Removing 1971 from our bathroom, part 1

March 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Posted in for the House | 1 Comment
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Our house was built in 1971.  We bought it from the children of the couple that built it, so a lot of the original wallpaper, paneling, and fixtures remain.  Blue is my favorite color, but there is something about the country pink and blue that I can’t stand.  The wallpaper was peeling off in several spots, so it couldn’t be painted over.

As I peeled the paper off I found that it had been glued directly to untreated drywall.  It pulled top layer off of the drywall in several places, leaving the wall with a weird texture.  I primed the drywall with white kiltz, which was supposed to seal it to prevent further damage.  The wall had an odd texture, but it looked much better than the nasty paper.  (The yellow color around the toilet is the drywall without any paint.  I waited for my husband to remove the toilet to paint back there.)

I went to home depot to look for texture options to cover the damage, and found bellagio faux on clearance for $9 a gallon.  I added a $5 mistinted gallon of green paint, and set to work.  (I always take photos of clearance signs, in case the item doesn’t ring up the advertised price it is much easier to pull out my phone than to wait for someone to walk to the other end of the store to verify the price.)

In hindsight, I should have sanded the rough patches, and then primed over any exposed drywall again before painting the base color.  You can really see the damage in the white area here, before I painted on the base coat of green.  That’s why I started with the small back bathroom, since it doesn’t bother me to be a little messed up, and now I know better.  When I redo the larger hall bathroom (that everyone will see) it will be done right.

I used a heavy layer of the faux texture, and didn’t squish the chunks like the directions said.  (I tried that behind the toilet, and it didn’t look very good.)  It is 300% better than the original wallpaper, and it only cost $28 for the kilts, base layer, and texture since I bought clearance paints.  At first I wasn’t sure that I really liked the texture, but its grown on me.

Eventually, I’d like to change the clunky cabinet out for a pedestal sink since it would open the room up, but that would involve re-tiling the floor, and major repair to the wall behind the cabinet…not going to happen for quite a while so I think I am going to just paint it tan for the time being.  I already painted the mirror/cabinet, window shelf, and trim white (with leftover kilts.)

You can see the popcorn falling off of the ceiling, the country blue venetian blinds, and the lovely sliding glass shower doors here.  The shower and doors have to stay, but I will fix up everything else.  I finally ordered a chord to recharge the batteries for my real camera, since the original was lost in the move and my cell phone camera doesn’t have the capability to focus.  Its killing me to put these blurry photos up, but they’re all I’ve got 🙂


Blue! Glazed Jewlery Frame

February 16, 2012 at 8:14 am | Posted in crafts, for the House | Leave a comment
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I am a very practical girl.  While I like pretty things, if I have to chose between function and form I will always choose function.  So I love it when something can be functional AND pretty.  I like to think that this jewelry frame qualifies as both.

Continue Reading Blue! Glazed Jewlery Frame…

50 cent clock make over

June 3, 2010 at 9:34 am | Posted in crafts | 1 Comment
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My sister from Florida came to spend a week with me – yay!  Of course, we had to visit the second hand stores while she was here, and I found four of these Ambien clocks, new in the package with batteries, for 0.50 each.  Cheap clocks are incredibly easy to redo, so I thought I’d share :0)

First, turn over the clock and look for a tab slot – most clock faces are held on by three little tabs.  One tab may be longer than the others, so leave that tab for last.  Flip the clock back over, and slide a flat head screwdriver or knife down between the face and the slot, gently popping the tab out.  After you do two of the three tabs, the clear shell should just lift off.

The hands should just be pressed onto a movement, carefully pull them straight up.  You may need to use a knife or screwdriver to help loosen them – be very careful not to bend the hands.  Set them aside.

Remove the paper clock face, and set it aside.  Now, you have several options.  You can design your own clock face, use a photo, scrapbook paper, old magazine, etc, or paint over the existing clock face.  I found several scrapbook papers that I liked, and printed a clock face onto them.  I cut them out, used my crop-a-dile to punch out the middle hole, and stuck them on the clocks.  Quick, and really cute.

