Beautify on a budget: simple, easy and useful projects

Summer is winding down, but we're been making the most of it around here with renovations, family visits and craft projects. It's been busy! So busy that I'm diving this post into two parts. Today, part 1, I share some fun projects I've completed that cost $$ peanuts, are useful and help beautify your surroundings. 

1. Oversize kitchen chalkboard 
Using just leftover cedar scraps, Craig created this awesome board with lots of room to write recipes, grocery lists and inspiring quotes like 'seize the day!' Cost was minimal using all leftovers including chalkboard paint from this super fun project. There are some great versions made with old picture frames too. Makes me want to make more...although I have literally no more wall space.

2. Custom rain chain
Craig had just finished some fixing up of the eavestrough and we needed a down spout.  I did some research because I love the look of rain chains. This one we came up with after scouring the local dollar store. 12 plastic cups at $0.50 each and a length of chain from the hardware store for $10. Craig had the nails and pushed them through the cups and chain after drilling holes. The bottom of each cup has been drilled out too. When it rains the water just trickles down, looking all sparkly, leading to a bucket filled with rocks. Saves water from splashing all over the dirt. 

3. Write-on banana pepper vase
Making more use of chalkboard paint (a little jar goes a LONG way). I took one of those huge pepper jars from costco, cleaned up the label area with goo gone then taped off a square where I painted 2 coats. I found some old ribbon to tie around the top and done! I can't imagine the cost was more than $4 (if that, and that includes buying the huge jar of peppers). 

Stay tuned for exciting part 2 where I'll show you our recent cabin renos and garden updates. 
What have you been up to this summer?

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