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!
This year we went as characters from the movie The Greatest Showman. I was the bearded lady, Derek was the ringmaster, Lillian was the acrobat, Arthur was the strong man and Alan was the small man dressed as Napoleon. I feel like our costumes turned out great and you can read on to see how I pulled it all together!
The ringmaster costume was easy. Derek already has a top hat and cane as well as black pants and boots and a white shirt so, I just ordered him a jacket from Amazon. It looked great and was cheap. Done.
My costume was also relatively easy. I thought I would luck out and find a cheap prom dress at Goodwill but that did not work out and I ended up buying a cheap dress on Amazon along with a taffeta underskirt. I already had some flowers for my hair. For the beard, I researched how to apply a fake beard which is surprisingly easy. You can see the video I used here. All I needed was fake hair and spirit gum. Done.
The strong man costume was also pretty quick and easy. I did take a few liberties and went with a more traditional strong man costume, omitting the tattoos because it seemed like a lot of work and I was not feeling it. I purchased his muscle suit, red shorts, and inflatable bar bell on Amazon, drew a mustache on his face with some waterproof eyeliner, slicked his hair back and done. Yes...I know his shoes are on the wrong feet. We are working on that. He just likes them that way. lol.
The acrobat costume took a bit more work. I ordered a leotard, cape and pink wig on Amazon but the cape and leotard needed to be embellished. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased some gold trim and purple ruffle material and hand sewed them onto the leg holes of the leotard and the neckline. I also glued on gems onto the mesh portion of the neckline. I added the gold to the edge of the cape as well but got lazy there and just hot glued it. I gave her a little bit of pretty makeup and pulled the hair back after attaching it to her head and done.
The Napoleon costume took the most effort. I had to make it entirely from scratch but, it also turned out to be the most awesome one in my opinion. I used a Martha Stewart tutorial as my guide but did make some changes to the steps. I purchased a navy blue long sleeved shirt and cut it down the middle creating a curved edge on both sides. Then, I glued bias tape to the cut edge on both sides. After that, I cut out red felt with angled edges, double layered it and then hot glued it to the neck of the cut shirt. Then, I hot glued little gold buttons on both sides of the cut shirt. To finish off the jacket, I took navy blue felt and created epaulets to which I added some gold fringe and then hot glued those to the shoulders of the shirt. Finally, I followed the Martha Stewart tutorial exactly for the hat using black felt, hot glue and gold trim. I put him in blue pants with blue rain boots and a white button up shirt to finish it off. I did not modify the white shirt because I felt like it was unnecessary and would ruin the shirt for future use.
I was super happy with how all of our costumes turned out this year! I hope you had a great Halloween too!
This weekend we celebrated my daughter's 8th birthday with a very fun, panda-themed party! I wrote about my plan in a previous post which you can find here.
When my daughter stated that she wanted a panda themed party I thought, "No problem!" but when I started trying to plan activities for a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds to do, I struggled. So, I built off of the teddy bear picnic idea and added in a tea party element for the craft focus. I think everyone had a great time despite the fact that it was a bit hotter outside than I would have liked.
For the food, I went pretty easy and basically cheated by ordering chinese food from our favorite place. We had chicken and veggie fried rice, chicken and veggie lo mein, eggrolls, crab rangoon and, of course, fortune cookies. I also made a fruit salad and a pineapple, sprite, hawaiian punch. To make it a bit more fun looking I dolled it up a bit by transferring the food to small, cute chinese food containers that I purchased on Amazon. I also stuck a pair of plastic chopsticks and chopstick helper for anyone who was not skilled in the art of chopsticks (also purchased on Amazon) inside each container. As a bonus, the kids got to take home their chopsticks and chopstick helper.
