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DIY or a Pro? 4 Questions You Should Know

You are an enthusiastic weekend warrior. From landscaping to painting, laying updated flooring to installing a new toilet, you have some pretty impressive home improvement skills. But, on occasion, even you have to admit there are some times where you have bitten off a bit more than you can chew. So, how do you know when to take on a home project and when to leave it to the professionals? Even if you have the know-how, what you save in expenses might just cost you in time. Here are four questions you can ask to help you decide: do it yourself or a hire a professional?

DIY or a Pro? How much can you afford to spend? DIYGuys.net

How much can I afford to spend?

This question is hard to answer without knowing your specific project. However, a little research is all it takes to get an estimate rolling around in your head. For instance, hiring a professional to build a new deck in your backyard can run anywhere from $2,500 to as much as $24,000, depending on size and materials. If you have some interior upgrades in mind, a professional can handle these sorts of projects from anywhere between $750 to $2500. And if you need a professional to tackle a major air conditioning repair, you could spend between $600 and $1900, depending on the age of the unit and the kind of repairs needed. Weigh these costs against your estimates for completing the project on your own to decide if DIY is the smarter choice.

Photo by Pexels. DIYGuys.net

If cost is the main factor in whether to hire a professional, don’t forget the costs that you might be facing outside of the project. For example, you may need to rent a storage unit to protect some of your furniture and belongings during major construction. Over the last 180 days, the
average cost to rent a self-storage unit in Sterling Heights, Michigan is $109.00. Or, in the case of kitchen home improvement projects, you may have to order take out instead of cooking for a few nights. And if a plumbing, electrical, or construction DIY projects hits a few snags, you may need to factor in a hotel stay for a night or two, as well.

DIY or a Pro? Is this a skill I can learn? DIYGuys.net

Do I know how to do this? If not, is it easy to learn?

Just because you have never tiled a bathroom floor doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself. There are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube and step-by-step instructions all over the internet. However, will the costs you save doing this project yourself outweigh the time it takes to learn the new skill, the cost of purchasing materials and equipment, and the risk that something might go wrong? To help you make this decision, get a few quotes from professionals who can handle the job. Ask your friends or your neighbors for recommendations and make a few calls.

DIY or a Pro? What if I make mistakes or get frustrated? DIYGuys.net

What happens if I get frustrated or make a mistake?

Whether you are capable of doing this project isn’t the question. We know that — for you — when there’s a will there’s a way. But on the off chance that something does go wrong, what will happen? For example, if you’re installing new countertops in the kitchen, how will the rest of your family feel if the project takes longer than expected? When they can’t cook or prepare food for several days or even weeks, will that cast a shadow over the household? Next you’ll want to consider your mental state. If you’re the sort of DIY devotee who enjoys a project from start to finish, you might feel frustrated, stressed or even guilty if something goes wrong. Hiring a professional means you can let go of all those concerns.

Is this a common repair or a complex remodel?

A minor repair — replacing a leaking faucet or a squeaky floorboard — can take you at most an afternoon. A complicated project, like replacing the pipe in your bathroom or widening your doorways, requires planning and process where you might need new tools, extra hands or even a few permits. When the projects become complicated like this — building a detached garage or transforming an unfinished basement into a game room — a professional can come in handy. They know what’s waiting around the corner. They have the tools needed, the licenses and permits required, and the experience to understand how to make your vision a reality.

Photo by Pexels. DIYGuys.net

Maybe the project required a little more knowledge and skill than you originally thought. Maybe you didn’t have the right tools or enough time. It happens to enthusiastic homeowners all the time. Arming yourself with the pros and cons of hiring a professional can help you make the right decision about how to tackle your next big home improvement project.

Written By: Ray Flynn DIYGuys.net

Are you a DIY enthusiast with skills and advice you want to share with others? Write your own tutorial and have it featured on Functional Rustic by emailing Sarah at contact@functionalrustic.com. Not ready to teach others? Learn new skills, meet other DIY enthusiasts and sell your handmade creations by joining DIY Projects of Facebook.

