I am just covered up with jewelry I love. I have filtered through and gotten rid of some, but the rest is mine, and I’m not sharing. One of the downfalls of jewelry is that we rarely get to see our own; when you’re wearing it, everyone sees it but you, and the rest of the time it’s in a jewelry box, purposely tangling itself up with all your other jewelry. Well, no more! I decided to make a necklace holder, not for charms since I already have one, but for necklaces and bracelets.
I went to Home Depot and bought a pretty piece of wood that was 6 feet long, 2 inches wide, and a half inch thick. It was about $3. I measured it into 1.5 foot segments. I also bought nails, which apprently only come in boxes of 18,000 nails. Fortunately, they were about $3 also, although it was slightly embarrassing asking if Home Depot had any “prettier” nails.
Fortunately, we have a saw, and I have Hubby who protects me from my own clumsiness. Now I have 4 short boards, and all my fingers! Hooray! I marked where I wanted holes drilled in the corners to hang these up:
You can see again, my sweet Hubby does quality work. I was literally headed outside to do this myself when he saw me with the power drill. He gave me his “disapproving look”, and said “Where are you going with that?” I said “Outside. I just need to drill holes in the corners”. He sighed and took it from me, and said something about accidentally drilling through my own hand, and how he didn’t have time to drive me to the hospital today, and then he did it in about 4 minutes.
So you can see I tried to do it myself; he just has more first-hand experience with my clumsiness than anyone else on the planet, other than me, and he prefers to prevent trouble before it starts. My brain seems to be in denial about the constant injuries I inflict on myself. And Hubby. And the pets, sometimes. And friends standing nearby.
I used a measuring tape to space my nails out evenly.
I space mine 1.5 inches apart. When measuring this out, take into account what you’ll be hanging on this rack. For necklaces, fairly close together is fine. For belts or purses, not only should you get longer nails, spacing them further apart makes them easier to use.
Look! I hammered a nail in! By myself! Because Hubby wasn’t home to protect me from myself. Let’s all pretend I didn’t smash a two fingers, then swear like a sailor. Let’s also pretend I hammered that nail in securely, and it didn’t fall out when I hammered the next one in, and this did NOT happen repeatedly, like a freaking cartoon.
Finally! Success! Although it took awhile to find an angle for the picture that wouldn’t show how horrifically crooked my nails are. They appear to be doing the wave.
I spray painted it glossy black to go with the frame it will be hanging next to. There are lots of design options, though, to make it match your style and tastes.
You could glue beer tops to the end of each nail!
You could use tops from your favorite brand! Here I have several varieties of Shiner Bock. You could use all the same kind, or use only tops of similar colors, or whatever you like.
I don’t know about you, but I have buttons and pins galore at my place. You could glue some of those bad boys on there, or use ticky tac if you don’t want them on there permanently.
Here’s an idea of what this would look like with beer tops. You can see that they make the space between the nails rather small. If you were making this to hold ties, belts, scarves, or purses, you should probably space the nails out some.
Here it is, in all its sparkly glory! You can see I very cleverly hung bracelets on the left, so I still have access to the outlet.
For kind of a country, quaint look, you could either leave the wood as is, or paint it white and sandpaper the edges a bit. You could glue buttons to the ends of the nails to “class it up”.
This one I completed as a necklace holder. I plan to make the others into a tie/belt holder for Hubby, a key/leash rack for the front door, and a scarf holder for the hall closet. For all of those I will space the nails out further than I did on this one. I definitely won’t decorate the nails on the key rack, since that will make it hard to get the keys on and off.
When you are making something like this for yourself, think about what your needs are, and plan accordingly. If you’re going to take the time to make something for yourself, you may as well make sure you’ll want to keep it. Don’t make something a specific way because you think you should, or because that’s what you’ve seen before. You can just get a piece of junk at Wal-mart if that’s your goal. Make something that will meet your needs, be nice to look at, and that you’ll be proud to show off to people.
September 9, 2011. Tags: belt holder, cheap, cheap crafts, cheap decorating, cheap redecorating, clutter, declutter, decorating, DIY, key holder, key rack, make your own, necklace, necklace holder, necklaces, organize, redecorating, reorganizing, skull necklaces, tie rack. Arts and Crafts. 4 comments.
