Organized hot beverage station

Fall is definitely in the air around here, which has me thinking about cozy stuff like blankets, fireplaces, yummy comfort food and hot beverages.

I came across a video yesterday from organizing genius, Alejandra. In it, she showcased the perfectly-put together hot beverage station in her kitchen. I was so mesmerized and inspired, I immediately got to work on my own organized hot beverage station. I love quick-reward DIY projects like this that I can tackle in less than a few hours.

I started by emptying the contents of a drawer I wanted to use and giving the drawer a good scrub.

Before-hot-beverage-station

I covered the bottom of the drawer with chevron-patterned Con-Tact® paper that I picked up at Walmart.

Chevron-contact-paper

I think there should be a support group for craft-challenged people like me who have to wrestle for an hour to get this paper smooth. Any tips or tricks you might have on how to do this without crying correctly would be much appreciated. :)

After recovering from applying the Con-Tact paper, I placed a drawer organizer in the drawer to corral all our various hot beverage items. This organizer was previously used to keep the baking items together. I guess I’ll have to come up with another solution for that drawer. ;)

Then I simply filled the drawer up with our favorites.

Hot-beverage-station

Hot-beverage-station-closeup

This drawer is located right next to our coffee/hot water maker and in close proximity to our sink and the cabinet that holds our mugs.

Hot-beverage-station-organized

Do you have a hot beverage station in your home?

Chalky finish porch swing redo

Early this summer, we finally got around to hanging up the porch swing my sister and brother-in-law got us for Christmas, um, more than two years ago. When I shared that project, I also offered some tips on how to hang a porch swing.

Fast forward a few months. I started noticing some mold and age cracks appearing on the swing. I figured I’d better coat it with something weather-resistant.

I went back and forth on what to do. Should I strip it and stain it? Give it the same treatment as the porch posts? I finally decided that, rather than try to match everything, I’d go bold by adding a pop of color.

I started the project by spraying the whole swing with a cleaning solution of about 50 percent chlorine bleach and 50 percent water, in an attempt to kill any mold and mildew.

Bleaching-moldy-spots

Then I took the swing out in the yard and power-washed it. It is quite a Herculean feat to wield a power washer in one hand while simultaneously taking a photo of the process with the other hand. ;)

Powerwashing-swing

After the swing dried thoroughly, I set up a makeshift paint spray booth.

Outdoor-spray-paint-boothI stacked up two sets of three landscaping bricks, then tossed a large painter’s drop cloth over them and perched the swing on top.

The paint I chose for this project was Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish paint from DecoArt®. It doesn’t require primer underneath it, which is a huge benefit, in my opinion.    

DecoArt-chalky-finish-paint

I mixed together two parts Inheritance (orange) with one part Delicate (yellow). Then the project got really fun.

Years ago, I bought a cheap paint sprayer at my local home improvement store. I used it on a few projects, but it tended to spit and sputter and gave me fits. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t clean it properly or because it was a cheap model. I suspect it was a combination of both.

After it completely quit working, I swore off paint sprayers for a long time … until recently. My outdoor copper light fixtures and bathroom cabinet project reminded me of how much I needed a sprayer. The swing project sealed the deal.

My friend, Gail, has been raving about the HomeRight® Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer. So I asked the folks at HomeRight if I could try one. This machine is a game changer, people.

Homeright-Finish-Max-ProI loaded the cup with paint, thinning it with about 15 percent water. Then I went to work.

Homeright-Finish-Max-Pro-spraying

This sprayer effortlessly covered every square inch of the swing – in between all the slats, everywhere – with no spitting or sputtering and very little overspray (i.e. waste). The finish ended up absolutely perfect, which is extremely rare considering I was involved with the project.

Here’s a look at the swing after two coats of the chalky finish paint.

Decoart-chalky-finish-painted-swing

After the paint dried, I sprayed on a coat of varnish (satin finish) to seal it.

Americana-varnish

Done!

Porch-swing-redo

Porch-swing-renovation

I tried to pick a color that would work well with any of my seasonal decor.

Fall-back-porch

Right now, the fall decorating is in full swing.

What do you think of my chalky finish porch swing? How do you feel about bold paint colors on outdoor furniture?

Special thanks to the folks at DecoArt and HomeRight for providing, at my request, the materials needed to complete this project. As always, all opinions and sweat equity are my own.  

Money-saving mend: How to fix a broken Crock-Pot

For quite a while, my slow cooker was broken. I mean, the Crock-Pot itself worked just fine. But the lid was broken, making it tricky to get to the food when the pot was hot.

Crock-pot-broken-knob

After the umpteenth time I burned my hands trying to get the lid off, I finally decided it was time to buy a new slow cooker. But my thrifty brain protested … “It’s just the lid that is broken. Isn’t there a way you can repair it?”

Then I remembered my mom and dad’s Crock-Pot had the same issue a few years back. My dad DIYed a fix for it. So I copied his method.

First, we used a set of grips and a socket wrench to get the hardware removed from the lid. This was the hardest part of the whole project.

Removing-old-knob-from-crock-pot

After that, things got really easy. I simply replaced the broken hardware with an old cabinet knob I had left over from the kitchen updates. (I recommend using a drop of super glue or threadlocker adhesive in the knob hole to ensure it stays put. It’s important not to over-tighten the screw or the glass lid may break.)

Fixing-crockpot-new-knob

That’s it! My Crock-Pot is now as good as new (almost).

Fixed-crock-pot

It took a total of about 20 minutes to figure out how to fix a broken Crock-Pot and complete the repair. My pot holds seven quarts, so I saved myself at least $50 in replacement costs. Score!