Nature’s Nurture has a recipe for All-Natural Laminate Floor Cleaner that you can make at home.  
Anyone with wood laminate knows that they can smudge up quickly, so to have a home-remedy for an easy clean-up is like a dream come true!

 

We couldn’t wait to put this formula to the test on our dirty floors!

 

Please click here to visit Nature’s Nurture and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To find an easier way to clean our laminate floor, without the icky chemicals

 

Details:

  • We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor CleanerAlthough I wanted to use equal parts of water, vinegar and rubbing alcohol, I measured 1 c hot water, 1 c vinegar and about a 1/4 c of rubbing alcohol because 1 cup seemed entirely too much and I didn’t have enough anyway.
  • I used Dawn Dishwashing Liquid.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used hot water which seemed to give my floors a really nice clean. My thinking is that hot=disinfecting. Sounds good, right?!  Let’s go with it.
Be sure to gently shake your mixture as the Dawn sunk right to the bottom in a glob.
Spray generously and then mop away, baby!

Although the aroma wasn’t too bad, I will try adding in lavender oil next time.

Pros:

I love this because I didn’t have to go out and buy anything and the results are great

Cons:

Left a slight film on the floor but I realized that I used too much liquid soap.

We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor Cleaner

Conclusion:

I tried this floor cleaner on a whim and really impressed with the results.

My laminate flooring is in the kitchen so it gets high traffic and it always looks dirty. I found that this cleaner was easy to make, easy to use and we have been spot free for at least 3 days and counting. Check back in a week – lol!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: I have been searching for a spot cleaning spray for my laminate floors for ages.

Sometimes you just get an area with smudges but aren’t ready to clean the whole floor! I tested this on the area in between the bathroom and my children’s bedrooms. Serious traffic goes down here.

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

There really isn’t anything tricky about this!

I do suggest making sure you have a bottle with a little extra space so you can shake the ingredients together well.

We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor Cleaner

Pros:

Seriously simple and extremely effective.

Cons:

The vinegar smell is pretty strong so you may want to up your drops of essential oils.

We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor CleanerConclusion:

I can’t wait to try this in bucket form and really clean up!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I love our laminate wood floors, love them!  My husband on the other hand has a really tough time with the smudges that you see, since they are a very dark brown shade. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the miracle cleaner that leaves us smudge-free for days!

Details:

I grabbed an All-Purpose Spray Bottle, a Funnel and got to mixing!

  • My dishwashing liquid of choice was Better Life’s Dish It Out.  Love that stuff!
  • I was well on my way to equally mixing 6 oz of each item, until I realized that I was an ounce short of the Rubbing Alcohol.  Thanks a lot Sharpie Tie-Dye!!  I added an extra ounce of water to get me to 18 oz.
  • I am a huge baby when it comes to the smell of vinegar.  I added 20 drops of Eucalyptus Oil, swished it around, gagged, and then added 10 more drops.  Blaghk!
  • I used a Microfiber Cloth, as recommended and tested out a small, high traffic area by hand.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Easy Peasy.  Just spray and wipe.

I do like to use a damp cloth to get more out of the product that I use.  I just rinse the cloth or microfiber pad and ring out in the sink before getting to work.

After re-reading the post, I nearly had a heart attack when I realized that I wasn’t supposed to use any essential oils if I had pets, which I do!  I quickly checked “Eucalyptus Oil” at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control site and learned that it is terrible for pets!  Ahhhg!!
All was well in the world after I went back over the area with my regular floor cleaner which I love.

Prior to my freak-out, the results were a little iffy to me.  This could be because I used a ton of essential oils and was short on my rubbing alcohol, or the fact that my floors are super dark and show everything.  The finish looked matte as opposed to shiny and new, and I could see streaks.  I don’t love that.

We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor Cleaner

Pros:

Easy and inexpensive to make.

Cons:

 To be honest, rubbing alcohol doesn’t seem very “natural” to me; I feel much better using my current product which I already know that I trust.

We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor Cleaner

Conclusion:

While this cleaner may be a great choice for those with lighter colored floors and less sensitive noses, I don’t think that it is for me.

Making it was totally easy, but the results didn’t trump my current cleaner’s.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sheri

Mission: We just had new laminate kitchen floors installed. Finally! They were much awaited. It was time to find a great cleaner that would keep them shiny and not streaky.

 

Details:

  • We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor CleanerI followed the directions provided by Natures Nurture Blog but I cut the recipe in half. My floor space isn’t very big and I wanted to make sure I liked it first.
  • I didn’t have any citrus essential oils so I soaked some lemon peels in the vinegar for about 20 minutes.
  • I also used the fragrance oil I had on hand, “Island Orchard,” which I found at Pier 1 when we made the Baking Soda Air Fresheners.
  • I was nervous about harming my brand new floors so I first tried the cleaner on spare pieces we had left over.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Definitely use a Microfiber Cloth as suggested. They tend to work best.

Pros:

It worked surprising well!

Cons:

Vinegar is a great cleaner, but my only gripe is the smell. Luckily it dissipates quickly.

We tried it - All Natural Laminate Floor CleanerConclusion:

Overall I was impressed. I think I might get myself some orange essential oils for my next batch. I wasn’t too crazy about my Island Orchard fragrance oil mixed with the lemon. I might even test this one on my hardwoods.

 

 
We tried it - All-Natural Laminate Floor Cleaner!


The fabulous
All-Natural Laminate Floor Cleaner and photo by Nature’s Nurture

 


read more

This sweet little project looks like the perfect treat for your feathered friends this chilly winter.

By Stephanie Lynn has shared an easy recipe for her Homemade Birdseed Wreath that only requires a few items that you may already have in your home!

 

Crafty yes, and bird-watchers, too; we were excited to put together a special snack for our songful neighbors!

 

Please click here to visit By Stephanie Lynn and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: This was one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen. Use an old cake pan to make a birdseed wreath – Awesome!

 

Details:

  • My Mom gave me this fish cake pan years ago and never knew what to do with it until now.
  • I also wanted to make a round wreath and found a pan at the Goodwill for $1.50.
  • I grabbed some Kaytee Wild Bird Food from the grocery store.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure that you generously spray your pans with non-stick spray. I did not spray my round pan enough and it ended up sticking and cracking.

I also used 4 packages of gelatin for each mold and added a few extra cups of seed more that was noted. The mixture looked goopy after you poured in into the pans. It looked strange and I thought I did something wrong – this is normal and will work out.

Chill for at least 2 hours before removing from the mold, as Stephanie Lynn suggested. I left mine in the fridge overnight.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

Open, pour, stir and set – EASY!

Cons:

None – unless it gets stuck in the pan/tin

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I love feeding the birds and was very impressed with how this turned out. Can I tell you again how cool I think this project is?!

Although one of my wreaths cracked, you cannot tell. I have been waiting patiently by the window every day and finally saw a few feathered  enjoying a snack.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Since moving into our new home, I’ve learned that birds are fun to watch!  I’d love to keep them happy during the winter months with a special treat, so that they stick around to chirp and eat bugs in the summer!

Details:

This project seemed almost too good to be true!  I only needed a few things:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed WreathI had a little trouble getting the wreath out of the smaller of my two pans.  It was then that I realized that I forgot to spray it with cooking spray.  Dang it!  I did manage to get the wreath out with the ol’ Run-the-Upside-Down-Tray-Under-Water trick and some light tapping against the counter.

The face of each of my wreaths are very gelatin-y.  I think that I could have added a little more seed.  If you find that after scooping the seed into each pan, that there is liquid left over in the pot, this could be an indication that you can add more birdseed.  Mix a little extra in before pouring the remaining liquid in each pan.

The wreaths were a little slimy for my liking at the 2 hour mark, so I left my wreaths outside to get super cold frozen for my own sake.  Hopefully the birds will figure it out!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

Couldn’t be an easier project!

Very cute – would make a sweet gift for a neighbor or bird-loving friend.

Cons:

Gelatin weirds me out.  If I make this again, I think that I’ll try it with fruit pectin instead.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I loved how easy this project was.  I’m not even sure that it took more than 10 minutes from start to pouring into the bundt pans!
The true test though, will be to see how my birdies like it.  If not, I know that the deer will!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To give our feathered friends a fly-by eatery this winter.

 

Details:

I live at Target – seriously, this is no joke. I go there with my kids probably two times a week, as it is one of the easiest places to go with three young children. Plus I always forget a thing or two each time I head there, so I have to go back!

  • I purchased one box of Knox Gelatin, which contained four envelopes of the dry gelatin mix.
  • I used my grandmother’s beautiful gold bundt pan.
  • I picked a basic Kaytee wild birdseed mix.
  • I adorned it with some  scrap fabric I had on-hand in a winter blue!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed WreathBased on the directions and the size of my mold, I mixed all four envelopes of the gelatin with two cups of water. It sounded like it would be enough and this was an easy step in the process. Once that had all dissolved, I added in four cups of the wild birdseed mix and stirred that until it was combined well. I then sprayed my bundt pan with olive oil cooking spray before scooping in the wild birdseed mix and pressing it in gently.

After the mix had set in the fridge for four hours, I worked hard to get it to release from the pan. I used both my brut strength and a butter knife to convince it to finally release itself from the pan! Once I saw it in its finished form, I decided I should have used more gelatin for my mix as it was only sitting towards the lower half of the mold, but it was all still intact, so all-in-all, it worked just fine.

I hung my darling wreath out on the front porch for our feathered friends. I was even able to snap a picture of some of the birds that came to eat!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t think I used enough olive oil spray on mine.  Be sure to give your pan a good spray!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

A reasonably priced way to feed our feathered friends!

I spent $1.34 on one box of the gelatin (contained four packets) and $9.99 on the birdseed.

After seeing how adorable this turned out, I purchased four more boxes of the gelatin to make them as gifts. So, each wreath cost about $4.00 – that’s a great price!

Plus, you can personalize these for your recipient based on the ribbon used or even the kind of birdseed if you know what type of birds like to visit their home.

Cons:

The process is a little messy.

Also, if you do not happen to live in an area that attracts many feathered friends, this may not be the project for you.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I loved how this turned out that I plan to make more of these! Super easy and just plain adorable!

 

 We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath


The lovely
Homemade Birdseed Wreath and it’s photo by By Stephanie Lynn

 


read more

CraftStylish has a project that will not only dress up your Thanksgiving table, but will have you embracing the piles of leaves in your yard as well!  
The darling Leaf Print Napkins use real leaves as a stamp in this clever DIY.

 

Since our yards were full and we can always use some pretty holiday decor, we thought we had better give this one a go!

 
 

Please click here to visit CraftStylish and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: What a super cute way to jazz up the table during the holidays. I normally don’t host Thanksgiving dinner so I decided to jazz up my kitchen and use this method to make some leaf dishtowels.

 

Details:

The instructions for this project were done really well. I personally didn’t have a brayer so I just used my fingers and it worked just fine.

  • I decided on maple and oak leaves. I love the margin for variety. You can do as much as you want, and any colors you want.

I won’t lie to you. I made a bit of a mess, but overall it was easy. Just paint the leaves and transfer them to the material.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use fresh green leaves if you can. You don’t want to use leaves that are brittle in any way.

Have a placement plan before you start putting paint on the leaves. You don’t want it to start to dry.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Add your own personality and flare to your dinner table and they’re super cute.

