Repurposed. Worth it?

I must admit, “re-purposing” or “DIYing” stuff sounds like a ton of work and not worth the outcome. However, we’ve recently finished a couple of projects and it has reinforced my opinion that it’s totally worth it! Sometimes it’s hard to navigate what tools to use, how to use them and when to use them if you are unfamiliar with the medium with which you are working. The good news is there are so many resources online that make it possible to pick a project, do a little research and come out the other side pleased with your project. You’ll have the joy of creating and might even spend less money than buying your project new.

Remember the old door head board we wanted to do? Well, we finished it and we think it looks great! Before the wedding, as we were cleaning out the shop, we scored an old closet door. It came complete with an old door knob and key hole! We set it aside to use as our headboard way back in October and finally finished it last month.

How about you? Have you recently begun or finished a DIY project? I’d like to see what you’re working on. Show me your DIY project photos on Twitter or Instagram. Tag them with ‘#mydiylife‘ in the comment or caption section. Look for this hashtag if you wanna see what other people are doing too. It’s just getting started, so be sure to tag your pictures.

If you have an iPhone, you have to check out Instagram. It’s a free, photo sharing app that is a lot of fun. You can create your own “page” of Instagram photos: http://Instagrid.me. Here are all my Instagram photos: http://instagrid.me/tumedianaranja/. Once you tag your photos in Instagram, check out the album http://instagrid.me/tag/mydiylife/. Fatmumslim has created a cheat sheet for Instagram. Fun. You can also participate in her March Photo-a-day project on Instagram. I just learned about it and I’m excited to start! Today is “a smile”, so keep your eyes pealed for a good shot. :D

Old Door Headboard
Old Door Headboard

Old Door Headboard
Old Door Headboard

How to make the door headboard:

Project time: 3-4 hours.

Cost: $50-90

Door. See my old post for tips on how to get a great old door cheap or free.

Electric sander $35

Primer $10-15

Paint $10-15 (see below for tips on how to get paint for cheap)

Sanding sponge $5

Mounting hardware $15

1. Sand. We used this electric sander. It’s one of the cheapest sanders you can buy at Home Depot, but it works to lightly sand surfaces in order to prepare them to be repainted or stained. Down side is you have to buy special Velcro sandpaper pads made for the shape of this sander. Other more expensive sanders have clips so you can attach regular sandpaper. One project blows through one or two of these pads, so buyer be aware. We also used a sanding sponge for harder to maneuver areas, such as grooves, holes, etc. It’s a very handy tool that works better than trying to do the same job with a flimsy piece of sandpaper.You don’t need an electric sander, you can just use 100 grit sandpaper. It will double or triple the time it takes to sand the surface. Sanding took about 1 hour for the whole front side of the door. I left the back as is, because no one will see it up against the wall. We wiped it down with a damp cloth to remove the dust from sanding.

Old Door Headboard

2. Primer. You must paint your surface with primer for a number of reasons, some of them outlined here. Use a quality latex primer. They also have spray primers available that make the job a little quicker, just spray light and even so it doesn’t drip. Let it dry for maybe an hour or two, depending upon how dry and hot it is where you are, it may take longer in wetter areas.

Old Door Headboard

3. Paint. Use a semi-gloss paint if you want it a little glossy and a flat paint if you want it to have a more matte finish. We used a semi-gloss interior latex paint (left over from a bathroom I painted years ago). Check garage sales, Craigslist and “Oops” paint at home improvement stores for used paint. Once we picked up 5 cans of paint in an assortment of great colors off of someone’s lawn (it had a “free” sign on it, FYI). You can’t simply throw away paint, so many people try to give it away to avoid dealing with it. My experience with oil based paint is minimal, because it smells bad so I stick with latex.Let it dry and attach your mounting hardware.

