How to get the mercury glass look

Mercury glass decor items are popping up everywhere. It adds a nice grown up sparkle without looking stuffy. And when you can get away with adding sparkle in your home without demasculizing your husband, by all means – do it.

My inspiration:

Photo Credit: Vases, Lamp, Hurricane

I picked up the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint at Craft Warehouse, gasped at the price and put it back. Then I remembered I had my 50% coupon so I went for it. Finding glass pieces wasn’t hard, I LOVE collecting different glass items and who doesn’t love the good ole mason jar. So while baby was sleeping and my four-year old was treated to some Angry Birds time on the computer, I set out to get this project done.

I started by spraying the items with 3-4 very light coats of the paint, giving five minutes of dry time or so in between each coat. Tip: spray on very, very light coats, and spray the inside of your item. When the paint dries, the mirror side will be on the outside – and the inside will be matte.

And then things got interesting. When I went back out to check on them, our sprinkler system was going full-bore in the backyard and they were dripping wet. Why the sprinklers were on at two in the afternoon I do not know…what is it with men and constantly working on their perfect lawns? It’s like they are an extension of their…well you know.

Anyway, I brought them inside and tried to dry them off but the paint started coming off in patches. Lovely. So I tried painting again even though there were still some areas of paint on them that I couldn’t get off.

After the second attempt at painting them, I put together a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and gave them a thorough spray.

After sitting for a few minutes I started to gently wipe off the vinegar mixture, leaving behind the scratched and bubbled imperfections.

What do you think?

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All natural cleaning scrub recipe

This is one of the easiest cleaning recipes but one of my favorites. If you’ve made my homemade laundry soap, you should have Borax and baking soda around. The recipe is simple: 2 parts Borax to 1 part baking soda. (If you don’t have the items already, Borax can be found in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores.)

First, take a large nail and a hammer, and punch holes in the top of your mason jar. This will be your container for your scrub.

Then mix your Borax and baking soda together and a bada bing!

Use in showers, tubs, sinks and tile for a simple, non-toxic and non-abrasive cleaner. You can also sprinkle in your garbage disposal and drain, let stand for 15 minutes and rinse to clean and deodorize.

Homemade dry shampoo for brunettes

Dry shampoo is one of my absolute beauty must haves. It freshens up your locks after a workout or in between washings, and gives your roots a little lift from bed head. It can be a spendy product, but my main issue is that it can leave your hair with an ashy grey look if you have brown or other dark-colored hair. Dry shampoo is basically made of cornstarch and fragrance. So, I got to mixing in my kitchen and came up with a nice homemade version that works great for us non-blonds.

Just take equal amounts of unsweetened cocoa powder and cornstarch and mix together. Store the mixture and sprinkle (not too much!) on roots when you need a little hair refresher and some body.

I’m wondering if you could use cinnamon or something to make a version for red-heads? Hmmmmm…

How to paint a chevron wall

Chevron! (Say it like Oprah. Chev-roooooooonnn!)

I saw a lovely grey and white chevron wall over on pinterest and had to have my own. You see, my husband had just finished building a fabulous murphy bed in our bonus room (more on that later), but I kept thinking it needed something more. Too sterile. Guest beds need to feel cozy, super soft sheets and be adorned with some kind of headboard. But, I knew with a four month old and a four year old running around, I needed to do something quick and easy, with big visual impact.

The walls in this room are already painted a lovely shade of grey and I had leftover cream paint that matched the trim and cabinets, so I did this on the cheap. Before I started painting, I took measurements and made a little drawing of my design to double check everything. I first measured the length and width of the wall, and formed my pattern working from the middle out. I picked the middle point and made a square grid; then I made the chevron pattern using the points of the squares. I wanted a big, dramatic pattern (and I didn’t want to have to tape too much), but you could do it whatever scale you want.

Once I was happy with my pattern, I started measuring out my grid and used small pins to mark the points of the squares. Then the final and most laborious step before getting out the paint roller was to tape the chevron pattern.

Save some time and buy the Frog tape. It seals wonderfully and you will get a nice clean line.

Then paint a couple of coats, remove your tape and a bada bing – serious chevron fabulousness!

Footstool makeover

Think twice when you see something that looks like junk at a garage sale or Goodwill.

This sad little footstool was at a friend’s garage sale last weekend and I snatched it up to give it a makeover for my friend who is a photographer. I thought it would make the perfect little prop for her photos of little ones.

To give it a fresh look, I removed the fabric top part where it was attached with four screws. Then I gave the wood a quick sand and gave it two coats of black paint with a can of spray paint. I had some leftover fabric (I’m obsessed with chevron, this is Premier Prints) so I eye-balled it and cut out enough to leave a couple of inches of overlap around the edges. I wrapped the fabric around starting on one side, tucking the raw edge under then used a staple gun to hold it in place. I worked my way around being sure to hold it really tight to keep the fabric smooth and the print lined up across the edge.

Turned out pretty darn cute. What do you think? (I am loving my models :))

GAK

Gak: A popular Nickolodeon slime, available in many variations such as glow in the dark, speckled, coconut smelling, etc. Useful for making fart noises and grossing out friends. (via Urban Dictionary)

We made our own. So easy, best $3 project ever.

