Sometimes you end up with the situation like myself, where you want the ability to seat more people in the kitchen (perhaps 10 to 12), but you don’t have the space, nor the money to do it. This is where building a breakfast bar comes in handy. Breakfast bars are great because they are multifunctional. They can serve as a breakfast bar/homework center/painting spot/reading area. You decide.
Last time, I explained how to build shelves using plumbing pipes here. The breakfast bar featured in this post only takes about 30 minutes to build, and very few materials. Plus, you can’t beat the price. Since the length is only 12 inches, you can probably setup two of these in a smaller kitchen, and still be fine.
Four years ago, I purchased the stools that are featured from Amazon. I decided upon these particular ones because I wanted a combination of an industrial/farmhouse/rustic look, along with something that would withstand wear and tear of teenagers and usage in general. Plus, they are both simple and functional, and that’s what Valley of Grace is all about. I don’t like to have to keep buying furniture. The stools come in two different sizes: table height and bar height.
Building a breakfast bar
2 ½” Tees
4 ½” flanges
2 ½” 36” nipples (or whatever height you choose)
2 ½” 12” nipples (or whatever width you choose)
A box of 2-inch screws
1 piece of 8 ft. 8” lumber from the lumber department (add additional 2 ft. for 6 people fitting comfortably, and another 2ft. for a coffee/tea station to be added at the end)
4 clips (optional for securing lumber to 12” nipples)
Assemble two 7 shapes to build the bar without tightly screwing:
Connect the 12” nipple to the flange.
Screw the Tee onto the 12” nipple.
Screw the 36” nipple onto the tee.
Connect the flange to the 36” nipple.
Use a stud finder to find the location of the studs in the wall.
Using the 2-inch screws, drill the two 7 shapes into the studs in the wall.
Place the piece of lumber on top.
Optional: Secure the (2) 12” nipples to the piece of lumber with two clips using a drill, and two screws per clip for both 7 shapes.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalms 127:1
******I am not receiving compensation for the links that are mentioned in this post.
Background Story on Wire Baskets
A little while ago, I talked about the different uses for crates for organization. You can find that post here. Today, our organizational focus will be on the usage of wire baskets. I love baskets of all shapes, sizes, and textures. And so, of course, wire baskets would be included in this group. I like organizing things period. What I have realized within the last few years, is that when we are organized, we are able to turn the five hour paper search to a 15 minute paper search. Our lives run smoother, and we’re able to spend more time doing the things that matter: spending time with our family and friends, serving others, and being able to get those hobbies in. This is what happened when I didn’t have my scrap-booking supplies organized.
Not having things organized discourages doing anything because our efforts are multiplied. We start to think to ourselves, ” Why even bother? If I want to paint, it’s going to take 2 hours to find all the supplies!”
Baskets take the look of organization to a whole new level. Here are five reasons to contemplate using wire baskets:
Simplicity and Practicality
Wire baskets are easy to clean. All you need is a damp cloth to wipe them down and keep going. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Dust naturally collects on anything, and that where the damp cloth comes in. Also, every now and then, something may leak out, that is when a small squirt of dish detergent gets added to the cloth. Wipe and you’re done!
Wire baskets help you to get the clutter off the counters and off the floor. Because they can be purchased as a three or four in one, or individual units, they are easy to mount on the wall using 2-inch nails.
I home-schooled for 12 years. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about using wire baskets at the time. They are perfect for organizing individual folders and subjects for each kid without losing your mind. If you have more than one basket on the wall, then you can use one of the wire baskets to store all incoming bills and important papers that need attention as well.
Other homeschool and business ideas for wire baskets can be found here, where they have wire baskets specifically for mail and magazines, and as part of a wall organization unit for home and business.
There isn’t one room that I can think of in the house that wire baskets can’t be used in. For the bathroom, you can use them for facial and toiletry products. They can even be used for towels and shampoo.
For the kitchen, wire baskets are good for storing mason jars filled with items such as nutritional yeast, corn meal, and sugar. Spices and seasonings stored in wire baskets help you to get them off of the counter tops, along with still being able to see what you are needing to use. Lastly, for you bakers, wire baskets are perfect solutions for storing your rolling pins.
Other kitchen uses for wire baskets are the following: fruit and produce, napkins. place mats, and apron storage. I love the Madam Stoltz ones pictured here at Reforma Stockholm as a fruit and produce idea.
Last, but not least, wire baskets just look good. I am all about the aesthetics being in line for number three after simplicity and functionality.
Happy wire basket adventuring and have a blessed evening!
