Monday, September 20, 2010

Scrap Paper Valentine's Day Hearts

I know it's not Valentine's Day, but I'm sure it will be here before we know it anyway. Plus, if I don't post this now, I may never remember to do it. So, let's talk Valentine's Day in September, shall we? My four-year-old daughter and I had a grand time making these scrap paper Valentine's Day cards for her classmates this past year. It's a perfect project for young kids because no accuracy is required - just pure creativity (and plenty of glue, which we all know they love!). First, we took some scraps of pretty craft paper I had saved from other projects and cut them up into smaller pieces. Then, we filled up whole sheets of construction paper by gluing the scraps on. Finally, I made a heart template, traced it onto each piece of construction paper multiple times and cut them out. We wrote the 'to' and 'from' on the back and we were done. Easy and fun - not to mention unique and green!

Monday, September 13, 2010


You're gonna want a saw for this one. (Oh, and a compressor and nail gun would be nice, too.) If you're a novice with power tools heavier than a drill, this is the perfect project to learn on because it's simple and perfection is not required. Ask a buddy with some of these basic tools to give you a lesson. Who knows - this time next year, you might be so hooked on it that you own your own tools.

For this project, you will need some kind of crates or boxes that can be stacked on top of eachother. I had these wooden crates laying around, but resale shops and antique stores are both excellents sources. Additionally, you will need some decorative trim and some bun feet. I had the trim leftover from other projects. You can check out local building salvage store for reclaimed trim if you don't have any laying around. I purchased the bun feet from a big box store, but it would have been really cool to have found some feet off an old piece of furniture. I am constantly seeing old, worn couches out at the curb that likely have feet that could be reused.

The process is pretty simple. Screw the crates together with screws of the appropriate size. Cut and nail on the trim. Drill holes and screw in the feet. Lastly, paint. A simple coat of one color will do, as I've done here. If you want to step it up a notch, try painting on some hip, cool design or decoupage your favorite material onto key areas. (See the blog from November 8, 2009 for an example of applying material using decoupage.)

That's it - an affordable, eco-friendly side table (or two) with character finished in a weekend!

To go with the nightstand, which was for my daughter, I also put a new coat of paint on an old trunk and made a simple clothing rack with hooks. For the clothing rack, I used some scrap wood from previous projects - just a 2x4 and some trim. I had the hooks, but you can often find hooks at a place like the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Otherwise, your local hardware store will do. I like simple projects like these because you get a lot of impact for a small amount of time and money.