Sticks As Drawer Pulls

Who woulda thought to use plain old branches as drawer and cabinet pulls?  What a GREAT idea!   (Such a nice walk up at the lake looking for the perfect branches for the project.  The only problem I had was that it’s still a little snowy up there, so they were all wet.  Eh, not a problem, I just stuck them in front of a little floor heater we have to dry ’em out.   


After they dried out, I lightly scraped off the bark.  Just enough so that they wouldn’t “shed” bark as they were used. 

I cut them down to the size I needed, for me 6″ or thereabout (it didn’t matter to me if some were shorter than others.  That gives it that natural look, in my opinion.) 

I wanted to try just the dried out branches and then some coated with polyurethane.  Here’s the difference:


Without polyurethane


Coated with Polyurethane

How I Installed the Handles

Once I cut the branches to the length I wanted them, I held them up to the drawer/cabinet.  With a very skinny pen (which I have hung on to for years knowing that it would be difficult to find another one that would fit through small holes) from inside the drawer/cabinet, I stuck my pen in the hole to mark where I need to predrill the holes for the screws.

I used a drill bit much smaller than my screws, to predrill the holes.  I didn’t use the old drawer pull screws, I needed a sharp screw so it was a chinch once I pushed the screw from the back of the drawer, through and found the predrilled hole, then screwed it in from the inside of the drawer.

I didn’t finish all of the cabinets and drawers but I will this week when I go back up and will post more pictures.



Thank you to Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating for the idea!


Painting a Cheap Rug for the Patio

So….I have been wanting to have a beautiful back porch added on to our lake home.  Something similar to what we had done here at our house:



I still love the stained concrete floors I did two years ago.  I will write a post on that soon!

Welllllll…..Dave didn’t quite agree.  Why?  “we’ve had to sink ‘this’ amount of money into this house that has been nothing but a snafu so there’s no way we’re spending big bucks on constructing a patio, you’ll have to figure something else out.”

I couldn’t disagree with him but I know that there is no damned way I’m going to sit out on that beautiful deck we have stung and bitten by bugs that I’ve never even seen before.  I truly believe they wait there for me to pull up every week or so. 

So, to compromise and still have something screened in,we agreed on this from Lowe’s:


It was $499 and looks really well made.  I read tons of the reviews and they were all pretty good.  The only problem with these canopies, in my own opinion, is sure, they look good from the inside of your house, and they definitely serve the purpose for which you purchased it, but if you are looking at the back of someone’s house with one of these, I don’t know, they look tacky to me.  Normally I wouldn’t care, but this is, afterall, a lake house and lots of people are on that lake to see it.  But, I don’t gots no choice, do I????  It’s one of these, or it’s saving until I can have the patio enclosure that I really want.

Of course the second we got home with the monstrosity, I started thinking of ways to decorate it inside.  I don’t want to slap a couple chairs in there and consider it done.  I want to put screen under the deck.  I’m telling you, once those weird looking bugs realize, after chomping at the bit when they saw me arrive, that I’m outside but I have screens around me, they will figure out how to get in.  Nope, they are NOT going to gain entrance through the slats of the deck! 

I want a rug out there, of course. (My goodness, isn’t that what this post was supposed to be about?)  Talk about rambling. 

I didn’t care so much for the outdoor rugs that they carry.  I was at Home Depot the next day (my love for Lowes and Home Depot knows no bounds) and found a plain, thin, woven rug for $11.97.  Ah, perfect:


I decided, after researching some other painted rug sites, to use spray paint.  I bought the colors that I liked and didn’t pay much attention to anything other than price.  Shoot, four cans of spray paint cost more than the damned rug!  Here’s the green I used:

Rust-Oleum 12-oz Green Apple Satin Spray Paint

I started just taping off stripes.  I used duct tape so it would stick to the carpet.  I was only concerned that the first stripe on each long end was the same on both sides so I used a cardboard piece that was about the width I wanted my first stripe to be.  I did that all along each end and put pieces of tape to keep myself straight.


After that, I winged it.  Probably a little more than I should have.  I should have stuck with plain ole’ stripes, but nope, in typical Susan fashion, I kept going this way and that way!


I ended up making so many dang rectangles that I was messing up whatever color “scheme” I had originally intended.  Eh, whatever, I used the spray paints that we had after I ran out of the original colors I had bought.

For many, MANY years, I made window decals ( and vinyl words and sayings that go on your wall (, I have a cutter.  For those of you that own a Cricut, that’s basically what it does, but it’s about 20 times that size.  I cut my businesses down two years ago from total burnout, but I still have my plotter (cutter) and I still use it for some older customers and for stuff I want to make.  So I made a couple of flowers, weeding them (no pun intended there!) backward, so I took out the letters and art and spray painted them on.  I made a saying too.  Here’s that part:


After screwing up just a little (does it matter, really?  It’s for me, and there will probably be a chair on top of most of the carpet, I ended up with this:


No doubt, I’ll end up making another one now that I see my mistakes and what I do and don’t like about it.  Needless to say, I had fun and afterall, isn’t that all that matters?

Vinyl Floor Planks that look like Wood


It was time for us to pull up the builder’s grade carpet in our house.  I really don’t like the look of the laminates I’ve seen and real wood flooring was a bit out of our price range.

While watching “I Want That” on the DIY Network, we found out about vinyl plank flooring, by Style Selections, that looks just like wood.  It looked like something we really should investigate, so off to Lowe’s we went.

The stuff looked amazing.  Not to mention how easy it would be to install.  Peel and stick.  Literally!  It comes in boxes just like regular “real wood” flooring, but it’s thinner in depth and SO easy to cut to size when needed.   You just score it and cut it with an Xacto knife, though shoot, I used damn scissors a lot of the time!

It’s vinyl, so it’s perfect in kitchens as well.  Something I wanted, since I was sick of the boring tile in our kitchen/dining room.

The cost was definitely less expensive than laminate and we were able to put it right down over the tiles in the kitchen, and the subfloor in the living room.  Point is, no moisture barrier was needed, etc.

It’s been almost a year and I still love it!  Definitely worth looking at if you’re thinking of replacing your flooring.

Here’s a before and after picture (sorry, I didn’t take many pictures during the process since I was also putting up the board and batten at the same time)!  Obviously, I bought new furniture, too, but I promise, it IS the same house!  ha ha

floorbefore                  Floorafter

Feb1814 floorKitchenafter