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How to Repaint Furniture | The Painted Dresser Project

by M.E. Gray

How to repaint a dresser

Ready for a fun before-and-after project? A boring Craigslist dresser is transformed into a vision of blue beauty, in just 10 steps! There is a right way to to achieve a great finish on a painted dresser, and there is certainly a wrong way, too. Sure, you could just slap on a coat of paint and call it a day, but impatience and rushing through the repainting process means sloppy results. However, we're here to share our careful step-by-step process, and to make sure you get it right the first time around so your Craigslist finds can shine!            

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How to: Paint a Buffalo Check Table

by Jeran McConnel
Buffalo plaid table painting DIY

I love black and white, and what better pattern to show off this high contrast combo then buffalo check (also known as buffalo plaid). For the last few years, I've been adding more and more of this (usually) red-and-black flannel pattern known to my fall/winter wardrobe and home decor.  Last year, I decorated a whole Christmas tree for $10, and buffalo check was the main star.  

So, when I found this solid little table at a thrift store for $8, I decided to give it a giant gingham makeover.

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Make This: Bloody Good Halloween Bark

by M.E. Gray

Bloody Good Halloween Bark Recipe | Sweet Enough to Die For

Everyone's talking about costume parties and thriller flicks, but even as an adult I know Halloween is all about the candy. I wanted to make a spooky treat that was different than the usual mix of fun candies and white chocolate - I wanted something... darker. With bloody red candy melts and dark chocolate chips, this Halloween bark is sure to hit the darkest of spots.

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DIY Halloween Curio Boxes

by Alicia Lacy
DIY Halloween Curio Boxes


Halloween is coming, and with it an explosion of orange and black. The holiday's signature colors may be my least favorite color combination of all time. So, I put them in a box and it made all the difference. 

To make your own set of Halloween curios, here's what you'll need:

 

Supplies:

  • Paper mache or wooden curio box. I found mine at Michaels for less than $10. Here are some similar options - house and rectangle. 
  • ...

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How to: 3 DIY Fall-Inspired Bouquets Using The Same Materials

by Lidy Dipert

 

3 DIY Fall-Inspired Bouquets Using the same Materials

It's officially fall. Can you believe it? Saying good-bye to the hot sunny days and cocktails on the patio is enough to make anyone a bit bummed. So, why not treat yourself to a bunch of flowers to create some lovely bouquets to brighten the mood, all the while using the same materials!  The best part is, you don't have to be a professional florist or even have a lot of experience in flower arranging. It's about exploring and discovering new avenues of creativity step by step, while having fun of course!       

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Make This: DIY Incense Holder, Plus the Lowdown on Aromatherapy

DIY clay incense holder

One of my favorite things about the autumn months is coming home at night and snuggling by the heater under warm blankets with candles or incense burning in the background. The heavenly scents help me to unwind after a long day at work, and incense holders are so easy to make that there's no excuse not to have a stick or two burning away while you cozy up and get stuck into that good book. Click through to learn how to make your own DIY incense holder, and head to the bottom of the post for more information about the benefits of incense!       

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Save Money, Get Fit: How You Can Achieve Both Fiscal and Physical Fitness at the Same Time

by Amber Dickson
Yoga mat and participant
Photo: RawPixel/Pexels

Generally speaking, we all want to be physically healthier, and we all want to be more financially fit. Gains in both those spheres really boost our enjoyment of life, but attaining both those goals at the same time can seem intimidating. Can you save money and stay healthy? Do the two go hand-in-hand, or do they butt heads? Read on to learn about ways that will help you improve both your bodily and fiscal fitness. Put these tips into practice and reap two-for-one benefits!          

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Fall Style Guide: The Cutest and Coziest Fingerless Gloves

by Amber Dickson
Fingerless Gloves
Source: Martha Stewart

When the air starts to crisp up, wearing layers is key to being comfortable.  Fingerless gloves can be a fun and practical addition to your fall wardrobe.  They add warmth, style, and keep your fingers free for devices and other dexterous tasks.  Read on for a roundup of DIY, buy, and up-cycled options.  You will want to get this kind of cozy into your life.       

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DIY Some Self-Care: How to Make a Soothing Chai Spice Tub Tea

by Marlene Sauer
How to Make Chai Spice Tub Tea
Images by Marlene Sauer

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

No, I don't mean the Big C. My absolute favorite time of year is -- fall!

Every year when autumn hits here in New England, my senses come to life. Crisp, clear air; leaves to crunch through; snuggly scarves; cozy lit windows on dark, chill nights; there are so many little daily luxuries to savor.

And this year I'm adding another one, which will also help in my goal of better self-care: DIY chai spice tub tea!

Keep reading to see how easy it is to make your own chai spice tub tea!           

DIY Chai Spiced Tub Tea

I know, pumpkin spice latte is still the fall season drink-darling of the internet, but I'll choose a steaming cup of chai tea any day. That sweet and spicy scent sends me right into an autumn reverie. Since chai is both exhilarating and soothing, it's perfect for a stress-reducing aromatherapy bath.

