Posts Tagged ‘Decorating’

21 Fun Easter & Spring Projects

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

spring-easter projects

I’m back with another round-up of great ideas for you – this time it’s lots of fun (and simple!) Easter & Spring projects. Between the Mom Advice archives and all the other inspirational projects I found, I knew I couldn’t limit myself to only one area, so you’ll find projects for the whole family to cook, craft, or decorate – for the holiday and beyond. In other words, something for everyone!

Cooking Projects:

Bread_Machine_Bunny_Bread

Bread Machine Bunny Bread @ Mom Advice

Bunny-Easter-Carrot-Dip

Bunny Carrot Dip @ Pizzazzerie

Peep_Martinis

Peep Martinis @ Mom Advice

Easter-Egg-Bark

Jelly Bean Bark @ The Frugal Girls

birds-nest-macaroons

Bird’s Nest Macaroons @ Faux Martha

bunny krispie pops

Chubby Bunny Krispie Pops @ Shaken Together Life

And when you’re ready for nourishing food,

vegetable soup with pesto

Spring Vegetable Soup with Pesto @ Healthy Delicious

Crafting Projects:

Rolled_Ribbon_Rosette_Hairbow

Rolled Ribbon Rosette Hair Bow @ Mom Advice

DIY_Peep_Wreath

DIY Peep Wreath with Rolled Ribbon Rosette @ Mom Advice

Paint with cotton tips

Paper Eggs Cotton Tip Painting @ Danya Banya

easy_felt_flower_brooch

Felt Flower Brooch @ Mom Advice

egg-carton-spring-sheep

Egg Carton Painted Sheep @ Blog Me Mom

spring-craft-daffodil-bunting

Daffodil Bunting @ Nurture Store

DIY Easter Stickers

DIY Easter Stickers @ MerMag Blog

Decorating Projects:

Embroidery_Thread_Easter_Eggs

Embroidery Thread Eggs @ Mom Advice

Simple Spring Tablescape

Simple Spring Tablescape @ Love of Family and Home

Bunny-boxwood-wreath

Boxwood Bunny Wreath @ Simplicity in the South

yarn-egg-wreath

Yarn Egg Wreath @ The Sweet Survival

pinata-eggs Pinata Eggs @ A Subtle Revelry

Easy-Easter-Decorating-with rice Colored Rice Easter Decoration @ Today’s Creative Blog

And last, but not least, how about some help cleaning up after all this fun?

Big-Spring-Clean-Part-1

The Big Spring Clean @ Living Well Spending Less

Happy Easter!

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18 Easy St. Patrick’s Day Ideas

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

St.-Patricks-Day-2013

Are you looking for some simple, fun, and creative crafts, recipes, and decorations for St. Patrick’s Day? Me too! So I pulled a couple ideas from our archives and then found a few more to inspire us with their simple ingredients, kid-friendly steps, and fun presentations.

Here are a couple of Mom Advice classics:

rainbow_cake_in_a_jar

Rainbow Cake in a Jar with Cloud Frosting
s_Day_Straw_Printable

Free Printable St. Patrick’s Day Straw Tags
And sixteen more easy St. Paddy’s day ideas:

felt shamrock craft

Felt Shamrock Hair Accessories @ Molly Moo
Irish Potato Cakes

Irish Potato Cakes @ Irish American Mom
Chocoalte-Covered-Pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels @ Love From the Oven
Framed Luck Tags

Framed Luck Tags @ Organize and Decorate Everything
lucky-charm-necklace

Salt Dough Shamrock Necklace @ 2 Clever Blog
pot-of-gold-marshmallow-pops

Pot o’ Gold Marshmallow Pops @ Babies, Bellies & Beyond
candle collage

Decoupaged Candles @ Mess for Less
St-Patrick-Day Candy Bark

Pretzel & Cookie Candy Bark @ Formula Mom
St.-Patricks-muddy-buddy

St. Patrick’s Day Muddy Buddies & Printable @ No Biggie
St-Patricks-Day-Block

Kiss Me Block @ Celebrations
Mint_Brownie_Ice_Cream_Push_Up_Pops

Mint Brownie Ice Cream Push-Ups @ A Pumpkin and A Princess
st-patricks-day-streamers

