Land of Nod Book Bin Knock Off

Back in December we moved the boys into the same room and they got bunk beds for Christmas. I’m sure you’ve all seen these wall hanging book bins on Pinterest and maybe even in the Land of Nod catalog, which is where I got the idea. They call them “Bin There Done Book Bin” and they cost $69 each!

Now if you know me, you know that I’m cheap and would NEVER pay that much for a few pieces of wood. Especially when I know we can do it ourselves! Well, I guess I should say hubby could do it!
I handed him the page I tore out from the catalog and batted my eyes as I asked him to please make me one of these shelves.  So he grabbed a piece of scrap wood from the garage and got to work. Now we have tons of scrap wood, trim pieces, dowels, you name it, in the garage. If you don’t, just go buy a piece of plywood.

He measured it to size (12 inches for the front edge and 16 inches for the back edge that hangs against the wall) and then drew in the decorative edges.

Then used his jigsaw and cut along the lines he had drawn.

Two pieces like this were cut, one for each side. And then one rectangular piece for the base.

The sides were secured to the base with screws. Did you notice Little Man #2 (Parker Reese) doing the work?

 These trim pieces were leftover from  some project. Like I said, we have tons of leftover molding in our garage. They were attached with nails.

Wood filler (or putty) was used to fill the nail holes in the front and small gap between the bottom and the trim piece. Then I took over. After it was dry I sanded the puttied spots and the rough cut edges smooth.

I spray painted it navy blue. It needed about three good coats. D-ring hooks were attached to the back of each side to hang the shelf.

wall hanging book bin land of nod

And now parker Reese has a little book bin to hold his stories!

Land of Nod book bin: $69
Mine: Free. Okay, we had to buy the D-rings which cost a couple bucks. So I’ll say $4.
Love a good (and cheap) knock-off!

 

Dollar Store Bin Makeover

My creative space/office is beginning to look like an episode of Horders! You wonder why I haven’t shown you the full reveal yet? Because it’s never clean enough to take a photo! And the recent boom of my “Ready to Pop” favor boxes has turned my life and my organization upside down! NOT COMPLAINING! However, it’s one big fat piece of chaos in that room!

While trying to find items to help organize my “business,” I came across these bins at the Dollar Store. I looked at them briefly and kept walking. “I’ll get something cute at IKEA or HomeGoods, ” I thought.

But I immediately did a double-take when I realized that I could make these boxes cute! And so I did. . .

The total cost of this project was probably under $10 (for all three). Three bucks for the bins, $1.50 for the paper, and just a few dollars for the chalkboard vinyl (from Pick Your Plum).

I found some cute scrapbook paper at the craft store that matched perfectly with my craft room decor. I grabbed my bottle of Decoupage (same as Mod Podge but by Decoart. Both are great but I think it dries faster than MP which is perfect for an impatient person like me!) and a sponge brush.

First I cut the paper to fit the face of the box. Then I applied a good coat of Decoupage directly on the box and laid the paper on top. When it was dry I applied a heavy coat on top of the paper, smoothing out the bubbles with a flat edge {bone folders and old grocery cards are great for doing this}.

My original plan was to leave it like this and add the label. But after that second coat I had a different idea.

Screeeech!   {That’s the sound of me slamming on the brakes.} If you read my blog regularly, you know that I can’t leave anything along and that I often modify my idea mid-creation. It happens almost every time. This is probably because I really don’t know what I’m doing to begin with. I just have an idea and go with it, which often leads to new ideas. Anyway. . .

I decided to trim the edges a little so they didn’t completely cover the face.

Then I took one of my favorite things, sandpaper, and rubbed the edges of the paper to create a worn effect.

Next I used one of my other favorite things, Distress Ink. I brushed heavily around the edges and lightly across the face.

I brushed one last coat of Decoupage over the top, particularly around the edges.

I used chalkboard vinyl {if you can’t find sheets of chalkboard vinyl, you can use chalkboard spray paint on any regular vinyl} and cut out a pretty little label using my Silhouette CAMEO. I stuck it on the bin and labelled it!

And there you have it! For under $10 I created some pretty storage bins to help organize my mess!

These bins took care of the favor box chaos. Now what to do with the rest of it?

Whoop whoop! Partying here this week!

