Articles Tagged “Don’t Cost A Dime”

Shiny Tiny Rhiny

Weird title, I know, but hang in there with me and you will understand where it’s coming from :)

I had a great weekend. Jason had Thursday through Monday off and I had Saturday off (Saturday is the only day I work) and so we enjoyed it! Yesterday we had a wonderful day with friends and family and it was good to have some much needed time off. Especially for Jason. I wasn’t ready for him to go back to work today. Plus, that meant that I had to get back to work here at home to. And believe me, I have been working. This is what I have been working on for the past week and a half:

All of our windows from the outside look terrible. Really terrible. The one shown above isn’t even the worst one. And, maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but they have looked bad since we moved in 6 years ago. This year, I finally had enough and decided to start tackling this project. I knew it would be a big job, and it is. I have been scraping and scraping. But I’m hoping to get the bottom back windows done before the weather turns really hot and the humidity sets in because they are the worst. That’s my goal :) Thankfully, now I am armed with a heat gun and it is going much faster! I have to scrape all the windows down, including the glazing, clean them, re-glaze them, primer them, and then paint. I’m still on the scraping part. It could be a while. I have 5 scraped and 15 left (but only 3 more to reach my goal of the back bottom windows) See why I’ve been putting it off for so long?! Yikes!

Anyway, just thought I would fill you in on what I’m up to. Now on to something more exciting: Shiny Tiny Rhinies…

I’ve been wanting a rhino for my wall. Especially the rhino from West Elm. I think they are so cute and when I visited a West Elm earlier in the month I got to see them in person and then I really wanted one. But, the price tag stopped me in my tracks. $99-$199 was not in my wallet at the time and so I got to thinking… Can I? Is it possible to DIY one of these guys? Yes, I think I can :)

I started thinking of how this might work and I was fully expecting this to be a project that went straight into the garbage in failure but surprisingly, it worked. The funny thing is, I had pinned a couple of different photos of DIY animal heads (here and here) but I hadn’t even looked at their tutorials. But it must have sparked a thought that it could be done. Later, I looked up the other tutorials and it ended up that I pretty much did the same thing as this one without even realizing it. And here I thought I was being so clever :)

First, I crumbled up a bunch of paper and sort of molded into the shape I wanted. Using duct tape, I secured it together.

I know, it doesn’t really look like a rhino yet, does it?!

After all of my paper was in place, I duct taped the whole thing so it was nice and secure.

Hmmm… starting to look better. Since this project took me several days, Jason would check in on me and ask me how my tiny rhiny project was going. And that is how it got the name Tiny Rhiny.

After Tiny Rhiny was all taped up, I used Mod Podge and more strips of the white paper to cover it like paper mache.

I did many layers and had to wait for it to dry each time which is why it took me several days.

After several layers I decided it was time for paint. I brushed on several coats of paint and then I also spray painted several coats with a gloss paint. That was how it became Shiny Tiny Rhiny.

And then, after all that work, I hung him up in Jason’s office.

He is on the wall kind of by the couch and when Jason is sitting on the couch he faces the rhino because he likes to sit sideways with his feet up.

The other day I walked down there when Jason was in the room and he said, “hey, there’s a shiny tiny rhiny in my office.” Ya, we’re dorks like that :)

I had so much fun making it and I was so surprised that it turned out so well, now I am wanting to make more. Although, I admit, there are only so many animals I need on my walls. If I think of another spot to put one, I might end up making another. A different animal though. West Elm has a really cute hippo that I like too :)

Or maybe instead of just the head I could try a whole animal. That would be crazy. I just might do it :)

One of my favorite things is how the white looks against the dark wall. Which is why I chose to hang it in this room. It looked way too cool to put him anywhere else :)

And that’s the story of our Shiny Tiny Rhiny. What do you think?!

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DIY Breadboard

Since I painted the kitchen, I have been wanting new things for the walls. I don’t have much wall space but that doesn’t stop me :) There is one little area next to the back door that I thought would be the perfect spot to add a little something and somehow I got into my head that I needed a breadboard.

First, I started looking around at breadboards and couldn’t find anything I wanted. I needed a skinny one and I definitely wanted all wood. Plus, I wanted to be able to hang it so it needed to have a handle with a hole. I even bought one, and once I got home I realized it was too big. So, back to the store it went.