Here is the blank clock face that I designed to fit my clocks (9″ across, I printed on a 12″x12″ paper since it wouldn’t fit on a standard 8.5″x11″ sheet.)   You could open this file in a photo – editing software and insert a photo as the background.  OR, you could design something, or use free clip art, etc as the background.  You could also use plain white paper, like my husband suggested – blah, too plain for my tastes ;0)

Once you have the paper attached, slip the hands back onto the movement, and snap the cover back in place.  You are done!  Here is the finished clock – how cute would that be in a girl’s room?

You can also paint the clock if you don’t like the color – neon pink won’t really do for what I needed these clocks for, so I pulled out a few cans of spray paint.  You could use a brush on paint for plastic as well.

After two coats, my clocks and hands looked good, so I left it at that.  Here are the four clocks that I redid:

So, for $2.00 and some stuff I already had, I have four decent looking clocks.  The green and white is my favorite.  And, as easy as this is to do, you could really change out the paper seasonally if you really wanted to.

Upcycled sundress for my adorable niece and iron on tag tutorial

March 31, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Posted in crafts | 3 Comments
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My mother in law gave me the bedspread that she had as a young girl (with permission to chop it up for crafty cuteness.)  It was adorable!  And it had the cutest little ruffled bottom.  I don’t have any little girls but I am seeing my niece in a few weeks so I decided to make her a sundress with the ruffles at the bottom.  I used the pattern at SnazzleCraft (it required a bit of playing with to get it to print right.)  As I don’t have a little girl (and my favorite color is blue,) I don’t have any pink ribbon or thread, but the green matched all of the flower stems so it worked out.  I used snaps instead of buttons, and placed them in the back, so that my niece won’t be able to undress herself.

I love making cute things, and I like to put tags in them.  Why?  I don’t know.  But I do.  :0)  So here’s how I did it, just in case you want to make some too.

You will need the following supplies:

  • small amount of screen printing ink/paint or soft fabric paint (not the tulip puffy kind)
  • alphabet stamps (I got these out of the dollar bin at Michael’s last year) or custom stamp
  • freezer paper
  • scrap of paper to use as spread
  • ribbon or fabric scraps
  • iron and cloth
  • heat n bond scraps
    • Squirt a small amount of ink onto your freezer paper.
    • Spread the ink out into a thin layer using your scrap paper (I doubled my scrap for a sturdier spreader.)
    • Use the ink like an ink pad, working quickly since the screen printing ink dries quickly.  Respread the ink as needed.
    • Let the ink dry and set as per package directions.  I let it dry overnight and ironed the next morning to set the ink.
      • Cut a small strip of heat n bond and iron onto the back of your ribbon.  I like to trim the stragglers off after applying the heat and bond, so that it seals the ends.
      • Peel off the paper backing and iron onto your items.

      You could also sew the tags in, or have them stick out the sides like a flag.  You can use acrylic paint to make tags that won’t be laundered often, I prefer to use a fabric paint myself.  This is a good use for scraps of ribbon, and small bits of heat and bond.  (It is also why I never throw anything away and have piles of junk filling up my bedroom…maybe you shouldn’t save those little scraps after all.)

        Contact paper yard sign

        March 29, 2010 at 5:00 am | Posted in crafts | 2 Comments
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        Doesn’t this sign look nice?  I made it using my cricut machine and some contact paper.  I have a tutorial *here* that tells you how to cut out vinyl and transfer it using clear contact paper.

        I used wax paper to lay out all of the letters to spell each line out, and then using the clear contact paper method linked above transferred them to my sign.  (My husband picked up the signs for $5 each at Lowes.)

        When I got married 6 years ago, we wrote our names on posters and staked them up with directions for our out of town guests.  If I would have had access to these supplies, I could have done a much better job.  And the contact paper is removable, so you could easily peel the letters off and reuse the sign board.  (Don’t get the wrong idea, the letters are securely on the sign and withstood rain, but they would peel off easily.)

        The contact paper is $2.50-$3 a roll at Dollar General, Family Dollar, Big Lots, Freds, or WalMart.  I have seen it in black, white, two shades of wood grain, two shades of marble, and several other patterns that I won’t mention as they aren’t really conducive to this application.

