Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Faux Magnolia Wreath DIY

Back in May, my sweet Hubs surprised me with a trip up the road to Waco, Texas home of Chip and Joanna Gaines of "Fixer Upper" fame!  We visited their Magnolia Market at the Silos, and Ed was super generous and helped me choose a few things for our home.



One thing that wouldn't fit into our budget was the Magnolia Wreath that Jojo has made into her signature piece:

Original Magnolia Wreath available at Magnolia Market
The very next day, I was browsing Pinterest and found this Pin to make one of my own!  Debbie, over at Refresh Restyle, had the same reaction as mine on the price of the Magnolia Market wreath. We both loved the wreath, but neither of us could "pull the trigger" on purchasing one.  Instead, the DIYer in Debbie (and me, after seeing her tutorial), gave it a go with great results.
Here's Debbie's version:

(Please pop over to see Debbie's tutorial on her original post.)
For my version of the Magnolia Wreath, I used the following supplies, all from Hobby Lobby, my very favorite crafting supply, and home decor store!

For the life of me, I couldn't find a floral foam wreath that had moss on it, and finally I asked Debbie about it. She admitted she probably took apart an old wreath that already had moss on it. So, I did the next best thing and covered mine with sheet moss.

Cut and fit the sheet moss before gluing it on to the foam wreath, to make sure there is enough to cover completely.  Then, after gluing it all in place, put on the burlap ribbon hanger, since it's easier to attach at this phase.



Next, detach the faux Magnolia leaves (they come off in threes) from the stems and use the floral pins to put them in place. I didn't poke the ends of the leaves themselves into the foam wreath, I just pinned them on the stems, going in the same direction all the way around. The overlapping leaves cover the pins completely. Oh, here's a hint: on every other trio of leaves, I turned one of the outside leaves around to the brown side.  This gave it a more realistic look, and visual interest.


So, a couple of things about the differences between my wreath, and the one sold at Magnolia Market.  
1. My leaves are obviously darker green, and have a shine to them.
2. The original from Magnolia has more layers of leaves, showing some as a tan-ish brown, which is how natural magnolia leaves look on the back. (We have one in our backyard, so I've seen it.)

Hints: You could use a grapevine wreath of similar dimensions as your base, and use floral wire to attach the leaves.  Or do as Debbie did, and upcycle a wreath you already have.


Keeping my awesome Faux Magnolia Wreath on my pantry door allows me to enjoy it every day!
I'm pretty happy with the way the wreath turned out, all in all, the differences are so minor, and I only spent $25 for all my supplies.  The Signature Magnolia Wreath is $95 online and in the store.  (I recently saw that Hobby Lobby online was selling a Magnolia Wreath for $25 on clearance, but those are all sold out. It looked nearly identical to mine.)  

Special thanks again to Debbie of Refresh Restyle for the original tutorial!


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Updating Dad's Old Wooden Box

My Dad's old wooden box.  I'm guessing that he probably made this box from plywood, glue and screws sometime in the 1950's.  Mom & Dad were married in 1944, and he passed away in 1961, when I was just a baby. Mom is gone now, too so I can't be sure of the actual date, but I know it's been around my entire life. It's one of the few items of my Dad's that I have.
When I asked my Hubs if I could bring it in from the garage to use inside the house, he said, "You do know it's not pretty, right?", I just smiled, and told him I would give it a makeover.

Here was the inspiration for pulling the box out of the garage:
Source
This box held some sentimental value for me because Dad built it with his own hands, so I wanted to be sure it didn't get too "girly".  Dad was an auto mechanic, and a true outdoors man. He probably kept some of his tools in this box, because it was kinda smelly and greasy inside.  Over the years, others had used this box, and then years ago, it somehow ended up in our garage with Hubs' stuff stored in it.  It was usually on a shelf, forgotten.

Here it is as it's always been:

When I looked it over, I was surprised to see some childish scribbling on the top; I'm guessing it was from my sister and I when we were very small, probably using it as as "desk".
The box is made from 1/4-inch plywood, with a brass hasp and hinges.