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10 Easy, Last Minute DIY Stocking Stuffer Tutorials from Functional Rustic

Need some quick, easy, last minute DIY gift ideas for the holiday season? Functional Rustic is here to help! Check out these 10 tutorials that are sure to make your handmade gifts the talk of the gift giving season.

  1. Christmas Tree Crayons

Repurpose those old broken crayons to create the perfect holiday gift for the kids this year. The tutorial uses Christmas tree designs, but you can use any shape you want!

2. 5 Minute Sugar Scrub

The simple sugar scrub is the perfect gift for any occasion. Easy, colorful and it smells good – what more could you ask for?

Photo From: https://www.reasonstoskipthehousework.com/sugar-scrub-recipes/

3. Sensory Bottle

A fun, easy craft made with items you probably already have at home. Great gift for someone of any age!

Photo from: https://functionalrustic.com/2018/08/10/sensorybottle/

4. Easy Sun Catchers

Easy, colorful and lots of options for personalization. These sun catchers are sure to catch the attention of your friends and family.

Photo From: https://www.100directions.com/easy-sun-catchers-coloring-pages/

5. T-Shirt Rope Toy

Your furbabies deserve handmade gifts too. This quick, easy craft is perfect for the animal lover in you life. 

6. Stress Balls

The perfect gift for anyone on your holiday gift list this year. Easy, fun and relieves stress – the perfect craft.

7. Canning Lid Bird Feeder

Easy craft that is perfect for the bird lover in your life. 

8. Stress Relief Dough

Relieve stress and moisturize your hands with this easy craft. Perfect gift for anyone on your gift list.

Photo From: https://functionalrustic.com/2018/08/31/stressreliefdough/

9. Galaxy Rock Magnets

This craft is out of this world. East to create, looks great and perfect for anyone on your gift list.

Photo From: https://www.adventure-in-a-box.com/space-rocks-fridge-magnets/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes

10. Pop Can Wall Flower

Repurpose that soda pop can into a flower that will bloom all year. 

Photo From: https://functionalrustic.com/2018/10/19/popcanwallflower/

After you finish your creation take a picture and share it with other DIY enthusiasts at DIY Projects of Facebook.

Want to give a handmade gift but don’t want to/don’t have time to make it yourself? Functional Rustic is here to help. Support a small local business AND save money by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store. Below are some of the handcrafted items available. 

Handmade Rustic Décor by Functional Rustic. FREE Shipping. Click Photo to start saving.

Handmade Rustic Décor by Functional Rustic. FREE Shipping. Click Photo to start saving.

Handmade Rustic Décor by Functional Rustic. FREE Shipping. Click Photo to start saving.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Be sure to follow the Functional Rustic Blog for daily inspirational quotations, latest  handmade projects, easy DIY tutorials and stories from the barn.

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2 Item Fire Starter DIY Tutorial by Functional Rustic

It’s cold outside. Winter is rolling in and bringing snow falls and bitter cold temperatures. Although it may be cold outside – the fire in the Functional Rustic wood stove is burning red hot.

sunrise barn.jpg

This will mark our second winter heating the house with our wood stove. My husband, Dave, spent the summer finding dead trees and cutting them into fire wood to heat our home. Check out the chain saw video tutorial with Dave HERE. Dave’s hard work has furnished us with approximately 10 chords of hard wood for burning.

chopped wood.jpg

Having a large supply of wood to burn is a great start – but there is more to an effective fire than just fuel. Being able to start the fire is the important part. Last year I used news paper – a lot of news paper – to start the fire each day. It worked – technically. However, I found that the massive amounts of newspaper created vast amounts of ash that ultimately extinguish the flames.

Also, we make our fire first thing in the morning – around 5 am. At that hour, the house is dark and cold. The last thing I want to do when I wake up is waste time fighting with a fire. For that reason, I created fire starters to help me start the day off quickly. I just toss them in, add some wood and light a match.