        I am thinking of making a faux headboard for our bed by using dark wood grain contact paper with light wood grain motifs so that it looks like its carved in relief.  With a little creative cutting, I think I can get a decent looking ‘headboard’ for $3 plus some scraps.  But I will wait until we move to try it out.

        Pearl ring tutorial

        January 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Posted in crafts | 3 Comments
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        I finally got around to making another wire wrapped ring, and took pictures this time for a tutorial.  I used a cheap faux pearl, but you can get real pearl beads, and nice faux crystals at most craft stores.

        The supplies that you will need are:
        scrap paper
        single bead
        20 gauge wire
        26 gauge wire
        large pliers
        small pliers
        pen / pencil

        First you will need to use a mandrel, or find something the same size as your finger.  I walked around the house trying my wedding band on different things until I found a marker the exact right size.  Next, I cut a strip of paper and wrapped it around my marker [hereafter known as the “mandrel”.]  I slid the edges of the paper so that you would be able to clearly see how it was wrapped, but you really want it to be tighter.

        Wrap the paper around the mandrel two times, drawing a line each time the paper overlaps.  Remove the paper, and cut it off at the second line.  You should have a strip of paper that is twice the length of your finger, with a line in the middle.

        Fold the ends of the paper into the middle, then flatten it back out.  Draw lines on the two creases that you just made.  These will be the marks that you need, you can erase the middle line or just ignore it.  (I used some junk mail, hence the strange numbers.)

        Use the paper as your ruler to cut the 20 gauge wire.  You will need two pieces of wire.   Use a permanent marker and mark the two outer lines on the wire.

        Use your pliers and bend the wires at a 90* angle on both lines.

        Flatten the folds with your pliers so that the two ends meet in the middle (like your paper did.)  At this point I lightly hammered the wires to strengthen them, (totally optional.)

        Lay the two wires side by side on your mandrel, and smooth into a ring.   Make sure that the cut wires are on the inside.

        Use your pliers to bend the ends up at an angle, to form the faux prongs of your ring.

        Cut off a four inch or so piece of 20 gauge wire.   Bend it with your pliers, and then wrap it around the top of the ring three times.  It took me a few tries to grip the wire and wrap it around.

        After the top is wrapped three times, add the pearl and repeat on the other side.

        Use the 26 gauge wire and wrap the bottom of the band were the wires cross.   Make sure that all of the ends are cut flush and filed smooth.    Enjoy!

        Simple yet stunning silhouette painting

        December 19, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Posted in crafts, Handmade Christmas | 1 Comment
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        Complete I love silhouettes!  This painting, which I gave my husband for Christmas, made a simple, yet stunning gift.   If you can cut and trace, you can easily make a similar painting yourself.  You will need:

        A blank canvas (mine was 10×13 and cost $1.28)
        2-3 contrasting colors of acrylic paint ($0.58 each)
        Pencil, scissors, and paintbrushes
        A silhouette photograph

        I love how blue and white swirl together to make a sky like background, so I squirted the two colors onto a yogurt lid and blended them on the canvas until I liked it.  You can blend whatever colors you like, or just paint the canvas a solid color.  Let the paint dry thoroughly before tracing onto it.  (I found my canvas was dry enough in about an hour.)

        I looked through our wedding photos to find an appropriate image. has some great free images if you can’t find one of your own.

        You will want to print out the picture and then cut out the silhouette to trace.  You can re-size the image before printing if needed – I like to use Word since it is so quick, but there are many programs that will work.  Cut out the image with sharp scissors or a craft knife, paying careful attention to the details.  Position and trace your image onto the canvas.

        Trace figures I used a fine paintbrush to outline the image in my contrasting color – be careful to cover all of the pencil lead with paint.  Use a larger brush and fill in the image with an nice even layer of paint.  You may need to let it dry and go over it again with a second coat of paint depending on how much the colors contrast.

        Fill in body

        After I made a few of these, I played around with adding a few simple details, like another color or two, such as the light inside of the lighthouse painting below.

        Let your painting dry, and enjoy!  The variations on this simple project are endless, and this is an amazing gift for about $3 and only a few hours of effort.  And it makes an even nicer gift if you frame it – I find high quality frames for $3-5 at Big Lots all the time.

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