DIY Projects

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When I came across this old brass candelabra at a sale in Michigan, it was the end of the day and they took a $1.00 for it.   I knew with a facelift, it would work great for our annual fall party!

I have been making quilts for family members for the last year so decided to make my daughter Jami and her husband Donnie, who live in Texas,  one for Christmas gift.

These chalkboard signs are actually the ends or sides of kitchen cabinets.
The cabinets already had the old, flaky grayish-blue paint, which really gives them a vintage weathered look.

I was in a beautiful little antique store and gift shop in Grove City, Ohio and found a basket full of cookie cutters for $1.00 each.
I decided to use them to make little vintage – Victorian looking ornaments.

Maple Leaf Quilt Block                                                                  I'm in the middle of sewing a farm quilt.  I'm making the quilt blocks that relate to my own little farm, like a bee, black cat, chicken, strawberry, pumpkin, tractor, etc.

DIY Halloween Costume Awards                                                               When my kids were little I would give out prizes for top voted costumes but we haven't had a costume contest in years.  My daughter Alexis asked me to revive the tradition.

Child's Batman Quilt                                                                                I started with a sort of log cabin block variation. A square and then 1 inch of fabric pieced around the square.
The batman print square was cut at 5 ½ inches square and the gray trim was cut at 1 ½ inches wide.

Halloween Costume Ideas, # 4
So here are a few costume ideas and recent ones that have stood out.  I've homemade my kids costumes for years and years and now that they're grown, they're carrying on the tradition.

How to Make Quilt Labels and Why
Quilt labels can be small, plain and blend in with the quilt backing or stand out and be their own unique little work of art. It's really up to you and your preferences.

Making a Farm Girl Quilt                                                                               My newest quilt is one that I'm working on for myself that I'm calling my Farm Quilt.  I'm making about 95% of the quilt blocks from patterns in the Farm Girl Vintage Book.

Farm Market Display Shelves
For display shelves, I used old solid wood kitchen cabinet drawers I salvaged from a neighbors kitchen remodel. (Yea, I trash picked).  These drawers are probably from the 1930's or 40's and have many layers of paint.

The pattern is large blocks with sashing between each block.  This is a pretty easy quilt to make and you can make the blocks and sashing any size you want, bigger or smaller.

This is one of the simplest sewing projects you will do, it's right up there with making pillowcases. These packs can be heated in the microwave for a heat pack or placed in the freezer for a cold pack

Ohio Star Quilt Block  
Martha Washington's quilt where she added a pinwheel as the center square and Dolly Madison used an Ohio Star with a nine patch inserted in the center, both well before 1815.

Making a Patchwork Quilt
One of the easiest quilts to make and one of my favorites is a patchwork style quilt. Patchwork is simply sewing pieces of fabric together to form a pattern that when all together form a quilt top.

Camper Remodel, Part 1  
The first step was to replace the dining cushion covers.  I measured the size of the cushions then cut out the fabric for each just slightly bigger.  I also decided to use two different fabrics for more "pop."

Camper Remodel, Part 2
This post covers the bed and bath area remodel of our camper.The old curtains and bedding in the camper matched the dining area colors of dated and drab light blues.

Easy Baby Burp Cloths
For the first project for the new baby, I decided to make a few burp cloths because they're pretty easy and also in great demand.

Start a Crafting Group Meet-up                                                                        The group could also be for lessons or instructions to learn a new craft!
Lately, we have kicked around the idea of having a painting group or class later this winter. 

Candle Lantern Redo and Up-Dating
Recently I found an old lantern in a thrift store that was designed to hold a pillar candle. I thought I could revamp it with little effort and besides, it was 50% off!

To go along with the bird and egg theme they decided to use the word “hatching” instead of “expecting” on the announcements.
The announcements turned out very unique, special and absolutely wonderful!

Moving a Shed
Moving a small gardening shed or other small building is not impossible.  There are a couple of ways to move a shed; one takes hard work and numerous people, but not for lifting.  The second is to hire the work out.

Building A Pig Trough                                                                                      After a little research, I found the best trough design for natural pig farming is to have one long trough along the length side of the pig pen that provides good access to feed for all the pigs eating at one time.

I have been debating whether to purchase a greenhouse kit or just build one myself.  I decided to look for old windows and build it myself. 
I searched on Craigslist and found an ad for old wood windows of various sizes. 

Easy to Build Wine Rack    
I decided to paint the shelves in the new pantry I built and while the shelves were bare, I came up with the idea to build a wine rack. This wine rack is a simple design and easy for just about anyone to build.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder  
Here is the new recipe I use for making detergent.  I still get the same great results and the powder form lasts us around 2 months. Did I mention I have four adults in my house and live on a small farm with way too many animals? 

