Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kitchen Bench to Patio Bench

hopefully the basil will perk up with its
new friend to keep him company

I've always wanted a kitchen table with a bench. Posted on Craigslist Free, yes FREE, was a corner breakfast nook with a bench. Unbelievably, free! Its probably an IKEA brand given its simple, lightweight construction and the way it pieces together. One of the seats was busted underneath...probably from a kid jumping on it. That was a simple fix by removing the seat and replacing the board and padding under it...I had all those materials so a free fix for a free find. 

After much water and soap we had our breakfast nook and bench. Given the activity level in my home, the bench was constantly tipping over, getting shoved under the table and forgotten, or "in the way" when placed against the wall in an effort to get it "out of the way." The bench couldn't win. It landed in the corner of the basement where things go to die.  

corner of the basement where things go to die
my craft room: after a long, cold, neglected winter

Along came spring and the building of our Redneck Deck and new garden. And along came a desire for some fun patio seating. Wouldn't a bench look nice? Wait, don't I have a bench? After some digging through my hoarder-style basement, the bench was resurrected and given new life. 

Top Row: Bench before, cover worn and faded.

Middle Row: Tablecloth picked up at BigLots on sale for about $3.50. Cut and attached with staples, make for easy removal for a change-up.

Bottom Row: Spray paint from my recent raid for freebies at the local Hazmat. I really love the shade of brown but it didn't match our existing patio table and chairs. Metallic brown paint was dabbed on with burlap to create a textured look.

Love how the light bounces off the metallic paint.

Why tablecloth? I wanted something that was water resistant and easy to clean. This is where we'll eat Popsicles, juicy watermelon, ketchup-loaded-hotdogs, and cup after cup of lemonade. I'd rather not fuss over the inevitable spills and just enjoy the memories-in-the-making of summer outside.

And, if it get really stained, or ripped, or beaten up by the surprise hailstorms, there is extra table cloth to replace it. Or, we can just get another tablecloth and change up the color scheme.

Time to host a BBQ.  Or just simply sit outside with the kids and enjoy the updated backyard.

Featured at:  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Free Products at the local Hazmat


This is an actual picture from our local hazmat (Hazardous Materials) disposal site. You come, load up, sign a liability release form, and go home. Its that simple.

Here is what I scored today:

And these are mostly full! Some I snatched for a specific purpose and a couple I grabbed because its always good to have on hand. Anyone else go through brown spray paint like mad? And who couldn't use a couple cans of clear spray paint finish?

Check out your local hazmat facility for fun finds!

Baseboard to Boast-board

My kids, especially my daughter, LOVE to color and do crafts. We have PILES of the kids art work in nearly every room except the bathrooms. lol

I've seen several ideas via blogland and pinterest on how-to-create-an-art-display-board. Using what was already on hand, I created two display boards, one for each kid.

Dear Son's Room
Zoo Animal Wall Clings are from Dollar Tree.
Dear Daughter's Room

Baseboard (free from a curb side pickup awhile back)
Paint (I used leftover paint from when we painted their rooms)
Clothes Pins (garage sale find: $1.00 for the whole box!)
Glue of your choice

Wipe Boards clean
Paint, let dry
Attach clothes pins, these are measured at 10inches apart, seems to work for the different sizes of pictures my daughter colors 

Lessons Learned: 
1. I tried sealing the baseboards with this spray that's been used frequently. Unfortunately, the tip was a bit clogged, and instead of cleaning it...I just kept spraying, resulting in an uneven spray pattern. Its a bit tricky to see in the pic below, but the light board needed touch up paint over the globs of sealant that dried discolored. :( Lesson learned: always take the time to clean the spray paint nozzle. 

2. Knowing that these display boards will see alot of traffic, I tried to secure it to the wall with screws. Not sure if all baseboard is pressure treated or if this was super hard wood (curb side pick-up find) but I could NOT get the screws in! After stripping 6 screws I finally gave up and went with nails. Not only was this WAY quicker it was also easier. I inadvertently taught my kids a lesson in how to handle frustration.  Lesson learned: don't force a screw, know when to move on to plan B.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Recycled Kettle to Planter

Turns out that stainless steel kettles are NOT dishwasher safe. Whenever I wanted to "deep clean" the kettle I'd just throw it onto the top rack of the dishwasher with nary a thought. After about 3 or 4 washes the handle came loose, then fell off. Not helpful with a kettle full of boiling water.

What to do with a handle-less kettle?

recycled kettle to planter

Inspired by this Pinterest photo, the kettle was placed into my craft room to-do pile instead of the recycle bin. Couldn't find the original site for this photo, but its all over Pinterest.

oh yeah, this pansy was on clearance!
all because it was in a Mother's Day container

hammer and a nail for drain holes
added some rocks to help with the drainage

Love it next to my Strawberry Tower!

