Canvas Art with Loads of Fun Laundry Quote

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you get your fill of food and family time today.

I need to give a big congrats to the Silhouette Portrait Giveaway winner, Kelly Crumpler Kelly! Woo Hoo, you’ll be making all your gifts with the Silhouette Portrait this year, won’t you Kelly?!

Speaking of making your own gifts, I’m on a bit of a DIY art kick lately. I think creating your own art is creative, frugal and fun! Today I have a tutorial for creating this laundry quote canvas art, but frankly you can use your own favorite quote! Or create personalized name art for one of the kids on your gift list!

The easiest way to create quote artwork is using a Silhouette craft cutter to cut your letters out. If you don’t own one, I’m happy to announce that Silhouette is offering their BEST SAVINGS right now on a new Silhouette Cameo (12″ width cutter) or the Silhouette Portrait (up to 8″ wide cutter). You can take advantage of the Silhouette Black Friday Deals by using my discount code “HANDY“.

Here are those amazing deals on Silhouette cutters:

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Silhouette CAMEO® Holiday Bundle $229.99   (You save $176.92 or 43%)

  •  Silhouette CAMEO® electronic cutting tool
  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 12 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • CAMEO instructional DVD
  • Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software
  • $25 download card
  • CAMEO dust cover
  • Silhouette hook tool
  • Silhouette scraper tool
  • Silhouette spatula tool
  • Silhouette pick-me-up® tool

 

Silhouette Portrait® Holiday Bundle: $129.99    (You save $156.92 or 55%)

  • Silhouette Portrait® electronic cutting tool
  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 8 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • Portrait instructional DVD
  • Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software
  • $25 download card
  • Portrait dust cover
  • Silhouette hook tool
  • Silhouette scraper tool
  • Silhouette spatula tool
  • Silhouette pick-me-up® tool

 

CAMEO & Portrait Holiday bundle: $299.99.    (You save $229.99 or 43%)

Silhouette CAMEO® electronic cutting tool

  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 12 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • CAMEO instructional DVD

 AND

Silhouette Portrait® electronic cutting tool

  • Power cable/AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Silhouette Studio® software
  • $10 download card
  • 8 in x 12 in cutting mat
  • Silhouette blade
  • Basic Instruction Guide
  • Portrait instructional DVD

Plus:  2 $25 download cards

You can use the Silhouette for so much more than you ever imagined. I use mine a lot for cutting letters like I did for the laundry sign.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

But, you can also use it for creating custom temporary tattoos, fabric and cardstock shape cut outs, flocking iron ons, stenciling on wood, glass etching, faux pen & ink etching, 3-D paper projects, printable foil labels and much much more!

silhouette-projects

Today we’ll focus on the tutorial for creating your own quote canvas art!

Materials:

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 12″ x 12″ canvas (or make your own canvas)
  • Silhouette adhesive backed cardstock
  • Acrylic paints (white, yellow, golden yellow)
  • Paint brush
  • Palette knife
  • X-acto knife
  • Fine tipped permanent marker
  • Mod podge matte finish
  • Scrapbook paper

Instructions:

Type out your quote in the Silhouette studio software. Send the art to cut on adhesive backed cardstock using your Silhouette. [Read more...]

Laundry Fun Gift Basket + How to Sew a Basket Liner

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I have a bit of an unconventional gift idea. But, frankly it is a gift that is sure to bring some fun and enjoyment to anyone who is tasked with the domestic chore of doing laundry. I think this Laundry Fun Gift Basket would be a wonderful gift for a new homeowner. Or a college student who finally moved out of the dorm into their own apartment. Heck, even Grandma would surely love this gift.

If you don’t have anyone on your list that would enjoy a laundry themed gift basket, I’ll show you how to sew a custom liner for an oval basket! You can use the same instructions to sew a liner for almost any shaped container and turn it into a beautiful gift basket with your own theme.

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Pin on flower

Ideas to put into the Gift Basket:

  • Lavendar scented clothes pins
  • Bottle filled with DIY liquid laundry detergent
  • Dryer balls (Check out these West Elm Hedgehog Dryer Balls)
  • Lavendar dryer bags from Trader Joes
  • Fels Naptha Soap (available at any supermarket in the laundry aisle)
  • Linen scented hand soap from Trader Joes
  • Fresh towels
  • Bar soap
  • “Laundry Loads & Loads of Fun” Artwork

Directions for sewing a basket liner:  [Read more...]

