pot and maybe paint it partially or something. Plus I have about half the container left over so I HAVE to do some kind of cement project.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To try my hand at using cement in a DIY project!

 

Details:

Maren, Kristy and I were able to do this project as a group – it is always more fun crafting with your friends.

We set up shop in Maren’s kitchen – placing old towels all over her counter top before beginning.

Getting the Quik Set Cement container open was a process in itself! Maren brought out her big guns to get the job done and we had a lot of laughs in the process!

Maren is always prepared and she had tons of plastic containers for use as well as a watering can for water.

  • I had brought a gallon ice cream container to use for my pot and borrowed one of Maren’s smaller ones for the inside inset.

I began by filling my container about half-full with cement and then added the necessary amount of water and started stirring. This is when the stress set in. Knowing we had a limited amount of time to mix this before it began to set drained me. It was hard work!

After I had it mixed I placed the plastic container for the inset in and pushed it down about 3” into the cement. I then used the spoon to smooth out the top and let it sit until the next day.

Once it was dry, I pulled the inset container out and popped the cement planter out of the gallon container. I decided to not use sandpaper to smooth out the top as I really like the rough, natural look of it. I then transplanted my orchid into the pot and I really hope it continues to thrive in there!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Have your water handy in a watering can – this way it is at the ready if you need to thin out your cement mix.

Use mixing utensils that you don’t mind end up in the garbage as they get pretty gunked up during the process.

Sarah - Planter 1

Pros:

Very minimal items needed to create these and they turn out darling!

Cons:

A little intense during the process of mixing – we used quick set cement and it got us a bit fired up to be speedy so we would get them prepped before they started to set!

After I had mine mixed, I wished I would have put more cement mix in to make it a larger pot. I only ended up filling the gallon container about half full and though I like it, I think had I filled it the entire way, it would have been more of a statement piece.

Sarah - Planter 2

Conclusion:

These are very darling, but I am curious to see how my orchid plant does in the long run.

I am not sure I would ever attempt to do these again – it honestly stressed me out too much during the process! But, the idea of a large one outside my front door is pretty intriguing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I could not wait to try this project.  I have been dying to get my hands on a concrete planter ever since I first laid eyes on one.  Although I have seen several listed on Etsy, as Elisa mentioned, they were a little pricey and I couldn’t help but think that I could probably make one myself.  Yipeee!  Thank you The Self Life!

Details:

  • I saved up every dang container that we had from the past couple of weeks to make sure that we had a good selection.  I also raided the house for party cups and other small containers.  The best choices for me ended up being a 32 oz cottage cheese container, one of Kristy’s $1 store bowls and those little 9 ounce party tumblers (for the inside cavity).  I used a Keg Cup for one, and that worked great as well.
  • I couldn’t find the Sakrete that Elisa used in her post, but did find Quikrete Quik Set Cement which is basically the same thing – per my husband.
  • In my head I swore that I was supposed to sand down the top of the planter when I was done.  Apparently not, although I did with my handy little Black & Decker Multi Sander.  I love that thing!
  • My succulents are babies from my Succulent Tea Cup and my Terrarium!  I snipped them off, put them in these cool little things called Rootcups and Wallah!  I feel so proud!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Holy shit.  Add extra water and be ready to stir!  After nearly giving myself a hernia from trying to open the container of concrete, I was not totally prepared for the rampant stirring activity that was before me.  I lived though, and it was much easier going forward.

We (myself, Sarah and Kristy) thought about mixing the concrete in one big container and then adding it to our individual containers.  Then we read on the package that we only had 5 minutes and realized how unrealistic that was.  This was a wise choice since we had a hard enough time as it was getting a frickin’ cottage cheese container mixed in time.

I did have one planter that didn’t get totally mixed and was a bust.  One side was so shiny that it looked like marble, the other was gravely and falling apart.  Lesson learned.

Here’s a good tip: Holding the cup that you plan to use for the inside of the planter next to the container filled with cement and mark a line on the inner cup so that you know how deep to push it into the cement without going all the way to the bottom.

Other tip: Be patient.  The cement sets really quickly, but isn’t ready to be removed from the container for at least a day or so.

Maren - Planter 1

Pros:

Super easy and très chic!

Cons:

Opening the concrete container almost killed me.