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What I’ve Been Up To (Christmas Crafts)

Hello friends! I just cannot believe that Christmas is just days away! It completely blows my mind! Where has December gone? 
We had a handmade auction last week at Stamp Club. All proceeds went to the Ronald McDonald House. With just a handful of us we raised over one-hundred dollars! There were no limits or restrictions to the items we brought for the auction except that they had to be handmade. I just wanted to quickly share with you the items I made. I do not have the full tutorials, but I will do my best to explain how I created them.
This project started with the angel image. I found about 5 or 6 of them in a small baggie at the thrift store for fifty cents. I think someone just printed them off on cardstock to be honest, but I thought they were pretty. I tore the corners just a little bit and used sandpaper around the edges of the image to make it look more worn. Then I used my distress ink pad around the edges. This is the first time I’ve tried distressing paper with sandpaper and I was really pleased with the way it looked after I brushed it with the ink. The ink really soaked into the paper since it had been thinned from sanding.
Next I used my sewing machine to stitch the lace and burlap to the image. I also used two-way glue to adhere the image, but because burlap is so rough I thought sewing it would help keep it in tact. Plus, I like the look of stitching. I attached the burlap to the designer scrapbook paper with hot glue. After this, I was stumped. I didn’t really know what else to add. Then the song Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” popped into my head!

Luckily I had some old hymnals that I found at Goodwill a while back. I flipped through one and knew this would be perfect! I tore just below the first phrase, distressed it with the ink and attached it with double-sided adhesive.

I found a piece of scrap wood in the garage, hubby cut it to size, drilled holes in it, I inked it {of course} and I added some jute rope to make it hang. I love this piece! 
 Who is Angie? Angie is the Stampin’ Up! demonstrator that hosts the Stamp Club events. 
I call this piece “Angie-inspired”because she made a Christmas card that I used as inspiration and I used the technique she used to make that Christmas pillow that I love.

For this piece, I adhered iron on pellon interfacing {basically iron-on adhesive for fabric} to the back of my fabric and used my Silhouette to cut the ornaments. Be sure to apply the interfacing before cutting! It makes the fabric nice and stiff for smooth cuts. Then I peeled the liner away and ironed the ornaments on to the black and white damask fabric. I then used fabric glue to attache the ribbons. Each ribbon is two separate pieces. One short piece for the vertical “hanging” ribbon and a longer piece for the bow. I find it is easier to tie the bow and then cut the ribbon so you know it is long enough. 
 The frame I found at the thrift store for a couple bucks. It had a really ugly tropical fish print in it but the frame was fabulously fat! I trashed the print and the glass and wrapped the fabric around the cardboard insert. I sprayed a very light coat of black satin paint on the wooden frame and then scuffed it up a little with sand paper. I replaced the insert wrapped with fabric and viola! 
Don’t forget to stop by and enter the My Memories giveaway! The winner will receive the digital scrapbooking software for FREE!

The Stockings Were Hung. . .

I shared this tutorial over at Seamingly Smitten last week, but wanted to share it again just in case you missed it. After my post about my trip to Cline’s JunkyardI had a lot of questions about what I would do with these. . .



I had a handful of old rusty door knobs that I picked up along with some other rusty hardware. I didn’t really have a clue what I was going to do with them, but I knew I could use them for something. And I was right! So I started wit a piece of scrap wood from the garage {I have a huge pile of scrap wood in my garage. you name it, I got it!} and my four rusty old door knobs. 



This first step was fun. The wood was too perfect, so I took a hammer to it. What a great stress reliever! I just banged it up a bit to round the corners and rough up the surface. 

Next I used a dark stain in these crevices and around the edges. This is because I plan on distressing the paint I’m about to apply and the dark stain looks better than the light wood.

A light coat of primer spray paint and one heavy coat of white latex paint. 



While the paint dried I pulled out my brand spankin’ new Silhouette Cameo to use for the very first time. Sigh, it’s amazing! You gotta get one of these! I used red vinyl for this project.



If you are not familiar with the Silhouette or any other digital cutting tool, you create an image on your computer and then let the machine do the rest. 



The best way to transfer vinyl is to use contact paper. Once the image is cut, place the sticky side of the contact paper on top of the vinyl while it is still on the mat. Peel the contact paper away from the sheet of vinyl and only your cut letters should stick to the contact paper. (Unfortunately the insides of the letters also stuck. I removed them with a tweezers after I adhered it to the wood.)

When the paint was dry I used some low grit sandpaper to give it a distressed finish.

My sweet hubby drilled holes in the wood to just large enough to fit the knobs.
And then he squeezed them in. I thought we would have to use wood glue to hold them, but they stayed just fine without it.
And because I can’t leave anything alone, I used my distress ink to make it look more worn. To do this you just take the ink pad and brush it across the edges and corners and in small spots along the surface.

Now back to the vinyl. Place the contact paper gently on the board. Once it’s in place, where you want it, you can press down on it to keep it in place. Use a scraper or other flat edge to smooth over the vinyl, eliminating any wrinkles or bubbles. Then peel back the contact paper slowly.
The contact paper removed some of the paint, but was okay with me! I love a distressed look!

I wrapped and tied a fat grosgrain ribbon on one side and then hung our stockings. I’m thinking about either adding an initial to the knobs or writing our names in black just above the knobs. But that will be another day. Like I said, I can’t leave anything alone!

