161st Penny Pinching Party

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!
I have been so busy with class parties that I almost forgot about the Penny Pinching Party!
Here are my kids all dressed up!

Detective Costume:
I bought the coat at a thrift store and ordered the hat and pipe from Amazon for about $5.

Ben10 Spider Monkey Costume:
I love it when my kids pick an easy costume like this one! I just ordered it on Amazon.

Chell from Portal2:
I took my old boots and painted them white, cut the middle out and attached black elastic, painted black lines, and added some cardboard strips covered in black duct tape to the backs. I bought the pants and at the thrift store and ironed the Aperture logo onto a white shirt. The companion cube came from
Only a few people know who my daughter is and those few go crazy over her costume when they see her.

I would love to see what you have been up to for Halloween and will be keeping this party open for an extra day.

160th Penny Pinching Party

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I have been really enjoying my painted mantel and am starting to get into decorating it along with the rest of my home for the seasons and holidays. There are so many cute fabrics at the store and great ideas on Pinterest, that I had to stop myself from going overboard.

Halloween Mantel and Decorations

I didn't use to decorate very much for Halloween, but it has become my 5 year old son's favorite holiday and he has been begging me all year to make Halloween decorations. We had a lot of fun shopping and decorating together, making Halloween one of my new favorite holidays.

The rat and black candlesticks on the mantel are from the dollar store and I made the banner with fabric from Joann's Fabric. My son has been learning patterns in Kindergarten, so I had him lay out the pattern for the banner and used it as a teaching tool.
These are the candlesticks I bought from the dollar store; I just spray painted them black.
I found a tutorial for a felt bat garland on Pinterest and had my daughter make it. I have been teaching her how to sew, so this was a great project for her.
I sewed easy envelope pillow cases and slipped them over my existing pillows.
I used the rest of my fabric to make a table runner and banner for the dining room.
I found these frames at the thrift store and the candlestick holder and plate at the dollar store.
 I spray painted them black and used them in my entryway.
The cost of all the supplies and fabric was under $40 (the fabric was most of the cost), but the fun I had with my kids was priceless. We love Halloween!!!

159th Penny Pinching Party

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The cheapest and simplest upgrade always seems to be paint. I love how cozy my fireplace is now and it didn't break the bank. I even used items I already had to decorate the mantel.
Click the link below to see my remodel:

Painted Fireplace Mantel, Built-In Bookcases, and Fireplace

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hover your mouse over the photo for the after picture

Back when I painted my kitchen cabinets, I also painted these built-in bookcases and mantel. I used the same colors that I used for the kitchen cabinets here: Kitchen Remodel - Painting Cabinets

I used a can of Rust-Oleum High Heat spray paint for the fireplace.

158th Penny Pinching Party

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

157th Penny Pinching Party

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Here is a really easy and cheap project I did in my kitchen:

How to Refinish a Solid Surface Counter Top

My kitchen may have been outdated with honey oak cabinets and salmon colored tile, but the solid surface counter tops were still in pretty good shape. They have flecks of red, which is why I chose red as my accent color in the kitchen. The only problem with the counters is that there were a few burn marks and some scratches. With granite or laminate, this would have been bad news, but easily fixed with solid surface. Here is what I did to get brand new counter tops for free:
 Before picture with light brown burn marks.

1. I pulled out my palm sander and used the roughest grit sandpaper I had (about 120). I sanded in circular motions until I had gotten out all of the burn marks and scratches.

2. I switched to a finer sandpaper (about 220-grit) and sanded the entire area in circular motions.

3. I used about a 320-grit sandpaper and repeated sanding the entire area in circular motions.

4. I wiped away all the dust (this does make a pretty big mess of fine white powder), and buffed the counter tops with a wet abrasive cleaning sponge.

5. I had some counter top polish that I sprayed on and buffed the counter with, but this part is not necessary.

This was the easiest and cheapest of all my kitchen projects and people keep asking me if I bought new counter tops.
These solid surface counter tops are over 10 years old, but they look brand new.