One of the best things about moving into this house was the fact that the former homeowners left us so many awesome things. They left us a lot of artwork. We donated some and kept some. I liked the frames of some of the pieces we kept, but not the actual picture in the frame. So I decided to get crafty.
Because if there's something that makes your hair prettier, I'm all over it.
I love soft skin so much that I lecture people on the importance of having soft skin
Because Mr. T has an office. Like his own office. A real office. And that deserves some awesome desk accessories.
I finally made some cool art using letters.
I mentioned in my post about DIY Valentine's Day gifts that I made Mr. T a present. I was extremely proud of my craftiness with this present (both thinking of it and making it) and I couldn't wait to give it to him. As some of you may know, Mr. T is a huge Ohio State fan. I know, I know. How in the world did I even make it past the first date with him?! I actually knew before I even met him, not that I should publicly admit that. Anyway. He bleeds scarlet and gray. So much that we even watched the national championship game during our honeymoon. Technically I slept (that bed was so damn comfy).
I had been talking about doing the whole mod podge newspaper canvas art for awhile so when we decided to make the present for Valentine's Day I knew that I wanted to do that for him. I just wasn't sure what or how (at that time I hadn't technically decided to use newspaper). Googling led me to EBAY which helped me find the article from the Columbus newspaper all about the national championship and the win. Clearly this is what I needed to use for Mr. T's present. So I bought it and made sure to be super anal so Mr. T wouldn't see it (I was so worried about that). And one Friday morning I made it.
I actually looked up ideas and instructions on how to do this tons of times. But when I did it, I didn't follow any of the directions I found. I just did my own thing. But it seemed to work because Mr. T loves it (or he loves me a whole lot). Either way it's hanging in our living room.
Sorry the pictures are crappy. I was doing this in a hurry since it was a secret y'all. And I was on the floor. Old people shouldn't do crafts on the floor.
Here's what you'll need:
- Canvas (you can use any size, it just depends on how big you want it to be)
- Paint brush/sponge brush
- Mod podge
Here's what I did:
It was actually pretty easy. Just a little messy. Pro tip: don't do this right after a manicure and don't wear your favorite leggings.
1. I covered the floor with some newspapers. Then I covered the canvas with a generous coat of mod podge.
When I say generous, I mean g-e-n-e-r-o-u-s. Lather that baby up like frosting on a cake.
2. I covered the canvas with newspaper.
I used pages from the sports section, but made sure to use ones that I didn't care about him actually seeing. This is really just a good base to cover the canvas. If you don't mind the canvas showing feel free to move along. Also, don't worry if all of it doesn't stick. The pages will overlap, but it's not a big deal. You will have plenty of ops to fix it.
3. I covered that layer generously with mod podge and stuck another layer of newspaper to it.
This time I used the stuff I wanted him to see. I kind of alternated the edges because I liked the effect it created. I didn't want everything all straight and lined up. Plus, you wouldn't be able to see bits of all of the pieces I was using if it was all lined up. I had a lot of edges of newspaper hanging off, but I didn't worry about them just yet.
4. I continued to layer mod podge and newspaper until I had used all of the newspaper pieces I wanted to use.
There was actually quite a few pieces of newspaper. When I first put them all out I didn't think it would be enough, but there was plenty. I am not sure how many I used all together, but I used about half of the sports section and then the whole section about the game itself. So maybe about 6-8 sheets.
This wasn't planned in the beginning, but just kind of happened because if the way I chose to layer the newspaper. Obviously, I had to do something so it didn't ruin my masterpiece. I didn't want to cut it because, well, frankly, I thought it would look dumb. So, I basically just folded them over the edge and stuck them down with more mod podge. If you give the edges of the canvas a good coat they stick pretty well and I used my fingers to press it down good and tight. It looked way cooler in my humble opinion.
6. I coated everything in another generous layer of mod podge.
I also tried to get everything as flat and non-wrinkly as I could. There were parts that ended up being wrinkly, but I think it's fine (Mr. T says it gives it a cool look and I'm pretty sure that means he's trying to prevent me from ripping it all apart and redoing it until I get it perfect). It will look really wet and shiny, but don't worry (I was really worried) as this isn't how it will look once it's all finished.
