Saturday, April 4, 2015

How we fixed our windows

See this stuff? It is to lubricate the garage door so it runs more smoothly. I am in no way connected with this product, and I'm not promoting this brand necessarily, but I wanted to share what it did for our windows.

When we moved into our house a few months ago, we discovered the windows were a mess! They wouldn't open properly and just as important they wouldn't close right. So locking them was really hard and sometimes I couldn't lock them at all. So when the air conditioner or the heater came on, you could hear the whistling of air seeping out the bottom of the window. UGH!!! Not only was that inefficient, it would be costly. I hate the thought of paying to cool or heat the outside! So I looked up everything I could find on the internet on how to fix the windows. I couldn't find the answer to my kind of windows. So this is what we did instead of removing them, or calling in a repair guy, my oldest son got out this garage door lubricant and just sprayed it in the sides where the balances are hidden. And it worked. 

Just aim it in the slot on the side of the window, slide the window up and down a couple of times and there you have it.

All but one of the windows works!!! Wahoo! 

The one window that doesn't slide, needs to have a replacement part. (The balance)

 So I'm feeling pretty good about this wonderful little bottle of help!

Like I said before I'm not promoting any particular brand, just the garage door lubricant. (NOT WD40) It can gum things up. Hope it works for you, if you need it.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

CAR Organization

Have you ever been driving along and you really needed that "thing" that you keep under the seat.  So you pull out the old drink cut, flashlight, trash bag, sippy cup, newspaper, shoe, dog biscuit, popcorn kernels.....and on and on.  BUT you still did not find that "thing".   I have!  Way too many times.

I found a solution.

Plastic pencil boxes. I just used a permanent market to label each box.  They slide under the seat beautifully and keep you organized.  Everything you need right under your rump.  It has been working excellently.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A little Family Tree

This year for Christmas, we (as in all 8 siblings)  wanted to do something special for the folks. The idea appeared in the form of our version of a family tree.

The idea is that as a tree grows, the leaves and branches come and go. The roots however, grow deep and wide will keep the tree strong and healthy. So, we need to always nourish the roots.

On the back of the tree plaque is an inscription that says:  "A family tree spreads deep and wide, sweeping our legacy in it's stride."

With 8 siblings, we can't help but create a spectacular family tree!

Basically, we took photos of every member of the family at approximately age 2 (or as close to it as possible) and mounted the on wooden tags.  Here is where the tree- or roots- comes in.  At the top, was mom and dad.  From there were each of their children (the siblings) and then the grandkids that belong to each child.

We hung them from a long wood plank and mounted the wood tags to chain, so there is some movement.  As a bonus, we took pictures of just the grandchildren and mounted  them to wooden plaques.  This was a kind of then and now thing.  Black and white was the theme because some of the old photos did not look good in full color, which means oxidized pink.

Tada!  Merry Christmas Mom and Dad.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Painted Waterfall Dresser - How To Cover Water Damage On A Dime

I found this beautiful, wooden waterfall dresser... OK, it was pretty ugly actually, but I needed a dresser and it had potential. This one was going for pretty much nothing on Craigslist, so I picked it up and started playing dress-up with it. :)

You can see from the pictures that the veneer on the top of the dresser was peeling off. It was the same story on the dresser sides at the bottom where there was water damage. But the refurbishing ideas were brewing....

I'd heard that you could peel off the veneer on waterfall dressers and still have a decent top. So I did it - and immediately regretted it. As you can see from the picture below, under the veneer was warped, cracked, and sorry looking to say the least.

The next idea was to cover it with contact paper. But to do that I would need a smoother surface. So I tried to glue it down, then attempted a sanding and paint job...

...but to no avail. Leaving me with a severely misshapen surface, this dresser was determined to look ugly.

Calling on my clever sister Summer, she suggested I try covering the damage with duct tape and THEN with the contact paper.

I gave it a go.

I was delighted with how well it worked! Seeing that the duct tape was sticking firmly to the painted wood (no peeling up) and it smoothed out the surface, I covered the whole top with a duct-tape veneer.

Yes! Now it was time to test out the contact paper and see how well it stuck to the duct tape.

Beautiful! The contact paper had a bit of a hard time adhering to the back of the dresser (which was NOT painted). Another strip of duct tape just along the edge did the trick (of course, where no one will see).

Time to address the water damage on the bottom of the dresser (thankfully just on the sides). I covered them with contact paper, but seeing that the warped wood showed through the contact paper, I turned again to my sister's brilliant idea...

...and covered every cracked and peeling piece of wood with duct tape!

I even covered the underside of the dresser because it looked pretty sorry too. I was afraid the contact paper wouldn't stay tucked under if it didn't have a good surface to work with.

I didn't bother painting the underside. I simply cut off the pieces that were destined to fall off anyway, cleaned the surface of any dust and splinters, and put the tape right on there. And it worked!

I finished applying the contact paper, using my trusty library card.

The edges got a perfect trim with my never-leave-home-without-it pocket knife.