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My fire starters light quickly but burn for awhile – a great combination for getting the fire started. Keep reading to learn how to make FREE fire starters with items you already have around your home.

Fire Starters DIY Tutorial

Fire Starters by Functional Rustic

Supplies: Dryer Lint & Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

Step One:

Gather lint from the lint trap in your dryer.

Step Two:

Gather empty toilet paper rolls.

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Step Three:

Stuff lint into the empty toilet paper tubes. (I was able to create three fire starts with one lint trap.)

Step Four:

Fold the ends of the tubes so that the lint stays inside.

KIMG3314

Step Five: (Optional)

Write fun messages on the tube or add any colors you want. If I was giving them as a gift I would write messages on them but, for my daily needs I keep them blank.

Step Six:

Share your creation with Functional Rustic on social media using #functionalrustic.

Congratulations! You made your very own fire starter.

Written by : Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just DIY Tutorials? Support a small, local business by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store. Below is a sample of what you can expect to find. Special orders welcome and shipping is FREE!

 

Wooden Thank You Card AQUA BLUE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

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Save Money & Support Local Business: Functional Rustic Approach

Functional Rustic has a promo code now! Use Promo Code: save50 when you check out at Functional Rustic and save 50% on your entire order. And, as always, Functional Rustic offers FAST and FREE delivery right to your door!

Save50 Promo Code
Use Promo Code SAVE50 at www.FunctionalRustic.com to save 50% PLUS FREE SHIPPING on the entire Functional Rustic inventory of handmade rustic décor. Valid thru 12/31/18.

I’m not ashamed to say that I am struggling to get the word out that Functional Rustic is a place to buy things – beautiful, handmade things at that! Apparently most stores use sales and promotional offers to get customers in the door – so Functional Rustic will too!

Sales and promotions are nice and all – but I am most proud of the new items I’ve created. The consistent piece of feedback that I have received is that Functional Rustic could benefit from a bit more color. It is this advice that inspired the purple, green and blue coat racks. Talk about colorful! Not only do I love the colors, but the round “hooks” are actually repurposed drawer handles. Gives them such a unique look!

The coat racks are fun to create but I promised myself I wouldn’t make any more until I sold what I already have. They are priced to sell so I will get to build more in not time. (If you want a coat rack but in a different color let me know and I will happily repaint it for you! Also, if you can’t make it to Countryside but want items you see from the pictures – let me know and I can arrange to have it delivered FREE.)

As of today, all of the new Functional Rustic items are in store at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. The plan moving forward is to store all the new products at Countryside and pull them off the shelves as needed for craft shows. Keep an eye out for the monthly storewide sales (on top of already low prices) and receive at least 25% discounts on all Functional Rustic items.

Check out the new items at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall below!

Looking for a way to help a stranger this holiday season?

Small home business like Functional Rustic can’t afford the advertising that big retailers are able to utilize. We rely on individuals like you to help us introduce ourselves to the public. By sharing/liking posts from your friends (or strangers like me) you allow their products and ideas to be seen by hundreds more people.

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful...

Also, we also do happy a dance anytime someone interacts with our content. Seriously.

Each time Linda Schaub and Dutchll like something I published I grin from ear to ear and do a little dance. They are consistently supportive so I am fortunate to do my happy dance every day. It’s hard to say if their specific interactions increase visitors to the website – but the impact their support has on my confidence & motivation is worth more than any number of visitors. Thank you Linda and Dutch!

Some people believe it is only great power....

