Upcycled Colander: Patio Planter

upcycle a colander into a planter

It’s springtime in Texas, and that means that I can emerge from hiding and enjoy weather that doesn’t cause me to bundle up like a burrito!

I love being outside, and even though my patio is little, I have big dreams for it… as illustrated in this rudimentary drawing of what I’d like to accomplish in this little space.  Let it be known by the entire internet that I am not able to draw an Adirondack chair.  C’est la vie.

upcycle a colander into a planter

This past Sunday was a perfect day to get a jump on a pretty patio by picking up plants (that alliteration, tho).  I mean look at the “before”.  Bleh.

upcycle a colander into a planter

An old colander that was starting to rust a bit is a perfect home for some Polka Dot Plants and Ivy.

It was as easy as: colander…

upcycle a colander into a planter

Rocks for less messy drainage (probably not even necessary)…

upcycle a colander into a planter

Potting soil…

upcycle a colander into a planter

Plants!

upcycle a colander into a planter

I also bought a Sansevieria to live next to it.

upcycle a colander into a planter

It’s planted in a self-watering pot, which is great if you suck at remembering to water your plants.  You put water in the reservoir, and your plant in the inlaid pot, and let go of the guilt of not remembering to take care of it.  Fantastic!

upcycle a colander into a planter

I still have lots that I want to do out here – get an outdoor rug, strip and stain that little black table, spray paint my hurricane lanterns – but after an extra-icky winter, I’m glad I at least got a start on the patio primp last weekend.

upcycle a colander into a planter

Before long it will be one of my favorite little spots in my home, and of course I’ll post updates all along.  Until then…

What’s your first outdoor project when spring hits?  Do tell…

Two-Tone Storage Crate

I love a quick and easy Sunday afternoon project.  This one was cheap, too, so… Trifecta!!!

Here’s a thing I did to get more organized in my bathroom.  My bathroom is REALLY small, so believe me, I need all of the storage and organization I can get.

two tone bathroom storage crate

I bought two little crates at a thrift store for 25c each.  They were bare wood, and frankly, a little boring.

two tone bathroom storage crate

I took some stain that I had lying around (Varathane American Walnut) and stained the outside.  One coat, no fuss.

two tone bathroom storage crate

Then I used a careful hand and a paint sample that I bought a couple of years ago (Valspar Sweet Mint) to paint the inside. Two coats, minimal fuss.

two tone bathroom storage crate

The dark stain mimics my floors and the light, blue-green paint hue matches one of the colors in my shower curtain.  I love it!

two tone bathroom storage crate 040 done

Side note: I invoked my red sticker rule and bought that Nate Berkus rug at Target for $10.98!  Pretty, pretty.

two tone bathroom storage crate

My little crates are perfect for facewash, lotion, body spray and the like.

I already had all of the supplies for this project, so, it felt “free” to me.  But, you could probably re-create this for less than $20.  All you need is a couple of storage crates, wood stain and paint!

Do you have a cute way of organizing things in your bathroom?  I’d love to see… Link in the comments section!

xo,

J

Operation Organization: Closet Storage

Confession: my closet looks like a hot mess around 70% of the time.  Okay, maybe 75% of the time.  Okay, lets just not quantify it.  Here’s a thing I did to help myself get a little more organized in the closet.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

My closet is actually considerably big for my little 571 sq. ft. apartment.  It’s just under 37 sq. ft., and at 8 1/2 ft deep, there’s a fair amount of walkin’ space.  It’s almost 5 ft wide, leaving me plenty of room to put a shelf on the back wall, and still hang my clothes on the adjacent rod.

My bookshelf is one of those inexpensive composite-wood, adjustable shelving units that you can find at most big-box stores.  Its just over 6 ft tall, around 3 ft wide and 1 ft deep.  I purchased it 6ish years ago, and it’s in good shape, so I’d say I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth… but… with all of my purses and wallets and clutches and shoes on it, it’s uggo.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

It’s nothing that a curtain rod, a curtain, some paint, and a sponge can’t fix, though.

I attached a $5 curtain rod (from Target, maybe?) to the top of my shelf.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

My curtain had visible tabs, but I didn’t want that, so I folded them over and sewed them in place.  The curtain rod now slips in the tabs behind the top hem.  Tabs be gone.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Then I hemmed the bottom of the curtain up a few inches.  I just hung it on the shelf and marked where I wanted the bottom to be with a piece of chalk.  No pesky measuring, here.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Then I cut a damp kitchen sponge into a triangle, and used black and grey latex paint to create a random geometric pattern on the curtain.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Old baking tins lined with aluminum foil make great paint trays, and allow for easy cleanup!

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

Now I don’t have to stare at what could be considered a “hoarders stash” of shoes and purses every time I walk by or into my closet!  I still have a ways to go before anyone could consider this closet pinterest-worthy, but at least I’ve got the ball rolling.  Baby steps.

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

disguise ugly storage shelves with a curtain

I already had all of the supplies used in this project so I’m not sure of the exact cost, but I’d bet that you could easily re-create this on your own for under $50.  All you need is a composite wood shelf, a cheap curtain rod, a curtain, a sponge and some paint!