Next, I found one from West Elm that I liked but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a lighter colored wood. Then, I saw the most amazing cutting boards online at Terrain (Anthropologie’s sister store). They were perfect. And expensive. At $198 and $128 I knew they would not be coming home with me. And then I got to thinking… I bet my Dad could make one of these. Right? I mean, he is amazing at all things wood. So I put a little bug in his ear and he was wonderful and volunteered to help me. Thanks Dad :)

We started with a solid block of wood, maple to be exact. This thing is nice and thick, just like what I wanted. My Dad found a piece that had some pretty colors swirled in. I love it :) We kind of sketched what I wanted onto the wood. I wanted to feel handmade and not super perfect. Knowing my Dad, he could have made it exactly perfect if I had wanted that but since I didn’t, it made things a bit easier for me. And since I was doing the cutting, that was a good thing!


Next, using a jigsaw, I cut out the design. I haven’t used one of these in years so I was a little rusty :) But it was fun and now I have all sorts of ideas in my brain for how I could put one of these saws to work!

It was a bit rough, but now you can see the final shape!

Another thing I was super excited about was my cool safety glasses:

I had forgotten mine at home and so I had to borrow some of my Dad’s. Imagine my surprise in opening them (they were new) that they said Yoder Cabinets on them. Yoder Cabinets is the business that my Dad started and operated for over 30 years! These might just be the last pair of these floating around :)

Next was sanding. I really don’t like sanding so whenever there is a power tool that can do the job faster, I am all for it. Here is my Dad giving me a demonstration. He tipped the sander on its side to make it easier. Genius!

After sanding, I used a router to round the edges to give it a polished look. I loved this tool. It was super easy and super fun. I really want to play with it again.

See how excited I am?!

Then, came more sanding. This time I got to use an orbital sander. I have used this one many times but only on flat surfaces. My Dad had to give me a little demonstration for rounded corners. It may not be perfect but it worked. Besides, I want it to look handmade, right?!

Then, after drilling a hole and some more hand sanding, we had a cutting board!

I tied some leather through the hole to hang it.

Isn’t the grain pretty?

I haven’t decided if I am actually going to cut on it or not. If I use it I will put some mineral oil on it first. Until then, it hangs in my kitchen unfinished. I like it that way.

The bow hook was one of my thrift store finds that I hadn’t used yet. I love how you have the frilliness of a bow and the simplicity of the wood together.

And that concludes my adventures in breadboard making. And because my Dad already had the wood handy and I had the leather, the total cost of this project for me was $0. That means I saved $198. That makes me a happy girl :)

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Jazzing Up My iPhone

I think I have a bit of an addiction to contact paper. I mean, it’s sort of getting out of control. As if my last post weren’t enough… I had another idea for a way to use contact paper. This time, as the title implies, I have used it on my iPhone. And it looks really cool :)

Recently, I bought a new iPhone case. I seriously couldn’t decide between the thousands of cases out there because they were all too wonderful. I knew I didn’t want to spend a ton because I might want more than one but other than that, I didn’t have any idea what I wanted. There are just too many to choose from and so I decided to go with a plain color. I’m glad I did. I really like it. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting a little bit of pattern now and again. And then it came to me… why not decorate it a bit? Heck, yes!

Here is the before photo:

Again, I think it’s cute as is. With the possibility of being better!

First I gathered my supplies. I currently have 4 different kinds of contact paper in the house. White, black, silver, and wood grain. I was just going to make one but then I got carried away with trying different things. It’s kind of fun :)

The first one I tried was with the white polka-dots. I think it looks like confetti. Perfect if you are going to a party and want to look festive. Because I know we all like our iPhone’s to match our mood, attire, and event. Right?! Haha!

Since this was the first pattern I tried, I will tell you how it went. To make the dots I used a hole punch. Couldn’t get any easier than that. They also applied really easily. The hardest part was removing the paper backing from the tiny dots with my butterfingers. They were also cinch to remove. There was a little residue left from the contact paper but it came off quickly with a bit of Goo Gone and a paper towel.

Next up, large black polka-dots. I really like polka-dots. Can you tell? I decided to do hand cut dots instead of punching them for a more organic look. Super easy. Probably the easiest one I made. I did discover that you can’t really go around the corner or it causes some folds. So, it’s better to just fold over on the edges only and skip the corners.

This next one is pretty fun. It also makes me think of a party because it kind of looks like bunting. I thought the wood grain added a fun flair. I was sad to see this one go. But it might make an appearance later :)

And lastly, uneven stripes. You know me, I love me some stripes. This is the one that stayed. I couldn’t help myself :) Just cut some uneven strips and apply. Wow! Genius!

A couple things to note. I have had this on my phone for several days now and they are holding up really well. A couple of the stripes I ended up cutting a little closer in because they were catching on things (see the ones hanging off the corners?) but now they are doing well and I haven’t had any problem. In fact, it makes my phone have a bit more grip.

After doing these few, I have more ideas for patterns that I might have to tackle once I’m tired of the stripes. Fun, fun!!

