Tag: DIY

DIY Summertime Bed-in-a-Bag

DIY Summertime Bed in a Bag (1)

Summertime Bedding

………………….A Bed-In-A-Bag

Here’s an idea for you for quick summer bedding when you have unexpected sleepovers or friends and family drop in for the evening and don’t go home :).  We truly love it when that happens!

You know those heavy-duty zippered plastic bags that comforters and other bedding come in?  Don’t throw those away.  I have found they are so handy to store entire bedding ensembles and have them at the ready to throw on an air mattress or couch for extra sleeping space.  The bigger ones I even store the pillows in.  It saves time and stress to just pull out one of these “beds-in-a-bag” when it’s bedtime and there are extra bodies needing a place to crash.  It also creates a much more welcoming feeling when mom isn’t frantically running around trying to gather last minute sheets and pillow cases.

There are always great sales on fleece blankets and throws.  These are great for a “bed-in-a-bag”.  They take up very little space and are nice and snuggly warm. If you don’t have any of these handy bags, just use a trash can liner with a tie for now.

When the bedding is gathered up and ready for the laundry, wash, fold, and store right back in the bag (with a dryer sheet for a fresh laundered smell) and it will be all set for the next surprise sleepover.

Have a package of pancake mix (add water only style) and some frozen blueberries in the freezer for a quick and better-than-average breakfast.  A surprise you’re prepared for is always more fun than a surprise you’re not.

summer bedding 2 summer bedding zippered bag

Unique Ideas for Kitchen Islands

Kitchen Islands…….. maybe just made from other stuff

Unique Ideas for Kitchen Islands

Who couldn’t use a little more counter space?  Kitchen islands are a wonderful centerpiece for more storage, prep room, seating, and counter space.

Kitchen islands can be the focal point of the entertaining area and the gathering place for creating family memories.  Our island does not have a sink or cook top and personally I’m glad it doesn’t   Having all the counter top space in the middle of the room allows for a fabulous nucleus to set for buffets, which is pretty much the way our family eats now.

If you live in a small apartment you don’t have room for a big country kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of having a kitchen island…maybe just shrink them a little.  Any extra counter space in a small kitchen is welcome.

  • Think about a small stand-alone island.  And maybe the piece you choose isn’t even meant to be an island.  I think it is so fun to re-purpose furniture and it definitely adds some interest to your décor.
  • maybe the piece you can use is a cocktail table
  • or an old butcher block table
  • maybe even grandma’s antique buffet
  • If you’re into the industrial look how about a tool chest on casters.  Make a top for it or buy a “second” at a cabinet shop and there you go!
  • Think about this; re-purposing a bedroom dresser by making a counter top for it and dressing up the “back” (or front) with some molding or adding a couple newel posts, paint it a cool color and what a great kitchen island!  Think of all the drawer space you normally don’t get in a regular island.

Think of your island as another piece of furniture and it will open up your mind to all sorts of unique possibilities.

Unique Ideas for Kitchen Islands kitchen island industrial


How to DIY an Outdoor Water Fountain

Splash and Trickle….I love water fountains

How to DIY an Outdoor Water Fountain

The soft trickle of a water fountain on a patio or near your favorite chair in the garden can soothe away the cares of any day.

I LOVE the sound of trickling water and with all the easy DIY design options out there, there’s no reason not to have one.  You are only limited by your imagination…..and an electrical hook-up; which, by the way, is a much over-looked and very important component when designing your fountain.

Fountains can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it.  Let’s take a look at a simple pot-in-pot fountain.  I love this one featured in a Sunset magazine.

(insert pic of fountain)

Materials needed:

  • 2 glazed ceramic planters (pots) with a drain hole

1 large

1 small enough to fit inside larger one but nesting at the top

  • 1 5-gallon bucket
  • Submersible fountain pump (the kind the old swamp coolers used is good for a project this size~they’re cheap
  • 42 inches of plastic tubing to go with pump
  • Silicone caulking
  • Tin snips
  • Electric drill, possibly
  • 1 2-ft square of heavy steel mesh (strong enough to hold weight of fountain)
  • Landscaping stones

1. Dig a hole in the soil deep enough to hold the plastic bucket. Using tin snips or a drill, create a ½-in. notch in the bucket rim. Put the bucket into the hole with its rim at ground level and the notch facing your electrical outlet.  Set the pump in the bucket.

2. Using tin snips, cut a square opening (about ½ in. across) in the center of the steel mesh.

3. Attach the plastic tube to the pump and thread it through the center opening in the steel mesh. Position the mesh square atop the bucket. Pull out the free end of the pump’s power cord; position so it exits the bucket through the cut notch.

4. Slide the plastic tubing’s free end through the drain hole of the large pot.

5. Center the large pot atop the steel mesh while guiding the tubing up through the drain hole.

6. Squirt a bead of silicone caulking around the upper inside of the outer pot. Place the shallow pot into the larger one, while guiding the tubing up through the drain hole.  Make sure the inner pot makes a good snug fit with the caulking. Trim the top of the tube so that its end is flush with the bottom of the shallow pot.   Allow the caulking to dry overnight.

7. Put landscaping stones around the pot to hide the mesh.

8. Fill the plastic bucket under the fountain with water, and turn on the pump. (This is where the electrical outlet comes in.  Make sure you plan to place your fountain near an outlet.  That’s what makes the pump work! J)

One word of caution.  The water will evaporate more quickly than you may think.  Check the bucket often to make sure there is enough water to cover the pump.  Otherwise, you may be buying a new pump.

Natural Light Solutions- Solar Tubes

Solar Tubes, the 21st Century’s Deck Prism

Natural Light Solutions- Solar Tubes (1)

Have you ever heard of a deck prism? It is the coolest thing ever, at least it was the coolest thing ever a couple centuries ago.  A deck prism is made from glass and is shaped like an upside down pyramid.  It weighs about 15 lbs and was installed in the decks of ships to gather light and reflect it to the deck below so sailors did not have to use lanterns when transporting flammable cargo.  There’s your history lesson for the day….

Well, just think of solar tubes as the 21st century’s analogous answer to a deck prism.  Our friends just had two installed in their home, one in each of their bathrooms.  It is amazing the natural light that comes from these planetary wonders.  My friend said after their solar tube was installed she would always walk down the hall to turn off the light in the bathroom.  Light wasn’t on!  They love it!

I have a closet in our en suite that gets no light at all.  A solar tube is definitely on my list of things I want really bad!  We also have a bathroom that has only one teeny tiny window and would really benefit from a solar tube.  It is at the end of a hallway and would really brighten the entire hall.  Wait a minute!  Let’s put one in the hall.

The idea of natural light beaming down in my shower sounds fabulous.  Look at this bright space!

Natural Lighting solution- solar tubes