Monday, November 26, 2012

Repurposed Shutters to Storage

Found these lovely and sturdy shutters on Freecycle. Originally I thought they would be the more traditional looking types like the green one on the left. Instead I got a trunk full of European shutters like the ones on the left. All the cutesy ideas for shutters were shuffled to the back-burner and my brain started churning up new ideas.

the shutters before

Here is what I ended up with:

basement shelves
sheesh, didn't know I had so much paint!
shoe rack
screwed tin cans to the bottoms as spacers

also salvaged screws
only needed a couple screws from the misc pile
total cost of both projects: $0
Not bad, huh?

And I still have a couple of shutters left over to play around with. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Linen Table Runner with Rosettes

Originally I'd seen this idea posted by Tracey at My-CreativiT. I thought I had a spare piece of burlap to use but when I dug out the fabric it turned out to be linen. So much for my memory. Oh well. The fabric would still fray so I went ahead with the project. 

Starbucks recipe for Banana Bread. Yum!
Click here for the recipe.I added a
crusty top with generous amounts
of cinnamon and brown sugar. 

Strip of burlap or linen (I used the wider one in the picture below)
Sewing Machine
Hot Glue Gun & Sticks
Both are remnant pieces. Around a $1 or so each.
Step 1.
With pins I marked a line where the border for the fraying. Using the sewing machine I stitched around the edges.

Step 2:
Fray the edges. This is messy and time consuming. Grab a movie. Pull one string out at a time. 

Step 3: 
Cut a couple of strips to make the rosettes. The picture below created the largest flower. I used a shorter strip for the smaller flower. To make the rosettes I merged a few ideas from tutorials online. Hot glue as you go. 

Step 4: 
Glue the rosettes to the linen table runner. CAREFUL! Without thinking I glued them while the table runner was sitting onto of my cheap, dollar store tablecloth and the hot glue melted the table clothe to the bottom of the runner. There is a dime-sized hole in the table clothe now. Oh well. It was only a dollar. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ReStore Raid Yields Fire-logs Basket

The mouse will play while the cat is away....

While my husband was away at drill for the weekend I did a little shopping-therapy. 

I missed him. The kids missed him. 

Off to the ReStore we went! Ate up most of the morning and gave me plenty to work with when I got home. 

All this for $14! 

My favorite find was this basket for $1.50. YES! Your read that right, $1.50. Its missing one of the handles which doesn't bother me so much since I won't be using it to carry anything around. And its a simple fix. Rip off the other handle and replace each side with leather-strap loops or rope....


First it got a bath in the tub with some watered down white vinegar. Allowed it to dry completely.

Then, I picked up a can of Krylon Duel Primer and Paint in Leather Brown Gloss and sprayed generously all over. The spray paint was about $4 or $5 a Walmart. The kids were a little crazy at this point so I just threw stuff in the shopping cart and made a beeline for home. 

Now we have a basket to keep our fire-logs in.

Firewood Wanted

Looking forward to treasure hunting at the next ReStore Raid!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

God's Gifts Advent Calendar

Mr. Frosty is here to welcome Baby Jesus.

Centered on the fireplace mantle sans Christmas decorations.
After Thanksgiving will come soon enough. 

pockets large enough to accommodate candy
I have two kids...hence the two pieces of candy

love that blue glitter shimmer!
Merry Christmas!

my favorite shot
love the angles and bright colors!

I've always wanted to make an Advent Calendar. I even had a couple ideas set aside for *someday,* but never did figure out what day that was! lol The Totally Green Contest Holiday Edition  gave me the kick in the pants that I needed. The contest objective is to create a holiday decoration (any holiday) out of at least one recyclable item. I love all things reused and renewed! And as my husband can tell you, I have plenty of recyclables lying around. (His exact words were: I think you're becoming a hoarder. I'm concerned.) 
No fear hubby dear! Some of those recyclables/hoard have found a purpose we'll treasure each year! 

It was important to me to include Bible verses for each day as an "echo" to what we are already teaching our kids. Scroll down to the final picture for the link to Bible Study Planet's verse collection on keeping Christ in Christmas and other verses used. 

