Four years ago, when my kids and I were living at our last residence, my daughter wanted a clothing rack that she saw in a PBteen magazine. The clothing rack was $400. At the time, I wasn’t able to afford any kind of rack. We had just found a place to live. Four months later, the Lord blessed me with the funds to build her a rack. I gave it to her as an early Christmas present. She had enough closet space, but she wanted this particular clothing rack to be used as a furniture piece in her room.
I took the picture from the PBTeen magazine to Home Depot with me. One of the guys there was more than happy to help out. I told him that I wanted a spin off of the rack with the best solution possible. He took the time to walk me through the aisles, showing me every single part that I needed. I wrote all the parts down so that I would be prepared whenever God’s timing was right to send the funds. The list of parts came out to about $118.00. Three months later, I had the money to build the rack. That’s when I decided to go to Menards to compare prices. I was able to get all the parts that I needed for about $56 dollars.
I had my son to build the rack while my daughter was gone to a function. I told him, “You have to hurry up before she gets home, so it won’t ruin the surprise”. I could tell that he enjoyed doing it, because he stated that it was just like building Legos. I was so excited to be able to bless her with this gift after everything that we had been through. After he put the rack together, we waited for her to come home. I told her to come up to her room because I had something to talk to her about. When she got to her room, she was had the weirdest look on her face. She kept saying over and over again, “When did you get this?” This made my heart happy. The smallest things during the toughest times can mean a lot to anyone.
If you like to be adventurous, and build a rack, then here are the instructions:
(4) 1/2″ pipe flanges
(2) 1/2″ T’s
(4) 1/2″ 8″ plumbing pipe nipples
(2) 6 feet nipples
(1) 1/2″ 3 feet nipple
2 1/2″ 90 degree elbows
2 1/2″ 45 degree elbows
Make sure not to tighten all parts fully until you have put the whole thing together.
Place two flanges on one side and two flanges on the other side.
Picture in your head that you are building a towel bar.
On both sides, screw a 90 degree elbow into the two pipe flanges.
On both sides, screw an 8 inch nipple, then T, then 8 inch nipple to form a “towel bar”.
Attach the 6 feet nipples to the T’s on both sides.
Attach the 45 degree elbows to the 6 feet nipples.
Place the 3 feet long nipple in between the 45 degree elbows.
My kids know that when it comes to me getting my hands on some paint in the house, it can be really dangerous. I mean really dangerous. When I am trying to process things, and having an emotionally challenging day, it calls for creativity and fresh air. Creativity for me could be dancing, praise dancing, painting, journaling, writing, or decorating. When I am in painting and decorating mode together, watch out! So about a year ago, I was in one of my moods, and I sat on the couch thinking about how absolutely bland and lifeless the color of the kids’ piano was. I also started looking at a particular chair that I’d found my daughter about seven years ago from World Market on clearance for $24, which at this point, had been painted three times already. The original color was espresso.
On A Mission
Well, my mind kept going on the possibilities, and I ended up using the last bit of Antique Silver Paint, a color that I had bought from Menards in their Paramount Pittsburgh All in One, One Coat Paint and Primer Series. I had a paint brush, drop cloth, and paint, and one extra tray already in the laundry room. I was on a mission. No one was going to stop me.
I wanted to get everything done before the kids got home from school. They walked in the door, and they had the look of shock on their faces. My son’s main concern was that I didn’t ruin the piano. I said, “NO, you’re good.” He still looked skeptical. They slowly walked over to check it out. I think it took them a week to get used to it. All in all, it turned out pretty decent, and the best part about it is that I had just enough paint to finish the job. God is good. All the time!
Three weeks ago, this article was featured as “Six things that you Need to Bring the Beachside In”. This post has been updated to reflect “Ten things You Need to Bring the Beachside In. ” This post may contain affiliate links. Today is the last day of August. The last day of the month means preparation for a new month and new beginnings. In one breath, I can’t believe that today is Friday. In another breath, it’s been one long week. I am looking forward to the new things that God has in store for me for the month of September.
