Posts Tagged With: (P)inspired project

Everything is Better with ORB

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that there are two things that I love (besides my family and friends). The first is s’mores. Sidenote: check out this great t-shirt that my friend Kristen pinned for me

Too bad it’s a kid’s shirt…I so need that! The other thing that I love is ORB paint. I love painting stuff in oil rubbed bronze. I totally blame Rachael at Lovely Crafty Home for the borderline addiction to this lovely little thing

It’s been a long time since anything in our house has gotten an ORB treatment. By long time, I mean it was August when I ORBed some frames to use as dry erase boards! That was three months ago! Oh how I missed my ORB paint so it was definitely time to rekindle the romance. I had to paint…paint anything. Whatcha think? Now I’ll always have it with me

That may be going a little far. It was a really windy day while I was painting a couple things. I really need to learn to paint on days when it isn’t windy, but it was a nice day outside so I took full advantage of it. Remember the plastic foaming soap container I painted?

I found the idea on Pinterest from Allison at House of Hepworths and it had a monogram H on the front. I decided that I wanted to make a few of these and change them out for the different seasons. No better time to start than now and Bella was eager to help too. I got a pump that had orange soap in it…my favorite fall color

I took the labels off just like on the first one that I did. There was a lot of sticky stuff left on it so I had to get that off somehow. I could have used Goo Gone or Goof Off, but I didn’t have either one of those things on hand. What I did have was cotton balls and canola oil

I put some canola oil on a cotton ball and scrubbed it. It wasn’t as easy as Goo Gone, but it didn’t cost me anything and canola oil doesn’t smell near as bad so I was happy that it worked

I used my Cricut machine and some contact paper that I had on hand to cut out some little leaves. I measured the soap pump because I wanted the leaves to fit on it and still have room on the sides. The pump was about 2 inches across so I made my leaves 1 1/4 inches each and before long I had a little pile of leaves

I peeled off the paper backing and put them on the pump in a random pattern wrapping some of them around to the side of the pump and onto the bottom of it.

Then I headed out to the deck with the soap and the paint and started painting.

I love the look of ORB paint shimmering in the sun. Don’t you?

After the paint dried a little (but not so much that it fused the contact paper to the bottle forever) I took the leaves off and was left with this

It’s not as dramatic as I was thinking it would be, but I kinda love it like this. Once it was in the bathroom, I loved it more. It’s definitely a subtle change, but I like that the leaves are more of a different texture than a different color

I had planned for this to be part of my Holiday decor series for $10 or under, but the paint itself is over $7 and when you add in the soap and the contact paper it was over the $10 limit. Since I had everything on hand except the soap, this project set me back a whole $1 (I had a coupon for the soap).

Did you notice that the pictures in this post are smaller? Did it make the page load faster for you? Can you still see them well? Give me your feedback.

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Challenge Completed – Argyle Style

Gotta tell you that I had high hopes for this Pinterest Challenge. So many ideas, but with my niece Mikayla’s birthday party,

carving pumpkins with some of my favorite people (part of my family),

and just my disorganized life in general, I didn’t get my spa bench completed

Image from

or my fireplace finished – but I do have all the wood cut for this one, just need to paint and assemble…that’s the easy part right?

Image from

Alas there is no shoe cabinet in our entry room either…yet

Image from

But now that Halloween is over, the ghosts came down, the pumpkins came down and the part that makes me almost cry is that my pretty argyle wreath had to come down too. Seriously, can you hear my sobs through the computer? If I were writing on paper, you would see the tear stains. Since life is really just a series of situations and we choose how to react, I’m going positive. I mean, hello, this project was $10 in the first place and I have everything to make a new one for fall. So I decided to quit my whining and get off my tocus tookus toqus  rear end and fix the problem…just like my parents taught me to. For the full tutorial, you’ll want to see my Halloween wreath post. (The inspiration originally was from this pin)This is pretty much going to be a highlights reel.

First I made my wreath form out of pipe insulation like this but doubled

Then I wrapped it in red yarn, glued on some brown diamonds, wrapped my creamy yarn but it needed a little something more to make it a little fall-y and Thanksgiving-y. So I turned to my trusty ol’ pal, Google image search, for a leaf pattern cutout. Google solves so many problems, doesn’t it? I found a pattern of a maple leaf (since our favorite trees in our yard are our maple trees) and I started cutting maple leaves out of some different fall colored felt I had around the house. Ready to see the end product? It’s hanging on my door, come on over for a s’more and some coffee. What, you live too far away? Alright, I’ll show you.

