Kitchen Cleaning Shortcuts

by Dinah Wulf

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Kitchen Cleaning Shortcuts is sponsored by Bounty. All opinions are 100% my own.

Hi. My name is Dinah, and I take kitchen cleaning shortcuts. Part of this post is a little embarrassing; mostly because of the BEFORE photos. Working from home is tough sometimes. I don’t have a house keeper, and now that I’m busier than ever, I rely on shortcuts like these. Bounty to the rescue! You have to try the NEW Bounty with Dawn paper towels which cuts your cleaning time significantly! It’s pretty amazing.

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NEW Bounty with Dawn is a specially designed 2 in 1 cleaning product that combines an ultra-durable Bounty paper towel with the cleaning power of Dawn infused right into the towel. Bounty with Dawn will stand up to even tough messes and stays intact, like a dishcloth while cleaning. Bounty with Dawn can blast through tough grease and dried up food.  You will notice that my BEFORE and AFTER pictures are of things that can easily be hidden but build up dirt pretty quickly! I’m so guilty of letting it get this bad!

If you’re going to be cleaning your dishes or pots/pans, simply wet it fully and clean. I tried it on the inside the microwave oven. It also worked well on the inside of my built in trash can cabinets. You can also rinse and keep cleaning. I used one sheet per item I cleaned. And don’t worry if it’s a greasy mess because Bounty with Dawn will capture the grease in a way that allows it to rinse out.

Here is the BEFORE and AFTER of my microwave.

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If you’re going to be cleaning a mirror, glass cooktop, or other shiny surfaces, wet it out, wring, and rinse again. Or, leave the towel under running water for a few extra seconds and squeeze the water out thoroughly. There will still be plenty of Dawn to clean your surface and when it dries down the special formulated cleaning agents will disappear to a virtually haze free shine. I tried it on my toaster and coffee maker.

Here is the BEFORE and AFTER of the toaster.

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Here is the BEFORE and AFTER of the coffee maker. So embarrassing!

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Look at what came off of my coffee maker in one swipe! So gross!

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I also used it on my window sills and windows in the kitchen as well as my glass cook top and the inside doors of my double oven. I also have acrylic kitchen chairs on my kitchenette table, and I cleaned both chairs with one sheet.

A few more fun facts about Bounty with Dawn paper towels:

  • A wet sheet of Bounty with Dawn paper towel produces results that are 4X cleaner than a used dishcloth.
  • Bounty’s newest product innovation is the thickest, strongest Bounty, with 70% more fibers in each sheet to absorb messes and cloth-like durability to hold up to tougher tasks.
  • When activated by water, the cleaning power of Dawn is released into the porous towel so the grease fighting suds capture the mess. Bounty’s absorbent structure holds the grease inside until it is rinsed and wrung out, which means you can use one sheet on multiple messes.

I loved it so much I created a little spot for them under my sink. I added a tension rod which was the perfect size for a roll of Bounty basic and a roll of Bounty with Dawn!

Kitchen Cleaning Shortcuts

Please visit www.bountytowels.com for more information on Bounty’s family of products. Thank you to Bounty for sponsoring this article!

4 Tips for Crafting with Burlap

by Dinah Wulf

Four Tips for Crafting with Burlap

Some of my most popular posts are burlap craft projects. I’ve cut it, sewn with it, stenciled it, ironed it, washed it, and even upholstered furniture with it! It gets pretty messy and you have to deal with fraying and fiber debris all over your work space. I’ve done so many projects and through the creative process, I have learned a few tricks to help make this messy medium more manageable (Messy medium more manageable? Say that ten times fast!). So, I made a short little one minute and twenty second video of 4 tips for crafting with burlap.

In this video I will address washing burlap, fraying, ironing burlap, and eliminating debris. I hope you enjoy it!

For those of you that don’t want to watch the video, here are my four tips.

