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Laundry Detergent DIY

13 Jan

This is one of those home-remedy type of DIYs that I really should have jumped on long before 2015, but it hasn’t really been until nowadays that I’ve actually needed to pinch pennies and find ways to save a buck or two – not working’ll do that to ya! Anyway, there are endless tutorials on how to make homemade laundry detergent all over Pinterest, so I won’t go into crazy amounts of detail here, but my combination of ingredients was a mash-up between two “recipes” that I found to be both easy enough to follow and convincing enough to make me a believer (those can be found here and here) with the biggest reason to try it out being the huge money-saving advantages. This recipe makes over 285 oz. of laundry detergent.  You only need to use 1 tablespoon or half an ounce of detergent per load (2 tablespoons for more heavily soiled loads) which adds up to over 570 loads of laundry for less than $25!!! Yeah. And for our household, we do maybe 2 -3 loads of laundry per week, so we’re talking over 2 years worth of soap for less than $25, and that’s with using a full 2 tablespoons!

Just mix up the following ingredients and you’re good to go:
  • 2 bars of Zote soap (14.1 oz each) – I found Zote soap that was already grated, so I went with that instead of shredding down bars of soap, but you can do it either way
  • 1 box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 oz)
  • 1 box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (4 lb)
  • 1 box of Borax (4 lb 12 oz)
  • 1 tub of Oxi-Clean Stain Remover (3 lb)
  • Downy Scent Crystals (9 – 26 oz depending on how scented you want your soap to be)

Most of these items will be located in the detergent aisle except the baking soda which should be located in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.

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We had enough soap to fill the large glass jar, the small Ball jar, AND the Oxi-Clean tub! I’ve already done 3 loads of laundry with it and so far so good.  Everything came out clean and fresh smelling, so I think this home remedy is definitely a winner 🙂

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Spray Painted Vinyl Chair

21 Mar

Way back in September when I wrapped up my entryway tree, I plunged into a little DIY project that went along with that update – I spray painted a vinyl chair.  Yep.  You heard read that right. I would have never thought of giving a chair a facelift with spray paint (a dresser or end table, yes…) until I stumbled upon this blog post on Little Green Notebook that completely opened my eyes to a whole new world of spray painting options!

I’ve had these two blue, vinyl club chairs for a few years now.  I love them.  They are well made and comfortable to sit in, but I’ve always thought that I’d reupholster them – they are a shade of blue that’s neither modern nor funky enough to really look as good as they could otherwise, they’re just kind of dull and blah.  So I dove in without a second thought and gave one of them a cool new hue… green… sea-foam green… Krylon’s “Catalina Mist” to be exact:

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I went on ahead and bought a can of clear spray enamel to use as a finishing coat as well since the Catalina Mist did not come in a spray that indicated it would bond to plastic (as per the DIY instructions I was going by on Little Green Notebook) which is key in making this project work – IF YOU WANT TO SPRAY PAINT VINYL AND HAVE IT STICK, YOU MUST USE SPRAY PAINT THAT BONDS TO PLASTIC.

The process was pretty simple. I just gave the chair a good cleaning with a degreaser, wrapped the legs in trash bags and taped them off, and then just went to town spray painting:

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It feels completely smooth to the touch as if the vinyl itself was sea foam green all along 🙂

Thanks for looking!

Daybed

30 Dec

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Check out how I turned an old set of twin mattresses into a cute little daybed for the office by clicking here.

Dresser Drawers Turned Wall Shelves Phase 1- Installation

3 Nov

As a continuation of my self-imposed Pinterest challenge (more on that here) I have gotten the installation phase of my drawer shelves complete:

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This is one of those projects that I would file under “upcycling” or “restyling” as they are known in DIY blogland – where you take something that you found or have lying around the house that you don’t use or don’t LOVE in its current state, and upcycle it into something awesome that you do love. These projects also tend to be budget friendly – I snatched these drawers for free from an old retired dresser of my little cousin’s that was getting tossed.

The process was fairly simple.  After spotting a blank area on one of the walls in the den that could house a little project like this, I first put a quick couple coats of paint on the drawer fronts (paint color left over from the blue room – Behr’s “Caribe”) :

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Then I cut out paper templates to the size of each drawer and arranged them on the wall several times until I came up with a configuration that I  liked:

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After that, it was basically just predrilling and drilling holes into the drawers and into the wall (using wall anchors) and getting them up one at a time until they were all mounted:

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And that was pretty much it!

Below are some inspiration photos for this project that I have pinned here:

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Pretty inventive and lovely, don’t you think?

In phase 2, I plan on decking out the shelf backings (technically the drawer bottoms) with some pretty fabric or decorative paper, and then decorating and styling the shelves with some lovely tchotchkes aka thrift store finds, so stay tuned for that 🙂

Thanks for looking!

Pet Silhouette Wall Art

25 May

As late as I am at getting on the whole silhouette bandwagon, I was bound and determined to get this little project done and finally scratch it of the ol’ to-do list, and since I already had wallpaper out from this project, I thought now was as good a time as any to whip out this little task and call ‘er done!  I decided to go with a pet silhouette, although others like deer mount silhouettes and portrait silhouettes have caught my eye as well (see more silhouette Pinspiration here).

