Eclectic Homes

Guest Groups: 20 Almost-Unbreakable Mealtime Pieces

I love to gather friends, family and neighbors together to see as the sun sinks to the horizon on warm summer nights. I enjoy the chaos of children running in and out of the house and yard, flashlight tag and conversations over the fire pit or barbecue. I’ve been noticing that when I have designated fun items at the beginning of summer, impromptu parties and entertaining are a breeze, and when they are shatterproof, all the better. I generally prepare a huge crate of some type and stock it with utensils, melamine plates, glassware, platters, napkins and the like. I would love to share a few items that can help you set a casual yet trendy outside entertaining area with just a bit of preparation, and no broken glass encouraged. — Sasha from Lemonade Makin’ Mama Crate&Barrel Jelli Green Flatware – $1.95 I love the cheerful apple green colour of…

Eclectic Homes

Guest Groups: Relaxing Holiday Gift Wrapping

After the (let’s call it what it is) anxiety of buying holiday gifts, I really look forward to the time when I could sit down and wrapping them. With lovely newspaper in hand, I tape and garnish with beautiful ribbon or twine. Taking my time, I relax into the task. That is when I feel that the joy of the season upon me. — Justine from Design Skool Angela Liguori Pikku’s wrap paper is a new holiday tradition of mine. Angela Liguori Wrapped Cotton – $8 Angela Liguori of Studio Carta imports this odd and beautiful string-wrapped cotton ribbon from Italy. Angela Liguori Tight Weave Cotton Ribbon – $10 In loose or tight weave, Studio Carta’s Italian cotton ribbon is offered in a plethora of colors. IKEA Julmys Gift Bags – $2.99 Every year before the holidays, I go to Ikea for a few basic, cheap wrapping. This year’s favorites…

Furnishings

The Way to Prime Wood With Shellac

Priming a wood surface is almost always a good idea before applying an opaque finish, such as opaque lacquers or paint. If you don’t prime the wood, the first layer or two of end will end up serving as your primer anyhow, and utilizing primer in the first place is more effective. Shellac primer works well enough under most situations, but also has the virtue of being the major primer to be used over previously stained wood. With no shellac, you will need to remove that stain until you refinish the wood. Fill any cracks or deep gouges in the wood surface with wood putty, using the putty knife. Sand the surface of the wood to prepare it for priming, using an orbital sander to the big distances and an oscillating tool for corners, borders and inaccessible spots. Use rough, 60-grit sandpaper to eliminate rough spots as well as out…

Furnishings

How to Produce Patterns on Drywall

Plain, flat drywall requires on an artistic look when cosmetic patterns are implemented. Texture can also hide imperfections like screw holes, visible seam tape and uneven joints. Walls with texture or patterns are more difficult to paint than flat walls. Regular paint roller covers can leave spaces unpainted, so use a thick, long-nap roller created particularly for textured walls. Washing textured walls is every bit as catchy, so dust them often to help prevent buildup. Clean out the wall, unless it is new, unpainted drywall. Use a ladder to get to the high locations, and clean it from top to bottom with a soft sponge and residue-free cleaner. Dry the entire surface with clean towels. Sand a shiny, painted wall lightly with fine sandpaper, or employing a rotary or oscillating tool with a fine-grit sanding accessory. Rough surfaces hold joint compound better than shiny ones. If the paint is flat,…

Furnishings

The Way to Repair Clear Scratched Plastic

Apart from brittle and cheap shaped polystyrene, two types of clear plastics can readily be polished and repaired. Decorative and functional items, such as jewelry boxes, ornaments, smart-phone displays and laptop cases, are usually made from acrylic due to its impressive high gloss and texture; this type of plastic isn’t hard to polish. On the other hand, tough impact-resistant things like industrial face guards, windshields and riot shields are made from polycarbonate. This type lacks the sparkle and clarity of acrylic and requires specialized polishing processes. Acrylic Edge Scratches Before removing scratches and noticed marks in the cut edge of sheet acrylic plastic using the flame-polishing method, make sure it is not polycarbonate by looking at the edge. Clear acrylic sheeting includes a mild gray edge, whereas polycarbonate has a different dark edge. Unfinished sheet acrylic edges can be blended in with a flashlight that burns stabilized methylacetylene-propadiene, or MAPP,…

Furnishings

Prepping Walls for Thinset

Mortar is acceptable for application over concrete, masonry, brick, backerboard and gypsum wallboard. These surfaces must be prepped before applying bonds that were thinset to be sure the material. Put on safety glasses and rubber gloves. Mix 1 teaspoon trisodium phosphate in 1 gallon of warm water. If you’re washing a wall that is large, you may need to double the cleaning solution in two gallons of warm water. Wash painted walls and tiles using a sponge. Scrub the walls using a sponge soaked in clean water, and then leave the area to dry. Put on a dust mask. Sand painted walls using an sanding sponge to remove the sheen. Wash off the residue with a tack cloth. Patch cracks and holes in the wall. Drywall can be patched with drywall joint compound, whereas cement and masonry surfaces should be patched using a cement-based patching compound. Sand patched areas smooth…

Furnishings

How to Fix the Circle of Stucco

Made from Portland cement, sand, lime and water, stucco functions as a durable and versatile finish for exterior walls. As time passes, stucco could suffer cracks or chips as the house settles. The corners of stucco walls are particularly vulnerable to damage due to the chance of collision or impact. Repairing stucco corners not only helps to improve aesthetic appeal, but also keeps moisture to protect the home’s integrity. Remove in the corner of the wall, with a hammer and chisel. Evaluate the damage to the corner. If the corner bead is damaged or missing, cut a stucco corner bead to fit, with snips. Fasten it using galvanized nails. Alternatively leave it and proceed. Open a container of premixed stucco and stir thoroughly. Stir in a small amount of powdered pigments to match your existing wall color, if desired. Pick pigments from precisely the exact same manufacturer as your stucco….

Home Cleaning

How to Repair Scratches on Ceramic Tile

In high-traffic areas, including your bathroom or kitchen, ceramic tile requires a lot of abuse. Ceramic floors have it harder than the walls — they’re walked and played, so scratches show up quickly. Dirt and debris gets into these scratches, making the tile look perpetually cluttered even when you have cleaned it. If the scratches aren’t too deep, buffing the tile using a gentle abrasive is usually sufficient to get rid of them. Combine 2 liters of warm water using 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap in a bucket. Wet a sponge using the solution, and then wipe the scratched tile gently to get rid of any dirt and debris. Rinse with clean water and let dry. Dampen a cloth with scouring powder paste. Rub the paste into the tile using small, circular motions. Allow the paste to place for five minutes, and then gently wipe it away using a soft-bristle…

Home Painting

The Best Paints to Use on Wood Pantry Shelves

A home improvement project may be doomed before it begins in the event that you do not decide on the very best supplies to meet your needs. This is even true when it comes to minor projects, like repainting the cupboard. Considering all the paint choices at the hardware shop, you might wonder if it actually matters what kind you buy. The truth is, it will not matter — and also the ideal choice of paint can make you a lot happier with the results. Oil or Latex? Latex water-based paint is the most suitable choice for a pantry. Oil paint is famous for its strength and endurance, but on the flip side it has a strong, lingering odor, and it may be messy, since you need solvents to clean it. One of the biggest concerns about oil paints is the vegetable base can boost the development of mildew —…

Tropical Style

What Flowers Are Great for Pressing?

Pressing flowers is only one method to maintain seasonal blooms. Several different kinds of flowers press well in a flower press or between the pages of a hefty book. Very good kinds of flowers for pressing are blooms that ordinarily lay flat and hold their color during the pressing process. Look for flowers which don’t have thick petals, which hold a good deal of water, making them hard to dry. Flowers That Lay Flat Flowers that lay flat are some of the least difficult to press. These blooms maintain their form and shape, losing just a little bit of depth. Wait until these blooms unfurl all of the way before selecting them. “Sonata Dwarf Mix” cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus “Sonata Dwarf Mix”) opens wide with white petals surrounding a yellow centre on 12-inch-tall stems. This yearly blooms from summer until the end of autumn. Another flat-growing blossom is the “Zagreb” thread-leaved…