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image courtesy of istockphoto

Do you have a favorite craft or DIY project that includes one of our products?  Or, have an idea that you’ve been wanting to try? Share it with us and you could be featured on this blog!

Throughout the month of December we’ll be accepting project submissions. At the end of the month we’ll choose one or more of our favorites to feature.  We want to see what unique and fun projects you come up with using Amazing GOOP, Eco Glue or other Eclectic Products. So, get out your glue, scissors, paint, paper, fabric and show us you’ve got!

Just a few things to keep in mind.  The craft or DIY project submitted must include an Eclectic Product and must include an image(s) and/or video with a how-to description of your project. Those featured will get a gift basket of glue to suit your DIY or crafting needs.

Send submissions to kelli.matthews[at]gmail.com

You can peek at some of our previous guest posts and contest winners to get inspiration:

RC cars and Amazing GOOP

ShoeGOO Decoupage(ish) Shoes

Baby Name Art Canvas How-To

Mosaic Mushroom How-To

Pumpkin Topiary from DIY Network

Pumpkin Topiary from DIY Network

With the arrival of fall come some of my favorite things: warm cider, carmel apples and pumpkins!  Here is a list of a few things you can do with pumpkins.

Carving.  Halloween is just 4 weeks away and that’s just enough time to get what you need to carve the perfect pumpkin.  HGTV has great tips for carving.  And, if you’re like me and have a hard time figuring out what to carve, try templates.  They’re easy to use and you’re bound to have the best looking pumpkin on the block!

Pumpkin Pie.  This is an absolute must have.  I don’t care if it’s store bought or home made, pumpkin pie is the best.   Here’s a great recipe from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkin Seeds.  I absolutely love, love, love oven roasted pumpkin seeds!  Of course you can buy them from the store, but they are much tastier warm and fresh out of the oven.  Lightly salted, they are a perfect fall snack.

Decorative Topiary. The DIY network suggests creating a decorative topiary with carved pumpkins. Once carved, stack the pumpkins, glue them together so they stay put, and wrap twinkle lights around the outside to complete the look.  This clever project would be perfect next to a fireplace or entry way. Try E6000 or EcoGlue Extreme.

Do you have any favorite fall traditions?

Whether we’d like to admit it or not, summer is on its way out and fall has arrived.  It’s time to take the fun with family and friends from the backyard patio indoors.  Of course you can find the same old decorations in stores, but why not try something different this year? We’ve found some great ways you can update a room for fall in just a few easy steps!

Decorative Light-Switch Cover

Image courtesy of Design Sponge

Image courtesy of Design Sponge

I did this years ago using tissue paper, but really you could use paper or fabric.  This is a fun and easy way to add interesting color to a otherwise plain wall.  All you need is your choice of fabric, E6000 Craft and an x-acto knife.

First remove the light switch cover from the wall, the cut a piece of fabric slightly bigger than the size of the cover.  You’ll want to be able to fold some extra fabric around the edges.  Make cutouts for the switch and screw holes.  Apply E6000 Craft onto the plastic light-switch cover, then put fabric in place.  Once the glue is dry, you’re ready to put your new and improved light-switch cover back on the wall!

Your local craft store will have a large selection of fabrics to choose from, but Ikea and Marimekko are also great places to look for unique patterns.

Image courtesy of Design Sponge

Image courtesy of Design Sponge

Upholstered Headboard

This project will take a little more time, but as you can see looks absolutely amazing when complete.  The combination of flowers and animals in this red and white print stands out so well on the neutral wall.

You’ll need the following items for this project: wood for your headboard, foam, batting, fabric, knife, scissors, staple gun, flush mount and E6000 Craft .

For full step-by-step instructions by Design Sponge go here.

Fun with Wall Paper

This is one of my favorite DIY projects because it can work in just about any room in your house.

Image courtesy of NOTCOT

Image courtesy of NOTCOT

It can be a great accent to your kitchen in a breakfast nook, add some flare to a bedroom or spice up your living room.

Craft stores, art stores or specialty gift shops are great places to find paper perfect to create this look.  The paper will most likely be just the right width when purchased, so no need to cut and worry about uneven lines.  Just be sure to measure the length of the wall you intend to use and purchase that length of paper.