Homemade Gak

  • Empty two 4 ounce bottles of Elmer’s glue into a big bowl.
  • Add 8 ounces of water and mix (you can just refill the Elmer’s bottles with water)
  • Add desired food coloring.
  • Dissolve 1 tsp Borax into 1/2 cup of warm water.
  • Add the Borax mixture to the glue mixture.
  • Watch it turn into the slimey fun we call Gak!

See, wasn’t that easy??

Glass etching

Glass etching is one of those things that becomes completely addicting. I already have a tendency to collect cool glass dishes, glasses and things, and now I want to etch everything! Here are the simple steps on how to do it, I put a friend’s last name on a 9 x 13 in baking dish. I love it because you will always get your dishes returned when you’ve got your name smack dab in the middle.

If you have one of those machines that cut out paper or vinyl, you could certainly save some time using it. But, I am not that crafy so I found a fun font and printed out my design. Did you know there are a TON of free fonts out there? Check out Free Scrapbook Fonts 

I used layers of painter’s tape and then taped the template over the top. Then you get out your little friendly exactor knife and get to it. Trace around the letters and then remove the tape so it looks like this:

Carefully remove the template and attach where you want it on your project. I made sure it was sealed well, using my fingernail to smooth over bubbles.

Then you take etching cream (you can find it by the paints at craft stores, I got mine at Craft Warehouse) and glop (a technical term) it on making sure the area you want etched has a thick coating. I just used a small craft paint brush. I left it on for about 30 minutes, then rinsed well with water. Don’t get it on your hands, this stuff is potent. Then you peel off the tape and you are done!

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe

Making your own laundry soap is SO incredibly easy. I was sold at the first use. AND, it’s way cheaper than the store brand variety.

I have tried a few recipes and this one is my favorite. Funny story about the Fels Naptha. When my sisters and I were little, my mom would threaten to wash our mouth out with the yellow bar of soap if we used bad language. I only remember this happening once to me, and I think it was more of a two second bite than an actual washing…but still.

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup Oxiclean
1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap bar

(Both the Washing Soda and the Fels Naptha soap can be found in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets.)

1. Combine the Borax, washing soda, baking soda and oxiclean in a big bowl and mix together

2. Grate the bar of soap using a cheese grater. It actually looks quite like cheddar cheese.

3. I use my blender to mix the soap with the other ingredients and break down the soap into smaller pieces. Put about half of the white mixture into your blender and half of the shredded soap so you don’t overload your blender. If you run it too long, I have found that the motor will heat up and some of the soap will melt and get stuck in the blade. So put it on the pulse setting and give it a few short pulses. You can also use a food processor if you prefer. Do the same to the second batch.

That’s it, you’re already done! See, not so hard after all. And doesn’t your kitchen smell heavenly now??

Use a funnel to put the soap into your container of choice. I use a large mason jar and put a cute label on it. Head on over to Limeshot Design for the free and adorable mason jar labels I used.

And the savings! This recipe will make approximately four cups of detergent. You only need to use 1-2 Tablespoons a load. So that gives you 32 regular loads or 16 large or heavily soiled loads. At just under $3 a jar for all the supplies, that makes for more money for things funner than laundry soap. (Yes, I know funner isn’t a word but it makes me laugh.)

One more thing – this formula is perfectly safe for HE machines because it is low sudsing.

Homemade granite cleaner

Granite looks so great when it’s clean. But it hardly ever is around our house. I refuse to go through a bottle a week of the special, expensive granite cleaner. So, I did some research and came up with a recipe that I make at home and it turns out it works better than the store-bought stuff. Easy peasy.

Homemade Granite Cleaner
1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka
5-10 drops of Dawn or other dish soap
Water
10 drops essential oil or tea tree oil (optional)

Put the rubbing alcohol or vodka into a 16oz squirt bottle. (I don’t know why you would waste vodka on cleaning but apparently some people do.) Add the dish soap, essential oil and fill up the rest of the bottle with water. Give it a few shakes and you’re good to go. I always add essential oil or tea tree oil because it takes over the alcohol smell. And lavender essential oil and tea tree oil just happen to be naturally antibacterial so that’s a nice bonus. I just got a new essential oil called “Blues Buster” that is a combo of tangerine, grapefruit and geranium. Heavenly!

*I know a lot of people use vinegar for all-purpose cleaners but be sure to avoid using vinegar on any natural stone as the acidity could cause damage.

DIY Sugar Body Scrub with Coconut Oil

I am LOVE with coconut oil. I had no idea it was one of those amazing products that is good for pretty much anything. Remember the guy in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who sprayed Windex on any ailment? I’ve become that person. Dry skin? Acne? Diaper rash? Cradle cap? Just put some coconut oil on it!
I’ve been playing around with oils for my dry and eczema prone skin and this scrub is making a huge difference for me.

Sugar Body Scrub with Coconut Oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup coconut oil
10-15 drops essential oil (I love lavendar, lemon, or geranium)
Melt the coconut oil in a double boiler (do NOT microwave!) and mix into sugar. Add essential oils, stir well and put in an jar with a lid. Keep in the shower for use as often as you like! The coconut oil becomes solid at room temperature but just scoop some out and it will quickly melt in your hand.