While aromatherapy is often geared around specific essential oils that promote different benefits, you don't have to follow all the rules for a good self-care bath. We each have our own idea of what relaxes us. That's why I can't wait to have another soak in my DIY chai spice tub tea. It just melts all my tension away!

Plus, the epsom salt is known to relieve sore muscles, and black tea is full of antioxidants that are good for your skin. So this homemade tub tea is not only full of the joy of fall days, but it's good for you, too!

Since chai tea is full of complex flavors, this recipe does call for some whole spices. I am providing links to online sources in the materials, but the cheapest place to purchase whole spices is in bulk at a health or international food store. Bulk spices are really inexpensive when you're getting small amounts, so don't balk at the long ingredients list!

Okay, are you ready to make your own chai spice tub tea? For 5 "servings" of tub tea, you will need:

Materials

 

  • 1/2 cup epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons black assam tea (I used bagged tea because it's what I had on hand)
  • 4 tablespoons green cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons dried ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 5-8 pieces star anise
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
  • Paper tea sachets, or small muslin drawstring bags
  • A bowl
  • A jar with an airtight lid
  • A spoon
Note that this listing is for 50 drawstring bags! A health food store should sell them individually if you just want a few. 

Step

Measure all the ingredients, except cinnamon sticks, into the jar, and stir well until completely combined. You can use the spoon to gently crush the larger star anise pieces so they get evenly distributed.

Then, add the cinnamon sticks on top (they just are too big to be stirred).

 

Step

How to Make a Chai Spice Tub Tea

Fill each tea bag until its about 2/3 full. Place a cinnamon stick in each bag, and tie. 

That's it! When you are ready to use your chai spice tub tea, simply draw a bath, and place the sachet right into the water so it steeps, just like a drinkable tea. You can crush the bag in your fingers a bit to enhance the aroma. Bonus points for stirring an extra cup of epsom salts into the bath for even more benefit!

Then, recline into your chai scented tub and let your troubles simmer away.


Make homemade chai spice tub tea

DIY Chai Spice Tub Tea
Images by Marlene Sauer

 

I know it's SUPER TEMPTING to make a cup of chai tea to drink with the same batch while you're at it, but please don't drink this mix with epsom salt -- it works as a laxative when ingested. However, everything else is edible, so if you leave that out, you have a recipe for a delicious mug of chai!

These simple homemade tub tea sachets would make a great self-care gift, don't you think? Just add a little gift tag to each bag. Or, you can gift a whole jar of the tea blend with some sachets, so your recipient can customize the strength of each individual pouch.

How to Make a Chai Spice Tub Tea
Pin now, soak later!

But, this is one of those gifts I *may* end up keeping for myself!

What's your favorite way to unwind with some self-care? Tell us what relaxes you during this busy time of year! And, what do you think of this chai spice tub tea recipe?

 

 

 

Looking for more DIYs that celebrate the scents of fall? Give this simmer pot a try

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These Are the Best Privacy Options for Your Bathroom Windows

by Jennifer Farley

Bathroom windows are unique, both in form and function. They need to let light into a small space, while at the same time, afford you privacy. Here's how to get the best of both worlds.  

Bathroom Windows Privacy Solutions For Every Budget

Every bathroom in my home has a window, some of them quite large. Our current master bathroom even has one in the shower. That doesn't seem so bad (hooray, natural light!), except the window looks directly out onto the porch right next to our front door. 
Hello Mr. UPS man, don't mind me, I am just standing here taking a shower...

Obviously, we had to remedy these problems. Bathroom windows are a good thing! They let in light and help ventilate the bathroom when needed, but they can be inconvenient when you need to go about your bathroom business. Here is a wide variety of solutions for your bathroom privacy that fit a variety of budget needs.       

   

Options Under $25

Rustoluem frosted glass spray paint

 

Masking bathroom windows before painting

 

1. Frosted spray paint for privacy in bathroom windows

Grab some painters tape and this can of frosted glass spray paint for less than $4 and you have got a pretty easy privacy fix.

 

Frosted window
Thrifty Fun

2. Frosted contact paper window treatments

You can use the contact paper "as is" or you could use a cut out to make a fun pattern like this tutorial over at Thrifty Fun. This would be a great fix for a rental but my guess is the humidity from your bathroom would cause peeling. This might not be the best permanent solution but a great inexpensive temporary solution costing less than $10.

 

3. Privacy window vinyl static film

A more permanent option would be to spend a little more to purchase vinyl cling film for your bathroom windows. The cost depends on the size of the window but a 17 X 78 inch piece from Amazon costs around $14.

 

4. DIY privacy screen using lace or sheer fabric

A creative option would be to make a privacy screen to place in front of the panes of your bathroom windows. All you need is a wood frame and a remnant of lace. Check out how to make this lace window screen here. If you need a little more privacy use a more patterned lace or a sheer piece of fabric.

To make the frame you could use an old window with no glass or canvas frame found at a craft store.

5. Hang thrifted art over part or all of your bathroom window.

Many people hang art in their bathroom, so why not use that art to cover a window? I know the photo is not a bathroom but a piece of art could cover a lot of window. For a smaller window positioned high, a small piece could cover the bottom window pane. If you want to keep it budget friendly head to the thrift store to find a treasure.

