Rustic Burlap “Autumn” Pennant Banner

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So as I’ve mentioned, last year I made a commitment to myself to keep up with my holiday and seasonal decor. As a kid my Mom always put a lot of time (that she didn’t have) and effort into decorating my childhood home for the holidays and I’d like to do the same for baby P and any other future children I may have. Since in my opinion it’s a tad early for Halloween decor (it still feels like summer!) I thought I’d get my decorating started with a few easy fall themed pieces that compliment our regular home decor. This pennant banner is super easy to create and is both fun and elegant and most importantly – cheap! Mine cost about $3.00 to create. Happy fall, now go make a cute pennant banner to celebrate ūüôā

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This project was inspired by my DIY Rustic Pennant Banners that I use for party decor, follow this link to see how you can jazz up your next event!

My fall version!

My fall version!

SUPPLIES:

  • Burlap – the amount you need depends on what you would like your banner to say and how many letters it will contain, but you will likely need less than 1/4 of yard which will cost you about $1.00-$2.00.
  • Twine
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Large stencils – I used my reusable stencils that I used to create my DIY Rustic Burlap Pennant Banners, they are available at Staples.
  • scrap fabric (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1:¬†Begin by creating a pattern out of scrap paper (I just used a piece of computer paper out of my recycling bin) in whatever shape you would like your pennants to be. I chose a square shape with an inverted triangle at the bottom which measured about 7″ wide by 10″ long.

I made sure that my letter fit atop the pattern.

I made sure that my letter fit atop the pattern.

Step 2: Once you have your pattern, use it as a guide and use a marker to trace as many as you need onto the back of your burlap then cut them out.

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Step 3: After all of your pieces have been cut. Use your stencils and acrylic paint to apply your letters to the tops of the burlap using your small paint brush. Use a generous amount of paint. Set aside to dry.

Step 4:¬†Once your letters have dried use your scissors to poke a small hole in either end of each of the tops of the pennants through which you will thread a piece of twine. At this point if you wish you can dab some mod podge on the ends of your pennants to keep them from fraying but since mine was going to be up high out of tiny finger reach (lol) I didn’t bother.

Step 5 (optional): If you want to add little fabric tassels to the ends to jazz it up use the same method I used in creating my Scrap Fabric Banner but instead with a few pieces knotted together.

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DIY Mason Jar Bathroom Organizer

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Since moving on base in June we have slowly been adjusting to living in significantly less square footage. We have been making the best of it by doing lots of organizing and rearranging to make our furniture and style fit this little cookie-cutter home. One room that I am having a very hard time getting used to is our new bathroom which is basically the size of the powder room in our old house, lol (to see our old master bathroom and how we transformed it on a budget check out this post). The lack of space is killing me, the vanity won’t even provide enough space to fit our toothbrushes and toothpaste and there are no drawers, just a small cabinet below the vanity that is already crammed with bathroom paraphernalia and extremely disorganized. So, in the spirit of organization and making the best of our tiny bathroom, I decided to try my hand at a Pinterest project that I had been eyeing for quite some time – a mason jar bathroom organizer. Since I already had mason jars all I was going to need to do was get a piece of wood (which I ended up getting out of my neighbor’s trash, score! lol) and some metal hose claps (I’ll explain below), for just a few dollars (literally a few, I think my total project cost was just under $4.00) I was able to create a beautiful and functional little addition to our not-so-master bathroom. This is SUCH a simple project and can be fashioned using scrap wood and any size jars since the little hose clamps come in several different sizes. Need more than three jars? No problem! Just a use a longer piece of wood and additional jars. There’s nothing I love more than a project that is simple with many options for variation so that I can duplicate it in other areas of the home (I plan to make a cute little addition to our laundry room soon so be on the lookout for that!) so I’m super excited to share this with you as a tried and true Pinterest trial!

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SUPPLIES:

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NOTE: if you are happy with the look of your wood as is you need not go through the trouble of painting and distressing it, this just happened to be the look I was going for. This supply list and step-by-step instructions apply to my specific variation of this project.

  • 1 piece of scrap wood – mine was cut from a 12′ board we scored from a neighbor’s trash. I cut mine to be 16″ long, it was the perfect fit for the space and the three jars.
  • grey chalk paint – I used left over paint from my hand-painted sign¬†and shutter shelf, check out this post here to see how I made my own chalk paint using sample sized latex paints, this one is “Stone Mason Grey” by Valspar.
  • white latex paint
  • Minwax Paste Wax in “Special Dark”
  • 2 keyhole fasteners
  • black foam brush
  • regular 2″ paint brush (for dry-brushing the wood)
  • sanding blocks, sand paper or electric sander
  • 3 mason jars (I used standard 16 oz. jars)
  • 3 stainless steel metal hose clamps (available where the HVAC supplies are at your local home improvement store, if you can’t find them just show an employee a picture of the craft, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about)
  • 6 standard picture hanging hooks and the nails that come with them (see picture below, these are available at the dollar store, supermarket and countless other places, make sure they look like the ones that I have pictured or they will not work!) NOTE: if you have a good quality power drill and strong drill bit you can skip the picture hooks and drill a hole directly into the backs of the hose clamps and use a 1/2 inch screw to attach the hose clamps to the wood. I will tell you that takes some SERIOUS elbow grease and a very strong drill, when our drill bit wouldn’t even make a dent in the steel my hubby improvised the hook idea so I could finish my project that night – ain’t he sweet ūüėČ
  • Needle-nosed pliers (you only need these if you are planning on using the hook method)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1:¬†I began by prettying up my trash wood. Please refer to my post on creating my DIY Rustic Picture Display for a detailed description on how I go about painting and distressing most of my wood pieces. In short, what I did was apply a coat of chalk paint to my wood (or two, I can’t remember, lol) using a black foam brush, then once it had dried I used my regular paint brush to dry-brush the surface and once that had dried I used my electric sander to distress the edges and surface with 150-grit paper (this can also be done using a sanding block or regular sand paper). Finally I used a rag to apply a coat of paste wax and then buffed it once it had dried.

