Saturday, July 16, 2011

Drum roll please...I made my own drum lamp

When we purchased our house it had all of its original builder grade materials still in place, including all the builder lights. We thought most of the lights were funny because they were perfect replicas of an upside down mushroom. We tried to replaced the majority as soon as we moved in but others, like the spare bedroom and closets, remained as reminders of what the entire house looked like.
Here is one of the mushroom lights from when we bought:

 I have seen all over the blogging world people making their own drum lamps out of various materials and thought this would be a great idea for our spare bedroom. I was at Habitat for Humanity's restore a while back and they had a beautiful golden chandelier for sale. It kills me to say this but it is just like the one I had donated to Habitat a year ago when we replaced our other lights. So I had to buy back almost the exact same light that I had already donated. Proves that I should not throw anything away...just kidding.

This is what I purchased:
 I easily took it apart by removing a few screws. I donated back to Habitat the beautiful glass cover since all I wanted was the light base.
I taped all the vital parts and ventured off to the garage to paint the gold metal with oil rubbed bronze spray paint. I also spray painted the plastic covers at the base of the bulbs white. I don't think they were suppose to be the horrible tan color.

Once everything was dry, I reassembled the lamp but replaced the glass with a new and inexpensive drum shade I purchased at Walmart.
For those of you wondering how the shade is sitting on the candelier, this is what the top of the drum shade looked like.
The drum shade has a small opening on the top that I threaded the wires through and sat it on top of the chandelier post.
I then reassembled the chandelier the same way it came apart. So the decorative bolt (with the loop attached to the hanging chain) was just screwed back on top of the chandelier post thus securing the shade.

Really easy and not too expensive.
I purchased the brass chandelier from Habitat for Humanities ReStore for $7.50 (it was on sale for 1/2 the ticketed price) and the drum lamp shade from Walmart for $14. I had the Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint on hand (of course). So the grand total for my home made spare bedroom chandelier was $21.50. Not bad.

I debate whether or not to spice it up a bit with a little ribbon around the top and base of the shade. Or perhaps put some vinyl flowers on the inside of the shade, so when the light it on you see the shapes through. What do you think?

Have you created your own chandelier/lights before by piecing various items together?

Linking to some great parties including: Story of A2Z

Friday, July 15, 2011

My kitchen renovation plans - now that Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations is officially in Canada!

All of you living in the US have been so lucky that you have had access to the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation product for months. Whereas us (way up here) in Canada have had to sit back watching your amazing kitchen and bath cabinet transformations with jealousy.

Ever since seeing this product, I have been so anxious to paint our kitchen.  I am even more excited now that is here! I am overjoyed to share that I was at Lowe's this past weekend and they have it! I immediately made my husband pull out his Blackberry to take some images so I could share with all you fellow Canadians the joy I felt when I found it.

I was standing in the Lowe's aisle and almost let our a scream of joy when I saw it. You have to agree the idea of turning my kitchen (below) .
 Into this is very exciting.
Do you see the similarities??No this isn't my kitchen!!! I actually found a home that has the same layout as ours for sale on the internet!!! They have the same ceramic tile floor, same layout, stainless appliances (like we do now) and they painted their kitchen cabinets the same color I want to. I could almost say this is a before and after photo...but sadly it is not. Well not yet at least. Isn't it gorgeous? Isn't it absolutely exciting and wouldn't it make any DIY jump up and down with excitement.

Now it isn't hard to visualize my kitchen in the Linen color (the arrow on the top). I initially debated the 3 colors with the arrows (Rustoleum Kona, Winterfog, and Linen) but after seeing those photos, I really do love the Linen but without the glaze. I plan to do the island in a dark color to contrast the light outer cabinets; perhaps Kona or just Black.

Here are the images from Lowe's. The colors on the actual display look different from what you see online so be prepared to go to the store to grab a brochure and bring it home to see how the colors look in your house before deciding.

This will be a Fall/Winter project after the kids are back at school. I can still dream , start planning and keep staring at our future kitchen photo until then.

What do you think of my before and hopefully future after? Do you think this color will work well with the light flooring? Any thoughts or suggestions?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Monogrammed Candle - PB knock off

Pottery Barn has a beautiful white jar candle with a monogrammed silver metal top. It is simple, classy and (in my opinion) overpriced at $25. I might add for those of us in Canada, it is $32 for some reason. Its description proudly states the letters are hand painted, but isn't everything we do in the blogging world hand made?  I will admit my knock off would not win in a face to face match up, but I think mine isn't to shabby by itself.
Source Pottery Barn
I used Glade "Fragrance Collection" candles that I had kicking around for ages. Just to add to how frugal this is, I will admit I got the candles for free a while back with coupons :) .
I was shocked because the label peeled off like it was meant to be gone. Why did I leave that on for so long?
Using my handy dandy Cricut (you can also use letters from the Dollar Store) I cut out vinyl letters (you can use contact paper too). I cut a 'K' for me and a 'W' as a gift. I personally like the font of the W better so the K might be done again.
I stuck the vinyl letters on the metalish lid and that was it. Craft done. It took me longer to take the after pictures than it did for the entire craft. Pathetic :)
I think this is going to be added to my 'to make people for Christmas' list on Pinterest.

Grand total $0.