25 Dreamy Blue Paint Color Choices

The Lettered Cottage

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It’s no secret that one of the quickest and least expensive ways to transform a room is with paint. Choosing the right color, however, can be tricky. It’s always recommended to paint some sample colors in the room you’ll be painting. Both natural and artificial lighting play huge roles in how the hues appear at different times of the day. After you’ve painted samples, see how they look in the morning light, afternoon and with ambient lighting in the evenings.

Many people lean towards neutrals for wall colors, but light blues and aquas bring in the airy tranquil feelings of the sky or surf. Be lulled into a peaceful tranquility by these 25 dreamy blue rooms. You’ll soon discover that these colors do anything but give you the ‘blues’.

Bedroom Beauties:

Young House Love

1. Valspar’s Carolina Inn Club Aqua at Young House Love
John and Sherry balanced the softness of the wall color with rich wood accents.

 

MosaicWorks.ca

2. Benjamin Moore Tranquil Blue at  MosaicWorks.ca
In contrast to natural wood tones, this room simply uses white accessories to create a lovely retreat.

 

Kelly Moore Blue Green Gem

3. Kelly Moore Blue Green Gem at Centsational Girl
Gray and silver accents echo the wall color in a welcoming guest room.

 

[Read more...]

Installing Semi-Rigid Dryer Hose to Prevent Fire Hazard

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Last year when I showed you how to clean out your dryer hose to prevent dryer fires, I didn’t realize that I still had a fire hazard living in our laundry room. Since then, I stumbled across a video that scared the bejeezus out of me. Matt from Great Lakes Home Performance created this video showing what happens to foil dryer hoses.

I knew that white plastic dryer hoses were bad and had previously replaced ours with the flexible foil hose. But, I felt duped when Matt showed what happens to those “foil” hoses. First, what I didn’t realize is that those shiny metal hoses aren’t foil! They are made of flammable plastic. Go ahead, run to your dryer right now and see what type of duct work you have — I’ll wait. If it is white or shiny foil, I’ll show you how to replace it with semi-rigid duct to keep you and your home safe from a dryer fire. This is an easy tutorial, you can definitely do this (if your exterior dryer vent is on the 2nd floor, you can keep the same vent and just replace the hose.) [Read more...]

How to Keep Your HE Front Load Washer Clean and Smelling Fresh

keep HE Clothes Washer CLean

HE (High Efficiency) washers possess the technology to use a lot less water than the old top load washers. Plus, they cut down on dryer times with an amazing spin cycle that leaves clothes damp not sopping wet. We love our HE washer, but I have several friends who hate theirs. Why? The biggest complaint about the front loading HE washers is that they get mildew in the gaskets and start to stink. We have owned our front loading HE Washer for six years, and this month was the first time I’ve ever had to clean it. Pick your jaw up off the floor and I’ll explain. [Read more...]

How to Install Radiant Floor Heat using WarmlyYours

tempzone_layout_warmly_yours

Are you ready to get toasty today? Today is the day that I’ll be showing you how to install the WarmlyYours TempZone radiant floor heat. Can I tell you a little secret? I was terrified! I was so fearful of breaking the heating wire, that I handled this roll with kid gloves. And I yelled at ANYONE who dared step on the mats in shoes. I realize now that I may have been paranoid and overreacted a little. I was just so anxious to have warm floors that I protected our radiant floor elements like a Mama bear of her cubs.

Remember on Wednesday how I told you how I had chosen WarmlyYours radiant heating systems because of their awesome warranty? Well, I also read feedback about their customer service and it ROCKS as well! That service starts with the ordering process.  I was in contact with a representative from WarmlyYours who helped answer ALL of my questions (of which I had many.) She reviewed my room layout and suggested the TempZone Cut & Turn Rolls which is one long mesh roll with the heating element woven and evenly spaced throughout the roll. I was doubtful and wasn’t sure how the roll would fit through the doorway and “roll” around our laundry room. But, she reassured me that they would send me detailed plans for installation. And that a DIYer like myself should have no problem with the installation.

Within a week, I received my custom TempZone roll with a layout just for MY space.

Not just a standard layout, but a custom plan for my exact room dimensions and usage. I was extremely impressed to say the least, because the plan was very detailed showing the exact location of the cuts I needed to make in the mesh mat (not the wire.) Having this map saved me hours of brain-twisting planning at the least.

