I had plans to paint the stools black and cover the seats with fun paper and mod podge but I ran out of time. Maybe that's a project for next summer.
Last year I made a huge career switch and began teaching elementary Spanish in January, in the middle of a pandemic, in an entirely different part of the country. It was a big deal. My classroom was super tiny and definitely not what I needed and I made sure to let my administration know that I desperately needed bigger digs. They totally came through like the boss bitches they are and gave me a full sized classroom for the new school year. But, it was in desperate need of a facelift. I immediately got to work painting every surface of the room and planning for the overall vibe. After spending countless days of my summer vacation working on it with the help of my daughter I'm happy to say that it is perfect. I love it. I'm never leaving.
I chose to go super basic with my paint colors so I have the ability to change the room look with decorations and NEVER PAINT AGAIN. Seriously, I painted all of the walls white. Then painted both built in bookcases black (originally a dirty cream) and all of the cabinets, countertops and heater black. The counters were ORANGE. And not a cute orange. A 1970's orange. I also painted the metal shelves black and the chalkboard went from blue to gray. I chose bright colors for my accents and even made an entire wall a focus wall with sombreros I found while going through stuff the old Spanish teacher left. There were like 30 sombreros.
I had plans to paint the stools black and cover the seats with fun paper and mod podge but I ran out of time. Maybe that's a project for next summer.
In my previous post I discussed the vanity project which was how the bedroom re-do began. But, for it all to work out, I needed to ditch my old dresser and replace it with a less wide version. I also wanted to brighten up the space a bit with a white or light piece of furniture since it would be sitting against a navy blue wall. So, I've been keeping my eyes open for a cheap dresser with good bones that I could paint/refinish. I managed to snag a really great looking piece for only $35 on my local Facebook Marketplace. It had some damage and was a terrible brown color but I could see it's potential. I mean, look at those cool handles!
I headed to Pinterest for inspiration on refinishing it and found a great color combo that I thought would fit the bill. I headed to Home Depot and had them mix me a perfect gray and grabbed a can of the base white and headed home!
I removed all of the hardware and then sanded the piece with an electric sander and 80 grit paper. Then I wiped it down with a damp cloth and removed the drawers. I was ready to paint! it took about 4 coats to make it perfect but it was worth it!
Since it was missing one handle and two knobs I had to get creative. I was DEFINITELY using those handles. So, I went to Hobby Lobby and grabbed 6 knobs that I felt were reminiscent of the original ones. Then, I spray painted the original handles using the same gold spray paint I used for my previous vanity mirror project so that all of the knobs matched.
After everything was dry, I re-attached the knobs and handles in a slightly different order than the original and put it all back together. I am so very pleased with how wonderfully this project turned out. My husband was even surprised. When he first saw the dresser he was pretty against the whole idea but, he knows not to mess with my crazy lol. We both LOVE how it turned out and I feel like I have my own little Instagram worthy designed space.
I love it when my vision actually works out! After hanging some paintings I made a few years ago above the dresser and putting a few pretty items to sit on top, I feel like it is perfect. Thanks for joining me on the journey! I hope it inspires you!
Ever since we moved into our current home two years ago, I have missed my vanity area. Our bathroom is large with double sink areas but it just isn't the same putting on makeup and doing me hair standing at the sink. So, for Christmas I got to set up a new vanity area! I was also given the go-ahead by my adorable husband to revamp our bedroom. We've focused on the rest of the house but our room has been left out. I always like to get a picture in my head of my end goal so I immediately hit Pinterest. I found the photo below and used it as my inspiration. I even researched the exact desk but after finding it was over $1,000 I realized I was going to have to do more research.
The think I loved most about the desk was that it had drawers and gold accents along with clean lines. We have a navy blue accent wall in the bedroom and I decided that I would like to pull that color into the space. So, after browsing the web, I found this amazing desk at Wal-Mart.com for only $160 and added it to my cart. I also found a very fun acrylic chair there for only $54 and purchased it as well.
Now all that was left was the mirror. That was quite an order! I mean, look at that thing in the inspiration photo! It's freaking huge and, I'm sure, cost a fortune. I decided to hit up our local thrift shop because, ya know, gold spray paint can make most things look pretty fabulous and I'm cheap. So, walking around I began to get a bit sad as there were no potential mirrors anywhere in sight. But then, in between some ugly and ancient old pieces of furniture, I found something promising. It was definitely not as large but I could see the potential and, for only $5 I figured it was definitely worth a try. If nothing else, I could just use it until I found something better. I decided it needed a bit more decoration to make it a little more ornate like the inspiration so I grabbed some wooden accent pieces at Hobby Lobby for a couple bucks and used wood glue to adhere them. Then, I taped off the mirror and broke out the spray paint!
