Category Archives: DIY/ Repurpose

Catch up on our vintage trailer.

Alright. Alright. Alright ( in my best Matthew McConaughey voice)

Its been a while, I know, and I have a lot to catch up on. My computer died on me and until recently didn’t have a computer to keep update on our trailer. So much has happened since last summer and we are SO close to getting it finished. IT WILL BE ON THE ROAD THIS SUMMER.

 

OK. lets rewind back to the end of last summer….

 

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Most of summer of 2014 was spent getting all the paint off the trailer to get it ready for a new coat of paint. MAN! What a job! It took F.O.R.E.V.E.R

We ended getting off about 90% of the paint, which I call an accomplishment. Sanded and washed it down. Then, began with the primer.

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One side without primer. The other side with. You can see the huge difference even just the primer made. Looks a million times better.

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While we were in the process of getting the paint off and prime the camper, I pulled off the gutters above all the windows and door. Some needed to be straightened out and cleaned. To make them all match and give them a little bit of shine, I primed and painted them as well with a metallic spray paint.

 

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We made a summer trip back east to Indiana and Michigan to visit some family. My sisters’ sister in law does some metal work and made this really sweet sign for our camper. We plan to post at our campsite when we go camping, if you see us, swing over and say “hi” . 🙂 Oh, and if you want one made for yourself, I am sure I could get you connected with the right person. Now I just need to get the handsome husband to weld a post onto the sign. Just one more thing to add to his ” honey do” list.

 

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Ok, so the camper is all primed and has received its new coat of off white paint, which is to be the main color. I believe we used rust-oleum in glossy almond. I did thin down the paint at the recommendation of others with vintage camper blogs to get a smoother finish. I thinned my paint to about 1/3 cup of mineral spirits per quart of paint.

 

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Now our little camper is starting to look like the one in our dreams! Once we got most of the almond color on, I started taping off for the bottom half. As far as chosing the color for the bottom half, we( by ” we” , I mean ” I”) went back and forth. What can I say, we are an indecisive couple. Heck! we are still trying to make up our minds on the backsplash for the kitchenette. First it was RED. Like a dark retro red. Then I thought, maybe that would be too much, so I turned my sights on hunter green. While I thought that would be a good choice and look nice, I got to thinking about my favorite color in all the world – navy blue. Finding the RIGHT navy blue was a bit of a hunt, because a lot of oil based enamel colors come pre mixed and not a HUGE selection of color. sigh. I soon prevailed at my local Ace Hardware store. YAY for Ace! The blue of my dreams is called ” international blue”.

 

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Upon buying the trailer, we found an old Livingston MT felt pendent in the camper and displayed it proudly in the trailer ( far left cabinet door). The handsome husband found a Seattle’s Worlds Fair one at an antique store and scooped it up ( far right cabinet) and then…….he found a Great Falls MT pendent for me to find a spot for in our trailer! Keep them coming, honey! 🙂

 

 

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Lately, my children have been using the camper as their own personal play house. I keep saying, ” its not a camper, its just an expensive playhouse for the kids.”

In the mean time, the hubby decided the table for the dinette needed to be altered. Because it was a rectangle shape, it made it somewhat difficult to squeeze into the bench seat closest to the stove( unless you are an ultra skinny super model). So, as you can see from the pics above, he removed the table and it was under construction…

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And….. here we go! the new paint job revealed! Now I must confess – at this point ( sometime in Sept. 2014) I only had three sides of the trailer painted. This early spring when the weather started getting nice, I thought, ” I really want to get on the road. We could TOTALLY drive it and go camping somewhere with only three sides painted, right?”

Then, I got ” the look” from the husband. He said we are not driving that thing down the road till all four sides are painted. Fast forward to April 2015. The weather was nice for a straight week. I went and bought some more paint and finished up the fourth side. 🙂

Oh! by the way. A list of the paint that was used on the camper:

*For the gutters and doorstop, I used rust-oleum metallic brilliant metal finish.

*For the trailer primer, Rust-oleum Gray Primer latex aluminum primer. For trailer color, rust-oleum protective enamel in gloss almond, thinned with mineral spirits. Along with, Ace machine & implement rust stop oil based enamel in gloss International Blue, again, thinned with mineral spirits.

