Yard Swing Revamp

Hey there, Mea here!

Last week, I worked on revamping an old yard swing. During this project, I took a worn down old yard swing and turned it into a fun piece of yard functional artwork. My mom was cleaning out the yard and she gave me a call to ask if I wanted the yard swing before she put it out for heavy duty pick up (trash). I jumped on the opportunity and by next weekend, I was at her house picking up this monster so that I can start revamp surgery. The plan was to convert the cloth chair covers to wood, give it a color uplift, and finish it off with a little shine. This turned out to be a beautiful edition to my yard. Now that this masterpiece of a swing sits in my back. Let me show you how it was done!

Evaluation:

Before you get started with your revamp, you must first determine what you are dealing with. Is it metal, solid wood, plastic, etc. This plays a big part in your supply selection. For instance, I normally prefer to work with wood, but in this particular project, I am working with metal and cloth that has been in the element for at least the past couple of years. It definitely wasn’t pretty, but within all that rust and deteriorating cloth I saw potential.

I look cool even when Im working hard 🙂

Tools Used:

To work on this project, here is a list of what I had;

  • Wood (Of your choice)
  • Rustoleum Spray
  • Seat Covers
  • Plastic Tarp
  • Tools (Needed to take the item apart and put back together.)
  • Drill and Drill Bits
  • Screws (For Wood and Metal)
  • Replacement Screws (Missing pieces)

Breakdown:

Now that I have everything that I needed to get started, now it was time to break the item down, throw it in the Jeep and take it home. Since this was a bigger project, I got my children involved to help me get it down. The breakdown is like a puzzle. When I take things apart that I am going to put back together, I usually take pictures in order to keep track of how I took it a part. Considering that the cloth was well beyond destroyed, I threw those away and rinsed the swing parts really good.

My son helping me out.

The Paint:

Once I got the swing home, prepped it to be painted over the next couple of days. I cleaned the dust and rust off of the  swing and gave it two coats of paint (2-3 cans of paint). To make sure that I got an even coat, I let the paint dry for about a day and then stood it up in order to do some touch ups. Considering that the paint is rather strong, I recommend spraying the swing outside to keep the fumes under control.

Before the paint is applied.
My progress during the application.

Creating the Seat:

Now this took some creativity on my part. Considering that the previous seat was made with cloth, I was aiming for something more sturdy and to me… whats better than wood? 🙂 I figured that I make the panels on the seats go across the seat horizontally, especially since the seats were adjustable. In order to properly attach the metal to the wood, I bought a special drill bit that breaks through metal and some screws that would go through metal and wood. It took some time initially but I found what helps is pre drilling the wood, laying it on the metal and draw the connection points through the hole with a permanent marker, pre drilling the hold through the metal, then connecting the wood pieces to the metal frame.

One side is complete.

Finishing up:

After I finished attaching the wood, we took the swing back outside to place a coat of poly on it so that it would hold up against the rain.

Applying poly.

After it was dry, I put everything back together, applied some decoration and enjoyed my beautiful up-cycled yard swing. It took some time but it was well worth it! Thanks for tuning in and Happy Revamping!

A Simple Park Bench Revamp

Hey there, Mea here!

If you haven’t noticed by the changes in my website, I am on the hunt to up-cycling myself into an actual business. For one of my earlier projects, I decided to take on the task of revamping a park bench that I have been eyeing for quite a while now. My mother has had this park bench sitting on her porch for ages and I have been trying to get that thing out of her hand for ages! Believe me, I have been trying everything, sweet talking, doing extra errands, and even attempting the puppy dog look (I know… yes it was worth going there). Finally, after seeing the projects that I have done so far, the day has come when she finally decided to give it to me with the agreement that I would revamp her classic cabinet for an exchange (little did she know, I was eyeballing that as my next project as well :-)). Any who, so I finally got the bench and I must say I felt pretty refreshed.

Isn’t she lovely!? (Just nod and agree :-)) This is before it is revamped.

So as you can tell in the picture, the bench is pretty worn down and the metal is starting to rust, however it is still a beautiful piece. This little bench has so much potential and I am gonna let it shine. Considering that there was no major damage even after its been out in the elements, all I had to do was just even it out, clean it up, and give it a fresh coat of paint. So before I get this party started, allow me to breakdown some of the items that I used to get this project done.

It’s Revamping Time!

To make sure that I give it a beautiful finish, I used the following items;

  • Paint and Primer (Exterior)
  • Orbital Sander
  • Paint Brushes
  • Murphy’s Oil Soap (Optional)
  • Safety Gear (Gloves, glasses, etc)
  • Rustoleum Can Spray (Black – Semi Gloss)
  • Polyurethan

So the first thing that I had to do was break the bench down so that I could work with all of the pieces separately. Since the bench was a little loose to start due to a missing screw, it became a little easier to get things going. Note, make sure that you put all of your screws in a small cup so that you won’t loose them.

