Monday, September 30, 2013

DIY Coral Decor

Have you ever flipped through a Pottery Barn catalog and seen the pretty coral they have decorating most of their bookcases and night stands? Well they sell the coral, but it’s way out of my price range. And yes I do live at the beach so things like sea shells, driftwood, and sand dollars are a dime a dozen, however, you’re lucky if their not broken. I have yet to find a sand dollar that’s not broken. But I have never found coral washed up on shore.

Luckily, I recently participated in a multi-home garage sale at my best friend’s mom’s house and came across a shoe box of old coral. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be shopping at our own garage sale, but I couldn’t help myself! And this box of coral didn’t come out of my house, it came from my friend’s mom and I sold a bunch of my junk treasures so therefore, I feel justified.

The coral was not in the best shape, but also not in bad shape. I glued a few pieces back together. There were I think actually missing pieces and I couldn’t find the spot where these pieces broke off so I just randomly glued them where I thought they fit best.

Next, I spray painted the pieces off-white. Even the ones that were already white, I just wanted to freshen them up. You can’t even tell some pieces were glues on and that others were broken off. And now I have pretty coral decor.

I know I was lucky to stumble upon this box, but you could probably buy some off of craigslist or even your local pet store for cheaper than some of the home stores and just spray paint them whatever color you want.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Removing Rust

This is so simple and you won't spend any money. You'll just need a little elbow grease. This works on stainless steel and chrome. I'm not really sure about other metals. All you need is a bucket of water, aluminum foil, and a pair of gloves.
Get your rusty piece of furniture and put on your gloves. Next, tear a square of aluminum foil and dunk it in the water until it's completely soaked. And now rub the rust away. It will take some scrubbing, but you will see the rust coming off. And as an additional bonus, the aluminum foil polishes the metal for you.



See super easy and free. Now you can have no fear in picking up that rusty garage sale treasure.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Roadside Assisted Barstools

I wasn't planning on this project and then I found these babies on the side of the road. That's right I am one of those who will drive by, turn around, park, and get out of the car to sneak a peek at the furniture on the curb. Well, we have a bar counter that's never used and could use a couple of barstools, so I guess it was just meant to be.

The base is one of those winding, industrial, screw type bases (I have no idea what this type of base is actually called, but I do know barstools with this type of base can get pretty darn expensive). The bases were very rusty, but I thought they could be salvagable and worse case scenario I would spray paint them. The chair part was in good shape, but I knew I would ditch replace it, so I wasn't really concerned with it's condition anyway. Well, I quickly snatched them up and and threw them in the trunk of my car.

The first thing I was going to do was unscrew the top from the bottom so I could derust the bottom. So I removed the pin in the bottom of the screwy part of the base.

I just took my pliers and yanked that sucker right out. Then I unscrewed and unscrewed and unscrewed. I could not get the top off for the life of me and I have no idea why. I still have no idea why. So onto plan B it was. I removed the chair from the base. 

Super easy. So next, I got to the derusting. I'll teach you my super easy trick for derusting stainless steel in the next post. I feel like if I add it to this post, it would just be too long. 

So even though there was a significant difference and the stools were looking pretty darn good, they just weren't good enough. There were so many knicks and scratches in the stainless steel, I decided to paint them afterall. Although, the derusting gave me a smooth surface to work on. I painted the stoll bases flat black to match the screwy part. I simply used foil to wrap the parts I didn't want painted. 

Why foil you ask? Because plastic bags just weren't working for me on this day. The foil was there and it worked. 
So I went to Lowes to pick up a piece of 2X10 for the chairs, but when I got there after walking up and down the aisle trying to decide if I should go with 2X10 or something bigger I found a simple piece of round wood, pre-cut and about 2 inches thick and 15 inches in diameter and only $7 per piece. Which I later discovered the average barstool is 16 inches in diameter. I would have been way too small with a2X10.  So I brought these round guys home, stained, lacquered, and sanded them before I screwed them onto the stools.

My roadside barstools have turned into designer knock-offs for less than $20 (1 can spray paint, 2 round pieces of wood, I already had the stain and lacquer on hand). So now I will leave you with one last before and after.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

You Will Be Missed...

At first I wasn't going to write this, but then as I thought about it I realized I have had lots of projects that didn't work out. And if I only wrote about the ones that came out nicely all the time that would only be half the truth.

So here goes....I have decided to stop 75% of the way through on Eleanor. I'm not quite giving up the sofa because of the difficulty, it's a combination of things.