But for now it’s perfect! You know I love to brag about how little I spend on my projects so. . .
This one cost about two bucks! Actually, it was free for me to make that day since everything I used, I already had lying around. But if you want to count the purchase of the knobs, this project cost me only $2! Even if you don’t have a digital cutting machine, you can use a stencil to paint the letters. Inexpensive hooks can be purchased in place of the door knobs if rusty junk isn’t your style.

How can Christmas be in just ten days? The stockings may be hung, but I’m not sure Santa has what is supposed to go in them!

Todays Creative Blog

Recycling Old Frames

I recently revealed to you my new dining room! What a difference a change of color can make! I still walk by the room and am surprised at how much brighter it is. 
If you are a follower of mine, you know that I love to renovate and re-decorate but I do not like to spend a lot of money! So my dining room renovation was no exception! The only major purchase I made in my dining room was the fabric for the curtains {which I made using my existing rods} which still cost WAY less than catalog or department store window treatments. I also bought the mirror, painting and floral arrangements from Kirklands, but  they were all on sale and I used a coupon for all of them! So they were a steal! As was most of the other decor in the room. Of course there was granny’s dresser that I refinished after  my SIL gave it to me for FREE! As badly as I wanted a new dining table, it wasn’t gonna happen, so I recovered my chairs and painted my table. And, of course, my “new” china handed down to me by my grandma. So what else did I create on a budget? Check out these prints.
I bought the pair from the Humane Society Thrift Store for $6! So was I about to pay big bucks to have them  matted and framed? 

HECK NO! I had my boys 6-month photos hung in these frames in the “old” dining room. Since I went from gold to silver, the frames were useless, right? NO!

I took the photos and matte out and took those babies outside . . .

and sprayed them with my favorite Krylon color, brushed nickel. 
But, they didn’t quite look right. Too “painted” looking. 
So I brought out my walnut distressing ink and went to town. 
It did a number on my fingers, but in the end. . . .

It looked perfectly antiqued! 

I still needed the matte in the frame {to make it look professional, of course}. so I removed the gold layer that was just stuck with glue. 

I took my prints,

 and put them in the frames with the ivory mattes. 

There you have it! Six dollar, matted, framed prints. That’s just $3 each! Am I doing a little happy dance? YES, I AM! 
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to renovate a room. Spend the money where it is necessary, then look around to see what can be recycled or re-invented into something else! 

How I Sew Drapes

I’ve told y’all before, I’m not a professional seamstress! Pretty much the only things I’ve made with my sewing machine are pillows and curtains. I like to figure things out on my own. I do not like to read directions, I do not like to follow patterns, I just don’t have the patience for them. I am the kind of person that just has to try, possibly fail, and try again to figure things out on my own. So my sewing, it’s probably not the “right” way, but I do it my way and it works. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? I had several inquiries asking how I made the drapes for Parker Reese’s nursery. I didn’t have a blog when I made those so I had no reason to photograph the process. However, I did make the new drapes for my new dining room {which, by the way, is just about finished}! So, if you dare continue, here is how I sew drapes. 
For me, the hardest part of this process is measuring and cutting the fabric. Seriously, I started to think maybe there was something wrong with my brain. It took me forever! I had to measure, and re-measure. Ugh! Basically, you want to measure your window and decide how long you want your drapes. I wanted to hang these high above the window and I wanted them to gather on the floor. {total length: 92 inches, width: 30 inches}
After cutting four equal pieces of fabric, I folded and pinned about one inch on each side of the fabric.
I do not iron my fold, I just secure with pins. The total width of the curtains after sewing was 28 inches. I do not add liner to my drapes. It’s an extra step that I don’t feel is necessary. I don’t use them to cover the windows, just to decorate. Plus, this fabric is thick enough that the light won’t shine through it and they won’t fade.
I used a sewing machine to stitch the sides of the panels. After the sides were sewn, I folded, pinned  and stitched the top {2 inches} and and bottom {1 inch} to make a length of 89 inches.

My original rods were in good condition and I really didn’t want to spend the money for new ones but I wanted them to be a little longer. So my genius hubby came up with a solution. He is really good at rigging things like this. He cut an old flag pole we had in the garage {which happened to be the exact thickness of the rod} and used a double-ended screw to fasten it to the existing rod. One problem – the color of the pieces didn’t match.

Two coats of my favorite spray paint, Krylon brushed nickel, and they were good as new. And I found drapery rings {Wal-mart for $6/pack} in the same color! Score!

Initially I wanted to sew pleats in the top of the panels, but I was afraid I would mess them up so I decided against it. Instead I created pleats by folding the fabric and securing with the drapery clips.