Tip #1: Washing

I recommend hand washing burlap instead of machine washing. You can machine wash it in COLD. However be prepared for a messy lint trap and a lot of fraying.

Tip #2: Fraying

Use a liquid seam sealant like Fray Check to stop the burlap from fraying. Protect your work surface with cardboard and keep the sealant out of reach of children.

Tip #3: Wrinkles

You can use spray starch to iron the wrinkles out of your burlap. Use a linen (high) setting.

Tip #4: Eliminating Excess Debris

Take your burlap outside and give is a few shakes! Shake off that excess debris. Trust me. You’ll thank me later!

More Burlap Craft Ideas:

Burlap Accent Crafts:

How to Get Glue and Paint Off Skin

by Dinah Wulf

Thank you to WD-40 and Lava Soap for sponsoring this post, How to Get Glue and Paint Off Skin. All opinions are 100% my own.

Lava Soap

Question: What do all of these projects have in common?

DIY Projects with Glue

Answer: I used industrial strength adhesive to make them!

Question: What do all of THESE projects have in common?

DIY Projects with Paint

Answer: I painted all of them!

Question: What do all my projects that require glue and paint have in common?

Lava Soap for Crafters

Answer: I needed Lava Soap to clean my hands and get that tough glue and paint stains off of my skin.

Lava Soap isn’t just for Dudes that work on cars!

See?

With the hundreds of DIY and craft projects I have done over the years, I have learned a few tricks to some behind-the-scenes occupational hazards like, how to get glue and paint off skin. Lava Soap is my go-to.

I have used Lava soap ever since I can remember.  After all, it’s been around for over 100 years (OK, I’m old but not that old)! I actually keep a bar in our downstairs bathroom next to the garage. My husband uses it after working on his Jeep or changing the oil in the cars. I use it during and after doing my DIY and craft projects.

I even have a special soap dish I keep it on! I found this one while antique shopping.

Lava Soap for DIY and Crafts

Lava soap contains pumice and pumice is a by-product of volcanic activity, hence the name Lava Soap. It’s heavy duty and honestly the best out there. It’s great for removing grease, grime, oil, ink, paint, glue, resins, caulk, and more. It also now comes in a liquid form as well. Sure it’s great for auto enthusiast, but like I said in the video, it’s not just for Dudes who work on cars!

Thank you so much to Lava Soap for sponsoring this post!

Clever Kitchen Storage and Organization Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Every year after I take down all of my Christmas decorations, I go on a cleaning and organizing rampage. I don’t know why, but after all the decorations are down, it seems like the house is bare and dirty. I thought I’d share a few of my clever kitchen storage and organization ideas today. Some are super simple and cost-effecting repurposing ideas as well.

For some reason, my dog food scooper always breaks or gets lost in the food container. With the help of an old hook and some glue dots I added a little hook on the outside of the dog food container for easy access.

Clever dog food scoop idea

In my pantry, I used an old CD rack to organize some loose items that always get lost when I decide to throw away the box with only a few items left.

Repurposed CD Rack for the Pantry

Also inside my pantry door, I added a cardboard whiteboard that I got as a white elephant gift this Christmas.

White Board inside a Kitchen cabinet

For my pot lids I use a leather letter caddy to keep them out of the way and upright.

Pot Lid Organization

I cut out some food boxes to use in my drawers to help keep my serving spoons and my daughter’s utensils organized.

Recycled Boxes for Utensils

Here is a picture of under my kitchen sink before and after.

Oraganizing Under the sink

I took an old plastic crate from the garage and another plastic bin I had to help keep things in place.

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I got this idea from A Prudent Life and used a clothespin for my plastic gloves.

Clever Kitchen Storage and Organization Ideas

On the other side I used another hook for my fly swatter.

Under the kitchen sink organization

Lastly… my husband is SO happy about this one…I spent $15 and bought these organizers to store my cleaning equipment. Here is the before and after.

