DIY Stendig Calendar Christmas Art

This year for the Christmas season, I’m giving myself a bit of a breather from decorating and blogging so I can actually enjoy the season, and I’m just not going all out on my Christmas decor. However, I will be sharing a few little corners of my house that I’ve spruced up a bit just to make it a little festive and keep the kids happy.

Last year around this time, I was so excited to get my first Stendig calendar, and I had big plans for displaying it in my kitchen. However, I forgot to measure it, and it turned out that, sadly, it was too big to display anywhere in my house. I was very disappointed, especially because it was kind of a splurge for me to spend that much on something for my house.

Then, just a few days ago, I had the idea of incorporating it into my Christmas décor. So now, I am very happy to say, my beautiful Stendig calendar has gotten some use; not in the way it was designed, but it still makes me happy.

I used a page from my calendar to make a sort of a modern, design-friendly artwork with a bit of a play on an advent calendar.

I laid out my calendar page and picture frame, and measured the size I needed and placement I wanted with my picture frame.

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I grabbed a $.99 tube of green glitter glue from Walmart and outlined and filled in the 25, just to give it a little pop and emphasize the date for Christmas.

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After letting it dry thoroughly, I cut out my artwork and put it in the frame.

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I just love the bold, modern, graphic black and white look of the Stendig calendar, and since my front room already has lots of black and white graphic elements, I knew it would be perfect for that room.

I chose to display it on my Design Sponge inspired closet door, and added some bright, colorful ornaments with baker’s twine where my air plants used to hang.

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You’ll notice I also put peace on earth, so…you’re all welcome for that.

If you like this idea but don’t have your own Stendig calendar, you’ll be happy to know that, with just a few simple supplies (black paper, a cheap stencil set, a chalkboard marker, and a $.99 glitter glue tube…all from Walmart), you can make your own Stendig-inspired Christmas art.

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Just measure out a grid (my letters were 2″, so I made my squares 2.5″ tall and 4″ wide…room for 2 characters)…

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…pencil in your numbers with the stencils (make sure to right or left justify all of your numbers; as you can see, I right-justified mine)…

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…and fill the letters in with your chalkboard marker. Lastly, go back over the 25 with your glitter glue. Allow to dry thoroughly, frame it, and you have some really cute, modern Christmas art to display. Mine took me just about 30 minutes.

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So, there you have it! I’ll be bringing you a few more quick and easy decorating ideas like this one in the next few days, so stay tuned!

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Hope you’re enjoying your Christmas music, shopping, and peppermint mocha lattes as much as I am!

Until next time,

Rachel

 

 

I’m also sharing this project over at at http://www.remodelaholic.com.

Restoration Hardware Inspired Star Wars Dresser- ORC Week 5

Popping in really quickly to share what I worked on this week for the One Room Challenge. We only have one week left before we share the final reveal of our rooms, and I have so much to do, but I’m so excited to finish and see what everyone else in the challenge has done.

This week, I worked on one of two dressers in my boys’ Star Wars themed room. This was the dresser that I started with…

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…and this Restoration Hardware piece was the vision I had for it. I wanted an industrial metal look, but I wanted to make it my own, not just make an exact copy.

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I began by sanding and wiping down the dresser down really well.

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My base color was this Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint (the same one I used for my mural), which made painting super easy. It has a lot of texture, which is what I wanted.

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Now, I wanted a brushed metal look, so using silver craft paint, I brushed on the accent paint back and forth at a slant (from left to right, then right to left). You can see the pattern in the picture below.

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And to seal my paint and add even more texture, I applied a layer of polycrylic using the same method as the craft paint.

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After letting it dry overnight and putting my drawers back in, I measured and hammered in thumbtacks all the way around the trim on the border. As a last minute finishing touch, I made myself a stencil, and added roman numerals as a subtle nod to Star Wars. I did 6, 7 and 8 because the other dresser has 5 drawers, so I’ll use roman numerals for 1-5 for it.

