DIY Farmhouse Bench

The wood scrap piles in the basement are getting a little out of hand so I want to make some quick, little DIY projects to use up some of that wood. The first thing I made was this DIY Farmhouse Bench. I’ve been wanting to make one and this was a good opportunity to challenge myself to use up some of that wood, but also to make a drawing in Sketchup so I could share the plans with you.


My plan is based on using 1 x 3’s, 1 x 4’s, and 1 x 12’s because those are the sizes of the wood scraps that I had. Feel free to alter the plans to make your bench. Also, the plans are for a bench that is 48″ long. Again, these plans can be altered to make a shorter bench, too. In fact, I’m going to be making a 2-1/2′ bench next. *NOTE: I did not enough length of the 1 x 12 and 1 x 4 so I cut down some 3/4″ plywood that I had left over from other projects for the legs and brace.

shopping-cut list for bench

If you don’t have any scrap wood, the image above has a shopping list for you.

 In addition to the wood, you will need:

  1. wood glue
  2. wood screws
  3. brad nails
  4. jig saw
  5. wood filler
  6. stain/paint or both

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

frame for bench

STEP 1: Assemble the frame using the 1 x 3’s as shown above.


I put my frame together using wood glue and pocket holes with 1-1/2″ pocket screws.


STEP 2: Cut inverted “V” shapes out of the two pieces of 1 x 12’s using my Ryobi Jig Saw.


I definitely need to improve my jig saw cutting skills ; ) but after some sanding, it looks just fine.


Step 3: Attach the 1 x 6″ boards with glue and nails.


STEP 4: Make a angle cut at each end of the two 48″ 1 x 4’s. These will be the front and back “aprons” of the bench.


Step 5: Glue and nail the apron pieces to the front and back of the bench. I used my Ryobi Brad Nailer – what a time-saver! Also, glue and nail the brace in place as shown in the image above.


Step 6: Fill the nail holes, then stain or paint as desired.


I was going for an, old, been-hanging-out-in-a-barn-for-years-look.


I think I nailed it. I sanded, stained, and sanded. Then I painted, sanded, and stained. Then sanded some more – in that order – to get the old, worn look ; )

What do you think? Could you use a little farmhouse bench at your house? I didn’t actually know exactly where I would put mine, but I love it outside in the flower garden.

Please, feel free to pin this post to save for later.


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Easy and Fast $5 Patriotic Pillows

It’s the 2nd of July! Are you hosting this year’s Fourth of July get-together, BBQ, picnic or party? Are you ready? Me neither. But I did make these two cute, red, white and blue, striped patriotic pillow covers for less than $5 and in less than five minutes each!

Yes, they only took about five minutes each to make and all I bought to make them was a 4-pack of cloth napkins that I found at HomeGoods for $4.99. They were exactly the right size to cover two pillows that I already had.  patriotic-pillow-pin Since the edges of the napkins were fringed, I just sewed them (wrong sides together) on three of the four sides.  I left the fourth side open to slide in the pillow form. Since my pillow was feather and down filled, it was easy to stuff the pillow away from the fourth side and slide that seam under my presser foot on the sewing machine. No hand sewing – yay!


As I said the other day, I’m trying to improve my video-making skills, so I made a video of this pillow-making adventure.

FAIL! For whatever reason, I turned my camera vertically which is a no-no for making videos. That’s why this video has black margins. Ooops. I have a lot to learn apparently.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July. And if you need to make a pair of quick and inexpensive pillows covers, go ahead and pin this post for future reference!



Patriotic T-Shirt

Do you remember the patriotic onesie that I made last year for my granddaughter? (free cut file here) I used that same file to make a Patriotic T-shirt for myself.


I just had to enlarge the shapes for an adult t-shirt.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 10.34.53 AM


I drew a box around them, grabbed the arrow in the bottom right corner of the box, and dragged to expand.


Of course I had to use glitter heat transfer vinyl (my favorite) for my patriotic t-shirt. And since I only had white and red glitter HTV, I picked up a navy blue t-shirt from AC Moore.

Speaking of heat transfer vinyl, I literally just got an email from Happy Crafters informing me of a sale they are having on white and black heat transfer vinyl.

Essentials Sale

They are offering 10 sheets (12″x15″) of black or white heat transfer vinyl for $17.50 today through Thursday. No coupon necessary. It’s a good time to stock up! Click here for more details.


I thought it would be fun to include a video of the heat press process of making this T-shirt. I’m just starting to dive into the world of creating videos, so please forgive the “amateurness” of this video. I have a lot to learn!


