Get a head (board) with a good night’s sleep

Finished DIY distressed headboard.

Finished DIY distressed headboard.

I’ve never owned a headboard in my adult life.  I knew I needed to remedy that before we moved into our new house.  I did some shopping and found that headboards are really, really expensive.  And the ones that looked beat up and worn were even more money.  So I thought, hmmmm why don’t I paint my own and distress it?

The $16 headboard. I liked it because it had a lot of grooves I knew would distress well.

The $16 headboard. I liked it because it had a lot of grooves I knew would distress well.

To find a headboard suitable for my project, I put out a call to my Freecyle.org network.  Because there is not better price than free.

Let me say something about Freecycle. I love Freecycle, but you need to be picky, ask a lot of questions and do not travel more than 3 miles to pick up your treasure. The headboard I planned to claim was 10 miles away and when I got there it was resting on the garage door covered with an inch of dust and giant white clusters of insect eggs and it didn’t even fit in my car. Wasted trip, but a lesson learned.

So to the thrift store I went. I ended up at the A-hole thrift store, you know the one, the store that prices their junk way over value? But this time they got it right. My headboard was $20 with an extra 25 percent off. It was a steal, practically. This headboard didn’t fit into my car either. I drive a Hyundai Elantra. My husband wouldn’t let me get a minivan. He was trying to curb my garbage picking tendencies. Even though I have told him over and over, there is not such thing as garbage picking in the United States. Americans don’t throw out garbage, they throw out like-new items to make room to buy more really new stuff.

Luckily, the thrift store is only a few blocks from my house, so I sherpa’d it home. And walking down the street carrying a headboard on my back didn’t look weird at all.

I picked this particular headboard because the design was kind of  groovy and it had nice curves, kind of like me ;).

I picked a cottage red. Well, it kind of picked me. Mrs. had some extra from a project she did and I thought the color would be perfect with my new bedspread.

I picked a cottage red. Well, it kind of picked me. Mrs. had some extra from a project she did and I thought the color would be perfect with my new bedspread.

First step, sand the bitch. I used Pops’ sander. No one knows why he has an electric sander, the man can’t even make coffee. But one day he saw it on sale and had to have it. I know the feeling.  I am grateful for his sudden sanding urge, because this tool has been quite handy in my ding ding pursuits.

The headboard had a finish to it, so I sanded enough to get past it. But, there is no right or wrong way to distress. So, sand to taste, wipe it down and then start painting.

Oh! and make all repairs to your project before you start. The headboard had a crack in the leg that I glued after the first coat of paint. I should have done it first.

Close-up of the distressed corner.

Close-up of the distressed corner.

I skipped primer and applied three coats of paint. Wait until each coat dries before applying the next. You don’t want your paint to be gummy when you start distressing. Then take whatever kind of tool you like and start beating the bitch up. I used my sander and hit the grooves and edges first. You can also bang on it with a hammer or gouge it with a screwdriver or let your cats use it as a scratching post. Seeeeeeee, no right or wrong way, it is up to you.

Once your level of wear is achieved, apply a few coats of poly to preserve your work. Give it a nice, gentle sanding after each coat. Attach to your bed and enjoy.

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Come on Liz, wrap up your point already….

DIY spray painted bulletin board

DIY spray painted bulletin board

I keep an ongoing list of items on my iPhone so whenever I find myself at a thrift store or garage sale I can keep my eyes open for specific things. As I started putting my office together it became clear I needed a bulletin board. I looked at retail, and WHOA, they were expensive! I knew I could find one cheaper.

The ugly before spray paint bulletin board.

The ugly before spray paint bulletin board.

I checked out my favorite thrift store and there it was. For ONE BUCK!

Let me take a moment to say something about thrift stores. There are good thrift stores and A-hole thrift stores. Good thrift stores have gently used items, cheap. Period. A-hole thrift  stores have gently used items, but are waaayyyy off on pricing. Like they come across a vintage evening bag where the beading is hanging off and the lining is ripped. And they think, just because it is “vintage” they can charge 30 bucks for it. Nuh, uh, sister!

There is this one store, I only visit when I am doing a full TS rotation, where the prices are out of whack.  The one that got me was the macrame plant holders. They wanted THREE BUCKS for a mangy macrame plant holder. I was like “eff you, three bucks for this?”

I bought two anyway because I am powerless over macrame, but I felt taken advantage of. And thrift stores are there to help people, right?

So, back to my favorite thrift store where the price is right…. This bulletin board was one dollar and just the way I like it. Cheap.

What a nice bow! It came of an xmas gift and was perfect for my bulletin board.

What a nice bow! It came of an xmas gift and was perfect for my bulletin board.

I put it outside and spray painted it a metallic gold from Mrs. neverending stash of spray paint. I think she must tag her gang symbol on buildings at night.  After it dried, I Gorilla Glued a bow to the corner, because everything is better wrapped up. And because I can’t really tie a bow, whenever I see a good one, I save it. This one came from a set of Christmas jammies my sister-in-law gave me. It was wrapped around my now favorite fleecy polka-dots. The bow is even stitched in the middle to keep it together. Done, done and done.