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It doesn’t photograph very well, because the lighting in the room is terrible, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. Now I get to do it all over again for the reveal next week. Wish me luck! And, of course, don’t forget to check out all the other designers in the One Room Challenge.

Rachel

DIY Star Wars Bedding- One Room Challenge, Week 4

You’re familiar with the saying, “A day late and a dollar short,” right? Yeah, that’s me this week (and always). Except make that 2 days late and far more than a dollar short.

But the good news is, I finished half of one more thing on my list of things to do for my boys’ Star Wars Room, which I’m finishing in a total of six weeks for the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda at Calling It Home.

My original plan was to give my boys’ dressers a makeover this week, but it was such a rainy week here in East Tennessee and I need to paint them outside, so I thought I’d have better luck working on their bedding.

My favorite part about the bedding that I made was these accent pillows.

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I bought pillow forms from Wal-Mart for $6 each, and white pillow cases, 2 for $5. I decided to use a pillow case to minimize my sewing; while I can sew and I have a sewing machine, I avoid it like the plague, because I’m not very good at it. But since the pillow case was already sewn on 3 sides, I only had to sew 2 sides, one to alter the dimensions, and one to close it up.

But before sewing, I added my design. I made stencils out of cardstock; I wanted my starships to look sort of geometric. I drew my design out using all kinds of things as guides…a ruler, a medicine bottle, plates for the bigger circles…whatever I could find.

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I cut out my stencil using an Xacto knife over cardboard.

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Here’s one of the finished stencils.

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Then I placed my stencil centered on the pillow case, and painted in with a foam brush and metallic silver fabric paint, also from WalMart.

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I let it dry for a few hours before beginning sewing.

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For the pillow form, like I said, I just had to measure and sew 2 sides to make it the size of my pillow forms, 18″x18″. I made my pillow cover 18″x18″, but I would actually recommend that you make yours one inch shorter than the dimensions of your pillow form (so mine really should have been 17″x17″), just so the form fills out the cover nicely.

For the 4th side of the pillow cover (the open part of the pillow case), I sewed about 1/4 of the way in on each side and left an opening in the middle so I could stuff my pillow in. I left that opening so I can pull it in and out to wash the cover; since it’s white, I’m almost certain it will get dirty.

I made a printable version of the stencils for all of you, my readers, so you can try this at home. You can download the Millennium Falcon Stencil here, and the Death Star Stencil here. Just use cardstock or thin cardboard, and cut out all of the gray shapes with your Xacto or similar knife.

I also figured out that these look really good on black paper with the metallic paint; so good, in fact, that I might remake these pillow covers with black pillow cases. Either that, or frame them and use them as artwork.

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Really, there are a ton of different ways you could use these stencils…backpacks, furniture…you name it.

Next was the bedding. What I wanted was these duvet covers from IKEA, but I couldn’t afford them at $50 each, just for the covers, no sheets.

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So, as usual, in one of my hare-brained schemes, I decided to DIY my own.

I used two white flat sheets, taped off stripes, and painted in the stripes with black fabric paint with a foam brush (even had a little help from my 3 year old).

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I sewed 3 sides of my duvet cover, and used the same method as the pillow covers, sewed 1/4 of the way in on each side and left an opening to feed the blanket into the duvet cover. I got a gray flat sheet and dark red pillow case from Wal-Mart to coordinate my bedding. So I spent a total of a little less than $50 for all of my bedding and supplies, enough to make a duvet cover, fitted sheets, pillow cases, and accent pillows for 2 beds, which is what I would have spent on just one duvet cover. It was a bit labor intensive, but worth the savings.

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I still have to make one more duvet cover, but I still have two weeks. Wait…just 2 weeks! And I still have 2 huge furniture makeovers, a pretty involved wall art idea, and curtains, not to mention the little finishing touches. Yikes! Lots to do and not much time! Y’all wish me luck! Here’s the room so far (the side I’ve worked on, anyway).