Maren - Planter 2b

Conclusion:

I love my planter just as much as I thought that I would.  I have already received several compliments on it, and am excited to make them for friends as gifts!  They are that easy!  Once you have the process down, I bet you could crack one out in less than 10 minutes!
Next up though, I want to make a big one!  A great reason to finally get a Paint/Mud Mixer attachment for the drill.  Also a great reason for picking up a gallon of ice cream.  Tee Hee!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: Rustic piece of art for your plants!  I love cacti; they have such character and don’t die!

 

Details:

Group project!  Maren supplied the Quik Set Cement and we supplied our own molds.

  • I went to the Dollar Tree and bought take away dishes in more of a square shape.
  • Maren had cups for the center that worked perfect
  • Picked up some fabulous cacti from Home Depot

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to have water on hand!  Maren was prepared with a cute watering can that worked perfectly!

Stir, stir, stir quickly…the concrete had to be mixed and set within 5 minutes!  Doesn’t sound like long but it goes by fast!!

Don’t forget to tap the bottom to let out most of the air bubbles within the concrete.

Be sure to measure the depth on the cup, you need to know how far to push down when you center inside your mold! VERY IMPORTANT! Mine were pretty shallow!

Kristy - Planter 1

Pros:

Very rustic and easy to make!  Fun group project!!

Cons:

Just be sure to work quickly and be prepared to know the depth of the interior cup!

My plants roots were exposed as my bowls were too shallow in the center.  Cacti are difficult to kill, so I hope they survive!

Kristy - Planter 2

Conclusion:

This would be a great gift!  I love mine; perfect for a window ledge!

It has chips and a few holes on the sides from likely air bubbles but it gives such character!!  The plants come in so many different colors, that it gives such a fun pop of color!!

Next time I might make them a little taller to give plants more room for their roots in the center of planter!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Katie

Mission: Make your cement planters for those oh so adorable succulent plants you’ve probably seen everywhere.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be patient, and check the label!  I purchased and used cement vs. cement patch and that may have negatively affected my finished product or my lack of patience could have contributed to the less than perfect results as well….

Katie - Planter 1

Pros:

I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a few succulents and I think the planters will look cute on the windowsill in my office…imperfections and all!

Cons:

Messy!!

Katie - Planter 2

Conclusion:

While this wasn’t an especially expensive project, I tend to prefer the instant gratification of purchasing small planters and not having to deal with smoothing out cement, worrying about air pockets and making a mess from start to finish!

All in all, I’m happy with the results and am excited to display them in my home.

 

Concrete Conclusion


The lovely
DIY Concrete Planters and photo by The Self Life


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Smashed Peas and Carrots has the perfect solution for smelly spaces while staying safe.  The Baking Soda Air Freshener uses environmentally and family friendly ingredients that you may already have in your home!

 

Hoping to freshen up our flats, we grabbed our baking soda and got right to work!

 

Please click here to visit Smashed Peas and Carrots and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: Try a fun, inexpensive, and cute way of battling the aroma of my two doggie beasts in my home so I can stop investing in Glade products and diffusers.

 

Details:

The instructions for these little air freshening babies were very easy to follow, and the products to make them were easy to find.

  • I was super excited when I found my favorite Pier 1 fragrance, Island Orchard, was available in an oil.
  • I purchased some cute little mason jars (make sure the center of the top comes off) and filled them all with a ½ cup of baking soda. I added 8 drops of oil for the small rooms and 12 for the ones I wanted for larger rooms. It’s great that you can play with it, just add more if you want.

One great way to personalize these for each room is picking out different stock paper for the tops. I got the boys camouflage and they were thrilled. Poke some holes and put them on the top of the jar and secure the twist-lid. They’re ready!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I found that a pin hole was a little small for the amount of aroma I wanted. A wooden skewer worked excellent. Also, I find that poking the holes before cutting the circle out made it much easier.

Sheri - Jar 1

Pros:

So many! Quick, easy, inexpensive, and they work!

Cons:

Not a single one.

Sheri - Jar 2

Conclusion:

These really turned out fantastic, but more importantly, they work! Even my husband noticed when he walked through the door. I think they would also make a fabulous party favor. They really don’t take very much time to make and you can customize the top for any sort of party theme. I’ll be making more for friends and family, that’s for sure.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: To fight that new home smell!  That’s right, you heard me.  I am ready for our home to smell like home… we’re getting there, but it could use a little push.

