What To Do With An Old Bicycle

Finished bicycle basket

I love bike riding. We used to bike for miles and miles during the summer months. I especially loved riding the long trails that are refurbished old railroad beds here in Wisconsin. You can bike through the entire state on those flat, groomed trails. They are well maintained and take you through some of the pretty countryside in the Midwest. There is no better way to see the state than to bike through it.

However, it’s been years since I owned a bike, and even longer since I took the time to go for a ride. Until now. #Iamcheap

 

bicycle before painting

One of my girl friends passed this bike on to me. She doesn’t ride it anymore and it was just collecting dust in her garage. It was over all in good shape, but had a bit of rust here and there. I loved the old fashioned character of it. However, it was just sort of a blah color. It needed PIZAZZ.

Rustoleum spray paint

You know me, I have a basement full of PIZAZZ fixers, including a ton of spray paint. I rummaged around and came up with some Rustoleum Spray paint in Gloss Key Lime Green and Seaside Blue. By the way, if you spray paint at all, you simply must have one of these Comfort Grip tools to add to your spray can, it makes a nice even coat and saves your fingers from getting tired. It also gives you a very streamlined jet of paint, which is a lifesaver for doing fine detail work on such as this bike. Trust me, you need it! I also use plastic gloves to protect my hands when I paint, it’s so much easier than scraping your hands til they are raw!

Time to DIY!

bicycle in progress

The first step was to cover the larger parts of the bike that I didn’t want to paint with plastic grocery bags. I covered the seat, the handle bars, the pedals and the basket on the back of the bike with bags. It’s not scientific, but it works.

3M Scotch Blue Tape

Then I started covering the finer details with 3M Scotch Blue Painters Tape. I covered the break pads, the fenders, the brake wires and a few things that I have no idea what they are but they looked important.

I found some cardboard circles in my basement that were just laying around, and used those inside the tire and wheel spokes to keep paint from getting on them.

3M Sandblaster_

The next step was to rough up the paint with a 3M Sandblaster sponge. This coarse sponge is the best tool ever, it easily fit between the smaller parts of the bike and made the sanding go really fast. Then I wiped the grit off with a dry towel and I was ready to paint.

painting the bike

I laid the bike down to paint, then waited for it to dry before turning it over. The spray paint made the painting go really fast, and it covered in one coat. How awesome is that??

I painted the basket at the very end, using the cardboard to shield the rest of the bike from the sprayer. I chose the Key Lime color for the basket, I love it!

It looks rather silly, but it worked quite well. I would say 98% of what I didn’t want to paint stayed clean, there were one or two areas that I had to scrape paint off in the end with the sanding block, but you can’t really tell where they are in the finished product.

After I started I also realized that the front wheel of the bike could come off, so I ended up removing that completely. I am sure that you can remove the back one too, but I don’t know how to do it and it seemed too complicated to bother with. #Iamnotmechanical

Blue bike finished

The blue color makes me HAPPY!

Bicycle Pin

The new color reminds me of the good old days when bikes were all the rage. Yes, I am that old! Now, I need is a tune up and I will be on the road! I can’t wait!

See you on the trail!

DIY Glow in the Dark Shoes

red high heels before painting

It’s been years since we went out dancing. In college we would put on our dancing clothes and go out to the disco every Friday night after work. I always wore heels, and I don’t remember ever having sore feet.

My how things have changed! I have no idea where to go dancing, I never wear heels, and going out on Fridays just doesn’t happen any more.

Glow in the dark paint from Folk Art

I found these beautiful red pumps in my size at a thrift store last summer. I loved them immediately, and they actually fit really well.

I have put them on two or three times to wear to different events, somehow they never make it out the door, I feel conspicuous in them for some reason. So, I decided to paint them. I came across these great glow in the dark paints,from Folk Art. How fun! There might be a dance floor in my future after all.

Painting shoes in progress

 

painted pink heels

I gave the shoes two coats of paint, letting them dry completely in between coats.

The paint has a matte finish so they aren’t quite as shines as they were before, but I can’t wait to wear them.

See you on the dance floor!

 

 

Pallet Planter and Privacy Screen

white pallet planter with flowers

 

I was scoping out Craig’s List recently, looking for a new project. I happen to come across a pile of free pallets, and I was thrilled to pick them up. I have had this Pallet Planter and Privacy Screen idea in mind for quite some time, just needed the right materials to make it all happen!

IMG_3194

The idea came to me last summer. We were walking through some side streets of Chicago and I notice a number of outdoor cafes that had privacy screen type planters along the street. Not only were they beautiful, but they were made from simple materials.

The plantings were simple as well, I love the look of ferns or other leafy green plants for privacy. As lovely as these planters are, I had a simpler solution, to make them out of pallets.

before

I brought home 2 full size pallets for each privacy screen, plus a few half pieces to use for extra wood here and there. I also picked up a 30″ plastic planter box at the local home improvement center, along with an 8 ft. 2″ X 6″ and some 4″ coated screws for assembly.

cutting the 2 x 6

The 2 x 6 was cut into 6 7/8″ pieces, 3 for each side of the planter.

marking the boards for assembly

The pallet was marked along the edge 4″ from the side for even assembly. We also had a broken board or two on the pallets. These were removed and replaced with boards from one of the half size scrap pallets that I brought home.

