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Archive for the ‘Decor’ Category

Happy Friday!  I am so thankful for the weekend!

I haven’t showed off the last few things I did in little A’s room.  I didn’t get a chance to finish it all before he made his grand entrance, and since then, blog time has not exactly been plentiful.  For very good, wonderful reasons!

This is the wall above his crib.  You can read how I did the letters here.

The walls I covered in fabric since we aren’t supposed to paint. You can read about that process here.

And then there is the crib.  Here I showed you how I touched up some scratches on it.

We were storing a bookshelf for a friend, and at the last minute they decided they didn’t want it any more.  So, even though there isn’t a lot of room for it, it had to live somewhere. I decided to use it as a place to display pictures, store books, and toys, etc.  At the top I have some figurines.

Don’t you love how we stuck to a specific theme?  Ha!  The room is sort of half Toy Story, half Super-Heroes, with just a splash off StarWars thrown in here and there.  Definitely all BOY!  And I love it!

At the bottom of the bookcase are some cloth bins to use as toy storage.  I found the bins at the dollar store, belive it or not!

They are definitely not the highest quality, but they work just fine, and they were the prefect size!

I made the curtains and valance.  I showed you how that came about here and here.

Sorry for the bad picture…

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These are the walls above the changing table and the rocker.

I used wall decals (from Target) and frames (from Family Dollar) to put together the Toy Story frames.  I removed the backing to the frames as well as the glass, and then spray painted the frames navy blue.  (The cheap, Walmart brand spray paint) Then I stuck the decals onto the glass and that was that!

Aaaand, here is the lovely changing table. Thrilling, I know.  But, I wanted to show the baskets I found – perfect fit and great for the diapers and all that extra stuff .

Also, that white pad on top of the table is actually supposed to go in the crib to keep the sheets from getting all drooly, but I use it on here.  So much easier to pull that off and wash it than change the actual pad cover.  🙂  Plus, I can stick it in any load of laundry without worrying about the terry cloth stuff getting fuzz on the rest of the load. It dries faster too. 🙂

I had a heavy glass jar that I’m using to store the ever-elusive pacifiers.  It seems to be helping so far at least!

This lamp was from Target (a baby shower registry gift – yay!) and so is the clock.  J actually found the clock and I was thrilled with it! Isn’t it the cutest? Oh, and those white stars on the lamp are glow-in-the-dark.  Sweet!

The best thing about this room was the fact that I spent very little money on it.  All of the furniture was either given to us or we already had, and most of the rest was either a shower gift or bought with gift cards!  Whoop-whoop!

So, there you have it, the finished (for now) room.  You know how it goes.  I think I’m done until some random, “brilliant” idea enters my head and off I go again!

At least now I have other concerns that keep me from spending too much time tearing apart the house.  🙂

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

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You know all those cute nurseries that have the child’s name on the wall?  I’ve seen so many versions of them – wall decals, frames, painted letters, you name it – and they’re all so sinkin’ cute!   We had already decided that we wanted to jump on the band wagon and have our guy’s name on the wall too… the problem was deciding how we wanted to do it.  So many options!

Well, I wanted to share what ended up being one of my favorite projects for our little boy’s room!  This turned out much better than I expected, and even J was super excited when he saw the finished product!

Its A-mazing. 🙂

I wanted to surprise J and do something very “guy-ish” with the letters (as in super hero – ish).  J would have been thrilled had I plastered the whole room with Marvel and DC characters, Star Wars stuff, etc.  But I’m determined to have a little bit of a baby/little boy look in the room for a while.  I mean, they grow up so fast – and I’m sure through Daddy’s influence he will become a Marvel, DC and StarWars fan in due time… but I didn’t want to leave J’s wishes completely out of the picture, so I figured the name would be the perfect way to add that bit of “guy-ness” I was after. 🙂

I found a bit of inspiration here and there, and finally settled on the paper mache/decoupage idea.  I bought cardboard letters from the craft store.  (I waited for them to go on sale and got them for $1 each – oh, yeah!)  Then, I started asking around about comic books.  Since I was going for the decoupage look, I didn’t want to spend tons on comic books that would get torn into strips. 🙂  At first I was having a hard time… until I posted my idea on Facebook, that is!  One of my friends (an actual, real person I know – not just a virtual acquaintance) found out what I was doing and he donated a hefty stack of comic books!  I was so shocked and so excited!  The picture below doesn’t have all the books in it. And the ones that are at the foreground are the. coolest. ever. I’m considering framing a few of the pages… we’ll see.