For one, we decided on getting rid of just one portion of our sectional instead of replacing it. This decision was made before work on Eleanor stopped. The decision for this is because we still wanted more than three seats in the living room and the comfort of our current sectional, which is the most comfortable couch alive. Second, we don't have to worry about ruining our current couch with Jakey and Foxy running around. It's pretty ruin-impossible as many many things have been spilled and it's always washed out. How this happens I don't know, but it does.

Second, getting rid of just the chaise part of the couch opens up the entire living room and gives us access to the other half that we didn't have access to before which entirely solves our space issue.

(After making these two decisions I was going to finish Eleanor and put her up on craigslist, well that didn't work out as planned. The upholstery part was great and I enjoyed every minute of it, the sewing on the other hand was frustrating me and given these last two reasons, on top of the frustration, I opted out of this project.)

We needed the space in our garage. Having a big project like Eleanor, or the dining table, or any big piece of furniture takes up half our garage. With two cars, a motorcycle, a kayak, storage, and toys this is valuable space and it make living hard day to day to have a several month project like that.

And lastly, I'll be starting back at school in two weeks!!! That means I will have less time for projects which means I don't want to do projects that I find unenjoyable or frustrating; don't we all have enough stress in our life? And that also means Eleanor would be in our garage even longer!

I am a little disappointed that I wasn't able to finish Eleanor, but am happy for the experience gained; especially in the sewing area. And once I do have the space, time, and patience, I will once again tackle another Eleanor! And so is life some projects work out and some don't. C'est La Vie!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Art Wall Update

Jakey loves to produce art. And when I say "loves" I really mean LOVES. He is constantly coloring or painting new masterpieces for me. Originally we had just hung a string along the top of the wall in the office and were using clothes pins to hang his art.

This was ok.

It was free.
It's easily interchangeable.
We could hang multiple pieces at one time.

The artwork always seemed too cramped so you couldn't really appreciate one masterpiece at a time.
It was really high up at the top of the wall so you had to stretch to see the art.
The only string I had at the time was hot pink, which doesn't match any thing else in the office and seemed out of place.

All in all this just wasn't working for me anymore. One day while perusing the dollar tree I came accross some clipboards and thought these would be perfect to replace the string and clothes pins. So after a snip of the scissors and some nails in the wall. We have a new art wall.

Ok so it was more expensive than the string with clothespins (which was free because I had everything on hand), but it was still only $9. Now Jake's art is orderly and much easier to appreciate one at a time. It's not on the ceiling and still easily interchangeable. All wins. I'm happy with the results and I feel like the office looks a bit more organized now.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pimped Out Big Wheel, Evil Knievel Style

My son is a huge, HUGE motorcycle lover. He loves all things motorcycle from the motorcycle all the way down to the helmet and gloves. He calls them momo's and it's the cutest thing in the world. That's why when my grandparents were visiting this summer and saw this big wheel at the thrift store for only $5 they had to snatch it right up for him.

As you can see he loved it from the first moment he saw it. He didn't even want to get off of it to go swimming and that's saying something! 
I had taken a couple of pics while I was washing it but for the life of me I cannot find them. I have scoured about 300 hundred pics looking for them and have come to the conclusion that they are just gone. So this is the only before pic I have. 
The big wheel wasn't in terrible shape, just well used by the child before Jake. Lots of sun fading, peeling stickers, etc. Well after reading about other bloggers "pimping" out their child's ride on toys, I happily jumped on the band wagon. I actually couldn't find any big wheels that had been redone, only the Little Tikes buggy type cars, so I sat around for a while trying to come up with a few ideas. 
I finally decided that Evil Knievel's motorcycle would best suit both Jakey and the big wheel. 

So after googling some images I got right to work.

 First I taped, bagged, and painted. I painted the headlight silver, but it doesn't show up well in the photos. I followed the painting up with some vinyl stickers I ordered on ebay and cut into shape for the red and blue stripes, as well as the stars. 

Total cost of the makeover was less than ten bucks. I bought the vinyl on ebay and cut it myself which was about $4 with free shipping. The can of spray paint I bought at Lowes for $3.99. Not a bad deal for a $5 big wheel. 
And of course Jakey loves it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eleanor: Phase Two, Step One

Phase Two: Putting this darned thing back together
Step One: Painting...
Once I ran to the fabric store and picked out a fabric, I decided what color to do the wood. Orginially, I was going to stain, but decided black paint would go better with the fabric. So I picked up a quart of paint and got to work. I think it's looking good so far.

This went super quick, which was almost disappointing because it means I have to man up and get to the upholstering part really soon here. Well, hopefully I'll see you on the other side of this project and you won't find me curled up in a ball on my unupholstered sofa crying into an uncovered cushion.