Sunday, July 12, 2015

DIY Firepit area

I'm finally writing about my Father's day surprise for my hubby. Sorry this is a bit late! Trying to enjoy summer and taking care of three kids is most of how I spend my time these days. 

So I wanted to surprise Joe with an outdoor fire pit area he could relax in, make s'mores, tell ghost stories at night, etc. All the fun things you do outside with the kids. Hopefully to make lifetime memories. 

While I was out one day shopping I popped into Lowes to see approximately how much things were going to cost. After perusing Pinterest for DIY firepits I thought I could handle the task.  But then I saw this. A whole kit!  I snapped a pic of all the additional materials I would need and then felt very overwhelmed! Not sure the project would fit in my budget, time, or skill set so I left Lowes feeling pretty bummed out.

The following weekend our neighborhood Habitat for Humanity Restore was having a 50% off sale of everything in their store. In the corner, there sat a dingy beaten up gas fire pit.  I went over to Joe to tell him what I had found and then had to tell him about the surprise I wanted to make for him. I was gonna need help getting this bad boy home! It was super heavy and I needed him to help figure out if the gas worked. 

We got the beast home and I got to work scrubbing the years of mold off the marble and build up on the stone sides.

While it was drying I headed to Lowes and found Rust-oleums Stone Spray Paint to use for the sides. This stuff is awesome!  I covered up the marble top with painter's tape and magazines and used about 3 coats of this stuff to give the stone a new finish.

And then it sat like this in the yard for several weeks!  We didn't have the money to finish the project and I promised Joe I wouldn't spend any more money that month!

Then it was Father's Day.  We spent the morning celebrating the most perfect Dad. 

I made french toast with fresh bread I prepared that morning (okay the bread maker did all the hard work), with fresh peaches, Spam (a Hawaiian favorite) and fresh coffee. Then we gathered the family and headed to church and then home for a nice lunch. Joe then got his one Father's Day wish of a mid-day nap.  That's when I snuck out to build Joe the rest of what was going to be a surprise outdoor area.

A lot of money and sweating later, I came home with a hooptie lowered Van filled with 18 bags of Pea Gravel, a Wine Barrel to disguise the Propane tank, a Propane tank, and 3 large and 2 small Adirondack chairs.

Once I got home it was pretty easy to get everything ready. In just under two hours, I purchased and brought home everything, laid down the gravel around the fire pit in a circle, set up the propane tank under the table and placed the chairs around it.

What's left is to figure out what to put around the gravel to keep it tidy. One option would be to lay bricks around it. We'll let you know the progress of that.

Right before Joe woke up, I whipped up some blueberry smoothies for everyone to enjoy. We made him close his eyes and all counted to 10 before opening his eyes to surprise him. He was quite happy with how it turned out. Best Father's Day yet!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spray painted Patio set

I wasn't planning on it, but I bought a Patio Set.  Sometimes you just gotta do stuff when the price is right and you may of needed it down the road anyway.  I went to the nearby Habitat for Humanity store a few weekends ago looking for supplies to build a surprise for Father's Day (more on that later.) Everything just happened to be 50% on that particular Saturday. I spotted this glass top patio set with four chairs for $60 - $30 with the discount and scooped it up. Not literally, cause dang I needed Joe's help taking apart the legs from the table top.

I gave all of it a good scrub down with soapy water and let it air dry.  I knew I wanted a fun pop of color for the chairs, but wanted something easy to clean for the table.  I went with Valspar's outdoor spray paint in Koi Pond for the chairs and Black for the base of the table.  One cool idea I had going in to the project was spray painting the under side of the table white but with a pattern using painter's tape.  I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't an original idea, but rather a Pinterest one.  I used two coats of spray paint on everything and followed the directions according to the bottle.

Here is Joe so kindly removing the stripped screws from the base of the table that I replaced with new ones. He had to bust out his saw that works on metal. Always a trouper!

We now have a very cozy place to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with the family. 

The seat cushions are Tommy Bahama and were purchased at Home Goods. The red candle holder is from Lowes.

The Navy Blue Anchor design is so cute for summer and goes perfectly with the Tiffany Blue chairs.

The table top is shiny and easy to clean!

The number "4" so happens to be my oldest son's favorite number, so this was a happy coincidence. 

The Navy Blue and Tiffany blue chevron outdoor throw pillow ties the seat cushions in with the chair color.  It was purchased at Target.