Breaking down in order to rebuild.

After breaking everything down I decided to start painting the dark parts if the bench first considering that the spray paint carries the strongest smell.

Taking care of the metal parts first.

While that was drying (I let it dry for the rest of the day), I started to work on standing the wood pieces in order to remove any old paint or wood chips that was there previously. (As you can tell I decided to switch up my sander to more of a square shape. It just seemed to work better on the wood.)

Nice and smooth!

The next day, after the sanding was complete and the railings were dry, I decided to go ahead and paint my wood pieces. The color I choose to go with the black was a “Pumpkin Patch” Orange exterior paint that I purchased from Home Depot (I guess I was in the Halloween spirit :-)).  Note, once you paint one side, make sure you either stand the items up or allow the painted side to completely dry and if your dealing with plastic tarps, change the sheep. Otherwise, you will have some of the older paint stick to the new coat as it dries.

Halloween here we come!

After everything was complete, I put everything back together, placed it on my porch, and gave it a nice coat of poly to make sure that it can hold up to the elements! Even though it is still holding up wonderfully, I am definitely going to place a tarp over it as fall and winter approaches as an extra layer of protection. A simple revamp makes a world of a difference!

The finished product! Ain’t she a beauty!

Well now that you have seen this beauty, what do you think? Thanks for tuning in and Happy Revamping!

One Woman, Two Arms, and a Million things to do! (Work/Life Balance)

Hanging with my kids at the park.

When you are a busy mom like myself, its good to maintain an effective work/life balance to keep you sane. A work/life balance is the method of finding a balance between your work life and your personal life. Doing so will help you keep the plates spinning during the day to day while you make time for family or for yourself as well.

I have to admit that my life stays pretty busy. I work during the day as an IT Manager, I am currently going to school for Interior Design, I am a part time teacher, and I have a family on top of being a beginning entrepreneur (This includes me spending time talking to you as well :-)). Yes, I know it’s a lot and I often times get asked how do I manage to do it all.

Prepping to Teach My Class

Well that’s a good question!

Usually people say time management is the key, however, it takes a little bit more than that to get things going. I utilize a lot of different methods or tasks in order to keep myself going in addition to managing my time. Allow me to share. The following tips below are things that I do to help maintain a healthy work/life balance thus far;

  1. Keep things simple. – Because my busy life varies from day to day, I try to make sure that I don’t over complicate or over analyze decisions or changes unless need be. Doing this helps me keep moving forward and not get wrapped up in foolishness.
  2. Make the calendar your best friend. – I really depend on using my calendar to the fullest. Between meetings at work, appointments with my children, meetings after work, and reminders to take of to do lists, I have to make sure that I keep everything on a calendar so that I won’t double schedule or forget an important event or task.
  3. Create a flexible schedule.- To keep my children on track, I like to create a schedule of events that are expected to take place everyday such as chore time, homework, TV time, etc. This helps them stay on track throughout the day and get things done.
  4. Utilize a 2 to 3 day meal regimen. – I am an advocate for leftovers! Whenever I cook and depending on the meal, I usually make enough to last two to three days. This cuts down on additional time and effort required when I get home.
  5. Utilize delegation. – Honestly at first this was not my strong point. At first, I spent a lot of time doing things myself to the point that it started to wear me down and I was not getting anything accomplished. As I started to learn how to delegate tasks at home and work things became easier because I started to trust those around me to get certain tasks done.

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    Taking time out to work on business growth.
  6. Pace myself. – Sometimes you get caught up in wanting to do everything at once. I learned that you can do everything you want, but it’s important to pace yourself and organize your goals based on what is important and feasible towards your current situation.
  7. Make sure to take a break.  – This one is simple. When you have a very busy schedule, make sure that you take time out to breath. During this time you can take a nap, read a book, or just meditate. The goal is to find and do something that will help you relax.
  8. Utilize mobile devices. – I personally utilize my laptop and cellphone to the fullest. I do things like blog and email, but I also use it keep track of my day to day and utilize different apps.
  9. Utilize current resources. – Okay, so I am pretty frugal when it comes to spending money, especially when I am starting something new or trying to handle a task. Instead of spending money on something new, I like to look for things that I currently have. For instance, instead of paying for a sports activity or additional tutoring for my children, I see what their school has to offer first.
  10. Create a support system. – Having a support system is very important. When times become difficult or you find yourself getting worn down its good to have a support system to keep you on track. I have family and friends who are very supportive of my aspirations and even help me out from time to time when I need an extra hand.
  11. Have a hobby. –  To help ease the ever turning wheels in my mind, I make sure that I maintain a hobby.
  12. Knowing your limits. – Know your limits, I make sure that I do not take on more than I can handle. I also make sure that I set goals and only focus on what I can do.

