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!

How to make the easiest curtains ever

Perhaps you’ll recall the idiotic dancing that took place recently at Gabriel Brothers when I discovered the store had high-end decorator fabric on sale for less than $2.50 a yard. (If you live near a Gabe’s, run to the store right now to get some if you need it.)

I purchased four yards of fabric (totaling less than $10) with an idea for how to make easy curtains and pillows.

Gabes-fabric

So one evening last week, as I was starting dinner, I thought, “Gee, this seems like a great time to make a valance for above the kitchen sink.” The hubs was at a meeting and the kids had disappeared somewhere temporarily (probably plotting their mutiny).

So between stirring mac and cheese and putting together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I created a spring-worthy kitchen valance. (I’ve never claimed to be sane, people.)

Of course, because I’m, well, me, this project had to be quick, easy and super cheap. I thought I’d share the details with you so you can whip up one, too (although I wouldn’t recommend doing it during dinner prep ;)).

The fabric at Gabe’s was sold in two-yard segments. I used one set of two yards and didn’t cut the fabric at all. I started by simply folding it in half with the inside facing out.

Inside-out-fabric

After I folded it in half perfectly, I used my sewing machine to hem just the bottom all the way across, but not the sides. (I eyeballed about a 3/4-inch hem; I didn’t mark it.)

First-hemAfter I hemmed the bottom, I turned the “curtain” right side out again. This left me with a hemmed bottom and two openings at each side.

Hemmed-valance

From there, I decided how wide I wanted my finished valance to be. Then I measured what my current width was.

Total-width-of-curtain

I figured out how much I needed to reduce each side in order to arrive at my desired width.

Math

I needed to reduce each side by 4.75 inches. So I simply tucked the raw fabric in toward the middle on each side, until each fold was a total of 4.75 inches.

Reducing-width-illustration

After I had both sides tucked in properly to give me my desired total valance width of 36 inches, I sewed a half-inch hem on both sides, leaving a 2-inch opening at the top for the curtain rod to slide through.

Rod-pocket

Again, I eyeballed this hem. One trick for keeping a hem straight: I line up the edge of the sewing machine presser foot with the edge of the fabric and use that as a guide as I sew.

Eyeball-hem

After both sides were hemmed (with a 2-inch opening at the top), I ironed the whole “curtain.” I also created 2-inch accordion folds (starting from the bottom) and pressed them down with the iron, too.

Ironing-pleats

Next, I hand-sewed my makeshift accordion folds together using a few quick stitches straight through on both sides, about 5 inches in.

Sewing-pleats

Stitching-accordion-folds

To make sure my accordion folds hung perfectly, I ironed on hem tape between the folds to keep them together.

Stitch-witch

After that, my valance was done!

Kitchen-valance-sink Kitchen-valance-environmental Kitchen-valanceYou may notice I sewed an extra hem at the top because I wanted to raise the valance up a bit on the window. This step is optional, not mandatory.

Curtain-closeup

Here’s a summary of the project steps:

  1. Fold fabric in half, with the inside facing out.
  2. Hem the bottom (not the sides) where the raw edges come together.
  3. Turn the “curtain” right side out.
  4. Fold in the raw edges on both sides until the valance reaches your desired width.
  5. Add a half-inch hem on each side, leaving about a 2-inch opening at the top for the rod pocket.
  6. Create your desired accordion folds (starting at the bottom) and iron them down.
  7. Hand-stitch the accordion folds together to your desired valance height.
  8. Iron on hem tape if necessary to make the folds hang perfectly.
  9. Install your valance and enjoy!

What do you think of this easy spring curtain? Have you found any great deals on fabric lately?

I’m linking this up to Craft DictatorMy Repurposed Life and Love of Family & Home.

Hickory floor reveal

Whew! I can finally say we are done with the epic hickory floor project. We actually finished the floor itself a few weeks ago. Since then, we’ve been working on installing all new baseboard molding, patching and painting walls that were damaged, and just basically finishing up all the little details.

Today I thought I’d share some photos of our new floors.

Hickory-floor

 

Hickory-floor-living-room-3

Hickory-floor-living-room-2

 

Hickory-floor-living-room-cu

Hickory-floor-living-room

I am actually not that crazy about the rug I purchased for the living room. I think I may exchange it for something else. I liked the 5’x7′ version I saw on display at Home Depot, so I ordered it in an 8’x10′ size. However, when it showed up, I was a bit disappointed. I noticed that with inexpensive rugs (the only ones I buy :)), it seems that one basic pattern is used and then simply enlarged. So instead of getting more pattern on an 8’x10′ rug, you essentially get a blown-up version of the same exact pattern that was on the smaller rug. Does that make sense? So although I liked the size of the medallions on the 5’x7′ version, they are a bit large on the 8’x10′ version and look almost pixelated.

Hickory-floor-hallway

Here you can see how we flowed the flooring into the hallway, kitchen and dining room. I’m planning on installing the same picture frame molding in this hallway as what is in our dining room. I’m just waiting for my molding order to come in from 84 Lumber.

Hickory-floor-entryway

Hickory-floor-dining-room

Hickory-floor-kitchenJust to re-cap, we purchased our pre-finished hickory flooring from Lumber Liquidators. It is the Builder’s Pride 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ natural hickory hardwood. With our military discount, I think it came to around $3.60 per square foot. For more information on the tools and methods we used for this DIY project, click here and here.

What do you think of our new hickory floors?

I’m linking this up to My Repurposed Life.