Tag Archives: recycle

turn a fire pit into a FIRE PIT

Summer is almost over!  I mean, honestly, you can’t even call this summer. Summer is warm days, grillin’, and swimming.

Lately, here in Texas the pools are too hot, the propane tanks are dangerously close to exploding, and thankfully, the cicadas are too hot to make it sound like Hades.

So, like washing a car to make it rain, here is an outdoor project to bring on the cold fronts! 

Here’s how we turned a rinky dink fire pit into a big sexy FIRE PIT!

This is the fire pit equivalent to padding your bra, or extensions in your hair,

or whatever they say about a sow and her ear and purses. 


You’ll need (upcycling everything was easy except the cedar and rocks):

A cheap fire bowl and the ring that supports it. Ours was a 30″ bowl (you won’t need its legs)

metal mesh that your rocks wont fall through,

sheet metal pieces,

staple gun,

deck screws,

brackets, unless you’re good at toenailing,

wood for skeleton, we used 4×4 for the main legs, 1×1 pieces to hold up the mesh and rocks, and 2×4 for frame pieces,

wood for the skin, we used cedar for the vertical skin,

and the top where we rest our feet and drinks is pressure treated 2x6s mitered together.

Flat black spray paint, we happened to have grill paint on hand

black rocks- check the fountain/koi pond/water garden supply store

outdoor stain

our finished box base measures 53×53

the added top is 57×57

and 19″ high, but go with what you prefer…measure your coffee table to start and adjust for the width of the boards that you’ll use for the skin. Ours is 5 boards high..see below 


rinky dink… in need of padding.


Above: legs are 4×4, runners and their corner braces for added strength are 2×6, the ring sits on 1×1, continue to fill with more 1×1 to support the mesh .

We also added sheet metal pieces to cover any wood that was near the bowl. Leave a little air space between the wood and metal.


remove the ring’s legs if they’re too heavy.

Notice the brackets that join the horizontal pieces to the legs.


add mesh and paint it out black.

Add cedar skin, cover the raw corners with wood corner trim, add the 2×6 top using 1×1 supports underneath for added strength.


Add rocks.

Get some wine. Call some friends


fyi: if it’s too hot for a fire, plug the hole with a plastic bag and a brick,

fill halfway (not too heavy) with play sand and add 20 mason jars with tealights!


And in case you need a sexy little patio to put it on:

 Using string and stakes, measure a 12 foot by 12 foot SQUARE into your lawn. Use orange paint to transfer measurements.

 Cut around edge with a sharp shovel. Till up the rest to a depth of 2.5 inches or the height of your stone plus 1″ of sand.

 Line the inside of excavated area with green plastic lawn edging. Stake it into place with the supplied anchors. Make sure the top of the edging is level with the  dirt, not the top of the grass.  You don’t want to feel the edging with your bare foot. Ours is about 1/8 inch below the top of the stones.

Lay landscaping cloth/weed blocker out, cut, stake down.

Cover with an inch of sand. Use a 2×4 and level to get it all level. Stamp and level, stamp and level.

Cover with 144  12″ concrete stepping stones with no space between stones.

Fill all the cracks with more sand using a push broom. Keep adding and pack tightly by hand. Use a puddy knife or thin tool and be patient.  This is the most time consuming part, but most important. It took me almost two days!

Stain it if you like.  We used a stain that had a brownish/taupe undertone to knock down that cement gray color

 Four years later…

Our pecan tree landed on it during a freak wind storm so The Hubbers had to rebuild the top.

I’ve restained the firepit since then as well…less orange, more brown.


So there you have it. Bookmark it, make your supply list, keep an eye out for scrap skeleton wood, get ready for home improvement sales, and check the ‘Oops Stains and Paints’ every time you’re in the paint section.




Filed under DIY, make it or fake it, out in the yard

Lickety Split $3 Upcycle Handbag…if i can do it, you can do it



This is about one of the easiest sewing projects I’ve done in a long time.  I’ve shed a lot of tears over sewing projects that I had no business doing. Advance projects that required special feet….who knew… where i just tried to wing it.

Not a good idea.

But I have this red floral Waverly fabric that I have loved since I first laid eyes on it back in the early nineties.  I just can’t let it go.

 I’m a dork – we all know this. It’s probably outdated, but it’s just so yummy especially for the fall! I’ve made it into curtains, slipcovers, and a bench seat cushion. I’ve redecorated a few times since then, but still use the curtain panels as tablecloths for my Great Table in the back yard.

 I needed a new way to get in back into my life

And now I can have it as the lining of a new handbag…that only I can see.  Yay!

I also was inspired by these colors, and a more trendier look.








The navy is an Amazon.com bag I think.

But alas, I steered back towards my Buffalo Gal persona and went with the red option. The sweater is my very itchy, calf length Tahari that is second hand, and did I mention very itchy.  The leather strap is from a Fossil bag that I found at Goodwill.  You know how purses sometimes come with a second strap that is oddly too long? This is that strap.

The green fabric that I’ll use for stability was a felt table runner.


If you Google ‘sweater purse’ you’ll find a ton of beautiful inspiration pieces. Please deviate from theses instructions and get creative.

This is my first Upcycled Sweater Purse so I kept it simple.

You will need:

  • a sweater 
  • Heat n Bond, $3 (a paper backed sheet of solid heat activated adhesive)
  • batting, or sturdy felt, or a thin towel.  (the point here is to recycle what you already have)
  • something to use as handles.. a belt, straps from an old purse, or reuse old bamboo handles
  • fabric for the lining
  • button and cord for closure (optional)

Here’s how i did it:

1. Measure a bag that you like the size of.  I like my L.L.Bean tote that measures 12×14 wide. Since I have a hard time cutting straight lines and keeping right angles, I cheated.  I used a large coffee table book that is about the same at the tote as a template.

Either way, cut two 13×15 (or whatever) pieces from a sweater, two from the batting or felt, two from the lining fabric, and two from the interfacing.

2. Iron the interfacing to the felt or batting with paper side up. Let it cool then peel the paper off and iron the felt to the wrong side of the sweater. Work to keep the grain of the sweater straight, not wavy or stretched to one side.




 3. Put the two new layers together, sweater sides touching, and sew the sides and bottom leaving a 1/2 inch allowance.



















4. Box the corners if you like.  It’s simple to do and is a little bit nicer than the knife edge look (unboxed). Withe the purse still inside out, sew perpendicular across the corner seam.

Here’s a great picture from a lemonsqueezyahome.blogspot.com

Picnik collage

5. Turn the bag right side out and pin your handles where you want them.  I pinned mine in 2″ from the sides. Stitch a few passes since you want the handles very strong.


















6. For a closure, I cut a 5 inch piece of cord and tied the ends together in a double knot, and then hand stitched the knot 1/4″ from the top edge in the center.  The loop lays against the purse as you sew. 

 7. With right sides together, sew your lining fabric together along the sides and bottom LEAVE A THREE INCH OPENING ALONG THE BOTTOM IN THE CENTER. You will use this hole to pull the sweater through.


  8. Slide the lining over the sweater.  Cord and handles are between the layers. Pin and sew leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance.


  9.  Using the hole in the bottom of the lining, pull the sweater through…carefully. Sew the hole closed. Tuck, smooth, and iron the top edge for a crisper look.

10.  Add a button. Voila!

Wasn’t that so easy? Think of the possibilities!!!  Hopefully, you only spent $3 on the HeatnBond making this possibly the least expensive  upcycled purse you’ve ever owned.   


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Filed under DIY, make it or fake it