Aug 292012
Non-Professional Chair Upholstery at Home

Well, here is my first real upholstery job. If you recall, the previous chair upholstery project was done over the old fabric. This time I did it “right”–or as right as a non-professional can. A professional upholsterer would be shocked, I’m sure, with this video. I had to take apart the top part of the

Aug 082012
Upcycle a Fluorescent Shop Light

I’m in the process of updating our small laundry room/mudroom on a tight budget, and I had to figure out a way to make the ugly fluorescent light fixture look good with what we had instead of buying a newer, prettier fixture. My solution? Paint and hang old CDs from the light cover! I’m happy

Jul 212012
Upcycled Steampluck Lamp

This is my favorite of the upcycled lamp series. I found a plain glass lamp body that was open at the bottom and decided to make a romantic version of a steampunk lamp with it. Someone had given me a bag full of old clockwork, so I hot glued and magnet-attached some parts together into

Mar 052012
How to Remove Water Stain on Wood

See this ugly white water stain on our piano bench? The bench (and piano) aren’t even ours, which makes the stain even uglier. I intended to sand it down and refinish it before the owners claimed it back, but today that plan got replaced by a much easier way to remove water marks from wood

Feb 122012
Valentines Tissue Paper Craft

My sister’s birthday is close to Valentine’s Day, so her parties always end up having a red heart motif. This year I decided to focus on the centerpiece above the table–the chandelier. I bought some red heart tissue paper, and in half an hour transformed our clunky light fixture into a Valentine’s themed chandelier. Your

Jan 042012
Upcycled Shutters Side Table

This side table was one of the DIY gifts I made for Christmas after seeing a similar one on Pinterest. It’s made out of four window shutters someone brought over hoping we could “make something” of. I added a utility light under a hinged table top for indirect lighting if the recipient wanted that feature.

Dec 172011
Original and Vegan Bolivian Saltenas

Saltenas are the ultimate Bolivian empanada. Some of my memories of this pastry are of riding the train as a kid and looking forward to the lunch hour when we’d stop at some tiny village station. Women carrying large bowls or baskets on their heads would walk along the side of the train crying out

Dec 142011
How to Make a Hardcover Book

The earliest present I remember receiving was on my fifth birthday. A neighbor girl—who was about ten—gave me a notebook and pen (or perhaps it was a pencil). I was so ecstatic to have my own blank notebook that I didn’t even care some of the pages had been torn out. I knew then that

Nov 292011
10 Do It Yourself Christmas Gift Ideas

I grew up in a family with eight kids, and we never had money for extravagant gifts. For Christmas, we drew names and one person would buy one other person a gift. That was it (well, except for the occasional gag gift like the time my sisters got me a size D bra when I