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Shabby to Shabby Chic: Dresser DIY

Thrifting called me to this $10.00 dresser. However this dresser needed some love and became one of my favorite DIY project to date.

Starting Point

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This dresser needed it all: new knobs, new color, new contact paper.

Basically it needed  a new life!

This first step to this new life was to sand and prime the dresser.

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A quick trip to Home Depot provided all the supplies. The dresser was sanded by hand with sandpaper. you notice the surface was mostly smooth, but needed a bit of evening out to better take the primer. The dresser took the primer and it didn’t smell too bad! I put on two coats of primer and let it dry for about 5 hours before reassembling.unnamed-6

Then it was to paint the dresser. I again found myself at the home depot hunting for a color on the opps rack. I picked up a $2.00 quart of paint. I painted the dresser indoors and the smell was fine.

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I applied two coats and within 5 hours. The paint went on evenly didn’t require any special brushes or equipment.

I enjoyed doing this project with my sister and in just one afternoon this shabby dresser became shabby chic after the addition of some $3.00 dollar knobs

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Dresser 10
Paint 2
Knobs 27
Total 39
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DIY Penny Dresser for mere Pennies!

A new apartment and new dislike of IKEA called for new furniture. However I wasn’t granted a new budget, so it was time to DIY a dresser with the help of a friend.

After some clicking around other blogs I fell in love with penny projects. However other people were doing a crazy amount of work and even had a blow torch. Hard work and fire were not about to happen, so meet my Penny top DIY dresser with no hard work or flames required.

Step one: Buy/Find furniture 

I bought a plain, yet solid wood dresser on craigslist for 30 bucks

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Step two: Get pennies and get to gluing

Here you have crucial decisions:  Do you want to glue each penny? Do you want to glue pennies in a frame and just throw in the rest? Do you want to mix bright and faded pennies? Do you want to drive yourself crazy and glue your fingers together?

Why so many questions? Look and see:

I started by making a row and column of pennies to determine how many I would need.

unnamed-1 I estimated I would have 20 rows with 47 pennies in each row or about 940 pennies. I went to the bank and got 10 bucks worth of pennies to play it safe. unnamed-2

Now here is where I made a crucial mistake. I decided to glue every penny! CRAZINESS! It would have been smart to glue pennies along the edges, forming a frame, and insert the remaining pennies into the frame and then gloss. However, in the absences of good sense, I got to gluing my 940 pennies.

I wanted a color blend so I soaked some pennies in CLR, others got a soap and vinegar bath, others got spite and glued haphazardly.

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It took me 4 bottles of super glue and three days to glue the pennies. If you decide to glue individually rather than gluing the fame and arranging, stay away from gorilla glue. Gorilla glue expands and will begin to inhabit the space between pennies.

After the pennies were glued on the dresser top it was time to do some improvements on the body of the dresser.

Step Three: Update other parts of furniture 

IMAG2786I picked up a quart of matte Power Gray from the Home Depot and the dusty lilac gray and I got to work. My lovely assistant, Rachel, and I painted the dresser drawers and body of the dresser leaving the front face the original white.

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Step Four: Glaze the Pennies!

We let the two coats of paint dry. Once the paint was dry it was officially time to glaze our pennies.

To protect the new paint I wrapped the upper portion of the dresser in dollar store cling wrap. The knock off saran wrap worked great!

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We mixed up the super gloss and got to pouring.5b5ec4cd-1f10-49d1-b193-7397092d66b5_400

The gloss didn’t smell, and filled every crack with a little spreading help. There were bubbles from air trapped in the gloss mixture, but we popped them with our fingers or by blowing on them. I didn’t have a plastic squeegee so I used the edge of a dollar store dust pan to spread the mixture. You will have about 10-15 to work with the mixture.

I left the dresser near an open window for about 7 hours and the end result was super shiny, super hard and super fun:

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Dresser 30
Paint* 15
Pennies 10
Glaze** 23
Total 78
  • * I only used half a quart of paint. The other half of the paint will be used in a future DIY project
  • **I only used half the glaze and then had enough to varnish some items for my lovely assistant!

This was a wonderful friend activity!

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The Lazy Girl Flat Iron: Low heat natural hair Flat iron

The more I grow the lazier I become about styling.

