DIY Patio Table Planter

It’s Spring! (depending on the day in New England) I love Spring, with all the trees budding, flowers blooming, birds chirping, sun shining and the sounds of kids playing happily outside.

I also love flowers. I’m not much of a green thumb and kill more plants than I manage to keep alive, but I do love them anyway. Every year, I plant flowers and put them in pots up on my deck railing….and every year, they last about a day before Joshua pushes them off of the edge and breaks my pots. He has an obsession with watching things fall, so anything not bolted down is not safe.

This year, I got smart and found a way to have plants that will hopefully last longer than a couple days.

Here’s what I did, I made an angel food cake pan into a flower pot that can’t be pulled off the table! I wish I had seen this idea sooner because it looks so cute on my table.

Here’s my before:

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This is the type of angel food cake pan that has the removable center piece. After I spray painted the pan, I placed some rocks in the bottom before adding the potting soil, to reduce any dirt that might come out when watered.

And here’s the after:

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The pole for the umbrella fits perfectly in the center hole of the pan, so this flower arrangement isn’t going anywhere. I love having this burst of color on my patio table, it makes for a beautiful centerpiece.

Now to think of a way to save the rest of my plants…….

The easiest DIY Shelves

DIY Shelves

I seriously love these shelves! I actually have 2 other sets of these shelves hanging in my house because they are so versatile and are great for filling up large walls when you can’t think what to put on them. They are the easiest, quickest and probably cheapest shelves you will ever make.

Today we decided to make just one shelf to put in Abigail’s room next to her bed to hold her books. This girl hates to go to sleep, so having a shelf of books will give her a quiet activity to do while staying in her bed.

Here’s how we made ours:

You will need (2) 1×4’s & (1) 1×3  – all 3 need to be cut to the length you would like your shelf to be. I believe these come in 8′ at the hardware store and most stores will even cut them for you. (For the shelves in our living room, we chose to go with 4′ so the hardware store cut the boards in half for us and we ended up not having to do any cutting at home….talk about easy.)

For Abigail’s book shelf, we used some leftovers we found in our garage and measured and cut them all to 3′.

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Once cut, we gave each piece a quick sanding to make sure that she wouldn’t get a splinter when reaching for a book.

The next step is to put your shelf together. We started by taking the back part of the shelf that will be screwed into the wall and attaching it to the bottom of the shelf. This will be your (2) 1×4’s. We used long and thin screws so that they would make the shelf secure but not come through the wood. We also pre-drilled our holes to make it easier to put the screws in. (Make sure to screw them in very straight.)

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Finally, screw your front piece (1×3) to the bottom of your shelf. We used these awesome vice grips
to help keep the boards together while we pre-drilled the holes. (I bought these vice grips for my husband for Christmas and they were well worth the money for all the projects he’s been able to use them for!)

See how easy that was! It took us maybe 10 minutes to do all of this. The next step is just as easy – apply your favorite paint or stain to your shelf. We did the whole shelf except the back because that will be screwed into the wall. We chose to stain our shelf instead of paint it mainly because we didn’t want to wait for the paint to dry. We’ve used this stain
on all of our shelves and love the way it looks.

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Once it’s completely dry you are ready to hang it. Make sure to use a stud finder to know where to place your screws to ensure your shelf doesn’t fall off of the wall.

Once your shelf is level, securely screw it into the studs and you are ready to use it. We love the way our shelf came out and Abigail has thoroughly enjoyed having books within her reach at bedtime.

And the best part – it only took us a total of 20 minutes!

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Let me know if you end up making a shelf for your house – you may become like me and find a need for them in more than one room.

 

 

 

How To Re-Purpose Old Jars

 

repurpose jars
 I’ve been wanting to reorganize my linen closet for a long time. Since we didn’t have a lot of storage containers we’ve been using a large picnic basket that has housed all of our first aid supplies, cold, vitamins, prescription medicines, pain relievers, etc. It was a pain (no pun intended) to dig through everything when we wanted to find something specific. I had looked into the cost of buying some shoe box size totes with lids (with a gift card) to separate things by categories such as cold/flu products, first aid supplies, travel sized products, etc, but then realized I actually had a bunch of them. Unfortunately, they were being used for craft supplies….then my memory kicked in and I remembered I had seen somewhere on Pinterest about using old jars for craft supplies and I started saving any glass jar that we used. (While cleaning the jars, I realized that we eat way too many pickles!)