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wood – before

painted wood

painted wood

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wood - finished

wood – finished

Step 2:¬†Once my wood was ready I attached my keyhole fasteners to the backs of my wood piece, one in each corner. Don’t leave this until the end as it will be very hard to do once the jars and hardware are attached.

Step 3:¬†I then marked where I wanted my mason jars to be placed on the board.¬†NOTE: if you have a fancy drill and plan on drilling holes in the backs of the hose clamps and screwing them into the wood this is the point at which you would do that (then simply fasten the clamps around the necks of the mason jars), if you are planning on using my less conventional “hook” method read on!¬†We (I say we because this is where J’s crafty brain stepped in, ha) then fashioned make shift little holders for the mason jars out the picture clips. I took my picture hangers and using pliers unfolded the top part of the hook so it sticks out (kind of like the bottom does to begin with) then flattened both ends over the back of the metal hose clips, two per (making sure to unscrew the hose clips first). The key was to ensure that when I folded over the the tops of the hooks (the part with the hole was always facing UP) the two holes at the top became pressed together to form one nail hole (this is how I nailed them to the wood).

we tried a nail first, didn't work out so well, lol.

we tried a nail first, didn’t work out so well, lol.

The picture hooks I used. See how if you flatten the tops the two holes will come together to for a tab with a hole in it?

The picture hooks I used. See how if you flatten the tops the two holes will come together to for a tab with a hole in it?

Hose clamp after attaching the "hooks", two little tabs stick up with holes through which the nails can hammered.

Hose clamp after attaching the “hooks”, two little tabs stick up with holes through which the nails can hammered.

Step 4: Once all of my hooks were fastened to the hose clamps I used the nails that came with my picture hanging hooks to nail the hooks into the board (using the little tabs at the top that were created by flattening out the hooks). After my three hose clamps were attached to the board I re-screwed the clamps around the necks of the jars. All done!

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Although the “hook” method may seem a little wonky these jars have stayed put and since they hold our toothbrushes and toothpaste we are handling them multiple times a day. That being said, this is a GREAT project for a renter, not only does it free up space in smaller bathrooms but you only require two small screws in the wall to hold it up. Additionally this project can be made using items readily found at your local home improvement stores (which will cut the wood to size for you), Walmart and dollar stores, which is great for people who may not necessarily have many tools on hand (you can buy a hammer and pliers at the dollar store, I checked, haha).¬†

Pottery Barn Hack – DIY Faux Succulent Wreath

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So I have a confession to make, despite the awesomeness that is this wreath, until I made it I hadn’t gotten swept up in the whole succulent craze. This is probably because anything that becomes popular automatically becomes unnecessarily expensive, even fake plants, lol. Come to think of it, back in the day I knew succulents as “rubber plants” and my parents would lure us to the Home Depot with the promise of being able to buy a little rubber plant or cactus if we cooperated (don’t worry, since then I’ve learned to extort better items from my parents in exchange for favors, lol), haha. Anyway, back to the wreath. J’s sweet Aunt M asked if I would be able to make her a wreath and sent me a picture of a Pottery Barn faux succulent wreath (pictured below) and went on to explain that since the wreath would not be under the shelter of a porch or storm door it would need to be made of materials that would withstand the elements and this one seemed to be fitting. I was super intrigued as I hadn’t attempted a faux flower or moss wreath before and couldn’t wait to get started. Well, in typical Natasha fashion I got caught up in approximately one million other projects (worst niece ever! lol) but the other night I was determined to get both this succulent wreath and my own September wreath¬†¬†done and did so in just a about two hours (which makes it all the more embarrassing that it took so long for me to start, ha)! The wreath turned out beautifully and is made even more attractive by the fact that the cost came in at around $50.00 while the PB version was $99.00! I was almost sad that I wouldn’t get to keep it for myself, lol, but I am happy to know that it will have a good home being enjoyed by J’s Godparents ūüôā I also think that it is worth mentioning that this is one of the most simple wreaths I have made although it looks the most complicated, all it requires is a wreath frame, some Spanish moss and artificial succulents so please don’t let the illusion of complexity be off-putting to you!

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Pottery Barn inspiration! No offense to PB but so not worth $100!

SUPPLIES:

  • 18″ grape vine wreath frame
  • 14 artificial succulents (there are SO many out there, I just picked mine based on the PB version to achieve a similar look)
  • Spanish Moss
  • Glue Gun/Hot Glue
  • Wired Burlap Ribbon or Ready-Made Bow
  • 1 Pipe Cleaner

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: I began by laying out my my wreath components: the faux succulents, the moss and the bow. I messed around with the arrangement and grouping of the succulents and moss to see what looked best. I made sure that wherever I wanted to place the succulents their stems could be wedged between the vines and that they would lay flat as possible against the wreath frame.