Before installation, I read the instruction manual in its entirety (highly recommended.) Remember, I was a little nervous and didn’t want to do anything to damage the heating mat. I even made sure I was hopped up on caffeine so I could absorb every nugget of the lesson.

Are you ready for the tutorial? It wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated and this part went fairly quickly. Let’s roll! [Read more...]

Installing Cork Underlayment for a Radiant Floor

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After you read the title, I guess the cat’s out of the bag. It’s true, I installed radiant floor heating in our mudroom/laundry room and I couldn’t be more thrilled. One of the positives of having a plumbing leak and subsequent gutted room, is being able to make changes that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered. Tile floors with radiant heating underneath was one such change we never entertained until our flooring was ripped out.

Here’s the low down on those two rooms. Our long hallway mudroom that ends in the laundry room was an addition to our home back in the 80′s. It was built on a concrete pad and the owners must have decided not to tie those two rooms into the heating and air conditioning. Consequently, in the winter, these rooms are brrrrrrr…chilly willy! (It’s true, my blood has thinned over the years from living in the south. I think I’d turn into a useless popsicle if I had to spend more than an hour in Alaska like Ana White.) The linoleum flooring that was there didn’t do much to dampen the chill. And, I knew since we were installing tiles in these areas that it would only contribute to that polar ice effect (wimpy wimpy wimpy, I know).

I decided that I wanted to try to add radiant heat in the floors. After a few nights of research, I settled on a company that makes custom configured TempZone radiant heating mats  for your home.

[Read more...]

Stencil Myself a New Door Mat

Royal_Studio_Design_Chez_Sheik

I picked up this plain vanilla door mat a while ago at a thrift store. I knew I wanted to transform it into something stencil-tacular. But, I couldn’t decided on the right pattern.

While at SNAP I was introduced to Royal Studio Design stencils and won a free stencil to take home. This Chez Sheik design immediately jumped out at me. The moroccan look is very beautiful, don’t you think? [Read more...]

Top 10 Cleaners that You Can Make Yourself

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Anyone else detest cleaning their homes? {Major hand raised over here!} I don’t like to clean, but what I really dislike is paying those exorbitant prices to purchase store bought cleaners. Did you know that you can make your own cleaning products using ingredients that cost pennies compared to a bottle of cleanser!

For example, baby oil makes an excellent stainless steel sink shiner (who knew!)

[Read more...]

Laundry Room Reveal using Flow Wall

all_flow_wall_parts_installed

TGIF! Our spring break is officially here. Sadly I’m not going to Cancun to party it up like a bunch of MTV teenagers (As if!). But, I am hanging with two guys! My two little guys that is. I’m looking forward to crafting a little bit with them and maybe catch up on some sewing. My boys both like to sew. They also like to build with hammers. That’s my parenting mission at work. I vow to teach them to do everything that I know how to do no matter which gender that talent is associated with.

But, enough about me, what you are really here to see is the laundry room reveal! Before I give you the whole 5′ x 8′ tour, I want to show you how the Flow Wall cabinets and shelving are installed. Because you aren’t going to believe how easy it was. [Read more...]

Installing the Flow Wall System

screw_in_wall_panels

When last I left you, I was covered in dust and debris from scraping the popcorn ceiling in our laundry room. After a shower and some sleep, I was ready to start another productive day.

First I hired some cheap labor to help me paint the walls. Well, I helped ;-).

The color I used was Benjamin Moore’s Glacier Blue in the Aura Bath & Spa Line of paint (since it is a laundry room.) And every time I walk in the room the color makes me want to sing! [Read more...]

Scraping Your Own Popcorn Ceilings – It’s a Messy Job, but Someone’s Gotta Do It!

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Many of you guessed correctly that I would be scraping my own popcorn ceilings.

It wasn’t hard to do, but it also isn’t for the bad neck or bad back sufferers. Normally I hire out this job — but because our laundry room is so small — it seemed silly to pay someone else to do the work. Now that it is done, I’m really glad I decided to tackle this project. The sense of accomplishment and the resulting smooth ceiling is HUGE!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you live in a house that was built around 1978, take several small samples of your ceiling and test it for asbestos before you begin. Eventhough the cutoff date for asbestos in popcorn texture was 1978, the inventory could still be bought from store shelves well into the 1980′s. Do yourself and your family a favor, If you have asbestos popcorn contact a professional who is trained in asbestos removal to handle the job. If you want to learn more, you can read more about our experience with asbestos remediation.

 

[Read more...]

