Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thrift Store Makeover

This unique little lamp was purchased at the local thrift store for $5.00. It was in perfect condition and needed no work at all. So technically, it isn't a thrift store make over. What is so neat about this lamp is that when you turn it on, the design appears. When it's turned off, it's very plain. Imagine the surprise after bringing this home, plugging it in, turning it on and seeing designs that you didn't know existed.
A great surprise, a new little lamp, a match to the decor and very, very cheap. You couldn't go wrong with this one.
The chest of drawers to the right was purchased at a thrift store for $10.00. A good cleaning and some lemon oil and it was ready for it's new location: at the foot of a staircase and filled with essential items for the family.
Total cost: $15.00
Chest of drawers and lamp.
It is very time consuming to go in and out of these types of stores looking for items that may be worth your time. But sometimes it really makes sense and can save you a ton of money.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Privacy For Your Windows

What do you do when your bathroom window is huge and open for the world to see? Cover it!! This very large window over my garden tub needed a privacy covering. When we first moved in, I hung a shade. A few years later I added some nice curtains that you could pull closed, but it become sort of inconvenient to jump into the tub every time you wanted to close the curtain or shade. The best solution was to cover it in Stained Glass. Fortunately for me I have been doing Stained Glass for years.

I have always loved the way it looked and especially how the light changes the colors of the glass as the day goes on. At night when the house is dark and the interior lights are on, it once again changes completely in character.

I took a few lessons in town and loved it so much that I bought all the equipment and started creating some beautiful pieces in my home. This bathroom window above had to be created by making 20 individual panes that were eventually caulked into the window. The wood mullions that you see are permanent so there was no other way to do it.

Now I realize that not everyone has this ability but there are other ways to provide privacy for your windows.

  • shades

  • stick on stained glass

  • frosted stick on paper

  • curtains

I found this site and was just amazed at how "real" these stick on Stained Glass windows look and also how reasonably priced they are. Wait until you see what they have. I've been looking for something to provide privacy for my shower doors and this site has exactly what I've been looking for.

Check it out:

Guess what? We are getting all our windows replaced in two weeks (yes, I am very excited) but the bathroom tub window is going to have to come out..............bummer. I now have to take all 20 panes out, solder them all together, add some more glass and re-hang this monster. Lucky me!!

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

How To Decorate A Toilet???

I am sure you are going to think I’m crazy but I’ve done some research on decorating toilets. Browsing through Internet sites I stumbled upon a few really great ideas, things that I never thought of and have never seen before. You may be interested…………

Or maybe not…………..

Let's start out with Toilet Tatoos. I found these delightful, creative decorative skins for toilet lids. Who knew???? Such a neat idea to decorate the lid! They come in all sorts of designs including classic, wallpaper, whimsical, holiday and seasonal . The best feature is that they are removable so you can change them according to the season or holiday you are decorating for.

You can clean them with regular cleaners as long as they are not abrasive. They attach to your lid by electrostatic energy-no adhesives. They even have a few selections for those "potty" training kids that encourage them to actually use the toilet. They cause no damage to the lid either. Some of the designs are very elegant and some are simple. They run cost around $9.95 and go up. You'll enjoy these!

Here's the link:

I found that you can also decorate your tank. This guy sells some great looking "tank art", simple but creative and fun. They appear to be a decal so they are also removable.

The site where you can find these great decals is:

I also found that you can hand paint your tank or lid using enamel craft paint. So if you are inclined to try it get together the following:
  • enamel craft paint

  • small paint brush
  • permanent marker

Draw out your design with the marker and start painting away.

Last but not least: you can decoupage your lid. I tried one out today for my son's bathroom. I plastered his face right into the center. Needless to say it was worth the work when I saw the look on his face..........he thinks I've lost my mind and does not like the idea that his face is right in the middle. This one was "just for the fun of it".

Now that I know it works, I can make another one that is perhaps a little more tasteful.

I know that he and his friends will enjoy this one, at least until I get around to making a more subdued version.

