DIY Last Minute Father’s Day Gift

WOW! It’s been two month’s since I’ve written a post. I’m glad to be back!

Father’s Day is Sunday, folks you have two days! If you’re like me, you aren’t shopping much with COVID-19 or maybe you shopped online but shipping is taking longer. Either way, this Father’s Day DIY can be made with supplies you most likely have at home or I bet your neighbor does!

Let’s get to it.

First you’ll need a scrap piece of wood.

I picked this smaller piece for our preschooler to write DAD on. If you have more kids, you might use a larger piece and let them each write or draw on it, depending on their ages.

Next, draw on your design or letters. I wrote DAD on a piece of paper, let my preschooler practice once on paper, then gave her a sharpie to write on the wood. I’d say she did excellent!

Now, add your nails. First and foremost make sure the nails you are about to use are short enough to not go through the wood once you hammer them into the board. You’re able to check this by placing the nail to the side of the board and comparing size.

Keep in mind your end design. You’ll have to think ahead about nail placement to make sure your string ends up going where it is supposed to & creating the end look you want. I placed and started each nail, then let our preschooler pound them the rest of the way. We left them sticking out from the wood about 1/4″, giving us room to add and tie string. You’ll have to decide for yourself if your kids are ready to use a hammer. Our preschooler is in the shop with my husband working projects all the time, so I knew she would be able to pound in some nails. My grandpa taught me how to pound in nails when I was her age so this has always been something very dear to my heart. Oh what I would give to still have a scrap piece of wood filled with nails that my grandpa and I did together.

Time for string! I tied string onto one of the nails as an anchor, then let our preschooler try the rest. She would go around the letter, then I would help finish up and secure the string by going all the way around each individual nail.

Going around each individual nail creates a strong hold for the string to not slip off of the nails.

I have to admit, I have NEVER taken a string art class or done a string art project before, but it didn’t hinder my ability to do this project without any problems. It was fun and pretty easy to do. Those of you who have taken those classes or done a string art craft before will breeze through this!

If you don’t have string at home, you might be able to get creative and use a shoe string, rubber bands, hair ties (ponytails), or twine!

In completion, I let my preschooler write her name on the back and draw on it. I then wrote Father’s Day 2020 on the back so her dad could remember how old she was when she made it. She already gave it to her dad and he said it would look great on his desk at work! How sweet ๐Ÿ™‚

This entire project took less than an hour.

Love this easy, special gift that you probably have all the supplies for at home!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.

Pantry Makeover

We have a little “nook” off of our kitchen on the way to our formal dining room. It is also home to the door to go up the “butler’s staircase” to an upstairs bedroom. This has always been an odd area for me to have a true purpose, kind of a catch-all for everything that needs to be put away. I have had a wooden bookcase-type shelf there for years, that I purchased at a local auction house for $1. It was fine, but I just felt like the rest of the area was a big waste of space.

I started searching Pinterest for some ideas of how I could make this space better. That’s when I stumbled across a post by CitygirlmeetsFarmboy showing an awesome pantry. It became our inspiration for this space. They took a lot of time to create an amazing blog post with very detailed instructions. You can find their blog post here: DIY Pantry Shelf – Handmade Haven. I will let you visit their blog for the step by step instructions. ๐Ÿ™‚

My husband measured our space and we decided on just doing one section of “pantry wall.” I found the black hutch on Facebook Marketplace not too far from our house for $75. I liked it a lot more than what we had before. This piece comes all the way to the ground, instead of having legs like the other piece. I also liked that this had more “hidden storage.” My desk is a built-in in our kitchen, so a lot of the extra junk from my desk is hidden inside this black hutch. It is also home to our printer. You can see that the wall and ceiling above is slanted, as the “butler staircase” is to the left and directly above. I will have to experiment with decor, etc to go above the hutch. Styling is not my thing!

I am very happy with how it turned out. We added some trim boards to the back of each shelf to keep items from sliding off the back of the shelves. Our pantry doesn’t sit flush with the wall because of the size of our baseboards. My husband used scrap 2×4 pieces to anchor it to the wall and take up the space between the wall and shelving.

You can find my cute pantry sign here: Rustic Wood Block Pantry Sign

In a future post I’ll show you our “Butler’s Staircase” and how we turned it into 2 separate closets while minimally altering the original woodwork. Stay tuned!

I love my new pantry wall. It really gave this space in our house a purpose and is extremely helpful for me to have. My cupboards are much more organized since I was able to spread everything out. This added a ton of storage for our kitchen. Many thanks to my hubby for building this for me!