The thing I am most proud of is this cake. I MADE this! I found an image of a cake on Pinterest that I really liked and for a brief moment, the stars aligned and everything went perfectly in the baking of this cake. It is EXACTLY like I wanted it and looks super similar to the original photo here from bloglovin. I cheated and used a box cake mix and pre-made icing for the layers. But, I did make the ganache using white chocolate chips, mint green food coloring and heavy cream. It was super easy to get the drip effect and I will definitely be using this cake style again in the future. I followed directions here for making the ganache.
The kids not only had the option of playing outside on the trampoline and swing set but, they also had the opportunity to play badminton and participate in several craft activities.
They were given the opportunity to paint a tea cup, color a panda bear coloring sheet and make a tea party hat. No one was very interested in the coloring table but everyone seemed pretty pleased with their craft opportunities.
I made the tea party hats by taking a white paper cup and hot gluing it to a piece of cardstock that I cut into a circle. Then, I hot glued it to a black, plastic headband blank that I purchased on Amazon. Additionally, I hot glued a few fake flowers to some of the hats. For decorating, they had pre-sticky gems, washi tape and markers.
At the tea cup table, kids were provided tempera paint and white, plastic tea cups that I purchased on Amazon. Unfortunately, the tempera began peeling off (I thought it might happen but figured I would take the chance instead of giving kids permanent paint) but, the cup was still usable so, they can paint them again and again or not!
When it was time to chow down, they sat at a custom picnic area that I set up using pallets wrapped in plastic table cloths with a table runner made of black and white striped wrapping paper and balloon centerpieces. They sat on color coordinated pillows. I ended up buying the bigger pillow covers for only $10 total to add the pop of black and white and just stuffed them with plastic grocery bags (of which I always have a million). The other pillows were actual pillows inside of pillow cases I already had.
Aside from the tea cups, party hats and chopsticks, guests also got to take home a custom panda bear and panda bear mask handmade by ME!
I spent a good chunk of labor day weekend making the panda bears. I based my pattern off of this one but modified it quite a bit to get a shape I was happy with. I also did not sew it. I do not like to sew, even though I can, and instead created the pattern from felt and then hot glued it and flipped it inside out just like you would if it was sewn. Then, I stuffed it and sealed the stuffing hole shut. I cut out felt of a different color for the eyes, paw pads, legs, nose and ears to mimic a panda's markings and hot glued them down as well. I finished it off with black fabric paint for the eyeballs and mouth. I think they turned out amazing and my almost 2 year old quickly decided that "Bobo" was his new favorite lovey.
For the masks, I used one of my sons PJ Masks as a base for the panda face and then created my template by hand. I thought I had captured a few photos but upon looking through my camera, I realize I didn't. Oooops. Anyway, I used my template for the white base and then cut out the black eye, nose and ear areas all from felt. Then I hot glued again and attached ribbon to tie them on with. I made them over the course of two afternoons after work and probably only spent about 2 hours total. Not bad. Plus, I find this kind of crafting kind of zen like. After creating the pattern, it's just a repetitive cutting and gluing process and it is kind of like a form of meditation.
Oh! I also made the birthday girls shirt at the absolute last minute at 1am the night before. I created a panda face design in Silhouette and cut out a stencil. Then I used silver and pink glitter fabric paint to fill it in. It took no time at all and I think it looks adorable. She also had a black and silver tutu and panda leggings.
It was a fun party with all sorts of personal touches that I am very proud of accomplishing. I know that we are nearing the time when she will no longer want a big party with activities and I plan on cherishing the last few moments where she is my little girl and wants me to go all out so, until she decides it isn't cool anymore, I'll keep up the hard work for the big payoff that is her smiling face at the end of the day and hope that when she has a little girl of her own she remembers and is able to do the same for her.
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!
Sorry for the delay in posts recently! School started back and I've been busy juggling the myriad things at work along with dealing with the kids and general everyday stuff. So, yeah...
Right before school started back, I had a blast on a girls weekend getaway and I just had to shower my girls with some fun swag. So, I made girls trip goody bags full of fun stuff.
