DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Home Depot. I jump at the chance to shop and sit down at the same time. Jumping to sit down doesn’t make any sense, huh?! yeah. that’s me.
Home Depot asked us if we could bring the gift shopping experience to life by picking out a few tools for some friends. Hello? Is this real life? I get to go to one of the places I spend a huge chunk of money each month and buy stuff to makes some else happier than a baby with a roll of toilet paper?! Count me in with both swollen feet!
Of course I parked myself near Martha’s beautiful ornament collection. I love the throwback ones…so cute.
While we were there, the manager, Kevin came out to help us and he was really helpful (and patient with our weird requests…can I take your photo an obscene number of times? can our three year old load the cart? can we do our next family photoshoot in your holiday trees?)
Will was really excited to start shopping. Since we are already equipped with most tools that we need, this was a venture off our beaten path of ‘paint’ and ‘more paint’ and ‘picture hangers’.
In the end, we found the Milwaukee Hackzall (very exciting because it’s cordless…I think I might need this one in my own life), the Husky lunch cooler, the Makita circular saw and the Howard Leight sync radio headphones/hearing protectors (Jeremy was manhandling these bad boys).
And then we posed with the trees. (we have no shame).
Will is really into self-checkouts. He thinks they were made for him. In fact, if I try to go to a regular checkout, he takes it a little personal. It’s funny how his little personality is already developing into that ‘DIY’ mentality
So then came the hard part….who do we give this amazing loot to?
The answer came to me one day as I was looking at my own two boys. I wanted to give it to some very special young men named Levi and Jake.
Levi (11) and Jake (12) are two homeschooled brothers that live in my favorite little town of Monroe and have been little entrepreneurs in their own right. Levi (below) started a business a couple of years ago while in his dad’s workshop. He would take the scrap wood from the trash pile and created these sweet little rustic boats.
Then he started branching out to create string art and is learning the ‘tools of the trade’ when it comes to woodworking. Under the watchful eye of his parents, his little creative spirit has really soared and is a whiz with tools. He even sold his goods at his Dad’s booth at Scott’s Antique Market (one of the biggest antique markets in Atlanta) and at Country Living Magazine’s Fair and people buy him out of all his stock to sell in their own little shops across the US.
And his older brother Jake got in on the action by assisting his little brother building (yup, he got hired by his younger brother!) and then ventured out in making industrial lighting all on his own.
The skills they are gaining as they help their creative parents are AMAZING to me. And they even ventured out to create their own etsy shop (coming soon) called A Boy and His Boat. I can’t imagine doing that at 11 and 12. I think I was still picking my nose and wondering what the NKOTB really meant by Hangin’ Tough. Were they actually hanging somewhere?! Was it a tough place to hang? or was it just they were trying to look tough while hangin out?
ANYHOO…the Dilley boys have reinvested their income into a joint business for special events…where they retrofitted a shaved ice machine onto the back of a three-wheeled-bicycle and serve Hawaiian style desserts during the summer months. They are like mini-sharks!
And the best part about it all is…they are still starting out…borrowing their dad’s tools and they would actually need a start to a solid tool collection of their own. Some may think I am crazy to give young kids real tools…but in my mind, we are crazy not to equip the young kids in this world to do more flexing of those ‘creative muscles’. I hope to do the same with my boys!
So when it came time to give them the gifts, I set up the presents in a homemade Santa bag and they were shocked when us adults had presents just for them…
Honestly, they were beyond shocked that they were getting anything. They have two much younger siblings who are at an age where they need a lot of attention and so this special treat was so unexpected. (just to be honest…in a world of entitlement…where even I struggle…it’s a refreshing reminder to see that completely absent in their reactions)
Just look at those smiles
They immediately went into telling us what they could use them for and I think I melted into a heap on the floor.
I know I just got to play Santa for one day on behalf of Home Depot…but in all honesty, it made my year. The Dilley’s are such a special family…oozing creativity and equipping the next generation to work hard and be good examples of leadership and ingenuity in their families and community. And that is exactly what I want for my boys…encouragement toward that YOU CAN DO IT attitude.
