How to Make Chalk Paint Books

I love this decor from my sister’s house, probably because of my love for a muted palette:

How to Make Chalk Paint Books via #diy #decor #homedecor #anniesloan  (annie sloan chalk paint tutorial)

The books were purchased from the thrift store:

Ideas for using Thrift Store Books via


The dust jackets were removed, and the outsides carefully painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

Chalk Paint Book Tutorial via #chalkpaint


I love the matte, sueded look of them:

how to decorate book shelves via


These will go great with almost any type of decor too: [Read more…]

An Eco-Friendly Kitchen

We recently went solar…50 solar panels installed on the roof of our house.  It’s exciting to try to be more green.

So now my new focus is to try and reduce waste in the kitchen. We’ve done pretty good until now….we always have way more recycling than trash:

Easy Recycling Station via



I think paper towels were our guilty pleasure.  I recently added a drawer full of white hand towels to a drawer in the kitchen.  You can buy them in bulk (I got mine at Costco):

how to make reusable paper towels via


Now instead of using a gazillion paper towels each day we use far less.  It’s easy to grab a quick towel….much easier than the “re-useable” paper towel system I think.

reusable paper towels diy via

I even use them to mop….as reusable “swiffer” attachments:

cleaning and mopping with vinegar via


All the used hand towels have a place to collect when they are dirty too:

an eco friendly kitchen via

This is one of  my favorite eco-friendly tutorials….there’s something so gratifying about seeing the tarnish vaporize!  Click the image below:

Easy eco-friendly silver tarnish remover via


I asked all of you on Facebook for tips and there were some great ones!  (The post is here if you would like to read through them all or add your own.)


A few of your tips:

[Read more…]

Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents


Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents via #recycle #organization #organizing #diy

I can’t stand clutter around the house….so my junk drawers can tend to get out of control.  I also have more than one. They are located around the house.


The first thing I do is consolidate all the drawers in one place…..with a large work area.   I use paper plates to sort through everything.  Then I split the items up by drawer and return everything else to it’s right place.  Anything I’m not quite sure what to do with goes in the JUNK JAR. (see the junk jar tutorial here)

steps to organize a kitchen junk drawer via #organization #organizing


I like for the containers to match the insides of the drawer if possible (makes the drawer look less cluttered)….so I use spray paint to paint various boxes and containers that will fit well:

how to make drawer organizers via


My newly organized junk drawers:

how to organize your junk drawer via #organization #organizing


I went through every single marker, pen, highlighter etc to see which were working and then sorted them into bins within these large wood caddies:

organizing art supplies via


The hardest part about my junk drawers is that I don’t like to throw anything away because I know it will end up in a landfill.  I found everything under the kitchen sink: medications, over 50 dried up pens, tons of old batteries. These are things I don’t want to throw in the trash because:

:: Over 10 billion writing instruments are sent to landfills every year.

:: Over 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.

:: 3 billion batteries are bought a year…and contain harmful metals that leak into our water and soil.


It takes a little more work to recycle and donate….but it’s worth it.  I created a little recycling station in our laundry room to make it easy on the rest of the family. I painted large coffee tins and added a simple paper label:

(CAUTION: Make sure to wrap any 9V batteries in electrical tape to prevent a complete circuit from being formed. Risk of fire!)

create a recycling station for batteries and other items via #recycle #tutorial #DIY


This can is for random items that need sorting: writing instruments, old blades, medications etc:



Here’s where you can easily recycle items from your junk drawer….the links are below the images.  For office supplies that are still working and in good condition consider finding a local non-profit to donate them to!


[Read more…]

DIY Reclaimed Wood American Flag

DIY American Flag Home Decor from Reclaimed Wood Pallet via


Here’s another painting I did last weekend from reclaimed wood….a rustic American Flag for our outdoor living area. It took under 45 minutes to paint:

Flag Home Decor from Reclaimed Wood Pallet via


The only labor intensive part was making the canvas from a reclaimed wood pallet. First, the pallet was dismantled and then the pieces were attached to two boards: [Read more…]

Carving Rocks with a Dremel

How to carve and drill holes through rocks with a Dremel via

There is something very gratifying about carving into a rock.  This project was kind of therapeutic. I was thinking I’d carve some words into rocks and maybe start leaving them around Palm Desert to see if people find them…. [Read more…]

Woodburning 101 (A Tutorial)

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial via

I’m having so much fun with this woodburner. My favorite thing I’ve made so far: little driftwood message hearts. I’ve had a lot of luck with this brand…..the Creative Versa-Tool.
Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 1 via


The heat control is key because it heats up much hotter than most wood burners…..making it much easier to burn:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 2 via


I ordered these pre-cut driftwood hearts on Etsy from Tinker’s Attic:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 3 via


Driftwood is super easy to burn because it’s so soft:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 4 via

You can add some paint for some color:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 5 via


A love note:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 6 via


My favorite point is the universal point…it performs all fundamental designs:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 7 via


A tapered point can burn more intricate designs:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 8 via


Just heat the tool up and using light pressure burn your design into the wood.

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 9 via

The longer the point remains on the surface the deeper and darker your burn will be.

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 10 via

Golden Fluid Acrylics are perfect for adding color:

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 11 via

Leave a sweet message for someone you love! Drill a hole for to make a little gift topper or keychain. Place one in your kid’s or spouse’s lunch. Put one on your dresser.

Woodburning 101 - DIY Tutorial 12 via


Recycled Crayons (A Tutorial)

Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via

Recycled crayons have been around forever but Boo and I wanted to share our take on them: colorpillars! These are great as a fun weekend project or as party favors and gifts.