Organzation in the garage

Creative Gift Wrapping Tips and Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Creative Gift Wrapping Tips and Ideas

I recently wrote a post entitled, Upcycled Gift Wrapping Ideas. As you can tell I’m a fan a gift wrapping. To me, it’s part of the present. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it shows that you took a little extra time to make their gift special.  Since writing that post, I have had a few birthdays for friends, so today I thought I’d share some of my creative gift wrapping tips and ideas.

#1: Keep Washi tape handy.

I admit. I’ll grab it if it’s on sale, even if I don’t “need” it at the time. It’s a simple way to add a little oomph to regular wrapping paper or dress up a plain gift bag.  I like to use two or three different colors and patterns and weave them to create a design. It’s a great technique to use for small gifts.

Washi Tape Gift Wrapping DIY

#2: If you don’t have a card, make your own gift tag.

How many times have you been at a party watching people open presents and there is no card or gift tag? This way, the honoree can send out proper thank you cards. It’s good etiquette! I made this one in seconds with a circle punch, some scrap paper and… you guessed it… Washi tape.

Washi Tape Gift Tag DIY

#3: Go all natural.

There’s something chic about mixing all natural ribbon like twine or jute with color. I also buy brown gift bags in bulk. I can embellish it easily, and it matches everything and goes with every holiday and special occasion.

Washi Tape Gift Wrapping

#4 Go with a theme.

My friend told me her son loved Hot Wheels. So, when I wrapped his gifts (hot wheels of course), I made a little track with black cardstock. I used white duct tape for the street lines and used removable glue dots to adhere the little cars.

Race Car Gift Wrapping Idea

#5 Buy wrapping paper off season.

See the green wrapping paper in #4 and the pink wrapping paper in #1? I bought both of those after Christmas and Valentine’s Day. If there is plain or simple wrapping paper available after a holiday I snatch it up for literally pennies. That green wrapping paper works for birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, father’s day, you name it! Catch my drift?

#6 Use toilet paper rolls keep your gift wrapping paper from unrolling.

I’m crediting my mother-in-law for this one! Easy!

Clever Repurposed Toilet Roll Idea

Now that you have the wrapping part down, how about some homemade gift ideas!

My MyFixItUpLife Interview: Design for Poop?

by Dinah Wulf

MyFixItUpLife

Who knew I could talk about poop for 20 minutes? Yes. Poop. I had the honor of being interviewed by Mark from MyFixItUpLife.  I was so nervous about this at first, but after we started I felt so comfortable and it came pretty easy to me…thanks goodness!

The hosts, Mark and his wife, Theresa have a weekly radio talk show and a daily YouTube show. They are licensed contractors; contribute to DIY Network, Food Network, This Old House, Men’s Health, Old House Journal, Extreme How-To, and more.

Joining me on the panel was Jeanine Hays from AphroChic. She and her husband, Bryan are experts at design that embraces culture and the unique admixture of the traditional and the contemporary that helps to define us all. Jeanine and Bryan have been featured on Good Morning America, and in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, Elle Decor, EBONY and more.

Also on the panel, is HGTV designer Genevieve Gorder!!! I LOVE her! I recall recording every single episode of Dear Genevieve a few years ago. Genevieve designs for her new series Genevieve’s Renovation. You can also catch her on Dear Genevieve, HGTV Star, A Hero’s Welcome Home, and hosting HGTV’s White House Christmas Specials.

In this interview, we’re tackling the much under-talked about design dilemma: How do you design for litter boxes and diaper pails? We’re asking the question: When it comes to litter boxes and diaper pails, where do you put the poop without compromising design?

So, without further ado…let’s talk poop…

You can also catch this interview on Google+ and BlogTalk Radio.

Check out MyFixItUpLife on YouTube and the MyFixItUpLife blog for more ideas and inspiration. Thank you to Mark and Theresa for having me and thank YOU for watching!

