Repainting a Brass Headboard

How to Paint a Brass Headboard
I belong to a local buy/sell/trade group, and when I saw someone post a full-size brass headboard, my brain started turning. I realized that I could totally repaint it a fun, bright color and finally have a finished look in our guest room.

To be honest, I wouldn’t have looked twice, except for the list price for the headboard was only $20. We talked them down to $15. Then, with about $30 in spray paint and primer, I had only spent a total of $45 for this entire project.

To paint a brass headboard, you will need the following:

  • primer (we used 2 cans of Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Flat White Primer)
  • paint (we used 2 cans of Rust-Oleum Coral Spray Paint)
  • drop cloth
  • extra-fine steel wool
  • optional: spray paint comfort grip

It truly couldn’t be easier to complete the project:

1. Layout the drop cloth and headboard.

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2. Rub the steel wool across all surfaces to create an abrasion and give something for the paint to stick to. Wipe with a dry rag to remove any dust.

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3. Spray the primer over one side in long strokes. Let dry for 1 hour (if a non-humid day) or as detailed on the paint can.

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4. Spray the primer on the other side. Let dry for 24 hours (if non-humid) or as detailed on the paint can.

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5. Spray the paint over one side. Let dry for an hour.

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6. Spray the paint on the other side. Let dry overnight.

7. Check for any spots for touchups.

8. Attach to bed frame once the paint has dried for at least 24-48 hours. We waited until the paint smell went away a little bit too.IMG_5947

Sewing a Mason Jar Sleeve

Sewing a Mason Jar Sleeve

For my twins’ first birthday, I knew that we needed to celebrate the adventure of making through the first year with twins. One of the things that I wanted to make for their party was mason jar sleeves, but I couldn’t find the right fabric for it. We decided it would be better to create it ourselves instead of continue to search.

We started by having a gifted artist (Amelia Murdock of My Grandest Adventure) create an illustration of our babies. We turned it into a fabric on Spoonflower, and after going back and forth on the type of fabric, we decided on Performance Piqué because when the fabric stretches, it still retains details of the print.

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Once we received the fabric, we were ready to start our projects. For this, I created two different kinds of sleeves, one using a standard sewing machine, and the other with my (new) serger/overlock machine.

Creating a Mason Jar Sleeve on a Standard Sewing Machine

First, I measured the circumference of the jar. In this case, it was 8.25” around.

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From there, I created a template that gave a quarter-inch seam allowance for the top and bottom of the sleeve, and then I added an extra allowance on the side of 1 ¼”.

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The great thing about using a template is that you can try it out on the mason jar first to make sure you are happy with the size. I used this template to cut the sleeves from the fabric.

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Normally, I would press the seams, but Performance Pique doesn’t press well at all, so I just had to pin the quarter-inch seam allowance and sew the top and bottom seams.

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I wanted a nice, chunky side seam on the top, so I let that seam allowance be ¾”, while I didn’t finish the final side.

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To make sure I would have it fit the jar correctly, I sized the sleeve on the jar itself and marked it with a pin.

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Using that pin as a guide, I carefully sewed the sides together to create the finished sleeve.

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Creating a Mason Jar Sleeve on a Serger/Overlock Machine

I recently got a serger, and I wanted to see how well it would work for this project. Because I didn’t have to do any work or measurements with seam allowance, it was a much faster method of sewing 24 mason jar sleeves.

For this version, I used the same template as before, simply because I wanted my original rectangles to be slightly larger than what I would need in the finished product.

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From there, I just ran the top and bottom sides through the serger.

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This left me with unfinished sides.

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I then pinned the sleeve onto the mason jar with the right sides touching.

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I used that pin placement to serge the final side together.

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Once the sleeve was turned right-side-out, I had the finished and clean edge where the two sides joined together.

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So, with the two different machines, I came up with two completely different styles of mason jar sleeves. If you have a serger, I would definitely recommend that, because of the ease-of-use and speed in finishing a high number of mason jar sleeves. By using the sewing machine, it took some more time, but still came out with a great final product.

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SAHM Mom Survival Guide eBook Review

“We don’t have the benefit of a routine ‘eight to five’ job where you accomplish the same tasks day in and out. Our lives take us in a million different directions and there is no way anyone can keep all of those things. Getting the events, appointments, and schedules out of your head and onto paper will free you from the stress.”  – Rebekah, The Stay At Home Mom Survival Kit

SAHM SK Book Mockup

As a Stay at Home Mom of our twins, I have a soft spot for other mamas who try to do other things in addition to mothering and taking care of the house. Many of us were professionals before becoming wives and mothers, and it is honestly hard to just completely turn off the switch to want to have adult interaction and help others, thus setting a good example for our children in being a steward of the world.

