DIY Tips & Tricks

Summer DIY with Gary: Barrel Table & File Cabinet Raised Plant Bed

by Gary Foy, Goodwill DIY Guy
August 22, 2017

One of the best parts of creating an outdoor gardening space is crafting an area that reflects your own personality and uniqueness.

Seattle Goodwill is DIY (Do It Yourself) headquarters. There’s no creative limits to what can be made using Goodwill materials, and there’s nowhere else you can find such an eclectic assortment of goods all in one spot.

As part of our Summer DIY series, I, with the help of Goodwill teammate Nicole, recently made a beautiful barrel table that provides a great statement to any outdoor setting.

Here’s the supplies we used:

  • Used barrel
  • Sander
  • Can of KYRLON Satin Finish Crystal Clear Spray Coating
  • Corks
  • Bottle of LOCTITE SI 595 Adhesive/Sealant Clear Paste
  • Glass table top

The first step is purchasing an old, used barrel. Don’t worry too much about the condition. As long as the barrel is in one piece and doesn’t have too many ugly markings, it’s fine. Blemishes here and there can be removed. Use a sander to smooth out the wood, and remove unflattering marks on the barrel.

Next apply two coats of KRYLON Satin Finish Crystal Clear Spray Coating to the barrel. This will give it a nice look and also bring back a little color you sanded out.

This next step is a bit tedious and takes some patience, but apply a layer of LOCTITE SI Adhesive/Sealant to the top of the barrel and begin laying down the corks you either purchased or collected in a circular pattern.

Finally, head to your closest Goodwill and purchase a gently-used table for the glass top. Remove the glass, and fashion it to the top of your corks.

Mobile File Cabinet Raised Plant Bed

Sometimes you need a before and after picture to do a DIY project justice. That’s certainly the case with the unattractive metal file cabinet we thrifted at Goodwill and turned into a fun, colorful gardening bed.

Here’s the supplies we used:

  • Old metal filing cabinet
  • Four standard caster swivel wheels
  • Hammer & large nail
  • Power drill
  • Paint & primer
  • Stencil & spray paint
  • Large cloth (for paint spills)

First remove all the file cabinet’s contents so all you have left is a shell. Turn the cabinet upside down, grab your hammer and a large nail to create starter holes for the wheels to fasten in to. Then take your power drill and drill holes before attaching wheels. Drill a few additional holes along the bottom for drainage, and screw down your wheels.

Lay down your large cloth, flip your cabinet upright so the wheels are against the ground and begin applying a fun “paint and primer” combo color that will give your gardening bed a nice pop. Once dry, use your stencil and spray paint to design the front of your bed. Apply dirt and plants as desirable.

Not only do we enjoy making DIY projects, we love seeing everyone else’s creations. Please tag us in your social posts (@SeattleGoodwill on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and share how you’ve used your Goodwill finds.

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Summer DIY with Gary: Beachcomber & Adult Beverage Table

by Gary Foy, Goodwill DIY Guy
August 17, 2017

Summer time in the Northwest means long walks along Alki Beach, memorable camping trips and outdoor entertaining on your patio. But maybe you don’t have the budget to deck out your outside living space exactly how you’d like. A great way to apply your own signature touch and create a fun, unique space is by doing it yourself.

Seattle Goodwill is DIY (Do It Yourself) headquarters. There’s no creative limits to what can be made using Goodwill materials, and there’s nowhere else you can find such an eclectic assortment of goods all in one spot.

Our 24 store locations contain a wide away of dining room tables. I recently took a basic wood table we found and, with several quick and easy steps, transformed it into an elegant beachcomber table suited for an ocean view.

Here’s the supplies we used:

  • Large wooden table
  • Sander
  • Chalked Rust-Oleum paint
  • Chalked Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte protective top coat paint
  • Several clothes (for paint spills and wiping down table after sanding and before and after painting)
  • Open, well-ventilated area

Find an open space and lay down a protective cloth before you place your table down in an effort to avoid paint stains or sanding debris. Use your sander to smooth any ridges on your table. Create a smooth surface in order to apply paint. Make sure to get as much off the old topcoat/sealant of the table as possible to ensure the paint dose does not flake or peel off.