I don’t use combs. I don’t use brushes. I don’t even use rinse out conditioner anymore. However I did need to detangle my hair more thoroughly as it has been about year -so straight hair was my solution.

After a horrible salon experience last year I knew I needed to DIY, but I also knew the process needed to be quick, conditioning and effective.

So to start

I used my hourglass rollers to stretch my hair. I sat under the dryer for 45 mins. My hair was stretched but still damp enough to blow dry

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I busted out my cheap TJ Maxx dryer, sat down in front of a mirror and blow dried. I took several breaks to cool down as a was sweating buckets and I had some matting to work out. Two hours later the blow drying was done.

After that I wanted to flat iron, but I was over it. So I broke my hair into six sections and ran my flat iron over each sections cranked up to 400 degrees. Dangerous, maybe. Damaging, definitely not. My hair revert with no issue because the sections were so large.

I decided to use my trusty flexi rods to give my hair that sleek look

 

When I unwrapped my hair I was greeted with sleek result

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My hair was extra sleek and had a sheen I don’t typically achieve. After i finger combed my hair I had a loose wave.

 

 

 

 

IMAG1955If you are looking for pin straight hair this method is not for you, but if you want to wear your hair down with minimally heat exposure in a style for a week or two, I would definitely recommend.

 

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Giving an old ponytail new life

Each week there is time when the rollerset style is done, but re-washing isn’t about to happen. That is when the ponytail is born. Sadly my ponytail normally turns into a bun to hide how boring my hair has become.   However this week I gave the bun a break and tried to give my ponytail new life. Just as I did with my previous flexi rod set on dry hair  I decided to bust out the flexi rods. clipI pulled my hair up with a my extra cheap, extra wide banana clip. These things are great! I have different colors and sizes. I would highly recommend for stretched hair.   With the bulk of my hair pulled back I twisted my bangs as they hate any kind of tension. I then spilt my mound of hair and began to wind it around the  flexi rods that I can still find. I also took this opportunity to moisturize and seal amy ends. IMAG1888 IMAG1889   I left the rods in overnight. They were easy to sleep on because they were at the top of my head.   Before finger combing the curls: IMAG1890 IMAG1891-1   After finger combing: IMAG1893 IMAG1896 As you can see from the bumpit like volume, my ponytail was certainly more alive. What do you all think? Are flexi rods your friend?

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Perserving the curl: Flexi Rods to extend Natural hair Rollerset

Readers know rollersets are my standards. I recently decided to dust off my magnetic rollers because I wanted a smoother look. But how to preserve the curl? This week I am riding the flexi rod train to smooth, lush hair.

To start I washed and deep conditioned my hair. After washing and deep conditioning, I applied my leave in and flax seed gel and then got my roll on.

IMAG1841I rolled on grey 2 inch rollers. I used duckbill clips to secure the rollers and snap on covers from another set of rollers to smooth my hair. This combination gets me the smoothest results, but extends the dry time.

 

I sat under the dryer for one 60 minute cycle, let the rollers cool for 20 minutes and went back under for another 40 minutes and let the rollers cool again for 20 minutes. In total that is 2 hours and 20 minutes of dry time.

 

The benefit of letting rollers cool ensures that your curl stays curled. Without cooling your hair is more likely to fall because while it is dry, it is hot and thus very malleable.

 

 

 

After those nearly 2.5 hours I was tired, but napping with magnetic rollers is a literal pain. So I unrolled and below are my results

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I then busted on my flexi rods. I used a total of 6 rods, but have done a similar method using four. I am not sure as to the size of the rods, but if inquiring minds want to know I will gladly bust out the measuring tape.

I finger combed my hair to make one part down the center of my head. I then sectioned my hair into 6 groups and spiraled my hair onto the rod.

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I place the smaller rods in the back to achieve both a tighter curl and a more comfortable sleep. I used no holding product and in the morning was greeted with:

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I finger combed the results and wore my hair half up/half down

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I have also done this in the past with similarly great results which you can see below

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I then finger combed to achieve this look

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How do you preserve your curl? How do you use flexi rods?

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Jumbo Curlformers

My extra wide curlformers and I are beginning to have issues. The main issue being they are 16 inches stretched and my hair, in places, is 17 inches.

