Author Archives: jane

Robot Monster Pitcher: Coffee Pot With A Scary Halloween Makeover

Allow the guests at your children’s Halloween party to serve themselves a drink with this scary monster bot.

All the pieces for this menacing yet useful guy were recycled.

Monster Bot for Halloween party

Don’t turn your back on this grabby little monster: he may steal your candy.

What to put in your Robot Monster Pitcher? Robot Oil (i.e. Apple Juice) of course!

I used this at my daughter’s robot party too.

How to:

Get your hands on a second-hand coffee pot. Then gut out the innards. Clean it really well. The exterior bottom of my coffee pot was damaged by its previous owner from overheating but I think it adds character to our monster. The inside of the pot wasn’t damaged. Check the inside before bringing one home.

Eyes are burned out red Christmas light bulbs. Arms are thrift-store forks. Mouth was made from a metal shower curtain ring that I bent up using a pair of pliers.

Gluing the pieces on:

Gorilla glue worked for the arms. When the glue was dry, I used a razor blade to clean off the glue that squeezed out. A clear epoxy worked for the eyes and mouth.

Be creative and design your own scary Robot Monster Pitcher.

P.S. These posts take me a long time to develop. Don’t forget to send me a dollar once in a while so I can continue to do posts. Is it worth that to you?

Eco-Shower: Rustic Outdoor Shower Made From Salvaged Antique Barn Stall Walls

Eco-Shower with driftwood wreath

An Eco-Shower (in my opinion) is any outdoor shower that is made with mostly salvaged materials and uses solar power to heat the water.

I love my outdoor shower. You can see where horses chewed on the wood and I like the little worm holes in the wood. This eco-shower is perfect for us in Southern Maryland because this area is historically known for its barns/ farms (especially tobacco barns) and the Chesapeake Bay.

Outdoor showers are great for several reasons: they keep your inside shower cleaner- especially good when returning from the beach all sandy… or muddy from a kayak trip. Also using it instead of your inside shower will keep the extra humidity out of your bathroom –especially good for people who have bathrooms where mold is a problem. In addition, it will reduce your electricity usage because you don’t have to use your water heater to heat your shower water. Best of all, it’s nice to shower outdoors!

A driftwood wreath fits in nicely. Don’t you think?

eco-Shower Side View

How to:

Good friends of mine were renovating the inside of their antique Maryland barn. That is how I was lucky enough to get my hands on some barn stall walls. I recruited my husband to help me build a frame out of treated four by fours. I used the pieces of the stall walls for the walls of the shower. There was some reconstructing (rearranging) involved.

Paint on a coat of water sealer to help preserve the wood.

To add the lettering on the side, I printed out a font that I liked in a large font size. I cut out the letters, traced the letters on the wood, and then pained the letters with acrylic paint.

Set up a garden hose extending to your shower. The longer the hose is the better (within reason). I connected two long hoses and coiled them neatly in a sunny location. The sun will heat the water while you are getting hot and sweaty mowing your lawn or working in your garden.

I located the shower far enough away from the house to avoid water problems and the land slopes away from the shower into the woods. You might want to install a drywell, which is basically just a hole filled with rocks. We currently stand on a slab of granite while showering but someday I think I’ll add a gravel walkway to the shower and a gravel floor in the shower.

Admittedly, we only use the shower seasonally. I don’t like a cold shower. But in the summer it’s fantastic.

Eco-Shower Back View

Don’t forget to add hooks to hang up cloths or towels. I used cleats (found at any hardware store) because they gave it a boat house feel. Even better would be to find some old cleats and reuse them in this project.

Eco-Shower Back

For privacy, I ripped a few barn boards into strips and filled some of the gaps between the boards.

Home-made Soap On Rock Soap Dish

Here is some home-made soap that I made. It is on a rock soap dish.

Thrift Store Coffee Table Turned Princess And The Pea Inspired Bench: Altering Bench

Princess and the Pea inspired bench group picture

I was looking for a bench for my daughter’s room when I came upon this coffee table at a local thrift store. When I saw it I liked its clean lines and decided that it could also be used as a bench.
Located near a sunny window, this bench has become a prized spot in our house.
It has even inspired imaginative play. How could it not?

Altered Princess and the Pea bench
This bench is for my reader and writer: hence the vintage typewriter, books, and writing journal.

How to convert this rickety old coffee table into a nice sturdy bench:

altered bench before
1. Some of the pieces had shifted out of place over time so they needed to be tapped back in place and glued.

glue the bench
2.  The legs were wobbly so the wing nuts were tightened but not before the washers were replaced by larger ones. The smaller ones were getting squeezed into the wood and therefore not doing their job anymore.

alter bench washers
3. To create a lip, you’ll need to cut the long edge off of what will become the back side of the bench. This lip will help keep the pillows in place when the bench is complete but is not needed if your table/bench doesn’t allow for it.  Measure and clamp a guide board onto your table. This will allow you to cut a nice straight line.

alter bench cutting guide
4. Run the skill saw along the edge of the board; cutting a strip off one of the long sides.

alter bench cutting
5. Turn the strip up on end (becomes the lip) and glue into place.  Also add a few screws from the bottom. This allows the table (now bench) to go up against the wall and also adds a bit of a design element.

altered bench back
6. Paint if you like or touch up with stain.

Find out more about the mattresses and tips on how to make them:
Thrift Store Coffee Table Turned Princess And The Pea Inspired Bench: Making Mattresses

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Tiny Choices, written by Karina and Jenn, is filled with posts that make us think about the little choices we make daily. One post reminds us to consider what is in our shampoo while another post will make us consider the impact of a new shower curtain. (“New vinyl shower curtains off-gas around 108 different chemicals within the first 28 days of use.”…)
I also like their green-living tips.