DIY Floral Ball Centerpiece…$5 and 30 minutes

10649857_10152828422522912_7943226731867637439_nThis centerpiece is so easy and budget friendly I had to share it with you all. I am in the process of working with some talented ladies to decorate for a Valentine’s Day comedy and dinner. This is just one of the great ideas we have come up with so be on the look out for some more blogs regarding DIY centerpieces…all on a budget of course.

This centerpiece is perfect for weddings, baby showers, birthdays. The list goes on and on. Simply change up the color or the flower for a whole new look!

For this rose centerpiece you will need the following:

1. Three bunches of the flower of your choice (I chose red roses since it is for a Valentine’s Day theme and the roses I chose were from Dollar Tree with 5 flowers on each bunch).

HERE’S A TIP: Use pink roses for a baby girl shower or white roses for a wedding aisle or reception table or even your own home or office.

2. Foam in a globe shape (I used a foam apple from the Dollar Tree since actual foam globes can be pricey)

3. Hot glue gun

4. Vase to hold your arrangement (All the different options I show are from Dollar Tree)

To make this arrangement you need to:

1. Remove the head of all your flowers from the stem.

image2. Find the exact middle of the bottom of your foam globe and poke a hole there using the stem from the bottom of one of your rose bunches like so:

image3. Apply a small amount of glue to the bottom of one of your rose heads and place said rose bottom into the hole you just made like so:

image4. This is the center of your rose globe. The rest is simple. Simply make a circle of rose heads around the rose you just inserted using the same process you used to attach the rose you just inserted like so:

imageimageimageimage5. Continue this process until your foam globe is covered to your liking. For mine, I had a center and two rows around the center before I had the fullness I was looking for. I added in a few leaves to add some green but that is totally up to you.

image6. Place your arrangement in a vase for display. Here are a couple of different ideas I had for how to display your arrangement.

This first vase is made by simply gluing the bottoms of two vases together and adding a sprig of holly berries into the bottom vase.

imageThis second vase is simply a round glass vase with water and a few holly berries added in. I love this one for a home or office use.

imageThis vase is made by gluing the bottom of the round vase used in the second example to the bottom of one of the vases used in the first example.

imageI also added in some candle holders, a gold charger, gold magnolia leaves, and more holly berries to get the total look. I plan to blog about the extras in the coming week along with another DIY and budget friendly centerpiece.

And that is it! Depending on what vase you like, this floral arrangement costs between $5 and $6 to make. You could use this to spruce up the dinner table for Valentine’s Day, decorate a party or baby shower, or even as wedding centerpieces or aisle decor. Perfect for the girl on a budget. The total looks shown here (flowers, vase, candles, candle holders, charger, and gold painted magnolia leaves) costs just under $16 total. Less than $16 a table!

What do you think? As always, please share with us what arrangements you come up with! And check back soon for more centerpiece ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Lilly Pulitzer Party Theme…on a budget

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nBaby C is 1! What an exciting time it was to celebrate with friends and family. But, oh man, what an exhausting month December was. Between Christmas and Birthday party planning, I think my husband, baby, and I were ready for a relaxing and non-eventful January. Now that everyone is rested up and recovered from December I wanted to take some time to share Baby C’s party details, DIY ideas, and budget break down.

First off, what do you do for a baby’s first birthday? I had no idea. I had never thrown one before. I decided to go with a floating birthday party all decked out in traditional party decor but with a Lilly Pulitzer twist.

Why a floating party? I decided on a floating party to give everyone freedom to come and go as they pleased. The constant change up in the party guests made for a fun time. I also decided on a floating party for budget reasons. We had invited about 50 people by the time it was all said and done. 50 people! A floating party allows snacks instead of a whole meal. Snack foods such as donuts, popcorn, fruit, veggies, pimento cheese dip, crackers, cupcakes, and punch are acceptable forms of “nutrition”. Grazing food if you will. Plus, they are all budget friendly and quite tasty.

Why traditional decor with a Lilly Pulitzer twist? I decided on traditional, old school decor for simplicity and budget reasons but wanted to spice it up. Plain wasn’t what I wanted for Baby C’s first birthday. Happy, colorful, and girly were my brainstorm ideas. What encapsulates those ideas better than Lilly??? Still, Lilly can be very pricey so I was hesitant. After a bit of looking around, I was able to find some free Lilly Pulitzer binder cover downloads for free in various well known Lilly patterns from this website. Free! That decided it for me. A trendy, chic, happy, girly yet age appropriate birthday party on a budget? Yes please!

I used the free printouts to make DIY invitations, banners, letter “C” cutouts, a number “1”, and framed pictures. Here are a few pictures of the Lilly details I was able to add…for FREE!

20150204_150157

20150204_150135

20141212_10374020141212_103631

Lots of fun using the paper designs everywhere I could think of. The letters are cut out of foam and the Lilly design modge podged on. The number 1 is a painted wood cut out with a Lilly design modge podged onto the front. Easy and simple yet such a fun detail. The banner was so easy. I just cut out a bunch of triangles and glued them onto ribbon. The picture “mattes” are simply cut out out to frame the picture inside. That simple. And, let’s not forget these Lilly additions were free!

Let me take you on a tour of all the stations we had at Baby C’s party. Because it was floating I wanted to have different stations to keep our guests entertained and moving around mingling. After some brainstorming, I came up with 5 stations that would help keep our guests flowing and entertained.

Our first station was the coloring station.

