Category Archives: DIY

Refinish Wood Chairs Without Power Tools

That’s right! We did indeed refinish our wood dining chairs without the help of power tools!

I know what you’re thinking.

No. We are not gluttons for punishment. Well, not in this case, anyway.

Have we lost our marbles? Possibly a few of them, but not from this project.

Refinishing the chairs was less of a big deal than I thought it was going to be. This is often the case with things I procrastinate on doing, by the way.

Since we only refinished the seats and left the legs and backs alone, the process didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Thank goodness – since we use these chairs every single day. 

As you can see, our dining table and chairs are not a matched set. I like to call them coordinating.

Over time, the chair seats became more and more orange-toned. This was especially evident after I refinished the dining table 2 years ago. (see above photo)

In addition to the orange color, the finish was starting to wear in places.

This didn’t surprise me at all. The chairs are AT LEAST 15 years old and have moved with us 6 or 7 times, so it was past time for a cosmetic refresh.

Here you can see just how orange the finish was compared to the wood’s natural color after I started sanding.

Normally, I’d use a power sander to tackle this project. I’ve used this one in the past.

However, as I may have mentioned one or a million times, we sold our power tools when we moved to Ireland. The plugs won’t work here! We have been hesitant to buy a bunch of new tools that require electricity because our visas have to be renewed each year. That leaves us feeling a bit unsettled. I don’t want to procure a bunch of stuff that I can only use here when our status still feels so temporary.

So we refinished the wood chairs the old-fashioned way – by hand! The process is so simple, even a kid can help.

To refinish your chairs by hand you are going to need sandpaper in varying grits, stain or a polycrylic protective finish and a paint brush. Also helpful: rags, vacuum or broom, sanding block and gloves.

Here are the steps we used to refinish the wood chairs:

Step 1: Use A LOT of Elbow Grease
Start by sanding the existing finish off each chair moving in the direction of the grain using the coarsest grit sandpaper you have.

Sandpaper grit is determined by a number. The lower the number the coarser the sandpaper. I started with the coarsest sandpaper I had, 60-grit, and worked up to 100-grit and then 220-grit.

Sandpaper is often sold in sheets approximately 9×11 inches in size that you’ll end up cutting down to the size you need. I was using leftover sandpaper that goes with an electric sander, which is why mine is red-colored and looks like a perfect square. No wasting around here!

If you don’t have a sanding block, you can wrap the sandpaper around any wood block. That’s what we did. This will help you get more surface area traction. For the nooks and crannies though, you’ll probably end up ditching the sanding block and just wrapping the sandpaper around your fingers. Wearing gloves can be helpful for this part to protect your fingers from any unwanted ‘exfoliation.’

Step 2:  Just Keep Sanding, Just Keep Sanding

However, the gloves need to come off in order for you to feel how smooth the wood is getting. We use a handheld broom or vacuum to remove the dust as we go to constantly assess if the wood is smooth enough to stop sanding. I may or may not say, “please let it be now” an awful lot during this process.

As the finish is removed, you can switch to a higher numbered sandpaper. Now you’re in the fine tuning process of removing any grooves left by the rougher sandpaper and just getting the wood as smooth as possible.

Remember, you’re going to be sitting on these chairs – you don’t want snags and rough bits!

Step 3: Apply Stain or Clear Coat

I decided the natural wood of the chairs was what I wanted to see, so I opted not to use a stain. Instead, I applied a water-based polycrylic clear protective finish to the chair seats.

The process is pretty much the same though. First, I used a damp rag to remove any dust from the chairs and let them dry. Then I applied two thin coats of the poly with a paint brush. Three might have been better, but I was living on the edge. The polycrylic may look milky in the can, but it dries clear.

I did do a quick buff with the 220-grit sandpaper between the coats of polycrylic taking care to wipe any additional dust off when I was finished. Again, just trying to make sure the seats were as smooth as possible.

I was careful to read the directions on the can of polycrylic to make sure I allowed for the proper amount of drying time between coats. My results always tend to be better when I follow the manufacturer’s instructions! Imagine that?