Honestly, the hardest part was deciding which pages to use!  It took me about two evenings to comb through the stack and set aside the ones.  Yes, I took my time. 🙂  I decided beforehand that I wanted each letter to be a specific character, and I chose J’s favorites (Captain America was my choice actually!): Batman, Superman, Capt. America, Thor, and Wolverine.

Instead of buying Mod Podge or any other kind of special glue, I decided to use an old stand-by which you may remember from your kindergarten days.  Good ol’ hot water and flour!  So easy and cheap!  (The only down side is you have to use it within two days or so because it starts to REEK!)

First, I covered the entire letter with random strips of the comic pages.  No rhyme or reason – just making sure the surface was covered.  I let them dry for a day or so.  If you don’t let the glue dry, then the whole projects gets all goopy and warped.

Next, I sorted through the pages that I had reserved and tore/arranged/rearranged the pieces until I had it the way I wanted.  I didn’t use glue at this point – just set the pieces on top of the letters to get a visual.  Oh, and that green paper – that is actually a gift bag.  I tore that into strips as well and integrated it as a way to tie in the letters with the rest of the room. Yeah, I’m a bit random.  I’ve learned to deal with it. 🙂

OK, so I didn’t take pictures of the in-between process… mostly because my hands were covered in gunk and I didn’t want to get my camera all sticky.  So, you’re going to have to use your imagination!

Next, I slathered the letters with the flour and water mixture again and stuck the final strips of paper on them.   I added a thin layer of the glue over the top of the whole letter, sort of as an extra precaution to make sure the paper stuck well.  I let it dry out completely after that.  As in for about a week.  Probably no necessary, but I had other things keeping me busy, so a week it was!  My final step was to spray it all over with a clear sealant to protect it from moisture (after all, I do live in Florida).

And yes, in the above picture, that is a bin lid.  😉 I figured I’d want be able to pick up the whole kit and caboodle and move it when necessary, and that’s hard to do when you just put down a table cloth or thin sheet of plastic.

Now, I just need to hang it up!  Cannot wait!  For now its waiting patiently on the book shelf while I touch up the crib.  Once the crib is in place, I’ll hang up the letters!

Below I added a pic of each letter in case you would like to see a close-up version. 🙂  Can you tell I’m a little bit proud of this project? HA!

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So, how’s everyone’s weekend?!  So far, mine has been pretty good.  Good as in productive, and actually fun at the same time.  I love feeling like my hard work has paid off. 🙂

I just thought I would share a quickie little Valentine’s Day project that I slapped together today.  You know I like wreaths, and I try to keep some version of a wreath on our door all throughout the year.  Doesn’t always happen, but I try.  I don’t usually decorate much for all the different holidays though.  Mostly because that would get super expensive, but also because I don’t know where in the world I would store it all.  Same goes for Valentine’s Day.

This year, I decided to honor the day with a simple wreath.  In my running around this morning I found a scrap of bright pink fabric in the clearance bin for $1.29… and I put it to work!  I didn’t do anything fancy.  In fact, it’s a little bit of a shabby look if you ask me.  I left the jagged, uneven edges on the fabric and everything.

I have  a grape-vine wreath that I use for pretty much everything… seriously, those wreaths are great!  Just add whatever suits your fancy, and when you’re ready for a new look, pull it out and add something else!  Can’t get much easier (or cheaper) than that.

So, I just tied that pink fabric into a big bow, and attached it to the wreath with some flower wire.  Then I stuck a few white dollar store flowers around it and that was that!  10 minutes tops!

Our front door is all ready for Valentine’s Day!  Sweet!

 

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OK, so last post I told you about my adventure putting up fabric wallpaper. Looking back, I still can’t believe that I actually had the guts to try it!  But I’m glad I did!

Once the fabric was up, it was time to add the ribbon.  Suddenly it hit me: how would I put it on?  Starch might not work because it was a thick, grossgrain ribbon.  Staples would look tacky.  Some kind of tape?  No… might mess up the wall since I was planning to leave it up for quite a while. I was overlooking the crafter’s go-to glue: silicone!  A hot glue gun!  Now, I’m not sure what happens when you put hot glue directly on a wall, and didn’t want to destroy anything.  So, I decided I would pretty much layer the ribbon on top of the fabric so the glue would actually be on the fabric and not the wall.

So, I dove right in thinking it would be the easiest thing ever.  Well, it WAS easy, but it was also very easy to end up with a very wavy “line”.  You’d be surprised how wavy the selvaged edge of a piece of fabric can be. And when you smooth it on the wall with starch it just magnifies said waviness.