Recyclable Materials Used

old cork board
 advent calendar
toilet paper tubes
thin cardboard boxes
white cord
(other items: hole punches
and sequins)
old piano sheet music
(who am I kidding?
I'm too lazy to learn how to play this.)
Other items: nativity stencils
printed from
sticks from outside
wooden rectangle from
craft supplies curb alert

dissecting the reindeer stocking

Other Materials Used

paint purchased new
about $1.00
everything else from
my craft closet

purchased new
about $4.00

2 rolls of ribbon from Hobby Lobby
about $6.00

                 Not pictured: 
 number stickers from the dollar store
 glue gun and glue sticks
 paint brushes
 old rag

1. Using hot glue gun, fold and glue bottoms into a pill box style, creating a pocket

2. Cut off roughly the top 1 1/2 scraps. 
3. Paint! 
The former Kindergarten teacher in me saw this and thought: "calendar activity," so I followed an ABAB pattern. All even numbers are painted candy-cane, let's learn how to count by 2's!

4. Using the hot glue gun, glue the cords to the board, then glue the pockets on top. 

Again, "calendar activity," these are in rows of we can learn the concept of grouping and counting by 5's.

5. Print off nativity stencils. 

6. Using an old rag and a mixture of assorted brown paints, "age" the sheet music.

7. Trace stencils onto sheet music and cut out. 

8. I wanted a more defined edging so that my nativity characters didn't blend into the board. Using an old rag and some dark brown paint I wiped around the edges of each stencil. 

9. Using a dry brush and assorted brown paints I painted the stable from a piece of craft board. Hard to see the color variations in this picture.

10. I mod-podged Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus to the board. When dry, I mod-podged over the whole rectangle.

11. Using my fingers I snapped the stick to the dimensions of the stable. Hot glue was used to hold the sticks in place. 

12. To keep the rest of the nativity characters from being flimsy I mod-podged them onto a thin piece of cardboard. When dry, I mod-podged over them. 

13. I also used the thin cardboard to hole punch out snowflakes for the odd numbered pockets. Each snowflake was painted white. 

14. Twine was wrapped around the sticks to create a more realistic look.

15. Then the rectangle, stick shelter, and nativity people were hot glued into place. 

Steps not pictured:
16. The leftovers from the toilet paper rolls (see step 2) were cut in half to fit inside each pocket. These will be the tabs.  

17. Paint each tab. Flatten if they insist on curling. 

18. Apply number stickers. 

19. Seal number stickers with mod-podge.

20. Add Bible verses to the back of the tabs:
Click here for Verses for Keeping Christ in Christmas from Bible Study Planet. I mixed in a few of my own, including verses from Psalm 139 and Zephaniah 3:17. Tried to attach the word document but can't figure out how. Feel free to e-mail me at: and I'll send you the attachment. 

21. Glue ribbon around frame (used Mod Podge for the turquoise ribbon and tacky glue for the white ribbon). 

ClaimingOurSpaceClick Here

Monday, November 5, 2012

DIY Cinnamon Essential Oil and Storage Jar

Materials Needed (Oil):        Materials Needed(Jar): 
Cinnamon                             Old Spagetti Jar
Carrier Oil                            Burlap Cloth
Pan or Pot                            Twine
Muslin                                  Chalkboard Paint
Strainer                                Hot Glue Gun
Funnel                                  Cinnamon Sticks
Glass Bowl                            Chalk
Dark Colored Storage or Jar

To Make the Decorative Jar:
1. Spray Chalkboard Paint on Lid, allow to dry, repaint as needed
2. Cut Burlap to size of Jar, fray edges if desired
3. Hot Glue to Jar
4. I had an extra strip left over so I glued it around the middle
5. Wrap twine around as many times as you'd like, hot glue into place
6. Add Cinnamon Sticks if desired, hot glue into place

 To Make the Cinnamon Essential Oil:
1. Place the ground cinnamon (around 1/2 cup) or cinnamon sticks (5-10) into the pan along with 2 cups of your carrier oil (preferable olive oil).
I used ground cinnamon.
2. Place on medium heat. Wait 3-5 minutes or until the cinnamon starts to heat up. At this point, you should be able to smell the cinnamon aroma.
3. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Over cooking can cause the delicate oils to be damaged.
4. Cool.
5. Use a strainer and/or muslin to strain the cinnamon from the oil.
6. Use a funnel to transfer into your dark storage jar. A dark jar prevents light from penetrating the oil, prolonging the shelf life.
7. Store in a cool dark place.
Taken from:
my ghetto funnel

used chalk to label the oil


Life on Lakeshore Drive at Life On Lakeshore Drive.