Crepe Paper Shamrock Streamers @ Studio DIY
diy-st-patricks-day-wreath

Rainbow Yarn Wreath @ Crafts ‘n Coffee
Irish-Soda-Bread-Biscuits

Soda Bread Biscuits @ Simmworks Family
lucky-decoupage-vase

Lucky Yarn-Covered Vase @ Mod Podge Rocks
mint-chocolate-rice-crispy-treats

Mint Chocolate Rice Crispie Treats @ Better in Bulk
Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

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Amy’s Notebook 08.15.12

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Welcome to my little notebook of ideas to help improve your life. This is a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, and thrifty ways to spruce up your home. Nothing brings me more joy then to highlight other fabulous bloggers. I hope you will enjoy this weekly does of loveliness with beautiful links that are individually handpicked just for you!

 

These back-to-school apple waffles would be a great way to start the school year (Random Thoughts of a SuperMom)

I love these faux stainless steel letters for the fridge (@ The Crafted Sparrow)

I love this advice for making the perfect bow (@ The 36th Avenue)

This diamond wall made from Scotch tape looks like a fun & inexpensive way to create an accent wall (@ The Nesting Place)

I love this knitted lines & squares blanket pattern (@ The Purl Bee)

This tip for a baking powder substitute will really come in handy, I am sure! (@ Dine & Dish)

I love these tips for throwing a grilled pizza party (@ The Crafting Chicks)

These DIY paper parasols are a cute way to dress up a drink for a party (@ P.S. Blog)

This s’mores cake would be a cute addition to a camping party (@ One Charming Party)

This chalkboard globe would be a fun desk accessory (@ Ucreate)

I love these tips for hosting a kid’s book club (@ pars caeli)

I want to make some of these mason jar to-go cups (@ fine & feathered)

This diy easy fridge makeover is a cute way to organize those art projects on the fridge (@ How Does She?)

This chocolate chip cookie dough frozen yogurt looks divine (@ Two Peas & Their Pod)

I love this list of seven ways to organize a bookshelf (@ The Art of Doing Stuff)

These bacon tomato pesto sandwiches look like a perfect lunch (@ Smells Like Home)

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Anthropologie DIY Ruffled Lamp

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

We have come to the final project in my daughter’s big girl room makeover. I am so proud of all of the little detai this room.  Many of the items in my daughter’s room had great bones, but seemed a little young for her.  The lamp in her room looked like it belonged in a nursery so I was excited to update this for her.  Instead of getting rid of a perfectly good lamp though, I wanted to figure out a way that I could do a stylish budget-friendly update to it. I happened upon this Ruffled Burlap Lamp tutorial on mama says sew and knew that this would be the perfect way to update her lamp and add a little big girl style to her nightstand.


As you can tell from the picture above, I was planning to just spray paint the original base and save myself a few dollars. Unfortunately, it rained that night and I had a spray paint fail with the paint never hardening and creating a big giant mess. I ended up buying a new lamp base for $12 at Walmart and then spray painted that to match her room. It goes to show that I can screw up even some of the simplest craft projects around here.

I bought one can of spray paint and two yards of burlap which worked out to be eight dollars in supplies (if you don’t count my big spray paint screw-up).

You will first want to cover the entire base of your lamp with a layer of burlap. Any of the metal around my lamp shade base, I just snipped a tiny slit to work the burlap around it. I used my hot glue to cover around it and secured the glue along the edge of the interior of the base.

If you have never worked with burlap before, this material is a MESS to work with. I had burlap pieces and strings everywhere. You definitely want to cut this on newspaper that you can toss out when you are done.

I got out this clothes-presser-thingie (can’t remember what this contraption is called) and pressed strips of burlap that were 1 1/2 times the length of my shade. These were 2″ strips that were then folded in half.

Just attach the pieces in a roughly manner all around the lamp. I went around it once and then filled in any empty spots with a ruffle in the middle where any holes were.

Keep going around and around until the shade is full. It is so pretty and I absolutely love how this turned out. I want to make one for our bedroom now since it is such a fun way to dress up a lamp.

 

This is definitely one of my favorite projects in my daughter’s big girl room and I would highly recommend making a lamp for a room in your house too. Thanks to mama says sew for the inspiration. Please visit her blog for the full details on measurements and a tutorial on how to make a ruffled lamp for a corner in your room.