Paint the surface using a color of your choosing. The key is making sure you apply enough coats of paint. The Chalked Paint series is intended to give you a vintage or patina look. Once you finish painting, relax and wait until it’s dry.

Once the table has dried, use the edges of your sander to create that nice, worn and weathered look. Don't worry about going to deep. Wipe away any debris and go to your local Goodwill to furnish the table with some colorful kitchenware.

Adult Beverage Table

Perhaps a beachcomber table isn’t the right match for you. We got creative and made a fun, adult beverage table that was quick and easy to make.

Here’s the supplies we used:

  • Small circular table
  • Matching chairs
  • Sander (if needed)
  • Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint
  • Rust-Oleum Flat Protective Enamel
  • Large cloth for paint spills
  • Open, well-ventilated area
  • Chalk

I recently found a circular glass table and two matching black chairs for the foundation of our DIY project. Lay down a cloth to protect from paint stains, and use your sander to sand down the table’s surface if needed. After that, use a can of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint and begin applying coats. We used five coats, but you can use less if you applied primer. The key is heavy paint coverage, so the table can be used for years.

Next I taped off the chairs in areas we didn’t want covered and applied Rust-Oleum Flat Protective Enamel to the surface to protect from corrosion and rust. Once your table and chairs are dry, grab a pail, fill it with chalk and now you have a fun, interactive adult beverage table.

Not only do we enjoy making DIY projects, we love seeing everyone else’s creations. Please tag us in your social posts (@SeattleGoodwill on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and share how you’ve used your Goodwill finds.

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DIY Succulent Terrarium

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 7, 2017

Goodwill DIY: Succulent TerrariumConfession: I love the current terrarium trend—but they can be so expensive! So a terrarium—with low-maintenance succulents—seemed like a good foray into adding some summer vibes to my home.

To start, I did a bit of research into the layers of a proper terrarium—and then headed out to our Shoreline store. One of the reasons I head to Goodwill Shoreline for many DIY projects is its proximity to the other stores I’ll need to stop at for DIY supplies—like Home Depot, and a couple different craft stores. (Fun Fact: Home Depot is also one of Seattle Goodwill’s employer partners—they hire students who have gone through our job training & education programs.)

Terrarium Layers

To make the terrarium, I used these supplies:

  • Large river stones (Hobby Lobby)
  • Small river stones (Found at Goodwill, but originally from Hobby Lobby)
  • Succulent Potting Dirt (Home Depot)
  • Succulents (Hope Depot)
  • Glass jar/container (Goodwill)
  • Clay Pot for décor (Goodwill)
  • Sheet Moss (Home Depot)

Assembling the terrarium is quick and easy, and all about layering your materials in the correct order to ensure drainage.

Start with a layer of the large river stones, followed by a layer of the small ones. In total, this should take up about 1/3 of the depth of your container.

Next, add a small layer of dirt, and arrange your succulents in it—adding more dirt to make it level if necessary.

Once your plants are in, add an accent item or two, and fill in some of the area between your plants and décor with a little bit of sheet moss.

Be sure to place your terrarium in a place that has a lot of natural light!

DIY Succulent TerrariumAre you doing DIY projects with your #GoodwillFinds this summer? Tag @SeattleGoodwill and #GoodwillDIY—we’d love to see them!

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DIY Mini Herb Garden

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 2, 2017

Goodwill DIY: Mini Herb GardenWith grilling weather officially here—and plenty of sunshine and daylight for evening barbeques and picnics, I wanted to put together a mini herb garden so I can freshen up my summer dishes a bit and also add a little indoor foliage to my dining area.

With a little browsing through Pinterest, I decided making my herb garden in glass jars—with some sort of container to keep them all together—beyond that, I didn’t have much vision for this project. Over the years of #GoodwillDIY-ing, I’ve learned to approach projects with flexibility. You never know what you’re going to find at Goodwill!

