24 October 2011

Rustic Blue Side Table

This is an old table I scored from Freecycle.  There was nothing wrong with it, all it needed was some freshening up.

And now...

I lined the inside with this fresh lovely fabric.  I love it!

You'd think this would be a simple makeover right?  Aaarrrghh!  Initially the top was going to be black.  I used an enamel and of course had to leave it for 24 hours to dry.  I gave it a light sand before my next coat and it was still a little tacky and coming up from the surface.  I waited a while before I gave it a second coat.  Then it started bubbling.  More sanding, more coats, more sanding, more coats.  Took me friggin' weeks!  Finally I got it.  I took it outside to distress the top.  However I got distracted and didn't get to it for a few days.  Now with the STUPID temperamental weather we've been having (from cold to scorching hot within 24 hours, and this pattern over a few days), all the paint bubbled up from the surface.  I dug out the scraper and scraped the bloody thing off didn't I!  There were spots where it was a little harder to get the paint off, so I just used the heat gun and it lifted immediately.  I gave the top a heavy-handed sand until I my fingers seized up, stained the top with English Walnut and a few coats of poly on top.  Done.  Easy.  Should have stuck with the natural timber in the first place as it looks so much better.

Check out my Link Parties page to see where I party!

Megs x

22 October 2011

Homemade Water Feature

When designing our front yard, I always had a water feature in mind.  Once the lawn was down, plants planted along the sides, some pencil pines along the fence, we just left a circle of dirt.  Initially it was used for the kids' trampoline, but they never played on it so it became our rose garden - kinda.  We had roses, along with dirt and weeds.   I saw an article in Better Homes & Gardens magazine a few years back on how to make your own water feature out of old outdoor pavers.  I no longer have the magazine but we kept it all in the memory bank.  My Mum and Stepdad just happened to have a ton of old pavers sitting out behind their shed.  Perfect for recycling - and free!

Here is a photo of when we started five months ago (before we were distracted with other things):

And now

 If you're interested in doing something similar and are on a tight budget like me, here's what you'll need:

1.  A round fish pond approximately 1.2 metres (I paid $125 for mine at Bunnings but you could probably find a good second hand one cheaper on ebay or the like).
2.  Some old tiles
3.  Water pump
4.  Old bricks/besser blocks
5.  Pavers
6.  Metal grate
7.  PVC electrical piping (I'm sure there's a proper name for it - it's for the cord of the pump to go through under the ground)

Dig the hole and line it with sand. This will help with moving the pond around until it's level.

The pump should have an extra long cord.  Feed the cord through the pipe to wherever it is to be plugged in, and then bury the pipe. (Sorry there are no photos of this, but you can see below where the cord is coming out of the buried pipe.

It looks messy I know, but hopefully you can see where the cord comes out.

That's the orange pipe where the cord comes up and into our power point inside.  You might have an outdoor power point though.

Now place the pond and level.

Shovel some dirt down the sides to keep it in nice and tight.

Place the pump with two brings on either side to secure.

 Repeat with the bricks until all secure, just before you get to the top of the pond.  Cut the corners of four pavers so sit around the pipe of the pump.

Before you go any further check to see if the pump works!  Otherwise it's a big pain in the ass to collapse it all and start again.

Now that bricks and first layer of pavers are level with the top of the pond, place some metal grate over the top.

Place some broken bits of tile on top of your first layer of pavers toward the middle.  These will be used as spacers.

And just keep going to desired height!

We turned each layer just smidgen to give it that twisted look.  But you can play around and stack them anyway you like.  Then decorate however you wish.  Ideally, I would have liked to have used grey slate pavers, but these were free!  I also wanted to use big black pebbles but they were waaaay out of my price range.  We picked up these grey stones for $50 all up.

It's not fancy or fussy, but that's the way I wanted it.  Simple but effective - and within my budget!


Here's a short little video of our water feature in action...


This is the first spring for my roses so I can't wait until next year when they're big and juicy :)

If you decide to give this a try, I would love to see it.  Thanks for stopping by to see my first tutorial!  Forgive me if I've not made it clear enough.

Check out my Link Parties page to see where I party.

Megs x

16 October 2011

Baby Steps

I have been completely out of action the last couple of weeks.  After committing myself to having a stall in my daughter's kindy fundraising markets, I came to a complete halt as far as my furniture is concerned.  I started about five things and didn't finish any of them.  My confidence was out the window.  I put too much pressure on myself to get things done and got too overwhelmed.  I have HUGE commitment issues and hate being under the pump.  It's no one else's fault but mine as I let things get to me too much and think I have to please everybody all the time.

Yesterday my husband dragged me out of bed and told me to get on with it.  That was the last straw and I emailed the kindy telling them I couldn't do it.  WHAT A LOAD OFF!  Mr T helped me out so much yesterday and encouraged me.  He gave me back my motivation which I thought was lost forever.  Yes, my mans is awesome.  Now I am just going to sell my stuff online when I'M ready and not commit myself like that again.  Maybe one day when Mum and I have enough pieces sitting around we'll set up a stall somewhere, but for now I will take it an easy pace.

I managed to finish a little table Mum wanted for her tiny spare room.  Initially it was going to go in the stall but it has a tiny hairline crack at the top and I didn't want to sell it like that.  Mum loved it as soon as she saw it so it's hers now.

This is what it looked like when I bought it for $10:

Pretty rickety and fugly.


 See the crack?

I used a white acrylic, distressed the edges, stained over the top with English Walnut then finished off with Minwax Wipe-On Poly.  I tightened the table so it wasn't as rickety but it's still a little wonky as you may have noticed.  It leans to the side slightly but I can't work out why.  No matter.  It's only for a spare room.

Now to get on with the things I started.

Megan x