What craft projects have you been working on?  Feel free to share any links to what you are working on! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!

Easy Coffee Filter Flowers

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Maybe you were one of those lucky kids chopping up coffee filter flowers in elementary school. I never had a tutorial on this in my art class though, but I have been dying to make coffee filter flowers and wanted to share with you just how easy and inexpensive it is to make these for a fun table centerpiece for the holidays or just a few posies on your nightstand in those cold winter months.  If you made the Coffee Filter Wreath from last week, you should have enough left to make a few of these pretty posies!

To begin our flowers, we will need to dye our coffee filters. The trick with getting these to look like real flowers is to divide the filters into three different bowls with three different shades of dye.

Pour a 1/2 cup of hot water into each dish, two tablespoons of vinegar, and ten drops of food coloring your first bowl. In the next bowl add the hot water and vinegar, but add only eight drops of food coloring. In the last bowl, we will be doing the same thing again, but only six drops of food coloring. Submerge fifteen coffee filters into each bowl and wait ten to fifteen minutes.

I used the Betty Crocker pink neon food coloring for this project (leftover from our marbled egg dying from this past year) so these only required about five minutes in the bowls.  Just keep half an eye on them until you reach the desired color that you are going for.

Once the coffee filters are done, you need to spread them out on an old towel and let them dry.  Ignore comments from your husband like, “Yum, yum! Coffee filters for dinner?” or, “Oh, wow! ANOTHER craft project?”

You are on the fast track to being another Martha Stewart even though the house looks like a bomb exploded and it WILL be coffee filters for dinner tonight. You can’t be good at everything.

If you want to speed up the process a bit, you can blow dry these coffee filters. Again, ignore your husband when he busts in on you hunched over with coffee filters blowing around the bathroom as you blow dry them. Just keep thinking,

“Martha would totally do this…or,ahem, she has PEOPLE who would totally do this. Totally.”

Grab some floral tape and floral wire from your craft supplies (or over in the floral section of the craft supply store. Cut the wire to the length that you desire and twist and wrap the floral wire with the floral tape until the wire is covered. You can also cover a wooden skewer with floral wire if you want a flower that stands straight up. I prefer the wire because you can bend it a bit and make the flowers a little more droopy so they look a little more natural.

Here is a handy chart for what we are going for with these. You need two of the darkest coffee filters cut like this for the center of the flower, two coffee filters in the medium dye for the middle of your flower, and just one coffee filter cut like this for the outer part of the flower.

To make the center, fold your coffee filter in half, in half again, in half again, and then in half again (four folds). Take your scissors and cut it as pictured above. Repeat with another filter in the same shade.

To make the middle of your flower, fold your coffee filter in half, in half again, in half again (three folds). Take your scissors and cut it as pictured above (but better than me since I am not the brightest with my cutting). Repeat with another filter in the same shade.

To make the outside of your flower, fold your coffee filter in half and then in half again (two folds). Take your scissors and cut a scalloped edge to your flower. You just need one of these.

Stack your flowers (still folded) and then trim the tiniest little end off of the bottom of them. This will create a small hole so that we can insert the wire into the center of it.

Slip the first filter over your wire twist it at the base, and then wrap a little floral tape around it to hold it all in place. Repeat with the next dark filter, than the each medium filter, and finish with the exterior of your flower. Finish the flower with a little more floral tape to secure everything in place.

Behold your posy! Isn’t she pretty? Make as many as you like for a fun addition to any room. I saved a stack of coffee filters and plan to make this pretty flowers to adorn my daughter’s birthday presents this year.

These posies have found a home on my daughter’s nightstand in her new big girl room. I found a short glass vase for $3.99 at Meijer Supermarket that was just the perfect size to hold three of these coffee filter flowers.  I think these would make such a fun birthday centerpiece addition though with hanging tissue paper pom poms in the same shades for a birthday party.

Right next to those flowers is this handmade lampshade that I made. I will show you how I did that last week. It is another fun, easy, and inexpensive craft that would be a cute addition to any room.

What craft projects have you been working on? Did you ever make coffee filter flowers when you were a kid?  Feel free to share any links to what you are working on! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!