Since I wanted a somewhat rustic look, I got started first by giving it a coat of chalk paint, and adding some "feet" from some scrap pieces of lumber:

Wood glue and clamps
After three coats of chalk paint
Although I love the distressed look of the one in Edith & Evelyn Vintage's photo, I decided to give Dad's a little industrial flair, by adding some corner brackets.  I could have painted them black, but chose to match the color of the brackets on the Factory Cart Coffee Table that I built, so I went with Oil Rubbed Bronze paint


Doesn't it look perfectly paired with that little Factory Cart Coffee Table? Now I get to enjoy seeing Dad's box every day, in a whole new way!  Maybe this style would be called, "shabby-chic-industrial"?

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DIY Kitchen Tablet & Phone Holder + Free Printable!

Living in the tech age, we can access our favorite recipes through our tablets or smartphones.  However, it can be challenging to hold your device and cook at the same time, right?  After I picked up a cutting board at a thrift store, I solved my problem!


You may have seen some of these on the internet, and here's my own version to get your creative juices flowing.  I'm also including a handy Kitchen Measurements chart to dress it up a bit.

You'll need:

  • wood cutting board or a suitability-sized piece of wood
  • L-shaped wood trim (this is where the tablet sits)
  • small piece of burlap
  • 4 upholstery tacks
  • printed Kitchen Measurements chart (see link below)
  • scrap wood for stand on back
  • wood glue
  • paint or stain of your choice
Look around on the internet for inspiration on how you want your holder to look....I've seen really cute  ones that were painted white and distressed for a farmhouse look. Or you could paint it a color what coordinates with your kitchen.

Cut the piece of wood trim to the width of the cutting board. It if needs painted or stained, do that now, and allow to dry. My trim was pre-stained and ready to go. 
Use wood glue to the flat edge of the trim and attach it to the bottom of the cutting board. You might need some small clamps to hold it on while the wood glue dries.
Stain or paint the board and trim and let dry.

When that was fully dry, cut a piece of burlap and fray the edges a bit; apply it using Mod Podge, but you could use plain 'ol white glue. Apply a thin layer to the wood, and then the burlap while the glue is still wet. It will dry clear. Now tack on the upholstery tacks onto the corners of the burlap, for a little added rustic feel.

Here is the Kitchen Measurement chart (pdf) I promised, just click on the words.

You might want to print it out on card stock and trim with scissors; I recommend that you laminate it as well.  A little trick I use is packing tape, or clear Contact paper to laminate the printed chart. This way, if anything gets splashed on it, you can wipe it clean.

For the stand, I used a plate holder at first, but then realized I wanted a more permanent stand, so I cut a scrap piece of 1" thick wood to the following dimensions:
Using wood glue along the 8" slanted side, glue to middle of the back of the cutting board, so that the 3-1/2" side rests on the table or counter.  This should give the front of the cutting board a good slant for resting your tablet of smartphone.
(If desired, stain or paint the stand after the glue has dried.)


This stand gets used every time I prepare a recipe, using either my tablet or smartphone. No more juggling it in my hands, trying to read the recipe and cook! It also keeps my device cleaner, since I'm not holding it.

You know you need this tablet holder, don't you?  Please, if you make one, I'd LOVE to see yours!  Email me a photo, and I'll probably feature yours right here, and on my social media accounts.  I'm on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Special thanks to Karen, the Graphics Fairy, for the mason jar graphic!







Sunday, August 21, 2016

Patriotic Milk Bottle Vases

Before Labor Day arrives, I wanted to share with you a cute craft that I put together, and kept on our wall all Summer long.


Here are the supplies needed:
  • 3 small milk bottles (I got mine at Target)
  • 3 wood stars in red, white and blue (again, Target had these, but you could paint plain wood stars with inexpensive craft paints)
  • wood plank (I used a scrap of pallet wood that was long enough for the stars to fit on)
  • 3 adjustable repair clamps (found at Home Depot, in the plumbing department)
  • philips head screws
  • manual slot head screwdriver
  • drill with small drill bit, and philips head bit
  • black paper or vinyl circles, and white chalk or chalk pen
  • thin twine
  • flowers, faux or real
First, lay the stars down on your work surface, and put the plank on top. Adjust the stars evenly across the board.
Use 3 screws that will go through your plank and into about half the thickness of the star.
Working from the back, screw through the plank (using the drill with philips head bit) into each star near the top, being careful not to go all the way through the star. 