One of my friends on Facebook, Katherine Fan, who took these magnificent pictures of Hubby and me, posted a quandry that made me think. In her home, her bedroom catches all the afternoon heat, and ends up sweltering. If she was to turn the thermostat down to make her room bearable, it would freeze out the other occupants of the house, and cost a ton.
Mine and Hubby’s bedroom has a similar issue, so of course, being the helpful person I always am, I offered her a couple of solutions. These can work for that one room in the house or apartment that never seems to cool off, or, like Hubby and I experienced, if the AC dies and you have to wait for a repairman until the next day.
Fans are always great for cooling you off. We have a ceiling fan, but an additional box fan can be really useful in especially hot areas. You can amp up your box fan by placing something cold, like a jug of frozen water, in front of it. Rinse out a used coke bottle or milk jug, fill it with water, and put it in the freezer. Place it on a plate (to catch condensation) in front of the fan, and let the cool air blow over you.
If you are horrifically hot and desperate, like the night Hubby and I spent waiting for the repairman, you can keep an ice pack on your head or neck. It can make a big difference, especially when it’s over 100 degrees outside, consistently, and with no end in sight.
Curtains can make a HUGE difference. We have these really gorgeous red silk sheets my Dad got somewhere, and I wanted to use them as curtains. Silk and sunlight don’t mix well, however, and they wouldn’t block much light. I hung up one full-size white sheet, folded in half, over each window. The white fabric reflects a ton of heat and light, and will protect the silk. Just hanging these up alone made a huge difference in the temperature of the room.
I have been crafty since time began (in the 80′s), and I converted these shirts to curtains somewhere around six years ago. Instead of using this method with the curtain clips, I sewed loops of ribbon to one end of each sheet. I measured out the loops ahead of time to make sure they were all equal, and spaced them about 4 inches apart. This shows how I sewed it along the back:
And you can see on the front there is only a small hint of the sewing I did. These bad boys have been hanging up for 6 years with no problems, and they still look great.
Here’s the finished product!
I even put up a curtain-hold-back-thing. I put it up high so I can put the curtains out of the way without rearranging the top of the curtains. I hate having to spread it back out and make sure it’s all even and everything.
My sis, Beans, had these tie backs laying around and didn’t want them. They totally match our decor!
The whole project took me maybe 30 minutes, and cost me ZERO dollars. I got a new look and a cooler room with little effort and for free! You know I love it!
September 3, 2011. Tags: add loops to curtains, beans, cheap crafts, cheap decorating, cheap redecorating, cool your home, curtains from sheets, DIY, efficiency, energy efficient, homemade, how to, make your own curtains, reuse, reuse sheets, revamp, sewing, thriftiness. House Stuff, Thriftiness is Cool. 1 comment.
I’m sure by now you all know that I love free stuff, and I love to personalize stuff. I have a bunch of random, free magnets on the fridge that were boring the crap out of me, so I dug through my “Box of Interesting Paper Bits” to improve them. For this project you will need: magazines you can cut up, glue, clear nail polish, toothpicks, scissors, and some magnets. And you should probably lay down some newspaper to work on.
I selected an image about the right size for this magnet. Lay the magnet over the image and trace around it with pencil.
I (very cleverly) took the pictures of the process of two different magnets, so bear with me. The steps are all here, but the magnets have changed. Once you have your paper cut to the right size, put some glue on the magnet. Spread it with a toothpick. Lay the image on top, and mush it onto the magnet, starting in the middle. Make sure the edges are thoroughly glued down. I used a silicon glue, which should be used in a well ventilated area. Which I found out after I was done. Meh, brain damage. I used a silicon glue, which haha I’m kidding.
Let the glue dry. If needed, you can trim the edges after it’s dry. Then coat the whole thing with clear nail polish. Glossy magazine paper works best for this project, because the ink won’t run when you use the nail polish on it.
Let it dry.
Aw, look at the cuteness! This will totally dress up my (already covered in magnets) fridge!
