Thursday, November 10, 2011

DIY Christmas gifts. 4 Weeks & 5 gift ideas, get crafting!

I am on the search for great (not LAME) DIY gifts to give my peeps this Christmas.  Too bad I didn't start thinking about this on June 1st.  I have compiled a list of a few things to make this holiday season.... with only 4 weeks to complete - heh I work better under pressure anyway.

#1. Homemade Granola in cute bags or jars.
Homemade Granola
Real Simple

 Better yet, wrap the granola in a cellophane bag & close.  Then stash it in an easy to make fabric bag like this....
free homemade gift ideas & handmade craft ideas: doorstop
dream home

#2. Homemade Bath salts
Finished Salt Scrub

#3. Buy thrift store 100% wool sweaters (under $5 usually). Felt in the washer, then turn felted sweater into a bag, mittens, ornament.... you name it.

#4. Recycled T-shirt necklace. You know you can find a t-shirt laying around you no longer wear.

#5. Fudge in muffin tins.

I actually did this last year and it worked fabulously.  Make an easy fudge like this one...
Pour into a muffin pan lined with foil cupcake liners.
After fudge has set, gift in cute cupcake boxes easily found at craft store.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Benjamin Moore Amherst Grey update....

Last year I was painting my den/music room/library.   Remember?
I tried one too many colors before deciding on Amherst Grey.  My darling husband thought it was too dark, so I went one shade lighter.  I ended up with Chelsea Grey (BM paint HC-168).  I finished the room, here is a peek.

What do you think?

Yucky, $10 Parsons chairs turned dining room stool....

$10 Craigslist Parson chairs turned dining room table stools.  I originally purchased these chairs with the intent on making lovely white linen slipcovers for them.  Once I got them home, I realized I should just recover them  Once I started ripping off the fabric and got it down to the bare bones, I decided I didn't like the height of the back, so I chopped them off. We love a bench in the kitchen, why not in the dining room.  Stools are way more functional than a bench in that people can control their own seat.  All in all, I spent $60 and some time to make 3 comfy stools.  Not a bad deal.  Technically, I had the fabric on hand though.

one mans trash....

Ripped the fabric off.

backside sans fabric

literally sawed the back off - not with a manual saw (I am not a caveman).
removed nasty 20 year old foam & stuffing.

stool 2 no back... before ripping the gross off.

foam and stuffing bought off the rack at my local fabric store

electric stapled new foam on.

covered foam with regular batting - the thickest one I could find.

Stapled batting down.

Almost finished.... 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dining room completed.... $75 farm house table - shut the front door!

It has been almost a year since I completed my dining room table.  Geesh how time flies.
I used a modified version of the Farm House table combined with the Narrow Farmhouse table I already built (see project here). I also took ugly $10 craigslist parson style chairs and modified them to be stools.... 
This table is roughly 7'x3' but it looks so tiny in this photo.

So, here it goes.  I found old barn wood on Craigslist.  The dude brought me a huge stack of the 10' boards , all varying widths for a mere $40 (including the delivery) OUTSTANDING!
 The trouble with Craigslist bargains for me, is there is always that BUT.  The barn wood was not immune to the BUT.  I had to purchase a belt sander because of the really rough texture of the wood.  Which I undoubtedly burned up. I exchanged it for a beefer, more expensive version & spent far too long sanding away until my planks were baby butt smooth.

 I also tried to make a wood wash concoction by rusting steel wool in vinegar.  Much to my dismay, I purchased non-rusting steel wool (who knew there was such a thing?). I threw some nails into the punch and got a rusted solution in the end, however it was a red rust as opposed to the grey rust I was going for.  Nonetheless, the plain cheapo pine boards used for the table legs, received a splash of the rust solution before any further steps were taken.

 I kept the boards uneven on purpose.  The real antique harvest table I have has unmatched boards.  Usually when I see an antique farm table in antique stores the top boards are not perfect either.  I thought it gave it a very authentic look. 
 I decided that the wood was too warm and new looking. I decided to experiment.  I diluted a little black paint with water & did a wash.... WAAAAHLA what a difference.  I think it turned out great, exactly the worn/gray wood look I was going for. 

before the top boards were attached

What do you think?