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How to Make a Monogrammed Coffee Filter Wreath

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

When my book proposal went out in the literary world, I decided to throw myself wholeheartedly into two bedrooms that were both in need of a serious overhaul, to prevent me from thinking about the big decisions being made. All of that nervous energy turned into fuel into creating my daughter and son’s room into what I had envisioned their new big kid spaces to be.

Over the next few weeks, I wanted to showcase some of the crafts that I created and how I decorated their bedrooms on a budget. The first tutorial I wanted to share was for this easy monogrammed coffee filter wreath for my daughter’s wall.  I am not the first to create a coffee filter wreath and I know I won’t be the last. I read a billion tutorials for making these and then decided to do it my own way with a few tips from each tutorial. When you create yours, I am sure you will do the same on your wreath to create a masterpiece for your home.

These are a beautiful accent to decorate any room in your house. These would also make fantastic holiday gifts for your friends, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, or teachers and cost about $8-10 in supplies.

Let’s get started. You need a wreath or wreath form of your your choice (I found this flat Styrofoam wreath at Hobby Lobby), a package of 200 coffee filters, hot glue gun, glue sticks (you will need about six for this project), a screwdriver, a lightweight monogram letter of your choice, and a can of spray paint of your choice.

Fold your coffee filter in half as shown here.

Fold your coffee filter in half again as shown here.

On the tip of this you will apply your hot glue and then fold the tip a bit to apply it to the wreath. Secure the glued end to the wreath, flattening it a bit and adjusting as needed.

The top of your filters will look like this. That screwdriver can go into the center to help push the filter into the wreath and save your hands from getting burned. You can risk it and just burn those hands up, but I found the tip of the screwdriver really works to help prevent burns as you add those filters in. I wish I could take pictures of myself doing this as I am doing it, but, unfortunately, I only have two hands and no one to work the camera for me.

Start filling the wreath in with the filters all over. Anywhere that you see that wreath form sticking out should be covered with your filters. You can bend and twist them into the spots, securing these with hot glue. Catch up on all of your favorite shows since you need to do this approximately 150 times.

Please don’t judge me on my favorite show. A girl needs an escape when doing her billions of loads of laundry and other mundane tasks around the house. It makes me feel hip and chic, unlike the 33 year-old woman sitting on her carpet making a coffee filter wreath.

Keep on going around and around and around. Don’t worry if it isn’t even, just do the best you can.  You can trim it all up in the end and no one will ever know.

Once it is all filled in on top, we need to cover the sides of the wreath so we don’t see any of the wreath form peeking out. Fold the coffee filters as I showed you above and this time we will lay them flat against the side to cover the wreath.

Just keep overlapping this final layer to cover up the wreath form as I have pictured here.  This wreath will be very full and the little spots that aren’t covered won’t be seen, so don’t worry!

Once you flip it over, you will see that the back layer is a tad longer than the other layers. Trim those up with a pair of sharp scissors and cut them down so they fit in with the other layers on your wreath.

Once the wreath is all trimmed up, you can mount a monogrammed letter of your choice. I spray painted mine green to match my daughter’s room. I found this little letter at Michael’s back by the wooden craft supplies. This letter was just, $1.99. The key to this is to find one that is lightweight so it stays on easily. Hot glue the back of the letter and secure it in place on your wreath. You can then hang your wreath with ribbon or just hang it on a nail, as I did here, to keep things sweet and simple.

This wall in her room is making me very, very happy right now. It is the first thing I see when I walk up the steps and was so inexpensive to do.  I framed three of my favorite pictures of her, all printed in black-and-white.

The, “Will We have Rainbows Day After Day?,” printable was found for free printing on Making It Lovely.  I found a frame for this at Michael’s for half off and printed it on my printer at home.  It is so sweet and fits perfectly with her personality and color scheme.

I could not be happier with how this wreath turned out and definitely recommend making one or two for yourself or someone you love.

Don’t toss the rest of your coffee filters out after making this wreath. Next week I will show you how I made this bouquet of coffee filter flowers to adorn a nightstand. No one will believe these are made from this household item and it can be a fun craft to decorate any table in your home.

What craft projects have you been working on? Feel free to share any links to what you are working on! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!