Step 2: Once I was happy with the layout of my wreath I used hot glue to attach each succulent one by one by covering the stem and bottom of the succulent with a generous amount of glue and wedging it back between the vines and pressing down firmly. For each moss section I would cover the area atop the wreath frame on which the moss was to be attached with a generous amount of hot glue and gently press the moss on. NOTE: When handling the moss and separating your packaging try to tear it apart as little as possible aside from separating it into sections. To get it to cover the area you need gently stretch it.

Step 3: I worked in the above manner until all of my moss and succulents were attached, the long stringy succulents I secured by applying a little glue to the top of the moss or frame where the long strands would lay and attached them that way. Finally I attached my bow using an olive green pipe cleaner, that way if Aunt M chooses she can switch out the bow at her will!

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Obviously there are tons of variations on this wreath, there are so many varieties of faux succulents and they can be arranged in any manner. If you don’t want the trouble of having to use moss you can purchase a wreath that has been pre-covered in moss (although this may run you a bit more price-wise). I will report back to let you know how this wreath withstood the PA fall and winter, however, my DIY Felt Flower Wreath made using the same frame held up nicely without shelter so hopefully this one is equally as¬†resilient!

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Football Themed Wreath – NY Giants

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The past two nights have been all about wreaths! One of which was my “September” wreath which I decided to make football themed to both support our favorite team and because I felt weird putting out a fall themed wreath when it’s still too hot to go outside most days, lol. The other was a faux succulent wreath I made for our dear Aunt Maryann who patiently waited for it while my scatter-brained self took forever to get around to making it (and even longer to send it out, shame on me!)¬†but¬†I finally got them both done – yay! In this post I will be sharing my September football wreath which happened to be my first attempt at a mesh wreath. While we have been transplanted to the south we’re still NY fans to boot so since we don’t have cable at casa de Schulze (we pinch our pennies, remember? lol) this wreath will be our method of team support for the season.¬†Aside from the fact that this wreath turned out HUGE (which I decided was fitting because “Giants” lol) I was very happy with the results and even happier with how easy it was to create! My only gripe with this wreath is that mesh is more expensive in comparison to burlap, however, I do like that mesh gives you the option for super bright fun colors which are great for holidays like Halloween and Christmas which is what will keep me coming back to this method. If you’re yet to jump on the deco mesh bandwagon give this method a shot, it’s just as easy as creating a burlap wreath and super fun!

Squishy baby wearing his Giants tie onsie! :)

Squishy baby wearing his Giants tie onsie! ūüôā

 

SUPPLIES:

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  • Wire Wreath Frame – I used a 24″ frame because my craft store was out of 18″ frames but I would definitely suggest going with the 18″ or even a 12″ frame unless your door is exceptionally massive. The mesh adds a LOT of volume to the wreath so a small frame goes a long way!
  • Blue and Red 5″ X 45′ Rolls of Wired Deco Mesh – I used two of each, but if you were to use a smaller wreath frame you would definitely only need one of each.
  • Red and Blue Pipe Cleaners
  • NY Giants Scrap Fabric – left over from my DIY Little Man Tie Onsies
  • Mini Giants Football
  • 2 Mini Giants Helmets
  • Blue 1/4″ ribbon
  • Scrap Burlap Fabric – left over from my DIY Rustic Burlap Pennant Banners
  • Stick-On Fabric Letters
  • Glue Gun & Hot Glue

WHAT I DID:

Step 1:¬†I began by cutting the pipe cleaners into thirds to shorten them, then twisting the shorter pieces around the wreath frame wherever I was planning to bunch up the mesh. Then I used basically the same method I used to create my 4th of July Burlap Wreath, by weaving the mesh in and out of the wire frame (in an over-under-over-under manner) using the pipe cleaners to secure the mesh to keep it “poufed” up. NOTE: Another method would be to use a styrofoam wreath frame (as I did to create my Chevron Wreath) and create loops out of the mesh by stapling them directly to the styrofoam frame to achieve the same look.

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Step 2: After I had finished creating the mesh portion of the wreath I attached my embellishments. I cut a small hole in the back of the mini football and threaded a pipe cleaner through the whole and attached it to the wire frame. I did the same with the mini footballs which already had holes in the sides that were perfect for threading the pipe cleaners through.

Step 3:¬†I then moved on to my mini “Go Giants” pennant banner which I created by cutting mini triangles out of my scrap burlap and then smaller triangles out of my scrap Giants fabric to fit atop the burlap triangles which I attached using hot glue. After I had created all of my little triangles I went ahead and attached my fabric letters which were actually stick-on but I used a bit of hot glue on the backs of the letters as well to ensure that they really stuck since my wreath was going to have to brave the elements. After adding the letters I created the pennant banners by gluing the triangles to my blue 1/4″ ribbon, one reading “go” and the other “giants”. I secured it to the wreath by tying each opposing end to the wire frame.

Step 4: My final step was not planned but after finishing my wreath the episode of SVU I was watching still had a few minutes left (lol) so I took that time to play around with the idea of adding the Giants logo and helmet to the mesh. I cut the logos and helmets out of my fabric and used hot glue to secure the fabric to the top of the mesh and another piece of scrap fabric to hold it in place on back (inside of the mesh) since the hot glue would not fully secure the logo/helmet to the mesh without a backing.

