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3 Crafts to Do This Weekend – Tutorials from Functional Rustic

Do you know how to create something? Are you willing to teach others? Functional Rustic wants to share what you know. Write a DIY tutorial and have it published on Functional Rustic. Email Sarah at contact@functionalrustic.com for details.

Looking for a fun and easy craft to do this weekend? Functional Rustic is here to help with 3 quick and easy crafts using items you probably already have at home!

Call me frugal, call me cheap – but when it comes to crafts and repurposing projects I don’t want to spend any money. One of the perks of DIY (Do It Yourself) projects is the cost savings associated with it. If you are anything like me than you will appreciate the 3 (practically FREE) craft tutorials Functional Rustic is presenting this week.

Repurposed Gift Card

The repurposed Amazon gift card is a personal favorite for me. It is simple to create but when shared it can have profound impacts. I repurpose my gift cards into thank you cards for strangers that do kind deeds. It is perfect because I can keep the “Thank You” card in my pocket and when someone is kind (holds a door open, compliments my dog etc.) I can immediately express my gratitude with an actual gift.

Imagine if you held the door open for someone and they said thank you and gave you a handmade Thank You gift. It might make you smile. Perhaps you would be inspired to hold the door open more often now that you know people actually appreciate it. And maybe, just maybe, you will be inclined to keep an eye out for kind people you meet just so you can give the Thank You Card to another kind soul.

Learn how I created the Personalized Gift Card Here.

T-Shirt Rope Toy

Our Furbabies deserve handmade gifts too! Valencia Merble the dog, our rescue dog, is what one might call a “power chewer”. That means that Val can completely destroy most dog toys in a matter of minutes. Wanting to spoil my dog but not wanting to break the bank doing so – I made my own toys for her.

This craft is fun because people of all ages can participate. As long as you can tie a knot and make a braid, you can make this toy. If you do not know how to tie a knot or braid – no problem! – the video tutorial explains it all.

Fun side note – the first time I published this tutorial I did not have a video – I simply advised the reader to braid the fabric. Well, in preparation for a craft show my mom came over to help me create some rope toys. I told her how to make it and she informed me that she did not know how to braid. This information blew my mind. How did I learn to braid if my mom didn’t know? I just assumed I learned it from her. Learning from my new found knowledge, I’ve added a video to further explain the process.

Learn how to make your own Rope Toy out of T-Shirts Here.

Sensory Bottle

sensory bottle title page

Oil and water don’t mix but add some food coloring and a little glitter and you’ve got your very own sensory bottle. Quick, easy and oh so satisfying are the descriptors for this jewel. The best part of this project is the possibilities are endless for to make them unique to you.

Not only is the sensory bottle fun to interact with, creating it can be an educational activity too. It is the perfect craft to demonstrate how liquids have different densities, how color disperses in liquid and how glitter falls at different rates depending on the viscosity of the liquids.

Learn how to make the Sensory Bottle Here.

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

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

 

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided 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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Indoor Duckling Enclosure DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

Originally published April 23, 2018. Updated August 17, 2018.

Duckling season is upon us and that means people across the world are talking about how this is the year they will start raising their own ducks. Functional Rustic is here to help.

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Indoor Duckling Enclosure: DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic.

My first introduction to raising water fowl was in high school. The biology class was hatching ducks and geese. My understanding is that the eggs are incubated in the class and then when they hatch the students can take the ducks home for the weekend. All I know for sure is that my sister came home one day with 2 snow goslings, 1 mallard duckling and 3 baby chickens.

We lived in suburbia and already had a house full of animals. My dad was not having it but, the rest of us loved them so he got out voted. Normally what dad says goes, but when it involves an animal his opinion is moot.

Long story short, we learned that the birds were not a problem to take care of when it was warm but as soon as it got cold outside our suburban yard was not going to cut it. We ended up having to give them to a farm. (We had essentially stolen them from the school so we couldn’t very well return them to the teacher.)

IF YOU CANNOT PROVIDE A FOREVER HOME FOR THE DUCK — DO NOT GET A DUCK.

Getting a duck is like getting a cat or a dog. It is a commitment to years of animal care. It was wrong of us to take those birds when we were not prepared to care for them.
I learned a lot with those birds in the few months that we had them. 20 years later (oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years!) I finally have a barn of my own and can raise ducks properly.