Camping Ideas and Tips

by Dinah Wulf

Happy Friday! With summertime well underway, I thought I’d put together a list of helpful checklists, camping ideas and tips, DIY hacks and ideas, games, crafts, and tasty treats from some fabulous fellow Bloggers.

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Here we go!

 

Check Lists and Camping Tips: Checklists, tips, and tricks to help prepare you for a successful and safe family vacation.

 

DIY: Budget-friendly upcycled ideas for outdoor lighting.

 

Games/Activities: Fun games and activities the whole family can enjoy outdoors.

 

Craft Ideas: Craft ideas to keep the kiddos busy and spark their creativity.

 

Tasty Treats: Easy to make finger foods to help make your trip extra special.

Tips for Painting a Wall from Dark to Light

by Dinah Wulf

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I am so honored to be sponsored by 3M DIY today! As you may know, I spend so much time in my craft room. It’s painted a beautiful dark blue, which I love, however I felt that it was too dark with all four walls painted blue.  I decided to paint one of the walls a bright white to help enhance the natural light. Here are my Tips for Painting a Wall from Dark to Light.

Here is a photo of my craft room wall before.

Tips for painting a wall dark to light

Materials:

Instructions:

Prepare your surface. First remove all hardware. Using sand paper, sand any bumps or blemishes.

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3M offers a variety of Painter’s tape to help you with any DIY Project. I chose to use the Safe-Release tape. After you apply your tape to the area that you would like protected, use your fingers to press down and smooth over the tape to prevent bleeding.

 

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Protect your floor with a drop cloth. I have the Scotch Blue Heavy Duty Non-Slip Drop that is durable, light weight, and easy to clean so that you can reuse it.

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Once you have prepared your wall and workspace, you are ready to paint. I chose an interior latex high hiding primer. It’s great for changing drastic dark colors to lighter colors.

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Using an angled paint brush, I started by priming the edges first as shown. An angled brush will help maintain smooth lines.

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Next, I primed the rest of the wall using a short roller brush. Depending on the area you are painting, you may opt for a longer roller.

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I primed the entire area in two coats, allowing it to dry for two hours in between coats. This is a photo of my second coat.

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Next, Paint your wall with the desired lighter color. I chose a bright white. I was able to only use one coat of paint. Once the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape. Look at how clean my lines were!

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Here is another AFTER photo! I love how it turned out. The natural light in my craft room is so much better.

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I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from 3M DIY. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me. You can also visit 3M DIY on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook!

Printography: Tips for Hanging Pictures

by Dinah Wulf

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I am honored to be sponsored by Printography today to share with you my Tips for Hanging Pictures. I received a beautiful bamboo mount 8X8 photo of my daughter the other day.  I chose this picture because it sums up her age at this moment in time… mismatched clothes because she has to pick out her own, messy hair because she won’t let me put it in pig tails anymore, and arms raised with a huge smile so happy for her new found independence.  She’s such a ham!

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The Printography site is so easy to navigate and order. It only took a few minutes for me to place my order.  When I received it, I was so excited, because the quality exceeded my expectations. Now until March 2nd, you can receive 15% off of your order by using the PROMO CODE: DIYINSPIRED!

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Anyway, I wanted to create a photo gallery way of family photos. I did a black and white photo gallery and my new bamboo mounted photo of Mia is an awesome pop of color.

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General Height Guidelines I have learned:

  1. For hanging photos above a couch, measure 10” above the back of the couch.
  2. For hanging photos on a hallway wall, measure up from the floor 5-6 feet.
  3. For hanging photos on a dining room or living room wall, measure up from the floor 4-4.5 feet.