Thank you Home Depot. I loved this experience…all of it…and I know that the boys will have many many years to come of creating with your help. It truly put the merry into Merry Christmas
DISCLAIMER: I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this holiday tool gift giving project. As part of the project, I am receiving compensation in the form of cash and gift cards, for the purpose of promoting the holiday tool gift giving project and The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commissions guidelines.
Weston had a little pink car.
One of his favorite outdoor activities was just pushing this little pink car around till he was blue in the face.
No offense to any pink car owners out there…but seriously…my kid does not sell Mary Kay. (although he could…with that complexion and those twinkly little eyes, he’d have those little ladies buying anything that he was selling.) The toy was screaming for a makeover. CODE PINK! CODE PINK!
The newer versions of this car run about $120 online…which is a WALLOP of a price tag when it comes to plastic. But I do understand why…the push rod handle adjusts to a longer length so that both kids can play with it and adults can push their little one around without becoming the hunchback. It also has buttons that really make noise (like a little radio and blinkers) plus a pull-out basket on the bottom for the little ones to rest their feet (and not entangle them in the wheels or get caught pushed back underneath the car itself when you are pushing). And you are also paying for the Radio Flyer brand name.
But this particular car had seen better days. It was originally gray and red with sticker details all over it. And now the red had faded to pink and the stickers had all but rotted away.
Since most of the stickers were long gone, only a little residue was left and I was easily able to spray some of my De-Solv-It to remove anything on the surface. I used a pan scraper thing to make sure there was nothing there and wiped it clean with a paper towel.
Then I started unassembling. It didn’t fully disassemble (much to my disappointment) but for the most part, the bits that did come off, I cleaned and got them ready for a makeover. (see how the unexposed parts were still red while the stuff that saw the light of day turned pink?!)
The rest of the car also got cleaned and I whipped out the supplies I needed for the paint job…namely three cans of colored spraypaint and one can of clear gloss topcoat just in case. In this project it’s really important that the paint is made specifically for plastic or you can check the label of your own paint and see if it just requires a specific primer.
Since we have been having some really cold nights and we knew that this would require a TON of uber-thin coats, we set up a spray paint station in the garage and just lifted the door for extra ventilation and then closed it whenever the item was drying. I began with taping off certain things (like the metal rod for the handle) and bagged other areas (like the wheels that could not come off).
After three thin coats, I did the taping for the black bits….anything that used to be gray was now gonna be black. The best tip I can give you is use loads of tape, utilize an x-acto knife to trim away anything or push bits of tape in crevices, and do a “edge coat”. An edge coat is when you have already painted something one color and another color could bleed onto that…so after taping, use color #1 to do a light spray on all the edges…making that bleed impossible and your lines super crisp.
After the black was done, I started removing tape for the next color – white. I decided to paint racing stripes (the original had racing stripes stickers) and white headlights so this was definitely the easiest step because the areas were small.
After several coats and sufficient dry time, it was time to remove the tape.
Then I did one coat of gloss top coat on everything (I did leave the steering wheel off completely and the dashboard buttons taped off because I didn’t want to have a leak of paint onto the electronic bits) and then started reassembling.
In the end, my less-than-five-dollar thrift store car turned out to be quite the sporty little coupe.
The before and afters are enough for me to think about starting painting real cars…..no….that’s a lie…but my little brother does paint wheels and I am really excited to show him this. He’ll probably ask me why I didn’t chrome something out or give him spinners or something.
The cost was about $21 total…$5 for the car and then a little over $16 for four cans of spray paint. A huge savings of a hundred bones if I were attempting to buy it new vs DIYing. Now to find a little license plate that says “We$ton”
So how did he react when we gave it to him for his birthday?
Perfect. Actually it was a much better reaction than I hoped for (considering the car wasn’t really new to him…just the paint job…and do babies really realize that kinda thing?!)
He was really into it. Figuratively and literally. (ignore the food on the shirt…he got to try a mini oreo…not his thing apparently).
I just can’t believe my little guy is already ONE! And I know that if he were talking, he would tell me that I was the best mom ever for giving him a brand new car on his birthday. Remember that Weston….because it’s not happening when you turn 16. Just sayin