23rd Oct2013

Repurposed Earring Burlap and Feather Napkin Rings

by Dinah Wulf

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Since I got a little taste of my glittery and “bling-ed” out Halloween, I thought I’d definitely want to bring a little glitz and glam to my dinner table this year for Thanksgiving.  I guess you could call it rustic chic!  Plus, I love burlap crafts. I found some sparkly earrings in my closet and thought I would make Repurposed Earring Burlap and Feather Napkin Rings.

You only need 3 things:

  • Earrings of choice, one per napkin ring
  • Burlap strips
  • Scissors

Here are the earrings I found. I think it’s been close to a decade since I’ve worn them… yikes! Dangly rhinestone earrings MUST have been in!

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I went to Joann Fabrics and Crafts and found these fun blue feathers in the floral section.

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I gave them a little bend and they were the perfect size for napkin rings.

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First I folded my cloth napkins and wrapped a strip of burlap around it.  I didn’t secure it in any way.

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The feather wraps nicely around the burlap and keeps it in place.  This will also make it easy for your guests to take off when they are ready to use them. Next, I simply pierced the earring through the burlap and out the backing on the earring to keep it on.  This way, you won’t ruin your earrings and you can still wear them…that s if they are still in style!

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I thought they turned out cute!  They are definitely the inspiration for my whole Thanksgiving table scape… now for the centerpieces!

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22nd Oct2013

Thrift Store Apothecary Jars How To

by Dinah Wulf

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Apothecary jars are so beautiful and can serve several display purposes.  You can use them for candy, holiday decorations, or even display your collections. They look pretty on a mantel or kitchen island or even a bathroom filled with sponges or shells.  I like to use them for candy on a candy bar dessert table for parties. Apothecary jars start at about twenty dollars apiece for the small ones, I decided to try a little do it yourself thrift store apothecary jars project.

I found a box of four glass canisters at a discount housewares store for twelve dollars.

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On one of my recent thrift store ventures, I found some candle holders for $1.50 apiece.

Additional materials needed are:

  • Spray paint of your choice
  • A strong adhesive

In my case, I chose a metallic silver spray paint and Gorilla glue.

Before you start, make sure your jars candle holders are clean and free of wax especially if you purchased them at a thrift store.  When you spray paint them, every little bump will show (I learned this the hard way).

Spray paint your candlesticks holding the can about 12 inches away in a well-ventilated area.

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When the paint is completely dry, approximately two hours, glue the candlestick to the canister. I let the glue set overnight before picking it up, just to be safe.

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Voila! Instant DIY apothecary jar! Fill it with whatever you like… pinecones, peppermint sticks, or ornaments for the holidays are perfect for this time of year.

17th Oct2013

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.

10th Oct2013

Recycled Book Page Wreath Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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This recycled book page wreath tutorial was an oldie but goodie trash to treasure idea.  I wanted to re-share it because I thought it may have gotten lost in the mix of over 600 posts I’ve published and I thought it was a fun book page craft! I had a damaged antique book with beautiful gold leafed pages.  The book is a book of poems by Keats, however it is falling apart and some pages are missing, so I decided to upcycle it into a wreath and turn it from trash to treasure.

Here is what you need:

  • Plumbing Insulation Tube
  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Book
  • Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Sharp Knife

Instructions:

Start by cutting the plumbing insulation tube in half (one tube makes two wreaths).  Set aside one tube for another project. Carefully and gradually peel away the adhesive strip and stick the two sides together.  I say “carefully and gradually” because this sucker’s extremely sticky.  Next, tape the two ends together with duct tape. If you pinch and massage the tube, it will form into a circle and end up looking like this.

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Next, cut your pages out of the book.  I found that the fastest and cleanest way is to use a sharp knife. One by one, roll each page to make a cone shape and flatten the bottom part.

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Using a hot glue gun, glue the cones onto the foam wreath. After your first layer, turn the wreath over.  You have just finished the back of the wreath. I used approximately 35 pages for the first layer. Start your second layer. For the third, fourth, and fifth layer, you will glue the cone over the ring as shown below.  After the fifth layer, “QC” your wreath and fill any open gaps with another cone.

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Here are some after pictures.

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09th Oct2013

Old Mirror Facelift

by Dinah Wulf

Man, have I upcycled some mirrors in my past! This old mirror facelift isn’t my first.  To give you a rundown, I have done:

  1. Two Toned Metallic Mirror Makeover
  2. Easy Thrift Store Mirror Update
  3. DIY Serving Tray: A Mirror Makeover
  4. OK so it’s not really that many (I swear it seemed like more) but I have another one on the way.