Step 4: Enjoy the Finished Result

Of course I waited until the darkest days of winter to try and get photos of the chairs, but as you can see, they are no longer orange-ish!

We’ve been using the refinished chairs for a couple of months now and they are holding up beautifully to the constant use of our family! This is important because kids spill things all. the. time.

As I was assessing this project, I realized that even if I had my electric sander, I would have sanded parts of the seats by hand due to the grooves for your tush.

Also, this was a team project. Handy Husband jumped in to help and it’s a good thing he did. He’s MUCH more of a perfectionist than I am, so I credit how well the chairs turned out to having his help with the sanding. Between the two of us, it took about 2 hours to sand down the seats of 4 chairs. Not too bad!

I maybe spent another hour, not including drying time, applying the polycrylic.

For 3 hours of time and less than 20 bucks, this was a project that was a no-brainer to tackle – even without power tools.

My chairs still don’t match my table perfectly. After all, they are made of different types of wood. The important thing is I’m so much happier with how they look now. I hope my experience encourages you to try refinishing your chairs – either by hand or with power tools – too.

P.S. If you want to read about how we refinished the dining room table, click here.

*affiliate links to Amazon used in this post

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5 Easy, (mostly) Recyclable Halloween Decorating Ideas

My interest in holiday decorating comes and goes.

I’m not sure why. Different seasons of life, perhaps?

My interest or lack thereof in storing A TON of holiday decor is more steady. I like to keep some Christmas and autumn decor, but I don’t have space or the desire to store items for all the other holidays.

If I can make it and recycle the decor when I’m finished, I consider that a holiday decorating win. 

Here are 5 easy Halloween decorating projects that are low-on-cost, high-on-impact and (mostly) recyclable.

I should note that after I wrote this post, I was doing a little fact checking. Yes, I do aim for accuracy over here. Crazy, I know. Anyway, not all municipalities consider heavily colored or dyed paper recyclable. A few of these decor ideas do involve colored paper. In the event colored paper is not considered recyclable in your area, I’ve tried to offer an alternative. Please craft responsibly. The fate of the planet may depend on it! Or something slightly less dramatic…I didn’t fact check that part. 


My kids LOVED coming home to a wall full of bats last year! It was fun to surprise them.

All you need for this craft is construction paper/card stock, scissors and tape. If you don’t have black construction paper or card stock, you could print out bats on regular computer paper too. It will just take a lot of ink.

I printed off a bat outline I found on the internet, traced it onto a bunch of black card stock I had in my stash and then started cutting. Trace, cut, repeat.

The bats are simply taped to the wall.

If you bend the wings on the paper bats slightly it gives a nice 3-D effect.


More construction paper for the win! Use black or brown colored paper to cover books on your shelves.

Then you get to be creative. Use a white colored pencil or crayon to make up faux book titles.

Your book titles can be as chilling or as benign as you want them to be.


Alright, this one isn’t home decor, exactly. But it is fun, recyclable and adds some flare to a child’s lunchbox.

You can print out free Halloween lunch box countdown notes here.

Or you could just use this idea and make it your own! A handwritten countdown on a sticky note will be just as memorable for your little ghouls and goblins.


Scour your yard or garden for anything you could use to make a broomstick!

I used a long branch and a bunch of palm leaves, but small twigs would work too. Secure the “broom” to the “stick” with hot glue and twine. Tutorial here.

When you are finished with the broom, dismantle it and dispose of it in your yard debris or compost container.


Paper pumpkins are probably my favorite Halloween craft because they can be used through the entire fall season.

Plus, these pumpkins are just so stinking cute!

Also, you don’t have to stick with the classic orange pumpkin!

I’m a big fan of white pumpkins and computer paper works great for this project.

All you need for this project is paper, scissors and tape – lots of tape. Every time you roll up the paper or fold up one of the strips, it will be secured with clear tape. If you don’t have green paper for the stem, you could just color it in with a marker.

