Posts Tagged ‘white’

Mailbox Makeover

Mailbox Makeover_Social

The mailbox that came with the house just looked kinda…meh. The gold numbers looked so out of the box blech. So time for a mailbox makeover. I took the mailbox off the wall and brought it in the house. The mailman refused to deliver my mail because I didn’t have a mailbox (which was the dumbest thing ever because I said he could just leave it on the floor).

Mailbox Makeover_01  Mailbox Makeover_02

So here’s what I used for my mailbox makeover:

  1. X-Acto Knife, or Rotary Cutter
  2. DIY Goo Gone (baking soda and canola oil) or Goo Gone
  3. Optional: Gloves
  4. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  5. Pliers
  6. Rubbing Alcohol and Cotton Balls
  7. White Vinyl
  8. Transfer Paper
  9. Optional: Silhouette Cameo

To start, I need removed the most annoying part of this stupid mailbox. There’s this center piece that lets you lock the mailbox but it just flaps open and shut and slams down on my fingers all the time. I opened up the box, exposed the hinge that the flap was attached with and pulled out the piece of metal that held it in.

Mailbox Makeover_03  Mailbox Makeover_04

Mailbox Makeover_05

Problem solved.

Next, I needed to remove the original number stickers on the mailbox. To do this, I used the blade of the rotary cutter and pushed it at an angle under the stickers to lift it off. Probably wasn’t the best idea to do it with a round blade, so use an X-acto knife if you have one.

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I did this to the front and sides of the mailbox until I removed all the stickers.

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I was left with gooey, sticky sticker goop. I swear I had a small bottle of goo gone laying around. Now that I actually needed to use it, I couldn’t find it. This always happens to me. I was at home and not really in the mood to drive anywhere to buy a new bottle so I Googled a DIY version that I found at DIYnCrafts. Its basically two parts baking soda and one part canola oil. The recipe says you can use any oil, but canola is what I had on hand. I mixed the stuff up in a plastic cup (1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp canola oil), put on some gloves, and slathered it on the mailbox.

Mailbox Makeover_08  Mailbox Makeover_09

So, it didn’t really work all by itself. I was looking around for something else to use and found some Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges. I broke off a piece and started scrubbing away at it with the DIY Goo Gone mix. WIN. It totally worked and cleaned a bunch of nasty dirt off too.

Mailbox Makeover_11  Mailbox Makeover_12

After a bit of scrubbing with the sponge all the sticky stuff came off and I rinsed the mailbox in water and wiped the whole thing clean. To make extra sure it was clean and ready for some vinyl, I used some cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the surface too.

Mailbox Makeover_13  Mailbox Makeover_14

Next, I designed my new numbers in my Silhouette Studio program. I did this based on some house numbers I bought for the front of the house. I put some circles around each number and added the stripes. Here’s the Studio and PDF files for the cut file I used. Just replace the numbers I used with your own.

I loaded the vinyl into my Silhouette Cameo and hit the cut button with the standard vinyl settings. If you don’t have a Silhouette Cameo, just trace the design onto the vinyl and cut with an X-acto knife, being sure to cut only through the vinyl and not through the paper backing.

Mailbox Makeover_15  Mailbox Makeover_16

Next, I peeled back the excess vinyl around the design. The thought of wasting all that vinyl killed me so I cut around the design and saved any large pieces I might be able to reuse later before peeling off the excess vinyl around the design. Waste makes me cringe.

Mailbox Makeover_17  Mailbox Makeover_18

Then, I took my transfer paper and applied it to the design. I had some scraps left over from another project that left me with pieces smaller than the design, but I just pieced the two together over the design.

Mailbox Makeover_19  Mailbox Makeover_20

Once I applied the transfer paper, I flipped it over and peeled away at the vinyl backing (light blue paper). I carefully scored the backing around the numbers design with an X-acto knife (being super super careful not to cut into the vinyl) so I could peel back just the backing for the numbers. I wanted to focus on applying the numbers correctly first before dealing with the decorative lines.

Mailbox Makeover_21

Next, I lined up the design where I wanted it on the mailbox and applied carefully to the mailbox. I started by placing the design down from the right side and smoothing the design down with my hand towards the left to make sure there were no air bubbles.

Mailbox Makeover_22  Mailbox Makeover_23

Once the numbers were placed, I peeled back the transfer paper, but only around the numbers. Since I hadn’t placed the decorative striping, I didn’t want to peel the transfer paper off the stripes quite yet. I peeled back the transfer paper super super carefully, making sure that none of the vinyl came up in the process.

Mailbox Makeover_24  Mailbox Makeover_25

To finish up, I had to place the striping detail. I removed the vinyl backing and used the transfer paper as a guide/tool to place the stripes. I held the transfer paper and moved it up and down, eyeballing the straightness of the lines and smoothed the vinyl stripes down with my finger (from the numbers design outward to prevent any gapping/bubbling). I wrapped the excess vinyl around the back of the mailbox so you can’t see any jagged edges from the front or sides.