The end of the month also means one thing here at Valley of Grace: someone gets a free merchandise freebie. The deadline to will be subscribe will be 11:00 p.m., September 1st. The featured freebie for August is the Weekender Bag that can be used for some of everything. If you’re at the beach, going away for the weekend, or going to fitness class, the weekender bag is right for you. It’s the dump everything in it, and go kind of bag. Adding yourself to the subscriber list puts you in the running for the free merchandise raffle. Starting tomorrow, I will be sending out “Daily Devotions from Valley of Grace” to all of the email subscribers. I will still be posting devotions to Valley of Grace’s blog site on our every other week schedule. Here is a link to where the Weekender Bag can be found.
We’ve all heard of the phrase “Bring the outside In” when we look at home magazines. For this purpose, since I love the beach, I decided that I would do a blog post on bringing the beachside in. When I think of the word beach, I think of my feet in the sand, the water, and God’s big, beautiful sky.
It makes me think about painting the color white on a blank canvas, and then painting the blue sky and water, and tan colored sand. If I wanted to add to this canvas, other things that come to mind is a pier, a chair for one to sit on, minnows in the water, people, rocks, trees, flowers, etc. Take a few minutes to think about what your beach would look like.
Now, let’s transfer this canvas to your home. How can one keep themselves at the beach all year round? Use a room or two in your home as the beach all year round. I am including pictures of how I brought the beachside into my bedroom:
Paint: The walls would represent your canvas. The first thing that you need is the right color of paint. Bright, airy colors are needed to bring your beach to life. For my personal choice, I would have shades of tan, cream, blue, or white.
Pictures: Pictures tell the story of your home. They give your home life, and they keep your friends and loved ones close by. Since this is a beach canvas, people, flowers, trees, sand, rocks, and seashells would be great. However, this is your canvas, and therein lies the fun. This is one of my favorite pictures from when my children were little. They were about one and four years old. Sometimes when I can’t find the colors that I need, I just paint the frames, as well as the furniture.
I found the pictures below at Goodwill for $.99 each a few years ago. I have two sets of two on either side of my bed.
The picture below is one of myself, kids when they were little, mom, and grandmother, who is deceased.
I painted the canvas paintings on the left below. Three pictures were upcycled and painted over since my color scheme changed. The pictures of peonies on the left were taken a year ago. The clothespins and jute string were $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.
3. Furniture:The next thing that you would need would be furniture that would give the beach vibe. Adirondack, wicker, and bamboo seems to do the trick. If you have more than one style of chair, that would work out nicely. A mixture of texture gives rooms more of a natural feel, along with an illusion of more depth. I was blessed a couple of years ago with the wicker chair below. Next to the wicker chair is a wrought iron plant stand. I got rid of the glass top to place the plants on. It safely holds a journal and wallet that my sister bought me when she visited Europe. I love this journal, but I have to be careful because it can easily rip since the pages are made out of a linen, natural parchment.
4. Accessories: Let’s not forget about the accessories. In the picture above, I have a couple of books resting on top of the ottoman, a pillow, and fun necklaces that help give the beach vibe. You can also add mirrors to the wall, as you can see in the picture above, a little bit behind the wicker chair. The mirror was $6.99 at Goodwill. I also found this mirror a couple of years ago.
6. Plants and Flowers: The last things that you need are plants. They can be real or fake. Hanging terrariums are a nice accent. Using a combination of hanging and non-hanging plants makes your room look even more inviting.
I found the fake plant above at Good will for 3.99. The candle was on sale at Michael’s for $2.00 during one of their lowest prices of the season. It smells just like the beach.
The cream colored flowers below are sitting in a mason jar of rocks. They were $1.00 from Dollar Tree.