So you can decorate the lid or tank if you are sick of those fuzzy rugs that cover the lid or that plain white lid that greets you when you enter the bathroom. There are creative options out there to change it up.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

How To Build A Platform Bed

A few years ago my son decided to move out of his upstairs bedroom into the basement where he would essentially have his own apartment. The downstairs is all complete with an entertainment room, bathroom and bedroom, so we decided to let him move in. All I had down there at the time was two twin mattresses. He slept on them for a few weeks until I figured that I better make a move. I really didn’t want to go out and buy a bed, no less a box spring which is impossible to buy without the purchase of a new mattress. Since both mattresses were relatively new I thought a king size platform bed would accommodate both of the twin mattresses and hopefully look great in the room.

I looked around on the internet for a while for free plans on how to build one….but found none. I did find a few plans but they would cost me plenty and seemed very complicated (I hate reading directions). So I made my own plans. How hard could this concept be? A large, study box with a platform....right? That is exactly what a platform bed is and turned out to be very easy to build.

I created a box, added a large platform and a headboard. Keeping in mind that this was going to be a rather large bed and would be holding two twin mattresses (and my son) I decided to use sturdy, 2' X 10’s with ¾” plywood for my platform. It was fairly easy to build but a rather large project. Once it is done the sky is the limit in terms of embellishing it. I decided that bamboo would look nice and be masculine enough for a teenage boy. I went over to Pier 1 Imports and purchased two large bundles of bamboo with no idea at the time what the heck I was going to do with them. You’ll see………

Since this bed was made before I started this blog I don’t have step by step photographs, so I had to improvise. Here is how I made the bed:

Things you will need:

Keep in mind that this what you need for a king size platform holding two 39" X 75" twin mattresses. If you were making the platform for another size you would obviously adjust the measurements.

I wanted my box smaller than the platform. I wanted a headboard and wanted an 8 " ledge to go around the sides and bottom of this bed.

* 2' X 10's. Enough to create a box with supports. Mine measured 65" X 65" with a few boards in between. THE GUYS AT HOME DEPOT CUT ALL THE WOOD FOR ME!!! These are large boards and a pain to cut, so be nice, smile and they will make all the cuts for you.

*1 1/2 " screws-power screws (sheetrock screws) work well. Long enough to go through your plywood and anchor into your plywood. These screws will do that job.

*2 pieces of 3/4 plywood. They come 4 feet by 8 feet. 3/4 inch is thick and sturdy enough. They are difficult to get home unless you have an SUV or minivan.

*trim ......I needed trim fastened all around the perimeter to keep my mattresses together and so they wouldn't fly all over the place. This project required a lot of thought!

First make the box (or base). Below is my pathetic drawing of how that box should be built. I had Home Depot cut for me six 2' X 10' boards so I could create a box that measured 65" X 65".

You are building a rectangle. I screwed in 2 more supports boards and scattered three small supports across. This just adds to the stability of your box and gives you a place to screw your plywood into.

When my box was all complete I covered the outside with beadboard to give it a finished look. You don't really see it when completed so it could also be painted. You can see from the photo below that you do not see the base.

Now you take your two two pieces of plywood and screw them in. Use plenty of screws and fasten it where all the 2' X 10' supports are. That includes the perimeter, the center supports and the cross beams.

I then glued and nailed in trim all the way around where the mattresses would sit. This trim holds my mattresses together. I used a pretty good size trim so it would keep my mattresses tightly together.

Above you can see the finished bed. If you look carefully you will see what I did with the bamboo. I bundled it together with rubber bands and cut it into 6 inches pieces using a trim saw. I glued them onto the ledge of the bed creating squares. Each square changes directions. Then nice finishing trim is added to the perimeter to create a completed look.
Here is a closer look at the bamboo and the finishing trim. I used a trim saw to make the angles.
The headboard is a sheet of plywood cut to measure the exact width of the bed -92". I added trim to the center and more bamboo. The bamboo is glued on. The plywood is stained green.

You can connect the headboard using L-brackets or you can just rest that headboard behind the bed.

The platform bed is easy to make. How you want to finish it is up to you. You can paint it, add beadboard, hand paint, stencil, decoupage, padding and fabric to the headboard or staining. You can leave the ledge plain, decorate it another way or leave it plain. The headboard could be another size or shape.

I'm not sure of the exact price of the completed bed but I can tell you it wasn't much compared to what it would cost to buy it.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One Way To Display and Store Your Dishes

I have a moderate size kitchen. Not much in the way of counter space and no abundance of cabinet space. I’m not in the market for a new kitchen either, so I make due with what I have. Being creative with the space that I have is a must. One entire cabinet is devoted to my collection of Fiesta ware including cups, plates and bowls. I was thinking that there may be a way to move some of that out of there and open up some more space for other things.