Demolition Day

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This past weekend I was able to make some serious progress on our laundry room. Yeehaw! Sometimes in order to make a room pretty, you have to make it uglier first. That was certainly the case with this project. If  you are just joining me, a few weeks ago the nice folks at Flow Wall sent me a custom wall system to install in the laundry room. The FlowWall system of storage will look something like this: [Read more...]

Glidden’s My Image Inspiration – Use a Favorite Photo to Pick a Color Palette

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Do you look through magazines and catalogs and find yourself wishing you knew the color of the room you are drooling over? Or do you have a favorite photo and want to build a room’s color palette around that photo? Wish no longer! Now you can easily do both of these things and more. Glidden has a new tool called My Image Inspiration which allows you to upload your own image and get color suggestions based on the photo.

I took the tool for a test drive using my laundry room inspiration mood board. First you upload a picture from your computer, or choose an image from your Facebook album. (If you need more inspiration there is a photo gallery that you can browse and select one of their photos to use.) [Read more...]

White-washed Window Box from a Wine Crate

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The other day I was wandering aimlessly shopping at Costco and spied an empty wooden wine crate. The angel stamped on the side was beaconing me to take her home. Actually, I read Funky Junk Interiors’s post about making tool boxes last year and have been looking for just the right wood to make one. The angel may not have beaconed me, but I wasn’t about to leave the store without her.

I thought about tucking it under my coat and making a break for the front door, as I was sure there were other crafty ladies eyeing up the lonely wine crate. But, I resisted the urge and asked the manager if I could have it, and he graciously let me take it home. I was exuberant because I’ve been missing my rustic wine crate that Cherie won. [Read more...]

Plans to Update My Laundry Room with Flow Wall System

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You know that beautiful laundry room I showed you last year? Yes, this one:

Well, it isn’t so pretty right now, and honestly I strategically didn’t photograph the ONE wall in the laundry room that isn’t….so….pretty. Can you blame me?!

But, that is all about to change! I’ve been working with a Flow Wall System representative to come up with a plan for my laundry room wall.

Flow Wall Garage and Home Storage Solutions

Within half an hour of sending him my measurements (of my laundry room, not my body measurements – LOL), he sent back multiple possible configurations for our room.

I can’t even begin to tell you how fantastic it is to turn over the planning to someone else for a change! Of course, being the planner that I am, I had to tape up a few paper templates to help visualize how they would work in my space.

The Flow Wall System looks like it is going to be a snap to install (and I will definitely let you know for sure!) Here is a short 60 second video to show you a little more about Flow Wall System:

Here are my beautiful plans for the laundry room using the Flow Wall System sketches as inspiration.

1. Flow Wall medium wall mounted storage bins to hold the iron and ironing supplies

2. Flow Wall small storage hook to hang ironing board on

3. Flow Wall white coated wire shelves for extra storage and drying clothes

4. Flow Wall jumbo decor bins in cream to corral detergents, spot cleaners, etc

5. Waverly Pom Pom Play Spa fabric for a faux roman shade

6. Spray painted brass chandelier inspired by Modern Parsonage

7. Flow Wall cabinets to hide my unsightly mess

What do you think? Do you like the design? I’m probably going to scrape the ceilings and repaint in there too. The exact wall color will have to wait until I get the fabric. I’m particular about color like that. More on my color snobbishness next week. Until then, I hope you have a great weekend. Don’t forget to enter to win a $50 AmEx gift card.  A winner will be chosen at random tonight.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Flow Wall Systems. I have been compensated for my time and will be receiving some complimentary products. However, the ideas and words are all my own. I was not told what to write or what products to write about. I believe you have the right to know when a post is sponsored. Regardless of whether a post is sponsored or not, I believe in honesty, truthfulness, and complete transparency in my posts.

Clean Laundry – Miracle Stain Remover, Make Your Own Detergent and Dryer Balls

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Stains…

I’ve been keeping a secret from y’all and I just can’t live with it anymore. I have a miracle stain remover recipe that has time and again proven to work on some of the most stubborn stains. Recently, Pretty Handsome Guy came back from a business trip with a stained button down shirt. It had wing sauce on it AND it had been allowed to settle for a few days AND he hadn’t pre-soaked it or used any stain remover. (Have I not taught him anything?! Sigh.) I thought for sure the shirt was a goner. But, I decided to put my miracle stain remover recipe to the test. Low and behold after 24 hours of soaking in the concoction, the stain was magically gone! No scrubbing, it was simply gone. Can I apply for a magic wand now?

