Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Outdoor Party Signs with 3M DIY

After a year and a half, our new home is finally reaching the point where we like having people over for dinner. Having a finished basement helps, but our yard and other renovations are really coming along nicely. The yard is becoming particularly lovely. Especially at night.

We love to sit out on our deck and look over the lake near our home. One night as we were relaxing on the deck, the hubby and I started talking about how much fun it would be to throw an outdoor party. You know, invite friends over, eat outside, and talk until it was good and dark. So we did. We invited friends, set up a table outside and had a wonderful evening. But you know me, I can’t just have people over…it needs to be an event with party favors and beautiful signage.

With the help of 3M DIY, I was able to safely build two signs – one for our future fire pit and one that I used as a table centerpiece.

Roasting Marshmallows Around a Campfire is My Favorite Summertime Tradition
Every Party Needs a Good Centerpiece
First things first, I needed perfectly aged wood for the fire pit sign. I wanted it to be a worn gray color and rustic looking – but I didn’t want to buy it or ask a farmer for a piece of his fence. I ended up scavenging around town, looking for discarded wood that I could reuse, and stumbled upon a dumpster full of old pallets. It was meant to be.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a sneak peek.


I headed home, gathered my supplies from 3M and got right to work. When working on projects like these, it is essential to use the RIGHT products for the job. I always turn to 3M for 3M™ Advanced Abrasives, ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape, 3M™ Wood Filler and 3M™ Safety Products.

I ripped the pallet apart, using only the pieces that were roughly the same size.


For safety reasons, I then removed all of the rusty nails from the pallet pieces.


Hammer the nails back out of the wood and then use a hammer to pull them the rest of the way out. Be sure to discard immediately. You do NOT want one of those in your car tire!


To connect the slats, I used small pieces of scrap wood, clamps and wood glue, and let dry overnight. In the morning, I screwed a few wood screws to the back of the slats, secure the scrap wood in place.

Once everything was nice and secure, I started sanding.


I used 3M™ Advanced Abrasives and my trusty leather gloves to sand those boards until I felt like they were safe to touch. I attached a skinny piece of wood to the back of the sign to allow it to stand up before I added the finishing touches.


With my Cricut®, I cut vinyl lettering and transferred the vinyl to my wood sign with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape.


Yes, you heard me right! What, you didn’t know ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape is a fantastic way to transfer vinyl? The light tack makes it just sticky enough to transfer the vinyl to your project but it easily peels off, leaving the vinyl behind. It is pretty amazing stuff.

I chose to do vinyl on my sign instead of painting because I wanted to be able to use the sign over and over again for different events.


The finished sign is everything I envisioned – the perfect addition to our outdoor party.

No sweat, right? Super easy.

If you can believe it, the party’s centerpiece was even easier to make.

I found a small-ish log with a flat bottom and sanded the edges and sides with 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to make sure it was nice and smooth. I filled a few cracks in the log with 3M™ Wood Filler to give it a more finished look.


Then, I measured the log and divided its length into 6 even sections, marking each section with a pencil.


With my drill, I made holes at each pencil mark about ¾ of an inch deep with a 1/4 inch drill bit. I lightly sanded the holes with 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to smooth them out.


At Lowe’s, I found ¼” poplar dowels that I cut into 8 inch sections. I topped the dowels with the letters: C H E E R S and stuck them snuggly into the log centerpiece. By drilling six holes, I will be able to use the centerpiece over and over again for future parties, spelling out different words.


To accompany the centerpiece, I made tiny favor boxes filled with chocolates for everyone to take home.


The night really was perfect. The food was good and company was entertaining – the ideal combination for a fantastic night. For your next outdoor party, make a fancy sign and centerpiece and wow your guests.



 xoxo, 


  
I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate products from 3M DIY. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.

You can get inspiration from other 3M bloggers like myself via any of 3M DIY's social media outlets: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Master Bathroom Makeover

Our master bathroom is a little small, there's no going around it. The room can barely fit a shower, a double sink and a toilet. The dated fixtures, honey oak cabinets and wall color were really bringing the room in - making it feel even smaller than it actually is.

Here's a picture of the space before:



And a picture after our small updates:


I knew that a nice, cool gray would immediately make the room feel bigger. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen a few sneak peeks of the room already.



We didn't have the budget to completely overhaul the bathroom. In fact, we wanted to keep the update under $100. That meant paint, new hardware and maybe some new shelves.

We started with the walls. Because it is such a small space, painting the walls was easy, but the effect was immediate. It is amazing what paint can do, seriously.

The cabinets took longer, but the effect was equally as great. My secret weapon was Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint. Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint comes in every color you can think of, but I knew that my cabinets needed a little black dress to make them shine. This particular color is called Carbon.


To give the cabinets the stability to withstand average bathroom wear and tear, I used three coats of the Americana Decor Soft-Touch Varnish. My favorite part of the Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint is that I didn't have to sand the cabinets before applying the paint. After refinishing my kitchen cabinets, I promised that I would never strip and sand cabinets ever again.


We also needed extra storage in the bathroom and more bulky cabinets would just make the room feel smaller. We decided to add floating shelves to give the space the illusion of height to a tight space. The silver hardware matches the silver handles on the cabinets. It pulls the room all together.


I am so happy with the results! A few coats of paint really does wonders. Be sure to follow the rest of my house updates HERE.

Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint is available in Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, A.C. Moore and other stores. Visit the DecoArt Chalky Finish website for more chalk paint ideas and inspiration.