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The Functional Rustic Barn. Home to Repurposing Projects and Muscovy Ducks.

The barn provides countless options for housing the ducks once they are bigger.

3 Muscovy Drakes
The Muscovy Ducks of Functional Rustic. 3 of our Drakes (boy ducks) hanging out together.

I have Muscovy ducks. My mom does too. Her hen has hatched out 12 ducklings so far this year. (It’s the middle of April) One of my hens is sitting on eggs that should hatch any day. Until then though, I have zero ducklings and my mom has 12 — Not Fair!

My mom’s hen, Hazel, started to attack some of her babies. She even bit a chunk out of one of their cheeks. I had been asking to take some of her ducklings since the moment they hatched and she refused to share. However, with Hazel attacking her young my mom relented and let me have three.

There are many reasons I do not have the ducklings living in the barn right now — but I am not getting into that now. All you need to know is I have 3 ducklings living inside my house.

I may work in a barn but, I don’t want to live in a barn. If I’m going to have these adorable poop machines in my house I need an enclosure that keeps them enclosed and my house clean.

Here’s what I did:

Indoor Duck Enclosure: DIY Tutorial

Step One:
Find space in your home where you can construct an enclosure approximately 2 ft x 2ft. You can make it whatever size you want but make sure it can fit the ducklings and a cookie sheet inside it.

Step Two:
Find two trash bags and cut down the seams on each side. Cutting the sides is easy when you do it before you open the bag. I use 13 gallon trash bags so I needed two — but one large bag could do the trick.

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Cut the seams off of the garbage bag.

Step Three:
Open the trash bags and lay them flat on the floor where you want your enclosure. This will be the floor of the enclosure.

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Open the garbage bags you just cut and lay them flat on the floor. Blog Posts

Step Four:
Put a layer of newspaper on top of the trash bags. Wood chips could be put in place of or in addition to the newspaper. You want an absorbent surface. The ducklings will poop — all day, everywhere. It is a very wet poop and needs something to soak it up. Without an absorbent bottom you are just making a duck poop slip-n-slide.

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Put a layer of newspaper on top of the garbage bags. Add wood chips now too if you are using them

Step Five:
Find walls for your enclosure. Use whatever you have around the house. I recommend the wall be at least one foot high. Make sure your wall stays in place — that is to say, unmovable by ducklings.

The first enclosure I made used an empty pop can box as one of the walls. Those little duckers pushed through it within minutes. Make sure your wall cannot be pushed by the ducks; they’re stronger than they look.

(NOTE: My enclosure will have no roof on it. I am next to the enclosure while they are in it so I can keep the cats and dog away. Also, these Muscovy ducklings are learning to jump and try to fly. Escapes could happen even with 1 foot walls. At night they sleep in a brooder box with a lid. It is fine for overnight but too small for my growing birds during the day.)

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Find something that you can use for a wall that is at least 12 inches tall and heavy enough a duck cannot move it.

I had to play around with a few different items before I found walls that would work. The size of my enclosure ended up being around 2 ft x 2 ft because that is the size of my pallet storage shelves.

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Find something that you can use for a wall that is at least 12 inches tall and heavy enough a duck cannot move it.

For this enclosure I used what I had laying around — pallet projects. Specifically, I am using a small book case/storage shelf I built. It is heavy and a good height and shape for the project. (The ducklings can still escape through the cracks so I had to add boxes as a deterrent.)

I also used a mirror for one of my walls. The ducks get such a kick out of staring at and talking to themselves. It will get duck poo on it. Assume anything you put in the enclosure will get dirty.

Step Six:
Put all of your walls in place. Make sure to put your wall on top of the news paper. I initially had my wall outside the paper so I could fold the edges of the paper up along the inside of the enclosure. I thought it would protect the walls from duck presents.

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Put your walls into place. Be sure to completely enclose the space and put the walls on top of the newspaper.

Not only did it not protect the wall — it actually made it worse. They grab the edges of the paper and try to pull it up. Once they find the carpet they see there is no food and just hang out there. Pooping. For hours.

VIDEO of ducklings eating the enclosure.

Step Seven:
Add food and water. Put a cookie sheet underneath the water dish to catch spills. There will be spills. Ducks are messy.