How would you like to make something fun for your door with less than $5? Well, that’s what I did this past April. Recently, I had the idea that I was going to take it down since we are now in the fall season. However, it just hasn’t happened. I liked this project for three reasons:
By the way, I purchased all of these materials from Dollar Tree.
Here are the materials that you will need:
1 bundle of jute material (optional) $1
1 wreath $1
2 small bundles of fake flowers $2
Total Cost $4.00 + tax
Fold the bottom half of each of the flowers stems.
Tuck the flower stems into the wreath by placing them in between the individual pieces of the wreath.
Tie bows around each of the individual flowers.
Hang on your door and enjoy!
Optional: This wreath can also be used as a table decoration.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Upcycling things can be an adventure. It just takes a few minutes of creativity and little bit of down time. A few months ago, I upcycled my pillow cases on my bed using a scarf. You can go to the link here.
I am starting to really appreciate Saturday mornings now. Every blue moon, I have to leave out early, but for the most part, my new thing for Saturday mornings is to do my devotion, eat some breakfast, and sit in bed and read for a good two hours. This doesn’t always happen during the week, so Saturday morning reading is my relaxation time.
What I love is when the air isn’t too cool or too warm, as the air is here now in the Midwest. I love it! It has been raining for the last few days, but I love the idea of a good book, a blanket, physical rest, along with the concept of resting in Jesus on a Saturday morning.
I am rereading Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen, Unexpected by Christine Caine, and about five other books at the same time. I know that this might sound strange to some of you, but sometimes in the evening, I like to have a good cooking show on while reading.
It’s nice to still be able to hear the chipmunks playing outside. It wasn’t until two and a half years ago, that I became familiar with the sound that the chipmunk makes.
This morning, I finally got brave enough to do something that I had planned on doing for some months now: upcycling the throw pillows that are on my bed. I already had all of the materials here. I was able to get one pillow done today.
The process was pretty easy. What I have noticed is that the worst part of any project is getting the materials together, and just doing it. It was also therapeutic. I am even thinking about using the rest of the material from the scarf to make a purse. We’ll see.
Here is the project:
Upcycling Throw Pillows from a Scarf
A Scarf that has Pom-Pom Style Strings Attached
(3 to 4) 25 or higher of embroidery thread
A thick enough needle to go through the scarf material and pillow cover
A Throw pillow with a cover
Cut off the Pom-Pom Style Strings attached to both ends of the scarf.
Sew the Pom-Pom Style Strings to both sides of the throw pillow using the needle and embroidery thread, making sure to double enforce the thread because of the fragility of the material.
When I moved to the place that I live now, I appreciated the layout of the kitchen. It isn’t large, but a decent size for having company and entertaining. The one thing that was a drawback is the fact that we lacked cabinet space. I had gotten used to the pantry that we were blessed with at the last place. So here, I had to get creative. That’s where the shelves came in. Last week, I featured a post on building a clothing rack with plumbing pipe material here.
I needed a place to store more dishes. Plus, I needed somewhere to store things like cereal and oatmeal boxes. What I decided is that I would build four shelves using plumbing pipe materials and lumber. I went to one of my favorite hardware stores, Menards, and got to planning. This project didn’t require a lot of materials. It just required planning as far as finding the studs, and then making sure that the flanges are being screwed into the studs in the wall. If they aren’t, well, we don’t want to go there, because it would be a disaster of broken dishes, drywall, and everything else.
Building the Shelves
Instead of stacking boxes, and all that drama on these shelves, I decided to use mason jars. To me, they give more of a clean, organized look. I liked the look so much, that if there was wall space on the other side of my kitchen window, I’m quite sure by now, I would have another set of shelves lined up there. Kitchen shelves are one of my favorite things to view in kitchens when I am glancing through home magazines.
I should also specify that I planned everything, and I gave my son and daughter the pleasure of dealing with the hardware. To be honest, I am not comfortable using a drill. I used a drill once at the last place when I got tired of waiting for them to place a shelf on the wall in the laundry room. When they saw that I had put the shelf up, with anchors and all, they kind of gave me the look, “Okay”. Anyways, here are the materials and instructions for having fun. If you are bold enough to try it, send a comment and post pictures below.
(4) 48″ X 12″ lumber boards
(8) 1/2 ” Tees
(8) 1/2 ” pipe flanges
(8) 1/2 ” 12″ pipe nipples
Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall.
Make sure that you leave enough space in between the shelves.
Using a drill, screw the nails into the pipe flanges, and then the nipples into the flanges.
Screw on the 1/2″ Tee to the pipe nipple.
Place the lumber board on top.
The weight of the jars and dishes will keep the board in place.
If you prefer to attach the pipe nipples to the boards, attach two metal clips on both sides for security.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. Psalms 127:1
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.