Sunday, July 22, 2012

Inexpensive and cool dorm shelving

Within a couple of months, using coupons and watching for sales, I bought six plain wood crates at Joanns (
I stenciled them first, inspired by this blog (  But I couldn't quite get the paint to flow, so I used a sharpie to first outline the stencil, but I did use a ball-point pen to trace around the printed stencil.  This is a perfect activity to do while watching some TV, like catching up on Breaking Bad.

After stenciling, I stained them with Minwax, color Jacobean.  I might have gone lighter and used the Dark Walnut, but I like the grey tones in the Jacobean. After staining them, I let them dry overnight, and then I waxed them with Briwax in Dark Brown. You could also use a polyurethane, but I wanted the finish of the wax, plus I had some already. Pretty cool, huh?

We don't know the space where these would go yet, but we could get some planks of wood to stretch between a couple of the crates, as well as add some casters. I will do a follow up blog once they are in the final position.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

When Javalinas Attack

A couple of weeks ago, our dog Macy started barking frantically around 2:00 am, we finally quieted her down and went to the front door and saw a pack of javelinas on our porch.

They walked away when Scott knocked on the door.  When we woke up the next morning, we saw the destruction they left behind.

Scott purchased some plants for me. And I repotted them.

Here are the replacements:

This was the large pot that they knocked off the stand and totally upended.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Door ID & Mail Board

Zoe wanted a unique board to hang outside her room. It needed to have a pocket for mail and notes, and some hooks for keys and other stuff.  We were inspired by string art and this tutorial for a mail organizer ( We combined the two into this:

12 x 24 canvas
3 cork squares
spray adhesive
fabric to cover canvas
embroidery floss
fabric for the pocket (I used an old shirt.)
small nails/linoleum nails
two picture hanging hooks

staple gun
strong scissors
glue gun

1 - Using your glue gun, glue the three cork squares together, just run the glue around the edges.  Place something heavy on top to flatten them while drying.

2 - Trim the cork to fit inside the back on the canvas, see the next three pix. I used my kitchen scissors to cut through the cork, using a exacto knife makes a mess.

3 - Glue the cork to the canvas, again just on the edges.  Staple the cork to the edge of the frame.

4 - Cut the fabric about 2 inches wider than the edge of the canvas.  Spray the front of the canvas with the spray adhesive and stretch the fabric around the front and staple in place on the back.

5 - Add the two hanging hooks to the upper corners of the back.

6 - Print out your initial. We used the font DeLouisVille, size 1200.  You want to fill up an 8.5 x 11 paper as much as possible, also if possible, use the Outline font function (just to save ink).

7 - Use the nails and press around the edge of the initial. For the most part, you can push the nails into the canvas, but you might need to use a hammer. Then carefully tear the paper off.

8 - Just knot the floss and go back and forth between the nails.

9 - Now refer to  for the pattern and directions for making and adding the pocket.

10 - Add hooks to the bottom. I spray painted mine.  And you are done!

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Some Dish Towels and Napkins

Following the clear instructions here (, I made a set of napkins using the fabric picked out in the color scheme.  I also used the same fabrics to spiffy up some everyday dish towels.  

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kitchen Vignette

Dorm room possibility - for the pantry door
Zoe and I made a couple more things that could hang from the pantry door.  The memo board is just a spray painted dollar store frame, with a piece of fabric behind the glass.  The holders for the markers and notepad are made by folding a piece of fabric for the bottom pocket and then putting them in an embroidery hoop.  We found the mesquite branch, washed it and soaked it in some water with a bit of bleach in case there were scorpions or spiders living inside. We painted the rings around it and added hooks.  

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