 

Bathroom window curtains
Amazon

6. Install inexpensive bathroom window curtains

A short cafe-style curtain can create bathroom window privacy and still let in light from above. These bathroom window curtains fit perfectly in humid environments, as they actually repel water. Find them on Amazon for under $14.

 

DIY Bathroom Window Curtains
Real Housewives of Minnesota

7. Sew your own bathroom window curtains 

Can't find any bathroom window curtains that fit your style or size? All you need to make your own is a tension rod, a bit of fabric, and some needle and thread. Check out this easy tutorial for the step-by-step instructions. 

Want to make your own bathroom window curtains, but don't want to sew them? Find out how to make no-sew curtains by following this tutorial.

 

Options Under $50

1. A simple bathroom window curtain panel

Why over-think it when simple bathroom window curtains will create usable and durable privacy. This is what we use for my master bathroom window.

 

2. Custom cafe curtains

If you have a larger window use thicker drapery panels to cover the bottom part of the window. You would need to buy a curtain panel and a curtain rod putting this project over the $25 mark, unless you have a small window and can use a tension or cafe rod. Another budget friendly option is using kitchen towels for curtain panels.

 

3. Small faux wood shutters

This is such a great fix for smaller bathroom windows. You can find these at Lowes or other home improvement stores. If you have a standard size window you can often find paintable wood versions at local salvage stores or Habitat for Humanity Re-stores.

 

4. Double-sided mirror privacy window film

Turn your window into a tinted mirror with two-way window film. You will be able to see outside but they will not be able to see into your bathroom. The cost of this depends on the size of your window but a small window can definitely be covered for under $50.

 

5. DIY a roman shade with shower curtain fabric

You can use a tutorial like this one to make a roman shade using a fabric shower curtain.

For windows in the shower, you can protect your wood trim by painting the trim with boat paint (Also called marine paint).

 

Cordless bathroom window curtains
JCPenny

6. Cordless bathroom window shades

These simple shades go up and down without the use of cords, meaning they're ideal for homes with pets or small children. Let light in as you please for under $50.

 

Macrame hanging in window
Amazon

7. Hang a macrame wall hanging in the window

Privacy is key when you're in the bathroom, but it's also important to let as much natural light in as possible. Hanging a macrame wall hanging in the window (especially one in a light color), adds beauty and privacy. We love this one from Amazon!

 

Options under $100

1. Hang a mirror over your window

Block the view through your bathroom window with a large mirror. It works even if its not over your sink as well. It can be a great dressing or make-up mirror.

 

2. Hang vintage stained glass over your window

You can find vintage stained glass for under $100 at flea markets and antique stores. Hello, architectural detail!

 

3. Install Leaded Glass Window Film

I am actually not sure if the window above is window film but I have always wanted to try this leaded glass window film from Wall Paper for Windows. I also like the tudor style leaded glass. They have the blurred glass and the privacy frosted glass as well. The cost depends on your window size but its pricier and more durable than the less expensive window cling.

 

4. Hang a Bamboo Shade In your Bathroom

Bamboo shades are great options for privacy while also allowing light to filter through. Bamboo can also hold up to humidity pretty well as well. You can find many options under $50 at home decor stores or department stores.

 

Options Over $100

1. Install Plantation Shutters

These plantation shutters can be custom made to fit any window. You can order then at most home improvement stores in their special order area.

 

2. Install a leaded glass, stained glass or frosted glass replacement window

If you are remodeling this might be a good fix but it will be the most expensive.

 

3. Install Shower Grade Plantation shutters in your shower.

There are companies, like Hunter Douglas, that make shower grade plantation shutters and trim to install over existing bathroom windows in your shower.

4. Install Privacy Window Inserts

Indow Window is a window insert company that has a wide variety of uses for their window inserts. This is much less expensive than installing a new window. They have frosted privacy options that can be easily installed by any homeowner like the pictures shows above.

 

5. Install Bottom-Up Top-Down Roman Shades

Most custom blind stores sell bottom-up/ top down roman shades. By just using the cord attached they can work like roman shades or they can raise up from the bottom to shade the lower part of your bathroom windows.


These are the best Bathroom Window Privacy Solutions For Every Budget
Pin It: Bathroom Privacy Solutions

In conclusion, there's no need to expose yourself. Hopefully one of these bathroom windows solutions will work for you!

Do you need storage for your small bathroom? Check out these 15 solutions to help with your small bathroom organization woes.

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Before and After: How to Transform a Rusty Metal Cabinet to a Modern Statement Piece

by Jeran McConnel
Before and After: How to Transform a Rusty Metal Cabinet to a Modern Statement Piece
Photo: Jeran McConnel

Okay, confession time.  I have a lot of random junk in my garage.  I love to thrift, so when I come across furniture that has "potential", I buy it and save it for a rainy day.  This ugly little metal drawer cabinet has been in my garage for a couple years now collecting dust.  I bought it at the Pasadena Flea Market and paid about $20 for it.  It was very rusty and had a lot of holes and chipped layers of paint.      

        

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