Flip the plank with the attached stars over.
Position the clamps toward the bottom of the stars; using 3/4-inch screws go through the back of the clamp into the star. You might have to use a drill bit to make a hole into the metal clamp first.

Next, position the milk bottles in the clamps and use a manual slot head screwdriver to tighten the clamp by hand, around the neck of the bottle.  Don't over-tighten, in fact, leave it a tiny bit loose.

For hanging the board, I used 2 saw-tooth hangers attached to the back. You could also use 2 D-ring style hangers. 
Now, tie a length of twine around the neck of each bottle, and tie around the lid to the other end. 
Add a black circle to the front of each milk bottle, and write USA to show off your patriotism!   
Add flowers, fresh or faux, and hang up where you can enjoy seeing it!


I made this in May, and it stayed up all summer long for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and it will be on the wall for Labor Day, too! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

4 Ways to Repurpose and Reuse

Normally, Hubs and I are diligent about recycling all of our empty plastic, glass, etc. that's allowed by our area recycling company. However, yesterday when I emptied a large Downy Unstopables bottle, I started wondering if I could repurpose it.

With this kind of bottle, don't put food into it, since it had chemicals in it before.  I decided it would make an easier way to store and dispense my dishwasher tablets, and it wasn't even necessary to wash the bottle out!  I just peeled off the label:

and then filled it up with the dishwasher tablets!  

The blue cap is not really necessary for dispensing the tablets, but I thought it was pretty, so I left it on.  Since the bottle is see-thru, I can easily know when I need to put dishwasher tablets on my shopping list.
Have you ever had a leak under your sink, and the cardboard box holding the tablets got soaked?  Well I have, and it pained me to throw away the tablets that got ruined, so this plastic bottle will protect my investment, too!

Here are a few other bottles that I've re-purposed in the past:
The large coffee creamer bottles are great for goldfish crackers, and they keep things neat if you are traveling with kiddos.  I've also used them for rice, dry beans, and other dry foods. The labels peel off easily, and the bottle is clear!
The spice jar was saved when I needed a new bottle of cinnamon, and the empty one became a cinnamon-sugar shaker...I keep it next to the toaster. (I love the square spice bottles that I buy at Target!)

The two flavored syrup bottles, I recently used to make watering bottles like this for my plants:
Source
These are just a few ideas from my own experiences that I've shared with you, but there are MANY more out there...just search Pinterest or Google for ideas on Re-purposed Empty Bottles.  I think the next one I will try, uses a 2-liter soda bottle to start seedlings in. However, we rarely drink soda, so that one might take me a while. 




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Denver Omelette Quiche with Cauliflower Crust

Healthy eating is not just a fad or a craze, it's a lifestyle.  I've read that staying consistent on a healthy-eating way of life about 90% of the time, will leave room for a splurge now and then.
With this recipe, you'll feel like you are splurging, but it's actually pretty healthy!


Recently, I ran across the recipe for a cauliflower quiche crust on Pinterest that sounded interesting, so I changed one small thing to make it with ingredients I had on hand.
Then, searching my old recipes, I found Denver Omelette....and thought, "wouldn't that make a great quiche?"  It turned out just right!

