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DIY Halloween Cake Stand

At this point, these cake stands are just over a year old.  I filmed this little tutorial back then and it’s been sitting on my computer all that time.  To be honest I totally forgot that I had even filmed it.  But alas, here it is!

What you’ll need:

-2 Corelle Dinner Sized Plates
-1 Candle Holder
-1 Can of High Gloss Spray Paint
-Scrap fabric just larger than the plate
-Jar of Mod Podge
-1 Spool of lace
-Hot Glue Gun
-Paint Brush or sponge

YouTube, Blogs and Vlogs… Oh My!

For starters, I decided to do a April Selfie Challenge, where I took a picture of myself every morning to see how I changed over the month and see all the different makeup I did.  May is Make faces May, so at the end of the month stay tuned for that video.  Here is Aprils!

Some of you may have noticed some big changes coming over the last couple of weeks.  And I’m here to tell you more changes are still to come!  I’ve decided to jump head first into my blogging and vlogging.  After a couple years off of filming I realized how much I really enjoyed it.  So I’ve decided to start it up again and I wanted to give you guys a run down of what I plan on doing.

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Amdro PowerFlex Pest & Weed System

As a bzz agent I received this for free, and it couldn’t have come at a better time!  Just before I found out I was getting this, I was looking out at our yard admiring (or not) our weeds…  We have so many of them due to shotty seeding work done buy our builder.  On top of that we have crazy bug problems, in particular Lady Bugs and Stink Bugs and Spiders and Millipedes…

I was very pleased to see how easy it was to work this system.  Its small compared to some systems and especially since you can interchange a weed killer and a insect killer.  The fact that all it takes is a gallon of water and the little cartridges makes it so convenient.  It takes up the same space as one of the others I used to use, and now is 4 different products instead of just that one!

I was really surprised how easy it actually was to use. Fill the gallon, screw in the cartridge, point and shoot!  Thats it!  Spray for a few seconds to get it ready, when you’re done, remove the cartridge and spray for 10 seconds to clear the system making it ready for the next time you need it.

It really was just that simple.  I was a little disappointed in the weed killer, I used it around our new patio, and the roots were just too strong, it weakened them but didn’t kill them.  I sprayed them 3 times, and they seemed like they were starting to die, but after just over a week I was sick of seeing them so we pulled them…  I think if they were newer weeds it may have worked better, but these were some pretty massive ones.

Next I tried the outdoor bug killer, and it worked like a charm!  We had a ton of spiders, tics, misc flying bugs, etc all over our side door (the one we use most) and the last thing I wanted was to worry about these as we were walking in the door.  So I tried out the Amdro, and I was just amazed how quickly and how well it worked!  By late that afternoon, the bugs were off our door and stairs!  I was so excited!  I have since used it around the perimeter of the house and so far it seems to have worked just as well.

I look forward to spraying the inside for bugs and spraying all of our screens to keep the bugs out in the first place.  This system has really make pest control so much easier than it used to be.

My only complaint is that I wish the cartridges were sold individually instead of as a 2 pack.  Its nice to have 2, but I would rather be able to pick your own 2 or just buy one at a time.  After using them as much as I did, there is SO much left, I can’t imagine needing 2 cartridges of each!  Or maybe a 2 pack of both weed killers and 2 pack of both insect killers.  Then at least you would have a better selection.

Overall I would definitely recommend the Amdro system, it has made pest control super easy and not as tedious as it used to be!  If you have any questions feel free to let me know, oh and I have 2 more coupons so if you want one, let me know!

Paper Mache Letters

First off –

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY LOVE!

I really liked the idea of giving him those paper mache letters you can buy at Michael’s or Joann’s, but they didn’t have an &.  And I really wanted to do N & L.  So I googled it and came across this tutorial (Click here) and decided I could totally do that!  So I did.

IMG_1954For starters I went to dafont.com and found a font I liked.  Its called Storybook.  And then I had to figure out how to get it to print on multiple pages, without using publisher (cause I don’t have it).  I ended up using openoffice calIMG_1955culator (which is basically excel).  It takes some messing with margin settings and size settings, also depends on your printer.  I can’t really walk you through this step because every printer and program is different.IMG_1957

So once I had the size the way I wanted it.  I printed them out.  (In red ink only because we were out of black at the time).  Taped them together (since the letters were slightly larger than one piece of paper) and tIMG_1961hen cut them out.

