3 Wooden Barrel Projects You Can Make Yourself

Here at Bestof2sisters, we’ve always known that crafters are passionate about DIY projects. What we are just finding out is that our readers are also passionate about barrels. You read that right. Wooden barrels are kind of a big deal right now. And why not? They offer a super cool vibe — both industrial and rustic — and lend themselves perfectly to creative upcycling projects.

Take this unique vanity for example. It’s made from an old oak wine barrel and looks phenomenal in this one-of-a-kind bathroom. Side note: This project is not for the DIY faint of heart, as the barrel will need to be prepped for use in humid conditions.

If you love the look of barrels and want to continue the wine theme further, try your hand at this wine barrel and bottle fountain. It’s a totally doable project that looks like a million bucks. What’s not to love?

Are you a fan of the classic barrel planter? I certainly am. It’s a look that feels simple, rustic, and crafty all at the same time. Plus, large barrels are great for trees and other plants that need plenty of room for roots. Learn how to make your own barrel planter here.

What’s On My Nightstand

Since catching the home improvement bug, the books I read, and the websites I frequent have drastically changed. What to Expect: The Toddler Years has been replaced by This Old House magazine. Evenings are no longer spent on parenting discussion boards but pages and pages of amazing DIY blogs.

I have to admit when I become interested in something I tend to over-study. I’ll gather every book, buy every magazine, scour the Internet and ask everyone I know about the subject. The problem is this: I wait for an unrealistic level of confidence to kick in because I want to feel perfectly ready to tackle a task.

It never happens.

Yes, it’s great to do research and learn as much as possible before taking on something new. But then comes the time to just ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND TRY IT! I’m happy to say that is what I have been doing, and I have several projects to share with you soon.

In the meantime, let me show you just a few sources of my current inspiration

This Home Depot book is like the bible of home improvement – if you want to learn how to do something – anything – in your home, it’s in there. I especially love the extensive use of pictures for every step.
I had a difficult time finding Home Improvement 1-2-3 in three local Home Depot stores. It’s quite popular and caters to the layperson homeowner.

When you think of This Old House, you may think of the old Bob Vila television shows. But the This Old House magazine has become more trendy and much more woman-friendly. There is a lot of focus on planning renovations and “Before and After” features. They have informative product selection guides and helpful Q&A’s. This Old House online has everything you’ll ever want to know about home projects, and their videos are the best I’ve seen (with fewer commercials).

The Gordons Tools Blog is a bit more tool-oriented and assumes that the reader has an extensive collection of equipment. It is still a great resource for beginners who can begin to envision the possibilities of where being handy can take them. Gordons Tools website is terrific – they have comprehensive tutorials on just about any project or task you may need help with.

I am obsessed with trim work and any type of molding. Whenever I walk into someone’s home it is the first thing I notice. I think many people would be surprised at how simple the necessary skills are to create the most basic of molding. This guide (and many other Sunset series books) does a great job using detailed pictures and easy step-by-step instructions for almost any molding job you can imagine.

The Better Homes and Gardens publication Do It Yourself is enjoyable to read but focuses mostly on craft and decor projects. I still subscribe, but to me, it doesn’t belong in the “Do It Yourself” realm.

Last, but certainly not least is a book called The Digital Mom Handbook co-written by a close friend who has taken the blogging world by storm: Colleen Padilla (aka ClassyMommy). If you are a mom who feels caught in between the worlds of caring for your children yet wanting to stay connected to the working world by being online, this book is for you.

Now it’s time to put down the books, turn off the computer and get moving on more projects!

How to Talk to Kids About Lying

I had more than one child lie to me today. Being lied to usually gets under my skin more than whatever it is they are trying to cover up.
Reading this article called “Teaching Your Kids to Be Honest” helped me realize I need to put forth a little more effort to help children learn about honesty.

I especially love this scenario:

Mom: I see that you have some candy. But I didn’t buy that for you and your sister just told me that she saw you take it off the shelf when we were in the store.
Child: (Looks down)
Mom: I don’t believe in tattling, and I’ve told your sister that. But it’s also important not to steal. And it’s just as important that we don’t lie to each other. You know we’re a family that really values honesty. You trust me and I trust you.
Child: I didn’t mean to. It just happened.
Mom: I know, Honey. The temptation is so great. But I’m so proud of you for telling me the truth. That’s a hard thing to do and I appreciate it so much. Now, let’s get going back to the store. I’ll stand by your side while you return the candy.

Instead of catching the child in a lie, this hypothetical mom actually sets up her child, to be honest. This definitely takes more patience and composure, but I don’t doubt the benefits will be long-lasting.

Ruffled Buttercream Frosting Cake

A few weeks ago, it was my beautiful friend Mrs. V’s birthday. Her amazing husband planned a fabulous day of girly activities for us ladies to celebrate her special day. We had a lovely lunch at a local cafe, followed by shopping, pedicures, and all ending in a relaxing Sunday afternoon session of canapés, cocktails, and of course CAKE! Knowing how much Mrs. V loves my cakes her husband asked if I could whip one up just for her and of course, I obliged, it was after all for the beautiful Mrs. V!

I had been dying to try out a new cake decorating method that I hadn’t had a reason to create (although all my co-works continually tell me that I don’t need a reason and that they will be more than happy to devour any test cake I create, how lovely and selfless of them). I had been drooling over the ruffle cakes that are so on-trend right now, but I couldn’t spend days working on fondant ruffles.

I jumped on YouTube to find a quick, easy, simple tutorial to follow and found a few different varieties that I quite liked. I thought that I would share my finds with you, these are just a few of the many tutorials on YouTube so if these aren’t exactly what you are after, there are many many more where these came from!

I also found this tutorial for perfectly pipe-able buttercream frosting. I found that when I made it, mine was a little on the thick side but I think that was because I didn’t beat it for long enough to aerate it and get it nice and fluffy; my poor old mixer finally gave out so I was trying to fix this by hand.

Helpful hints

  • Take it nice and slow when you are first learning, going slower means you will have more control over the bag, the frosting, and the ruffles.
  • Do not fill up your piping bag too full, as you will be going slow a full piping bag means that the frosting will sit in your warm hands for quite a while and your frosting will sort of melt a bit and make it hard to do your ruffles.
  • The 104 tip that is mentioned in the tutorials is a Wilton flower petal tip, if you want a smaller, tighter ruffle you could use the smaller Wilton 103 flower petal tip as I did.

Don’t worry too much about being perfect, ruffles need some inconsistencies to look better.
Keep the cake topper simple, let the ruffles be the show stopper.
I put the cake in the fridge for 5-10 mins after I finished piping the ruffles just to let the frosting set a little, as I had to drive the cake to the other side of town on a warm day. Above all else, have fun and enjoy the cake!