Shutter magazine holder

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Super simple and fast!

I had some extra shutters (I know everyone says that in these tutorials and usually I never have these random things just lying around conveniently!) so I decided to put them to use!

Here’s the moves:
1. They were actually hinged together so I just unscrewed them and took the hinges off

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2. To make the magazine holder, you take every other board out of the shutter so you can drape the magazine over each.
Get to know your shutter a bit by bending the board and figuring out how it might come out. I tried the power drill at first but then decided a good beating with a flat head screw driver would break it in half and then I could just pop the ends out of their holes

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3. Decide if you’re going to decorate it by painting, stenciling, etc
I was too impatient and decided to do this later (another tutorial maybe?!)

4. Hang on the wall… I used two nails right under the top part but I think I’m actually going to nail or screw these into the wall once I’m done painting them

Optional: skip taking the boards out altogether and use as a letter holder! A great To-do board!

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5. Take a credit card and smooth down from top to bottom
Them smooth from side to side
Concentrate on getting any air pockets out and frequently take steps back to observe the paper and find any sections you may have missed

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Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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It’s soooo close to fall that I just can’t contain myself…. And I’ve got to cook! And every DIYer needs to take a break to eat, right?!
So it only makes sense that this blog needs recipes…
My first easy peasy recipe: Roasted sweet potatoes!

Seriously, they’re addictive… You can cut ’em up into wedges, slices , squares, whateva!!!
The secret kick is the seasoning… A little spice for your life!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Servings: 1-2

Ingredients:
One large sweet potato, cut into pieces
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of Celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
Black pepper to taste (optional)
Dash of honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

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Cut up sweet potatoes and put in a large bowl
Throw all ingredients onto sweet potatoes (measurements can be tweaked for taste) and toss with fingers in bowl until potatoes are well coated

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Now here’s the great part! Instead of turning the potatoes over halfway through cooking…. Place a rack on top of a cookie sheet so the potatoes roast all the way around and the excess oil drips off! Genius right?! Totally not my original idea!

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Bake potatoes in oven for about 20 minutes. When they’re starting to brown a bit on the edges and you can easily prick a fork through them, they’re ready! Let them cool about 10 minutes before snacking!
This might not be your style, but I love these sweet taters with ketchup!

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Ruler Growth Chart

The beginning of endless pinterest projects started with this beauty. A growth chart that looks like a ruler? And for less than a trip through the drive through with family members shouting every item they can find? Done. Had to do it…now! Problem #1: It was 2am.

Problem #2 I was a little scared. I mean, working with wood and stain? I don’t know what I’m doing and cutting wood or darkening it is intimidating…but I was determined!

And you know what? It wasn’t that hard…

Here’s the moves:

1. Get a piece of thin plywood. First trip to the hardware store? Walk in like you own the place (if that’s your style) and head on over to the plywood section. Seriously though, you can ask…they’re used to us first-timers and you can ask an employee for almost any random thing and they can tell you what aisle it’s in.

2. Cut the wood. If you braved asking an employee for help, you might as well ask them where you can get the wood cut in the store. They can cut down the wood so you can at least handle it a little better loading it into the car. The size you’ll need for this project is based on your preference:

width: 1-2 feet

length: 6-7 feet

3. Don’t forget to grab a paint brush, some wood stain, a permanent marker (if you don’t have one) and some velcro command strips for hanging

4. Once you’ve got your wood cut to the desired length, stain it. You don’t need to do both sides and it doesn’t need to be perfect. Grab that brush and experiment. Make sure you have a rag near by…wiping up excess stain helps even out the color and makes the process a little easier.

5. Once the board is dry, grab a tape measurer and tape it to the board length wise. Here’s the tricky part… you want to leave room for where you’ll hang the board. If you have baseboards or want to the board not touching the ground, then I’d recommend start the tape measurer at 6 inches on the board. So the first mark on the board would be at 6 inches. Make sense?

6. Using a pencil, mark each line on the board. I marked every 6 inches with a longer line so I could make sure I knew where I was on the board when it came time for drawing the numbers.

7. Decide the length you want for each line. I did the longest lines for every 6 inches, and shorter lines for 3rd line in each foot and then the rest of the marks were the shortest.

8. Draw your numbers! Either freehand or print out the numbers in a font you like and trace them onto the board. Century font or something like that works well!

9. Go over everything in permanent marker

10. Ready to hang. Follow the instructions on the command strip and attach to the board. Remember to hang the board on the wall in the right spot up from the ground. In my case, the bottom of the board needed to be 6 inches up from the ground. Two people are recommended for this part!

Rustic Farmhouse Table: Part 1

I was in the market for a dining room table…and what I had my heart set on was a rustic look backed with gorgeous fabric dining chairs….which meant, I was in the market for a long time. These tables are expensive!
Then one day on the lovely Pinterest DIY section (is there any other section?) I found this beauty
I could hardly contain my excitement as I printed the instructions out and skipped along to tell my husband about our afternoon project….
Well, it’s been about two months now and we aren’t done yet. Life gets in the way… But the table is coming along beautifully!

