Home Decor Crafts: Black and White Checkered Wall Shelf

A great way to add a touch of style to your space is by using unique pieces of furniture and/or shelving. This black and white checkered wall shelf is sure to draw attention from guests and is fairly easy to create.

For this project, you will need:

– One unfinished wooden wall shelf in any size (available at craft supply stores)
– Medium or fine grit sandpaper
– Tack cloth or other type of soft cloth
– Krylon Indoor Outdoor Primer in All-Purpose White
– Krylon Indoor Outdoor Paint in Satin White
– Krylon Indoor Outdoor Paint in Satin Black
– Krylon Easy Tack Repositionable Adhesive
– Ruler
– Pencil
– Craft paper or dissembled paper bag
– Scissors
– Newspaper and/or a large drop cloth

Due to the painting process of this project being so messy, it is quite advisable to first cover the space where you will be working with several sheets of newspaper and/or a large drop cloth. To begin, carefully sand the outside of the unfinished wooden shelf with medium or fine grit sandpaper. (If the shelf has a drawer, remove it to sand the outside and repeat the following steps to the drawer front.)

Spray the entire shelf with Krylon Indoor Outdoor Primer in All-Purpose White. Wait an hour before painting with Krylon Indoor Outdoor Paint in Satin White. Apply additional coats of white paint, if desired. Dry for three to four hours before continuing. Using a ruler and a pencil, dissect the entire project into two inch squares by marking lightly directly onto the white painted wood.

Lay the sheet of craft paper and/or dissembled paper bag flat. With a pencil and a ruler, create similar two inch squares onto the paper. Carefully cut out the squares with scissors. Spray the backside of one square using Krylon Easy Tack Repositionable Adhesive. Place the paper piece onto one of the squares on the shelf. Repeat this, covering every other square on the shelf in a checkerboard pattern until the entire shelf has been covered.

Paint the exposed areas using Krylon Indoor Outdoor Paint in Satin Black. Wait thirty minutes before adding a second coat of paint. Add additional coats of black paint, if you wish. Let the shelf dry overnigh before peeling off the paper pieces to expose a black and white checkerboard pattern. Hang the shelf, as desired.

TIP: This project also looks really cool when done in colors. Consider black and red, black and pink, or white and purple fun alternatives.

Home Decorating Theme – Egyptian Goth

It’s a myth that everything a Goth owns is black and morbid. In reality, within this generally misunderstood subculture are several types and styles. In this article we’ll explore home decorating ideas for the Egyptian Goth.

Evoking a sense of an Egyptian tomb, with all the precious treasures contained therein. Opulent and regal items such as golden statues of ancient gods of Egypt would be excellent accent pieces. Papyrus scrolls, canopic jars, and ankhs are also good accessory choices.

Colors include gold, black, sand, ivory, blue, and red. Touches of silver could work as well. Fabric choices include linens, Egyptian cottons, and possibly velvet.

Furniture could be wicker or soft materials such as suede. The currently popular taupe/sand/beige microfiber sofas and loveseats would work well. Black leather furniture is also a possibility. Of course, whatever you currently own can always be slip covered.

Now that we have an idea of what we are trying to achieve, the next question is where to find what we need?

For the fabrics, it’s probable that your local fabric store has what you need. For special fabrics, here are a couple of online resources.

http://www.fabricparadise.com – This site offers a large collection of Egyptian style fabrics

http://www.jandofabrics.com – In addition to linen and velvet, this site also has a small selection of Egyptian prints

For accents and accessories, be sure to look at places like Cost Plus World Market or Pier 1 for Egyptian Goth style items. There are also several online sources.

http://www.egyptianmarketplace.com – This website offers a wide variety of items including furniture, curtains, mirrors, and statues. Prices range from reasonable to somewhat expensive.

http://www.zarifas.com – This site has canopic jars, Ankhs, statues, and more.

And for those Egyptian Goths who really want to give their living space extra special touches, here are some craft projects.

http://www.virtual-egypt.com/newhtml/glyph/glyph.html – You can use this link to determine what your name looks like in hieroglyphics, then copy the image and make it into a piece of wall art using blank papyrus.

Blank papyrus might be available in your local crafts store, but if not http://www.kingtutshop.com has sheets in various sizes.

Being a Goth doesn’t mean everything around you has to be dark and depressed! Let your personal interests show in your choice of home décor.

Toys for Cats – Homemade Cat Toys

Playing with a cat is an essential part of keeping a cat healthy throughout its life, and while there are many fantastic cat toys in shops, homemade toys for cats are simple, inexpensive ways to keep a cat active. Indoor cats are especially prone to obesity, but both indoor and outdoor cats need playtime each day. Pet owners on a budget can easily make entertaining toys for cats that help them stay active, alert and healthy.

Cat Treats – Cat Nip Toys

Cats and cat nip make a perfect pair; cat nip makes a perfect cat treat, and it’s easy to grow at home. A simple cat nip plant can provide many leaves throughout its growing season. Additionally, cat nip is a natural pest repellent, which makes it ideal for gardeners. Plucking a single leaf is an easy way to entertain a cat for a few minutes, but there are ways to incorporate cat nip into favorite toys.

Pluck a large handful of cat nip leaves from several plants, or save the leaves over a period of weeks to allow the plant to continue growing. Dry the cat nip in a location where the cat can’t get to it. Choose an old clean sock, especially one made of thin cotton. Fill the sock about two-thirds full with the dried cat nip and sew the sock shut.

A cat nip mouse made from a sock will smell great to any cat, and the size is perfect for cats to bat around and toss in the air. Although cat nip will eventually lose its smell, the size of the homemade cat toy will keep it entertaining.