My Tips for Hanging Pictures for a Home Gallery Wall:

  1. I decided to stick to three types of frames only: black, silver, and wood.
  2. I used mostly black and white photos because I thought it made it look more modern.
  3. I used a variety of frame sizes: 8X10, 5X7, 4X6
  4. I kept one vertical imaginary straight line all the way across the wall and placed the photos above or below the line.
  5. I used a photo mat for some of the photos which created a little more dimension.
  6. Social networking sites are a great resource to get family photos if your collection is lacking.
  7. Photo wall adhesive strips are DEFINITELY the way to go when hanging ANY picture frames.  No holes!!! You can get them at several retail stores. It also makes it easier, because you don’t have to worry about aligning a nail and frame hook.
  8. Lastly, arrange all of your photos and take pictures of them to help you choose the right arrangement. 

Here is an example of my arrangements. I did this a few times until I was satisfied.

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Here is the final one more time.

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I hope you enjoyed my tips! Don’t forget, you can receive 15% off of your order by using the PROMO CODE: DIYINSPIRED on Printography!

Guest Room Etiquette and Preparation for Visitors

by Dinah Wulf

Having overnight visitors in your home can be both stressful and exciting. There are three things to keep in mind for proper etiquette and preparation; preparing the room, providing necessities, and adding special touches. With these three Guest Room Etiquette and Preparation for Visitors tips in mind, you are sure to have a fun and stress free visit.

Prepare your guest room by making sure it is clean and has typical hotel-like conveniences. The less clutter the better, keeping the décor to a minimal. Make sure the sheets and pillows are clean and smell fresh. Low lighting is best for a comfortable spa-like feel. Create storage space and clear dresser tops and drawers for your guest’s toiletries and other belongings. Add a bench or stool at the foot of the bed to hold a suitcase or to create an area to remove shoes or to change. I made this one! Be sure to have an accessible outlet for your guests to charge their cell phones or laptops.

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Provide some necessities that your guests may have forgotten. Clear out a top dresser drawer or nightstand drawer and add paper, pens, and other desk supplies for your guests to use freely. Make sure there are extra hangers in the closet and room for your guests to hang their clothes. During colder seasons make sure to provide extra blankets and pillows. They can easily be stored at the top shelf of a closet or under the bed. If you have an accessible bathroom for your guests make sure there are extra bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths.

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You can also provide a hairdryer, extra toilet paper, extra toothpaste or toothbrushes, Q-tips, razors, soap, and shampoo as well.

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It’s the extra added touches that make the bests hosts/hostesses. Make your guests feel pampered by providing a few unexpected goodies. Fresh flowers on a nightstand next to some night stand essentials like candy, an alarm clock, reading light, and tissues is a nice touch. Consider leaving books and magazines for light reading or maps with marked local restaurants or rental car services.

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Go the extra mile and write down suggestions for local activities, flea markets, festivals, or concerts. On top of the dresser create a small area for bottled water and easy to grab snacks like granola bars, candies, gum, or peanuts.

These small considerations and thoughtful touches go a long way. With these three ideas in mind, your guests are sure to feel a warm welcomed in your home. In case you missed it, here’s is my guestroom paint makeover as well as an upcycled headboard I made from a painting.

How to Decorate with Ribbon

by Dinah Wulf

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Adding special personal touches and details to your décor is what sets it apart from the rest. Decorating with ribbon is a great way to achieve that uniqueness. There are so many beautiful textures, colors, and patterns of ribbon available to make it easy for you to choose a style to fit your décor to add a little decorative adornment. You can add personality and style by simply adding ribbon to gifts and home décor like cards, artwork, pillows, and even furniture. Here are some Tips and Inspiration for How to Decorate with Ribbon.

First, decide on a project. Ribbon can be used for projects both large and small. You can embellish a small item as a gift like a homemade card, a cloth napkin, or piece of framed artwork. Ribbon is a great way to add continuity and design to a room if you would like to introduce a specific color or pattern to your décor. Large projects would include adding accents to curtains, trim around tables, or pizazz to upholstered chairs. Start with one small room like a bathroom or guest room to experiment. Bright and colorful patterned ribbon is great for accenting kid’s rooms.

Here’s a before and after of a lampshade for a little girls room.