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via

We bought our centipede silicone mold from TJ Maxx….they have some really cute ones at Marshall’s too now and then: dinosaur bones, legos, robots, butterflys etc. You could just do an internet search for “silicon ice cube mold” if you are looking for a specific theme.


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via

I keep a Ziploc bag around to collect broken crayons so we always have a supply of them:


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via

Boo and I broke the crayon pieces into small pieces and filled the molds:


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via

I set the oven to 175 degrees and put the crayons in to melt:


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via

It’s a slow process and took about 30 minutes for them to melt entirely. You don’t want to melt them any faster or the colors will become too soupy and turn a brownish color. Once the crayons were melted I removed the pan from the oven and let the mold cool for about 2 hours.


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via

The finished colorpillars!  Aren’t they cute?


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via


Recycled Crayons: DIY Tutorial via


A few tips!

1. The smaller the bits of crayon….the better the result. It will take less time for the crayon bits to melt and the colors won’t mix as much. Chop them up using a sharp knife.
2. Using the lowest heat possible on the oven is ideal…’ll just have to be REALLY patient for the bits to melt. 150 to 175 degrees is recommended.
3. Allow ample time for the crayons to cool so they won’t break as you remove them from the mold.
4. Stay away from washable crayons….they have a wax in them that will float to the top. I use them anyways just in very small amounts.
5. Don’t mix too many colors….in case you end up heating the crayons too much you’ll keep the colors brighter. Mixing across the color wheel results in brownish colors!
6. Quality of crayon can make a difference! I had some cheap dollar store crayons that took too long to melt and left some large chunks. The color seemed duller too.

Project Playroom: The Market Awning

I’ll call this series of posts Project Playroom because it is a work in progress. Lots of little projects leading up to one big reveal. I just have to pace myself and work on things as I feel up to it! We took the old LBB office and cleared it all out into a much bigger office. It was going to be the nursery but those plans are on hold for a bit until I am cancer-free and we figure out how we want to add to our family. So NOW it’s my new “writing room” and Boo’s new playroom….we needed a room JUST for that almost-four-foot-tall Barbie dream house she got for Christmas.

Boo loves her kitchen and she’s always wanted a market/grocery store to go along with it… I thought I’d devote one small corner to just that. Mr. LBB found this old awning that someone had tossed out:



I took off the existing awning to reveal the frame and Mr. LBB got out the power tools to make it a tad smaller. He’s always so great when I ask him to do little projects….you know I love my power tools, but I’m not feeling quite as strong as I used to so I don’t trust myself with the saws right now….I’d like to keep all my fingers and limbs if I can:


I used my seam ripper to take apart the existing awning cover. This is the easiest way to make a new pattern! Just take apart something old, trace it onto new fabric, and then put it back together the same way! That’s how even the biggest of companies do it!


I  bought some bright yellow canvas, bias tape, and thread at Joann’s. Hey, did you know Joann’s has an app now that you can load your 40% and 50% off coupons right at the register?  LOVE that.



I traced all my awning pieces onto the new canvas:


I sewed the pieces together and tested the fit of the awning on the frame. Looks good!


I made a little template so that I could cut the bottom into a scalloped edge:



I stitched white bias tape all around the raw scalloped edges:


The finished edges!



I used a simple freezer paper stencil to add the word “MARKET” to the front. The letters could be cut out by hand but my Silhouette machine cut them out in under a minute. You can see more about freezer paper stenciling here in my beanbag tutorial.


I used a sponge to dab white fabric paint onto my letters:


While the letters were still slightly damp, I carefully peeled off my freezer paper stencil and touched up the letters with a small paint brush:


Mr. LBB hung the market awning up in the playroom. Now I’ve got to create the actual market and stock it with lots of goodies!


I just ordered this antique milk scale off of Ebay the other day to hang in her market!  Isn’t it cool? It will be the perfect addition.



Click here to check out Project Playroom for all of our related projects!

DIY Homeopathic Hot Packs (A Tutorial)

These are great hot compresses that you just stick in the microwave for 60 seconds! So easy to make and you can be sure there aren’t any scary chemicals inside. My mother and Boo are responsible for this tutorial….I just took the photos for them! It’s the perfect use for those cute baby legwarmers your kiddo might have grown out of.  Make some as gifts to add to a basket of bath products! They’ve been great for when my leg hurts!

All you need is white rice (or buckwheat if you prefer), long socks or baby leg warmers. needle and thread, and some essential oils:


If you are using long socks you can cut the foot off or just skip this step. With the baby legwarmers, Boo sewed one end shut:


It’s such an easy sewing project a 4-year-old can do it:


Here’s the closed end:


Fill a measuring cup with white rice:


Fill the sock or legwarmer to the top with rice:


If you want to use essential oils, make sure you use pure, therapeutic-grade oils. Not only do they smell amazing but they have many medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Just add a few drops to the rice as you go….it will spread through the rice after you close the sock. We used rose oil in our because it smells so good but you can add any oil you like (here’s a list of essential oils and their benefits).

Sew up the other end of the sock or legwarmer so the rice is completely enclosed. Finished hot packs!


To heat the hot pack just put in the microwave for about a minute. You’ll be surprised at how long it stays hot! Put it on your shoulders, or under your back as you rest to relieve aches and pains!


P.S. Make sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter.…it’s where I give my weekly rundown. Your info is safe with me…..never shared with anyone else…..promise. I don’t spam. Promise.



Recycled Puzzle Stamps (A Tutorial)

Missing a puzzle piece from one of those nice wood puzzles? My OCD won’t let me keep it after that so……


……..I recycle the pieces into stamps! They are the perfect size and super sturdy.

[Read more…]