{Home} Stripping

Since I bought my dresser off Craigslist a few years ago, I’ve known I wanted to strip the paint off it. It’s a weird greenish color that doesn’t really go with the rest of my apartment. I’d love to expose the wood beneath it, which led me to stripping!

I did some research and came across a greener paint stripper that is also safe for indoor use! Which is great for me, since moving my dresser outside isn’t exactly practical. In addition to the stripper, I also needed mineral spirits for cleaning up the wood afterwards, plus a cheap brush to apply the stripper. I already have a metal scraper, some fine steel wool, and toothpicks for getting into the details of the dresser. To help the stripper stay moist and aid in clean up, I have a lot of garbage bags to use as wrapping and to cover my floor.

An online search for nearby retailers sent me to Home Depot. When the check-out guy asked me what I was doing with the stuff I was purchasing, I responded, “Stripping!”  He was taken aback, since he had really asked me what I was up to the rest of the night.  Oops! Stripping wasn’t on the agenda for that night, but it’s what I’ll be up to this weekend!


{Hannah} Unrevealing

Sometimes I buy a dress that I love, but the neckline is a little too revealing. Luckily, if the fabric has a little give, and there’s a bit of extra space in the bust, it’s easy to sew the neckline up to be less revealing!

Enter: fancy designer dress from eBay. The neckline was too low for my comfort (especially on a dress that is otherwise work appropriate).

A few minutes with a needle and some thread, and I had very carefully stitched the neckline closed a few inches. Revealing no more!

I had also done this a few months ago on a dress I wore to a cousin’s wedding. I had worn it in all its low-cut glory to a friends’ wedding a few months before, but I wasn’t very comfortable then and knew I wouldn’t be in front of family either.

It’s a quick and easy fix to make your clothes work for you!

{Home} Hanging the Picture: Take Two

While I was away in Europe, a mirror and picture had fallen off the wall. The mirror was able to be rehung in the same manner as it was before, but the picture was more difficult. I had used the 3M Command Strips both in my current apartment and my old apartment, but for some reason, the picture wasn’t having any of it this time.

There’s a difference in height between the frame and where the picture is, so there’s a little ledge that I decided to use to hang the picture. (Yes, I really held the picture and backing into the frame with painters tape. The frame was meant to have a specific artwork in it, but the frame size was perfect for the print I wanted to frame, so I carefully cut away the old backing and removed the old art. Hey–whatever works, right?!)

I’ve used pushpins to hang pictures before, so that became the plan of attack this time. I carefully put two into the wall, and made sure they were level. I had to adjust one to be lower, but it was still pretty uncomplicated.

Pushpins go into drywall really easily, but it’s more difficult to put them through plaster. I needed to use a hammer to get them into the wall, and two of them broke as I tried.

But the end of the story is a happy one, as the picture is back up on the wall!

{Hannah} Another Screwy Project

It’s no secret I love shoes. I also like shopping on eBay. A year ago, I had ordered a pair of shoes in a style I already have and was excited for them to arrive. So excited that I didn’t even try them on for a few weeks! At that point (and since I had already left positive feedback), I felt like I couldn’t ask the seller about an issue with the shoes: that the right heel was a little loose.

I wore them a few times, but never felt very comfortable with the wobble in the heel. So they sat in my closet until a newer pair of black heels wore out. Then it was time to investigate and address the problem with these shoes.

Shoes are made in a relatively straight forward way, and I knew that there would be screws or nails holding the heel to the sole. First step was carefully peeling back the cushioning in the sole to reveal them.

The white paper was also easy to remove, as were the three screws.

Huh.  The top screw was shorter than the others, and one screw had broken off in the heel.

If you ever wondered what’s hiding under the heel, you’re in luck!  Also, it’s worth noting that the heel in this shoe happens to be painted plastic, and the wobble was with how the heel was attached. Other heels may be wood or covered in leather, and the break may be on the heel itself, which could make replacement a more challenging.

I brought the shoe home with me when I went for the holiday, hoping that my dad or brother would have the tools to remove the stuck screw part.  Luckily the screw had broken off at the point where it went into the plastic.  It took a little effort, but my brother was able to chip away at the plastic enough to get a grip on the broken screw piece with pliers!

Once it was out, it was time to get a replacement screw.  My dad and I stopped at Ace Hardware on the way to the airport, and an employee helped us find the right screws.  My dad suggested I get two as long as I was there, and the employee suggested another type of screw as well.  For all of fourty cents, I had some screws to take back with me and try in my shoe.

I preferred to use the middle two screws, so I tried those out in the shoe to make sure they’d work before I proceeded.  Then I broke out the Shoe Goo glue to help hold things together.

Using a toothpick, I spread some of the Shoe Goo onto the shoe where the heel goes.

Then I carefully screwed the heel back on.  I couldn’t wait to try them on! Sadly, the heel still wasn’t very firm.  I took out the short screw that was on top, and put in the other replacement screw from the couple I had bought.  I tightened all three screws as tight as I could, and finally the shoe feel a lot stronger!

The last step was gluing the paper and sole back down.

Now I have a nice new-ish pair of pumps to wear!  As well as the shoe-saving scene from The Wedding Planner stuck in my head (it’s at the 30 second mark).