Thursday, August 23, 2012

Juice Lid Decorations

Found this fun idea at Grow Creative. Her idea was to turn them into magnets but I had a small patch of bare wall that needed something so I adapted the idea into wall art. 

Materials Already On-Hand:
Concentrated Juice Lid, one for each letter
Colorful Paper for background (I made my own, being particular about the color-scheme since this patch of wall is between the dining room and the kitchen)
Letters --I made my own from a computer font and pieces of cardboard)
Not Pictured: Tacky Glue, ModgePodge and Sticky Tac

Cost of Project: $6.00 (ModgePodge and Sticky Tac)

First I made a template from the cardboard box and drew several circles on the background paper. Then cut them out and glued them to the back of the juice lid. 

Next I cut out the letters from a computer font, traced them onto the cardboard and cut. PAINSTAKING! But I like the 3D effect.

 Mixed two paints together for the desired shade of brown. Once dry, they were glued to the juice lids. Let dry completely then cover with Modge Podge or other sealant.

Hang with Sticky Tac. 

I picked gratitude because its been a focal point for me lately. This is a visual reminder to myself to not only be thankful but to actively show my gratitude to others. I've been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and her perception on grace and gratefulness is tilting my own mental an absolutely wonderful way! What looks like a poorly taken candid shot...too much focus, I see fodder for my own One Thousand Gifts Journal: 

474) homemade curtains made by a friend 
475) collection of wine bottles, delicious memories of good times spent with friends
476) A darkly stained cabinet, one of my first "successful" home renovations
477) the time spent with my little girl placing sticky tac on the back of each letter, lifting her up to position it on the wall
478) kids art projects from church and the conversations they've inspired in their emerging faith
479) for our first-bought home and the freedom to personalize it

Gratitude helps renew my attitudeA corny rhyme that rings true. Especially on tough days when the budget can't squeeze in one more bill, when the tension from extended family seeps into our peaceful home, when milk spills on the just cleaned carpet, after sleep-interrupted evenings give way to grumpy-children-filled mornings, when the coffee is cold, when the dog escapes out the door. When my life culminates to overwhelming, pausing to inhale the moment and exhale gratitude calms my nerves...even if temporarily as the day continues full-paced. 

Gratitude:  the state of being grateful: thankfulness. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pallet Laundry Shelf

Here is the finished project. To see how the bottom was constructed click here or see Pallet "wall" Bottom Portion. Our basement is unfinished and we currently lack the funds to finish any part of it...necessity is the mother of invention...let the creativity flow!

Materials Already On-hand:   Materials Bought:                        
Pallet                                    White Spray Paint .98cents
Random Wood                     Two Baskets from Dollar Store $2.00
Metal Thingy                         Screws from Restore, dirt cheap
Paper Towel Holder
Light Blue Paint, left over from painting my son's room

Project Cost: $4.00 give or take a quarter

Most of the above items either came with the house or were a Freecycle find. 

Love the shape and sturdiness of these baskets, but not the color. A few coats of white spray paint did the trick!  

To ensure that the shelf had enough support I screwed this small piece of lumber in between the pallet slabs. Then the shelf was screwed to the pallet slabs and to the piece of lumber. So far its holding steady. 

To see the "decorative elements" of the laundry room shelf click here or see instructions for the Fabric Wrapped Metal Thingy. 


Pallet "Wall" Bottom Portion

 This is eventually going to end up behind my washer and dryer in our unfinished basement. This is the bottom section only. Inspiration for this idea came here. Neither the site nor a search of the web provide instructions on how to build the wall much less keep it from tipping over. This is a trial-and-error project! (my favorite kind!)

Materials On-Hand:           Materials Bought:                
Two Pallets                       Door Hinges .75cents each
Hammer/Drill                    Screws, less than an penny each
Extra wood

Cost: less than $2.00

These door hinges were picked up at the Restore for .75cents each. Also picked up some more screws....10cents for 25 screws. Hard prices to beat! 

I deliberately picked pallets with wider spaces between the planks to accommodate the hoses and cords running from the washer and dryer to the outlets and such. A saw could make the necessary holes but I'm too lazy! I'm saving the wider plank pallets for another project. 