Whatcha think? Does it measure up to the Halloween version?

I’m excited to have the argyle for another month, but I’m going to be switching it up for Christmas. I think I know what I’ll be doing, but that all depends on Pinterest. Oh what will I find for Christmas? The possibilities are endless. Did you complete a Pinterest challenge project? I’d love to see it. Leave me a link or send me a picture.

Don’t forget to check out all the projects on the blogs of the fabulous hosts of this challenge. See Ana’ Princess Pocket Bookshelf on Ana White, Katie’s Mercury Glass Window Makeover on Bower Power, Sherry’s Christmas ornaments on Young House Love and Erin’s gold lining on House of Earnest too! Also add in a link to your own project there.


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Scary S’mores

I know, I know, another s’more post. But this one is a little bit different…promise. As soon as I saw a s’more idea for trick-or-treaters on Pinterest (here) I knew that our neighborhood kids would be getting them! I also thought it was the perfect way for us to make sure that it would be peanut free and I could add a tag that let people know that too. I wanted to share this with you today just in case you wanted a weekend project.

It was easy to find printed bags, but how would people see the cute little ghost in there with that? The Peeps and Hershey bars I got at Target and I got some treat bags at Hobby Lobby.

I took one graham cracker and broke it in half and put it in the bag.Then I put the Peep in and then the Hershey bar. I know that might seem like it’s pretty basic, but the order of Peep then chocolate will save you some headaches. I was putting the Hershey bar in first then the Peep and when you tear apart the Peeps it leaves a little bit of sticky marshmallowy goodness that is very attracted to Hershey bar wrappers. When I put the Peep in first then the chocolate my ghosts started looking less like blobby melted snowmen.

How to seal them? The original post had ribbon and I bought some black ribbon after a series of texts with my friend Kristen aka the North Carolina version of me…or I’m the Iowa version of her, depending on which one of us you knew first. She had the cutest idea of adding googly eyes to the ribbon to make them look like bats. Awesome right? I ran out of ribbon but did have some black tulle laying around, so some of these will be batty and some just have black tulle and some will have batty ribbons

Then there was the tag. I haven’t settled on what it’s going to look like yet, but I’m thinking it will be something like this

How cute are my babies in their Halloween costumes? Can you tell that Bella is a butterfly and Bristol is a blowfish? Do you know how difficult it is to get pictures of two cats sitting still in their Halloween costumes? This was my plan. I took the orange cushions from our deck chair and put them on the floor in the well lit three seasons porch. With some help from my trusty friend duct tape I put up some black polka dot fabric I had sitting around. Bristol would be on the left and Bella on the right. Easy schmeezy right?

Me: “Here Bella…mommy will give you some treats to put your costume on”

Little Miss Independent was done and took off. No amount of chicken and cheese treats was going to get her to stay there any longer.

Maybe I can photoshop the two of them together? Bristol’s turn for the bribes

Somehow he was able to just walk out of his costume…sneaky, sneaky

When we go reverse trick-or-treating on Monday, I hope they stay in their costumes better than they did for the photo shoot. Reverse trick-or-treating you ask? We dress up the kids and take them to other people and give them treats. This year we’ll be going to see their doctor and all the wonderful people at Marion Animal Hospital. We want to thank them for taking such good care of our whole family this year through some very rough times with Beau and Brady. They are just amazing and all of us think they deserve some great treats.

What are y’all doing to get ready for Halloween? Are you dressing up? Share pictures of your Halloween night on our facebook page!

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Did Someone Say Challenge?

If you’re a Bower Power or Young House Love reader, you may have already accepted the challenge.

The summer challenge inspired me to create a few things. Remember the ORBed plastic soap dispenser? Because everything is better with a little ORB on it.

How about the state canvases so Michael and I could show off our hometown pride?