Cons:

I could just go buy a fall inspired napkins, placemats, or dishtowels….for less mess.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

This little fall project was fun. The instructions were very easy to follow and I really loved the results. It has me thinking, “what else can I put leaves on?”

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To create a functional piece of fall décor for our home.

 

Details:

  • I chose oyster colored burlap from Joann. It is such a beautiful fabric – so simple with a natural feel.
  • I opted to do the leaf prints on a table runner vs. napkins. We rarely use cloth napkins in this house, so it just didn’t seem functional for us.  Before beginning with the project, I determined what size I wanted to make my table runner and opted to do a 3.5’ x 1.5’. It isn’t huge, but works with our table.  I was stressed out by the thought of working with burlap and sewing it, so that started this project off on the wrong foot for me. I was definitely overwhelmed but it turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be! I added a little ribbon/lace detail onto the burlap before sewing a 5/8” border to keep it from coming completely unraveled.
  • After sewing, I put my two paint colors, orange and brown, into bowls and began covering the back of my oak leaves and placing them where I wanted. I ended up only doing a few of the actual leaf prints – I’m such a minimalist with design. I do like how they turned out but know that if I had used linen or cotton that the leaf details would have been more defined.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If the leaf doesn’t imprint as well as you intend, you can apply paint a second time and line it up again for a clearer print.

Keep calm and keep moving ahead!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Overall, pretty darn easy to complete and a cute idea. The leaf prints would also be a fun project with kids on paper.

Cons:

Burlap is super messy! I don’t recommend using it for this project – unless you want burlap fibers everywhere!

I don’t love the end result – it’s just a little too elementary looking for my liking.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Using this on our table this fall! We will see how it fares with my littles! It is a darling backdrop to our little pumpkins and gourds.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Whip up some cute linens adorned with fallen leaves for our Thanksgiving table!  We’re hosting for our first time this year!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Press your leaves… sort of.  I collected my {green} leaves early in the week and put them directly into a magazine and under a book.  The following weekend was when I did my printing.  The leaves were still fresh and pliable, but they were flat as a pancake, which made them really easy to work with.

Cover your work surface really well!  I covered my table with Kraft Paper and Painter’s Tape.

I placed a clean paper towel over each leaf to keep paint off of the brayer and also off of the runner.  This worked really well!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Totally easy with darling results!

Cons:

Holy hell.  Burlap is the messiest thing on Earth.

This was my first experience with it and I think it may be even sneakier than glitter; I am still finding little fibers all over my house!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Great project!  I am really excited about how easy this was to do and how crisp the leaves transferred.  I am already thinking of other items to embellish!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: Super cute fall design, but instead of napkins I wanted a reusable bag for groceries.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Iron fabric beforehand as it was difficult for me to roll over the wrinkles. I was just lazy.

I would recommend painting on a hard solid surface and purchase the brayer as it may give you a more even leaf imprint.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Simple, quick and cute!  Keep your leaves as they look adorable in fall decorations.

Cons:

The paint roller goofed me up, I had to push heavily down and sometimes it didn’t want to cooperate!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Cute, fall project!  Must admit it wasn’t my favorite to do but it came out great!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5 – Alicia

Mission: Fall is my favorite time of year. To create a beautiful leaf print anything, I am in!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I decided that I wanted to make a runner for my table. I found this giant leaf at the park down the street and thought that I would stamp/transfer 3 of these to the center of my runner. HUGE FAIL!

First – be sure to practice on paper. Second – cover your surface. Paint ran through my linen onto the table. Lastly – get more than one leaf.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

My napkins (yes napkins) turned out okay. Had to totally scrap the runner.

Cons:

Waste of material if you don’t know what you are doing.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

This project was a total bust for me. Looks nothing like the original, beautiful post.  I had high hopes and was really excited for this to turn out. I took the time to sew a nice runner and the image did not transfer or turn out at all – so I scrapped it and made napkins out of my remaining linen. Bummer!

 

 Leaf Printing - We Tried It!


The lovely
Leaf Print Napkins and photo by CraftStylish


read more

If you have been searching for a gourd-free way to give your porch a festive punch, Bullfrogs & Bulldogs has your ticket!

 

The DIY Jack O’ Lantern Planter looks like just the way to get your Fall flowers into a holiday frock!

 

We couldn’t wait to give this surprisingly simple project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Bullfrogs & Bulldogs and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To create a Halloween themed flower pot is right up my alley.

 

Details:

I used the same items that were used over at Bullfrogs & Bulldogs, except for the orange or rust-colored spray paint.  I skipped that step.

  • I had Terra Cotta Pots in my garage – although you could use a plastic pot
  • I picked out some Mums to plant in my pot.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I free-handed a pumpkin image and then drew this on my pot in pencil.

Next, I painted right over the image with the black paint.  It dried very quickly and I felt that 1 coat of paint was perfect. You could certainly download an image from the web or I have also found stickers at Michael’s or Joann that could be applied directly to the pot in place of paint.

 

Pros:

This was so easy and cheap. I had most of the items on hand and clay pots coming out of my ears

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! I just love it. Pumpkins, spiders, bats, witches – you name it, I am in heaven.  The more rustic decorations are what I gravitate towards and this project had that rustic feel. I think it turned out great. My painting skills are not the best but it totally adds to the charm.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Add some festive charm to my front stoop that won’t be begging to get tossed in the street!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It might work better to use a non-gloss finish.  I noticed that the glossy paint got a funky texture on the pots that didn’t entirely resolve after drying completely.  Next time, I would either go for a less vibrant color that could just be dusted on, or use a paint that could be brushed on and then sealed (also with a brush). Patience really is a virtue.  My pots have a few fingerprints on them because I just couldn’t wait to touch them.  This seems to be a recurring trend for me.

I was a little worried that the fresh paint might transfer from the bottoms of the pots to my steps, so I put a cork trivet from IKEA under each one.  Problem solved!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

I love them!

I like the way that they brighten up our front steps while being perfectly suited for a family sans kiddos.

Cons:

It took a lot of paint to cover those pots!  I went through one whole can on two pots and two dishes.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

I really like these little pots even more than I thought I would!  They look so cute on our steps.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission:  When I first saw this pin I thought it was a really cute way to spook up the front porch. I was hoping I could get out of carving a pumpkin this year.

 

Details:

Although I found this to be a really cute idea, I didn’t think the instructions were very well laid out. Just paint it?

First I wanted to know what kind of paint. My kids have painted terracotta pots before and when left outside they didn’t last. For a person that is not the craftiest, you need to do some research and find the right products. I went forth and found my own instructions, which of course I’ll share with you.

  • The first thing I did was sand the pot down a little bit. Scuff it up. I then wiped it down with a damp rag and let it dry.
  • Next, for those of you who plan on planting something in the pot, I applied a clear coat of spray paint. This will help prevent the pot from absorbing moisture from the soil.
  • Then the fun part, paint as you see fit. I used an Americana Gloss Enamel Paint in Black which is good on ceramics. A Valspar or Rustoleum spray paint will also work. I thought of painting the pot green and making a Frankenstein but I stuck with the traditional Jack-o-lantern.
  • Lastly, a clear coat. I sprayed the entire pot with a clear coat. After drying, I added a nice fall mum.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sand and clear coat your pot.

Use a paint that adheres well to ceramics.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

This is super cute and I’m hoping is lasts for next fall season as well.

Cons:

No instructions.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Overall I really love how this project turned out. It really added a little more character to the front porch. We’re ready for some trick or treating!

 

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

 

The darling Jack O’ Lantern Planter and photo by Bullfrogs & Bulldogs


read more

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!


read more

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


read more

Looking for some special trimmings for your terrace?  Wit & Whistle‘s darling DIY Garden Markers are the perfect way to add some spice to your sunny space!

 

Always looking to add those special touches to our homes, as well as find ideas for great gifts, we couldn’t wait to give this project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Wit & Whistle and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission:  I didn’t really need markers for my herbs but thought these little ditties were so cute.

 

Details:

  • I found oven bake polymer clay at Wally-World.
  • I already had rubber alphabet stamps at home.

Working with this clay is incredibly easy and soft. It felt like play-dough. Easy to shape, roll and stamp.

The directions said to bake your clay at 275 degrees at 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness and do not OVERBAKE.  I totally freaked out over this stage and took mine out too soon, as I have zero patience!  I should have baked them a little longer, as my makers were not as stiff as would have liked. Oh well-lesson learned.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to follow the baking instructions. I took mine out too soon.

Also, measure each maker so they are the same in length and width.

Alicia - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

I can now tell my herbs apart with these beautiful markers-although it is not hard to tell the difference between each – LOL

Cons:

None. Letter stamps can be expensive. Good thing I already had some!

Alicia - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

What an inexpensive and quick project. I loved how they turned out and it took my less than an hour to create-including baking times.

The shapes of my markers were not exactly uniform and my stamps were a little hard to read (OCD much), I am okay with that. Cilantro and Basil, here we come…….

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission:  Make herb markers as a gift.

 

 

Details:

I loved this craft as soon as I saw it on Pinterest!

I couldn’t make this for myself as I am not growing any herbs, but decided to make it as a gift for my fiance’s mom.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The clay is very forgiving. If you mess up, just roll it back into a ball and start again!

The stamps I bought were circular, making it difficult to get my letters straight. Before you press the stamp, press it very lightly on the clay to make a slight indent to get your letter straight and spaced how you want it.

Make the clay balls in any size you want, depending on how skinny or fat you want the marker to be.

The clay package didn’t give me much insight on how long to bake these for. I don’t think I baked them long enough as they were still a little flexible after they cooled. I’d suggest baking for a little bit longer than you think to make sure they are done.

Janet - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

Easy and cheap! You couldn’t buy something unique like this in the store for less than $10.

Cons:

The clay package just didn’t give enough direction on how long to bake.

Janet - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

I really liked this project, but think I am going to have to make it again to get it right.  I bought a different brand of clay to try for next time.  My markers turned out a little fatter than what was shown on the blog and I want to make them skinnier next time.

Also, since I don’t have herb plants so I might put other words on the markers and use as decoration in my potted plants. Overall, the project was easy, quick and cheap!

A great DIY project for all skill levels!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I cannot get herbs planted soon enough!  We just got the final grade in at our new house, so I am chomping at the bit to get gardening!  This project was the perfect way to distract me long enough to get through the sod-laying process!

I am still learning about plants and gardening so having markers will probably be great for me.  I can’t even remember how old I am most of the time!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

IMG_3557Knead that dough like crazy!  My clay was hard as a rock when I got it, so I needed to knead the living daylights out of it before I could even attempt to roll into little balls.  Once I did though, it was like buttah!  Super easy to work with and really smooth.

My OCD couldn’t handle the rounded edge of each marker, so I used my butcher knife to whack off the edges into a clean line.  Worked like a charm.

I also used my rolling-pin to gently taper the edges of the markers so that they come to more of a point.

I am not sure that I really baked them long enough…  and I did bake them quite a bit longer than the package recommended.  Mine are definitely set, they aren’t going anywhere, but you can sort of bend them a little.  Normal?  No clue.

Maren - Garden Markers 1

Maren - Garden Markers 1.5

Pros:

Amanda from Wit & Whistle was right!  These markers are really cute, and super easy to make.

I loved the end result so much that I quickly cranked out 2 more sets to give as gifts!  Tah Dah!

Cons:

As much as I really enjoyed this project, I think that to do it again, I would need to use a different kind of clay.

