Decluttering the Laundry Room

My husband suggested I do this post since not every DIY requires a cute little product as a result!

Our laundry room is the location of all of my craft materials, laundry essentials, and dangerous electronics that we need to keep out of the baby’s reach. It also houses the utilities. Despite this, it is a pretty big laundry room that just needs a little love. I will probably do a couple of posts about the progress we have made in making it a great place to clean clothes.

The first step was simple…more shelving! Ideally, we would have come up with a beautiful, vintage-inspired hideout for all of the random paint and fabric I own. Realistically, we don’t have the time or energy. This doesn’t mean we can’t have organization and simplicity, however.

We already had a white wire shelf above the washer and dryer, so we just decided to add a few more higher up. The effect was less clutter on the ground and just a bigger looking room in general! I know this shelving will last and we can use cute baskets to make it fit our style over time.

 

 

It is definitely a work in progress, but at least we now have floor space!

XOXO…PB

Upcycling a Container into a Gorgeous Garbage Bin

Growing up, my mom always saved tiny shopping bags to use as garbage bags in the family minivan. The excitement about finding a new “car garbage” still hits me today when I get a little bag for jewelry, makeup, and other small items. In recent years, I have seen ideas for upcycling old plastic containers into garbage cans for your vehicle, and I absolutely love this idea!

I have been trying to be less wasteful, which sometimes seems impossible with a baby. I always try to repeat the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” to myself. The order of the phrase is very important, so it is good to try to reduce before you reuse, etc. This DIY is a way to reuse, and hopefully it will inspire you to do the same!

The steps are very simple. You only need an old plastic container. I used an empty dishwasher pack holder, but you could use an old formula dispenser or something similar. Then, pick a fun scrapbook paper and get your mod podge, paintbrush, and scissors/paper cutter ready to go!

 

 

Cut your paper to the size of the container. I needed two strips of paper to surround the plastic bin. A simple way to measure is to fold the paper at the edge so you can see where the line is.

 

 

Apply mod podge wherever you are going to put the paper.

 

 

Smooth the paper down and let it dry. I did an extra section on the top since I just loved the floral pattern! I also picked this paper since it matched the bright green of the lid.

 

 

 

Once the mod podge is dry, apply a second coat to the outside and let it dry again.

 

 

You now have a sweet little garbage container for your vehicle!

 

 

Here is the link to the post that inspired me:

http://calicoandcupcakes.blogspot.com/2011/08/repurposed-project-car-trash-can.html

 

Hope you enjoy! XOXO…PB

How I Added a Sweet Touch to Our Apartment Nursery

When we were moving into our new apartment, I was very pregnant with our little baby. I wanted to do something special for him, but I knew we couldn’t really paint or do too much to permanently change his room. I hit Pinterest to try to find some inspiration!

One of my favorite ideas involved using washi tape to create a temporary, wallpaper-like finish. Not wanting to take the time to do this to all the walls in the nursery, I picked the far wall with the window to create an accent wall.

Here are some before pics:

 

 

 

I bought thick washi tape from Michaels, and got to work.

 

 

 

An important thing to note: I did NOT take the time to make straight lines. My excuse was that I was tired and pregnant. Instead, I just said that it was “whimsical.” Since we were only living here for a short time, this decor was very temporary. If this is something that you want to keep up for a few years, you may want to take the extra hour or two and use a straight edge for a cleaner look.

 


 

Another touch I added was creating a sealed look by lining the corners of the wall where they met the ceiling and window.

 

 

Once it was done, we brought in the furniture and created a cozy space for our little one.

 

 

 

XOXO…PB

 

Patterned Tray DIY

I recently bought a set of five trays from Joann Fabric. It was actually a mistake on my part; someone on Etsy requested a custom order and then never got back to me! Definitely a lesson that you shouldn’t expect someone to follow through on a custom order unless you get it guaranteed.

So I now had a set of unfinished trays to play around with. I decided to make my own set of unique trays to maybe sell at a craft show or on Etsy someday.

For this patterned tray, the first thing I did was have my husband stain it in a weathered oak stain. I love the grayish tone of this stain. I couldn’t do it myself because of the fumes and my pregnancy. I’ve since bought a mask 🙂

When staining, I generally use an old rag made out of a t-shirt. Wipe the stain in the direction of the wood grain and when you are done, make sure to wipe of the excess.

After I let it dry for a day, I got some cream colored paint and a stencil from Walmart. You can get a similar one from Amazon here: Plaid:Craft Martha Stewart Large Stencils 3 Sheets/Pkg-Arabesque 8.75″X16.75″ 11 Designs. I used a sponge brush specific for stencils.