I also now have a board on Pinterest to prove to myself that I do actually get stuff done and not just pin my life away (check out that board here). I think my favorite (p)inspiration to completed project is the chair swing that I still walk by windows just to look at

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop. The basic gist is that you have to complete a project inspired by something you’ve pinned. This time, they have Ana White on board!!!! Ana’s was the first blog I ever started reading so I’m totally jazzed that she’s in on this one and I think it might be the occasion for another Ana-inspired project. Remember the deck chair that you voted on for color was made from Ana plans

I also de-folded our bi-fold door in the bathroom after reading how Ana made a bookshelf for her daughter on the door of her closet

Heaven knows I have enough plans favorited on her site. Maybe I’ll finally do the shoe cabinet I told you about in March. Don’t think I’ll be taking on her current project of building her moms a momplex, but I can definitely do something smaller. I’m off to scour pins. If you’re not on Pinterest yet and want to be, shoot me an email at and I’ll send you an invite ASAP! Who’s ready for the challenge?




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One of the first things that I pinned on Pinterest was this swing that I knew would go perfect in our backyard on this amazing old maple tree we have!

I knew my nieces would so love this and if I painted it a color other than pink, my nephews would love it too! The search for a chair was on. I wanted the perfect chair for this project, something similar to this one and I refused to pay much for it. I live pretty close to a decent size city, not big, but not a small town either. We have three Goodwill stores in town a few consignment stores and a Salvation Army, so finding a chair should have been easy. While it felt like it took forever, in hindsight and comparatively speaking, finding the chair was the easy part. In fact I found one that looked almost identical to this one. I picked up the chair for a whole $6.38 and a can of paint for $2.74 and took my new project home. The painting process didn’t go as smooth as I’d hoped, but in the end I got this. If you’d like to see how the whole painting process went and how I finally got to this, you can check out this post.

Next was the hanging process which should be pretty easy. Sometimes when you DIY things, you end up putting a lot more time and energy into a project than you ever could have anticipated, but usually those end up being the projects with the best results. I checked out the inspiration pin website to see just how they hung their swing and it wasn’t in English. It also wasn’t in French, Italian or Spanish, so I was pretty much out of luck at reading this website without any help. Enter Michael who broke out Google Translate and got it to where we could read it. Then we realized that we didn’t really like the way that one was hung. It had been attached to a regular swing, so from another angle it looked like this

Back to the drawing board. According to This Old House and Martha Stewart our idea of just throwing the ropes over the tree limb was not the correct way to do that either. Ropes thrown over can seriously damage the tree and because this is our favorite tree, we certainly didn’t want that to happen. Oh…my…word. Seriously? Could this get more difficult? Yep! It took a couple hours, three drills and two trips to town, but we got the eye bolts hung on the tree to support the swing when we got to the point to hang it in this post

Hopefully it will save you some of the headaches we endured. But now it was time to hang the swing. I found 100 yards of 3/8″ rope at Harbor Freight for $7.99 and thanks to a 20% off coupon I got it for $6.39.

I didn’t go out looking for yellow rope, but it’s what HF had plus I think it goes well with the bright colored chair. I’m all about bright unexpected things in our 1910 house in a small town atmosphere.

I copped a squat in the backyard with my rope, my legless chair, fence pins and my trusty pink hammer. Let’s do this! I figured the fence pins would work perfect for attaching the rope and having it not slide anywhere. In the (p)inspiration post there are four of these things so it must work right? Something like this

Well I ended up with something like this where the pin refused to stay in.

I also got another something like this where it split the wood to pieces.

Time to revamp…again. Michael and I chat chitted a little about it and decided on a plan of action. The chair needed more holes. I wanted the rope to be tight so we used a 13/32 drill bit (where do they come up with these sizes?) and made one here

and one here

and another one that I didn’t get a picture of, but you’ll see it. Michael decided that we needed to have a test run for it so we just threaded the rope through the holes in the chair and through the eye bolts in the tree just to see how it would look

Oh I love it! Now if we didn’t want to be able to take the chair down we probably could have left it up like this

Okay, it’s not really “up” right there, but you get what I’m saying right? Because we live in Iowa and get snow (lots and lots of snow) and this tree happens to be right in the wind line of snow that blows across a cornfield if we left it up year round, it may not last as long as we’d like it to. Plus when you swing forward, the chair tips forward and dumps you right out if you’re not careful – don’t ask how I know, I just do and it might be a little embarrassing. Down the swing came and I went to work tying the knots the way Roger (from This Old House) told me to.