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How to Paint a Kitchen Table: Our Kitchen Table Makeover

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

I never dreamed that I would ever paint my kitchen table when we bought it. For ten years though we abused it daily, it survived a brutal move with a terrible moving company, and the polyurethane coating never did look right after it was damaged in route to our house on the day we bought it. The table was loved to pieces, literally, and that is why we had to paint it.

Passing through our kitchen, you might not have noticed the table’s beat-up appearance. From far away or cleverly covered with a tablecloth when it got really embarrassing, the table just didn’t look that bad.

Upon closer inspection though, your eyes are assaulted with the damage that has happened to it. The polyurethane coating was flaking away, the ends were terribly damaged on the table, and a huge gash went right through the center of it that I never thought the table would ever recover from.

We decided that we would stain the table and restore the tabletop with a nice deep and rich color. We bought lots of supplies to stain the table and I couldn’t wait to get started.

For two days I sanded the table to within an inch of its poor little life. The polyurethane coating remained. I bought polyurethane stripper and left it on the table for twenty-four hours. The polyurethane remained. I sanded the table more. The polyurethane remained.

I cried.

I rocked in the fetal position.

I kicked myself for starting a project that I didn’t feel as confident in.

I gave up.

We ate at a sad folding table and chairs for an entire week, only to discover this staining would not happen at my novice level of furniture staining.

At this point, I had nothing to lose.

We decided to paint the kitchen table.

The chairs were in good condition other than a quick reupholster to the tired fabric that had been on them. The table legs also happened to be in decent condition so we made the decision to leave the table legs and chairs in their natural wood color (partly out of laziness and partly because we needed our kitchen table back) which definitely cut down on the work.

I am no expert on painting furniture so I consulted with my best friend who has been painting her furniture recently and the ever amazing and wildly talented Kate, from Centsational Girl, who has this amazing tutorial on how to paint furniture. Between the two of them, I felt a tad more confident than I did before.

Once the table was sanded and wood filled in the spots that were really rough on the table, we applied two coats of the Zinsser Cover Stain Primer over the table. Between each coat, once the tabletop was fully dry, I gave it another good sanding and wiped it clean with a cloth. I had to admit, even with just the primer, the table was already looking better.

Once the primer was dry, I applied two coats of paint to the tabletop. We wanted our tabletop to match our kitchen cabinets so we chose Valspar Blanched Pine (7005-15) for the shade of white we were looking for. Two coats of paint were applied to it. The first coat was applied with a brush and then the second coat, I used a roller and then used a brush to smooth out any roller marks.

I did take Kate’s recommendation and added Floetrol to the paint (as directed on the packaging) which really did seem to help cut down on the mistakes that I usually make when painting. This paint conditioner will definitely be used again when I tackle another painting project.

After the paint was dry, we then applied two heavy coats of polyurethane to the tabletop with an angled brush. We allowed the polyurethane to set on the tabletop for four days with no use. I think this was one of the hardest parts about the process, but we wanted to make sure that the tabletop would really be able to withstand our daily abuse once we brought it inside.

The table legs were reattached, the new-to-me chairs were slid under it. We were in business.

Here is our newly painted kitchen tabletop.  It is not perfect, but we truly did the best we could to improve upon something we already owned.

I am so happy to have a tabletop that I don’t have to cover with a tablecloth. I am just hoping that this will be able to stand up to our daily use, but I will be happy if we can get a couple more years out of this set.

I will tell you a secret.

Every time I see a crumb on it, I start freaking out that paint is chipping.

A major freak out ocurred after the kids dined on pumpkin bread for snack one day.

I am wondering when I will get over that.

Perhaps, never.

For now, my husband is just thankful I am done with this project, I am thankful to have reclaimed the garage, and we are all thankful that we didn’t have to purchase a new set of furniture for this room.

How to Reupholster A Chair

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

We have been hard at work on completely redoing our old dining set. My kitchen chairs were in solid condition and didn’t require any painting, but I was tired of the faux leather fabric that I had purchased for the chairs when my kids were little. Today I wanted to share with you just how easy it is to reupholster those chairs and add a little pizzazz to a tired dining set for very little money.