I can’t lay claim to the recipe. I found it on a local “Mommy” message board back when I was a new mom. But, this recipe has worked on more stains than I can count.


I mixed up a batch today to try on one of my son’s shirts that got blueberry jelly on it. My mom tried to wash it and get the stain out, but it was still there after laundering. Normally once a stain goes through the dryer it is set in. But, that didn’t deter the Miracle Stain Remover. Sit back and learn young Jedis (we just let the boys watch Star Wars the first time last week, so it is on my brain.)

Ingredients:

1 scoop of Oxi-Clean
1 scoop of Liquid Clorox 2
1 scoop of Cascade powder dishwashing detergent (or another powered brand.)

Fill your basin with warm water then add the oxi-clean, clorox 2 and dish detergent. Give it a swirl and mix until the powders dissolve and bubbles form.

Place the stained garment into the mixture, being sure the stain is submerged. After two hours you can take a peek! My stain was gone.

For tougher stains, let it soak overnight. Remove the clothing to behold the miracle! Normally I will throw the garment into the wash, but you could simply rinse and dry it.

And, this formula is also safe for colors as well!

Laundry Detergent…

In the spirit of sharing, I also came across this recipe for laundry detergent from Busy-at-Home. It is so stinkin’ inexpensive, you won’t believe how much it costs to make. But first, have you seen the price of laundry detergent lately?! 150 oz. for “gulp” $21! Whereas the recipe I made yielded 250 oz. for….are you ready for this…$0.61! Yup, if you don’t believe me, you can see Busy-at-Home’s calculations. She figured out she would save 97% on detergent by making her own.

And the best news is that it is safe for HE washers. You only need 1/4 cup per load. The recipe was derived from Michelle Duggar’s own laundry room.

I mixed up the recipe (which contains only three simple ingredients: Borax, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – NOT BAKING SODA – and Fels-Naptha.) All of these ingredients can be found at your local supermarket and/or Walmart. You might have to hunt a little to find them since the major laundry detergents have the prime spots on the shelves. I used a 2.5 gallon water jug to store our detergent (complete with easy pour spout!)

I’ve used the detergent for a few weeks (and a dozen loads) so far. It works great. The only thing I miss is the linen scent of the detergent I was using. But, for 3/100th of the cost I can deal!!!

Drying clothes…

And since I’m talking laundry today, this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my secret weapon for drying clothes.

Nellie's Dryer Balls

They look like medieval torture devices, but these little blue guys have completely kicked our fabric softener sheets to the curb! I haven’t used them in over 4 years now! At first I was concerned about static (the bane of my hair’s existence), but then a friend told me that you can eliminate static by not letting your clothes over dry. Simply shut off the dryer when your clothes are about 95% dry. Don’t let the dryer run and run and run until the clothes are piping hot and there isn’t a spot of dampness on them. Instead, let the moisture sensor (if you have one) do its job and it should shut off right before the clothes are dry. The waist bands in jeans or sweatpants may feel slightly damp, but everything else feels dry. And most importantly, pull out fleece, polyester, and synthetic clothes about half way through the cycle.

The dryer balls (you should use two) work together to punch, separate, fluff and dry your clothes. They also help keep wrinkles to a minimum, but I’m not afraid of a few wrinkles (see my no iron solution to wrinkles post.) The Nellie’s Dryer Balls cost $16.99, but the cost savings of not using dryer sheets is definitely worth it. Plus, you don’t have to stress about the chemicals that are in dryer sheets. These little wonder balls (I can’t believe I just typed that) last forever! I have been using mine for over four years. They start to get darker on the nubs from dye in your clothing, but it doesn’t transfer and it doesn’t hurt their effectiveness.

Nellie's Dryer Balls

Nellie’s Dryer Balls

That’s all for today. I’m taking off my June Cleaver outfit now and returning to my normal Bob Vila attire.
Disclosure: No disclosure necessary today. I was not paid to write about any of these products and none of them were sent to me for free. These are all products that I use and love!

Smart Tiles Installation and Product Review

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The other day I was lamenting the condition of our laundry room. It was beautiful about a year ago, but continual use and lots of cleaning paint brushes had left the wall looking like this.