* For the tires-primed with rust-oleum automobile primer spray, and rust-oleum gloss protective enamel spray in black.

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With the exterior paint done, I put the gutters back on the windows, and resealed them with a gray putty like substance(purchased at a camper supply store) so that the outside elements don’t find their way in and around my windows. Out of all the gutters, we only had to completely replace one on the front window.

Alright. On to the tires! At first, we thought we were going to have to get new tires for the camper, but after pulling them off and really looking them over, there is still some life in them, so we just cleaned them up a bit. Sanded off as much old paint as we could, primed and painted. Mr Handy Man also cleaned and repacked the wheel bearings. What a great guy! 🙂

 

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With some left over paint, we put it to good use. The tongue in the front of the trailer didn’t look bad, but it didn’t look great either. Out came the sander and the rest of the spray primer and paint. Details matter, people!

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As we come to a close on updating everyone one on the progress of our camper, the new altered dinette table gets back in the with corner taken off and a new coat of paint across the top to match the kitchen cabinet doors. With all this painting going on, I just couldn’t stop myself, I repainted/updated my boys’ bedroom as well and took their stuffed ram’s head. I felt it would be more at home in the camper. What do you think?

In the last picture, I tried to show you one of my DIY projects I came up with. One of the curtains in the back over the bed – I took a plain white curtain, found an image on the internet that I felt fit the feel of our camper. It’s a vintage picture of an old cowboy sitting on his mule, overlooking the Grand Canyon. A sense of adventure!

And there you have it! Honestly, all that’s left to do to just get this sucker on the road is some current tabs and a little extra wiring so that the lights can be hooked up to the truck. We will get him on the road this summer ( fingers crossed)

Until next time… happy trailers…. I mean, trails. 🙂

Grand Canyon National Park (3)

http://vintagetravelpostcards.blogspot.com/2012/07/grand-canyon-national-park-arizona.html

 

 

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With the warm weather upon us, time to tackle the outside of Floyd. It was time to strip him down!

And give him a fresh coat of paint. 🙂

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The Handy Husband made a trip to our local Home depot and picked up a jug of paint stripper.

Ok, I’m going to be honest with you…..I have never stripped anything before..:/ this was a first for me and not knowing the type of paint on the trailer, we started with test spots on the trailer to see how easy or hard the paint would come off.

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In the mean time, while we were waiting for the chemicals to do their dirty work. Handy Husband broke out the sander and got some paint and rust off the tongue.

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Lucky for us the paint stripper is doing its job and at this point and coming off easily. Most of the parts are coming off in big chunks. YAY ( for now)

2014-05-28 09.42.06Then……I spoke too soon…. We started to realize the bottom half of the trailer had at least three different colors/coats on it, whereas the top half had just the single layer of white. When the paint was scrapped off, the top white layer came off with the greatest of ease ( for the most part). The bottom half was a different story. Because of the layer upon layer, and one of the layers being red, it wanted to smear. Well…  that’s not what we wanted. I was expecting it to come off in one giant piece, like peeling the skin back. HA! who was I kidding?!

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Day two: That’s right, I said, “day two” of scrapping and pulling off paint, we discovered that on the bottom half ( remember the layers of paint), if we let the paint stripper sit and dry the thicker layer of paint could be pulled off in BIG OLE chunks. YAY! VICTORY!

Unfortunately, that method did not work on the top half ( thinner single layer), so……. back to scrapping. (sigh)

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By the end of day three, and the last day my handy man had off to help me, we have gotten most of the paint off. In the last hour, I experimented some more and found a hair dryer also works well to heat up the paint and peel it off.

So this is where we are at, and honestly, I think to myself, ” not too shabby.”

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BEFORE

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AFTER

 

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FUTURE (sort of) 🙂

Trim Your Tree for Cheap : Felt Garland

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Last Christmas , I posted a few ways to decorate your tree on a budget, and this year I came across another idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. So simple its genius! Lately, I have been on a felt ” kick”. Making anything and everything out of felt. The other day, I saw an ad in the newspaper and the decorated tree in the ad had a chain link garland made out of none other than FELT.