While really easy to work with and lovely in the end, the polymer clay left my oven smelling like some kind of chemical drug baking operation that I have been smelling ever since I baked these things.  It makes me fear that if we eat any more frozen pizza this summer, that I could wake up one day with an extra eyeball on my head.

Maren - Garden Markers 3

Conclusion:

This project was so easy, I loved it.  I don’t know what it is about working with clay, but it really is fun!  I love the idea of pairing a set of these with a cute potted herb plant for a housewarming gift to give a friend a start on their own garden.

I can think of quite a few ways to personalize these too, whether it be with color, font, embellishments or even using sassy words or phrases – like “No Gnomes Allowed!”  Haaha!

This is a fun one, and I will certainly give it another shot.  Maybe in Alicia’s oven…  Haaha! Kidding!

 

 Garden Marker Conclusion


The darling
DIY Garden Markers and photo by Wit & Whistle


read more

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


read more

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


read more

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


read more

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


read more

Chalkboard Frame

Miss Tweedle shows us the magic of spray paint with her Chalkboard Frame project. An outdated mirror is transformed into a fab chalkboard that would be perfectly darling in any home.

 

Eager to turn our own ugly finds into chic decor, we grabbed our spray paint and dove right in!

 

Please click here to visit Miss Tweedle and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To create a fun piece of art for our home, which is also purposeful!

 

Details:

I really wanted to find a fun frame to repurpose for this project. I searched high and low in my house, while I was out and about at a few stores and finally landed on one at a local antique store that I liked. It was ornate and gold…super cute! And, it had a print in it from San Francisco, which I found inspiring, as I will be traveling there later this spring.

Once I purchased the frame, I went to our local paint store and picked up the chalkboard paint as well as spray paint.

  • I chose a bright orange for the spray paint as I wanted something with pop and thought I may use this piece in the kiddos room.

Unfortunately, the frame I landed upon gave me some troubles. I couldn’t get the back of it off to figure out how I was going to paint it and finally figured out that it was set in place with large staples. After getting those removed with my trusty needle-nosed pliers, I taped off the plexy glass front with painters tape and a piece of paper and then set to spray painting the outer frames outside. I laid the frames onto an old beach towel I didn’t mind ruining and set to work.

This is where my second issue arrived – the paint was NOT adhering well to the frame. I am not sure if the frame had any coating on it due to being an antique, but it took me three coats of the spray paint to get to where it is now. I still don’t love how it looks, as the paint isn’t evenly coated on the frame, but I do like the added character it has. Or maybe I have to just succumb to the fact that it is what it is.

After the spray paint step, I then taped around the outer frame edges and set to work painting on the chalkboard paint. I used a disposable paintbrush for this step and later decided that wasn’t the best idea as the streaks are very visible and the painting did not go on smoothly. But, it still works like a chalkboard!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Really clean and wipe-off your frame before starting to paint – I learned this the hard way.

Sarah - Frame 1

Pros:

This is a very purposeful project and a fun added piece of décor.

Cons:

A bit labor intensive based on my poor choice of a frame. You will have a lot of chalkboard paint left over, so you may want to do this as a group project or find another piece to create into a chalkboard.

Sarah - Frame 2

Conclusion:

I want to give this project another shot – but will be even more choosy in my frame choice before I begin to make certain I know what I am getting myself info.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: What a fabulous idea for an old junky picture frame! I love a good before/after project.

 

 

Details:

  • I was excited to use some trusty spray paint again! The stuff is just fabulous. Easy to use and comes in all sorts of colors and textures. The boys wanted green, their favorite color.  I did one quick coat on the frame and it came out great and dried really quickly.
  • I removed the glass from the frame and was left with some cheap particle board, but it seemed to work just fine. I applied three coats of Martha Stewart’s chalkboard paint in black.
  • I let it cure for 24 hours as instructed, put the frame back together, and it was ready for use.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sponge brushes work great for this project.

Sheri - Frame 1

Pros:

Really easy project, especially great for those who like to yard sale hunt.

Cons:

None!

Sheri - Frame 2

Conclusion:

This was a really great project. I wish I had a more unique looking frame that needed revamping, but this turned out just fine. Better than tossing it in the trash, and the boys loved it! I feel the need to make one for my kitchen.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Janet

Mission: I was so excited when I saw this project from Miss Tweedle because I have had an old framed mirror that I have been wanting to repaint since college! The only tweak I made to the project is not turning the inside area into a blackboard, I really wanted to keep it as a mirror.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

LIQUITEX is BOMB.COM! I’m a failure when it comes to spray paint, but this stuff was so easy to use, the spray button was comfortable to press, and the paint came out smooth and even! I will for sure use this again for other projects requiring spray paint. It comes in a wide array of colors, so you can just go wild with it!

If you are painting outside, make sure it isn’t a windy day so the spray doesn’t go all over. Also, be sure to get all of the nooks and crannies.

Feel like the $12 is a little too spendy for spray paint? Get a free sample of Liquitex spray paint before having to buy it! Just go to their website and request one!

Janet - Frame 1

Pros:

Like I said earlier, Liquitex is glorious and made painting so easy.

The project gave me such inspiration to finally finish another project I’ve been thinking about for years!

Cons:

No cons here. The only bad thing is that I can’t figure out where to hang my “new” vintage mirror.

Janet - Frame 2

Conclusion:

I absolutely love how my frame turned out! I have the urge to search for another frame to paint, and I might even try my hand at a framed blackboard. Possibly something to use at the reception for my November wedding….hmmm something to add to the wedding idea list!

Whether you are wanting to redo a frame that you have had on hand forever or you want to create the ever popular framed blackboard, this project is so easy and perfect for the craft beginner.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 – Alicia

Mission: I love the idea of turning junk into treasure.  Ugly frame refashioned into a beautiful chalk board creation, I am totally in!  I ran across a hideous frame at Goodwill that was perfect from this project.

Details:

Tools needed: Fugly frame, spray paint, chalk board paint and tools to remove backings of frame (if needed).

Did I mention the frame I used was really hideous??!!! I used the card board that was in the frame for my chalk board material. The cardboard did take a few coats of paint before it was completed ready for chalk. It worked really well.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would recommend priming your frame before spray painting and let completely dry between coats.

Alicia - Frame 1

Pros:

All the amazing color options in spray paint are endless. This project came together very quickly and was fun to make.

Cons:

I am not sure what is wrong with me, but this project almost took the entire can of paint. I did not prime the wood. Oops! The wood of the frame was about 100 years old, which was hard to cover.

Alicia - Frame 2

Conclusion:

What an awesome project and the possibilities are endless. Very happy with the final look of my frame and it will be a nice addition to Lilly’s bedroom. I am now a crazy woman on the lookout for ugly frames to paint.

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Maren

Mission: In my quest to make our new home more “homey,” I knew that we needed a little something in our game room to encourage a little friendly competition.  We needed a scoreboard!  This project was that perfect “something” I had been looking for.

Details:

One look at the back of my Goodwill frame and I wasn’t even about to try and pry that sucker off.  I decided to see what happened when I just painted right over the whole thing, glass and all.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sometime’s it’s good to be a lazy crafter!  The finish of my chalkboard is rock hard, just like the huge boards from my school days!  The finish is actually so great, that it makes that horrible sound when you write on it… *shutter*.

Um, so be sure to be in a very well ventilated space.  Cracking the garage door won’t cut it; open the whole thing.  More on that later.

Maren - Frame 1.

Pros:

Love this thing!

The project was easy to do and the spray paint products that I chose were all terrific!

Cons:

I may or may not have gotten a little loopy from the paint fumes.

Maren - Frame 2

Conclusion:

So, I wonder how many chalkboards one can have in their home before it gets weird…  I can’t wait to make more!

In our last house, I painted the inside of our most-used cupboard with chalkboard paint for a special place for my honey and I to leave little notes for each other.  After this project, I think that I’ll take it up a notch at our new abode by adding a bright and glossy frame!  Can’t wait!

 

 Chalkboard Conclusion


The darling
Chalkboard Frame and it’s photo by Miss Tweedle


read more

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.


read more

One Good Thing by Jillee has a recipe for her very own Homemade “Shout” Stain Remover that makes stains disappear before your very eyes!  Now that’s magic!

 

With homes full of kids and clumsy adults we had plenty of stains to test this potion on!

 

Please click here to visit One Good Thing by Jillee and see the instructions that we followed!

 

GROSS ALERT! 

This review has pictures that may make those who are more sensitive to gross stuff a little queasy. 

Consider yourself warned!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Create a super cheap yet effective stain fighter.

 

 

Details:

  • I used the same ingredients Jillee used and put it in a recycled Method spray bottle. I felt very granola in that moment and am still feeling proud about it now…I think this may have even made momma earth proud.
  • I also used a bottle of Shout as I wanted to have a good idea how effective this stain fighter really was but couldn’t be unprepared if it wasn’t…my kids are part animal. Stain fighter is as common as water in this house.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It definitely helps if the water is warm. I think it even helps fight stains better because I didn’t feel it was as effective after it had sat and was cold. Also, make sure you have a spray bottle that can handle the consistency. Sadly my Method bottle did stand up to the test and I ended up storing it in a jug that I pour from now.

Amanda - Shout 11

Pros:

Cheap, easy to make pretty effective.

Cons:

SUPER stinky. Maybe some kind of pure essence might help with that?

For testing purposes I decided not to stray from the original recipe.

Amanda - Shout 2

Conclusion:

I have been using this for some time now. I found that if I spray something right away and launder it within 24 I am fine. If the stain is really nasty I spray it and then soak in water before washing. Works like a charm.

 
 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I am always on the hunt for a good stain remover!  It is a miracle if I can make it to lunch without spilling on myself each day.

 

Details:

I tried to stick with the program, but I forgot about the damn Dawn Dish Soap!

  • Lemon Scented Ammonia.
  • I used Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dish Soap.
  • My stains of choice:  Blood.  Sorry.  It is cold and dry in this place where I live and my schnoz just couldn’t take it this year.  My other stain, “Maren‘s Tan.”  Yes, there is nothing in the world that stains worse than the concoction of products that it takes to make my freckled Scandinavian self look like I’ve been in the sun.  “Maren‘s Tan” is my special mixture of self tanner and bronzer that has made more than a few sets of my sheets look like an Umpa Lumpa rolled around in them.  ew.
  • I let both of the stains sit for a few days, okay fine, like a week.  I then let the stain remover sit for about 40 minutes before washing.

Tips & Tricks Learned

I tested the stain remover on column “B,” which I thought was pretty impressive prior to putting in the wash, then both columns looked pretty much the same.  I think it would have been an even better test to put them on different rags, and in separate loads from each other.  I am guessing that the stain remover got on column “A” in the wash.

In the future, I would apply the stain remover right away and even soak in warm water if needed.

Rub the stain remover into the stain a little before tossing into the wash to make sure that the mixture fully penetrates the stain.

Warm water is a must, especially since the baking soda is pretty thick.  I was a little worried that I would have a Science Fair volcano on my hands, but the pressure in the bottle was relieved as soon as I opened the nozzle and started spraying.

Maren - Shout 1

Pros:

It worked!  I think?

Cons:

Nothing can put up a fight to “Maren‘s Tan.”  Nothing.

Maren - Shout 2

Conclusion:

I think that this stain remover is worth another shot with the things that I learned the first time around in mind.  #1 being to apply to the stain right away!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Try my hand at making a homemade cleaner!