On another topic… what do you think of the words on the photos? I decided to try something new. I think I like it :)

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Reinvented Console Cabinet

I love my bargain console/record player that I have in my dining room. I have had it for about a year and a half and I’m really glad that I got it. It is so much more vintage modern than the previous one and it fits my style way more. But, now that I have my new dining table in place, I’m not really into the wood color. It feels like there are too many different wood shades going on in that room. The wood floors, the wood table, the wood chairs (although I am planning on painting those someday) and the wood console. Plus, the living room, which connects to the dining room, has many more white elements and I want the rooms to go together. So, I decided to paint the console.

It’s really not that tragic; painting a wood piece. For one thing, it was only $45. Also, the wood wasn’t even in that great of condition. I bought it with the intent to paint it and once I got it home, I liked it the way it was so I left it. That was before my new table. Now, for the reasons mentioned above, it was time to paint. Just as a reminder, here is the before photo:

See all of those different wood finishes going on? Ya, me too. It’s starting to drive me crazy. Like there is no cohesiveness. Gotta change that!

Jason and I hauled it down to the basement so I could paint it. Let me tell you, this thing is heavy. Mostly because of the record player. Once it was down in the basement, I started painting. I quickly realized that the speakers were no fun to paint. And it was going to take me forever. And it might not even look good once it was done.

It might be kind of hard to tell in the photo but the speakers are on the the ends. They are fabric covered and then there are lots of wooden slats over the top of the fabric. Tons of groves to paint and the fabric wasn’t looking so hot once it was painted. Plus, I was having a hard time catching all of the drips. What to do?

I called Jason back downstairs and asked him if it would be possible to give the little console a face lift. He said it could be done and immediately, we got to work. Even though it was 8:00 at night :) That’s how I roll. Once I get started on something, I want it done yesterday :)

First, we busted out all of the little slats. Then Jason made two inserts to put in their place, over the speakers. For those of you wondering, the record player was on it’s way out. It really would only last for one song and then die. So I wasn’t too worried about covering up the speakers since I quit using it anyway.

Once the new inserts were in place, I filled holes and sanded it smooth. After priming and painting… ta-da! All new, modernized cabinet!

I love it! It brightens up the space so much and I love it even more that the little slats are gone. It had a bit more retro feel with the slats and now it’s a bit more crisp which I love. Plus, the neon lamp looks so cool on it now that the cabinet is white.

My little pretties, all in a row…

But, you know me… Now that it is all in place, I started thinking of some more ways to pimp it out. My last beef with this cabinet is it’s a little short. We are now in the process of brainstorming ways to make it taller by adding a new base instead of the existing legs.

Besides, the existing legs always look like they are leaning. Even though they aren’t (we checked).

I think the idea of a new base has potential. What do you think?!

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DIY: Kitchen Artwork

Okay, so I’m a copy catter. I know it. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself. I see something I like and I want it. Anyone else ever feel that way? I’m definitely not opposed to buying stuff. But sometimes, it just won’t work out and I have to make my own. Plus, I really like to make things :)

Last week, I came across a pin on Pinterest of a kitchen calendar from Anthropologie. I fell in love with this calendar. It was so wonderful and I wanted it. Like, bad :) But, unfortunately there were a few problems. 1. There is only one space in my kitchen where it would work and the dimensions were wrong for that space. 2. The colors didn’t work in my kitchen. 3. Anthropologie was no longer offering it on their site. Sad day.

See all of these problems? The biggest problem being that I couldn’t actually get it any longer. So what’s a girl to do? Recreate it if possible :) Here is the original so you know what I was up against:

Umm… ya, so cute! Do you see why I had to have it? My first choice would have been to buy it because I loved it so much and I would have made it work, but since it wasn’t possible, I drew my own. And mine didn’t turn out nearly as cute but I do really like it :)

I kept my version black and white. I also rearranged the order of the utensils so it would fit in the dimensions that I had. First, I sketched out the shapes and then I went over them with a black marker, making some of the lines thicker than others.

Then, I hung it over the sink. I really like the artwork but now I’m not so sure about the color of the frame. I thought gray would be a nice change since I always spraint everything white but now I’m not so sure. Thoughts?

I also rearranged the shelf above the plate rack, adding some cookbooks up there. Now I’m on the hunt for more cookbooks at thrift stores because I think it looks cool :)

And, as it turns out, it was another don’t cost a dime project. I already had the frame, paper, and pen. How’s that for cheap artwork?!

Happy Monday everyone!!

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Hello, and welcome to my little blog! What started out as a blog to show some of my scrapbook pages ended up being a blog that shows all of my projects, ranging from scrapbooking to decorating to sewing to photography. I also run a little online shop called every jot & tittle where I sell handmade paper products. Take a look and leave me a comment to say hi! (Photo by Heather Smith.)

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