• 3 Ways To Upcycle Paint Samples Into Impressive Accents

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    Sometimes you just can't help but grab a few paint sample cards at the home improvement store. If yours are piling up, here are a few genius ways to get some use out of them.

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    Upcycling Idea #1: Bunting
    Perhaps paper bunting is an obvious paint sample craft, but so are "Your Mom" jokes, and yet we still love them. Moreover, they're easy - a paper punch and a threaded needle are all you need to complete this cheery décor. For the complete tutorial, visit Little Bit Funky.


    Upcycling Idea #2: Mosaic Table Top
    Need to hide a few of your coffee table's scrapes and bruises? Cobble the table via paint samples for an easy-meets-trendy makeover. It's your call whether those sassy paint sample names get to show, but we vote yes. To see how to do it, visit Craft Ahoy.


    Upcycling Idea #3: Mosaic Art
    For unique wall decor, consider creating this paper mosaic using clipped paint samples. Straight lines and striking colors are the key to this design, but don't let that stop you from curving outside the lines. Get the full directions to make your own art piece at How About Orange.

    Want to see 7 more ideas for upcycling paint samples into impressive accents? Visit Craftfoxes.

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  • Kitchen Flooring Buying Guide: Linoleum

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    Thinking of installing new kitchen flooring in time for spring? In this five-part kitchen flooring series, we'll lay the groundwork -- and you make the decision. In this second installment we take a closer look the DIYer's kitchen flooring material of choice: Linoleum.

    Linoleum FlooringLinoleum flooring. Photo: tuchodi, Flickr

    How It's Made: Linoleum is a mixture of cork dust, ground limestone, linseed oil, mineral pigments, recycled wood flour and tree resins -- all pressed together and mounted onto jute backing. Interestingly, its name is a combination of the Latin words for flax (linum) and oil (oleum).

    How It's Sold: Linoleum kitchen flooring is available as tile, sheeting and even cutout pieces that look similar to area rugs. It sticks to the floor with adhesive. Tile is sold in all sizes and sheeting is typically sold in 6-foot x 7-inch widths and multiple thicknesses.

    Pros: Linoleum is considered a green material because no hazardous chemicals are associated with its creation or disposal. It's also naturally antibacterial and biodegradable, easy to clean, comfortable to stand on and scratch- and gouge-resistant -- excellent for high-traffic areas just like the kitchen. Linoleum can last 40 years or more.

    Cons: Although it's rugged and easy to work with, linoleum just doesn't have the same appeal to some consumers as higher end materials.

    DIY Degree of Difficulty: Very Easy (Tiles) to Tough (Sheeting)
    While any eager 8-year-old assistant could help you lay a linoleum tile kitchen floor (just spread out latex adhesive, place tiles on it, then set with a roller), laying sheet linoleum is another story. The adhesive makes linoleum sheeting shrink in length and expand in width, which adds up to a potential nightmare situation. So it's wise to leave the sheeting installation to the pros, and take on tile installation yourself.

    Care & Maintenance: Dust mop and/or sweep regularly with a soft-bristled broom. Vacuum with the soft floor attachment (careful: the ends of certain attachments can scratch delicate finishes). Remove stubborn scuff marks with a clean rag dipped in undiluted linoleum cleaner. Wash by hand with a natural vinegar-based solution or use a damp mop as needed. Recoat floors once per year with acrylic sealer to maintain performance and luster.

    Cost (per square foot)
    Linoleum tile is typically priced from $2 to $7. Sheet linoleum costs $3 to $4 installed.

     

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  • DIY Ladder: Clever Uses For An Old Ladder

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    Take an old ladder to new heights with these fun craft-it-yourself ideas.

    I'm willing to bet that you have an old step ladder in your garage or basement. You know the one -- covered in old paint with the wobbly leg. Too bad it's useless, right? Wrong! You can reuse that old ladder without stepping on a single rung. Here are a few fun ways to re-purpose that ladder and put it to good use around the house, without spending a dime.

    Towelsa 590jd051110Photos: Charles Walton IV for Southern Living/Deborah Ory for Woman's Day



    If your ladder is a bit dingy, clean it up, scrape or sand off the old paint unless you're going for that shabby chic look. Tighten up that wobbly leg, and try one of these nifty ideas:

    1. Bookshelf. You've seen ladder-shaped bookshelves, right? Well, obviously, they were inspired by the real thing. You can use an old ladder as a bookshelf and save yourself a lot of cash while still getting the same look.

    2. Pot rack. How fun is this idea we spotted over on Woman's Day? Just take an old ladder and place it on its side, affix to the ceiling and use it to hang your pots and pans!

    Towelsb 590jd051110Do these photos inspire you to dig up your old ladder? Photos: This Old House/Living, Etc

    3. Towel rack. You know those ladder towel racks that run upwards of $50 or even $75? Why not use your old ladder instead and save that money for some new bath salts or a towel upgrade?

    Ladderpurse 233jd052110An instant purse rack! Photo: Holly Becker, decor8

    4. Plant stand. You can actually buy ladder plant stands, but why spend $99 when you have a free one collecting dust?

    5. Closet organizer. Ladies, do you want somewhere to hang or rest your purse collection? What about sweaters, or maybe you need somewhere to hang your pants or rest your shoes? An old ladder in the closet is a great place to organize your clothing and accessories.

    6. Nightstand. If your ladder has flat rungs that are like small shelves, you can use a ladder as a nightstand. Simply place the ladder next to the bed and use the rungs to place your alarm clock, books or magazines and phone (or whatever else you keep next to the bed).

    7. Wall decor. Hang an old ladder on the wall as art! Paint it a fun color to match your room, or affix family memorabilia to the rungs and use it as a wall display.

    Want more repurposing ideas? Check out 5 things you can do with an old t-shirt.

     

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