Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Epic Fail- Every once in a while a DIY project goes seriously wrong, But I fixed it and now it's better than ever!

Table Top Had To Be Re-Done

The shellac finish did not work at all.

I updated the original post with the new instructions so you don't make the same mistakes I made.

Step by step video instructions of table glaze project.


Fairness For All

One of the core beliefs taught by my church that I stand by is:

  1. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

I believe it is important to treat one another with love and fairness.   Religious Freedom is essential.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to Fix a Broken Book-Shelf

I love to fix old worn out broken down furniture.  I decided to take on this project on a cold winters day.  My goal was to fix a broken piece of wood without having to go to the store for supplies.  So I used my mind and went to work using only items I could find around the house.

The top had broken off. Take a piece of plastic that is headed for the recycle bin, cut it to fit over the entire piece.  Next glue the plastic in place with either wood glue or liquid nails.  I didn't want to wait until it completely dried to start the next step so I added a little hot glue just to set it in place. 

Place books below to hold the shelf in place until it has completely dried.

The top half was starting to break away as well, so I pulled another piece of flat plastic out of the recycle bin, cut it to size and glued it on.  

Next tear up some brown paper bags into random shapes.

Place the paper in an inch of water

Here comes the fun part!
Put some glue on a paper plate.  I would have used Elmer's glue but I didn't have any so I used wood glue.  Either one works fine.  Dilute with water to a 50/50 ratio.

Dip the wet paper into the glue solution and stick it to the top.
Flatten down with your hands.

After it has dried a little, cut the excess off the edges.
When it has completely dried, rub stain all over the top.
I also went down the sides of the bookshelf.

I liked the way it turned out except the edges were still bothering me.

So I added wood filler to the edges.  After it dries for about 5 minutes, take a wet wash cloth and rub it smooth.  This will eliminate the need to sand it later.  Let it dry completely and then re-apply the stain.
If you are smarter than me you would do this step before you even add the stain to begin with.

The end result is a wonderfully textured bookshelf.

I love the end result

Friday, January 16, 2015

DIY "Stained-Glass" Windows (At least it looks like stained-glass)

It looks like Stained Glass
But It's Actually Window Film

When we moved into our home 3 years ago, I knew going into it that I wanted to redo every single room.  The home was built about 15 years ago and needed updates everywhere.  Our basement is unfinished so we no longer had the luxury of having a designated family room.  Our main room of our house needed to be able to accommodate watching football on the flat-screen tv.  The only problem with flat-screen televisions is the fact that a little bit of glare makes the viewing experience terrible.

My main focus was not on these windows because I knew they would be a huge undertaking so I decided to put a band-aid on the problem for the time being.  Three years have passed and the band-aid project is long past it's due.

Paper Blinds From Bed Bath and Beyond

I taped up paper blinds with double stick tape for a weekend fix, knowing full well this was very temporary.   The main reason this project took so long to come back to was my own indecision.  On the one hand, I wanted to be able to block out the bright sunlight, but yet I still wanted to be able to see out the windows.  Since the windows are so high up it would be impossible to open and close curtains without an electronic system, but the price of this made it out of the budget.

I kept thinking and pondering and finally came up with the perfect answer.  It's called the miracle of "Vinyl Clings."  I have used them in the past so I know they are not too expensive, they help with heating costs and they can hold out the glare.

I watched a few videos made by the vinyl companies that are posted on Home Depot's website and decided my beautiful picture windows were due for their time to shine.

I didn't have the patience to order the window film and then and wait for them to come into the store so I decided to see what they carried in their stock.  It turns out they don't carry a lot, so I drove around until I found the perfect combination.  I went to Lowes, Home Depot, and Menards until I found the vinyls I wanted.

Dated Trim

After removing the paper, I also realized there was one other thing bothering me about the windows.  I hate the dated trim. Oh, don't worry, this was the easiest fix of all. I still had half a can of stain leftover from my kitchen table project, so all the trim could match with only a little effort. Once again I went to work rubbing stain on the wood.

Rather than taping off I used a large sheet-rock putty knife to block the area I didn't want stain on next to the window or the wall. It is especially handy for the floor boards that bud up to carpet. Just push the knife into the carpet and hold it back while rubbing the stain on the floorboards. No stripping required. I did tape the tops of the floorboard because taping there was fast and easy. I just wanted everything done in five steps or less.  My rule of thumb is, if the taping takes too long then it's not worth the effort.  Every time I go to work I make a decision based on easiness.  If it is easier to just cut the paint or stain in with a brush I do it that way, but if taping is easy to do, then it is faster to tape.