7. I let it all dry and then went back and covered it one more time with another coat of mod podge so I could be sure everything was covered.
I din't want anything to rip or look weird.
8. I admired my work and then put it in a trash bag and placed it behind the clothes in our office/closet to make sure it was good and hidden.
That man walked past it for a week and never even noticed.
I talked about making a picture wall over in this post and I promised to show you how easy it was to make your own. I love pictures. I mean l-o-v-e them. Especially since I live so far away from so many people that I love and adore. The problem is, however, that it's hard to put that many pictures around the apartment without it looking totally cluttered. If you hang them on every wall then it takes away from the ability to hang other artsy things. If you place them on a table then, again, you lose the space and it can make the table less functional. Well enter in the picture wall that solves all of those problems.
And I know, trust me I know. It looks like it would be really difficult to hang so many pictures all even and pretty. I mean, who has the time and patience to measure all that. And who wants to buy a bunch of tools that you'll probably never really use again? But if you eyeball it then you'll end up with a mess of 994 holes. And what do you do if you ever want to add to? Well, never fear my friends, it's actually pretty easy and I have a few little steps/tips for ya. Here's how to hang a picture wall.
What you'll need:
- Frames you want to hang
- Paper (you can use newspaper, scrap, plain white, notebook, whatever. Just make sure it's not the same color as your wall)
- Marker or pen or pencil
- Hammer & nails
What you'll do:
1. Choose a wall in whatever room you're planning to hang the pictures in. I usually try to opt for a small wall so you can just kind of take over the whole thing. But if that isn't an option, choose a section of the wall. Above a piece of furniture works because it's defined by the furniture and is easy to make sense. But you can also choose a section and define it with other art or wall hangings.
2. Trace each frame on paper and put a little mark where the hanger is. I also usually make notes as to what frame or picture it is so I can easily find what frame the pattern goes to. While frames might be the same size or shape, lots of frames have different placement for the hanger on the back which causes the frames to hang differently. You'll have a hard time getting everything even and correctly placed in the end if you have no idea what frame goes where. (And that kind of defeats the purpose of this whole thing).
3. Cut out all of the frame shapes.
4. Start with the biggest frame cut out and place that on the wall. I usually aim for somewhere in the center. Then just tape the paper where you want the frame to be.
5. Start filling in with the smaller frame cut outs and tape them where you want them. I usually try to alternate shapes, sizes, and so on. You can measure if you want, but I usually just eyeball it because you can easily moved things around without ruining the wall. I also make sure that all sides, top, bottom, etc. of the space end in alternating patterns (i.e. a couple hang a little lower than the rest). This usually happens naturally as you're hanging different sides, but it helps if you want to add to the wall at a later time. Stand back and admire your work. Not just because you're awesome, but because you want to make sure everything looks how you want it. Adjust anything as necessary. It's super easy since it's just taped.
6. Put a nail through each mark you made for the hanger for the frame. Don't take the paper off and don't worry, you're not permanently nailing the paper to the wall.
7. Hang each frame on each nail.
8. Pull paper off the nail. I usually wait and do this as the last step so I can be sure each frame looks the way I want it to. It's a lot easier to take the frame down and have to move the paper again ever so slightly than it is to have to move the frame.
9. Admire your awesome work because you just hung a cool picture wall that will amaze everyone you know (maybe).
Like I said, it's easy to add to if you plan to buy more frames down the line. But you can also change out the pictures. I also like to add other things, like other pieces of art or cute little sayings that are meaningful. You could do this in frames or just buy cute signs. Lots of stores have all kinds of fun things in their art sections. It just adds to the creativity and the fun of the wall. I added the states pictures I made a while back (they were originally above our bed) and then I also added the picture that Mr. T made for me as a gift for the wedding as well as our wedding sign. Then my sister gave us a couple of cute little signs for Christmas so I hung those on there as well (see picture below).