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Check out what all of the other bloggers have done this week at the One Room Challenge. Enjoy your weekend! Happy trick-or-treating!

Rachel

A Flower Shower

My little brother is getting married this week! Well, I say he’s my little brother, but he is almost a foot taller than me and he’s at least 10 times more mature than I am, so I feel a little strange calling him that. He is just an amazing guy, and he’s marrying the sweetest girl. They truly are perfect for each other, and I’m so excited to have her as a sister!

She had a really nice shower thrown for her already, but my parents weren’t able to come, so we wanted to throw her just a little, informal shower where her family and ours could spend a little time together.

My sisters, sis-in-law, and I coordinated the shower, and while I’m the one writing about it, they really were the ones who did most of the work and came up with most of the ideas.

My (almost) sister-in-law’s wedding theme includes lots of really pretty flowers; her invitations have a really pretty watercolor floral. So our theme was, basically, lots and lots of flowers. My sister had the idea of incorporating the meanings of the flowers in a special way.

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My parents have a trellis on one side of their back deck, which we knew we wanted to use as a focal wall. We toyed with the idea of making paper flowers, but we just didn’t have enough time to make the amount of paper flowers that we wanted. Our next idea was to use garlands of silk flowers. Have you looked at silk flowers recently? We looked at Hobby Lobby, and the prices were wildly expensive! Like $30-50 for one garland. Clearly that wasn’t going to work. Luckily, my sister’s work had a ton of flowers leftover from an event that she was able to salvage, and we were able to reuse them. Now that’s my kind of recycling. We also bought three $5 bunches of flowers from the grocery store from the manager’s special section, where they sell flowers that are getting a little old, but are still really pretty.

We needed a little more greenery for what we were trying to accomplish, so rather than spend any more than we already had, we decided to scout out Mom and Dad’s yard to see what we could find. What we decided on was some of the ivy that my parents have growing all the way up the huge tree in their front yard. And what’s really special is that the ivy came from my Nana and Papa’s garden; my Mom brought home a clipping of the ivy and set it out by the tree, and over the years, it has grown and completely covered the tree; it’s so incredibly beautiful. It’s a special little way to remember them during this time.

Once we had all the flowers and greenery that we needed, we began by tying the ivy and the flowers to the trellis with floral wire.

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We added my Mom’s chalkboard, and my sis added a fancy, schmancy B for their soon to be last name, along with some pretty printed artwork that she designed with different flowers and their meanings.

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The best part? She has generously allowed me to offer them to you as free printables! You can download them here (just click to download).

Over on the other wall of the deck is the most beautiful decorative iron screen that my sister used for her beach wedding. We added gold letters for a little something extra. We made them with three $1 foam core boards from Dollar Tree; we penciled out the letters and cut them out with an Xacto knife, then spray painted them gold, and hung them with floral wire.

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We did just finger foods since it was an afternoon shower, and we kept with the floral theme even with the food. My momma bought the prettiest Edible Arrangements tray with fall themed pineapple leaves and the best chocolate and salted caramel covered apple slices.

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We had petit fours that we embellished with real flowers,…

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…and added flowers to our ice cubes (an idea from Martha Stewart) to go with the pretty Italian soda that we served.

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I made an Italian Cream Cake (using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe), then covered it with fondant (my first time using fondant, which is why it’s a little rough), and painted a watercolor floral wreath with gel food colors and water to go with the theme.

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We used gold and watercolor-y floral colors for the plates and napkins from Hobby Lobby.

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Once everything was set up and our guests arrived, we just enjoyed our time together so much. Her family is so sweet and special just like she is. It was the perfect way to relax and enjoy one last sane moment together before the craziness of the wedding this week. (Side note: Isn’t my Momma’s house so pretty? She’s an amazing decorator.)

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Here’s the happy couple with my rotten little girl.