When maintaining a work/life balance you have to be willing to set goals and be patient as you work on them from day to day. Trial and error will come but as long as you stay persistent you will do well!

What do you do to obtain a work/life balance?

Project #2 – Turning Tires into Planters Part#1

(NOTE: This project was completed during the early part of summer. Updates on results are coming soon!)

Great Evening!

So in the process of cleaning out my garage I found some old tires that needed to be thrown away, but since I am on my diy and repurposing kick I decided to reuse them for something else instead. Today my upcycling project not only consist of repurposing tires but also implementing them in my garden as planters!

Now we know that tires are pretty durable but to make sure that my planters can be unique and can stand the outside weather. This round, I am going to test the durability of my design by keeping them outside over the next few days.

To start I made sure that I cleaned my tires off the best I could and I left them outside to dry. I was working on my garden and picking up materials around the same time so this works out pretty well. Some of the materials that I used were;

  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Drill/ Drill Bits
  • Paint/ Paint Brush
  • Scissors
  • Natural Twisted Sisal Rope
  • Round Wood Pine and Square Shaped wood for the legs (Or use oops wood)
  • Some type of Weed Blocker (Usually used in landscaping or gardening)
  • Polyurethane (Optional)
Some of the materials that I used for the project.

If you noticed, I also bought some round cut pine create a temporary stand for the tires. The size varies based on the tire. I made sure that the wood was bigger than the tire just to be safe.

Clean tires helps the project run smoother. 🙂

Next, to make sure that the water drains out properly, I drilled some holes in the bottom and around the area where the tires edge line up with the wood before the opening.

Drilling the holes in the wood.

Next, I lined the wood up with the tire and insert bolts through the wood and tire and place a nut to hold them on the other side. (I forgot to take a picture on how the bolt looks on the other side. My apologies 😶). Once that is done I get ready to add the legs.

Tires w/ the wood connected.

Next, I worked on attaching the legs. I cut an 8ft pieces to about 8 1ft pieces.

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8ft piece cut into 4 1ft pieces

Before I used the screws to attach the legs. I decided to secured the legs with wood glue to help hold the legs in place as I added the screws. The glue held on pretty good but I still added the nails for extra security. 

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Added wood glue to help secure the legs.

After I added the legs, I flipped it over to take a look.

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Looking good and pretty solid. Next time I’ll make the legs bigger.

Next, I went ahead and created my design. I attached the rope using a hot glue gun (this is where the test comes in). I want to make sure that the rope stays on when it is outside mingling with the seasons (I have heard that superglue is another option and I may try that next). I also added some paint I had lying around as well (saves money of course). I decided to paint a blue (see the pic below) and a red tire. For the inside of the tire, I used a type of cloth that is used to block weeds in the garden. This was ideal because it will allow the water to drain and keep the dirt from falling through the holes.

So far it turned out pretty good. I love the colors!

Once I completed the design, i added a light layer of polyurethane just to give it a shine and an extra layer of protection. I sat them on my back patio, inserted a trellis (Home Depot), added some garden soil, and bought a Clematis see how it grows.

My blue planter design

Now it’s time to test! Tune in next time to see the results!

Thank you for tuning in and I will catch up with you next time.

When Your Happy… Time Doesn’t Matter

The other day, I had my first opportunity to teach a class in higher education. Before the lesson began, we all took out time to introduce ourselves and express something that we didn’t know about each other. When it came to my turn, I gave them my background in IT, but when it came to my passion I found myself smiling as I told them that I love art and Interior Design. “Wow, that’s an interesting combination…”  they replied. This is true considering that my background is mainly in IT and Business Administration. I admitted that yea it’s different but it’s something that I love to do and I am willing to see where it goes.  

Since I have moved forward, this has really been a journey for me. I have to say that I have really been having a ball when it comes to learning more about me and my passions. The best thing about it is that I don’t feel rushed or put in a box. I find myself often times finding ways to fuel my creativity by spending more time at museums, traveling, and even going to the library to expand my knowledge or learn something new.

I love going to the library to expand my knowledge.

This is an old passion but a new field for me, so I try to do everything I can to provide myself with enough insight to be the best I can be.

Right now I am focused on perfecting my craft but my goal is to one day grow as entrepreneur and start a design firm and open my own speciality art/furniture store.

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One day I want to open a specialized retail and art store.

I understand it takes time and I’m okay with that. Greatness doesn’t happen over night and plus as long as I am happy and peaceful along the way, time won’t matter. 😁