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 :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to fix a broken Monster High Leg at the knee joint

This one came out of necessity.  Yes that Venus McFlytrap, so she was fairly new when she broke (hence the urgency).  I searched for repair ideas online, but since I didn't like anything I saw, I figured out a different way and decided to share.

What you'll need:
1. Pliers - I used needle nose pliers
2. Very small drill bit - thinner than the screw
3. Wire cutters - you can get these at Dollar Tree if you don't have any
4. Small screw

This was a pretty simple fix, and though she can't bend her knee anymore, it does turn right and left,  she doesn't look broken anymore, and the leg won't come apart again for sure (like it did when we tried to just hot glue it).

First. Drill a small hole into the upper and lower part of the leg (you are going to use the screw as a pin to hold the two parts together).

Second, "prime" the leg for the screw by screwing the screw 1/2 way into each leg part then removing it (this makes it easier to put together later). Use can use a screwdriver or pliers to do this.

Third, cut the head of the screw off with the wire cutters. This took like three or four pinches with the wire cutters. The screw should be thin enough to accomplish this.

Fourth, screw one end of the now double-sided screw into one of the leg portions. You can hold the screw with the needle nose pliers to help you do this, if needed.

Fifth, take the portion leg with the screw and screw it into the other portion of the leg until it is flush (resembling the other leg and of course facing the right direction : )

Looks good and new.  Fixed...and one happy daughter.  I hope this helps anyone out there looking for a quick fix for a broken Monster high knee : )

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How to raise the height of a headboard, easily!

If you don't know it by now, I love craigslist.  When its time to buy or sell furniture, I'm all over craiglist looking for a steal of a deal.

Earlier, I was looking for full headboards, as I was moving my girls to larger beds.

My first purchase lead me to a great white headboard for my oldest daughter that needed no help.  Listed for $100, got it for $60, no painting needed, great height, perfect fit.  Kind of boring for me : )

The second find was not the same.  I fell in love with this mid century modern headboard (the whole bed was actually listed for $50, but I just wanted the headboard, so he sold it to me for $30).  This might be the cutest thing I've ever seen.

The finish wasn't a perfect match in person (lighter than this pic he posted) so I figured we might need to paint it.  More importantly I could tell when I saw it, the height wasn't advertised right.  But I was already in love, so I'd just have to fix it at home.

This might have been the easiest building project I've ever completed.  Rarely do I ever have every tool, piece of hardware and appropriate materials that I need : )

First, I measured the wall to see the max height and realized I needed to raise the headboard 7" so it would fit under the wall art above. As you can see it was a tight fit, so I had to measure a few times to make sure I got it right.

The trick was how to raise the headboard without it being wobbly.

I took two scrap pieces of 2 x 4 (about 12" long each) and marked seven inches up (the amount i wanted to raise the headboard). I then placed the block under the headboard leg to mark the width of the leg.  This created a corner to cut off, where the headboard leg would sit. Then I used a chop saw to cut it, but you could easily use a hand saw.

Then I used my drill to drill two holes through the headboard leg and piece of wood so I could bolt them togther.

Luckily I had four bolts and rounded nuts that were long enough to go through the leg and the board (I love when I don't have to make a run to Home Depot : ) 

I did have to use a larger drill bit to create a countersink for the bolt head to sit in so the bolts I had would work perfectly, but that isn't necessary.  Your bolts may be long enough and you don't need to hide anything, as all of this will be behind the bed.

I bolted it all together and viola, 39" headboard becomes a 46" headboard.

It doesn't look perfect, but like I said, it's all hidden behind the bed and nightstand...see.

Luckily we did a "fit" run to see how we liked it and my daughter didn't even want to paint it.  Her bedding has brown in it and she thought it looked great (sometimes a child's impatience pays off : )
Hope this diagram helps you raise your headboard if you are looking to!

Use a wall plate rack to hold picture frames!

Here's another use for the plate racks that were so popular in the 90's, early 2000's and still in stores today.  Place photos frames in them.  Just another way to display family photos!

Two tricks to touch up paint when your paint drys out!

So I've been re-doing my kids bedrooms, converting from twin loft to full beds. Once the beds were switched and furniture/wall art was moved as needed, it was time to touch up the nail holes.

I go to the garage and find the five colors, open them up, and whoops.  The light pink was almost completely dried out.

The sage green is as well. Great! I've got 10 holes to cover in pink and patched hole to paint in the sage! First I tried a trick that worked for me before. I put a piece of the not quite dry paint from the bottom in water (the paint is latex) to see if I could reconstitute it. I had done this with my flat wall paint in the past.

This worked for the sage, but it was the consistency of chewed gum. I was able to paint a small area I had patched and never painted back over successfully. 

So that's tip #1.  If your paint isn't completely dried out, you can try to grind it into a little bit of water to see if it will incorporate enough to use.