Most of us bloggers don’t blog just for ourselves. We are hoping to reach others and somehow touch them, whether that is to make them laugh, cry, or create. Today, I want to feature a Stay at Home Mommy Blogger (Rebekah with Charming Imperfections) who has done that with her new ebook, The Stay At Home Mom Survival Kit. I had the chance to read an advanced copy, and it is fantastic for anyone who needs a little (or a lot of) help getting organized to run an entire household. Don’t let the name fool you, as this is really fantastic for all moms, dads, or even those without children. It really could be called the “Household Survival Kit,” because of how versatile it is! Although, if you are a SAHM, you will love Rebekah’s tidbits and discussions at each section.

So what is included in this survival kit?

  • Schedules: More than just a cute calendar, the scheduling pages will give you the chance to organize and plan for every event and appointment (with 6 printable pages)
  • Finances: Get on a budget, organize your bills, tackle that debt, and commit to becoming financially wise with the pages included in this section (with 13 printable pages)
  • Meal Planning: Meal planning is simplified with the inventories, planning pages, shopping lists, and strategy worksheets to help you feed your family and save money (with 10 printable pages)
  • Housework: Every checklist and chore chart you need to get started and stay on track towards a cleaner, more comfortable home (with 7 printable pages)
  • Activities: Take the work out of fun with the planning pages included in the Activities section. Plus, get the Vacation Planning Kit for free (with 11 printable pages)
  • Health: Monitor your weight and fitness progress, keep track of medications, and have information on all the medical facilities you visit on one page (with 10 printable pages)

The book is structured with a narrative and then the printable pages. Each section explains the background and also instructs you how to use and modify the printables to fit your family. It is absolutely beautiful, but it is also designed to take minimal ink when printed. It will also look gorgeous in black and white if you want to save your colored ink.

“As a mom of twins, I have to be organized. Our household wouldn’t function any other way. I really loved this eBook, as it was almost as if I wrote the book with the way that I try to keep my home, finances, and lists organized. Rebekah does a wonderful job explaining each of the sections well and then having thorough and cute charts, lists, and calendars that we can print out and use. This isn’t just a book for Stay at Home Moms, though! All families could take their household organization to the next level with the help of this kit!” – Dory Doyle

The entire eBook is $15, but there are also some free printables available on the book’s webpage if you want to try before you buy.  If you purchase this book during the launch week (September 15-22), you can save $5 by using the code LAUNCHWEEK. In addition, 10% of all sales from September 15-October 6 will be donated to a local charity called Esther House, which is a transitional, grace-based facility for women and/or women with children who have experienced incarceration, abuse, homelessness, and emotional and spiritual wounds.

There are also a slew of other products and updates coming from Rebakah and Charming Imperfections, including a holiday planner coming in mid-November and a New Year Planner and expanded Health and Fitness section coming at the end of December.

SAHM SK 46x60

 

Disclaimer: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Charming Imperfections. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

How to Have a Successful Yard Sale

YARD SALE Tips and Tricks - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Spring and summer is the prime time in our family to clean our our closets, shelves, and garage. And that means YARD SALE! Normally, our neighborhood will have a multi-family sale which usually brings in lots of traffic. We weren’t able to participate this year, but we still decided to hold our own sale. Here are some tips that we have learned from years of organizing and selling at yard sales:

Family Yard Sale No Address

1. Advertisement: Make sure to advertise far and wide. Take out an ad in your paper, put a notice up on Craigslist, talk it up on your local buy/sell groups, and plaster it on Facebook. Then, put up a sign (or a few, depending on where you live) in front of your neighborhood at least 4 days prior to the yard sale, but no more than 6 days (you don’t want them to think that it is a leftover sign from last week’s sales). We created this little ad to post on social media outlets without our address (people sent a message if they needed it), and then we had one with our address for a few select places.

2. Start cleaning out early: Don’t wait until the last minute to get and sort through your things. Sure there will be a lot of piles and boxes for a couple of weeks, but it will make for a successful and much less hectic yard sale. As a rule, anything that isn’t set out in our garage the night before the yard sale (at the latest) doesn’t go into the sale.