You can’t trust it!  I thought I could make the ribbon straight just eyeballing it, but once I stepped back I realize just how wrong I was!  I ended up pulling off the first few feet and starting over.  This time, however, I did what I should have done to start with:  I measured up from the baseboard, and marked the wall at regular intervals (again, with a pencil so it would easily wipe off later) so I could make sure I was glueing in a straight line.

After that it was pretty easy!  It maybe took 20 minutes to do the whole room, and it really made a huge difference in the overall look.  You can still see a tiny bit of unevenness in the picture above, but I’m fine with it.  🙂

I am pretty pleased with the end result!  (Please disregard the mess in this next picture… I had to move piles around as I went, and this picture happens to include the changing table that is covered in both baby and crafting paraphanelia.)

If you’re thinking about using this fabric option in your home, let me strongly encourage you to use something to finish off that top edge of fabric. Definitely gives it a more polished (and straight) look.  You could use ribbon like I did, or if you don’t mind putting holes in your wall, you could use a thin strip of wood.  In a girl’s room you might be able to use lace or other fancy/frilly trim.  I’m sure there are other options as well, you’d just need to think it through a little.

Next project: window treatments!

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Well, I decided I would start with the first project of the room… the walls! 

And I’ll warn you – this is a rather long post.  Sorry!

As you remember, we live in a rental home.  That means paint isn’t an option.  Well, ok, if we really begged we could probably do it, but then we would have to paint it all white again if/when we leave.  I knew if I painted I would want navy blue and there is no way I was going to put us through the torture of painting white over navy blue!  No way!   So… I began to explore my options. Here was what I had to work with:

What to do, what to do?  Wallpaper was out of the question.  First of all, I’ve never used the stuff.  Secondly, I’ve heard so many horror stories it was enough to scare me away. Also, it just sounds so incredibly messy and difficult to get to look right, and we would have to take it down eventually too.  I HAVE done that before.  Not fun.

I thought about doing a knock-off of the Ikea fabric wall panels – you know, those long panels of fabric hung from the ceiling.  They can be used for so many things… but unless you get really good quality fabric, I figured it probably wouldn’t hang quite right and I was not about to blow my budget on this!

And then – then!  The idea began to take form.  Somewhere, at some point in my life, I remembered learning that fabric will stick to the wall with starch.  Hmmm… well, definitely worth a try!  So, I pulled out a large swatch of dark material with a bright pattern that I had in my stash.  I picked a dark color that had not yet been washed because I wanted to see if the color would seep through to the wall after a while.

Oh, and by the way, I looked it up on Pinterest, and sure enough, there is a tutorial out there!!  Ah, Pinterest!  She’s a beauty!  Or the devil.  One of the two.

I put it up, and waited for about 2 weeks.  Then I pulled it off (came off soooo easy, by the way!) and guess what?  No shadow, no faint color transfer – nothing!  Yay!  That is when I allowed myself to start dreaming of the possibilities.  Would it be worth it?  How much material would I need?  What would I like for it to look like?  I knew the colors I wanted.  We already had the bedding.  Which, by the way, I love!!

  Pinned Image

In the end this is what I did:

I measured the wall space of the room, and calculated in a about an extra 6 inches. (Just in case!)  I didn’t want to cover the entire wall, just the bottom couple feet or so – whatever the width of the fabric might be.  Then I took a deep breath and went to the fabric store.  I figured if I could find some inexpensive material, this just might be what I wanted to do.  Wonder of wonders, I found some navy blue material for under $4 per yard, and I had four handy-dandy %40 off coupons, which made everything even better. 🙂   I decided I would get some bright green ribbon to set off the blue fabric from the white wall.  If you’ve had any experience with fabric, you know that (especially the cheaper stuff) isn’t exactly perfectly straight.  I knew that I would need some kind of buffer to make the edge of fabric straight. Plus, I like the look of a thin line of contrasting color on a wall.

All in all, I spent roughly $20 for both material and  4 spools of ribbon.  My next stop was Walmart to pick up a little paint roller and a jug of liquid starch.  That trip was about $7 I think?  I don’t exactly remember, but it wasn’t much.

OK, so my supplies were as follows: material, starch, measuring cup, plastic container, paint roller, screwdriver (for wall sockets), straight pins, stapler, sponge (in case I didn’t like the roller) and a towel.

Before I started, I measured and marked the wall where the top edge of fabric would reach.  I used pencil so I could wipe it off with water later if it showed.  I also put down some plastic and kept the towel nearby to catch drips.