Two hinges were drilled onto the frame of the pallet instead of the planks. The planks on these two aren't totally even with each other and for balance I wanted the frames to be in-sync. 

Once drilled together and placed upright, I played around with moving the wall back and forth. That's the benefit of using door hinges...range-of-motion. Hopefully this will help balance and hold the final piece to the "pallet wall." 

To increase the sturdiness of the wall I added to spare pieces of wood-slabs to the middle of each pallet. They kinda look like feet. 

close up of the "foot"

The top part, the pallet laundry shelf, will be attached with the remaining two door hinges. So far the wall with the shelf attachment is holding steady with consistent use. Whew!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Solar Light for a Lantern

Saw a similar idea featured at which prompted a web search of "how to." Meanwhile my brain cells were spinning on how to adapt this idea for a lantern that was sitting empty in my front yard. Once I settled on an idea I used the directions here at Not Martha as a guide to creating my own solar lantern. 

Materials On-Hand: 
Tacky Glue
Lantern (a gift from a friend, maybe from Urban Outfitters?) Originally it was for a tea-light candle but too many summers in the sun had melted the last candle into a rock-like waxy lump.

Materials Bought:                       Cost of Project: $7.50
Vase $1.00 at Dollar Tree
Solar Light $1.50 end of summer sale
Frosted Glass Spray $5.00 at Home Depot (there is plenty of spray left over to make more lights or for another project)

Spray several coats of Frosted Glass per instructions onto outside of vase until desired amount of frost-look. Notice that the bottom of the vase is down and will remain unfrosted. This will allow light to filter in and recharge the solar light. 

Pop the top off the solar lantern. This should be accomplished without the use of tools depending on the type of light you bought. 

To keep the solar light secure (the lantern swings in the wind and I have curious children) I generously placed Tacky Glue around the top of the Solar Light. Then drop the Light, glue side down, into the bottom of the vase. Allow glue to dry.

Here is the finished product in the daylight. The vase is turned upside down in the lantern. The solar light can be seen from the bottom of the vase (forgot to take a picture of this, but better directions for this step are at Not Martha.)

And here is a fuzzy picture of it at night. My neighbors porch light is on all the time so it was difficult getting a clear picture of the solar effect. Notice how the top of the vase is dark...that is where the solar light sits. The picture at the top of this post depicts this better. 

And my brain cells are spinning already to see how else to adapt this idea! Feel free to join in the brainstorm with your own thoughts! Thanks. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Denim Flower

Made a smaller lighter version from an old pair of jeans picked up off Freecycle. To make the petals curl more I stitched them a bit longer than on the darker flower. The lighter one isn't as floppy but still has charm.

Originally I thought the smaller flower would look cute on a headband but it still seems to large.  

Now to make a tote bag to show case these denim beauties! Or pin on a neutral colored scarf......

Directions for these flowers can be found here.

Fabric Wrapped Metal Hanger Thingy

The metal hanger thingy is a great size for the laundry room wall organizer I'm slowly piecing together. Unfortunately, its kinda plain. Adapting a fabric wrap hanger from // Between the lines // the below hanger was given a "face lift." 

Directions can for the fabric wrapped hanger can be found here at // Between the lines //.

Materials Already On-Hand:            Project Cost: $0
Metal Hanger Thingy (came with the house)
Scrap Fabric (taken from a homemade doll blanket that fell apart in the washing machine)
Tacky Glue

Starting at one corner of the fabric I cut a square line of fabric without cutting through the edges but rather cutting around the edges until I reached the center of the fabric. I tied one end onto the end of the hanger. Dabbing with glue, the first piece was secured, then I continued wrapping and twisting the fabric around the frame covering as much ground as possible. Used glue at the tips of each hanger. 

One piece of fabric worked for the whole frame and the hanger tips. Notice the four rods in the middle left unwrapped. Using scraps of the same cloth and some glue, each was covered.

** If you want a more frayed look, rub the fabric piece back and forth with your fingers roughing up the edges. Or bunch in a ball and rub between the palms of your hands. Amount of fraying is up to your personal taste.