The pink was completely dry and I was at a loss. But then something amazing came to me. As I tried to peel the paint off the bottom to try to reconstitute it, some peeled off the side of the can. I thought, wow, wish I could just stick this on the wall. WAIT! I can! So, armed with a glue stick, this strange piece of paint and a small cloth, I proceeded to go try.

 It was so easy, I could hardly believe it.  Here is one example of a hole I had to cover.

First I spackled the holes with this.

I used a damp cloth to wipe each patched hole, so I made sure I was only having to cover the small hole.

I then tore a jagged small piece off the sheet of paint (just enough to cover the hole...about the size of a pencil eraser).

I used one finger to place that piece on the glue stick and take off, then I used a clean finger to place it on the wall (that kept the piece from sticking to my finger instead of the wall). I could not believe what I saw. It was perfect. You could not tell where I had patched it!

I then wiped lightly with my damp cloth to make sure no glue remained on top or around the paint patch.

It was that easy!

I had to share this tip. I've been through this three times and had never thought of this. Kind of reminds me of the nail polish on plastic pin on Pinterest to peel and place on your nails :)

Hope this helps someone who is in a panic that they are going to have to repaint a room because their touch up paint has dried :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to recover a lamp shade : )

Or I guess I should call this "How I Recovered My Lamp".  Let's get real, no two lamps are the same and no one can ever have the same supplies.

Here is what I started with (this is with the trim ribbon pulled off and the edge tape pulled off).

Here is the edge tape I took off.  It was still sticky so I decided to try to reuse it, and it worked.

Here is the trim ribbon I took off.  It was still tacky as well and restuck later.

In my case, the original shade was so patterned I had to cover it with something solid before I put the fabric on or you would see the original pattern through the new fabric when the light was turned on.  In my case I happened to have a cut off piece of black out roller shade (when I had them cut to fit at Home Depot I kept the cut off roll for future use, and here was a future use :)  This is not a task light but a decorative or ambient light, so how much light comes through the shade doesn't matter.

If I can stress only one thing about DIY home improvement, it is that you keep all scraps of anything that is salvagable.  You will use it one day and then you'll save yourself a trip or two qne money!

My fabric was a previous shower curtain I purchased in the Ikea "as is" section for 99 cents.  I had used it in my daughters bathroom (as decoration only...they have shower doors).  Once we changed it out, this one went into the fabric bin : )

I started out simply by measuring and cutting the black out fabric and hot gluing that to the two drum shades. This project is much easier than an angled shade because you just roll it straight on and glue as you go.  With an angled shade you will trace the shade only the fabric as you roll it so you get the weird curved shape you need to cut figured out.

For my fabric I measured and cut, but this time I had to "burn" the edges of the fabric because it frayed.  This shower curtain looks and feels like fabric but it primarily plastic or polyester.  I've mentioned this before, but you just use a lighter to quickly "seal" the edges of this type of fabric and it melts it slightly so it won't fray.  I then applied it the same way with hot glue.

I then reapplied the edge tape (stuck back down just fine).

Here is is with all the edge tape back on.

Then I reapplied the edge ribbon.  I only secured the start and finish of each ribbon, as the middle was still tacky.

Reapply the shade and voila!  New, more grown up lamp for free : )

Monday, January 7, 2013

Walmart boots laced even cuter

My daughter has been dying for tall wedge boots. We even spotted a cute pair at Ross before Christmas, but they didn't have her size at any of the stores by us. So yesterday we decided to hunt our local "mills" outlet mall and came up empty handed. Rue 21 had a pair that was close but didn't have her size either.

Today I ran to Walmart for a return and came upon these cute boots for $25 that were almost exactly like the ones we saw at Ross and at the same price.

Brought them home for her to try and they looked a little sloppy. The tops just kind of flop with nothing holding them together.

So we decided to force the tops to lace. We "punched" through the faux fur twice on each side and continued lacing them up. Made them look slimmer and helped the laces look less sloppy, too. 

Here they are side by side before and after.  Luckily they have a side zipper so the laces don't have to be re-tied each time risking ruining the punched holes.

Easy quick fix for a cute inexpensive pair of winter boots :)  I just used a large injector tip to punch a hole, but you could use a nail even.  Lastly they had them in black, too : )

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My latest wine cork letter

So, I got bored the other day after putting away all of my Christmas decorations. My home was looking a little "naked" after all of the beautiful "extra" decorations were put away. I decided there was a spot on one of my shelves in my bar that needed a little something, and this is where crafting/decorating begins in my home :). What would I make? A wink cork letter of course :). What else would you make for your bar? I had already done a capital A, so I decided to do a lower case a. One like an old typewriter would make vs. a cursive lowercase a. I was worried that it wouldn't stay because the top arm wouldn't have support once it was complete. But as you can see, it turned out just fine.

Tip: Let it dry or cure overnight laying down. Even though I used hot glue which dries quickly. It still needed to set overnight so it wouldn't droop once I stood it up.