I taped the top of the floorboards and used a sheet-rock knife to hold the carpet back and stained the entire room in about 10 minutes. This is so much easier than painting and I love how it turned out.

Look at the difference of the before and after.  The picture above of the trim is what the woodwork looked like throughout the house.  After I added my new stain it made my heart sing with joy.  This was even before I added my vinyl to the windows.  

I even added stain to the stair rail and the front door.  Ok, I promise I will get back to my windows, but sometimes in the middle of a project you realize you need to do additional things to make it all happy.

On the corners I used ARTSCAPE CITY LIGHTS WINDOW FILM which costs about $20.  I needed two of them for my large windows.  For the middle window I used GILA 36-in W x 15-ft L Bronze Heat-Control Adhesive Window Film.  This runs about $45.00.  As you can tell from the picture, you can still see out, but the glare is reduced tremendously.

The application process for the windows is not too hard, but it's not a piece of cake either, especially when you are on a ladder that high up, but remember, it has been 3 years of looking at a set of windows I hated, so the payoff was worth the extra effort.

I love how it all turned out!

Oh, And After All This Staining, I still have a Half a Can of Stain Left.
You Won't Believe What Else You Can Do With a Can Of Stain.
My Best Project of All is Still To Come!!!
You Won't Want to Miss It!

Sorry for shouting, I just get so excited when a plan comes together.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Not to Grow an Avocado Tree

My second son left on a mission in August of 2014.  I thought it would be fun to take an avocado seed from one of the last salads we ate together before he left and see if I could sprout it into a flourishing tree by the time he got home.  I searched on Pinterest for instructions on how to do this.  I read them all and figured it was going to be easy.  That was almost 5 months ago and I still don't have any sprouts.  I have been very careful to keep it in the sun and keep it watered, but still nothing.  Finally I decided to go back and look at the instructions again to see if I had missed anything.  It turns out, I put the seed up-side-down.  Well darn, I guess I blew that one.  

I decided to try an experiment with my little seed.  I think this might be able to turn into a pretty good object lesson.    I have since turned the seed placing it in the correct direction.  I wonder if the seed will be able to still sprout.  It has been 5 months, but it has also been watered so it shouldn't be dead.  This story will be continuted.  Just like the quote from President Uchtdorf, it doesn't happen overnight.

I will report back at a later date.  I plan on giving it a few more months to see if it will revive itself.  In my mind I can visualize a wonderful, large, flourishing tree in my entrance way, springing forth with fruit.  Even though most people would have thought it was a lost cause, I still have a particle of faith that it might be able to be revived.

 “Too often we approach the gospel like a farmer who places a seed in the ground in the morning and expects corn on the cob by the afternoon.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Sew Drop Cloth Curtains

Design Your Own No-Sew Curtains

I have very large windows.  It would be very costly to try and make or purchase curtains for them.  I made these curtains out of drop cloths purchased from Home Depot.  You can buy drop clothes for as little as $10.  I had to get the $40 set because I have such a large area to cover.

Hang curtains from clips and you won't have to sew the top at all.

Just to add a little flair, paint a couple of stripes on the bottom of the curtain.  

To save money use your wall paint on the curtains as well.

Tape off the canvas.  I figured out after I was done, it would have been better to iron the canvas before hand to make it easier to tape in a straight line.  The canvas is heavier than the tape.  

Lay the fabric on some cardboard to paint.  Measure off the width of the stripes by laying a cake box or other similar object down to use for marking.  Mark the spots with a pencil.  Go all the way across.  Then run tape along the lines.  Paint right over the middle line and go to the edge of the outer pieces of tape.  A roller works best.  

Add the clips and iron the entire curtain

Iron the hem to the length you desire.  Add two folds if possible to help reduce fraying.
Apply "HeatnBond" Iron-on adhesive to secure the hem in place.

I absolutely love how it turned out.  This entire project cost me $40 although I used the paint, clips and iron-on's I already had.

Funeral Sandwiches

Best Sandwich Ever!