3. Organize into categories: We like to organize into the following categories:

  • Men Clothes (and type)
  • Women Clothes (and type)
  • Baby Clothes (and sizes/season)
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Housewares
  • DIY and crafts
  • Toys and stuffed animals
  • …you get the idea

4. Hang up clothes: While it may be a hassle to get everything hung up, it is the ONLY way to sell clothes. If you put clothes on tables (even if you neatly fold them), the first person that visits the sale will mess up your organization, and no one will touch the clothes from then on. I speak from experience.

5. Get things off the ground: The only things that should be on the ground are furniture. Everything else needs to be on tables (tray tables or fold-up tables work great for yard sales). If it’s on the ground, no one will want to bend down to look closely. Put it on a table, and it’s much more convenient to shop.

6. List prices: Either have a poster board with prices or have everything labeled. Sure, people won’t look and will still ask the price, but that way you can refer to it and they know that you didn’t pick the price out of thin air. It also helps you feel more organized and ready to sell.

7. Be willing to sell for cheap: Make sure to see my welcome phrase in #9, but it’s important that you are willing to sell for cheap. If you won’t, be ok with it not selling.

8. Be ok with negotiating: This is my favorite part of yard sales, both from a buyer and seller’s perspective. This is where the fun comes in, and if you negotiate with a smile on your face, your customer will leave feeling like they got a good deal and you will have a little extra cash in your pocket.

9. Have fun: Whenever someone walked up to our yard sale, I greeted them with a big “Hi!” and followed that with saying, “Everything has to go one way or another! If it doesn’t go home with you, then we will be taking it to Goodwill. It doesn’t come back in the house.” Sometimes I would add, “We love to bundle, and the fun of yard sales is haggling. So let’s have some fun!” I always got smiles, and it let them know that we weren’t too set on any prices.

10. Stand up for your stuff: There will be some potential customers that come and either take things (Seriously, you can’t pay $1 for that Polo shirt?), want to be jerks about offering $2 total for 25 items (and pushy when you try to negotiate), or put their hands on EVERYTHING. Know your limits and where you feel comfortable going with this. Here are some stories from the yard sale trenches:

  • A man came and wanted to purchase 4 things, which we had $1 listed on each of them. He offered us $0.50. One of the items was a new-in-box wrist guard (that he was trying to hide under his other things), so I told him that I would go to $1.50, but that was it. He said, “No, 50 cents.” But I stood firm and told him that he had quite a lot there, including that wrist guard (which I pulled from the bottom of his pile so he knew that I saw his trickery.” I won out, and he got a great deal at $1.50.
  • There was a woman who grabbed about 40items of clothes (I kid you not). We put a flat price of $3 for each item of adult clothes and $5 for each jacket or coat. She had well over $300 of items if they were new. She offered $50, and I told her that according to our prices, it would be $150. We settled on $80. She got a great bargain, and I knew that if I didn’t sell to her, it was late enough in the day that they would go to Goodwill. Win for everyone.
  • Our first customers of the day were 2 mothers and 2 kids. The kids (about 8 years old) ran over to the toys and immediately wanted two things on the table and started playing. We settled on a price, and the daughter ran off to the car with the toy in her hand. I called after her, asking her to bring back the toys until they were paid for. One of the women started flailing her arms and complaining and threw the toy on the table and they stormed off. I was sorry for the woman’s reaction, but how did I know that they wouldn’t just leave without paying? Those toys later sold to a very sweet family.
  • While I was talking to a very kind family about some baby items and toys (who had a slight Spanish accent), a woman came over to us to look at the table. She started talking in a very loud voice about how they probably didn’t know what a dollar was and couldn’t understand me. How absolutely rude and uncalled for. Needless to say, I didn’t sell her anything (I would rather lose a sale than to acknowledge that type of behavior).
  • A young couple arrived at the yard sale about 35 minutes after we opened. They saw our patio set and loved it. We originally had a price of $40 for the table, chairs, and umbrella (what a bargain!). They just stood and stared at it for a good 10 minutes while we helped other customers. When we had a few minutes to chat with them, they told us that they only had $20 on them, but they could run to the bank and get $10 more, but that was as much as they could afford. We knew they wanted it, and we were more than thrilled to give it to them for $30. In fact, we would probably have settled for $10 just because of how much they wanted it (but we didn’t let them know that).
  • And although this happened years ago (at our first yard sale), I still think of this young man fondly, so I must include it in this post. When Tim and I were in college, our first “big purchase” together was a Nintendo NES game system and about 20 games. When we bought our house, we hadn’t used this system for 2 or 3 years, so we decided it was time for it to find a new home. A young man about 18 or 19 came by and just was drooling over this system. He couldn’t afford the price we put on it, but he showed us the money he had in his wallet and asked if he could get it for that. One look between Tim and me, and we knew that he was the right owner for this system. For us, yard sales are a great way of making money, but they are an even better way of connecting to people.

