Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DIY Chandelier

We've been thinking for some time about replacing the light over our kitchen table. The one that came with our house was fine, but was more of a ceiling mount deal (below) than the chandelier you might expect over the main dining area in the house.

We had looked somewhat for a new light, but hadn't seen anything too exciting. I decided it would be fun to try and redo one that I found at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I am in looove with ours... cheap house-ish stuff! So cool! It's like a thrift store for your house. My plan: buy a light fixture with a shape I liked, then paint it whatever color we wanted. We picked out this gold one:

We picked out RustOleum Dark Bronze Hammered spray paint for this project. We used the black color, same brand, for our patio set and really liked it. I hung the light from the garage ceiling so I could spray it from all sides. I was going for an "oil rubbed bronze" look, but got more of a gray instead. Actually though, I really like it -- it doesn't match everything else in our house, which makes it look unique.

But, to skip back a step, we had never hung a chandelier before. It took us a few minutes to figure out how to shorten the length; basically, remove the chain links you don't want (they aren't solid, so you can pry them apart with pliers), and then pull the cord up and trim it. Here's Adam in action with the pliers:

But, the very, very best part was the PRICE. Everything at ReStore is used (and generally donated), so it is very inexpensive. This light had been there for a while, so it was marked down to $7.50. The spray paint was about $6.50. So total cost for this lamp: $14! Amazing. Because of that, we ended up splurging on the light bulbs. I wasn't sure what kind I wanted (it came with a couple different, non-matching bulbs, but we didn't like any of them). Then we saw these at Lowe's and had to have them! They were almost $4 apiece, so that brought our total light fixture cost up to $34... still not bad!

One thing we should have considered: since this hangs over the kitchen table, the cats can reach it. And Jack loves swatting it... uh oh.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Readers, so many apologies for our lack of posts last month (and so far this month...) !

We have lots of projects on hold at the moment for two financial reasons: we owed lots and lots of money on our taxes this year (boooooo) and are saving up for a trip to the Florida Keys in June (yay!!!).

That said, I have lots of ideas running around my head, and it probably won't be long before one comes bursting out despite budgetary constraints. I'm hoping to paint both of our dressers black this spring/summer, so that'll probably be my next project, once the weather improves enough that paint will dry while furniture is in the garage.

My current "project": cooking lots of bad-for-you food. Like desserts. Like on a daily basis. Probably a bad idea with an upcoming vacation that involves bathing suits...

Links are below if you'd like to try some out yourself.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie: Soooo good, if you love peanut butter
Chocolate Trifle: I made this for tonight, so haven't tried it yet--but looks promising!
Too Much Chocolate Cake: This is my go-to cake. Super rich.
Raspberry Crisp: You can use any fruit for this; I made the same recipe with peaches. Delish.

Challenging (for me, at least):
Lemon Meringue Pie: Have you heard the story about how we traded a lemon pie for our kitchen table? It was this one.
Apple Pie along with homemade crust: I hate dealing with dough (rolling it, etc.), but this pie rocks.
Cheesecake: Still perfecting my technique, but I made a fairly successful one this month!

Note on AllRecipes recipes: Read the reviewer comments at the bottom of the page (at least the first five). There are usually some recommended changes that make the recipe much, much better than as written.