I fail. In my last post I gave you all of these fun ideas for home decor/improvements for the new year. But I totally forgot that I did some updates to our bedroom as well. I mostly updated the area where I keep all my makeup, jewelry, hair products, etc. It's been begging for a makeover for some time. I really didn't want to leave it out and I didn't mean to so that means I get to give you a whole post devoted to that. Here are some ideas to organize your girly things.
Mr. T and I have an insanely small bathroom with bad lighting, no storage (and very few creative ways to add storage), and a plug that doesn't work so I am pretty much forced to keep all of my makeup, nail stuff, hair stuff, etc. in our bedroom. I am technically used to it since it was this way when I had a roommate, but it is a little more difficult when you live with a dude. I don't want to make him trip over all of my products (and I really don't have that many). So I kind of have my own little corner in the room and that requires some organization. But because I'm that girl, I like things to also look nice and pretty. Here's how to organize makeup, jewelry, and hair products in a functional and stylish way.
1. I used to have my jewelry box on my dresser. It looked beautiful, but it didn't leave a lot of room for anything else. So I relocated it (see pic below). That made more room for makeup and hair products and cleaned out my top drawer for more room for headbands and other things. It also gave me more room to buy a bigger mirror. I originally had the turquoise one that you see below above my mirror. I love it, but I needed something bigger to see my huge head. I bought it at IKEA.
2. You might recognize this tray from this post. I thought it looked much better here and it gives me a nice way to keep things organized while looking pretty. I have all of my makeup, perfume/body sprays/smelly goods, and bobby pins on here. It's easily accessible and makes it easy to just kind of toss things when I'm done. It also gives me a nice place to put the jewelry that I take off at the end of the day. I actually bought this tray at a garage sale a few summers ago.
3. These are jars that were left over from the wedding. I am obsessed with putting things in jars so I originally had everything in just regular mason jars and then was using these as candles. But then I thought I should try these for all of my makeup. I love the way it looks an d it's still functional. I have all of my makeup, divided by bases, eye makeup (eye liner, mascara, etc.), and lipsticks. I also have my brushes. It looks neat and tidy and there is still plenty of room to add to. You can purchase the jars at any store and I also save them from things like pickles. I usually only save the mason jars, but you could use any if you like. I will also be talking about how to make these jars in a later post.
4. I don't know why, but I love having bobby pins and hair things in something that's easily accessible and where I can just toss them as I take them out. This little dish works perfectly for that. I actually bought it at the $1 store. I kid you not. I've used it for various things around the house like to put jewelry in and for office supplies, but this is my favorite use so far. I also love that all of my smelly goods are out where I can use them.
1. I love this stuff in the corner of the room because it doesn't seem to scream that half of my closet and belongings are hanging out in the bedroom. It's also really easy to get to.
2. I bought this thing years ago at a discount store. I used to use it for hair products and other things when I had a roommate. It's really great to store lots of things on. I actually think it's supposed to be a shower caddy, but I think it looks way better in a room. I turned it into a little nail polish center and now it houses all of my polishes, nail treatments, etc. It looks cute, but it also is a great space to keep my polishes easy to get to and organized.
3. You might also recognize this table from this post. Since I moved something else out to our bar that works much better I had to find a space for this table. This came in the bedroom really because there was no place else, but it's what allowed me to take my jewelry box off the dresser (and inspired many of these changes). I think it's pretty cute. I only wish it was round. Both the jewelry box and the table came from a vintage store (the box was a gift from my mom).
4. I love to hang scarves on a hook. If you have them on the back of the door they just get lost in everything. Plain hooks are really boring those. My sister bought me these a few years ago as a present (I believe they came from Urban Outfitters and not sure if they still have them) and I love them. They are functional and adorable which is my favorite thing.
5. As I mentioned, this mirror used to hang above my dresser. My sister bought me it as a present years ago and I believe it also came from Urban Outfitters. I love this mirror because it has hooks on it and you can hang so many things to keep them organized and then use the mirror to make sure you look good. But it's too small to do hair and makeup. It served me well when I had a roommate because I didn't have so much wall space in my room, but now I can spread out a little more. The mirror works perfectly on the side because I'm able to grab a necklace or scarf and check myself out. And it's also amazingly functional because there are lots of hooks and they are really strong.