 

Details:

  • Headed to the dollar store for a cute pink bottle and ammonia. I had baking soda on hand.
  • I don’t use stain remover too often so I decided to make half the concoction. I don’t have kids yet, so I assume in the future I will need to make it by the gallons!
  • GROSS ALERT: I had two stained items, a cotton shirt with a small oily salad dressing and a satin pillow case with [gross]…a  little blood from a nose bleed. I hope I don’t turn your stomachs, but that’s a stain that is sometimes difficult to remove!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use a paper plate as a funnel for all of the items into the container. I didn’t follow instructions and just dumped everything into the bottle…worked fine, just shake it up!

When working on the cotton shirt, I noticed I would rub out the stain and it would appear on the back of the shirt. While it was easy to remove, I would put something between the two just so this doesn’t happen.

Kristy Shout 1

Pros:

Amazing!  It worked better than most stain removers and it was cheap and easy to make!  One good rub on the satin and good-bye nasty stain!!

The cotton t-shirt took more time as the stain seeped through to the back, but it worked! And it was quick!

Cons:

The remover bubbled quite a bit making the sprayer clogged.

I just poured the remover on instead of fighting the sprayer so you will notice my shirt looks like the Smurfs got ahold of it.

Kristy Shout 2

Conclusion:

Awesome, cheap and easy to make!  Now I can’t wait for more homemade cleaning solutions! I am thinking since I have ammonia, I should try my hand at window cleaner! All right crafty peeps, bring on the cleaners!

 

Shout Conclusion

 

The lovely Homemade “Shout” Stain Remover and it’s photo by One Good Thing by Jillee


read more

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!


read more

Domestifluff has the recipe for perfectly modern Valentine decor with her Felt Rosette Wreath.  Faux rosettes of felt create a simple and chic way to celebrate Cupid’s big day!

 

Please click here to visit Domestifluff and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: I’ve only ever done one other project with felt.  True story!  Saw this bugger and wanted to dive right in.  Wait.  How many felt circles?

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Pour yourself a glass of wine and pull up a chair, it’s going to be a while!  I was certain that I had cut at the very least, my first 30 circles.  Nope.  It was 12.  I was feeling very dramatic.  Cut two at a time, and break it up into little chunks, like every time you go in the kitchen, cut 30 circles.  This was my plan of attack and it was a piece of cake!

I was so afraid to cute all of these circles, that I went and bought the Martha Stewart Circle Cutter praying that it could cut my circles for me.  Nope.  Not going to happen.

I used about 330 circles.  I also packed them in a little too tight.  I ended up pulling them randomly from around the wreath to fill in the last couple of inches.

Oh!  Almost forgot!  After reading the bit in Domestifluff’s post about not covering the backside, I decided to cover the back with felt, adhering with my hot glue gun.  This way I can hang it on a window and it won’t look strange from the back.

Lastly, I used Upholstery Twist Pins to attach the ribbon to the back of the wreath!  I don’t think that this project took more than a combined total of 3-4 hours.  Tah Dah!

Maren Wreath 1

Pros:

SO incredibly easy I can hardly handle it.  I love this wreath – it’s so cute!

Cons:

Just cutting a lot of circles, which really, was no biggie once I got going.

Maren Wreath 2

Conclusion:

I absolutely love this wreath!  It is so pretty and festive without being over the top or too girly.  I might even try for another one sometime!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To use one of my favorite craft materials, felt, to create a darling wreath for my front door.

 

Details:

I know many of you have heard me say this before, but seriously, I LOVE felt! It is such a fun material to work with and it is so forgiving for those of us that seek perfection in our craft projects.

  • I decided to go with oatmeal colored felt and picked it up at my local JoAnn store. I wanted to make this project a little festive for the month of love – February – so I also planned to use any left over pink and red felt I had from another Crafty Collaborative project.
  • I began the process by marking my 3” circles onto my felt using a coffee mug and a pencil. I decided to cut long strips of my felt, doubled up, to allow for three circles across in a row and approximately ten columns. This allowed me to cut approximately 60 circles each time. I ended up using a grand total of 290 circles, 250 in the oatmeal felt and 40 in the red and pink felts. This process took much less time than I had anticipated, so I was able to start the wreath in no time.
  • I decided to put my felt rosettes pretty tight together on my wreath form, I just really like the look! Also, I love when designs have something offset, so I decided to add my pop of red and pinks on the lower right hand-side. I really like how it turned out.
  • After I felt I was finished adding rosettes, I placed some gold ribbon on the back for hanging – I secured it with about 6 pins just to make sure it would stay in place.

This darling wreath is now adorning our front door!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Felt is very forgiving, so don’t stress if things are cutting perfectly.  Double up your felt so that you are cutting more than one circle at a time – this was a great time saver for me!

Sarah Wreath 1

Pros:

Super easy project once you get set-up and it was a lot of fun to do.

Cons:

Slightly time consuming, but so worth it! My fingertips are slightly sore from pushing all those pins in the wreath form.

 Sarah Wreath 2

Conclusion:

I love this wreath project and really enjoy the simplicity of the final look. Because I went with a relatively neutral color, I may even try swapping out the colored section for other holidays. Maybe I’ll add shades of green in for the month of March!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Janet

Mission: First thoughts, “This looks so cool!” Reading the blog post made me think this project would take ages.

 

Details:

  • Bought navy blue felt, foam wreath and straight pins at JoAnn.
  • Also picked up a white ink pad to use for my stencil. I found a cup at home that had a 3″ diameter, which worked perfectly as my stencil.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Fold the fabric in half when stenciling and cutting. This project is very forgiving, the circles do not need to be perfect.

I used about 190 circles…but cut about 300. What to do with all of those extra circles still boggles my mind. Start with about 200 circles and go from there.

For the 300 circles cut, I only used about 1 yard of fabric. Honestly, I didn’t need the extra 1/2 yard.

Buy the white/colored ink, it will save your sanity.

Janet Wreath 1

Pros:

Thankfully, it really didn’t take as long as she alluded to on the blog, it really only took me about 3 hours, plus I was doing laundry and watching a football game at the same time. I love to multi-task! It turned out really cute, I love it!

Cons:

I have a ton of extra navy blue felt…what to do, what to do.

Janet Wreath 2

Conclusion:

This is a perfect year-round decoration, or can be made specifically for a holiday. Very modern and very inexpensive. I loved this project!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 – Alicia

Mission: Felt is the magic word for me. I will always jump at the chance to work with it.

 

Details:

  • Alicia Wreath MaterialsThis project took 224 cut felt circles, styrofoam wreath and straight pins.
  • For the life of me, I could not find a white wreath so I settled for green. I was a bit worried that you would see it between the felt, but it turned out great. You could also spray paint the wreath white if needed.
  • I also used white and hot pink felt because I love the contrast and dimension.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Instead of tracing and cutting a million 3” circles on felt, I used a spool of ribbon that exactly measured 3” and used it as my cutting guide. I would then use my spool and cut 2 circles at a time. This saved a bunch of time and patience, which I ran out of. Ha!

Pros:

The completed project is so rewarding and beautiful.

Cons:

You need a lot of felt and time for this project.

Alicia Wreath

Conclusion:

This was a fun weekend project for me. After taking a few trips to Michael’s for felt, and purchasing things I did not need,  I feel that my wreath is beautiful additional to my Valentine decor. Or the perfect gift!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Amanda

Mission: Create a festive wreath out of some leftover felt I had from other projects.

 

 

Details:

  • Once again I am going to coin myself as the lazy thrifty one. I used leftover felt from previous projects so I honestly haven’t a clue just how much I used in total but can tell you that I used 236 circles. I cut out 250 to be safe.
  • My wreath form was the exact same one used in the original post and is the perfect size as far as I am concerned! I can’t imagine it being any bigger. I think I would have given up.
  • For my circles, I used a good ole plastic IKEA children’s cup (it may be discontinued as I had zero luck when trying to locate it online to show ya’ll). It was the perfect size. I also stole my kid’s giant stamp pad and busted 250 circles in no time!
  • In total I would say that once all the circles were cut out it took about 1.5 hours to put the wreath together. I am sure I could have been quicker but my kids were still awake. Enough said.
  • You definitely need a small and very sharp scissor to make cutting out 250 circles slightly less painful.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t worry about perfection! This craft is very forgiving. I definitely didn’t have perfectly round circles and it still looked great. I also ended up being just slightly short on my grey circles (about 4 inches remaining on my wreath form) so I ended up pulling some of the circles I had already pinned from random areas on the wreath and placing them in my gap. You can’t even tell! I just fluffed and tugged at the remaining pinned circles and it filled in the gaps left by where I pulled some. No biggie!

Amanda Wreath 1

Pros:

Pretty, could be fairly cheap (I guess my supplies ended up costing roughly $15-$20) and after the prep work is done you could practically assemble it in your sleep.

Cons:

Oh just the occasional finger jab is about all I could complain about. It was otherwise a craft dream!

Amanda Wreath 2

Conclusion:

I will definitely make this again or at least use this method. I am considering using it for other tasks like on a tree form or even a ball for holiday décor. It could be really cool used in a shadow box too!

 

 

Felt Wreath Conclusion

 

The lovely Felt Rosette Wreath and it’s photo by Domestifluff


read more

It’s a Christmas miracle!  Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour has shared the trick to making your very own sparkling Ornament Wreath at home!

So gather up a whole lot of ornaments, a wire hanger and your hot glue gun and get ready for some Holiday fun!

 

Please click here to visit Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To make a darling holiday décor piece and use everything I already had on-hand!

 

Details:

  • I was on a mission to find everything I needed for this project in my holiday supply storage – and boy did I find it! I have more ornaments than necessary in my basement storage! Then it was to my closet to find a wire hanger – mind you, I don’t have many of these on-hand as I really hate using them for their purpose of hanging clothes.
  • Once I got everything out of storage, I set up shop in my kitchen. I placed all of the ornaments in bowls and got my glue gun fired up. I love any project in which I get to use my glue gun!!
  • I started by unwrapping the wire hanger and put my best effort into shaping it into a circle. This was the hardest part of the project for me and I still don’t think it is circular when looking at the finished product. Oh well!
  • I then glued each of the ornament tops on to tightly secure them and started the process of stringing them onto the wire. This was an interesting process, but fun to see it begin to take shape.
  • When I was all done with the ornaments, I hooked the two ends of the hanger together and added some ribbon to finish it off. It is now adorning our home for the holidays!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Pinch the end of the wire hanger so that you have a finished edge so your ornaments do not fall off as you are stringing them on.

When you are finished, you can then pinch the other end and hook them together. I did this and then put my finishing ribbon over that area so that it was hidden.

Pros:

Beautiful end product and very reasonable to pull-off. Looks like an expensive piece when finished!

Cons:

Hard to do this one on your own, so if you think you may have issues, have a friend handy! And, my wreath got pretty fat due to the larger ornaments I used and I wasn’t able to fit it on our front door as it was too big to fit between the door and our storm door.

Conclusion:

I’m really happy with the wreath and love having it up for the holidays. A fun holiday project!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I have been drooling over this certain wreath from Pottery Barn for years, so I was excited to see this thrifty DIY at Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour.

 

Details:

  • Ornaments: 62 Red Balls from IKEA, cost me about $15
  • A hanger, piece of string and ribbon that I had on hand.
  • Some twinkle-y pinecones and seeded spray from JoAnn.
  • I used my beloved Craftsman Mini Pliers and some kind of twig clipper that I found in the garage.
  • One furry little Quality Assurance Supervisor named Rosie.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

No matter how much you think that you have enough ornaments, you don’t, buy more.  62 ornaments was not even enough to totally fill up one wire hanger.  My completed wreath is about 15″ wide.