 

Details:

I stuck to the rules with this one, but thought I’d share some specifics!  This project was incredibly easy.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not Mixing..I found that the easiest way to mix the jars was to close the lid with the paper, shake up the baking soda and oil and then punch the holes with your pin.

Only one of the 4 oils that I tried didn’t want to mix up with the baking soda!  I just used a fork to break it up as much as I could.

I think that I ended up adding more than 8-12 drops.  My guess is that I was in the 20’s somewhere.

The Wyndmere oils were more potent than the Aveda Singular Notes, but I believe this to be due to the aromas that I chose.  I have learned from my employer that top notes evaporate more quickly then middle or base notes, and they are often the first to be smelled, but also the first to fade.  Tangerine and Bergamont are both top notes, so I think this is why the aroma was lighter.  Lavender and Rosemary, which were in the Wyndmere oils are both middle notes and those jars smelled much stronger and have lasted longer.

My perfume sample was the most potent, but I also dumped the entire tiny 1.5 ml vial into my baking soda.  This one is my favorite!  This is my favorite perfume, but I just can’t wear it anymore because I am so sensitive to smells.  I put it in my closet and it gives off just the perfect amount of fragrance; I love it!

The other jars have freshened our utility room, the pantry where I keep the stinky veggies (like onions), and the drawer where our trash can sits.  I placed the jar with the Wyndmere Naturals – Stress Relief Blend on my nightstand so I smell the soothing lavender and other calming aromas while I’m drifting off!

Maren - Jar 1

Pros:

I seriously love these.

Now I can take what I have learned (and remembered) about different aromas and make better choices when I make them again!

Cons:

I can’t think of any!  Even if you can’t really smell the essential oil, the baking soda is still working to neutralize odors.

Maren - Jar 2

Conclusion:

I am so glad that we tried this project.  Not to mention, I have been just waiting for a reason to pick up some of these cute jars!  I think that I’ll make a plain one for the fridge and maybe even for my car and keep it in the cup holder.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #3 – Alicia

Mission:  Create an easy and inexpensive air refresher for the house/bathroom. Yes indeed!

 

Details:

  • I have cupcake liners a tulle coming out of my ears and thought I could incorporate both in this project. I decided to make 2 fresheners and use a cupcake liner for one and pretty scrapbook paper for the other.
  • I also work for a company that has afforded me a plethora of aromas options to choose from. I chose an Aveda Key Element in the Brilliant aroma (#5) that was perfect for the bathroom.
  • Also, the Mason jar that I used was a bit taller than what was used on the original post.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would suggest using a thicker or sturdy piece of cardstock/paper to reinforce the lid. I used a piece of cardstock with the cupcake liner, as the liner is super thin and can tear.

I also used a lot of the aroma.  The recipe called for 6-12 drops, I used about 40.

Alicia - Jar 1

Pros:

All the options in cardstock/paper and aromas to choose from are endless.

Cons:

None – aside from using a lot of aroma.

Alicia - Jar 2

Conclusion:

This was an easy project and it turned out great! This would make a great house-warming gift. I plan on making a few more for my Mom and Mother-In-Law. The odor sprays that my parents use have got to go!

 
 

Reviewer #4 – Katie

Mission: Make your own air fresheners with baking soda and your favorite essential oils.

 

 

Details:

Gather supplies: mason type jar with lid, scrapbook/card stock paper of your choice, box of baking soda and your favorite essential oils!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I purchased warming oils because I wasn’t paying attention but they worked just as well as I would imagine essential oils would.

Katie - Jar 1

Pros:

Inexpensive, easy, customizable air fresheners

Cons:

NONE!

Katie - Jar 2
Conclusion:

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner! It’s so simple to put together, inexpensive and the fragrance possibilities are seemingly endless!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Amanda

Mission: Rid my home (or at least the bathroom) of the smell of urine on the cheap!

 

 

Details:

  • I used the same sized Ball Mason Jars that were used in the original post by Maggie from Smashed Peas and Carrots.
  • I had some leftover craft paper from Christmas and since it happened to be Earth Month and all I went with the “Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle” motto.
  • I didn’t have an upholstery needle on hand so I used a nut pick (I am certain that is not what it is called but I am going with it) to create holes in my paper.
  • For the aroma I used Peppermint because I have a deep love with all things mint (and I have little access to Pure Essences locally so I went with what I had on hand). I purchased mine at a local Health Food store but they can be purchased online as well. Try Amazon as they have so many options and often offer free shipping. Typically you are looking to spend around $10-$15 to get an Organic aroma. Not totally necessary but just happens to be what I used since I also use it in my laundry soap.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It was much easier to poke holes in the paper when it is already in the lid and the lid is on tightly. Also, when tracing your paper you can use the lid and then cut just slightly inside the line so it fits snuggly into the rim.

