While our ladies are living it up in Atlanta, they asked us to take over the blog on this lovely Friday. They must have known our post was bound to be a success, since we impressed them with our blogging and DIY skills back in April. (more about that here.)
So take note girls, we’re revealing our manly “must haves” in this edition of DIY Time Out.
1. Lacoste Cologne: Every Christmas, as sure as Santa will come down the chimney, it is just as sure that my mom will present me with a cologne gift. Lacoste has been my “staple fragrance” which is sure to turn the heads and tingle the nostrils of many-a-DIY’er.
2. Bigalow Organic Green Tea Every morning before work I used to begin my day with a cup of coffee. However, I have found a much healthier alternative which not only tastes better in my opinion, but helps keep my appetite in check throughout the day.
3. Bruce Springsteen Live in NY Album: Whenever I hear the words “Springsteen” and “New York City,” my heart skips a beat. One of my all time favorite albums is played regularly in our household. The near twenty minute rendition of “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” makes me feel like a teenage girl during “Beatle-Mania.”
4. Nalgene Water Bottle: My summer has been filled with a lot of long runs and workouts. The Nalgene Water Bottle has been attached to my hip since the beginning of July thanks to a recommendation from my brother. Thirty two ounces of water goodness is the typical finale to a long and draining work out.
5. Whiskey Ball: Whiskey on the rocks can put a little hair on any guy’s chest. Lately I’ve been adding this cocktail to my repertoire, and I always like it cold and a bit watered down. This ice sphere does the trick. It’s just a plastic spherical mold, that you fill with water, and then freeze. I add the cube to my drinks and feel extra classy when I’m sipping my whiskey.
6. Digital Wireless Headphones: Since we live in a loft (aka no privacy) I use these wireless headphones to watch TV late at night. Casey heads to bed around 9:30pm (no joke, she is crazy)..while I’m more of a night owl. All I do is plug in these headphones and I can watch all the TV I want, while Casey dreams away in our quiet loft.
7. Crew Forming Cream: I’ve been using this hair product for years. All I can say is it is well worth the price tag.
8. Silver Tie Clip: I’m not always thrilled when Casey drags me to antique shops and flea markets, but sometimes I do find a few things for myself. On a past flea market trip, we found a silver, vintage tie clip. It was only $10 and I’ve worn it many times. Cufflinks are cool too, but you have to wear a specific button shirt down for those. I can wear a tie clip whenever I have to wear a suit and tie, and it adds a little pizzazz to my ensemble.
Don’t worry DIY Playbook fans, you’re not stuck with us for too long. Your two favorite girls will be back on Monday.
With lots of intimidation and quite a bit of hesitation, I decided to create a pallet sign to add to his patio. (Enter some serious muscle).
I enlisted my better half to carry this way-heavier-than-I-expected pallet home from a dumpster nearby. (I say “nearby” loosely… more like 1/2 mile of trucking this thing home). Poor Matt, such a team player.
After we he got this bad boy home, we got to work tearing the wood apart.
Tearing the Pallet Apart
Needless to say, the muscle part of this duo took care of most of this demolition as well.
Thanks to Matt, we were left with some weathered pallet wood that would eventually make up the Pallet Sign.
We laid out a rough draft of the sign and decided that the tiny pallet leftovers just weren’t sturdy enough to back this heavy sign. We headed to Home Depot to buy some new wood.
But first, these dangerously scary nails needed to go. With the back of a hammer and some more muscle, we got those last nails out in no time.
To identify how big our strips of wood needed to from Home Depot, the project manager did some measuring.
Since the whole sign was 21 inches long, we picked out one long strip of wood and had it cut down (for free) to 20 inches. The total at Home Depot for the wood, a whopping 97 cents.
Reconstruction of the pallet sign
After we did some more measuring and re-adjusting, we were ready to nail. One pallet board at a time, we leveled, and used these nails to secure the boards.
Now, the fun part– adding a “little” finish to the already weathered pallet strips. I didn’t want to add a fresh coat of pure paint onto this sign because I figured that would eliminate the vintage charm this wood already offers. However, without a little color I knew the wood was just too unfinished for my dad’s style. The compromise: watering down paint to give it a vintage washed look.
I used a small jar of an old paint sample for my paint base. #hugemoneysaver. Instead of buying an entire gallon, Home Depot will create a sample of any paint color you choose for around $3. How could you beat that?