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please disregard my disgusting doormat! hehe This is the GIANT wreath in all it’s glory, you can see it from space! ha

TA-DA that was it! Now that I’ve attempted this method I will most likely be making another deco mesh wreath for my Halloween/October wreath (except I will use the appropriate wreath frame this time, haha).

 

DIY Fabric Covered Photo Mat – Made from a Cereal Box!!!

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Who doesn’t love free stuff? I actually have quite a few “free” projects in the works currently that I’m super excited about, but for now I’ll share this one with you as it was part of our gallery wall which I will reveal soon! This project actually happened by accident when I realized that the frame I was using wasn’t a standard photo frame and I was going to need to cut a photo mat to fit it. Since the piece of art (I shouldn’t say art, it was a weird picture of a cat or something, lol) that was originally in the frame had an ivory mat around it I was going to have J cut it to fit using a box cutter. Of course he misunderstood me (anybody else have an issue with their men having selective hearing when it comes to their crafting requests? lol) and cut the wrong part of the mat, rendering the part I needed useless. Boo-hoo! It was time to come up with a plan B, which I thought would be just to buy and cut a standard mat to size but then I realized that a standard mat wouldn’t fit this frame either (gahh!). Just as I was getting super frustrated and about to ax the use of that particular frame altogether,¬†I remembered that I had seen a picture mat that somebody had covered in fabric by simply mod podging fabric onto a plain picture mat. Now, that still didn’t solve my problem of not having the right mat size, but if I thought that if I could only find a thin cardboard to fashion my own mat I could take advantage of my left over fabric from past projects. I knew that a poster board cut to size would work just fine but in the interest of not having to traipse into town to get one I thought to myself “what do I have in the house that is of similar thickness/material to a poster board?” and then it came to me – a cereal box!!! About a half hour and a little mod podge later I had myself another fancy photo mat (check out my first DIY photo mat here) that not only matched the fabric on our side-light window panels¬†but was free!!! All it required was a little thinking outside of the “box”, so to speak (get it? cereal box, ha.ha.ha). I hope this inspires a free photo mat on your end (you need not use a cereal box like I did, any thin cardboard will do) and should you not have the need for a photo mat right now, keep this one in mind as a great DIY gift opportunity come the holidays!

I'll have plenty of more frame projects in the works if I keep catching more adorable moments like this! These two melt my heart <3

I’ll have plenty of more frame projects in the works if I keep catching more adorable moments like this! These two melt my heart ‚̧

 

DIY FABRIC PHOTO MAT

SUPPLIES:

  • 1 large cereal box¬†or poster board of some sort
  • fabric of your choice
  • mod podge (I used matte finish but it doesn’t matter what you use)
  • glue gun & hot glue
  • foam brush
  • measuring tape
  • scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: If you are using a cereal box break the box down by cutting along one of the corners so that it can lay flat like a piece of cardboard. Then measure and cut four strips of equal length or four pieces that can come together to form a rectangular mat since it wont matter what your pieces look like beneath the fabric as long as the shape of the mat is even (depending on the size of your box you may not be able to get four equal pieces but rather four pieces just long enough to overlap and connect to form a rectangle). If using a poster board simply measure and draw out your mat and then cut it out already formed.

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My cereal box! In the interest of pinching our pennies I opt for “crisp rice” instead of rice krispies haha

Step 2: Once you have your four pieces connect them so that your print side (if using a cereal box) is all facing one direction using hot glue to form the mat. Ignore this step if you have used a poster board and your mat is ready to go. Now you are ready to measure and add your fabric!

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ensuring that it fits in the frame

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Step 3:  Measure your fabric by laying the fabric print side down (upside down) and laying your mat on top, use a pencil or pen to mark an area just a tad bit larger than your mat size or enough to be folded over the edges (I will explain in the subsequent steps). Once you have marked your rectangle on the fabric, cut it out using your scissors (this should be obvious but keep the rectangle in tact! To cut the center simply puncture a hole in the center of your fabric and cut along the insides).

Step 4: Place your mat so that the non-print side is facing up and lay your fabric cut out over the mat to make sure that it will line up correctly. In each of the inner and outer corners cut a small slit that extends from the edge of the fabric to the corner of the mat (this is so your fabric can be tucked underneath without puckering at the corners).

Step 5:¬†Now you are ready to attach the fabric to the mat. Using your foam brush, brush a generous amount of mod podge onto the mat surface and then lay your fabric atop it and press down to secure. Some mod podge will likely seep through the fabric, this is fine, simply use your foam brush to brush it off so that it doesn’t form clumps. At this point your fabric will still be larger than necessary for the mat but allow it to dry this way before moving onto the next step.

Step 6:¬†Once your fabric has dried for the most part, turn your mat upside down and use hot glue to attach your fabric’s edges to the underneath of the mat, making sure to pull it tightly so that isn’t loose along the edges and holds to the mat securely.

Step 7: Now turn your mat back over and add another coat of mod podge to the top of the fabric, ensuring that you are adding and even layer and are not allowing it to pool or clump along the top. Allow it to dry and you are ready to use it in your frame!!! Ta-da!!! 