What a wonderful problem to have.

So not wanting to give up the barrel look of curls I search through the bootlegers until I found ashopndiva on eBay who had curlformers that are 21 inches when stretched. After much debate I clicked buy and despite some issues I am happy to report they arrived!

IMAG1790The rollers are both longer and wider than the previous extra wide style. This extra length is just what my hair ordered. But I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get the hook through 21 inches of fabric.

The hook that came with the package had these hair snagging teeth

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I tried the hook once and it was awful. Even though it was a struggle, I used the original smooth curlformers hook. The seller suggest using a nail clipper to cut the teeth down. However that would mean filing the reaming portion smooth. I’m too lazy for that.

The jumbo curlfomrers come  12 in a pack, so I mixed them with my extra wide curlfromers and looked like a crayon box

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The black and white new additions were heavy and hard to sleep in. I used stretched hair ties to contain this colorful mess. I sat under the dryer for an hour and then slept in rollers.

In the morning I was greeted with very different, but equally great curls.

IMAG1800_BURST002This picture best shows the difference in the curls. The extra long extra wide, black and white curlformers gave me loose waves; rather than tight curls.

IMAG1803 you can see the mixture of curls plays nice with each other. When I styled and pulled the curls apart the blend was great!

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Overall I was pleased with the experience. The jumbo rollers gave the same stretch as traditional curlformers. They also gave the same temporary results.

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My hair the next morning

After 12 innings of baseball, some much need rest my hair looked like it wasn’t styled. I plan to wear a bun followed by a braid out later in the week, so overall I am happy. The White Sox won and my hair is stretched !

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Preserving the Curl: Making Natural Hair Rollersets last

I have been rolling away since I got my hourglass rollers, but I have been looking for a way to get my curls to last throughout the week.

I can’t pin curl. I can’t pineapple. I can’t be bothered.

So I thought maybe I would try putting my hair in two pig tails and pinning the tails up while I slept. In an effort to measure effectiveness I rolled and smoothed the left side of my hair and left the right side in roller set barrel curls. I ponytailed and pinned and took pictures daily.

So follow me along the experiment and decide if the ponytails worked.

Step One: Roll

I used my hourglass rollers to rollerset my hair. And yes I see that big piece I missed–and no I don’t want to talk about it.

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Rolling went well. I used homemade flax seed gel mixed with aloe vera gel for hold after a yogurt and honey deep condition. My hair took an hour and fifteen minutes to dry. The pictures so my hair after drying.

Step Two: Unroll

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The next step was to remove the rollers. I let my hair cool for 20 minutes and then removed the duck clips and unraveled each roller.

Step Three: Smooth/ Not Smooth

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For step three I smoothed the left side of my hair. I did not smooth the right side. The idea here was to see if the curls longevity was influenced by smoothing.

I used my fingers to lightly comb through my hair and smooth the curls. I placed the smooth curls in a banana clip and pinned the loosed ends on top of my head.

On the opposite side I did not finger comb the curls but placed them in a banana clip pig tail  directly after removing the rollers. IMAG1582

I followed the same process for the next three nights and below are those results.

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3:

IMAG1604A picture of my very uneven part and ponytails

IMAG1601close up of the smoothed side in ponytail

IMAG1606smoothed side

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After day three I wanted to switch my style, but it think pig tails helped the curls hold up well enough. Keep in mind I applied no products, used no combs, and no additional heat over these days. I think I like the smoothed side better!

So, are pig tails worth a try in your regime?

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Is Hue for you?: Square Hue a Year in Review + coupon code

After one year of membership I bring you a review of my year in color!

There is something irresistible about getting gifts in the mail—-even if they are from yourself.  Square Hue is one of the ( too many) monthly items I gift to myself. I originally subscribed to curb my tendency to buy shades at department stores, but I stayed subscribed because I ADORE the colors and the formula.

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The Florida based company has no retail locations nor an option to buy  past colors. You sign up on their website and you are enrolled to receive a box of 3 full size hues each month. The colors are a mystery, but each month the company releases a promo photo to suggest the colors in the upcoming box.  The boxes ship the first week or last week of every month and shipping cost is built into the $21.00 per month price.

