Archive for September 2012

Make Your Own Magnet Board

posted by Rhiannon


My sister and I both collect magnets from our travels.  So a couple of years ago during our family "Make-it-Yourself" Christmas, I made her a magnet display frame.  I was in love with the way it turned out and seriously considered keeping it for myself.  I gave it to her like a good sister should, but still secretly think about stealing it off her wall every time I go to visit.  (Sorry sis, now you know).

The Original Rhi Magnet Board

So years later, I have finally gotten around to making one for myself!! Yay!!! didn't go exactly as planned.  Let me explain:

I started with a frame from the Goodwill.  They had a huge selection and I finally settled on this 20x30 beauty for $8.99.  (I still have the print if anyone is interested...I'll give you a good deal.)

Once I removed the print and the glass from the frame, I was ready to start painting. I chose a Valspar (of course) spray paint color called "Vanilla".  This Valspar spray paint is the best spray paint I've ever used. Trust me...not all spray paints are made equal.  

Painting tip #1: If you are ever painting frames, stick several pins in the back so the frame will be slightly elevated off the ground.  This will help to get even coverage all the way around the frame, and prevent the paint from "gluing" your frame to you painting surface (yep, one of those "Live and Learn" situations for me)

After the frame was painted and drying, I started on the "magnetic" part.  My sister's board was made with an actual piece of metal that I had cut at a scrapyard in the town where we used to live. After calling every metal shop in our current town, I could not find ANYONE who would cut metal for me. FAIL #1!!!

So I opted to give the Rust-Oleum magnetic paint a try.   

I picked up this illustration board from the craft store to use as the base for the magnetic paint.  It was thick and sturdy and, lucky for me, it was exactly 20x30 - the size of my frame. Jackpot.

I opened the can of magnetic primer and people, this stuff was like TAR.  I spent about 15 minutes stirring, and stirring, and stirring this stuff to get it to a smooth consistency.  In hindsight, I should have had the people at Lowe's run it through the paint shaker machine. and learn. 

Painting Tip #2: Instead of drop cloths, I use an old vinyl shower curtain liner or a vinyl tablecloth. These are heavy with no fear of paint leaking through, they don't get stuck in the paint, and can be used over and over again.

Kind of like Where's Waldo...if you look closely, you will see my trusty blue shower curtain in more than one post. (Here, and here, and here...)

Following the instructions, I rolled on the magnetic paint with a high-density foam roller.  The instructions also said to wait 30 minutes between coats and apply at least three coats. Check.

Painting Tip #3:  If you have to leave your paint tray/roller/brushes for any amount of time and don't want them to dry out, put them in a trash bag and seal it up tight.  Seriously, I have left paint "sealed" like this for several days before being able to go back for touch ups and the paint is just like new.  Thanks Mom for this one!!

After the first three coats of magnetic paint had dried, I gave it a try.  FAIL #2.  The magnets wouldn't stick.  I went back and added another two coats of magnetic paint. That ought to do the trick.

I let it dry, put everything together, and FAIL heavy magnets still won't stick. @!$%!

I went online to read the reviews for the Magnetic Paint (yes...after the fact. I told you...Live and Learn) and saw that almost everyone had the same problem.  Sorry folks.  Be warned.  This stuff just doesn't work as advertised.

But in the end, here is the finished product. I really love the way it looks, even if it doesn't work quite the way I had hoped.

The New and (not so) Improved Rhi Magnet Board

I especially love the way the frame turned out. You can see some of the frame's gorgeous detail below.

Because I can only put a few of my lighter magnets on the board, I have my dad - who knows everyone who ever knew anyone - on the hunt for a true piece of metal that I can put in my frame.  Until then..this will have to work...unless I steal my sisters :)

A Bright Idea

posted by Rhiannon


Yes...I am back to fixing up my closets again, but I promise this was a not a premeditated event.  Sometimes DIY inspiration just strikes you when you least expect it.  In this case, while shopping in the local ACE hardware.

The small closets in our house all have a light bulb that turns on with a pull string.  For shorties like me, these bulbs are blinding and I hate turning them on.  The hubs and I briefly talked about putting up real light fixtures but since there is no wall switch and we have to use that pull string, it was a very short lived conversation.

But then browsing the aisles in Ace one afternoon, we came across these little light bulb covers.  They are plastic and just clip right onto the light bulb like a lamp shade.  PERFECT!!

We got home, I ran upstairs, clipped them on the light bulbs, and I gave it a pull. Not Perfect!! Every time I pulled that little stupid string, the lamp shade would tilt to the side.