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My DIY frame displayed on our gallery wall!

 

To see more of our family pictures from baby P’s 6 month photo session see this post!¬†

 

DIY Printed Photo Mat

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When planning my gallery wall I knew that I wanted to incorporate some unique design elements when it came to our pictures and frames. Since I had to scale down the size of the gallery wall due to lack of space in the new house, I decided that instead of incorporating typography prints into the design I could free up room for more photos on the wall by simply adding a printed mat to one of the larger photos. I drew inspiration from a photo mat I had seen handwritten on using a sharpie but didn’t duplicate the idea exactly because while I do believe my hand writing to be pretty neat (*hair flip* lol), I figured given that I would have to see this project on display everyday that I would leave the printing job up to my trusty ol’ laser printer. The particular photo I was needing a mat for was one of our wedding photos, so what better wording to surround it than the lyrics to our first dance? Which is “The Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel if you’re wondering (if you want to see me cry buckets just wait until I finish my third glass of wine and put this song on repeat, lol), if you’re a Scrubs fan you’ll know this as the song that plays in last scenes of the series finale. Anyway, enough about that (but really, how awesome is the show Scrubs? lol). This project is quick and easy and with the holidays right around the corner, would make a great gift! This can be done using any text, you can use song lyrics, the text from a love note or even an excerpt from a novel¬†(for all the book worms out there like my hubby!), to name a few. Lastly, if the adorableness that is my hubby and I in the vineyard hasn’t already made you nostalgic for your own wedding and itching to craft (haha), allow me to further convince you – this project costs next to nothing, all you need is access to a laser printer, a photo mat and some mod podge! I hope this inspires you to frame one of your favorite photos or jazz up an existing framed piece ūüôā

WHAT I USED:

  • Plain Photo Mat
  • Laser Printed Wording¬†– ¬†it must be a laser print! If you use an inkjet print it will smear when you paint on the mod podge. If you do not have a laser printer you can print the document at your local print center for a few cents a page. NOTE: I printed mine at home and cut it into sections. If you are going to be super OCD about your wording all lining up, print your wording on a paper size that is LARGER than your frame mat and cut the paper to fit the mat using an x-acto knife. This way your paper will fit your mat exactly.
  • Mod Podge –¬†matte or glossy, doesn’t matter. Personally, I prefer matte.
  • Scissors
  • Foam Brush

WHAT I DID:

Step 1: I began by typing up my wording. I simply copied the lyrics from a lyric site, then pasted it onto a Word document and lined it up as shown below. Next I copied the entire body of text and just pasted it over and over until I had a full page of wording then printed.

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Step 2: Next I cut the pages into sections to fit my mat. I did not care about my wording lining up perfectly since it was going to be displayed at a distance, but if I had wanted it to be perfect I would have done as I suggested above by having a 16X20 sized document printed at my local print center then cutting it to fit the mat using an x-acto knife.

Step 3: I coated the backs of each of my printed pieces with mod podge and placed them carefully onto my frame mat. I gently smoothed the paper once I had placed them onto the mat ensuring that there were no air bubbles trapped between the paper and the mat. I then allowed the mat to dry.

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Step 4:¬†Once my mat had dried I used a my foam brush to coat the top of the mat (atop the print), then allowed this coat to dry. That’s it! Once the mat dried my beautiful picture was ready for assembly and display ūüôā

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Total project cost was right around $5.00!!!

Laundry Room & Command Center Transformation

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Finally!¬†I am¬†so¬†excited to share my laundry room and command center transformation with you! Now it may not seem like much of a “transformation” to you, but in the short time that we had been living in this home pre-transformation this room was one of my least favorite rooms in the house. Not only is the room barely big enough to fit a standard size washer and dryer, it quickly became the catch-all and family dumping area of the house, anything that didn’t have a place would just get tossed in the laundry room. I was on a mission to fix this problem room because as much as I disliked the laundry room, I knew that if I was successful in transforming the room it would be so wonderful to finally have an actual “laundry” room as opposed to having the washer/dryer hook-ups in the garage as it was set up in our last home. Additionally, I was super excited to draw inspiration from so many of the amazing laundry room and command centers that I’ve seen on Pinterest but were never able to apply to our Honey Tree home.

A lot of this project was simply de-cluttering and organizing the space. With the addition of a few storage solutions and DIY decor I was able to transform the space for very little money (and it was worth every penny! lol). The “command center” was just my little addition to help organize our random to-do lists, receipts, coupons etc. and centralize all of the little “hey-where-the-heck-did-I-put-that ______?!” items. Oh, and to display a calendar of course, which is a great point of fascination to my hubby who had no idea how busy our lives were, haha! I hope this inspires a transformation on your end, you will be amazed at how easy this project was and even more amazed at how much it has organized us with just a few small additions to a tiny under-utilized space. Check out my pictures below for¬†DIY ideas and links to their tutorials, as well as sources for all of my decor!

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Before! Okay, I know a lot of this transformation ha to do with organization lol but I think a lot of people can agree that the mudroom tends to become a family dumping ground for miscellaneous items and I was determined to change that!

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After! Organized and stylish, if I do say so myself ūüôā

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Command area, before and after!

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Laundry area, before and after.

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See sources below to see where I found these free printables!

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Follow this link to find see how I went about creating this sign!