What solutions do you use to store your purses and shoes?  Link to them in the comments section so I can see!

xo

J

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Post if I Want To

Hello friends! Today I celebrated my second annual 29th birthday!

I have zero diys to boast about on the internets right now. In fact I don’t even have internets right now. I’m posting from my phone.

I don’t have internets becase I just moved and am waiting for my service to be transferred.

You know what moving means, though. A whole new place, a whole new space and a big blank canvas to paint to my hearts content!

In the interest of keepin’ it real (ok I turned 30, not 29 again) I’m surrounded by boxes and bags and don’t have the energy to continue to unpack tonight… See?

image

Once I bounce back from the exhaustion of packing and unpacking, and organizing and cleaning, and birthday recovery, it’s back to diy or die and I’ll be posting all along the way.

Until then, please feel free to share your best and worst unpacking horror stories in the comments to make me feel better about this mess!

XO

diy Owl Clock

Happy birthday, sweet baby sister!  Bad big sister alert: your birthday was four months ago.  Sorry, baby sister.  Good big sister alert: I gave you almost exactly what you asked for!

Don’t worry, friends, I actually did give my sister a gift on her birthday.  I didn’t have time (there’s a clock joke) to finish this project for her by her birthday, so I got her a shirt that she wanted to tide her over until her real gift was finished.  She’s extremely patient.

One sunny day last August, my sister called me as I was relaxing by the pool.  She says to me “You need to carve an owl clock for me for my birthday!”. “Ha!”, I exclaimed, “I am not a skilled woodcarver, I will do no such thing!”.  But I tucked the idea into my brain, and after some thought, I came up with this little guy.

diy owl clock

You can apply this procedure to any shape, really.  I’ll tell you how I did it.  You can come up with your own clock design, ok?

All the things

  • Basswood sheet (most craft stores sell them)
  • Clock mechanism and face (also at most craft / hobby stores)
  • Template for clock design
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting board
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes (I used foam)
  • Clear sealer
  • Dremel
  • Dremel saw blade
  • Dremel griding kit
  • Drill

Template:  I picked a cute lil owl via google image search (that didn’t seem too detailed or complicated) and printed it out.  Then I used an x-acto knife to cut the excess paper around the owl.

001 - owl template

I traced him on to a sheet of basswood.  It’s a little bit stronger, sturdier and heavier than balsa but still lightweight.

diy owl clock diy owl clock

Delay:  Then my sister came over and I hid all of the evidence of what I was making for her.  It would stay hidden for the next four months.  Between the super cold weather, and working extra long hours at work, I just never found the time (ha!) to finish it… Until last weekend when the temperature jumped to the high 60’s.  Yay for project weather!

Cut It Out:  I clamped the basswood sheet to this ikea bench my really fancy work bench and fitted my dremel with a saw blade.  There are easier ways and better tools to cut shapes out of basswood – I’m certain of it.  But I don’t have those tools, so I worked with what I had.

diy owl clock diy owl clock

The dremel saw blade is NOT for precision cutting.

diy owl clock

But, I knew this going into it, and was ready with my dremel grinding attachments to smooth the edges.

diy owl clock

Smooth It: Basswood sheets generally come pretty smooth, but I did opt to smooth the piece even further with 150 grit sandpaper and then fine steel wool.  The steel wool removes all sanding dust and any remaining microscopic lumps and bumps.  An unnecessary step, maybe, but I think it makes a huge difference.

Drill it:  I drilled a hole in the middle of the owl’s belly so the clock mechanism could be attached after his paint job.  To find the center of his belly, I folded my template in half length-wise, and then folded only his belly width-wise.

diy owl clock

A little tap of a nail to make a mark where I wanted to drill the hole…

diy owl clock

A zap with my 1/4″ drill bit, and bam.  Owl belly button.  Don’t mind how rough he looks, this is his backside, which will be against the wall.  His front side is much smoother.

diy owl clock

I used a 1/4″ drill bit for the hole because that was the size of the hand shaft on the clock mechanism I bought.  If you’re making your own clock, make sure you match the size of your hole to the shaft on your mechanism.  Guys, that last sentence went south really fast…  Anyway…

Paint It:  A few coats of brown for the “feathers”.

diy owl clock

I do not have a precise painting hand for detail work, so I used my x-acto to cut my template and taped it on like a stencil to paint the eyes and belly of the owl.

diy owl clock diy owl clock

Same concept for the eyes.

diy owl clock diy owl clock diy owl clockdiy owl clock

And then I used a q-tip for the whites of the eyes (also for the beak and talons but I guess I don’t have a pic of that part – #blogphotofail)

diy owl clock

Clock It:  Two coats of clear sealer and a clock mechanism later, and… Owl Clock!

diy owl clock

Happy birfday leetle seester.  I hope your owl clock was worth the wait.

seester

So whooooo are you guys diy-ing birthday gifts for?  Sorry, friends, I tried to make it through this post without an owl joke, but, it just didn’t happen.  #bloggerpunprobs

xo