Buying Appliances Off Craigslist

So, I am very pleased to tell you, I have had about 4 or 5 very successful purchases off Craigslist since moving to Santa Rosa. There have been several things we needed and craigslist has come to our rescue. My favorite two purchases so far have been Evy’s Ikea bed that we bought for $60 and then repainted, and a GORGEOUS Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic table base that we are going to add a top too….more on that soon.
Anyway, despite some really successful transactions {buying and selling}, I have to say I learned my lesson when it comes to buying appliances off Craigslist. :( Boo. I thought I would blog about it so that none of you make the same mistake. How’s that for friendship?!? ha. 
So here’s the low down…as I mentioned before, our home was a foreclosed home. The bank had come and done some very interesting improvements to it. Namely, paint {HORRIBLE}, new carpet {livable}, and appliances {black. need I say more?}
Here is what our kitchen looked like before we moved in:
Right. Not bad, but not great. The house was built in 1985, can you tell? :) The bank added all black appliances. Here’s a very bad picture of the dishwasher:

It was a bottom of the line GE, although a decent bottom of the line. When we painted everything white, the poor kitchen lookd so sad with the black appliances. Since the painter took almost every cent we owned {literally} we needed to do an upgrade to the kitchen on a dime. We had $200 to put towards the dishwasher, and obviously that wouldn’t buy us much. So we listed the above dishwasher on craigslist for $200 and got a buyer pretty quickly. Now we had about $400 to put towards a new one.
We started searching craiglist. I knew I wanted to go stainless steel, so that’s what we put in the search bar. I found an add for a stainless steel GE dishwasher for $550 about an hour an a half away from us. It was listed as “new” and in a “model home” and had a picture of a generic dishwasher. It did list the model number so I googled it and found out it was selling for $799, so the $550 was a good deal, but not what I could afford. I emailed him and asked if he would take $400. He said no. Oh well.
About a week later he emailed me back and said he would take the $400. Here’s where I should have stopped and thought about it all. I wish I had googled the model number again, but I didn’t. I did ask for actual pictures though and here’s what I got:

And the original picture he sent me, from some website.

They look decent, I guess. The fact that they weren’t in a house should have kinda concerned me, but oh well. Anyway, we agreed we would go. We didn’t think about the gas it would cost us to get there, which was a result of the fact that he emailed me the week we moved to Santa Rosa, and we were a bit brain dead. That it would cost us at least $45 in gas never crossed my mind. 
We followed the address and ended up at a storage center around 6:30 PM. It was dark. The man let us in the storage unit and there were tons of appliances. We felt a little silly as we really had no idea what to look for as we had never shopped appliances before. There was a piece slightly cracked in back, which ended up being the drain pump, but it looked like it would work, so we didn’t make a big deal about it. The man said in the emails that he had the owners manual {even put it in the pictures} but when we got there, there was no owners manual. He must have staged that one well. We did take the dishwasher, and when we paid him, he didn’t even count the money. 
The whole thing was sketchy. 
When we got home, we had to order a new $50 part for the cracked pump, new $45 hoses {since it didn’t come with any} and it still didn’t work, we had to call the GE reapairman to come out and look at it. $99 later, our dishwasher worked, but according to the repairman, it was not new…it had food in the filter. 
 And here’s the kicker…why did the guy come back and say he’d take $400? GE just came out with a new dishwasher that week and marked that model down to $550. By the time we finished paying for all the “extras” we could have bought the exact one NEW from Home Depot.
So here’s my foolproof buying appliances from Craigslist steps:
1. Always ask for model numbers AND serial numbers. I would suggest asking for a picture of it. I didn’t realize this, but you can call GE {or any brand} and ask for info on the exact product. They will tell you when it was produced and possibly even sold. They can also tell you if there are any recalls on the item that might cause it not to work properly. Here’s what you are looking for:
2. Google the model and serial number and make sure the prices you find online are current before you buy. If the same item is going for what you are about to pay for it, it probably isn’t worth it. 
3. If you can’t plug the appliance in to see if it works, then don’t buy it. That is unless you know the person and feel comfortable with the transaction and/or its worth the amount of money you might lose if it doesn’t work.
4. Ask for the owners manual. If they don’t have it, think twice about buying it, or at least ask for a discount.
5. If anything is cracked or broken. Ask for at least $50 off. Most parts for appliances will run pretty close to that. 
6. Remember that if you have to call the repairman, in most cases its $99 right off the bat. Keep that in mind when purchasing.
7. Make sure you see the appliance during the daylight. Trying to look at an appliance at night will really cause you to over look small details.
8. Buy local. Or add in the cost of gas to the price and make sure it’s worth it.
And don’t forget to clean your appliance. You’ll want to factor that into your cost. For the dishwasher, its pretty cheap. I found this when we moved from Stockton and its AWESOME! Makes everything feel so clean. You can purchase it HERE or at Target, like me. :) It’s around $5.00.

