Curb Appeal (aka the May Lowe’s challenge)

This month’s Lowe’s Creator challenge was “curb appeal”.  The budget was small ($100) and the next couple of months involve the yard, so I wanted to focus my efforts elsewhere.  I chose my front porch.  Here are a couple of “before” shots:

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So, we headed to Lowe’s where I picked up a new front porch mat ($14.95), some teak oil (for the table makeover I shared yesterday),

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a small bag of “coarse sand” (also for the table makeover),

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and I spent the rest on succulents (again, for the table project) and flowers and plants.

The first thing we did was clear the porch completely.  Then we power washed the porch and the porch furniture.

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The dead plants in my paint bucket planters (still one of my favorite projects) were removed and replaced with new ones.  The antique white thing (sink? basin?) in the corner found a new home on the back deck and the dead plant was junked.  That whole situation was replaced with an aqua pot (also from Lowe’s) filled with flowers.

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The glider was an anniversary gift a few years back and the green side chairs came from Lowe’s 2 or 3 years ago.

I swapped out the front mat

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and hung some summery décor.

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And the whole place feels much more “come and sit a while” instead of “throw your junk here”, which is TOTALLY what I was going for.  Winking smile

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And here’s a friendly reminder to head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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It really is a good one.  I loved so many of the ideas is this month’s!

Disclosure:  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card for this month’s curb appeal challenge.

Outdoor Table Makeover

How was your weekend?

Did you do any work in the yard?

We did.  And we gave a $10 thrift store find some new life and a new home on our front porch.

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My mom and I were at a thrift store a few months back, following up on a Pyrex tip (yes, really), and we saw this teak table.  It was $10 and we both NEEDED it.  She drives a tiny little 2 seater and couldn’t actually get it home, so I won. Open-mouthed smile

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See how you can turn that middle part over?  Fun, right?

Structurally, it was in great shape but the wood needed some love.  And by “love” I mean “child labor”.

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Yes, my 4 year old is wearing a Santa shirt in May…what of it?

And then we planted the shallow tray with some succulents

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and added some gravel.

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And a before and after shot:

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Totally worth $10, right?

To see the rest of my $100 porch makeover (and some prettier shots of the table), come back tomorrow!

Glitter Glasses

(If you’re looking for the CAMEO giveaway, it’s one post down)

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I posted these and the general how-to on Facebook, but I know that a lot of you don’t Facebook and you can’t pin stuff from there, so I’m posting it here as well.

You’ll need:

Painter’s tape
Craft Knife
Primer
Glitter Blast
Glitter Blast Clear Sealer
Glasses

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Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing this to a pair of $250 glasses or whatever, but we get most of Macy’s glasses from Zenni Optical (seriously…11 pairs in assorted colors for less than ONE pair of boring brown at the eye doctor) and I would DEFINITELY recommend doing it to an inexpensive pair from there. Open-mouthed smile

Tape off the lenses with painters tape.  Get a really good tight seal and trim the edges carefully with the craft knife.  Do the inside and the outside.

The trick with all of this is to go slowly and allow plenty of drying time.

Give the glasses a coat of primer.  I tried one pair (dollar store reading glasses to make sure my technique was good) without and the glitter didn’t stick as well.

After the primer, coat with Glitter Blast.

After that has dried, coat with the Glitter Blast Clear Sealer.

Carefully peel off the tape…like I used a pin to pry up a tiny corner so I wouldn’t scratch the lenses.

And you’re done!

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Now, I don’t know how these are going to “wear”, because that hasn’t happened yet.  I’ll update if something goes horribly wrong, I swear!

World’s Easiest Pallet Headboard

If you’ve ever asked me what BC does for a living, you probably remember me saying “I don’t know.”  It’s true…I don’t.  Here’s what I do know:

There’s a crate shop involved.

This crate shop is the source of LOTS of scrap lumber.  And pallets.

So, when I couldn’t figure out a way to make my initial dreams of a corrugated metal headboard be non-tetanus inducing, I decided to go the free route and use some pallet wood.  I thought the rustic wood would be a nice contrast to the white board and batten and that it would go well with the vintage car vibe we’re going for, too.

