Making Acorn Beads

It’s been in the 80’s lately and not feeling too autumnal but cooler weather is on the way.

I noticed some huge acorns outside on our walk the other day and I forgot about a little craft I had not made in a long time: acorn beads.

I posted my bead on instagram and a couple people asked me about them so I thought I’d share a quick post on how to do it. It’s super a simple fall craft and can be made without any special materials.

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While the woods and streams already provide lots of entertainment, making acorn beads is one of those mindless activities great for conversation or passing the time.

First, you have to gather up your acorns. Nice big fat ones work best.

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Rub the outside on a rough rock (asphalt or concrete path actually works best). Rub both ends just enough to expose the soft nut on the inside.

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Then use a sharp stick (you can sharpen one on the asphalt too if you need) and start digging out the nut.

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Keep working until you make it all the way through.

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Once you’ve made it through the middle you’re done! String the beads on a necklace, paint them or decorate with them.

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Have fun making your beads!

 

It’s no joke… We have a kitchen sink again!

After 3 months of doing dishes in our tiny bathroom we finally have a kitchen sink (and dishwasher) again!

I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me.

I’m really happy with how our counters turned out. I love marble, but I also love lemons and other acidic and staining foods so I decided to go with a faux marble formica instead.

I had planned to purchase the countertops from the Big-Box-Home-Improvement-Store which had done the initial $17,000 estimate.  When I emailed telling them we wouldn’t be moving forward with the renovation I mentioned I’d like to go ahead and place an order for the countertops but I didn’t hear back (surprise, surprise). So I went ahead and just showed up to the store and place the order in person.

I pride myself on being a nice person. I try to be nice to everyone… but I suppose I had a look about me because the woman who worked there gave me one look and passed me the phone number to order my counters from the same manufacturer they use.

“Do you want to just order them directly?” she looked at me blankly.

Yes actually, I do.

BBHIS estimate: $1084 for materials & $400 for labor

The final price: $262 for materials & $0 for labor.

So far we’ve saved over $4,000 on our preferred cabinets and the EXACT SAME countertop. Bonus: we’re also 18 days ahead of schedule for having a working sink and dishwasher. (Not bad considering this is including our week and a half of being sick and going out of town for spring break.)

Next up for the DIY kitchen renovation is the inside of the drawers and cabinets. Then we pick and install the floors.  We also plan to install new open shelving, a tile backsplash and paint, so there is still a lot to do…

But right now what we’ve been really excited about it countertops and running water.

 

 

 

Kitchen Update: Sticker Shock.

Kitchen Redesign color palate, counter top cabinets shelving floor and backsplash

So, you might be wondering… is Sarah still doing her dishes in the bathroom sink and gagging about it?

Why, yes, yes I am.

There haven’t been many updates because, well, there just haven’t been many updates. First, we were stuck waiting for information from our insurance about how much they would cover; even though we called them January 5th, it wasn’t until more than a month later that we got our answer:

$400.

Well, $900 but there’s a $500 deductible. So…

$400.

There’s our budget for new floors, new base cabinets and a new counter top. At this point though, we’re pretty committed to a new kitchen as we can’t really function the way things are now and we’re willing to put in a few thousand dollars of our own money to get ourselves something that works.

 

We took that knowledge and went to a very lovely lady working at what we’ll call a Big Box Home Improvement Store. We explained our situation and our budget (or lack there of); she understood and was willing to help us get as much information to our insurance company as we could.  Then we set out to design our small kitchen.

Nothing top of the line, but I had fallen in love with some cabinets at Ikea. We found some mid-grade cabinetry with a similar look. We picked a backsplash, a formica countertop, (nothing too fancy…I have relatively cheap taste) and some linoleum peel-and-stick flooring fairly similar to the type of flooring we had previously. All of the appliances are basically staying in the same place except we are going from two separate units for our cooktop and oven to an all-in-one range, which will require an electrician.