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These serve no purpose other than to cover up the ugly wall and washer hook-ups behind them but I think it adds a little pretty somethin’ to the room ūüôā

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These descriptive chalkboard signs are held on to the totes by magnets, the perfect thing for me since we are not staying here long and who knows what we’ll be using these bins for in our next home. Follow the link to see how I made them!

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DIY calendar I made using paint chips, unfortunately I didn’t have my day planner handy so I could only remember two things we have to do this month, haha, obviously I REALLY need this calendar! lol This picture links to my tutorial so check it out, this project is basically free!

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This transformation cost me somewhere in the¬†neighborhood¬†of $200.00, however, to permanently organize and stylize this room using items that can easily be reused wherever we end up next, it was a small price to pay! That being said, a similar look can be achieved for next to nothing if you’re open to different color schemes and products.¬†

 

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1  // Fabric Totes with Magnetic Chalkboard Signs РTotes available here via Amazon for $13.97 each. These were a little pricey but were exactly what I was looking for, they are sturdy, just the right size and will I will definitely be using them in our future homes. The magnetic chalkboard signs were a little DIY addition that I came up with out of necessity for these bins, check out my tutorial here.

2 // Fabric Curtains/Wall Coverings –¬†These do not serve an actual purpose other than to cover the ugly water hook ups and white wall behind them. I simply used left over fabric from my living room curtains¬†using the same method as I did when creating my sink skirt, just added little loops of ribbon to hold the decorative shower curtain hooks (available here via Amazon for $7.64, lots of other colors available!) I used to hang the curtain from the wire shelving.

3 // Sink Skirt –¬†This is a DIY project I finagled to cover the ugly laundry sink using left over fabric from my side-light curtains, check out my link to see how I made it!

4 // Chevron Rug – Available here via Overstock for $35.49.

5 // Ironing Board Holder РThe perfect thing to free up space for the bins above the washer/dryer. Available here via Amazon for $34.99.

6 //¬†Ironing Board Cover –¬†Purchased at Walmart for $7.50. It was just a coincidence that it happened to match my wall coverings perfectly!

7 // Family¬†Bulletin¬†Boards –¬†Available here via Amazon for $6.53, I attached them to the wall using Command picture hanging strips. I personalized them using unfinished letters from Walmart ($1.97 each) that I spray painted white and attached to the boards using hot glue.

8 //¬†Large Striped Totes –¬†Available here via Target, $25.98 for a set of 2. I used the fourth bin as extra toy storage for baby P. These bins are perfect for holding our daily items (pocketbook, keys, wallet, hats etc.) so that we need not leave them randomly about the house. I used left over chalkboard favor tags to label each with our initials.

9 //¬†Dry Erase Paint Chip Calendar –¬†Check out my post to find out how I made it!

10 //¬†Laundry Room Printables –¬†I printed and framed these two free printables I found via Pinterest: “This home has endless love and laundry”¬†and “Laundry, drop your pants here”.

11 //¬†White Floating Shelf –¬†Originally purchased at Home Depot, I reused one from our guest bathroom update on our Honey Tree house.

12 // Metal Wall Mounted File Holder –¬†Purchased via Amazon and available here¬†for $25.00. It is very helpful in organizing receipts, coupons etc.

13 //¬†Candy Jars –¬†Used for holding detergent pods and dryer sheets. I purchased mine at Walmart for $2.98 each.

14 //¬†“Schulze Central Command” Hand Painted Sign –¬†Check out how I made this sign by reading this post!

15 ¬†//¬†Wall Clock –¬†Cheap-o wall clock purchased from Walmart for $2.98! Gotta love all that cheap back-to-college dorm decor!

DIY Painted Plastic Planters

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When we moved into our house on base I was pretty set on not doing anything to spruce up the landscaping. After all we are technically renting this house, so what bigger waste of money than to landscape somebody else’s property? Well after about one week of staring at the ugly, weed infested pine straw “garden bed” that lies around the front of the house, my will to want my home (renting or not) to look it’s best got the better of me and I decided we needed to do¬†something to spruce it up even if it was just changing out the pine straw for mulch.

In my landscaping-on-a-budget post I discussed how we went about sprucing up our Honey Tree home with basically empty pockets, so we decided to apply the same principals here to make our new happy little home look a little more happy on the outside. I will most likely be posting about our new little landscaping project in detail but for now I wanted to share my little pi√®ce de r√©sistance of my outdoor decor – my painted plastic planters! These were inspired by a pair of painted terracotta pots I found on Pinterest (see picture below) and had the terracotta pots at Lowes been on sale I probably would have duplicated the project exactly, but at clearance prices of $2.99 and $1.49 and I couldn’t resist purchasing the large plastic containers that I ended up using instead. Another reason this project had me so giddy, is that since I already had spray paint on hand all that I needed besides the pots were a few plants and of course I chose perennials so that I could enjoy my little plastic wonder pots year round ūüôā This project can absolutely be done using any kind of planter, or better yet planters that are already black in color, I just chose to go with clearance items since the black ones were full price. You can even save yourself the trouble of using a store-bought stencil by checking out my hand painted sign tutorial and using the same technique for creating a stencil using painter’s tape. Hope this inspires you to do some fall landscaping while everything is going on sale! ūüôā

My Pinterest inspiration!

My Pinterest inspiration!

