DIY Polish to Restore Wood Furniture

DIY Furniture Polish to Restore Wood Furniture

Most of the furniture in our home has either been purchased from a garage sale, been handed down to us,  or has *ahem* been trash picked. Yes, we’re dumpster divers. We’ve picked up some really wonderful pieces of furniture this way, and all that is needed is a little tender loving care to turn someone else’s trash into a treasure.Continue Reading

Glass Etching

etched glassI enjoy taking something that no longer has use and making it into “something else”. Old glass bottles, a little acid etching cream, and that “something else” can end up attractive. Here’s how I do it:Continue Reading

Christmas Ornaments From Aluminum Cans

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making ornaments for friends and family. This year, I wanted to make the ornaments from something I had recycled. I thought that aluminum cans would be fun to use, but we do not buy anything in aluminum. I asked around and several friends quickly provided me with the raw material I needed. The cans are very easy to cut with regular scissors and after cutting, aren’t as sharp as I guessed they would be. For most of the ornaments, I lightly sanded the aluminum first because I preferred a toned down color. I played around with several shapes and used super glue to glue the shapes together as needed. I hope you enjoy my creations.

Aluminum Can Ornament

Aluminum Can Ornament

Shared at: Six Sisters Strut Your Stuff

Cottage Living: Decor

One of the most enjoyable things to me about having a cottage has been renovating and decorating it. The cottage was in poor condition and we (by we, I mean Mike) gutted it, raised the ceiling to make a cathedral ceiling, sheet-rocked, built cabinets, and so much more. I helped where I could and did much of the painting. We spent little on the decor, shopping at garage sales, dumpster diving and accepting the many beautiful gifts that friends offered. Here are a few photos – hope you enjoy.

Come on in! I'll show you around.

Mike salvaged the wood used for the window and door trim; the plates on the wall are from a garage sale. I cross-stitched the fish on the wall and Mike made the frame. (Our children were homeschooled on that table).

A chair we picked out of our neighbors trash; I recovered the cushions. The stools are from a discount store. I decoupaged them. My mom gave us the little round table which I painted and my sister Michele gave us the lamp.

Here's a better view of the stools. We paid $10 each for them. I painted the legs, and then I cut pictures of antique lures out of Mike's fishing magazines and decoupaged them onto the seats.

Here's our kitchen area. We decided on open shelves for two reasons. Because the place is so small, we wanted a more open look, and we wanted guests to easily see what they needed and help themselves. The dishes are all from garage sales, or gifts.

Garbage picked. Mike made minor repairs and I painted it.

My friend Joy and I got right into that dumpster for this one! Mike spruced it up.

The front porch with a sweet little buffet that my sister's Grandmother-in-law gave to me. And we painted the floor plaid.

The living room and kitchen are all one small room. We bought the clock as a Christmas present one year at Penney's, but we told everyone it was from a garage sale. My friend Joy gave me the fantastic little fish plates that are hanging on the wall, and Sandi gave me the cute pillow on the chair. My sister Mary made the pottery on the top shelf below the clock. There's tons of stuff all over from friends and family. It's what makes it such a great place!

The two little bedrooms were a bit of a mess today, so no photos for now. Hope you enjoyed your visit. We hope to see you again!

Cottage Living: Painting a Floor Plaid

The front porch.

Over the years, we’ve renovated most of our cottage, inside and out. We have an enclosed front porch where we have a table and chairs for dining and a bed for lazy afternoon naps. The floor has been in terrible condition and the goal has been to replace it. But, the funds have not been available, and after fourteen years, we finally decided to paint it.

Yikes! We need a new floor.

First, Mike sanded the floor – the most important step in preparation. There were several deep gouges and he filled the deepest ones with Bondo. Wood filler would crack in such a deep gouge and take days to dry. The Bondo dried smooth in half an hour. And now the fun began. We decided to paint the floor plaid. We thought we would like the look and also reasoned that it would help to camouflage the imperfections.

Here’s how to do it: Choose three colors. Ideally, two of the colors should form the third color when combined, as it would in a true plaid, but artistic license is allowed. First, prime the floor. After drying for 24 hours, paint the entire floor the “combined” color – “A” in the photo. Again, after drying for at least 24 hours, mark a grid pattern on the floor. We used a long board and a pencil and make our squares 12″. Next, using masking tape, mark off all the “B” squares and paint.  The tape may be removed when dry to the touch. The next day, mask off all the “C” squares and paint with the third color. When dry, remove the tape. It’s best to allow the floor to cure for 48 hours before using.

Gabe checking out the “new” floor.

We are happy with our results, we saved a lot of money, and we kept all of the old wood out of a landfill by using some elbow grease, paint and a little ingenuity. Let me know if you try it yourself and how it works out.

Reusable Shopping Bag From Plastic Grocery Bags

I take reusable bags with me when I shop, so why does that pile of plastic bags behind my kitchen trash continue to grow?  I’m convinced that they are like rabbits and breed incessantly.  I am my mother’s daughter when it comes to throwing things that still have use in them into the garbage.  (Yes, I suppose I could recycle them). So I recently did some research on reusing bags and came up with a fun project.  I found a great video that gave instructions on fusing plastic bags into a fabric like material:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZPP2FYHiyc .  Using one of my cloth grocery bags as a template, I made a pattern out of newspaper and sewed my plastic fabric into a new bag.  It has the look and feel of leather!  I get asked how I made it almost every time I shop.

This reusable grocery bag is made with plastic bags that were fused together with an iron!I’ve been using the bag frequently for a few months now and it is holding up well.  If you search http://www.youtube.com there are many ideas for projects using the fused plastic.