To finish up the vanity area I added a few items that I received as Christmas gifts like an acrylic make-up organizer and tri-fold make-up mirror. My sweet husband hung the mirror (which was no small feat as it probably weighs 50lbs!) And voila! A wonderfully perfect and very me vanity space where I can feel extra fancy.
I'm pretty pleased with how everything turned out and for less than $250 bucks I couldn't be happier!
I enjoy painting and have several paintings throughout my home that are my original work. However, an unframed canvas lacks that expensive, sophisticated look so, I decided to remedy that by creating my own frame of sorts. This is a quick, easy and cheap fix that makes the painted canvas look super expensive.
- thin wood boards (used to be called hobby boards at Home Depot)
- thin nails
- sand paper
Head over to Home Depot (or another store that carries wood and has helpful employees) with your canvas dimensions. I was creating frames for a 30x40 canvas and wanted to make sure the edges of the wood pieces overlapped each other on the edge so, I ended up getting the 40 inch long boards cut to 41 to accommodate for the overlap. I found a helpful employee and he cut them for me for free!
Once I had 4 of each length (I was framing two canvases.) I headed home with my wood and grabbed a box of small nails on my way out of the store.
Once home, all I did was sand the edge of the boards where the Home Depot guy cut them, line up the boards to be flush with the front of the canvas and hammered in a few nails down the side. I put about 4 on each side to make sure they were secured properly without any gaps. It took very little time and only cost about $20 to frame both canvases!
A few years ago I made a post about an easy-change gallery wall. Well, I've just updated it to be a more substantial, grown-up project. We finally managed to get the living space walls painted and I was ready to commit to a bigger project.
For this one, I headed to my local thrift shop and selected a bunch of picture frames of various sizes. I even laid it out on the floor of the shop to make sure it would all work together. I managed to get all of the frames for only $30!
Once I had my frames, I headed home and took out all of the art and taped the mirrors. Then I spray painted them all white. It took several coats and about 4 cans to make them all even. I just used a white primer spray paint.
Once they were dry, I used tacks and twine to create strings for hanging photos. Two of the frames were plastic and I had to hot glue the twine. Then, I used large paper clips for hanging the photos onto each string.
I am in love with how this project turned out and hope you like it too!
My son was born in October and I have only recently finished his nursery. I figured I didn't need to rush since he is still sleeping in a bassinet beside me. Plus, we waited to find out what we were having and let it be a surprise on the big day! So, I didn't want to decorate until I knew the gender. Once I began planning, I decided on a mountain theme and am really pleased with how it turned out!
To begin I turned to Pinterest for inspiration, of course, and decided the mountain theme would be perfect. Originally I planned on painting a mountain mural similar to the ones below but, my husband was not a fan of the idea and, after painting the bedroom gray along with two other bedrooms and a bathroom, I was kind of over painting.
I went on a painting spree in our new home and took both of the boys bedrooms (they share a bath jack and jill style) from a seriously bright turquoise hue to a much more subdued and versatile gray from Sherwin Williams called "Evening Shadow". It has a tendency to lean toward the blue end of the gray scale but, from my experience, works well with any colors you throw at it. I also painted my office this color. It is almost complete and I will post about it soon! In addition to painting those three rooms, I also painted the jack and jill bathrooms, taking them from flamingo pink (I know right?! All THREE of our bathrooms were painted this color when we moved in!) to a blue gray from Sherwin Williams called "Rarified Air" and my daughter's bedroom went from boring taupe to a lovely light (almost white) purple shade called "Silver Peony".
So instead, I decided to create faux wallpaper using my silhouette machine and white vinyl. I found a few mountain shaped silhouettes and paired them with various triangle shapes, sent them through my machine and then applied them randomly on the main nursery wall. It took very little time and I love the result! In fact, if you want to create your own faux wallpaper using vinyl and a silhouette machine, you can download my file! Sweet!