No matter how much you think those tops are secured onto the ornaments, pull them off and re-glue them back on!  This will save you a lot of frustration and several F-bombs.

Having said that, if you manage to break the little loop off in the process (like I did several times) you can pull a slick MacGyver move like I did and glue an ornament hook inside the ball (photo at right).

In perfect OCD fashion, I laid out all of the ornaments, organized by size and then lined them up so that they would be evenly strung by size on the wire.  Yep, I admitted that.

I used my pliers to make a little loop on each end of the hanger and then strung the two ends together with a piece of string.  Tah Dah!

Pros:

A relatively easy project with terrific results!  I love this thing!

Cons:

3rd degree glue gun burn on the fingertips.  Happens every time.

Conclusion:

This was an easy project and I really love the end result!  I think that I’ll give it another shot on a larger scale!

I can’t wait to hit up JoAnn at the end of the season and score some more ornaments at a steal!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Katie

Mission: Recreate the ever popular ornament wreath you’ve probably seen everywhere the last few years

 

Details:

  • I selected different textures in the same general color scheme and laid out a towel to collect the inevitable glitter fall out.
  • I had to ask my boyfriend to secure the ends.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Seriously glue the toppers to the ornaments. Even the ones you think are secure will fall off. Just glue them all at once and be done with it.

Pros:

Surprisingly easy! I think I’ll make one in purple, gold, and green for my Mardi Gras wreath this year!

Cons:

The original post didn’t give directions for securing the ends once complete and I had to ask for assistance.

 

Conclusion:

Super easy and really pretty!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Janet

Mission: Have always wanted to create this project and was so excited to try it out!

 

 

Details:

  • While I was out browsing IKEA, I happened upon their Christmas decoration section and found perfect ornaments for the project. The total cost came out to be $15, with no extra money spent for the wire and glue, which I already had.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Choose a wire hanger with thick, sturdy wire. I didn’t think about this at the beginning and the wire I used probably won’t keep its circular shape through the holidays. Also, make sure you pick ornaments that have a few different sizes, as the smaller ones can fill in a few open spaces.

Glue those ornament hooks. You may think that it is a step that you can neglect, but really you shouldn’t. Those suckers pop off!

Try not to get (too) frustrated. Having an extra pair of hands nearby is helpful as it is awkward holding on to it and finishing the ends.

Turn the ends of the wire with pliers to create two hooks that you can use to finish the wreath (see picture).

Pros:

Turned out great! Such a simple, unique decoration to make and is a perfect way to add some BLING to the holiday decor.

If you have some ornaments on hand that you don’t use any more, this would be a perfect way to use them.

Cons:

It was frustrating at times, just because it is awkward holding on to all of those balls without dropping it!!

If you are a perfectionist, it can add time and frustration to the project if you don’t like the way it looks and you want to rearrange.

Conclusion:

This wreath is pretty awesome, and much unlike the normal wreaths that you usually see during the holidays. I like how mine turned out, though I could think of a few things that I would do next time I make it, such as using stronger wire. Mine will be an oblong wreath by the end of December!

When you make this (which you should and will make!) wait until after the holidays are over and get some ornaments on sale and plan to make next year! Happy holidays y’all!

 

 


The lovely
Ornament Wreath and it’s photo by Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour


read more

I’m With Cupcake has shared a terrific tutorial on mitered corners with their DIY Napkin tutorial.

With the help of Lindsey from Hot Polka Dot, I’m With Cupcake lets us in on the secret to perfect corners!

 

Please click here to visit I’m With Cupcake and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: To ACTUALLY sew. Just saying that makes me sweat.

 

 

Details:

I decided that since sewing is not really “my thing” I was going to make the most out of this while also being incredible lazy (pattern forming here…). I opted to create the “Perfect Edge” on a piece of fabric I was using for another Crafty Collaborative project. So I basically created a little rectangle with very little purpose but it was just the right size for my first attempt.

  • I used a cotton fabric (fat quarter I acquired from a random fabric store visit with my mom and sister who are much better at this than I) with an adorable elephant print.
  • I attempted to measure properly for each side but ended up sort of eye-balling it (I am actually very accurate this way).
  • I was also using a Singer sewing machine, that is older than, me from the 70’s (I am still quite youthful so this is saying a lot!).
  • My thread choices were light but didn’t match perfectly. I chose a pale lilac and white. Again being lazy I made these choices based on the fact that I would have to attempt to fill a new bobbin if I didn’t just go mismatched (I actually did attempt and pictures are featured in this post about my epic fail).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be PATIENT. Also it is okay to throw out an f*bomb here or there. In fact I highly recommend it otherwise you might actually get physical with the machine and that never ends well. Definitely read the directions and look closely at the pictures because they really do give you the best idea on how things should look step by step. I didn’t realize I could let the corner overlap a bit creating a smoother, more polished finish.

Pros:

Not NEARLY as hard as I thought it would be! Written well, even for a novice like myself.

Cons:

There really were not any cons. I found this project to be very realistic and the instructions very clear. Visuals are key though!

Conclusion:

An excellent first sewing project for someone like myself and I may venture into doing a few little cloth napkins next. Watch out kids because matching jammies could be on the horizon!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission: Whip up a little something for my home with a perfect corner!  It’s always great to learn new (and easier) ways to get great results!

 

Details:

  • I read the instructions, and decided right away that I would have no use for fabric napkins. Instead, I would make a dish towel for my kitchen.
  • I have a lot of extra fabric scraps from past sewing projects, so I dug through those first before running to the craft store. Alas, I came across a floral linen fabric that would be perfect for this project!! Sweet success!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would suggest eye-balling (a technical sewing term) the ¼” fabric press, as it can be cumbersome to have it measured out perfectly. If you’re a perfectionist, which I am not, use a small ruler.

Have fun! Sewing can always be frustrating when you are a beginner, so go into any sewing project with an open mind and be sure to know that it probably won’t be perfect, but that just means it has character.

If you want to make a kitchen towel like I did, I cut the fabric to 17” x 24”.

Pros:

Such a great sewing technique to learn, I’m sure I will use this technique again.

Super easy, definitely a good project for a beginner! Good way to use extra fabric.

Cons:

The fabric I used isn’t ideal for a towel, but I was successful at not having to make a trip to the craft store!

Conclusion:

Overall, a quick and easy project to whip out. I don’t see any use with fabric napkins, but could see it would be fun to make them for a special occasion or a holiday meal.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Katie

Mission: Make napkins in any print/fabric of your choice

 

 

Details:

This was my very first attempt at sewing….ever.

I received the fantastic brother as a birthday gift. I got very frustrated trying to create the mitered corners per the instructions…it’s me, not the instructions…I’m terrible with anything resembling math, especially geometry and so I modified the way that I cut the corners. They are not the “perfect edge” but look just fine from the front side of the fabric.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I didn’t use the pins. I forgot all about them.

Pros:

There are endless possibilities for fabric choices; great décor piece to customize for party themes, gifts, etc.

Cons:

For a truly beginner sewer, it seemed like a lot of effort for a napkin.

Conclusion:

I’m sure with more practice, this would be a super quick and easy project to make for any occasion.

 

 

 

The darling DIY Napkin and it’s photo by Lindsey of Hot Polka Dot

 

P.S.  Try kicking this project up a notch by adding your own touch.  Check out our Stamped Napkins Review


read more

A Glimpse Inside has shown us a way to take our fall decor to a whole new level with her great tutorial for Glitter Pumpkins!

Being the favorite season of nearly every Crafty Collaborative gal, we were excited to add some sparkle to the typical gourd family ensemble.

 

Please click here to visit A Glimpse Inside and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission: I love fall and decorating with pumpkins, witches, etc!  It is such a festive time of year so I knew these pumpkins would be a mess worth taking on! I got my girlfriend, Heather, on board and we tackled this project together!

Details:

I found two plastic pumpkins from Joann’s that were half price… so sweet!  I was in Target a few days later and found mini plastic pumpkins that would have been a perfect addition at $1 a piece but I was all glittered out at the time.

The original blog post had recommended glitter glue but we changed things up a bit.  Heather planned to tackle hers with spray glue and I used a Foam Brush with the leftover Mod Podge from the tray I madeMod Podge is awesome… multiple uses such as water base sealer, glue and finish.

I also purchased two 2 ounce containers of extra fine glitter, one in Topaz (pumpkin orange) and Chocolate Diamond (brown for the stem).  I loved the look of the extra fine glitter!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If doing this indoors, line your table with a garbage bag then lay newspaper on top for easy clean up.  After sprinkling, funnel glitter with the newspaper in a cup and reuse until you finish the entire pumpkin. Glitter the stem last, maybe even the next day!

Be careful with the Mod Podge, if you are focusing on one side and lean the wet side against the table you will create a streak in your glitter… not the look I was going for.  Also don’t touch the glue brush to the previously glittered portion as it will remove the glitter.

Pros:

Very easy, but takes a bit of patience so you don’t make a glitter mess.

Be creative! You can add glitter on more than just pumpkins and in a variety of colors.

Cons:

Even after my pumpkins were dry, I have a fear of removing the glitter.

I may look for a clear coating to protect the finish.  Storing this for next season definitely worries me!  Any ideas? Please share if you do!

Conclusion:

I loved this project; it was fun to do with a gal pal. We both were for and against the glue!  She liked the ease of the spray glue and I liked the thickness of the Mod Podge which I feel allowed the glitter to stick better to the pumpkin.

I will definitely be out and about finding more fall décor to glitter after this project. BTW, the pumpkins fit perfectly on my new mod podge tray! Picture perfect!

Happy Fall Decorating!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission: First thoughts on the project: Super cute and simple idea, but I knew right away I didn’t want to make a set of pumpkins to decorate my apartment. I just don’t want a ton of decorations because I am tight on storage space at my current digs.

 

Details:

I made a stop at Joann’s and found that a lot of their fall stuff was on sale. I decided on a wreath and a few smaller pumpkin and acorn pieces. I also found feather picks that I thought added to my fall inspired wreath.

  • Wreath: $4.99
  • Assorted pieces: $4.95
  • Green Ribbon: $1.99
  • Glitter (4 color combo pack): $6.99
  • Glitter glue: $3.99
  • Pheasant feathers: free (from my bro-in-law)

Tips & Tricks Learned:

With the size of items I had that were to be glittered, I put the glue on all areas that I wanted glittered before glittering. Thats a lot of glitter in one sentence.

The specific glitter glue isn’t necessarily required, but the cap has a brush attached that made it oh-so-easy to use!

Prep your area beforehand…use wax paper to cover your area and a pan with raised edges is perfect for catching the excess glitter. Know that as you pour the glitter over the decor, there is going to be a lot of glitter that falls onto your work area. Just funnel your wax paper to pour the excess back into the container before each color change.

Pros:

Easy! Had fun arranging the pieces on to the wreath.

Cons:

Kind of messy, but nothing that a little vacuuming can’t fix.

Not sure how I’m going to store these without all of the glitter falling off.

Conclusion:

This wreath is Minnesotan-inspired thanks to the added pheasant feathers! The larger pumpkin versions would be super cute to decorate a fireplace or entryway.

This glitter process could easily be applied to any other holiday inspired decor or even picture frames. Thumbs up on this project!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission:  I absolutely love the fall and the fun décor that comes along with it – plus I love working with glitter. It takes me back to my childhood! This project looked like a lot of fun to do and a fun way to dress up my fall décor.

