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  • As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have chimneys cleaned at least once a year. Usually before cold weather sets in.
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    April 11, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Spring Cleaning! Window Screens
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    An easy way to thoroughly clean old window screens if you have a kiddie pool laying around.

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    April 8, 2014
    Corner Shelf DIY

    I love shelves that are creative or hidden away. At my parents’ house, the upstairs has some really cool shelves that are built right into the wall. I’ve never seen shelves like these at the House of Rose blog. They’ve built shelves into the corners of their rooms. I especially love the bathroom shelving! (Pictured). This post by Mandy has an entire tutorial on how to copy her corner shelving. Be sure to check it out! It has a list of materials, a video, and very specific instructions as well as some beautiful photos.

    Photo Credit: House Of Rose 

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    March 25, 2014
    Erase Paint From Metal Fittings

    Painting can be a messy business. If you’re not extremely careful, paint will go everywhere that you don’t want it to. A particularly common victim of getting-paint-on-it-accidentally are metal fasteners and fixtures– door hinges, locks, knobs, drawer pulls– anything tiny and hard to paint around. It’s hard to avoid GETTING paint on them, unless you extremely gifted with painter’s tape, but it turns out it isn’t too hard to remove the paint– without the use of harsh paint strippers. This guide by The Family Handyman explains how- All you need is a slow cooker! Just give the fixtures a bath:

    If you want to strip paint from metal without the nasty fumes and mess of chemical strippers, just fill a slow cooker with water and set the dial to high. The heat and moisture will soften the paint, and often it will fall off as a single piece.

    Photo Credit: Fabio Coatti 

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    March 10, 2014
    Getting Rid of Laminate on Cabinets

    Having laminate on your kitchen or bathroom cabinets is okay at first, but after a few years of use (or of having destructive kids), they can get tired and peel off easily. Wouldn’t it be easier to just paint your cabinets the color you want them and be done with it? Well, this post by Kristen at kfddesigns will help you out! It includes a detailed tutorial on how to remove your cabinet doors, peel off all the laminate, and paint them! Check it out, plus some great photos of the finished result:

     it took quite a bit of ripping, slicing, scraping and sanding to get it off!

    thankfully, it peeled off pretty easily, and we got most of the fronts off within about 2 hours. as you can imagine, the surface underneath was perfect for applying paint – rough and fairly porous. Use paint that self primes and has a glossy finish!

    Photo Credit: kfd Designs 

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    February 27, 2014
    How to Paint a Mini Fridge

    If you’re like me, you hate being surrounded by bland things. I can’t stand just solid white walls, white fixtures, and white appliances. Or gray. Or metal. It’s just so boring! I need color. But how on earth do you add color to things like fridges? This post by Yahoo Lifestyle will brighten up your dorm (or your bar!) in an instant. Here’s how to spray paint a mini fridge:

    -Clean fridge thoroughly

    -Sand the glossy surface

    -Mask anything you don’t want painted

    -Spray paint with color of your choice! (Be safe! Spray outdoors or use a respirator)

    -Wait 20 minutes for it to dry, then add another coat if desired.

    Photo Credit: Angry Julie Monday

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    January 16, 2014
    Low Tech Home Security

    Maybe expensive security cameras, high tech lockdown devices, and gated communities make you sleep safer at night, but there are simpler measures you can take to deter the average burglar. As it turns out, the old school techniques that your grandpa uses tend to work pretty well. It’s pretty simple: burglars will avoid places that look like they’re occupied and don’t have anything worthwhile to steal. This post at Mom Prepares will help you beef up your home security, without spending a penny:

    -DON’T leave spare keys hidden in obvious places – under flowerpots and doormats, or even above doorjambs. 

    -DO conceal electronics, valuables and other items that might be attractive to thieves by keeping your blinds and curtains closed.

    -DO make it look like someone is always home. have your neighbors pick up your mail when you’re out of town, or buy a timer for your lights and TV.

    -DON’T leave notes on your door telling friends, family or delivery workers that you’re not home. 

    Here’s my own tip: if you are leaving the house empty for an extended period or vacation, DON’T post about it on Facebook or other social media until you get back. Make sure someone knows where you’re going, but advertising “Hey, my house is going to be empty and unprotected for a week! Come steal my stuff!” on Facebook is generally not a good idea.

    Photo Credit: Jamison Judd 

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    January 9, 2014
    Frozen Pipe Prevention

    Where I live, we’re just now pulling out of a nasty cold snap. For about a week straight, the temperatures ranged from 6-20 degrees (F). We had to keep a fire going day and night, bring the dogs and potted plants in the house, and take a few special measures to make sure the pipes didn’t freeze. If you don’t already know the basics of frozen pipe prevention, this article by Chrysa at Thrifty Jinxy will definitely save you a lot of headaches. It also has some helpful advice on what to do if they are already frozen. I even learned a few new moves:

    -You want to leave a small trickle of WARM water running out of all faucets to keep the pipes warm.

    -Periodically run lots of hot water.

    -Open the doors to the vanity or sink below the faucets

    -Turn up your house heat a few degrees if you keep it low.

    Photo Credit: State Farm 

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    December 30, 2013
    How to Make a Wood Floor Out of Pallets

    I know this is like, the millionth post I’ve written that involves building things out of wooden pallets, but I can’t help it! I love them! They’re so cheap (usually free, if you look on Craigslist or ask around at businesses), and they have a great “shabby” chic, rustic feel. They’re also perfect for projects that just need a few extra planks of wood. That’s why when I saw this post at The Homestead Survival, I knew I had to share it here. It’s a detailed photo tutorial on how to make wooden flooring out of pallets. Hardwood floors usually cost thousands of dollars with costly installation expenses. If you like the unconventional, patchwork-y look of pallet wood anyway, and don’t mind some DIY elbow grease, this project is for you! Check out the full tutorial here.

    Photo Credit: Chad Kreutzer 

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    December 13, 2013
    Friday Fun Video: Folding a Fitted Sheet in 30 Seconds
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    For those of you who thought it was impossible/witchcraft. I know I used to! Haha!

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    December 10, 2013
    Concrete Counters Tutorial

    Have you been wanting to update your kitchen (or bathroom) counters, but aren’t really sure what you want to do? Want to save money by turning it into a DIY project? Always liked the look of granite and stone on counters? Well then, consider this idea by Sarah at Sarah’s Big Idea blog. This post includes a full, detailed, photo tutorial on how to make faux concrete counters. This is the first I’ve seen of this look, and it is beautiful! The tutorial also walks you through how to build the entire counter from scratch, which is a huge bonus. Go check it out!

    Photo Credit: rick 

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