The middle of the table actually  holds a sun umbrella. Still trying to decide on a pattern and color for that.  I'll update you when I do! If we ever have a covered patio, a cute Navy Rug would be good too!

This old chair was sitting in our backyard and used to be white and an ugly green. I had extra paint so voila! Now we have five matching chairs.

Since I was making over the back deck anyway, I thought this little arrow shelf from Home Goods would help organize all the kid clutter. Now it's a spot for bubbles and outdoor sandals.

Just in time to enjoy our new patio set! My brother just drove all the way from California to New York but stopped in North Carolina for a few days.  It was great being able to enjoy a fancy dinner out there with him.  Hopefully more to come! If you're ever in New York at the Nordstroms in Garden City stop by and say hi.

Hope you're enjoying your summer!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ikea Play Kitchen reimagined

I've been pondering a play kitchen for quite some time, searching high and low, through Craigslist ads daily, Pinterest daily etc. for design ideas. I wanted to originally make a play kitchen for our daughter using an old entertainment center or perhaps turning her dress up station into a kitchen, but decided it was going to take up too much space and/or effort to remove furniture from her room without her getting suspicious. Finally it turned out that the best way to make her a kitchen was to reimagine a generic looking Ikea kitchen. I finally found one on Craigslist for $50 but nicely talked the lady down to $40. Right before Christmas this is easy to do since people want stuff out of their house to make room for the new stuff.

So here it is, the "new" play kitchen for our daughter.

This is a stock photo of what it looked like BEFORE:

Everything got a makeover including Gray paint for the lower cabinets, gold/brass toned hardware and fixtures, a pretty light turquoise pop of color for the upper cabinets with a white fridge and a ruffled fabric backsplash.  

All of the accessories were found at a local thrift shop and I was lucky enough to find fabulous pieces in mint condition. These included 6 real china plates, a dessert tray that I painted gold, a 50's sugar bowl, 4 china mugs, several brass pans, black metal measuring spoons, measuring cups, an ice cream scoop, a spatula, 2 metal spoons, a whisk, a 70's metal teapot and a pretty ceramic lidded dish. Right before Christmas all the housewares are 50% off, cha ching!

The sink and faucet look much better in gold. I found rings at the local hardware store to add to the bar in the back and a spring rod holds the fabric curtain in place.

4 knobs were added to the front from Cynthia Rowley. Anthropologie has similar knobs.

The "fridge" on the right holds all of her new wooden food.

I sewed a little tea towel from some old fabric and two cute little napkins.

This little spice rack was purchased from a local thrift store along with several glass and ceramic salt and pepper shakers.  It will be mounted the wall at some point.

The counter top got a marble finish.

Sewing the curtain was simple using a main piece that I attached three longer pieces to using a ruffle technique. The top portion was sewed in a loop to slide through the spring rod.

Here is the little 70's ceramic dish in the "microwave."

The candy dish was actually silver when I purchased it but decided to spray paint it gold.

The stove also got a rim of painted gold.

Here is the cute 70's tea pot. The inside got a new coat of paint due to some rust, but otherwise it gets the job done.

As for the process and supplies you'll need

1) Ikea Duktig mini kitchen plus top section for mini kitchen
2) 4 decorate knobs
3) 1 tension rod
4) 2 cans of white primer
5) Assorted fabrics for window curtain. 
6) 1 can Gold spray paint
7) 1 can of a fun color for top portion
7) 2 cans of gray spray paint
8) Gray and Gold acrylic paint and sea sponge for marble counter top.  

As far as the process, my husband dismantled most of the kitchen for me and I primed everything, waited a day and then spray painted everything and waited about 3 days before we reassembled everything. 

This upper portion was tricky. You have to make sure to tape off the parts you don't want painted for the microwave section.

The handles and faucet were hung from twine while being painted. This made the most sense in terms of time.

When I sewed the curtain I brought the upper portion inside to take all of my measurements.

For the countertop I primed it and put two coats of white paint on it. Then I used acrylic gray paint and a sea sponge and dabbed it in various places. I watered down the paint first.  Then to get the marble effect I used a water bottle to spray the paint to feather it out. I used a paint brush to paint in some gold lines.

The look on my daughter's face on Christmas morning was the best part of the whole project. She loves her new kitchen and has been cooking up fake meals ever since.

Hope you like the new and improved Ikea "hack." It was fun and so far the paint is holding up great!

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