For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. (Toaster oven does not need preheating.)
  • 10 ounces of Fresh Cauliflower florets
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (about 2 cloves) of freshly minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used the powdery kind, but freshly grated would be fab!)
  1. Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets into fine pieces. 
  2. Now add the egg, sea salt, minced garlic and parmesan cheese. Pulse for a few seconds to combine.
  3. Spray a pie plate or pan with non-stick spray; press the cauliflower mixture onto the bottom  and up the sides. Try for an even coverage, and smooth on the bottom.
  4. Cover the pie plate loosely with foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes; remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Allow to cool. (I put a fan on the counter to get mine cooled quickly.)
Now for the Denver Omelette Filling: (modified from a recipe found on allrecipes.com)
Preheat oven to 400°F (Toaster oven does not need preheating.) 
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 of a green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup cooked ham, diced
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheese (I used Colby-Jack)
  1. Melt butter in a skillet: cook the onion and bell pepper in the melted butter until soft, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl; stir in the cheese, ham, cooked onion and pepper.
  3. Season with salt & pepper, if desired, and pour on top of the cooled cauliflower crust.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.  Serve warm.  (Can be reheated the next day!)
Because it's been so darn HOT here in central Texas, I used my toaster oven with the convection setting to make the crust and the quiche.  It didn't heat the kitchen up, like using the regular oven would have, so that made me and the electric company both very happy.
(By-the-way, the crust edges are dark, but NOT burned! Unfortunately, the photos make it look darker than it was.)


It's hard to tell at first that the crust is made from cauliflower, since it just adds to the flavor of the overall dish.  You might want to try making it and then let your family guess what the crust is made from!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Farmhouse-Style Herb Drying Rack



Most of you that follow me on any of the social media sites (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter), probably know that I'm a huge fan of the show, "Fixer Upper", and especially Joanna Gaines.  I really love her style, especially Farmhouse style, and I'm attempting to gradually build on that theme in our home.

Joanna has a blog on the Magnolia website, and when I saw her DIY Herb Drying Rack, I quickly searched the house for some simple supplies to make my own version!

Materials:
  • One plank of scrap wood (mine is pallet wood: 12" X 5-1/2")
  • 3 drawer knobs (more if your board is longer)
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint (optional)
  • 2 small eye hooks
  • Twine, thin rope, or wire
  • Vinyl letters (I used my Cricut; you could purchase letters, if desired)
  • Home-grown herbs (the grocery store kind are fine, too!)
Sand your wood plank; stain or paint, if desired.
Measure out placement for the knobs, and mark with a pencil.
Drill holes for knobs, but attach them later.
Screw the eye hooks onto the top corners of the plank.
Thread the twine or thin rope or wire through the eye hooks, and secure.
Add your vinyl letters; attach the knobs onto the plank.































It  looks great with the vinyl letters, don't you think?  You could also put your name, like "Juju" or "From Juju's Garden", the option is up to you.

Here's what my version looks like side-by-side next to Joanna's:


Go ahead and try this quick and easy Farmhouse-Style Herb Drying Rack.  You might have some or all of the supplies in your house or garage already!  If you decide to make it, I'd love to see YOUR version of Joanna Gaines' DIY Herb Drying Rack, so send me an email and if you'd like I'll feature yours on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages!


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Factory Cart Coffee Table

Today, I'm bringing you another great project made with a pallet!  This was a fun project that I actually made in 2 stages. Sometimes when you live with something for a few days, you get inspired to finish it off differently.

This little coffee table was born out of a need for a small, low table that was also easy to roll out of the way when we need more floor space (like when our grandkids come to visit!).

It all started about a year ago, when Hubs brought home a small, square pallet. Not the normal size pallet, this one is only 22-inches square!  The pallet sat in the garage for several months, until I came up with a plan.

Materials:

  • small wood pallet (or build one using lumber)
  • 4 industrial metal wheels (I found these at Home Depot)
  • scrap pallet wood and an old wood shelf (or you can purchase 1"X 4" lumber)
  • angle brackets (these from Home Depot)
  • screws: sixteen 1/2" for the brackets, and fifty 1-1/4" for construction
  • wood glue
  • sander and sandpaper in various grits
  • wood stain (your choice)
  • spray paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze color
The first thing I did was remove 3 boards from the bottom of the pallet and one from the middle of the top of the pallet, and spaced them out evenly along the top and secured them using screws.  Thankfully, these boards were all the same thickness and length, so no cutting was required.

I wanted to add some height to the pallet, so I added some wood around the perimeter of the base, and secured everything with wood glue and screws. (that's where the scrap pallet wood and old wood shelf came in )

Next, I sanded the entire piece.  Pallet wood can be tough to sand, so start with a 60-grit sandpaper and work up to a 150 grit. You don't need it "baby's-bottom-smooth", if you want it to look rustic and industrial.  Finally, the stain went on, but surprisingly, it came out a LOT darker than I expected! 