I used a half-and-half mixture of water and starch. More or less would probably work, but that is what I decided on. Not sure if a more concentrated solution would work better or not.  I mixed the solution in a plastic container with a lid (in case I ran out of time before running out of starch), and used a small paint roller to get the wall damp.  Just enough to get the fabric to cling a bit. I didn’t cut my fabric, I just unrolled the length as I went.

 
(Yes, this was our “guest room” from before… I didn’t bother to take everything down before starting on the walls.)

I started at the corner behind the door since that is the least noticeable spot.  I smoothed the fabric out with my hands to make it stick as much as possible, and then used sewing pins to secure the top edge of the fabric.  Then, I went over all of it with the roller, this time making sure the fabric was soaked through, smoothing and adjusting as I went.  It took a little time to get the hang of it, and figure out the best way to do it, but in the end, I was slapping that fabric up like a pro!  Ha!

Once the fabric was up there the way I wanted, I used a few staples here and there across the top to make sure it would stay.  Not taking any chances!  Holes made with staples are tiny, and easy to fill up, so its no different than driving a nail in the wall to hang a picture, right? 🙂

I went back over the wet fabric with a towel, soaking up any extra moisture that I was afraid might hurt the wall itself.  Then, I turned on the ceiling fan and brought in another oscillating fan just for good measure.  🙂   With the fans going, it only took about two hours or so for the walls to dry, but I left them going all night just in case.  Again, not taking any chances! 

When I went in to check, I noticed quite a few “bubbles” and sections that didn’t stick… I gave in to just a moment of panic, but then took control again. 🙂  I just went over those areas with more starch and let it dry again – magic!  It worked!  Everything was stuck, and staying stuck!!  I let it dry for a few days, giving it the chance to fall off and make me look like a fool.  Honestly, I half expected this whole thing to be a failed enterprise.  But I was wrong!  Oh, so happily wrong! 

(Sorry I don’t have a picture of this phase.  I really didn’t take nearly as many pics as I should have.) A few days later I decided it was time to move to the next phase: the ribbon.

That part was easier, although keeping it straight was a bit of a challenge at first.  I’ll leave that part for my next post.

I learned a few things as I worked on this particular adventure and thought I would share them in case one of you happens to be just crazy enough to try it too!

1 – Always wash your fabric first.  And dry it.  That way if the color bleeds a lot, you avoid getting it on your wall.  Also, hopefully once you run it through the dryer, you won’t have to worry about the shrinking/stretching effect when it  gets wet.

2 – When you first begin, or when coming to a door frame or window you’ll wonder if you should try to cut the fabric perfectly straight to match the corner, or if you should fold it over.  I tried both.  The first time I cut the fabric… it didn’t come out the greatest, but if you’re good at cutting in a straight line, I’d say this is the best option.  If you’re like me, folding the fabric under itself is much more effective.  The only challenge is then you have a bout and inch of double thickness of fabric to stick to the wall.  Just depends on what option you think would be easiest for you.

3 – When cutting around a window… I decided to cut the fabric straight down right at the edge of the window.  That way I didn’t have to worry about cutting out a perfect square to match the window.  When I filled in the space below the window, I simply overlapped the fabric a little and starched away.  Since my fabric is a solid color you really cannot see the “seam”.  Plus, I knew I would be hanging long curtains and they would hang over that spot – effectively covering any visible lines.

4 – Keep a towel nearby.  You’ll definitely need it for all the extra moisture and drips and dribbles.   You’ll want to check periodically while its drying because the liquid will naturally seep down the material and puddle at the baseboard just a bit.  Don’t want that to sit there for  too long!

5 – Use pins to hold the fabric in place.  Later you can add staples if you need them.  Don’t start with the staples because if you need to re-adjust then you have to mess with taking out the staples.  Headache waiting to happen, people!  Oh, and just a regular stapler will work.  You don’t need a staple gun. As long as you can open it flat and you apply steady pressure, it will be fine.

6 – When applying the starch with a roller, roll upwards.  That will keep the liquid from dripping so much.  You could use a large sponge instead of a roller if you happen to have one on hand.  Whatever works best for you!

7 – Take off all the wall socket covers first – before you start with the starch.  Try to keep the sockets from getting wet, but get the rest of the material around it wet.  Once it dries, it will be stiff and really easy to cut around the socket.  I used a craft knife and it was super easy. Once the sockets covers are back on,  it will look great, so don’t worry about cutting it straight. 🙂

8 – DON’T PANIC!  Bubbles or loose fabric can be fixed with an extra coat of starch and a little extra smoothing.  And the good thing with this is, if it doesn’t work out at all, just pull it off the wall.  Then you can either start over or toss it – no real harm done other than losing some time and effort.  No biggie, right?  🙂  We all have so much time on our hands!