Well, it's officially 2015 folks. And I don't know what it is about the new year, but it always makes me want to clean and organize and buy new things. (Actually, who am I kidding? I always want to do that kind of stuff). So over the past week or so Mr. T and I have been working hard to do a little sprucing up around our apartment. I really needed some new storage in my office/craft room/closet and I wanted to replace a few things around the apartment in general. He moved in so fast due to some crazy conditions so we really didn't have a lot of time to put into making our place a home for both of us. I'm pretty excited about what we've done so far and I honestly think that this place feels like home. We actually only have a few pieces of furniture left that I purchased when I was single. And the best part is, I am still married. Mr. T is a saint and did not divorce me when I said "let's go to IKEA!" and then "let's go home and put together 994 things that we purchased at IKEA." Love that man.
Here's what we've done and a few tips and ideas to inspire you too! I tried to number things to help.
Office/Craft Room/Closet (I need a new name for this room)
I maybe, kind of ruined our dining room table. In my defense Mr. T did it first while making rock candy look like meth for a Halloween costume. I finished it off with gold spray paint and smashing candy canes for peppermint bark (oops). But I really didn't want to get rid of the table. It's not in bad shape other that what we did to it and I thought it would make the perfect craft table (especially when we get a bigger place some day). So we moved it into the office and, honestly, it's pretty perfect. Now I have tons of room to write, spread out papers and notebooks, and work on craft projects. I can't wait to show you some of the things I'm working on. I also redid the space around the table as well. The lovely board was a gift from Mr. T's mom and it's perfect hanging above my desk. I can hang papers, pictures, notes and anything on there that I need easy access to.
I've turned into a crafting machine. Partly because of this blog and a project I'm starting. But also because I love it so much. I love making things and I forgot how much I missed it. I acquired a lot of things over the past couple of months and I desperately needed something to put all of it in. The room is so small so I had to be careful of what I put in there, but I still needed a lot of storage. I found these little drawers at IKEA for like $40. They are perfect for so many little craft supplies. They're also small so they don't take up too much room. And there's a spot for labels so my anal organizing self totally went to town. Plus, I mean, labels are important when you have 994 drawers. Stop judging.
Our living room has been 994 ways. It's been so many ways so many times that people always comment every time they come over. But the room is small and awkward so it's been hard to get all the things we want in it and make it functional. When we put up our Christmas tree we found a totally different way to put everything that we liked. We decided to keep it that way after taking the tree down and found actually created more storage without taking away too much space. It also gave me the ability to put in some fin touches.
1. I used the tray from our sand ceremony as a holder for our remotes. It's functional and pretty and also reminds me of that day.
2. I found that the red table we bought at Target a while back looks awesome next to the couch. Even better? It works for great storage for all of our board games. And they look pretty darn cute there.
3. I finally found a space for all the throw pillows. I bought the one with the circles at IKEA and I can't remember where I bought the other one. But I love it and it hasn't had a home.
4. We created a cozy little reading and writing nook. We had this HUGE chair and I didn't want to get rid of it. But it just didn't work. It was awkward and not practical and I really didn't like it that much. We found this cute chair at IKEA and all of the pillows. It works perfectly in the corner of the room and would look awesome anywhere really. And it looks really awesome with the picture that used to be my grandma's. I've been waiting to be able to hang that and now I have the perfect spot.
6. I already had the picture wall (and will be giving a tutorial on that later this month). The grey pillow is actually a big pillow cover from IKEA with two regular old bedroom pillows stuffed in it. It's so comfy. We also decided we wanted a table for behind the couch for function/decoration and to keep the couch in place. We found this awesome cube at IKEA for around $65. It has 6-8 little cubes in it so it doubles as storage while also working as a table because all you can really see is the top and if you need to get to the cubes, just move the couch. It's all kinds of function and decoration. We actually have all of our Christmas decor stored back there plus some other stuff. It seriously was one of the smartest purchases we've ever made. And I have no idea why we didn't think about this sooner.