Supplies Needed For This Project

New Fabric (I am using outdoor fabric to help prevent staining from spills. You could also choose a faux leather fabric or any type of fabric and then treat it with Scotch Guard to prevent staining). This fabric should be measured to the width of your chair and then add 4 inches  to each measurement so you have enough fabric to reach around the cushion.  My chair seat was 20×20 so I needed 24×24 for each seat. For all six seats it required 2 yards of fabric total.

Upholstery Staple Gun (available at fabric stores)

Upholstery Staples (heavy-duty)

Needle-nose pliers

Screwdriver

Pinking Shears (or regular sewing scissors)


Invert your chair and use your screwdriver to remove the four screws on the bottom that are securing your cushion to the chair.

If the cushion has fabric stapled on it already, use your needle-nose pliers to remove the old staples and fabric from the cushion. If you only have one layer of fabric, it should be okay, but this chair had two so I had to remove my last round of reupholstering to get back to the base of the chair.

Now it is time to cut your new fabric to replace the old fabric that was on your chair.  This fabric should be measured to the width of your chair and then add 4 inches  to each measurement so you have enough fabric to reach around the cushion.  My chair seat was 20×20 so I needed 24×24 for each seat. For all six seats it required 2 yards of fabric total.

I prefer to cut my fabric with a pair of pinking shears instead of regular scissors because the fabric does not fray with these and I don’t have to mess with trimming and pulling strings on fabric. If you don’t have a pair of these though, you can always use regular shears.

When buying your fabric, be sure to ask if they offer any specials or discounts to customers. I got this fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics and signed up for their email list while I was at the register. They gave me a coupon that took $16 off of my total fabric purchase so I was able to get fabric for six chairs for $25!

Once you have your fabric cut, it is time to staple. Center your cushion upside down and make sure there is approximately the same amount of fabric on all four sides and then pull the fabric tightly over your cushion and staple it. You are going to want to put your whole body into this one, friends.  Staple all the fabric down along the cushion securely.

Corners can be a tricky terrain, but they don’t have to be. I like to bring the top part down and then fold in the other side of the fabric on top. You can do your corners on your cushion however you like. I think the trick with this one is just to play with it, flip it over and take a peek, and then play with the fabric again until you find a corner you like. Once you figure out how you like your corners, replicate it with the three other corners and then again on your next chair. Trim the excess corner fabric.

Center your cushion back on your chair and make sure all of the fabric is tucked nicely underneath and on top. Secure your cushion back on with the four screws again.

Now just repeat the same process over and over and over again until all of your chairs are done. I was able to get six chairs reupholstered in one afternoon. It isn’t hard to do and is a great job to tackle while watching your favorite shows.

I am madly in love with this fabric that I chose and can’t believe how much more I love these chairs. They look like brand new and I only spent $25 to shine them up.

Of course, what are new chairs without a new-to-me table? Looking forward to revealing what I have been up to this past week and sharing with you our new kitchen tabletop!

This tabletop has needed attention for eight years now and I am finally doing it.

Procrastination is the name of the game.

I hope I am not the only one with an eight year project that has been bugging her.

What is one home improvement project you have been vowing to do, but just haven’t made time to tackle yet?

Mistreating My Windows the Type-A Way

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Decorating is not my thing and window treatments are really not my thing.  I think this is why I am really excited to showcase an idea for home decorating that anyone can do… especially people who don’t sew and love to wing it! I don’t sew, but am very Type-A so this project was a bit of a challenge for me. Regardless,  I am so pleased with the results and it was worth every little minute of my type-a-ness to complete this project!

Now that we have completed our home renovations,  I needed to do some focusing on the details of pulling my two rooms together to create one room. Pictured above is an example of a detail that needed to be addressed… the window treatments. The office had bamboo shades while the family room had faux wood blinds. Now that this room was one large room, I needed to match the window treatments up and make it look like a uniformed space.

We had curtains before, but trying to find curtains and hardware that matched exactly would have been impossible to do. I don’t sew, although I have tried, and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on new curtains for five windows. I decided to do a little window mistreating courtesy of The Nester that had been featured in the notebook a long time ago.  She said it can be done in ten minutes per window so I was completely on board!