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Add food and water to the enclosure. My ducks are starting to get too big for their bottle water dispenser so I have added a small bowl. They splash everywhere while they eat so the cookie sheet is essential

NEVER give medicated chick feed to ducks. But, do make sure that you are giving your ducklings food intended for babies. The main difference between adult and chick food is the size of the food. Chick food is very crumbly, almost powder like. The adult food comes in pellets or large crumbles. Little birds need little foods.

Ducks need water to eat. A duck can choke on their food if they do not have water near by to help them swallow. If you have food out for the ducks you MUST HAVE WATER out too.

The water should be deep enough for the duckling to submerge their bill.
Ducks are water fowl and love the water. New ducklings are not born waterproof though and need to be kept dry and warm. For this reason, small ducklings should not be given a pool to swim in — just a dish to drink from.

When the duckling is a few weeks old it will develop its waterproofing oils and can safely go in the pool. Even then, keep an eye on your duck to make sure it doesn’t stay too wet for too long.

VIDEO of the ducklings exploring the enclosure.

Step Eight:
Put your ducks into your enclosure and enjoy!

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Add your ducklings to the enclosure. Watch for any small areas they may be able to squeeze into.

VIDEO of the Ducklings in the enclosure.

VIDEO of the great duckling escape.

VIDEO of the great duckling escape 2.

Step Nine:
Take pictures of your creation and your adorable feather babies and share it with Functional Rustic on Social Media.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Silver

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

“Mrs & Mrs/True Love” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Mrs & Mrs/True Love” 2 sided 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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Sensory Bottle Tutorial from Functional Rustic

Originally published April 27, 2018. Updated August 10, 2018.

sensory bottle title page
Sensory Bottle DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic.

Quick. Easy. Cheap. Fun. That is the theme for this week’s Tutorial from Functional Rustic. We are learning how to make sensory bottles out of water, oil, food coloring and a plastic bottle.

My Muscovy Hen is hatching ducklings today so I wanted a quick easy craft I could teach and then get back to my feather babies. This craft is great because it is quick, easy and uses common supplies so I do not need look hard for the ingredients.

The sensory bottle is a great craft for people of all ages to enjoy. Follow the steps below, watch the video and then share you creations at DIY Project of Facebook so others can appreciate them too.

Sensory Bottle Tutorial by Functional Rustic

Materials: Water, Cooking Oil or Bath Oil, Plastic Bottle, Food Coloring, Glitter, Hot Glue

Step One: Find an empty plastic bottle with a twist on lid and rinse it out with water.

Step Two: Remove any labels on the bottle.

Step Three: Fill the bottle with water about half way to 2/3 full.

Step Four: Add one drop of food coloring to the water and mix it together.

Step Five: Add glitter. Approximately 1 teaspoon.

Step Six: Add Oil.

Step Seven: Screw the lid on and glue it with Hot Glue.

Step Eight: Take pictures and video of your creation and share it with Functional Rustic on Social Media.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

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Stop Asking Why – A Functional Rustic Approach

Stop Asking Why.png

Stop asking why. Seriously. Drop the word from your vocabulary entirely. You don’t need it. The world doesn’t need it. Stop asking why.

“Why are you wearing that outfit?”

“Why are you doing it that way?”

“Why do I feel like this?”

Because. That’s the answer to every “why”. It is always the same answer. What is the reason to ask the question if you already know that the answer is “because….(insert justification here)”.

No one likes feeling judged
No one likes feeling judged. Back off and let people live. We’re all on some type of journey, all evolving and growing.

“Why are you wearing that outfit?”

I don’t know about you, but if someone  asked me “why are you wearing that outfit?” I am going to feel obligated to justify why my outfit is ok. The person asking the question isn’t stating my outfit is wrong, but their use of the word “why” forces me to use the word “because” and the word “because” is most often followed by some sort of justification.

“…because I wanted to.” “But why?” “…because I like it.” “But why?” “because fuck you and your judgmental questions. That’s why. I do not need to justify my clothing choices to you. Mind your own business!”

Unless your goal is make someone justify their outfit, don’t ask why. But what if you actually want to know the reason they wore that outfit? Ask them.

Everything we judge in others
Everything we judge in others is something within ourselves we don’t want to face.

“What is the reason you wore that outfit?” A “what” question does not imply judgment. “What” questions are answered with neutral, factual responses.