I have a desk with cabinets above it at the end of the kitchen. It dawned on me that I may be able to store some of my dishes over there without causing any inconvenience. It’s located right next to the table so it seemed to be an ideal place to put them.

Here is what is looked like after I completed it.

I’ve seen these plate racks in newer kitchens and I love the way it looks. In my mind it seemed like an easy enough project to do. Two pieces of wood, cut to size and dowels also cut and spaced equally a part to make room for each plate. It wasn’t the easiest project to do especially if you are “math challenged” like I am, but in the end it worked out pretty well.

How I did it:

Pine wood
Wood glue
A bunch of dowels (they come 36” long)
Drill with drill bit the exact size of the dowel diameter

Cut two pieces of ½ “ pine wood to fit exactly into my cabinet. Sanded smooth, primed and eventually painted.

Enough dowels to cut and insert into the pine wood. I ended up cutting 32 dowels long enough to cover the height of my plates plus one inch. I used two dowels (one placed in the front and one in the back) for each plate separator. In the end I had 17 slots.

I clamped the top and bottom pieces of pine wood together. I drilled right through the top to the bottom, but only ½ way through the bottom piece. I marked my drill bit so I wouldn’t go all the way through. I then glued each dowel into the bottom holes. When the glue was all dried I placed the top on and made sure each dowel was in its designated hole.

The unit was built and then installed when it was all primed and painted. If you are good at math, this project is a snap. For me…………..well…….a little more a challenge, but I was happy with the results.
One tip……I made my dowels a little too close to each other and sometimes I have to force a plate into the space. Measure your plates carefully and allow for the contraction and expansion of the wood. Live and learn (from my mistakes).

I installed a little piece of molding along the front of the rack so the plates don’t fall out.

If you have an area in your kitchen where you can build on of these racks I can tell you that it empties out a lot of space in your cabinets for some more “stuff”.
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Friday, February 15, 2008

Thrift Store Makeover

This is "hands down" the best Thrift Store item I have found yet!

I have a guest room with a queen size bed and no headboard. Since spending alot of money is not one of my favorite things, I left the bed "headless" for a while. It remained that way until one of my frequent trips to the local Goodwill, when I found the beauty shown below. It was in perfect condition with only one little scratch that I was sure I could disguise. Although it was king sized I figured that it would still ok behind my queen size bed, so I purchased it for $12.00, and bought it home.

After a few weeks, every time I passed by the room, I was bothered by what I saw. The headboard was just too big for the bed, and it looked out of place. I thought I could hide it with some little side tables but it just didn't look right. So I decided to try something that could turn out to be a disaster, I was going to cut it! After all, what did I have to lose, remember it only cost me $12.00!

A saw in my hand and a goal in mind, I dragged it down into my work room. Using my jigsaw (a very female friendly tool) I cut this headboard down to the right size. Here is how it started out:

As shown here, I cut the side columns away from the bed and then re-attached them closer to the headboard.
Using glue and a few short screws the posts where re-attached to the headboard.

This headboard had a small scratch right in the center so I attached a wood medallion that I hand painted, and glued to the center. I used colors that would match my room.

Pictured below is the headboard all finished and back in the room ready for the next guest.

The two little wrought iron side tables were purchased for $10.00 each at Ross Dress For Less where you can sometimes find some very interesting and inexpensive items.

and yes..........I know that the bed is not centered. I was in a hurry to take the picture! This bed usually has a bunch of pillows on it too but I removed them so you could see the headboard better.

As I have mentioned before, work with what you have. If something doesn't match, paint it. If it's too big, try making it to fit.....if you can. Be open minded when it comes to decorating because there is so much you can do.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Creating Silk Flower Arrangements

I enjoy having silk flower arrangements around my house. To have them created in a retails store or purchase them already completed can be very expensive, so I make them up myself. Easy enough to do, I just select a main flower, some greenery and sometimes dried flowers. After a few years they get so dusty and tired looking so I just pluck them out of the container and start over again. There are many tricks to putting these arrangements together but I just do it the easy and cheap way.

I always hot glue a Styrofoam block or cone into the bottom of the container first. For this simple project have the following together:
1. Hot glue gun
2. Styrofoam block or cone
3. moss
4. all your flowers and greenery
5. wire cutters
Next I select my main flowers, cut the to size (I vary it, tall, medium and short) and stick them into the Styrofoam as pictured below.

