Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stamped Glass Votive Candle Holders

Bath and Body Works is having a great sale!   If you buy one of their little scented votive candles, you get the glass votive holder free.  For $1.00 each, this is an excellent deal!

I like to have a bunch of gifts handy for last minute giving.  I love the little candles and the scents are great.  The glass votive holders are not much to look at so this is what I turned them into:

I started with the plain glass votive holders, some stamps and a Stazon ink pad.

I wiped the outside of the candle holder with rubbing alcohol to remove any sort of residue that might be on the glass.  Ink your stamp and put it face up.  Roll the glass along the stamp pushing even pressure and even motion.

Repeat until the votive has the design that you want it to have.  I used this stamp and varied the height all the way around.

If you make a mistake, don't worry.  Damp a terry cloth washcloth and wipe it off.  Let it dry before re-stamping.  When it is how you like it, let it dry completely.  It takes about five minutes.

The Stazon ink will not rub off on this unless you really scrub.  I wanted mine to be a bit more permanent, though, so I sealed it.  I used a matte Mod-Podge because it gives it a frosted look that I think is neat.

 Put the mod-podge on a plate or piece of foil and apply with a stencil dabber.  If you use a brush, you will have brush marks.  The harder you push, the more air bubbles you will have.  I did a few with lots of bubbles and some with less.  I like the look on both.

Cover it completely and let dry.  This will take about a half hour.

You are done!  Add a few scented votives to this and you have a beautiful gift!

If I do it again:

1.  I would experiment with different sealers, including the Krylon spray sealer.
2.  I would use a few colors of the Stazon ink.  It's expensive, though, so I only have black at this time!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Etched Glass Soap Dispenser

One of the blogs I visit posted a project about a year ago.  You can view it here.  I've been meaning to make my version of it and got around to it this afternoon.  Here it is.

It's an oil cruet that I did a DIY etched glass treatment on before filling with my dish soap.  It's a great way to dispense your soap and I like the look of the etching.

Here's what you need:

You need your piece to be etched, some painters tape, stickers and Armour Etch.  Also grab an old paintbrush to apply it with.

Put your stickers on the bottle.  I went from the bottom up so that I knew where it needed to start.

Tape off your area around.  Press firmly so no cream gets under the tape or sticker.

Apply the cream with a paintbrush.  I put it on thick and wait for a few hours.

Rinse off and remove the tape.

Fill and you're done!

If I do it again:

1.  I'd buy vinyl stickers instead of paper.  The paper wasn't as sturdy as the vinyl would have been and I had to be really careful about putting the cream on the actual sticker.  I had to paint around it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pantry ReDo

My big project this past week was my pantry redo.  I am lucky enough to have a pantry space that I can walk into.  It's an odd corner shape, though, and wasn't efficiently using the space that it has.  I would clean it out an organize it on a monthly basis and it was usually looking like this within a week.

Here's my before (don't judge. . . or do.  It's pretty bad!)


And the after:

This wasn't what I was originally going for.  My sweet husband handed me a budget to reorganize the kitchen for my Valentine's Day gift.  I wanted one of those perfectly designed, highly efficient ClosetMaid designs.  I submitted my measurements, picked my shelves and drawers and got my parts list.  When I saw the price, my dreams changed.  The price tag was over $600 and I didn't even do anything particularly fancy in there!   When I told my husband that I changed my mind because of the cost, he swallowed, smiled and said "Go for it."  That's why I love him!  I couldn't spend that kind of money, though, especially since it was WAY over the budget so I revamped my ideas and my total price tag was under $200.  And that, folks, is one of the reasons why he loves me!

I started by pulling out the existing shelves.  In doing so, I discovered that the supports that were built into the wall were somewhat deceptive and that two well placed screws were holding half of the shelves on.  That would have to change.  I carefully pulled them out and saw how gross the walls were.  Time for some paint.

In my defense,  the paint samples look entirely different under Home Depot's florescent lighting.  I thought I picked out a nice, soft green apple color.  In reality, it is neon green.  Highlighter green.  Nuclear Power Plant green.  

 I painted in the morning and by mid afternoon had myself convinced that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was at first.  This lasted until my son made it home from school and asked if I painted it that color "on purpose or if it was an accident."  Everyone's a critic.

While the paint was drying, I took my yucky MDF shelves and primed them.  It took four coats.



I wanted some sort of nice shelf paper to top these with but I couldn't find anything in the stores that wasn't hideously expensive and ugly.  I had to cover four shelves that were 17 x 44 and four 12 inch wide shelves ranging in length.  I ended up in the fabric section of WalMart and found their vinyl on a roll.  I bought the prettiest black and white damask patterned vinyl for a little over $2 a yard.  I got four yards.

I also bought the double sided duct tape.  It's amazing!

Put the duct tape around the edges.

 Smooth on your vinyl and trim.  Voila!  Perfectly covered shelves in a very durable vinyl!

I wanted my pantry to have a place for the garbage can as well as a place to hang the broom and mop.  For that to happen, I needed to trim some shelves to make a spot.  I cut my twelve inch shelves down and built a support.

I wanted the support to butt up to the wall so I had to make cut outs for the shelf supports that line the walls.  An easy way to do this is to drill a hole that is bigger than your saw blade on the corners of your cut.

Now you can cut from the edge, to a hole.  Your blade will turn and you can cut to the other hole.  It works great.

I added the support and braced it to the wall with L brackets.  I made sure to put pieces of 1x2 in to support the third side of the shelf and I added my shelves.