Yes, that is a chip clip helping to pleat my drapes! After I “pleated” and hung the drapes, I continued the folds down the fabric {securing with a chip clip} and I then used my steamer to press them.
Before:


After:

I am in love! I was a little worried that this fabric wouldn’t fit with the decor of the rest of my house, but I absolutely love it now that the drapes are up. LOVE it!  I hope to give you the dining room reveal next week!

Recovering the Dining Room Chairs

Part of redecorating my dining room included recovering the dining chairs. Hubby and I purchased this set back when we bought our first house and I recovered them then with gold curtains I found at a discount store. Two panels were much cheaper than three yards of fabric so I thought, “Why not?” But over the past six years the fabric has become picked and snagged. Plus, it didn’t really match the new decor. What I would really like is a new dining table but I can’t really justify that since there is nothing wrong with the one I have. 
Solution? Recover the cushions for a like-new dining set.
This is really a very easy fix for any chair. All you need is fabric and a heavy duty staple gun. Here is what the chairs have been covered in for the past six years. The original fabric was like a twill or tweed. Not really sure to be honest. But it was odd for dining chairs and very informal which is why I re-covered them immediately after purchasing the set.

First you flip the chairs upside down and remove the screws securing the seat cushion to the wood. 
The cushion should easily pop out after the screws have been removed. {Some older chairs might need extra pressure applied if screws have rusted or corroded}.

Measure and cut your fabric about three inches longer on all sides than the cushion. {Longer if your cushion is  super thick.} Start with the front and back edges tightly wrapping fabric around the seat cushion and securing with heavy duty staples every couple of inches. Once the front and back have been secured, fold all four corners in a fashion similar to how  you would wrap a present, securing with staples. The hardest part is just pulling, folding and tucking to make sure it is tight and that there are no {or very few} obvious wrinkles and/or folds on the upper-side of the seat cushion. After you’ve finished you can pull and tug some of these wrinkles out.
Put the cushions back in the chair the same way you took them out.

And there ya go!
Okay, so this one has a few wrinkles which I have since gone back and smoothed out a little better. I was just trying to get a photo before it got too dark. 
There you have it. An easy fix for any old chair. 
I know I already showed you a picture of the paint color, but here it is finished!
LOVE! So bright, so fresh! I’m in the process of making the drapes, so stay tuned. . .

OH, one more thing!
Look what arrived on my doorstep this morning. . .

My new Silhouette SD package {cutting machine, heat transfer materials and a gift card for Silhouette downloads} that I won from Kim at Today’s Creative Blog!!!!! I’ve been watching out the window for this delivery for almost two weeks now. Like a kid at Christmas! Eeeeeek! Thanks Kim and the Silhouette team!

Thrift Store Cloche

Hey y’all! I’m busy, busy working on my dining room and I can’t wait to show it to you! But you’ll have to wait a little longer! Today, just a quick tutorial to show you 
how I turned these thrift store finds:

Into this decorative cloche:
I go thrifting often. I think it has become a bit of an obsession. I love other people’s junk! Just wait until you see what I got the past couple of weekends! Soon, I promise! One thing I’ve been looking for is a cloche. These babies are pretty expensive, both new and old, so I’ve been on the hunt for something that I can use to make one of my own. I was thrilled when I found this old wooden cheese plate {I think?} with a glass cover. I also purchased the glass candle holder to use as a base to give it some height.
I got both for $4! ‘Cause you know I LOVE a good bargain! 
So here’s how I did it. . .

First I sprayed both pieces with two coats of Krylon black satin spray paint.

I used sandpaper to distress the paint and let the beautiful dark wood show through.
I used Gorilla Glue to attach the wooden plate to the candle holder. I turned the plate upside down because the candle holder fit perfectly in the circular indention.
This was my first time using Gorilla Glue. The instructions said to use a small amount. I guess I used a little too much. So be careful, the glue expands as it dries! Luckily it’s the underside of the platter so you cannot see the dried glue oozing out!
Viola! A miniature cloche for my counter top for just a few dollars! Now, what to put in it?

One of my boxwood balls from Hobby Lobby fits perfectly!

You Won’t Believe It – It’s My Kitchen Cabinets Reveal

Yes my friends, you read the title correctly! My kitchen cabinets are DONE! Had you given up on me? For those of  you stopping by for the first time, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation almost three months ago. Meaning that this reveal has been a long time coming. I knew it would take awhile, but did not anticipate it taking this long. I thought a couple of weeks at the most. Whew, this was a project {to say the least}. As usual, I knew exactly what I wanted the finished project to look like, but it took a lot of reading, inquiring, trials and errors to get these cabinets the way they are now. I won’t lie, it was not an easy task. We hit a lot of speed bumps along the way where things didn’t work as we had planned which caused major delays. Are you ready to see? Of course you are!


