Category: Decorating

Jan 19

How To Make A Silver Retro Christmas Tree

How To Make A Silver Retro Christmas Tree (courtesy of Threadbanger.com)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and welcome to Décor it Yourself! Every year, Will and I bring home a cut tree, but, this year we wanted to be a little greener and save some green, by bringing home a live one and showing you how to make your own retro tinsel tree!

First, gather a bunch of wire hangers and straighten them all out.

Fold 4 of them in half, then fold in half again, and reinforce the joint with galvanized wire.

Now, take out 4 pieces of thick wire, measuring 64 inches. Wrap the entire length of the 4 metal pieces in galvanized wire to create a strong structure.

Take your “L” shaped feet and attach to one end of your thick wire, to create the stand. Wrap until all 4 feet are secure.

Wrap the entire pole in tinsel, starting at the bottom. Once covered, wrap with galvanized wire.

Now, you’re gonna make your branches. You’re gonna cut different lengths of wire from your hangers, for the tiers of your tree.

Once you have your wire cut to the length it needs to be, wrap the entire piece with tinsel. Bend some tinsel over the end so it covers the sharp end of the hanger. Then, wrap that end with galvanized wire a couple of times, to secure the tinsel.

Now, wrap the entire branch with the wire until you reach the end. Then, secure that end the same way you did the first.

Bend one end 3 inches up at a 90° angle. You will need:

10 – 21” branches

8 – 16” branches

6 – 12” branches

5 – 10” branches

5 – 9” branches

4 – 8” branches

3 – 6” branches.

You’re going to attach your branches by placing them on the trunk, like so. It helps to mark where you’re going to attach them by marking them with a piece of wire.

Use a friend’s help to hold all of the branches of that tier in place. Wrap around all of them at one time with wire. Be sure to wrap all the way to the end of where the small parf of the L reaches the trunk.

We started with the bottom tier of the branches. Next, do the top tier, then measure the space in between to evenly distribute the rest of the tiers.

Once all tiers are securely attached, you’re going to finish your base. Take a square piece of wood, big enough for all 4 legs to fit on. Screw mending plates to each leg, about 2 inches from the trunk.

Paint your feet white to complete your stand.

Fold the branches in different directions to make it lush. Decorate, and voila! You have a retro tinsel tree for under $30 that you can use year after year!

A whole bunch of you asked for Christmas tree alternatives, so when we come back, I’ll show you plenty!

Welcome back! Another great tree alternative is a rosemary bush in the shape of a Christmas tree, that you can also use when cooking your holiday meals.

For small spaces, use a wall decal for your tree, as featured in Apartment Therapy.

Ingrid from Wood and Wool Stools has a cool tree alternative, as seen here. Read last year’s Threadbanger blog for these DIY trees by Venest. Our own viewer, Isabel, made this tree alternative out of a vintage body form. Awesome work, Isabel!

What are you doing for your tree this year? Going eco and green with a live one, or making your own? Send in photos so we can see them. Thanks so much for watching! I’ll see you next wek, and remember, Your Nest Needs You!

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Jan 19

How To Prevent Common Christmas Disasters

How To Prevent Common Christmas Disasters (courtesy of Howcast.com)

With a little forethought, you can avoid many embarrassing, annoying, and downright dangerous holiday mishaps! You will need:

Emergency gifts
A drink limit
Kiss-avoidance strategies
Graciousness
Fishing wire
A computer with internet access
Orange and lemon rinds (optional)

Step 1: Have wrapped, unisex gifts on hand in case you forget someone. This is also useful if someone gives you something that cost twice as much as what you gave them: Just say, “And here’s your other gift!” Pick things you can use if you don’t give them as gifts, or stuff that can hold until next year.

Step 2: Figure out how much alcohol you can drink at the office Christmas party before you’re at risk of doing something you’ll regret. Then stick to your limit.

Step 3: Avoid an unwelcome mistletoe kiss by saying you have a cold – or feigning a cough or sneeze as the person closes in on you.

Step 4: If someone gives you a lousy gift, simply say, “Thank you.” If you pretend to like it, you may get more of the same next year.

Step 5: Prevent an emergency trip to the veterinarian by keeping sweet treats away from dogs and cats. Chocolate toxicity is the most common holiday-related illness for pets. Poinsettias are also poisonous to your four-legged friends.

Step 6: Keep kids and pets from knocking over the Christmas tree by securing it with clear fishing line attached to the treetop and a ceiling hook. If you have a cat, scatter orange and lemon rinds on the tree skirt; most cats hate citrus scents.

Step 7: Don’t panic if you still need gifts and even the drugstores are closed: Just go online, order a gift, and print out a photo of it. On your way out when you realize you’ve forgotten someone? Pick up some movie passes or a gas gift card.

Did you know? The average person gives up on trying to make their new electronic gift work at 11:48 a.m. on Christmas morning, according to a survey!

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Jan 19

Learn How To Celebrate Christmas On A Budget

How To Celebrate Christmas On A Budget (courtesy of Howcast.com)

It’s not just about buying less during the holiday season; it’s about buying smarter. You will need:

A budget
A gift list
Shopping web sites
Haggling skills
Secondhand purchases
Supermarket flyers

Step 1: Set an overall gift budget and use it to determine how much you can spend on each person on your list. Make sure you stick to it! Consider a family agreement to buy gifts for the children only.

Step 2: Search for gifts on eBay, Craigslist, and sites that offer discontinued or overstock items. Use price comparison web sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal, and look for rebates.

Step 3: Check out thrift shops, secondhand stores, and pawn shops – the latter in particular offer great savings on jewelry, watches, and electronics.

Step 4: Learn how to haggle. You can often get a discount just by asking for it, especially if it’s a small store, you’re a good customer, and you offer to pay in cash. Just remember to be polite and ask discreetly. Always ask salespeople if there are any coupons, promotions, or discounts available.

Step 5: Bake holiday treats from scratch to reduce costs, and consider giving some of them as gifts. Start scanning supermarket flyers a few weeks in advance for sales on baking supplies so you can stock up when prices are low. Butter stays good in the freezer for several months.

Step 6: Find ways to save on decorations. If you buy a real Christmas tree, make a wreath out of trimmings. Fill colorful bowls and vases with edibles, like fruit and nuts. Turn stemware upside down and put votive candles on the base for an unusual candleholder, or float votives in the glasses right side up.

Step 7: Trim your holiday card list by only sending greetings to people you rarely see. Then shop the post-Christmas sales to stock up for next year!

Did you know? The average American family spends over $1,000 on Christmas!

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Nov 29

Learn How To Hang Christmas Lights Outdoors

How To Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights (courtesy of Howcast.com)

Get in the Christmas spirit and illuminate your house with a dazzling display of lights! You will need:

Power source
Extension cord
Tape measure
Ladder
Christmas light hooks
Vertical Christmas light clips
Pole with a hook
Switch or timer (optional)
Coat hanger (optional)
Broomstick (optional)
Duct tape (optional)

Step 1: Find an outdoor electrical outlet that you will be able to plug a heavy duty extension cord into. Use an outlet that is controlled by a switch or run your lights through a timer.

Step 2: Use the tape measure to determine the length of the area where you want to hang the lights as well as the height of any walls, bushes, or trim where you will be hanging lights. Then figure the number of 50-foot light strings you will need.

Step 3: Look for broken or missing bulbs, and worn or bare wires before you plug in the lights. Then plug in the lights to make sure they work before you hang them.

Step 4: Use a stepladder if your house’s eaves are low. If not, use an extension ladder. Plant the ladder on level ground and extend it well above the eaves at a safe angle.