I have not gone crazy on Halloween decor (so far) this year. I’m happy to stick with pumpkins this go-around.

In case anyone is wondering, today was the first day I’ve seen real pumpkins for sale in Ireland. This drove me nuts last year, but I’m adjusting my expectations and ‘trying’ to live like a local! Thank goodness for my stash of faux pumpkins. Who knew those would be a necessary item when I was packing up all our earthly possessions for our overseas move. Got rid of the couch, but I kept the faux pumpkins. Clearly, I have my priorities.

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MultiTasking Fail and a Rope Planter

Moms of the world, I hope I’m not the only one think you can relate to this scenario.

One simple thing you have to do. That’s it. One. simple. thing. And you pick a time to sneak away to do the one simple thing when both kids are entertaining themselves. They are old enough to do that now – thank goodness.

My one simple thing was to do something with this planter. It was pink and I started to paint it, which I realized was not going to help. This needed to be a complete cover up job if I wanted to keep the planter.

But the project goes sideways because in the midst of doing that one simple thing Child 1 wants to tell you a story. Verbal feedback is not enough. Child 1 is convinced you can’t actually listen without making eye contact. So you hear, “mom. Mom. MOM. MOOOOMMMM!” over and over again. Even though that child is standing right next to you and tugging on your shirt.

So you’re in the middle of the one simple thing. You’re also trying to make eye contact and listen to the story about whether or not the Titanic can crush a diamond.

Then Child 2 starts calling, “mom. Mom. MOM. MOOOOMMM!!!” from another room. This upsets Child 1 who now has to restart the entire story (See? I was listening.) about the Titanic and diamonds.

Never mind that hollering “mom” from the other room if no one is bleeding is expressly forbidden, which means I have to ignore the yelling until Child 2 gives up and comes to find me, interrupting Child 1’s story AGAIN to ask why I couldn’t hear them calling “mom.”


That’s when I rotated the planter, looked down and realized my cover up job that involved glue was looking less than covered up. While my perfectionistic streak does not run deep, it runs deep enough to know I’d need to start this project over.

I’m sure there are a whole host of things I could have done differently in this scenario.

Sometimes people on the internet are very helpful to point out all those different things. So helpful.

I’m just going to call this a multitasking fail.

The important thing is family harmony was restored and it wasn’t too difficult to fix the error.

Ah, much better!

If you want to try this project yourself minus the drama, all it takes is rope and hot glue. I used 1/2″ Twisted Sisal Rope, which is the same rope I used on this mirror makeover.

Just pay attention to all sides of your project as you glue the rope to the ceramic or plastic planter. Scroll up if you’ve forgotten.

To make the ends blend in a little better, I cut them on an angle. This helped hide where the rope started and finished.

I’ve been using this planter for several months and so far, so good on how it is holding up. I will say I am careful when watering the plant. Also, this planter doesn’t have any drainage, so it is functioning as a shell around a smaller planter.

I’m just so darn happy I’ve kept this plant alive since the spring. That’s six months longer than I’ve kept any other indoor plant alive. Go me!

The only thing left to resolve is COULD the Titanic crush a diamond?



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Striped and Flower Petal Denim Pumpkins

Bet you were hoping I was done with the denim projects, huh?

Nope! Hahahaha!

I’m 97.328% sure this is the last post about denim pumpkins though, you lucky ducks!

You already know all about the braided denim pumpkin.

I don’t like to play favorites, but there is a reason I shared its textured gorgeousness first.

It wasn’t my first trip to the denim pumpkin patch though!

On my first trip I created a striped denim pumpkin made out of strips of cut-up jeans. I didn’t measure. I didn’t worry about straight lines. In other words, a project right up my alley!

The only thing you’ll need to make this pumpkin is a styrofoam pumpkin, old jeans (or those new ones that look old), scissors, hot glue and twine.

I used shorter strips of denim to cover the majority of the pumpkin and then finished with longer strips to cover up the remaining bits. The longer strips then became the foundation for the stem, which was just wrapped in twine and sealed with a bit of glue.