I also had this piece that I wanted to dress up and pull into the rest of the room. It originally was a buffet in our kitchen that held our glass stemware. It is now the place where we house all of the kid’s coloring books and crayons. Life has certainly changed, hasn’t it?  I wanted to try to dress this up inexpensively on top and keep the chaos inside (unlike how it is pictured here)

Two trips to Hobby Lobby, sweating in the fabric aisle, hardcore number crunching to figure out the perfect amount of fabric, $25 in materials to make the curtains and I was ready to roll. I kicked off my super awesome shoes and I was ready to get to work.

This is where I do everything wrong. I measure every curtain to make sure they have exactly the same amount of fabric, I carefully pin the corners of each piece, fold everything in and make sure nothing is showing, line them all up on top of each other and pin them again, practice hanging them, make my husband hold them up and then stand back, go down the steps and look at him holding them to make sure I still like them, pin them again, tack them, then re-tack them into the wall, practice different poofing techniques (not a word according to spell check), etc…. This is why Type-A personalities do not do well with projects where you just wing it.

It is now about ten at night before I finally finish with my measuring and obsessing. I then try to hang them, but because I am a girl of small stature, I realize that there is no way I can even reach that high. My poor husband has to do the hanging with my constant barking. He gets out a glass of wine to soften the blows of my barking and then we end up having a great time.

Here are my perfectly imperfect window mistreatments. I had my husband practically tack them to the ceiling so that the walls looked taller since this is our basement and the windows are so squat. I think the chocolate brown was a good choice of color since the walls were light beige and we had chocolate throw pillows on the couch. I also love that these can be switched out easily and fairly inexpensively when we need a breath of fresh air in the room.

Did I save money doing these? Absolutely! The curtains at Target ran about $20 per panel and the hardware was around $10-12 per window. Including the upholstery tacks, I only spent $26 on four windows.

The fifth window will remain without curtains due to the fact that it is right at the top of a lower wall and doesn’t need window treatments. We did have to buy more faux wood shades, but now everything will match in this room and we still did it inexpensively with these DIY window mistreatments.

I decorated my little corner of this side of the room with black-and-white photos of my children that I took of them (zero cost for photographer). I printed them on my little photo printer (no purchases made) and then got inexpensive frames at Hobby Lobby for $5 each. The glass container ($14.99 at Target) was filled with some fillers in green and brown to tie in the rest of the room. I look forward to switching the items inside with the seasons and switching the photos to keep this corner fresh!

Thanks to The Nester for inspiring me to mistreat those windows and visit  Nesting Place for more great ideas on budget-friendly home decor!

What are some ways that you have saved your family on home decor? Any DIY projects that have kept your budget low? Please share!

Making An Addition To Our House for Less

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

We have now lived in our little home for six years and I am so proud of all of the changes we have made. Two of our major projects that we did ourselves were our kitchen update and our do-it-yourself patio renovation. Both of those projects were a great deal of work, but the spaces seemed very separate from one another.

We have been trying to take the 1960′s look out of our tri-level home which is no small task in itself. We have done all of the projects ourselves (with the exception of a new roof) and now we are coming to those projects where we need a professional’s help. This, of course, takes money so we are doing these projects little by little.

What better way to update our space then by replacing our tired screen door with a new patio door? This screen door was an eyesore to our space. It came complete with a grandma-ma warning security tag and the door was falling apart. More than that though, it was difficult to access our new patio and hard for me to watch my kids when they were playing outside.

We decided to hire Champion Window to come out and put in a new door for us. After measuring our space, we could accommodate an eight foot door, which would take out our old window and the rickety screen door that had been previously occupying the space.

This is our kitchen after the installation of the door. All I can say is, WOW! This door completely opened up our kitchen and brought in more natural light for our space. It has made our space feel more modern and having a view in the morning of my patio and the yard has just made such an incredible difference in our space.

This is my view in the morning. I can actually see almost every square inch of the entire yard so when the kids are playing outside, I can really keep an eye on them. I can also close just the screen portion and feel like I am outside with them when they are playing on the patio.

The best part though is that we can actually open the door with ease when grilling outside or heading in and out. The kids can open it themselves, but it is secure enough that I can lock it so they can’t get out unless we want them out there.

I feel like we got an addition to our house by just doing this little makeover to our door and I feel like it makes our kitchen renovation complete! Next up will be replacing the garage door, pantry door, and on-its-last-limbs refrigerator to modernize our space.