I made a bee line for my nearest craft store and stocked up on the color theme I wanted to do this year. Rounded up my crafting supplies and got to work.

What you’ll need:

Felt sheets  in your choice of colors.

note: we have a six-foot tree this year and I used 12 sheets of felt. To give you some idea of how much felt you need.

cutting mat and rotary blade

hot glue gun and glue sticks

What to do:

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Using a cutting mat and rotary blade, cut felt sheets into strips. I was doing two sheets at a time cutting 1 inch strips from top to bottom. You should get twelve strips per sheet. Note: if you don’t have these tools, scissors and a ruler should work just fine too. 🙂

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Once you have your pile of strips, whip out that glue gun and heat it up. When your gun is ready to go, start gluing links together to form a chain…..

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…Keep gluing and gluing and gluing until you have used up all your felt strips. 🙂

Then drape it onto your holiday masterpiece.

I think the total cost for the chain garland was 3 or 4 bucks? Not to bad. I think, I might make another next year and change-up the color theme.

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More DIY ornament ideas:

https://nwgreengirl.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/trim-the-tree-for-cheap-candy-cane-ornaments/

https://nwgreengirl.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/trim-your-tree-for-cheap-gingerbread-people-ornaments/

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Thrifty Halloween: Creating a Kids Play Wardrobe

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If you have young’ns you might be able to relate.

Kids LOVE to play dress up, at least, I know mine do. 🙂 And one of the thrifty ways to build a little closet of play clothes for them to dress up in is to shop the thrift stores around Halloween. That’s right, HALLOWEEN. Betcha didn’t think of that, did ya? 🙂

I know, I know, I am genius!

Ok maybe not a GENIUS….. it hit me a few years ago when I saw the cost of play clothes online or at toy stores. HOLY MOLY! Then after my two sons first Halloween dressing up, I noticed they continued to dress up and run around the house in their Batman and  Robin get up after Halloween.

Lightbulb.

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The following year I it hit up my local Goodwill Thrift Store two months before Halloween, when they start putting the Halloween costumes and decorations out. Wanted to make sure I got to the good pickings before they were gone. 🙂

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Scanned through the racks and picked up a few more costumes(and when I say ” a few more” I mean, like five of six) for just a few bucks each. Over the last two years I have built up their play closet to more than  just Batman and Robin. Now, they can be Spiderman, Hulk, pirate, Peter Pan, solider, construction man, Darth Vader, storm trooper, knight, and vampire. 🙂

 

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A Mushroom Adventure

I think, I might have just found a new hobby! mushroom hunting. This last Saturday I made the 2 hr trip to visit a friend in Port Angeles and discovered the thrill of mushroom picking. My girlfriend said if I came up to visit her, she would take me mushroom picking for Chanterelles. What are these Chanterelles she speaks of????

Now I know nothing about mushrooms, so I had to rely on her to show me which ones where the right ones. Once I got started I couldn’t stop, and it really wasn’t that hard. After I got back home though, I made a beeline for the computer to find out as much as I could about these little guys

http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/chanterelles.html

This site here has some good info about Chanterelles, just in case you are interested. 😉

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My route in the purple. 🙂 from Tacoma to Port Angeles

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Just so happened that, that day we had the RAINYEST day we have had the WHOLE year! Good thing I brought my snowboarding jacket that afternoon. Seriously, I think we got a few inches in a few hours, it just DUMPED on us. That’s not the best part though…. while in the middle of the woods picking shrooms  I hear a call.

“Christina! Did you here that?”

“Um, no…”

A few minutes later, I hear this call from a mysterious animal again.

“Did you hear it that time!”

“yeah! That is a BIG bull elk.”

“um. WHAT?!”

Didn’t know where this guy was coming at, but I didn’t want to be around if he came charging out of the woods….