The Dining Area
1. The other half of our living room is our dining space. Since I ruined (and then hijacked) our dining room table we needed a new one. This round one is bigger than the one we had, but fits so much better in the space. You really need a round table with a small space. We were never able to have room for four people to sit at our old table so it really wasn't functional at all. The best part is that there is a leaf in the table so it expands and it's huge. You're able to fit at least two more people at the table, but I am thinking maybe even more and it will be perfect to put food on for parties. What's even better is that the leaf is stored under the table so you just pull it apart and then pull the leaf up. Genius. Seriously genius. I bought that at IKEA too.
2. We don't really have enough room to fit four chairs around the table without it being totally crowded looking. And we also don't have space to put two chairs around our apartment. But we still want to be able to seat four people at the table. So I bought stools instead. These fit perfectly under the table, but are also functional for people to sit at if we have anyone over for dinner. The best part is that they can double as seating or an ottoman around the apartment too. I love multi-functional things. I also purchased them at IKEA.
3. Our table is so cute and quaint now and I love it. And it didn't really cost a ton. I think I spent, like, $20 tops on it all. If you don't count the flowers of course. I found this cute little napkin holder at IKEA. The salt and pepper shakers are owls (one of my many sets) and they are from Target. The toothpick holder is a family heirloom. And the floral centerpiece is just my bridal bouquet dried and put in a large mason jar that I actually found at Goodwill awhile back. The placemats were a gift from my sister at one of my bridal showers. She actually made them and they are amazing (I have pot holders to match as well). (She's working on selling her stuff so see me if you want to order. She makes headbands and all kinds of cute things).
4. This is just the view of the other side of the table to illustrate how much better a round table is. I will get to the booze next.
I made more room for the booze.
1. I spread out all of the glasses and made room for some that were Christmas presents. I think shelves make the best storage for glasses in a small space. Read my other post for more about that.
2. I made this sign from a gift bag. Yes, a gift bag. It was what my mom and sis used to put my gift in for a bridal shower and I loved it so much that I bought a huge frame for it at IKEA and hung it. I think the words are fun and there's a little glitter for an added touch of pizzazz. But it doesn't scream anything while and crazy. Always, always be on the look out for ways to make art. It's everywhere and there are so many easy ways to make it. All I did was cut the front of the bag and put it in the frame.
3. Since I changed up the storage in the office/craft room/closet, I had this cube that was sitting behind my desk. I decided to move it to the bar area. There is plenty of room for all the booze we inherited from the wedding. It's also great for storing mixers as well. You know, pretty much everything that you need for a bar. The "drawers" at the bottom provide for great storage for napkins, placemats, and other dining related things. Never be afraid to re-purpose something a little. Just because you bought it for one thing doesn't mean it has to be it's permanent home.
Once upon a time we had our table in the kitchen. It was cramped, but not too bad. And we both loved the function of it. It was so nice while we were cooking because it gave us added space to work with and you didn't have to walk across the kitchen to get to stuff. I wanted an island of some sort, but they are big and bulky (and expensive). I found this little kitchen cart at IKEA and it works perfectly as a slim island. We have another cart that's similar and I was originally thinking about buying another one and using that. I think two together would work as well. What I love about this one, though, is that it has drawers that open from either side. It's perfect for cooking. I also love the amount of storage space you get. I put all of our cook books on there and had room for a variety of other things. And with it being in the middle of the kitchen like this, it makes stuff so easy to get to from either side.
Mr. T and I decided to move our table to the kitchen (and then buy new chairs) we weren't able to fit all four chairs around it. We wanted to still keep the chairs so we can use them, but our apartment isn't huge and there are only so many places you can put chairs before it starts to look all awkward (and kind of like some sort of waiting room). So I had to find some creative places/ways to store them.
I have found heaven with a DIY montly subscrition box, Darby Smart. This month's box was a wood burning kit and I used it to make some awesome art for our kitchen.
I found the coolest art project the other day on Pinterest -- states art. It's a way to show off where we're from no matter where we are. It's also creative and super easy (and looks amazing hanging over our bed). Here's the step-by-step instructions on how to make your own.