Bench Makeover

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

A friend of mine had this old bench she was just going to throw away.  It had definitely seen better days! However, I saw a diamond in the rough and decided to save it.  Not to mention that it would give me some extra storage (who couldn’t use that).  My closet is on the smaller side, so it is a jammed packed mess (I have a shopping problem). So trying to fit every season of clothing in there is difficult.  I thought this bench would be perfect to store some of my out of season clothes, and it would go perfectly at the end of my bed.  This bench definitely belonged with me, so I loaded it up and took it home to give it a makeover.

For this bench makeover, I decided to paint the bench an antique white to match my bedroom furniture.  I already had all the supplies from when I gave those pieces makeovers.  What I used was actually a Rust-Oleum Cabinet Kit.  It has almost everything you need, and I used the same kit to do four different pieces! Definitely a good bang for your buck! You can get the kit at any home store or on Amazon.  Here is a picture of it:

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

But, you can definitely do the makeover with out the kit!

Supplies Needed

  • Paint of choice
  • Fabric to reupholster (premeasured for bench)
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Terry cloth
  • Old hand towel
  • Cheese cloth (for the antique glaze)
  • Polyurethane
  • 2 Paint brushes (one for paint & one for poly)
  • Spray paint for the hinges
  • Latex gloves for the gloss if you choose to do that
  • Staple gun
  • Screw driver

Instructions

1. Put down drip protection.  I put an old sheet down and my sawhorses on top to lay the boards across.  You can use an old table, cardboard on the ground, or anything else you can think of.  Just know the stain might drip, so you want to be cautious of that.

2. If there are any big holes or scratches you want to fill in, now is the time to do it (unless you want to keep them for more of an antique look).  Just get some wood filler that can be stained or painted over and fill in the holes.  Using a putty knife, smooth it over, but not completely flush to the surface.  Let it dry, then remove the top of the bench by unscrewing the hinges and lightly sand every inch of both pieces of wood, including the filled in holes, corners and edges.  

Remember to sand with the grain of the wood.  Take a piece of your sandpaper and fold it in half and then fold it in half again.  This makes it easier to sand, and you can use all sides (you may have to refold to get to the fresh part). 

3. Use the terry cloth to wipe off excess sand dust on the pieces.

4. Begin adding your paint color.   I did 3 coats of the white paint.  Let the paint dry between each coat.

5. Glaze, if you want an antique look. You will need gloves, cheese cloth and glaze. Dab your cheese cloth in the glaze and begin gently rubbing it onto your bench.  You need to go in small sections so the glaze does not over color your paint.  Make sure to get the glaze in the cracks and crevasses of the bench.  That will show more of the antique look.

Next, take your hand towel and gently rub off the glaze.  Rub it off until you get the look you are wanting. Continue in small sections until you get the whole bench finished. If you feel you let the glaze sit on there too long or it is not looking like how you want it, simply repaint over the glaze and start over.

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

6. As the glaze is drying, you can spray paint your hinges (or other hardware).  Spray paint can make old rusty hardware look brand new.  It is awesome!  You can also buy new hinges and hardware, but you may have to drill new holes for them.

7. After the glaze has dried, you can put on the polyurethane.  I put two coats on mine.

8. Once poly is dry, you can take the top of the bench and begin reupholstering it.  Lay your fabric out and set your top in the middle (I like to have about 4 or 5 inches on each side).

Put the fabric over the holes for the hinges.  Take your screw and screw through the fabric into the holes so you know where they are. You can use a screw driver for this, but my husband wanted an excuse to use his drill. ;)

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Next, start stapling your fabric to the bench top.  When you get to the edges, think of folding them up like a Christmas present, so the edges look nice.  Then staple them like that.

8. Attach the hinges and then attach the top to the bench.

And that is it! You just gave your bench a makeover!

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Mine has given me much needed storage for clothes!  I can put all of my summer clothes in here and organize my closet for the colder months, and my summer clothes are still easily accessible in case we decide to go some place warm this winter! :)

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Here is one of the dressers that matches the bench.

Bench Makeover at The Happy Housewife

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How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler | The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

We have moved a lot for my husband’s job, so the few times I would mark the growth of my boys on the wall of our house, I would end up painting over it before we moved out. :(  My records of their growth came from the pediatricians office whenever they were seen, and I would write it down (when I remembered) in their books.