So, did we miss any tips that you think are important for yard sales?

Tips for Using and Broadcasting on Periscope

Periscope. Have you heard of this great new tool for sharing a part of your life live with the world? It is nothing short of addicting, and so relevant for small business owners, travelers, reviewers, DIYers, and even moms wanting to show off their kids. It has live broadcasts that allow you to tune in and watch, and if you are following the broadcaster, you can also watch their old videos afterwards (for a limited time).

In order to use it and get the most from it, there is definitely a learning curve. I have picked up a few tips from Alana Bookhout (@OilTheTime), other intro videos, blogs, my own experience, and some other research. I hope this can help you get started!

Tips and Tricks for Using and Broadcasting Periscope DoyleDispatch.com

For All Users:

Profile: Put a profile picture up and make sure to have a catchy description. This is especially important if you want to have followers.

Sharing a Video: Swipe to the right to share (Apple). Swipe up if you have an Android.

Showing Love: Tap the screen for hearts. It’s like “social currency” to give support the video that you are watching. The color of your heart corresponds to the shade of your profile picture. It is a new color for every broadcast. Those hearts give credibility and status for the broadcaster.

Comments: Comments scroll quickly. If you have a question that you want answered, copy it before you send it, so you can paste it if the broadcaster doesn’t answer it.

Want More? If you like the broadcaster, you can swipe the screen during a broadcast to follow that person.

Miss a Video? You can always watch the video after the fact with replays!

Hosting a Broadcast:

Titling: Make sure that you have a catchy title (with emoticons). You want to draw in potential viewers to your video.

Share Right Away: Click the Twitter bird so Twitter followers will see that you are doing a broadcast. You can also post on Facebook and other social media ahead of a broadcast if you don’t have a lot of followers right away.

Thumbnail Image: The first 1-2 seconds will be your thumbnail. Make it catchy. It automatically shows the back side of the camera, so you may want to have an image ready for it to focus on.

Centering the Screen: Make sure your head it focused on the top half of the screen. If it is on the lower half, your face will be covered with comments and hearts.

Engagement: Engage fairly quickly for replay viewers. Make sure that you have relevant info, engaging content, and is overall entertaining. You can block or limit comments either on the original video or on the replay. You may also want to give a call to action at the end of your broadcast.

Keep It Steady: Use a phone stand (either one that you can purchase or just something to prop up the phone) so that your phone doesn’t shake too much.

Got Trolls? You can click on a nasty comment and block that person.

Gain Followers: Ask people to follow and share during your broadcast. Explain how to do that for those that are new to Periscope.

Fun: Make jokes. Have fun. Make it a great experience for everyone and they will come back.

Timing: In my opinion short and sweet is better than long and winded. That’s hard for someone like me who loves to talk, but I know that I can watch at most 10-20 minutes. Any longer than that and I can’t get through the whole video in one sitting (and Periscope doesn’t allow you to jump around the video).

Flipping the Camera: If you flip the camera, there will be a delay with the microphone. Pause for that.

 

Did you like these tips? Please follow me on Periscope @dorydoyle. You can also check out my Periscope video here for a few days:

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aHMawDU3ODk0Mjl8Mzg5MTUwMDPSdGwzN_84qWqCBgew6nXwV9AxAVe-0RSZdd8uKVFG5A==

or the permanent video on YouTube:

 

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Our Setup

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Our Setup

Now that we have a routine with our cloth diapers, I feel comfortable enough sharing what we do.

Every morning, Tim brings down the newly-cleaned diapers in the laundry bag. When I get downstairs, I put them away on our shelf.

And usually the twins help me to unload the diapers onto the ground at some point during the day.

During diaper changes, I will grab the two clean diapers that we need. I take the old diaper off (saying “Bye bye poo poo/pee pee!” if I’m changing Audrey, because she likes to say it with me) and put it aside. I then wipe (either with our homemade spray and cloth wipes or our disposable wipes. The dirty wipes go in a little trash bin on top of the changing table (if disposable) or in with the dirty diapers (if cloth). We might use our Grovia Magic Stick for some added help if diaper rashes are an issue. Then we put on the clean diaper and clothes, and we are good to go!

If there is a “poo poo,” we put it in the little trash bin with the disposable wipes. If it’s just urine, we just drop it in the dry
diaper pail.

