The Pinterest Challenge!

Guess what. A good part of the reason I wanted to start a blog was so I could participate in the Pinterest Challenge started by two of my most favorite blogs, YoungHouseLove and BowerPowerBlog. I love Pinterest. I love pinning, looking at other people’s pins, reading the blogs that pins bring me to, and even sometimes creating whatever it is that I’ve pinned! When I first saw their Pinterest Challenges (YoungHouseLove’s here, and here, and here, and here. Katie Bower’s here, and here, and here, and here) I really wanted to participate but I didn’t have anywhere to link to! No place to house my project. So I started this blog with the hopes of one day participating in the Pinterest Challenge. Today is that day!

Here is my original pin (haha that sounds like original sin), pinned 43 weeks ago and just late enough to miss holiday card season.

Other than the first few pins that I made when I didn’t know better, I always pin from the original source rather than re-pinning. That pin takes you to this post on GwennyPenny.com! So this has been on my To Do list for 43 weeks. Seriously.

What you need:

  • clothespins (I bought a pack of 50 from Walmart for 97cents!)
  • wire hanger (see my note below)
  • green spray paint (I used Krylon from Walmart. I think it was indoor/outdoor but I just grabbed some that was green)
  • a box or something to clip the clothespins on while spray painting – this is optional but makes it much easier!
  • pony beads (I did mine exactly like the picture and used red but if you look at the comments on the original page some people used white and it looked awesome too!
  • glue gun
  • ribbon of your color choice

*Note: the only wire hanger I had on hand was a white coated one from the drycleaners. A plain, non-coated one would have been better because whatever that white coating is kept chipping off when I tried to manipulate the wire and left little flakes everywhere. Definitely not ideal, especially if you have children or pets! The white coating also made the hanger thicker (duh) and for a few minutes I was afraid that it wouldn’t fit through the spring on the clothespins! And of course I figured that out after painting them all. I was about to have another meltdown a la the curtain issue. Thankfully I just had to have the wire very kink-free and it went through. But non-coated would have avoided these issues.

To start: spray paint all of the clothespins. I copied the technique in the post and thought it was really helpful. Clipping all of the clothespins to a box meant that I could spray all sides without having to let them dry before turning them over and I could pick up the box to spray the bottoms. I didn’t remove the flaps and in hindsight the thinner the area being clipped too the better because the sides will remain farther (further?) apart. Does that make sense? If the clothespin is around something thick, the top parts will be closer together than if it is clipped to something thin. The closer together they are the more difficult it is to get the paint all over the insides. It’s a fairly negligible difference but just a thought.

I took my clothespin boxes plus 2 flat boxes to block overspray out to the grass in the front of our building. I made sure to be far enough from the building and sidewalk that if any spray paint wasn’t collected by the clothespins or boxes it would go into the grass and not be a big deal. I did a few coats and then let them dry (by the wall that you can see in this picture so they didn’t get blown away) for a few hours and then did a few more coats. I probably would have been fine after the first coatings but had more spray paint and time so thought why not.

I let these dry overnight and through the workday yesterday (Monday). Flatten out the wire coathanger. I clipped off the hook rather than try to untwist it and have wavy areas. It was still long enough so I didn’t mind losing the extra inches. In the picture you can kind of see the areas where the coating has chipped off. That happened especially where the hanger had formed the corners because trying to flatten it out caused the coating to crack.

PS I’m sorry if my carpet makes you dizzy and/or nauseous.

Begin stringing! I started with a pony bead and then alternated clothespin, pony bead, clothespin, pony bead, etc. all the way around. Doesn’t really matter whether you start with a pony bead or a clothespin, though.

Continue allllll the way around. This took maybe 10 minutes because I had a few times where the clothespins didn’t string smoothly and I had to bend out some kinks.

All strung on!

(As you can see, I didn’t do the best job of getting in all of the nooks and crannies of the clothespins. I may go back in the future and touch up with acrylic paint and a paintbrush. We’ll see how noticeable it is once it’s holding a bunch of holiday cards.)