Yes, I have the record of their growing little bodies, but it is not much fun for them when they cannot see their previous height and compare it to their current height to see how much they have grown themselves.  Well, now they can. And we can take their rulers to any house and have a permanent keepsake for all those years of growth.  How exciting!  Not to mention, the rulers really do look cool in their rooms!

So, you want to make one too?!

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (supplies)| The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

Remember, I made two, so you would only need one board.

Instructions

1. Put down drip protection.  I put an old sheet down and my sawhorses on top to lay the boards across.  You can use an old table, cardboard on the ground, or anything else you can think of.  Just know the stain might drip, so you want to be cautious of that.

2. Lightly sand every inch of your piece of wood, including corners and edges.  Take a piece of your sandpaper and fold it in half and then fold it in half again.  This makes it easier to sand, and you can use all sides (you may have to refold to get to the fresh part).

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (sand paper)| The Happy Housewife

Why is it important to sand before you stain or paint?  Wood is a relatively soft, porous material, which is why we are able to change its color by applying a penetrating stain or a dye. But since it is soft, it can be scratched and dented between the time it leaves the sawmill and reaches our garage or basement workshop.

These dents and scratches actually absorb more stain than does unblemished wood, so unless we sand them out, these dents and scratches will appear even worse after staining. In addition, the final milling process often crushes the top layer of pores in the board, making it more difficult for our stain to penetrate the wood. A light sanding will open the pores so that we can achieve the color we want.

3.  After you have finished sanding, grab your tack cloth. Wipe the folded tack cloth across the wood to remove dust. As each side of the cloth becomes saturated with dust, refold to expose a fresh surface.

Inexpensive tack cloths are available at hardware stores, or you can make your own by soaking a 12 inch piece of cheesecloth in a small amount of tung oil. Store tack cloths in a sealed plastic bag to prevent them from drying out between uses.

4. Stain the wood.  Pour about 1/4 cup of stain into your bowl (you will have to fill up a few more times).  Dab your brush in it and move with the grain, not against it. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the finish. I used 3 coats.

5.  Make measuring marks. Most homes have baseboards, so depending on the height of yours, you adjust your first foot.  For example: I have 7  3/4 inch baseboards, so I started my ruler at the 8 inch mark, then I had only 4 inches until my 1st foot.

Mark the lines with pencil.  You will have 11 lines in between each foot, the 12th line being the next foot.  Each one is an inch apart.  Lines 3 and 9 of each foot I made 2 inches long.  Line 6 on each foot (half inch) I made 3 inches long.  Each foot line I made 4 inches long and the smaller lines in between them all were 1 inch long.

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (marking lines)| The Happy Housewife

After all the lines are made, go back over them with a black paint pen. Then stencil in each number.

6. Let the paint dry and put a coat or two of polyurethane on, remember to lightly sand the ruler in between coats. Once that has dried, attach the hanger piece, and put it wherever your heart desires!

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler (hanger)| The Happy Housewife

That’s it!  Happy Measuring! :)

How to Make a Growth Chart Ruler| The Happy Housewife

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How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

Ahhh yes, picnics, pools, lakes, farmer’s markets, BBQ’s ect. It’s Summer! One of my favorite things about summer is spending time with family and friends. I love having BBQ’s in my backyard. Mmmmm, the smell of the delicious food on the grill, the sound of the birds, the kids playing games, and a cold beverage in my hand while enjoying the company of special people. It puts such a big smile on my face!

I love when the sun goes down and you have the smell and sound of a fire crackling while being surrounded by the relaxing glimmer of light from Mason jar lanterns. Mason Jar Lanterns really add an ambiance to your get together and are always a good conversation piece! You can buy Mason jar lanterns many places, but when they are so easy and cheap to make, why not make them yourself?! You save some money and get to put your own creativity into it. :)

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

  • Mason Jars
  • Wire
  • Filler
  • Candles
  • Wire Cutters
  • Needle Nose Pliers

Mason Jars

  • Garage sales and thrift shops are always good places to find them.
  • You can also find them at craft stores, but you might pay a little more.

Wire

  • Choose the wire you want to use for hanging your lantern.
  • You can use stainless steel wire, copper wire, floral wire or to add a different look you can use twine floral wire .
  • I like to use a little bit of a thicker wire to keep the lanterns sturdy, and I think it looks better.
  • For the Mason Jars I am showing you today, I will be using a 5 ft/4 gauge braided copper wire. Each individual piece of copper wire in the braid is 12 gauge. It’s perfect for mason jar lanterns! I found it at a Hardware store for about $7.00.