For this project, I shopped at our store in Shoreline—and found everything I needed in one stop! I found some canning jars in a bright blue color, a basket that fit them perfectly, and some unopened “river stones”—which are a common craft store find, so it was easy to find matching rocks for our next DIY project. (Coming soon to the blog: DIY Succulent Terrarium)

Goodwill DIY: Goodwill Items for a herb gardenHere’s the full list of materials I used for this project:

  • 4 small jars (Goodwill)
  • A small basket (Goodwill)
  • Acrylic paint (Already had in my craft supplies – but easily found at Goodwill!)
  • Potting soil (Home Depot)
  • 3 Herb Plants: Thai Basil, Rosemary, Thyme (Home Depot)
  • River Stones (Goodwill)

Goodwill DIY: Herb Garden SuppliesI started with removing the lid from my basket, and painting the inside. Once the inside was dry enough to touch, I painted the outside.

For the planting, I put about 1.5” of the stones in the bottom of each jar—this will help with drainage when you water the plants, since the jars don’t allow water to run out.

Next, I added a layer of potting dirt, and added the plants themselves to the jars—covering any remaining area with a little more dirt. Because the thyme plant I bought was so full, I divided it into two separate jars—plus, who wouldn’t want a little extra thyme on their hands?!

Once my painted basket was dry, I set the jars into the basket—and voila! A tiny herb garden that met my spatial needs—and added a little color and flavor to my summer.

Are you doing DIY projects with your #GoodwillFinds this summer? Tag @SeattleGoodwill and #GoodwillDIY—we’d love to see them!

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Five Kid-Friendly St. Paddy’s Day Crafts

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
March 14, 2017

5 Kid-Friendly St. Patrick's Day CraftsSaint Patrick’s Day originates from the traditional death date of the patron saint of Ireland on March 17, 461. For nearly 1200 years, he was largely forgotten—but then on March 17, 1631 St. Patrick’s Day was declared a feast day by the church in Ireland. In 1762, the first St. Paddy’s Day parade was held in New York City—and in 1798, green became the official color for the day. It was declared a public holiday in Ireland in 1903.

In the last 114 years, St. Patrick’s Day has become a globally celebrated holiday with annual parades and festivities on six continents—and even in outer space on the International Space Station in 2015.

Last year for the holiday, we shared some of our favorite Irish recipes with you—this year? We’re getting crafty with some good-for-kids DIY projects.

Here are five simple craft projects for your little ones to do for Saint Patrick’s Day:

Coffee Filter Shamrocks - We Know Stuff

Coffee Filter Shamrocksvia We Know Stuf
This was one of my favorites as a kid—and I was glad to find this beautiful DIY blog that summarizes the craft exactly as I remember it! All you need is circular coffee filters, green pipe cleaners, water, and green food dye—and they make an excellent decoration!

Shrinky Dink Lucky Charms – via The Tiny FunnelShrinky Dink Lucky Charmsvia The Tiny Funnel
Who remembers Shrinky Dinks from their childhood? They’re extremely easy to replicate with some #6 recycled plastic, sharpies, and an oven! The Tiny Funnel does a great job of summarizing how easy the project is—and you can make charms in any shape and color! From shamrocks to rainbows, this one is great for any age that can hold a marker! (With parental help, of course.)

Rainbow Glitter Shoes – via The Swell DesignerRainbow Glitter Shoesvia The Swell Designer
Add some color to your St. Patrick’s Day outfit with a pair of rainbow glitter shoes! You can find craft supplies—as well as a pair of shoes in your size—at Goodwill. Be sure to start this one a day or two in advance, so they have time to dry before wearing them.

Mini Pot o’ Gold Party Favor – via Make and TakesMini Pot o’ Gold Party Favorvia Make and Takes
Does your little one have a class St. Patrick’s Day party? Here’s a great little party gift that can start with some easily thrifted terra cotta pots and craft supplies, and are easy for little hands to help assemble.

Eraser-Stamped St. Patrick’s Day Shirt – via Cutesy Crafts Eraser-Stamped St. Patrick’s Day Shirtvia Cutesy Crafts
This craft is easy, quick, and ensures no one gets pinched on St. Paddy’s Day! Add a shamrock to a light-colored t-shirt in this simple, kid-friendly DIY project. All you need is a t-shirt, freezer paper, green fabric paint, and a pencil!

“To all the days here and after—May they be filled with fond memories, happiness, and laughter.” – Irish Toast


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