Step 5: Hang lights along the gutters first, using plastic clips made for light strings. Then attach lights to vertical trim using the vertical clips.

Step 6: Hang lights in small trees using the pole with the hook on it. Drape the string over the hook, extend it to the tree, and then twist the pole, allowing the string to fall from the hook to the branches. You can make a device by bending a coat hanger into a hook and attaching it to a broomstick with duct tape.

Did you know? Thomas Edison created the first strand of electric lights and decorated the outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory with them around Christmas, 1880!

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Nov 16

Learn How To Get Really Creative For The Holidays

How To Get Really Creative For The Holidays (courtesy of Threadbanger.com)

It’s that time of year again, when Jack Frost nips at your nose, and the Grinch’s heart grows 3 times its size. It’s winter in the city, and holiday season everywhere!

Well, hello there, my Threadbanger friends, and welcome to the Décor It Yourself holiday special! If thinking about the upcoming holiday season stresses you out, relax! The holidays aren’t about spending money that none of us have. They’re about spending time with those that we love. So today, we’re gonna create the invitations, décor and gifts to give our loved ones a warm, wintry evening.

Gifts can be one of the most stressful parts of the holiday season – especially during these hard times. I’m gonna give you 3 easy gift ideas, that cost no more than $10!

For our first gift, we’ll take inspiration from our Earth Day episode, and create a gift by putting a cut plant in a vintage vessel. Who doesn’t need a little extra green, especially during these hard times.

These lovely coasters were made from remnants of fabric from leftover DIY projects. I still get in trouble when I go home to my folk’s house and don’t use a coaster. Sorry, mom!

For our last gift, you’ll need cinnamon sticks, cloves and clementine peels. Place your ingredients into an old mason jar and take a cool dishtowel and wrap it around it. Tie it with a bow, and you have a nice, warm gift of aromatic mulling spices. For more on mulling spices, check out the first episode of Décor It Yourself.

And now, on to my favorite element of any time of year – the décor!

For a quick and classy element of décor, spray a candle with adhesive, roll it in some glitter and place into an old shot glass or decorated vessel.

For our next décor piece, we’ll use our old wire hangars to create cool, seasonal sayings.

And, for the easiest of our décor ideas, take an old mirror and place on it your favorite woodland friends. Add a touch of glitter for a little snow flurry.

For our final low-budget décor piece, we’re gonna put our own spin on an old, kitschy idea. You’ll need some airtight glass containers, a glue gun, some figurines, glycerin, glitter and distilled water.

First, sand the inside of the container’s lid. Glue the feet of your figurine to the inside of the container’s lid and allow to dry.

Add 2 tablespoons of glitter to the vessel and fill with distilled water. To distill water, just boil and allow to cool.

Now, just add one drop of glycerin to the container, close the lid, and use your snowglobe as winter décor, or add a bow, and you have another gift to give!

Now that we have our seasonal décor and our gifts to give, we’re ready to invite our guests. After all, opening your home is a gift in itself! For unique invite ideas, check the DIY weddings episode of Décor It Yourself. But, for the holiday invite, we’re using a polaroid from last years’ Christmas. Look at us – living together in sin!

Well, we’re almost ready for our guests! But, to keep your party stress-free and low budget, choose one signature cocktail and one tasty treat. We’re doing sparkling peach and pomegranate schnapps, along with cookies, cupcakes and pumpkin bread.

I guess it’s time to celebrate!

Well, that was a hit! I’m off to clean up, but be sure to check back the first Wednesday of every month for more nesting. And remember, Your Nest Needs You!

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Nov 15

How To Make A Wreath Out Of Old CDs

How To Make A Wreath From Old CDs (courtesy of Howcast.com)

Short on holiday decorations, but long on old CDs? Tis the season to be crafty! You will need:

A plastic, wooden or foam craft ring
30 old CDs
A hot-glue gun
A picture hanger
A strand of battery-powered holiday lights
Batteries
A holiday bow or ribbon
A hammer
A nail
A plastic scraper (optional)

Optional: An over-the-door wreath hanger

Step 1: Arrange the CDs in evenly spaced intervals completely around the craft ring, shiny side facing out, and glue them into place.

Step 2: Glue a second layer of CDs so that they’re evenly spaced between the CDs on the first layer.

Step 3: Glue the picture hanger to the back of the ring so the wreath will hang properly.

Step 4: Glue the battery pack for the Christmas lights to the back of the wreath, opposite the hanger. When the glue dries, wrap the strand of lights around the outer edge of the wreath, with the lights hanging over onto the CDs. After positioning the lights, glue the strand to the backs of the CDs to hold it in place.

Step 5: Glue the bow or tie the ribbon to the bottom of the wreath to give your creation some holiday flair. Before displaying your wreath, remove any stray bits of glue with your hands or a plastic scraper.

Step 6: Tap a nail into your door and hang your wreath. If you can’t use nails, use an over-the-door hanger. Turn the lights on and bask in the colorful glow!
Did you know? In 2000, global sales of CDs peaked at 2.5 billion. In 2006, that figure was down to 1.8 billion.

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Nov 11

Learn How To Furnish An Apartment For Almost No Money

How To Furnish An Apartment With Practically No Money (courtesy of Howcast.com)

You can’t be a couch potato without a couch. So stop squatting and listen to these hints! You will need:

Investigative skills

A dose of humility

And a keen eye

Step 1: Spread the word among friends and family that you are in the market for furniture they no longer need or want.

Step 2: Check out www.craigslist.com for free stuff, trade possibilities, or the opportunity to barter one of your skills.

Step 3: Comb thrift stores and second-hand stores in your area. Make friends with an employee at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army store so they can alert you if the perfect sofa, desk, or whatever comes in.

Step 4: Go curb shopping—that is, drive around looking for perfectly good pieces of furniture that people have thrown out. Some communities have designated “big trash” days when large items are allowed to be discarded. Time your curb shopping for maximum results. The end of the month at apartment complexes is good, as that’s when people move out, as is early May around universities, when college kids are cleaning out their dorm rooms.

Step 5: Check community websites for “freecycling” postings.

Step 6: Be creative. See the possibilities in things: an old bedspread can become drapes by sewing a pocket for a curtain rod; old dressers and bookshelves can be jazzed up with paint and new hardware; chair slipcovers can make the ugliest chairs look elegant.

Step 7: Check for discounts. Visit your local furniture stores to see if they have any scratched furniture or showroom samples available at deep discount.

Did you know? An Englishman vacationing in Australia in 2004 paid $36 for a suitcase that turned out to be filled with Beatles memorabilia worth nearly a million dollars!

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Nov 07

How To Use Sustainable Holiday Decorations

Sustainable Holiday Tips (courtesy of TheSalvageStudio.com)

Welcome to the Salvage Studio. I’m Beth Evans Romos, this is Amy Duncan and Lisa Hildebrand. We began our creative endeavor 3 years ago with our mutual lust for rust! We rescue good junk and re-purpose it into fun and functional home and garden décor!

Today, we’re gonna talk about how to set an entertaining table, Salvage Studio style. This works great for entertaining during the holidays. This same idea would also work if you were doing a sit down dinner. We’re gonna start from the bottom up, and we’ll talk about all the different ideas you can use to give you that lust for rust look.

First of all, starting with the tablecloths. I like to use white linen. White linen tablecloths are abundant at the thrift stores, they don’t need to be ironed because we like that sort of shabby chic ruffled, crumpled look. I like to layer several over one another. This works out great, because if the ones underneath have a hole and stains in them, the one on top will cover it over.