I’d never tied a bowline knot before so this was a fun experience.

Nailed it! We didn’t tie the swing directly to the eye bolts. Instead, we listened to Martha and we’re going with a clip to attach the swing to the eye bolt for easy removal. It will also make it easy to put back up if the nieces and nephews want to swing and jump into a pile of fluffy white snow.With the knot tied it was time to hang the swing…finally. But guess who forgot to get the clips (she asks sheepishly knowing it was her)? There was no way I was going another day without this swing hung up! So I cut two small pieces of rope and just tied them in loops through the eye bolt and through the thimble and the swing was almost ready!!!!

I did some research online and found that the swing should be 1-2 feet off the ground. I pulled the rope through the holes in the chair until it was the height we needed. First with the back

Then the front allowing the chair to tip back just a little bit.

I cut the straggling ends off the rope and it’s ready for a small child. Once we have the clips, I have no doubt it will hold an adult too.

Maybe I need to go swing and jump into a pile of fluffy snow this winter. We’ll need to put something below just in case someone decides to swing too high. Despite all the problems and issues, I’m so glad I did this…and even more glad that I had the help of my supportive husband who goes along with my projects even when he doesn’t quite see where I’m going with it. Ready for the project cost breakdown? Here it is

  • Dining room chair from Goodwill – $6.38
  • Lagoon paint (Rust-oleum 2x spray paint) – $2.74 on sale
  • Clear coat (Rust-oleum 2x in satin finish so little bottoms don’t slide off) – $2.74
  • 100 yards of 3/8″ rope – $6.39 after coupon and we didn’t use all the rope
  • 2 eye bolts (1/2″ cause I couldn’t find 5/8″ ones) – $7.98
  • 4 heavy duty washers – $1.49 for a package of 6
  • 2 lock washers – $1.18
  •    Total cost – $28.90

I just know that Hunter, Landon, Mikayla, Adicyn, Evalee, Reygan and our “proxy nieces” Abby and Hannah will have some fun times sittin’ on the front porch in our backyard just a swingin’! If you try this, you have to promise to let me know. I love show and tell!! Thanks for letting me share mine with you!

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Challenge? I brought it!

Last Tuesday brought the Pinterest Challenge. In case you need a refresher, check out my post from last week about it. The basic gist is to find something you pinned on Pinterest actually do it. Novel idea isn’t it? I already showed you the soap pump project on Saturday, but alas I do have another project for the big reveal day. Are you ready?

I’m big about having all of the art in our house mean something to us so I’ve been looking for things for our house and it’s been slow going. It’s okay though, I’m a do it right, do it once kind of gal. In one of my marathon pinning sessions I found this

Image courtesy of Lolly Jane Boutique

Since Michael and I are from different places, I thought this would be great to hang in our house. Last Tuesday, I decided this was going to be my challenge project. Naturally though, in true Amy fashion, I changed it a little…besides changing the states (we’re not from Arizona and Louisana). Ya see, I loved this too

I contemplated having Beau and Bella walk through paint then walk on the canvas but don’t want to have my “children” taken away from me so I skipped it. I did like the idea of the bright colored canvas with a white image. See where I’m going yet?

I went to Michaels and picked up two 9×12 canvases (that’s the size to fit perfectly where I wanted them to go). I wanted to do one state per canvas rather than both states on one canvas.

Next I used the miracle of Google to print outlines of the state of Iowa and the state of Kentucky so each one was 8 inches wide which would allow a 2 inch border on the sides once the states were on the canvas. The easy way to do this would have been to paint the whole canvas and cut the state and attach it to the canvas. I wanted it to look like a piece of art so I went a little different way. I attached Kentucky and Iowa to contact paper so I could use them as a mask. I used my Dotto to temporarily attach the cutouts to the contact paper and then cut them out.

Then I realized that I put them on the contact paper wrong and I had to reattach and re-cut them.

Four states later, I peeled the backing off the contact paper and stuck the ones facing the right way to the canvases.

Then I grabbed a paint sample that I had leftover from another project – that one’s coming

The Sherwin-Williams samples don’t have a top coat so they are good for trying out a color but not for a final coat on a wall. When it came to my canvases I figured it would be okay though. Especially since I only needed a little bit and it was the color that would make things flow from one room to another a little better (check back tomorrow for how).