The exploding star at the bottom of the T-shirt was the result of a mistake. It was originally intended to go on the back of the T-shirt, but apparently the vinyl went askew in my Cameo when my head was turned. I just couldn’t bear to throw it away so it laid on my craft room floor for a day before I came up with the idea to apply it as it was. Right on the hem of the T-shirt.

(That star shape is from the Silhouette online store (design ID #6443) a rhinestone cut file that warns you not to change the size – but if you’re using glitter vinyl you can make it any size you want! I also used that file for this canvas wall art)


It looks intentional, doesn’t it.

So there you have it. If you make a crafting mistake, just hold on to it for a day or two. You’ll figure out what to do with it!





My “LOVE IT” Moment

The renovation of my powder room last summer was my all-time favorite home improvement success story. It was the first time that I completely gutted a room and totally remodeled it. By myself! Did I bite off more than I could chew???


Oh, there were moments when I thought “what did I get myself into?”


Like when I installed crown moulding for the first time.


But that moment after I put in the finishing touches and then stood back and admired my new powder room was when it hit me. My “LOVE IT” moment.

You know what I’m talking about, right? You know when it happens. That feeling you get knowing you’ve finally created your dream space. Well, wants you to share that moment and get entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree!

Do you have a “Love it” moment?

Share a favorite DIY project on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #loveitmoment. Include before and after photos, as well as your “Love it” reaction for a chance to win $1000 shopping spree on!

For more inspiration and expertise, follow on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube. You’ll be sure to find future “Love it” projects!

My next big renovation project is probably going to be the full bathroom upstairs. Am I up for that challenge? Well, like I said last week, I have some studying to do. I’ll be visiting the Bathroom Learning Center at where they have inspiration, buying guides, and install guides. I’m inspired by this bathroom remodel.

my bathroom now

There is currently just an old, rusty, yucky shower stall in that bathroom. I’d like to replace it with a bathtub with a ceramic tile surround like in the video. And that means a wall demolition. And the plumbing? Yeah, I have no idea! I may have to call on the experts at for that part.

inspiration tub

Yes, now this is what I have in mind!

floor tile

With this gray ceramic floor tile.


And a new vanity of course!

I encourage you to visit the Learning Center, check out their YouTube page, and even speak to an expert to help get you started on a project you may be too nervous to begin on your own or to help you finish a project you are currently working on.

My Dream Bathroom

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sterling for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I admit it. I daydream about my bathroom. Not the way it is now, of course. After all, there’s no bathtub in my bathroom. What???? Yep, no bathtub.  And I want one. The original owner of my house decided to forgo the bathtub and had a larger shower installed instead. Which is fine if you never take baths. I’d like to have the option.This may be a job beyond my DIY skills, but I plan on doing some research to find out! After all, I surprised myself when I remodeled my powder room all by myself.

So someday I will update the bathroom and have the shower removed and a tub/shower unit installed. And when I do, I want to have a shower door – not just a curtain. My shower stall has a shower door and I’ve gotten used to having one.

During my research I found out about Sterling shower doors with ComforTrack technology. I have learned that Sterling shower doors:

  • Have a flexible track, which is comfortable and easy to clean.
  • They are great for bathing kids, washing dogs, lolling in the bath with your feet up, etc. (All the stuff you can’t do with a hard shower track.)
  • They are even made with ComforTrack technology and are available for BOTH bath doors and shower doors. Yay!
So tell me, what is the bathroom of your dreams like? Or are you lucky enough to already have it?And P.S.: Are you a “shower” or “bath” person?

Visit Sponsors Site

Quick and Easy Patriotic Wreath

I promise, this is probably one of the quickest, easiest, least expensive tutorials on making a patriotic wreath that you’ll  ever see ; )


You only need three things to make it:

  1. wreath form
  2. straight pins
  3. bandanas (2)


Okay, four if you count both bandanas!



Open up the fold bandana and pin to the back of the wreath form, pleating the fabric as you go.



Pull the “tail” of the bandana through the wreath, wrap around and secure with more straight pins (see above).



Trim the excess bandana. Repeat with remaining bandana until entire wreath is covered.


I intentionally placed the piece of bandana fabric that has the stars on one section of the wreath to mimic the look of the American flag.


I made the bow by scrunching up the second bandana, tied it in a tight knot, and then trimmed the ends. Of course I just pinned it on to the wreath ; )

I told you it was quick and easy!

Are you hosting on the 4th of July this year? I am and I can’t wait!

Need more Fourth of July DIY ideas? Here’s my red, white, and blue garland,  my patriotic bunting, and my favorite: Star Canvas.