20160331_211415

 

When you are finished with one section, you pick up the stencil and overlap it in order to keep the pattern going. I made the mistake of not making sure the stencil was all the way down, so some paint did leak out under the stencil layers.

20160401_162350

I decided to remedy the situation by sanding it down and making it look more used.

20160403_163629

20160405_181843

The last step is simply to brush on a layer of polyurethane to help protect the wood. You now have a beautiful and unique handmade tray!

20160417_200235

*Note: I do use affiliate links to help support my stay-at-home income. I hope you are able to use these links to get the products you need to do your own projects!

Personalizing Wedding Cake Servers

For my wedding, I wanted a vintage feel without spending a ton of money. One way to do this is to DIY the details! I’m going to go through with you today how I personalized my wedding cake knife and server. The set I bought was only $10 at Walmart. Here is the set that I ended up getting. Apparently, I am not good at taking non-blurry photos (I apologize!)

 

20150904_135428

 

So here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • A plain serving set for wedding cake
  • Martha Stewart paint that is safe for glass (it will help prevent the pain smudging off)
  • Glitter if you like it 🙂
  • Old or broken jewelry (I used some cheap jewelry and rings that I got at stores like Forever 21 and Rue21)
  • Glue Gun
  • Wire cutters for cutting jewelry
  • Painter’s tape

You may want to wear gloves if you don’t want to get paint on your hands!

  1. Cut any old rings you want to embellish the handles with with the wire cutters. I cut the rings once in the back so I could put the ring around the handles and they would still be continuous.
  2. Use the glue gun to adhere the rings around the handles. I put my rings around the base of the servers.20150904_140136
  3. I used a bracelet with charms and cut off my favorite charms to add a shabby chic/vintage look to the servers. I chose a charm of a cameo, and one with an old-looking key.
  4. For my set, I used a hot glue gun to wrap gold ribbon around the server handles where I wanted to place the charms. Make sure it is lined up nicely!
  5. Hot glue the charms on top of the ribbon. I kept some of the chains that the charms came off of so I could glue them on easily. If you want to have a more professional look, glue on the back of the serving utensils.  20150904_141355
  6. I wanted gold accents on my servers, so I chose to paint the area of the utensils above the charms but not on the actual part used to touch the food for safety. Use the painters tape to section off the painted area.s
  7. Use a small brush to apply the Martha Stewart paint. I did a couple of coats to hide the silver.  20150904_141553
  8. Wait a day or two for it to dry, and remove the tape. You now have a personalized cake serving set for a fraction of the cost of a professional set!

20150906_144826

You could even add initials instead of jewelry. Let me know any other ideas you have for decor in the comments 🙂

Here is a pic from my actual wedding!

 

T-360

How to Press Flowers

I have been pressing flowers for years now. I believe my first piece of pressed flower art involved pressed pansies that I arranged in the shape of a letter and a heart for my mom as a gift. I made those around 15 years ago and they still have their color to this day!

I am discussing this today because I want to help everyone learn how to press flowers and not have to lose precious flowers to mistakes I have made in the past. This post is about using books to flatten some fabulous flowers you can use in crafts and art. Please read the note at the bottom before you do this with your flowers!

DSC00399

Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

1. Gather your supplies. Here’s what you’ll need: flowers that have not yet withered, books that are okay to get stained (you can find old encyclopedia sets or large textbooks at thrift stores), paper (optional), and a warm, dry location in your home.

2. First, dry off your flowers if you pulled them from a vase of water. Any extra moisture can give the flowers a potential for mold.

3. Carefully place your flowers in the pages of the book in the position you would like them to be dried. If you would like to protect the pages of your book, you can use paper between the flowers and pages of the book.

DSC00467

DSC00462 DSC00465

4. Close the current page with the flowers slowly to keep your flowers in position. You can use multiple sections of the book to place flowers in to dry.

DSC00463

5. Stack extra weight on top of the closed book to keep the flowers flattened.

6. Store your books with flowers in a dry location. In my case I used the dehumidifier that we have in our bedroom. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, you can place your books by a heating vent or a fireplace if you run it at all. Just don’t place paper too close to heat to prevent it from catching fire.

 

7. Wait about 3 weeks for the flowers to dry. Depending on how much moisture your flowers had in them, you may need to wait longer. When you take out your flowers, they should be flat and feel dry to the touch.

 20151016_144337

20151016_144311

20151016_144242

20151016_143743

**NOTE** This method of pressing flowers only works for flowers that are not too thick. Please do not use this methods on flowers such as lilies, sunflowers, or roses. If you have any questions on whether or not the flowers you want to dry will work, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Turquoise Vases DIY

Have you seen the beautiful vases that are circulating around Pinterest? I know I loved what I saw, but when I clicked the link, there were no instructions for how to make them! So I attempted to make my own, and loved the results.

