Welcome to the August {ditto} DIY challenge!

All summer long, ten very different bloggers have been hosting this challenge to recreate a project or design element inspired by a haute couture design. The idea is to inspire everyone to incorporate fine design elements into your own home in a way that fits your own style. (For more details on what {ditto}DIY is all about, check out my past Ditto DIY posts.

{ditto} DIY: Inspired Design For the Rest of Us

This month’s theme is decorative trash cans, and this was our inspiration photograph:


The {ditto} DIY Challenge:

Add a classy pattern to a garbage can.

You just need to know, in our home, garbage cans and classy have never been used in the same description before, so when I read Darlene’s challenge, I paused and realized that we only own red neck garbage cans.

Those examples above are darling and I know I could recreate them, but in our home, we hide nearly every single trash can except the most important one, which is the show piece of our boys’ man cave.

Now this is a classy garbage can!! All projects can stop after seeing our Packer’s gem, but I decided that I would attack our trash can that we see every day.

Yes, I never realized how nasty our kitchen trash had become, but isn’t garbage like that sometimes?

It gets worse and worse and we become immune to it.

The first day, week or even month, we scrub the garbage can regularly until it sparkles. We make sure it doesn’t overflow and we certainly wouldn’t allow anything nasty to sit in it, but with time, we forget.

In our home, it’s not cleaned nearly as thoroughly as it should be, and it overflows on a regular basis. The hard thing is that we barely notice it any more. I allow more and more to be stuffed in, and sometimes that trash just festers. The solution? We tuck the trash can behind the cabinet door so it’s hidden, that way no one really has to see it. We engage with that garbage daily, yet we’ve become completely desensitized to its horrible effect. Then something happens and forces it into the open. We’re required to deal with it and it’s never pretty.

On that day, when that trash can is brought out into the light, it’s disgusting. Scuff marks run down its face. Garbage stains permeate and gum solidified like cement makes it nearly impossible to scrape off. Yes, remnants remain no matter how much we attempt to remove the gunk.

It’s become obvious that we need to just cover up the mess because really dealing with the trash takes too much work.

What does every good owner do, when a garbage can reaches this level? Spray paints it gold, of course. It’s so easy to hide the mess, so no one notices.

(Check your storage for the left over spray paint from the Gold Gilded DIY project, of course or use  gold Rustoleum spray paint that I purchased at a yard sale.)

Adding a fun design gives the can definition and keeps our eyes away from other imperfections. Decide on that design first and attach painters tape or just plain old masking tape before you begin painting. Then spray to your hearts content, let it dry and peel off the tape.  You can’t really get the gold effect from this picture, but it’s a soft gold and I love it.

When my 10 year old daughter saw our “new” trash can, she pointed out the imperfections in the blue design, and mentioned I should touch that up since the scratches still show through.

I mentioned to her, “You know this really isn’t about a trash can, right?”

Her face looks stumped.

“What can we learn from this? We can make anything look beautiful. We can cover up the imperfections and create the image that everything perfect and pretty on the outside. We hide our mess. Stuff things in closets. We close the nasty garbage can behind the door, or decide to spray paint it gold attempting to disguise what’s really going on, but in the end, it’s still garbage.

You know this right? It’s so much more than a trash can, honey. It’s about what’s on the inside that counts and dealing with all the garbage in our hearts. I’m leaving those marks as a reminder to not only guard our heart, but also guard our mind and all that we bring into it.

In the end, it’s still Garbage In, Garbage Out.”

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Philippians 4:8, NIV

She looked at me as if I had lost my mind (although she is pretty used to these “Live in the moment, life lessons.”)

I know she thought, “Sheesh, I just wanted to help you spray paint our dumb trash can.” 😉

We’ve been dealing with a lot of “garbage” in our lives this summer and while this was about recreating a great project, my ugly kitchen trash now is our family’s trash to treasure reminder  of what it means to bring every thought captive and avoid taking in all the garbage that so easily comes our way.

Back to the Ditto DIY.

We have been so thrilled to have so many of you join our challenge each month, but between busy school schedules and work commitments this fall and not one but TWO babies on their way for our little blogger posse, we decided it might be best to take a break until next year. Thank you SO much to all of you for joining in the fun!

{ditto} DIY: Inspired Design for the Rest of Us

This month, a few bloggers had other obligations, like a new baby due today and BHG visiting their house, yes, as in the magazine. (Yay, Melissa!), so the remaining bloggers are:

Darlene @ Fieldstone Hill Design
Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less
Cindy @ Skip to My Lou
Jen @ Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
Edie @ Life in Grace
Rachel @ Surviving the Stores
Karin @ Trophy Mom Diaries

And now comes the fun part! It is time to link up your own fabulous trash can projects and join our LAST {ditto} DIY party of the summer! It wouldn’t be much of a party if you didn’t stick around, so be sure to check out as many projects as you can! Then be sure to visit Darlene’s site for some expert design tips & inspiration on incorporating bold pattern into everyday objects.

Honestly,  I highly recommend every single one of you spray paint your old garbage can. It’s amazingly therapeutic and you just never know what life lesson might come from it?

Am I the only one dealing with garbage this summer?