Then plug in all the green stuff……

With the addition of moss along the bottom you won’t see any of the Styrofoam.
Pictured below is another one I put together for my dining room.

None of these arrangements will cost a lot of money to put together, especially if you have a coupon or buy when the stores put silk flowers on sale. I happened to purchase all of these flowers at Michaels Craft Store. They were having a big sale on their silk flowers so I took advantage. Don’t think you have to have formal training to put these arrangements together……….you don’t. You can do this!!!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Effusion Lamp Scent Reviews

So many of you have written to me about the Effusion Lamps! Most people are enjoying them, creating their own scents, mixing their own fuel and filling their homes with great fragrances. Some people still have questions and thoughts about using them so I encourage you to comment or write to me any time. I ordered a bunch of new scents from I have been very satisfied with the ordering process, delivery and the quality of the scents I have received. So far none of the oils have clogged my stones, which leads me to believe these are pure, good quality fragrances.

I'm going to tell you a little bit about each fragrance. I do this to help everyone decide what they may like or dislike. I'll try my best to describe them, but I'll probably steal a few words from Brambleberry's site because they do such a good job of it.

  • Cold Water-This is a men's fragrance. It doesn't make your house smell like a bunch of business men walking around either. This one I really love. It is very strong (so I now use less in my mix) and smells very clean.

  • Cucumber Melon-Love this too. Very strong scent of melon and you really can make out the smell as soon as you enter the house.

  • Coconut Lemongrass-Reminds me of the beach and that's what is smells like. A heavy scent in the effusion lamp and somewhat overwhelming at first. If you like the smell of coconut, you will love this one.

  • Gardenia-I hated this one and I'll tell you why- I don't like the smell of Gardenia and I didn't realize it until I burned the scent. Very, very strong. If you like Gardenia, you will love this scent.

  • Grass Stain-fresh and clean. Very nice, but not my favorite.

  • Herbal Essence-Smells just like the shampoo and this is one of my favorites. Very floral. Love it!!!

  • Kumquat- I can't believe they can make a scent like this! Very nice and smells a little like candy.

  • Energy-Citrus scent of Grapefruit, Lemon Lime with some Cucumber and Jasmine. This one is also great.

  • Pearberry-smells very floral to me and I love this one as well. Not real strong so don't dilute.

  • Lychee Red Tea-My favorite!! Smells like a rasberry iced tea blend. Fruity and exotic. I just orderd some more along with some new ones to try out.

My two very favorites out of this bunch: Cold Water and Lychee Red Tea!

That's all I tried over the past month and just wanted to share with you how I felt about them. I have finally come up with a great way to store all my potions. I occasionally purchase the 91% Isopropyl Alcohol in the small bottles (16 oz) and pour about 1 inch out. I mix it up in these bottles and label them for future use. I have in the past purchased the larger bottle of alcohol, but now I have stocked up on the smaller ones. It's real easy and they are just the right size (16 oz).

I have also found a new kind of lighter that does a superior job of heating up your stone when it get "stubborn" and won't light. This lighters are called "wind free" and I 've found them in Walmart. They are the long Barbeque lighters. If you can imagine, their flame looks like a mini torch. It heats up that stone and makes it red hot!

If you have a stone that will not light, try the wind free type lighter and just hold it on that stone for three minutes. You will have yourself a very, red hot stone.

Check out for a complete list of fragrances and essential oils that you can order. Their descriptions are much more appealing then mine and they have a large selection to choose from.

If you have tried a scent and enjoyed it please post a comment and let us know what you thought. In the mean time I'm working on several projects that you will see in future projects. A mosaic table, stenciling a border in a room and creating something out of an old window. Please check back..........
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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Organize your Jewelry

If you have a teenage girl at home, you no doubt have lots of costume jewelry around. Here is a simple and cheap way to keep all of her "bling" organized. This is a CD rack that I purchased at the Goodwill for $2.00. I added "S"hooks (available at the hardware store) to the slats so she could hang earrings, necklaces and other items. If you look closely at the above photograph you will be able to see those hooks. I even screwed in cup hooks on both sides for more hanging space. I mounted this on her bathroom wall so everything stays together. Cheap, convenient and organized.
*****For those of you that follow my on-going segments on Effusion Lamps, I will being posting a review on all the new scents I tried last month. I also have a new tip for heating up those hard to light wicks. So please come back and visit.******
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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Floor Plan and Decorating Help

