Make Your Own Plate Hanger

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When my husband and I were living in Idaho, we lived in an apartment that had space above the cabinets. Of course I had to use this space for decoration. Decorative plates seemed to be pretty popular in kitchens, so I painted some of our old plastic plates and displayed them above our cabinets.

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Once we moved into our current home, the cabinets did not have room for any type of decor {or storage for that matter}. You can imagine my disappointment. Where was I suppose to put my cute decorative plates?! And then it hit me… The wall!! Of course. So many other people put their plates on the wall in the kitchen. But how? Unlike picture frames or other wall decor that already have wall hanging hardware attached on the back, how on earth was I suppose to hang a plate?!

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Here is an easy and simple solution to such a dilemma.

Paper clips and hot glue.

YES! It is literally that easy. Just take a paper clip and hot glue it to where you want it on the back of your plate. Let it dry and hang it on the wall!

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Now I have a place to display my fun and colorful plates!

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DIY $1 Mini Chalkboard

I’m obsessed with chalkboards. They are one of my favorite things to decorate my home with. Retail stores will charge an outrageous amount for cute chalkboards, so why not make your own for close to nothing?

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DIY $1 mini chalkboard

This project literally only cost me $1. I already had the supplies needed to create the chalkboard, so all I needed was a “board” to write chalk on. I went to my nearest Dollar Store and purchased this silver tray for only a buck.

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I spray painted the middle with chalkboard paint and used a fun bright blue acrylic paint for the edge. After the paint dried, I hot glued a burlap bow to the back to hang it on the wall in my kitchen. Now I have a fun new inexpensive decor item for my home!!

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Bar Stool Re-Cover

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A few years ago (umm… maybe like 7), we bought some cheap- but- ok- looking counter height stools from Target (I think). They had a cushion covered in microfiber that I successfully kept clean for several years. Then 3 toddler boys happened. And mod podge. So, yeah,  fast forward to now, and they are filthy and un-cleanable.

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Instead of pulling the seat apart and re-upholstering the seat, which was a viable option, I chose to make a removable cover so that next time one of my darling, dear, stinkers wipes the rest of their dinner on the seat I can just throw it in the washer.

I had a ton of sturdy black fabric that used to be a futon cover, and I decided that fabric would work perfectly for this project- waste not, want not!

First I measured the diameter of the bar stools, added about 6 inches, and cut out one circle with the larger diameter for each stool.

Next, I serged around each circle and prepared to sew a casing by pinning the edge in at intervals around the whole circle. I learned of a better method afterward on On The Cutting Floor , that I would use if I had to do it again.Collages5

With the casing done, I threaded elastic through and sewed the ends together. The result looked a lot like a huge gothic shower cap. Haha. Until I put it on the barstool- much better, no?

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I think I will spray the covers with Scotch Guard or something similar to cut down on how often I have to wash the covers, but it’s so nice to have the option now!

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Ahh, much better, don’t you agree? And free isn’t a bad price for this “Make it do” project.

How To Distress Paint Like A Pro {Vaseline Method}

I love distressing the furniture and decor in my home. It is one of my all-time favorite things to do, especially when I’m putting a fresh coat of paint on something. I’m obsessed with farmhouse, shabby chic, chippy, vintage and antique looking decor. They are so fun!

Before, when I would distress anything, I would use sandpaper to rub down the paint. But this usually required a lot of elbow grease. Plus, it was messy and sometimes hurt the raw wood if I sanded too much.

Well put down that sandpaper, my friends, because I have found a much better and easier solution to distressing… The Vaseline method! I know what you are probably thinking… “Vaseline, what? Are you crazy?” The answer is YES! Because believe it or not, this actually works like a charm. I, too, had my doubts at first. But the results will make you ooh and ahh for days, I promise!

I started with a boring old frame that I didn’t care too much for. I wanted to give it a pop of color and lately I’ve been adding this fun turquoise to our home. I applied a coat of Vaseline where I wanted the frame to look worn down {all the edges, all corners, and a few random spots}. Next I painted over it and the whole frame. Once the paint dried, I took an old rag and wiped down the entire thing. It wipes off the Vaseline and creates the ultimate distressed look.

If you want to protect the paint from chipping more, I would suggest applying a protective top coat to your project {polyurethane}. But since this is just a frame, I didn’t worry about it too much.

Now you can ooh and ahh over your masterpiece for days. :)

You can also check out what other fun projects I’ve been up to on my other blog Drill Bits and Oven Mitts!

                          

 

DIY Front Door Flower Basket

This was truly a fast, easy, and cheap DIY. Start to finish, my flower basket took about 30 minutes. I planned on using hot glue to hold the flowers in place, but that proved to be unnecessary with the floral foam- more on that later. I actually had everything I needed to make this already in my stash, but I got the flowers from the dollar store in years past, the burlap ribbon 50% off at Hobby Lobby, and the metal basket was given to me probably 10 years ago and I just never knew what to use it for before now. So it was probably around $10 out of pocket for me. Here’s a quick tute:

Here are the materials you’ll need: 1) Dollar Store flowers, 2) Metal hanging basket (I’ve seen lots of wicker baskets too, check thrift stores. You can always spray paint it if needed), 3) Floral foam- I cut a small piece off a much larger piece I had leftover from this project with a serrated knife. I have seen this at the dollar store though, and 4) Burlap Ribbon- enough to make a nice looking bow and possibly wrap around the basket.