4. Mount. Now here’s where you have to decide if you want it to attach to the wall or the bed frame. I decided that the wall was a better option, because it’s a heavy door and would probably be more stable attached to the wall (and it’s easier). We purchased 2 wall mounts to secure the door to the wall centered above our bed.  You can probably use just one of these mounts with some stick on bumpers to prevent the door from wobbling.  Done! Take a picture and make sure to show me how it turns out! :D

Old Door Headboard
Old Door Headboard

***

A friend and I also started a couple wood spool coffee tables that are just about complete. It was really easy to do, but took a lot of sanding. I’ve always wanted to make a wood spool coffee table and one of the first project questions I ever asked Phillip was whether his dad could get a wood spool for me. Recently a friend of mine pinned a really clever spool coffee table/bookshelf idea on Pinterest and I got the bug again. A friend of ours is an electrician and knew of a local business that deals with heavy cable and wire. We name dropped and got access to a whole back alley full of these industrial spools. There were spools of all sizes, some coffee table size and some dinner table size. I imagine that if you are looking for a spool, ask around and see if you can’t find an electrician in the area that can locate some for you.

Here is a sneak preview of the project. I’ll post the complete how-to in a week or so.

Table 1: Stained.

Spool Coffee Table

Table 2: Painted (just primer in this shot, it still needs paint).

Wood Spool Table

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Last but not least, I have some plans to re-purpose some thrift store finds. I have a few things already, but I’ll be making a thrift store trip soon. I’m crossing my fingers that I find either some flowy dresses or skirts. Keiko Lynn’s got the idea here (also notice the abundance of rings). Love it.

Thakoon Addition skirt(see more long skirts)

Here’s my latest thrift store find that I’ll be altering soon.

Blue Dotted Dress

Phillip looked at me like I was crazy when I bought this, but I have big plans for it. The buttons on the back are my favorite part.

Dotted Blue Dress

Home Sweet Home

We’ve been married for a month and a half and one of the biggest surprises being married has been how quickly the time we have together passes by.  I always look forward to spending the evening doing projects and cooking dinner, but before you know it, it’s 10 and time for bed. We’re trying to settle in to our apartment slowly but surely and still have quite a bit of work to do.

After we returned from our honeymoon in San Francisco, Phillip immediately began working on installing our floors. Living on concrete was just not my thing. Once the dance floor at our reception in the shop, this beautiful laminate is now our kitchen floor. Phillip first put down the underlayment (the red stuff), which is pretty expensive stuff, and piece by piece put the floor together like a puzzle. I found out later that cardboard can be used as underlayment and it’s what most housing developments use!

After the kitchen floor was done, we began playing Tetris with our kitchen cabinets and decorating. A friend of mine recently inspired me to put up a rack for pots and pans. It’s something I’ve always admired in magazines and blogs, but those were designer kitchens with islands and high ceilings. Unfortunately, our ceilings are low on the bottom story so I didn’t think it was possible. Then it dawned on me to put up a coat rack, since we have a few laying around in the Shop. We slipped a few pots and pans on it and bingo, a wall rack for our pots and pans. A good solution to free up space!

To save even more space, we put up a wine glass rack that we got as a wedding gift from Bed Bath and Beyond. It’s perfect above the sink because A) there was space for it and B) you can wash and hang the glasses to drip dry. It works great and looks good, saving us a whole shelf or more in our cabinets! See that 3 drawer bread box thing? That was yet another treasure found in the Shop during clean up! It’s got a space for bread, potatoes and onions. I love it. Since we plan on having a big garden, this will come in handy. I think it would be rather easy to build something similar with shelves or cubbyholes for storing veggies and bread. Project idea?

I spotted this copper rack at a local antique consignment shop for only $125. I can’t use it because my ceilings are too low, but it was a beauty. Just had to share…  This is the ultimate rack.

Many of the cards we received from our wedding were hand made or very creative, so we wanted to show them off a bit. I strung them up in our dining room. Not sure when I’ll take them down. For now, it works well in place of actual art.