“The reason I wore this outfit is the law says that certain parts of the female body are inherently bad and therefore are a crime to expose in public. I am wearing the outfit because it is a crime for me not to. I am wearing this specific outfit because it was on the top of the pile, clean enough and appropriate for the weather and activities I have planned for the day.” At least that is what I would say if someone asked me that question right now. You now know the criteria I used to decide my outfit. Your “why” questions was answered without me feeling like I had to justify myself – I simply described my actions instead.

“Why are you doing it that way?”

Again, I’m feeling judged when asked that question. I am being asked to justify my actions. Let’s get a little more specific with this example, “why are you blogging on WordPress?” Again, there is nothing inherently wrong or mean or ill intentioned with the question. However, the use of the word “why” forces me to justify my blogging platform.

“What are the reasons you are blogging on WordPress?” Now this is a question I can answer without being forced to question my actions. This “what” question is asking for a list of items. “The reasons I blog on WordPress are 1. it was free to sign up 2. easy to use 3. lots of features 4. I get to meet interesting people.”

You have the answer to your question and I was able to provide that information without having to justify myself or question my actions.

“Why do I feel like this?”

“Why do I feel like this?” Asking ourselves why can be worse than someone else asking us why. Asking myself “why” I feel a certain way forces me to justify my feelings – to me. Feelings do not require justification. Feelings simply exist. They are not good nor bad. Feelings just are.

There are reasons I feel like this. The reasons are neither good or bad – they just are.

“What are the reasons you feel sad today?”

The reasons I feel sad today are that I heard the song Taps in a commercial and was reminded of my brothers suicide; I read a news article about a child being missing; I found out a friend had her heart broken.

When you judge youself for feeling bad
When you judge yourself for feeling bad you miss the opportunity to understand yourself.

Asking “why” I feel sad implies that I should not feel sad. It implies that there is a more appropriate way to feel. It implies that I should feel something different. It implies that my feelings are wrong.

“Why” questions cannot be answered, only justified. “What” questions provide answers that can be the foundation for change.

Identifying that a reason I am feeling sad is that I miss my brother enables me to know that I need to take time today to cry or simply reminisce. If I was focused on judging my sadness I would likely not set aside time to address the trigger.

Identifying that a reason I am feeling sad is that a child is missing reminds me that I have family I care about and do not want to be separated from. My sadness is not due to a deficiency on my part or some faulty way of thinking, but rather because I am filled with love for those I hold dear and don’t want to imagine being apart. Identifying the reason enables me to take the time I need to be grateful for what I have.

Identifying that a reason I feel sad is that my friend had her heartbroken reminds me to appreciate the supportive relationships I have and/or to assess the quality of my own relationships.

Words. So powerful. They can crush a heart
Words. So powerful. They can crush a heart, or heal it. They can shame a soul, or liberate it. They can shatter dreams, or energize them. The can obstruct connection, or invite it. They can create defenses, or melt them. We have to use words wisely.

Lessons

This is not about pretending things don’t hurt or trying to see a positive in every situation. It is about viewing things in a way that leads to progress instead of stagnation. “Why” questions lead to a circle of judgement and justification – stagnation. “What” questions provide concrete foundations on which progress can be built and solutions can be found.

Lesson of the Day: Stop asking why.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Orange

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

“Mr & Mr/True Love” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Mr & Mr/True Love” 2 side 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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Toilet Paper Holder Shelf: Tutorial from Functional Rustic

Originally Published March 16, 2018. Updated August 3, 2018.

TP Holder Title Page
Pallet Shelf Toilet Paper Holder by Functional Rustic.

How we start our day is the foundation for how the day will go. For most people the first room they enter when they wake up, and the place they spend their time getting ready for the day, is the bathroom.

The bathroom is the one room we all spend time in each day. Why not make that space a daily reminder of how capable and creative you are by personalizing it to match your personality and your needs.

Old TP Holder
The Toilet Paper Holder that came with the house.

I don’t know about you, but my phone comes with me to the bathroom. It’s not the end of the world to just set the phone on the bathroom floor when I need to use my hands — but a shelf would add more function to the space. The TP holder that came with the house was decorative, but I wanted to make it my own.

Adding a shelf helped the phone situation, allowed for a scented candle to be safely close by and gave the bland bathroom a rustic touch! Functional and Rustic — what a concept! What I didn’t know would happen though, was how seeing and interacting with my new TP holder would improve my mood each day.