Cooking for a funeral luncheon can be a lot of work, unless you try this recipe.  I used two different types of rolls.  One was larger than the other.  It turned out everyone wanted the larger sandwiches.  They were eaten first.

After you have all the sandwiches made, pour on, or brush on the glaze.
This is the part that makes the sandwich special.

I used Chia seeds because I had them on hand, but sesame seeds work fine too.

This is what they look like before they are cooked

After they are cooked they turn into a golden brown with the cheese melting all around.  The smell is fantastic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Even an old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint

Desk Make-Over

I had plenty of stain leftover after I completed my kitchen table project so I decided to see how many projects I could complete with the same can of stain.  I had this desk in my entrance way, but it had seen better days.  I spilled hot wax on it among other things.  I didn't feel up to stripping it so I just stained right over the existing paint.  The previous job I did was with spray paint.  Since it was not peeling at all I didn't need to sand it, so I just started applying stain.

This is the before picture. 

A close up reveals the trouble with this desk.
Lots of scratches.

The stain I have been using is Rust-oleum brand
I highly recommend using good gloves

I started out with cheap fragile gloves and they ended up breaking through.  It's a lot of work washing the stain off your hands so invest in some good kitchen gloves.  You will be glad you did.  Rub the stain in going with the grain of the wood.
When I originally painted this desk I took off the hardware prior to painting.  With stain you don't necessarily need to.  I rubbed right over the brass handles.  I wanted them to look a little aged and less brassy anyway, so the stain helped me to accomplish this look.   "Even an old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint."  David O Mckay

Monday, January 12, 2015

Kitchen Table Remodel-DIY

Glaze Coat Table

I have been pinning kitchen table make-over pictures for over a year.  I really don't like my dated table so I always keep a table cloth on it.  All the different DIY projects seemed to be way too much work and cost too much money.  For Christmas this year we got a little money from grandparents so I decided to use the money on some DIY projects.  My table was top on my list.  The first thing I did was pick out the paint for the bottom half of the table and the chairs.  I picked the color based on what was on sale in the blooper paint section of Home Depot.  I found a can of great paint that retails for $35.00 a can on sale for $5.00.  It was an off white color.  I highly recommend a good paint that does not require priming or two coats because chairs and the table have so many grooves.

The next thing I did was purchased some sponge brushes, one good brush and a roller.  I solicited my husband and two sons.  We put cardboard all over the dining room floor and everyone started painting.  I went around with the roller and caught drips and took the grooves out of the paint while the others all painted with the sponge brushes.  We were able to paint the entire table, and 8 chairs in less than two hours.

I did not sand or strip the chairs or the bottom of the table, just painted right over the top.

My table is not 100 percent wood.  It has a pressed board on the top.  For this reason I could not sand it down to pretty wood.  It also had bubbles in the pressed wood and a few paint globs from other projects.  This was easy to fix.

Over the years I have not been very nice to the table, because I always knew I was going to refinish it.

My table has two leaves as well.  I put them all on and started sanding.  This was't a major sanding job, just enough to take out the worst of the grooves.  I couldn't sand down all the bubbles because it would have taken the pressed wood off the top, so I just gave it a quick once over.

As you can see from this picture that adding the stain didn't take away the problem with the bubbles.
Do not worry.  This will be taken care of in the last step.
Staining the table is very easy.  Just rub stain on with a cloth.
It takes a while to dry between coats.  Usually about 6 hours.  This is the part that is hard for me because I am not very patient but since the stain is not actually going into the wood, it needs time to dry along with re-application to get the dark wood look I was going for.  For those of you with real wood tabletops this step will be faster because the stain with seep into your luscious wood.

The first time around I put a shellac coating on my tabletop.  This looked good initially but I found that it didn't hold up, so I sanded it off and changed it to a glaze coat instead.

I let the shellac dry for an entire week and it never hardened up.  I also could still see the bubbles in the table.  This is the point I realized I was going to have to come up with a different finish. 

This one can of stain goes a long way.  I used it on this table, a desk, a large dresser, two end tables, an auto-man, and a sectional, stair rail, and all the wood trim in my living room.  


Using a glaze coat has its pro's and cons.  The best part about it is it drys in 24 hours.  The worst part is it takes quite a bit of patience when it is being done.  The biggest key to success when using a glaze coat is to hold back at least a quarter of the product to drip off a stick into the holes or div-vets.  These will eventually level themselves out to a glass like look.