Well now... I didn't anticipate that.  But then I had another bright idea (forgive the pun).  I got out the drill and drilled a little hole just big enough the fit the chain through. This was easy and took all of 5 seconds (partly because the drill was already laying on the floor from another project in the works)

 Then I fed the chain through the new hole, clipped the light shade back on and VIOLA - no tilt and no blinding light!!

 I'm not saying this is the prettiest thing in the world, and I hate that the fixture has gold on it (which will probably meet it's match with a can of spray paint next time I have one in hand), but its a far cry from the blinding light that used to shine down on me.

Painting Over Wallpaper - Oh Yes I Did!

posted by Rhiannon


Our kitchen has a FABULOUS 16 foot bank of windows looking out onto our patio.  But along with those fabulous windows are fabulous stark white walls mixed with fabulous stark white tile.  Hello.  The 80's called...they want their decor back.  And eventually I intend to give them every piece of it!

I have been dying to add some color to the kitchen since we moved in, but our biggest challenge painting this kitchen was not choosing the color, it was the fact that those fabulous white kitchen walls are covered in fabulous WHITE WALLPAPER!!!  Dear God, Why me?!?!?

I debated on stripping all the paper, but flashbacks of a week spent stripping the wallpaper in the dining room (post coming soon) was almost enough to make me rock uncontrollably in a corner.  Then I remembered that my sister Jess had painted over the wallpaper in her house.  Genius!  It must run in the family, lol.

Pantry and Basement Door - Before

I started by making sure there were no rips or tears and that the seams were all tight.  Check.  There was just one spot of bubbling, but it was in a corner and I didn't even notice it until I started really looking close. Paint over it?  Check.

I was really intimidated by painting over wallpaper, but in the end I really didn't have do anything special.  I bought my usual Valspar Paint + Primer and went to work.  The only difference I noticed painting over wallpaper was that it took a little longer to dry and you could really tell if you had skimped on the paint in an area - like the trim - which I tend to do.

Pantry and Basement Door - After

We chose a color called Mother Nature by Behr (color matched to Valspar paint, of course).  I had seen this color in a friends house and loved the warm feel of it.  The camera doesn't do it is very pretty and earthy.

Windows - Before

Windows - After

 Another view of the windows before & after

Door to Dining Room - Before 

Door to Dining Room - After 

Luckily, like I mentioned above, our wallpaper was stark white.  No stripes or patterns or anything that we needed to really try to cover. You might have to do a little more research, or I can ask my sister Jess, what to do in those situations.  But we got lucky and it turned out really well.

And just like no one will ever notice the fancy white rods in my closets, no one will ever notice that this is wallpaper.

There is still a lot more work to be done in the kitchen.  New floors, counter tops, hire a maid, etc.  But for now, I am happy just to have some color.

Poop Soup

posted by Rhiannon on


Ok, so I didn't really make poop soup, but I did boil some underwear.  What happened was...

Its no secret that yellow is my favorite color.  I just love that happy little color.  So imagine my glee when a local store had beach towels on 70% clearance and I scored this bright yellow beauty.  I also bought a couple other colors too, but they really don't matter.

So when I saw this little guy sitting all alone on the laundry room floor after a trip to swim lessons, I threw him in with a load of B's whites.

Wait. WHAT?!?? A yellow towel with whites?!?! What was I thinking!?!?

I wasn't...okay folks...I wasn't.

When the wash completed, I opened the washer. Son of  Biscuit! Ack!!  There was my bright sunny yellow towel...smiling at me...saying "Look ma, I made everything yellow. Aren't you proud of me?"

No - bad towel, bad towel.

I screamed at the towel and jerked it out of the washer like a parent jerks a child throwing a fit out of a store.   If that towel had an would be dislocated. I immediately starting re-washing the whites.  Pushing buttons at a frenzied pace and using more bleach than should be legal for washing children's clothes.  Must...fix..this...

When the whites...ahem...yellows came out of the next cycle, there was no change. They were still a sad, sad shade of yellow. How could I send my boy to school with yellow socks and underwear?

So I soaked some of the clothes in a bucket of (more) bleach and water overnight.  I didn't want to soak them all cause I know how bleach can damage stuff - so I just did a small sample to see if it would work. Still no change.

That's when I ran to the grocery store and picked up some RIT color remover.  Last ditch effort before heading out to buy all new socks and undies for the kid.

The process was pretty easy, except I couldn't use the washing machine method since we have a front loader.  Instead add water, Rit Color Remover, socks and underwear to a large pot.  We have a joke around our house about making "Poop Soup" - insert that here...

But after 30 minutes of boiling underwear - it worked!! The whites are white again and all is right in the world. least until my next big faux-pax.

Did I mention I bought a sewing machine?