How To Sew in a Zipper

Today’s post is for all of you who want to learn how to sew in zipper. I think this way is good for beginners. In fact, it’s how I first learned how to sew in a zipper about 100 years ago ; )

Let’s make a zippered pillow cover. It’s an easy-sew project with most of the focus of the tutorial on the zipper part.

learn how to sew a zippered pillow cover

Throughout this tutorial, you’ll see two different fabrics. That’s because I made four pillows: 2 of each fabric.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Supplies you will need:

  1. fabric
  2. scissors or rotary cutter/cutting mat
  3. zipper
  4. pillow form
  5. sewing machine
  6. thread
  7. tape: masking, painter’s, or Scotch
  8. seam ripper

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step One: Cut fabric

You will need a front and back cut 1″ bigger than pillow.
For example: my pillow is 12″ x 16″ so I cut two fabric pieces that measure 13″ x 17″

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step Two: Lay front and back pillow pieces right sides together and mark ends of zipper as shown above and below.

How to Sew in a Zipper

You can use a marking pencil but a regular pencil or pen works, too ; )  Once the pillow is finished, you won’t see those lines. Your mark should be where the zipper starts and stops. See photo above.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 3: Now take that marked piece over to the sewing machine and sew a regular-length stitch to the first mark and then back stitch. Then, without removing the fabric, change the stitch length to the longest possible basting stitch and sew to the next mark. Now switch back to the regular-length stitch, take a few stitches and then back-stitch over those, then finish sewing to the edge.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 4: Move over to the ironing board and iron that seam open.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 5: Lay zipper right side down on opened up seam. Line up teeth of the zipper with the seams and tape into place with masking or painter’s tape. Masking tape or Scotch tape would be better choices, but I didn’t have any and used painter’s tape instead.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 6: Here we go! Time to sew in that zipper! Attach the zipper foot and start sewing above and below the zipper pull and to the right of ridge next to the teeth of the zipper.

How to Sew in a Zipper

We’ll get the zipper pull section of the zipper in a later step.

How to Sew in a Zipper

When you reach the end stop of the zipper, stop with the needle in, turn, stitch across the bottom of the zipper just above the zipper stop and then stop and pivot again, then sew up the other side.

How to Sew in a Zipper


Step 7: Remove the tape and use the seam ripper to remove the long, basting stitch. Open zipper and move the zipper pull to a different location.

learn how to sew a zippered pillow cover

Step 7: Sew where stitches are missing from previous zipper pull location. See photo above. Sew square around top of zipper just as you did for the bottom of the zipper.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 8: Open zipper and sew the three remaining seams using a half inch seam allowance.

How to Sew in a Zipper

Step 9: Turn pillow cover right side out, insert pillow form and celebrate! You just made a zippered pillow cover! Remember to remove the little basting threads leftover from the seam ripper before you take pictures ; )

How to Sew in a Zipper

My new, striped pillows add much needed color to the lounge chairs on my deck. All of the brown needed broken up with some bright colors and a pattern!


So. What do you think? Will you give it a try? I’d love to hear from you if you do try it. If you have any questions or need more guidance, let me know! I’ll be happy to help you.

How to use a Heat Press

Now that I’ve had my heat press for almost six months I thought I’d write to tell you what I think about it. I’ll also share some tips I picked up along the way and also give you my opinion on the whole heat press versus iron decision. So if you are on the fence and trying to decide whether you should spend the $ and get a heat press or just want to learn how to use a heat press, read on!

heat press


This is my heat press. It’s the Fancierstudio Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press.  (affiliate link)

First of all: it’s heavy, so you will need a fairly strong and sturdy spot for your heat press. You’ll also need to be able to open it and get at the sides easily.

heat press how to


Mine is sitting on the end of the farmhouse table in my craft room for now. I have plans in the works to build a small stand specifically for it with storage for heat transfer vinyl. (Of course I’ll share those plans with you!)

I think the easiest way to show you how to use this heat press is to actually use it! Follow along as I make a birthday shirt for my grandson.


First I measure how big to make the design for the shirt. I decided 12″ long by about 6″ high would be good so I draw a 12″x 6″ rectangle in Silhouette Studio. Inside that rectangle, I type “Jordan” in the Brannbol Fet font. (for the swoosh at the end, I type a zero)  I also type a “7” for Jordan’s age for the back of the shirt.

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to reverse the images before cutting!!!


Next, I turn on the heat press and set the temperature and timer recommended by the HTV manufacturer. In this case: 305 degrees for 15 seconds.

TIP: place the shirt in the heat press for a few seconds to 1. get out the wrinkles and 2. to remove any moisture in the fabric


Now I place the design on the shirt and place the shirt on the bottom plate.

TIP: I make sure the neck hole, side seams, and sleeve seams are off the plate (if possible) to ensure the best adhesion.


Before closing down the top plate, I place the teflon sheet (provided with the heat press) on top of the shirt.


