A Polished Look

Brian and I came across some adorable insect-shaped hooks while wandering from store to store one weekend and thought they would be a cute way to display aprons on the back of our kitchen door. They’re made of iron and have a nice distressed look. Unfortunately, the shop we purchased them from didn’t have screws to match. Instead of stressing, I headed straight to my nail polish collection. A quick coat of brown polish helped an ordinary silver screw blend in perfectly. Nailed it!

SWWU Tip 1: Apply the polish after you’ve screwed your object to the wall so you can avoid chipping the paint.

SWWU Tip 2: We used Givenchy Vernis Please! Nail Lacquer (in Delicate Brown), but that’s just because we had it on hand. Most drug stores have inexpensive picks for as little as $1 a bottle and you don’t need anything fancier than that for this task.

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Got Time To Make A Clock?

Brian and I have been on the hunt for a colorful kitchen clock for quite some time. Nothing we found was quite right though. They either had visible power cords, made too much noise or just didn’t fit in aesthetically. Finally we decided to stop looking for the perfect clock and just make our own!

Dessert Pan Clock by somethingwewhippedup.com

Dessert Pan Clock by somethingwewhippedup.com

Once we had all the pieces in place the clock came together a lot easier than we expected. It’s made from an old Duncan Hines dessert pan that I picked up at an antique store for only $2. A quick coat of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch paint (in Sun Yellow) transformed the tattered pan into a bright, cheerful piece. A Clock Movement Kit provided the working parts we needed. The arms got a coat of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch paint (in Deep Blue) to provide some contrast. We drilled a hold in the center of the pan and followed the instructions that came with the clock kit to assemble everything. We’re both quite pleased with the finished product and can’t wait to find something else to turn into a clock in another room. After all, it doesn’t take that much time.

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SWWU Tip: Like the dessert pan we used? I just did a quick search on Etsy and eBay and found a few, ranging from $6 to $20 each. Try searching for the term “Ekco Bakers Secret Duncan Hines,” and see what you can find.

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That Looks Familiar: DIY West Elm Industrial Pipe Rods

We both love the simple yet sturdy look of the Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods from West Elm, but not the price. Just one would have set us back $99, and we needed two.

Inspiration for DIY Industrial Pip Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

Inspiration for DIY Industrial Pip Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

A quick trip to the hardware store helped us create an almost identical look for a fraction of the price. In fact, a set of two rods cost around $45, a savings of more than 75 percent!

DIY Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

DIY Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods by somethingwewhippedup.com

DIY Industrial Pipe Curtains Rods

Makes 1 rod

1. Make sure the pipe you have selected is the length you want to use. The pipes don’t come in too many sizes, but they can be cut to your specifications and rethreaded at most larger hardware stores—just ask! Once you have all of your pieces, connect them to form your rod. Connect an elbow to each end of the pipe, making sure you create two 90-degree arms facing in the same direction (so your rod will be flat against the wall). Next, connect a flange to each elbow.

2. Put your tarp or drop cloth down in a well ventilated area (preferably outside) and apply spray paint in an even coat and let dry.

3. Install your rods making sure to use anchors that are well suited to your type of wall.

SWWU Tip 1: Since the rod won’t be spring-loaded, you’ll need to think about how you want to hang your curtains before you put up your rod. If you want to thread the rod through your curtains you’ll need to do this BEFORE you attach the last flange and attach the rod to the wall. If you’d like your look to be more flexible (like we did) choose curtains with grommets and hang with hooks. We used the IKEA Grundtal Hooks.

SWWU Tip 2: Pipes come in various finishes including copper, black and gray. We chose to paint ours so the look was consistent, but you can leave yours plain for a more natural look.

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Out of a Jam

Brian and I are big fans of Bonne Maman preserves. There are usually no fewer than three open in our fridge at all times. Luckily, this means we always have a steady supply of the adorable little jars around the house. I recently discovered they’re just the right size to neatly store cotton balls, q-tips and more on one of our bathroom shelves. The classic red and white lid, reminiscent of a tablecloth, wasn’t the right look for us, but a quick coat of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch (in Deep Blue) quickly changed that. In less than 5 minutes (plus a bit of drying time) I had custom organization solution.

Out of a Jam by somethingwewhippedup.com

Out of a Jam by somethingwewhippedup.com

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Out on a Limb

I’m definitely a collector. While out on hikes or walks I can’t resist picking up rocks and sticks that catch my eye. Poor Brian is usually stuck transporting my finds back home, even if that means carrying a 20-pound rock a mile up an incline so I can maybe turn it into a table top one day (yes, this happened).

Last spring, we were taking a stroll near the Cherry Walk section of the Hudson River Park, enjoying the blooms and warmth of the day. I started spotting some driftwood along a rocky area of the shoreline (who knew the Hudson had such treasures?) and knew I had to have it. I quickly grabbed a piece that seemed to have some interesting character and expected to be on my way. Brian, of course, wanted to know what on earth I was planning to do with it. I had to think fast and ended up telling him that I wanted to use it as a curtain rod (the first thing that popped into my head). And, it worked! He quickly jumped on board and together we found two branches that were straight enough, long enough and pretty enough for us to use for our bedroom windows.

Tree Branch Curtain Rod by somethingwewhippedup.com

Tree Branch Curtain Rod by somethingwewhippedup.com

To hang them, we used iron plant hangers, fastened to the wall upside-down so the large curve could securely cradle the branch. The total cost ended up being less than $15 per rod. You can’t beat that, and we wouldn’t want to!

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SWWU Tip 1: These all-natural rods work best with curtains that have grommets, loops or hooks. Make sure the branches you select are slim enough to fit through the holes.

SWWU Tip 2: Check for critters before you bring the branches home. You’ll also want to select ones that are completely dried out.

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