Furniture

Refreshed Grain Bin

I bought an old grain bin this spring that’s been moved from wall to wall until it found its home in my dining room. It’s lived in the dining room for months now, in its grungy, dirty state until I got tired of the grime and fixed it up this weekend.

You can see in this photo below the grain bin in its original state on the day I brought it home. It had a white knob and was all scratched up.

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I took off the white knob, which was only drilled partially into the front of the grain bin. It was a pain in the bttt to remove, but I needed to do that before I could clean around it — it was oddly grimy. Yuck.

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I took a few more photos of the piece before getting started on the refinishing. Here’s the beat up top — probably the worst part of the grain bin.

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The front panel of the top of the bin was super scratched, too.

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Since the wood was in super rough face and didn’t look like it ever had much of a stain on it, I was doubtful that my go-to Restor-A-Finish would work. But lo and behold, this might be the best use of the refinishing product yet. To use Restor-A-Finish, simply dab it on a paper towel and rub it on your piece. Let is sit for 20 minutes, then wipe any excess off.

The grain bin was thirstyyyyy, so there wasn’t too much of the finish to wipe off.

Notice any of the scratches or discoloration before?

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Nope! Buh bye scratches!

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And hello beautiful, shiny top. I mean, seriously, can you believe the difference?

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All I needed to do at this point was add a knob back on the front. I grabbed my drill to make a hole through the front panel, then attached an antique0looking crystal knob.

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So charming. Check out the whole thing:

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I bought the grain bin on a whim — basically I just had to buy something at the Barn Sale I went to back in April. Now that it is freshened up, I love this impulse buy and think it totally belongs. It acts as such a nice mini-buffet in the dining room. We usually have our fruit bowl here, but my three apples looked sad and lonely.

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Did I mention we store all of our outdoor equipment in it? Volleyballs, badminton racquets…. all sorts of fun stuff. What… don’t you store that sorta thing in your dining room?

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Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Christmas Tree craft

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I got the best Christmas present ever when my dad called me on Dec. 23 to ask if I wanted to do a Christmas craft on Christmas Eve morning before all of our festivities began. I said yes (duh) and dad went out hunting for supplies. When he was younger, his mom made Christmas trees out of mixed nuts that she decorated and hung on a wall in their home. He wanted to make one just like it for his home and for mine.

For this project we used:

  • Thin sheets of wood
  • Hot glue
  • Nuts in their shells (three or four bags)
  • Pinecones
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Small ornaments
  • Fabric
  • Batting
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Wire
  • Felt

Step 1: Bake pinecones to kill any critters that may be living inside. Bake for 25 minutes at 200 degrees. That should do the trick. We gathered ours outside of our gym at 6:30 a.m. … in the dark. I’m sure we looked wayyy creepy.

Step 2: Sketch out a tree shape onto a piece of wood. We drew a triangle for the tree, a small rectangle for the stump and a trapezoid for the base.

Step 3: Cut out your tree using a jigsaw (or a hand saw if you prefer).

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Step 4: If you want to make more than one, use your cutout tree as a stencil and trace it onto the first sheet of wood.

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Step 5: Drill a hole in the top of the tree and string wire through to make it easy to hang later on.

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Step 6: Start gluing on your nuts and pinecones. I used a pine cone for the top of my tree. Dad used a prickly seed from a sweet gum tree as his topper.

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It is OK to have gaps in your nuts and pine cones because you’ll be filling it in with ornaments later on.

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Step 7: Spray paint the top of the tree using a metallic spray paint of your choice. Dad went with a bronze metallic.

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I chose a metallic silver for mine.

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Step 8: Once your tree is painted, it is time to create the trunk. I clipped edged of pinecones and glued them onto the trunk.

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Dad went with thin twigs. If you’d like your trunk to be the same color as your tree, do this step right after gluing on your nuts.

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Step 9: Glue your ornaments onto the tree.

Step 10: Cover the base of the tree in batting. Then, cover with fabric. Our wood wasn’t thick enough for staples, so we hot glued all of our fabric and batting directly to the wood.

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Step 11: If you see the need, which we did, glue felt to the back of your tree (small circles will do) to spots of the tree that might rub against the door or wall you will hang it on. You don’t want to scuff your walls, and small circles of felt in the corners and around the wire will help.

Step 12: You are done! Hang your tree up for the holiday season and admire.

This was definitely best part of my holiday break, which is saying a lot because I had an amazing holiday break. I loved doing such a fun and sentimental project with my dad. We have one more base for next year. Dad’s got grand plans for how to make our next trees even better.

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Thanks for the great idea, Dad 🙂 Love you.

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One last thing…. happy birthday to my awesome mother-in-law, Robin!