Category: Cottage

Retro Camp Decor for Summer – Bedroom and Bathroom Refresh for Under $50

What was your favorite thing about going to summer camp as a child? I loved swimming in the lake, doing crafts, visiting the canteen and crushing on the hot lifeguards. They all seemed so wordly to my ten-year-old self. I hope they’re not all bald and paunchy now. I’d be so disappointed. Anywhoo.

As I decorated the summer Hoosier, I began to realize just how much camp decor we have. I don’t normally do themes, but figured it would be fun to give our bedroom and bathroom a quick and inexpensive refresh for the warmer months.

The Hudson’s Bay blanket featured in the fire starters post became the jumping off point for the color scheme. These blankets are traditionally wool, but mine is acrylic and very lightweight. It’s all we need for a bed covering in the summer.

I used the back side of a Christmas pillow for the bolster.

The map pillow is made from a bandana given to my husband at one of his favorite trail races.

Several years ago, one of our sweet nieces embellished this vintage paint-by-numbers scene with a daring saying. I just love it! I’ve had the cottage arrow for ages, and recently found the red arrow at an antique store.

This fan was inherited from my husband’s great aunt, as was the plaid throw under the picnic basket. The fan is not safe to use, so I cut the cord off of it. Don’t want anyone to lose a digit.

I love this birch canoe for displaying bracelets. And yes, I would totally pack all of these for summer camp! #soextra #dontjudge

Did you play jacks as a kid? This decorative jack is a dedicated place to park our rings while doing yard work, sports, working with power tools or other dangerous pursuits. See also: Keep your digits, above.

Now, on to the bathroom:
The vanity holds a variety of products for pampering hands. The jar that looks like grey sand is “Man Grit” (bought locally, I couldn’t find this online) an amazing-smelling hand scrub for hubby. The jar with the wooden spoon is “Moonshine“, my favorite “sugah” scrub from Charleston Soap Chef. Their “Sweet Tea” product is fantastic as well. That hunk of turquoise is a Soap Rock, one of my gift-giving favorites. Roanokers can find them locally at Present Thyme, or you can buy them online at Bloomingdale’s.

Beach towels hung on hooks lend a bathhouse feel to the bathroom. The green, pink and aqua stripes are a cheerful nod to 1950’s decor. I made the “Cabins” sign from a child’s canoe paddle.

I bought the upper tennis racquet from a thrift store. I noticed the previous owner’s intials written on the frame and thought “It looks like it’s written in pencil, I’ll just erase it.” Later, I decided to keep the initials because it is part of the history of the piece. Then it hit me. They’re the same initials as my brother Matt, who we lost to cystic fibrosis when he was nineteen. I was meant to bring this one home.

Almost all of the decor was on hand in the Arthur Archives, thrifted, gifted, or from the flea market. Pa Kettle loaned me the dart board and croquet balls, which he refers to as “crochet balls”!

Because I’m nosy, and love to know how much things cost, here is a breakdown of what I spent and where I found the items I purchased for this makeover.

Total spent on the bathroom: $22
$2 vintage tennis racquet – thrifted
$20 for two, colorful beach towels (currently on sale for $8) – Tarjay

Total spent on the bedroom: $27
$3 picnic basket – thrifted
$9 red arrow – antique store
$6 lake cottage painting – antique store
$9 ’10’ sign – antique store

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour and are inspired to give your own decor a refresh. Now, I just need a cabin in the Adirondacks!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

How I Remove Rust From Cast Iron

Now that we’ve made it through our rainy, Virginia springtime; we’re overdue for some outdoor chores. At Arthurized Home, we use cast iron for our everyday cooking. We’re careful to season it regularly so rust is not a problem. However, I just bought a cast iron pot with some pretty severe rust on it. It’s not pitted, so that’s good. Actually, I would have passed on buying pitted cast iron. No amount of TLC can bring that back.

A quick Google search shows countless methods for removing rust from cast iron. The process I’m using is one that I have used successfully over the years. I burn the rust off the cast iron in a fire and then season it in the oven. This method avoids using noxious chemicals and hours (and hours!) of obnoxious scrubbing.

My cast iron is good quality and very serviceable, but solidly average. It’s not rare or valuable. I would not use this method on Granny’s heirloom cast iron. For that, I would get out the steel wool, get to scrubbin’ and develop tendinitis.

I can’t speak to whether vinegar baths, oven cleaner (seems toxic), electrolysis and lye baths work on rusty cast iron, because I haven’t tried those methods.

Cast Iron Care: Take care not to shock your cast iron, which can cause it to crack. Bring the cast iron to temperature along with the heat source. Never place cold cast iron onto a hot stove, into a hot oven or fire. Never place hot cast iron into the fridge/ freezer, cold water or an ice bath. Remember ‘hot with hot’ and ‘cold with cold’ and your cast iron will be just fine.

