Thursday, November 29, 2012

DIY Recycled Bottle Vases and Candle Holder

Here's a quick and easy Christmas DIY using recycled bottles. Follow the instructions below to make your own bottle vases.

What you will need:

  • Recycled bottles
  • Hot glue
  • Spray primer
  • Krylon Frosted Glass Spray 
  • Hot water
  • Soapy sponge 
  • Clean rag

Soak your bottles in hot water and then use a soapy sponge to remove labels. Use a clean rag to dry off the bottles.

If you want to add a little extra Christmas spirit to the bottles, you can use a hot glue gun to embellish. Let dry.

To get a white finish: Spray white primer in quick motions onto the bottle. Make sure you are in a well ventilated space. Let dry.

You can use green bottles too.

Spray green bottles with Krylon Frosted Glass spray. Let dry.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turn an IKEA Billy Bookcase into a Custom Built-in

We bought our house about 2 years ago and ever since, we have slowly been renovating the space. Although I love how the living room and kitchen turned out, I could never decide what to do with an awkward wall that is situated between the two open-plan spaces. I finally decided that a built-in would solve the issue, while also providing storage and a place to display decorative items. 

My next issue was figuring out how to built the built-ins without paying the built-in price. After scouring the internet, I saw that others have used IKEA furniture and transformed them into custom pieces (it's called IKEA hacking I guess). The space where I wanted the built-ins to go was 7 feet width and 12 inches deep with a ceiling height of 8 feet. Below is our shopping list from IKEA and the hardware store. I also provided step-by-step instructions on how you can make your own built-ins.

From IKEA:
  • (2) 31.5"W Billy Bookcases - click here
  • (2) 31.5"W height extension units (I wanted the built-ins to go all the way to the ceiling) - click here
  • (1) 15 3/4"W Billy Bookcase - click here
  • (1) 15 3/4"W height extension unit - click here
  • (4) 31.5"W glass shelves - click here 
  • (2) 15 3/4"W glass shelves - click here
From the hardware store:
  • 7' of crown molding
  • 7' of baseboard
  • 6 pieces of pine wood that was 1.5"W x 1/4"D x 8'L
  • Puck lights that came in a pack of 5
  • A dark blue paint (you can use any color)
  • Paint that would match the IKEA laminate - I went with Valspar Dove White from Lowes 
  • Primer
  • Liquid nail adhesive 
  • Caulk
  • Paint brush and roller
  • Nail gun
  • Saw to cut crown molding, baseboards and trim
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers - flat head and Phillips 

It took a while to complete this project, especially since the nearest IKEA to New Orleans is in Houston (a 5 hour drive). We decided to make a trip out of it, had an awesome time and then finished it off by visiting IKEA. The above picture is of some of our supplies. What a mess!

Definitely ask someone to help you with this kind of a project. It's way faster with help and looks better in the end. I was so lucky to have my husband, who always gets sucked into projects he doesn't want to do! We started off by building all three bookcase frames. 

I wanted to paint the backs of the bookcase a different color so that the finished piece would look more custom.

I laid out the backs all over my kitchen and started to paint. First paint with primer and then let dry.

I used a plate for my paint instead of that big plastic rectangle you are suppose to use. It is a lot easier to carry a plate around. I didn't want to ruin the plate so I wrapped it with plastic wrap. When I was done, I let the paint dry on the plate and then took the plastic wrap off.

We let the backs dry overnight, then installed them onto the frames. There's my husband in his PJ's :) 

Always fit the bookcase in the space and make a plan before you bolt anything down. There was a 1 1/2" gap between each bookcase and the wall. We already planned for this, so we were ready to start.

There was an existing electrical wire on the wall that we converted into an outlet so that we could install puck lighting.

We made sure to turn off the main electrical switch before messing with the electricity. 

We secured the bookcases to the wall with the provided hardware and then started to install the lighting.

We then put the extender pieces on top of the bookcase and secured those in place. My husband had to drill a hole in one of the backs so that the electrical outlet could go through.

We then used a nail gun to add the baseboard and crown molding.

We used liquid nail adhesive, a nail gun and pine wood trim to cover the gaps in between the bookcases. I then used caulk everywhere to fill in any gaps.

I let the caulk dry and then primed and painted. I used Valspar Dove White paint from Lowes for the paint. It matches the existing laminate pretty well.

All done! This built-in made such a difference in our space. It really looks custom. It took a while to complete, but really wasn't too difficult of a project.

This is what it looks like with the shelves. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Make Your Own Clay Ornaments

These clay ornaments are a nice personal touch to any gift. They can be used as name tags on presents or even on the dinner table. Follow the instructions below to make your own.

What you will need:

  • Sculpey Clay (see picture below)
  • Baking sheet
  • A circle cookie cutter (I used a glass)
  • A leaf or spray of your Christmas tree  

Roll out some clay to about an 1/4" thickness and then use a glass or cookie cutter to make a circle 

I like to make many ornaments at once because you have to bake them all.

Press a shape into your ornament. I used a piece of my neighbor's tree, but you can use anything

Roll the glass over the clay to make sure your shape is visible 

Remove leaf

Bake according to the kind of clay you bought. I baked these for 15 minutes at 275 degrees.

Paint and decorate as you wish. 

You can also make other shapes. This fluer de lis was made freehand but you can also use cookie cutters. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How to Reupholster an Old Traditional Chair and Give it a Modern Look

I bought these chairs for $15 each from someone who didn't see their potential. Great deal for chairs that only needed a simple reupholstering. Follow instructions below to reupholster your own chairs.

What you will need:

  • Staple gun
  • Fabric
  • 1" Polyester batting 
  • Screwdriver 
  • Scissors

The seats were a bit stained.

Flip the chair and unscrew the seat from the frame. Put screws in a zip lock bag so that you don't lose them. This is when you can give the chair a good scrubbing. A little 409 spray goes a long way.

I bought some 1" polyester batting from Hancock Fabrics for about $5 a chair. Cut your polyester batting so that it is about 2 inches larger on all sides of the seat. Also cut off the corners of the batting (shown in the photo above) 

Cut your fabric so there is about 3 inches on all sides of the seat. Spread it out on the floor so that you see the back of the pattern. I was lucky and had some fabric samples from work that I used as fabric.

Center the batting and seat on the fabric.

Now you can start to staple. Start from the middle and work your way to the corners. Hold the fabric tight and don't be afraid, just staple.

When all the edges and corners are stapled, screw the seat back onto the chair frame.

Not bad for $20 a chair!