Amanda - Jar 1

Pros:

This could NOT be an easier project plus it is earth friendly and smells fabulous!

Cons:

None. I plan to put these all over my house.

Amanda - Jar 2

Conclusion:

This would make for a great gift basket item for new moms or even new home owners!

 
 

Air Freshener Conclusion


The super cute
Baking Soda Air Freshener and it’s photo by Smashed Peas and Carrots


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Eat. Sleep. Decorate. has the perfect solution to the towel clutter in your bathroom with DIY Knob Organization.  In fact, this project can be used to tackle messes all over your home and look good doing it!

 

Eager to tidy up and add beauty to our homes, we wanted in on this DIY Knob Organization action, pronto!

 

Please click here to visit Eat. Sleep. Decorate. and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: I have always loved the idea of creating a handmade and unique towel rack for the bathroom out of a few materials and there is nothing more empowering than a lady using a power saw, although I did not need to use one. Boohoo!

Details:

  • Tools needed: Wooden board at any length, knobs or pulls, spray paint, painters tape if you are creating any type of pattern and power tools for cutting, drilling, hanging, etc.
  • My Dad is an amazing wood crafter, although I wanted to tackle this project on my own. I found a scrap board in his workshop about 18” long and 7″ wide. Perfect!
  • I also used my Dad’s power drill to make 4 holes. Now we are rolling!
  • In the original project she used door knobs that were super long and needed to be cut. I was a little frightened by this. Sawing/cutting any type of metal is not my idea of fun. I found some beautiful (and short) drawer pulls at Menards that did the trick.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I originally painted my board white and thought it was a little boring for my taste and my spare bathroom with white walls. So then I added blue stripes and that looked terrible. I finally repainted over the white and blue with a soft gray. Still boring!!!

I finally decided on keeping the gray and adding a white chevron pattern.

Alicia - Hanger 1

Pros:

Fun project!!!

Cons:

PAINT! I had a heck of a time spray painting. If you do not use slow smooth strokes, the paint can look thick and goopy.

I used about 8 coats of paint all together, but I am nuts! When using painters tape, make sure you really push it down securely.  With my first go around with the paint I was positive the painters tape was secure. When I peeled the tape back, the paint has bled in spots. Hence it took me 8 coats. LOL!

Alicia - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

This was such a fun project for me! I am super happy with the end result and very pleased with how my chevron pattern turned out. I scoured the web to find “creating chevron for dummies” and then determined THAT was too complicated, so I created my own pattern.  Not bad, if I do say so myself.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: With a new home, I have been anxious to add little things here and there to help give this place a personal touch.  I know that a home’s character grows with time, but I wanted to kick that plan into high gear.  This project had perfect timing, as we had yet to have a place to hang our coats!

Details:

  • We picked up a 56″ long 5″ x 1″ board from Home Depot to fit into our “Owner Entry” as our builder calls it!  We lightly sanded the cut end and were ready to go!
  • My husband and I painted the board with three light coats of White Dove by Benjamin Moore, which is the same color as our trim in the home.  We have plenty left over!
  • I then sprayed a coat of Krylon Satin Finish over the painted board to keep the paint from getting worn down as easily by repetitively hanging up coats over time.
  • We had some left over knobs from our build that I got at Lowe’s.  I really love how chunky these knobs are and couldn’t help but think that they would be perfect for hanging our coats on!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Maren - Hanger 1Here’s a secret you may not know, Home Depot will make wood cuts for you!  I learned this in college when I needed to get Masonite to paint on.  That stuff only comes in huge panels, so they would always kindly cut them up for me.

Measure twice, pound the nail in once.  Learned this the hard way hanging the overhead shelf just prior to this coat rack.

Remember to use a wall anchor that suits the weight of the item that you’re hanging.  We went heavy-duty since this piece will get a lot of use.

 

Pros:

I absolutely love this!

The project was easy enough to do on my own, but also a great project to do with my honey… that is until we tried to hang it.

Cons:

Hanging it.  Apparently just because your home is new, doesn’t mean that the walls are perfectly flat.