The last denim pumpkin I made was what I’m calling a flower petal pumpkin. Or maybe it has a slight acorn vibe to it?

I actually like this one more in person than I do in the pictures.

Most everything is better in real life though! Except skunks.

I gave the pumpkin a quick coat of really dark blue paint.

Then I hot glued denim circles around the top of the pumpkin and added a branch for a stem.

Faster than you can drink a pumpkin spiced latte it’s DONE!

These Dollar Store pumpkins are hollow, so it’s easy to cut off the stem it comes with and add a branch instead.

Not going to lie – it was fun to experiment with this project!

It’s a shame I ran out of pumpkins because I do have a few more makeover ideas.

Plus, a half a pair of jeans left!

These pumpkins might not be everyone’s jam. Shocking, I know!

I’m cool with that though.

I hope when you read posts like this one, you might feel encouraged to challenge yourself to reuse or repurpose something in a way that brings you a bit of happiness when you look at it, use it or gift it. You never know where the creative journey might take you!


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Horseshoe Pumpkins Go Mainstream

Questions have come up recently about my DIY horseshoe pumpkin.

This is, in part, because my braided denim pumpkin and the horseshoe pumpkin by extension were honored with a Salvaged Junk feature on Funky Junk Interiors last week.

You know how much I love salvaged junk, so this really made my day!

When I told my 7-year-old son about this good news, I thought he’d say, “cool.”

Instead, he reached over, patted my shoulder and with all sincerity said, “I’m happy for you.”

This might not seem like a big deal to you, but I’m living through a very long season of fart jokes. In that moment, hope sprang eternal that he might someday grow into an emotionally mature young man.

That was, by far, more rewarding than any work accolade.

In the two years since we made our horseshoe pumpkins out of authentic, seen-some-trail-time-on-an-actual-horse horseshoes, it appears this idea has made it into the retail mainstream.

It doesn’t take them long, does it?

A friend messaged me this past weekend with a picture of a horseshoe pumpkin she scored at a store called Real Deals. It looked really cool! It was a little more symmetrical and less rusty than my version. I loved it.

A reader asked me if it was possible to make a horseshoe pumpkin without using a welder.

My gut reaction was “no.” I’m still leaning hard in that direction.

My second reaction was “maybe” because I can’t discount the ingenuity of a determined and creative mind!

It wouldn’t look like mine or any others that are for sale right now though. The horseshoes are heavy, so keeping them in place would be the tricky part. Perhaps you could do it with a heck of a lot of wire and a dowel for the stem? Horseshoes are magnetic, so maybe there’s something possible with magnets? Perhaps you could create a discreet base to secure the horseshoes?

I’m sure someone will figure it out!

Here’s the step-by-step of how we made our version. It’s a lot easier if you have 8 horseshoes that are the exact same size and shape, which you can see, we did not.

If you are intent on making one yourself and don’t have a welder, I think any auto/machine shop in town could weld one together for you in 10 minutes. Perhaps someone in your neighborhood has a welder that you could trade a plate of cookies in exchange for this very easy welding project?

It’s worth a shot! Everyone loves cookies!

Or, you could try Etsy. I found a bunch of sellers there offering horseshoe pumpkins for $30 – 40. I liked this rustic one and this painted one was nice. If Amazon is more your style, this mini rustic horseshoe pumpkin was less than $15 earlier this week.

This is the third year I’ve pulled out our horseshoe pumpkins and they still make me happy! Hurray for dumpster diving and all the salvaged junk projects out there!



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DIY Geometric Mirror Using Children’s Blocks

A friend and I were discussing DIY fails the other day. Always a cheery topic.

The reality of my life is that some projects turn out and others…not so much.

She mentioned that IF I have flops, I don’t share them on the ol’ blog.

Well, duh! I don’t share pictures of the gravity-defying things my hair does when I wake up in the morning either. But maybe I should. It would certainly shock and awe.

I do try to share the foibles that inevitably come with most of my projects though.