With my favorite little paint brush in hand and two whole states in front of me I started painting.

Once they were both completely painted I peeled off the contact paper before the paint dried fully

The contact paper didn’t form a perfect seal on the paint but I like how it has that handmade look to it. I added a couple command strips to the back and hung them on the wall and I love them!!!

They are hung on the wall so when someone walks in the front door, they are seen right away

A little bit of both of us in our home. What do you think? The possibilities for a project like this are endless. Monograms? Countries? Dates? What would you put on a canvas in your house?

Did you take part in the Pinterest challenge? I’d love to see your project so post it here! Don’t forget to check out John & Sherry, Katie, Emily & Lana with their projects too (and there are a ton of links for other people who took on the challenge)!

Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

My Bathroom Smells Like S’mores!!!

So, I’ve kinda gotten carried away with the whole Pinterest challenge thing. I’ve chosen multiple projects to complete over the course of the week and here is project number one. It was a small project that cost me less than $5,  so I thought I would share it with you before the Tuesday reveal day…plus I’m pretty jazzed about the one I have planned for Tuesday!

We’ve been needing a soap pump for our half bathroom and we had this one picked out

The problem is that we have a teeny tiny sink in that bathroom and we weren’t sure that the pump would stay on the sink when the nieces and nephews come over…or when we would use it for that matter. Consequently (10 cent word of the day for Amy!), we’ve been looking for something else. I don’t know why, but we seem to have the biggest problems choosing some of the smallest things. I’m not sure what our problem is, but we were struggling. then I got this (p)inspiration

Awwwwwesome! One day when I was at Target (which seems to be most days) I took a trip down the soap aisle and came home with these

One for the bathroom and one for the kitchen. I took them outside along with some old newspaper. I figured our deck on a sunny day was a good place to start this project, so I put the newspaper on the railing of the deck and then clamped it on. That’s right, I said clamped – the wind was blowing. Need a visual?

We have quite a few of those clamps from our woodworking projects-a-la-Ana, so why not use them, right? It was perfect to keep my paper from blowing away! Just call me resourceful…sometimes. With my paint booth in place I removed the stickers from the two bottles of soap which turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. The stickers didn’t peel off clean, so it took a little elbow grease aka vegetable oil to get the sticker gunk off. I put a little veggie oil on a paper towel and scrubbed a little and soon they were gunk-free and ready for paint!

Time to break out the ORB paint

Oh how I love this stuff! Thanks for the new found addiction Rachael! I’ve also used the hammered copper on a different project (stay tuned for that one) and I love that too. The key when using this stuff is to keep it moving and the paint will look great. Keep in mind that the day I was painting outside, the wind was blowing. It probably took a little longer to paint and a little more paint considering three days later I’m still trying to scrub ORB paint off my hands

Fortunately I was able to get some on the soap dispensers too

I let them sit outside to dry for a while in the sun, but the humidity has been not so fun lately and I had to bring them inside to finish drying after about 2 hours. Cost breakdown

  • Dawn suds pump – $2.89
  • Bathroom suds pump – $1.57
  • ORB paint – fuh-ree! I already had some left over from another project, but normally it’s about $7

It fits perfect in the half bathroom and if it falls, it’s plastic and probably won’t break but if it does it was less than $2. It’s also refillable, so I won’t have to paint every time we run out of soap

A couple more differences the bathroom from the last time you saw this

I got those new red candle holders at Ikea (hallelujah) on our trip back in April (see posts on that trip here and here) for $1.99 for the set of three – score! Those candles are not your ordinary candles either. They are these new candles from Bath and Body Works that were on sale for 3 for $5!

You may have already seen my post on my love of smores. Find it here if ya missed it. I totally love that my bathroom now smells like smores! It’s sooooo wonderful!

Update: When I first pinned this idea, it didn’t have the original project linked to it – so sad. Allison from House of Hepworths stopped by and let me know that this was her original creation (thanks Allison). If you look at her tutorial and mine you’ll find some differences, but they are quite similar. She recommends using a plastic paint for the first coat. I totally agree with her. The ORB paint that I have in my arsenal is an all surface paint, so make sure a plastic paint is the first one on your plastic. Allison’s been using her pumps quite a bit longer than I have so maybe mine will change, but both seem to be holding up very well. Props to Allison for such a great idea!

Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

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