I recommend if you have lots of extra cereal boxes to use them as they aren’t quite as difficult to cut out.  I only had 1 box so I used a pizza box instead.  Traced the letters, front and back (so that I had a front and back)  And cut them out.  (I recommend IMG_1964good sharp scissors if using regular cardboard, or just buy some extra cereal to make it easier on you!)

Once they are cut out, put them off to the side and cut a bunch of strips of cereal boxes (this is where I used my one and only box.  I also used the cardboardIMG_1965 from a cake mix, beer six pack cardboard, and the cardboard from snack packs.  They are all slightly more flimsy and made it easier to cut.)  I decided an inch and a half was a perfect so cut a TON of strips to that size.

IMG_1966Then came the taping.  I started with a regular roll of tape but after the L, I ran out and switched to the packing tape because we have so much of it, and I didn’t have any more regular tape.  This is kind of tricky at first and there are many ways IMG_1970to do it.  I found that starting at a corner was easiest, and I just inched my way around the letter.  Working from the inside out if possible.

Once a piece was on the front I opted to put the back on and work my way around, IMG_1973that way I could keep it even as I went.  It worked for me but you could also do the entire front to the sides and then attach the back.

Once the letters were completely constructed, they were sIMG_1975urprisingly sturdy.   Next comes the messy part.  The paper mache.  1 cup of water, 1 cup of flour and 1/2 tbsp salt.  Mix well until there are no lumps.  I let it sit for about an hour stirring once every 10 or so minutes to let the lumps work themselves out.

IMG_1976For the paper, I used a small news paper, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch strips.  About 8 inches long.  And ripped them in half when necessary.  Using my fingers to apply the paste to them, because it was easier than just dipping it in and wiping it off.  Apply the best way you can until the letter is coIMG_1977mpletely covered.  Set off to the side to dry for 8-10 hours or over night.  Repeat with the remaining letters.

Repeat the next day.  One batch of paste was enough for one layer per letter.  The second day I had to make another batch of paste.  Again set off to the side to dry for abut 8-10 hours or overnight.

IMG_1978Once the letters are dry, using fine sand paper sand down any rough edges.  I did a basic once over on the entire piece just to make sure.  Remove any dust with a cloth and paint.

I only primed the letters IMG_1979because the final color will depend on what room they are in, and I wanted to leave that up to Nick.  So until that is decided they will remain White.

You can make them distressed if you want, smooth them out and make them sleek and modern. Give them a more laquered finish, satin finish or keep it flat.  You can use a gel stain over the corners to give them an older look.  Or you could layer different colors of paint and sand them off in certain areas to give them depth.  The possibilities are really endless.

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If you want to hang them on the wall you can just attach those little hangers with the teeth or any other hanger you prefer.  Or you can let them stand on their own on a shelf.  Once we decide I will be sure to update with a finished picture of the items and where I put them  (and if I do more than just painting them, I’ll post how I did that!)

If you decide to make these, send me a pic!  I’d love to see what you do!

Makeup Palettes

Oops, I missed Friday!  Sorry guys, I’ll try to make up for it with an extra post this week!

First of let me start by saying- GO PATS!  They have made it to the AFC Championship yet again, and boy are we ready for a rematch of last years, hopefully it will be a good game, of course ending with the Pats continuing onto the superbowl!  Fingers crossed!

A few months ago, I got frustrated with my makeup case, it was ridiculously full of makeup.  I couldn’t close it and I had started an overflow basket with even more stuff in it!  Everything was all over the place and no matter what I tried to do, there just wasn’t enough room to organize it.  So.  I decided to depot almost all of my eyeshadows, and most of my blushes/bronzers to give me more room than those bulky containers.

After lots of research I found this was the easiest way.  In the process I shattered 3, and then found out how to fix those shattered shadows!