7. Wood Ladder
Wood Ladders can be a great addition to any room. I love the idea of using wood ladders for a paint studio. In this kind of setting, you can use the ladder to display and store paint, paint brushes, paint smocks, and even a second drop cloth for messy hands. They are also great for displaying books, flowers, towels in bathrooms, blankets, etc. Another thing about wood ladders is that they give a natural effect against a wood wall.
8. Drop Cloth Canvas Curtains
Just looking at drop cloth canvas reminds me of the sand at the beach. The wonderful thing about drop cloth is that it has the natural look of linen, but it’s not the linen price. It is forgiving, and very easy to wash. The drop cloth in this picture is attached to plumbing materials for a little bit of an industrial look. I use drop cloth for tablecloths, background prop for pictures, and it can even be used to make bed skirts and tree skirts. By the way, I do love linen!
9. DIY Wood Signs
In order to make my craft/painting area more beachy, I decided to make wooden signs. I went to Menards and ordered two 6 foot pieces of lumber for $3.00, and then had them to cut each piece into three more pieces. They charge $1 for every additional cut after three cuts. I used black paint that I already have at home, along with a small jar of acrylic paint that I bought from Michaels for $.99. Whatever makes you think beachy, is what can be written on the signs. These signs are displayed over the walkways and over doors.
The one below is my favorite. Painting these signs was also therapeutic.
10. DIY Word Art
Last, but not least, you can using any material that you have at home, along with jute string, clothespins, and push pins, to hang up any word art signs. In the picture below, I used some burlap tags that I had purchased from Michaels. They had a box on clearance for $2.00. My paint/craft area is small, but just the right space to get away inside. I need to use it even more.
Have a blessed rest of your weekend!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
I don’t know if you are like me, but I love pictures of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. To me, pictures change the entire tone of a home. Pictures and Jesus have two things in common: they give life to a room. There is something about pictures of people that make our homes have that homey, cozy feeling deep down. Of course, if we want to display pictures, then we need picture frames. To be honest, they can be pricey. I want to give you four tips on Picture Frames. Maybe they might spark an upcycling idea or two.
Some of the best selection of picture frames are at the thrift stores.
When you have a tight budget, it forces you to change your selection options really fast. I have found that I like the selection of picture frames from thrift stores better than the other stores that I used to frequent. When Michael’s has their lowest prices of the season sale, you can get great frames for $5. I have about four of them that I bought three years ago. Goodwill has frames anywhere from $.99 to $3.99, which is great. I try to give myself a $2.99 budget there. There was one thrift store that I visited two years ago, and I thought that when I saw the $.50 tag on the frames, that is was a misprint. The owner told me that they get so many new frames everyday, that they are able to offer them for such an inexpensive price. The two frames below were brand new Pottery Barn picture frames when I bought them. They even had an extra set of matting inside the frame in case you decided to change things up. I painted these two frames with chalkboard paint and a medium brush to give them a washed-out, distressed look.
Picture frames give an interesting layout when they are different colors, shapes, and sizes.
The thicker frames give more depth and dimension, while the natural colored frames make any colored wall look great. I think the most fun that I ever had with picture frames was trying to come up with a pattern and color scheme for this living room wall. This was also the first time that I displayed so many pictures on one wall.
These are two of the frames that I found at Michael’s for $5.00 a few years ago during their lowest prices of the season. These are pictures of my son performing at a radio station during a one-on-one interview.
Your pictures and picture frames tell a story about your family, your home, and your style.
They should be carefully selected to reflect who you are as a person, and as a family.
Picture frames can be painted.
It took me several years to figure this out. Years ago, I was watching a diy show on HGTV, and the hostess made the point that if you find the perfect frame for a great price, then buy some inexpensive paint to paint the frame the color that you’d like. Now, I can’t even begin to tell you the number of picture frames that I’ve painted. It’s all about personal preference.
If you feel inspired, send in a picture of a wall in your home with the history behind the pictures and the frames.
Have a blessed night!