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These are my handsome nephews. Remember the Rugged and Manly Baby Shower we did back in February? Well, this is the rugged and manly baby boy seven months later.

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Of course the kids had fun playing in Grandma and Grandpa’s swing set the whole time, always the highlight of their week.

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I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, and then I have to go squeeze in a workout…one last push to shed a few pounds before I have to fit into my dress for the wedding this weekend!

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Until next time!

Rachel

A Star Wars Mural- ORC, Week 3

Well, we’ve reached week three of the One Room Challenge, and I’m still on track…mostly. After getting home from Costa Rica on Sunday, and spending the next several days unpacking loads of suitcases and doing mounds of laundry, I’m just beginning to get caught up, although it was tough to fit this one in.

So, if you’ve been following along, you know that I have chosen my two boys’ room to makeover for the challenge, and since they’re crazy about Star Wars, that’s the theme we’re going with.

So far, I made a bedside Lego station for them, and now I decided to attempt a mural for an accent wall. Before we get started, please excuse the crazy terrible lighting. The overhead light that they have is not working, and my husband, who usually fixes those things, is out of town at the moment.

I did a lot of research looking at tons and tons of Star Wars pictures, but ultimately made my own design; I wanted to make sure it was original.

My first step was to paint the wall black (formerly navy) with some leftover chalkboard paint.

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Once dry, I papered and taped up the walls and ceiling around it since I would be using spray paint.

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And while we’re talking about spray paint, the one I used was Rustoleum Forged Hammered Antique Pewter. It was perfect since the formula is a little chunky (to get that hammered metal look), it went on splotchy, which helped me get a starry, galaxy look.

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I sprayed sparse patches of spray paint, and then went back over to build up the patches in some spots for variety.

Once dry, I added in a little bit of chalk to get a little more of the cloudy look I wanted. I drew on patches of chalk, and smudged them with a cloth.

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Since I used chalk, obviously not very permanent, I sprayed a layer of this polyurethane finish.

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The last step was to add in the details, a planet and shadow of the Millennium Falcon, and silhouettes of C-3PO and R2D2 (and yes, as a mom of boys, I know the characters very well!).

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Aaaaaand, now that I’m looking at the pictures, I just realized that I forgot that little section on the left side of the door. Whoops. Guess that’s going on my list next!

Now, I’m not 100% satisfied with the way my mural turned out, so I may end up reworking it a little before I’m done with the room.

As always, let me know what you think…I value your opinions. Does is need to be a bit more muted? Should I add in some colors?

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to check out what the other participants are up to this week over at the One Room Challenge…there’s some great stuff going on over there. Until next time!

Rachel

Bedside Lego Station: Star Wars Boys’ Room- ORC, Week 2

Hello friends! Just checking in to update you on the progress of my boys’ Star Wars Room, the room I’m finishing up over the next 4 weeks along with so many other awesome bloggers during the One Room Challenge at www.callingithome.com.

So, I haven’t gotten very far in my room makeover, but I have a very good reason. As I’m writing this, I am packing for a 10 year anniversary trip to Costa Rica with my hubby, and by the time you read this, I’ll be either deep in the jungle ziplining with the monkeys, visiting volcanoes, basking on the beach…OR, more likely, holed up in our resort watching movies since it’s supposed to rain all week. Don’t ask me how we’ve survived 10 years together as very flawed human beings raising 4 more very flawed human beings with 6 moves along the way…as the saying goes, a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus! I am very thankful for my husband and this chance to get away by ourselves since we didn’t really have much of a honeymoon. My incredible mother-in-law is watching my four kids for us; y’all say a prayer for her!

Amid all of the laundry and packing and last-minute cleaning and travelling, I did manage to squeak out one little project this week, a bedside Lego station for my boys. Here’s how it came together.

You may have seen these spice racks on Pinterest used for everything from spices to books.