 

This project was so simple and you probably have everything you need to do the same thing in your house right now. (It also made me sort through all our craft supplies and I threw out a bunch of random craft supplies that were either dried up or not needed…extra perk!)

 

Here’s what you need:
As many glass jars as you would need for your craft supplies or other storage need
A razor blade and Goo-Gone
Spray Paint

 

I also chose to add an embellisment of some random farm animals I found lying around and was tired of stepping on. If you choose to do something similar, you could find anything from little figurines to old knobs, etc. You will also need some super glue or gorilla glue to apply them. (hot glue would probably work well too.)

 

Step 1:
Get your old jar and take the label off. I found the easiest way to do this was to soak it for a few minutes in water then take a razor and peel off the label. Spray some Goo-Gone on the remaining sticky stuff, let sit for a few minutes and wash off with a scrubby sponge or scouring pad. Easy Peasy!
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Step 2: 
If you are planning on adding a decoration to the top of your lids, grab them and your glue of choice. We went with gorilla glue because it’s all we had on hand. Make sure your lid is nice and clean, then apply a little glue to your decoration and position it on the lid. We allowed ours to dry overnight to make sure it was really set.

 

animal lids

 

Step 3: 
Once your glue is dry, take them outside or to a well ventilated area and spray paint with your color of choice. One coat was sufficient to cover these lids easily. Let dry, preferably overnight. You don’t want to rush the drying process and end up finger prints on your cute lids.

 

animal jar

 

Step 4:
 Fill your adorable jars with anything you want. These would be great to organize anything from craft supplies to Q-tips. They would also be a super cute display for a candy bar at a birthday party or baby shower. The possibilities are endless.

 

jars done

 

I hope I’ve inspired you to reuse something that would normally be thrown away. Let me know if you find a neat project for your old jars. I’d love to see what you come up with!
Filed Under: DIY

DIY Wooden Coasters

DIY Coasters
A while back, my husband had to cut some limbs off of a tree that is in our backyard. Once cut, we realized it was a Cedar tree and the limbs had that beautiful Cedar fragrance and distinctive red circle in the middle. We stacked the limbs to save for firewood but I kept thinking that there must be something we could do with those beautiful pieces of wood. Then I saw a picture of some beautiful wooden coasters and decided that would be my next project and a thrifty way to re-purpose something.
 
This project was super easy. All you need are a couple of logs with whatever circumference you would like your coaster to be, a saw, a paint brush and some polyurethane. (You could also stain the pieces if you wanted too. Since I was using Cedar pieces they had a beautiful reddish circle that I wanted to keep authentic.)
 
Our first step was to take our logs and cut them to the width we desired. We chose to go with about 1/4 inch for each slice. 
wood diy coasters
 (Sorry, the picture is awful because we took it at night in our dark garage)
The logs weren’t incredibly big, but still required us to use a chop saw to cut all the way through. Once my husband got started, it was easy to just keep cutting a bunch of coasters out. After they were cut, we carefully sanded any rough edges that were sticking out due to the saw blades, but were careful to leave as much bark on the side as possible. The polyurethane will keep the remaining bark on the edges so you don’t have to worry about bark falling off while you have your coffee sitting on it.
Next came the Polyurethane. We ended up putting 6 coats of Poly on each side of these babies and made sure to get the edges really well too. This was the only time consuming part because we had to let the poly dry on each side for 2 hours before flipping them over and applying a coat to the other side. 
 
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I absolutely love the finished project. They were so worth the wait! These beautiful coasters look beautiful on my end tables and I don’t have to worry about my kids breaking them. Now I just have to keep them from being used as ninja weapons. 
These make a beautiful gift for a friend or family member, just pair them with a beautiful mug and you have an easy and thrifty gift. 
 
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Filed Under: DIY