I have had this beautiful mirror for many years.  It was given to me by my best friend’s Grandparents as a gift.  We repainted the inside of the house including the mantel and it didn’t look quite right anymore.  With her blessing, I gave it a little bit of an update to match my new brick mantel makeover.

You can see the BEFORE in this picture… and probably in several of my posts in the background. This photo was taken last year when I did a tutorial for Recycled T Shirt Bunting for Thanksgiving.

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Anyway, I took it down, and decided to give it a mini-facelift.  Using painters tape and newspaper I covered the mirror completely.

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I spray painted it with a paint and primer in one.

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I did this other mirror too for our bathroom. See? I knew I had more mirrors! Just kidding… this one isn’t the one I mentioned earlier. That one is coming soon!

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Doesn’t it look more updated? I think it looks beautiful and timeless in black.

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Here’s the mirror in the bathroom.

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It only took a couple hours including drying time to paint the two.  It was definitely worth it!

07th Oct2013

Glittered Candy Corn Mason Jar

by Dinah Wulf

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The candy corn was my inspiration for this project.  Even though I don’t care to eat them, I always thought that there was something whimsical about the colors.  It reminds me of Halloween, but it’s not scary or frightening.  So, I decided to make a glittered candy corn Mason jar.

Materials:

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Instructions:

I started with the center orange stripe on purpose to save time.  I knew once that the orange was dry; I would be able to apply both the gold and white without waiting for one to dry.  Using painter’s tape, I taped of my center stripe and then covered the entire center with glue using the paint brush. I sprinkled the glitter all the way around the jar.  Tap off the excess glitter and put it back in your container.

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While the glue was still wet, I pulled off the painter’s tape. I allowed it to dry completely.

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Next, I taped off the lower half of the orange stripe to begin glittering the gold stripe using the same technique above.

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Remove the tape while it is still wet.

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Repeat the process for the final white stripe.

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Once the glue was dry, I gave the vase a light tap over the garbage can to remove any excess glitter. Then, I added water and fresh flowers!

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I loved how it turned out.  I think these would make a great homemade hostess gift during all those parties over the holidays!

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25th Sep2013

Vintage Themed Baby Shower

by Dinah Wulf

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FINALLY! I get to share the vintage themed baby shower that I have had the honor of working on for my best friend’s brother and sister-in-law.  It was a beautiful day and my friend had the perfect back yard for it.

I know I already shared:

I had such a great time decorating for this party.  I bought some flowers and arranged them all before I left.  I loaded the car and brought all my decorations including the thrift store shelf I made over.  I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to decorate because I had no idea how the venue would be set up.  There were five tables, so I needed five centerpieces.  I brought some toys, vintage books, small decorative suitcases, several handkerchiefs I bought while antique shopping, and of course the flowers.

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I also had the food table to decorate.  I layered the table with boxes to create some height.  I also brought some cupcake stands I made. The table was quite the hodge-podge, but I think I made too many decorations!

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I ended up using my thrift store shelf to place the favors on.  I brought my DIY pedestal trays, some antique books, and more handkerchiefs. I c small flower boxes from the craft store and put chocolates inside.

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I wish I took more pictures of the backyard in total but I forgot!  There was too much going on and I was trying to enjoy myself.  Oh well!

24th Sep2013

Upcycled Dining Room Chandelier

by Dinah Wulf

BE FORWARNED!!! This post contains a FAIL! I think I added too much bling to this attempt at my upcycled dining room chandelier.  Let me explain.

Here is the chandelier before… nice… but not our style.

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My husband and I took it down and he decided he wanted to try and upcycle it instead of selling it.  He took the whole thing apart because we wanted to get rid of the metal leaves.

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Once they were removed, he took it apart and used a metal file to smooth down the rough areas.

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We bought some PVC pipe to cover part of the light bulb (BAD idea… because the bulbs were too hot for them! Of course I didn’t know that during these photos so let me continue…)

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He spray painted it all black.

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Meanwhile, I decided to turn this light into a sparkly chandelier to match these lighting fixtures we bought.

Orb Chandelier (560x560)

I bought beads.

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I strung them one by one. Pretty right?? Not so much… you’ll see!

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My husband but the light back up after the paint was dry and I was still stringing beads (very tedious). Not bad!

