Tag Archives: crafts

Pinterest Musings: Pallet Projects

We ran into a little problem after opening the Malm boxes form Ikea. There were no slats for the mattress. Yes, I should have listened to the husband. Here’s the conversation we had as we stood in front of the center rail piece and the bed slats:

Husband: “I think we need these bed slats”

Me: “it’s not on the Ikea shopping list that I printed out. They must be in one of the two boxes.”

Husband: “just because it is not on the print-out, doesn’t mean that we don’t need them. Better to have than to be sorry tomorrow when we put the bed together.”

Me: “I’d rather not have to deal with returns. If we need them, then I will pick them up on Monday.”

Husband: “Okay honey. Whatever you think is best.”–which actually means “you are an idiot and I don’t feel like arguing”

I don’t say this often, but he was right.

So, instead of heading out to Ikea on Monday, husband found a great solution–pallets!

They are free at the Post Exchange (PX).

So he went and grabbed about 5 or 6 of them. After we put the bed together and measured the area, he went outside and cut them. They work great! My mistake saved us 20 Euro!

More on the pallet bed slats later.

Now we have some leftover bits from the pallets. So, I asked myself, “toss them, or check Pinterest?”

I checked Pinterest of course!

Here are a few ideas that I found. Just click on the Picture to go to the web page.

This would look nice in my daughter’s room.

Mason Jar Organizer DIY Playbook

I like this idea for the Laundry room. Could do a couple of these with each family member’s name.

Check Your Pockets Laundry Room Sign by BandLCreations on Etsy, $18.00

I love this one too. We drink more beer now that we are Germany, so this one makes a lot of sense.

Bar Decor

These could make a nice gift.

Barn Wood Coasters

I also love these. They would look great on the patio.

White barn wood mason jar candle holders

These are just a few of the thousands of ideas on Pinterest. Of course, I’m working with bits and pieces, so I’m doing small projects. I can’t wait to get started on one of these ideas. Or maybe I’ll come up with an idea of my own.

Have you made any pallet projects that you would like to share? Post a link in the comments!

DIY Blues

I find myself longing for my garage back home.

My fingers itch for the feel of sanding wood furniture.

My manicured fingers look foreign–there should be paint on my cuticles and wedged under my fingernails.

My work clothes have been at the bottom of a drawer, paint splattered and worn out, for far too long.

I haven’t used a power tool other than the drill/screwdriver in ages.

I miss the intoxicating smell of stripper and turpentine.

Small crafts are fun, but they don’t invigorate me the way upcycling or repurposing a piece of furniture does. Heck, I even miss home improvement nightmares!

I should be writing a paper for my Shakespeare Seminar class, but as much as I love old Bill, I just can’t shake this desire to transform a room or a piece of furniture.

But, alas, my desires must be put on hold—at least for another 4 weeks.  After I say So long to Bill and modern Brit Lit, it’s hello to paint, toxic fumes, and sandpaper!

From Drab To Fab Day One: The Great Chandelier Battle of 2013

I had this fantabulous idea when we bought this house 4.5 years ago: I will paint the bright brass chandelier with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and it will look fabulous!  I kept putting off, thinking I have time to get it done.  If you read yesterday’s post, the fact that I put this off for 4.5 years should not be a surprise.

This is my inspiration pic from Capitol Lighting. Sadly out of our budget though.


Well folks, today was the day that I took on the challenge of the great chandelier.  And it hasn’t been fun.  I naively thought that cleaning it would only take about 20 minutes.  HA! The joke was on me.

Here’s the nasty original chandelier.

Cheap Builder-Grade Brass Chandelier
Cheap Builder-Grade Brass Chandelier

The chandelier came down easily.  I got a few dust bunnies up my nose, but that’s to be expected since I have never cleaned it. I never claimed to be a great housekeeper.

Taking it apart was easy too. I laid out all the pieces in order so that I could remember how it goes back together.

chandelier 014
Disassembled Chandelier

I really wanted to pull the light sockets out to so that I could completely dismantle it, but was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to weave the wires back through the curvy arms.  So, I taped off as much of the electrical parts as I could before the washing began.


I put all of the parts (except for the main body–didn’t think it was a good idea to soak all those wires) into very hot water with dawn soap and vinegar.  I let them soak for about 30 minutes.  I pulled out the first piece to wipe it down with a soft microfiber cloth.

This is what happened:

“What fresh hell can this be?”

If you know who this quote is from–without using a search engine–you are my new bestie.

This weird coating was on Every. Single. Piece.

And it was difficult to completely remove it.

After TWO hours of the fresh hell that I was now in, I daydreamed of throwing the whole chandelier out of my kitchen window–but not before beating it with a sledge hammer.

Yeah. I was THAT irritated.  

I had plans. Wonderful plans. I was going to be doing the happy dance at 5pm when hubby got home.  

I was going to show him the window treatment that I FINALLY got around to mounting.

I was going to show him all of the lovely switch plate covers that replaced our ugly dingy cheap ones.  

I was going to skip down into the garage and show him the chandelier in all it’s beautiful Oil Rubbed Bronze glory drying on the garage floor.  

He was going to pick me up and swing me around and tell me how happy he was that I accomplished so much. 

Stupid daydreams. Stupid Chandelier.

It took a total of FOUR hours to remove every last bit of that coating. 

When I was done, I laid it all out on the dining room table to dry. And I glared at it.

Gunk Free and Clean!
Gunk Free and Clean!