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Next, measure how much ribbon you need. Ribbon comes in both spools or by the yard. For large projects, take your measurements before you go to the store and only buy what you need. Consider using fabric scraps to embellish jewelry boxes, lamp shades, and other small projects. I added trim to a forty-two inch pedestal table using less than one spool of ribbon. Left over ribbon can be used to decorate a matching vase and votive candles for the table top.

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Lastly, select your materials and method of attachment. There are several options in attaching ribbon to your projects. Besides sewing it to fabric, glue, fusible web or double sided tape made especially for fabric works well too. Fusible web is used by heating it with an iron. It is permanent and washable. Similar to tape, it comes in rolls, in various widths, and can be found in light, medium, and heavy weights. If you are attaching ribbon to fabric, make sure it is clean and washed prior to application.

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As you can see, ribbon is not just for wrapping pretty gift packages; rather it is much more versatile. Crafting and decorating with ribbon elevates an ordinary piece and turns it into a custom one of a kind upcycled treasure.

Craft Storage and Organization Ideas with All Access™

by Dinah Wulf

Every year when I take down my Christmas decorations I feel the need to clean, purge, and organize everything in my house! It never fails.  This year, thanks to Home Depot and Rubbermaid® All Access™ I have been able to do that. So, today I wanted to share with you my Craft Storage and Organization Ideas with All Access™.

I went to Home Depot and bought several of the extra small sized Rubbermaid® All Access™ bins.

These bins in particular are fantastic because not only is there a lid on the top, but there is a door you can open in the front for easy access to the contents inside.

On a side note, I have to mention this (because it’s a huge pet peeve), but the sticker easily comes off the lid. See?  I hate it when you have to spend extra time trying to get the sticker off of the plastic! OK moving on…

I started in my craft room.  I was able to combine three containers of craft paint into one All Access™ bin.

I also fit three containers of glue and adhesive into one bin. I know… I have a lot!

Finally, I was able to fit three containers of craft punches in one bin as well.

Then, in my craft room, I have a separate area in the closet for my daughter’s craft supplies.  Here is what it looked like before.

Here it is organized with my new storage bins! I love that you can stack them and still open them. Plus, I can now see through them which was a problem before.

So now I am just addicted and realized they are sturdy enough for toys and the handling of a small child! So I went to Home Depot and purchased more bins. My daughter’s room used to have these storage bins.  They are colorful and pretty, but my daughter never plays with the things inside.  I think it’s because she can’t see them.

So, I replaced some of them with the Rubbermaid® All Access™ bins. The extra small ones fit perfectly in her shelving unit and now she can see all her toys and have easy access to them from the top and front!

Phew! It feels great to start the New Year organized!

Open up the possibilities of easy access with Rubbermaid® All Access™ Organizers. The All Access™ line features a clear drop-down door so you can easily see and retrieve the items you want, even when they are stacked! Visit your local Home Depot to see why organization just got easier!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rubbermaid® . The opinions and text are all mine.

Transform Your Backyard With These DIY Projects

by Dinah Wulf

Transform Your Backyard With These DIY Projects, written by Guest Author Melissa Jordon

Some people ignore their backyard and it becomes just a place to let the dog run and the kids play. With these easy DIY projects, you can turn your backyard into a place to entertain and relax. Once completed, these additions will look masterpieces from a professional, however all are projects you can do yourself in a weekend!

Backyard Fire Pit

Photo by ACM Design Architects via Flickr

One of the most popular additions to the backyard is the fire pit, according to the DIY Network. A built-in, stone fire pit can create a central relaxation spot for the whole family. Whether it’s toasting marshmallows or warming yourself on a cool evening, it is an addition everyone can enjoy year-round.

Build a square or round fire pit, whichever fits the yard and landscape. A good size to start with is a round pit that is two feet tall and five feet in diameter. The interior area will be three feet in diameter.