I kid you not — I smile every time I see it. “I built that!” I start every morning with a reminder that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. Creating something that looks great and has many practical uses is empowering. Being useful, and not just pretty, I think is what does it for me. Build it for yourself and you will see what I mean.

Below you will find step-by-step instructions for how I built my Rustic TP Holder Shelf out of a recycled pallet board. I use pallets because it is what I have around. You can use what ever wood you have available. Also — the length, width and depth of the boards is completely up to you but my approach requires that the board be at least 5/8 inch thick.

TP Holder w Candle
Rustic, handmade Toilet Paper Holder made from repurposed pallet wood.

DIY Tutorial for Rustic TP Holder Shelf

Step One:
Using a ruler and pencil mark where you want to cut the board. I made each of my boards 12 inches long. My board is 38 inches long so I measured 12 inches from one end made a line and then measured another 12 inches and drew the other line. You can make it any size you want.

Mark and Measure Boards
Step One: Measure out two 12 inch boards to prepare to cut.

Step Two:
Cut your boards where you marked them. I used a table saw that I got for a steal off of Craigslist but, any saw will work. Be sure to always practice good safety and wear eye protection and gloves anytime you are using machinery or saws.

TP Holder cut board
Step Two: Cut the boards where marked.
TP Holder cut boards
Step Two: Cut the boards where marked.

Step Three:
Sand your boards. I use a table sander for all my sanding (got it from the same guy on Craigslist that sold the saw!) This is a small project so sanding by hand is doable. If sanding by hand, I recommend wrapping the sand paper around a small piece of lumber before sanding so you have a flat sanding surface.

Mainly you want to remove any of the sharp or frayed edges. I used 60 grit sand paper. (grit is how coarse the sand paper is. The lower the number, the more coarse. For smoother finishes use higher grits.)

Sand Paper
Sand Paper comes in different grits for different jobs.
Belt Sander TP Holder Board
Step Three: Sand your boards.

Step Four:
Get the boards in position. This was the trickiest part for me. Not because it is that difficult, but because I really did not want to use the vice. I tried many times to do it by hand but because I was by myself I couldn’t keep boards straight. If you have a partner though, the vice may not be necessary.

TP Boards in a Vice
Step Four: Align the boards for assembly.

I wanted my screws to be hidden so I drilled from the side of the board that would be against the wall. Line up the long edge of the board you want as your shelf against the side of the board you want on the wall.

(My pallet boards are 3.5 inches wide and 5/8 inch thick. When I attach the boards it will stick out from the wall 3.5 5/8 inches. If I had the screws exposed on the top of my shelf it would only come out 3.5 inches from the wall.)

Step Five:
Attach the boards using screws. I use one inch screws. With the boards in the vice (or held by a friend) drill two holes through the flat part of the board into the edge of the second board. Insert your screws.

Add screws while it is in the vice
Step Five: Attach the boards with screws.

Step Six:
Paint. I used spray paint for this project but you can use whatever kind you would like. I removed the original white toilet paper holder from the wall and painted that at the same time. I recently found a can of metallic colored paint and the metal TP holder was a great project to test it on.

Spray paint he boards
Step Six: Paint.
Spray paint the TP holder rod
Step Six: Paint.

A few things to note. I did my painting in less than ideal circumstances. It was a breezy 15 degrees outside when I did this. Also — everything is covered in snow. I could have sprayed them in the house where it was warm, dry and not windy or in the barn where it was dry and not windy— but I opted for in front of the barn because that was where I usually do things.

(Painting outside was really just habit. I did a lot of painting over the summer and always in front of the barn. Apparently I trained my brain that when it is time to paint something that is the place you do it. At least I thought to put an empty bag of duck feed underneath — summer time it would have been just gone on the ground.)

I mention the weather for a few reasons. For one, it took an hour to dry each coat instead of just a few minutes. Two, snow kept blowing onto it making the paint run or stay tacky. And three, if the paint can is outside in the cold too long the spray consistency gets all messed up.

I used three coats of white spray paint on the pallet shelf and two coats of metallic spray paint on the TP roll holder. Don’t try to paint it all at once. Paint different sides at a time and make sure they are completely dry before placing them down on a surface. (Ask me how I know, ha.)

