I purchased an old china hutch at a yard sale years ago. It was solid oak and well made, but kind of a tacky eye sore. It didn't help that my daughters spilled paint on the side. I had been meaning to paint it for years. I finally got around to it. Please pretend the interior of my barn looks nicer.To be honest, I was motivated by my son getting a ball python, which led me to getting one, which led to the need for an awesome epic snake enclosure that fit in with my decor. Large tanks aren't very pretty.
When I bought my 1920 Craftsman home in 2012, the absolute worst part about it was the kitchen. I hated walking into that room.Originally, the back part of our home (where our kitchen is located) was a long back porch. Judging by the appearance of the cabinets, someone told me they think the porch was walled in and added as a home expansion during the 1940s. The ceiling is still low. The floors are covered in cheap builders grade linoleum. The cabinets were really dark brown. The hardware was outdated and ugly. The walls were also brown. Worst of all were the counters. They were hideous white counters that stained constantly. They might have been made out of some type of laminate and plywood. The edges were peeling off, causing sharp points to poke me in the gut.It definitely needed a change. I knew I could not afford new cabinets and an entire dream kitchen remodel. Home Depot gave us a quote of $25,000 for new cabinets and counters. I needed to either find something affordable or wait until after my kids go to college. It took me four years of living with an ugly kitchen before I had the guts to try.
View this post and my other projects at my website: https://theinspiraledhome.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=181&action=edit There are more pictures!When I was a girl, I always wanted a canopy bed. The long curtains hanging down always seemed whimsical and magical. Unfortunately, most canopy beds that I thought were attractive were way out of my price range.The venue where my husband and I were married (Applegate River Lodge http://www.applegateriverlodge.com/about.htm) had a canopy bed in our honeymoon suite. When we climbed in on our wedding night, I discovered that the curtains were not held up by a frame, but they were suspended from the ceiling! I realized that I could cheaply and easily re create a similar effect.When we bought our new home after the wedding, I set about trying to make the perfect bed in our master suite.
To view this tutorial and my other projects on my website, check out:https://theinspiraledhome.com/magnetic-spice-jars-diy/For years, I struggled with spice organization. I hated keeping them in a cabinet or pantry because they seemed to take up so much space. I struggled finding what I needed at the right time. Mismatched jars and bottles would frequently fall over like bowling pins during every search. Lazy susans and spice shelves added little improvement. I wanted something cheap, functional, attractive, and attractive. Preferably I wanted all the spice jars to match and be made from glass.About ten years ago, I found some amazing magnetic spice jars at a Cost Plus World Market. They were 3 inch circles, made of tin with clear plastic windows on the front. I loved them and bought 3 at $7 each. I used them for a few years but I had more than three spices, so they did little to improve my situation. I could not afford to buy dozens more.Five years ago, I was receiving massive amounts of free baby food from WIC. I had infant twins, so they gave me 128 free baby food jars a month. Does anyone ever go through that much baby food? Honestly, I never cashed in most of my vouchers. I had so many full jars piled up after just the first two months. My girls rarely ate it anyway, preferring to nurse or share whatever we were eating in a mushier format. Waste not, want not. I donated many of the jars to local charities and the ones I saved until they expired, I washed out to re use. I have created many fun things from these baby food jars, but one of my favorites is my magnetic spice jar collection. Let me show you how to make your own.
You can view this project and my others at my website:https://theinspiraledhome.com/funky-antiqued-animal-planters/A few years ago, I found a picture in a magazine of a very unique dinosaur planter. It looked like it was made out of metal and had a really pretty plant growing out of it’s back. Of course, I can never really afford to order anything out of magazines. Naturally, I spent some time re creating one for myself on a budget.At the time, I made an awesome t-rex out of one of my husband’s old toys. His mom brought over an old box of dinosaurs from his childhood to give to our two boys. Today I decided to make an elephant.
In August this year (2017), I visited my wonderful aunt in Seattle. This is our big vacation each year that we look forward to for months. I always leave with a van full of stuff that has been tetrised in around my children's legs and under seats, above heads, and everywhere that we can fit something.This time, we brought home a pair of plain black vinyl lounge chairs. They were perfectly decent chairs. They looked like something that you could purchase at Ross for about $50 each. There were no scratches or loose legs or anything, and of course they were free hand me downs. They didn't really seem very fun or unique or colorful though.Earlier this month, we found a set of various elf on the shelf clothes, with a birthday book and the matching cupcake outfit for only $5. Since my twin daughters had a birthday coming up and we already own an elf on the shelf, I figured why not? Got home and read the book. Apparently if you invite the elf on the shelf to your birthday party, He or she will decorate a chair for your birthday surprise. *facepalm* How am I going to decorate two chairs for these twins and get everything else ready for their birthday?So the night before the party, I woke up at 2am and knew from experience that I would not be able to go back to sleep. Might as well decorate those chairs, right? What craft supplies am I willing to sacrifice for this? Do I want something that I can incorporate into my home as permanent art or do I want something tacky and temporary that I will throw out after the party? Wth... let's get our art on.
During college, art history was my absolute favorite topic. I was particularly drawn to Van Gogh after seeing a featured Van Gogh exhibit with dozens of his paintings at the Seattle Art Museum in 2001. The way he used layers and layers of paint was always just amazing to me. The paint seemed almost an inch thick in places.I have always had more professional artists tell me I use too much paint, or my paint is too thick. When I remember his art, it gives me more confidence because he has proven that there is no right or wrong way to paint.Fast forward from my awkard teenage and young adult years to my current life: Boring mom of too many kids, funky 100 year old house that has great bones, but boring walls. Let's add a bit of color, shall we? To start with, almost every wall in my home was painted the same brown shade. I have been repainting them all differently. Everything is very eclectic and bright and unique. June of 2016, it was my staircase hallway's turn.
