Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY - Kitchen Can Lights

I don't know who decided the best light for the kitchen was a florescent {shop} light. I looked at getting some sort of faux track light to minimize the wiring that we would have to do. After talking to many lighting experts (they all told us it was a bad idea, since track lights are meant for accent lighting-not for primary lighting) we decided to go for it and do can lights. I would have it no other way, I LOVE our can lights.

1. Figure out how many can lights {and where to put them}
Our kitchen is about 12' by 12'. Five of these babies make it look like noon-day in the kitchen. We probably could have gotten away with 4, but I like how bright it gets in the kitchen.
Placing the can lights is a little trickier. The "remodel" cans come with a template to draw on your ceiling. I pinned the templates where I thought I wanted them. I had to adjust, readjust, adjust again, and adjust again. Mainly finding a mirrored layout that didn't get messed up by trusses was the tricky part. I finally got it and went for it, attacking the drywall with my drywall knife. (you'll want safety glasses, insulation to the eye doesn't feel good).
2. Install cans {REMEMBER: turn off the breaker!}
I don't know how many people feel comfortable doing their own wiring (you might want to hire an electrician). I am not entirely experienced, but in order to get my Construction Management degree I did take an electrical systems class. I felt comfortable doing my own wiring. With the help of my husband, we "daisy chained" from the original light box to our 5 new cans up in our attic. 
 3.Finish 'er off
The rest is easy. Install the bulbs and trim and your new lights are done. I had a little of repair to do from our old light. First off, it wasn't centered in the room, so I had to patch over the old "box", do my own little texturing of the ceiling and paint. I took one of the circles that I had cut out of the ceiling and took it down to Sherwin Williams to have them match the paint. I painted houses professionally for 3 Summers. I do not trust anyone else to match paint, and again they gave me the perfect color/sheen.
Before:                                                  After:
Looks pretty awesome right?! My husband had to drag me out of the kitchen that night, I couldn't stop looking at how great they look!
Total Cost: About $100

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{Crochet} Flower Head Bands

Need a last minute {quick & cheap} thoughtful gift? I did. I made 5 headbands in a matter of a couple hours using "Wool Ease" from Walmart.

 "Wool-Ease Thick & Quick" yarn is about $3 a pop ($6 at craft stores). You can make 2 headbands per "bundle thingy". It only takes a chain + 3 double crochet's rows for you crochet-ers out there. So for about $12 I made 5 headbands (better than $50 if you bought them right out). These are my own creations {I did not follow any pattern for the flowers or bands} and my first go around. I can't wait to make some more and get a little better.

Monday, December 20, 2010

TV Stand {almost} Finished

I finally got pictures of my {almost} finished TV stand (click here to see the before). I'm still on the lookout for something to line the drawers with. But it is successfully holding our TV and looks great.

Here is where "Nat" was written in permanent marker. Pictures don't really give the top of this piece justice.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

White {Inspirational} Dresser

The dresser drawer mixup (see here) from last weekend is finally  fixed. I still have some more exciting plans for this dresser, but for now, it is done. Not bad for a $23 dresser huh? ($15 for the dresser and $8 for the paint, I had the rest of the materials already).
I have been on the lookout for one of these large dressers for a while. We had a small 4 drawer dresser before... and it just wasn't enough. They go quickly, so if you find a deal like I did for $15 you better snatch it up quick!
This dresser was such a find. I got it for $15 on Craigslist. It has 9 drawers, great hardware, beautiful molding, and needed a lot of love.

I used my hand sander where I could, but there was no way I could hand sand the 6 drawers with molding and the 2 doors. Thats where my Liquid Sander comes in handy! I love that stuff.
You might have seen before how I did the quote on the drawers. Here it is again, just remember to make sure you know the order of the drawers before you start!

The drawers were lined with awful paper, I was glad it came out easily. I am going to do a bit of my own lining once I find the right liner. 
The dresser turned out pretty nice. I have plans to turn it freaking bomb-diggity. But for now it is nice, and we are loving the extra space for our clothes. It is nice to have a little "pick-me-up / reminding" quote to surprise you in the mornings as well.
Total Cost: $23

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winter Wonderland Cupcakes

I love the cupcake ideas from What's New Cupcake. Its a great book for under $10! Click on the picture below if you'd like to buy your own copy.

My sister came over and we had a blast making some walruses and polar bears. Each of my neighbors are going to get a pair for Christmas. What a fun present huh?!