Top drawer

Top Drawer - The best of everything for your home and garden

CorrespondentSeptember 20, 2013 

Countertop painted with Thomas’ Liquid Stainless Steel paint has a brushed-stainless look.

COURTESY OF THOMAS

Best stainless-steel fake-out

Give bland or dated wooden countertops, appliances and faucets a modern-day facelift by painting them with Thomas’ Liquid Stainless Steel paint. The DIY network says the water-based resin paint is stainless steel in liquid form, and it provides a brushed-stainless look that is as durable as an automotive-grade finish. You can see a picture of painted wood countertops at diynetwork.com/painting/8-things-you-didnrsquot-know-you-could-paint/pictures/index.html.

Best for cupcakes

With school and church bake sales underway, we’re always looking for easy, portable ways to package our goodies. A post on Bird on a Cake blog suggests cradling cupcakes in clear, 9-ounce cups and wrapping with clear or colored cellophane wrap tied with a pretty bow or twist tie. It turns out that the cups are the perfect size for most regular-size muffins or cupcakes. This packaging will also help keep frosting from getting smashed in transit. Happy baking!

You can see the original blog post at birdonacake.blogspot.com/2012/05/perfectly-packaged-rose-cupcakes.html.

Best blog

If you’ve been looking for a way to give your home decor a vintage facelift, wander on over to the Itsy Bits and Pieces blog. Blogger Linda Dresselhaus and her daughter share a passion for all things rustic and old, and they’re happy to share their finds and creative uses through pictures on the blog. She also provides details on how to complete simple projects, such as making unique signs and picture frames, and tips on how to spruce up your home with industrial-looking paper-towel holders and more. Check out the blog at itsy-bits-and-pieces.blogspot.com.

Best way to display your address

Change up the look of your front stoop with an attractive and practical display that highlights your house number. Lauren Zaubi of My Wonderfully Made blog describes how to use simple, galvanized buckets loaded with flowers to display your house number. You’ll need one galvanized pot for each digit you want to display.

Trace a large circle on the pot and paint the circle white or light gray. Draw or print out large representations of each digit used in your address. (The numbers should be large enough to fit inside the circle and to be seen from the front of your porch or yard.)

Cut the numbers out and trace each one, centered individually inside the pot’s circle. Paint the number on the pot with black acrylic paint. Stamp or paint small black circles around the periphery of the large white circle.

Allow the paint to dry between each color and coat. Complete by applying two coats of polyurethane and let dry. Place your flowers of choice in the planters, and display on your porch in order of your address. Voila! Instant pizazz. You can see the completed project here: mywonderfullymade.blogspot.com/2012/04/one-thing-off-my-bucket-list.html

Best for fall decor

If you’re looking for inspiration for a fall wreath to hang on your door, check out Shelterness.com for 101 cool fall wreath ideas. You’ll find everything from traditional fall leaves to creative uses for hot peppers, acorns, twigs and picture frames. Begin the jouney here: shelterness.com/101-cool-fall-wreath-ideas

Best dessert

Cheryl Stevens of Raleigh wrote in to share an indulgent cake recipe that has become her personal favorite recipe with five or fewer ingredients.

Ho-Ho Dessert

2 boxes Ho-hos or Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls

1 large instant chocolate pudding, prepared as you would a pie filling

1 8-oz block of cream cheese

Whipped topping

1. Fold softened cream cheese into prepared pudding.

2. In 9-inch-by-13-inch pan, layer some of the pudding/cream cheese, top with a layer of cake rolls, then pudding, cake rolls, pudding. Top with whipped topping.

3. Refrigerate.

This can be scaled to a 1/2 recipe, too.

If you have a favorite five-ingredient or less, cool-weather recipe to share, send to topdrawer@newsobserver.com. You’ll be entered in a quarterly drawing for a Target gift card. Include name, street address and city. Put “best recipe” in subject line.

Best of the tube

On HGTV

Creative differences: Feeling boxed in in their temporary love nest, Atlanta newlyweds Jenni and Mike branch out to find a place of their own. But his penny-pinching ways are at odds with her willy-nilly budget. Property expert Egypt Sherrod is convinced she can find them a spacious suburban home that’s big enough for two dogs, two offices and a growing family. That is, as long as they're willing to downsize their expectations a little. “Property Virgins” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

On DIY

Bringing the indoors out: Jared and Jane have created a comfy vibe in their suburban split-level home. They love to entertain, but their big backyard – featuring a tiny concrete patio, a chain-link dog run and an elevated deck with no connection to the yard – is a complete eyesore. The Sweat Equity team expert agrees: To bring this home up to the value of those around it, Jared and Jane have to bring the interior charm of their home outdoors. “Sweat Equity” airs at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Send news and photos to The News & Observer,

P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; email topdrawer@newsobserver.com.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service