Apply E6000 Craft to the wall, starting at the top.  Place the paper over the glued area and run your hand down as you flatten the paper, removing any air bubbles. Do this in small sections as you work down the wall.  Once you reach the floor and the end of the paper, you’re all done!  If you need to cut off excess paper at the end, I would recommend using an x-acto knife and ruler to ensure a nice straight line.

Some small, but simple changes can make indoor get-togethers even more delightful.

Enjoy!

A couple of years ago on a business trip on the other side of the country, I picked up a pair of pants on clearance at Banana Republic for less than $10. It wasn’t until several days later and when I had returned home that I realized the zipper placket was completely unstitched. The pants were inexpensive enough that I wasn’t motivated to return them and I also knew it was an easy fix. And I always had it in my mind that I would do so (despite my lack of sewing machine).

pants_busted

After a recent move, I was resolute to keep what was useful and donate what was not. So, armed with a tube of E6000, I determined to fix my pants. The pants were clean & dry. This part of my pants is not visible once this particular repair is done, but if you were to use this same technique to fix a hem, for example, you’d want to be more careful about potential permanent wrinkles.

pants_gluing

I followed the directions on the tube and then left them on the counter so the glue could cure overnight.

pants_e6000

The repair was invisible, pants washed just fine, placket intact. E6000 creates a permanent bond that will hold through washes, ironing and every day wear.

Pants_fixed

Get your own tube for repairs of all kinds, including zipper plackets, at ExcelBuyOnline or your local retailer.

By Daniel Hurst Photography

By Daniel Hurst Photography

It’s that time of year… Back to school! We found a bunch of textbook perfect projects that will help you prepare for the upcoming school year.

Get organized!

Parents know that back to school means homework, school activities, sports, and more. Prepare yourself with projects that help you organize homework due dates, sports schedules, and weekend activities.

Organization frames are simple tools to help you and your kids keep track of deadlines and dates. Lowe’s demonstrates how to create a multipurpose frame system in four simple steps.

Create a study space for your A+ students where they can stay organized and focused and take the occasional study break. The study space features a book nook, art corner, and extra credit/homework dry-erase wall.

Kick off the school year in style!

Back to school shopping can get expensive. Why not create your own fashionable, inexpensive school accessories?

Book bag: Learn how to make a chic oversized book bag that’s big enough for books and supplies. Maryssa “Missa” Stumpf of Missa by Design provides a how-to video with simple steps to create this super cute accessory.

Backpack: Make a backpack out of a mens jacket. Threadbanger gives step-by-step instructions on how to create a hip backpack that’s perfect for the new school year.

DIY Sustainable LunchReusable lunch bags: Stop wasting plastic bags and create a cute reusable lunch bag using old clothes. Amy from Progressive Pioneer uses old jeans to create her reusable lunch bag. They’re cheap, durable, and great for the environment.

Teachers pet?

Start the school year right by impressing your teacher with some unique, homemade crafts such as:

iStock_000003145965XSmallMoving into a new (or new-to-you) house can be exciting. But it can also mean needing some basic DIY skills that you may not have ever learned.

We asked some experienced new homeowners and renters about what DIY and home maintenance tips they think are most important. What do new homeowners or young people living their first house need to know? We asked Twitter and got these responses:

  • Basic plumbing: know how to unstop a toilet, unclog a drain, fix a basic leak.
  • How to (and when to) change the air filter in a house with central air and heat.
  • Hone your stud-finding abilities and be able to find a stud in the wall to hang hooks, pictures and shelves.
  • A clean caulk can keep out significant water damage. Knowing how to seal joints in the kitchen and bath is a top skill.
  • Grow some basic landscaping skills: know what the tools are for, figure out what plants to plant and gauge how much to water to use.
  • Build your toolkit and put together a great go-to box of tools with all the basics. But what should go it?
  • Know when to bring in a professional: some DIY is not amateur-friendly, know when to fold ’em

Having some basic home maintenance and DIY skills can save you a lot of money. In fact, the most common statistic we found is that, for every $1 that is spent on maintenance, up to $100 of repairs are avoided.

We’ll cover some of these skills in more detail in the next few posts, but in the meantime, here are some terrific resources so you can get started building your DIY skills.

If you have a skill that you’d add to the list, please feel free! We’ll see if we can address it in a future post.

BBQ Season by Dominic via Flickr

BBQ Season by Dominic via Flickr

In the category of “random holidays,” we learn that July is not just National Hot Dog Month, but it’s also the National Month for baked beans, blueberries and ice cream. Sounds like a BBQ to us!