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Here’s why you’ve seen them everywhere: they are so stinkin’ cheap! At $4 a piece, they are such an affordable storage option. Which is why I decided to give them a coat of spray paint (Rustoleum American Accents in candy apple red) and use them for Lego storage. It’s a great way for my boys to display their creations that they work so hard on and are so proud of.

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Once they were dry, we assembled them according to the product instructions, measured, and hung them up on the wall right over their bedside tables (they are evenly spaced, although the picture skews them a little).

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The side table was just $7 when I got them several years ago on sale at IKEA; they are now $15, which is still an awesome deal, and they still go on sale every once in a while.

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My mother-in-law bought these Lego base plates for my boys for Christmas, so we attached them to the top of the side table.

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I used a metal washtub (also given to me) for Lego storage underneath the table. So they have storage underneath, a workspace on the table, and a place to display their creations up above. It’s the perfect, inexpensive solution for this room with two boys, very little space, and lots of Legos.

Here it is all together:

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I actually put this together after my kids left for the week, so we’ll find out what they think when we’re all back home together.

See you next week, and don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous makeovers going on over at the One Room Makeover!

Rachel

I’m also sharing this little project over at the Pretty Preppy Party:

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

DIY Anthropologie-Inspired Necklace

I have this thing about jewelry. Other than my wedding ring, I wear really cheap jewelry. Like really cheap. The reason? I have four kids. That says it all. When they were babies, they, like all babies, loved to yank on my earrings and chew on my necklaces. Now that they are older, my girls love to play dress-up with Mommy’s jewelry, and they’re just so darn cute, it’s hard to tell them to stop. Although, truthfully, while I blame my kids, I’m probably even more responsible for my lack of jewelry for no other reason than that I lose it all the time. I’ve probably lost as much or more than they have lost/destroyed.

So as I look at and lust over the jewelry at some of my favorite stores, like Anthropologie, I can turn away knowing it would be foolish to invest the amount of money that they charge into a piece of jewelry I’ll probably lose in a month or so (depending on how much my girls like it; the more sparkle it has, the more likely they are to lose it).

But when I saw these earrings on Anthropologie’s website for $78, I thought, “I think I could make those!” (It’s that disorder that I have that I’ve discussed before.)

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And so began my experiment. I decided to take it a step farther by making a matching statement necklace.

I picked up supplies from Hobby Lobby, but made sure to buy my metal findings while they were 50% off, which they often are. I had the painter’s tape and metallic gold spray paint already, so my supplies were a little under $10.

They are, as follows:

-Sculpey oven bake clay

-Gold fine cable chain

-Gold findings set

-Rustoleum Metallic Finish Spray Paint in Gold

-Painter’s Tape

-Xacto Knife (or similar knife…not pictured)

-Rolling Pin (not pictured)

Supply List

I used wax paper for a non-sticky surface, and rolled out my clay to 1/4″ thickness.

Rolling Clay

Clay

Then I cut out my shapes with an Xacto knife. I just kind of free-handed it because I like the imperfect, handmade look. If you’re not comfortable with freehanding, you could pencil out your shapes with a pencil right on the clay.

Cutting Shapes

Shapes

Next, I inserted the pins from my findings kit right into the center of the shape, so that the little ring was sticking out at the top, so that I could later attach it to the chain and earring hooks with a jump ring. I had to guide it with my fingers to keep it in place and make sure it didn’t poke out of the sides.

Insert Wire

I cut the pins in half with wire cutters for the earring shapes since they were smaller.

Cutting Wire

Next, I placed my shapes on a cookie sheet (and from the looks of it, I think I need a new cookie sheet…this one has seen better days), and baked them. If you’re going to attempt this project, be sure to follow the baking instructions on the package explicitly. I burned my first batch pretty badly.

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I let my shapes cool for 24 hours to make sure they were completely solid.

The next step was to mark off a line with painter’s tape on both sides, and spray paint them (one side at a time, allowing plenty of time to dry between sides).

