Home Improvement

The lamppost from hell

Our lamppost has been crooked since day one of moving into our house. Well, I’ve been on a mission this spring and summer to beautify the outside of our home. Landscaping, shutters, new doors, painted driveway, new mailbox, tree removal, new lattice for the garbage, redoing the rocks alongside the driveway… you name it, we’ve tackled it. My dad even removed the well from our front yard because he’s awesome.

He even took pictures for me to put on my blog.

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With the biggest eyesore of our front yard removed, we pretty much had no choice but to tackle the crooked lamppost.

It also helped that while we were on vacation by dad cleared out a spot for plants and bought a few stones to circle the post. He basically forced us into it haha.

See how much it leans? Bad news bears.

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So this lamppost was the post from hell. Originally, I bought a new post to replace it all together. Then my dad suggested I simple paint the current post in the ground. So I tried that.

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Many coats of black spray paint later, and it wasn’t looking to bad.

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Then came time to replace the fixture at the top, which I guess we didn’t have to do…. except that when we took it off we realized it was disgusting and broken.

The fixture came off the post just fine, but the ring and the screws holding the fixture to the post wouldn’t budge. At all. I tried every trick in the book to remove those screws, from WD-40 to putting a rubber band in the groove of the screw and turning it that way. Nothing worked. So I got fed up and started to tear the metal off the post. We were going to replace that part anyway, so what did it matter?

Well, here’s a fun fact. Hammering a screw driver into metal creates a lot of sharp metal pieces. And yes, I did manage to cut my hand. And yes, I did (eventually) get a tetanus shot for the cut. And yes, the place where I got my shot it still swollen because I’m a hot mess.

See why it is the lamppost from hell yet?

If you weren’t convinced, after all of my hard work on the darn pole, I got fed up and pulled it out of the ground. I ended up trekking back to Home Depot (that’s really melodramatic since Home Depot is less than 10 minutes away… not too much of a trek) to buy and even nicer lamppost than the first one I bought. I’m talking about a built-in light sensor and an outlet. Hot damn!

Hours later, my husband and I (mainly Brian — I was so proud of him!) managed to properly wire up the new post. I don’t think I’ve ever shouted so loudly with glee over a darn light working, but we were both really shocked and really excited that it worked.

Now our post isn’t crooked (we still need to cement it in place), it has a light sensor so it turns on automatically, and it is beautifully landscaped 🙂 Total win.

Lamp Post Finished

That lamppost ain’t got nothing on us.

And it looks nice, too!

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Craft Projects, Furniture

Over-sized Jar Lamp

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Happy one-year house anniversary to us! A year ago today we closed on our house — what an adventure it has been. Every room of our house has been painted, we did a massive family room overhaul, and tackled smaller projects here and there along the way.

My newest project is making our living room pretty, which started last weekend when we got rid of our old, grimy couch and purchased a pretty, new one!

Old Couch

If you are on vine or twitter, you can see the satisfying thud this ugly thing made when it hit the bottom of the dumpster at the local dump. So satisfying.

We didn’t mourn this couch long (or at all) — from the dump we headed to a local warehouse to pick up the clearance couch we’d purchased the night before. Not to brag too much, but we got our new couch for a steal!

AND IT IS ADORABLE!

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The pillows that came with the couch were a little too Hawaiian for me, so I picked up the charcoal gray and teal pillows at Target! I also got a gray throw and snagged the light gray pillow from our bedroom. It is so pretty. I love it.

Now that I actually have a couch I like and something to jump off of from a design standpoint, I am going non-stop to make this room perfect. See, this is my room. There is no TV and no computer, just a big window and a comfy couch. I want to be able to read in here! I can during the day, but at night I am in a fish bowl. That’s why I am working to find the perfect curtains for our bay window. I ordered some online, so fingers are crossed that they work.

In the meantime, I needed some more light in this room. With just the overhead ceiling fan, the light in this room is just mediocre come night-time. I have a beautiful glass lamp that I bought for super cheap at Target because it was broken. I fixed that and just need a flashy shade. I need a few more lamps though, so I decided to make my own.

Using a shade I had from the thrift store and an old, large jar, I set off today to make another light for that room.

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The first thing I needed to do was put a hole in the center of my jar lid. To do so, I had to find a drill bit large enough to fit my threaded pole (attached to the light fixture and to the nut underneath the lid). Once I found one, I carefully drilled through the lid while it was screwed onto the jar.

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Originally, I wanted to keep the green lid for my lamp, but no amount of scrubbing could remove the “crayon” label from childhood.

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Before I started to spray paint my lamp fixture, I figured out just how I was going to secure all of the parts of my lap. I ended up drilling through a mason jar lid with the same drill bit to use as extra support underneath the jar lid. I opted for a stack of washers on top of the lid to raise the light fixture up, and one washer and two nuts underneath for added stability.

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I also used a lamp harp to support the shade.

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Between the brassy harp, green lid and silver washers, I needed one finish for all of the parts of my lamp. I got out some metallic silver spray paint and lightly dusted all of the parts so they would match. I also did a coat of polyurethane.

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When everything was dry, I assembled all of the pieces: Light socket & threaded rod > harp > washers > lid > mason jar lid > washer > two nuts. I tightened the heck out of everything, and when it was good and secure I placed the lid of the jar back onto the freshly washed and crayon-free jar.

I added the shade and the finial and put it next to the couch.

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What do you think? It turned out pretty darn cute if you ask me. Now I just need to replace that old piano bench with something a little classier since my couch is so pretty now!

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Did I mention I only paid $2 for the gorgeous shade?