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Guest Blog - Featuring Britt from A Penny Saved

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Pretty Handy Girl: Guest Blog - Featuring Britt from A Penny Saved

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guest Blog - Featuring Britt from A Penny Saved

If you have been following my blog, you have witnessed some trash-to-treasure transformations using some finds from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

My guest blogger is a brilliantly creative DIYer that created a schoolhouse lamp with some ReStore parts and a pot lid (Yes, I said a pot lid!)

Britt is the author of A Penny Saved. Definitely check out her blog. She has some great tutorials and very creative solutions!
I asked Britt a few questions to give you an idea how she became an accomplished DIYer:

Q. When did you begin creating your own DIY projects?  
A. Shortly after I married my husband and moved into our first house.  I wanted to make it pretty, but we didn't have a lot of extra cash so I started coming up with ways to decorate and furnish cheaply.  

Q. Did you have any formal training? If no, how did you learn how to create your own projects?   
A. Haha, no formal training.  I think I just had a vision for what I wanted something to look like and figured out a way to make it happen.  It's all about thinking outside the box and repurposing things.  

Q. Was anyone inspirational in giving you the confidence to try a DIY project?  
A. My husband.  I wondered for a while if he was just excited that I wasn't spending tons of money on decor, but he genuinely does seem to appreciate my projects. 
Q. Where do you get your inspirations?  
A. Design blogs, magazines, catalogs, flea markets......I feel like I'm surrounded by so many great ideas.  

Q. Would you be willing to share your biggest blunder or goof?
A. Hmmm, I have a few projects that are in an "unfinished" state because I got frustrated with them, but I haven't completely given up on them yet.  It's almost never impossible to recover a project.  I have had a few run-ins with paint colors, though.   

Q. Any advice you have to other new DIYers?  
A. Don't be afraid.  It can be very scary to start a new project -- especially if you are repurposing something old and have to do a little demo to begin.  Just jump in and do it.  Even if you mess up, you will learn from your mistakes, and like I said, it's almost always possible to recover from mess-ups.  

Without further ado, here is her $9 Schoolhouse light fixture tutorial:

Isn't it cool?  For $9?  After just a few hours of work it is hanging in our laundry room!  

I knew I wanted a schoolhouse fixture in this room, but there was absolutely no way I could drop that kind of money on something that I might be able to make for much less.  So I went to Home Depot and browsed their lighting section, looking for inspiration.  I found all the pieces I needed to put together a DIY schoolhouse fixture, but then later I found this gorgeous globe at ReStore and it was just too big to use with any of the parts I had picked up earlier.

So I scrounged around the house and found a pot lid that fit perfectly over the top of the globe.  And then I found a candlestick that had a nice shape to it & disassembled it so I could use just the base.

I had my husband remove the handle from the pot lid and drill a hole through both pieces so that it could be wired for a light.  He threaded a hollow bolt through the middle to hold the two pieces together and to attach the socket.   

I spray painted everything oil-rubbed bronze to match the other fixtures in our laundry room.

We drilled three holes in the bottom of the fixture (in what was formerly the pot lid) and threaded screws through them to hold the globe on. 
And then it was just a matter of hanging it.  For a really far-fetched concept, this turned out to be a very smooth and easy project.

Here's the run-down on the costs:
globe - $5 at ReStore
socket - $2 at Home Depot
swag hook - $2 at Home Depot
We had the candlestick, pot lid, chain, wire, screws, paint, and canopy cover lying around, so we did save by using what we already had.  (You end up with a lot of spare parts when you mess around with light fixtures as much as I do!) 

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If you loved her tutorial for the schoolhouse light, you will swoon for her Horchow inspired glass orb chandelier here

Did I mention that I think she is brilliant?!
And I'm not just saying that because I like her name. (Really! It is only a coincidence that she's Britt and I'm Brittany.)

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At July 15, 2010 at 12:30 PM , Blogger Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Hello! First of all, thank you for the comment on my blog! I don't know how you found it, but I was very, very happy to have a comment by a new person! Second, you are quite the handy person. I love your lantern, mailbox, bench... I really give "kudos" to someone who is handy. I, unfortunately, am not, so I greatly admire this in people. I will be back again to visit!
Best regards,

At July 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM , Blogger Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

P.S. I also just became a Follower! :)


At July 17, 2010 at 5:27 PM , Blogger Alanamous said...

I love it Britt! A girl with vision and an architectural eye. :) I'm glad Brittany shared you with us.


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