One of our favorite things to do is scour junk stores for old stuff and restore them. One thing we always look for are old Cosco kitchen carts and chairs. Etsy buyers go nuts for them, especially if it’s got trendy colors. Well, we found a couple the other weekend. If you’ve been following our Instagram feed, you know that our current project is restoring this rusty piece of junk on the left:
Some finds are clearly in better shape than others, but the one on the left was $10 while the one on the right was $40.
That’s a post in itself, but we’re still working on it so we’re not ready for that yet. But one thing we stumbled across (well, Leslie did, I just got schooled in the process) was how to restore those chrome legs. See, you could prime and paint them chrome again, but you’d end up with a really uneven surface that would show pretty bad under shiny chrome paint. That can cost you money in the end in a lost sale or reduced price.
Leslie showed me this trick and it seriously blew me away. I honestly couldn’t believe it did what it did.
I’m going to digress from making stuff for a little bit, because I think there’s some things that should be said. It’s Thanksgiving Week, which is for many people the start of the best time of year. We love it. Our families are all very close-knit and geographically together, so we get to enjoy a lot of great family time here during the holidays. But this year is apparently going to be different for a lot of people.
A cursory glance through the news reports this week are picking up fun headlines like this:
More Than a Third of Americans Say Idea of Talking Politics at Thanksgiving Stresses Them Out (ABC News)
How To Talk Politics With Your Family At Thanksgiving This Year (CNN)
A Handy Self-Care Guide For When Politics Come Up At Thanksgiving (Huffington Post)
How to Survive Thanksgiving Dinner Politics (TownHall.com)
How to Avoid a Political Showdown at the Thanksgiving Table, with Etiquette Expert Lizzie Post (People)
If You Must Talk Politics At Thanksgiving, Here’s How (The Atlantic)
Thanksgiving in Time of Trump: Millions Preparing for Main Discourse (NBC News)
And then there’s these:
The Election Is Getting People Uninvited To Thanksgiving (USA Today)
To Kelcey Caulder, 22, the division is painfully real. The college student from Athens, Ga., feels its looming presence every time she thinks about her grandma, a Trump supporter and ardent opponent of abortion rights.
They haven’t talked much since Caulder’s grandma found out that Caulder was voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton and told her granddaughter bluntly, “You’re going to hell.”
Caulder tried to be understanding.
“I think, in her way, she was trying to be protective of me,” Caulder said. “She wasn’t saying ‘Kelcey, go to hell.’ It was more like she was saying, ‘Kelcey, don’t you know this could send you to hell?’ ”
But when her grandma unfriended her on Facebook, Caulder said, it was hard not to take it personally. Now, she is nervous about Thanksgiving, although she hopes the family dinner could be a chance to reconcile.
“After Trump’s election: ‘There are two Americas now.’”, Washington Post
Did you like our Candy Cane Pallet Lantern, but don’t have the tools or time to make one? You’re in luck! We’ve listed the lantern in our Etsy Store, where you can get one handmade by us. Check it out!
Click here to go to our shop!
Note: This is not a lantern made out of candy cane pallets. Unfortunately, they do not make pallets out of candy canes. But that’s probably a good thing, since you can’t really ship freight on a giant candy cane. What if it gets wet? Everything would stick to it, and don’t even get me started about the ants. Wait, where was I going with this?
Oh, right. This is actually a lantern made from pallet wood that has lights that make it look like a candy cane. Or a barber pole. But seriously guys, this is Christmastime, not Barbermastime, okay? Get it straight.
…or is it both?
(Thank you Flickr for providing the most appropriate stock image ever)
So all this month I’ve been doling out the pallet and woodworking projects, with the usual caveats of what tools you need. Some most folks have, and some are more for the enthusiast – but I know all this time you’ve been wondering, “Matt! Where can we get all these awesome tools you’re using to make these awesome things?!”
If you haven’t, I’m going to tell you anyway. Some of this stuff can save you so much work it’s insane. So, without further ado, I present to you…
Most of what we do here, as you can probably tell if you’ve read through, are projects that really require an adult to do. Some of Leslie’s baking can be done with your kiddos, but definitely all of my woodworking projects require cutty and stabby tools that aren’t for the little ones and honestly they shouldn’t be around at all until they’re a little older.
That being said, we do have 3 young children and we love doing crafts with them. So I wanted to take some time during our 31 Days journey to take a look at some great classic craft ideas that your kids can do for Christmas.
I still have a lot of that hackberry tree I cut down the other day, ya’ll. Like a bunch. Making those candle holders didn’t hardly use any of it. And honestly the more of it I can use in the shop, the less I have to haul off elsewhere. So today I’m dragging you along with me on another Project To Make Out Of A Cut Down Hackberry Tree So Matt Doesn’t Have To Carry It Further Than The Workshop ™.
Cutting thin slices of these would make great coasters, which make a great gift for any OCD person in your life.
As with most of the things we’ve made so far, these are super easy to make with the right tools.
Frozen jokes. Frozen jokes everywhere.
Hold on, we need to, because that’s what this post is about –
SHUT UP BOROMIR YES YOU CAN SIMPLY BUILD A SNOWMAN. SIMPLY AND EASILY WITH ONLY SOME 2X4 AND DECORATIONS NOW SHUT YOUR FOOL MOUTH.
Hey, let’s build a snowman! This is another quick and easy winter/Christmas decoration that’s easy enough you can do it with your kids!
You know what everybody loves at Christmastime? Candles. Hoo boy do they love candles. Like to the point that both FEMA and the NFPA say that December is the peak time for fires caused by candles (it is not, in fact, your mix tape.)
But this is AMERICA, ladies and gentlemen, and we don’t let facts get in the way of enjoying Christmastime.
That’s right, EVERYONE GETS A CANDLE! And today I’m going to make a tea light set out of some hackberry tree branches that I just had to cut down in the back yard, because recycling!
I know I’ve already done two kinds of nativities for our 31 days project so far (the nativity lightbox and the wooden nativity cutouts), but I have one more that would be a great addition to your decor this year. In our family, we have many Christmas philosophies – one of them being “You can never have too many Nativities”. That’s right. We love us some Baby Jesus, y’all.
To be serious for a second, the Nativity is such an important part of Christmas for us – the birth of our Savior means more to us than we could possibly fit in a single blog post, and it is important to us to keep that at the forefront of our Holiday season. So we make sure we talk about it with our kids at every opportunity, that we serve our community in His name, and that we try our dangdest to make sure Jesus remains the focus of Christmas for us. And we find that having approximately 20,000 adorable nativities throughout our home help. Continue reading