Spray Painting Medallion

Once dry, I peeled off my tape, then added jump rings, a chain (I made mine 18″ because I love a really long necklace) and clasp for the necklace, and jump rings and earring hooks, all from my findings kit.

Here’s the finished product.

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And here’s what it looks like on.

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I apologize for the quality of the modelling; if I had anyone else at the time to do it, I wouldn’t have done it myself!

So that’s that! A matching earring and statement necklace set for $10.

Let me know how you like it, and of course if you dare to attempt this yourself! There are so many possibilities with the oven bake clay and paint or even markers, I’d love to see what else y’all could come up with!

Rachel

I’m also sharing this project over at Wow Us Wednesdays on http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net:

Savvy Southern Style
…and at the Pretty Preppy Party:

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

An Accent “Wall” For the Commitment Shy

Have you ever seen an idea on Pinterest that you absolutely loved, and really wanted to incorporate into your own home, but talked yourself out of because you weren’t sure you wouldn’t get tired of it too quickly? Ever seen a cute chalkboard wall or colorful accent wall that you didn’t think you would be able to pull off? Well, I have a pretty simple solution: a $13 piece of drywall. I have chosen to paint mine as a chalkboard accent wall, but seriously, with such a cheap and simple and commitment-free idea, you could do anything with it…your own chalkboard wall, a bold-colored accent wall, a patterned accent wall…the possibilities are endless. And for someone like me who gets tired of things way too quickly, this idea was perfect.

I actually had the idea when we had a leftover piece of drywall leaning up against our kitchen wall for…well, I don’t really care to admit how long, but it may have been over a year. Maybe.

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I knew I wanted some kind of accent wall in the kitchen, but I wasn’t sure what. As you can see in the rest of my trailer, I have a thing for all things chalkboard. And I know the world has probably reached its quota for the reasonable amount of chalkboard walls (they’re everywhere!). But I still love them and their versatility. Even more than the fact that you can write on them, I love a bold, black accent wall. So I figured if I get tired of it, I can very easily just paint over it and add a pattern or whatever else my fickle mind conceives.

Once I decided what to do for an accent wall, I had to decide what I wanted to back it up. Another thing I’m crazy about is script…on pillows, walls, lampshades, you name it…I love it. And if you’ve followed along, you know I’m a sentimental fool, and I love to incorporate things that remind me of my loved ones. In this case, I thought it would be special to use a recipe from both of my Grandmothers, both of whom are in heaven, as my script. Nothing makes me happier than to look around my house and see little reminders of them. I remember very well the hot summers we spent at my Grandma’s house in Oklahoma, where we got to watch TV (we grew up without one), helped ourselves to a bottomless candy dish (she must have had to refill it hourly), and enjoyed telling her all about what was going on in our lives while she was cooking in the kitchen, often making her delicious vegetable soup for us. And it’s a family tradition to make my Nana’s Cherries In the Snow every Christmas. It goes fast in our house!

So, to implement my ideas, I painted the actual wall white (which had been light gray like the rest of the space). I then measured out lines for my text with pencil, wrote my words in pencil, then went back over the pencil with my old standby, a Sharpie marker.

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When I messed up, which was inevitable, I was able to just paint over it again and start over.

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Unfortunately, once I finished my script, I realized that the pencil wasn’t going to come off, even with an eraser, so I had to paint a few more coats and write back over my script. Because everything is ten times harder than you think it’s going to be. Without fail.

Here’s how it looked with the script. I left-justified the left side and right-justified the right side to make sure I could see my writing on either side of the accent “wall.”

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I then painted my accent “wall” with chalkboard paint, primed it, and put it into place.

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Next, I added prints I fell in love with at IKEA in frames also from IKEA.