After applying the vinyl, I made the name sign for above the crib by purchasing the blank sign at Hobby Lobby for $20 and painting the tops to look like snow covered mountains. Then I created a stencil using letters printed out from my computer and then cut and traced on top of the wood. It was also a quick project but makes a big impact. To finish the room, I added a gray and white striped teepee from Hobby Lobby for $45 (I used the 40% off coupon) and white faux fur rug. The crib is the same one from my other two children but I added white teething covers to lighten it and to cover the destruction left behind from my first son. I hung gray room darkening curtains on a white arrow shaped curtain rod from Ikea. The rocking chair is also a hand me down from the other two kids and the pillow cover was also a clearance Hobby Lobby find for $3. The dresser is a vintage piece from my grandfather. I found an awesome LED moon light on super clearance at Target for $15 and created the national park prints by sending free original images, found online here, to Walgreens for printing and then framed them in $5 frames from Hobby Lobby where I also found the wall vinyl tree. It has the ability to hang hooks on the branches but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
I only have one remaining project to complete for the room which is a mobile. I plan on making a mountain and tree one like the ones below. I've purchased all of the materials but haven't had the time to get it made. I'll definitely post about it when it's complete. I'm also on the lookout for a cool lamp but haven't found one I like yet. I'm sure there will be a few changes and additions once Alan gets moved into his new room but for now it is a lovely place to sit and relax while rocking him.
If you're interested in checking out my inspiration board on Pinterest, you can see it here!
My Mom and Stepdad recently brought me an old piece of furniture from my childhood bedroom for my daughter to have. The piece was actually my Mom's first piece of not hand-me-down furniture that she actually picked out as a young girl. When she gave it to me she painted it in an antique style with rose detailing but, for my daughter I wanted to bring it back to the original white. It had lost a couple pieces of hardware over the years so I also planned on replacing the knobs and pulls. I decided to spray paint it because, honestly, I'm lazy and just didn't want to use a brush. However, I wish I had just done it with a brush, it would have looked better and I'm not sure the spray paint saved me much time. I also have the classic crampy hand from spraying too.
After wiping it down, removing the old hardware, taping the glass doors and painting it white, I headed out for some knobs and pulls. I went to Home Depot and found absolutely nothing worthwhile. (I didn't think I would, but I hated not to give it a chance.) Then, I remembered seeing vintage styled knobs at T.J. Maxx for super cheap the week before. I popped over there and found some that would be perfect. The piece, however, used pulls and knobs and there were no pulls. I knew this was a problem but after a quick consultation with my sister-in-law to get her opinion, we agreed that putting knobs in each of the two holes meant for a pull would look great. T.J. Maxx didn't have enough of any one knob for the whole piece though so, I chose two complimentary but different knobs and decided to strategically mix them.
The other hiccup was that the piece had these weird plate pieces that created another hole only about half of an inch from the knob holes on the glass doors and fold down desktop and I only had two of the three plates I needed. Obviously, I wasn't going to find a replacement plate so I had to get creative. I decided to keep one plate for the drop down desk and spray painted it gold. Then I used of the new knobs instead of the original. For the doors I used new knobs and then spray painted two of the old ones (I only had two) gold to match the plate on the desktop and put them in the weird plate holes.
I feel like it looks just the right amount of whimsical and purposeful. My daughter is excited to have it and it really helped with her room organization.
I don't know if you feel the same way but, framing art can be expensive! So, when it I needed to put art up in my sons room I looked into ways to get it up for waaaaaay cheaper! A quick trip to the hardware store, a glue gun, some twine and your print are all you'll need to whip up a cheap hanging method that also looks pretty cool!
Inspired by my gallery wall hanging frames, I set out to get a similar but more permanent look. The prints I used were made at Walgreens for less than $10 each and could easily be reprinted so, I didn't have a problem with permanently adhering them to a frame.
I grabbed two "hobby boards" for around $3 each from Home Depot and hot glued the print to the boards at the top and bottom. I recommend measuring and drawing a line down the board on the side you plan on gluing so it is even. Then, I wrapped twine around the top board creating a string to hang from a nail on the wall. It only took a few minutes and I love the result! Plus, if my son knocks it in the future there isn't any glass so I don't have to worry about potential danger. I'm pleased and will probably use this method again. So easy!
Hopefully you're inspired to think of new ways to hang your art! Enjoy!
I was looking for some cute and simple flower arrangements to give a nice spring feel to my home but, everywhere I looked they were way out of my price range. So, I decided to get crafty and make them myself. However, when I visited my local craft store I left discouraged about the cost there as well. But, when I visited my local Dollar Tree I found exactly what I was looking for and only spent a fraction of what I would have elsewhere. Check out how I did it!
You will need:
- Several bunches of the most realistic looking flowers at your dollar store. I chose some soft pink flowers that look like a peony and an azalea had a baby. They weren't overly colorful and they looked light and airy.
- Short, glass vessel. I selected the round bubble like ones. They have a simple and expensive feel but are still just $1.
- 1 bag of white rocks.
