Pendant Light Shade from Galvanized Tub!

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Changing the pendant shades is something I like to do.  The quirkier the better!   It all started with me seeing an old rectangular bucket (for lack of a better word) in a flea market.  I didn’t think much about it at the time, but when I got home I realized “hey, I could make a shade for the pendant lights with that”!  Well damn, the thing was gone when I got back to purchase it.  I searched high and low but couldn’t find anything similar.

I started hunting for new ones.  The largest I could find, other than one that would have been way too big, was the Behrens 5.5 Galvanized Tub in Lowe’s.  $14.99.  Bingo!

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I didn’t want it to look new, but aged.  After doing a little research, the best way to give it the aged look was none other than toilet bowl cleaner!  Yup, you read that right.  You douse it with the cleaner, let it sit, rinse it off and voila’!   I actually left mine outside in the sun for a couple days.  I would have liked a little more patina, but this still looks aged.  No doubt, knowing me, I’ll take it down and try to age it a little more!

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To mount the tub into the existing lights wasn’t difficult at all.  Ideally, instead of three hanging lights, two probably would have been better, but I didn’t want to buy anything.

I took the existing “shades” off the lights and held the tub up and made marks where the holes needed to be.  I knew I needed 1″ holes by measuring the opening of the end of the light:

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The right hole that I drilled doesn’t look even in this picture, but I promise, it is.

We then put the ends of the lights through the holes and screwed the ends on that hold the shades on.  (goodness, did THAT make sense at all???)  Here’s a picture of it after I screwed the bulbs back in:

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Here’s a closer look at the new “shade”

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Faux Stone Panels made from Polystyrene, aka, Styrofoam!

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Fake stone you ask?  Well, I’m gunna give it one helluva try, that’s for sure!  Here’s my sad, pitiful story, as usual…..

The back of our lake house is, in my opinion, hideous!  Well, instead of having to describe it, I’ll just show you a picture which shows where these fake stone panels will go!

ImageIn the last year we’ve removed all the stepping stones (they were NOT helpful at all when walking down to the dock) and of course all the “stuff”, to put it nicely, cluttered about.   We did power wash that nasty white trellis, but it didn’t get as clean as I had hoped, hence this post!

I’ve been a little bored lately (I think I’m the ONLY person I know that gets so damned bored when I don’t have a project to work on) so shoot, what have I got to lose trying to make fake stones!

I started with a sheet of 3/4″ Polystyrene.  I bought it in Lowe’s for $12.99 for a 4′ x 8′ sheet.  I then got the supplies I thought I would need.

Spray paint the color I wanted my grout and stones to be, with additional colors that I could use to give it depth, a soudering iron, a heat gun (purchased at Home Depot for $10), a spray bottle and a sea sponge, although to be honest, I ended up not really using it.  Anytime I needed to blend, I found it easier to use a wet cloth.  No doubt, I had to add a bunch and actually not use some as the project progressed.

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This really is a simple project.   Bear with me (grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and try not to conk out!), I’ll walk you through it.

Like I said, I bought polystyrene, which is sheet insulation.  Here’s a picture of the first sheet I bought and cut in half to try out different techniques.  Afterward, I worked on them whole because I need a height of 5′ to 7′, depending on the slope of the yard.

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Either side of it will work.  Don’t forget to pull off that clear sheet that covers it.  I had a heck of a time a few times trying to find it, even using the corner, but once you do, it’ll tear right off.

I then drew out my pattern.  I just freehanded it.  I wasn’t going for a brick look,  so I just drew weird shaped stones!

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Since the soudering tool was going to melt the foam not only in depth, but about 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide, that’s what I used for my “grout”.

Be certain you don’t push down too hard with the soudering iron so you don’t go all the way through the foam.  Just let it glide as you move your hand along your lines.  You can also see that I tapped and rolled the tool to distress it.

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Next, you might want to rough up your foam so it’ll look more realistic.  I ended up getting very carried away with this part!  Too damned fun.  On some of my stones I used a wire brush, and on all of them, I used a spray bottle and my heat gun.

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  If you mist your different stones, and use the heat gun, you’ll get this look:

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If you spray the water heavier, producing larger water drops and then almost “chase” them with your heat gun, you’ll get this look:

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If you don’t use water at all, you’ll still melt the foam, but it’ll be smooth, like this:

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Now, after you have your “stones” looking the way you want them to, it’s now time to paint the grout.  I used a dark gray, but ran out, so on the last sheet, I used black and then brown.  Each of these, at the very end, I sprayed white on them, so as to give them an old look.  Plus, spraying the grout lines produces an overspray so it highlighted the stones the way I wanted.