Nine pounds of mushrooms and a little faster heart beat later we came out of the woods unscathed, but heavy with our treasures. We needed a little warming up and drying out, so we stopped at the hungry bear café right on hwy 101. Had hot coffee and slice of rhubarb strawberry pie al la mode and watched the rain outside. Such a refreshing afternoon with time just for me and my girl. 🙂

http://www.hungrybearcafemotel.com/

Since I really had no place to be, my mushroom picking partner asked if I have ever been to Rialto beach. I have been to quite a few beaches on the coast but never made it over to Rialto. So, the drive continued westward toward the coast. As we rounded the corner on the highway, just off to the left in a field we spotted all these guys. coincidence? I think not! 🙂

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OK, here is my disclaimer, I did not have my phone with me to take pics, but I tried to find some that showed the beauty of the beach and what the weather was like when I was there.

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After a loooooong day, I had all to myself (thank you to the handy husband to for watching the boys) I made my way back home to unload my treasures and start drying them out.

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Two and a half days later and I am STILL drying mushrooms…. I hope to be finished by tomorrow. The house has a very earthy/woodsy smell right now. It’s just GREAT!

Until next time…..;)

Getting Thrifty for Halloween: decorations

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Tis the season! It’s that time of year again….. the beginning of Fall, football, the change of foliage colors…. and, and HALLOWEEN!

I always LOVE to decorate for fall and Halloween, but being on a budget and still getting that “spooky” house can sometimes be tricky.

My three main staples for decorating the house for the season are candles, pumpkins, and cheesecloth. LOTS and lots of cheesecloth!

Cheesecloth is pretty cheap and adds instant “spookiness” 🙂 You can get cheesecloth at most grocery stores in the baking aisle. Don’t buy the stuff at the Halloween stores, they are over priced and you don’t get as much.

Candles are also a great way to add an eerie feeling when dressing your house for the occasion. The more candles the better. 😉 First, make a stop at your favorite thrift store ( Goodwill, St Vincent, Bargain World….) and load up on candle sticks of different shapes and sizes.

 

 

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Then, on your way home, make a stop at the hardware store and grab a can of black spray paint. Well, when I say “grab” I do mean to pay for it first. 😉

Oh, and if you’re not a candle collector, like myself, you might want to make one more stop on the way home and pick up some candles of different size and shapes to go with your candle holders. If you are lucky enough to live close to an IKEA, I would recommend getting your candles there. Also, when picking out candles, stick to one color, I prefer white( goes with everything)

 

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When you get home, spray paint those bad boys( candle holders) black!

 

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Oh yeah, I almost forgot, as you can see ^. Don’t forget the cheesecloth!

I used the cheesecloth with my candles on the fireplace mantle, but chose to forgo with the candles on the table. It’s totally with what you feel like doing. 😉

Happy Halloween!

 

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Floyd the Camper: getting back to work

2013-03-05 13.50.23 Ok, so for about half of July, I soaked up some California sun 1200 miles away from my little camper.I missed it so much. The break was much enjoyed, but now I am back home and ready to get crack’n on the trailer again.

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Now, I need some professional help out there in the cyber world…. I put up a few shelves in the trailer and think they should be painted. The problem lies in the color they should be painted, so I would like to know what you all think. 🙂 The first color is hunter green, which I am digging at the moment. The second is a gold/mustard yellow? The third is hard to see, but it’s just a dark brown. And last, is the same color that is on the cabinet doors in the kitchenette.Not sure the name of the last color…..coppery tan?

So which color should make the cut?

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Had to show off my art project. 🙂 My paper mache antlers are now mounted in my trailer.

 

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The handy husband installed the old propane lamp back into the trailer. I think its pretty cool looking, gives it that ole rustic charm. As you can see in the background, we have a few frames “stuck” to the wall. I saw  “stuck” because we used Velcro to attach them. Using the Velcro helps keeps holes out of my walls, which make me a happy camper. Get it? Happy. Camper.

…anyways, I thought it was funny.

 

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Don’t think I have shown you yet, but the benches and table are in. YAY!

 

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This is the way we chose to deal with the table-into-bed situation. Oh yes, there is a table to bed situation… We decided to use slats that reach across the bench and place the table top across the slats.

 

IMG_0620Because as you can see from the picture, the table top does not reach all the way across like it should. Eventually, we will build a better table top that fits better, but until that day…. this seems to work.

 

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The bed all set up and ready to go. This will more than likely be the boys bed when we go camping. Hopefully here soon, work will move to the outside while the weather is in our favor.

until next time….happy camping. 🙂