Filler around candle

  •  You can use glass pebbles, river rock pebbles, sand, beads, or whatever you would like!

Candles

  • You can use tea light candles, long thin candles or LED flameless candles. Iwill share this tip with you….the first time I made Mason Jar Lanterns, I just used small short candles that I had on hand. They looked really cute in my lanterns, however they had no glass surrounding them, so all of the wax melted into my rocks making a mess. This time I am using glass surround candles!

Wire Cutters and Needle Nose Pliers

Instructions

Alright, you are set! Let’s do this!

I am going to demonstrate with the smaller blue jar which is 9 inches in circumference, so I will be using 13 inch wire pieces. The larger jars are 11 inches in circumference, so I used 16 inch wire pieces for them.

1. Grab your needle nose pliers and make a loop on one end of the wire.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

2. Wrap it halfway around the lip at the mouth of the jar and have the rest of the wire sticking straight out. Cut the wire a half inch from the jar and them make another loop.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

You will be repeating what you just did on the other half of the jar. Make sure when you make your loop, you leave a little bit of an opening to connect to the other loop, then close it up with the needle nose pliers.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

Now that it is all connected, we are going to connect our hanging piece.

3. Use another 13 inch piece of wire (16 if using the bigger jar) and make another loop again leaving some room to connect it to the other loop on the base. Repeat on the other side and also stretch the wire to give it a nice shape.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

4. Now you just need to fill it! Pour rocks (or whatever you chose to use) in first, and then place the candle in.

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

There you go! Your own Mason Jar Lanterns!

One more thing I wanted to share with you!

You can also make a mason jar lantern without the hanging part. Here is one I made to sit on my mantle using an LED flameless candle. I love it!

How to Make Mason Jar Lanterns at The Happy Housewife

 

Okay….there you go. Run with your ideas or use mine and create some mason jar lanterns!

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Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

The following is a guest post by Rebecca Brandt.

Last year we knew we needed a kitchen makeover when the veneer on our cabinets began peeling. We didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars to replace the cabinet fronts or the entire cabinets. However, we wanted to take care of our kitchen and create a warm room that our family would enjoy and would be kid friendly.

A few months ago, I walked into my neighbor’s kitchen and she had done exactly what I was thinking. So, I asked her what she did and thus began the journey of our kitchen (and bath) makeover.

Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover at The Happy Housewife

I’m very pleased with the results. Above are the before and after pictures, and below is a tutorial on how to update your own kitchen (and or bathrooms) for less than $150!

Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

The first thing you’ll want to do is look at the colors in your kitchen and identify the look you’re going for. Then buy your supplies.
Frugal Kitchen Cabinet Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

Instructions

Step 1:

After you select your colors, wash down your cabinets and then remove the veneer. If it’s peeling, just begin at the peel. It took my son a total of 30 minutes to remove the veneer from the kitchen cabinets. If you have one cabinet that isn’t peeling, take a small knife and cut a little bit off a corner, and then peel the entire cabinet.

Step 2:

Paint your cabinets with two coats base color (using a bristle brush). If you want to have a really good antique look, you ca paint the antique white under the brown. Then, when you sand off the brown, the white shows through. I wanted a golden look, so I sanded to the original color that you see beneath the paint.

Step 3:

Coat with your glaze (using sponge brush). I could not find a glaze I wanted so I mixed the Millstone Milk paint with clear glaze. I used a wet towel and then a dry towel to wipe off the glaze until it was close to what I wanted. It was a little too chalk boardy for me, so used the glaze mixed with the Dark Chocolate Milk paint to get the rich, brown destressed look I was after.

Step 4:

Sand the corners and areas where you want to make your cabinets look refinished and antique.

Step 5:

Coat with at least three coats of Polyacrylic.

Bathroom Cabinet Makeover

Once I began in my kitchen, I wanted to work in my bathrooms. I used this same method for our downstairs bath so that there is consistency in cabinets downstairs.

Frugal Bathroom Cabinet Makeover at The Happy Housewife

Here’s what I did for this look:

  • Peeled veneer
  • Painted with two coats of Antique White (using a bristle brush)
  • Painted with VanDyke Glaze (using a sponge brush)
  • Wiped off glaze with a wet cloth then dry cloth until I was able to get the look I wanted
  • Painted with 3 coats of Polyacrylic (using sponge brush)

Rebecca_BrandtRebecca is a homeschool Mom who writes/speaks to encourage women to stop living in negativity and find the joy they are meant to enjoy. She blogs at Mom’s Mustard Seeds.

 

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