I have tons of things I would love to frame and hang up around the house, but not enough frames or wall space. When I was cleaning, I found not only an awesome picture that will go great in my kitchen, but a frame it would fit in! The frame was beat up, and the wrong color, so I decided to remedy that. You will need:
plus a paint brush and a sheet of white paper big enough to fill the frame. I dusted the frame first; it had been in storage awhile, and I wanted the paint to adhere properly. I took everything out of it, including the glass, which I was washed, and put aside to dry. I glopped the black paint directly onto the frame, and started painting.
Here you can see the difference between the before and after colors. It’s important to use long, smooth brush strokes so it looks professional. You want it to keep that satiny finish so no one notices you painted it yourself. Since the image I want to use is too small for the frame, I need a sheet of plain white paper to go behind it. I used the frame backing to measure where to trim the paper. By putting it in one corner, I only have to cut two sides of the paper. If I had set the cardboard down in the middle, I would have to trim all the way around, which also increases the chances of making a mistake.
I reassembled my frame with my new artwork (which came from a magazine), and it’s now hanging gloriously in my kitchen. I love how it turned out! Keep your eye out for nice frames at thrift stores, no matter what color they are, and you can fix them up however you like. Spray painting the frame would have been an option as well, but it is just so hatefully hot outside, I opted for a project I could complete sitting inside with a cool beverage.
August 21, 2011. Tags: artwork, cheap decorating, cheap redecorating, decorating, DIY, homemade, how to repaint a picture frame, picture frame, recycle, reuse, upcycle. Arts and Crafts. Leave a comment.
The other day when my sis Beans was in town, we went thrifting. I don’t mean stop-in-at-a-goodwill thrifting, I mean hardcore, forget-to-eat-all-day thrifting. We stumbled across this plastic candle holder that I instantly loved. I was painted a spatter blue, which was okay, but not ideal. It was also starting to chip. I got Hubby to spray paint it with white primer for me, but I forgot to take a “before” picture. Once I whined and moaned enough to get him to do it for me, I didn’t want to interrupt him for the pic.
So this is after the white primer is on there. I’m hoping that will allow my glorious paint to stick much better than the previous. I actually washed it before he painted it also. I had some gorgeous blue paint around from when we redid our coffee table and a small shelf, so I decided to use that. I know it will match, plus having small amounts of the same color around the room makes it look like I actually PLANNED the design. Try not to laugh too hard, it’s possible. I could plan stuff.
I did one coat of paint, let dry completely, and then did another coat of paint. I let it dry overnight, then had Hubby spray it with a clear coat:
You probably can’t read it there, but the important part to me is that it says “Non-Yellowing”. Many of the other products I’ve found say on the label that they cause things to yellow, and I hate that. I went through all the work of painting this a specific color, not a slightly yellower shade. So Hubby did one coat, then let it dry overnight, then I braved the can and did a second coat today, and let it dry completely.
Now it’s hung up with another thrift store find:
I’m calling her Death Nun. I was so excited when I found her, I snatched her off the shelf and looked around to make sure I wasn’t going to have to fight for her. I know she looks like just regular Death, but when you see the back it looks much more like a nun’s habit, or whatever Virgin Mary is always wearing. Plus Death Nun sounds cooler.
You can see a tiny bit of the ticky tac I used to secure her on there. Meh, I’ll get Hubby to fix it when he gets home. I just love the shapes of the candle holder, and I think Death Nun has a lot more visual impact than a boring candle would have. Oh yeah, and Death Nun was a dollar. The candle holder probably about the same (it was from the $1.39 per pound thrift store).
I LOVE THIS THING!!
March 3, 2011. Tags: cheap decorating, cheap redecorating, death nun, DIY, remake, repaint, thrift store treasures, thrift stores, thrifting, turquoise paint. Arts and Crafts, House Stuff, Thriftiness is Cool. 2 comments.
So here we are again, discussing my floor. A chick can get mighty sick of the same project, which is why it took me until now to post all this, when we finished them sometime in July, I think. It’s all a blur of discomfort now. Most of our furniture got moved into the garage, or crammed into other rooms. The only room that was usable was our bedroom upstairs. As I mentioned in the part 1 of this post, all the animals were kept up there almost entirely for about 2 weeks straight. By the time we were done, we were all completely sick of each other.