My version :)

My version ūüôā

DIY PAINTED PLASTIC PLANTERS

WHAT I USED:

  • 2 plastic planters – 1 medium, 1 large. I purchased mine on clearance at Lowes for less than $3.00 each!
  • Black matte finish spray paint – make sure it says that it is suitable for plastic and the outdoors, something like this would be good.
  • Clear matte finish spray paint/enamel – something like this would be fine.
  • White paint – I used white latex paint that I had left over from another project.
  • Stencils – I purchased mine at Staples. If you do not want to use stencils check out my Hand Painted Sign Tutorial¬†for an alternative stenciling method using painter’s tape.
  • Painter’s tape
  • Small paint brush

WHAT I DID:

Step 1:¬†I began with these two medium and large sized plastic planters, in grey and blue (because that’s what they had on clearance). Since I wanted them to be black I hit them both with an even coat of flat black outdoor/plastic grade spray paint. The recommended dry time was about 15 minutes so I waited about an hour before moving on to the next step due to humidity.

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I didn't bother painting the insides since the dirt would cover the interior.

I didn’t bother painting the insides since the dirt would cover the interior.

Step 2:¬†Once my pots had dried, I secured¬†my store bought reusable stencils (the same ones I used for my DIY Rustic Burlap Pennant Banners) to the pots using painter’s tape and used a paint brush to paint the “NO. 3347” using white latex paint. White acrylic paint will do as well, since you will be sealing it against the elements using a clear enamel it doesn’t matter whether or not the white paint is suitable for the outdoors. ¬†FYI, this is not an exact science, once I removed the stencils I returned and added another coat of paint and touched up any areas where the paint had leaked under the stencil. If you do not want to be troubled with this check out the above mentioned tutorial on hand painted signs for the painter’s tape method. You can also use white spray paint for the letters and stencils but I do not recommend it, it is super messy and will not be as tidy looking.

Step 3:¬†Once your wording/numbers have dried, hit that area of your pot with a few coats of clear spray paint/enamel. This will keep your letters safe from the elements no matter what type of paint is underneath. That’s all folks! I waited until the next day to pot my plants to ensure that the enamel and spray paint had fully dried.

Finished product!

Finished product!

My goal in creating this little potted display was to cutsie up my stoop using a barely-existent outdoor decor budget. This would undoubtedly work better using ceramic pots since the paint would be less likely to peel or chip, however, the benefit to mine aside from the extremely low cost is that I don’t need to worry about these cracking come winter (which will be here before we know it, eek!). There are so many variations on this so go nuts! ūüôā

For the plants I kept it simple with a small evergreen tree and three small lirope plants. The two mums alongside are potted in $1.98 Walmart pots.

For the plants I kept it simple with a small evergreen tree and three small lirope plants. The two mums alongside are potted in $1.98 Walmart pots.

DIY Hand Painted Sign

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Please forgive that my past few posts are all related to the laundry room/command center that I am yet to post about (I promise to do so soon!), but it just so happens that a lot of my DIY projects as of late have been part of that particular little room makeover. This little sign I made as decor for our little family command center, emphasis on “little” since I didn’t have much space to work with, this cutsie little sign was the perfect thing to jazz it up. Another reason I am so excited about this little sign is because it was my first attempt at a hand painted sign using this particular method (printing out the wording and using painters tape cut with an X-acto knife to create a stencil). Additionally this project was my guinea pig for what will be two larger painted decorative signs that I am now planning to get to work on in the next few weeks given that this one came out so well! So if you’re like me and love the idea of DIYing something that fetches a fortune on Etsy (like hand painted signs!), give this one a try, all you need is wood, some painter’s tape and a steady hand. I also want to add that my inspiration for this project was both my glass etchings (see tutorial here¬†which is generally the same idea only with glass and etching cream as opposed to wood and paint) and my friend Courtney of Wildly Domestic’s tutorial for her growth chart ruler in which she uses this same technique for stenciling and painting the ruler! If you’re skeptical about your ability to pull this one off give it a try anyway by practicing on some scrap wood, just be careful with that X-acto knife, I wouldn’t want¬†my project to be the¬†reason for any DIY-induced ER trips¬†:-P.

DIY HAND PAINTED SIGN

WHAT I USED:

  • 1 small wooden plaque – normally I would just use scrap wood or cheap lumber from Lowes, however, my laziness got the best of me when I saw this little pre-cut plaque at Michael’s for only $2.99 that fit the space perfectly and already had a decorative edge.
  • chalk paint¬†–¬†you¬†need not use chalk paint,¬†that is¬†just what I had left over from my previous projects and the color was right for the space.¬†Any latex¬†or even acrylic paint will do. Check out my post¬†on¬†using homemade chalk paint¬†here. For this particular piece I used “Stone Mason Gray” by Valspar, read about my love for sample size paints here!
  • white¬†paint¬†– for distressing the wood. If you do not plan to dry-brush the wood for a distressed look you¬†can skip the white paint altogether. I just used¬†latex trim paint we had lying around from our¬†work on the Honey Tree house.
  • acrylic paint – I used acrylic paint for the wording but latex paint will do as well if you have some lying around in your desired wording color, it will just take a little longer to dry than if you were to use acrylic.
  • sanding blocks or sandpaper
  • foam brushes, for painting
  • regular paint brush, for dry-brushing
  • small paintbrush, for wording
  • clear topcoat¬†–¬†I used¬†this Krylon Matte Spray Finish¬†purchased at¬†Walmart for about $3.00, since I had it leftover from my¬†DIY¬†Painted Plastic Planters (post coming soon!)
  • painter’s tape
  • scotch tape (or any clear tape)
  • X-acto knife