After many trips to Big Box Home Improvement Store, some re-scheduled meetings due to snow, and emails back and forth, we met this week for our final quote.

$17,000.  Not only is this not within our budget (keeping in mind it’s a surprise renovation), it has now taken a month and a half to find out that it’s not within our budget.  If we were able to sign on that week with no changes, Big Box Home Improvement Store estimated the project might be finished by the end of April.

So we sat with that for an hour. Had a beer. Planned a trip to Ikea.

For better or worse, it looks like a DIY kitchen is in our immediate future. And really, what could go wrong? We’ve got 4 children including a crawling baby, 2 dogs, 1 cat, I’ve just started working for myself, Jeff is just about to start afternoon rehearsals for his high school’s musical, and spring break isn’t for another month.  Why not sprinkle in a little DIY kitchen fun with a large helping of insurance company battles?

It just so happens that Hudson has been begging to visit the ball pit at Ikea, so today we’re taking the 1:45 drive to the land of meatballs and hoping we can shrink down that $17,000 price tag to something that doesn’t make me gag more than scraping oatmeal into the toilet.

If the Ikea SEKTION can’t come in under $17,000, I may just need a stronger stomach.

 

 

First DIY Workshop: Make a Paper Crane Mobile!

I’m super excited to be hosting my first Multifaceted Mama DIY workshop on January 30th from 1-3pm at Hip to be Round in Carytown!

Crane mobile

I love the paper crane mobile I made for Marlowe a few years ago which now hangs above his toddler bed. Over the years, my tutorial has continued to be a hit on Multifaceted Mama so I’m super excited for this to be my first workshop.

At the workshop we’ll be designing and making paper crane mobiles perfect for hanging over a crib or a changing table (or anywhere else). Choose your colors to compliment your space and make your own design.

First DIY Workshop make a DIY Paper Crane Moble

The $20 workshop fee includes all the supplies you need for the workshop and some snacks.

Register for the workshop here.

This workshop takes place in the Hip to be Round (3124 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA, 23221. ) store on January 30th from 1-3pm. Must register in advance to participate. 

DIY Crane Mobile

Please note: This article contains affiliate links for some supplies to make the mobile. If you can’t buy local, please consider purchasing through my affiliate link.

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I’m working in a world theme into the nursery, and after realizing that I was lacking an Eastern influence I thought a paper crane mobile might be a cute and inexpensive addition.

I’ve never done any origami before this mobile which is a testament to how easy it is.
Crane supplies

Supplies:

Embroidery hoop
-Ribbon (for hanging)
Clear cord
-Origami Paper
-Needle nose pliers
Crimp beads
-Needles.-Hot glue (optional for step 2)

 

Step 1. Make your cranes.  If you haven’t done one before, I learned from this website.

Step 2.  Decorate your hoop. I decided to use ribbon to cover the embroidery hoop, but you can paint it or leave it simple wood.
I used hot glue on the hoop and simply wrapped my ribbon around.

To make it easy to hang, I just used two longer pieces of ribbon which I knotted at either end and then created a knot loop at the top.

Step 3. Use a crimp bead to clamp the end of your fishing wire/clear cord. String the end of your cord into the bead and clamp shut with the pliers.  You can knot it, but this is a lot quicker and easier.

Next, string the end of the fishing wire with the needle through the bottom of the crane and out through the center of his back (longer needles make this easier).  TIP: leave extra cord than you think you’ll need… about an inch. This gives you wiggle room for being able to adjust the height when you tie them on.

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Step 4. Just knot the crane on at your desired length (I had mine getting gradually longer but you can do it in any order). Do that for all your cranes and you’re done!!

I’ll hang it above the changing table I think.

Here’s some more pics, just because it’s fun…

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Crane mobile

I kinda want to make more of these now… and since this baby seems to be taking his sweet time, looks like I’ll have plenty of downtime before his arrival.