A great second use for a child’s first bed…

Repurpose an old Headboard into a Bench...I found this old headboard while doing the “yard-sale-thing” with my mom and sister, last summer; I’d always wanted to try and make one of these benches. So, this is what my daughter and I came up with.

First, we chipped off all the loose paint, sanded down the shiny spots and wiped the surface clean with some Windex.  (Windex or a grease cutter is always a good idea to make sure nothing sticky has been left behind from the previous owner.) Next, we took some scrap 1X2’s and nailed a ledge directly on to the headboard to attach our seat. To create the seat we used salvaged 2X4’s to make a box and the legs, used 1X6 inch refurbished cedar bed slats for the top and finished by tacking on some leftover house trim around the seat to give it some extra character. Lastly, we painted, let dry, sanded (for an aged look) and applied a light coat of stain, paying special attention to the areas we just sanded. And, there you have it!

Note: We used a nail gun for the trim, but used a drill and 1 1/2″ screws for the base in a #5 domino pattern; since this is being used as a seat, we wanted it to be stable and not shift.

Also, Notable: 1. I don’t paint everything this color; I’ve just been obsessed with turquoise the past two years. 2. Moms should think about repurposing their child’s old beds to keep them around. My daughter had a great 4-poster bed and if I had seen this back then I would of salvaged the bed. 3. I hope you all don’t get bored with me sharing projects, lol.

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Who doesn’t want a life-size doodle pad…

Make a life-size doodle pad out an old window...We have a dry erase board on our icebox; it’s original purpose was a calendar, but in the last year it’s been mostly used to showcase drawings from just about everyone in the house. The other day I remembered having a Doodle Pad with a blank character face when I was little and it clicked… “Life-size Doodle Pad!”

So, I went to my local Habitat for Humanity store and picked up an old window for $4.00. I used a glass scraper and cleaned off all the old dirt and yuck, and removed all the loose old caulking and paint. If you can find windows with panels, great! This particular window didn’t have any sections; therefore, I took some old trim I had in the garage, cut to size and then hot glued them directly to the glass (let the glue cool just a bit to avoid cracking your glass). I brushed over the trim with some white paint to match the wood frame. Next, I cleaned the glass and added pictures I had Photoshop’d of the kids. These were just printed on plain copy paper. I finished off with some foam-board and tape on the back (this will make it easy to change out photos).

This is how it turned out, and it’s already being put to use, lol. I plan on hanging it up somewhere for all to see and use.

Note: Make sure to use Dry Erase markers in order to easily remove between drawings.

A whimsical and functional duo…

Headboard repurposed as a chalkboard for old desk...When I go to a furniture store most salesmen won’t even waste their time on me, lol, probably because I immediately make a mad-dash back to the “clearance” section of the store. Nope, sorry boys, no commission here! Even when I plan on buying something new, it’s worth a trip to the back just to see what ding and dint, or broken item they’re still trying to get a few dollars for.

A few months ago I picked up this full-size headboard; my initial thought was… Bench. I paid a whopping $9.99 (it was originally priced $250), not sure why it was marked so cheap, it didn’t have the footboard, rails or legs for that matter… Oh wait, that’s why.  Anyway, for that price, something could be made out of it, it’s solid wood and has nice lines.

Simply by accident it’s repurpose took a sudden change. When moving things in the garage around, my daughter and I realized the width matched-up perfectly with our recently refurbished desk, and the styles seems to compliment each other. So, we had that light-bulb moment and went to work; although already white, we painted the headboard with a layer of our homemade “chalk paint” to soften it’s original bright white; distressed it to match the finish on the desk and applied a layer of paste wax. When the wax dried we painted the inset with chalkboard paint and there you have it!

All in all, it was a really simple project. It may not make since to everybody, but I find it whimsical and functional. And, no one else will have one like it!

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I took something perfectly acceptable and tore it apart…

Sinfully boring; too much brown...This was not my average project, most times I rescue antiques or find a new use for something kicked to the curb…  But, not this time, this time I took something perfectly acceptable and tore it apart on purpose… WHOA!

You see, I have a pair of sinfully boring Queen Anne style chairs that I bought about 8 years ago. I’m sure at the time I loved them, and they have served our family well, easy to clean, easy to move from room to room for guests or pull up to the table, but lately I’ve been just looking at them and wanting to scream. They are constructed of tan suede Microfiber material with an Early American stain, they sit up against a tan wall next to a dark stained upright piano and when moved to the living room they rest on chocolate hard wood floors.  Blah, that’s just too much brown.

So, this past weekend it was time for a change. I made a trip to our local Hobby Lobby to purchase some fun prints (a faded Chevron and something Paris inspired) and to stock up on hot glue.  That was the easy part, disassembling the chair and pulling what had to be 500 staples was the hard part. I first pulled off the piping around the back piece, then I pulled off the fabric from the top; saving every piece to use as a pattern for the re-installation. Next, I took out the foam padding and set it aside and removed the back fabric from the top. A few screws from the base allowed the bottom to just pop off, finally something easy. Not to quick… I spent at least another hour removing staples that had pulled through the fabric and often times needed a small flathead screwdriver to pull the staple up enough to grab with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Step one down, I took the chair minus all the fabric to the garage and sanded down all the shiny parts (this removes the coating and helps the paint adhere better), a damp cloth removed all the dust and then I painted the chair turquoise (my current fave). While the chair air dried I used the old fabric pieces and cut up the new fabric. To the frame, once the chair was dry, I sanded it down quiet a bit to give it an aged look, wiped with a damp cloth and applied a thin layer of new stain, wiping off the excess as I went (oddly enough, also Early American, lol) and let dry again, preferably outside for proper ventilation.