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If there was anything in the house that made me doubt our purchase, it was the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! There was nothing, not one thing, that I liked about this room. It was everything I wasn’t looking for during our search for a new home. But it was a great layout and it had some serious potential. Luckily I have an eye for these things and I was able to overlook the ugliness not so great features of this kitchen in order to see the kitchen I could create. 
So here it is, our kitchen circa 2007 
{these pics were taken during inspection using a point and shoot, so excuse the crappiness}
Dislikes {umm, everything}:
  • White linoleum counter tops. I had once lived in an apartment with white linoleum counters and swore it would never happen again. Well here we were, once again, with white linoleum. Hubby promised granite – at some point- so I agreed to live with it {for 10 months too long}.
  • White appliances. I used to really like white appliances, but now I preferred stainless steel.
  • The big, bright fluorescent light on the ceiling. I am not a fan of overhead lights, particularly bright fluorescent ones.
  • The Pergo laminate flooring. It sounded hollow when we walked on it and it looked as if someone had ice skated over it. In other words, scratched.
  • I didn’t love the raised bar. I really wanted an island or large counter workspace. Plus I felt it closed off the room.
  • The color. Now there’s nothing wrong with yellow, I just didn’t want it in my kitchen. But paint doesn’t scare me. It’s an easy fix.
  • Two-tone, gold and white cabinet hardware and gold switch plates so shiny you could use them as mirrors.

 

Need I say more?
The kitchen remodel was complete in November 2007 {about one year after moving into the house}. Let me remind you that all the renovations were done by hubby and me, with the exception of the counter tops. It was not something either of us had done before, we learned along the way. Here’s what we did:

  • Granite! Good-bye white linoleum, hello Santa Cecilia granite!
  • Stainless appliances, all of them.
  • A new, hanging light fixture. This took some work because there was a large rectangular hole in the ceiling when “Big Fluorescent” was removed. Hubby had to patch it up with drywall and spackle and then of course, paint.
  • Beautiful Teak hardwoods.
  • Did you notice the raised bar is gone? Best idea EVER! After removing the laminate in prep for the granite installation {tip: HUGE money saver if you remove it yourself}, hubby cut off the drywall used for the raised bar so that it was level with the counter top. The granite covered all imperfections and is supported {because the solid slab is so heavy} with a corbel* and four stair posts.
  • On the walls: we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Tangier Island & Country Cork, added beadboard under the bar and travertine tile backsplash under the cabinets.
  • We changed the cabinet hardware to nickel-finish knobs and pulls.
  • Nickel finish switch plates replaced the gold.
Everything was just how I wanted it, except the cabinets. Unfortunately, new kitchen cabinets were not an option for us. If I wanted a different look, I would have to do it myself. I kept putting this project off because I knew that it would be a lot of work. Finally, on March 9, 2011, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation. {No Turning Back Now}. The dishes came out, the doors came off and I was ready to go! 
I plan on doing an in-depth tutorial on painting the cabinets, including supplies, what to do and not to do, etc. But for now, in a nutshell, here are the steps for re-finishing the cabinets:
  • Remove cabinet hardware and doors. Clean all surfaces to remove grease and grime. 
  • Sand surfaces well to rough up the finish.
  • Prime. 
  • Lightly sand to smooth any brush strokes or drips.
  • Paint 2-3 coats, allowing to dry 24 hours and lightly sanding in between coats.
  • Apply and wipe off glaze to give an “antique look.”
On top of the painting, we also added glass doors, replaced the cabinet above the microwave with a decorative box and shelf that touched the ceiling and changed the cabinet hardware. 

 

Like I said, this was by no means an easy project. Many times throughout the process I cursed and hollered that I would NEVER do this again. But now that I’m finished, I would do again in a heartbeat! I absolutely love how my new cabinets look! The room looks so much bigger and brighter and the and the accents like the antiquing, new hardware, glass doors and box with molding really bring the whole look together.
Now it’s perfect! Except that I would still like a Viking range, double ovens and a Sub Zero fridge someday! I am so happy with all of the changes we have made. And what I love best is that we did it all ourselves and saved TONS of money!

 


Now, you must head over to Nap Time Crafters to cast your vote for the final round in this season of American Crafter. I’m up against some very talented ladies so EVERY vote counts! Voting starts now and runs until Sunday at midnight (MST). Pretty, pretty please help a girl out! 




Good luck to Lolly Jane and Sassy Sites! You all have such great ideas and have been tough to compete against!

DIY Spring/Easter Napkin Rings

I was at Hobby Lobby the other day {I know what you are thinking, me at Hobby Lobby, no way!} and found these cute little grapevine mini wreaths. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but they are about 3″ across.
 I started thinking “Hmmmm, what I could make with these cuties?” Then it dawned on me, they are the perfect size for napkin rings!!! So, I threw them in the cart. I kept shopping, and here is what I came home with:

The mini grapevine wreaths, little bird nests and some mini speckled eggs-on-a-stick.
And here is what I did:
Cute little nest napkin rings!!
Here is how I did it: 
I removed the eggs from the wire sticks and used a hot glue gun to glue them inside the nests.
 I then hot-glued the nests at an angle on the grapevine rings.