Pa Kettle decided to get in on the action by providing an actual kettle that he found in his basement when they bought the home. It’s been unloved and in Basement Purgatory for 50+ years. I’m not sure if it is salvageable, because the rust is thick and the pot is severely pitted. But, why not throw it in and see what happens?

This is a good project to start in the morning, as you need several hours for the fire and several hours for cooling. To prepare the fire, I placed a few logs into the fire pit and laid the pots on top. I positioned the pots so that as the logs burned down, they drop toward the center of the fire, not out of it. Then I covered the pots with more logs. The idea is to have the fire reach the entire pot, including the undersides.

Bring out a few of those great fire starters and put them to work. Once you have a roaring fire, it’s time to relax.

Contemplate the meaning of life, sing a few campfire songs and break out the hot dogs or s’mores fixin’s.

Without leaving the fire unattended, burn the cast iron for a few hours (I like a minimum of three hours) and then let the fire die out.

Don’t pour water to extinguish the fire, as that could shock the cast iron.

Once, the ashes cooled, I pulled the pots from the fire pit. See that red stuff? It’s red rust. This is oxidation at high temperature when raw metal is exposed to the air. Not to worry, though. A quick scrub with a paste made of baking soda and a splash of water, will take most of that off. I’ve read that a thin coat of red rust helps the first layer of season to bond. I have no idea if that’s true, but I’ll soon find out!

Pa Kettle’s pot will need another turn in the fire.
I would like to get all of the brown rust off of it before moving on to the next step.

Thoroughly rinse the baking soda off of the cast iron. If all the old season has been removed and the raw cast iron is exposed, the pot should be matte grey.

I placed a large baking sheet onto the lowest oven rack and put the pot on the top rack. I turned the oven to 300° and left the pan in for about five minutes. This ensures that the pan is completely dry before seasoning.

After drying the pot, let it cool a little, then season with oil or grease of your choice. I spread an extremely light layer of bacon grease over the pot, coating it entirely. Wipe excess grease off with a paper towel and place the pot back into the oven upside down. This allows any excess grease to drip out of the pot onto the baking sheet below. I usually season my cast iron between 375° and 425°, so I crank the oven up at this time.

After about an hour in the oven, I turn it off and let the cast iron cool down. Then I repeat this step. Again. And again. And again; building thin layers of season each time. Once the season is built up on the pot, it is ready for daily use in the kitchen.

A few more tips on cast iron care: Moisture is the enemy of cast iron. Never let cast iron soak in water. After use, and while your pans are still warm, quickly rinse, dry and re-oil your cast iron. If there are food particles cooked on, use a plastic scrub brush to remove them.

Cast iron is for cooking and baking, not food storage. You’ll need some vintage Pyrex refrigerator boxes for that. *winks*

Because our kitchen is small, we stack our cast iron for storage. Scratches can damage the season, so we place a microfiber cloth between each pan.

Take good care of your cast iron and it will serve you for a lifetime. Who knows; maybe the grandkids will fight over your collection one day?

For more reading on caring for cast iron, here’s an interesting article:
https://richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp#seasoning

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Decorating the Hoosier for Summer

Even though it’s still spring, it will feel like summer this weekend with highs in the upper 80’s. I’m so excited because I love all things summer: long days, wearing flip-flops, garden produce, campfires and going to the beach!

I’m getting a jump on summer decor, starting with the Hoosier cabinet. Having red, white and blue as my color scheme, I’ll leave this up from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Of course, the star represents the Star City; and the thermoses are vintage, picnic fun!

Some of these pieces are a nod to my Minnesota childhood. The birch bark canoe is a reminder of summers spent paddling on the lake. The dala horses and the Lisa Larson figurine were gifts to our family from a Swedish exchange student.

I’ve had these metal sand pails for years now. My mother-in-law loved Mary Engelbreit and beach vacations, so these bring back memories of her.

This little guy was part of a Children of the World project that Larson produced for UNICEF. I love his sweet face and little “innie” belly button! He has the cutest bubble butt too, but I’ll try not to embarrass him here.

I’ve collected vintage linens for quite some time. Many of these are gifts from my sister-in-law who started my collection almost 25 years ago.

A little life advice from the Father of His Country. I found this little goodie at a thrift store; and I love the script calligraphy.

The Lone Star State tablecloth was a gift from my Grandpa to his mother when he was working in Texas.

Do you see the navy saucer peeking out from the red bowl? It belonged to my Hoosier Grandma. The California cloth is in memory of my Grandparents; and with love to all my family in the Golden State. The tablecloth is a new piece made to look like vintage, state map hankies.