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BC came home with a double sided 42” pallet.  Apparently both of those characteristics are rare?  (Shipping dork alert!)  I loved the look of it so much that I decided not to rip it apart.

I found this fabulous light at Lowe’s in the outdoor lighting section:

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I bought a cord kit and wired the light to work as a plug in.  I’m not going to tell you how to do this, because I’m not an electrician.  You should probably consult one before you do this.  Open-mouthed smile

I mounted the light to the pallet and loved it

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but it needed some height.

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I went for another cheap and easy solution.

BC cut me three 17” pieces of a 4X4 and a 42” long piece of 2X4.  We screwed the legs (the 4X4) to the 2X4 and then mounted it to the bottom of the pallet.

See?

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The bed frame will be bolted directly into the 4X4’s.

Whether or not I stain/paint/something that wood to make it the same color as the pallet has yet to be decided.  It’ll probably depend on how visible it is once there’s bedding on the bed…that’s how I roll.  I’m also pondering another potential addition to the headboard involving something I got in the ducting section at Lowe’s.

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In the mean time, I wanted to remind you all about the $100 Lowe’s gift card giveaway I’m running through noon tomorrow.  GO HERE to enter.

And while you’re waiting to see what else I’ve done to the room/if you’re the lucky gift card winner, head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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Disclosure:  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card for this month’s room makeover challenge.

How To Paint a Mailbox

(Or at least how to make it polka dotted)

I promised the how to on the paint job from the mailbox I used in yesterday’s post, so, without further ado…

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The first thing you’ll want to do is remove the flag from the mailbox.  Mine had a nice little pin to pull out and the flag came right off.

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Next you need dots.  Lots and lots of dots.  I used vinyl and cut them with my Silhouette CAMEO™ and my Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software, but you could easily trace and cut them by hand or even use a large punch.  Because I bought an oversized mailbox, I wanted my circles big…1.5”.  I made one and then used Object > Replicate > Fill page in my software to fill my vinyl.  A 9” by 24” piece gave me enough 1.5 dots for my whole mailbox.

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I drew a pencil line down the top of my mailbox and found the center.  I placed my first dot there.  I then spaced the dots 2 1/4” apart (from edge to edge) along the top of the box.

To make the next row, I drew a line 2 1/2” from the bottom edge of the dots and placed the bottom of the next row right up next to that line.

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I centered a row of dots down the front and back of the mailbox with the same spacing, and then filled in the ends the same way.

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Once all the dots were in place, I had a kid run her finger around all the edges to make sure that the vinyl was sealed tightly.  Then, I headed for the garage with a can of Valspar Gloss Exotic Sea.  (Random side note:  I’m enjoying the new Valspar spray paint cans immensely.  The big old trigger button makes the painting much more comfortable.)

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My favorite “duh” spray painting tip is to always start with your item upside down.  Get all the bottom edges painted nicely first.  I gave the whole mailbox a couple of coats and then peeled off the vinyl.  I used the hook tool from Silhouette, but again…not necessary.

Put the flag back on and you’re good to go (chains and bird perches optional)!  I’m totally wishing my mailbox wasn’t brick right about now.

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Check back tomorrow for a seriously awesome deal on the Silhouette CAMEO™ and the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software.

Basement Bathroom Makeover, courtesy of Lowe’s

The Lowe’s project/challenge this month was a bathroom.  I was stumped.  My house is newer, only 8 years old, so all of our bathrooms are in pretty good shape.  Our basement bathroom has been finished even less than that…maybe 5.5 years.  So, I picked a bathroom based on the process of elimination.

Kid bathroom?  Dr Seuss-y and I love it.  Don’t want to change that one yet.


Master bathroom?  Has a wall that doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling, which means that any painting would have involved also painting my entire master bedroom.  Last time I did that by myself it took 5 whole days.  And, if I picked a color that didn’t work with my existing bedding…  You see the size of project this could have turned into, right?