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The word “Nourish” is just a reminder that my job as a mom is to nourish my children. I am to nourish their bodies with the healthy food I put into it, their souls by what I teach them and model for them about God and his love, and their spirits by the love I show them and the talents, quirks, bents and personalities that I am to cultivate. The same goes for my relationship with my husband; we have to nourish it with time and love and selflessness in order for it to thrive. Ok, so that’s a little deep for one word on a chalkboard, but trust me, I need the reminder. Often.

I am also proud to say that I hung every single thing in this project. That might not mean much to anyone else, but if you knew how not handy I am, you would be proud of me too. Here’s proof:

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The next step to pull everything together was to hang plates. I inherited this plate set from England from my Nana, so it’s another sentimental touch and reminder. I’ve loved them for so long, but couldn’t figure out a place for them until now.

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I got four more plates to coordinate with the ones I had from Target on clearance. After doing a little bit of research on Pinterest, the unanimous opinion seemed to be that the best way to hang plates was to use these plate hangers, which I got at Hobby Lobby, and which are very easy to use.

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The last step was to walk to the field across the street and gather some of the glorious goldenrod that is growing EVERYWHERE, and put it in my pretty Target vase that I got on clearance at Bargain Hunt.

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So here it is, finished. I’m in love with it, but my husband has confessed that he’s not a fan of it. Oh well, you can’t please everyone.

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And now it has become glaringly apparent that we need a new light fixture, so that will be next on the list, along with a table makeover.

Thanks for stopping by and reading, and see you next time!

I’m sharing this project over at the Pretty Preppy Party…

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

…and at the Inspire Me Tuesdays party over at http://www.astrollthrulife.net,

and with Remodelaholic’s Party:

I was featured on Remodelaholic

DIY Brick Backsplash/Accent Wall

Aaaannndd…we’re back in the kitchen today. I think this might end up being my favorite room so far, and what I’m about to share is probably my favorite project we’ve done in terms of impact.

Before we moved to Tennessee from Delaware about a year and a half ago, my husband came down before us and completely gutted the trailer we currently live in. Because of some horrible renters we had who left behind inhuman messes (think everything from roaches to raccoons), it just needed to be gutted. Part of the process was tearing out all of the drywall and cabinets and putting in new cabinets. To save money, we got the unfinished cabinets from Lowe’s and painted the cabinets ourselves after we moved in…no small task. I didn’t think we’d ever finish that project. The butcher block counter tops, which I’m in love with, we bought at IKEA and hauled down to Tennesee. We finished the cabinets and added hardware probably a year ago or so, and since then, the drywall has left us with a bare, dull gray background just begging for attention. So recently, we (mostly my husband) have been working on this backsplash, which has turned into more of an accent wall.

What we used was faux brick paneling from Lowe’s; it was only $25 a sheet, and we used two panels. $50 for a backsplash is a steal, but since ours ended up covering a whole wall, it was even more economical. We used Liquid Nails to attach it, and ended up getting a few pieces of trim as well. Since it is a trailer, we are doing the bare minimum as cheaply as possible, and DIYing all of our projects…but we still don’t want to throw a lot of money into anything…hence the cheap faux wall. But even though it was cheap and obviously fake, I think it ended up looking quite nice.

I whitewashed the faux brick panels with one part white paint and one part water, then let it sit for a minute or two. Then I wiped it off with a dry cloth, like so.

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I repeated this process twice, just to give the whitewashing variety and depth. Below you can see the before and after, although the difference was much more pronounced in real life.

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Once the paint dried, my husband measured everything out, drew a template on the back of the panel, and cut it out to size with a jigsaw.

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He then applied the Liquid Nails, and attached it to the wall. There were spots like the one below where the paneling had to be pieced together, so we put grout in the cracks so I could go back and whitewash it to camouflage the seams once it dried.

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Once we got all the brick in place and painted, etc., my husband went back and added quarter round where the edges met the cabinets, and trimmed out the ugly windows.