Since Jackson Pollock walls are not in style, I decided to give the utility sink a quick face lift. Of course glass mosaic tiles would be really fab here. But, I didn’t have the time or desire to grout the walls and tiles. Luckily I had some Smart Tiles patiently waiting for me to try them. I chose the Lagoon Mosaik tiles for my laundry room. But, there are a wide variety of colors and sizes to chose from. These self-adhesive tile sheets have the look of mosaic glass tiles but not the hassle and mess of mixing grout, laying tile, and cleaning the grout afterwards.

Installing them is a cinch. It is as simple as wash, peel, align and stick! See:

You’ll need a few materials before you start:

  • Level
  • Pencil or Chalk
  • X-ACTO knift
  • Cutting Mat
  • Metal ruler
  • TSP cleaning solution
  • Sponge
  • Dry Rag
  • Painter’s Tape

Clean the walls according to the directions on the TSP cleaning solution box. Wipe the walls dry.

Use a level and a pencil to mark a line where the top of the smart tiles will be installed.

Dry fit all the tiles sheets. Start in the corner (if you have one.)

 Tape up all the tile sheets using painter’s tape.

Cut any excess off the sheets and cut any additional tiles needed for the installation.

Peel the backing off and carefully adhere the tile sheet to the wall. Try very hard not to touch the adhesive backing.

Line the tile up with the level line.

Press firmly against the wall and smooth your hand over the sheet to remove any air bubbles.

For any holes: 1) Count tiles for the hole. 2) Cut out that many tiles. 3) Stick them on and admire how well they blend with the existing tiles.

Another reason the Smart Tiles are a breeze to install is because they are flexible, you can wrap it around an object, then mark the cut and use an X-ACTO knife to cut away any excess.

That is all there is to it! Stand back and admire your handy work!

I loved the ease and simplicity of the Smart Tiles. They look real until you get up real close and notice that they are not as thick as glass tiles on the side. To fake the sides, you could fit a thin piece of molding on the sides and the top to give it a more finished look.

Although these tiles are easy to install, they cost about the same as the real thing. However, you will save money on grout. And you will definitely save time (and we all know that time is money!)

The tiles I installed have wiped off very easily and they don’t show splashes. A few of the corners have started to peel up where I wasn’t  careful about not touching the adhesive backing. The rest of the seams are holding tight.

If you are looking for a quick and easy solution to update your backsplash, I highly recommend the Smart Tiles.

That being said, if you want a more permanent solution, I recommend spending about the same amount of money and take the time to install glass mosaic tiles.

Note: They cannot be installed inside a shower where the conditions are very wet. In the kitchen, if installing behind a gas range without a back panel, you need to leave a safety zone.

You can purchase them at your local Home Depot in the US,  online, or at these locations.

Disclaimer: I was sent one packet of 6 Smart Tiles to try. This is not a paid review, all opinions and the project are my own. If I don’t like a product, you won’t see a review on my blog. For more information about product reviews and my disclosure, read this.

Time to Clean Your Dryer Ducts – Prevent Fires

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Once the weather turns cold and the heat kicks on, your home starts to get dry and static electricity arrives once again. This minor nuisance that causes siblings to shock each other for fun can actually be dangerous if it ignites lint that has built up in or around your dryer.

Why you should clean out your dryer ductwork:

According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission, ( CPSC ), annually there are 15,500 Dryer Fires, Up To 30 Deaths and over 310 injuries, due to dryer exhaust duct fires. You should clean your dryer hose and around it once a year, and inspect the vent and hose for any blockages at least every 6 months.

You could pay a professional to clean your dryer ductwork, but the price could be anywhere from $65.00 to $150.00! Ummm — no thanks — I’ll keep my money and do this myself. It only takes about 15 – 20 minutes to do and it is easy! As long as your ductwork is fairly accessible, you can handle this!

If your dryer exhaust hose tube is longer than 10′ this may be a bit more difficult. And if it is longer than 10′, did you know that your dryer may be working extra hard to dry your clothes? Worse yet is if you have a long tube that goes up into the attic (or the eaves) and then out the roof. The warm moist air from the dryer enters the cold attic, and condensation forms in the exhaust tube. Do you know where this little story is going? Well, at first your dryer can’t dry as quickly because the tube is blocked by water. Eventually it will fill with enough water to cause the exhaust tube to split and guess where all that water goes? Through your ceiling, that is where! Trust me on this one, it happened to us in our old house.

So, why don’t you sit back down and let me give you a little tutorial on cleaning out your dryer exhaust ductwork.