I have two minuses about the subscription:

  • I have to say sometimes I feel like colors overlap, but I think that is because after 36 bottles of Square hue, there are bound to be similar colors. However, the polishes come in a strong variety of styles: cremes, glitters, shimmer, hi gloss, even a holographic!  The colors also go well with the season, but with creativity can be used in any season!

IMAG1216 These two colors, received months apart, worked well for their respective season, but also worked well together;I think, anyway!

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  • I will admit it is annoying to update your information. I wanted to change my payment data  and the only options are to email your credit card number or play phone tag with them until you can update via phone. They call back relatively quickly, but be prepared to leave a message. I believe they are working to improve this system. Besides that minor hurdle I have had no issues with SquareHue.

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But all is forgiven because in addition to great colors the company also tries to do some good with your monthly payment  as they are currently involved in the A21 Human Trafficking Campaign. A portion of all sales are “donated for prevention awareness, the protection of trafficked victims and the prosecution of human traffickers,” according to the website.

I have been a member since January 2013 and love it. I would highly recommend subscribing and with a no commitment policy you can try, cancel, suspend, or fall in love without worry.

Each month I also post an “unboxing” of the collection so you can hue too!

If you are ready to enjoy one month at the limited-time introductory price of 14.99 including shipping

OR

Be one of the first 25 people to use the code

herampersandhim

to get 50% off your first box (the box would be $7.50 + $5S&H = $12.50 total for the first box)


happy polishing!

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Reform the Door: DIY Coffee Table

When I’m not trying to make friends, I try to reaffirm  my current relationships and that has taken the shape of building a table!

You read that correct. The him and I salvaged an old door and got to work making the best coffee table pocket change could buy.

Step 1: Find your door

We started at Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange. This spacious warehouse features everything from cabinets to sinks; windows to plumbing stuff; and yes, rows and rows of doors. They have retail hours throughout the week, but we attended a monthly event featuring local vintage collectors and DIYers. We found our door here for $20.00.  We picked a smaller door as to not overwhelm our couch/living room. Be sure to measure; not all doors are created equal.

We also looked on craigslist and while we found some doors, the Rebuilding Exchange had better quality, prices and a helpful staff that gave us a lot of confidence.

Step 2: Clean your door

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We wiped down our door with old rags. Above picture is what became the underside of our table.

Step 3: Select your colors and get painting

We picked colors to help highlight our chocolate brown couch.

We picked up two store brand  acrylic colors at Blick called blickrylic, for a total cost of $9.00.We selected a metallic gold base color called Metallic Brass  and a red top coat called Venetian Red.

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We layered the metallic brass paint, as named by Blick, on in medium even coats. We completed two coats and left the door to dry outside overnight. IMAG0751

After the base coat dried we painted the door a deep red.

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We layered the red on thick because we wanted it to be the dominant color. After three layers we allowed the red to also dry outdoors overnight. We did, however, do all the painting in our living room and the fumes were faint to non-exsitent.

Step 4: Sanding

This was admittedly my him counterpart’s favorite. We wanted our table to have a vintage look, so we buffed and sanded until our table was a bit distressed. We used an electric sander with a vacuum bag to catch most of the dust. An electric sander saved so much time and clean up, some sweeping required.

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Step 5: Find your table legs

This was the hardest part. The Rebuilding Building Exchange had nothing in ways of legs, so the hunt began. We went through things like: metal braces, pvc pipes, wooden planks; everything we could think of. We even found a craigslist seller who makes tables and table legs, but they wanted 20 bucks a legs.

Everything was earlier not sturdy enough, not the right height, not the right price.

We decided to go to Home Depot to try our luck.  In the lumber department we discovered wooden beams that were typically used for railings. The lumber department cuts wood to request free with purchase so their we picked up what would become our legs. The beams were $3.97 per 8 feet; costing a total of about 8 bucks for the two required beams.

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While there we picked up a pack of wood screws, metal braces, in addition to renting a hammer drill to affix the legs. While we do own a drill we needed more voltage to penetrate the wood, so the hammer drill was necessary.

Step 6: Enjoy your table

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We loved our table, but found we needed a cross-bar to make it more sturdy. So back to Home Depot we went where we purchases two more pieces of wood.

Before adding the extra support beam our table looked like this:

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