I started out by selecting a few sheets of wallpaper samples that I liked and a couple of trays I had lying around that I thought would work well with the silhouette cutout:

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Then, by taping plain printer paper directly onto the computer screen, I traced an image of Bitsy in two sections (my screen wasn’t large enough nor was the 8 1/2 x 11 sized paper I was using) to create a template in the shape I was looking for – Bitsy shaped, of course:

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After tracing her image, I taped the two pieces of paper together adjoining the top half of her body to her bottom half, and then placed it on top of the various sheets of wallpaper I had selected from earlier to decide which one I liked best. After positioning the traced image on top of my choice wallpaper in the just-right-place, I taped it in place so I could cut it with an exacto knife without it shifting:

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Then lastly, I sprayed the back of my wallpaper cutout with spray adhesive and affixed it onto the tray with the wood-toned center:

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And Voila!  A ctue-as-a-button-chihuahua pet silhouette! I love it   :0 )

Den Painting DONE.

23 Nov

Remember way back in September when I was all gung-ho about painting the den and got it half-way painted and things were starting to look great, and … well finally, after 7 whole weeks of living with it looking like this:

… I finally finished painting the other half of the room last week.  Woo wee how I’m filled with glee to finally cross that task off the list! In my defense though, it’s not like I completely lost my gusto and just lazily walked away from the project for it to end up in project-abandonment purgatory or anything.  I actually accomplished some other projects in the interim, like painting and organizing my bedroom closet, painting the fireplace, and throwing in some wedding photography side-work along the way.  I suppose there’s always an order to things and they sometimes do not happen in the order that we’d like for them to occur, but instead as they should (whoa! things just got deep).

But back to the den.

The first order of business in there was to shuffle and move things around so as to even be able to get to the walls in order to paint them.  As I mentioned in this post, one of the items on the to-do list for this room was to decide where the huge filing cabinet would end up going.

It really is kind of a big ol’ eye-sore in my opinion, so I knew I didn’t want to incorporate it into the design of this room (or any other room in the house for that matter).  It needed to be someplace concealed.  Like a closet.  Which leads to the second order of business in getting this whole painting project done – making space within the entryway closet for the behemoth of a filing cabinet to move into.  Here’s how things were looking in the closet before:

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And after moving my not-so-often-used dresses and costumey-type clothing (yeah, I have this weird infatuation with costumey-type, mostly “period” clothing that I can’t seem to cure myself of, hence this photo) over to the hall closet, and moving the filing cabinet into the entryway closet, we ended up with this:

Perfect.  There was even a little space to the left of the cabinet that now peerlessly houses all of my gift wrapping accoutrement! Happy face.

But back to the den.

After moving the filing cabinet out of the room, the only thing left to do was basically just move the bed out of the way and get to painting.  And in doing so, this is where we ended up:

Hooray for progress!  So now begins the fun part – furniture arrangement, which is already underway so stay posted for that coming soon…

P.S. In case you missed it in the previous den progress post, the paint color I used is Behr’s Pensive Sky (more on that here).

Fireplace Painted!

19 Oct

This was hands-down one of the most tedious and time-consuming paint projects I have taken on in this house to date, yet will most likely prove to be one of the most rewarding.  It wasn’t a quick little paint job like my bedroom closet or the laundry room like I first had in mind.  Well actually, I think I may have known deep down inside that it would be a bit of a feat, that’s probably why it has taken me this long to finally get the job done, even though it was one of the very first things I absolutely knew I wanted to do upon moving in almost two years ago.  All the deep grooves around every single brick had to be hand-painted with a 1-inch brush since the roller just couldn’t get deep enough in there to get them covered, even when using the “extra-rough texture” roller.  So yeah, wrist-cramp anyone?  But I’m not complaining, I am more than thrilled with the results!

As I mentioned in this post, the fireplace, located centrally within the house in the kitchen, was a very dark, “energy-sucking doo doo brown” I believe is exactly how I worded it.  Here’s how the fireplace looked before:

You can see how all the Christmas decorations just blend into the dark, brown backdrop, creating a muddled arrangement instead of a bright and poppy one.  I first toyed with the idea of painting the fireplace red since I intend to paint the kitchen walls robins-egg blue, and I really love a pale blue and red color combination, but decided against it since red is also quite energy-sucking and wouldn’t adapt as well with the changing seasons and correlating decorum the way a more neutral white would.  Also, my eyes and my heart just kept going back to all of the white brick fireplaces I’ve seen and imagined, and have absolutely swooned over.  So white (off-white, Behr’s “Creamy White” to be exact) it went, not without first getting a good cleaning with the assistance of my best little helper of course:

… and also getting a coat of primer to make sure the white paint didn’t just get absorbed right into the underlying brown paint:

Here’s a close-in detailed shot to show you just how deep the grooves around the bricks really are:

And here it is after two days of about ten man-hours later in all of its whitewashed glory:

Not the greatest after/final reveal photograph, but it was late when I finally got it done and was eager to get this posted.  Olive and I have already gotten it all dressed and gussied up for the upcoming Halloween festivities, and I am more than enamored with how much more light and airy the room feels from making this one simple change!

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