Instructions:

Start by unplugging your dryer and turn off the gas if you have a gas dryer.

Remove your lint trap and remove any lint from the screen.

Using a brush (designed for cleaning out the coils under your fridge) bend the brush and run it inside the lint trap. Then follow up by using a shop vac or vacuum to suck up any lint and dirt loosened by the brush.

Pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the exhaust duct tube from the wall and the dryer. There are normally two kinds of hose clamps holding the tube to the dryer and wall port. The first is a ring with two prongs. Simply squeeze the prongs toward one another to loosen the clamp.

The second type of hose clamp requires a screwdriver to loosen the bolt attached to the clamp.

Slide the exhaust tube off the dryer and the port (hole in the wall.)

Use your vacuum to clean out both the dryer and wall ports.

Then use the vacuum to clean out the dryer exhaust tube.

If you have an older style vinyl tube, it is important that you replace it with a foil style one. The vinyl ones are fire hazards. Also, if you can’t get your tube clean, go ahead and replace it. They are inexpensive, normally it costs just under $10 for a new foil flexible duct tube.

If your tube is long or difficult to clean out, you may want to purchase a hose brush like this one:

Brushtech B68C 10-Feet Long Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning BrushAmazon.com: Brushtech B68C 10-Feet Long Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush: Home & Garden.

While you have the dryer pulled out, vacuum off the back of the dryer, the washer, and the wall behind both. Eliminate as much lint as possible. A clean laundry room is safer than a lint covered one.

Re-attach the dryer tube to the wall and the dryer.

Gently push the dryer back towards the wall being careful not to crush the tube.

Locate your exterior dryer vent.

If you can reach the exterior vent, go ahead and clean it out also. Make sure the vent closes properly when the dryer isn’t running.Otherwise you may get birds, rodents or bugs in your vent. I don’t think I need to tell you that they won’t be helping your dryer’s efficiency!

And that is it?! That was easy wasn’t it. Be sure to keep your home and family safe by cleaning your dryer exhaust ductwork yearly.

Update: I wanted to let y’all know that the flex foil pipe shown in this tutorial is FLAMMABLE! Luckily I found this out before we had a fire.

prevent_fires_replace_dryer_hose

Read about installing semi-rigid non-combustible duct in this easy tutorial!

 

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Laundry Room Makeover

 Wash…Rinse…Dry…Repeat…Wash…Rinse…Dry…Repeat…

This is the story of my life. We are a family of four and yet, I wash three loads of laundry two times a week. That is six loads per week! Or broken down, it is 1.5 loads per person per week. Is this a lot for a family of four? Maybe I’m too clean? Regardless, with all the time I spend in the laundry room, I wanted it to be attractive.

Our My laundry room looked like this right before we bought the house:

 
If you look up “blah” in the dictionary, you’ll see that picture.

So, I set to work and painted dark blue on the bottom 2/3 of the room and the same color with some white mixed in to the top 1/3 of the room. I also painted the windows and trim a glossy white. It is amazing how much easier it is to dust a newly painted surface (a definite must in a lint-filled laundry room.)

Next, I bought several sections of peg racks and painted them the same color as the trim. I screwed them into studs, or

if there wasn’t a stud to screw into I used Toggler anchors:

Then I set forth to cloak the biggest eye-sore in the room, the utility sink. All I did was cut a curtain down to size and used double-stick velcro. Then I hot glued some roped cording to the top. Abra-ca-dabra, it was sufficiently hidden.

Next I cut a piece of 1″ x 6″ pine to the length of my two windows. I rounded the corners with my jig saw and then used a router to give the edge a decorative finish.

After painting the shelf to match the windows, I mounted it to the wall with metal shelf brackets.

This gave me a sunny spot to rest my plants…

…and laundry supplies (Oxy clean powder, liquid laundry detergent and water spritzer for ironing wrinkles).

I also hung some drop cloth curtains that I painted stripes on (tutorial to come);

added a few letters above the windows;

and now I have a laundry room that I want to spend time in!

This makeover was very low budget. I had the paint leftover from our master bathroom. And the sink cover was one panel on clearance at Target for $3. The letters were $1.50 each and the drop cloths were $5 each. The curtain rod was stolen from another room in our house. And the shelf was from my wood pile. So, all-in-all, I spent about $25.

Some day I’d love to install cabinets with doors on them to hide all the supplies. But, until that day, I’m happy with the transformation.

So, am I the only one doing loads and loads and loads of laundry?