I also cannot say enough nice things about a woman I recently met named Anna Hitch. I met her and her husband at our last craft show and it was such a treat. Both she and her husband create beautiful handmade crafts. She works with yarn and he with leather. Anna gets a special shout out in the post because she consistently “likes” the Functional Rustic Facebook posts & she left my first review! Anna is my first non-family member to interact with my Functional Rustic Facebook so she is kind of big deal around here. Please help me say thank you to her by following Anna on Facebook and checking out her Etsy store. (Feel free to use the comment section to help me peer pressure her into starting her own website with an online store. 🙂 )

Thank you for reading and checking out my newest creations. I welcome your feedback in the comments below and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Below are a few of the items available in the Functional Rustic Store:

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Red

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00



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How To Dye Egg Whites Tutorial from Functional Rustic

In honor of the recent midterm election, Veterans Day weekend and the 2nd Annual Veterans Day Craft & Vendor Show that Functional Rustic has the honor of participating in tomorrow – Functional Rustic’s DIY Tutorial for this week is How to Dye Egg Whites. Specifically – how to dye them patriotic colors!

Instead of breaking the bank trying to decorate for your holiday gathering – turn the yummy food you are serving into the decorations!

How to dye egg whites tutorial

How to Dye egg whites Tutorial from Functional Rustic. www.FunctionalRustic.com



How to Dye Egg Whites and Make Festive Deviled Eggs – DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

Step One:
Fill a pot about half way with water and bring it to a rolling boil (very bubbly). The water should be able to completely cover all the eggs you are going to boil.

NOTE: When you add the eggs later the water level will increase so make sure you leave room in the pot for the water level to boil and rise later.

Boil water
Add water to a pot and bring it to a rolling boil. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Two:
Once the water is boiling add your eggs and boil for 15 minutes (Chicken Egg) 30 minutes (Turkey and Muscovy Duck Egg).

Boil eggs
Once the water is boiling add your eggs. www.FunctionalRustic.com

The Muscovy Duck and Bronze Turkey Eggs are much larger and take longer to cook.

Below is an example of a rolling boil – very bubbly.

Boil Eggs 1
Below is an example of a rolling boil – very bubbly. www.FunctionalRustic.com



Step Three:
Once the eggs are boiled remove them from the water and put them in an ice bath. (An Ice Bath is just a bowl with ice and water in it. The idea is to cool the eggs immediately so they stop cooking. Running them under cold water works too.)

Ice bath
After the eggs cook, add them to an ice bath to cool. www.FunctionalRustic.com

The white-ish egg is from the Muscovy, brown egg is chicken and the speckled egg is from the turkey.


Valencia Merble the Dog is all too happy to help with this tutorial. She loves snacking on the ice cubes!

Step Four:
Once the eggs have chilled you need to remove the shell. I start by tapping the ends on the cutting board so they crack.

Hard Boiled Egg
Crack the bottom of the egg to help remove the shell. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Then, I roll the egg on its side on the counter/cutting board until the sides crack too.

Roll the egg
Roll the egg on the counter to further crack the shell to remove. www.FunctionalRustic.com

The shell easily peels off the chicken egg now. Duck and Turkey eggs – well, I have yet to find a way to get the shell off without removing a lot of the egg white. I use the same approach but it does not turn out as pretty.

Peel the egg
The shell is easily removed from the egg now. www.FunctitonalRustic.com



Step Five:
Cut the egg lengthwise and remove the yolk (yellow stuff inside).

Cut the egg
Cut the egg lengthwise. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Set the yolks aside to make the filling later. Don’t be concerned if the yolk looks a little grey. It happens sometimes.

Remove yolk
Remove the yolk and set aside. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Six:
Fill a glass with about 1 cup of water and add 3 to 6 drops of food coloring to the water. I chose red and blue to honor the holiday weekend.

Put the egg whites into the colored water to soak for about 30 minutes.

Soak in food colorinng
Soak egg whites in colored water for 30 minutes. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Seven:
Mix the yellow egg yolks with miracle whip and yellow mustard. I don’t measure so I honestly cannot tell you how much I used of each. I just mix until it tastes the way I want.
This tutorial is more about teaching you how to make your eggs look festive and less about teaching your proper flavors.  You find different recipes Here . You find the flavors you like and Functional Rustic will teach you how to make it look festive!