I will also admit that my husband and I don’t always excel at doing home projects together.  For example, we have outlawed assembling any furniture together.  But hey – you’ve gotta know what works for your own relationship!  We eventually got this mother on the wall and it looks terrific!

 Maren - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

I am so happy with this piece!  It instantly added character to our home and gives it a loved and lived-in feel.  I think that I’ll whip up a smaller version for my closet, and even one for my grocery totes right inside the door to the garage!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Its multi-functional, keeps my jewelry organized and is a fun piece of art!

 

Details:

  • I chose a fresh-cut of Poplar wood which cost me about 4 bucks.
  • I went to Michaels and bought each variety they had.  I got 4 for 5 bucks.  Perfect!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Break out the ruler or a smaller measuring tape to mark your screw holes! My handy-dandy husband drilled the holes. Be mindful of this as each one of my knobs had a different screw width.

My poplar board was unfinished so I painted with the black spray paint I had on hand!  I will admit I was lazy I just decided to spray without priming and hope for the best! Well it needed two coats, I may prime next time.  Priming would probably help with a better finish, too.

Screws were too long on a few of the knobs preventing me from hanging the board so my husband had to assist again with bolt cutters.

Pros:

Looks great, definitely multi-functional and can be used to display and view your jewelry, handbags or scarves!

Also inexpensive – even less if you can find scrap wood and knobs from old furniture.

Cons:

Measuring! It seems no matter how much time I spend trying to get the screw holes straight, they end up not being exactly right!

Kristy - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

Very cute, needed help from the hubby on this project! It was easier to have him help hang, drill and cut the screws!

A client once told me, “Everything in your home should be beautiful and functional OR don’t buy it!”  I love this motto and I am trying to live by it. This is a perfect example of one of those beautiful pieces!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To create a proper place for ourselves and our house guests to hang their coats!

 

Details:

Though this project was specifically purposed for a towel hanger, we just weren’t in need of that in any of our bathrooms. Instead, we needed a coat rack within our mudroom. This project was just the inspiration we needed to get that checked-off our house project to-do list.

I grew up on a farm in Iowa and recently, we had to tear down one of my grandpa’s barns as it was soon to fall over on its own. My dad and my husband gathered as much of the barn wood as they could so we could create a new life with it in new projects. This was the first project we got to use it for!

  • Sarah - Hanger 1My husband helped pick out the best piece we had for this project – we needed it to be as flat and level as possible and we wanted one with some character. The one we ended up with is perfect in my book!
  • We didn’t do anything else to the piece of wood – just left it like it was on my grandpa’s barn and we didn’t even have to cut it to size – it was perfect.
  • Because the piece of wood we used wasn’t the same width the entire board, we improvised on our hook placements and did our best to eye them centered on the board.
  • My husband did all of the hard work of drilling the holes for the hooks and he helped screw them on the board as well. I was the “eye” for placement and of course picked out the awesome rugged hooks. I found those at Anthropologie and got them for a pretty good deal!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Find hooks/knobs that speak to you – such a fun project to really personalize!

Find a helper and put them to work – my husband was the perfect person to help me with this one! I could not have completed this without him…okay, maybe I could have, but there may have been some swear words in the mix then.

Pros:

Purposeful project!!!

Cons:

A bit labor intensive for the beginner.

Sarah - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

We absolutely love how this turned out and it is one of the best pieces of décor in our house as it has a fantastic purpose and a lovely history. For me, it is a great daily reminder of my grandpa and my family roots back in Iowa.

Next up we’d like to try creating a full-length mirror with some of the barn wood!

 

Knob Conclusion

 

The darling and clever Knob Organization for Towels and it’s photo by Eat. Sleep. Decorate.


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A little birdie told us that we can refinish furniture without sanding, just the right primer!  That little birdie is Just A Girl and she shows us just how easy it can be in her post on How to Paint Furniture.

 

Longing to spice up our homes, we were excited to dive in!

 

Please click here to visit Just A Girl and see the instructions that we followed! 

Also, be sure to click on our photos for a more detailed look!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission: To give my old bedroom set a bit of pizazz!

 

Details:

Headed to the local hardware store to get the paint, I opted for:

I was really nervous the paint, I wanted a shine but not super glossy…the guy was very helpful and said the one I bought would be perfect! You just never know until you use it but I over think everything and stress out too much about color!