So once you get everything strung you will need to have about 1″-2″ of free wire on each side (you should be able to slide clothespins/beads around if you got too close on one end). Put these together so they overlap (with each end of the wire touching the beand or clothespin on the other side). Gluing the ends together was kind of tricky because you don’t want to get your fingers too close to the hot glue if you’re a fraidycat like me! I couldn’t get a picture of this because I didn’t have a 3rd hand to hold, glue, and snap a picture with but what I did was hold the 2 wires together with a pair of pliers and glue everything but under the pliers. I then let firm up for a minute or two and moved the pliers to glue that area.

I also had some red duct tape that I wrapped around to be sure it stuck together. I was planning on using a red ribbon so I felt that the red tape wouldn’t stand out too much. I think it definitely helped. You could use any tape that you have handy and then just wrap your ribbon around it to hide it.

Almost done! I then found some red ribbon in my ribbon stash and tied a quick bow! I haven’t decided if I would hang it from a ribbon loop (like in the original picture) or from the actual wire part so for now I just have a bow. I also didn’t want to hang it up yet because a) I have a firm “No Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving” rule and b) by this time it was 10pm and I didn’t want to be hammering and being loud. So forgive the dresser background. The knob was the best place for me to hang this for now!

Looking a bit wonky. I’m not sure how to make it a perfect circle but I *think* once it has a bunch of cards you won’t notice that as much.

Here it is with some cards on it!

Another small complaint (and maybe I did something incorrectly?) is that when the clothespins are holding something they have to be flipped around and the other end is shorter so you can see it. This may be just me being anal, or it may not be a problem when most of the pins are flipped holding things, OR maybe if I flipped them all around it would look better. I’ll try those things out later.

All in all, I love it! I’m so excited to start getting holiday cards in the mail so I can hang it up and display them! Last year we just stuck them on the corner of our table and they always fell/took up room. I can’t wait to see what other people have done for their Pinterest projects!

Now for the projects that the lovely ladies hosting did:

What have YOU found in Pinterest that you’ve enjoyed? I have a few more projects up my sleeve that I’ve already done. I just don’t want to use them all up at once =) Do you mail holiday cards? Email? My parents have recently switched to electronic and it’s fun but not quite the same!

Just keep [blogging]

If you’re reading the back posts you will see that I was pretty post heavy there for a while and I made a lot of promises. Like “pictures soon!” and “next post will be about curtains!”.  Oops. Do you want to know what happened? I got discouraged. I ran into a big, huge, annoying roadblock trying to hang curtains and I got discouraged and felt like I couldn’t do anything myself. Couldn’t DAM, if you’ll let me take the DIY acronym to a bad place. Long story short after spending a few hours ironing, hemming, spacing clips, and making sure the curtains worked on the pole my husband and I started to actually hang the hardware. That’s where we ran in to a lot of problems: drywall anchors not fitting but then being too loose or just exploding, screws not screwing, etc. I don’t know if it was a combination of a bad wall, trying to work in a very tall space for two not-tall people, inexperience or what, but nothing was working. A bunch of holes in the wall later and we had one bracket up… barely. The others just fell out of the wall. After a few hours we gave up. I cried a little (blamed it on the drywall dust), cursed a little, and put everything away. That one bracket is still hanging forlornly on the wall as a reminder of my ineptitude. We found out a week or so later that we weren’t supposed to hang anything on our outer walls anyway so…. maybe it’s for the best?

Anyway… it turned me off of blogging and any large home improvement projects (not that I can do many in our apartment). But the Pinterest Challenge that I’ll post about next has totally inspired me again. What I need to remember is that everyone is going to have a project that fails! That doesn’t mean that I’ll never be able to fix anything, that just means that I need to learn to roll with the punches. I  need to get over my pride and sometimes admit defeat so I can learn from it. I will try again when we have a house and I will learn to hang curtains! Some day, you will see pictures on this blog of the curtains that I have measured, ironed, hemmed, clipped, drilled, and hung. Just know that that is a promise for some day in the future =)