Step Eight:
Once 30 minutes have passed on the egg whites soaking in the colored water – remove an egg to see if you like how the color looks. If you want it darker than soak it longer.
Remove the eggs from the colored water and pat the eggs dry with a paper towel.



Step Nine:
Add the yolk filling to the newly dyed egg whites. Fancy people, as I like to call them, put their filling into a plastic bag, cut the corner off, and then pipe the filling into the egg. I am not a fancy person, ha, so I use a spoon.

After my yolk filling is spooned into the egg white (now red and blue) I sprinkle Paprika on top for a little flavor and a bit more color. Smoked Paprika is also delicious (again, find the flavor that best suits you.)

Patriotic egg whites 1
Turn boring eggs into Patriotic Centerpieces. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Ten:
Take pictures of your creation and share it with Functional Rustic on Social Media. And of course – eat that festive décor knowing it was your DIY creation!


Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than weekly tutorials? Check out the selection of handmade rustic home decor in the Functional Rustic Store.

Wooden Thank You Card RED

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

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How to Countersink a Screw – DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

I appreciate the rough-around-the-edges style of rustic furniture and décor. Untreated wood. Exposed screws. Dents. Scuff marks. I love when a piece looks like it has a story to tell.

All of my creations for Functional Rustic have a story. They are rough around the edges because they have had a rough life to this point. Instead of hiding what the wood has been through I try to highlight how the scars make it beautifully unique.

The “rough” look sounds good and is an easier look to accomplish for a beginner but it comes with some obstacles. I knew nothing about wood working when I started this repurposing business and even today I feel like I still know very little. However, I am learning new approaches and techniques every day.



One of the techniques I recently learned was how to countersink a screw. If you are anything like I was a month ago than you have no idea what that means. Fear not – Functional Rustic is here to teach you.

My house is filled with tables, shelves and décor I built out of repurposed pallets. I don’t have a brick and mortar store so my “warehouse” is also my actual house. My sister and her boyfriend came into town for the holidays and had a chance to see my creations.

I asked Jon, the boyfriend from across the pond (Since originally writing this piece the boyfriend has become a husband. They had a sky dive wedding!), what he thought of my creations. As he slid his hand across the top of my pallet coffee table he remarks, “If you countersink the screws it wont catch on people’s clothing.”

“Screw you Jon”, was my first thought. I’m proud of this table. I worked very hard on it. I put a lot of time, energy and creativity into building it. I love how the screws look. The screws are from the original pallet and deserve to be highlighted. Screw you Jon for not appreciating my work.

Of course what I said was, “Thanks Jon, that’s a good idea.” So, I hated him for a couple minutes and then thought about what he was saying. I may like how the screws look but I really don’t like catching clothing on a screw head.



I chose to stop hating him for his really good idea and instead confessed that I had no idea what countersinking actually is (that was embarrassing as the only employee in a wood working business) and asked if he could teach me.

DIY Tutorial – How to Countersink a Screw

Step One:
Drill the pilot hole for your screw as you normally would. (Pilot hole is a hole that is slightly smaller than the size of the screw. It allows the screw to enter the wood and also stay in place.)

Step Two:
After you drill your pilot hole find a drill bit that is the same size as the head of the screw. (The head of the screw is the top where the screw driver would go.)

Countersink Screw 7
Find a drill bit that is larger than the head of the screw. Here is the original drill bit and the larger drill bit. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Three:
Center the larger drill bit on the originally pilot hole. Drill down a couple millimeters (Jon is from England so I will use the metric system in my description, ha.) Basically, give the button on the drill a small push. You only want to make a shallow hole.

Step Four:
Drill your screw into the hole as you normally would. Because of the wider hole at the top of the pilot hole, the head of the screw will be flush with or just below the surface of the wood.

Drill your screw into the hole. Notice how the screw head is now flush with the surface of the wood.

Congratulations! Your countersunk your screw!!

Step Five:
Take pictures of your countersinking skills and share them with Functional Rustic on DIY Project of Facebook.