Step Seven:
Attach the TP holder and the shelf to the wall. My original TP holder was screwed into the wall with two 2 inch screws. I just reused those. First I had to decide where to connect it to the shelf. Once I had it where I wanted it I marked the board so I would know where to drill. Then I drilled the two holes.

Attach TP holder to the wall
Step Seven: Attach the TP Holder Shelf to the wall.

So now I have my holes drilled, two screws, the shelf and the holder. I cant hold the shelf in place and the holder and screw it in at the same time. So, I pre-screwed it together. Basically I inserted the screws through the holes attaching the pieces but, I only put the screw in enough so just the tip is poking out. Now, I find the holes in the wall and can place the tips of the screws into the holes. This lets me make sure everything is lined up and attached and that I don’t have to wait for my husband to come home and help.

Step Eight:
Decorate and enjoy.

I love the scented candle being on the shelf for a few reasons. One, I like playing with fire — ha. Two, scented candles smell good. Three, I don’t like to turn the lights on early in the morning but I do need to see. The candle is a soft light that doesn’t blind me first thing in the morning.

Tp Holder with Candle
Decorate your new shelf!
TP Holder 1
Personalize your shelf with your own unique touches.

Step Nine:
Take pictures and share your creation with Functional Rustic on DIY Project of Facebook or use #functionalrustic when you share on social media.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

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

 

 

“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

Posted on 11 Comments

Appreciating the Sights and Sounds of Functional Rustic

Appreciating Sights and Sounds of FR.png
Appreciating the Sights and Sounds of Functional Rustic.Functional Rustic

Every morning I wake up, grab some coffee and head out to the barn to let the ducks out and watch the sunrise. It is a truly magical way to start each day. I still can’t believe that I am fortunate enough to be able to experience this beauty every single day.

In the rush of day to day life it is easy to forget to appreciate what is around me. The beauty of nature, the ingenuity of humans and how both intertwine to form the world we live in. There is so much to appreciate.

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Winter Sunrise Over the Functional Rustic Barn.

When I lived in the suburbs I dreamed of living in the country. I wanted a quiet place in the middle of the woods away from the hustle, bustle and noise that accompanies life.

Circumstances presented themselves that I was provided the opportunity to start my Happily Ever After life in my thirties. Only as they were reaching retirement were my parents able to follow their dream to live in the country.

The fact that I get to start my life off in my dream environment instead of working my whole life to earn it is humbling. I feel obligated to earn the privilege of living here. I have everything I could ever ask for laying before me – the possibilities are endless.

FR Barn from the Woods
The view of the Functional Rustic Barn from the woods beyond the wetlands.

I pledge to maintain and improve the extensive ecosystem that calls my property home. I will approach each homestead project with enthusiasm because its a privilege I have that others do not. I will do my part to make better the lives of all the creatures I encounter in the magical world that is Functional Rustic.

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A deer visiting Functional Rustic on a cold, snowy day in Dryden, MI.

Most of all, I will share my good fortune with others.

Since I moved out to Dryden, MI in 2017 I am making a concerted effort to live intentionally as the person I want to be. Part of that process is waking up early and spending the morning with my Muscovy Ducks and Bronze Turkey.

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Gladys – The Bronze Turkey of Functional Rustic.
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Amelia Air Duck, Muscovy Hen, looking down at the Muscovy Drakes of Functional Rustic.

A bright perk of being up early is being able to actually watch the sunrise. Living in suburbia, even if I wanted to wake up with the sunrise the view was ‘eh’. Functional Rustic is anything but ‘eh’.

Being in nature is therapeutic. The therapeutic aspect is a key reason I wanted to implement an outside daily routine. I guess going to and working in the barn are outdoorsy but the barn isn’t nature.

I know that I’m a creature of habit. My old habit was laying on the couch to ensure it didn’t run away. My old habit was making sure that cable companies did not go out of business from lack of viewership.

If being in nature is going to be my new goal I need some re-enforcement to maintain the new habit. That is when I started filming the sunrise. I am watching it anyway.

sunrise fence
Stunning sunrise views from the back of the Functional Rustic Barn.

More importantly, on days when I am in a rush to get in and out of the barn for whatever reason, it is really easy to not take a minute to absorb the beauty around me.

To force me to take a moment to smell the flowers, so to speak, I take minute long videos and upload them on social media every day. I made enjoying nature a part of my daily routine and built in accountability by promising to continue sharing the experience with others each day.