Details:

I first looked in my existing fall décor to find any plastic pumpkins I had on-hand. I unfortunately only found one, but it helped with the budget of this project. The other two I found at JoAnn Fabrics and they were 40% off, which always helps!

I picked up the glitter glue and glitter at JoAnn’s as well. I had a difficult time finding the Martha Stewart Glitter Glue and Fine Glitter that was recommended, but was happy to find an off-brand glitter glue. Though I do think this is probably an unnecessary spend, it sure did make this project less messy and a smidge easier for me.

I opted for gold, orange and black glitter for my pumpkins. Once finished, I do feel that the black glitter looks slightly navy in color, but I still love it. I also glittered up a small accent piece which had a gourd and a pumpkin on it to add to the fun.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The glitter glue was a saver for me – less mess and stress.

In addition, I used a cookie sheet as a workspace and though I was pretty much out of wax paper, I used what little I had left and then newspaper to save the glitter as I coated my pumpkins during the glitter stage.

 

Pros:

Adorable, adorable! I really like the sparkle and sheen these add to our fall décor.

Cons:

A bit more costly than I expected – I ended up spending around $30 in total for this project.

Conclusion:

Love the end result of these and adding some sparkle to our home.

I later decided to follow Janet’s lead, and add some sparkle to a tired wreath that we had in a box of decorations!  I am so happy that I did, now our front door shines with the season.



 

 

 

 

The lovely Glitter Pumpkin and it’s photo by A Glimpse Inside


read more

Teal & Lime has created a darling DIY Modern Bird Feeder that is sure to give your yard or garden a chic look!

Eager to get our hands on some power tools, the gals of The Crafty Collaborative dove right in!

 

Please click here to visit Teal & Lime and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To use my husband’s power drill and get crafty at the same time while making a darling feeder for our neighborhood birdies.

 

Details:

  • I searched the aisles of Target for the melamine plates I ended up going with – it took me awhile to decide which ones I wanted…I am a picky lady!
  • I opted for plates that had a mix of turquoise, red and orange in the design. A little pop of color outside is always a fun thing. My only complaint was that I couldn’t find any plates where the bottom was also a solid color – only white.
  • After taping and marking the center of each plate, I found a scrap piece of wood in our garage and set to work drilling the holes. This was easier than I had anticipated. Because the hook I bought was 3/8” in width that is the bit I used. It took a bit longer than I thought it would to drill through the plate and it did chip a bit.
  • Once the plates were drilled, the next few steps went quickly because I wasn’t using the caulk/glue to adhere the top plate to the hook.
  • Once it was all complete, I hung it from one of our birch trees along our driveway. We have many birdhouses along our driveway, and a plethora of birds around, so they dug in right away! I did just use a paperclip to hang it, but need to determine a more permanent option in the near future.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

My husband was so kind to show me how to change out a bit on the power drill and was there if I needed his help. Using the painter’s tape and marking the center spot-on were keys in getting this to work right.

In addition, being pregnant, I wanted to avoid using anything with stinky fumes, so I received a tip about using a piece called a Shaft Collar underneath the top plate (the larger of the two) to secure it in place. This not only saved me from having to smell toxic fumes, but also saved me time, as I was able to complete this project all is one day!

Pros:

Super fun to put together – really easy actually.

And, I love how it turned out. Our birdies LOVE the feeder!!

Cons:

Can’t think of any!

Conclusion:

Loved this project and want to make more – would be fantastic gifts and you can easily personalize them based on the plate choices, bird feed choice, etc.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: I thought it would be interesting to do this, especially using a power tool while drilling into plates!  I gave it a shot even though I really don’t have a place for a bird feeder…so my plan was give as a gift!

Details:

  • I found two summer plates on sale so I bought them. Thinking if this turns out, I can also paint these since I am super handy with spray paint these days!
  • I purchased the E-6000 glue
  • Went to Home Depot for a washer, large eye hook, and 2 bolts
  • You will need your handy dandy power drill with bit. I did get some assistance from Mike on this project.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Well, I can say is that mine did not go as planned. I was a tad bit scared of the project from the beginning so I likely wasn’t going into this with the most positive attitude. I think you should drill with protective eye wear as I had pieces of plate flying across the room.

Also, be careful with the drill BE SURE to drill over a wooden block.  Since in the moment I thought I had master drilling skills, I proceeded to drill over my sofa cushion.  Big mistake, I now have a hole in my cushion! OOPS!

Pros:

Very inexpensive! Costs me about $10.00 and the majority was the E6000 glue which costs me about $6.00 from Joann’s.

Cons:

My plate broke; as a result, my project didn’t turn out. The plate was a bit more fragile than I had anticipated.

Conclusion:

I guess I just became a little frustrated when my plate broke and ruined my sofa cushion.  I know, not a smart move on my part but it did affect my mood on this project and whether I wanted to try it again.  In the photo, you will notice I am holding my home made bird feeder; this is because the hole was so large that the top plate wouldn’t hold!

Learn from my mistakes and I bet you will make a beautiful bird feeder! Happy drilling!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Make a darling serving piece to hold a smorgasbord for the local birdies.

My mom seems to think that this is more of a “squirrel feeder,” but I disagree.  I also don’t know if I am too concerned – I like squirrels too, they’re funny.

Details:

  • After my monthly chat with the wonderful people of my local Ace Hardware store to tell them all about our projects, we came up with an absolutely brilliant idea.  Use this handy little thing called a Shaft Collar instead of glue to hold the top plate in place.  It’s a little bolt with an allen-wrench thing inside that makes it so it can hug the eye hook where there was no threading for a nut!  Genius!  Simply purchase one in the size of the inner diameter of your eye hook.
  • I could not keep my big mouth shut about this amazing idea and had to tell Sarah

Tips & Tricks Learned:

MELAMINE PLATES ARE FRAGILE!!!

I think that one contributing factor here is that the only eye hook that I could find that was 8″ was also 3/8″ in diameter.  That is a big drill bit!  I think that if you could find a slimmer eye hook, and use a smaller drill bit, you may have more success here.

After blasting through 3 large plates, I stopped to have a tantrum, and then finally got a hole through a smaller plate (tiny melamine chips were flying at my eyeballs).  As nerdy as it sounds, I think that wearing protective eyewear is a must here.

My tiniest [lower] plate was more like rubber, and that was a piece of cake.  I would stick with more of a rubbery plastic if you can find it!

Once I had holes in my plates, assembly was a snap!  Totally easy!

Pros:

Easy to do, and totally adorable.  The birdies at our new house will be so happy!

Cons:

Breaking plates – although I think that if you can find the right type, you can totally avoid this!

Conclusion:

This project was easy and fun.  With the plethora of plastic plates and bowls out there, you could certainly find the right combo that works for your yard, or a friends for a gift.

After thinking a little about my mom’s “squirrel feeder” comment, I ended up purchasing a Rubber Serving Tray (which I painted to look like zinc and then weather-proofed), a rubber bowl, some Silicone Sealant, two washers and made a hanging bird bath!!

…Or I suppose, it could be a squirrel troff!  LOL

 
 

 

The darling DIY Modern Bird Feeder and it’s photo by Teal & Lime


read more

DIY Tray

Prudent Baby has gone and done it!  A totally cute DIY Tray with a million uses and a bajillion ways to customize!

We love great gifts, we love tidying up our homes, and we love totally doable crafts!  Let’s do this!

 

Please click here to visit Prudent Baby and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: I love to be organized, and  I have wanted to try out a project with Mod Podge – I have never used it before!  By the looks of it, this tray could be personalized in so many ways, I was really excited to dive in!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I started with a unfinished tray from Michaels.  First, I painted it white with enamel acrylic paint in White.  I then added a coat of acrylic paint in Pearl Finish that I have fallen in love with after our Faux Zinc Letters!  Lastly, I added a coat of my other new favorite thing (discovered when we turned Ugly to Chic!), Martha’s Sprayable Gloss Enamel Finish.  A lot of steps, but I love my shiney, pearly white tray!

One thing that I would do differently, would be to lightly sand the tray before painting.  I did have a few rough spots that would have looked much nicer if I had smoothed them out first.

I have a Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set which is PERFECT for any fabric cutting – not just quilting (which I don’t do).  A quick measurement and I had a perfectly fitting piece of fabric!

I applied the Mod Podge a little at a time, so that I could make sure that I was placing my piece of fabric evenly onto the tray.  I then smoothed out as I went along and it worked out great!  I then added a couple more coats for good measure!  The cool thing about the Mod Podge that I got, is that after letting it “cure” for 21 days, it will be water resistant!  AND the Gloss Enamel Finish is suitable for outdoors!  Perfect for the clumbsy gal who will probably spill the drinks that she’s carrying on it more than a couple of times!

Pros:

Frickin’ LOVE this thing.  There are SO many ways to make this project your own!

Future house guests be warned, there may be one in every room.

Cons:

Nada

Conclusion:

I am a huge fan!  With all of the differnent ways that you can customize this crafty little number, this project would be the perfect homemade gift.  You could add a monogram for a hostess gift, use coordinating colors for a friends new home, or just fill with goodies like Prudent Baby did for a new mom!  I’ll be making more!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: Create a lovely little tray my kiddos could enjoy.

 

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

ALWAYS read instructions. I did not read the instructions on the Watermelon Krylon Spray Paint and regretted it immediately. I pulled the little plastic piece out of the nozzle thinking it didn’t belong there only to realize after spraying a coat that it MOST DEFINITELY belonged there. I ended up with this horrible, thick coat of paint that wouldn’t stick which was strange. Thankfully coat two SEEMED to cover that ick up.

Things went horribly wrong when I applied the Spray Mod Podge however. It looked fine at the time but when it dried it became cracked and bubbly. Really disappointed me but my kids thought it looked great.

Pros:

Fairly simple craft with great end results if done correctly.

Cons:

Can get expensive so try to use up old spray paint you have lying around instead of starting from scratch.

Conclusion:

I will definitely make this again even though my results were a total bomb (and not like “da bomb” either). I would definitely use craft paper next time and would probably not choose to use the Spray Mod Podge either. It really seemed to create more issues than convenience like I had hoped for.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission:  My first thought for this project when we found it on Prudent Baby was that I have the PERFECT tray for this. Our Friday Night Movie Night tray was in dire need of a facelift. My second thought, “What the hell is Mod Podge?” I’m a Mod Podge virgin.

Details:

I already had a tray that needed a little bit of love. All I needed to get was Mod Podge and some pretty paper. I didn’t paint the sides of my tray because they have a good finish and I like the natural wood with the leather handles.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Get an entire piece of paper that fits the tray properly…unless you don’t mind seams. The seams made it harder for me to get all the bubbles out.

Pros:

Easy and cheap little fix. Mod Podge is fabulous!

Cons:

None, unless you count you have to wash a paintbrush.

Conclusion:

Mod Podge has just found a new fan. My wheels are turning on all the other projects I could do with this stuff! This was an easy little upgrade to my tired looking tray. The boys are all excited to have “new” tray for Movie Night. I’m just a little bummed that I couldn’t find paper that fit the size tray I had. I don’t like seeing the seams. I am actually contemplating going right over it all with a piece of wrapping paper. We’ll see.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission:  When I saw this tray, I knew I wanted to create one for myself. I also think the trays would make great gifts!

