Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bucket House Numbers Feature

 I'm pleased that once again these bucket numbers of mine have been featured, this time in an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel showcasing different outdoor decorating projects.

Alison Sherwood

6. Number it

Metal buckets make cute planters on their own, but add your house number for form and function.

Photo courtesy Lauren Zaubi / mywonderfullymade.blogspot.com

These buckets are STILL holding up -- I've never even had to repaint them in the two years they've been outside through all seasons.  Here's the link to the original post if you want more details on how to do this.  
Be sure to check out the article -- there are some really cute ideas featured including this beauty . . . 

Photo courtesy curbalertblog.com
 I'm a pushover for anything RED and chandeliers so this really speaks to me!
What's YOUR most popular post ever?  I think it's always fun to see what "speaks" to our readers the most. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Weathered Words

I wanted to make something to give to everyone as a gift at my son's rehearsal dinner coming up.  Since they live in Boston, I'm doing a kind of 'beach' theme so these weathered boards seem like a perfect idea.  I chose Bible verses specifically with the word "love" in them.
 I have a garage full of old fence boards that I got for free off of Freecycle last summer.  After cutting them into 81/2" lengths, I sanded the edges to give them a 'worn' look.  Next I did a wash of watered down white chalk paint.  The boards on the right are 'before' the wash; the ones on the left, 'after the wash.
I print the words out on white tissue paper and then using my own 'blend' of chalk paint, water, gesso and Mod Podge, I apply the torn tissue pieces to the wood.  
 This is an important step -- blotting the letters immediately so they stand out.  I just use an old rag and blot each word until the ink stands out dark once again.
Once they are dry, I used my sander to distress more, concentrating on the edges of the tissue so it looks like a sign that has been worn by the elements. 
The next step is another white wash. 
 Once they're dry -- I attach hangers to the back so they can be hung on the wall or just propped up.
I liked the way these all turned out so I'm in the process of making more to put in my Etsy shop.  Some have these same verses and some have patriotic sayings for the Fourth of July.  I'll also be offering them to be customized with your favorite quote or verse so if you're interested in ordering one, email me and let me know what you'd like it to say!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Removing Labels

 I'm working on centerpieces for my son's upcoming wedding.  My future (and adorable!) daughter-in-law wants to use jars to hold the table flowers and candles.  Since we will need over a hundred jars, removing the labels (and the goo!) has put me on a mission to find the easiest and best way to do this.  It should be noted that I did soak all of the jars in hot, soapy dish water for at least a few hours before removing the labels.  Some labels peeled right off -- others, not so much.  Nearly EVERY jar had glue residue left behind. I tried what seemed to be the most popular removal methods and here's what I found:
 Nail polish remover was the LEAST effective. The glue didn't budge with this.
 Peanut Butter ran a close second -- while it removed a little bit of the glue -- it left most of it behind on the jar.
This method calls for filling the jar with water and bringing it to a boil in the microwave.  The combination of steam and heat DID allow the label to pull right off . . . but the glue was left behind. 
 Goof Off worked well getting the glue off of MOST jars.  However, the obvious drawback here is you have to do this outside -- the fumes are pretty strong.  And honestly, while I THOUGHT this would be the best . . . there were some jars where even Goof Off couldn't remove the glue.
 A paste of cooking oil and baking soda was nearly the best solution.  This worked quickly and easily and removed the glue well.  The oil loosens the glue and the abrasive properties of the baking soda make this a good, safe method.
And the winner is . . . Baking Soda and Steel Wool!  This removed even the toughest residue that none of the others could.  It removed it quickly and with much less effort than any of the others.  I think though that combining the oil, soda and steel wool would make an unbeatable combo!
Here's a sneak peak of what these jars are going to become!  So now that I don't have to worry about killing off more precious brain cells using stinky chemicals to remove these labels . . . I'm pretty happy!  Do you have any other methods that you've tried and really like?  If so, please share them!