Anyway, I am by no means an expert on this, but this is just my experience. Would love any other suggestions you all might have. Have any of you purchased appliances off Craigslist? Or maybe have some great Craigslist suggestions in general? Feel free to hop in on the convo.

Much Love!

DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Guest Blogger Mique // Personalized World Map

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful week! I am over here still *trying* to move. We can’t really do much but put things in boxes as the house painting took almost 3 weeks, this weekend we need to fix the floors, then next the kitchen countertops… and THEN we can move. It’s all a bit mind frazzling and stressful going between here and there. I am so looking forward to the day when this is all over and we are back to some normal way of life.

Anyway, in the meantime, I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I called on some friends to help me with DIYF. I promise, I will have TONS of DIYF’s coming up in the next couple months as Brandon and I fix up our new home. But until then I KNOW you will LOVE all my friends as I have to admit they are WAYYY more crafty than me!

Meet Mique {pronounced Mickey}. She is AMAZING! I first met her at The Queen Bee Market that her and her sister Jess run. They are the sweetest people, so kind and loving and were so hospitable to me when I came down last Spring. {BTW, I will be there at the November market…come see me!!} Mique blogs over at 30 Handmade Days and has quite a following, so it is SUCH an honor to have her here! Make sure to leave a thank you comment for Mique today and hop on over to her blog and check out her other crafts! Thanks Mique, you’re the best!! xoxo

Lately I’ve had a fun time with a few home decor projects. Today’s personalized world map was easy to make and I love how it turned out.
I found my inspiration over the weekend at Paper Source- a cute little card with some embroidery thread attached. Lindsey showed me the specialty world map paper that they had and my wheels started turning. This big world map was born.

Specialty paper at Paper Source= $3.99
The frame was a find at Target on clearance, 18×24= $4.26
Other supplies, had on hand.
So for $8.25 I have a new favorite piece of art to hang.
This is how you can make your own personalized world map:

Using a pen, mark spots on world map that you’ve visited.
Then with the embroidery thread and needle make an x for each spot.

I used a few colors. One represented places we’d been as a couple, another for places we’ve been as a family, and others for places we’ve been separately. You could just use one color if you want. I think it’s kind of fun to break it up a bit.
Some places that I’ve been: Costa Rica, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Paris
Places we’ve been together: Tahiti, Brazil, Kauai, the Caribbean

Because I have a Silhouette, it was really easy to make this cute little saying and adhere it to the personalized world map. I created the file in the Silhouette program, weeded it and adhered it.
If you don’t have a Silhouette, you could use stickers found at a craft store. Or you could print something on your computer and glue it down as well.

This is what it looked like after adhering the vinyl.

My frame was originally boring old brown. I wanted to make it pop a bit. I first tried to paint it but that didn’t go over well. So I used some aqua spray paint and love the end result. Note- using spray paint in windy conditions is not the smartest idea.

It was really hard to take a picture that showed off how fun this turned out.

I love that we have a map that we can look back on and add to as we explore the world more.