- Sharp scissors for cutting the flower stems
Once you have all of your items, simple cut the flowers into varying lengths that cause the flowers to sit at the top edges of the glass vase. Fill the vase with your white rocks and then arrange the flowers. The biggest note I can give is to make sure you put plenty of flowers in your vase. if it is not filled fully it will not look quite right.
I'm always trying to get the most bang for my buck and save as much as possible when redecorating our new home. So, for my office I began browsing pinterest for inspiration and came across a fantastic tutorial to create 3D origami art. I figured that paper was cheap so in the worst case scenario I wouldn't be out much money if the project ended up being a fail. I selected papers that matched the color scheme for my room, pulled out my paper cutter, ruler and pencil and got to work! I followed the tutorial exactly and then configured them in my own way on a piece of white poster board. Once I figured out the arrangement I liked, I used hot glue to adhere them to the white poster board. After that, I cut it out of the poster board and got glued it to a piece of gold poster board. Then I stuck it on the wall using poster stickers. Once I got it up there I felt it needed a little something extra and added some black and white washi tape to frame it.
I LOVE how it turned out and only spent about 30 minutes making it! It really pops on the wall and I adore the paper choices I made. I love it so much I may make some similar art for other rooms in my house.
I've slowly been checking off my to-do list since moving into our new home this fall and this week I took on my office/craft room! It's not finished yet so you'll have to wait for that post a bit longer. But, I can definitely share with you a few of the projects I've been working including a super easy and fun cork board that I've hung in my office.
You will need:
- framed cork board
- paint (I used gold and hot pink)
- washi tape (I used black and white striped, metallic pink and a gold pattern)
- hot glue and hot glue gun
- painter's tape
1. Decide on your design. I chose to tape a gold triangle off in the bottom right corner and a pink in the top right. Then I added gold dots along the edge of the pink triangle and a few pink triangles on the edge of the golden one. I also painted the top and bottom parts of the frame pink and the sides gold. I used painter's tape to create a straight line for both triangles. I used a piece of paper to outline my triangles with a pencil and then filled them in with pink paint.
2. While your board dries, gather the rest of your supplies to create the fun clothespins. Apply washi tape to the front of each clothespin. Then use your hot glue gun to apply a push pin to the opposite side of each clothespin.
3. Put it to use! I found some cute free printables for my board and added a pic of my husband and I. I'm sure it will soon be covered with all of my goals and to-do's but for now it looks very neat and pretty. The prints I used are "Eat, Sleep, Craft, Repeat" from The Plaid Palette , a 2017 floral calendar from The Cottage Market, and "Happiness is a warm glue gun" from Man Made DIY.
I'm really happy with my result and hope you enjoy it! Thanks for visiting!
This year I decided to decorate my mantle with a woodland/tree theme. I figured I could easily find different types of trees to make it look rich and diverse. I started with two pre-lit white trees that I already owned and added a garland with gold ribbon and lights that already had as well. Target helped me take care of the rest. They ran a sale on the Saturday after black Friday where you could get $50 off of $100 spent in their Christmas department so I made sure to pick that day for my purchases. I selected two small bottle brush style trees for $3 each, a pair of mini bottle brush trees (they were actually ornaments and sold in a pair for $3), two slightly green trees with a burlap wrapped base and pinecones for $3 each and two larger threes with wooden bases, pinecones and faux ice/snow for $18 each. I also found two glittery deer ornaments that I felt would add nicely.
Then I began arranging them on my mantle until I liked what I had. I ended up having a dead space in the middle and dug out a very old mini artificial tree and added lights and some gold pinecones. To finish, I added our star stocking hangers and the new stockings I purchased to which I added gold initials to each to denote the owner. Finally, I hung a banner that was meant to be a craft project from Target. I liked the letters because they were a two tone metallic and I felt it would go really well but, I am super disappointed with them. The string included with the kit was horrible so I used twine instead and the letters aren't a very sturdy material so they may not make it to next year.
The basic idea when shopping for your mantle is to make sure that you get at least 4 different types of trees in varying sizes and get at least two of each different tree. Keep it simple and don't go for trees that are decorated and instead opt for simple, life-like looking trees. You also don't want to overcrowd the mantle and want to group the items in a natural way with some space between them but not perfectly spaced. You really just have to play with it until you like what you have. I rearranged mine a couple times and for a bit wondered if I hadn't made a mistake with my "genius idea" but I finally got an arrangement I love.
I think my favorite thing about my new mantle is that I can leave it up after christmas if I want. I'll just remove the stockings. It's not overtly Christmassy but still gives a warm and holiday feel. I just love it and I hope you love it too!
