Thursday, May 30, 2013 1 comments

Repainted Little Tikes Table

Well, here it is, folks - the repainted Little Tikes table and chairs to match my daughter's newly redecorated room.

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. We all do.

Now, for those of you who have never used this paint (Krylon Fusion for Plastic Spray Paint) before and are curious, it is dry to the touch within one hour. That's when you do a second coat, if you want to. If you wait more than 24 hours, you have to wait an entire week before doing a second coat. We chose to do one coat thick enough to cover the old color completely. It wasn't too thick, though, because we didn't get any runs. (Well, with one tiny exception, but we're pretty sure that was because the paint can got tilted too far.)

According to the can, the color isn't completely chip-resistant for seven days, so our kids have been warned that this table and chairs are only decorative for the next seven days. After that, they're welcome to play with them and use them.

My kids listen well, so it works for us. They are also at an age when they're beginning to understand the concept of delayed gratification, so they can appreciate the need to wait. If your children fit neither of those descriptions, I would recommend that you put things you paint with this out of their reach for a week.

And in case you missed my last post, here's the cost breakdown:

2 cans of bonus-sized paint ($9.20 with tax) covered
  • 4 table legs
  • 2 pull-out drawers
  • 2 chairs
It took the better part of  a day to do it all, but that's because we didn't have a large workspace and had to paint everything in batches. Given adequate space, you could be done with a project like this in as little as four hours from the start of painting to finished drying.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2 comments

Repainting Mismatched Plastic Kids' Furniture

We're not done with my daughter's room yet. Revival ended on Sunday, and I was hoping to dive right into everything on Monday morning. Sickness decided to visit instead, and I've only been able to continue this morning.

However, all was not lost! As I started to feel well enough to sit up yesterday, I was able to browse online for organizational ideas that I knew I'd need for my son's room. I found some good ones, and I'll share those another time.

This morning I felt like I had slept for two whole days (which I almost had), and I had the energy to match it. What a great feeling! This was the day to repaint the Little Tikes plastic table and chairs for my daughter's room.

Of course, I first had to peel off the pesky stickers that "magically" appeared after I gave my kids some stickers awhile back and then left them to their own devices. Then I had to use a Magic Eraser (dollar store version) to get the writing off the parts that weren't going to be painted. Don't ask me why it seems logical to kids to write with pen on the top of a plastic toy table, but it seems to be a kid thing. I see it all the time on toys at the thrift store.

I wasn't able to get all the writing off with the Magic Eraser (dollar store version), but I was happily surprised that the rest of it disappeared after I washed it and let it sit for an hour or so in the bright sun.

I wish I had thought to take a picture before I disassembled it all and my husband started spray painting it, but this will have to do:

I don't know who at Little Tikes picked this blue color, but I haven't cared for it since we got it. I'm pretty sure it was given to us, though, so I really can't complain. However, I wasn't going to put this color back into my daughter's newly-redone room with a pink/red/white color scheme. Not in a million years.

So I found the Krylon Fusion for Plastic spray paint at my local Wal-Mart. I chose red and found two bonus cans with 25% more. It's a good thing, too, because it took both cans to do this project (not including the table top).

The last of the pieces are drying as I type this, so this picture will have to serve as the teaser for today:

This is a table leg before and after the painting.

In all, we painted four legs, two chairs and two drawers with two bonus-sized cans of spray paint. That means this repainting project cost $9.20 (with sales tax). I certainly couldn't buy a new table and chairs set for that price, so I was happy.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2 comments

Organizing & Redecorating: What has been keeping me busy

My blog has been silent almost all month, but I've been getting a lot accomplished around my house. That's definitely a good thing, even though I don't always think to take pictures to share with you.

The most recent house project has been organizing and redecorating my daughter's room. Things had gotten completely out of hand in her room to the point that there was no way she could keep it clean. It had to be organized and  purged.

It took us an entire week to purge the toys she doesn't play with, doesn't want anymore, or just doesn't have room to store. I was surprised at how willing she was to part with some of her collections - you know, the "junk" collections all kids accumulate. I'm sure a lot of the motivation was a redecorated room.

At any rate, I'm finally done with the purging and organizing. The organizing itself taxed my organizational skills to the limit.

Now comes the fun part - redecorating!

You've probably guessed that I don't plan to throw thousands - or even hundreds - of dollars into redecorating. You might have also guessed that my daughter's room isn't huge, either. It's plenty big for a little girl, but it's nowhere near as big as the decorating magazines - and a lot of blogs - showcase. So you'll get to see some real-life, truly budget-friendly, realistic changes that can be made to a room when the bed takes up about a third of your floor space. Then stay tuned for my son's room - his bed takes up nearly half of his floor space! :)

I'll have to take some pictures next week because we're in revival this week and that means I'm entertaining the evangelist and his wife all week. (You probably won't hear from me again this week.)

But I thought I'd share a great idea I came across on Pinterest, in case you're in the mood to redecorate your kids' rooms.

This idea comes from Gluesticks - a bed canopy made from PVC pipe! She made hers for a toddler bed, but we're almost done with my daughter's, and hers is a twin bed. I'll try to remember to write all the details down and share it with you when I'm finished.

I think every girl has dreamed of a canopy bed at one point or another, and this is the least expensive way that I can think of to make it happen.

If you decide to try one yourself, make sure you check out this article about how to stain PVC pipe to look like wood. It's pure genius! And let me know how it turns out for you if you try it. We decided to go a different route.
Thursday, May 2, 2013 2 comments

Brioche Loves Variegated Yarn

Funny post title, isn't it? Well, you'd agree with me if you'd see these dishcloths in person:

I have always loved variegated yarn in skein form, but I've never cared for it worked up into projects. It always seems to pool in a really ugly way that doesn't do justice to the pretty colors that were carefully selected to go together.

Yesterday I decided to learn a new stitch I've been wanting to learn for awhile now - brioche. The (free) Prime Rib Dishcloth or Scarf pattern by Sara Baldwin is billed as the easiest, clearest tutorial, so I gave it a shot ... and I'm hooked. 

Here are the things I love most about it:
  • it lays flat,
  • doesn’t need a border,
  • looks great from both sides (exactly the same, actually),
  • is a mindless knit once you've done a few rows,
  • and goes quickly.
I think my absolute favorite thing, though, is how the variegated yarns look done up in it. They actually look pretty and blend the colors nicely.

Each of these took about the same amount of yarn - 1.2 ozs (35 g).

Here's the one I'm finishing up tonight:

It's a pretty bold mixture of colors, but I really like how it's turning out in this stitch.

I'm grabbing all the variegated dishcloth cotton I've had sitting here for ages, and I'm going to knit them all in this pattern.