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Then I attempted to add them to the chandelier…

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It’s not THAT bad…but it didn’t look quite right.  I think it needed more, but I wasn’t willing to spend more money.

THEN, we discovered that the PVC pipe started deforming… Ooooops!!! SOOOOO we decided that we liked the light without the PVC pipe and the sparkly beads.  What do you think???? FAIL??? Should we take the whole thing down? Maybe try some Edison bulbs instead?

Chandelier-before-after

19th Sep2013

Recycled Box Gift Bags with Scotch Brand

by Dinah Wulf

I’m honored to be partner up with Scotch Brand, sponsor of Recycled Box Gift Bags!

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I’m excited to announce this year’s 2013 Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest!  The 17th annual Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest will take place Friday, December 6 at Celsius at Bryant Park in New York City. All you have to do is submit a 3-minute video of your best gift wrap and gift wrapping tips before September 22 to be considered (Quick! That’s THIS Sunday!). Eight finalists will be chosen and flown to New York City for an all-expenses paid trip to compete for the $10,000 and the title of the 2013 Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper!!! The first 50 valid entries will automatically receive a prize pack of the new Scotch Expressions Tapes! Learn more about the contest {HERE}!

I was able to try out some of my own gift wrapping inspired by Scotch Expressions Tapes.  They are available in over 100 colors and patterns and four varieties—Magic Tape, masking tape, washi tape and shipping tape.

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I decided to upcycle these used food boxes from my kitchen pantry (so now you know I eat generic whole wheat rotini and pop tarts!).

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I started off by cutting off the top flaps.

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Then, I covered the box with colorful paper to match my Scotch Expressions Tape.

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I also used a hole punch to punch holes on each side of the boxes to insert a ribbon for a handle.

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I chose some masking tape and some washi tape to embellish my upcycled gift bags, and tied on some ribbon. Tah-dah!

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More info about Scotch Expressions Tapes:

They are available at office superstores and mass retailers nationwide, as well as online. Head to their site to find a store near you. It’s easy! Just type in your zip code. The Scotch Expressions Tapes line ranges in price from $2.50 (single pack)—$5.99 (triple pack).  Office Depot is also currently selling five limited edition One Direction tapes in partnership with an anti-bullying campaign.

Thanks again to Scotch Brand for sponsoring today’s post!

11th Sep2013

Architectural Salvage Shopping

by Dinah Wulf

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Last weekend, my husband and I decided to do some shopping at our favorite architectural salvage places in Los Angeles.  We had just finished our floors (here are our floors before) and now we needed to look for some new pieces to fit our updates.  I just wanted to share with you what I saw and found.

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Every time I go to places like these, I forget how amazing they are!  We started off at one location of Olde Good Things (we ended at the other location). We ended up going to four different places.

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Our style is, I guess you can call it, “industrial chic”.  We both like the hardness of metal mixed with beautifully upholstered furniture.  It’s a mix of both masculine and feminine and I think that style goes well with our new cement floors (post coming soon!).

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Specifically we were looking for a dining room table.  We found several ideas for legs, table tops, and bases.  We particularly loved these metal legs from vintage machinery but they were out of our budget.  They were about $1100 for a pair… and we still needed to make a top!

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We fell in love with this metal work bench and we were able to negotiate the price down.  We have a large piece of glass that would look beautiful for the top.

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There were aisles and aisles of amazing pieces… everything from fixtures, to statues, to old doors and metal tiles.

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I fell in love with this eight foot by four foot mirror.  Again we haggled with the price and were satisfied with what we got.

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I thought these vintage dress forms were neat and would be great in my craft room.

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There were several cool metal chairs.

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Here are a few more photos.

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vintage -metal-medicine-cabinet

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Amazing right??? I could spend HOURS in there. We are already planning our next trip!

04th Sep2013

Vintage Themed Baby Shower Decorations

by Dinah Wulf

I have been working on this vintage themed baby shower that I have coming up for a friend and I just wanted to share a couple of the decoration ideas I have already started. You know how I love upcycling so I started saving sauce and dressing jars to use as flower vases. I also had some fun vintage inspired baby fabric from my swag bag from the SoCal Social event I went to last year… I knew it would eventually come in handy!

Here are the materials I used:

  • Recycled Jars and Bottles
  • Fabric
  • Lace ribbon
  • Ribbon
  • Paper Craft Flowers
  • Burlap
  • Pearl Ribbon
  • Hot Glue
  • Double sided tape

Here are a couple more pictures.  I will use them for the flower arrangements for the shower.