So, for starters, the equipment needed was
-extra large tin gift card holders (found at Wal-Mart around Christmas time)
-super hot flat iron (mine is CHI)
-wax paper to protect the flat iron, I’d assume foil or parchment paper would work as well
-magnet strip
-scissors to cut magnet strip to size
-silver marker to write on the back
-a sharp knife or letter opener to pop the shadows out
-and goo gone if necessary, although I didn’t need it

1. Turn on the flat iron and let it get as hot as possible
2. Place the sheet of wax paper over the flat iron to protect it in case you accidentally touch the plastic to it
3. Cut a piece of magnet to size so its ready when you’re ready
4. Hold the eyeshadow open in between the flat iron plates for about 30 seconds.
5. Carefully pry the shadow out with the knife.  I found doing this at the corner ended up with less damage than if I did it elsewhere.  (obviously not an option with a round shadow, but if its square thats the way to go.
6. Once the shadow is out of the container throw the container away, and attach the magnet strip to the back.  (they also sell magnet dots and various other options, I opted for the strip cause my local craft store was out of other options)
7. Write the name of the shadow (and brand, however you’ll know what it is to replace it once its used up) directly to the magnet.  I used a silver sharpie to guarantee the names would stay.
8. Arrange into your tins however you prefer and label accordingly if you wish.  I have 5 tins total.
-Blues and Greens
-Pinks and Purples
-Tans and Browns
-Most Used colors
-Blushes and Bronzers

I love these, they make my life so much easier, if I know I want to use a particular color I don’t have to search for it, just open up the tin and bam, its there!

Now, like I said, I broke a couple while I was doing this.  At first I was devastated, but then I googled how to fix it and it was actually pretty simple.

1. Take the broken shadow and place it into the corner of a ziploc baggie.
2. Hold it tightly with your fingers and use the end of a knife or spoon to break it up into much smaller easier to work with pieces.
3. Carefully remove it from the baggie and set it on top, careful to not spill it.
4. Add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the shadow, until mostly saturated, but make sure to not over soak it.  I used 91%, 70% works too but it will take longer to dry.
5. Wrap a quarter in an old t-shirt (we have a couple laying around as rags, I cut a small piece off that way I could throw it away when I was done).  Put a little alcohol on it so that too much shadow doesn’t stick to the fabric.
6. Press the t-shirt wrapped quarter onto the shadow until its firmly pressed into place.  Let dry and use as usual!

Here are the pics!

Built In Bookcase!

Shortly after moving into the house I began working on our built in bookcases for our office upstairs.  We had kind of designed them, or rather designed our office around them, when our house was being built.  It was a me project (the patio is a Nick project).

As for right now only half of the office is done, and its not completely finished, but until we have more funds (probably closer to tax refund time) they will stay this way.

I didn’t start with a pattern, just an idea.  And the other side of the office is still up in the air.  (although I’m thinking it does need some closed storage, so maybe using kitchen upper cabinets as the base with book cases above them, and our desk will go across the window attaching to each end of the bookcases.)

I used a circular saw to cut the boards to size (I opted for 7′ so they would be easy to tilt up, but also give some room at the top to place something.)  Then I cut all of the tops and bottoms to size based on that particular bookcase.  And then the same with all of the shelves.

In order to add shelves that were movable without having to drill into the entire length of the sides, equally…  (our home depot didn’t have the predrilled 8′ segments) I opted for thin metal brackets.  They will be covered with decorative covering anyway.  I predrilled these holes and attached them with screws.

Once everything was cut and the brackets were in place I had to assemble, this part was very much trial and error.  In the end I found marking, pre drilling, and then screwing everything together was the best bet.  Some of them ended up needing extra bracing since I hadn’t figured out the best way.  In those cases I just used some corner bracing.

I started with the corner shelf since it was the easiest to place.  I attached it to the wall with 6 anchors along the top, 2 along each side and 4 at the bottom.  I went with the self drilling anchors since I could use the power drill to put them into the wall quickly.  I had to make sure the sides were level as well as the top and bottom when I was attaching it.  And then attaching the next one the same way (only with 3 anchors on top, and 2 on the bottom).

The tops and bottoms were painted with 3 coats of white paint.  Once all the cases were in place and attached, I reused the baseboards, just cutting them down to size and nailing them into place.

Added the shelving hardware, the shelves and of course the books!

All that’s left on that side is to put decorative molding across the top and down the fronts where the cases come together to hide the joints and to give it a finished look.  All in all it cost about $400 (not including the tools which we already had) and took a little less than 2 weeks to complete.  I’m expecting the other side to be a little more but not by much.

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