Friday, April 24, 2015

Cool Bathroom Sign Made Out of Scrap Wood

I love when you go into someone's house and right off the bat you can picture their personality.  You're probably familiar with the feeling.  The place reeks of their interests.  Other homes you walk into look like a modge podge and you're left with the feeling that maybe the person has a multiple personality disorder.

I strongly believe that people are happiest in spaces that reflect who they are.  This brings me to my place.  I have a smart alec sense of humor.  Therefore, I have a few smart alec home decor items sprinkled throughout.  The place where this is most obvious is my powder room.

The powder room is where your guest can really inspect your home.   I mean really scrutinize.  They can sit in there as long as they want and judge.  If you have a cabinet, you better trust and believe they will go through it.  (Not everyone, but most.)  People do this out of curiosity, not because they're evil.

Here is one of the ways I add a small amount of personality to my home.  I saw a similar sign somewhere on the interweb but I don't remember who made it or where it came from.  I just thought it was cool and simple to make.  Best of all it was free!!

So you want to make this cool sign? 

Here's how...

I had this left over plank from another project.  

I cut out the corners and used the hole cutter attachment on my drill to create the shape of a tag. 
  I used spray paint to create the dark under layer of paint.  

I used my Silhouette Vinyl cutter to make letters and I placed them over the painted part. 

Next, I used some leftover house paint and painted over the vinyl letters.  After it was all dry, I peeled the vinyl off revealing the spray painted layer. 

The last step was to paint the circle cutout with brown acrylic paint.  I made the rope out of extra burlap string that I braided together. 

So basically for no money and a couple of hours of work, I have a really cool bathroom sign that reflects my personal sense of humor.  

There you have it folks! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A $20 Console Made to Look Like Pottery Barn Furniture

Horrible ain't she? 

Things just aren't made well any more.  Furniture construction is the perfect example of this.  I mean what the heck is particle board anyway?!  I'm telling you, I refuse to pay good money for crappy stuff.  This does not mean, however, that I won't pay little money for crappy stuff because even crappy stuff has it's place in the world.  More about that in another post.

I'm still trying to decorate my dining room and while I know it's not as urgent, as say, peace in the Middle East, it's something that keeps me up at night in my own little world.  But not for long folks, not for long.  You see, I found this little baby right here.  She was only $20!!! Say what?!!! I know, I got ripped off.  One can find better junk by the side of the road, but I was crushing hard!  I had a vision.  

She had no top!  No top people!  But look at those doors though.  I'm all about the doors.

I knew this piece was made for my dining room but first it needed an extreme makeover furniture edition.  I went straight to the HomeDepot and grabbed a $25 sheet of plywood, on the windiest day ever!  My much stronger, rugged, apprentice carried it to the truck for me and boy did I crack up when I saw him almost fly away with that thing!  I literally almost peed my pants.  I'm still laughing!!! I know.  I'm mean.  

So I got the plywood home and made a top for it.  Here I am making it.  

I had to sand down the edges so that I had curvy, smooth, edges for the top. 

Here I am nailing it with my handy dandy nailer.  Look ma! I wore goggles.  

So I made the top for this thing but I couldn't just leave it like this.  I had to sand, and prime, and paint.  All of my favorite things to do in this whole, wide, world.  NOT!!!

I used a brush to apply the primer but then I got really lazy and decided to just spray paint the whole thing.  All the supplies were leftovers from other projects so I spent no money on this part. Seriously though, I hate painting.  The torture of painting paid off though because I really love how it turned out. 

Here is the after.  Ta da!  I love her!!!

I seriously suck at photography.  I'm so sorry.  

Remember what she looked like people.  Keep this image in mind.  

From Trashy to Classy! Oh and did I mention she only cost $45?!!! 
I do poor really well.  What can I say?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How to Decorate Your Dining Room When You're Broke

So I'm in a new house now.  Long story, maybe I'll tell it one day.  I'm broke beyond belief; new houses will do that to you.  I have this dining room (you know the one no one ever uses) and it was completely empty.  New furniture was not in the budget.  Heck old used furniture was not in the budget.  My budget was more inline with dumpster diving.  Alas, I stumbled across an old friend who happens to own a thrift store.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  (My expectations are low what can I say?)  I had a mission and that mission was all about furnishing that room folks.  I knew I needed a table, some chairs, and some storage all for like $100 pesos.  Some of you may say nah no way Jose and I would've agreed, except I was young and naive and I thought all things were possible.  So here's what ended up happening.  I found a round table.  She was sturdy and thick.  She had a nice substancial base and wide childbearing hips.  (I kid.) Seriously though it was a good, well made, table.  It was ugly as sin though and dirty.  Good lord was that thing dirty.  Don't even get me started on the chairs.  They were the thing of nightmares.  Well, I took one look at that ugly thing and of course I said to myself, "self, we can make this pig into a princess with some cleaning supplies and some paint" and off I went to haggle down the price.  I got it all for 75 bucks.  One ugly table and 4 uglier chairs.  Even a homeless man sitting outside the thrift store shook his head with disdain.  I think he thought I was worse off than him.

Here's an exact replica.  Mine was dirtier, more dinged up, and browner.

 Well, I jumped in the pick up truck and headed off into the sunset with my coyote ugly furniture and high hopes.  The next few days were a blur of sponges and cleaning products followed by another blur of sanding and wiping followed by another blur of priming and more sanding followed by three days of painting and drying.  This table took me forever to finish but it was worth it.  I had all the supplies on hand from another project.  I may post on that someday when the post traumatic stress is over.  Here's the newly madeover table.  I like her.