Once you have that down, then I like to put mirrors on top. Flat mirrors are easy to find, often times without the frame, and it just really helps to add an element to the tabletop and give it some sparkle. It works really great if you have some candlelight – it helps to bring that to focus.

Then, the next thing are trivets. You’re probably serving a combination of hot and cold food, and so we like to put down some interesting trivets. This one is an old spinning wheel, this one is a grapevine wreath, and this one is an old industrial gear.

Here’s some items that you can put your dishes in to. We love silver plate at the studio. And it doesn’t need to be shiny and bright. We love it to be tarnished, because it really shows the patina and adds one more layer of texture to your table. This is a beautiful dish, and if you collect a lot of different ones, you never know when they’re gonna come in useful.

We found this piece, which is an old farm pulley, at a friend’s house where she was throwing some things away. I thought, my God, what could we ever do with that? And we turned it upside down and thought wow – that makes a beautiful stand. And then the silver dish sits on top, and there you have the perfect display piece for your buffet table.

Another use of silver plate is taking the old silver plated trays. This has been attached to a lazy susan that has been painted black. The 2 are married together with adhesive, and again, makes a sunny presentation on your table.

Continuing on with silver plates, we also have these pedestals that can be made. These glasses are from wedding receptions that I don’t think were ever used after that fact, and then, just have the trays glued on top. If you stack them together, one on top of another, then you maximize the space on your buffet table, and you also have a wonderful looking display for crackers, cheese, fruit or desert items.

Another great buffet piece is made from putting together the glass ceiling fixtures with an old candlestick. This is an old wooden candlestick that has been painted a white color, and this piece has been attached to it with a rubber gasket and a screw. This is great, then, in not only holding things such as bread, but it could also hold a salad or possibly some mixed vegetables.

Continuing on with other pieces that have been repurposed. These candlesticks have been made from an old wooden lamp that has a great texture and patina to it. And, glued on the top has been a silver plate coaster. Always nice to add candlelight to your buffet table. It just really makes everything look that much more festive.

Another great piece that has been put together from repurpose items is this fireplace tool caddy. It has been reborn as the perfect buffet piece. These are, again, the glass globes from a smaller fixture that has been wired on and crystals added. You could put in silverware, you could put in napkins, you could put in bread sticks.

Then, finishing up with the final touches. I have napkins here, in an old soup tureen that has lost its top. And again, we like to use the real napkins along with the real silverware and real plates on the buffet table, instead of plastic and styrofoam. It just really gives that extra touch that means so much that you care.

And finally, for a little personal touch, I have these glass jars with photographs. They could very easily be place holders, if you were doing a sit down dinner, or they could just have a little fun momento for people if you’re having a family reunion. What this is is an old photograph that has been inserted into a glass jar. This one has some buttons in the back to help hold the photo in place, and then, the cover has been spray painted black and put on to hold it all together.

So, as you can see, lots of lovely ideas that makes use of what you have at hand to give our buffet table that special look!

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Oct 24

Learn How To Make Pendant Lights From Thrifty Vintage Finds

How To Make Pendant Lights out of Thrifty Vintage Finds (courtesy of RetroRenation.com)

Hi! I’m Pam Kueber from RetroRenovation.com.

Hi! I’m Susan Schneider from Shandells.com,

…and we’re here today to talk to you about how to take thrifty finds from, maybe Grandma’s attic or your local re-store – even take just unique household items – and transform them into pendant lighting that you can enjoy every day! The name of the show is, “Put A Bulb In It”.

So, what do we mean by Put A Bulb In It? Well, Pam sent me an email with these amazing pendants from all over the country, different artists and different vessels and all different things, and I said, wow, this should be something fun to do! So, I went out to our local thrift store and our local junk store to see what was around that I could put a bulb in. And this is what I came back with. Here is a before and after of a Put A Bulb In It.

This is a pair of lamps that I found. Not the favorites, but they were ok, but they were glass, they had a beautiful shape, they were fluted, they had a wonderful scallop on it. But, the best thing is, they had a hole in it. Everything is already pre-made, easy for you to take everything apart, turn it upside down and Put A Bulb In It.

Hey, Precautionary Pam here, warning you, as I often do on the site, about making sure whenever you undertake a project, that you’re using proper environmental and safety procedures. Now, with the project, we’re not really giving you the advice – the DIY advice – about how to do wiring or hanging, or even about the exact wattage that should go into these puppies. That’s because every project’s gonna be different. So, make sure, when you’re going through the actual steps of rewiring, hanging and putting in the bulbs,that you’re consulting with proper, expert, professional advice. A local electrician can be a great resource. Another place to get started with good information about lots of safety stuff in the house is Underwriter’sLaboratories.com. Again, always be sure to renovate safe!

Oh! Am I live? OK. Hey Pam! I went shopping after that wonderful email that you sent me about those pendant lamps. And look at what I found here, on the table! Oh! It’s just amazing! But, let’s start with how this all started with putting a bulb in it. It started with a Ball jar. Mason jar, canning jar, they were putting bulbs in it and hanging pendants. A company that advertises with you, Barnlight Electric, they have them right on their site. So, if you don’t want to do any of this and be creative on your own, they’re made up, ready to go from them. But, here we are today, looking at all these different things that we can put a bulb in it, and we’re gonna do it ourselves.

What we need is a vessel – a glass vessel is what we have here. And we need 2 things to be with this – we need a cap and we need a hole. This one has a cap. All we need to do is to make a hole through this. We need to trash the inside here, to break the porcelain,then put a hole in it. Then, we can electrify this, hang it as a pendant. So, that’s one that’s around all over. I went and I said, let’s do something a little bit different. Here’s some old-fashioned sugar shakers. They have a wonderful column, with all the ridges going up and down. An architectural feel. And when the light comes through this, it’s a bit of a prism. This one here has a hole as well as a cap. Very easily to be electrified. Hang the pendant in the kitchen, over a dining suite, would be perfect – Put A Bulb In It! And then, we have colored glass. Colored glass – we can have green, there’s blue, there’s amber, pink, just all different jars. All that you can find in your thrift store and your bottle shops locally. And, most of them all come with caps in it. And, you can find a box of old jar caps and match your caps to it. Here we are with green ones – all we have to do it drill, put the electrical in, and there we have green pendants to hang in the kitchen.

Then I though, oh! I found these. These were peanut butter jars. They were so adorable! They were shaped a little bit different. They were rectangle, they had embossed peanuts all around them. So I thought, wow, wouldn’t these look great! Instead of the round, normal ones, have a little bit different of a shape. They have a cap in it. You unscrew these, make a hole in it, electrify it, hang up, and there you have a pendant all to your own!

These are kind of utilitarian, kitchen vessels that are all around the house. Let’s go a little bit fancier. I found these little, tiny lamps which were ok. But the nicest part about it is they were all crystal. Crystal, and they were all pressed glass. And, the best part is, they all have holes in it – that’s what you need! Unless you want to go down the route of drilling your own glass, but, that’s up to you. These have holes in it. I took them apart, cleaned them up, hang them up all electrified together, at different heights or 3 over a dining room table, 3 over a counter in a kitchen. There, you have your pendants, unique to yourself, to Put A Bulb In It!

OK, down to the next one. These were mid-century, probably outdoor fixtures that hung outside. Now, we’re gonna reclaim them, we’re gonna re-purpose them to indoor lighting. We’re gonna make a pendant out of them. What we want for this is, we need something to hold it up. So, we need a cap to go on top. The cap will hold all your electrical on the inside, and they have little tiny screws here that screw right into this lip, to hold it in. So therefore, you can hang them on their own, together, in clusters of 3, 4 and 5. Be creative, enjoy, and see what’s out there!

