Wire Brush and a Weather-beaten Bench

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If case you haven’t already guessed by my title,

I had a run in with a wire brush this weekend!

And boy are my back and shoulders sore from all of the scrubbing…

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Here’s the culprit:

 An old, wood & iron, weather-beaten bench…

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It was originally located on our side yard,

where the path meanders through a forest of rose bushes, trees & vines…

Shot taken before the gardeners cut everything back this winter!

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As my hubby & I were having a relaxing, late breakfast by our pool

we were discussing what changes we would like to make in the backyard this Spring…

No, it didn’t rain, my hubby just sprayed off the concrete :’)

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We talked about how we could rearrange the furniture…

install a ceiling fan over the  patio table…

pour some concrete on the back side of our pool as we both hate the dirt!

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And then I remembered the sad little bench sitting on the side yard all alone!

My hubby really didn’t want to move the 500 lb “ugly” bench (as he put it!)

only to have to move it back over to the side yard if I didn’t like it there…

But, being the sweet and patient man that he is,

and knowing that I probably wouldn’t shut-up about it until we tried it,

we lugged the very heavy bench to the backyard.

Here she is before her makeover…

And after a long afternoon of scrubbing with my wire brush, vacuuming the dirt & dust,

more scrubbing and inhaling said dirt & dust,

and finally sanding and vacuuming again….

She looks so much better!

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I thought that it might be fun to paint the iron black but my daughter was very much against it…

“You’ll ruin it!  Why would you want to paint it?!!!!”

I think she fell in love with it’s white & rusty patina after taking many photographs

of it in it’s old home on the side yard…

Here’s one of her photos…

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So, hubby & I decided we’d leave the iron alone

and I will find a nice mahogany  or other dark stain for the wood…

I’ll also seal it with a clear coat so that it will withstand the weather

(and so I won’t have to use my wire brush on it again!)…

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I’ll be sure to post an update when it’s all done!

DIY Coupon Sleeves


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After seeing this pin for DIY coupon holders (by  Erin at Taking Time to Create),

I decided to give it a try…

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The first thing I did was to measure out my grid…

I used a baseball card sleeve that I currently have in my coupon binder as a template…

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Then I just slid it into a clear sheet protector…

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Next I slid the page under the needle on my sewing machine and followed the lines!

Make sure to backstitch each end to make sure that you’re stitches don’t come out!

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Almost done!

With a very light touch, carefully slide an exacto knife’s blade

just under the first row of horizontal stitches, being careful not to cut into the stitching…

Be sure to flip it over & do the backside too…

The bonus in

DIY-ing these coupon holders is that they are double-sided!

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So simple!

I would have never thought to use my sewing machine to do a project like this…

but in the space of about 20 minutes,

I had five, new, double-sided coupon sleeves!

And for about half the price of store-bought baseball card sleeves :’)

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Study Desk Update!

It’s taken a little longer than I expected to finish our desk project.

Click here to see the entire post with beginning stages…

Before I show you the next steps, I have a few pointers!

*Have a damp rag nearby to wipe down your piece in between sandings

*Before painting, be sure to clean your floor/work area of any debris ~

This is crucial as the smallest particles of dust & dirt will manage to find their way onto your freshly painted piece of furniture!

*Be sure to sand in between coats of primer & paint so that your finish will turn out nice and smooth…

Here it is with a couple of coats of primer and a couple of coats of paint…

Most of the bloggers that I follow say that Kilz is the best primer, so that’s what I used!

I wish I would have taken the time to have it tinted so that it wouldn’t have taken so many coats of black paint to cover it….oh well!

My friendly Lowe’s paint man recommended Valspar’s Interior Kitchen & Bath Enamel in black for a durable finish….

I used a small foam roller on the drawer fronts…..

I used the same small foam roller on the top.  I highly recommend dismantling the top of the desk from the base as it is so much easier to sand & paint!

This was after two coats of paint….one more coat should do it!

I was going for a slightly distressed look so I sanded the edges that I wanted to look a little more worn, in between each coat of paint –

you will see the look I was going for in a bit…but first…

I also read from my fellow bloggers that it is imperative to use a Polycrylic Protective Finish to protect all of my hard work!

I’ve never used this product before so I was very surprised to see how thin the consistency was.

I decided to use a nice bristle brush to paint it on with as I’ve heard it leaves less streaks than a roller….