  • Also picked up Liquid TSP Degreaser, along with the gloves…this sounded scary, I didn’t want to mess up this mixture. Don’t forget to use the gloves and just follow the directions. I used an old rag to apply before applying primer.
  • I primed using my handy dandy sponge brushes that worked perfect for the small curves in the night stand.
  • For the large spaces I used the Mini Foam Rollers that stated it was best for smooth surfaces.

Next was the painting, now this was tough for me.  I drove Mike crazy because I could not get the top surface smooth enough for my liking.  The other sides came out good but the top just drove me crazy.  So instead of using the Liquid TSP Degreaser again and mess up the already painted sides, Mike had the idea to just sand the top.  He saved my sanity with this suggestion! We lightly sanded then three coats later it came out better.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Let the coats dry, it doesn’t have to be for days…even just an hour because doubling up too soon will mess up the smooth finish.

Be careful while spreading the paint, the best tip would be to have a light touch with the roller…it gave the best finish.

Don’t forget to watch for drippings, you don’t want to have to redo this for drips.

Kristy - Furniture 1

Pros:

Honestly, I stressed out about the finish but I LOVE, LOVE the finished product!!

It’s pretty inexpensive as well – just time consuming.

Cons:

I could not get the finish absolutely perfect, it drove me NUTS!!!!

Mike thought it looked fine but I am certain that’s b/c he didn’t want to have to help paint it again.

 Kristy - Furniture 2

Conclusion:

Going into this project, I was nervous I was going to mess up my furniture but instead I learned it is such a great way to revamp old furniture and give it some pizazz! This is a perfect project for my job as well, for staging homes, this allows me to redo on furniture I have on hand to give life to a vacant home or to transform a feel of a room. I am already looking for my next project!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: If furniture can be painted and look great without even sanding it, I want to know how to do it. The hard part was picking which piece of furniture to paint. I decided to give my mom’s little kitchen table an upgrade. The thing is ancient.

 

Details:

There is a process, and you need to follow the process.

  • I was introduced to a fabulous product that I am now completely in love with. KRUD KUTTER. I was going to use the TSP Degreaser as recommended, but this was more earth friendly and I figured any super power degreaser would do. This stuff was amazing. It took the years of grime right off the legs of the table with very little elbow grease.
  • I headed back to mom’s another day to prime using Kilz Latex Primer & Sealer. It’s important to use a primer that blocks stains.

Mom wanted the table done in a flat black. I was a little nervous that I would have to do a ton of coats seeing the primer was white.

  • I used Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover. I must say it’s the best paint ever! It covered great. Just two coats and it looked great.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Those little sponge tip brushes work fantastic for the little nooks. Especially if you’re working on something with detailing.

Sheri - Furniture 1

Pros:

I didn’t have to sand anything.

Cons:

None really. We’ll see how well the furniture holds up to dings!

 Sheri - Furniture 2

Conclusion:

I’m overall pleased with this project. The table came out great and I didn’t have to sand anything!

I’m just hoping that it stands up to everyday wear and tear and doesn’t chip. That’s the real test.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: To turn a tired, poorly painted dresser into a new dress up closet for my kiddos. Yet another Pinterest-inspired project!

 

Details:

While I didn’t use the same paint I did stick with the suggested:

My paint choice may have actually caused the lack of coverage and streaks I experienced. My paint choice was suggested to me by a lovely and terribly incorrect hardware store sales associate who shall remain nameless.

Because I started with a four-drawer dresser and turned it into a one drawer dresser with an opening for hooks or a hanging rack my project required some additional materials.

  • I used some left over particle board from another project that my hubby kindly cut down to size for me to frame out the inside of the dresser where the drawers no longer are.
  • I tacked them in with finishing nails.
  • I also needed to use some Elmer’s Wood Filler to make the new wood look like part of the old wood. It is easy to use and you can sand and paint it so ideal for a project like this.
  • I also added some chic and bold patterned paper to the inside of the dresser before installing hooks and a hanging rack!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Choose a GOOD and reliable paint not one you have never worked with. Have a fresh Foam Roller. Mine was a little mangled due to the texture of the particle board I used on the inside of the dresser.

Amanda - Furniture 1

Pros:

Not a ton of prep with this method. The Zinsser primer definitely helped with the texture of the wood and evening things out.

Cons:

Not so much a con but I really would have loved to have seen a before of the piece that Just a Girl used in her original post.

I feel like I may have had expectations that were not realistic.