***Disclosure: DecoArt provided me with the Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint, but I truly enjoyed the product and would use it again.

Monday, August 25, 2014

How-To Make a Unicorn Horn Headband

A little over a month ago, I threw a DIY My Little Pony Party for my 5-year-old. For the party, I made unicorn horn headbands for all of the girls and promised a tutorial!

How to make a unicorn headband


Well today's the day!

Want to make some super easy, but awesome unicorn headbands?

How-To Make a Unicorn Horn Headband

Unicorn Headband tutorial


Let's get started!

You'll need:

Felt (cream and pink), paper, stuffing, gold thread, hot glue gun and glue sticks, scissors, headband. and sewing pins.
Cut out a pattern for the ears and the horn from pink and cream felt. The ears I free handed, but thought I'd share the unicorn horn pattern with you:



Start at the top of the horn and slowly roll it into a point. Use the hot glue gun to secure it ever roll or so.


When the top is completely rolled and glued in place. Bring both of the ends together and glue.


 Stuff the horn with stuffing or batting - I used pillow fill from an old pillow.


Cut a small circle of cream felt and close the horn's opening.

Start at the top of the horn, glue a piece of gold thread to the back where the felt pieces meet. Wrap the thread around the horn, pulling on it a little to give the horn definition.


Cut the thread and glue the end to the bottom of the horn.

Use a paper template to cut out the ears and the middle of the ears.


Make sure the main ear piece is connected. This allows you to wrap it around the headband.


Glue the horn and the ears to the headband.


Use another circle on the underside of the horn that slightly folds up onto the horn to keep it sturdy.

Wrap the ears around the headband and glue together. Then, glue the smaller, middle section of the ear to the front of the folded ear piece.


The underside of the headband should look like this when you're finished.


Before you know it, you'll have made 10 of these babies and you're little one will be the happiest birthday girl ever!!

How-To Make a Unicorn Horn

For more details about our My Little Pony Party, click HERE!

xoxo,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back-To-School Countdown Calendars: Part Two

I have two more ideas for some back-to-school countdown fun. Both are pretty simple but your kids will love them.

If you remember, I wanted to keep costs down so that all of your mulah can be spent on fun activities with the kids.

Vintage Ruler Countdown Banner


Hobby Lobby carries the cutest little library check-in cards for $1.99/4. When I saw them at the store, I knew I had to make something with them. 


I strung the cards from an old wooden ruler my parents had when I was growing up. I drilled two holes in each end and then simply tied a piece of string from one end to the other. I hung the cards on the string with tiny clothes pins.


Kraft Stacking Boxes Back-To-School Countdown Calendar


You may remember the stacking turquoise boxes from my first post. These kraft boxes are the same idea, just with more contemporary baubles. I decorated them with a packages of tiny scrapbooking tags and some sticker numbers. 


The idea was to fill each box with a special treat, surprise or activity for your littles - counting down the days until school starts.

My little girl starts school in less than a week and we started our countdown calendar tonight with a fun night of bowling, ice cream and dance dance revolution. SO. MUCH. FUN.


I shared these two ideas and three more on a local TV program, KSL Studio 5:

You guys, I really do talk with my hands like that in real life. 

It's true. 

 xoxo,

P.S. Did you make it this far? Good for you! The first person to comment on this post wins the brown stacking boxes! Ready. Set. Go!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Back-to-School Countdown Calendars: Part One

The summer is almost over and I'm not ready! Are you? My little E starts kindergarten this year and I feel like we've wasted her last summer as a school-free kid. We've done a few fun things, but nothing like I had planned at the beginning of summer.

Well, it's not too late. I've made a list of 50 Things to Do Before School Starts and compiled it into a Google document to share with you! Some of the items near the top of the list are activities specific to my area, but the rest of the list is pretty generic.

To make these last few days of summer memorable, I decided to create a countdown calendar for my littles. A back-to-school advent calendar, if you will.

I had so much fun making one, that I ended up designing FIVE to share with How-To Gal readers and on KSL Studio 5, a local TV program.

I'll share three today and two the beginning of next week so you don't get overloaded all at once.

I had a few stipulations for my count down calendars:
1. Easy for anyone to create.
2. Cost under $5 to make.
3. Include activities that are inexpensive or free

Want to see what I made?

Envelope Back-To School Countdown Calendar


For this calendar, I cut nine envelopes with my Cricut Explore and added sticker numbers to the front. Then, I spray painted a 12" x 12" canvas I had stashed away and glued the envelopes right onto the canvas.


Each day as we open up the envelopes, I'll have a fun activity written on the inside from my list of 50 Things to Do before the end of summer.


 Modern Stacking Boxes Back-To-School Count Down Calendar


You can't get any easier than this. I purchased all of my turquoise boxes from The Paper Store and stuck black and white numbers on the front. Super easy! 


Each box could be filled with goodies for your count down. Fill them with clues for the day ahead or a simple slip of paper with an activity. It will be like unwrapping a present everyday!


Chalkboard Back-To-School Count Down Calendar


Aren't those brown paper bags adorable? They were another find from The Paper Store. For this calendar, I simply inserted fun activities into the bags and taped them onto a chalkboard with hot pink tape. In the clear baggies, I put gift cards and membership cards to my kids' favorite places.




Which one is your favorite? 

P.S. If you made it this far and read the entire post, I have a secret to tell.

I'm giving the turquoise boxes away to the first reader to comment! Ready. Set. Go!




 P.P.S. I'll be sharing two more calendars the beginning of next week with another, not so secret, giveaway! Stay tuned!


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