I use the countersinking technique when I create these:

Countersinking the screws prevents gaps from forming between the boards when I create the 3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holders.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Save on handmade home décor by shopping the online Functional Rustic Store.
FREE SHIPPING!

Wooden Thank You Card ORANGE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00



The banners included in this post are Affiliate Links.

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25 DIY Halloween Costumes Presented by Functional Rustic

This week’s DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic is not actually from Functional Rustic. I recently found a website created by a remarkable woman, Lasamoa. Just as I am repurposing myself to build the life I always wanted, she too is creating the life she wants for herself.

I had high hopes of publishing a tutorial about how to repurpose a shutter into a Functionally Rustic Chalk Board today. Well….as is often the case with repurposing projects, things did not go as planned. Ha. You can read about my struggles Here.

Writing tutorials each week is something I do to encourage myself to learn new things each week. Sharing them with you enables you to learn the new skill or craft too. I am learning a lot – but not in a way conducive to writing a tutorial for others to follow.

The duck enclosure requires my immediate attention today. As a result I am not in a position to learn a new skill AND write a tutorial for you today. (One of the things I learned this week is the importance of a back up plan if my DIY project does not actually get done.) Lucky for all of us, I found Lasamoa and her website: lifeoneastpowersdrive.com.

Check out the DIY Halloween costumes she collected:

25 Ridiculously Easy and Fun DIY Halloween Costumes for Everyone

lifeoneastpowersdrive halloween tutorial
25 Ridiculously Easy, Fun & For Everyone DIY Halloween Costumes from www.LifeOnEastPowersDrive.com

 

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic also creates Handmade Rustic Décor? FREE SHIPPING when you shop in the Functional Rustic Store.

 

Wooden Thank You Card SILVER

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

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Learning How NOT to Repurpose a Shutter – Functional Rustic Approach

I am well on my way to learning 10,000 ways not to turn a shutter into a chalk board!

I have not failed..jpg

My inclination is to dwell on this or give up. I salvaged a bunch of plastic shutters and have high hopes of what I can repurpose them into. Making them into rustic chalk boards is on the top of my list.

Plastic Shutter
Plastic Shutter

I had some success when I first started the project. From afar the piece looked great. The blue of the shutter was quaint, the white popped and drew in your attention and the black board was distinctive and functional. But, looking good from afar is not the same as looking good.

Shutter Chalk Board Organizer
Salvaged Shutter Chalkboard Organizer.

The picture above is after two coats of white deck stain and two or three coats of chalkboard paint. All of the painting was done free hand so the lines were not at all straight. That is the “from afar” part that looks good. From across the room it is stunning but, when you get close, my skills as a novice are evident.

I am well aware that I am not a professional painter. I’m proud of what I created though. However, I made ‘mistakes’ and I am learning from them. My free hand painting attempt did not provide the clean lines I wanted so I found another approach. I put painters tape along the edges so that when I put the final coat of paint on the edges would be straight.

Paint Peeling

Well that didn’t work as I expected. The paint is peeling off in strips! What looked ok before, now looks like trash. Ugh.

No worries. I will try again.

Failure is proof that you tried. Now go try again..jpg

The chalk board paint is very thick – as is the deck stain. I theorize that the thickness of the paints plus the tape played some sort of factor in my peeling situation. To remedy that I will use spray paint instead of  a colored stain. The edges are taped in a straight line so there should not be any problems.

Well….It doesn’t look great, but I can totally visualize what it could look like with the chalkboard paint added on. I actually sprayed the silver paint last week but couldn’t decide if I wanted to paint the frame of the board or just keep it the natural blue color. Obviously I opted to paint it white for this project. Part of the reason I am choosing to paint it is to see if I will have the same peeling problems when they are painted next to each other like this.

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The dark one is actually red with blue painters tape on it – but the picture does not show it very well. You can see that I used tape to mark straight lines where I want to pain the chalk board. I am hopeful this approach will give me the clean lines I am looking for.