Toys for Cats – Aluminum Foil Cat Toy

A great cat toy is a simple ball of aluminum foil. The shiny aluminum is attractive to cats, and the uneven shape of an aluminum foil ball makes the toy unpredictable and fun for cats to chase. Crunch up a section of aluminum foil that is large enough that the cat won’t be tempted to mistake it for food, and small enough that it is light and easy to bat around.

An aluminum foil ball is a great kitty toy for both older and younger pets. Toss the ball around on wood or tile flooring to make a great skittering noise that is sure to attract any cat and get it active. Spend some time each day playing with the cat to help it stay healthy.

Homemade Cat Toy – String Toys for Cats

String is a classic cat toy, and it’s easy to make a toy using a piece of string. Tie a button or a coin to the end of a string to give the cat something to grab while it chases it, and simply walk through the house pulling the string along the floor. No cat can resist chasing a piece of string.

The button or coin on the end will make noise that gets the cat’s attention, and give the cat a more visible target to chase. This is a toy that can give both pets and owners many hours of entertainment.

Toys for cats are easily made at home, and cat nip cat toys and other simple toys can help keep a beloved pet healthy and playful for many years. Additionally, making homemade cat toys is an easy way to save money on caring for a pet.

Discount Home Decor Outlets in Columbus, Ohio

Discount Home Decor Outlets in Columbus and the Northeast Ohio Area

Choosing home decorating items that reflect your personal style without stretching your budget IS possible for residents of Columbus, Ohio and the greater Northeast Ohio area. Dollar Discount Stores are among those businesses that enable you to decorate your home while keeping costs in mind without sacrificing quality and taste– if you make smart choices.

Visit these best kept secrets:

Infinity 99 Cent Store

Located at 3462 Cleveland Avenue, the Infinity 99 Cent Store has many home decorating finds at a reasonable price. When I visited the store recently, I found designer-like throw rugs and a box of 30 squares of floor tile for under $10 each. Go to the back of the store to find these true household bargains. In the center aisles you’ll find knickknacks such as vases, bathroom shower curtains and soap dishes reasonably priced from $1 – $10. You will be amazed at some of the quality of your finds, and no one will be able to figure out where you purchased the items. It’s worth taking a look.

Salvation Army Thrift Store

Shopping this second-hand store located at 3551 Cleveland Avenue is a great way to spend an afternoon while finding colorful and useful items to enhance your home. If you have an appointment shortly after you enter the store, fair warning – set your alarm! Be prepared for time to just fly by as you come across so many kinds of nice home decorating odds and ends. This store is huge! I remember purchasing NEW dishes there. That’s right. You can find new – never before used merchandise at this store. Look up front near the jewelry case and registers to find items such as plates, cups, candles and even candy. Prices are reasonable from $1 on up. From kitchen curtains to draperies for the dining room can be found there with prices ranging from $5 – $15 normally.


If you do not mind a mad-rush, try to shop on the last Wednesday of the month, which is the infamous “Half-Price Sale”. Selected items are discounted and the place is packed! The atmosphere on that day resembles a Christmas frenzy, so it is not for faint hearted shoppers.

Value City Department Stores

Last, but not least, visit Value City Department Stores located at 3251 Westerville Road. They have plenty of unique home decor items that range in prices to suit your budget. Once inside, venture to the southwest side of the store to find unusual and appealing items such as table vases and imported pieces to garnish your home and reflect your eclectic side.

All in all, finding home decorating bargains are easy to find if you look in “the-store-within-the-store”. Keep an open mind to find the items that reflect your personal style without stretching your budget.

DIY: Install a Kitchen Faucet

Saving Money on Home Projects

How to install a kitchen faucet with confidence is really not hard at all. Saving money is what drives us to do things like car repair and home repair. Putting in a kitchen faucet is a task that is really not hard to do and requires little skill or knowledge most of the time. Replacing a faucet requires a new faucet this can be purchased at a local hardware store along with the tools to install it.

Basic tools needed are a strong flat head screw driver, a Phillips screw driver, two pair of channel lock pliers, a faucet wrench, plumber’s putty, a putty knife. Having the ability to lie on your back for an extended period of time and a helper does make the job easier.

First thing you want to do is turn on water hot and cold in sink then reach up under sink and turn water valves clockwise closing both hot and cold until water flow stops. The shut offs are located on the lines that are connected to the faucet. If the water does not shut off go to the main located in the basement or garage and shut that valve off. If this does not work shut the valve off at the street, with a tool you can buy from your local hardware store.

After shutting off the water climb under sink looking up you will see two stems coming from the top of the sink with two water lines attached. Turn the two nuts on the water lines counter clockwise until they are removed. After doing this you see two more nuts holding the facet in place these could also be screws. Try to turn the nuts counter clockwise using the faucet wrench, this will take a little effort, of course if it uses screws turn those counter clockwise as well removing them. If this does not come free easily if a person has mechanical skills try to break away metal O-Rings behind the nut after this is done faucet and nuts attached will go through top of sink easily. Now the faucet should be ready to remove.

After removing the faucet put your new faucet together and install it, having someone on the top line it up while it is tightened underneath. Putting plumbers putty around the holes between the top of sink and bottom of the faucet will help keep it water tight. After seating the faucet turn your nuts and or screws this time clockwise to tighten them. If the old faucet had a sprayer arm and the new one does not cover the whole with a metal plate that is made for the size whole on your sink, this can be purchased at a hardware or plumbing store.

After everything is tight turn on water slowly and retighten as needed to stop any water leaks this can be tricky so use a paper towel to dry everything off and a flash light to see with. This should rap up the technique on how to install a faucet.