Until next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Emily

Kitchen Table Makeover

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A few weeks ago I had a spur of the moment idea to redo our kitchen table. The only “before photo” I have of it, is one I sent to my husband asking if he cared what I did to it! Unfortunately that also means I don’t have any progress pictures. I’ll show you the before and after anyhow ๐Ÿ™‚

Fancy before photo, huh! Half drank baby bottle and all!
Chicco QuickSeat Hook-On Highchair

This table was really banged up on the legs as you can see. It was neglected in a basement for quite a while, and was dragged out to be brought into our kitchen. The rectangle shape fit our kitchen much better than the circle table I had in there before.

I snapped this pic to send to hubby & made sure he was OK with me getting creative with it…. (for me creative means one color… maybe! HAHA) It got sanded, and even more sanded when he got home… We took the top finish off, and lightly sanded the legs.

The top got re-stained with three coats of stain, and two coats of polyurethane. I spray painted the legs with two coats of paint.


Here is what I used:

I apologize I don’t have progress photos, but I will tell you that it has held up extremely well so far! We use it almost every day, with an almost one year old’s high chair hanging on it (Chicco QuickSeat Hook-On Highchair) – as shown in the before photo, and a preschooler completing many art projects at the other end. It was a simple makeover but I love the pop of color it brought to our kitchen.

๐Ÿ™‚ Until next time!

Emily

DIY Bathroom Counter-top Makeover

I have wanted to redo the counter-tops in both bathrooms in our house forever. It just hasn’t been in the budget. I have seen counter-top paint before and read about it on other blogs. I finally decided I would give it a try. After all, I couldn’t really “ruin” my 40+ year old counter-tops! I am no expert. I am new to DIY and none of my projects are perfect – especially this one. But, I will share my journey anyway!

Here it goes… my very imperfect bathroom counter-top makeover!

Supplies I used:

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Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scour Pads, 8 Pads

Giani Countertop Paint Kit, Sicilian Sand – for kitchen projects/large bathrooms

Giani Granite Small Project Paint Kit, Sicilian Sand – for most bathrooms. This is the one I purchased and it was enough to do 2 bathroom counter-tops (I will make another blog post for the other bathroom.)

The paint kit comes with the brushes and rollers, so you shouldn’t have to buy any more of those unless you don’t wash them out. I washed mine and reused them as listed in the directions, but if you’d rather just throw away and not clean them, you’ll need these:

Value-Pack 10-Pc Foam Paint Brush Set – Wood Handles by Industrial Tools

Purdy 140624612 Jumbo Mini White Dove Roller Replacements, 6-Pack, 4-1/2 inch x 3/8 inch nap

I re-caulked both bathrooms after the recommended drying times were completed. I used this caulk:

GE GE281 Advanced Silicone 2 Kitchen & Bath Sealant Caulk Squeeze Tube, 2.8oz, White

Before photo*

First you’ll need to open up the paint kit box and read all of the directions so you know what you’re in for. It’s pretty simple, but if you have kids you might want to plan a time where you’ll be gone during drying times, or make sure you have a spare bathroom to use. Or at least somewhere else to wash your hands!

The directions in the paint kit tell you in detail, but in short – you’ll want to clean your counter tops very well to prep them for paint. The Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scour Pads, 8 Pads work great for this. You’ll also have to scrape off old caulking. Next, tape off the walls, sink, cabinet, and whatever else you don’t want paint on. I used ScotchBlue Original Multi-Surface Painterโ€™s Tape,  1.88 inch x 60 yard, 1 Roll – 2090-48E.

Time for the coat of primer! Looks better already!

Follow along with the steps in the instruction manual, adding each color and allowing it to dry according to the drying times listed. My husband also got the hardware on the sink changed. Woohoo! Much easier for our preschooler to control the water temperature with this style of faucet. Here is a very similar faucet: WOWOW Bathroom Faucet 2 Handle Bathroom Sink Faucet 4 inch Centerset Bathroom Faucets 3 Holes Lavatory Faucet with Lift Rod Drain Stopper Vanity Faucet Lead-Free Basin Mixer Tap Black

Finished product!

I re-caulked around the sink and sides of the counter top. I spent less than $50 on both bathrooms in our house combined. Way cheaper than $2,000 brand new counter tops! It isn’t perfect, but I love it for what it cost and the visual improvement is great. My husband switched the handles on the vanity too. I love it! Stay tuned for our other bathroom’s before and after photos.