the pallet sandwich

We assembled the pallets in sandwich style, using the pieces of 2 x 6 at the top, middle side and bottom side areas. Be sure all pieces are lined up before you screw them together. The gap in the middle is made just the right size for the planting box to slide in.

assembly

We used a 6″ screw driver extension to reach between the boards and screw the pieces together. After we put 2 screws in each one on this side, we turned the pallet sandwich over and screwed the other side together for extra durability.

planter with flower box

The planter box fit right into the top.

side view pallet planter

You can see how the three side pieces of 2 x 6 hold the two pallets together.

finished pallet planter

I like the height of the pallets for privacy, it will work great on our patio area to screen us from the neighbors.

paint sprayer

I dug out my handy paint sprayer and went to work painting the planter.

white pallet planter

We had some storms come in and I was only able to get a one coat of paint on it. I will repost more pictures when the weather clears. Summer can’t come soon enough! I was really tempted to buy some ferns at the store, but it is too early to plant things out in our zone 4-5 climate. The planting will have to wait!

white pallet planter with flowers

I have materials for another planter and will finish it soon. Since this was so easy to assemble, I think I can manage to do it all by myself and surprise my husband. We will see!

There are a bunch of us who have been working on Pallet Projects for this little blog hop. I am linking up to this site as well.

Check out these other great pallet projects:


Reusable Gift Bags

stripe gift bag with tag

When we were kids my Grandmother always reused her gift wrap. She would patiently open each gift, gently removing the tape piece by piece. Then she would fold it up and store it away for the next year to reuse.

This made the gift opening process take forever, as opening gifts in this manner is very, very slow. It’s also nearly impossible when you have little children.

This year, I decided to go tiny with Christmas. Tiny decorations, and tiny gifts.

Then I decided that Thrifty was almost as good as Tiny, and I spent my day making a few Reusable Gift Bags for Tiny gifts.

They were very easy to make, and inexpensive.

The great thing, is that you can reuse them and they essentially become a practical part of the gift. Just think how much money you could save without buying ribbon, tape, paper, boxes and tissue each year!

polkadot bag

These bags are sewn from scraps of fabric, or fat quarters that I had lying around. I cut the fabric pieces 7″ wide by 18″ long.

 

With right sides of fabric together, sew a 1/4″ seam on each side.

Turn down the top edge of the bag 1/4″ and stitch (FIY the sewing foot is about 1/4″ wide, so you can line your fabric up with it).

Turn the new seam edge down further, to 1″. Sew again, on top of your first line of stitching. This way you have a nice neat seam, and you won’t have to measure or pin each time.

Leave about 1/2″ of a gap between the sewn edges for the ribbon to slip through the casing.

Use a safety pin, attach the pin to the end of a 1/4″ wide ribbon. Thread the ribbon through the casing, cut and tie ends together to keep it from slipping out.

gift bags with tags

I added some greenery and berries for a festive look. The burlap gift tags came from Target, and I hope to use them again too!

 


Reed Stool Update

stool before

I found this little Reed Stool in the trash.  Some poor soul didn’t appreciate it’s fine charm and worn patina.

I loved it right away. Oddly enough, the home that threw it away was having a garage sale. I thought the things they were selling were not even worthy of being in the trash, yet they threw away this adorable stool.

I will never understand some people.

stool legs

The stool must have been stored in the basement. It had a bit of green mold on the legs when I brought it home. I scrubbed the legs with warm water and ammonia, then left it out in the sun for a couple of days to dry.

The finish on the legs was refreshed with a bit of Ebony Minwax gel stain. They are now as good as new.

paint hodgepodge

The top of the stool needed a bit of help too. I debated for quite a while as to whether or not I even wanted to cover the faded colors that the stool had. I am just not a big fan of orange, so I opted to paint it.

I pulled out some leftover paints from my stash of products. I used Yesteryear and White Chalky Finish paint by Americana Decor, and a bit of Folk Art Acrylic paint.

painting stripes

The painting part was easy. I love to use recycled containers for pallets, here I used a plastic jar lid for mixing paint and water until it was a smooth but watery consistency. I wanted the paint to soak into the reed material instead of sitting on top of it, I love the rough texture and didn’t want to cover it 100 percent.

The watered down paint allows the water to soak into the natural fiber and still leaves enough of the color without making it look painted.

I followed the design that was originally on the stool as I painted, it wasn’t hard to do with a small brush.

 

grey and red stripes

 

The next stripe was in the grey Yesteryear paint (it’s the shade on the left). I mixed the Chalky Finish paint with a bit of water before applying it as before. The darker shade in the middle was made by adding a bit of black acrylic to the light grey for a tonal effect.

The stool didn’t take long to dry. I debated about sealing the top of the paint somehow, but decided to leave it for now. Down the road I may try a spray matt polyurethane if it begins to look worn.

These are my happy colors! I am such a sucker for anything red or grey!

finished stool

I now have a comfy place to put my feet up while knitting. This is my happy place!

Our kitty loves to sit on the stool and play with my yarn while I knit. I love that! I tried to get her to hold still for a picture, but she would not comply. Darn critter!

I have lots of big news in store for you all, can’t reveal it yet but there are some great things to come that you won’t want to miss!

Did I tell you I was voted out of the So You Think Your Crafty Competition?  It was a lot of fun, I am grateful for the opportunity to be in the competition and to have competed for 3 weeks! This project apparently didn’t go over so well! I liked it, to bad! Time to move on!

Have a wonderful day!