Shelves You Can Build Yourself
I use a pretty basic shelf design which can change slightly depending on the character or purpose of the shelving.  Storage shelves are more rustic and not always “perfect”. 
Book shelves get a little-added trim and detail work and are put together with a more attention to ascetics.

Building a Patio
The first task was removing the large overgrown bushes.  Those pulled out easily enough with a small backhoe.  Work smarter not harder I always say.
And the backhoe was able to make quick work of removing the old sidewalk.

Pattern Saver or Protector
One thing that always seems impossible for me is getting all the pattern pieces back into the tiny little envelope they come in.  
I just don't think the envelope was that small when I took the pattern out!

Over the years, many of the original outbuildings decayed, so were removed or torn down.  Since purchasing the property we have found old foundations, antique bottles and old farm tools. And lucky for us, one small barn has lasted through all the changes.

Homemade Vanilla
Real vanilla is quite pricey but is one of the best flavors to use for wonderful desserts
and in treasured recipes.  I myself absolutely love double strength vanilla.
Making your own insures

Turning Sap Into Syrup
This I also noticed about the sap: When a batch cooked down and right before I added more sap, the aroma coming from the pot was more like taffy candy cooking! Yum!
After using around 10 gallons of sap (it took all day) I decided to let this batch finish boiling down on the

This is a fun and easy adult or kids craft.  If you’re sending out Valentine’s Day cards or giving them to friends these are great little gifts to include.  My daughter and I recently started a Book Club so I'm giving these out at the February meeting.

Installing a Chair Rail and Kitchenette
I am not a professional carpenter, let me tell you. But I found an easy way around the perfect wood cuts.  Using wood that is going to be painted forgives a lot of sins (cutting mistakes and nail holes).  Take a look at the two photos below, the.... 

Building A Milking Stand
A milking stand (or Stanchion), is used to immobile a goat for milking and for hoof trimming and vet visits.  The same type of stand can also be used for sheep and sheep sheering.

Building a Hillside Walk and Stairs
Both steps are the same distance from the house, and the same width.  
The length of each step depends on the slope of the hill and getting the step level.  Digging is involved in the process. 

A scarecrow is a decoy or mannequin usually in the shape of a human. It is dressed in old clothes and placed in gardens or open fields to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from feeding on recently sown seed and growing crops.

Supplies for Maple Syrup Making
There are many types of spiles (tree taps) you can use.  Some are made of a thinner metal, (the ones I purchase from Tractor Supply last year) and some are made of a thicker and stronger material.  Most spiles have hooks for hanging buckets, but some also have a metal lip on top to hold the bucket handle or metal sap bag holders

Building a Chicken Coop
We salvaged wood planks from an old barn earlier this year, so I used those to build the interior dividing wall, along with an old barn door for the interior coop door..... Once the wall and door were in place, I started on the inside of the chicken coop.....

This was slow, hard work! We worked most of the first day removing the planks we wanted.   Most of the barn was built in the post and beam style, timber frame. This method comes from making things out of logs and tree trunks without modern high tech saws to cut lumber.

The production of maple syrup has been an activity of early spring since the pre-Columbian era in America. American Indians would gash the maple trees, collect the sap and boil it down. Tapping for maple sap is generally done only in the spring when sap sugar content is highest.

First I used a tape measure to hold up and bend in the shape I wanted the arbor to be, to get the length I needed to purchase the fencing. Since the metal fencing I purchased was 4 foot high, I decided I would use two pieces wide and make the arbor "tunnel" 8 foot long.

This detergent cleans wonderfully! Not only is this a money saver,
(See my cost breakdown below) but it’s also Eco-friendlier.
This detergent contains NO PHOSPHATES! I like knowing what’s in a product I’m using.

Scrapbooking a Family Cookbook
With page protectors,  I can remove the recipe from the book, use it while cooking and all the while it's protected from spills and dirty hands. I can also pull the recipe out and make corrections to suit our tastes.

Organizing Seed Storage
Supplies: 1 Plastic Storage Container (shoebox size),  Card Stock or Index Cards,  Scissors,  Seed Packets.  Cut a tab area in each card, cutting a right tab, a middle tab, and a left tab.
This will make it easier to view each tab once complete.

Tape the empty seed packet onto paint stick.  Place the Ziploc baggie over the seed packet.  Close the baggie as much as possible. Use tape to secure the baggie to the paint stick. The baggie can be folded on the side and taped in place to give it a more streamlined look.

What I learned researching hay feeders is that there are hundreds of kinds, models, and styles, made out of numerous different things. And that it's OK if you want to purchase one, and OK to build one, whatever works at your farm and for your animals.

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