DIY Succulent Wedding Centerpieces

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I have always loved plants, being an agronomy and horticulture major in college… growing up on a farm… gardening… I just love the outdoors in general. My house is always full of house plants, so naturally I wanted to have live plants as decorations at our wedding. Milk glass has been very popular recently, and selling for good amounts online. You know that’s not where I got it though.
For a few months, I would pickup a few pieces here and there while at different thrift shops. Once we decided on green as an accent color for our wedding, it was fun to find some beautiful glass with green in it also! And how fun, we got married in March – so green was a no-brainer!

The most I spent on a single piece of glass or a vase was $2. Most of these I purchased for $0.50 – $1. Toward the end of our wedding reception we walked around to our guests and thanked them for sharing the evening with us & invited them to take one home. They were great wedding favors and guests were surprised that those were our favors. They were special, unique favors that would match just about anyone’s decor at home!

It has been fun a year later to see who has kept their succulent alive ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy Anniversary month babe!

Your tables can be gorgeous and done on a budget, sometimes you just have to use a little imagination, and some good thrift finding skills!

How to make your own succulent centerpieces

First I gathered up all of the “pots” that I wanted to use. I washed them with some gentle dish soap to clean the dust off of them and get them ready to house some cute little succulents!

I then used a measuring cup, just for ease of scooping… to scoop some succulent friendly soil into the pots. I used Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix, 8-Quart (2 Pack). This potting soil is great for succulents and cactus plants both. How cute would cacti be for wedding centerpieces! Someone please do that and send me photos!

This is my favorite part – picking which plants go into which pots. The pack of succulents I got on Amazon had a ton of great reviews. I was skeptical about buying plants on Amazon, but for a March wedding, I couldn’t find them anywhere local here in Iowa. When the UPS man brought these to my door, I couldn’t open the box fast enough. They were gorgeous! I couldn’t have hoped for better looking plants. You can find them here: Shop Succulents | Assorted Collection of Live Succulent Plants, Hand Selected Variety Pack of Mini Succulents | Collection of 20

After I planted each one, it was time for water and fertilizer. I just used a “>simple spray bottle to give them a nice mist. You never want to over water succulents. I then followed the directions on the back of the fertilizer (Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food, 8 oz., For Succulents including Cacti, Jade, And Aloe, 1 Pack), and Viola! I hope this helps you envision how you could create your own live plant decorations for your wedding. Cactus, succulents, pansies, roses… there are all kinds of small plants that would be gorgeous to use as centerpieces or party favors. Happy planting!

DIY Outdoor Playground Music Wall

Most parents despise musical toys – you know, drum sets… maracas… kazoos. My husband isn’t a fan at all – I don’t mind them, but for both of our sanity – I decided one day we would create a fun outdoor music wall for my daughter to play with.

So, here it is. An outdoor music wall for your kids to bang on and make all the racket they want – outside!

To start off, you’ll need a base to attach everything to. We used a pallet type board, or a pallet crate lid. These can often be found at many stores for FREE in the dumpster. Don’t be afraid to ask… literally anywhere. There is always SOMEONE thankful to get rid of a pallet. If you like the look of ours, check out your nearest farm implement dealer and ask if they have any pallet crates they want rid of. You can paint it, stain it, seal it, or burn it with a torch like we did.

My husband is using a small propane torch to burn the wood. Just gives the wood a fun look, and he likes to play with fire!

Once you have an idea of the size of board you will be working with, it’s time to shop your kitchen, grandma’s kitchen, your great aunt’s kitchen, basements, Salvation Army, Goodwill, garage sales, you name it. Look for metal pans, cookie cutters, pie tins, bundt pans, anything that will make some NOISE! I found some metal lid holder racks, metal mixing spoons, whisks, all kinds of things. I thought we would use the spoons, whisks, etc as the “drumsticks.”

Get creative. Use a baby rattle, cooking spatula, you could even take apart an old xylophone like we did here.

Lay everything out on the board to see how you like it, where you’d want it placed, and how it will all fit together. I had fun lining similar things up in order of size. Now you will have to use some caution attaching your items to your board. I knew I needed husband to help with this task. He used some nails, screws, and hooks we had laying in our junk drawer. I’m sure you have one of those too. You can see the metal spoon, strainer, and cookie cutter laying on the cement. Those are some of the “drumsticks” we got to bang on the board with – can’t wait to create some awesome music!

Voila!

Now the next time your kids have the urge to be loud, send them outside and have at it!