For the shirts, I found some cute tanks at Old Navy on sale for only $3 each. Then, I made a stencil using my silhouette machine and used white paint to paint the shirts.
For the bracelets, I used embroidery thread, seed beads and sterling silver findings along with plastic letter beads in gold and silver and created a trio for each girl with their name, a simple friendship bracelet and a f*** it bracelet.
I used my silhouette machine again for the cups, which I found for $2 each on clearance at HomeGoods. I was going to paint them with stencils too but that didn't work and I ended up ruining one of the cups with that adventure.
To finish out the bag I hit the Dollar Tree hard and grabbed snacks as well as the adorable flip sequin bags! Total score! Which worked out great for my friends since several hadn't remembered to bring a clutch for our night out.
The bags took a bit of time but not too terribly long and at under $6 each were definitely economical. We all had a great time on a short, nearby trip to Memphis and stayed at the Graceland Guesthouse which, by the way, I totally recommend! It was super swanky and exactly what we needed to get away from it all and chill poolside! It was definitely a fun-filled weekend!
Lilly's school has an upcycle fair every year. Last year she made a plastic bag jump rope and won 3rd place in her grade. This year she made what she called "ipod Bears" which are basically mini bean bag chairs that look like chairs to hold your ipod or iphone. She won 1st place in her grade!
I'm going to show you how we made them so you can make your own. They are super adorable and easy to do using materials you probably have right now! We did get the idea from youtube and used this video to help us make them.
diy: ipod bears
You will need:
- rice- hot glue and glue gun
It was a pretty easy and fairly quick project. We ended up making three in total and only spent about 1 and a half hours. It's definitely something interesting to do with all of those socks with missing partners!
Maybe now she won't lose her ipod under her bed. Lol.
It's been a busy and kinda rough last few months. My Mother-in-Law has been very ill and passed away on Friday. My grandfather also passed away only two days before on Wednesday. My husband and I both agreed to put our Valentine's Day on hold but, I knew that I wanted my kids to keep some semblance of normalcy and have a bit of fun to take their mind off of the very heavy things that have happened. Plus, I hoped to involve my Father-in-Law and Sister-in-Law as well to give them something to keep them occupied with the tragedy so fresh and it being the day of love as well as my FiL's 55th birthday.
So, I perused Pinterest for some ideas and decided on a fancy family dinner and for the morning, the kids had a scavenger hunt to find their gifts. Walmart had some pretty legit stuffed animals for only $15 so they received those in their favorite animals, some Valentine's Day themed socks and a package of edible bubbles. (I know, I was unaware this was a thing too. They seem pretty neat.)
For his birthday, my husband had a great idea of gifting his Dad with a giant, ultra, mega Nerf gun and got one for each kid too. This turned out to be the best idea. Even though the joy was brief, there was joy, and his Dad even laughed out loud several times in reaction to my squealing kids running in fear of being pelted with a nerf dart. Everyone enjoyed the dinner and our plan is to have a weekly dinner where they come and have a Nerf battle and an opportunity to be happy for a bit instead of grieving.
The family dinner was such a success that I think we'll do it every year. I made it fun with a sequin table cloth, other decorations, a custom menu and fizzy juice for the kids. I also acted as a waiter, complete with a proper silly voice, for them and let them order off of their menus which they thought was fantastic.
Oh, and I had no idea that I was supposed to send a Valentine's Day box with my son until I picked him up the day before (Usually my husband drops him off and picks him up so the info fell through the cracks.) So, I ended up making a pretty adorable dino box for him. He is obsessed with dinosaurs. When my husband got him to school the next day, he said that most of the kids literally just had a box. Not a decorated one. Just a box. lol. I'm glad I was over-prepared and stressed to make it the night before.
With three kids taking adorable photos can get a bit hard. But, I managed to scrape together a few great ones using my awesome trick of pretty wrapping paper for a background. I dressed the kids in some adorable clothes, bribed them with the promise of candy at the end of the ordeal and quickly captured their adorable little faces with my phone camera before anyone had a meltdown.