As we are wont to do, we scoured the Internet to find the best of the best tips for prepping for and hosting a delightful backyard soiree.

Prepping

Check the backyard for any safety issues such as filling holes that may cause people to fall when walking, or fixing a loose board on a deck or stones in a patio. Clean up a cluttered yard by putting away all unnecessary items such as toys and outdoor maintenance equipment.

You may have noticed that wobbly leg on the deck chair at the Memorial Day get together. It’s time to repair it! Make quick and easy repairs using Amazing GOOP Lawn & Garden or EcoGlue Extreme.

Keep your party bug free by setting up insect repellent devices around the yard. Make sure your repellent is EPA-registered or recognized as safe for kids, pets, and the environment. Repellent devices include Allethrin Lamps, Geraniol Candles and Diffusers, and Metofluthrin Diffusers.

Next, clean the stuff.

Good Housekeeping recommends the following top patio-furniture cleaners:

Decorating

Liven up the party with decorations:

  • Pick a theme and place decorations around the patio, yard, and house.
  • Spruce up picnic tables with fresh-picked flowers.
  • Cover tables with vibrant plastic or cloth tablecloths.
  • Place votive candles on tables to add ambiance and additional lighting to the party.

Party Time!

Whether your cooking simple hot dogs and hamburgers or lamb shish kabobs, prepare everything ahead of time to avoid a hassle during the party. Food and Wine Magazine recommends four simple steps to a great barbecue: slather, rub, mop, and barbecue sauce. Tasty food is a key component to a successful barbecue.

Prepare a buffet table and set out a cooler with cold beverages just before your guests arrive. Arrange the buffet table in a logical order so guests can easily maneuver through the delicious grub you prepared. Place condiments and extras in a central location for easy mid-meal maneuvering. Replace perishable items with fresh food to avoid potential spoiling.

Prepare games such as badminton, horseshoes, and volleyball. Make sure you have the appropriate game equipment for your guests and encourage some friendly competition by offering fun prizes.

Keep the party groovin’ with a killer music selection or playlist. Who knows, maybe the music will provoke an impromptu dance party.

And voila… you now have a successful barbecue!

DIY PaintingIt’s summer and that means it’s time to start some home improvement projects. Lucky for you, there are abundant resources available for doable DIY projects. Avoid a DIY disaster with tips we found that help you choose your projects wisely and plan carefully.

Step one: Do your research!

Interior designers suggest searching the Internet for step-by-step videos for a particular project. A video will help you visualize the project and decide if the project is doable. Research also will give you a realistic idea of how long a project will take.

Research the necessary tools for the job. Many tools may only be needed once for a specific cost. Research tool rental costs to reduce DIY expenses.

Step two: Time to get started!

Outdoor projects

There are many doable outdoor DIY projects for the inexperienced. Staining a deck or laying a stone walkway are both simple outdoor projects that experts suggest for home-improvement novices. The DIY Network suggests building an outdoor patio as a simple addition to a yard.

Spruce up dreary gray concrete surfaces with acid stains, acrylic stains, epoxy paints, and scoring techniques. Water based concrete stains are a popular eco-friendly solution for coloring concrete surfaces. These stains act like a dye and come in a wide array of colors. For example, SoyCrete is green building compliant, non-hazardous, and acid free concrete stain.

Painting

Painting is a simple, affordable way to improve your home. To make a paint-job look professional and clean, sand surfaces before painting. This doable DIY task gets tricky when attempting to paint the ceiling. Some designers suggest a laminate plank system for ceilings. The laminate planks can be affixed to any ceiling with hooks and screws, which gives your home a sleek, professional look.

Lighting

Upgrade your lighting fixtures by adding decorative trim to lamp shades. Plain drum shades and pendant light kits are available at home good stores. Avoid a DIY disaster by leaving technical electricity work to the experts!

Wallpaper and Upholstery

Experts advise starting small when it comes to wall covering. If you’re nervous about applying wallpaper, save money and time by prepping the walls. To prep the walls, start by sanding, remove the dust with a damp cloth, and then prime with wallpaper primer. If you work up the courage to apply the wallpaper, start small and take your time.

To read more about doable DIY projects see the full article: Want to fix up the house? Pick doable DIY tasks.

DIY InstructionsWe know you enjoy DIY – building, crafting, repairing – and sometimes finding interesting, useful and inspirational things online can be very time consuming.