Today I’m sharing a project FILLED with foibles. It’s cup runneth over with what NOT to do.

But if you stand about 10-feet back and squint one eye at the finished product, you might say, “Dang! That looks sweet!” If I’m being brutally honest, a lot of days, that’s good enough for me.

Here’s how the project started…

My daughter has had the same small mirror in her bedroom for practically her entire life. It’s not a good mirror. It has a cheap frame around it and the finish was made worse by me letting a 5-year-old “help” paint the mirror from pink to purple. If you haven’t let a 5-year-old help you paint yet, you’re smarter than me really missing out.

A combination of time, a few moves, cheap construction and a bad paint job made the mirror less than ideal.

This is, to me, what makes a mirror a good candidate for a DIY experiment. One of those crafty ideas you’re not sure will work, but if it did work I would be sure to humble brag about it it would be pretty amazing.

My crafty idea was to see if I could use these children’s geometric blocks to makeover the mirror. Pretty much every preschool classroom on the planet (I hardly ever exaggerate) has a set of these wooden pattern blocks.

My kids loved them so much at school that I bought a set for home use. The kiddos hardly ever used them at home, of course have outgrown the wood blocks, but they are really cool!

Just the wrong color for what I had in mind.

Here’s some more brutal honesty. When my DIY projects flop, it’s usually because I lack the attention-to-detail the project requires. Meticulous measuring? Not my thing. Fine precision? Not my thing. More than 3 steps? Not my thing.

If I had calculated the trajectory to the moon, you would have ended up on Jupiter instead. I would have said, “Ah, close enough! At least you made it to space! I was worried there for a second when you blasted off!”

But I digress.

I started out by playing around with the various shapes trying to see what might look interesting and what might actually fit on the mirror frame.

Then I drew a template and traced it onto the mirror frame. So far, so good.

But! There’s always a but.

It ended up being just a tad off.

If you are a perfectionist you might want to skip over this next part.

Instead of starting over and redrawing the template, I just fudged the blocks a little to make it work.

Classic me.

Adhering the blocks to the mirror frame was a bit tricky. They are slippery little suckers! It was hard to keep them in an exact position. That’s why I decided to use hot glue. Once I attached them, they weren’t going to move.

Hot glue has three downsides for this project

1. Once I attached the blocks, they were weren’t going to move. HA! It was good if I put the block down in the exact right position. It was bad if I didn’t. Please refer to the above list of why my projects flop for an indication of how well this part of the process went.

2. If anything happens to the mirror – Say it gets a hard jolt while falling off the temporary place you’ve hung it, some of the shapes can easily pop off. Yes, this happened to me! And it wasn’t immediately after hanging it. It was 20 minutes later after I’d done the victory dance. I just had to shake my head when I heard the crash.

3) The glob of hot glue raises the blocks up ever-so-slightly. It’s not noticeable until you go to paint the mirror and realize it doesn’t have a clean finish because a shape here and there is slightly higher than another one.

(I think the below picture is from before I glued everything down because it looks wonkier than the final version. Wonkier is a technical DIY term.)

After the blocks were glued onto the mirror frame, I taped off the mirror surface so I could spray paint the frame and finally finish this project!

In hindsight (and by hindsight I mean immediately after I started painting), I would have painted the frame and the blocks separately.

It was a pain to get the spray paint in all the nooks and crannies of this project. And if a block falls off, then you have an unpainted surface underneath and special care has to be made to replace the block in the exact same position.

It also made it difficult to sand any imperfections between paint coats. By imperfections I mean the dust particles or bugs that landed on the mirror. So. many. bugs.

By the way, when the blocks fell off, I had the opportunity (see how I made that a positive thing?) to reattach them with an all-purpose, heavy duty glue.

In small batches, this approach seemed to work well and those blocks are much more secure now. Lesson learned.

I’m laying it bare with how this project went because I want you to know that DIY projects (mine and I’m willing to bet most people’s) are not picture perfect processes. Things happen. Mistakes are made. This particular project had more hiccups than most. 

But! There’s always a but!