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Powder room?  Like one square yard.  You can’t get in there to photograph (we bloggers worry about these things) and I just redid the mirror in the last couple of months.  Plus, there’s not really space for anything other than the toilet and the pedestal sink.

So, the basement bathroom it was, in spite of the fact that there’s no natural light (back to that thing where we bloggers worry about our pictures Winking smile).

Truthfully, I NEVER use this bathroom.  As in, I have never ever ever bathed/showered down there (in 5.5 years) and maybe use the toilet portion once a month.  My kids have get to clean toilets when they talk back, so I can’t even think of the last time I was down there to clean it.  Once I got down there, I realized that this should have been my obvious choice from the get go.

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The towel bar had been ripped off by a kid doing chin ups.  The wall patches hadn’t been painted.  The toilet paper holder was broken and no longer able to actually hold toilet paper.  The kick place on the cabinet had fallen off.  And don’t even get me started on that wall color.  When I showed a friend the before picture, she called it “cat turd brown”.  Let’s also not talk about what happened when someone washed the formerly white rug with the towels:

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I was not a fan of the light fixture either…too pointy or something.

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So, I headed to Lowe’s for some inspiration.

I don’t have a way before picture of the towel rack situation, but you’ll just have to imagine that it was pulled completely off the wall based on the super human girth strength of one or more of my children. Because it had been securely drywall anchored in place (after the first time it came down), A LOT of the wall came out with it.  Instead of replacing a huge chunk of drywall, I decided to come up with another option for towel hanging.  I found this coat rack in the closet/garage/organization section at Lowe’s and thought it would be perfect:

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I picket up a new toilet paper holder and a light fixture and then headed back to get some molding to frame the mirror.  I also picked up 398472 paint samples.

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(That fabric is a laminated cotton from Riley Blake that I’ll be using for the new shower curtain.  That tutorial will be over on the Riley Blake blog in March.)

I went with a color called Modest Silver from Valspar and it is PERFECT.

When I went back to get the paint, I got some Liquid Nails (to fix the kick plate), painter’s tape, garbage bags (to wrap the toilet so I could paint behind it), white silicone (to adhere the frame to the mirror), spackle (I like the kind that goes on pink and turns white as it dries) and assorted cleaning supplies (because I really have no idea when that tub was last cleaned).

The other thing I want to mention about this makeover is that I did it entirely by myself…no husband help at all.  I’m not telling you this to mock him (he he he Open-mouthed smile), just so that you’ll know that YOU CAN DO THIS BY YOURSELF!

Want to see some after pictures?

(Keep in mind the shower curtain isn’t finished yet, so the fabric is just sort of draped over the rod.)

Kick plate glued back in place:

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Toilet paper holder replaced:

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Paint applied (and Cheetos eaten):

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Light fixture swapped:

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Coat rack turned towel rack installed:

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Mirror framed:

I gave everything a good scrubbing, too, and voila!  A much more pleasant bathroom!

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Don’t forget to pick up a FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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You can also find Lowe’s Creative Ideas on Facebook.  (They’ve moved, so if you “liked” them before, you should “like” them again!)

And, now there’s a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blog.  Go have a look around.  You might recognize a face or two.

Disclosure:  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card for supplies for my bathroom makeover.

Guest Post: Neighbor Jami & Her Nursery Details

Jami’s back today to show us the rest of her nursery details!

This chandelier is another DI score…$2 whole dollars! I added some cream spray paint and these amazing magnetic pink crystals I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby and, voila! A dainty little chandelier!

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It is screaming for some little lamp shades. I have been visiting Hobby Lobby weekly and buying them out of lampshades similar to these self adhesive, cover–it-yourself lampshades. Apparently they only stock 2 at a time?

This lamp is another DI find:

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The lamp post was cute, so I spray painted it cream but the shade that came with it was pretty beat up, so I bought a “cover-it-yourself” lamp shade from Hobby Lobby and came up with this.

And of course, the name art.