Yup, still bright!  The next step was to add in my drawers.  This was the one thing that I wanted for my pantry so I did splurge on them.  I bought two units.  This is where the majority of my expense came in but I really wanted the drawers!  I checked the measurements online and thought that I would be fine.  Unfortunately, they gave the measurements but didn't label height, width and depth.  I got the height right but the width and depth were opposite of what I thought they were.  The drawers were deeper and not as wide. 

I also ordered in some can organizers.  I spent a little extra to get the heavy duty, super sturdy ones and I checked. . . they were supposed to fit on the shelves.  But, alas, when I got them, they didn't.  You couldn't put cans on the top rack when they were on the shelf.

So I pulled out the bottom shelf.  The drawers were an issue, anyway, so I built a little counter top for them and added my can racks to the top of that.  Attach labels to the drawers and this is the result:

There's even room off to the side to stash the ugly things like the first aid kit and my husband's lunch tote.

I'm actually quite pleased with the result, even though it is nothing like my perfect Closetmaid vision or even my initial "altered" vision.  I saved money by ordering online but learned a lesson regarding the measurements.

The best thing about this redo is that my trash can is now out of the middle of the kitchen and out of sight in the pantry.  I had to remove a shelf that I was planning on having to accomplish this but the space lost is well worth it.

And my second favorite thing is the drawers.  It solves the issues of where to store the awkwardly shaped items like bags of spaghetti and loaves of bread.

For those that wonder, the labels are my own design.  It's just layers of cardstock that I put two grommets in.  I attached them using binder (loose leaf) rings.

 I will never have one of those perfectly decorated pantries that is just as beautiful as the rest of the house but I am quite happy with mine.  It's functional and the ick is off the walls!  I couldn't ask for much more!

If I do it again:

1.  I wouldn't be in such a hurry to get my supplies and I would bring the paint samples home to see them under my light.  It's a rookie mistake. . . . I knew better and now I have a neon pantry because I'm too lazy to paint it again!

2.  I would double check measurements prior to ordering an item.  The drawers were written as 17x21x29 and I assumed it was depth by width by height.  Ooops.  This worked out but I would have preferred my original design.  The same thing goes for the can organizer.  I knew the piece fit inside a shelf but didn't take into account that the cans would sit above the actual piece.  Again, ooops.

Monday, February 20, 2012

In Cupboard Pot Rack

For those of you who have been in touch with me lately have probably noticed that I've been somewhat distracted.  Or maybe you haven't. . . I'm not exactly focused all the time anyway!

The reason why is that my husband gave me an excellent Valentine's Day gift.  He gave me a budget to reorganize our cupboards and our pantry.  When we moved in five years ago, we set up the kitchen in a way that was necessary, not convenient.  We had a two year old climber who managed to get into everything.  Anything potentially dangerous was put high up, out of reach and the non-lethal items were left to the drawers and cabinets.  She's eight, now, and no longer a danger to herself and others so a reorganization is due.

One of my first projects was this totally awesome pot rack.  I've always wanted one but I don't have a spot to hang it without blocking the one and only window in my kitchen.  I was perusing online trying to come up with a solution and came across the idea of putting it in a cupboard.  Doesn't it look great?!?!

I'd love to take credit for this absolutely brilliant idea, but I can't. I found it on this blog. She does an excellent job giving a tutorial that I followed, making a few tweeks here and there.

I would suggest either purchasing a pot rack like this one and modifying it as she did in her blog or I would use a few boards (rails would work great) and buying these hooks.   I opted to buy the pot rack since it came with six hooks and the wood.  It ended up saving money because the hooks by themselves are very expensive.

I don't have many photographs of the process, mainly because I put it together late at night and I was too excited.  The entire project took less than twenty minutes to do and the result is fantastic.

I did follow her tutorial for the most part.  This is what I did differently.

First, I tossed all the assembly hardware except the two screws.  Yes, I even tossed the two hooks that go on the end.  From the ends that I cut off, I cut off three inches of the board that included the hole that was already put in there.  I just threaded the screw through the three pieces of wood on both sides.  It holds the boards apart perfectly so the hooks slide without trouble.

The other thing I did differently is that I mounted mine opposite the way she did.  She put her brackets in an L shape and I put mine upside down.  It worked better for the type of brackets I had.

That's it!  You put it together and drop the hooks in from the top.  I had room left to put up a shelf that has my steamer (no handles to hang) and my big fry pan.  I also keep the lids up there.

It's fantastically convenient and I don't have to unearth pans from an unsteady pan tower anymore.  We're pretty thrilled with this one!

If I do it again:

We're quite pleased with the results!  I don't think I'd do anything differently at this point.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kid Craft: Felt Flowers

We had a home sick day this week for my eight year old and by mid afternoon she was feeling better.  One of her assignments was to make a birthday card for her teacher so we tackled it.

This is what she made.

It turned out quite nice and she made it herself so she was quite proud!  The flower is quite easy.  You need a pair of scissors, a piece of felt and a hot glue gun.

Cut eight larger circles and one smaller circle out of the felt.  If you get less or more larger circles, that's fine.

Take one of your circles and put a dot of hot glue right in the center.

Fold the felt in half and then squish it around the hot glue.  The glue should be at the bottom of the "cone"  you just made.

 See?  The glue is between her fingers on the inside and the felt is being held in the squished position by it.

Do this with all your big circles.

Now take your small circle and start gluing all the points of your squished circles on to it.

 Keep going. . . .
Put them all on there. . . .

Fluff them out and you are done!  Here's what the back looks like:

Cut out a stem and some leaves and glue it all on a piece of paper.  You have a special birthday card for a special teacher!

If I do it again:

She had a blast making this!  If she was feeling a bit better we would have made an entire bouquet for the card.  Next time it would be fun!