 

Moment of truth time. The shutters each have two coats of chalk board paint on them and have been dry for over 24 hours. I make sure to remove the tape slowly to prevent any of the paint from peeling off.

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Look! I found more ways that don’t work. Once again the paint is peeling off. At least this time most of the chalk board paint actually stayed on. Ugh. I don’t like it. BUT….I did learn that the color scheme looks good. Silver with white with black works nice. Also, I am able to compare how different the white is between the spray paint and the stain. They present completely differently. The spray paint is shiny and bright while the stain and matte and more of a cream color. #themoreyouknow

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Even the red shutter had some issues. Again, from afar, it looks pretty good. The videos below better demonstrate the issues with the chalk board paint peeling. The paint is very thick and because the plastic is not absorbent, the paint just sits on top and can be easily ripped off when the tape is removed.

 

What has me more frustrated than the chalk board paint peeling is that the spray paint peeled too. I thought for sure that because it was such a thin layer of paint that I would be fine. Nope. Also, I learned that the mist from the spray paint gets everywhere. That is to say, my stream of paint may be on one end of the shutter, but when the wind picks up small amounts of paint are spread everywhere. The best example is the center of the silver shutter. While the tape was still on the shutter the center of the shutter appeared silver. Not until the tape was removed did it become evident that my light mist of white paint actually significantly colored the center of the shutter.

Oooops.

 

So, I’m not sure how to proceed from here. An argument could be made that someone else may appreciate the ‘mistakes’ as creative quirks to the piece. The parts that I see as an ‘ooops’ may be the one-of-a-kind touch someone else is looking for.

What do you think? Should I try to sell it as is or scrap it completely?

What suggestions do you have to help me moving forward?

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

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Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than a blog – Check what others already know by shopping for Handmade Rustic Décor in the Functional Rustic Store.

 

Wooden Thank You Card ORANGE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

Mini Chalk Board – Blue by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

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Functional Rustic is Running the Day

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Functional Rustic Barn as the sun rises. www.FunctionalRustic.com

 

I’m running the day and knocking out tasks like crazy.

I. Love. It.

The 10 Inspirational Quotes blog was written and posted early today. Then I spent a few hours taking photos around the property, winterizing the barn and enjoying coffee by the wood burning stove with my husband and our dog.

Today I am working on some new pieces for upcoming craft shows and to sell at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. They are not available in the Functional Rustic online store yet but you can find many of them in the Functional Rustic Etsy Store.

I encourage you to check out the Etsy store. I spent a considerable amount of time last week updating all of the products, photos and descriptions. When I first set up the Etsy store it took me over a week to take and edit photos, write out descriptions and all of the other steps involved in listing items for sale on Etsy. This time around I was able to make all the changes to the store in the course of one day. I am quite proud of myself.

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The expert in anything was once a beginner.

It has been year since I started Functional Rustic and the anniversary is providing me with the opportunity to reflect on how far I have come and how much I have learned. The Etsy store is a perfect example of this. The reason it went so quickly was because I was prepared. I have spent the year taking and editing product photos so when I had to do it last week it was second nature. I did not have to think about how to get the proper angles or correct lighting – because I practiced taking photos everyday for a year I now do it instinctively.

I do not consider myself an expert on building an online store – but I am knowledgeable. This time last year I was completely clueless. I had never used a hashtag #, never published a blog, never thought to sell something I created and never thought I would own my own business.

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Functional Rustic WordPress Website Statistics since August 2018.

I taught myself how to do all of this. Over 10,000 website visitors in the past three months and over 7 million monthly Pinterest views and over 1.6 K followers. (I promise to publish how I did it soon. I have over 50 photos that still need to be edited before I publish the final product. But please, feel free to ask any specific questions you have in the meantime.) I read articles & research papers, watched videos and listened to pod casts. I talked to other start up business owners, crafters and bloggers. I spent days viewing every TedTalk I could find on marketing, branding, and overcoming doubts.

Every single day I taught myself something new about how to start a business. ALSO – each week I taught myself a new DIY skill or project. The amount of knowledge and wisdom I have gained in the past year is astounding.