Lay a concrete foundation for your fire pit that is six inches deep with an outer wall 12 inches wide. To allow for proper drainage, leave a small cement-free hole in the very center. After the foundation has set for 24 hours, build the outer stone wall. Select a natural stone or prepared brick material and use mortar to lay the stones around the circle. Line the interior of your fire pit with fire bricks and top with a layer of smooth, flat stones to create a polished look. Finally, place a layer of river rocks on the bottom to complete the fire pit.

Backyard Gazebo

Photo by ARNOLD Masonry and Concrete via Flickr

Build a simple gazebo in your backyard to create a shady place to sit and relax with your spouse. A standard option includes an eight-foot by eight-foot wooden frame and can be completed in just a weekend. Find some simple project plans that include all materials and steps on DIYNetwork.com.

Backyard Stone Paths

Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

A natural stone path can accentuate the landscape and create a focal point to the real highlight of your backyard space: the pool. Use some simple flat stones to place size to 12 inches apart in the grass or gravel leading up to your pool, then dig down far enough that each stone sits just one inch above the soil. In rainy areas, a gravel base may be required to set a stronger foundation. Once the stones are set into place make sure they’re level. When you’re satisfied with the stones’ placement fill in the spaces with gravel or ground cover. This will draw the eye to the pool area, so take special care to ensure your pool is in tip-top shape. Find a new cover from PoolProducts.com and make sure your deck is free of debris.

About Melissa Jordan

Missy started blogging from home after earning two bachelor’s degrees (one in English and one in history) the same year the Great Recession hit. The economy’s picking up, but she like the freelance lifestyle and doubts she’ll look for a “real” job anytime soon.

How to Repair a Broken Mirror Frame

by Dinah Wulf

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Five months ago I got an amazing deal on two mirrors at Home Goods.  They were in the clearance section because they were damaged.  One frame retailed for $120 and I got it for $8 and the other retailed for $80 and I got it for $12. I made over the former into a two toned metallic mirror that I hang in my stairway. The latter, was little bit harder, hence me procrastinating doing this project!  I kinda-sorta figured it out. I say “kinda-sorta” because it’s not perfect by any means!  So without further ado, here is how to repair a broken mirror frame (more or less…ha!)

Materials:

  • Broken frame
  • Glue
  • Clamp
  • Bondo body filler
  • Sand paper
  • Newspaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer
  • Spray paint

Here is the mirror BEFORE… great deal for $12, right?

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Here is a close up of the damage.

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I used a clamp to hold it together and put some glue in the damaged area in hopes it would help hold it together.  I let it dry completely.

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Next I added Bondo body filler, to shape and mold the missing frame.

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Once it is dry, use sand paper to sand it down and shape it.  This was the hardest part.  Mine isn’t perfect, but it looks much better.

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Next I covered the mirror with newspaper and painter’s tape.

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I first decided to prime it because of the dark color and the imperfections.

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Lastly, after about a half hour of drying time I spray painted it gold.  I used about three coats allowing five minutes to dry in between coats.

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Much better! Here are a couple AFTER photos. I think I’m going to hang it in my master bedroom… but the light is better in here for a photo ;)

how-to-fix-a-broken-mirror-frame (8)

how-to-fix-a-broken-mirror-frame (7)

The Right Height to Hang Shelves

by Dinah Wulf

how-to-hang-shelves

Since we have painted and upgraded the house a little, I have been very careful with making the right choices for hanging things on my walls.   In case you are wondering, yes those are some of my Halloween decorations above, not my everyday decorations…ha! I did an online search for guidelines for the right height to hang shelves the other day.  In my research I found the eHow gave me the best advice.  I thought it was valuable so I thought I’d pass it on!

General Guidelines I learned:

  1. For hanging shelves above a couch, measure 10” above the back of the couch.
  2. For hanging shelves on a hallway wall, measure up from the floor 5-6 feet.
  3. For hanging shelves on a dining room or living room wall, measure up from the floor 4-4.5 feet.

