March 25, 2010

Trash Can Makover

Partly because we've been concentrating on the yard and partly because I'm fighting a nasty something that I thought was allergies but may actually be my annual bout with bronchitis (which is better than when I had an annual bout with pneumonia!) but not a lot has been happening around the house. Well, several things have been happening, but they are mostly small scale projects, forcing dogwood branches and organizing seeds. But yesterday I was able to pull myself out of the decongestant induced fog I had going on to tackle a project that I've been meaning to do fora while now.

Where to put the recycling has always been an issue with us. There's not enough room under the sink and I cant deal with it being out in an open bin. For a while we had the bins just outside the kitchen door which was great, until the dog started pulling things out to chew on and spread the contents of the bin across the yard every morning. Ugg. No thank you. So a couple of months ago I bought a garbage can that matched out current can with the idea that one would be trash and one would be recycling. When I bought it I fully intended to come home and make some kind of cool label so we could tell them apart. Alas, some other project distracted me. Or maybe it was the kids. Or just, you know, cooking dinner. So instead I wrote "Toss" and "Recycle" on cardboard and glued a magnet on the back, just until I could get around to it in a week or so. Ahem, ok, maybe three months or so.

While I was scrubbing down the cans yesterday (amazing how gross a garbage can can get! I'd like to blame it on the kids but probably really can't) I realized this labeling thing had been put off long enough, those cardboard labels were looking pretty tatty, plus, coincidentally, I had the stickers and the paint on hand for other projects. Maybe some part of my oh-so-foggy brain is actually functioning and I bought them on purpose without knowing it. But probably not.

So off I went.

The hardest thing here was getting the letters straight. If they were a little off I wouldn't notice but the architect certainly would. It took a few tries and some unladylike swearing when I realized the "O's" were taller than the other letter (Why?) but eventually I got it, masked off a square (using electrical tape, which-worked like a charm, who knew!) and started spraying with matte clear spray paint. I ended up with a tiny bit of unevenness when the wind came up and weirded out one of the coats of paint, but with the "two kids live in this house" scratches that were already on the can, you don't really notice. And the end result looks nice and clean and clear without saying "I made this in five minutes with some old cardboard."

*If you want to try this, it's pretty self explanatory but I will say that you want a razor to help lift the edges of the letters when you remove them AND, nail polish remover takes off any paint smudges it you happen to touch the can after getting paint on your thumbs and leave weird prints all over the place.


I know,I know. Who gets happy over a labeled trash can?