Oh and the ugly chairs, yeah those are not them.  The ugly chairs are still in the garage awaiting divine intervention.  I got these beautiful girls at TJ Maxx for 60 bucks each.  What a deal!  They're from the Cynthia Rowly home collection.  Ok so the whole dining table situation cost $315 and not the $100 pesos I said earlier, but who can put a price tag on happiness?  Not I.  I'm happy with it and that's all I need right now.  Just wait until I show you the buffet table I'm working on for in here.

Not bad.  Am I right? 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Read Across America Class Project

     This year with the PARCC test happening during what seemed like the whole month of March, we didn't have much time to celebrate a certain unmentionable doctor's birthday. (Seriously I can't mention his name or I'll be sued.) 

     March is a LONG month around these parts. We have no breaks or holidays and all we did was test. We wanted to climb the walls! In the past years, we had a little bit of a fun break with all the wacky Dr. "Moose" activities. This year all the poor kids had was TESTING! Even my own son was all "OMG school is sooo boring".

     Alas, I created this little project to help ease some of the unrest. I teach 5th and 6th grade special education and can I tell you, these kids really enjoyed making these. I was so afraid they would think I was being lame. (Not really. I run this show.)

                   They wore their Wacky Wednesday gear.  The hat completed the look.

     I had already taught the specifics of a book report/review so really it was just a matter of them recalling these facts from books they've read. Thankfully, we happen to be preparing for the Battle of the Books in May, so my kids had a number of books already under their 5th and 6th grade belts. They just used those books to review. Best of all, I didn't have to suggest this. Second best of all, they reviewed for the battle. Third best of all, they thought they were having fun instead of learning. Ha ha joke's on them.

Here's one of my kiddos cutting out the top of the hat.  Oops she forgot to color it before hand.

Here is another student's handy work.  

One of the completed hats. 

This was an easy, fun project that my students enjoyed. If you want to try this with your class, you don't have to wait until March.  Check it out on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Foodsaver Personal Pan Pizzas

I'm not being paid to say this but one of the best appliances I've ever purchased has to be my Foodsaver!  If you're not familiar with what this puppy does, let me fill you in.  It's a machine that sucks the air out of bags and vacuum seals them.  So basically, you put your food in these special storage bags and the Foodsaver sucks the air out and vacuum seals your meal and then you freeze it or refrigerate it for however long it takes a hungry family member to discover it.  The beauty is that food last a LONG time when it's sealed this way.  Oh and no freezer burn.  Oh and you can microwave it in the bag.  Oh and the food tastes just as fresh as when you put it in.  Oh and I've saved tons of cash by storing leftovers and not having to buy takeout.  Oh and I don't have to throw out food because it's spoiled. Oh and the bags are washable and reusable.  I'll stop now to show you what I made recently.

Here's mine.  It's a little used to say the least.  

I made personal pan pizzas yall!  You heard me!  I made all different kinds too.  I like certain toppings on my pizzas that my kids want no part of.  I made the dough from scratch so no nasty preservatives. The dough recipe can be found on any site with basic food recipes but most of the recipes for pizza dough call for two cups of flour which equals 4 personal pan pizzas when you divide the dough into quarters.

One quarter of the dough in a ball shape on a flour dusted surface.  

Pound the dough flat.

Roll it out with a rolling pin.  

Make a lip by pinching the edges. 

Add your toppings and place the pizza on some freezer paper in a baking pan.  I stacked my pizzas on top of each other and froze them for about 4 hours.  This made it easier to vacuum seal because the air suction would not suck the sauce off and it was better to manage hard dough.  

I folded over the wax paper and slid the pizzas into the Foodsaver bags and sealed. Now when I'm feeling lazy about cooking all I have to do is pop one of these babies in the oven and I look like a superstar.  

Nydia 8)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I Made a Dress Out Of a Man's Shirt

There's a group of crafty individuals out there that are using old thrift store clothes and turning them into useful, cute clothes.  I wanted in, but I can't sew.  That is until now.  All summer long I've been learning how to sew; on my own with no teacher.  There are a lot of tutorials on the internet for this.  Obviously I'm still a beginner, so I've had a major learning curve to overcome.  Here's a couple of the dresses I've made so far.

This dress intrigued me with its pattern.  No they are not strawberries.  The pattern of the fabric just put me in a good mood.  This was a very large dress and I am a very small person, so I had plenty of fabric to use.  Oh and it cost only $2.50!

This is the dress I ended up making.  I used a pattern from  This pattern was only 99 cents to download but it was written in Russian!  Did I mention that learning curve?  I had no instructions to work with but I stuck with it.  I'm a trooper I tell ya.  

I'm pretty happy with the results.  Not too shabby for an absolute beginner.  

How about this little gem here ladies and gentlemen?

This next dress started out as a man's shirt from The Gap.  I liked the light green pattern and the material was cotton.  You can't go wrong with cotton when making a summer dress.  This shirt cost a whole $2.50.  

This is the final summer dress I came up with.  I kept the button details and the shirt tails.  By the way, I used a free online Burda pattern.  Check out  They have tons of free downloadable patterns for all levels of sewing competence.  

I love the back of this little dress!  Seriously check out Burda Style.  They have really up to date fashion patterns.  

I also made this skirt out of a HUGE one I found at Goodwill.  Cute no?  The skirt was FUGLY!  Sorry I forgot to take a before pic.  Basically I took the original skirt apart and added a contrasting band from a pair of slacks my husband thought he threw out.  Honest I'm not a hoarder.  

My mother asked me why I wanted to sew when store bought clothes are so cheap.  I told her the satisfaction of "I made this" can't be bought.  Am I right?  

Nydia 8)


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