May 30, 2013

in progress: volume 1

I do not necessarily do things in the right order. For example, I was a bride and a month later was a bridesmaid for the first time. I don't mind eating dessert before the real meal (especially when the dessert has an especially high chocolate quotient).

And so I have been project hopping: I've gotten started on a few different things but have yet to finish one. Here's a taste of what is currently in progress...

A chair with potential, storage DIYs, decluttering, 
clothes swap parties & another flower pot mini makeover.

May 22, 2013

DIY > magnetic clipboard

Over the weekend, I went on an adventure with my mom & sister to a land far, far away... Pennsylvania. We were on a quest to find bargains in a land of minimal taxes and explore stores that are not found in the Great White North.

Target was one of many places on the itinerary. Even though locations are now open up here in Canada, we still get a weird thrill from Tar-jay. Being the good deal-seeker that I am, I hit up the dollar spot first... and saw potential in this wee clipboard (I had already bought the magnetic strips from Hobby Lobby, so I was on the hunt for new things to stick to my fridge).

Another foolproof project (even easier/quicker than the Scrabble tile magnets!):

1. Supplies needed: clipboard and magnetic backing. I found my clipboard at Target, but you can probably find something similar at Dollarama, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc. Odds are these stores also carry magnetic backing.

2. Cut magnetic backing to size.

3. Peel and stick.

4. That's it.

Total Cost:
Clipboard = $1.00 (Target)
Magnetic backing = already had from another project  
(but let's say I used about 25 cents worth of backing...)
Total = $1.25
Time = 4 minutes. (Seriously. Probably less.)

May 20, 2013

DIY > scrabble tile magnets

I'm an admitted word nerd - my day is not complete without finishing the crossword from the newspaper. My husband is tired of playing both Scrabble and Bananagrams with me. And my childhood dream was to be locked in the local library overnight. So it's pretty safe to say that my inner bookworm is going to get a lot of use and enjoyment from this project...

I'd been on the hunt for used Scrabble games for awhile - I have a few DIY ideas for reusing the tiles other than this one (Pinterest inspired, of course).  
This version was found at a thrift store a few weeks ago for $1.00. 

This time I didn't have to bust out the spray paint OR my glue gun (I'm trying to broaden my horizons!). The 'how to' aspect of this DIY is the easiest of all: simply peel and stick the magnet strip to the tiles. Foolproof. No potential for any klutzy-excited mistakes or messes here.

My magnet supply only cost $2.99 at Hobby Lobby (side note: to the best of my knowledge, there aren't any locations in Canada, only in the States... but well worth visiting the next time you're over the border). 

I cut the magnets using a Scrabble tile as a guide. All that was left to do was peel 'em and stick 'em.

That was it! Like I said, foolproof.

After I was finished, I stacked a few hardcover books on top of the magnets for some added pressure and security (worse comes to worse, I'll glue them back together - I'm pretty confident that they will hold well).

Total cost:
Scrabble game = $1.00 (thrift store)
Magnetic backing = $2.99 (Hobby Lobby)
Total = $3.99

Time = depends on how many Scrabble magnets you want to make! 
I made about 50 magnets and it took less than 7 minutes (it took me longer to load the pictures and write this post than it did to do the entire project).

May 14, 2013

DIY > dressed up doormat

Disclosure: I swear I haven't always spray painted everything in sight. Honest. It's only been a recent development. Also: I can't take total credit for this project. This one comes straight from the pages of one of my favourite books, Young House Love (the authors, Sherry & John Petersik, are the masters of DIY and I read their blog daily). 


I started with a basic doormat from Ikea (SINDAL). The next time I dress up a doormat I might look for one that is larger, one that will extend past the door frame and fill the space a bit better. But this will do for now.

Next I taped off the design (I used painter's tape, but I'm pretty sure masking tape would be fine). This was my attempt at a chevron pattern...

Further proof of my klutzy-excited behaviour: not realizing that I was low on this particular colour spray paint and having to factor in a last minute Home Depot run. Half an hour later, I was back on track...

Side note: I should have used more painters tape (along the parts I didn't mean to paint, as pointed out by the arrows above) to keep the lines crisper (is that a word?).

Total cost:
Doormat = $6.99 (SINDAL from Ikea)
Running out of spray paint = $9.47 (Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze from Home Depot // similar here)
Painter's tape = already had at home
 Total = $16.46

May 11, 2013

mini makeover > wire basket

If I have a free Saturday morning, I am most likely treasure hunting (otherwise known as yard-saling and thrift-shopping). This has been the case over the last few weeks and lucky for me, today was no exception.  There were several yard sales and plant sales in the area today - all fundraisers for fantastic causes. I love my regular treasure hunts and I'm even happier when my money is going to a great organization in our community. It's a win-win situation all the way around.

This wire basket was found at the local Bibles for Missions thrift store - not exactly a yard sale, but definitely one of my usual Saturday pit stops. It cost me less than a buck and took less than five minutes to spruce up. #win.

Total cost:

Wire basket = $0.50
Spray paint = already had at home (but sells for about 6 bucks at Home Depot)
Time = 5 minutes (not including drying time)

May 07, 2013

mini makeover > mirror

This midsize mirror caught my eye on a Saturday treasure hunt a few months ago...

My favourite part about the mirror was actually the price tag ($4.50!) but I also liked the size, shape, and frame details. At the time, I had just begun to comprehend the power of spray paint and was on the hunt for new spray paint projects. So to find this potential-filled mirror for less than five bucks was a thrill.

This was a VERY simple project... with an extra step or two at the end due to my typically klutzy-excited behaviour. Before spray painting the mirror, I wiped it clean (as the texture of the frame is full of nooks and crannies for baby dust bunnies to hide out in). I then wasted far too much time debating what colour to use (which didn't even matter, because I could always just repaint the mirror...).

After this life altering colour decision was made... I prepped the edges with some old newspapers and painters tape.

The final colour decision:

Normally, this would be the end of the project. But thanks to my clumsiness (or rather, sheer excitement for the final results?!) some paint managed to seep through the gaps in the newspapers. Oops. 

A little bit of this paint remover on an old rag took care of my messy mistakes.
(Bonus: The first blog appearance of my pup Freddie. You're welcome.)

Total cost:
Mirror = $4.50
Spray paint = already had at home...
Paint & Varnish Remover = $10.50
Total = $15.00

May 03, 2013

DIY > springy wreath

Growing up, I loved (and I mean absolutely-positively-LOVED) doing crafts. There was nothing better or more satisfying than gluing odds and ends together and my mom being "impressed" with my masterpiece.

Old habits die hard, 'cause I still consider a hot glue gun and leftover craft supplies a good time. This springy wreath is a direct result of a recent glue-fest (although I'm not sure whether or not my mom is impressed with it).

All items were things I had either found in our basement storage or in my stash of craftiness... so I consider this a 'free' project (but with an estimated $15 worth of craft supplies? Not counting inflation...).  I had bought some plain wreaths from Michaels a few years ago when I was apalled at the price of store-bought wreaths, thereby full of good crafting intentions. The floral pieces were initially intended for our wedding (back in 2010), and I'm happy to have finally found a use for them.

How to:

1. Gather craft supplies. I used a plain wreath from Michael's, some floral accents, and a hot glue gun.

2. Cut floral stems to desired length.

3. Using the hot glue gun... go nuts! I had no 'vision' of what the end product would look like, just added pieces here and there until my crafty little heart was content.

4. It doesn't take long for the glue to dry - the wreath was hanging on our front door within an hour.