 

Details:

  • I searched Michaels and Joann for an unfinished tray and I didn’t find what I was looking for.  I ended up finding a tray that was already decorated at Joann and making it my own.
  • I had originally planned to paint the tray sea foam green but then I had decided to leave it.  This tray is great in the original wood stain and would go nicely with paper that I chose.
  • When at Michaels, I chose 2 hard stock custom sheets of paper to use for the project.  There were tons to choose from so get creative!
  • Since I had to combine 2 pieces of paper to cover the bottom of the tray, I also purchased a dark contrasting ribbon to cover the lines.
  • Of course, don’t forget the Mod Podge, cutting board, ruler and x-acto knife!
  • Instead of a paint brush, I used a Sponge Brush.  I scored 20 brushes at 5 cents each from Michaels!  Awesome, they are great for all projects!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The best way to cut the paper is by using a professional cutter with the grid lines, I have one at work because I just wasn’t getting my lines straight and I was impatient.  Go figure!

Follow the directions!  Ha, I am terrible at this.  I was in such a rush to see the final project that I didn’t slowly place the paper on the Mod Podge while pressing the air bubbles out.  Once it’s stuck, it’s pretty much stuck.  I had to lift mine to get it straight and remove air bubbles. By doing this I had to add additional Mod Podge and I was worried the paper would tear from being soft.

Pros:

Simple and cute! It’s is such a multipurpose project!  You can make a tray for so many reasons and in so many creative ways!

Cons:

This project may drive the perfectionist types absolutely crazy, as I even found myself going a little crazy trying to get the paper to fit just perfectly and trying to remove all of those air bubbles.

I wish I had found the unfinished wooden tray from Michaels that was on Prudent Baby.  Instead of $3.99, I paid $14.00.

Conclusion:

Loved it! If I had the need for more trays then I would definitely make more!  Will make a perfect gift… especially to my clients for house warming gifts! I am already thinking of creative ideas to personalize them for the new homeowners.  When I decided not to paint the tray, it’s because it will be perfect to hold one of our upcoming projects!  You absolutely don’t want to miss what we have coming up this Fall!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Janet

Mission: To make a cute and handy little tray that is as cute as it is functional.

 
 

Details:

Also… I couldn’t help myself after looking at all of Martha’s craft goodies!  I grabbed a few more items to add a little something extra to my tray:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If I were to do it again, I would use a fine grade sandpaper to smooth out the handles and edges of the wood before painting. One 2 oz bottle of paint is enough, unless you really want to coat that sucker.

Don’t be afraid to slather a lot on the first coat on Mod Podge before laying the paper down, and be sure to smooth out the paper when you do put it down. Put about 3 topcoats on, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Pros:

Simple project, allows for creativity and added touches, and actually will get some use out of it.

Cons:

If you’re looking for something more fancy or expensive-looking to decorate your home, this isn’t the way to go.

Conclusion:

I really liked this project! I forgot how awesome Mod Podge is…definitely going to be using it on other projects. I can see myself making this as a gift for a friend or family member. Thumbs up!

 

 

 

The lovely DIY Tray and it’s photo by Prudent Baby


read more

We’ve seen the real deal at Flea Markets and pricey Antique Shops, and we’ve seen the reproductions at trendy stores like Anthropologie.  We could hardly contain ourselves when we saw the DIY version by Sugar and Charm!

We were ridiculously excited to make our very own Zinc Inspired Letters!

 

Please click here to visit Sugar and Charm and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To replicate the adorable zinc letters found at retailers like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, etc. as a cute way to add some décor to my house.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Since I had a free moment while my husband watched the kids, I painted the first coat of the black paint the night before to guarantee that they would be dry and we’d be ready to rock and roll with the pearl paint the next day.

In addition, I used the small sponge style paint brusheswhich worked well for my painting style.

A group of us got together to craft on this project, which made it even MORE FUN!  My favorite thing about this project is that everyone’s turns out slightly different – it is all in your paint strokes and style.

Pros:

Awesome project and really happy with the outcome!

Cons:

A little messy (but nothing some newspaper and a wash cloth can’t cure) and a little difficult to do with my young tikes running around.

Conclusion:

Love it! Now I just need to decide where I am going to put my word “Hello.” I’m toying with my nursery for baby #3 or our future home office space!

 
 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I almost peed my pants when we found this project on Sugar and Charm Blog! I couldn’t wait to test out this neat faux-zinc technique!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

As I mentioned, I embraced my very distinct brush stroke (the reason I was fired from painting my own kitchen) to get that textured look that you see in vintage zinc and galvanized metal.  I really like how it turned out!

These are SUPER lightweight, too!  You could easily hang them on your wall using a 3M Command Strip!

 

Pros:

Incredibly easy to do!  Gorgeous results!

Cons:

None!  I didn’t even think that it was messy!

Conclusion:

I couldn’t have loved this project any more!  Not to mention, a few of us gals did this one together which made it a million times more fun!  Everyones turned out fantastic!

After doing this project, I went home and painted “Zinc” rooftops onto my birdhouses!

 
 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Enjoy a day with friends making a cool project and learning to paint!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

My gal pal, Maren, taught me on the job that using random strokes with the second coat of Martha Stewart pearl paint gives that zinc like finish.

The pearl paint is white in appearance, AND YES, this is what you are looking for. I had purchased a metallic silver acrylic paint thinking that this would work for this project but you need the pearl!  My amazing friends let me share.

 

 

Pros:

So much fun, especially with a great group of gals to complete the project with!

Very quick, it took just a few minutes to dry between coats.  The cardboard seams give the allusion of welding seams.

Cons:

Overwhelmed by the paint selection, there are soooo many paint options!

Conclusion:

Great fun and will do these again for sure for a gift!  Very versatile, can use the letters in any room of the home.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – ???

Who could this pretty lady be?  Our newest contributor, that’s who!

Join us next week for the official meet and greet!

 

 

 

The lovely Zinc Inspired Letters photo taken by Sugar and Charm


read more

Natural Weed Killer

Full of Great Ideas has shared her Natural Weed Killer concoction with us, assuring that we won’t grow a 3rd eyeball using it!

Always on the hunt for safe products to use around our kids and pets, we were eager to test this recipe out on our toughest lawn offenders!

 

Please click here to visit Full of Great Ideas and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission:  To put some weeds down with a safe solution.

 

 

Details:

  • So I used a slightly different source post when I made this weed killer but found my variation to also be effective. Instead of using pickling vinegar I ended up using cider vinegar.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I got a little frustrated at the speed of which the solution was dispensing out of my tiny spray bottle and decided to use the dumping method instead. It was very effective!

I also made only a quarter of a batch instead of a whole batch (1qt cider vinegar, 1/8 cup of salt and a couple squirts of Dawn dish soap).

I let the weed killer work its magic overnight before taking the “after” pics (which aren’t great considering my weeds really intermingle with a lot of other crap).

Pros:

Cheap, quick and it worked!

Cons:

STINKY!!!

Conclusion:

I think it might take a couple of douses before you could really get rid of the weeds but it definitely killed what I wanted and oddly didn’t kill the random grass growing in with the weeds in the rock bed. I will be trying this again for sure!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  To once and for all win the never-ending battle of weeds that invade my walkway, my gardens, and my yard like ants to a dropped Popsicle. I would have to spend a fortune on toxic weed killer to keep up with the crabgrass infestation that occurs every year. I was thrilled to see this recipe for weed killer using basic and inexpensive ingredients via Full of Great Ideas’ blog.

Details:

  • Only three ingredients: 1 gallon of vinegar, ½ a cup of salt, and a squeeze of dish soap.
  • Just combine and get spraying. Take that!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t just follow the instructions that are on the Pinterest Pin. Go to the site for the recipe. The site suggests using pickling vinegar because it is more acidic. Yeah, I screwed that up and used cider vinegar. I’m thinking my results might have been better had I read the instruction directly from the site. Grr.

Pros:

Inexpensive and easy to do.

Cons:

It didn’t work too well and it stinks to high heaven. I could smell it from my second floor window. I had to shut the window and light a candle.

Conclusion:

I was super disappointed in this one and now I want to try it again using pickling vinegar. I can see that it started to wilt the dreaded crabgrass, but it didn’t kill it. The major drawback for me was the stench, but at least it’s outside, rather than inside. I guess I’ll go back to blistered fingers. I’m admitting defeat.

 

 
 

Reviewer #3 – Mandy

Mission:  Kill those nasty devils hanging out all over my yard!

 

 

Details:

  • I followed the recipe as written except for using pickling vinegar. The regular vinegar worked so well in the Soap Scum Killa recipe that I thought I’d give it a shot. (Plus, a girl gets lazy after work sometimes and just doesn’t want to run another errand.)

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Ok, so follow the recipe and use pickling vinegar. It so didn’t work!! Retry.

Pros:

If this really works – so easy, cheap and quick!

Cons:

I really can’t handle the smell of vinegar. Pew!! After I put it on the weeds, I could practically smell it from down the road.

Conclusion:

Do it right and you’ll hopefully give those weeds a fight!

 

 

 

The lovely Natural Weed Killer ingredients photo taken by Full of Great Ideas


read more

As soon as we laid our eyes on Shannanigans’ Stamped Napkins, we were hooked!

Always on the search for personalized gifts and unique home decor, this project seemed nearly too good to be true!

 

Please click here to visit Shannanigans and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission:  This was a perfect addition to a closing gift I gave to my clients when we closed on their first home!

 

Details:

  • Instead of acrylic for the stamp which is pricey I used the glass from a picture frame
  • Black charcoal fabric paint
  • Pack of simple white kitchen towels from Target
  • Reusable stamps  (rustic looking)

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to practice on a paper towel first! What a frickin mess I would have made! Originally, I strayed from the instructions and dipped the stamp into the paint but it turned out to be a gob mess on the paper towel.  I found painting the stamp with paint worked the best for me.  It still didn’t leave the desired thickness of paint so I had to go over my strokes with a paint brush.

Pros:

It was super simple!

Cons:

Truth, it wasn’t as simple as I expected, I thought I’d dip and stamp. It took a little more time to paint the stamps each time then touch up.

Conclusion:

Makes a great gift and there so many things you can stamp!  Great way to personalize a gift by adding an extra special touch!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To create some darling stamped dishtowels for a useful craft that I can use in my own home, or gift to friends!

 

Details:

  • To get this project going, I had to do some serious searching for the letter stamps – they were HARD to find! I ultimately found them at my local JoAnn Fabrics and did have to splurge a bit…good thing they have their frequent coupons! I think I ended up spending about $25 for the stamps, paint and acrylic forms. I had the kids in tow and didn’t feel like heading to another location to find the acrylic cheaper, so just went with it.
  • I purchased my dishtowels at Target and honestly bought the cheapest ones I could find. They ended up being $1 each.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Have fun with this! Use any color of fabric paint you want and be creative with the words you use. I tried using upper case with a mix of lower case and enjoyed adding in some punctuation.

Pros:

A useful outcome! And, pretty darn cute – you could get really creative with your stamped words.

Cons:

Slightly expensive to get all of the materials, but if you took the time to shop around enough, I imagine it can be done for much less.

I do really wish I would have done this on a canvas bag – which I could have easily sewn first. I think I personally would have found that the most useful – like for our library book bag, produce, etc. But, dishtowels are always handy and make cute hand-made gifts!