I’m enjoying the irony of featuring beautiful, English dishes in my celebration of independence from British rule. Which reminds me of the time when my husband wore his Union Jack hoodie to watch the fireworks on July 4th!

The Fiestaware here is a mixture of old and new pieces. The large, navy bowl was my Grandma’s as well; she used her Fiesta everyday.

I usually keep the Hoosier doors open, but here you can see the design on them. I think the hinges and latch are so cool. She’s pretty even when closed!

This cabinet is chock full of sentimental pieces that to an outsider might look a bit like a yard sale! Nearly everything else is gifted, thrifted or from the flea market.

I hope this inspires you to use your well-loved pieces in new and unusual combinations! If you need a few tips for displaying your collectibles, see my Spring Hoosier post.

Bring on summer! I’m ready!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

How I Repaired Wood Rot and Saved Over $1,000

Arthurized Home has french doors that developed some wood rot along the threshold. The folks at a big box home improvement center told us it couldn’t be repaired and that we should replace the entire door unit; to the tune of well over $1,000.

My sister had just successfully repaired a wooden column on her front porch using Abatron’s LiquidWood and WoodEpox, so we decided to give it a try. We ordered a kit from Amazon that was about $40.

The first step is to scrape away all of the rotten wood. Really dig in there and make sure you get it all. Remove anything that comes off easily. We were horrified to see the true extent of the damage, especially on that center support.

Tape off the area where you will be working in case there are epoxy drips. Use plastic sheeting if necessary. This product is meant to last, and drips or spills will not clean off easily.

The next step is to stabilize the adjoining area using LiquidWood. It’s an epoxy mixture that soaks into the wood and hardens it, preventing it from future rot. I probably went a little overboard drilling holes here, but I wanted to be extra thorough. I drilled slightly downward so the epoxy would flow down into the holes, not right back out of them. Mix the LiquidWood according to the package directions and paint onto your project, completely covering any exposed wood.

Let the epoxy dry completely.

Now comes the fun part! Mix the two-part WoodEpox together according to the package directions. It’s like playing with putty! Make sure the colors blend completely to solid white. That’s how you’ll know it is thoroughly mixed. Work quickly and in small batches; this starts to set up shortly after mixing.

Smoosh (yes, that’s the technical term! Smoosh!) it into and onto the areas you’re repairing. This product sands easily, so don’t be shy about piling on the WoodEpox. Apply enough product so that when you sand, you don’t end up with dimples or valleys.

Let that dry completely and start sanding. I used a triangular detail sander to get into those corners.

Yep, I realize there is a spider on the trim. This is country living; and I don’t mind them as long as they stay outside of the house.

So much better!

Once the repair is complete you can paint the WoodEpox. This repair is almost four years old now, and still looks (and functions) as good as new.

For more information on the products that I used to repair my door frame:
https://www.abatron.com/product/wood-restoration-kit/

This post is not sponsored; I’m simply sharing my honest experience with this product.

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Tips for Displaying Your Collectibles – Decorating the Hoosier for Spring

This Hoosier cabinet is a kitchen workhorse. It’s been a pantry, storage for extra dishes and large pots but most often it has been a display area for seasonal decorations and collectibles.

Several of the items in here have sentimental value; a memory tied to an experience, found or given to us by family, starting with the Hoosier itself. A gift from my sister.

This bird nest was part of the decor at my Indiana grandma’s 90th birthday party. The china belonged to my grandma in California and was lovingly shipped here by my aunt and uncle. Other items were collected over time from the flea market, thrift stores and yard sales. Some pieces are new, purchased at a discount.

The bunnies are new pieces, the leaf plates are a gift from my mom. The vintage table linens below were collected over time, mostly gifts from my sister-in-law.

“Chocolate” bunny found at TJ Maxx.

This apron was sewn by another sister. She chose cherry fabric for me because at the time we had nine cherry trees on our property.

The Fiestaware is a reminder of my Indiana Grandma and her colorful kitchen. She used Fiesta as her everyday dishes and had a glass front cabinet in her kitchen chock full of it.

These chick vases were found on a shopping trip to Dixie Pottery in Abingdon, VA with my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. They are new pieces with a vintage look.

This cookbook holder with illustrations cracks me up! If you need an infographic for how to hold a cookbook open; perhaps the cooking is best left to someone else?

My husband bought this little teacup for me. It’s hard to read the message, but it says “Be always happy”. I imagine the original owner drank her tea from it and her thumb resting on the cup wore off the word “always”.

The lemonade pitcher and glasses were a birthday gift from my sister-in-law.