And also I found these, which are great. Beehive design with an iridescent feel to them. And the same thing as the ones with the gold on top of it, you need the cap that screws onto the little lip that holds it up. Then you put the electrical inside of it, and there we have a pendant, all to its own.

Here’s the absolute best thing that I found – this wonderful crystal lamp. Look at this – I thought this was great! It had a fabulous shape to it, wonderful design. It wasn’t my favorite as a lamp. Some people might like it, but I didn’t. And I thought, wow, let’s take this apart. Because this is not one piece of crystal…this is 3. So, I took this apart, cleaned it all up, and look at this. Classical, beautiful shapes that you will electrify to make a 3-pendant ceiling fixture. There you go, Pam. Stuff I found on my trip, to Put A Bulb In It!

Pam! What did you bring me?

Ok Susan! I got so excited! I went through all of my junking areas – the attic, the basement, my office – everyone knows – looking for things that we can put a bulb in, so I want to make sure that I have the right idea now. Vintage cheese grater – can we put a bulb in it?

Absolutely. Absolutely. Put 7 of them across your counter!

You know, I knew the answer was yes, because that’s exactly what in that 70s house…That 70s Show…the kitchen, if you look carefully, it has 7 pendant lights basically made out of cheese graters. And these are great!

What about a vintage coffee cup? It’s kind of translucent. This is my Blue Heaven pattern. Can we turn this into a little light?

Yes, we can. I love the pattern, will be great. Doesn’t have a hole in it, so, what I would suggest is, take this to your local tile guy, your glass guy. They’re the ones who are gonna be able to drill through glass and tile.

Tile guy. I wouldn’t have ever thought about that – that’s a great idea.

Tile guys. The important thing about drilling glass is you need water. You need the fusion of water, because that’s what’s gonna make it…you might lose some…it might happen. It’s always the weakest link that’s gonna blow. But, you can Put A Bulb In It. Good idea, too, ’cause that’s not enough coffee for me!

Alright, so how about a pendant made out of an old cake topper?

I love it! I love the shape, because it’s wonderfully smooth…we’re gonna lose this, but you know what? If you’re gonna hang it up, you’re not gonna see this. I mean, take it off and repurpose it for something else.

You wanna put 2 lights on this one?

2 lights. I like them. You’ll get a lot more light, instead of driving down. Remember, you’re gonna have to hang it up high enough so you’re not gonna have a bulb sticking in your eyes. So, the cluster lights is gonna be an easier way to go with that one.

The other idea I had – I didn’t have one at home – but when I saw this I thought, you know, there are a lot of chipping, painted cake plate toppers that would be beautiful as pendant lights.

That’s great! There’s ones with plaid all around it, just fabulous. And those are all around.

I’m super proud of this one – this is the coffee holder for one of those big Westbend guys, and I thought, oh, that would be cute! Can we Put A Bulb In It?

Yes, we can! It would take a little bit more than just, you know, throwing some wires on this, because if you want to keep the shaft and use it to hold your pendant, then we need a welder. Epoxy is not gonna hold this together. You need this to be solidly fixed, welded. You need holes drilled into your metals, so you could put a cluster body inside there.

Ok, so a little bit more professionalism if you’re gonna keep this piece, but if you’re just gonna use this as a shade, it looks to me like you could put a bulb in this one really easily.

Absolutely. This piece can come off, this one would be a lot easier. If you want to keep this, which I think we both agree is the nicer of the 2 because of its wonderful shape here, then you need to go to your professional to help you out. Yea, get some help.

Um, ok, Susan, you’re a gluten food girl…

I know, and I don’t use one anymore!

So, can we turn this into a pendant light?

Yes, we can. We can turn it into a pendant light, and what about doing it as a ceiling light? You know…doing it the other way around, so that light seeps down this way. It’s been done, but who says it can’t be done again? Perfect to put a bulb in.

OK, I’m kinda pushing limits here, he ain’t heavy, he’s my blender. It’s pretty heavy, this one. It’s like an old Oster blender top. Can we put a bulb in it?

Yes, we can put a bulb in it. It has all of the parameters. It has a top here, it has a hole, so all we have to do is take out the spinning mechanism. You can put your electrical through here, and you can hang it up. But, this needs to go into a support stud. Because, you know, you don’t want to be drinking your morning coffee and having this hit your head.

So, you need a stud for this one?

Yes, you need a stud for this one. Love the birdcage!

The birdcage. Now, this isn’t real dear. This I just got at my – I think TJMax about 5 years ago.

But, you know what? Even thought it’s not dear, it might be the perfect thing for the room that you need. So, regardless of…what about a hallway?

And, we talked about how you could cut this out and put glass in the bottom and it would shine down – more light down as well as out. And you had another idea…

I had another great idea is to open it up, and then line the insides with rice paper…a color – you know, yellow, blue green – make it bright and fun. There’s so much to do, and you can sit/put birds in it!

So, you could decorate the inside and then Put A Bulb In It. Yes! So, this is one of my favorites. It’s an old Lennox pepper mill with the welcoming wheat. I just love the shape! I mean, once you get this idea in your head, you just start looking at these objects in a different way. So, it’s a pepper mill, and obviously there’s a mechanism running down the middle of it that you can rip out. And then, what about this? Can we save this?

Yes, we can. I mean we won’t be able to save the little top here, but what we will do is we’ll drill a bigger hole than the existing hole already in this. So, that’s an easy step. You’re not going into blank, starting from scratch. So we make this hole wider so we can drop the cord down. And I think like a round little bulb on the bottom…I think it would be so adorable with a bulb. Put A Bulb In It!

OK, last but not least, Susan’s favorite – the Good Seasons dressing bottle, which I found at an estate sale in a basement. It’s still got the packaging inside of it, so they never put…how’d you make it back in the day?

Well, exactly like it says. Add vinegar, water, oil, and then put the seasonings. That’s it – every night for dinner! And shake it up. I loved to…

So can we put a bulb in it?

No!

No?

Let’s not put a bulb in it, let’s put a bulb ON it. I mean, can you imagine, just putting a little bulb on it, a little tiny lampshade, in your kitchen, keeping all of this original right here? I think this is our next project, Pam. Let’s Put A Bulb On This.

Alright, so next time we’ll get together and talk about how to Put A Bulb ON It.

Not in it Pam, on it!

You send us your ideas! If you have any lamp bases that you want us to try to work with, challenge us! See what we can do!

I’m Pam Kueber from Retrorenovation.com,

and I’m Susan Schneider from Shandells.com,

and we want to encourage you to Put A Bulb In It!

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Apr 25

Learn How To Put On A Slipcover

Learn How To Put on a Slipcover (courtesy of PotteryBarn.com)

Our loose-fit slipcovers are designed to let you re-invent your sofa, simply and affordably. Tailored from easy-to-clean, high quality fabrics, they’re easy to use.

First, take seat and back cushions off your sofa. Unfold the sofa base slipcover and locate the tag that says Back on the slipcover. Loosely drape the slipcover over the base of your sofa, using the tag as a guideline, while centering the skirt pleat at the front of the base.

Begin to customize fit by aligning the slipcover over the sofa arms, pull the slipcover snugly over the front ends and top of arms while leaving the backstraps unattached. Determine the desired length of the front and back of the slipcover. Adjust the front and back length by accumulating all excess fabric on the seat. Note: the slipcover is designed to fit a variety of
furniture styles; as a result, there may be more fabric than you need. Tuck any extra fabric into the crevasses of the sofa base, while leaving enough fabric on the front of the sofa to the desired length.