Once I finished covering the dresser sides with contact paper, I tucked the contact paper up and underneath the dresser sides. And just like I did with the top of the dresser, I tacked on a couple strips of duct tape over the edge of the contact paper to make sure it wasn't going anywhere.

With all the water damage and peeling veneer now taken care of, it was time to make it pretty!

After taking off the hardware and painting each drawer front white, I taped off a thin square on each drawer and gave it a sharp black edging.

It looked a little unfinished, so I grabbed a rubber stamp, dabbed it in black paint and PRACTICED ON A PIECE OF PAPER! Always practice first. It keeps you from making really dumb mistakes and having to repaint your stuff.

The first stamp always blobbed, but the second one looked good and the third looked even better - perhaps a bit distressed. The slight imperfections of the second 2 stamps were perfect!

So I stamped a beautifully *imperfect* row of flourishes across the bottom of my dresser. Press rubber stamp in the paint, stamp on paper (to remove blobs), stamp on dresser once or twice, and repeat!

And that did it! It was finished. I put the handles back on (which already had a great worn finish, almost an industrial look to them) and put it in my room.

See? Much better!

And just so you know, I made this project about a year ago and everything is holding up really well!

Just remember to follow the contact paper instructions... I should have overlapped the contact paper on the top more than just a quarter inch. Half an inch to an inch would have been best since I had plenty of contact paper to work with, and you can't even see the seam in the design across the top.

But everything else - duct tape, contact paper, paint and all - is working out just swimmingly (and with a couple of young kids that love to use everything as a hammer on my dresser, that is saying something)!

I hope this helps someone out there refurbish their water-damaged, warped, or peeling furniture piece that needs a little love. I'm tickled with the way my painted waterfall dresser turned out. :)

Happy DIYing everyone!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Inexpensive Pantry Organization

   Once upon a time there was a girl who had a very messy pantry.  It was never easy to find what she needed and she often ended up buying more of items she already had because she couldn't find them in her disorganized pantry.

   Then one day, she had an epiphany.  "I'll organize my pantry!" she thought.  "But how?"

   She jumped on the internet and came across many lovely organizational ideas, but all required a larger budget than she had available.

   The she had another epiphany.  "I can just affix a laminated tag to my wire shelves under where each item should go," she said.

   But then she realized that printing, laminating, and cutting all those tiny tags would be quite time consuming and could be a bit costly. "If only I already had some little plastic tags that I could just insert a label into and attach to my wire shelves," she said.

   And then she had a third epiphany.  "I have oodles of extra labels from the hanging file folders that I use in my filing cabinet.  Maybe those will work."  And they did!

She went to her computer and typed up the names of the foods she had.  Then she cut them out and slid them into the plastic holders.  But what she did next was the real ingenious thing. 

She slid the labels in between the wires on her shelf and they stayed--no tape or ties or anything!

Now her pantry is neat and tidy.  And she can always find what she needs for her recipe and can always see when its time to pick an item up at the grocery store.  

And she and her pantry lived happily ever after.


---The Tiff-girl

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quickest 5-Gallon Bucket Seat EVER!

I've made a very simple and quick cushion for a 5-Gallon bucket. Easiest thing EVER!

Here's the link to the instructions:  Quickest 5-gallon bucket seat EVER!

Happy Creating!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

DIY Christmas Advent Chain Idea & Free Printable!

My family loves the DIY Christmas advent chain... but how do you make it look fantastic? My struggle is that it always looks like some scraggly chain that doesn't fit in with my Christmas decor.

So this year, I used cardstock that matches my home for the chain (as opposed to any old left over cardstock), then made a cute little printable to put in a frame (you can get it too... when you scroll to the bottom)! 

It hangs on the door from a ribbon on a wreath hanger. Then the kids can reach the loops, and it doesn't look like I just taped it to the wall... although I did just tape it to my picture frame. :)

Make your advent chain (many of us already know this tradition, but for those who don't: cut paper strips, write down the number of days until Christmas - one number per paper strip - then staple them in loops in order, and tear off each loop as you pass each day).

Now you need a place to hang it!

Get your picture frame and decide what size of the printable you want on the wall. My frame was square, and much bigger than an 8x10 - but my printer doesn't print any bigger than 8.5 x 11. So I chose a small square.

But my large picture frame needed a matte...

... so I framed my lime green Christmas wrapping paper! Then I added a blue border of cardstock and used my printable for the centerpiece of the picture.

However you choose to doll it up, frame your printable.

Next, hang it up! If you have wall space, great. If not, do as I did - find an empty door and grab your wreath hanger. Use a sturdy ribbon to hang the frame from the wreath hanger.

And last, tape the advent chain to the picture frame. The kids love it. I love it. Actually, my husband thought it looked fantastic too. And I can reuse it again and again. Yay!

In the spirit of giving, here is your free printable!
 And if you ask my daughter how long until Christmas, she'll tell you. Thanks to the advent chain. :)

Merry Christmas!!!

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