Since we’ve been reading and sharing a variety of projects, innovative ideas and just cool stuff on Twitter, we thought compiling them for you here would be fun, too.  You can join us anytime on Twitter, by the way. @amazinggoop for DIY and craft tweets and @EPI_Industrial for builders and contractors.

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DIY Gardening: Build a Rain Barrel

It’s gardening season and your plants are thirsty. Make your own rain barrel with used plastic containers. Rain barrels are an efficient, cost effective way homeowners can collect and recycle a valuable resource.

33 Clever, Time-Saving, Money-Saving Reader Tips

Readers contributed bunches of tips that speed repairs and save money. You can find the best of the tips from This Old House. Our favorites were tip number 16, place a bag in a paint tray to decrease the mess, and number 30, unclog hairy drains with Nair hair remover. We’d also add #34: Use a good adhesive.

How to Build a Patio Planter

From our buddy, Danny Lipford, learn how to build a wood patio planter with simple instructions. Summer heat doesn’t mean boring entryways. Add simple late summer or fall plants for a lovely addition to your patio. You can make it even simpler, by using EcoGlue Green Solutions Premium Wood Adhesive.

50 Nifty Tricks for Big DIY Savings

Shrink household expenses with 50 simple ideas. Some of the tricks may help you save $500. Some of the tips include shortening your dryer-vent hose and making your own cleaning solutions. And… Of course, add a tube of GOOP to your toolbox for on-the-spot repairs to save some coin, too.

How to Make an Herb Garden from Recycled Plastic Bottles

Reuse plastic bottles and create a fresh herb garden. This clever project would be great to do with your kids and watch your garden grow. Of course, we recommend EcoGlue for the glue used in this project. The steps are easy and you can have fresh basil before you know it.

19 fresh ideas for outdoor rooms

It doesn’t take much to improve a porch, patio or garden. Here are some easy and inexpensive updates for outdoor spaces. One of our favorites is fresh idea number 8: Create a new outdoor room with a simple change in flooring.

How to Decorate a Table with Bamboo Veneer Flowers

Spruce up a coffee table with an organic, floral twist. This article will show you how to make your own pattern from photos of flowers and apply them with bamboo veneer.

Mosaic Birdhouses

Learn how to make stunning mosaic birdhouses that will brighten your yard and make a stylish home for the birds in your yard. This article provide seven easy construction steps and materials. We’ve provided several mosaic projects on An Eclectic Blog and know that EcoGlue or Amazing GOOP both work well.

557840620_12701c1225_bChoosing a good contractor is a topic we’ve discussed before. With a majority of Internet users searching for information online to help make decisions about everything from shoes to medical care to home improvement products and professionals, referral websites can substitute or complement personal referrals.

You’ll find two types of referral Web sites: homeowner-to-homeowner and professional-to-homeowner.

The Queen of the homeowner-to-homeowner sites is Angie’s List. Members of Angie’s List pay a fee of about $50 a year to have access to reviews and ratings from fellow homeowners. Since 1995, when it launched, the site has grown to more than 300 categories. Providers are “graded” with letter grades on areas such as price, quality of work and professionalism.

As a member, you can search for a professional by zip code and check out ratings from other homeowners and read about their experiences. Angie’s List users take the responsibility of their contributions seriously. Everyone understands that the community depends on each member reviewing their experiences.

Angie’s list does not allow contractors to buy a place on the site or be featured above another.

A professional-to-homeowner site like Contractors.com provides a more traditi0nal referral service, but really serve a complementary role to a site like Angie’s List. On Contractors.com you submit a project and a team of former contractors reviews it for accuracy. The team then submits to licensed and insured contractors in your area.

Within about 24 hours, you’ll hear from up to three contractors interested in bidding on your project. This service is free to homeowners, it’s the contractors that pay the fees. Contractors pay for leads and can also pay for premium listings. Contractors.com also includes homeowner-generated reviews.

Regardless of which site you use to help make decisions about your home, we have a few general tips to consider.

  • A legitimate contractor will want to see a larger project in person before giving you a quote.
  • The best sites will offer support over the phone. Contractors.com will help keep contractors communicating with homeowners and Angie’s List will even step in to resolve disputes.

This Old House has a terrific article on the topic of using contractor referral sites. If you have experience with one of these services (or another), please let us know!

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