The part that took the longest in the whole process was the drying time between stages. You had to let all the patching compound dry for at least 24 hours before you could paint over it. The paint we used is a tougher type called floor and porch paint. It comes in premixed colors; you can’t have it mixed like with wall paint. We chose slate gray, so it would be a nice, neutral background for our stuff. We didn’t want anything too dark though, because it would make the whole house look dark.
These are the materials you’ll need: we bought a painting kit that came with the paint tray, 2 rollers, a paint can opener, and some other stuff. You don’t necessarily need the kit, but it was cheaper than buying all the individual stuff we needed. We also got a pole (lower left corner) to attach the roller to. Ask the paint area attendant what type of those yellow rolling things you need, because apparently the different numbers on the packaging mean something.
Remember that we started painting after cleaning the floor EXTREMELY thoroughly. I got on my knees and scrubbed the whole area, about 650 square feet, with a sponge and bucket of water. I also changed the water very frequently. You have to do all the vacuuming and scrubbing before the patching also, don’t forget. We used that blue tape around the base boards, and it turned out to be a huge disappointment. If I had to do it again, I would buy one of those flat edging brushes instead of wasting my time with tape.
Here you can see the before in our “technically-a-dining-area-but-we-call-it-a-library”. The painting process is very straight forward. Stir paint, pour into tray, roll roller in paint, roll on floor. Repeat until floor is covered, and you are trapped sitting on your fireplace with the Buddha statues and dust bunnies for 4 hours until Hubby gets home, then play a real game of “the floor is lava” then paint over your foot prints, which is what you probably should have done in the first place rather than naming all the dust bunnies.
Here you can see a partially painted area, and what the patching looks like. The patching was part of the reason we decided to go with painting, rather than staining the floors, plus all that lovely wall paint the builder sprayed around the edges of the room. The patching will not usually absorb the stain the same way the original concrete does, so you’ll still see the patches. One solution to this, that I’m shamelessly stealing from my mom-in-law, is to stain the floors, then paint about a 6 inch wide stripe around the base of the walls. She taped off the area, then used black paint. It looks really sophisticated, and did not even remotely occur to me. Aren’t you glad I’m here to lend you my stolen ideas? If you don’t give ME credit though, I will find you. And probably flick uncooked beans at your face.
Ah, just what I needed; a picture to get me back on track. This is the completed dining area. After the paint had dried the designated amount of time, we coated it with a clear layer for protection. I also don’t have a picture of that stuff, and it was also in the paint department at Home Depot. It went on white, and dried clear. I used the same roller on a pole to spread it around. It had to dry for 48 hours.
When we pulled back the tape, there were several areas where paint had seeped onto the base boards, or the tape pulled paint off the floor. We were also a bit impatient to get the furniture back in place, and made a couple nicks in the floor ourselves, but it’s nothing a well placed rug didn’t fix!
Here’s the finished area, from a different angle. It came out great, and we have already had several pet accidents, and a couple spilled beers to test the paint. It cleans up great. To clean it I’ve been sweeping, then Swiffering, or vacuuming, and to scrub I used a Swiffer WetJet. It is MUCH faster than vacuuming the whole thing was before. All in all, to refinish 650 square feet cost about $300, total. That’s 50 cents per square foot, which cheaper than even the cheapest tile before installation. If we hadn’t rented that machine, it would have been around $200, but live and learn.
What I would do differently: Put down an extra layer of paint, use an edging brush instead of painter’s tape, and probably do an extra layer of the clear coat, and let everything dry another day before moving the furniture in. It was VERY hard work, so if you attempt this, expect to be sore. As always, I am chock full of useful advice, so if you have any questions, or if I missed something, let me know in the comments. I’m sure I could type about this for HOURS.
October 22, 2010. Tags: carpet, cheap redecorating, concrete, DIY, floors, frugal, how to paint concrete, how to remove carpet tacks, how to replace carpet, paint, revamp, saving money. House Stuff, Thriftiness is Cool. 1 comment.
What does infamous mean? More than famous, of course. I have mentioned the floors in our house many times, mostly as an excuse for not blogging enough. I have tons of pictures, and thought it was about time I give you all the basics of how it all went down.