Back to the fabric, once I positioned my fabric on the seat, I flipped the seat over and stapled 2 to 3 times and then pulled tight, straight across and stapled 2 to 3 times, went to the other two sides and did the same. Once I had all 4 sides tacked down, I continued this crisscross stapling pattern till all the sides met (this keeps the material from bunching and keeps it pulled tight all the way around). When the frame was ready, I repeated the same steps for the upper back of the chair, placed the foam insert back into place and repeated the steps for the front cover. With the front cover done I hot glued matching fabric around some piping and then hot glued the piping around the edge of the fabric insert and around the bottom of the seat before attaching it back to the chair. I found it best to just sit on the floor surrounded by all my tools.

It’s important to mention no antiques were ruined in this project, lol. These chairs were purchased new at a furniture shop in OKC. That being said, if you ever want to destroy something in good condition, make sure you can live with the outcome good or bad, there is no going back, and also remember once you paint your wood the process to get it back to stain grade is extremely tedious and sometimes impossible.

Overall, I LOVE the way it turned out; my old chairs, all though in good condition needed a makeover, but it was a little tasking, nothing too hard, just a little repetitive and time consuming. 

Items Used:
2 yrds. of fabric ($7.99 a yd., to which I added my 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon, so uhm… $5.50 ish a yd.)
Needle-nose Pliers
Small Flathead Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Hammer (For those pesky staples that need and extra tap)
Iron
Sander
Staple Gun
5/16″ Staples (Lots of them)
Hot Glue Gun & Glue
Paint
Stain
Patience

There’s a pot of memories at the end of these rainbows…

Child's artwork merged with their photo, best keepsake...One of my all time favorite projects, and not just because the painter is my 5 year old niece, lol. To me there is no better keepsake than a photo, but a child’s artwork runs a very tight second. This project is tops, because it allows you to capture a moment in time; a photo of a child at the exact age they created their masterpiece. Also, for displaying purposes, this becomes much more than a drawing stuck on the icebox.  This image would be worthy of framing and viewing for years to come.

For this project my sister-in-law had the kids do a little finger-painting. I already had the idea in mind, so we asked them to paint rainbows. She brought me the finished dried project. A quick trip down the road let me photograph Miss Kylie with a paintbrush in hand. I returned, downloaded my photos and scanned the painted image into my computer. I used Photoshop, opened up my photography and converted it to black and white (this allows the color of the rainbow to pop) and then opened up the file with the rainbow; I simply used the “quick selection” tool to click on the white and then I selected the “inverse”; did a copy of the selected area and pasted directly onto the black and white image. If necessary you can brighten up the painting or use the “Vibrance” tool. After you paste the image use your “Eraser” tools to fine tune the placement of the image.

Most of all have fun, this is a great project to work on with your children! We have plans to do snowmen next!

Note: It was very helpful to have the image painted on bright white paper, it made for a much quicker/easier cutout.

Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere a chick, chick…

Homemade chicken nesting boxes out of milk crates...There is nothing better than fresh eggs (if you’re an egg person), no medication, no fillers, all natural corn fed, free range eggs!

Once I had posted on Facebook that I was raising “Pinterest Chickens” and it sent my notification feed a buzz. I guess I should feel flattered that people actually thought I was “in-the-know” of something new and trendy, but alas it was just little ol’ me repuropsing as usual.

I’d always wanted to raise chickens, in fact I tried years early and failed miserably. This time around I was determined to make it happen. My daughter and I put the cart before the horse with an impulse buy of 10 baby chicks at our local farm supply outlet, but that was okay, the weather was cooler and for the next several weeks they had to be kept under a heat lamp in our garage, which gave us time for research.

We already knew we had a small unused greenhouse that would house the chicks; what we didn’t know was how they would nest. It didn’t take long searching on the web to find a ton of brilliant ideas. Anyone that knows me probably isn’t surprised that I was instantly inspired by the nesting boxes that were created out of repurposed items.

We fashioned ours out of old milk crates (purchased for $2 each from an old farmer). We used a skill saw to cut 1/2 way down one side of each crate, used a drill and screwed right through each crate to secure it to the wood platform and lastly, filled each nest 1/2 way up with hay. The chicks love it and it’s a nice clean look!

Another idea I also loved, was the use of 5 gallon buckets laid on their sides and secured in a row. The best ones had lids attached and half the lid was cut out for entry, this would keep the eggs and hay from being knocked out.

Repurpose, resue… Always!

Note: I used 10 milk crates, even though I had read that hens will roost 4-5 to a nesting box; I guess I figured they’d have options, lol. But, it’s true, they only use about 3 of the nests.