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Char actually did most of the work on this. (Char interruption: That is not true. Jami was the mastermind, I was just the man power.) I LOVE the way it turned out. Here is a better picture, minus the frilly iron decor above it.

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The room is small and there wasn’t really room for a traditional changing table.  My fabulous neighbor Decorator Wendy came up with this solution:

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Handy to have a laundry basket underneath for all those newborn blowouts, right?

And then I hung the diapers and wipes bins on the wall above it.

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Who wants to tell the cat her days of hanging out in here are numbered?

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-Jami

Most of the curtains are done, I just need to finish the valance portion.  Look forward to that project next week!

-Char

Office Door Makeover

***Don’t forget to enter to win Shelley’s awesome How to Slipcover DVD here!***

BC’s office is the only one in the building that has a window in the door.  Nice, right?  Not so much when EVERYONE in the place has to pass his office on their way to the bathroom.  And they all like to peek in.  I have it on good authority that he occasionally falls asleep at work, so he asked me to come up with some sort of window covering solution.  Here’s what we came up with:

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First, we “frosted” the glass on the inside of his office door using clear contact paper and Windex.  There are a bunch of instructions floating around out there, so no tutorial on that, but the gist of it is that you spray both the window and the contact paper with Windex and then you smooth out the bubbles with a credit card and trim the edges with a razor blade.

The main limitation of this technique is that you can only “frost” stuff narrower than your contact paper.  We had to make a seam.  You can see it in this picture:

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We put his name directly over the seam to camouflage that a bit.

Next, I imported the company logo into my Silhouette software and used the trace function.  I found a copycat font and retyped the smaller lettering, because it did NOT trace well.

I used Silhouette premium vinyl and applied the logo on the outside of the glass.

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And now he can sleep in peace!

 

 

MARCH SILHOUETTE PROMOTION:

Silhouette SD, one of each fabric interfacing (clean cut & sewable) and a roll of white flocked heat transfer material for $229.

If you already have a Silhouette and want to try out the interfacing, you can get 25% off.

The March promotion will run from the 21st through the 27th.

Code “CRAP” will let you take advantage of either of the deals.

Phases

I’ve been searching for *something* to go behind my couch for well over a year now. One time I came close. I found a cabinet, but it had a “HOLD” tag on it. And the hold until date had passed. But they still wouldn’t sell it to me.

I was thrifting last month and found this buffet. It was obviously way too big (note my 4’ 10” child laying on top to demonstrate just how big), but the price was right.

Phase 1:

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I called my dad and said “bring a saw”. He gets scared when I do that. We hacked 10” off the legs and then reattached the feet.

Phase 2:

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Just yesterday I finished Phase 3:

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I KNOW I’ll be hearing from you wood purists, but you didn’t think someone with an aqua piano could leave it alone, did you?

I’m still going to rough it up a bit and glaze it, I think.

Man I love orange!

Lap Desk Makeover

Macy’s developed a recent bizarre obsession with lap desks.

I blame Pottery Barn Teen. Theirs are SEVENTY NINE dollars. SEVENTY NINE!!!

We have an outlet near here that sells Pottery Barn stuff that’s damaged or mis-monogrammed. We picked up this one for $10.

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(Hey Matti…I have your desk!)

I removed the screws and took the lid off its hinges.

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Then I sanded the top. The letters were painted on, so I need to make sure to get rid of any ridges. I also wanted to rough up the old finish a bit.

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Then I wiped it down well with a damp cloth. I don’t really think this next step is necessary, but I did it. So, I’m including it.

I taped off the bottom, just so I wouldn’t get any overspray.

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And then I went outside and sprayed.

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I used spray chalkboard paint. I’ll be honest with you…I didn’t love it. If I wanted a chalkboard finish again, I’d use the brush on kind and just do a couple of light coats with a sponge roller. If you don’t care about it chalkboard-ness of it all, just go ahead and use regular spray paint.

And then I reattached the lid.

Finished product?

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Now we’re both happy…for way way WAY less than SEVENTY NINE dollars. ;)

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