Hubby and I had been discussing what to do with our floors for quite a while. As you should know by now, the carpet is green, and therefore matches nothing. We wanted to do something we could complete and maintain ourselves, since we are, of course, broke and cheap. We also wanted something more pet friendly for the 3 cats and new puppy, meaning easy-to-clean-poo-and-vomit-off-of.
We had discussed concrete floors, and I had even done some preliminary research. There is concrete under the carpet, but I was under the impression that it was fairly low-quality and crumbly, as it appeared in one corner where we pulled up the carpet to investigate. Everything I read online said that you had to get this leveling compound stuff, and basically spread a new layer of nice concrete over the original. This promised to be expensive, and impossible for anyone but a professional to complete properly. We gave up, and decided to deal with the sea of hideousness, for the time being.
One day, I was cleaning under the stove (what, don’t you do that? No? Just me?), and I saw what appeared to be high-quality, smooth concrete. This got me curious, so we pulled back that corner of carpet much further, and saw that the whole slab was in pretty awesome shape, just dirty and covered with duct tape (duct tape?! Oh yes. The previous Home Owners, mentioned and ridiculed thoroughly in one of the posts I linked to above, had oh so safely run electrical wires all along the concrete under the carpet. ‘Fire hazards be damned! I want my surround sound in place as if by magic!” I imagine them saying, in their rage-inducing ignorance).
Once Hubby and I discussed and agreed to painted concrete floors, he went bat-shit crazy, in a useful way. Basically, I came home from work and the stained ocean of ugly was gone!
This is an “in-the-midst” shot from the second floor, looking down.
Hubby went all the way around the rooms pulling the carpet tacks out of the floor. Those are the wooden strips that go around the edge, near the wall, and are full of tiny, brittle, rusty nails that will break off and embed in your flesh. Hubby simply used a hammer to pull them all up. No matter what you do, they cause divets in the floor like the above picture.
They are generally shallow, and they sell patching stuff at Home Depot, I think in the paint department. It was really easy to use, sorry I don’t have a picture. Pay attention to what you get, because they tried to sell us all kinds of random crap. There is premixed stuff you can use, and all you need is a trowel (one of those flat plastic or metal spready things). They tried to sell us powdered stuff we’d have to mix ourselves that had all kinds of crazy warning labels, and on and on. We just asked every different employee in the store until we found what we needed.
We also rented the monstrosity you see pictured above to sand the floors down. This mainly seemed to kick up massive amounts of dust, and cost 80 bucks. If I had to do this whole process over again, I would have skipped that step. There was some glue on the floor, from the carpet installation, which is what we were trying to remove with this thing. The glue ignored it pretty easily. I think we should have used our same strategy for finding the floor patching compound to find a glue solvent. The floor already has hairline cracks running all over, so I knew we were going to end up with a bit of an industrial look. Well, at least I am here to share my wisdom with you.
This is Hubby using the machine. This thing was also ridiculously dangerous, and spun away from him a bunch of times. I was not allowed near, due to my clumsiness. He managed to get it under control, and you can see we both had breathing masks on, but I don’t know how much good they did. We had the presence of mind to shut off the AC, and shut all the doors in the house to keep the dust contained. We bought those really good air filters also, for when we eventually turned the air back on.
After this step, we let the dust settle for 2 days, then vacuumed, swept, dusted, and mopped repeatedly to pick up as much as we could. During the whole process, we kept all the animals locked up in our bedroom. All of us spent the majority of our time in there for probably 2 weeks solid. It was rough.
I guess I’ll make this a 2 part post, this one being the “prep” part. (You can see some awesome before and after pics in my Ikea post, if you can’t wait for part 2). The basics: remove carpet, remove carpet tacks, do not sand floor, clean floor thoroughly, patch holes, let dry thoroughly, then we move onto painting the floor. I have heard that there is acid you can get to etch the floor to prepare it for the painting also, but I have no idea how necessary that is. We have already had a couple spots where paint pulled up, but I don’t know if the acid would have prevented this, or if we needed another layer of paint. See you in the next post!
October 21, 2010. Tags: carpet, cheap redecorating, concrete, DIY, floors, home, home improvement, home repairs, how to paint concrete, how to remove carpet tacks, how to replace carpet, paint. House Stuff, Thriftiness is Cool. 6 comments.