Before I took my (paint + water) concoction to the pallet sign, I sampled it on a piece of leftover wood. If you want the darker look, use less paint. I wanted my finish to be a little lighter, so I added more water to the paint. There’s no rhyme or reason to my mixture, I just kept adding a little bit of water until the consistency was exactly what I was looking for. It’s sort of like creating the perfect pancake mix… kinda?
Some of the pallet wood absorbed more of the paint than others; giving those strips a darker look. Clearly each strip looks a little different, which was A-ok with me! The more weathered charm, the better.
The next step: adding some words! I traced some letters that I printed off the of computer with a pencil.
I filled in the lines with a few itty-bitty artsy paintbrushes and some white paint.
About an hour and a half later, I was so excited to present this treasure to my pops.
Pallet Wood……… Free
Backing Wood…. $0.97
Paint………………. already had it
paint brushes……. already had them
Total Cost: $2.27
A personalized gift….. Priceless
P.S. Come check out this DIY pallet sign and the amazing patio we added it to!
Yep, we’re an Irish family and we definitely like to get our swill on.
Lately my dad is digging bourbon whiskey. Single malt, single barrel…I don’t really know much about the stuff…but I do know that he loves it! So I thought it would only be fitting that his Father’s Day gift reflects his drink of choice.
Consider this project a “DIY for a guy!”
Your first step will be to actually find and purchase the perfect bottle. Finn and I ventured to a local alcohol mecca (this place is legit huuuuge!) to try and find a cool-looking bottle.
Our must-haves? Not too large. Glass. Cool Design. We knew we would be taking the label off because when it gets wet (which it will because it is a soap dispenser!) the colors could run and it would be a mess. So we wanted the glass to say the name of the alcohol, instead of just the label.
We found this Captain Morgan bottle for Finn’s bathroom (he wanted in on the DIY action too!)
After you find the right bottle. Drink the entire contents in one sitting. Then break out the power tools.
Kidding. Just want to make sure you guys are following along. (We simply poured the rum into a separate decanter that we will slowly drink)
Once you have a clean and empty bottle, use goo gone to peel the label off of the glass bottle.
Goo gone is like magic. That stuff works wonders!
I then had to find a soap pump that fit the bottle. After doing some research, I concluded that many pumps are similar in size. I decided to go with this one, simply because it was on sale at Target and I liked the dark, shiny color.
In order to get the pump to stay in the bottle, you’ll need to use a cork.
I went with the cork that came with the original Captain bottle.
I chopped off the pretty wood top.
And then drilled a large hole through the cork until it fit the pump.
It took a little finagling to get it on there, but it ended up working out just fine.
Our guest bathroom now has enough soap to last a lifetime #seriouslythatthingishuge
I ended up using the purple soap dispenser (with no top) as a vase. Win, win!
The swords and text that reads “Captain Morgan” is very subtle on the glass. Which I really like! Way better than booze right in your face! Just a touch of manliness right?
While the rum bottle went into our own guest bathroom…I made a bourbon whiskey bottle for my dad.
Now I think this bottle is really cool!
I especially love how it says “bourbon whiskey” right on the front.
This unique soap dispenser makes a pretty awesome Father’s Day gift if I do say so myself!
In honor of Matt’s birthday week, Casey and I thought it would only be fitting to allow our two favorite boys, and future grooms, to take over the blog. For your reading enjoyment, we introduce you to the man’s perspective around here a.k.a the other half of the Rookie Squad. So with no further ado, Matt and Finn, the blog is all yours. All we ask is that you both behave yourselves, our moms are reading…
It’s going up in the house…. no matter what Bridget says!
Today is a very special day. No, not because it is the first of April. Today just seems….different. The air is a little crisper, the sun is shining a bit brighter, and the birds seem to be chirping in perfect harmony. The reason being you ask? Well, I, the fiance of a DIY Playbook executive, have made an executive decorating decision myself. A portrait of Cosmo Kramer (comedic element of NBC’s longtime hit sitcom, Seinfeld) will be added to the guest room decor.
Some guys may think it is easy living with a DIY executive. “Oh, Matt, it must be awesome. You don’t have to decorate a thing. She will do it all for you!” This is true. However, a man can only swallow so much of his pride. There have been many-a-days offering decorative ideas to Bridget. However, all of my creative bubbles were popped… and popped quickly. I began to notice a “Rolodex” of polite shut-downs. “Yeah that’s a good idea Matt, maybe we can look into that later.” And then my personal favorite, a smile, a shake of the head and a hug, basically saying “Good effort, but you have no idea what you are doing.”
I may not be the “King of Color Schemes.”