First, wedge the styrofoam into the basket tightly, so it won’t come out easily. Then, just poke the stems of the flowers into the foam, arranging whatever pattern you like as you go. You could secure each piece with hot glue, but it’s probably unnecessary. I have had my basket out for several weeks, and even with canyon winds blowing at night, it still looks exactly the same.

Attach the burlap ribbon to the basket either by tying or hot glue, make a bow, and hang. Optionally, you can glue some pieces of felt to the back of the basket to keep it from scratching the door if that is a concern.

I’m happy with how this project turned out.  Hopefully my next “porch beautification” project using live flowers this time goes as well! 😉

DIY Coat Rack for less than $30

We have a problem. It’s called not enough hooks to hang things on. This problem manifested itself recently when I received several new purses as gifts, and my hanging spot became a chair. And then I stopped hanging up my coat in the coat closet because it was too far away. And then our entry way turned into a pile of purses and coats and gym bags and our primary bag and I just can’t handle that kind of clutter. We decided that something must be done, so we got on the internet and looked for a free standing coat tree rack (we’re in a rental, so anything wall-mounted just wouldn’t work). We did a lot of searching, because we wanted something sturdy but inexpensive because let’s face it, we just need to hang our stuff up so it doesn’t look like we’re hoarders.
The more we looked for one to buy, the more we realized that we can make our own dang coat rack and it would look cooler and be cheaper to make! So we decided to make our own. I was inspired by the design of this one from Anthropologie (but not the price.. yikes!). So we went to Home Depot.
We bought: A 2x2x8 pine pole for $8, 4 L-shaped supports for just over $1 each, and two sets of hooks that were I think around $2 for a pair.
Other supplies needed: A hand saw and some sandpaper (although we could have had the pole cut at Home Depot if we had thought of it)
I forgot to take pictures of the actual process, but I think it took us about 30 minutes to finish, including hand-sawing the pole.
It’s the perfect spot for our jackets and my purses!
I really like how the industrial supports came together with the plain pine wood of the pole. 
This was such an easy DIY and it was fun for my husband and I to make together too :)
(I’m playing with the idea of making more of them to sell.. maybe! Stay tuned)

On priorities and compromises

I live in a lovely, 3-bedroom condo. One room for the parents, one room for the boys.  And one room that is MINE. Only mine. Oh, does that sound a bit stingy?  {Yes, it does.}  My family has been kind enough to support my desire to escape into crafty/sewing land at my every whim {I am a sometimes introvert} over the past five years.  And I got to feeling like I owned that room, like I deserved it.  As if it was a sacred, holy land of creativity.  And it was that, but one day we had to look at the facts.  My boys were sharing a room- which is just fine!  BUT they had gotten into a bad, bad cycle of not being able to go to sleep in the same room {we’re talking staying up 3-4 hours, until 11pm} and then the older one waking up at the crack of dawn, while it was still dark out- even with blackout curtains- and turning on the light and waking up the cranky little brother.  Each morning was a disaster.  Crying, fighting, yelling, tearing the room apart every exhausting day… I may have joined in the crying and yelling once or twice after being woken up to referee or triage at 5am.  They were not happy.  My husband was not happy.  I was not happy.

So on a Saturday at the end of May, I packed up my beloved sewing table.  I put away all my crafting supplies and my lovely decor.  All the lovely things brought back for me by family members and friends from their travels Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, and India, and maybe a thing or two from Africa and Spain {can you tell we love Asia?}.  All of it in boxes.  I cried.  I moved it all out.  In went a twin bed, an adorable little three year old, and a whole heckuva lot of toys.

And you know what?  Peace.  In so many ways.  My boys are sleeping until at least 7am now, sometimes later.  They play quietly in their rooms for a while, then ask to play in the other’s room.  When things start escalating during the day, I send them to their rooms for “calm down time”- with their doors sometimes open, sometimes closed, until they feel calm enough to play together again.  Much less crying and fighting.  A happier Mama.  Was it worth it?  Yes.

Lest you think my crafting and sewing days are over, think again! I cleared out some floor space and drawer space in my room, and my sewing table lives in there now.  I still have 1/3 of the closet space in my old sewing room.  My computer desk is crammed almost hilariously in one of the corners of my living room.  Whatever.  It’s not feng shui but it is a good compromise.  I do occasionally find myself walking into “my” sewing room only to remember that it’s not MINE anymore as I see toys and flip flops all over the floor. >sigh< The benefits do outweigh the sacrifice though.  And this small sacrifice of mine seems right.

Someday I will have a room to myself again, but for now, I will smile every time I wake up to… quiet.

Have you ever had to make a compromise that in the end was worth it?

The Missing Piece

A while ago I posted my master bedroom transformation that was finished all except two big empty spots on either side of my bed.

I was considering making more faux-metal wall art from TP tubes like I did here, but to be honest, the thought was exhausting to me, and I felt like that wasn’t something I wanted to spend time doing.  So, the spot remained empty… until a couple of weeks ago I was at a fabric store and noticed their decor aisle was 60% off and I found two of these:

I said “Yippee!” in my head and it was a done deal.

So there you have it!  The transformation is complete and I couldn’t be happier.  :)