The finished project was screwed to the pallet upcycle I'm turning into a laundry room organizer. It'll be a great drying rack for bras and delicate camisoles that aren't dryer friendly. 

I love where function meets cute meets free! 

Customized Fabric-Wrapped Hanger Frame

Materials Already On-Hand:                    Cost of Project: $0
Wire Hanger from Dry Cleaners
Wire Cutters
Transparency Paper
Photocopy of Picture (found this one on Pinterest) 
White or Clear Glue (I used Tacky Glue)
Fabric Piece to cut into a long strip
Tape (I used floral tape)

I bent and cut the wire hanger to fit the dimensions of the picture. Wrap cut area with tape, floral tape pictured. 

This fabric came from a pair of old shorts in a hand-me down bag of girl's clothes. To make the fabric strip continuous I started the cut from one corner and slowly worked my way to the center. 

An optional way of cutting the continuous strip of fabric can be found here at // Between the lines //.

Using the Tacky Glue around the corners and tip of the hanger, I wound and twisted the fabric covering the entire hanger. Start at the hook of the hanger and then work your way around one side. 

With the Tacky Glue I pressed the hanger onto the transparency paper then weighted it with books while it dried (overnight). Then I dabbed the glue on the photocopied picture to the other side of the transparency and let dry. 

Carefully cut around the outside edge of the frame. 

This frame hangs on the laundry room wall organizer I'm making. Our basement is unfinished so an upcycled pallet will function as a laundry room organizer. 

Poem Reads: 

When Monday comes, I get my tub, 
And rub and scrub, and scrub and rub!
My dollies wait all in a row
Till all their clothes are white as snow. 

I wish I only did laundry on Mondays! lol 

Another Renewed Soap Dispenser

Found this old, neglected jar of teriyaki marinade in "the corner" of the fridge. You know the one, where the left overs and half used condiments end up forgotten until they change color or you need the space for something else. This looked like a fun bottle to replace the boring hand soap dispenser at the kitchen sink. It could have been tossed into the recycle bin...but it had some Renewed potential. 

Materials On-Hand:                              Project Cost: $0
Jar with matching lid
Drill or screwdriver and hammer
Soap/Lotion Dispenser to fit jar
Acrylic Paint
Clear Nail Polish
Liquid Soap

After a trip through the dishwasher I pounded nails into a circle in the middle of the lid before cutting out the middle. This hole should be just big enough to fit the dispenser from the old soap container. 

Trying to match the color accents in the kitchen and adjoining dining room I mixed up two acrylic paints. Not sure I completely like the outcome in the finished product...but I'll give it a few days before changing it. 

Once the lid was dry I coated it with clear nail polish to seal it. Add soap and insert dispenser. Unfortuantely, the dispenser in the soap container above was too short for this jar so I took one from an 18 ounce lotion bottle. It was a bit long so I simply clipped a bit off the end and it works like a charm! 

Bottle on right: Hand Soap
Bottle on left: Dish Soap 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Heard of this idea at a MOPS meeting this past year from the authors of Wiggle, Squiggle, Giggle, and Learn. I couldn't find this exact activity in the book...or I wasn't looking hard enough...but recommend it to families with young kids. 

Materials Needed: 
Clothes Pins (one for each letter in your child's name)
Note cards
the following are optional:
Alphabet Stickers
Spray Paint/Newspapers
Clear Nail Polish or ModgePodge

Most of these items came from the dollar store or my bathroom cabinet. The total cost is $3 with plenty of leftovers for extra projects. 

*** For an easier, quicker, cheaper way to complete this project, use a sharpie to write the letters on the unpainted clothes pins. Functional. ***

To make it easier to spray all sides of the clothes pins at once I clipped them to a box lid. 

Apply stickers to the TOP of the clothespins. Coat with clear nail polish or ModgePodge to keep the stickers from peeling off. 

Print each name at the top of the note card. Mix up the clothes pins and have your child spell their name out one letter at a time starting from the left. This is great one-to-one correspondence while learning to identify/spell their name. My daughter has this down and loves to pull them off and try again and again.

For my almost 3 year old, this activity is primarily aimed at developing the pincer grasp. Once that's mastered he'll move onto the letter identification. 

He gets an A for effort! Good job Joey!