Even when I am in a rush, spending 60 seconds every morning to document the wonderous sights around me is now a habit instead of a goal. Recording the video enables me to put an actual time on it. I am guaranteed at least one minute of peace a day.

Pink Tree by Pond
One of the Functional Rustic Ponds in the font yard.

Now that I have a  new blog platform on which to share my story I will share those videos here as well. I already upload all my videos to YouTube each week but, daily sunrises deserve to be enjoyed daily not weekly.

I am still working on how best to present the videos and what time of day is most effective to publish them. I have a lot of ideas coming together at the same time (very, very exciting!) and as they are implemented I am learning how best to adjust my time management.

Below you can watch the videos from the past two weeks. Please let me know what you think and if you have any special requests for the kinds of videos you want to see.

Until next time, Enjoy!!

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just beautiful sights and sounds? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Silver

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

 

 

“Meow Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

“Meow 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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Personalized Thank You Card Tutorial from Functional Rustic

Originally published March 2, 2018. Updated July 27, 2018.

The holiday season is over and you probably have gift cards your friends and family generously gifted you. The money may be spent but the card can still be useful. Instead of just throwing that empty gift card into the trash, take a few minutes to create a thoughtful, personalized gift for someone else.

Painted Thank You Gift Card
An Amazon Gift Card Repurposed into a Unique Thank You Card.

I chose to turn my gift card into a thank you card, but the possibilities are endless for what you can write/draw on it. I’ve recently started making a concerted effort to express gratitude for kind gestures and friendly people I encounter. I try to accomplish this by keeping some sort of handmade thank you token on me, like this repurposed gift card, to give to people that do good deeds.

Imagine how great it would feel if someone handed this to you for simply holding a door open or smiling at them. Great positive re-enforcement! You better believe the person receiving this is more likely to repeat the kind act after being so thoughtfully recognized.
Below you will find an easy to follow tutorial that will teach you how to DIY your own personalized gift.

Repurpose a Gift Card Tutorial

Step One:
Clean off any residue or dirt that may be on the card. I used dish soap to get what ever sticky substance had found its way onto my card. I think a sucker melted onto mine. Ha.

Amazon Card
The money has been spent and this gift card is ready to be repurposed.

Step Two:
Set up a work station that has a lot of ventilation. It was particularly windy this day and I  learned a very important DIY tip. With the card being so light, it’s important to make sure it is placed somewhere the wind won’t pick it up and fling it across the lawn.

(Ask me how I know, ha.)

Spray Pain and Gift Card
Prepping my area to paint the gift card.

Step Three:
Apply your first coat of paint. Notice that the logo still shows through? That’s ok. I freaked out when I saw how little it covered initially. It seemed like the paint was having trouble covering the smooth surface. Don’t worry — more paint does the trick.

Next time I do this project I will sand the front of the card a bit. Perhaps a more rough surface will allow the paint to adhere better. Darker paint wouldn’t hurt either.

One Coat Paint on Gift Card
One coat of paint does not seem to be enough coverage.

Step Four:
Apply your second coat of spray paint. This is said to be “no drip” paint. Well, that’s debatable. I sprayed a heavy coat and because the card was not completely flat I had dripping. NOTE: make sure to do this on a flat surface to minimize dripping.

Second Coat Paint on Gift Card
Second coat of paint looks good but more is needed.

Step Five:
Apply third coat of spray paint.
Ooooops…..the wind took the card for a ride across the lawn while the third coat was drying.

Third Coat Pain on Gift Card
Third coat of paint would have been sufficient if it hadn’t blown into the grass.

Step Six:
Apply fourth coat of spray paint.
NOTE: If your card looks great after one or two coats — you can stop adding coats of paint.

Painted Gift Card
Fourth coat of paint on the gift card.

Step Seven:
Use a paint marker to write whatever message you want. I imagine a permanent marker would work too — but I have a lot of paint markers so I use those.

Thank You Gift Card
I used a paint marker to write my personal thank you message.

Step Eight:
Flip the card over and repeat the painting steps on the back side of the card.

OR

Only paint the front side of a gift card that has money on it as a way to personalize a cash gift.

Step Nine:
Take pictures of your creation and share it with other DIY enthusiasts on DIY Projects of Facebook.

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Orange

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

 

 

“Quack Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

“Quack 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