Amanda - Furniture 2

Conclusion:

Stick with what you know! Use a good paint if you are starting with a darker piece that you plan to paint lighter.

I will definitely try this method again and may even venture into our local paint store to pick up the Benjamin Moore that was used in the original post. It sure looks great on her piece!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To give my kiddos’ dresser a new life so it looks new again.

 

 

Details:

Before my oldest child was born, my sister gifted me one of her old dressers to use in his room. It was a worn in piece of furniture, but I always loved it for its character and had dressed it up with some cute knobs from Anthropologie. It had lived up to its duty as a holder of clothes, though it was time for an overhaul on this lovely piece.

  • When I started this project, I broke the rule of following directions right off the bat. I decided to go forward with using our hand sander vs. buying the degreaser that was noted. I wanted to save some money on this project (as I overspent on it later) and honestly didn’t want to make another stop at yet another store with my three children…the taking them in and out of their car seats gets tiring!
  • I picked out a gray Benjamin Moore paint color at my local paint store and they tinted the Zinsser Cover-Stain Primer for me, as well as the Benjamin Moore Low Lustre metal and wood paint. I accidentally asked for the oil based paint though, which I highly regretted later!

While painting the dresser, I ended up doing three coats of paint total. The first was the tinted primer, the second and third were the topcoat. After the first topcoat layer dried, I could see areas where the primer was showing through, so that third coat was a must!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use a paint roller and a small one at that! It was so easy to use, for both my son and I, and it really did a great finishing job. Also have some small sponge brushes handy for detailed areas.

If you are refinishing a piece of furniture that requires knobs, have some fun with finding the perfect ones! I went the route of Anthropologie – one of my favorite retailers – and found some great knobs that are darling and work well in my kiddos’s room.

Sarah - Furniture 1

Pros:

A fantastic finish – it honestly made this dresser look like new again and like it is worth some bucks!

Refinishing my kiddos’ dresser also motivated me to work with my very talented mother to design new quilts for my kid’s beds. We went with a gray, orange and teal color palette. I’ll share a photo of the finished update when we are all wrapped up!

Cons:

DO NOT use an oil based paint…unless you want to clean brushes over and over in paint thinner. I was cursing myself for doing that the entire project!

Sarah - Furniture 2

Conclusion:

I absolutely LOVE the end result and am inspired to do this on my dresser as it also needs a facelift!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Maren

Mission: Learn how to revive an old piece without the pain in the tuchus of having to sand it down first!

 

Details:

Since we are currently “displaced,” I didn’t have the space to refinish a large piece of furniture… and just about everything we own is in storage, I decided to try Just a Girl’s technique on a vintage shelf that I grabbed at an antique store.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Those little sponge brushes were not working for me.  I used my favorite nylon craft brushes instead.

On a super old piece like the one I had, be prepared to apply extra coats of primer.  The wood just sucked it up, leaving little brown pits that I knew would show through the top coat.  I ended up applying over 2 coats of primer in some places.  Yuck.

Speaking of primer, if you push too hard with the roller, you will remove it.  Oy!

P.S.  Before getting fancy and painting the sides of a drawer, make sure that the drawer has some wiggle room.  I did not follow this advice and ended up having to sand my pretty purple paint off the sides of the drawer when it couldn’t fit back into the shelf, aka “total waste of time.”

I got little bubbles!  I think that this may be from my foam roller not being 100% dry from washing it. Or maybe because the wood was so old?  I was freaking out.  Everyone else seems to think that it looks perfectly fine, but the OCD weirdo in me just can’t get over the fact that it doesn’t have that “factory finish.”  I’m not entirely positive that this is even possible, but I won’t stop until I find out!

Maren - Furniture 1

Pros:

It really looks great and was relatively inexpensive to do!

I am really glad that I tested the technique out on a smaller scale first; I now feel confident diving into one of our bigger pieces!

Cons:

Frustrating.  Why can’t I do things perfectly on the first try?

Maren - Furniture 2

Conclusion:

This was a great, simple tutorial that was a great first lesson on painting furniture.  I am anxious to try it again with the things that I learned the first time around.

I also imagine that a piece with a nicer starting finish would be helpful (or even a very light amount of sanding), so that makes me feel excited about the to-be painted furniture that I have around our home!

 

 

Furniture Conclusion

 

The lovely Painted Furniture and it’s photo by Just A Girl

 

Check out our latest attempt at painting furniture by clicking here!


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