And this is how they turned out! 
Very easy, very quick, cute Easter/Spring project!

Grapevine rings $2.99 = at 50% off
Nests = 99 cents (each) x 2
Eggs = $2.99 at 50% off.
Total = $5.00
5 bucks!!

You Know You’re Old When. . .

you’re exited about crafting on St. Patty’s Day!
St. Patty’s Day is officially over and I did not drink one single green beer! I remember in our younger years {you know, the days before the kiddos} St. Patrick’s Day was one of our favorite holidays. Who doesn’t like to go out and enjoy several a few good beers? Well, instead of going out and celebrating, I stayed in and created a new spring wreath for my door. And you know what? I didn’t miss going out. I could have spent twice the money on green beers with nothing to show for but a headache and a beer gut! Instead, I got this. . .

Here is what I started with:
A large, oval-shaped grapevine wreath and ivory wire-edged ribbon.
{Hobby Lobby – $5.99 and $7.99 both at 50% off}

4 ivory and pink hydrangea stems.
{Dollar Tree – $4}

3 vine sprigs
{Hobby Lobby – $4.99 each at 50% off}
1 moss-like branch
{Hobby Lobby – $4.99 at 50% off}

A box of pink and green speckled eggs
{I bought these last year from Homegoods.}

I started by cutting the vine into smaller pieces. I divided the leafy stems into about 4 pieces and I cut the hydrangea blooms off, leaving about a two-inch stem. I also removed the leaves.

I arranged the vine evenly around the wreath. I secured it using a hot glue gun. The good thing about a grapevine wreath is that you can tuck added pieces inside the intertwined branches and they blend right in.

You can also hide the glue {which can tend to turn colors over time} under the intertwined branches.

Then I glued the hydrangeas in a cluster, leaving some space in between to add the leaves and the mossy pieces. First, I added the hydrangea leaves around the outside of the flowers as well as in between to fill in the empty spaces. Then I added small pieces of the moss branches just to add a little more green.

I created clusters of eggs in a few different spots around the wreath. I applied hot glue to the bottom and back of the eggs to attach them to the wreath.
Like so.

I wrapped the ribbon around the wreath and tied a pretty bow to hang it.
And my door is ready for spring! Now beer would have cost way more than this wreath did! It was just a hair over $20!

A New (Seriously Homemade) Bulletin Board

 Yesterday I shared with you the new work table I put in Parker’s nursery in attempt to make it more of a “big boy” room without changing the decor. 
Yes, I love the table, and so does he, but I felt like it was missing something. Hmmmm, what does this little table need? Well, there definitely needs to be something to cover that big blank space between the table and the hanging plaques. But what?
I’ve got it!

The little work table needs a bulletin board! 

Problem:
I’m not going to the store, what do I have laying around the house to create something resembling a bulletin board? 
Solution:
I went up to my attic and found this empty frame. The glass had broken a while back and I just knew I could use this frame for something! {I really do have some hoarding tendencies, I think. In this case, those tendencies worked in my favor.} Good thing I saved it! And for the bulletin board, well, I just bought a box of diapers this week and the box was still in the garage!
And I still had lots of fabric leftover from the window treatments and pillows I made for his room. 
Let’s get started, shall we?!
First I measured the frame and cut two pieces from the box to fit snuggly inside the frame. I wanted to use both fabrics, so I cut one large piece for the bottom portion and a smaller one for the section at the top. 
Then I used my stapler {yep, a regular old stapler} to attach the fabric, wrapping it tightly around the edges.
I crisscrossed white grosgrain ribbon across the bottom board and secured it using a small dab of hot glue where the ribbon met the edge of the board. This secured the ribbons in place so I could flip the board over and wrap the ribbon around the edge, again using hot glue to secure it.

Here is what it looked like after I glued the ribbon in place. Something was missing. I needed buttons. I didn’t have enough matching buttons, so off to Hobby Lobby I went. Sigh. . . 
The trip to the store was worth it. The buttons are a really nice accent. I secured them using the hot glue gun. Now into the frame the fabric-covered cardboard went.
But wait, since this is going on the distressed table, I decided to use a little distress ink so they match.
And, I really wanted to add his name, so I used my best bud Cricut to cut some letters out of white card stock and just Mod Podged them to the fabric. Easy as that. 
And now Parker has a lovely bulletin board to go along with his big boy work table. 
{I took this photo when the Mod Podge was still drying. The white film has dried clear}

Now he needs to make some big boy artwork to hang on it!
And since I love telling y’all how much little I spend on my projects, this one is easy. I spent about $2 on buttons. So there you have it folks, a bulletin board for 2 bucks! 