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
If anyone knows me, they know there are certain things that I love. The top of the list are crates, jars, baskets, cutting boards, dishes, and aprons. Whenever my daughter and I are looking around in stores with any of these items, she knows me. I have to take a look. I stand there and look at all the wonderful neutral colors. Not only do I love seeing them in stores, but I love to decorate with them. When it comes to storage, crates are at the top of the list for me. They add a natural look and feel to the home, and can dress up any room. Today, I am going to be discussing different things that you can do with crates. Maybe you would like to adopt some ideas, or it might spark some interest as to what you can do with your own.
Crates can be painted, or left plain, so that the natural pine makes a statement.
When we were living at our last residence, I bought my daughter four crates to help organize the belongings in her room. I decided to paint them a mustard yellow to make the room pop. When we moved here, she decided that she didn’t want them. I painted one crate “Ponytail”, and I painted the other three crates black. Ponytail is somewhere in the beige to tan family of colors.
Crates can be used to house magazines.
I was so happy when I thought about this idea. However, it meant going through all the magazines that I had collected over the past couple of years, and thrown in piles on the floor all over the house. I gave some away and I recycled some. I made myself pair down to about 10 magazines, and decided that this was a sufficient amount to keep inside a medium sized crate.
Crates are great for displaying vases and candle holders.
A couple of weeks ago, I ran into my neighbor outside, and she told me that she was rearranging her cabinet, and that I could pick out some things that I wanted. This was such a blessing! The candle holders added just the pop of green that I needed for the living room.
Crates can be used for sewing supplies.
I have a small hallway upstairs on the second floor. In one corner, I keep a bag of pieces of material for upcycling, and then a crate filled with sewing and manicure supplies. The safety pins are housed in clear jars. Sewing needles and thread are housed in open plastic containers. The picture on the right reminds me of my grandmother, because she loved sewing and wearing scarves on her head.
Last, but not least, crates can be used as storage for laundry.
You can use a couple of crates for the clean clothes, and a couple of crates for the dirty clothes. I have a system of using one large crate for the towels, and then either dumping the dirty clothes into the washing machine, or in another crate or basket.
Feel free to share your many uses for crates down below.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
I have two pillowcases that I have had for a while. A couple of years ago, I debated over whether I should get rid of them. That turned into a fleeting thought once my brain went into creative mode. They were super cozy still, but the white was kind of faded. I decided that I would bleach them, and even if they didn’t turn out super white, I appreciated the old look.
Once again, I decided to put those good, old, warm scarves to use that have been sitting in my closet forever and a day. I already had the embroidery thread and needle at home, so I didn’t spend any money on this project. I hope that this quick project inspires you to upcycle your pillowcases as well. If you decide to take on this project, how about taking pictures, and posting them below on the discussion board.
Activity: Upcycling Pillowcases
Embroidery thread #25
Thick Sewing Needle
Cut out six two-inch square pieces of wool.
Sew the squares an inch and a half apart right up above the opening side of the pillowcase.
The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
When we were living at our last residence, I looked around my bedroom, and then I realized that the canvas painting on the wall didn’t match the theme of the rest of the room. As a matter of fact, it was totally off. I was in such survival mode for a while, that it had taken about a year for me to figure this out.
At first, I decided to take the painting to Goodwill. Then, my creative mind took over, and I thought that maybe I could upcycle the painting for a different purpose. I decided to make a memo/postcard/picture board, and was pleased with the results. Remembering that I had some extra burlap material left over, I held it up to the painting, and got to working. The blessing in all of this is that I had everything that I needed for this project at home already.
Activity: Recycling a canvas painting
any material from home
canvas painting from home
Cut the material if needed, and then completely cover the canvas painting with it.
Cut off any excess material, then fold and staple the ends of the material to the wood on the back of the canvas.
Place your pictures/memos/postcards onto your board with pushpins.
Voila! You’re done.
She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.
I love upcycling things. When we get tired of looking at what we have, a lot of times there’s a temptation to go out and buy new. However, there are a lot of things that can be upcycled. The weird thing is, if we go on a scavenger hunt in our homes, we can usually find just what we need to do the trick.