Note: Since the mailbox tapers towards the bottom, there was some minor gapping around the corners as I applied the stripes around the corner, but since vinyl is slightly stretchy and forgiving, I very carefully pulled it a little to stretch it around the corner.

Mailbox Makeover_26  Mailbox Makeover_27

So…my problem with cutting out designs is that the negative stuff (what I cut out) is wasted. I just can’t bring myself to throw that stuff away. Instead, I saved it and stuck it to the inside of the box. Tah dah!

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Now my mailman is EXTRA sure its the right address when he drops the mail into the box (even though its obviously on the front too).

Here’s what it looks like hung up on the wall.

Mailbox Makeover_Cover  Mailbox Makeover_29

I’m happy to report that the mail man was glad I put the mailbox back so he could properly deliver my mail. He also complimented me on the new numbers which made me do a little dance on the inside. Fixing up the house…one small thing at a time.

Pink Unicorn Birthday Card

Unicorn Birthday Card_16

It was recently my college roommate’s birthday. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought she majored in glitter and puffy paint. She puffy painted everything, including her laptop, scissors, and stapler. You name it, it had glitter on it. In her honor, I made her one of my most awesome birthday cards ever. A big, pink, glitter unicorn. We’re all grown up now, but nobody’s ever too old for unicorns and glitter.

So here’s what you’ll need to make this birthday card:

  1. Unicorn Image (.studio file or .PDF)
  2. Silhouette Cameo or Small Scissors
  3. X-Acto Knife
  4. Cutting mat or cutting board
  5. Pink, white, black, and gold paper (scrapbook paper preferred)
  6. Glue Stick
  7. Silver and/or Gold glitter nail polish(Essie Golden Nuggets, Essie Silver Bullions), puffy paint, or glue
  8. Optional: Glue Gun and Glue Gun Sticks
  9. Optional: Tulle Ribbon

So, I went a-Googling and found myself a cute unicorn picture from Zazzle to start.  While it would be super easy to just order the card from there, it wouldn’t be the same and it wouldn’t be as giant and glittery and awesome as the one I made. Also, I needed a card that day and I couldn’t wait for processing time and mailing time.

So, I saved the image and traced it in the Silhouette Cameo software and came up with the unicorn outline. To make it extra special, I added “Happy B-day April!” lettering along the edge. Since the person you’re making the card for probably isn’t named April, I removed the name from the links in this post.

Unicorn Birthday Card_01

With Silhouette Cameo: Next, I was ready to cut. I used a thick pink paper with some texture to it. It was some that I had from another project and thought the color would be great for this. I placed it on the cutting mat and fed it through the machine. I’m pretty paranoid and use a slow cut setting (usually between 1-3) and always set the cutting tool to 2 for any kind of scrapbook paper.

Unicorn Birthday Card_02  Unicorn Birthday Card_03  Unicorn Birthday Card_04

Without Silhouette Cameo: If you don’t have a cameo, print out the PDF image, cut it out, trace it onto the paper you want to use, and cut the image out with a small pair of scissors and/or X-Acto knife. Its more tedious but this image isn’t too difficult to cut out.

Tip: I used to use cuticle scissors to make small and precise cuts. I’d never use them for my cuticles, but they work really well for paper crafts and help you get around curves and corners more easily than traditional scissors.

Once, the cutting was finished, I removed the excess paper around the outside, making sure to remove it carefully and cutting any areas that didn’t cut all the way through with an X-acto knife.

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Next, I removed the outline of the unicorn using the same process. I removed the paper slowly and used an X-Acto knife to cut any areas needed.

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Next, I took my glue stick and slathered it all over the back of the outline and glued the outline to a piece of white scrapbook paper that would serve as my backing.

Unicorn Birthday Card_07

Next, I removed what I call the “hair” pieces and glued them to the paper as well. By hair I mean the tail, mane, and bangs. I think they’re the bangs part of the mane. I don’t know. All the hair bits. Oh, and I did the little ear outline as well.

Unicorn Birthday Card_08

Next, I cut out the horn, eyes, and nostrils. I could have just used my cameo to do this, but I didn’t bother because there were so few pieces and I just cut them out by hand with an X-Acto knife. I used the pink pieces that were cut out by the Silhouette Cameo and traced it with the X-Acto knife onto gold (horn) and black paper (eyes and nostrils).

Unicorn Birthday Card_09  Unicorn Birthday Card_10

I was able to glue the gold horn on without a problem, but the placement of the eye and nostrils came out funny when I guessed where they should be. It makes a big difference if you place them crooked or in the wrong place. To get the exact placement for the eyes and nostrils, I used the actual unicorn piece as a guide. Isn’t she cute? This unicorn is DEFINITELY a she with all this pink and glitter.