Now I'm looking around my craft room to see what else would make a fun planter!

The Dedicated House/

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Redneck Pallet Deck

See how this held up after 3 summers.
Updated Post Here:

Functionally Finished
Our Redneck Pallet Deck is usable but in need of some finishing touches. After a big project like this we're taking a small break and just enjoying sitting on the deck. Ok, ok, I lied: grass is going in this weekend. THEN we'll take a break and just sit.

Transformation Process:

Original Design
Original pavers were given up on Freecycle. They were old, broken, and not friendly on bare-feet.

During Process
1. Ours is closer to an island deck since I wanted it flush with the walkout basement door. Holes were dug for the cinderblocks/base and then altered as we added the pallets. Some were too low/too high. Depended on each individual pallet. This was tedious work but worth the effort to create an even foundation.

Still need to cover this up so
the kids' toys don't
get lost under there.
2-3.The cinderblocks and other pavers used for the base came with the house. The pallets were picked up for free via Craigslist. The boards are pressure treated from Lowes. We only paid for those boards, screws and for a rental drill since we didn't have the right equipment. This brought the cost of the deck just under $200 for an 8' x 10' size. 

Husband and his brother hard at work staining.
Used two coats of stain. 
4. The stain was a freebie picked up from a curb alert last summer. It was a stain and poly in one. Sweet find! 

List of Materials for a Redneck Pallet Deck

* pallets (can usually find these posted under Free on Craigslist)
             ~quality pallets are the key! they are the frame of your deck. to make it       
                easier on yourself, even them out as much as possible on the top.


* deck boards of your choice

* decking screws, we used 3inch ones

* stain of your choice

* powerful drill, we used an 18volt rental drill from Home Depot, worked like a song

* time and muscles, we did all our own labor and learned quiet a bit during the process...a goal we had when we bought this place...cutting our teeth on our DIY home improvement skills

Sites to check out for additional tips/how-to:
You Tube Video, very ambitious man!
Island Pallet Deck How-to @ Thumper Lane, very helpful!

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Toppling" Tower of Painted Pots

This was a combination of ideas from three different blog sites (doncha just love the inspiration that comes from others? I do!)

Part 1: the pots
I fell in love with these painted pots from the DIY club.

I also loved the more distressed look at under How to Distress Terra-cotta planters.

Mine ended up as a combination of the two looks. I'm counting on the sun, watering, and plants to help "age" the pots further. Click Here to see my Painted Terra Cotta Pots with acrylic paints.

Part 2: the design
I wanted to do something similar but wasn't sure what to actually use them for. Our space is small and "fills up" fast when we collect too many things. It had to have a purpose.

Then, I saw this Tipsy Stackable Planter at My-CreativiT.

Like chocolate meeting the strawberry! In fact, there are strawberries planted in it. One of my garden goals this year was too add more color to it. In the winter it is so drab and brown. These pots ought to do the job!

1) I used 6 inch pots instead of the recommended 10inches. Again, small space. (hopefully the strawberry plants won't feel too crowded)
2) The bottom planter (which I already owned, picked up from a curb alert) didn't have a hole in it. Since I had to drill one, I placed the drainage hole to the side. This allowed for more planting space in the bottom planter. To play it safe, I added heavier rocks to the side opposite the drainage hole...just in case the weight of the ''toppling" tower actually tips over the bottom/base planter. (see pic below)

The Tower of Pots was just perfect for spliting up a hanging basket of strawberry plants. If I'd thought it through,  I would have started dividing the plant from the top down...but I didn't realize that the runners would all be connected...hence the odd placement of the runners up the tower.

A light stick laid across the top of the runners
to keep them up until they anchor into the soil.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Map Matted Picture

Map Matted Photo

photo inspiration

This idea was found on Pinterest via Martha Stewart: Destination Wedding Ideas. Ours isn't a wedding photo, its a recent outdoor family pic. We selected a map of the local area where we live and is depicted in the background of the photo. We won't live in this state long-term, so its a fun memento of our time here. 

Instead of cutting the map to create an actually matte, I simply taped the photo onto the map. Saves me the headache of measuring, remeasuring, stressing about the cutting, you get the idea. I intentionally placed the photo off-center because I liked the destinations on the top corners and sides. Its our "neck of the woods" so to speak. And it breaks up the monotony of the centered pictures already all over our walls.

I rather like how this project came out and think it would be a fun idea to repeat with different locations as we live our lives out. 

And it sounds soooooooooooooooooooo cheap to say, ...but its cheaper than a souvenir! lol The frame was a 75cent garage sale find, the map free, and the photo (this time) was free from a promotional offer.