I have read many tutorials on Hometalk and other sites with instructions on how to make a pond, waterfall, or water feature. Many (not all) of these tutorials make it sound very cheap and easy. Naturally I thought to myself, how hard can this be? I just need to dig a hole in the ground and throw a cheap liner in there. No problem, right? Maybe buy a pump for a waterfall.... I might add a filter when I get some extra cash. I'm a fairly competent human and my kids like digging. I can get this done in an afternoon. These thoughts led me through late spring and were buzzing through my mind the day my husband asked me: "What do you want for your birthday?" After a short conversation, we decided we could afford to spend $300 on this project. We could re purpose an above ground pool liner instead of buying a pond liner. I found a cheap pump on amazon for $120 (or we could use the sump pump if we wanted to). I estimated $0 for rocks because we could get them free on Craigslist. I estimated $180 for plumbing pipes, PVC glue, pretty plants I had been drooling over during mothers day, and maybe I could get a handful of fish. Six weeks later, we had spent $2500 on this project. None of the above actually happened that way. I do not actually enjoy needing to do excessive research for projects. I tend to just jump in and get it done. Can't do that with this project. I had to actually plan things. Crap.So before you read any more, please take a moment to seriously decide if having fish in your pond is important to you. If it is, please read the following about fish in ponds. If not, skim only if you have nothing better to do. ABOUT FISH:When you are building a pond with the intention of putting fish in there, please read a bit about them first on your own. Research them. Seriously.Koi and goldfish are related to carp. They are extremely friendly fish. You can pet them and they even have personalities. They will eat each others eggs, but are never aggressive toward each other, except when the males want the females to lay eggs, then they will beat up the girl fish until they produce. The baby fish will never be harmed by the adults. Carp, Koi, and Goldfish start pretty small, but they grow very fast. Carp look just like solid black koi or goldfish. the only noticeable difference between the goldfish and koi that I've noticed is that koi have the cute little mustaches and seem to cost a lot more. The butterfly koi have really amazing tails compared to standard koi. If you want a cheaper option with the fancy tails, you can buy a shebunkin or comet goldfish, which do great in koi ponds with other fish.Be careful about the liner that you buy. Many pond liners that are ordered online can be toxic and kill all your fish. You don't want that, so please think seriously about whether or not you can afford to skimp and buy a cheap liner. We ended up buying a cheap one for $300 and our fish are fine, but we could have just as easily ended up with dead fish. When you have fish, you need to make sure that your pond is deep enough. It needs to be at least 2-4 feet deep in order for them to survive. I live in Southern Oregon, and we have hawks and blue herons and raccoons that may try to fish in our pond, and having a deeper pond (4 feet) allows the fish to hide at the bottom, out of harms way. It also protects them against freezing temperatures. These fish seem to be very hardy and can survive living in a frozen solid pond, but added depth provides potential for a bit more heat, so its important. If you live in a particularly cold climate, please consider purchasing a pond heater for added protection.Fish will get very stressed out if they are in full sun without shade. They need to have the water slightly aerated, so having a waterfall is important. They like to play at the base of the waterfall. Having a lot of water plants is very important. Plants provide shade and a safe place to hide from predators. It is also the most likely place for fish to lay eggs.Something that is really lame about ponds is algae. It definitely has it's purposes (covering the folds in the liner), but when your pond is in bloom with algae, you can't see your fish. You can't see anything really. Your pond will look like a large puddle of pea soup. Not very pretty., and makes you feel like you wasted your summer and money. In order to combat this, I recommend going to an actual pond specialty store and talking to an actual human and investing in the biggest, baddest, most expensive filter you can find and make sure you get a really good warranty on it. We did this. It cost $500 which was way more than we had expected. It seriously saved the project. It has an amazing UV filter that kill any of the floating algae so our pond was crystal clear all summer. Many people recommend the barley bales to combat algae, which you can also purchase in a liquid form. This is entirely harmless toward your fish, but watching it used in other ponds, it didn't really effect much. You will have to clean your filter often. It was recommended daily by our local pond store owner, but we have managed weekly during the summer because of the quality of the filter. the lower the quality, the higher the maintenance will be. Oh! Before I forget, a great way to combat the predators is to order a motion activated sprinkler system. It sprays them whenever they get close and you don't have to cover your pond with ugly nets!Have I scared you away from this project yet? Or was it Too long, didn't read?
The best thing about being a home owner is the freedom to paint and remodel however you want. I love paint because it's very cheap and when I make mistakes I can just paint over them. I have custom painted most of the rooms in our 1920 Craftsman home in the five years since purchase. The two bathrooms and laundry room are all that's left, also, our yard is always a work in progress. This project was started on a Saturday at 2pm and almost completely finished in 3 days by Monday night. I chose to let polyurethane on my shelves cure Monday night so I couldn't install them until Tuesday. This project cost me $35 because I had most of the paint and supplies leftover from random other projects. I estimate that to buy everything new, it would cost about $50 for the shelves and about $150 for floor paint, wall paint, polyeurethane and painting supplies. This is the very first tutorial I have ever written. My apologies if it's in the wrong format or I didn't explain things thoroughly. I did the project myself, except my husband did cut the boards and install the shelf brackets. I have no formal art training, I just smear colors together until I don't hate it.