Unicorn Birthday Card_11

Next, my little unicorn was ready for some GLITTER. I couldn’t find my glitter glue, so I opted for glitter nail polish instead. You can use any method to adhere glitter to paper here. However, I’m pretty happy with using nail polish because it doesn’t make the paper all soggy and the glitter bits don’t crumble off and leave a mess everywhere. Believe me. Glitter goes everywhere and it never goes away. Ever.

Unicorn Birthday Card_12

I used the gold glitter for the horn, and silver glitter for the “hair” pieces.

Unicorn Birthday Card_13  Unicorn Birthday Card_14

So sparkly and cute. Here’s what it looked like after it dried. Its a subtle glitter, but sparkly nonetheless.

Unicorn Birthday Card_15

Next, I cut around the edge of the pink outline, leaving about a 3/8″ white border around the edge. I probably could have used the Silhouette Cameo for this, but didn’t have the foresight to do that. Oh well.

I also found some tulle ribbon left over from wedding projects I did years ago. I couldn’t help myself. I cut a piece to the length of the unicorn and attached it underneath the outline of the horn. I used a glue gun for this to make sure it would stick. Regular glue stick wouldn’t work for this. Here she she is!

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I wrote a little message along the edge on the back so it wouldn’t ruin the front of the card and wouldn’t show through the white paper if she decides to put this up somewhere.

An Annuals Garden

Annual Garden_Cover

I don’t claim or pretend to have a green thumb. In fact, its probably any color but green. I can’t seem to keep anything alive for longer than 2-3 months (and that’s long for me). A few months ago, I decided to commit myself to maintaining a tiny little garden at the corner of my house. I wanted to start small since I have such a hard time keeping anything alive. Pretty sad considering a large part of my family’s business is selling live plants.

When we bought the house, the garden came with some cabbage head looking plants in it. I started by ripping those out. It was so gross and infested with snails. Barf. I threw them in the trash and the little snails started climbing up the sides of the trash can and onto the lid.

Annual Garden_01

Hours later…it was dark, but I was done (and sweaty and gross).

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The next morning, I went straight to my local home and garden store and picked up a bunch of annuals. I like the idea of being able to switch up the colors every year. Since I already started with yellow mums I planted next to the cabbage head things a few weeks before, I went along with the same color scheme and added some white impatiens. So cute, right?

Annual Garden_03

Two months later…

Annual Garden_04

Dead. All dead except one sad, lonely little clump. I’d heard about warranties on plants and flowers so I called the store. What they said was surprising. They provide a lifetime warranty on all flowers and plants. Which makes NO sense because these are annuals. They’re SUPPOSED to die. All I had to do was dig up the plants and give them my membership number to look up my receipt.

So, I dug up what was left of my pathetic little garden, shoved it in a plastic bag, and brought it in. I wish I took a picture of the pathetic bag of sticks. Amazingly, they just let me pick out new flowers and walk out the door. Honestly, I think they felt sorry for me. Don’t care. Free project, free things. I’m happy.

Annual Garden_05

Time to plant.

Here’s what you’ll need for about 12 square feet of space (I actually did the calculation as 0.25πrand rounded. Thanks high school math!):

  1. 10 6-packs of annuals (fewer if you want a less dense look)
  2. Gardening Gloves
  3. Small Shovel
  4. Optional: Potting Mix
  5. Optional: Mulch

Since I had done this once before, I already mixed in potting mix to amend the old soil (which basically means to add poop and nutrients to make it less terrible). It was what the garden people suggested. I live in Southern California where the soil is crap. Its basically a hard consistency that breaks up into fine dust. My soil needed all the help it could get. I also laid mulch down and most of it was still left, so I didn’t buy anymore.

To start, I laid out the 6 packs over the space to get a general idea of where I wanted to lay the flowers out in the space.

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To start planting, I removed the flowers from the 6-pack tray.

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I started by pulling them from the top, but these things are actually pretty fragile, so I started flipping them over and squeezing the bottoms to push them out. Learned this after I broke a few stems trying to pull it out from the top. Oops.

Next, I took my shovel, jammed it into the dirt, and pulled the soil to the side. Then I took one of the little flower pods and put it in the hole, making sure it was deep enough to barely cover all of the little pod.

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Next, I filled in the hole with the dirt I originally dug out and gently packed it down. All pretty intuitive. I went through one 6-pack at a time and planted them all in the space.

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Thirty minutes later, I was all done!

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Here’s all the flowers I picked out for this:

Annual Garden_12  Annual Garden_14  Annual Garden_15  Annual Garden_16  Annual Garden_17

Not pictured/only ones that survived the last planting: mums (the tiny dead looking sticks, but its still slightly green so I left it.)

Crossing my fingers and hoping these survive or there will be another blog update on how I had to replace them again. Can’t lose.

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