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!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Woodland Fairy Houses

I've been participating in the Craft Challenge Linky party, Click Here for the July Link-Up.  This months theme was sticks or anything nature related. While camping my little girl and I took a walk to collect fun things to make a fairy house. It would make a nice memento of our camping trip, right? We had a good half a bag loaded up which my husband later mistook for a bag of kindling. ~frowny face~ 

It rained, it poured, mist rolled over the lake we were set up next too, it was COLD! And then night came with more rain and cold. By morning we were ready to go. I didn't even care that most of our fairy house supplies were burnt up, there was no way I was going to hunt for more. 

The dark bark pieces and the mossy-fungusy-whatever-it-is on top of the pinecone roof is about all that made it home. The rest has been scrounged up near our home.
I just LOVE the gnarled stick to the right of the doorway. 

Building Particulars:

 The base of each house is a tin can, which in time will rust and add character.

This roof is an old tea kettle lid.

The pine cone roof is supported by an inverted yogurt cup spray painted brown. We'll see how the elements affect the exposed plastic....


I literally stole the mossy bits from church, right after service, using my sermon notes to carry them to the car. Its probably the most rebellious thing I've done since puberty. Walkin' on the wild side here! lol
The moss frames a "lake." Yes, blue rocks would look more lake-ish, but I only had this color on hand and I'm cheap like that. 

Its a good start to a fairy garden pot. Most of the "big" elements are there, just need more plants, maybe I'll steal more moss, hopefully I'll find more gnarled sticks to space around. 

 And here is the wingless fairy family. Its my family. Off to hunt for something "wingy" to glue to the back. Maybe some interesting seed pods? 

Kudos to everyone who makes a fairy garden. I have a new appreciation for the amount of time and energy spent in putting one together. Its a lot! :) 

2 Crochet Hooks
Click Here for the July Link Up

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cabinet Door, Frames, Old Wood & Fences

Just a small collection of upcycled and reused materials turned into home decor.

Ok, I just wanna add another link to the Salvaged Wood linky Farmhouse Style Series at Knick of Time. Click over and check it out. 

Fence Pieces to "aged" World Map Display

close ups 

fence pieces before
drying outside after a good scrubbing before staining with DIY vinegar/steel wool/coffee grounds/black tea bags/&rusty nails...just to be thourough, lol
placed on a stair case ledge/picture ledge next to a re-purposed frame

Trashed Frame to Map Display

Found this wonderfully sized frame on trash day. I was literally racing ahead of the trash man to get to this curb loaded with goodies.

Anyone else raid neighborhoods on trash day? Ever had someone come outside and question your rummaging? The owner of the house came out and eyed me suspiciously. I asked if I could take her frame and she gave a weird sounding yes, like, why would anyone want that piece of junk?

frame before
One corner is dented but that is the only flaw. The best part, it still has the original glass! Score!!!!

Cabinet Door turned Chalkboard

Cabinet door was found at the Restore for $3. The original handles I had bought to turn it into a tray didn't "fit" the look I was going for so I thought I would try something different. Different meant threading hanger thru the holes then wrapping it in twine. 

It was painted in Trattoria Teal by Behr then wiped with stain. The dresser top in the background is the original color, just to show how staining it switches up the look. I like both. 

Here is the current quote. 

Restore plank Sign

Also from the Restore was this lovely plank for a whopping .60cents. 

I used homemade chalkpaint sloppily brushed on so that the dark paint it came with could show thru. Then dry brushed on some white acrylic paint before stenciling with more acrylic paint in Granite Gray. Loved the look so much that I decided not to sand it as originally planned. 

Its currently chillin' on top of the kitchen cabinets waiting for me to hang it above the pantry doors...I can be soooooooooo lazy sometimes. lol

Display Frame Board

Also painted in Trattoria Teal and then more generously stained. 

See how the stain is gooped in the corners? 

Can't remember where the wood pieces came from. They were lightly stained with the same DIY stain as mentioned above. 

A rusty screw holds the bookpage star wreath. It looks great on our fireplace mantel, that is until Dear Hubby stores his Xbox in front of it. ~sigh~ That is our life. 

I totally enjoy reusing old materials and renewing their purpose...hence the name of the blog: Reduce, Reuse, Renewed or Renewed Projects (I"m indecisive like that, lol).