That’s how I learn. Fail. Try Again. Fail. Adjust. Readjust. Tweak. Improve.

It can be hard to go through that process in the public eye. No one wants to share how their freshly spray painted project got attacked by a swarm of gnats because they left it outside to dry! Twice. Okay, three times.

I have to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously. It’s not like I’m sending people into space.

The Internet needs to come with a warning sign similar to the one on car mirrors. “Projects on this website/blog/social media may appear way more glamorous than real life.”

Real life DIY can be messy, imperfect and an oddly-satisfying experience.

I’m not entirely displeased with how this geometric mirror makeover ultimately turned out. Especially if I squint and stand 10-feet back from it!

Most importantly, I learned from this experience and know how to do it better next time.

And there WILL be a next time.

After all, I have an entire bucket of blocks to use up!

Happy creating, everyone!


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Braided Denim Pumpkin

I have these illusions that I’m an unique, one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold sort of person.

But I’m really just like most people. In fact, I’m just like the MILLIONS of other crafty people in the world who have fallen down the rabbit hole known as The Dollar Store and emerged with a styrofoam pumpkin.

Okay, okay. I have six Dollar Store pumpkins. Six. But that’s all, I swear.

And you can’t just buy a Dollar Store pumpkin and be done with it. Nooo. No way. That’s against the code. Something crafty must be done with those Dollar Store pumpkins or you develop an eye twitch and bad luck for 7 years.

Or so I’ve heard.

I decided my Dollar Store pumpkin was a good candidate for a denim makeover. If you’ve been reading this blog in the last few months, you will know I have been repurposing Handy Husband’s old jeans. I’m determined to put this material to good use and this might be my favorite project until the next one yet. (I say that every time!)

To make a braided denim pumpkin, gather up your supplies: old jeans, styrofoam pumpkin, scissors, hot glue gun, needle and thread.

Then you’ll begin the most gratifying part of this project – cutting up a pair of jeans!

It feels a little naughty the first time you do it. Then, it’s sort of empowering. Like you are a superhero saving the entire neighborhood from an accidental flash of your husband’s boxer briefs from the blown out crotch in his jeans saving the planet by repurposing an item destined for the landfill.

You’ll be cutting the jeans into long, thin strips. I pretty much winged it because this is not a project you should over think. It’s a Dollar Store pumpkin, not the Mona Lisa. My strips were approximately 1/3-inch wide by 10-inches long.

I’d say this project took a good chunk of the right leg of this pair of relaxed-fit jeans. Plan accordingly if you are working with skinny jeans.

This next part may or may not have been necessary. It’s just what happened while I was winging my way through the process. Since I didn’t want my braid to come unraveled before I attached it to the pumpkin, I held the 3 strips together and secured them with a couple of stitches of blue thread. I probably could have used hot glue, but this just seemed easier and less glue-stringy at the time.

Then I braided the denim and secured the other end of the braid with a few more hand stitches.

I repeated this process about twenty or so a million times.

The last part of the process was to hot glue my braided strips onto the pumpkin.

I did not want to add bulk to the bottom of the pumpkin, so I never glued an end of one braid on top of another braid. No overlapping, I did get the braids as close together as I could though to hide the orange styrofoam.

As the gaps between the glued-on braids started to close, I ended up cutting my braids to size because I didn’t need the final braids to be as long as the ones I started out with.

My original intent was to trim the very first and longest braids to fit close to the stem. However, I decided I liked the curly-Q effect, so I left a few.

Here’s how it turned out…

I also gave this faux pumpkin a stem upgrade! It’s super easy! I used a craft knife to cut off the styrofoam stem.

It turns out the pumpkin is hollow! That’s one mystery solved.

Then I shoved carefully inserted a branch into the pumpkin to act as a stem. I had intended on glueing the branch in and may need to in the future as the styrofoam breaks away, but for now, it doesn’t need it.

I love the texture the denim braids provide.

And since denim goes with everything, this pumpkin works with a variety of color schemes.