Place the seat cushions back on the covered sofa frame, and place the fitted elastic, separate seat slipcover over the cushions. Tuck any excess fabric under the seat cushions.

Face the back side of your sofa, and flip the back panel of the base slipcover down, so that you are able to replace the back seat cushions underneath the fabric. Replace the base slipcover over the sofa. Tuck in any excess fabric into the back cushions and re-adjust the fabric on the back of the sofa so it drapes to your liking.

Re-center the skirt and pleat at the front of the sofa. Locate the straps on the slipcover skirt. Wrap the skirt around the base of your furniture. Secure the straps in the back with metal D rings on the slipcover and tighten. Smooth fabric to create an attractive, finished look. Wrinkles will disappear over time, once you have fitted the slipcover. A warm iron can be run over the slipcover to smooth out wrinkles as well.

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Mar 17

Learn How To Make Curtains

How To Make Curtains At Home (courtesy of Threadbanger.com)

Hey Threadheads! Welcome to my Brooklyn nest, and to Threadbanger’s new, DIY home re-fashion show.

I’m a DIYer with a passion for green living and eclectic home décor. Recently, it was brought to my attention that some Threadheads are experiencing some DIY home décor dilemmas. Never Fear – Meg Is Here!

Jasmine recently wrote in her nest’s need for a new curtain. Over on the forum, Sew It Together and Aurora 199 said that they have the same issue. Let’s see what we can do to help you guys out! One of my favorite design blogs, Apartment Therapy, highlighted this cool, branch curtain rod from DIYIdeas.com. Here’s How to DIY your Curtains!

Measure your window across and down.

Find a branch to go across the top.

At your local hardware store, pick up 2 metal loops that your branch will fit through, and use your handy dandy power drill to screw those puppies in!

Now, choose fabric. 2 of my favorite sources for fabric are ReproDepot.com and Etsy.com.

Measure and cut your fabric.

Fold and pin edges.

Sew along edges of fabric.

Cut out 4 to 5 pieces for your tabs.

Take your pieces and fold them in half, good sides together, and pin.

Sew along 2 edges and flip right side out.

Fold and press down and sew a top stitch along your edges.

Now, attach your loops.

To make a dart, pinch your fabric, sew a diagonal line, snip, fold down the flaps and sew a top stitch. And now, you have yourself a dart!

Now, put your branch through the loops, and, Voila – new curtain!

Do you have any DIY home décor projects? Well, send them in! The most unique ones will be featured on the threadbanger blog, and over on my blog, EnderbyNest.com. And, one lucky threadhead will win a fantastic, home detox kit from Methodhome.com!

This week’s Quick Tip is How To Mull Spices. Just take a retro pot, fill it with water, add your favorite organic spices – my favorites are cinnamon and cloves. Put on a light simmer, stir, and you’re mulling spices! Remember, style starts at home! Join us next week for another DIY home décor project that you can make your own. Your nest needs you!

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Nov 04

Learn How To Decorate Your Thanksgiving Dinner Table

How To Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table (courtesy of Better.com)

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Jun 09

How To Remove Wallpaper

How To Remove Wallpaper (courtesy of Lowes.com)

When you start to remodel a room, you don’t want anything to get in your way, especially old wallpaper. We’ll show you how to remove old wall covering so you walls and your room are ready for anything, whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or new wallpaper. Let’s get to work!

This bedroom is going to get a new look, and we’re gonna do the renovation in small steps, that will have a big impact. The first step is removing the wallpaper, which can be quite simple. All you need are a few tools and a little patience, to let those tools do their work. You will need:

A Scoring Tool
A Scraper or Broadknife
A Screwdriver
Low Tack Painter’s Tape
Wallpaper Stripper
A Paint Brush
Paint Roller
Roller Cover and Paint Tray
Drop Cloths
A Garbage Can and Bags
A Stepstool or Ladder
A Bucket and Sponge
Dishsoap or TSP Cleaner
Wallpaper Primer/Sealer or Interior Paint Primer

You can also use a wallpaper steamer. Since we’ll be working with removal strippers, we’ll need to wear eye protection and rubber gloves. You can find detailed steps and a tool list in our printable instructions at Lowes.com/videos.

Start off by prepping the space. Move any furniture away from the walls, and cover everything with drop cloths. Also, make sure you use canvas drop cloths on the floors, since plastic can get pretty slippery.

Remove all window treatments and electrical covers.

Also, turn off the power to the electrical outlets in the room, and apply low tack tape over them, or any other surface you don’t want to get stripper on. And, if you’re going to use wallpaper stripper, be sure to have adequate ventilation.

Now, score the paper. You want to start in a 3×3 test section, starting with the ceiling, and preferably along a seam. A scoring tool creates hundreds of tiny holes in the paper, which allows the wallpaper stripper to penetrate and loosen the adhesive backing.

Then, generously spray or roll on the stripper, using a paint roller to apply it to the walls. Now, here’s where your patience comes in. Allow the stripper to set on the walls according to the manufacturer’s instructions – typically about 15 minutes. And, trust me – you definitely don’t want to shortcut this step! Now, if the paper stripper starts to dry, you’ll have to reapply it, so make sure the area stays wet.

Another option is to use a steamer. Again, have patience, and keep the steamer tight against the wall. And be careful, because steam is very hot. Now, after steaming the wallpaper, use a broadknife to lift a seam, and begin pulling the paper away at a 45° angle. Now, if the wallpaper was hung using a wallpaper primer/sealer, it should peel off easily, just like this. If it does, continue scoring and applying stripper or steaming, in sections about 4 feet wide, and remove the rest of the paper. Work from top to bottom, and always put the scraps in a heavy duty garage bag.

Now, if your wallpaper isn’t cooperating, you might have to troubleshoot. And, here’s a common problem – only the paper backing remains. Now, it’s easily fixed! Just apply some more stripper, wait the recommended time, and peel away!

Now, another common problem is paper that takes bits of drywall with it. This means the wall wasn’t primed properly, prior to application, and the adhesive is working a little too well. So, re-wet the surface, and try to carefully remove the paper. You might end up repairing the drywall. If so, watch “How To Repair Drywall” at Lowes.com/videos.

Now, once all the paper has been removed, you might notice a bit of paste residue or bits of paper backing still on the wall. Apply your wallpaper stripper again, working from top to bottom, around the room. Wait the recommended time, then, wash it off with soap and water. Repeat this step until all of the residue is removed.

Once the walls are clean, you’re ready for the next step. Now, if you’re painting, you’ll need to apply an interior primer. But, if you’re applying new wallpaper, like us, you’ll need to prep the walls. So, watch “How To Measure and Prep For Wallpaper”, at Lowes.com/videos. We’ll show you the key steps to making your wallpaper job a complete success!

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Apr 20

How to Make a No Sew Crib Skirt

How To Make A No-Sew Crib Skirt (courtesy of YoungHouseLove.com)

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Mar 03

How to Hang a Curtain Rod

How To Hang A Curtain Rod (courtesy of BarbaraK.com)

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Feb 26

How to Paint Cabinets

How To Paint Cabinets (courtesy of Lowes.com)

Painting your cabinets can give a quick update to your kitchen or bath. Just follow these steps to give your cabinets a fresh look!

We’ve already prepared our cabinets for painting. Now, if you haven’t done that yet, take a look at our how-to-video, How To Prep Cabinets For Painting, at Lowes.com/videos. You can also print out the complete instructions for this project, along with a tool list. So, with your cabinets prepped, it’s time to paint! You will need:

Paint
A good quality paint brush
A 5-in-1 tool
Stir sticks
Paint tray
Drop cloths
Painter’s tape
Ladder
Sawhorses and lumber, to support the cabinet doors for easy painting.
You can also use a roller frame with a high-quality, foam roller, or a very fine, mini-nap roller to apply the paint.
You might also need door bumpers or wax.