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Now it’s time to play around with your colors.  I wanted sand/brownish, so I used gray, brown, tan and almond to get the effect I wanted.  The spray kindof does what the sponge would do.  Spraying it about two feet away makes it mist and gave it highlights, giving the illusion of depth.  Just start spraying your paint in layers.  I also sprayed black in the deeper areas that I had distressed, and then highlighted the edges of those areas.

I also used some dark yellow and highlighted certain areas.  That’s where I used a wet rag and dipped it in the yellow and then blotted it off.

Again, I ended the painting by spraying over my grout lines with white.  I like the look it gave me.

So, allll of this being said (whew, you actually made it to the end!), I installed one piece of it up at the lake.  I’ll start putting the larger pieces up tomorrow.  I’ll just attach the foam boards, after measuring and cutting them of course, and screw them using a screw and foam washer so the washer doesn’t go through the foam board.  There’s no doubt, once you squirt the water and use the heat gun, it strengthens the foam a lot.

So here’s the one piece I was able to put up today.  More pictures to come!

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Painted Drapes

Awhile ago, during one of my bored days (I seem to have a LOT of those!), I thought hmmm….maybe I’ll paint something on the bottom of the white drapes up at the lake house. 

I hope you all aren’t sick of hearing about “the lake house”.  It needs so damned much, and has become my baby, of sorts.  But there are days that I think “eh, I’m SICK of that POS Lake House!”.

Anyway, back to the point here.

These were boring:Image

What I needed for this quick and easy project was:

Tape.  I like regular masking tape and I liked the thick width so I could actually use the tape as one of my “rows”.

Acrylic Paint.  As many colors as stripes you’d like.

Fabric Medium.  Mix this with each paint color so your fabric won’t be stiff.

I brought them home and lined them out.  The biggest worry, of course, was making certain that the stripes would be even on each panel.   I ended up not using a tape measure for fear that even a centimeter would easily show, so I used a box!  Actually, a box of blank checks.  The next I used the width of the tape.

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After I taped off my stripes, the first coat of the first color:

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Then the last stripe

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Pull off the tape and voila!

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I apologize for the quality of the above photo, I took it with my iPad and also I had the drapes bunched up while we were working on the deck, so they’re wrinkled! 

 

 

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.   

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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:

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Without polyurethane

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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.

 

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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 (windowdecals.net) and vinyl words and sayings that go on your wall (wordartdirect.com), 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:

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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:

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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

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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

 

 

Board and Batten

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What’s the difference between Board & Batten and Wainscoting?  Hell, I don’t know!  But I know that when I did web searches on both, board and batten pictures were more what I was looking to do, it was higher up on the wall.  If anyone knows the real difference, please let me know!

After researching professional sites, I made my plan of attack and headed to Home Depot.  First, they cut an 8′ x 5′ piece of 1/4, sanded plywood into 2″ strips.  They were so happy to do that for us.  I was ready to buy the precut 8′ strips (lath), which came in 1.5″ wide x 48″, which is the height I needed.  But the guy strongly suggested I have him cut the plywood since it would only be $13.00 vs. a lot more if I purchased the strips already cut out, so shoot, I said you betcha!  

I next needed moulding for the top.  I picked something pretty plain.  I didn’t want it to be too decorative.  Since I wasn’t going to put a wood “wall” on there, the actual wall became that part.  So all I needed was some good white paint and nails for my nail gun.

I wanted my board and batten to be 48″ high and the wood strips about 17″ apart.  I cut one piece to be my guide.  However, what I found useful was measuring the wall I was working on and dividing that width in inches by 17″, that way I wouldn’t be short.  I was able to adjust the width accordingly.  You can’t tell at all that some of the distances between vertical strips is 16″ and some are 18″. 

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Next I painted.  I decided to paint the moulding separately and just put it on the prepared walls.

On a side note, you can see that we had also pulled up our carpet and were installing vinyl plank flooring.  More on that later.

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The entire project only took me about a week.  Not bad since I did quite a large living room, foyer and hall. 

Here are a couple of “after” pictures a few months later.  I decided to get rid of those tan/orangey walls and I’m SO glad I did.  The hardest part of that job was deciding on which color gray paint to use!  I never realized I’d get so crazy about it.  Used below is Sherwin Williams Dovetail. 

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