What is your favorite place in the world?

DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Guest Post and Halloween Wreath

Hey Evy’s Tree!  Hope you enjoyed the crayon rolls from last weeks DIYF and fingers crossed I was able to encourage a few of you to try it on your own!  You can either go back a post or two on Evy’s Tree to find the full tutorial, just in case you missed it, or click here {where it will take you to the tutorial as well, just on my personal blog, The Roseland Family}.
But enough about crayons already!  I am here today to show you how to make this beauty, just in time for Halloween!
This one requires no sewing, so as long as you have a glue gun, you get to play too!
Here is everything you will need for the rosettes/wreath:
glue gun
glue for gun, a lot of it
coordinating fabric
tarantula looking feather {thingie}
grapevine wreath
And everything you will need to make the hanging letter:
{which I have to take you to my personal blog for, sorry, that is another tutorial in itself!  Just click the link when you get to that step}!
ribbon {mine happens to look like spider webs up close}
wood letter
mod podge
scrapbook paper
Alright, now that you have everything, let’s get started!
1.Cut your fabric into about inch and a half strips. Make them as long
or short as you want, but I recommend making different sizes.
2. Hot glue the strip together, so you have the fabric displayed on both sides, better for rolling.  If the fabric is pretty on both sides, you can skip this step!
3. Roll the strip about 1/4 of the way down and then start twisting and
turning the fabric around each other, gluing when needed to hold your
flower together, until the flower is finished!
4. Repeat as needed (think I made close to 50-60?)!
5. Hot glue flowers onto the wreath.  I did no sort of pattern, just kept gluing!
6. Add in tarantula looking feathers as needed (I found mine at JoAnn Fabric Store).

Unsure of where I should put the letter R, but knowing I wanted to include it, I decided to hang it down the middle, so that it looked like a spider was coming out of the web!   This is the part where I have to have you head over to my blog and this post, to show you how I make these letters.  .
The difference in what you will see from the letter below and the letter tutorial on The Roseland Family blog, is that I used craft paint instead of spray paint to
do the black around the R and I used paper instead of fabric (which I
think is easier).  Hope that made sense!  Bottom line, head over here to get what you need!
Ready for the Trick-or-Treaters!
The wreath should definitely come with a little warning, while she is very pretty, she takes a long time to make!  If you are hoping to get this up before Halloween, get started soon!  The rosettes did take me forever to roll, as there are just so many of them!  I suppose you wouldn’t have to make so many either and it would still be beautiful…it’s just my front door is really tall, so I needed BIG!  I wanted that wow factor!Thanks again Amy and Evy’s Tree for letting me stop by!


DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Guest Post and a Crayon Roll

I am so excited for today’s DIY Friday! Almost two years ago I started following one my first blogs ever, Joyfolie, which was formerly called Mia Joie. I had just had Evy and was looking on Etsy for some cute girlie stuff and came across Jessica of Joyfolie {who has become a very close friend}. I fell in love with her shoes as well as the community of women who would crazily stalk her blog for a chance to buy a pair of her shoes for their little ones. One of the ladies I met there was Jenni…I did some blog hopping, one thing led to another and eventually I found a new blog friend!

Jenni and her family are so sweet. She is ultra creative and does photography on the side as well as teach 8th grade. Her kids are the cutest things ever and Jenni and her husband make such a cute couple. I admit that her blog is one of the few I am completely faithful to read. I love her family!

I have been sooo overwhelmed with our move that I just can’t get myself together for a DIY Friday, so Jenni is filling in for me today and next week. I hope you love what she shares and love her too…she’s pretty amazing! xoxo

DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Fabric Coasters

Hi all, Amy here…

My mom has a bunch of amazing French Country fabric coasters that she has had for probably 15 years. I believe she purchased them at Pierre Duex {which is going out of business?!?! Seriously that store was such a HUGE part of my childhood, so sad} and I have always loved them. In fact, every kid that comes over to my parents loves to play with them, stack them, toss them. ha. We find them all over the house…my neices and nephews used to have the best time with those things.