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: I began by preparing and painting¬†my piece of wood. For¬†a more detailed description of¬†how I¬†dry-brushed and distressed¬†the wood check out¬†my¬†DIY Rustic Picture Display¬†to see the step-by-step instructions on a¬†larger piece. For the purposes of this post I’ll give a more concise version ¬†– first I sanded down the wood surface quickly so as to remove any roughness or scratches, then I painted the wood piece with a coat of chalk paint (you may need more than one depending on your paint color, I only used one). Once the coat of chalk paint had dried, I dry-brushed the surface using a regular 2″ paint brush (see above mentioned post for detailed instructions) and once that had dried I sanded down the edges and a bit on the surface to give the wood a distressed look and wiped it clean with a dry rag.

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Step 2:¬†Once my wood was prepped, I used painter’s tape to cover the surface of my wood. Then I simply created a document in Word of my wording in my chosen font and printed it out. I cut each of the words out individually and used scotch tape (any clear tape will do) to secure them onto the painter’s tape by covering the entire surface of the words with clear scotch tape.

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Step 3: I used an X-acto knife to carefully cut out each of the words. This is pretty tedious but goes much faster if you have some SVU re-runs on in the background :).

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Step 4:¬†Once you’ve cut out all of your words use your smaller paint brush to paint the wording onto wood inside of your makeshift stencil. As soon as you have finished painting all of your words carefully remove the painter’s tape from the wood (I gave mine a few minutes to dry before removing the paint but didn’t wait too long because I didn’t want any of the edges to glob up against the painter’s tape and dry in weird pattern).

Step 5:¬†As soon as your piece has dried apply your top coat and you are finished! If you like the way your piece looks sans topcoat this is fine too since your sign will most likely be mounted on a wall indoors, there isn’t much need for added protection to the wood.

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DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Sign

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I get super excited when I come up with ideas for crafts using supplies that have been left over from previous projects. This particular project was created out of necessity for descriptive labels to attach to our fabric storage totes in our newly updated laundry room/command center (reveal coming soon!!). Since we will be on the move again in less than a year I didn’t want to permanently label the totes in the event that they wouldn’t be serving the same purpose at our next house. I considered several different options such as using velcro to attach laminated labels or using a hook to hang a small wooden sign from the edge of the bin, however, once I remembered that I still had some pre-made chalkboard left over from my mirror-turned-chalkboard, I quickly formulated an idea to easily create a few magnetic chalkboard signs for my bins. This “project” was¬†hardly a project at all, in my case I had to have my hubby cut them down to size using his circular saw but if I had purchased a new piece of pre-made chalkboard at my local home improvement store they would have cut it for me at no charge, so all that is really required is some hot glue and magnets! This is an awesome organization strategy for a renter as you won’t need to deface anything permanently, since the signs are held in place by magnets on either side of the fabric and they can be switched from bin to bin (or surface to surface) seamlessly. I will definitely be returning to this project when I get around to organizing our pantry in the near future.

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DIY MAGNETIC CHALKBOARD SIGN 

*The amount/size of your supplies will depend on your specific need and how many signs you plan to make.

WHAT I USED:

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  • Chalkboard MDF, cut to size – Available here at Home Depot, when I made my original project they cut mine at no extra charge. Since I was using left overs from another project my hubby cut mine down to size, they are roughly 12″X4″ because that is what best fit my totes. NOTE: You can always use very thin MDF wood painted with chalkboard paint if you do not have access to this pre-made product!
  • STRONG magnets – I purchased these small disc magnets via Amazon for $8.99 per pack of 10. If possible test that the magnets you have will hold securely through the bin, I only required two per sign (or 4 per bin, two for the sign and two to hold on the opposing side of the tote) however, if your signs are larger or your tote fabric is on the thicker side you may require more than two magnets.
  • Glue Gun/Hot Glue

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1:¬†If your chalkboard has already been cut to size by your local home improvement store disregard this step. However, if you are either making your own chalkboard or you are like me and reusing left overs you will need to cut your pieces to size using an electric or hack saw. I had my hubby cut them to 12″X4″ pieces.

Step 2:¬†Next take your magnets and use a dot of hot glue to secure one to either side of the back of your piece of chalkboard, if you would like a stronger hold use three spaced equally apart. NOTE: I know nothing about magnets but if you purchase the ones mentioned above they are¬†STRONG, lol. When I was messing around with them when unwrapping them two of them snapped together on my finger and I almost cried, haha. Don’t get me wrong, this is what you want because I’m not sure that a plain old fridge magnet would hold the weight of the wood through the fabric and body of the tote, but still, ¬†you have been warned! Another note, before you glue your magnets be sure that you have set aside¬†sets of two that will attract and that you are gluing them on with the correctly attracting side facing out. Now all you have to do is hold your sign in place where you would like it displayed on the front of the fabric tote and match up the opposing magnets to the inside front of the tote. How easy is that!?

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Without giving away too much of my awesome laundry room makeover here is how I have the chalkboard signs displayed on my totes!  

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