It went on with a sort of milky look to it and dried clear.

This is the almost finished product!

You can see where I’ve distressed the drawer fronts….

And yes, we are going to put knobs back on it!  My hubby needs to drill some new holes for the new hardware to fit properly….

This photo is a little blurry – sorry!

I can’t wait to put all of the knobs on!!

My son loves his new desk!

I’m hoping that with all of our hard work & sweat, it will hold up through his teenage years….

If not, he can be the one to sand & re-paint it!!!!

Summer Project ~ Study Desk

I had been faithfully searching Craigslist for a small, “real” wood desk for my son’s room and finally found one!

And for only $20, it was a steal!


My hubby & son applied a gel stripper, wiped it off and started sanding…

and sanding…

More sanding!  It’s getting there…

The drawers need some work…

Aww, so cute!

Jackson taking a turn with the sander…

Needing a little guidance from Dad…

Stay tuned….the sanding process is taking longer than I thought!

It’s been so hot that Jackson has not wanted to work on it for a few days…

But with school starting next week, I need to get priming & painting!

I Love Me Some Chalkboard Paint!!!!


So if you can’t tell by the title, I am going a little crazy over chalkboard paint right now!

I have found so many interesting things that can be used for a drawing surface!

Pretty soon, I’ll be painting my kids with the stuff!






I love Melissa’s idea of making a refrigerator chalkboard frame here






And these Ceramic Platters with Chalkboard Centers from Pottery Barn….








And Decor Chick’s Coffee Jar here







I found these cute little jars at the Dollar Store recently

so I picked up a bunch of them to use for Christmas gifts….





All I had to do was to tape out a square with painters tape and then spray away…

I did 2 thin coats and they turned out great!  Sorry the pic is a bit fuzzy!





Yea!!!! I love how they turned out!







I can think of so many uses ~ hair ties for my nieces, homemade hot cocoa mixes, spiced nuts, coffee, tea….

the list just goes on & on!




And I had to squeeze in one more project before I finished this post!



It was soooo simple!  I just removed the glass from a frame I already had and sprayed away!

Again, it only took two light coats to do the trick!




















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Christmas Ornament Pillow



First, I must give credit to whom credit is due for inspiring me to create this project!

Jen, over at Tatertots & Jello, posted this fabulous painted ornament pillow tutorial here...


First, I found a pillow that I could use as a “form” and measured it –

It was 17″ square…I then added 2″ for seam allowances…

Next, I cut out 2, 19″ squares and pinned them

(right sides) together, leaving one end open…






This photo shows how I finished the “open” edge by folding over the unfinished edge & pinning…




And here’s what the open edge looks like after I stitched it….




Next, I ironed the seams so that they would lay flat…





Here, I’ve turned the case right side out and ironed it nice & flat…

now you can see the nice finished edges of the opening to the pillow  case.

I decided that I wanted to make a pillow case so that I can re-use the pillow

that I will insert into my holiday case…





Here’s the pillow inserted into the case….





Here’s what I will use to close up the open end my pillow case temporarily…





Now onto the creative part of the project!

Notice I’ve pinned the opening closed so that I can get an accurate idea of what the pillow will look like in it’s finished state.

I then eyeball & loosely measure the approximate center on the front of the pillow and

use a plate to mark where I will draw my ornament….






Next, I remove the pillow from the case and double check my measurements now that the case is nice and flat….





Here you can see how I traced the circle with a pencil…..






Here are the items I will use to create my ornament –  I might change my mind on the ribbon though!

Jen at Tatertots & Jello gave the great tip to add some fabric painting medium to regular acrylic paint

(that you can find at any craft store) and viola, you now have inexpensive fabric paint!…






It took 3-4 coats of paint to get the desired result….





Now it’s time to start playing with the ribbon & rick rack…I

did a little bit of measuring and a lot of eye-balling to lay the rick rack where I wanted it…






The edges of the rick rack started to fray when I cut it,

so I just brushed a little clear nail polish on the ends…





Next, I glued a strip of black & white ribbon down to the top of the ornament and

attached a matching bow with more hot glue…






With a close up view you can see that not everything is perfectly straight….but,

when you look at the final product sitting beautifully on your couch, it really doesn’t matter does it???




Weekend Bloggy Reading

freckled laundry

handmade projects

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