What you need:

  1. Glass Vases
  2. Spray paint in a turquoise color, or another light shade
  3. Liquid gold leaf, like this kind from Amazon. –This stuff is not safe to be used with contact with food.
  4. Sandpaper (120 grit is fine)
  5. Rubber gloves
  6. Spray paint topcoat (matte)

Here’s what I did:

  1. Buy some glass vases from your local thrift store. The more intricate the crystal pattern, the prettier the result.
  2. Clean the vases off so you have a clear surface to paint on.
  3. PUT ON GLOVES
  4. Pour a few drops of the liquid leaf into the bottom of the vase. Have the vase on a surface that can get paint on it, and turn the vase upside down so the liquid in the bottom run down the sides of the vase. Swirl the vase if needed to get as much as possible of the inside covered.
  5. Paint a thin layer of liquid leaf on the outside of the vase. This is an optional step, but will help the gold shine through better.
  6. Let the liquid leaf dry.
  7. Spray paint the outside of the vase in the color of your choice. It is a good idea to wear gloves in case any rogue spray paint shoots out. Make sure to get the bottom of the vase, and sometimes this is missed when spraying the outside.
  8. Let the spray paint dry.
  9. Sand off spray paint on any of the glass ridges, and to the desired amount you would like. The more the sandpaper, the more aged it will look.
  10. Spray paint the final layer of clear matte topcoat.

DSC00012

Teacup Pincushion Inspiration

When I am on Pinterest, I often look at the DIY tab for inspiration. I can’t take credit for all my different diys, often I see them and want to share my experience with them with you. The blog where I found this diy can be found here.

I found a great teacup at the thrift store, once again, for $2! If you want a teacup that has its own plate, you can use that too. Antique stores are guaranteed to have tea cups, but you will pay at least $10 to $15 each.

20150729_202806

This is my teacup 🙂 It has a very wide cup, so it can hold lots of pins in the cushion. Here are my steps:

1. Pick out a favorite fabric and cut a circle out of it. You should only need a fat quarter of it. I did not measure my circle precisely, I just winged it with scissors. The first circle I cut out was too small, but I made a second circle for the cushion that was perfect.

2. Run a threaded needle with stitching all around the edge of the fabric circle. It’s a simple in and out stitch. The stitching is shown in the picture below, but the thread is white, and may be a bit difficult to see.

20150729_204757 20150729_204755

 

4. Pull the needle tight, so that the stitches come together to form a tight bunch. Make a knot at this point to keep the stitching pulled tight for when you stuff it.

5. Stuff that thing to bursting! Be careful when stuffing to know put too much strain on the thread opening. I found that just using one finger worked best.

6. If you would like, to keep it in place easier, but some hot glue around the bottom of the pincushion so it keeps it’s place in your teacup. Then, push the cushion into place in your cup.

20150729_211633

Enjoy!

20150729_212028

 

XOXO…PB

Furniture Overhaul 1

I have these beautiful, yet dated end tables from my late Great Grandmother. I love how sturdy everything is that was built before the 90s rush of particle board and cardboard furniture substitutes. At first, I didn’t know what to do with the large cabinet, so I started spraying it with primer. However, I realized I didn’t want to just paint these pieces because they are quite large and clunky.

DSC00005

a

I like to think of myself as an “impatient” crafter. I see a lot of craft blogs with sweet pictures where they give you tutorials that require you to take a long time to finish a project. When I do something, I want to see results! However, in this case, extra steps can really make a difference. I decided I wanted to stain the top of the piece, and paint the rest. This meant sanding off this finish on top, which was fine with me, even though I was gonna paint it dark again. In some old wood stains, it looks like they used black paint flecks as part of the finish, and I just don’t care for that look.

20150711_175905 20150711_180743

 

First things first, take of the hardware! I ended up spray painting it a darker color. In this case, it is definitely easier to take off the hardware than try to tape it off while painting the piece. For the end table, I chose a nice deep blue/turquoise color. I used a paint sample from Valspar at Lowe’s. They give just the right amount of paint and only cost about a dollar more than a small acrylic paint bottle.


20150711_184414

20150712_222438

I finished off the paint by rubbing some stain over it. I used a pecan satin stain for a weathered look. Just rub it in the direction of the grain. I painted the inside of the piece too, so it wasn’t so dark. The top I used a dark, red oak stain for the top.

a

Meanwhile, in hardware town:

20150713_191232

The color was an oil rubbed bronze I believe. I finished off the piece by painting on a layer of polyurethane in a satin finish to the entire piece. I did two more coats of polyurethane to the top, just to make it shinier. Although this step is technically optional (I usual despise the extra time it takes for a clear coat to dry), I have to say I really like how it made the cupboard turn out!

20150717_234850