Now I can close the top plate. Pushing down on the handle locks it firmly. Once the timer goes off, I remove the shirt . . .


. . . . and peel off the plastic backing. It lifts right off with no effort.

TIP: turn shirt inside out and press for a few seconds to ensure a long-lasting adhesion.


Now. As for the iron vs. heat press decision? For me, it was easy. I love to create one-of-kind pieces for my family and hope to someday sell items. The creations that I made with an iron that were worn more than a few times had the peeling up problem. The time-savings was important to me too. There’s a lot of time and pressure involved with using an iron. But if you only make a few items a year, and you can get good adhesion with your iron, then an iron is probably good enough for you. But if you make several items a year, including larger-than-your-iron designs, have problems with peeling HTV, or plan to sell your items, then a heat press is probably a wise investment for you.

If you are in the market for a heat press or are thinking about it, I suggest that you look at Amazon’s large selection. That is where mine came from. If you’re a Prime member, you will save a ton with the free shipping.


Please feel free to Pin this post for future reference!


Furnishing a Small Deck

The 20-year-old, rusty, metal outdoor furniture on my deck has finally been replaced. It was about time!
Furnishing a Small Deck

Who knew furnishing a small deck would be so difficult. I think we made it difficult ourselves, because we wanted the best of both worlds: the world of dining and the world of relaxing. That’s hard to do on an 8′ x 10′ deck!

Furnishing a Small Deck

And the choices . . . wow! And sticker shock!!! If you haven’t shopped for outdoor furniture for a while, let me be the first to warn you: it ain’t cheap! So shop around, keep an open mind, and look for sales. Also look for deep discounts on the last sets left at this time of year. After all, it IS almost the middle of June and the stores have to make room for Halloween and Christmas stuff you know ; )

We were able to get the best of both worlds (the lounging and the dining),  but it meant that all of the clutter on the deck had to go. Including the grill.

small deck decor

We moved the gas grill off the deck and onto two large cement pavers that are we placed just outside of the deck.


We also moved my Junky Deck Decor to the garden area surrounding the deck.


I love how the chippy, old ladders look in their new spaces.

Furnishing a Small Deck

I’m not a gardener, so I have no idea what those flowers are, but don’t they look lovely on that old ladder?

small deck decor

And here’s the “dining” side of my little deck.

Once the flowers in the deck rail pots get going, they provide such a pretty bit of privacy to our deck. And  the hummingbirds love it, too.

Is your outdoor space ready for summer? I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below!

Backyard Beach Party with S’mores

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored

backyard-smores-party Who doesn’t love the beach, camp fires and S’mores!

I know those are three of my favorite things about summer. And I brought them all together to celebrate the beginning of the summer season with a backyard beach party for my family complete with a S’mores Bar and a camp fire all set up and ready to go to make our favorite summer treat: S’mores!

backyard beach party with smores

It’s the details that can make a family get-together or party special and memorable. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to include those special and unique details.

backyard beach party with smores

For my beach-inspired S’mores Bar, I bought a few inexpensive sand toys and used them to hold and display the S’mores ingredients. I even dug out and cleaned off a few sand toys that we already had. I love how the Honey Maid Graham Crackers look in the sand shovel!


Did you know that Honey Maid also makes square Graham Crackers just for S’more-making???


How cool is that! And they’re only available at Walmart.


Check out the sand bucket full of Kraft’s Jet Puffed Marshmallows. Sweet!

Backyard Beach Party with S'mores

The cute, little, colorful tin sand pails ($1 each) are displaying the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars, crushed graham crackers and Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits.


I found the $1 plastic tablecloth and matching dessert plates at my local party store and I scored the fish lights at my neighborhood yard sale for a dollar! They make a pretty and colorful backdrop for the S’mores bar along with a couple of boogie boards and beach balls. A straw mat, tiki torch, and two beach chairs – all things that we already own – complete this colorful beach S’mores bar.


It was a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to create a memorable, fun, and tasty dessert party that everyone enjoyed.


Try adding a sprinkle of Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits to add another flavor layer to your next S’more.

And for the “I don’t like toasted marshmallow” fans in the crowd, how about melting the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars and then dipping the Kraft’s Jet Puffed Marshmallow in the melted chocolate and then roll the chocolate covered marshmallow into the crushed Honey Maid Graham Cracker Squares.  Yum!!!!


Remember, that you don’t need to have a campfire to make s’mores. S’mores can be made indoors too! Follow the microwave instructions on the back of the Jet-Puffed StackerMallows bag for how to make S’mores in seconds! Make any day a S’mores day!

I have also heard the S’mores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are to die for. I’m going to have to try one. What about you? How do you make S’mores? Do you have a favorite way of making and serving up these favorite summertime treats?