At night, we take the diapers upstairs and load up the washer. As long as we start them when we put the twins to bed, we can change it over to the dryer, and we will be ready with clean diaper in the morning. We also wash their clothes at this time as well, so we always have their favorite clothes to wear. We also make sure to clear out the changing table trash bin each night too… that way we don’t have it get too full or stinky.

So there is our setup. Nothing groundbreaking, but it works for us.

Is there anything else you are wondering about how we make cloth diapering work day to day?

Happy Memorial Day 2015

Happy Memorial Day! Thinking about those men and women (and their families) who gave the ultimate sacrifice today. Thank you for serving our country!

Memorial Day 2015 - Doyle Dispatch,com

 

(To see the tutorial for this, please visit my post from last week on The Wise Baby.)

A Spring-Filled DIY Mother’s Day Present

Although I made these last year, I wanted to show them off as a great present for the moms in your life. This would also be a great teacher appreciation gift! These were for Tim and my mom for Mother’s Day, which is why you will see two of them.

Supplies:

1 basket or bucket for planting
floral foam (wet or dry is fine) or styrofoam
floral lei (bracelet or necklace size)
floral wire
assorted seeds
decorative garden spike
note

Directions:

1. Inset the floral foam in the bucket. It does not need to fill the whole area.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

In fact, it can even stick up over top the bucket.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

2. Place the floral lei over the top to cover up the foam.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

3. Fold down the floral wire to make the clip to hold the seeds at various heights.

4. Insert the wire into the foam and the seeds into the wire. Add the spike to it as well.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

5. Attach the note.

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

 

6. All done!

 

Mother's Day Seed Gift - DoyleDispatch.com

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Washing Disposable Diapers

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Washing Disposables

Ok, I’m actually shocked that this is the first time that we have washed a disposable diaper. But it’s gross. And everywhere. And it was a poopy diaper too. Ick. Here’s what happened…

We use our big diaper pail to keep the dirty cloth diapers and the kids’ clothes, and we wash them all each night. We put the poop, disposable wipes, and disposable diapers in a separate bin to throw away each day. Well, this week I was a little tired, and I threw away one of the disposable diapers that I used on David (he had a rash that needed to be treated with some products that can’t be used with the cloth diapers). I didn’t realize my mistake until after we ran through the diapers and clothes in the wash.

At 11:30 PM, Tim went to move the diapers into the dryer, and I heard a loud sigh and groan. I walked over to Tim and the washer, to find him with a handful of jelly pellets. I immediately knew what had happened. That’s from inside the disposable diaper. Ugh!

We quickly went to work. I started scooping out the jelly pellets and other dirt and grime (did I mention that that diaper was a poopy diaper too?) from our front-loading washer and Tim researched how to remedy the situation. That jelly substance was ALL OVER the cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and clothes. Here’s what our research told us to do:

  1. Clean the solid substance as much as you can out of the washer.
  2. Run it through the rinse cycle 2 times with nothing in it (no items and no soap).
  3. Run it through 1 bleach cycle to clean it.
  4. Run your washer as normal.
  5. Try to shake off as much of the jelly on the clothes as possible.
  6. Put the clothes in the dryer. The lint trap will catch most of the dried residue.
  7. Once the washer is clean, run the clothes through the washer and dryer again.
  8. You may have to strip your cloth diapers.

This happened last week. I am happy to report that after doing this cleaning, all diapers are good to go and we haven’t had any problems since!

Fitted Tablecloth Tutorial

 

Last week, I created a fitted tablecloth for our kitchen table, and I love it! I was so tired of constantly scrubbing the table to get the the food off of it, and this makes it so much easier. It was really quite simple as well.

For the cloth, we have a few different ones (oil cloth, cotton, lined vinyl), but the important thing is to get something that is wide enough and washable.

Materials:

  • Fabric that is 6 inches wider and longer than your table (ex: if you table is a 36″ circle, you would get the width and length to each be 42″)
  • 1/4 inch elastic (enough to go around the perimeter, though you won’t use that much of it).
  • a sewing machine

Directions:

1. Turn your cloth upside down on your table and trace around the edge with a pencil.

Fitted Tablecloth Outline

2. Cut the material with a 3″ border past the pencil mark. I used my pinking shears for an easier cut so I didn’t have to serge or hem anything yet.

Fitted Tablecloth Stretching Elastic

3. Using a zigzag stitch, pull the elastic tight with one hand and feed through the machine close to the border with the other hand. This will give a nice tight fit.

Fitted Tablecloth Finished Elastic

4. Fit around your table and enjoy your protected tablecloth!