I even managed without anyone making silly faces or sounds behind me this time! After selecting my favorites and running them through my favorite photo filter app, Rookie Camera, I ended up with photos that I really like and only cost me some time, a little sanity and $4 for the wrapping paper. Enjoy!
Since I was not looking photo ready during our session, I left the wrapping paper up and captured a few more photos the next day too.
Alan had a fantastic fiesta themed first birthday party...two months ago! I'm sorry for the extremely late posting! I have been so busy recently with work and kids and holidays that I haven't had any spare time for hobbies. But, I'm finally getting a minute now that the semester tests are nearing their end and I have mostly prepared my lessons for the next semester. Take a look at all of the fun that was had a few months ago celebrating Alan.
The party food was a taco bar with all of the fixin's. I made cupcakes (from a box mix) but made them extra cute with swirly icing, sprinkles and Alan heads. We also had corn on the cob and chips with salsa and queso. I also printed out labels in Spanish and English for all of the food. To make the cupcake toppers I took one of the photos from our fiesta themed photo shoot and sent it to Walgreens as wallet sized prints. Then I cut his head out and hot glued it to a toothpick.
For fun activities, we had a create a maraca and/or sombrero station and a pin the mustache on Alan. I just printed a photo of Alan into a poster sized print at Walgreens and cut out some mustaches from black construction paper. I also had a fun photo booth for selfies and such.
For the rest of the decorations I kept it pretty simple and posted Spanish labels on various items in the house and hung a large sombrero and printed sign on the door.
Also, Alan's shirt was made using my silhouette cameo machine. I created the design and cut it into stencil material. Then I used red acrylic paint to paint the design onto the shirt. It is way easier and cheaper than vinyl plus, I think it lasts longer and looks way more legit. For his party hat I used a store bought hat from Target and added the glittery one with craft foam. Easy and cheap!
Guests left with their crafts, some sticky mustaches and mini wooden maracas. It was a fun, colorful and festive party that was a blast to plan.
We celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday this past weekend and it went off without a hitch! I even managed to make a cake that was not an epic fail like previous years! Check out all of the details, activities and fun below!
The theme was Flamingos and Dinos with a focus on the flamingo. The cake was one hundred percent boxed mixes in both devil's food and confetti and canned icing but, I made it look extra by making it a tier with ombre icing. I made the two paper figures on top by printing out a dino and flamingo image from the internet and backing it with colored paper and then taping it to a skewer. The rest of the food was simple but yummy with dino scales (chips), flamazing ham and cheese sandwiches, flamingled fruit salad, dinorriffic noodles and dinotastic punch.
For activities, we played flamingo ring toss, had a dino and flamingo egg hunt, did a guided flamingo painting, pinned the tail feather on the flamingo and had a competition to see who could stand on one leg the longest. We also had a tropical themed photo wall area.
For the art activity, I created cardboard easels by cutting out one side of a small packing box and creating a triangle. Then I used duct tape to tape along the cut edge. Then I taped the canvases onto the sides. You can see how I made them here. I ordered kid aprons online for each kid to wear and bought a pack of big paint brushes as well. The paint was liquid tempera purchased at Hobby Lobby and I put the paint on paper plates. The kids all got to take their aprons, paint brush and art home as party favors.
The photo booth props were something I planned on making and then I found a pre-made set in the party aisle at Wal-Mart on clearance for .99 cents! So, I just used that. It even had flamingo glasses! Perfect! I also supplemented with some items from our dress-up collection including tutu's, masks, tiaras and feather boas.
In addition to the art themed favors, kids also took home a flamingo or dino mask. The girls above are wearing them while competing in the one-legged standing competition. In the background you can see the pin the tail feather game I made. Somehow it did not get photographed! I just drew a flamingo on some pink paper and game the kids colored feathers with tape to tape onto the bird. They enjoyed it!