I’m smitten with this pumpkin. Absolutely adore it.

Beyond that, I’m happy I took an hour of “me time” to sit down and create something pretty for my home. This time it was a braided denim pumpkin. Next time…who knows?

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Golf Ball Pumpkins

How does a non-golfing family end up with a bucket of golf balls?

I imagine it’s the usual way.

We scavenged for them.

In our version of “I Spy” we search the beach at low tide for golf balls hidden under rocks. At the top of the cliffs above the beach there is a park and it seems some golfers like hitting balls into the ocean. Naughty, naughty.

Collecting the golf balls is great fun, but I needed something to do with the growing collection other than take up an expensive hobby play golf.

My daughter and her friends transformed the first bunch into emojis.

That project was super cute, but it did not deplete the golf ball reserves.

As the days on the calendar moved closer to autumn, I knew there was only one thing to do…turn the rest of the golf balls into mini pumpkins.

And it’s so easy. Paint the golf balls and then hot glue on a stem! That’s it!

But because I like to hear the sound of my own typing, I’m going to riff a bit on this project.

First and foremost, no matter what type of paint you decide to use, painting round objects takes time.

So. Much. Time.

Pull on your patience pants because you cannot rush things. You need to make sure the paint is fully dry – not just dry to the touch – before you rotate the golf balls to paint another section.

Now, it turns out that plastic shot glasses make a perfect pedestal to hold the golf balls while painting. Again, just make sure they dry FULLY before you rotate.

Otherwise, the paint will get dinged up and that little fiasco will make you want to use those shot glasses for their intended purpose. Not that I know this from experience or anything.

Spray paint with primer would work great for transforming the golf balls into pumpkins. I ended up not finding the exact spray paint color I was looking for, so I decided to experiment with mixing acrylic paints to achieve a custom color.

What happened next was a happy accident. I didn’t really know how much paint this project would require. Covering over the writing on the balls ended up taking several coats of paint. I didn’t count, but 4 or 5 coats maybe? And this was over the course of a few days.

Essentially, I was mixing the paint each time I brushed on a new layer. So that meant the balls ended up with slightly different colors. Pumpkins aren’t uniform. In fact, they are imperfect and quirky, so this worked for me.

I excel at justifying my DIY outcomes.

The pumpkin “stems” were procured from a shrub growing in my garden. I trimmed the twig to my desired size with scissors and glued it on with a dab of hot glue. I added the green twine (also with hot glue) as I thought it made my pumpkins look a little more pumpkin-esque.

Beware! The glued-on stems are a bit fragile. So if you’re going to take photos of your cute pumpkins and one rolls off the table…the stem is probably going to pop off and you’ll need to glue it back on. Not that this happened to me or anything.

*cough* twice *cough*

As I prepare to bathe the entire house in pumpkin-everything, I think my new golf ball pumpkins will find a home in a pretty bowl in my living room. Or on the dining room table. We’ll see.

Also, if pumpkins aren’t your thing – don’t tell anyone – that could turn ugly!

But if pumpkins really aren’t your thing, you could paint the golf balls red instead and make APPLES!!

Wow. That was a happy little plot twist. This blog. Always keeps you asking why on your toes.


P.S. Please don’t buy new golf balls for this project. Ask around first. Golfers will often have a ton of practice balls that aren’t in great shape that they will be willing to part with for free or cheap.

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Repurposing Denim Belt Loops to Hang Towels

I recently read a New York Times article entitled 5 Cheap(ish) Things That Could Disproportionately Improve Your Life.

I’m ALL about improving my life on the cheap(ish).

The author, Tim Herrera, wrote this:

“I never would’ve thought a thin, black, six-foot iPhone charging cable would change my life.

Yet here we are, and that magic cable is the Amazon Basics lightning-to-USB iPhone charging cable (also available in micro-USB). This little wonder of PVC and copper wiring solves an irritatingly modern non-problem problem: the three-foot leash that is the stock charging cable usually bundled with most smartphones.

Cue the tiny violin.