"Souper" Centerpiece

I am going through one of my phases where I need to change up some of my decor. I get tired of things very easily and these “phases” happen often. This time I needed a new centerpiece for my buffet in the breakfast room. I started with an ivory soup tureen. Get it, “Souper” Centerpiece? 
We received the ivory soup tureen as a wedding gift. I don’t use it very often and it’s too pretty to hide in the cabinet, so I thought it would be a perfect container for a centerpiece.  I went to Hobby Lobby today in search of the perfect greenery to fill this piece. I searched the entire store {twice} and decided on the garland above. I know, you don’t exactly purchase garland for a centerpiece, but check it out.

I cut that garland into pieces.

I cut it into segments in a variety of different sizes.

Then I used a block of floral foam to hold the pieces in place. 

I started around the edges with the longer pieces and then added shorter pieces to fill in the spaces.

And this is what it looked like when I was finished. 
And it now sits nicely as the centerpiece of my buffet in the breakfast room. 
Of course you know I did it for an itty bitty amount. The soup tureen was a gift and the greenery was $12.99, on sale of course for 50% off. So my centerpiece cost less than $7.

Ballard Inspired Boxwood Topiaries

Spring is in the air (and I’m definitely feeling it with the worst case of allergies EVER)! I’ve packed up all of my Valentine’s decor and am ready for some bright spring colors around the house. 

Boxwood Topiaries
I love getting my Ballard Designs catalog in the mail. I love the design concepts, but do not like the prices. See the boxwood topiaries above? Love them! $49 – $65! What?! Of course I know I can create a knock-off for a fraction of the cost. And I did. 

I found these Better Homes and Gardens fall pieces just last month on clearance at Wally World for just a buck each. Yes, $1.00! They were tucked away in the floral section, leftover from fall. 

I bought these because I knew I could use the pots. I removed the fall leaves and pumpkins and put them away for another project. Remember these green boxwood balls from Hobby Lobby? They were originally $4.99, but I got them for half-off. I also used them for a centerpiece on my breakfast table

You might also recognize this. It’s Krylon’s nickel spray paint and I think I am addicted. I’ve used it here, here and here. Good-bye gold, hello shimmering nickel!
Of course I added a little Distress Ink (another addiction).
And here are my Ballard Designs inspired boxwood topiary domes.

Let’s compare, shall we?

Boxwood Topiaries
Ballard Designs dome topiaries = $49 each 
(thanks for the inspiration)

My boxwood topiaries = $7 for the set!

Visit thecsiproject.com

My New Kitchen Canisters

{Sneak Peak}
If you are a regular reader of this blog you’ve probably seen these canisters in the background of many of my food-related posts. As you can see, one canister is missing. The largest of the three, which held flour, suddenly broke. The bottom just fell out last week while I was making cookies. ???? So I was on the hunt for some new canisters, which I wasn’t exactly happy about because I really liked these. 
Then I got happy again when I found these triplets at Wally World (Wal-Mart). And I was even happier that they were only $6.97 each! But they were kind of boring just like this and I needed to do something to jazz them up.

I thought about using chalkboard paint and doing something like Erin over at 3 Meadow Lake Cottage (her photo above). I even bought the paint. But then at the last minute, I changed my mind and decided to use black vinyl and my good ole friend the Cricut.

Here I’ve cut the vinyl and used contact paper to transfer it to my canister.
For a full tutorial on cutting and sticking vinyl, go here.

Peel away the contact  paper. . .

and viola! My sugar has a brand new home!

I know I said I loved my old canisters, but I love these even more
{Notice gallon-size canisters are a lot bigger than my old ones. Guess I need to buy more sugar and coffee just to fill them!}
Shall we add up the cost? 
I spent just under $21.00 for the canisters. The vinyl I already had, but if you want to include it, it was $7.99 for the roll and I used about 1/4 of the roll. So I think it’s fair to say 
$25.00 for these beauties!
I love decorating on a budget!

My Neglected Breakfast Table Shines Again!

My breakfast table desperately needed some sort of arrangement. It had been bare since I packed up all of my Christmas decor in January. I liked the three candles enclosed in large hurricanes that were there before, but I just got tired of them (as I often do with most decor after a period of time). So the table has been sadly bare, until today.
And of course, as always, it was done on a budget! And of course, as always, I’m thrilled to share it with you!
I found this gold-painted wicker and wire basket last week at my favorite Humane Society thrift store.
 $2.50.
A coat of my new favorite spray paint, Krylon nickel in satin finish, and this tray is beginning to take on its new identity. No seriously, it really is my new fave! Click here and here to see my other recent projects involving this paint. I think I might be addicted!
Another of my new favorites, Distress Ink, adds just a little something more to any project. 
I rubbed it on the wicker and metal wire, inside and out to give it some character.  