What do you think?

Linking to some great parties including: Story of A2Z

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Super Hero Birthday Loot bag - on a budget

My son's birthday was a couple of weeks ago and he really wanted to have a Super Hero party. I fully intended to host the party at our home but my husband kindly reminded me that a party in our house would consist of 10 kindergarten boys running around for 3 hours. I have a hard enough time keeping the house clean with 1 boy...what happens when you have 10 in the house? So, I quickly rented a local play gym for a couple of hours and I could not be happier with how it turned out.

Well, since I spent on renting a place for the party, I wanted to save a little on the loot bags. I am not sure if every parent gives these, but around here the kids almost expect a small gift bag when they leave. I see it as a thank you for coming but my son sees it as free candy.

So here is what I created for my son's loot bags.

I decided to save a couple of dollars and created my own loot bag out of paper lunch bags. For those of you who have not printed on lunch bags before, it is extremely easy. I created a Word file that was the same size of the lunch bag (approx. 5 1/4 inches by 10 3/4 inches) saying "Thank you for coming to my party. Have a SUPER Summer."  and inserted a Superman logo I found on the internet.

I taped the bottom flap of the bag completely closed. It is important to tape the entire way across otherwise the bag WILL get jammed in your printer. I speak from experience.
I then taped about 3 inches of the top opening closed. This was just enough to keep the bag closed while it went through the printer.
Load the bag into the printer the same way you would paper, making sure the correct side is up.
TaDa. Very simple.

I then filled the bag with some items from Walmart and the Dollar Store. Here is what we put in: bubble wand $1, sidewalk chalk $0.50 (bought a big tub and broke it up into 4 per bag), Pop Rock candies/super hero jellies $0.25, Finger lasers $1, Airplanes $0.25. Since I had the lunch bags on hand, thus far the grand total per loot bag was $3.

I then thought I wanted to make something for each of the kids. I have a great program for my Cricut that welds letters together so I decided to create a room sign for each of the boy's bedroom doors with a Super Hero theme.

I purchased the 7x9 inch canvas boards at the Dollar Store (2 for $1) and spray painted them black and navy blue.

I cut out each of the boys names on the Cricut in yellow card stock.
I then cut out the Superman (in red) and Batman (in yellow) logos. I got these images from a Dingbat on a free site. The program I have can cut these on my Cricut. For the Superman logo, I also cut out the shadow version of the logo in yellow. Using double sided glue, I secured the 2 pieces together.
With Modge Podge, I secured the names and logos onto the spray painted boards. I hot glued a little ribbon on the back to use as a hanger.
In total, all I bought for this project were the canvas boards for $0.50. I had all the other materials on hand.

So for a grand total of $3.50 per child, I created, what I think are pretty good loot bags. All the kids walked away extremely happy. I like the fact they have something to keep and hang in their rooms.
What have you done for loot bags? Do you have any secret ways of saving money on these things?

What do you think?

Linking to some great parties including: Story of A2Z

Natural Weed killer (made with basic items in your kitchen)

I have to warn you, for the next month and a half my posts will be of a frugal nature. This doesn't mean I won't post items that will be of use to just means I won't be spending very much money on them.  We are planning a big family trip (to San Francisco!!! I am so excited. If anyone has any tips or things to do there with kids..please share) and I feel I need to slow down on my crafts/projects until we come back. So another month of Frugality for me.

Ever since moving into this house, I have struggled to keep our front walk weed free. As you know, we have 2 young kids (that seem to cringe at the site of shoes thus are always walking around without them) and a little dog, so I personally do not like to use Round up or other harsh weed killers on our property. To add to that, the city where we live has banned the majority of pesticides.

I got this frugal, yet extremely effective, way of killing weeds from my neighbor. He was out spraying his weeds a couple of weeks ago and I had to inquire what he was using because all I could smell was vinegar. I love that it is safe for my family and the environment. I also love the price!

I have googled this recipe and there are a million and one different variations so I thought I would share what I used and show you how well it worked.

  • spray bottle (I had a 34 ounce one I purchased at the $ store a while ago)
  • Pickling vinegar (It works better than regular vinegar because the acetic acid % is higher)
  • Salt (1/2 cup for m size bottle)
  • Dish soap (a squeeze)

That is it!!

Fill a spray bottle almost full with Pickling vinegar. Since my spray bottle wasn't huge, I added only 1/2 cups of salt. If you spray bottle is big, add more salt. Squirt in a dash of dish soap into the bottle. Close the bottle tight and shake, shake, shake. You are done!!!

Go outside on a bright sunny day and spray those weeds. I found the sun sped up the process so try to pick a good day to do it. Remember though, this will also kill your grass and plants too. So don't get trigger happy like me and kill other things around the garden :)

Here are the before images:
Here are the images after 1 hour (see how the color is out of the plants and they are starting to wilt):
Here are the after/end result images (I just now use a wire brush to get the dried up weeds out of the cracks):
Just to show you how well it works, here is an image where there is a weed still alive and the rest killed. I would like to say I did this on purpose to show you all how well it works but I actually missed this weed :)
The grand total was $0 since I had all the materials on hand. What more could you ask for..costs nothing, not bad for the environment and it gets rid of pesky weeds.

Happy spraying.


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