Round 1 (cleaning): Chandelier

When it was dry I took it all down to the garage for a nice coat of primer.

Goodbye Brass!
Goodbye Brass!

Round 2 (Bye-Bye Brass): Me–yay!

I took great pleasure in defacing priming every centimeter of that bright brass. Fortunately, I had just enough primer to cover everything.

Shortly after this, hubby came home from work.

After he tells me about his interesting class–some kind of investigative cop class (I’d tell you but then…you would be bored) I delved into telling him about my day.

He just laughed. He said “did you really think it would be so simple?”

Well–DUH! Of course I did!

After dinner I went out to the garage. I was determined to get her painted before the end of the night.

I was LOVING the way he Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB from here on out!)  was looking.  I sprayed very light coats.  3 to be exact.

ORB Beauty
ORB Beauty

BUT, I ran out of paint towards the end of the 3rd coat.  Then I realized that I didn’t prime all of the pieces.  The end pieces were still upstairs. *SIGH*

Round 2 (Bye-Bye Brass): Me–yay! Chandelier

Round 3 (Hello ORB): Chandelier

The chandelier is now on hold until next week.  It’s just not in the budget to run out and get more primer and ORB. So stay tuned. I am determined to win at least ONE round with the chandelier!

New Life for an Old Candle Sconce

A few weeks ago I found a treasure trove of items at my local thrift store…all at 30% off the sticker price.  Oh how I love the Purple tag sale days!  I found a Rococo style mirror from the ’70’s, a Rococo style wall planter thingy, two matching wall decor frames, and this beautiful bronze candle sconce from the ’60’s.  Okay, I know, it’s ugly.  But I knew that it had the potential to be beautiful.


I removed the mirror and then sprayed the sconce down with a light solution of TSP and water and then scrubbed it with a nylon brush.

After it had dried, I noticed that the dust/dirt build up in the crevices was still there, so I sprayed it again with the TSP and used a brass cleaning brush. I got a set of three prepping brushes in the paint section at Lowe’s for about $3; Included were: a nylon brush, a brass brush, and a steel brush.

After it was dry–again–I gave it a nice coat of primer.


Now to choose a color.  Blue? Turquoise? Yellow? Red?

I really could not make up my mind, so I posted the pics up on FB for a vote.

And the winning color was: Turquoise!

Wall Sconce 032

And if you forgot how ugly it was here’s a before and after to enjoy.


Linked To:

The Shabby Nest


If It's Not Baroque

It's Overflowing

Coca Cola Serving Tiers

While perusing the dishes at the thrift store, hunting for teacups & saucers, I came across a set of Coca Cola dinnerware and serving dishes.  My first thought was…Cool!  After sticker shock (dinner plates and bowls were 1.99 each, and the serving dishes were 3.99 each), I walked away and continued my search for teacups.  It just so happened that they didn’t have anything very unique that I fell in love with.  So naturally I went back to the Coca Cola dishes.  Then I remembered a really cool tiered serving dish that I made a few years ago with matching plates, a dollar store candlestick, and some E -6000 glue (I swear by this glue–it’s the BEST).  Well I had to argue with myself for a bit because the dishes had a blue tag, and the sale color was green.  I am SO cheap frugal that I don’t even like to pay “full price” at the thrift store!

coca cola1

Well, I just knew that these wouldn’t be on the shelf for long, so coming back later was a bad idea.  I swallowed my urge to walk away and placed them in my basket.

But now I had a new problem…I needed two candlesticks that would compliment the style of the dishes.  I told myself that if I didn’t find the perfect candlesticks, then I would put the dishes back.  Then I saw three gold candlesticks in the corner of my eye.  With dishes in tow, walked over to the shelf, took the candle sticks down and gave them a good look over.  Then I sat down right there in front of the shelf and tried them out with the dishes.  They were perfect! So the two that worked best went right into my basket.  Thank goodness the candlesticks were on sale for 69 and 79 cents!

The gold finish on the ceramic candlesticks had to go.  I didn’t want a slick surface to work with because I was afraid that even if I primed them, the new paint would not stick.  I also needed to remove the foam bottom. So after cleaning off the foam with a razor blade and some Goof Off (yes it is toxic, but I LOVE this stuff!), I sanded the candlesticks.

candlesticks1c_original (1)

When I was satisfied with the surface, I washed them with a vinegar and water solution.  After they had dried completely (about an hour later) I gave them a nice even coat of primer.  They looked so much better!

Now it was time to decide on a paint color.  Glossy black? Glossy White? Heck no! Red enamel paint would look perfect!

After two coats of Rustoleum Gloss Apple Red paint, the candlesticks were the perfect color!  Unfortunately I forgot to take a solo picture of them.

Find the center of your plate and mark it with a Sharpie or other permanent pen.

In my excitement I also forgot to take a picture of the next two steps.

First, apply E-6000 glue to the top of the candlesticks.  Allow the glue a moment to get a little tacky…about 1 minute (but don’t wait too long or it won’t adhere well to the plate) then place the candlestick over your center mark.  Next, Apply the glue to the bottom of the candlestick (which is now facing up).  Again, let the glue sit for about a minute.  Place the on top.  Press down.  You may hear bubbles pop as the air escapes.

Allow the glue to cure for at least 24 hours.

coca cola glued

Using an Exacto blade, trim and scrape excess glue around the edges of the candlesticks.

The one that I made about three years ago is still in perfect condition after many uses and dips in hot soapy water.  My daughter gave it a trip through the dishwasher once or twice (I don’t recommend it though).