I have been thinking that they would be so easy to make. This year for Christmas, I am going to make little baskets for my sisters/sisters in laws and put a bunch of fun handmade items in it. I thought these fabric coasters, in colors that match their homes, would be awesome! I started to search online, and sure enough, while playing on pinterest one night, I found a tutorial for them! {surprise, surprise..seriously you can find ANYTHING on pinterest!}

Here’s my spin on them…and I have to admit, Sarah did most of this! :)

Materials needed: Fabric, felt {or batting}, thread

Cut your fabric into long rectangles and then fold into squares, inside out. Our measurement was 4 1/2″ wide x 10″ long. be sure to cut your felt pieces a bit smaller, as you will see shortly. Unfortunately, we just eye balled our felt squares so we have no measurement here… sorry!

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DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Homemade Playdough

Hi all, Amy here….I’m sure many of you have memories of making homemade playdough as a kid. I have some very vivid ones. When we lived in Menlo Park, outside of San Francisco, my mom had a very good friend, who we will call Mrs S. Her husband was Dutch and they had a handful of kids {I think 5 or 6?}. I also went to kindergarten with their oldest son {who was probably my first crush ever, ha!} and we spent a lot of time over at their house.

One of my favorite times there was making homemade playdough with Mrs. S. She had a huge stockpot and we would spend all day over there, mixing, dyeing, kneading and in the end we would all walk away with about four or five ziploc bags of playdough in a rainbow of colors. What I loved the most about this playdough was the smell. Oh my word, it smelled heavenly. I knew we weren’t supposed eat it, but I remember sincerely wishing I could, as it reminded me of pizza dough for some reason. ha.

Anyway, I have been wanting to make playdough with my kids for a while now. I have been seeing recipes pop up on pinterest, and I a week or so ago, I found one that sounded about right to what we did as a kid {HERE}. This labor day, on a whim, I decided to try it with my kids. We were all still in our PJ’s, which I thought would be perfect to a messy project. As I started to prep it, I realized I did not have as much salt as it required…so I hunted around and found this recipe, which I had the ingredients for.

  • white flour – 1 cup
  • salt – 2 tbsp
  • cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
  • cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • warm water – 1 cup
  • Jello – 1 3oz pack
We used Strawberry Jello, and mixed everything up, just like they said. The kiddos were SUPER excited. Please ignore poor Evy’s hair…sheesh, she looks like a ragamuffin. ha.

DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Mod Podge Photo Box

Good morning and Happy Friday to you all out there in Blogland! Sarah here for this exciting DIY Friday. :) Today I made a mod podge photo box. I’ve been wanting to up-date these boxes {I have a few} for a long time, so I jumped on the opportunity. I have done a few projects with Mod Podge and thought this would be a darling little thing to add to my collection! Ha! It’s so easy to make and you don’t need many supplies. You will need:

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DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Rope covered “S”

Hello again! :) Can I get a happy dance because it’s Friday anyone? Ha! {over here doing one of my own} Today I’m going to show you a little project I did for under $3.00 :) Awesome right!?! All you need is…

1. Any size wooden or plastic letter {I got mine in the Target dollar section for $2.50 + tax}

2. Thin rope/thick twine {Had laying around-I think it’s “jute rope”}

3. Hot glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks! :)

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DIY {Do It Yourself Friday} Sarah’s Birthday Invitations

Good morning Evy’s Tree readers! This is Sarah again. Happy Friday to you all! This week on DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday I’m going to show you how I made the invites to my recent Birthday Party. Did you see last weeks post ? I showed you how I made my Birthday Bunting. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  ;)
Here is my finished invite that I will show you how to make! I just loved how they turned out. Who doesn’t go gaga for ruffles? {Not me!}

What you will need:
1. Paper of choice 
2. Tissue paper
3. Scissors
4. Sewing machine
5. Small flower or jewel

STEP ONE: Get together your paper {I went to Joanne’s and bought 12×12 scrapbooking paper} and scissors. Cut out the size cards you want. I cut 5×7 cards. 
You should now have your cards cut out!