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He had previously built me a shelf to go over the kitchen sink using just quarter round as a support and a premade shelf, so he put that back up for me. And then, one of my favorite parts, we bought these $15 plug in lights from IKEA almost 2 years ago. He rewired the lights, drilled holes in the shelf, threaded the lights through the holes, added a junction box to the back of the shelf, and wired the lights into the junction box. I now have beautiful over the sink lighting thanks to my very handy hubby! Here’s the setup from above:

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Since there were cords and boxes…not too pretty…I needed lots of accessories to hide all of them. The glass jars, labels, and wire baskets are all from Hobby Lobby, and of course, y’all know by now that I had to include plants in there somewhere.

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I added a few finishing touches, including this print from Gracelaced Shoppe that I adore. As I’ve said before, I’m just going to keep moving it from beside the sink full of dishes to near the washer with its endless cycle of clothes until I can say that I actually do what it says! It’s a fantastic daily reminder.

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So here’s the the final product:

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Oh yeah, I just realized that we need to add kick plates to the bottom of the cabinets.

Another of my favorite items in this spot is the rag rug, which was my Nana’s. I think of her every time I see it, and someone else in the family has claimed it as their favorite spot, too.

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Fake or not, all that brick just makes my heart happy. We really wanted a light kitchen because it’s such a small, dark trailer, and the white cabinets and whitewashed brick really helped us achieve that, I think.

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I’m thinking I might want to add some curtains to that long window on the right; still working on that. Feel free to let me know your thoughts about that; I’m always looking for opinions.

With those over the sink lights, I think it looks really pretty after hours, too.

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One wall down, one wall and an island to go. Stay tuned!

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I’m also sharing this backsplash project over at Pretty Preppy Party and Remodelaholic.

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

I was featured on Remodelaholic

A Simple Way to Add Storage to Your Kitchen for $12

Well, we’re moving right along from our Front Room Reveal last week right into the kitchen. This is a super easy, common sense project that I’ll just share with you really quickly.

As I’ve talked about with every post, we (my husband and four kids and I) live in an old 1970s trailer that we’re working on updating one room at a time. With six people, two pets, and less than 1000 square feet, we’re constantly forced to get creative with our storage space, and this is one of those ways.

Like any good, faithful coffee-drinker, I love my coffee cups. They are the precious vessels that hold the liquid gold that wakes me up every morning and keeps me going every day. Add to that the fact that some of them have special meaning because they are gifts from special friends and loved ones, and you could say that they are some of my prized possessions. That might sound a bit dramatic, but if you could see me before I have my morning coffee, you would probably agree with me on that statement. This one is from my sister with a much-needed reminder that I never follow (it’s just not in my blood)…but I try anyway…

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…this one my sweet hubby surprised me with on his return from a work trip…

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…this one is from our Disney trip this summer, signed by Cinderella herself! (yes, I’m a closet Cinderella fan)…

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…and this one was from one of the most thoughtful women I know, a dear friend and prayer warrior from Delaware.

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So, as my prized possessions, it just seemed right that they deserved their own display. Plus, we needed to free up some cabinet space (of which we don’t have a lot to spare).

The easy solution… a few, cheap hooks from Lowe’s (I got 8 of them for $1.49 each), and the empty end of a cabinet (just about everyone has one).  I measured, and my husband drilled holes and attached them. While the dimensions would be different for everyone based on the size of the cabinet, they will need a good 6 inches between hooks (lengthwise and side to side) to ensure that each cup has plenty of room.

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Don’t mind the wonky accent wall…it’s a work in progress; more on that to come.

I added my cups, and done! Frees up half a cabinet (significant for us), and makes a nice, almost artsy display for our coffee cups. Give it a go!

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And if you have a bit more wall space to spare than we do, you could also try any one of these cute ideas for getting your cute coffee cups out of the cupboard and on display:

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Mug Mural from HerCampus

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Shelf Display from BuzzFeed

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Coffee Mug Rack from PineWoodLight on Etsy

Until next time!

Rachel

I’m also sharing this little tip over at Pretty Preppy Party:

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss