DIY refinished iron garden bench

My husband and I went a little cray this weekend with our DIY projects but we felt so accomplished at the end of the day.

One night my husband called me outside after he got home from work. He was totally excited as he lead me to the side of the house to show me his side of the road find. To my surprise, he brought me an old iron garden bench that needed a lot of work. It was painted brown with black cast iron. The wood was broken in several places and rotting out. Silly me didn’t get a picture of it before my hubby tore it apart but you can imagine how it looked. It was bad enough for someone to leave it on the side of the road and even worse when it was still there at the end of the day in North Portland when my husband picked it up.

The project took us about two weekends and cost a little over $40. He poured our hearts into this bench and brought it back to life. I am proud to display it in my yard and relax on it in the sun when the boys are romping around in the grass.

We had so much fun finishing the first one, my husband stole the decrepit bench from my parents front yard while they were just inside watching a football game and we restored that one too. They look amazing. Check it out.

This is my parents bench. So pretty!

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Well, with summer fading from our minds and fall creeping up on us, its time to remember some of the fun DIY projects and recipes that i’e shared with all of you over the last few months. Check these out.

One of my first projects from this summer was this awesome DIY solar light cluster. This was really easy to make and only cost me $15 in supplies. Check out the link below to see how it was made.

DIY Solar lights

This was my favorite project this summer. My husband and I turned the ugly towel rack in the bathroom into something that we love to show off. We used wood from our back yard and the cost was about $12 for the rest of the supplies. Check out the link below to see how it was made.

DIY Towel Rack

How about a DIY custom door mat? I loved how I got to make this one personal. My house is chaos all the time and I was able to incorporate that into the decorating of my new home.
Check out how you can make your own by clicking the link below.

DIY custom door mat

This summer we went blueberry picking and one of the most amazing salads I’ve ever had come of it. If you want the recipe for this amazing blueberry blue cheese salad, check out the link below.

Blueberry blue cheese salad

For my 300th post my husband helped me put together this awesome drawer organizer. It was super easy and super cheap to do. This is a must if your utensil drawer looks like mine did, or you just want it nice and organized. Check out the link below for more details.

DIY utensil drawer organizer

 I have three kids and they grow really fast, so this DIY wooden growth chart is a must around my house. This project cost me about $5 and took about 15 minutes.
Check out the link below to see how it is done.

DIY wooden growth chart

This one was more for my husband. He loves cucumbers and this salad meet his approval. If you too love cucumbers then follow the link below for the recipe.

Delicious lemon cucumber salad

Hidden Storage Books

We’ve been having problems with a messy book shelf under our TV. It’s where we keep our remotes and it always seems to get filled with knick knacks and junk. So, with a little inspiration from good old Pinterest, this is what I came up with. It cost me about $10 in supplies, only because I didn’t have enough books around the house that I was willing to get rid of.
This is what the shelf looked like after I had half cleaned it up. It still looked messy.

Supplies you will need:
An assortment of books
A small box
Glue gun
Scissors / Exacto knife.

First, I removed the covers from the books. I felt like I was doing something wrong since I’m an author and all. It was like destroying the one thing I was made to create, Yikes!

After removing all the covers and cutting the spines out of them (Except for the end books of course) I started gluing them to the box.

It was super easy, took me about 10 minutes and turned out awesome! No more mess!

You can’t even see the box from the side.

Grandma Gift

It is always difficult to pick a present for mom or grandma that means something and they can use often.

My mom and mother in-law are both big cooks and bakers. They spend a lot of time in the kitchen and they rely on their aprons to keep their clothes clean of flour.

At the end of last month my mother in-law had a birthday. They boys made her this apron and although my youngest’s hand print looks like he has seven fingers, I know she will use it for a long time.

What you will need:

  • plain black apron.
  • White paint
  • white puff paint (for the words)
  • sponge brush


  1. Lay the apron on a flat surface
  2. Paint your child’s hand with the white paint using the sponge brush.
  3. Carefully place your child’s hand on the apron where ever you want it.
  4. Repeat this step for however many children you have.
  5. Write their names over their hand prints using the puff paint.
  6. Let it dry before moving it from the flat surface so the paint won’t smudge. 
The boys had a lot of fun making this present for their Nana and the cost was less than $10.

DIY cabinet door chalkboard

I wasn’t planning on painting my cabinet door with chalkboard paint but I found a can for half off at my local grocery store and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. This is a really simple and cheap project that you can do on any budget.


  • Chalkboard paint ($4.99)
  • Foam brush ($.89)
We had to do four coats of paint so the white wouldn’t show through but the paint dried quickly and the whole project took maybe an hour at most. We were doing other things while it dried so I don’t have an exact time frame. 
Our friend also drew this really cool taco ti illustrate our menu for the night. I don’t want to erase it so we will be having tacos every night for the rest of our lives…


DIY Wooden growth chart

This was a really easy, quick and cheap DIY project I did over the weekend. The supplies cost me less than $6 and it took me about 15 minutes to make. 
What you need:
Fence board (Less than $2 at home depot.)
Paint (I purchased a sample container for about $3.50 at home depot in the color I wanted.)
Measuring tape
Stencils (I already had these but you can get them at any craft store.)
First, I measured on the board every inch with a sharpie and made sure the foot marks were longer.
Then I painted the numbers on the board with the stencils.
They took about ten minutes to dry and then I measured my boys. All we need to do now is transfer the measurements from our old house (that my brother-in-law still lives in) to the board.

Try this easy DIY project out and let me know how it turned out for you.

DIY custom door mat

I’ve got another easy DIY project for you. Check out this cool custom door mat.

 We had a plain brown door mat with nothing on it, so we turned it into this custom welcomer that warns people who come over to our house about what goes on inside. Now, you don’t have to put words on your mat. I’ve seen it done with the house number alone, but as for me, I wanted something that speaks to me.

What you will need:

1. A door mat that is blank or has a blank spot in the middle.
2. Stencils
3. Black Sharpies

After I decided what I wanted to write on my mat, I laid out the stencils so I wasn’t terribly lop sided when I started coloring.

I love how this project looks next to my DIY solar light. Its an easy and great way to bring your front porch to life.

Please leave me a comment about your favorite front porch DIY projects or send me an email to SHendersonPhoto(at)

Utensil drawer organizer and 300th post!

This is my 300th post! And to celebrate, I’ve got a DIY project that you are going to love. It’s going to make your life so much easier and organized.

 My utensil drawer has always been a mess and there wasn’t much I could do about it. The silverware containers were sliding to the back every time I opened the drawer and the rest scooted around in there like my middle son without his caffeine in the morning. I couldn’t find anything and when I did organize the drawer, a day later it would be back to the way it was before. I know you all can relate.

I found this tutorial on Pinterest that showed how to make a really cheap and easy organizer for my utensil drawer. Can we say life hack. This is so easy, I really suggest you try it.

What you will need:

1. Poplar craft boards 1/4x3x2 they are about $1.50 a board (I only found these at Lows. Home Depot didn’t have anything like them.)
2. Instant bond glue
3. Hand saw
4. Measuring tape

What I did first was organize the drawer. Separate all the utensils into types and place them in the drawer how they fit best. It was pretty hard to come up with a layout that worked, especially so I could reach the ones in the back. You could always get the full extend drawer sliders if you want them to come out farther, but I didn’t get those.

I then used straws to mark out where I wanted to put the boards. This way I had a visual and something to measure.

 After I had my measurements, my adorable and most helpful husband cut the boards to size with a hand saw and his muscles. I suppose I could have done it, but it wouldn’t have been as much fun :).

Before I glued the boards together, I put them in the drawer where they were supposed to go, to make sure they fit properly. Its a good thing I did too. Two of the boards were to long and needed to be trimmed… several times. Let’s just say my measurements were slightly off.
After all the measuring and cutting was done, I glued the boards together and let them dry. They turned out really great. I’m now wondering what other drawers I can organize 🙂
As always, I would love to hear about your drawer organizing projects. Comment below or send me a photo to SHendersonPhoto(at)

The Birthday Board

Today’s DIY is actually an old project that I put together for another one of my blog years ago. It needed a little updating.

I gave this birthday board to my mom a few years back. It had all the birthday’s of my immediate family on it sorted by month and date. Since then, we’ve added four new members with one more on the way and the board has fallen apart slightly.

Over the weekend I stole the board from my moms, spent about $5.00 on supplies and redid the board with ribbon instead of hooks. It worked way better and the hooks didn’t fall out when the board was hanging.

What you will need to make this awesome reminder of how many birthdays are in your family:
A board big enough to hold all the months
Glue gun
Wooden coins (We have the 1.5 inch)
2 hooks
Letter stencils

To start, I used the letter stencils and sharpies to write out the “Birthday” letters. Then i just free handed the month letters. I wrote everyone’s birth dates on a wooden coin and then hot glued them to a piece if ribbon. The ribbon then is glued to the back of the board. Its a pretty simple DIY project.

I’m currently waiting on more wooden coins since all the local Joann fabric stores and Michael’s Crafts were out of the size I wanted (Had to order them from Amazon) to finish this project completely. My family now has at least one birthday per month.

Good luck on your DIY project and as always, I would love to see pictures of what your birthday board looks like. Email me at ShendersonPhoto(at)

Ye olde mustard chair

Decorating doesn’t always come easy to everyone. I can tell you from experience it take a lot of practice to figure out what your true style is and how to pull it off in the space you have. It wasn’t until we moved into our new home that I actually got the hang of it myself.

For me it all starts with a statement piece and you build from there. My statement piece happens to be this really old and stained chair that sits in the corner of my living room. I love the character it has, even with its tattered seat and hole filled lattice it still has great color. Mustard yellow!

It gives our living room a real rustic look and I’ve learned to build around it. The pictures on the wall are similar colors and the throw rug is a deep chocolate brown that really brings out the color of the wood in the floors and chair.

What kind of paintings do I have on my wall you might ask? Well, Van Gogh of course. I love the starry night series. Three paintings that are connected in a beautiful but simple way. The only one i’m missing is this one here. If any one wants to buy it for me, feel free. I’m always up for donations. 🙂

I think the real key to decorating any room is to find something that you love. Something that you look at and see potential. And of course find inspiration. It’s everywhere. Out doors. In books. On the internet. You can find it anywhere as long as you keep your eyes open to new experiences.

Now, you all know about my Pinterest obsession, well lately I’ve been obsessed with a new site, There is so much to look at and pull inspiration from that you could be lost there for days. I would encourage you to check it out (especially their furniture section. I love the chairs myself.) and let me know what you’ve found.

Send me an email with your decorating tips to Shendersonphoto(@) and I’ll post it here on the blog.

This one is a 3000 piece puzzle and yes I put it together… By myself.