When selecting your paint, look for a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. A glossy finish will be easier to clean. High-quality latex products are durable and allow for easy cleanup.

If you haven’t already, clear your counter tops and tape off areas where your cabinets meet the walls and floors. Protect everything with drop cloths.

Now, if space and weather allow, take your cabinet doors into a garage or a basement for painting. If you’re painting indoors, make sure you have proper ventilation. OK, our cabinet doors have already been primed, and now we’re ready to paint!

Start by thoroughly stirring the paint. Then, begin painting on the back side of a door, starting in the center, and working your way out. You only want to brush over the surface a few times, with a high-quality brush. Brush marks are normal, and as the paint dries, these will level out.

Allow the paint to dry several hours before you turn the doors over and do the other side. Paint raised or decorative elements carefully, making sure that paint doesn’t puddle.

Alright, now on your cabinet’s framework, use a paintbrush, a high-quality foam roller or a fine nap mini-roller to apply the paint and, again, roll or brush the paint on in just a few strokes.

Wait 24 hours for everything to dry. Then, reattach drawers and doors. Another great way to get a fresh look is with new hardware. New hinges, doorknobs and drawer pulls can be installed easily, and really give your entire room a facelift!

Here’s another tip…painted cabinets will continue to cure and dry over time, so to prevent doors and drawers from sticking to the frame, apply door bumpers or even a bit of car wax to the surfaces that touch.

And with that, your project is complete! And, your kitchen, or any room with cabinets, will look dramatically different. Now, if you’re searching for other ideas on how to update your home, check out our lineup of how-to projects at Lowes.com./videos.

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Dec 23

How to Lay Tile

How To Lay Tile (courtesy of FindAnyFloor.com)

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Dec 04

How to Choose a Christmas Tree

How To Choose A Christmas Tree (courtesy of BetterTV.com)

A lot of us enjoy having a real tree versus an artificial one for the holidays, but we also like the least amount of work, too! Better Homes And Garden’s Madison tells us what we should be looking for when we’re picking out that Christmas tree.

A live Christmas tree is a classic holiday tradition. Who doesn’t love that fresh pine scent? We’re here at a Christmas tree farm to pick the perfect tree – come on!

Going to a tree farm to choose your live tree is a great tradition – for you and your family. Whether at a tree farm or a tree lot, you’ll find several types of live trees. So how do you know what’s right for you?

There are 2 main types of Christmas trees – firs and pines. Let’s take a closer look at the varieties.

The branches of firs are airier and stronger, which is ideal if you have a lot of large ornaments to display.

Firs have short, flat needles with blunt ends. They retain as well, but they’re usually more expensive.

You’ll find several varieties of firs, depending on your area, including Frasier, Balsam and Douglas.

Pine trees, such as white pine and scotch pine, have branches that grow closer together, for a denser look. They’re ideal for layering on the lights.

Pine branches are more flexible and have long, soft needles.

Depending on where you live, other species of Christmas trees may be available. Look for spruce and cedar.

Contact the National Christmas Tree Association for information on trees in your area.

When selecting a tree, make sure that the trunk is straight. Straight trunks fit better in the stand, and also have better balance. It’s also important that if you’re selecting a tree from a tree lot, make sure that they tree is not too dry.

This one is perfect! Many tree farms will put your tree on a shaker, to remove dry needles and prevent them from falling out in your car or home.

After you select your tree, have it wrapped in net or twine for easier transporting.

You’ll also need to cut about an inch from the trunk base with a pruning saw. This way, the trunk will be able to enjoy more water, and it will last longer! Once it’s cut, put it in water right away.

At this point, you may also want to thin out some branches so you have more space to show off ornaments and place gifts below the tree. Save any branches you remove for decorating later.

Let’s go inside and get this tree set up – I can’t wait to see how it looks! Getting a tree in the stand can be a challenge. But thanks to some newer designs, the job is easier than ever before.

Live trees require a little maintenance with watering. Be sure to always keep the base of your tree submerged. If the water level gets too low, a resin will form over the cut, and your tree will stop absorbing water. Just be sure to check the water level in the stand every other day.

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Nov 02

How-to Fall Decorations With Pumpkins

How To Decorate With Pumpkins (courtesy of Threadbanger.com)

Hello, and welcome to Décor It Yourself! It’s October, and Halloween is approaching, so it’s time to get our pumpkins for the season. This week we’re showing you 10 uses for a pumpkin.

#1 – As a table centerpiece. Take a few different sizes of white or orange pumpkins, and gather them on your table on top of a strip of black lace, for a classy, Halloween touch.

#2 – As votives. You will need a few mini-pumpkins for this. With a knife, and on newspaper, carefully cut the top of the pumpkin off. Hollow out the inside – saving the seeds for later – and scrape the excess goo with a spoon! Add tea lights to create autumnal votives for your fall décor!

#3 – As a vase! Hollow out a medium-sized pumpkin the same way you did with the minis. Save the seeds again, for later, and once it’s cleaned out, place freshly cut flowers inside and fill with water. I’m using the flowers Will gave me for our anniversary…thanks, babe!

#4 – As a soup bowl. A hollowed out, smallish pumpkin serves as a lovely soup bowl! To make your own soup, check out recipes on EverydayFood or OrganicValley.com.

#5 – Use other hollowed out pumpkins as a candy dish, dipping dish, or for little treats. When we return, I’ll show you 5 more uses for pumpkins!

So, we obviously love the art of DIY – especially in the kitchen! Well, our good friends over at Hungry Nation TV just launched a cool, new cooking show called Working Class Foodies. It’s all about making your own food, while keeping it cheap and sustainable! It’s pretty much like Threadbanger, but with food! So, when you start getting hungry with all that DIYing, check them out at HungryNation.tv!

Welcome back!

#6 – Martha Stewart shows us this cool use for a pumpkin. Drill small holes in the side, large enough to put the end of a lollipop into, and you have a lollipop holder to place outdoors!

#7 – I think my favorite use for a pumpkin is roasting the seeds as a snack! Clean them, and bake them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt. Bake at 325 for about 20 to 25 minutes, turning every 10. Eat, or add to a salad, and enjoy!

#8 – Jack O’ Lanterns! Of course, one of the best and most common uses for a pumpkin is a homemade jack-o-lantern! Kick your design up a notch by drawing inspiration from these Better Homes and Gardens ideas. I personally love the illuminated, Haunted House design.

#9 – As art. Refer back to our graffiti lace episode, and use that technique on your pumpkin, to create and lively and unique design.

#10 – As dinner! For recipe ideas, check out Not Eating Out In New York’s Pumpkin Chili Recipe, and Martha’s Perfect Pumpkin Recipe.

Thanks so much for joining us! If you have any cool pumpkin ideas, leave them in a comment below. Before I leave, I just have to say, Happy Anniversary, Will – I Love You! And I will leave you all with this exclusive footage from our wedding a year ago…

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Sep 10

How to Hang Wallpaper

In this Lowes video, you will learn how to cut, book, seam and apply the wallpaper.

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Sep 04

How to Reupholster a Dining Room Chair

How To Reupholster A Dining Room Chair (courtesy of BeforeAndAfterTv)

Hi! I’m Katie Stiles with Before And After TV. Today, I’m going to show you how you can, very easily yourself, reupholster a chair. I’ve purchased 6 antique, dining room chairs that I purchased at a flea market. They’re about 60 years old, and, the seats have definitely had their day! It’s very cracked and worn leather. I’m going to show you how easily you can do it yourself, and everything that you need to do it!