Bubblegum machine by day…planter by night

The bubblegum machine turned planter.

Bubblegum machine turned planter

This is Boots helping decide how much plastic to use.

This is Boots helping decide how much plastic to use.

I like to collect plants that are weed-like and difficult to kill so I can pretend I have a green thumb. So, for my growing gaggle of pothos (Epipremnum aureum) I needed to come up with some creative ways to display them.

I have this old bubblegum machine that has moved with me from dorm, to apartment to condo and now, to my new house. It still works too! For one penny, you can spin the dial and treat yourself to a tasty piece of gum with flavor that lasts 30 seconds before you need to buy another piece.

And I don’t have any tall plant stands and my bubblegum machine was empty and just sitting there looking vacant and sad when inspiration struck. Let’s double duty this bitch!

First, take your machine apart. Mine unscrews from the top. I took the bowl off and lined the bottom of the machine with a thin piece of packing material and then with a piece of plastic.

Put your glass top back on and fill with small pebbles. This will help drain the water away from the roots.

Then you can fill with dirt and arrange your plant. Pretty stinkin’ cute.

Line your machine with a piece of plastic. I used double stick tape to secure it and then cut it to size.

Line your machine with a piece of plastic. I used double stick tape to secure it and then cut it to size.

Fill your bowl with pebbles to help the water drain from the roots.
Fill your bowl with pebbles to help the water drain from the roots.

Add dirt and then your plant.
Add dirt and then your plant.

Bubblegum machine planter
Bubblegum machine planter

A Tisket-A-Basket or how a blue weave saved my living room

My pretty blue, spray painted basket. I throw all my husband's knick knacks, aka junk, into it every night and keep it next to his he-man recliner.

My pretty blue, spray painted basket. I throw all my husband’s knick knacks, aka junk, into it every night and keep it next to his he-man recliner.

I am making a commitment to get and STAY organized in our new place. “It will be different this time,” I’ve decreed as my battle cry. I will put things back where I found them. I will do that thing that all professional organizing books say to do each night, you know, spend 15 minutes clearing off clutter and loading the dishwasher. Oh wait, not loading the dishwasher, that is one of those things the organizers say to do right away. Well, whatever.

There are some places where stuff gets used almost everyday and naturally collects. That spot is our living room and it’s my mainly my husband’s stuff. I am trying to avoid a rousing round of the popular game that is sweeping messy partnerships everywhere. You know the one, “Who’s pile of shit  is bigger.” It is a simple game really.  You both start in the same room. Collect all your stuff and put it in a pile, your competitor does the same. Whoever has the bigger pile wins.  Or loses. We’ve all played it, right?

I found this basket for $2 at a thrift store. Once I spray paint it, this drab weave will turn into something lovely to store my husband's junk in.

Warning: Do not buy these retail. I found this basket for $2 at a thrift store. Once I spray paint it, this drab weave will turn into something lovely to store my husband’s junk in.

So to avoid this, I look to baskets. Baskets for retail are really expensive.  Save your money. Baskets are easily found at thrift or second-hand stores or even garage sales. And maybe if you are lucky, in your mother-in-law’s basement, along with a gynecological table, but that is another story for anther day.

Pick the basket for your needs. This one was $2.00. Grab some spray paint. My mother-in-law had some pretty navy blue left over from a project. It will go nicely with my yellow table.

Then just spray, spray, spray until the basket is covered. I suggest spraying outside. I like to lay a cloth on the grass. I prefer cloth to newspaper because it doesn’t stick to your project as the paint dries. You might need to do a few coats depending on how much you want it covered.

Let dry and then use!

It is super easy and looks like you could have spent a lot of money at HomeGoods or Bed Bath and Beyond. But you didn’t! Yay for you and your wallet. Now go treat yourself to a cocktail.

My pretty blue, spray painted basket. I throw all my husband's knick knacks, aka junk, into it every night and keep it next to his he-man recliner.

My pretty blue, spray painted basket. I throw all my husband’s knick knacks, aka junk, into it every night and keep it next to his he-man recliner.

Welcome Home!

our first house!

So we finally did it. We gave up our urban sensibilities and bought a house in the suburbs. We were tired of finding street parking, schlepping our laundry up and down three flights of stairs and keeping the kitty litter tucked in the dining room.

pops and mrs, my bffs. don’t they look fun?

It was time. Husband and I both work primarily from home, we were spending a lot of time out here anyhow and it’s close to my my BFFs, who happen to be my in-laws (no joke, they are great).

Now that we have all this space and a large unfinished basement for me to store projects, time to get decorating… on a budget of course.

I don’t claim to be a crafting goddess. My ideas are ding ding in nature, like any ding ding could do it. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, because I’m the Queen Ding Ding. If something is too hard or takes to long, I won’t do it.

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