Here are some tips for displaying your collectibles:

  • Decide on a color scheme/theme. In this case, I’ve used all pastel and Spring/Easter items. You could go with brights, all white, monochromatic, etc.
  • Group like items together. Odd numbered groupings look best.
  • Vary the height of the pieces on each shelf. Try to arrange vignettes of triangles and inverted triangles. This creates movement and helps to guide the eye through your display.
  • When decorating shelves or bookcases, group colors and stagger them from right to left in a vertical zig-zag pattern.
  • Most importantly, use what you love! From the outside looking in, this may seem like a strange group of unrelated pieces, but nearly every item reminds me of an experience or someone I love. And that is the real story of my home and yours.

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Cottage Style Race Medal Display – A Tutorial

One of my goals for the year is to find a way to display the race medals that my husband and I have accumulated. We’ve got them stuffed into storage boxes in closets and the basement. I’ve been shopping for a large medal holder and just haven’t found the perfect thing. So I decided to make one from a wooden shutter.

Adapt this project for your own use! Make sure the louvers are fixed and strong enough to support whatever you hang from them. You could use a sturdy shutter and hooks to hang kitchen utensils, towels and aprons. If you have a young girl in your life, make a display for hair clips, bows and jewelry, etc. Create one for your garage or potting shed to hang work gloves and hand tools. The possibilities are endless!

Materials List:
A note about the paint: Eggshell or matte acrylic is best. I used leftover “oops” paint for this project and found that the semi-gloss topcoat peeled a little more than I liked during sanding. Choose a color for the undercoat that contrasts nicely with the topcoat.

  • Shutter
  • Paint for undercoat
  • Wax candle in white or ivory
  • Paint for topcoat
  • Old paint brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Cleat for hanging, rated for the weight of your project – I bought mine at Lowe’s
  • Optional – decorative trim of your choosing
  • Optional – spray matte sealer to protect the painted finish

I found this shutter at the Habitat ReStore and it is in great condition;
22″ wide by 66″ tall made from solid wood with wide louvers.
Weighing about 20 pounds, it’s not too heavy to hang on the wall.

The shutter had some brown stains on it that I initially thought were water damage, but it was just sawdust(?) and rinsed right off. I didn’t bother to sand it. I’m going for a rough/chippy/distressed look. A few lumps and bumps contribute to that.

The first step is to add paint in a color that contrasts with the top coat. I chose a chocolate brown paint, because I want the impression that the shutter is old and made from a dark wood. Apply the undercoat to corners, decorative trim and edges where time and use would have worn the paint away.

Next rub a wax candle on areas where you want the top coat to sand off easily. The wax will resist the paint. It’s important to use a white or light colored candle, otherwise you might stain the undercoat.

My sister gave me some enameled ‘his’ and ‘hers’ plates that are perfect for this project. Thanks, Allie!

Apply the wax heavily and don’t worry about removing the excess. Remember, we’re going for an aged/chippy/distressed look.

Now, it’s time for the top coat. If you have one, use an old project paint brush because jamming it down between the louvers will ruin the bristles. I tried using a foam brush and it didn’t hold up well.


Touch up any bare spots if needed and let the paint dry completely. Now, it’s time for the magic! If you’re like me and have forgotten where you waxed, start lightly sanding the piece and the paint will easily release in the waxed areas. Affix any decorative pieces and attach the hanging cleat to the back of the shutter and to the wall.

I bought the 200 lb. hanging cleat; you could certainly go lighter. This one has a level that slides into the cleat. We did not drill into studs to install, but the shutter is very secure.

The total cost of this project was $41. I paid $25 for the shutter, $15 for the hanging cleat and used about $1 of Oops paint.

Don’t mind my internet cable; I’ll place a basket there to hide it!

If you make this project, I would love to see it! Send me an email at arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Style Your Books for St. Paddy’s

March means rainbows and shamrocks at Arthurized Home and while we don’t go all out with an Irish theme, we add a few touches here and there. Here are some ways to bring the St. Paddy’s love with your books.

Rainbows: Gather up books with attractive spines and arrange them in rainbow order. The subjects don’t matter, you’re just looking for bright, eye-catching color.

Neutral with a touch of green: Maybe bright colors are not your thing. Grab a stack of books with a neutral look, stack them and add a nod to the holiday. I found these tea cups years ago at a thrift shop. If you don’t have something similar, you could use a green tea cup or a small, potted shamrock. Shamrocks (oxalis) are cheap as chips in the grocery stores right now. Maybe tie a pale green ribbon around the books, or place a small bowl of gold foil-wrapped chocolates on top?

All green: This couldn’t be more simple. Stack books with green spines in an ombre gradient. Add a decorative item on top. Try a small gold candle, an air plant or a bowl of brightly colored candies.

This decor idea can be used with any holiday, red and green books at Christmas, Fall colors for September through November, etc. Have fun playing with it!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.