I also used the scrap fabric to make a banner.  My daughter, Mia helped with this one! I cut all the fabric I had into strips.

I also cut a few pieces of left over lace ribbon.

One by one I tied on each strip, alternating the colors and patterns to some rope that I had left over from some thrift store rope vases I made a long time ago.

It turned out so cute!

I can’t wait to show you the shower.  It’s coming up soon!  I’m never sure exactly how things will turn out until the day of the event but I know I am using some things I already have for decorations like vintage suitcases, antique books, vintage handkerchiefs and baby books I bought while antique shopping, and some other things! Until then!

UPDATE! Here are some more fun decorations I made!  Oh! And also some free Vintage inspired printables!

03rd Sep2013

Upcycled Thrift Store Storage Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I went on a crazy thrift store shopping spree and bought some great things. I spent less than $60.00 on my finds form that day.  I already made, some pedestal trays, a craft storage jar, and upcycled a $5.00 ottoman.  I had these old black CD storage bins left over, so I decided to brainstorm some upcycled thrift store storage ideas.

I walked around my house to look at what needs to be organized…yes…I do this all the time.  I was in my kitchen and noticed that although hidden, my pantry was a mess!  I decided to turn this storage sideways and turn these boxes (this is what happens when you shop at Costco)…

Into this…

SOOOO much better, right?? And so easy!

Of course I couldn’t just throw away the empty boxes. I cut them up and organized my drawers.

Then I took this CD storage box I got and placed it under my bathroom sink for some much needed extra bathroom storage for small items, like my contact lens boxes, razors, and such.

CD towers and storage is so easy to find at thrift stores these days because frankly CD’s are obsolete.  You can buy then SUPER cheap and they can be upcycled into storage for many other things.  I think I may look for small ones like the one I used in the pantry to use in my deep dresser drawers to organize my daughters socks and underwear.  It’s the perfect size!

30th Aug2013

Five Dollar Thrift Store Ottoman Makeover

by Dinah Wulf

I can’t believe that I found this ottoman on a recent thrift store shopping mission for five dollars! It was the perfect trash to treasure project. I couldn’t wait to get it home to get started on my makeover.  Now, this post is more than a simple ottoman makeover, because there was one EXTREMELY annoying issue I had while trying to take it apart.

Materials:

  • Drop cloth
  • Sander and sand paper
  • Clean rags
  • Spray paint
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Staple gun and staples

Here is what the ottoman looked like BEFORE.  The fabric was damaged at the top and the legs and several nicks and scratches.

 

I turned it over to find that it would be easy to recover (do this before you buy it at the store).

One by one I pulled out what seemed like hundreds on staples.

Here is what it looked like underneath.  Initially I was excited because it looked like it was going to be a quick and easy project. Next, at this point (I thought) all I needed to do was unscrew the top from the base and I can get to reupholster the cushion… WRONG!

I could NOT get the fourth and final screw out of this thing! I tried unscrewing it with a manual screw driver as well as a drill. I tried using a socket wrench. I even went to Home Depot and bought a screw extractor and THAT didn’t work.  I ended up drilling around the hole and manually pulling t out with pliers.

I mean, look at it! Yikes!

And look at the giant hole! Oooops! BUT I got the sucker out.  I figured it will be covered anyway and there are other areas where I can drill a new screw in.

Finally I was able to remove the top from the base. I first took the base and sanded it with an electric sander.  You can see all the nicks and scratches.

After I wiped down the base with a clean rag to remove all the dust and debris, I spray painted it using a brushed metallic spray paint in an oil bronze finish.  I wish I could capture the color better in the pictures, but it turned out great.

While the paint was drying I simply recovered the cushion in a more updated burlap printed fabric using a staple gun.  It was super easy.

Once the base was dry, I screwed in the top to the base with four new wood screws and reused the black cover and staple it in for a finished look underneath.  Here is an AFTER.

27th Aug2013

DIY Thrift Store Pedestal Trays

by Dinah Wulf

I was recently sent on a FANTASTIC thrift store shopping mission by one of my sponsors.  I had the BEST TIME and bought some great, and more importantly, CHEAP stuff!  I made a stenciled craft storage jar out of a cookie jar and a little ceramic quail I found and I also made these fun thrift store pedestal trays out of candlesticks and plates.

Now, I have done similar projects like this in the past like a DIY Cupcake Stand which was awesome for a cupcake bar for my daughters second birthday and a diaper cake display for a golf themed baby shower I did. I also made an Easy Pedestal Bowl that I use as a jewelry holder.