Remember one of Phillip and I’s first projects, the cork board? I’d collected corks over a long period of time working as a cocktail waitress during my undergrad and acquired an old, glassless, gold frame from a friend. We painted it with crackle medium from JoAnn’s and white paint. Phillip’s sister used it to display pictures at her wedding reception and so did we.  Now it’s in our hallway.

We also got started on our patio. Rather than pay top dollar for pavers or a wood deck, we used a stack of broken concrete that Phillip’s dad had been storing. It’s usually pretty easy to come by, because people are always demolishing concrete. Not only is it super cheap, but it’s also a good way to reuse material that would typically end up going to waste.

This is my official before picture. Notice the dirt and aimless plants.

Patio construction

Patio construction

We put pavers around the perimeter and then filled the center with sand so we could adjust the height of the concrete pieces. We used a level to make sure they were all on the same plane and pitch (sloping down away from the front door a hair). Then we pour concrete and smoothed it out a bit, giving it a quick brush with an old broom to give it the classic broom finish.

Patio construction

We also added some broken tile pieces (lovely landfill that’s spread all over the place out here).

Patio construction

We also had some help. :)

Patio Construction

My brother threw together a planter box for me in like 5 minutes. He used the chop saw to cut the ends and just nailed these 1.5″ x 11″ boards together. I desperately needed a place to plant some of the plants from the reception, because they weren’t doing so hot stuck in their plastic pots.

Planter box

We are still working on getting the patio finished and the plants planted. It turned out to be a little time consuming to make sure all the pieces were level and to spread the concrete, but two weeks (really only about 3-4 days of actually working on it here and there) is not too bad.  I’ll give an update as soon as we are done.

Chick Moment

For starters, here’s a great clip. Do you know people like this? I hope it’s not me. It is isn’t it?

So Polyvore says for Spring 2012, “With the warm season approaching, we’re taking cues from the spring 2012 runways for fresh makeup trends to try. Classic red lips, cat eyes, sun-kissed cheeks, strong brows and smokey eyes are all on the horizon.”

Yeah! These are a few of my favorite things!

Also, I’m in love with chunky rings and bright colors. You can kind see the bright color trend in shoes and even furniture! I can see where the neon trend is going, but I think the farthest I can go is neon purple, which never gets that bright.

Baggu.

These Baggu leather bags and pouches are kinda awesome. Now I’m not wealthy enough to own one of these, but they aren’t terribly priced. I’m going to make my own out of fabric, because I think the design is cute. And I will just dream of the real leather one.

Fork Rings.

This tutorial on More Design Please shows you how to make these. I’ve got a few old forks and spoons laying around and I can’t wait to try it. Two birds with one stone: chunky ring and DIY craft I’ve been wanting to try. Also, the bright furniture I’ve featured here I found on their blog. They incorporate a few neon colored pieces into rooms with relatively neutral colors and simple clean design. I really enjoy the look!

But, I digress…

So, when I said “chick moment”, what I really wanted to tell you about wasn’t shoes and trends. As much as I love exploring current trends and finding a  way to incorporate repurposed products into those current trends… I was actually going to tell you about our newest addition to our household–our chicks! We bought chickens! Yes, just a month ago I was living in a condo in town, now I have chickens.

Phillip and I headed over to the feed store and purchased 3 chickens last Saturday afternoon. They are three different breeds: an Astrolorp, an Americana, and a Dominique. We actually named the Americana and the Dominique after their breed names. I know, really original. The Astrolorp is a tiny little thing, a couple weeks younger than the other two. She is adorable and wont stop peeping. We’re building a coup and a little chicken run behind the shop in what use to be Phillip’s brother’s soccer field when he was a kid. For now, they are in a cardboard box in our dining room. Lovely.

In a few months we will have fresh, free-range, (insert all sorts of other foodie terms) farm eggs. They are super easy. Food + water = chickens that will one day give you a daily supply of eggs.

The youngest is always trying to hide under the other two. We shall call her “Chiquita”.

 “Americana” (on the left) and “Dominique” (on the right).