I found free mask printables, backed them with construction paper and then laminated them. Then I hole punched them and added ribbon for tying. They actually took a lot of time but were essentially free and I think they looked awesome!
I purchased pre-filled eggs online one set was regular eggs but the other were dino eggs! I had some other adults hide them while I corralled all of the kids inside and handed them paper bags with their names on them. Then we let them loose!
I think the party was a success and all of the guests had fun. I didn't feel too rushed the day of but I'm sure that was mostly due to staying up until one the night before. Now I have to get planning on my son's 1st birthday coming up in October! Thanks for visiting!
For my daughter's birthday we decided to have a guided painting activity. I created these cardboard easels in less than 10 minutes and they worked beautifully! Plus they cost less than a dollar a piece! Keep reading to see the full tutorial below.
You will neeed:
- small cardboard box
- duct tape
- scissors/box cutter
1. Remove one of the small sides of the box. I found this pretty easy using just scissors.
2. Pull the two cut sides together to form a triangle shape and duct tape along the edge.
3. Attach your canvas or paper using tape. You could also hot glue a clothes pin or clip. I used two pieces of rolled duct tape to adhere the canvases for the kids at the party. They were easy to remove and we had no issues with canvases falling off.
It's been a busy past few weeks at my new job and it has kept me from posting for awhile. But, I've been getting ready for my daughter's seventh birthday which is coming up this weekend! Eeeek! I hope I'm able to get everything done in time! I'm currently cutting out about a bajillion paper tropical leaves for decor along with 20+ Dino and flamingo masks for tiny people to wear.
The party is going to be mostly flamingo with a touch of dinosaur to accommodate little boys who might not love the idea of pink birds. We'll have a Dino and Flamingo egg hunt, games revolving around one leg and a guided painting activity for kids to paint their own masterpiece! I'm excited to see how it'll turn out and I hope you are too! You can see my inspiration board below and check back next week for the end result!
This week was the most popular dramatic play theme of the summer so far and the other activities were pretty popular too. You can download the lessons by clicking the image below and read about all of the fun further down.
This week they had a construction zone dramatic play area. They had a table with foam blocks next to a square of contact paper that I taped to the wall. They could stick the foam blocks onto the contact paper to build. They freakin' loved it! They also had giant foam blocks to build with and I made them diy wrecking balls using long socks and soft rubber balls. I placed the ball in the bottom of the sock and they simply swing it at their towers. It was also a huge hit. They also had regular blocks to build with. To finish off the area, I provided construction worker hats, caution tape and some signs. This was the most popular dramatic play area so far and they played for a really long time multiple times through the week.
day one: engineering
We talked about what an engineer is and what they do. We read some stories about great women inventors and watched a video. Then we discussed the engineering process. Afterwards, we made lego prints.
day two: blueprints
We learned about blue prints and listened to a fun song from Phineas and Ferb. Then Lilly did some measuring using a worksheet and followed a recipe to make mug cake. It's kind of like a blueprint in the overall idea because it is the directions for creating a cake just like the blueprints are directions for building a house.
day three: tools
We read a book and discussed different types of tools. Then we did some hammer painting using cotton pads, paint and a rubber mallet. It was a big hit. (get it? lol)
day four: machines
We learned about different kinds of simple machines by watching an episode of Bill Nye and discussed where we have seen and used simple machines in our every day life. Then we made a pendulum using a paper cup, broom stick and string. We used it to create a pendulum painting. We also made a painting using an inclined plane and discussed what that meant.
day five: architecture
We had a lot of options but, as always, we didn't get to much of it and instead simply read a book about the three little pigs from an architectural point of view, watched a few informative videos and created graham cracker houses. Then we tried to blow our housed down. They were sturdy enough to resist. Honestly, we skipped a bunch of the activities this week. I think we're all tired and would rather just have free play. They really loved the dramatic play area and spent a lot of their free time in there this week.
Rachel is a mother of three, high school 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.