We started out by cutting the wood according to the cut list provided
Let me paint you a picture:
We have limited tools… And me being cheap was able to convince my husband we could use what we have. My sweet man, bless him, went along with it. So, we used his truck bed as a table for the wood while I sit(this is not a joke) on the wood to hold it in place. Can you imagine what the neighbors thought? Yeah, we’re cool like that.
word of advice: we started with pretreated wood… We learned later that this is very bad wood… To cut, to breathe, to touch. Honestly, it shouldn’t be sold in stores.
So we did the safe thing… And started over

After the cut list was done, we sanded down the angles and parts and assembled the legs (aren’t they great?!)
We used screws but using nail glue in addition to screws is recommended

I sanded the legs once they were put together so I wouldn’t have to do it later

Next came the beams that attached to each ends of the legs… And the gorgeous diagonal supports that made me gasp when I first saw the table!

After that, I sanded the assembled table base and got to work on ebonizing the wood. I wanted a natural way to stain and was looking for a weather gray finish.
The two step process:
1. Boil about 10 tea bags in a pot and let steep for a coupe of hours and brush on wood
I was so excited cause I had some old tea from London… London tea stained table… Sounds lovely
This process preps the wood by increasing the tannins needed to react with the next step

2. After the wood is dry use a vinegar and steel wool solution… Seriously simple… Take a Glass jar with lid (mason jar or spaghetti jar) and add a piece of steel wool (0000 type) and fill the jar with white vinegar. Let it sit a few days and then brush it on the tea stained wood. The wood will darken immediately and continue to darken for days


The effect was definitely what I’d been going for but then I changed my mind… And sanded it down which gave it a really cool two toned effect


I decided to go with minwax oil stain in provincial and did a prestain conditioner on the wood and two coats of stain with a light sanding in between
For you impatient ones out there… Don’t skip the sanding process… This really makes all the difference in the end product and raises the grain each time

Now our table awaits its top. We originally bought the wrong size width for the top but took the wood back (home depot is good about that)
be careful when selecting wood, especially for the top. Lay the pieces next to eachother on a flat surface and try to fit them like a puzzle so there are minimal gaps… You can sand but only so much

Now as we approach fall, I’m ready to kick this into high gear!

to be continued…

Billy built ins: part 1

Around the time that I started our rustic farmhouse table, I also got into starting our built ins. I saw this fantastic tutorial from Censational Girl and decided my living room was a great place to do the same
So off to ikea we went… An hour away
And guess what? We needed 5 bookshelves. They had 2. And didn’t get any more for over 2 weeks!
In that span of time, I revised my plan and came up with a modified built in using billy bookcases that would accommodate a large screen tv (incentive for the hubby).
Here’s our breakdown:
-2 tall bookshelves (15 inch depth, 31.5 wide)
-2 tall bookshelves (11 depth, 16.75 wide cause that’s what they had)
-2 half bookshelves (11 depth but half the length)
-10 doors (half size)
-2 shelf extenders (16.75 width)
-2 shelf extenders (31.5 width)

We assembled and lined up the bookshelves against our wall. Our back baseboard was under the cutout in the bookshelves so we didn’t have to remove it! Nice one, Ikea!
Since the shelves were varied in depth, we lined the shelves up with the 15 inch depth ones so most of them aren’t actually touching the wall
Then we screwed them together using about three to four screws in each (be careful not to use too big of a screw… Two shelves together is only 1.5 inches)

Next, we added lattice to each of the fronts where the shelves meet leaving room for the doors… Really gives it a built in feel
For the half tall shelves we used a 3/4 inch width trim to so the lattice would be uniform

We’ve got a long way to go but it’s looking good!

to be continued…

DIY Faux Ice Water Vase

Water and ice…so simple and so refreshing. On a hot day, I just want to jump into a big pool of ice water and bask in the sun! Ice water in glass is even more beautiful..it has such a clean look and adding a pop of color makes the whole thing glow.

The problem: Ice water sweats…a lot. Make a centerpiece out of it and everything is covered in water rings by the end of your event.

Solution: Saran Wrap! Not kidding…it looks like the real stuff too. Where do people think of these things?!

Get the moves:

Rules:  Less saran wrap= water and ice effect

              More saran wrap= snowy ice effect

Add berries, fruit, flowers, greenery…whatever makes your eyes happy.

DIY Burlap Covered Canvas

Don’t you just love burlap? It is so versatile and fun…not to mention cheap! I found this fantastic burlap print in the back of my local Joann’s store and it got me so excited! So far, I’ve made a purse, flowers, a table runner, and now these burlap covered canvases!

The tutorial couldn’t be simpler…and it takes about as long as it would take you to wrap a present. Feel free to add flowers, a frame, or even stencil your initials!