Call it a compilation of all the crazy projects I've come up with over the years. Call it a how-to for things around the house. Call it whatever you like :) It's what I do everyday. My blog is really just a way for me to share what I've learned over the years about home improvement, interior design, organization, diy, crafting and home repair. And most importantly it comes from always working on a budget and forever wanting to fend for myself when it comes to anything. I hope you enjoy (and learn a few things along the way :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easter apothecary jars

My latest holiday update to my apothecary jars. Easter eggs as filler and duck cookie cutters instead of letters (couldn't come up with a three letter word I liked...egg?). I had both already, so the only purchase was the ribbon for $1 at Michaels dollar section.

I also updated the footed candles on the island (filling them with nerds from Dollar Tree : )

River rock sink area - finalized

So my spa bath redo is complete.  I added the river rocks to the sink, painted an old chipped soap dispenser to add to the right, added the ceramic container (with ribbon detail added) to the left to hold the room spray, and my sink redecoration project is complete. Just a few more tweaks in the 1/2 bath to remove all traces of red, and the room will be complete. :)

Update plain container with ribbon

Took a plain dark-brown ceramic container I had and wanted to add detail.

Decided to add some brown & white zebra ribbon I had from another project. Cut it to length and melted the ends to prevent fraying (I use a lighter to do this).

A little hot glue to attach and voila! Much cuter.

As most of you know, I'm in the process of changing my 1/2 guest bath to better fit with the new rocks in the sink spa feel.

I decided I needed another item on the left side of the sink. I have the much needed room spray atomizer that looks a little plain by itself.  I decided to make this to set it in.  Picture of the finished sink area to come :)

Painting soap dispenser

Today I decided to add another piece to my "spa" guest half bath. I had added red to that bathroom a year or two ago, but after adding the rocks to the sink (see my other post) the red just doesn't fit anymore.

I took the old soap pump (which I had taken out since it had fallen off and chipped) and decided to paint it with my favorite Modern Options blacked brown paint (see my earlier post on painting hinges to find out where to buy it).

Now it matches much better with the new spa look I'm going for (and now I can touch it up if it falls and chips again :)

Make a footed candle at Ikea for $1.30 : )

My daughters and I went to Ikea for fun over spring break and found an inexpensive way to improve the inexpensive scented candles they have (For .79 cents).  Right next to them were some .49 cent small glass candle holders.  And before our eyes we created a much more attractive candle holder for 50 cents more.

The before and after right in the same photo.  Two people around us commented...what a great idea...and picked up a few of each ).

Use a glue gun to connect the two together (just like my dollar store apothecary jars and Bath and Bodyworks footed candles).

These even look more modern for a home with cleaner lines.

Happy hunting for ideas of your own.

Make a spring arm cupholder work better

Use rubber tubing to make a spring arm cupholder grip better.

I have some spring arm cupholders in my car, and it seems they just don't hold cups that well. Let's face it, my daughters can knock over a cup in just about any cupholder, but I was looking for something to help them grip. I had some black tubing, so I cut it to length and slid it on. So much better!

A custom playset sign

...or what your daughters do when they are bored and have a mother who does projects all day and rubs off on them : )

So my youngest daughter came to me over spring break and said she wanted to make a sign for her play set.  This kid loves to come up with outlandish projects and then leave it to me to iron out the details.  Since we didn't go on vacation over the week, I decided a few fun projects like this would help the time pass by and result in a lot less "I'm bored"s.

I started by having them make a list of possible names.  This was definitely the fun part.  They ended up choosing The Rotten Raft (they thought it was funny because their playset is older, 10 years old now, and it sort of looks like a raft).

I found and old piece of scrap molding we used in our old house and they approved.  They liked it because it was only lightly primed and therefore looked weathered.  They then got out our old paint collection (and decided on orange, since we had red and yellow left over craft paint and the orange would match a new bucket they recently added...another project I will detail later).

I took on the task of painting, as I was going to be able to see this sign from my back windows and I didn't want to stare at a badly painted sign every day.  I mixed the paint, drew the letters out on paper for their approval, lightly penciled it on the board, and quickly painted them.  It turned out just the way they wanted (or so they said).

Once it dried we hung it on the playset with two nails straight through the sides of the sign into the play set wood, and they just love it!

Now where else do we need some custom made signs? : )

Did you know your fridge has a drain?

Well I just found out last night it does, and I had to share my true "Dixie of all Trades" moment to hopefully help others make this repair themselves in the future.

The other day I noticed water on the floor in front of my fridge.  A little troubling since I have wood floors, but assumed someone just spilled water (until I noticed it again a few hours later and realized we had a problem).

Since the fridge is 16 years old I immediately thought replace (who doesn't want a new french door fridge :)  But after spending 6 hours hunting for a fridge that will fit my opening, I was coming up empty-handed and began to panic at the thought of buckled wood floors in my near future.

As you can see I have about a 1/2" gap between my fridge and the trim molding all the way around.  There is literally one fridge on the market that will push into this opening easily and it isn't french door.

So I arrive home with no fridge on order (luckily, as you will soon see, but it is because no one had that one fridge in stock, they only had it available for order).  I will not buy a fridge sight unseen.

So as I sat stewing in my living room, since I did not have a new french door fridge being delivered the next day, I moved my attention to the random water puddle issue that had to be resolved or my floors would be ruined.

I googled "water dripping from front of fridge door" and the first thing that came up was the solution.  I had a clogged drain pipe or drain hole.  I'm sad to say I didn't know my fridge had a drain, but I now fully understand that your frost-free fridge defrosts about four times a day and the water it creates is supposed to drain into the drain pan in the freezer, through the drain hole, down the drain tube, and into the drain pan under the fridge.  Mine wasn't doing that, so I began the task of figuring out how to fix it. I took out the bottom drawer of my freezer and that confirmed the problem. 

There was a frozen puddle on the bottom of my freezer (can't see it very well in the picture, but its there).  Clearly water was not going where it was supposed to.  There was no drain hole to be found, I assumed it was behind the back panel (white upper part of the pic) as I could see a spot where it might be (top left of the picture).  The drain pan is the silver part.

I took off the first two screws I could find which made the back panel bendable enough for me to access the drain pan (its made of a very thin flexible plastic in my fridge).

There it was a solid block of ice filling the drain pan (no pic to show as at this point the pictures stopped due to frustration :).  I used a hair dryer for a few minutes to begin to melt it, then I was able to lift is out.  I poured water into the drain pan and looked under the fridge...nothing draining.  That meant there was a clog.  So I found some old speaker wire (needed something long and thin but sturdy enough to be pushed through the drain system).  After pushing it through enough to get it to show up at the other end of the tube, I pulled it all the way through to hopefully clean anything out that's stuck in there.  Another cup of water to test and it was draining right out.  I fixed my fridge for free!!!

Now of course nothing says it won't break tomorrow and then I'll be back to the drawing board trying to figure out how to get the new fridge I want to fit in a too small custom cabinet, but I'll deal with that problem when it arises.

Hope that helps someone else in the future : )