Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pallet Wood Planters

This idea is inspired by these Pallet Wood Planters @ Make The Best of Things. Or you can click here to find it on Hometalk, where I originally spotted this amazingly wonderful idea. 

Its a pretty easy project, even if you don't have an automatic brad gun. I don't either and settled for old fashioned screws and a drill. After the staining, you can't really tell the screws are there. 

 1. score these planters for $1 each at a garage sale
2. cut and nail/screw pallet wood ~~ note: Gorilla Glue does not work on this
3. chalk paint the ugly away
4. using homemade stain, stain the boards and the chalk-painted rim

I didn't really like the green planter color, even after adding the pallet pieces. So, the rim and a bit of the inside was given a couple coats of homemade chalk paint in a cream color...the jar long ago lost the exact color of paint's name. 

And, I still wasn't the loving the overall look. 

Lastly, the whole thing was coated with homemade stain (this time composed of steel wool, coffee, black tea bags, & some rusty nails and screws along with white vinegar). Click Here to see my post on DIY Stain with Steel Wool. It was difficult to capture the lighting just right to show the staining effect on the chalk paint. You can kinda see it below but it looks much better in person.

Artificial Flowers from Hobby Lobby (40% - 50% off right now) & from the Dollar Tree. 

Green Plant Arrangements in the back were picked up at a Curb Alert. Ended up only pulling out the Ivy type plants for this project. 

Floral foam passed on from my sister. Thanks sis! 

Cute little hedgehog also 40% off at Hobby Lobby--totally not necessary but he was too cute to pass up! My kids and I did a collective ~awwwwwwww~ when we saw him. 

Its that time of year where summer and fall play tug-a-war with the weather. Some days we still need that air conditioning unit and other days we're digging out our sweatshirts. 

Once that air conditioner is gone the second planter will cozy up the window. For now it looks cute on the ground.  

Farmhouse Bench Ikea Hack

Furniture transformations can go the way of a can of Pringles, once you pop you just can't stop. This bench is true to that. Two years ago this sad looking kitchen bench was turned into a patio bench. Click Here for Original Post  It came out looking lovely and worked well until it was neglected to the elements. Between hail and sun mixed with rain, the tablecloth ripped and water seeped in the cushion fluff and mold happened. Rather than fuss with it, if that was even possible, the cushion was trashed and I went back to the drawing board.

I've jumped on the farmhouse decor bandwagon and went that direction for inspiration. Totally loving the final product! 

beginning                middle                end    
These beauties were sawed off a pallet (to avoid the annoying nails), washed, sanded, then stained with American Heritage by Minwax.

The bottom portion was painted in Moody Blue homemade chalkpaint then lightly stained with the same stain above. Sealed with several layers of Polycrylic in Satin.
Here you can see a bit of paint that was on the back of one of the pallet boards. It was rather charming so rather than sand it away it was incorporated into the overall look. My opinion is that in true farmhouse style--like back in the day when people had to make their own furniture outta what was on hand--they wouldn't have cared if something had some paint on it. Right?

The Process:

These pallets were from a Pallet Laundry Shelf I made a couple years ago. This is why some of the boards had paint on the flip side. It was one of my first projects when I was "cutting my teeth" on the DIY craze. When we thought we were going to finish the basement, I took it apart---then we took that money and went to Oahu instead. No regrets! lol 

Before the Staining Pictures:  

And After Staining:

Its now one of my favorite pieces of kitchen/dining room furniture. Makes wanna strip the table down and start over for a more "farmhouse" look. 

One a total side note...most of these pics were taken with my camera phone and I gotta say that I don't really care for the odd shape of the pics. Nor to I want to upload and crop each photo on picmonkey. 
Need to find the actual camera, the littlest made off with it somewhere in our home. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Reusable Snack Bags

Less than two weeks away from school, and this year we have two little monsters munchkins headed out the door with backpacks & lunch boxes. 

Luckily our school district is trying something new for school supplies. They are charging a flat fee and then buying them with their bulk purchase/tax exempt status. Sounds like freedom to me! No hunting down low, lower, lowest prices or returning later to finishing buying sold out items. Whew! 

Lunch box & snack bags are my only concern. Combining frugal with upcycling, the dollar store helped create these wonderful reusable snack bags. 

Dollar Store Duct Tape + "disposable" rezippable food bags

Some notes on duct tape:

1. pattern alignment

IF I was a Type A personality, I would have spent time matching up the designs for a more cohesive look, if that's even possible, is duct tape cut & rolled to allow the designs to match up??? Sounds like a fun game for a puzzle lover out there.                                                                                                                                                         But seriously, these probably won't last until Christmas before finding there way into a trash bin, and these tired mommy-brain cells are needed elsewhere.  

2. not all are totally opaque

I love The Red Green show. Watched it WAY too much growing up lol but Never a rerun!It was surprising to see that the green duct tape wasn't opaque. I think "duct tape" and images of The Red Green Show come to mind. (anyone else???) What can't be fixed with duct tape? Apparently blocking out Nutrition Facts is just past the reach of duct tape, at least the green kind.

3. duct tape does have its limits
I have an affinity for The Red-Green Show.ok, a bit nerdy, but made me laugh! 

Baggies in action: 

 sandwich sized to the left
~perfect for field trips~

pretzel sticks & veggie stick sized to the right

cleaning plan:
spray inside with vinegar/water & wipe clean

use a soapy sponge when needed

air dry

And of course some hard-sided containers (also from the Dollar Store) for sandwiches, leftovers, and fruit. Things that wouldn't fair well in a baggie. 

(Overkill on the green here, dear son's favorite color. )

A grand total of $5 + tax spent at the Dollar Store for the lunch box/snacks. And there is enough duct tape left over to continue making snack bags as needed throughout the year. 
~~~ plus, its a frugal upcycled alternative to disposable ziploc bags ~~~

Now, when my kid forgets their lunch box over Christmas break, we can easily throw away the "science experiment" inside. ~grimacing shudder~ Eww! 

Wishing you a great rest of the summer with your kiddos!