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Well, its been sooo long since I wrote a post, I feel a bit sheepish… Yes, I have been absent for a long time, but there are reasons upon reasons.  I’m sad that I missed all the fun Fall and Christmas decor season stuff.  Hopefully next year!

One of them being, (drum roll, please) a baby is on the way!!  Ta-da!!

And well, he’s coming pretty soon too.  In about sixish weeks to be more accurate. 🙂  I know, major over-due news, but hey, that’s how I roll.  So, of course, with that being a major part of our lives the last several months, things have been getting busier and crazier… but now that I’m getting too large to zip around quickly, things are slowing down just a bit by sheer necessity.  So – that means that I might get in a post or two before this little guy arrives!  Oh, how I would love to get back into this on a regular basis!

Of cousre, as you can guess, a lot of my “extra” (ha!) time has been focused on baby stuff: specifically working on the Little Bud’s room.  I’m excited to share some of my ideas.  Several of them have turned out quite nicely in spite of their being so incredibly crazy.  You’ll see!  One in particular was a bit unnerving at first, but I finished and it looks good, and it looks like its going to hold up!  Yay for new ideas that work!

So, before I start in on all those juicy posts, I’ll give you a sneek peak at a few things:


Anyone see a color scheme here?  Ha!

The hardest part will be deciding which project to post first!  Although, I must admit, the photos of a lot of these are pretty sad.  Mostly because I’ve been working on things in the evenings, and you know how night pictures turn out when you’re in a room with non-professional lighting!  I’m hoping you’ll give me a break though, and then once its all put together and the room looks the way it should, maybe I can get a good daylight picture for you!

Another little “project” I’ve been working on is my diet.  Diet?  While pregnant?  Oh, yes!  The joy of it all!  I’ve got this lovely thing called gestational diabetes which makes eating so much more boring… and restricted… and mean… its communist, I tell you!  So, planning lunches, dinners, snacks, etc has also added a bit to my days.  Having to count carbs and proteins, learning to literally MEASURE my servings.  Oh, well!  I’m praying things will return to their normal state once Little Bud arrives.  So, if you happen to have experience in this sort of thing and have any good ideas for delicious snacks, etc, please just let me know.  I’ve been branching out and eating things I never tried before, and so far I’ve done well, ( I even worked in a decaf Starbucks drink the other day and stayed perfectly on track!) but new ideas are always welcome!

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Today I wanted to share with you another quickie project I worked on a few days ago.  I had two prints in our extra/guest bedroom that I found at Goodwill a long time ago.   I got them when I was single and first moved out on my own.  Cheap stuff to put on the walls was my only option, so I went with what I could find.  Now, they weren’t terrible, but definitely not my favorite. 

Anyway, I was going through my junk craft stash the other day and realized that I had some scrapbook paper that would be the perfect size for those frames!  I originally thought about using the same paper in both frames, but in the end decided to go with two different ones that sort of blended instead. 

The prints had been professionally framed, so I had to cut through the brown paper, take out staples, and all that good stuff.  But it really wasn’t all that difficult.  Once I got through that, I just removed the print, popped my scrapbook paper in its place, and taped the back panel back onto the frame.  Easy! 

Here is what they looked like. 

And here they are in the room. 

Sorry for the really bad picture here… it was getting a little dark (too dark for taking pictures) but I was determined to get the shot. =)  Oh, well.  

In my case, this was a free project because I already had all the stuff I needed, but even if I’d had to buy it all… lets be generous and say $2 per frame at Goodwill and 50 cents each for the paper at a craft store.  Still only comes to $5.  I like that!  To buy something similar at Walmart or Target would be about $15ish for each!

Maybe this gives you a few ideas.  Scrapbook paper is so cheap and nowadays there are hundreds to chose from.  You really have so many options in color, texture, shapes and patterns.  If you have a few empty frames around, this just might be an easy way to spruce them up a bit!  I think this would be great especially for a kids room with bright colors.  It would be fun to cut out letters from the paper and make a name plaque of sorts.  Or maybe mix this in with a collage/gallery wall of family pictures… oooh, a gallery wall would be so neat!!  Hmmm… I’ll have to think about that one!

So, have you done anything creative with scrapbook paper? (Other than using it for scrapbooking – that doesn’t count!  Sorry!)

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