So, the first thing you’re gonna want to do is pop your seat out. Some seats will be screwed in, some will come out easily. This one came out easily.

And, what I’ve done, is I’ve had a piece of foam cut to the same shape. I had 6 of these cut, and I’m gonna glue it onto the surface of the seat. Now, I’m gonna use some regular, white glue, and, anything that says foam use on it is fine. And, we’re gonna make sure that we cover the entire piece of foam, for lots of coverage!

Now, I’ve used a inch thickness of foam, and it’s quite a dense foam. The denser the foam, the more life you’re gonna get out of it.

So, next we’re going to take our foam and we’re gonna put it on top of our seat, and line it up. And, this is gonna have to dry for probably at least an hour. And, the best way to let your seat dry with the foam on it is to flip it over, and that will give it the weight of the seat for the drying process.

Now, I’ve picked a really modern pattern and piece of material with some bright colors. And, now that the glue has dried, we’re ready to cover the chair!

So, we’re gonna lay our piece of material down with the pattern side down, and I’ve cut it so it’s about 6 inches on each side, to give us the room. And, we’re gonna place our seat cushion, foam side down, on top of it.

We’re going to pull up our first side of material, and, the key thing to remember throughout all of this is to keep everything nice and tight. We’re gonna start right in the middle of that. Using a staple gun and pulling tight, we put our first staple in.

Now, we’re gonna pull up on the opposite side, and again, pull in nice and tight. Find your center. Again with the staple gun, right in the middle.

And, then our 4th side – pull it tight.

Now that we have our material – all 4 sides secure – we’re going to start from each staple and work our way out along the sides, until we get just to before the corners, ’cause we’re going to do the corners last.

Space them probably about an inch apart, and remember to pull up tightly on the material, every time you staple.

Now, there’s just the corners left to do, and, you can cut off an excess of material. Just pull up on the corner and just cut off about 2 inches that you will not need, and it will just make it easier to put all of your staples in.

Now, at the corners, you really want to pull up hard. And, it’s ok if you get a little bit of gathers, because that looks normal on a chair. Just try and get it all as smooth as you can. Try and keep your gathers on the underside of the chair as much as you can. Keep it nice and tight.
You’re gonna wanna put probably about 3 staples into this area.

Now, we go to our next corner and pull as tight as we can.

So, there you have it. The corners, the sides, are all done. It took about 10 minutes to do. I’m gonna pop this back into place, to show you how it looks. Just take it back to our chair, pop it back into place, and, there you have it!

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Apr 21

How to Recycle T-Shirts – DIY Throw Pillow Tutorial

Learn how to sew a t-shirt throw pillow in this video from CuriousDoodles.blogspot.com

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Apr 02

How to Decorate Small Spaces

Learn how to maximize your space with a few home decorating tips from HGTV.com

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Mar 27

How to Reuse Old Towels

How to Recycle Old Towels (courtesy of MichelleKaufamann.com)

Millions of tons of textile waste ends up in our landfills every year – even though there are great ways to recycle! Charitable organizations are a wonderful place to send your old clothes, your old linens, your old rugs. But, sometimes those old towels that end up in the back of our linen closet are not so donation-worthy! So, here’s a beautiful way that you can transform those old towels into something luxurious, like this bath rug!

I just love this, because this is a simple, green-it-yourself project that only requires your old bath towels or beach towels – you could even do t-shirts – and, a gridded matting.

This matting you can get at almost any fabric store. You just simply choose the size that you’re gonna want your rug to be, based on your bath dimensions. For me, I’m making it about 18 inches by 2 feet. That’s what’s gonna fit best outside of my shower.

Then, you take your towels, and hopefully you washed them! And, cut them into strips. You want to make the strips about ¾ of an inch wide – about the dimensions, the width of your finger.

Then, once you have the strip made, make it into lengths of about 5 to 6 inches. For this rug, it’s probably gonna take me 2 or 3 old bath towels.

Then, once you have all of your strips, you can start tying them into the grid. You just pull it through and simply tie a knot! You just keep on tying until you have finished the grid.

For the rug that I already finished, you can see on the back that I wasn’t super precious about it. I skipped some squares, especially when a good part of the movie was happening! But, it still makes a really dense, super-soft, really cushy rug that’s lovely for when I’m coming out of the bathtub or the shower. Puts me in a good mood as a way to start the day!

Thanks so much for watching this Green-It-Yourself project. I’m Michelle Kaufamann, helping you to let the green in today and every day!

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Dec 01

How to Make a Wreath

Learn how to add your own personal touch to a festive holiday wreath in this video from MyHomeIdeas.com.

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Nov 12

How-to Pumpkin Centerpiece

How To Make A Fall Centerpiece (courtesy of Better.tv)

Well, if you’ve been searching for a fall centerpiece, but you haven’t found just the right one, don’t worry about it. Better’s lifestyle expert, Mar Jennings is here, and he has a great that will not only work, but make for a great host or hostess gift this holiday season! You’re always bringing us a 2 for 1 – I like that!

It’s a pumpkin bouquet, and we have them all available right now because we just finished with Halloween, and of course, now we’re in November, and this is a perfect way to put this as a beautiful centerpiece. And, it’s easy to do, inexpensive, and most of the stuff is right in your own garden! So, that’s the best part! And, you can give it as a gift – perfect gift, they will remember this. And, it’s the gift that keeps giving, because it’s just so beautiful and it’s easy to care for.

So, we’re gonna start with a pumpkin. You’re gonna carve it out as you normally would – pretty simple. Because what we’re doing is we’re creating a vessel for the flower arrangement. And then, we’re gonna take some oasis – and this is available at any garden center. It’s pretty popular. And we’re going to cut it so it fits snug in the pumpkin. That will help the flowers to stand up straight.

And then, we’re just going to push it right in, and you can put all of the excess right in there. That will not hurt anything. And the idea is, so really all the flowers are secure and they don’t move around. And then, what you’re going to do is add some water. And you will notice that it will absorb all the water. So just take a minute to do that, and then, you’re going to start building from there.

The nice thing about this is you’re gonna start with your evergreen and then you’re going to build from there. So, go ahead and start pulling some.

What size do you put in first?

You know, it’s a real personal choice. I think the more you do this, the better you get, and you want to make sure that they’re secure, so go ahead and push them so they don’t move. Just go ahead and have fun with it. And, you want to have some variety all over the place, so if you’re putting a bit of a hemlock over here, put one on the other side as well, just to balance it out.

We have some flowers as well. Now, you could buy some flowers, I also have some sedum. So, what you do is you want to cut these a little bit, so let’s go ahead and chop these down. You want to fill this up as much as you possibly can, and walk away from it, look at it and go back to it. Asses it, and just continue to look at your color choices, and I use Mother Nature as my real inspiration. That’s why I brought these leaves, so you can see all the different colors that are right now in the garden, and that’s what I’m mimicking in this bouquet.

And, you’ve done this pretty quickly, right? Just keep filling it, and, if you notice, there’s some sedum in here as well in the garden. And again, go ahead and just start popping that in. And you will find that it will become very tight, very dense. Here’s some grasses, some cattails, zebra grasses, so it makes it very whimsical.

The very last part here is just taking the top of the pumpkin, and we’re going to secure that on the side. And you’re going to do that with some toothpicks, so I’m going to break some in half, and what you’re doing is creating some fangs, and this will stay on the side, and it just kind of makes it a real, finished product. And you’re securing it right on the side, like that. And it stays – it’s not going anywhere! And, that’s when you know you’re completely done.

