DIY

DIY

DIY: Refinishing with Chalk Paint

Part of my recent bedroom makeover required the refinishing of a built-in desk. I’d refinished furniture before, and suffice it to say, I was dreading having to do it again. Painting furniture can be a slog of a project, requiring what feels like innumerable, annoying steps: disassembling, cleaning, sanding, sanding again, cleaning again, priming, possibly priming again – all before laboriously applying two to three coats of paint, then finishing it off with a varnish. Sometimes you even sand between coats. It’s a total bear.

DIY

DIY: How to make Hasselback potatoes

Being so clued-in to social media can be a blessing and a curse. The blessing: One learns about new and amazing crafts and recipes that one must try. The curse: One learns about new and amazing crafts and recipes that one must try. At issue: My “must do” list stretches ahead into next January, while my budget limps along back in July somewhere.

DIY

DIY: Make your own string art

String art has been growing in popularity over the past few years, with crafters finding ways to get increasingly involved and more intricate with their designs. From simple shapes with single-color creative threading, to positive messages in a rainbow of colors, the outcome of the pieces are always an intriguing way to enhance your decor.

DIY

DIY: Simple storage for plastic grocery bags

I recently – and by recently, I mean over a year ago – saw an article about how a plastic bag ban had been put in place in California (a ban that has since been put on hold). The article spoke of all reasons behind the ban, the pros, the cons, the science. More interesting than the article, however, was the ensuing fury in the comment section.

DIY

DIY: How to make a wrap bracelet

Over the past few weeks our craft projects have all focused on making simple decor items for the home. That’s all well and good, but consider that every once in awhile, it’s nice to give yourself a little something. Today’s craft is elegant yet simple, and like most of the crafts I throw together, takes about an afternoon’s work for a lifetime of delight. (And that’s not overstating the amount of delight in any way, whatsoever.)

DIY

DIY: Make a macrame plant hanger

Recently my 12-year-old saw a clever decor item on Pinterest and mentioned that she would like to have one in her room. The item was a macrame plant hanger, and while part of me was thrilled — she wanted something we could make! — another part of me was confounded. The art of macrame — while an incredibly hip form of decor back in the day — was slightly before my time, and I’d never learned the craft.

DIY

DIY: Make play dough

One of my earliest crafting memories is “helping” my mom make play dough. The day she acquired the secret recipe from our next door neighbor (written on a recipe index card, no less), I remember hounding her to make the salty stuff the moment we left the neighbors house, walked across the yard and in through our front door. That recipe involved Cream of Tartar and cooking the beloved goo on the stove, which then involved cooling time and my impatience. The end result was a green-tinted (my then-favorite color), salty-tasting (of course I ate it) dough that lasted a few weeks. It was my favorite go-to toy between ages two and four. Then again between 5 and 7, and again in my early 20s, when my boys were toddlers. And pretty much anytime it’s nearby. The fact is, I still love playing with the squishy stuff.

DIY

DIY: Create earthy art

When long, hot days are spent inside the house, one tends to turn one’s thoughts inward… mostly toward changing the way the inside of the house looks. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many of my friends are talking about updating their living rooms or redoing their bedrooms.

DIY

Create a clothes-pin frame

I recently had a conversation with the woman who was waxing my brows and it was really interesting. Well, let’s be honest: brow waxing is always interesting. (How just a few hairs can make the difference between Cro-Magnon and human, or, conversely, human and dolphin ... fascinating). But no, I intended to say that the conversation was interesting. Mostly because I believe there was an implied compliment directed at me — and who doesn’t love it when I receive compliments? Exactly.

DIY

How to save your hair from the sun

I read too much. What’s worse, I read, absorb knowledge and then attempt to impress upon my kids the all-important info I have just learned. Occasionally it works. Actually, a more accurate way to phrase that sentiment would be, “This one time, it worked.”

DIY

How to save your skin

Sometimes, when I’m sitting at work —tucked away in the cube farm, beneath the phosphorescent glow of manufactured light— my mind drifts over memories of the summers of my youth. All those long, lazy days spent largely in our dark family room before the Technicolor glow of the television while my mom practically begged me to go outside — good times. Good times.

DIY

Make a flower clip in four easy steps

Fellow residents of the Central Valley, remember when the rest of the nation was mired in snow and we were out golfing? Remember last November, when persnickety autumn bypassed our entire state, and our children were sent to school wearing shorts and tank tops?

Videos

How to store plastic grocery bags like tissues

Follow this simple tutorial to learn how to store plastic grocery bags pop-up style, in a tissue box. Video by Traci Arbios/ tarbios@fresnobee.com
How to store plastic grocery bags like tissues 0:55

How to store plastic grocery bags like tissues

DIY: Make a macrame plant hanger 2:45

DIY: Make a macrame plant hanger

Hundreds gather at Armenian Genocide Monument for remembrance ceremony 2:07

Hundreds gather at Armenian Genocide Monument for remembrance ceremony

Downtown residents, business people reflect on deadly Fresno shooting rampage 1:01

Downtown residents, business people reflect on deadly Fresno shooting rampage