Last week some of you helped Tiffany with her floor plan and some decorating ideas. This week we can help Pam. Here is her email:
Here's a picture of my living room. This room is used all the time and I'd like to add a few things to complete it. One is window coverings. We are not sure what we want, but we are thinking of making some drapes if we find the right fabric. I would like something bold - perhaps with deep browns or rusty orange or something. FYI the walls are painted a faux suede - naturally neutral from Sherwin Williams. I also have another delema. I bought these metal wall hanging from Pier 1 (I have 2) and I'm not sure how to hang them. I'd like to put them on the big wall where the couch is now. But I don't know whether to hang them together so it looks like one long rectangle or separate them. Then do we center them in the wall, even though our couch isn't always centered there? Sometimes we put the chair their too. If you need any more info - just let me know! Any ideas would be great!
Please send a comment, right below this post and give Pam some great ideas for her room. All your tips, hints and ideas will be appreciated, so please take a moment and share.
Thanks to all in advance.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Decorating Doorways & Focusing Attention on Openings

Sometimes you just want to decorate a doorway, opening or even try to separate two rooms visually. Here is just another way. Pictured above is a large rod iron corner. These are widely available in retail stores, especially lately. They come in wood, metal and even Stained Glass. I made a pair out of Stained Glass a few years ago but I've also seen them for sale on Ebay. This particular pair pictured just needs the screws painted to match and then they will blend right into the corners.

Here you see both corners creating a finished look in a large room opening. I kept these white but obviously they could easily be painted.

Here the corners are made of wood. I added some extra trim to these to make them larger and provide more of an impact.These were used to visually separate a dining room from a foyer. This little trick really works too.

To the right are corners used just for decoration. They just add a little "extra" to the door opening.

Take a look around and see if any of these decorative corners could be used in your home.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Thrift Store Makeover...........

Sometimes you find the strangest things in the thrift store. My friend found 25 of these odd knobs in the thrift store. They were painted dull, dark colors of green, white and gold. She thought they would be nice all re-painted and installed onto her daughter's dressers and nightstand. I wish I had "before" pictures, but I forgot..........

I won the job of painting all 25 of them with bright colors of yellow, green and pink. I felt that since they would get tons of use that at least seven coats of high gloss polyurethane would be necessary. All the coats made them look like glass when completed.

Let's face it: where in the world have you ever seen anything like this? These are funky, interesting, creative and definitely unique.

Here again are the knobs installed on the night table.

For this project I used a small paintbrush and acrylic paints. Basically it was pretty easy to paint these knobs because I just painted over the existing colors.

It pays to keep your eyes open- you never know what interesting things people want to get rid of.

Oh, by the way............Happy Superbowl!!! Go NY Giants!!!!
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Friday, February 1, 2008

Thrift Store Makeover..........

This little chair was purchased at the Goodwill for $3.00. As you can see, the seat is in perfect condition. The rest of the chair was painted white and had a few scratches. This particular chair was purchased for a desk in a teenagers room with accents of animal prints.

Once again I decided to use Mod Podge to give my chair a new and unique look. I chose plain, brown tissue paper for most of the chair (legs, supports) and a cheetah print for the back.

Why use Mod Podge to refinish a piece of furniture? (and I use a lot of it).

  • It's inexpensive

  • It's easy

  • It's not as work intensive: no priming, sanding or stripping

  • It hides damages, scratches and dent
    It gives you the ability to specifically match items to your decor

Always finish your completed piece with a clear, spray polyurethane.
Total Cost: $3.00 (I happened to have an endless supply of tissue and Mod Podge).

Instructions :
  1. Cut your tissue into small squares

  2. Apply Mod Modge to a small area of your piece and then apply the squares

  3. Apply more mod podge on your squares to smooth the tissue out

I am waiting for my teen to clean up her room so I can post the entire space on my site. The room is painted red and all accents are done in animal prints. Lots of thrift store purchases in this room. Hopefully the room will be posted soon................................
Some general information on this product. Mod Podge is available in most craft stores. It comes in glossy, flat, sparkle, hard coat, fabric and outdoor. Here is the product link:
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