In addition, I did have a hard time getting the paint to press evenly when transferring from the stamp to the cloth, but all in all, they can’t be perfect 🙂

Conclusion:

Great project to do – easy and fun! And, the tools to do this project will be utilized again and again, so well worth the initial cost

 
 

Reviewer #3 – Mandy

Mission:  Come up with an easy, cute holiday gift. (Yes, I’m one of “those people” that make my presents… ha.)

 

Details:

  • I went to Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics and could NOT find acrylic letters. I even asked around. This may be an item you have to search around for (or maybe I just had bum luck…) or you may want to consider shopping online for some.
  • I ended up buying some wooden letters and shapes that I thought might work as well. Just call me MacGyver.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Give yourself time to find the correct items and do the project. I always try to do thing fast and, therefore, couldn’t get quite what I had in mind.Although they did still turn out cute.  The wooden letters worked just fine – maybe just not the “stamped/blocky” look I had in mind.

Pros:

Didn’t take a ton of time and could end up being super cute gifts!

Cons:

Finding the letters. My fingers were covered in fabric paint, so a tad messy.

Conclusion:

Love the concept. I just need to find these letters so I can see if I can make some super cute worded towels!

 

The lovely Stamped Napkins photo taken by Shannanigans


read more

Apartment Therapy tells us that we can clean our bathtubs with a Grapefruit & Salt!

After some slight hesitation, we built up the courage to share our dirty tubs with you once again.

Apartment Therapy always shares great ideas and tricks, so we felt confident that the results would be worth the initial embarrassment!

 

Please click here to visit Apartment Therapy and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission:  Try something new and freshen up the sink while cleaning it.

 

 

Details:

  • I used this very refreshing cleaner on my vintage sink instead of the bathtub which is currently not in use!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you have a very ornate tub or sink you may want to be careful when using the grapefruit around the faucet and knobs. I found the pulp got stuck and it was a little fussy to clean up.

Pros:

WOW! The smell was pure heaven. It made cleaning almost fun.

Cons:

Just the pulp issue but it really was minor.

You may even want to bust out a sponge or brush to get hard to reach areas like around knobs.

Conclusion:

I will definitely try this again. The original post actually suggested to use it in your toilet too and I think I could definitely get on board with that! Imagine…your face is in the toilet but it smells like grapefruit NOT pee. Sign me up!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission:  Always want to know of an easier way to scrub my gunk.

 

Details:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Juicy Plump Large Grapefruit
  • One dirty tub (yes, I refrained from cleaning for many, many weeks) I am embarrassed to show this to the world!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I sprayed water so I could get the salt to stick and then get that dirty, nasty tub thickly coated.

Pros:

Simplest project, good for the environment!

Cons:

It still used a lot of elbow grease, it was a workout scrubbing!

Maybe a waste of food but ugh, I hate grapefruit so iI think it puts them to better use!

Conclusion:

I have a happy [future] hubby again, he is so thankful to have a clean tub! I am still a fan of my Comet, but when in a jam…this could work great! Now wondering if oranges would work as I usually always have them on hand.

 

 

The lovely shot of the  Tub Cleaner Ingredients taken by Apartment Therapy


read more

You may recall our recent attempt at Sugar and Charm‘s colorful and functional Enamel Painted Vases.

After much frustration on our first try, we felt even more determined to get this gorgeous glassware into our homes!

A second attempt was born!  Kristy and Maren went for round 2, and lived on to tell the tale…

 

Please click here to visit Sugar and Charm and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: Get it right!  I want to nail this technique so that I can recreate on a much larger scale for our new house!

 

Details:

In accordance with my last vows to myself, I tried to find a thinner paint and a Surface Primer.

  • Surface Primer… I must be a complete idiot.  If I would have had my thesaurus with me at JoAnn, I would have realized that “Prime” and “Prep” are basically the same word.  Surface Primer MUST be Gesso!!!  I felt like a genius.  (please be sure to read on to “Tips & Tricks”)
  • I used another one of my vintage jars dug out of our property.
  • Thinner paint?  We’ll see, I guess.  I chose Americana Acrylic Paint in Indian Turquoise.  I also added a little pearly paint that I have on hand for an upcoming post.
  • Alcohol.  Yes, I first first cleaned the interior glass surface with it; I also drank some.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

You may recall my “Frustration Scale” from the last post.  I wasn’t entirely out of the water here.

With zen-like calm, perhaps mostly alcohol induced, I began my second attempt at the coveted Enamel Painted Vase.

Feeling like a freaking genius, I began by first applying my Gesso.  Fail.  It’s F-ing white.  Start over.  Count 1-2 F-bombs.

I attempt to chill the hell out as recommended to myself in the previous post.

Starting fresh, I applied my first coat of paint and walked away for 15 minutes to let dry as instructed.  Upon my return, same problem as before.  The paint wasn’t dry enough and when I went to smooth it out, I only picked it up and moved it around.  Also, my new paint was only slightly thinner than my Martha paint, and therefore never dripped out like it should have.  Oh boy.  I let it sit over night and returned to apply my second coat in the morning.

The second coat did the trick.  I was done after that!  Yay!  I did blob some extra paint into the jar and knock around by tapping the side of the jar onto the bottom of my palm.  This helped to satisfy my anal retentive side and get a smoother coat on the bottom, even though no one will ever see it.

In the end, It’s great!  I’ll still do this project again. #1 thing for me to plan for – letting each coat dry overnight.  That’s it.  Simple as that.

Pros:

Easy.  They look great, no matter how you get there!

Cons:

Requires multiple coats of paint; each coat needs to dry overnight.  This can be frustrating.

Conclusion:

I love the end result of this project.

They look great when finished and I  truly am excited to recreate on a larger scale once we decorate our new home!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: Attempt to redeem myself from the first attempt at the enameled vases. Looking forward to create new staging piece for my home.

Details:

  • I read the directions again and noticed once the interior vase is painted, only hold over for minutes not over night as I did before. Ha!! Focus!
  • The project called for surface cleaner and I still did not find this so I did without again!
  • Used Folk Art enamel paint in Folk Art Enamel Acrylic Paint in Lemon Custard …perfect color for my décor.  I mixed it with the Folk Art Enamel in White Frost to achieve a frosted look (I honestly have no idea if it made a difference.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Get extra paint, maybe swirling the paint in the vase instead of painting with a brush could work better.

Pros:

It’s pretty cheap to decorate! Great impact of color!

Cons:

It’s fully streaked so I have to put this up on a shelf so no one can peek in the inside.

It took a while to dry and the paint wasn’t flowing out.

Conclusion:

Second attempt was better than the first but nothing like the website.  This is a bit too advanced of a craft project for me! Ha!

It does look pretty great but only if you don’t see it from the inside!  I most likely won’t do this project for a 3rd time!

 

 

Miss our meltdown the first time around?

Check out Enamel Painted Vases: Round One!


read more

Sugar and Charm has shared the trick to getting vibrantly colored glassware for less in her tutorial for Enamel Painted Vases.

We love the chic and modern look of these colorful, and functional pieces.

 

Please click here to visit Sugar and Charm and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: I really love the look of these vases.  I see them all the time on Pinterest, and I just can’t get enough!  I am really excited to learn this technique, as I think that it will be a fun way to add pops of color to our home decor.

Details:

  • I decided to start on a smaller scale, so I used 2 vintage jars that I [no kidding] dug out of the dirt in the back of our property!   The existing home that was torn down was built in 1904, so they had their own little dump in back.  We found all sorts of weird shit; bowling balls, rusty bikes, beer cans… and tons of little glass jars!
  • Of course, I used Martha Stewart Craft Paint.  I love you Martha.
  • I didn’t know what the H surface primer was.  Is it Gesso?  I also couldn’t find anything called “Surface Primer” at JoAnn… so I skipped it.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

#1 use a craft paint with a thinner consistency.  I love you Martha, but the paint was too thick to drip out as I expected.  Also, too thick to dry within 15 minutes – when I went to even it out I just picked up the paint that was drying and moved it around 🙁  This was extremely frustrating.  Perhaps this was the purpose of the “surface primer”…

After screwing up my previously painted interior several times since the first coat wasn’t totally dry, I decided that I should probably create some type of “Frustration Scale” for you.  Example:  This project resulted in 3 F Bombs, 2 S.O.B.’s and an undocumented number of “sh*ts.”

I needed to step away… Rosie and I made our Salt Dough Paw Prints.

The only way this was going to work was for each coat to totally dry.  I left them sit overnight.  The following morning I was a little sad to see that the deep ridges from my thick paint and brush strokes had dried in tact.  Whatever, no one will be looking inside.  I proceeded to apply 2 more coats, waiting about 12 hours in between each.  Yes, this project took me 3 days to complete.

In the end, I LOVE them!  They’re great!  I know that I’ll do this project again with the lessons learned – use thinner paint, apply a surface primer – I will use Gesso, and chill the hell out.

A total plus to using Martha’s Paint… if I leave them alone and wait 21 days for them to “cure,” they’ll be dishwasher safe!!!  WHAT!!  See, I knew I loved you, Martha.

Pros:

They look great!

Cons:

Not exactly the most relaxing project on the first go for an OCD wreck like me, but will be much better the next time!  I think that I’ll add vodka first… to me.

Conclusion:

Even though I nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to get these to look perfect, I definitely intend on doing this project again.  I truly love the end result.  Although they might be rough on the inside… they appear perfect on the outside so no need to fret!

I can’t wait to recreate on a larger scale once we decorate our new home!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: I was hesitant to do this project but I knew it was one I would enjoy learning!  I am redoing my bedroom décor and I know yellow vases would be perfect. I will start small then I may do a few more pieces for my office.

Details:

  • I chose a glass container with a lid as it cost me .60 cents helping keep the cost down and I didn’t want to ruin the glass vase I purchased.  This was my tester for color and to see the results before continuing on other pieces. I did not purchase any frost or the surface conditioner so I am crossing my fingers that this project turns out.
  • For color I chose Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint, in Bright Yellow, which cost me $1.00.
  • To start the project, I cleaned the jar well then squeezed a generous amount of yellow paint into the container.
  • I snapped the lid on to more easily swirl the paint around the container.  I was extremely generous on the paint, as a result, it was quick and easy to coat.  I did not have a small paint brush on hand so I needed the extra squeeze of paint.  The edges were more difficult to cover so I simply used my fingers to spread paint to cover the edges. I did notice a couple of tiny bubbles but so small that I don’t think anyone will notice.
  • Once painted, I flipped the container over on a stack of paper towels and let the paint drip out to begin the drying process.
  • Being the impatient person that I am, I decided to see how much paint had drained out.  A TON, so let it sit.  Just walk away or you will have a huge mess!
  • Get ready for the extra paint; it looks like most of it will drain out while I have it sit out over-night.
  • The finished project did not turn out as expected.  I guess having the glass sit out in 107 degree weather with humidity was a very bad idea. Sad, all of the paint dripped out.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t move the vase or container after flipping it, as it makes a huge mess.  It’s best just to fold several napkins and set the container directly on top and let it be until it dries.

Be prepared, have the paint brush on hand so you won’t have to use quite as much paint or your fingers.  I was a little nervous that the brush might make the glass streaky. You would likely use less paint if you could paint the inside with the brush instead of my technique.

Keep the bugs away; I had little bugs join in the paint party as I was completing my project on the ground.

Beware of the temperature, set it inside if it is too hot or too humid outside.

Pros:

It was cheap and makes such an impact of color.  This project cost me under $2.00!

Cons:

It’s a little messy and the unknown of how it will turn out.