Here are the pieces I found at Goodwill.

I just LOVED the shape of these glass candlesticks.

And look! They fit perfectly together!

E6000 is a go-to for me on projects like this.

I carefully spread it around the top of the candlestick and I placed in the center of the plate.

I let them dry for a full 24 hours before I used them.

I put one in my bathroom for when I take off my jewelry.

And I put the other one in my craft room.

This is such a fun and EASY project that you can do with just about any plate, tray, candlestick, jar, or glass.  The look and shape of the endless combinations can fit any décor style as well!

22nd Aug2013

Upcycled Ladder Garden Display

by Dinah Wulf

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I’m excited to share another great submission by one of my favorite DIY Inspired readers, Lilly Meehan from Ventura California.  Lilly is no stranger to DIY projects.  She has submitted some great ones in the past.  This time she shares a fun and vibrant upcycled ladder that she uses outside for a succulent display.  She chose to paint it an eye-catching purple.  I think she did a fabulous job!

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Here’s what Lilly said about this project:

“An old ladder that was used in my Dad’s contracting business had become too rickety to use safely. After adding plywood shelves and carefully preserving the V & L stencil (the name of my Dad’s business) it was painted in exterior latex paint, plus sprayed with a coat of clear gloss.  The shelves were tied down with twine.  Colorful pots were planted with a variety of succulents with polished stones covering any exposed potting soil.  A new piece of yard art, with the sentimental value of being from my Dad’s business, is now the home of a beautiful succulent garden.”      

More Original Projects by Lilly on DIY Inspired

Thrift Store Chair Makeover

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Upcycled Penny Table

Upcycled Thrift Store Penny Table (5)

Recycled Clock Watch Display

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I wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Lilly for allowing me to post this amazing succulent garden. It’s always an honor to share your projects!  Keep ‘em coming!

Do you have a project you’d like to share?  Submit your DIY Projects or crafts for a chance to be featured on DIYInspired.com!

19th Aug2013

Skinny Cow Thrift Store Shopping Mission

by Dinah Wulf

Woohoo!!! It’s FINALLY time to show you the result of Mission #2 and announce my next Sponsored Skinny Cow Mission #3! If you recall I announced my exciting partnership with Skinny Cow and shared my WoCavé and my sanctuary, my craft room.  My first mission was to have a fun craft day with my best friend in my WoCavé. We had a great time crafting accessories and eating our Skinny Cow cookies and dough ice cream bars. For Mission #2 my best friend and I were sent off to a thrift store shopping mission to find items for my WoCavé complete with a driver and all!!  Abdul our driver took a photo of me and Jenny in front of our car.

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Before we left, we fueled up with some Skinny Cow Limited Edition Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches.  They were amazing at only 140 calories and 2 grams of fat!

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Skinny Cow sent us off completely prepared with some must have thrift store shopping items:

  • A recycled tote for our purchases (I brought SEVERAL)
  • A pink measuring tape
  • An easy to carry clutch purse
  • And CASH!!!

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Then we were off! This is me and my best friend Jenny in the back of our car. You can view several pictures on Instagram

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We had three hours with our driver Abdul and we were able to go to five local thrift stores.  Holy Moly, was this shopping trip a success!  Each thrift store was graced with so many great items.

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I was so excited that I went crazy with great thrift store finds!

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After three hours, here is what I ended up buying. Can you believe I bought all of this AND the ottoman shown below for less than $60.00????

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I turned this…

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Into this fun pedestal tray for my craft room! (Tutorial to come)

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And this…

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Into this craft storage jar for my WoCavé! (Here’s the full tutorial)

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And finally, my prized possession, a five dollar ottoman that I knew I could easily make over with some TLC.  I posted it on Instagram and the verdict was to buy it! Here is the Instagram photo I posted.

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Here is the ottoman AFTER I made it over! I will post the full tutorial soon.

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And now for my FINAL mission {insert sad music here}… Mission #3… here are some hints:

  • It’s time to relieve some stress!
  • Get pretty-fied DIY!
  • Pretty in Pink yummy goodness

I can’t wait to reveal the final Mission!  Make sure you check back on full photo tutorials for how I repurposed and upcycled these fantastic thrift store finds! 

I am honored to be a Skinny Cow brand Influencer for the Wocave Program.  Products and monetary compensation were provided by Skinny Cow. All opinions are 100% my own.

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