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Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 | 12 comments

House Tour: Katie and Zack’s Rental Retreat

House Tour: Katie and Zack’s Rental Retreat

For our inaugural house tour, Leslie and I visited a neighbor’s house (also named Katie) and were completely blown away with all the DIY and creativity nestled into the less than 1,000 square-foot home. Katie is incredibly crafty and she has found a way to decorate her home (which she doesn’t even own) in a cost-conscious and stylish way. Katie’s motto: “I won’t buy it if I can make it myself.” And when she does buy furniture/accessories, she definitely shops around for bargains — yard sales, Craig’s List, Freecycle, thrift stores — but you wouldn’t know they were second hand by looking at them because Katie has done an amazing job refreshing and repurposing all her finds. Katie and Zack have rented their rowhouse for the past two years. They asked their landlord if they could paint and fix up the house (even if they put it back to its original condition once they move out), but their landlord said no. Undeterred, they have made the most out of...

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 | 2 comments

Reader Submission: Metal Pail Turned Garden Hose Organizer

Reader Submission: Metal Pail Turned Garden Hose Organizer

Kudos to local resident Terry Rowe for her ingenuity in turning a metal pail found in the trash into a spool for holding her garden hose and nozzles. Terry needed something to corral her garden hose. On trash day, she happened upon an old metal pail someone no longer needed and thought she could use it like a spool to hold the hose. Her husband drilled holes in the bottom and used a piece of scrap wood as a brace to attach the pail to their side porch railing. As you can see from the pictures, it works nicely to hold the hose. An added bonus, they can store the nozzles and a small sprinkler inside the pail. They decided against painting the pail because they liked its patina. The cost was nothing as the pail came from the trash and they used scrap wood and a couple of screws. Thanks Terry for submitting your project! If you have a project you’d like to share, send to diydelray[at]yahoo.com. Posted...

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Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 | 1 comment

Creative Uses for Chalkboard Paint

Creative Uses for Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is everywhere these days. Here are a few ways you can use this fun product to repurpose items in your home and get more organized in the process. Magnetic Chalkboard Kitchen Organizer This corner of my itty bitty kitchen seemed like wasted space (I rarely use the aprons). I wanted a place to write the weekly menu, keep an ongoing shopping list, and store coupons. The refrigerator is covered with kid magnets, drawings, school memos, etc. — coupons were going unused and shopping lists were left ignored amongst the clutter. So I found a new place for the aprons and set out to create a magnetic chalkboard to keep our kitchen a little more organized. Step 1: First I determined the size I wanted — roughly 20″ x 22″ — and marked the space off with painter’s tape. Following the instructions on the can, I painted three coats of magnetic primer on the wall, waiting about 30 minutes between each coat. A word of caution — this stuff smells really bad!...

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Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 | 5 comments

My Dumpster Dive Delight

My Dumpster Dive Delight

I got the email from Leslie at 2 p.m. Subject: Curb Alert! Inside, camera phone pictures of chairs someone had disgarded in the alley a couple blocks from my home. Leslie said they looked like they were good condition. For the next three and a half hours, I anxiously sat at my desk waiting for the work day to end so I could head home and check out the treasure. I emailed my husband letting him know I would be a few minutes late getting home and warned him about the chairs. He doesn’t like surprises that come from the trash. My work day ended, I took the metro to Braddock Rd. and quickly walked to the alley off Bellefonte. There they were: three fabulous dining chairs patiently awaiting my arrival. They were beautiful mahogany in near pristine condition, only in need of new seat cushions. Who would throw these out? There were three chairs, but I knew I couldn’t carry them all. The heat was unbearable and I had three blocks...

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 | 0 comments

Paint Pick-Me-Up

Paint Pick-Me-Up

Looking for ways to spruce up a drab piece of furniture? Here are three ways to give your furniture a quick and easy pick-me-up. 1. Paint a yard sale find When I saw this table at a yard sale, I just knew it would be the perfect replacement for the nightstand between my daughters’ beds in their shared room. With a little TLC, it would provide enough surface to hold all of the books we read and set aside at bedtime. I negotiated the sale, took it home and gave it a good sanding. It’s not the best table in terms of construction, but undaunted, I painted it with two coats of primer, and then a coat of the white we had in the basement (Duron Plastic Kote, interior acrylic latex enamel). I sprayed the top surfaces with Valspar clear sealer (flat). My daughters couldn’t be happier. And now the fish bowl fits on the table too. She was lonely all the way up on the bookshelf after all. Shared by Leslie...

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