When my husband and I first got married we had several college friends who didn't have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with. So, we started hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday evening to give those friends a Thanksgiving experience. When we started hosting this ten years ago we cooked everything but it was only for about six people and we didn't have any children. Now, most of our friends have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving so we've moved the event to the Saturday before Thanksgiving and we invite many more people so it's more of a potluck scenario where we cook the turkey and a few sides. By the way, if you want a fool proof turkey recipe you should try Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey. It's the recipe we've used every year and it always yields a delicious, juicy and flavorful turkey. Out of the several Thanksgivings we attend it is definitely our favorite. There is such great energy with all of our friends and their kids. It truly feels like an extended family.
This year we got to host it at our new house which made the event even more awesome than ever before because we had more space for everyone including the 10 rowdy kids! With the layout of our new home, the dining room and breakfast nook were both large enough to add an additional table which allowed us to visit in larger groups while eating that in previous years. The house also has a room that is towards the back end of the house and I set that room up as the kids room giving the adults a little distance from the ruckus that they created.
For table decorations I used brown butcher paper to cover our folding tables and then drew place settings with a sharpie. Then I added some white votives and faux fall leaves to the center. I printed out some free napkin rings but they were too big for the paper napkins and plastic silverware I was using so we just laid them across the drawn place setting and put the napkin and silverware on the side. I had a tablecloth and centerpiece on the main dining table and placed golden chargers at each setting with he same napkin ring/decorative paper strip, napkin and silverware and used a ceramic cornucopia filled with fruit for the breakfast nook table.
For the kids tables I copied the adult tables by using craft paper and faux place settings but for the center I placed paper bag teepees made by my daughter and paper finger puppet pilgrims and indians. I also put a snack bag of Kix cereal that was dressed up to look like corn on the cob at each setting. To entertain the kids I provided indian headdresses for them to color and wear and crayons at the center of the tables. I also made a "Stuff the Turkey" game by following this tutorial which entertained the kids for at least a few minutes.
Stuff the turkey was also a quick craft and I only needed a large paper bag, two small paper bags, white tissue paper (I ended up using white paper towels), several sheets of colored paper (for stuffing), a hot glue gun and a stapler. I followed directions found here.
We had a ton of food and a really great time! We even had a small break at around 8:30 for parents to take kids home and put them to bed. Then we reconvened for more adult time while sitters stayed with the sleeping children. It was pretty fun!
Hopefully this event will continue to grow and be as much fun year after year. Enjoy the ideas and have a great Thanksgiving!
Now that I'm in my new house, decorating for holidays is a whole new adventure! I get to rethink and analyze how I can use my old decor to fit the new space. Over the years I have accrued numerous pumpkins for my fall decorating. Some I purchased on sale at Hobby Lobby and some I made using foam pumpkins from the dollar store, white paint and thumbtacks. (You can see a tutorial I used here.) I also had a garland of fall leaves and some sprigs of fall leaves. So, I began playing around with what I had and ended up creating a pretty nice looking miss mash of my old stuff. The only new thing I purchased was the metal "Give Thanks" banner from Target which I got on sale for only $7! The key is to make sure you have a few different sizes and colors of pumpkins to give the mantle the right look. I'm sure I'll change it up every year but, I'm pretty happy with it this year.
After the success I experienced with my mid-century modern table and chair set re-do, I decided to make a point to continue visiting thrift shops in search of hidden treasure. I lucked out again when looking for an entry table and found this great piece for just $65! I plan on doing some sort of update to it but am not sure exactly what that will be. For now, I'm happy to have it as is and created a cute arrangement with sticks from my backyard, a $5 container from Wal-Mart and some fresh mini pumpkins and squash. I've also ordered a round rug which hasn't come in yet.
At the same shop I also found a somewhat mid-mod styled metal bookshelf for $27. It was covered in dirt and cobwebs (I forgot to snap a pic as I was too excited to clean it.) but, once i cleaned it you could appreciate all that it offered. The somewhat distressed looking black metal shelves paired with the modern lined gold metal sides offer a sleek and stylish feel and with a few decorative items it filled my empty wall perfectly.
I'm pretty darn pleased with my finds and I haven't even done anything to them! I LOVE thrift shops!
Rachel is a mother of three, elementary Spanish teacher and part-time blogger who loves crafting, creating fun and engaging activities for her children and students and hanging with her friends and family. She blogs about what she's doing and her interests at any given time which vary. She's a little OCD and always looking for her next project. Her husband calls it, "focusing her crazy", but she just calls it fun.