DIY Cinnamon Stick Candles

Last week, I made a trip to IKEA (AKA heaven) with my sister. While there, we spotted a four-pack of white candles for just $2. As soon as I saw them, I thought back to a craft I had seen on Pinterest…cinnamon stick candles! I scooped them up, and my weekend DIY project was born!

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Here’s what you need:

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– Candles from IKEA ($2 for a pack of 4)
– Plate from IKEA ($4)
– Cinnamon sticks from Walmart ($5)
– Ribbon of choice ($1)
– Hot glue gun/hot glue sticks (free! I already had these on hand)

Total cost: $12!

Here’s what to do (candles):

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– Place strips of glue directly onto the candle (I placed the glue onto the cinnamon stick, and it just didn’t work well).
– Press cinnamon stick into glue firmly! You may want to add a few drops of glue in the spaces afterwards, just in case.
– Continue to glue sticks all the way around the candle, filling in gaps with glue.

Here’s what to do (ribbons):

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– Cut four strips of ribbon, one for each candle, and wrap around the candle. Glue in place.

Here’s what to do (bows):

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– Weave one ribbon through the prongs of a fork five times.
– Use a second piece of ribbon to tie at the center. Double knot.
– Cut ends of ribbon to desired length.
– Slip ribbon off of fork and arrange the ends to the desired position.
– Place a dot of glue on each bow and place where desired.

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VoilĂ ! This project took no time at all, and I really didn’t spend more than I would have, had I bought these at the store! Thank you Pinterest!

Have you attempted any Pinterest crafts? Did they turn out adorable?

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Halloween Costumes for the Whole Family For Less Than $25!

For Halloween this year, my family is doing coordinating costumes! And the best part is (apart from the cuteness), I dressed all four of us for under $25! How did I do this, you ask? DIY baby!!

I had sooo many ideas for family costumes, but I finally settled on a hive of bumblebees (me, Owen, and the dog) and our beekeeper (Marshall)!

In this post, I’ll show you how I costumed all four of us on the cheap:

The Beekeeper:

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Marshall works with a ton of different chemicals, so he has these suits at work! He just asked to borrow one for the day! It was clean, of course, and just what we needed.

The hat was part cheap/part DIY. I bought the white hard hat for $3 at Goodwill. I then bought a yard of black toole, worth $1.39, and hot-glued it around the edge of the hat.

Final cost = $4.39

First Bumblebee:

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I looked high and low for a cheap doggy costume, but I just couldn’t find one for an affordable price. So, I took to Ebay and found a great doggy costume, size large, for only $7.98 shipped! What a steal!

Final cost = $7.98

Second Bumblebee:

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Owen’s bumblebee costume was purchased at Goodwill for $4! It’s a 6-12 month size, so it fits him perfectly! Plus, it’s in excellent condition with no rips, tears or stains! I highly recommend checking out Goodwill’s costume section before going to Walmart or Target.

Final cost = $4

Third Bumblebee:

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The only bumblebee costumes I could find at Goodwill were for little girls, and the only ones at Walmart and Target were a bit revealing for my taste.

Not to fret! I found a very pretty set of yellow wings at Goodwill for $3, so I scooped them up! I bought a pair of black fleece-lined leggings for $6, and already own a black long-sleeve tee. I also have black boots that’ll be nice for the rain. My sister was selling her size small (in kids’ sizes) bee costume at our garage sale in September, so I bought it from her for $1! I had to do some minor adjustments (removed the zipper and added elastic, which I already owned), but I made it work!

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I went to Walmart and bought a bag of black pipe-cleaners for $.87 and a bag of yellow Pom-poms for $1. I already own a black headband. I bent the pipe-cleaners around the headband, then hot-glued the Pom-poms to the ends. My antennae are done! What a simple DIY costume!

Final cost = $11.87

Thanks to Goodwill, Ebay, and some DIY, we managed to dress our whole family for Halloween! And it only cost us $25.24! Okay, so I went a bit over $25, but man, I’m good!!

Has your family ever worn coordinating costumes? Do you DIY your costumes?

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How to Transform Your Media Center

My house has been in need of a media center for a while. We had a pretty nice setup at our old house, but since we moved to our new house 10 months ago, our TV/electronics area has been a mess.

Our old media center

Our old media center

So, my sister and I began hunting for a free/cheap piece of furniture to refinish for my media center!

We faced some obstacles, though. First off, the wall that the TV is on has a non-functioning fireplace. We’re renting, so we weren’t able to do anything with it, except hide it. Second, the wall is not totally flat. That is, it has a flat middle, then curves out on either side. So we really had to find something with specific measurements, otherwise this project just wouldn’t work.

But we hit some good luck!

My sister saw an ad on Facebook listing a free (but so crappy) dresser! She got the measurements and, other than being just a bit too short, it was perfect!

Not pretty, but free!

Not pretty, but free!

I see potential!

I see potential!

This dresser had mismatched and missing hardware, kid’s drawings all over, and two half-destroyed drawers. But it’s incredible what a bit of love (and paint) can do!

To get this dresser looking like it’s new, fabulous self, here’s what we needed:

  • Paint (we used paint from a previous project) = Free
  • Plaster of Paris = $6
  • Polyurethane = $4
  • Paintbrush/foam brush = $2
  • Plastic paint bucket = $1
  • Hardware = $10 ($2 each piece at Hobby Lobby)
  • Dresser = Free
  • Total = $$23

Now, how did we do it? I’m pretty unskilled at refinishing furniture, so I enlisted the help of my very talented sister.

  1. We moved the dresser onto a drop cloth on the back porch. we then lightly cleaned the whole thing. No need to go crazy, we just wanted to make sure the paint would stick to the wood.
  2. We then mixed the paint. In order to achieve that softened, chalky look, we mixed up our own chalk-board paint! To do this, just mix 3 parts pain to 1 part water to 1 part plaster of Paris (3:1:1).
  3. We then painted the dresser with even brush strokes, and used two coats.
  4. Once the paint was completely dry, we used the foam brush to apply a coat of polyurethane. This helps seal the paint, protecting it from any scratches or other damage. Because we knew we’d be placing items on top of the dresser, we ended up doing a second coat on top and on each shelf. *Note* If you do a second coat of polyurethane, you need to wait AT LEAST 4 or 5 hours. If the polyurethane isn’t completely dry, the brush will actually peel the first coat as you apply the second coat.
    Looking good with paint and two coats of polyurethane!

    Looking good with paint and two coats of polyurethane!

  5. Once the dresser was dry, we replaced all of the hardware! The door was missing a handle altogether, so we added one that looks like a door-knocker! Love it!
  6. Last step: We put the drawers back in and moved the dresser into place!
The finished product!

The finished product!

My husband helped me decorate (I’m going to be moving a few things around LOL), but we’re in love! I’m toying with the idea of buying black hinges for the door, but I’m not sure if I really want to put more money into it. Besides, it looks so much better than our previous setup, why mess with it!

I’m hoping to work on some more furniture soon, so I’ll keep you all updated on how it goes!