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Oct 20

How to Decorate – Elegant Halloween Party

How To Decorate for an Elegant Halloween Party (courtesy of UrbanRoute)

If you want a spooktacular Halloween, you have to have the right ambiance. Dah dah dah dah! It’s like magic! I love this time of year! You never know what’s gonna happen. Check out these great hats and this fabulous room! Jill, what have you done in here?

Well, you know we went to town. We made it really elegant, instead of being tacky. Because, Halloween can be that way. So, we went out into nature, went for a nice walk and gathered wonderful twigs and branches and leaves, and we’ve added all kinds of lovely, elegant throws and pumpkins. Even if you don’t carve them, the pumpkins look really fabulous, just around the room.

OK, I love the spiders!

It’s fun, because you can just add a little whimsy with things like that. And, they’re just little magnets. And with the pumpkins, put them around, put them in groups of 3…we even put one inside the blackbird house.

Let’s go check out how you can have the perfect Halloween dinner setting.

We have had SO much fun putting this table together, because it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to be creative with some color from nature. So, the leaves on the table, and, the centerpiece…honestly, it is so simple! There’s sugar, candy corn, black beans and red lentils, and they become the anchor for twigs, and, just get dramatic. Go for some extreme height, add a crow, look at what you get!

Except, I think my son would try to dig down and get the candy out, I’m telling you right now!

Just put some more in another bowl somewhere else – maybe he won’t be so tempted.

But, if you do want a little candy, check out the napkin rings!

Isn’t that fun? Black licorice – you gotta have it! And, just knot it around the napkin that’s just rolled up. And, then, when you’re done, you can eat it! Such a great trick! I also love that this isn’t your classic Halloween orange.

Yes, we’ve gone with a more subdued, cinnamon color, and,it then means you can use it again afterward. I think the final thing is to be organized for your guests. Set up a little bar cart and have all of the things you need handy, so it makes your life easier. Then in the kitchen area, don’t forget to add a bit of drama. You can get wonderful, white mini-pumpkins and mass them in quantity. Use a couple of glass cloches and put some goodies inside of there….branches and pumpkins…and, voila! It’s elegant, yet it’s festive at the same time!

Thank you, Julie. I can’t wait to get home and decorate my house for Halloween! Have a Spooktacular Halloween!

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Oct 10

Halloween How-to – Make a Hot Glue Web Gun

How To Make A Spiderman Web Gun from A Hot Glue Gun (courtesy of MakeMagazine)

Hi! It’s KipKay from Make Magazine with a special Halloween edition of the weekend projects! You know, when you think of Halloween, a lot of things come to mind – like spider webs! I think it’s amazing that a spider, using only his body, can continually create geometrically complex, advanced shapes, that few, if any of us could perfectly duplicate, and even with a pencil and ruler, it’s very complicated for most people to exactly duplicate. Yet, the spider does it with ease! So, the leftover, sticky debris of spiders long gone are so often used for Halloween, that you can buy all sorts of pre-made cobwebs for your haunted house. Well, today, we’re gonna make our very own spider web shooter that spreads the creeps!

You can find the hot glue web gun by Edmond Wise in the special Make Halloween edition, available in the maker shed. Our hot glue web gun starts with a hot glue gun. And, you need one that’s at least 80 watts. The one that I used was 100 watts. Since our web gun is powered by an air compressor, you’re gonna need an air compressor hose, ¼ inch copper tubing and a number of pipe fittings that you can find in your local home improvement store.

Using your spring tube bending tool, you’re gonna bend your ¼ inch copper tubing in a shape so that it’s right next to and about 1/8th of an inch behind the nozzle of the hot glue gun. When you’re all done, it should look similar to this.

Using the tube cutting tool, you’re going to cut off one end and attach your valve, using the compression fittings. Now, this is going to control the airflow going out of our web glue gun. Then, one more piece of copper tubing needs to be cut and attached to our elbow, using the compression fitting, and then that’s all joined together to build this assembly.

Then, using some teflon tape, we’re going to attach our adapter, which will go to a hose bar, and then that hose bar connects to our piece of air compressor tubing, using a hose clamp. Then, one more hose bar by the other end of our tubing, which will go to our quick release pneumatic fitting.

Now, the whole assembly can be attached to the hot glue gun using zip ties, so it can be removed and you can use the hot glue gun as you normally would later.

And, our hot glue web gun is finished and ready to test out! So, it’s time to fire up our air compressor, and we’re gonna get somewhere between 30 and 50 PSI. And then, we’ll attach our air compressor to our new hot glue web gun connection.

The last step is to test your valve, and make sure you’re getting good airflow through your tubing. And, make some spider webs! By adjusting the airflow and the amount of hot glue that
drips out of the nozzle, you can make some pretty impressive webs!

That’s how to make a hot glue web gun for your haunted house! We’ll see you next week with another weekend project!

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Sep 03

How to Make Scented Candles

Learn how to make scented soy pillar candles with this video from VideoJug.com

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Jan 11

How-To Feng Shui your Home

Get some great ideas on how to Feng Shui your home with this video from Domino Magazine.

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Oct 01

How to Decorate – Making a Great First Impression

Learn how to decorate your entry way or foyer to make a great first impression with this video from ForYourImagination.com


Online Videos by Veoh.com

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Sep 23

How to Cut Ceramic Tile

Learn how to cut ceramic tile with this video from AskTheBuilder.com

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Sep 23

How to Decorate a Wall with Picture Frames

Learn how to decorate a wall with picture frames with this video from FordModels.tv

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Sep 06

How to Measure Windows for Curtains

Learn how to measure for window treatments and curtains with this video from AJMoss.com

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Sep 06

How to Install a Window Valance

Learn how to quickly and easily install a window valance with this video from Window-Valance-Patterns.com

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Sep 01

How to Hang Wallpaper – Glue Activation

How To Activate Wallpaper Glue (courtesy of AskTheBuilder)

Modern wallpapers like this one often come from the factory pre-pasted. That’s ok! It’s really a good material, that paste. But, what the problem is, is remember, when you get it wet, or you use an activator to make it get wet, it starts to expand the paper! And, you need to make sure it expands on the table, not up on the wall!

Before you put the piece of paper up and even paste it, you’ve got to go ahead and cut a part off. Don’t worry about getting it perfectly straight, because you’re gonna trim the paper, once it’s up on the wall.

If the paper is pre-pasted, I get the best results from activating the glue with an activator, instead of with water. These products just brush on the paper. And, what you do, is you actually mix this product with water, wait about 30 minutes, and the final result is a really neat gel, that’s a little thicker than water, but boy, does it go on the paper easily!

This process is called “relaxing” by the professional wallpaper hangers. What’s really happening, is that once you’ve got the whole piece of paper glued, and you’ve activated that glue, the paper starts to expand, and it just needs to relax. You go ahead and fold the paper back on itself, like this. Don’t push down hard on these ends – you don’t want to make a real hard crease. That’s not a good thing.

And, then, you just sit back yourself and relax for about 5 minutes, until it’s ready to hang the paper.

I’m Tim Carter with Ask The Builder!

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Aug 03

How to Upholster a Dining Seat

Learn how to upholster a dining room seat just like the pros with this video from Upholster.com

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Jul 13

How Upholster a Chair

Learn how to reupholster a dining room chair with this video from ReadyMadeMag.com.

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Jun 05

How to Arrange Flowers

Learn how to arrange flowers to decorate your home with this video from AskTheDecorator.com

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Apr 07

How to Hang a Picture

Learn how to hang pictures in your home and avoid commonly made mistakes and damage to walls with this video from

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