STEP TWO: Print your invitations.

STEP THREE: Take your tissue paper and cute into about 2 inch strips. Now accordion-style fold it all the way down. 
You should now have this… Your “ruffle”.

STEP FOUR: Cut sides of “ruffle” down to the size you want. I did about 1.5 inches. You don’t want your ruffle to be too big as it would take over your invite! Lay out your ruffle on your invite to eyeball how big it should be. Now sew your ruffle onto your invitation. 

STEP FIVE: All you have to do now is place a small flower, gem or whatever creative thing you can think of on the bottom of your ruffle. 
STEP SIX: Relax, you just made a beautiful invitation! Congrats!
Until Next Week, 

P.S. The winner of the Birthday Bunting??

YAY!! This is my good friend Jenni, who I LOVE!! Jenni, we’re sending your bunting. :) Thanks everyone for entering!

DIY {Do It Yourself} Friday: Sarah’s Birthday Bunting

Good morning to all you wonderful Evy’s Tree readers out there and welcome back to Do It Yourself Friday! Were you able to catch last week’s Ribbon Board? If not, click on the link, it turned out so great!
Anywho… This is Sarah and I’m going to show you a few pictures from my recent Birthday Party…
Here I am in showing off my bunting, which we are going to recreate today!


My in-laws backyard… Cute huh? All the quilts were handmade by my mother in-law’s mother and grandmother.

Cute little bookcase that I re-did that held our refreshments. I used Mason jars as glasses.

My darling little cake. I handmade the flower using soft pink tulle and a glass button. The cake was just a simple yellow box mix cake and the frosting was just a whipped frosting.

Picture frame collage I made.

Better look of the table.

I wanted something different for the water bottles, so I wrote “water” in four different languages on half of the bottles. The other half I simply wrote “23″.

Sooo… I know I’m WAY overloading you with pictures so this is the last picture-I promise! Had to leave you with some simple, country charm. Drinking out of Mason jars. It reminds me of home in Wisconsin! :)

If anything else catches your eye here that you would like to see in a later tutorial, feel free to comment at the bottom of the post and we will see what we can do. ;) 

Now to the DIY part of today… :)

I will show you how to make very simple, yet adorable bunting! I promise you, even if you are NOT the do it yourself type person, you will be amazed at how simple this is and how great you can have it turn out in a short amount of time.

What you will need:
1. Fabric of choice
2. Scissors
3. Bunting Template
4. Sewing Machine or Fabric Glue
5. Ribbon of choice

STEP ONE: Go to google images and print out a “Bunting Template”
Find a size/shape you like. I printed a triangle as big as the page using the template {HERE}.

Get together your material, template and scissors.

STEP TWO: Cut out triangles

STEP THREE: Take your ribbon and pin the fabric triangles to it. You are now going to sew them together!
**If you do not have a sewing machine here is where the fabric glue comes in. You would glue the fabric triangles onto the ribbon instead of sewing**

When I got in between the triangles, I just kept the sewing in a straight line.

You should now have a line like this!
STEP FOUR: Fold your ribbon in half and pin… This will cover any frayed edges or ugly backing. (This step is not necessary, unless the back of your bunting will be showing in any way… OR if you are a tad bid O.C.D like me–ha) 

This is what my backing looked like, so I decided to fold over and sew. 


Trying to get it straight…

Pinning down…

STEP FIVE: Now all you do is sew all the way from one end of your ribbon to the other!
Hooray! Now you are finished!

Finished product…

Just one more… :)

And, like last week, we’re giving one away. Comment and tell me what you liked best about my party {hehe :)} and make sure you leave your email address! will pick a winner for next week’s blog post! :)
Oh…the winner of the Ribbon Board?

Congrats Felicia! We sent you an email, so when you get a chance, shoot one back with your address and we’ll get your board sent out to you!

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!!