Now that the basket is looking good as new, I gotta fill it. 
I found these green boxwood balls at Hobby Lobby. As if $2.99 (small) and $4.99 (large) isn’t cheap enough, they were 50% off. Sweet
 They fit perfectly! 
And I know just the place to put this new arrangement. . .

It makes a great new addition to my poor, pitiful, bare breakfast table. 
Let’s add up the total here:
thrift store basket: $2.50 
2 large (4.99 each) and 3 small (2.99 each) balls all @ 50% off: about $9.50
(I already had the Krylon spray paint & Distress Ink)
Grand total = $12.00


Organizing Kiddos Coloring Table

IKEA is #1 for organizing space solutions. 
Last year when our office was converted to a playroom, I purchased just about everything from furniture to shelves, to decor from IKEA. One of my favorite things in the playroom is this:
It’s mounted on the wall above the kids’ art table and keeps crayons, markers, stickers and stamps. And it has worked out GREAT! I really wanted to have something like this for their table in the family room but didn’t want to make the trip up to IKEA. So, instead I decided to create my own. 
Check it out:
Not bad ‘eh? 

I purchased most of my supplies from Lowe’s. I’m sure I gave the men quite a laugh as my two boys and I went up and down the isles searching for these items. I knew what I wanted, just didn’t know where to find them! From Lowe’s: 
1. 1/2″ thick dowel rod
2. bag of S hooks (that would fit snuggly on the rod)
3. package of two  unfinished wooden finials
4. can of satin finish spray paint
Not pictured are: 
5. 3 baby blue tin buckets from Michael’s dollar bins 
6. 2 curtain rod holders which I got, as luck would have it, from the thrift store.

I spray painted all the pieces, including buckets with a couple coats of spray paint.
 After they were painted, my hubby mounted the rod holders on the wall, cut the dowel rod to size and attached the finials to the rod. 

I organized the buckets. . .

then hung them on the hooks.

           Before:                                     After:

  

      

Total cost was probably about $10.
I’m also going to grab some curtain rings, the ones that have the little clips like these (but not from Lowe’s –  too expensive), to slip on the rod to hang their artwork. Clever :)

Holiday Centerpiece Makeover on a BUDGET!

If you’re on a budget this year (most of us are) and think you can’t go buy new holiday decor, think again!

First of all, look and see what you already have. Any wreath, centerpiece, etc. can be taken apart and the pieces recycled. Next, check out discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Their Christmas decor is pretty nice (and pretty cheap). Third, look around for ideas. Use that little camera phone to snap photos of pieces at friends’ houses, stores, etc. 
Check this out. . .
When I saw this box at Wal-Mart, I knew that what was on the “cover” was not what the actual item in the box would look like. So I opened it up to take a look. It wasn’t bad. . .

In fact, this little piece actually had the potential to be something fabulous! Especially for only $10!!! 
So here is what the original looked like, and there really wasn’t anything wrong with it, It was just the Charlie Brown version of a centerpiece.

So here is what I pulled out of my stash. Mercury glass balls, 2 silver eucalyptus branches, 2 pine branches, and one small pine ring.

I started with the base that was included in the box and added my pine ring that I got from the Dollar Tree.
 

I wanted a larger hurricane, so I used one from my everyday table scape. This I got from IKEA for 12 bucks, I think. It fit perfectly inside the pine ring and base. I added the ornaments which I purchased at Hobby Lobby last year for a different centerpiece. I think they were about $2 each.
I decided not to let the ring that came with the original piece go to waste, so I cut off the pine needles and pine cones. And the berries? They went in my stash for another project! Then I cut the eucalyptus branches into smaller pieces. These branches were a couple bucks each from Micheal’s.

I placed the snow covered branches and pine cones around the pine ring and secured using a hot glue gun.

After experimenting with the eucalyptus in the greenery, I decided to stop here with this piece.
Pretty nice, huh? Similar to the original, but adding the extra greenery, ornaments and larger hurricane takes a $10 piece and makes it look more like a $30-40 piece. But I’m not finished yet. . .
I put one pine branch (purchased at Micheal’s for $3 each) on each side and added a few eucalyptus branches, securing with a hot glue gun. I then stuck my mercury glass candle sticks on each side of the hurricane. 
And there is the final product! A holiday centerpiece for about $20.
I had a few silver eucalyptus branches leftover, so . . .
 Before
I cut them into even smaller branches and stuck them in this little piece that I have on my counter (which, by the way, I bought at Target last year after Christmas for like, $4).

After. 
I know it’s not much different, but it just adds a little something extra and it now ties in with the centerpiece on the kitchen table.
You can do it too!