I really am in awe of what I have accomplished for myself this past year.

I want to see what happens if I dont give up

Like I said, I am getting a lot accomplished today. One of the more productive tasks I accomplished was making promo videos for my signs and chalkboards. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to properly demonstrate the size of my wooden signs and chalkboards. I am hopeful that the videos I took demonstrate it effectively.

I don’t know of any other signs that are thick enough to stand upright on a table. The thickness of the boards has always been the part of my signs that I find most unique. It’s hard to tell in the videos, but it was actually very windy. I’m shocked really, that none of them blew off the deck while I was filming. Ha.

Let me know what you think of the new products / videos below. I can use all the feedback I can get. Thanks in advance!

I’m off to create new projects….may your day be as inspiring as mine!

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card AQUA BLUE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

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Pop Can Wall Flower Tutorial from Functional Rustic

It’s fall in Michigan. The trees are changing color, the days are getting shorter and the temperature is getting colder with each gust of wind. The changing of the season is beautiful but it also marks the end of the blooming season for most flowers.

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The changing colors of the leaves on the tress around Functional Rustic.

The bright pops of color that flowers provide during the spring and summer months provide such a boost to my mood each day. I won’t let the changing season get in the way of having flowers to admire though! Functional Rustic is about building what I want with what is in front of me. I want to see flowers – so that is what I’m going to do!

Using items I already have laying around I created a quick, easy and FREE way to make my own flowers that bloom year round and can’t be killed!

Pop Can Wall Flower – DIY TUTORIAL

Pop Can Wall Flower DIY Tutorial

Supplies: Pop Can, Scissors, Paint (marker works too), String

Step One:
Rinse out an empty pop can.

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Step One: Rinse out an empty pop can. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Two:
Using a knife or scissors puncture the can along the ridge on the top of the can. Cut along that ridge until the top of the can is removed.

 

Step Three:
Cut down the length of the can until you reach the ridge at the bottom of the can.

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Step Three: Cut down the length of the can until you reach the ridge at the bottom of the can. www.FunctionalRustic.com

 

Step Four:
Just as you did for the top of the can, cut along the ridge of the bottom of the can until it is removed.

 

 

 

Step Five:
Using the scissors, make small cuts into the bottom part of the can that you just removed. Cut all the way down to the next ridge in the bottom of the can. See below.

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Step Five: Make small cuts into the bottom part of the can that you just removed. Cut all the way down to the next ridge in the bottom of the can. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Tip: Wear gloves when you do this project or be very careful the edges are sharp.

 

 

Step Six:
Flatten down the pieces you just cut. Sort of like turning the can inside out. I flatten them down because I am going to paint them next and it is easier if they are flat.

Trim the jagged edges so that the ends of the pieces are similarly straight. I actually liked how it looked when it had the jagged edges, but I struggled when trying to paint them so I recommend trimming.

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Step Six: Flatten and Trim the Edges. Step Seven: Paint. www.FunctionalRustic.com

 

 

 

Step Seven:
Paint your flower. I use oil based paint markers for my flower. Permanent marker, spray paint, and nail polish are other ways to color your flower.

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Step Seven: Paint your flower. www.FunctionalRustic.com

 

Step Eight:
Puncture a hole in one of the “petals” so you can hang the flower.

The scissors or knife you used to cut the can work but I used a  hammer and nail because I wanted a round hole instead of a slit. And using a hammer is fun. 🙂

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Step Eight: Puncture a hole in one of the “petals” so you can hang the flower. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Nine:
Thread a string through the hole and tie a knot so you can hang it.

You can use anything for your string. I use thread, twine and wire right now but I plan to test out fishing line and floss next. Get creative with it.

 

Instead of hanging your flower you could also glue a stick to it and put it in a flower pot. Again, get creative with it.

Step Ten:
Take pictures of your creation and share it on DIY Projects of Facebook.

 

Written By: Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card RED

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00