At this point, I added the wheels and thought I was done, but after living with it for a while, I wasn't fully satisfied with the look.  I  checked around on the internet and Pinterest for inspiration ideas, and then knew exactly how to finish it off!
I had some leftover pieces of 1" X 4" lumber in my stash, so I cut them to wrap around the outside of the pallet. Perfect; however, that too-dark stain was still bugging me.  I took my orbital sander with 80-grit sandpaper, and lightly sanded some of the stain off of the top. I just kept dusting it off to check, until I felt there was enough stain taken off.  Now it looks like it was actually used instead of just one solid,  dark color. ↓  I recommend you take the time to do this step, simply for aesthetic reasons; it made a huge difference in the appearance.

The brackets I found were plain, galvanized steel, so I spray painted them with the oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  (Let the paint dry completely before putting them on the coffee table.) I even took a little brown paint to color the heads of the screws to match the brackets. **What I DIDN'T do was paint the wheels, even though they are a silver color.  We are currently renting a house, and the living room has light carpeting, so I didn't want to take any chances that the paint would come off with use.


Now that I have quite a bit of the dark stain sanded off, and the added wood and brackets, it's exactly the look I wanted for our home!  And the wheels make it so versatile, because I can use it as a low coffee table, or next to the fireplace as part of a vignette.

 There it is!  If you decide to build your own little Factory Cart Coffee Table, I would love to hear from you, so be sure to leave me a comment below or email me using the Contact tab at the top of the page.  You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"Grow Old Along With Me" Shiplap Sign


On Mother's Day weekend, my sweet Hubs surprised me with a short road trip to Magnolia in Waco, Texas!  He was super generous with me, and helped me pick out a few things for our home that would also serve as mementos of our visit.



One of the items we bought was this darling metal sign, designed by Joanna Gaines(from a Robert Browning poem) and made by Jimmy Don Holmes, a Waco metal artist. The original sign was created for a cute couple for their "Little House on the Prairie" (episode 1 of season 2) on Joanna's popular show, "Fixer Upper" on HGTV.  If you've been living in a cave, and haven't seen this show, you will laugh so hard at her husband Chip's antics! They are an awesome, talented couple, and Hubs and I watch every single episode.

Deciding that I wanted to hang our sign on a shiplap wall, (I LOVE the farmhouse-style look!) but living in a modern house with no shiplap in sight, proved to be a no-go.  Instead, I decided to make my own small-size "faux" shiplap. If you don't have a clue what shiplap is, click here.

Materials:

  • one 4" X 5' board, cut into 3 equal pieces, roughly 20-inches each (I used pallet wood boards)
  • glass doorknob and door plate (look at antique stores or flea markets) 
  • one metal plaque (Magnolia Market sells this sign in 2 sizes; we purchased the smaller size)
  • white wash paint (recipe below)
  • 2- five gallon paint stir sticks (free from home improvement stores)
  • sandpaper
  • 3/4-inch wood screws
  • 2 - "D" hangers
Cut the paint stir sticks to about 8 inches each.
Attach the 3 boards together using the paint stir sticks, using screws. When putting in the top screw, go ahead and put the "D" hangers on. (see photo below)

  
Turn your board over, sand smooth, and paint with white wash paint.



Next, check your layout (I actually did this before I sanded and painted). Lightly mark where the two holes are at the top of the sign.



Now, attach the sign to the front of the board with screws; attach the door plate with screws (it probably has holes in it already, top and bottom), and finally attach the glass door knob to the door plate with an epoxy or something like JB Weld glue.  (My knob was already attached to the plate)

Oh! See that fresh-faced, young couple in the framed photo above?  That's Hubs and me, just 7-1/2 weeks after we got married!  It's been over 33 years since that day, and growing old together just gets better all the time, especially since I get to do it with the BEST husband EVER.
"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God." 
Philippians 1:3 (MSG)