But once you’re able to roam just a little farther, you realize how much that three-foot leash affects the way you navigate your living space. How you orient yourself at home while charging your phone changes. The happiness of lying on my couch while charging far outweighed the cable’s $7.99 price tag.” 

YES! Exactly what he said about an ‘irritatingly modern non-problem problem!’

(Also, I need one of those cords. STAT.)

I recently had an irritating non-problem problem that was wreaking havoc on how I utilized that room I can never escape my kitchen.

Please note that ‘wreaking havoc’ is way over the top a tad bit melodramatic, but I’m taking creative license with that phrase because it is Monday and I can.

This problem was kitchen towels that did not have a hanging loop. (I had to Google what that thing was even called, by the way.)

A few of my kitchen towels had a hanging loop already attached when I purchased them. The other offenders rest did not.


Enter a simple solution to my kitchen irritant. It didn’t cost me a dime. But man, I get an irrational amount of happiness over kitchen towels that actually hang nicely and don’t fall off the hooks I have set up.

I was going to add a little length of ribbon to make a hanging loop, but I didn’t have any ribbon in my craft stash that was wide enough for this particular project – unless I wanted to use Valentine’s Day-themed ribbon. There are limits to my LOVE for drying dishes, so I passed on that idea.

I did have a pair of my husband’s denim jeans though!

He’ll never miss them!

I cut the belt loops off to use as the hanging loops on my towels.

They were the right size, color and the denim will probably outlast the towels.

I elected to place my loop on the corner of the towel because that’s where the loop is placed on my other towels. There’s no right or wrong here – go with whatever floats your boat!

Now, if you had a sewing machine this next part would take 3.2 seconds.

I don’t.

I stitched the ends of the loops onto the towel with a needle and thread instead. I wasn’t timing it, but it took slightly longer than 3.2 seconds to finish this project.

My sewing skills can be categorized as stitch the crap out of it and hope it holds novice.

No exaggeration.

So if my travel sewing kit and I can knock out this project, you can too!

This is how my new hanging loop looked when I finished.

The thread blended nicely – thank goodness. I tried to hide most of the stitches on the reverse side (the front of the towel) in the double layer of fabric edging.

And now, the best part!

Kitchen towels that don’t fall off the hooks!

It’s the small things, isn’t it?

It still makes me ridiculously happy to see them all lined up there!

Add this project to the list of cheap(ish) things that can disproportionately improve your life!

The only problem I’ve had with this project is that my family STILL has not gotten the memo that the kitchen towels – all of them – now have hanging loops.

It’s been weeks, people! Help a mama out!

I still have a lot of denim fabric to repurpose now that I’ve started cutting up Handy Husband’s old jeans. I’ve made denim flowers for this wreath, but I need more ideas! If you come across any clever ones, let me know!

Also, if you have a cheap(ish) thing that has brought disproportionate happiness to your life, for goodness sake, don’t keep it to yourself! Tell me what it is!

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Two Easy Ways to Corral Hair Bands

I can open a drawer a million times and the mess doesn’t bother me.

At least not enough for me to do anything about it.

And then…

I can’t explain it. Something snaps.

I find myself saying to no one in particular, “what kind of animals live in this house? Why is this drawer such a gross disaster?”

I have a silverware tray in a bathroom drawer to organize my daughter’s hair stuff.

As you can see, it’s working super well.


Handy Husband’s idea for organizing this drawer was short hair. That idea was met by an epic level of eye rolling by our 10-year-old daughter.


Thank goodness HGTV had a better idea! It was to use a binder ring to store hair bands. Clever, but, of course, that was one random office supply I did not have on hand.

I did have a carabiner though!

This simple solution has been working great for my 10-year-old to use to hold her hair bands.

If you don’t have a carabiner, then one of these cheap shower rings also works well, I discovered.

Not all of my organization ideas stick, but simple and easy-to-use solutions seem to work best.

I’m happy this idea is holding strong after several weeks, but ask me again in a year!

If you have a simple way to organize hair accessories, let me know!

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