What You Will Need:

  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

I started by measuring the width of the wall space and the width of the shelf.  I wanted it centered so I subtracted the shelf width (from the screw holes) from the wall width and divided by 2.  The remainder is the distance between the ends the shelf and the wall. I also measured 4.5 feet from the floor.

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With the help of my husband, I had him hold the shelf in place while I used a free level app on my iPhone to make sure the shelf was straight. I used a pencil to mark where the screws should be placed and screwed in the first (bottom) shelf.

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download-level-app (1)

For the second shelf, I had in mind what knick knacks I wanted to put on top of it, and decided on placing it 16 inches above the second shelf. Again, I used the level to make sure it was straight.

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Take-Aways:

  • Download a free level app; it’ll make your project much easier.
  • In my opinion, the general measurement guidelines above were perfect!

How Going DIY Helps the Environment

by Dinah Wulf

How Going DIY Helps the Environment is a Guest Post Written by Andy Giardo.

Photo of a upcycled bowl made from cans by bee-cycle via Flickr

Saving on energy has deep roots closely tied to the burgeoning indie craft community. It may seem a crazy connection, but the ties between the two movements are closer than you might think.

Both movements are linked to conservation. Both DIY-ers and green community members care for the environment and ensure they haven’t squandered resources future generations will need. Members of the green movement embrace natural beauty in the world and work toward conserving that beauty as much as possible. The indie craft community, likewise, recognizes resources to use and reuse to create beauty around. DIYers reuse, recycle, upcycle, and re-create. They’re ingenious and careful, and they appreciate beauty in unusual places, seeing the potential, where others just see old materials. They don’t like creating waste, which ultimately makes for a more beautiful planet.

DIY Movement

HLN calls “The Maker Movement” one of the biggest trends of the past year, in response to the effects of the recession and people looking to save money while also creating one-of-a-kind goods. The roots of the DIY community come from pioneer women who made warm, practical quilts with what they had, not carefully coordinated fabric store finds. The desire to be surrounded by organic beauty naturally flowed throughout daily life. Decorating today’s home without harsh chemicals continues with wood staining techniques using nut husks, vegetables and herbs.

What’s available to DIY-ers now includes everything from crochet hooks and batting, to mobile apps and Internet resources. CraftGossip.com editor Rosie Bromberg uses the Internet to connect to like-minded crafters around the globe. Bromberg says through craft shows, bazaars and online activity, she sees a promising future for indie crafts.

Photo of a craft show by rpongsaj via Flickr

How Energy Consumption Ties In

Both the green movement and the DIY movement consist of creative people who look for unique solutions to problems others can’t see through. Energy savers — those who engineer solar hot water heaters for use in sunny climates, to those who spin and dye their own alpaca wool — use what they have for a bigger, practical, upcycled purpose.

While some may call the two groups subcultures, hold-outs from the 1970s who haven’t quite recovered from Woodstock, that’s rapidly changing. People are discovering a conservation-focused way of life is not a passing fad. Using resources wisely dates back to Biblical times, when women dyed clothing with indigo and pulp from the dogwood tree. Yasmin Chopin Interior Design named indigo as the decorating “color of 2013,” calling it a visual answer to hectic and chaotic lifestyles.

When it comes to conserving energy in your own home, there are many DIY methods to helping the earth while saving money. Deregulation of energy providers, as seen on electriccompanies.com, gives DIY-ers more choice when it comes to services. Do-it-yourself energy audits, in which homeowners can look for cords to unplug, air leaks to fix, and insulation to improve, can create satisfying, Earth-friendly home projects. You can even install your own solar panels, which will create lifelong energy savings. Just like most any object could be repurposed for a craft or new product, that same approach to energy savings is vital because of the unstability of nonrenewable resources.

Photo by OregonDOT via Flickr

About Andy Giardo

Andy writes about amateur woodworking, welding and other DIY projects.

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