I have two throws here that I was itching to do something with. The first throw is a fleece throw. I looked in my linen closet, and then I decided that I would take two wool scarves that I didn’t wear anymore, and cut squares out of the material. I cut up about thirty squares total.
I took the second throw, and decided that I wanted something to hang from both ends. I found just the right scarf for this adventure. It had strings hanging on both sides. I cut off the sections of strings on both sides, and then realized that I would need a thick needle and thread combination to handle the weight of the wool.
I had the needle here in my sewing kit, but I needed to go to the craft store for the embroidery thread. I decided to purchase the #25 embroidery thread, and created a checkers pattern on both ends of the first throw. For the second throw, I just had to sew straight across the bottom of the hem of the throw, making sure that the piece was tight enough.
For the first throw, I spent about $6.00 on embroidery thread($39 per bunch). For the second throw, I spent about $2.00 on embroidery thread. I saved money, and another thing that I was excited about is that they are originals. Let’s not forget the third bonus: sewing these wool pieces onto the throws was very therapeutic for me.
Feel free to share things that you have upcycled in your home. Be blessed!
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
We all have a way of our way of organizing things. Some people use bins. Others of us use drawers, filing cabinets, bookshelves, baskets, magazine holders, etc. I have discovered that my thing is jars. I love clear jars of all shapes and sizes, and I really love mason jars. Their uses are unbelievable.
The thing about mason jars is that they are so inexpensive. You can get twelve solid mason jars for about $7.99. About four times a year, the Sunday’s paper has coupons in them for $2 and $3 off, which is a steal. The bigger mason jars come in six packs, and there are usually coupons for those as well. You really can’t beat the price.
I use the smaller mason jars anywhere from using them as drinking glasses, to storing spices, coconut flakes, chia seeds, and nutritional yeast. The larger ones are used for grains, flour, sugar, different types of meal, legumes, beans, and cereal. For some reason, over the years, cereal boxes seem to remain halfway open, causing the cereal to get stale, and the remains to waste out. I don’t have that problem anymore.
Mason jars are simple and functional. And of course, I like the asethetic of those as well. I would love to hear about what you use that keeps things simple and functional in your home. Have a blessed rest of your weekend!
Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us.
Whether it is something that I need or desire, I always think of Elijah and the widow in the bible. God always adds on to what we have when we start with what we have first. I have been guilty of thinking so much of what I don’t have, that I have missed out on looking at what I do, and seeing that I am in the right position for praying, and allowing God room to do the rest. Elijah convinced the widow that although she had a little meal and a drop of oil left, if she believed, and fed him first, her and her son wouldn’t die, and there would be enough food left over for them as well. Sure enough, God provided. As a matter of fact, they ate for several days.
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lordsends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.
1 Kings 17: 13-15, NIV
One of the bonuses to some things that we have in life, is that they can be upcycled and used for so many other things, that we could possibly write a whole book on them. I think that jars would fit into this category. A couple of years ago, I was looking for something to place on the trunk in my bedroom, and of course, it was one of those times when money was scarce. I started walking around my house, and wondering if I had something in one room that I could swap for a new home in my bedroom.
I didn’t find anything, but what I did find was a relish jar and pasta sauce jars that hadn’t gone to the recycle bin yet. My mind got to going as it does when I get into creativity mode. I cut out pictures from my French book from high school, and with the little change that I had, I bought a small container of Modge Podge for about $2.50 with a coupon from Michaels, and the rest is history.
Activity: Creating vintage jars
Used jars (home)
Books or Magazines (home)
Modge Podge $2.50 (Craft Store like Michaels)
Foam Brush (home or craft store for $.25)
Wash jars and dry thoroughly.
Cut out the pictures that you need.
Using a foam brush, place Modge Podge all over each of the jars.
Place the pictures on the jars.
Use Modge Podge to cover the entire surface of the pictures so that they will stay attached to the jars.