Ugly Furnace Panel~ Chalkboard Cover

We have a 2’x4′ metal furnace cover that takes up a big portion of our dining room wall. To say it is an eye sore would be an understatement! We both love chalkboards, so I decided to make a cover out of chalkboard. Since it still needs to function as a furnace I made a cutout where the vent is. I covered that portion with a tin sheet. It looks so much better! Learn how to make your own chalkboard paint in any color.




2×4 Scrap Wood ~ Shower Organizer

I was in the shop on Thursday and decided to build something with the endless supply of 2×4 wood scraps I had collecting in the corner. We had been looking for a wood shower organizer since we moved into our new apartment, so decided that would be a good project to tackle. I few weeks ago I found a teak shelf that would have been perfect for our bathroom, but was not willing to pay $119. I designed a shelf in the style of the teak shelf I liked. Untreated pine is not suited for a wet environment, so I went to Home Depot and bought a can of waterproof epoxy for the finish. The end result is a very simple and functional shelf.




Determining the Age of a Ball Jar

I have a growing collection of Ball Jars and finally set out to learn more about them. Bob Clay’s website offers a great deal of information on Ball Jars. The image below is from his website. If you want to learn more about the history of Ball Jars please check out his website.



This jar dates from 1910-23. Look at the a and notice Ball is underlined.
Here is another one from 1910-23. Notice how the P in perfect is in a different placement.
This is a larger jar from 1910-23. The P once again has a different location.
This grouping dates from 1923-33. Note the a and the lack of underlining on the Ball.
Here is another jar from 1923-33. This one is imprinted with Ideal.
In 1975 Ball introduced a Bicentennial jar that was produced for three years.
Perfect message center!

Wood Crate Message Center ~ With DIY Chalkboard Paint

Many of you have been asking about chalkboard paint, so I decided it was time to do a post to answer your questions.

I was enjoying a cup of coffee this afternoon and the perfect chalkboard project popped into my head. I bought an old wood crate several years ago at a thrift store for $2.99 and it was desperately in need of a new life. It has had many incarnations…most recently it was used as a plant stand. I thought it would make a great message center!

The questions I get the most often about making your own chalkboard paint:

Is it difficult? Not at all. If you can pour milk into a bowl of cereal you can make your own chalkboard paint!

Is it cheaper than store bought? Much cheaper. 30 oz. of chalkboard paint is $10 for black and $13 for a specialty color. There are only 13 color options. I bought a box of non-sanded grout years ago for $5.99. I am still using the same box! This project probably cost me about 12 cents!

Let me share my insider tip on getting really really cheap chalkboard paint! Buy oops paint from your local home improvement store. It is not uncommon to get BEHR quarts for $2! I rarely leave without at least one can to add to my collection. Another tip…if you don’t like the color ask them to re-tint it! It’s free and you will leave with the color you want (as long as it is darker!)

Perfect message center!
Perfect message center!
Not bad for $10!

Stool Makeover ~ Vintage Drink Labels


Our new place has a kitchen island, so we needed stools. We had been searching the internet for vintage drafting stools, but could not justify spending over $200 a stool. We stopped at the local Goodwill and found two stools for $7 a piece. To make it even better they were on sale. We spent under $10 for the two.

I am very happy with the finished product!

Faux Vintage Metal Letters


Whenever I see vintage metal letters in antique stores my instinct is to buy them all…that is until I look at the price! I was determined to figure out a way to make them myself for a fraction of the price. Here is what I can up with.

The finished product!

Restoration Hardware Lamp Rehab

Several years ago I found a lamp in the Restoration Hardware trash in the parking lot of the shopping mall. It was in great shape. The price tag was still on…$200! Huge score. They had cut the plug off, but that was an easy fix. Four years later it was in need of a new look.


This is a quick project that anyone can tackle!