I am definitely not the “God of the Gallery Wall.”
And it is safe to say, I am not the “Ambassador of Arts & Crafts.”
But what I am is a home owner…and someone who should have a say into how his house is decorated!
Today is a new day. I am leading the charge to defeat DIY “executive decisions” against my decorating ideas! I can picture it now. Cosmo Kramer in the guest room, a black and white Bruce Springsteen poster in the office, and last but not least, a velvet portrait of a Basset Hound playing cards above the couch in the living room. My house would be officially complete.
This is not going to be an easy task. Similar to General Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn, my odds are slim of pulling this off. However, I won’t go down without a fight!
Gentlemen, we have ALL made sacrifices. Our Friday nights have gone from “drinks with the boys” to parading around Goodwill stores looking for ceramic animals because it would be a “cute centerpiece”. Decisions of ordering wings or pizza have turned into picking between IKEA or TJ Maxx for a shopping excursion. My Saturday’s used to consist of walking aimlessly around Best Buy, salivating over what DVD box set I was going to buy. Now my Saturdays make up of walking around Estate Sales helping Bridget decide what broken down old chair could be “made over” for the blog.
It is time we take a stand gentlemen. Put down that glue gun and pick up an XBOX Controller. Throw away that glitter and dust off your old Whiffle Ball Set. Hide those scissors and yarn and pop in an old Hulk Hogan wrestling DVD. We must stand firm and stand tall.
If not us, then who?
If not now, then when?
Mr. Finn… Can I get a witness?
You know what Matt…I have to agree. Once I saw that distinguished piece of art (Cosmo adds character, by the way) I realized that it too is my time to stand firm and rebel. It’s time we stand up to these so called “rookies” and show them who’s king!
It’s time to get the team back together!
In this box, are great men that support our cause. Champions who nod vigorously in agreement when I give them the slightest fist or chest bump. These players epitomize excellence and should be WELCOME in my home and not shunned to a closet after all they have done for me!
As you’ve seen on the ol’ blog before, my sports paraphernalia is limited to what matches the color scheme and can be hidden amongst the bookshelves. That plan is out. I want them to be front and center…the focal point of our home!
So things are changing around here. We’re going back to our winning ways…
In the morning, I want to piss excellence and stare at my past fantasy championships, recalling the exploits of my teams. When a championship is won in my household a bobble head is purchased in the likeness of my team’s MVP. They may not have known who or what they were playing for at the time, or even cared if they did, but these men led the charge and deserve their enshrinement in my imaginary HOF.
Justin represents the first of a back-to-back Fantasy MLB Championship (looking for a three-peat fellas and some more championship burgers). While Sir Thomas represents my 2009 fantasy football season. Brady’swarrior effort deserves recognition, and he kills it with the ladies so he is always welcome. Casey still finds his bobble head to be a 10…and he’s only 8 inches tall. How does he do it?
These bobble heads could really make each day a little brighter! If I want to start the day right, I should do so with sky-high confidence remembering the glory of my Fantasy championship seasons as they are often few and far between.
My sports stuff isn’t just for me though. Sure, Gus here reminds me of our WSAW News Channel 7 2011 basketball championship in Wisconsin and the great times I had with those guys. But, he could be the perfect welcome sign for anyone that enters our home. Gus is the quintessential doorman. He could greet our guests with his little top hat and glove, deny unwelcome intruders, and even give some love with a solid fist bump. Who wouldn’t want to see this adorable round mound of rebound when they enter our home?
Plus, my morning fist pump to Gus would only set me up for success throughout my entire day at work.
This final athlete would really round out the decor around here. Those of you who know me, understand my obsession with the gentlemen below (in a purely athletic manner, mind you). He was a gift to my team last year and saved the season, and we have him back for 2013! Mike Trout deserves the most prominent of spots in our home.
I would like to share a drink with him before bed, recalling his amazing 2012 rookie campaign (how he wasn’t MVP I will never know….) and his bright future. I’d give him a little cheers with my Babe Ruth baseball stein (Sultan of Swat loves the kid), and say good night. As I mentioned before he would simply nod in agreement for a few moments…before falling back to rest.
As men we appreciate the things our women do to make our homes cozy, complete, and frankly amazing. At the same time if we aren’t here to mess it up and give them challenges where is the fun in that? So we challenge you dedicated DIY’ers to find places for these things in our homes and make it work. You want to stop being a rookie and join the Majors? Make our tacky, inconsistent, passionate items work! Good luck!
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