20141219_125549At this station guests young and old were invited to color a picture for themselves, Baby C, and/or someone they loved. This station was by far the most popular amongst the little ones. The coloring station included construction paper, crayons, polka dot can to hold the crayons, stamps, ink pads, stickers, bubble gum, a Lilly memory board filled with pictures of Baby C over the past year, an engineer print of one of my favorite pics of Baby C, farmed picture of Baby C, and a photo album to hold all of the pictures made for baby C. I simply covered my coffee table with a plastic table cloth and arranged all the supplies on the table. Most everything was purchased at the Dollar Tree except for the following: Stamps are from Target’s $3 section, Bubble gum was on sale at Target ($2), polka dot can is from Target’s $1 section, ink pads are from a local art store ($1 each), picture album from same art store ($1), engineer print is from Staples ($3),  memory board from ebay ($11). This station also included a DIY Lilly banner made for less than $1. Total for this station was $29. The memory board was a birthday gift for Baby C that I wanted to display since it matched the decor, the stamps and ink pads were already purchased for myself (I use them a ton!), and the polka dot can was from Baby C’s room. Total I spent just for decor not already owned and not a birthday gift for Baby C…$12.

Next was the sign in station.

20141219_125556At this station I used a foam board from dollar tree and modge podged one of my favorite pics of Baby C onto the center. I also purchased some trendy pens in complimenting colors from Target’s $1 section.  I had everyone write a note of well wishes or a prayer for Baby C. This way she has not just a documentation of who was at her first birthday but also a heart felt note from each guest. Total cost for this station was $3 (+ modge podge I already had).

Next was the gift station.

20141214_180531A Lilly Pulitzer banner and letter “C” above a bench already in our living room made the perfect gift station. To save a little money, I cut the letter “C” out of Dollar Tree foam board and modge podged one of the FREE Lilly Pulitzer binder covers onto it. Viola. Total Cost for the gift station was $2.

Next was the picture station.

20141219_09380720141219_093857You all, this was so fun. Whenever there was a lull in the party, I would just send the guests over to the picture station to make some fun memories. Easy. All I did was use a plastic table cloth, taped it to the ceiling in a bare corner, and taped tissue cut outs onto the plastic table cloth for decor. I added some fun props and boom, picture station complete! Table cloth, tissue paper cut outs, and props are all from the Dollar Tree. Total cost was $9.

The picture station also doubled as the background for Baby C’s cake eating. She didn’t really eat any cake but I loved the cute background and pictures we got anyways.

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nAfter taking pictures, the guests ended their party journey at the food station.

20141219_125531I wanted this area to be bright, fun, and inviting so everyone would naturally gather here. Above the table were paper lanterns and streamers. On the table was a white table cloth covered by a pink one. For decor I used framed pictures of Baby C with those free Lilly print outs framing each picture, a Lilly number “1” modged podged with another free Lilly print out, a DIY Lilly banner, and a Happy Birthday banner. After this picture was taken I also added pink letters spelling out Baby C’s name to back of the table. In all the excitement I forgot to snap a picture of the completed table. My apologies. Lilly banner was a DIY, the Happy Birthday banner was a sale find at Target ($2), Paper Lanterns were also a Target sale find (under $1 each), straws, again, were a Target sale find ($2 a pack), the number is from wal mart ($1.49), frames (I spray painted them), streamers, cups, napkins, plates, silverware, and tablecloths were all Dollar Tree buys, and serving platters were all already items I had. Decorations and eating and drinking items, total, cost me $32.

Food: I purchased one bag of mini, powdered sugar donuts ($2), one box of popcorn bags ($3), cupcake supplies (I made my own from this website) ($10), punch (one 2 liter of lemon lime soda, one pint of pineapple sorbet, one can pineapple chunks) ($5), water (free). The remaining food (pimento cheese, cheese ball, crackers, fruit, and veggies) were all brought by family. So food cost me $15 with the remainder items being brought by family.

Total cost of the party for 50 people would be $90. For me, since I had some of the supplies already and some “supplies” doubled as gifts, it was $73 total for a party serving 50 people.

What do you think? Have your own ideas? Then please share with us any budget friendly ideas and fun themes you have for your own DIY party. Check back soon for some fun Valentine’s Day decor ideas to spice up your home on a budget.

And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

DIY Faux Crown Molding: how to create an expensive look for much less

imageAbout a year and a half ago I posted a blog giving tips regarding how to make your room’s walls feel taller. You can catch that blog post here. The focus of that blog was to show how to get shorter walls to feel taller on a budget. You can’t really raise your roof on the cheap and I do so love a high ceiling. In that post, I briefly shared our DIY, faux crown molding. In this post, I wanted to take a few minutes to focus on that faux crown molding and share this great idea in more detail. I wish I could claim this idea but it was actually my builder, father-in-law that suggested we extend the existing crown molding to give it an expensive and custom look without spending much. I was just sitting in this room reading when I looked up and fell in love with the molding all over again. I thought to myself, I really need to share this because it has made this room so much more enjoyable to be in. So, here is my faux crown molding tutorial.

image

When my husband and I first moved into our older home, one thing we loved was that the home already had great crown molding in every room. I love the elegance the molding added to each room. But, in our formal living room and formal dining room I really wanted to step up the molding drama a bit more and add a more custom, expensive feel to the rooms at as minimum a cost as possible. We started in the dining room and I am SO in LOVE with how that turned out. You can read all about the custom, faux molding done in the dining room here.

Then, we set to work on the living room. I knew we wanted to add the board and batten along the bottom of the room. I was discussing how high I wanted the board and batten to sit when my father-in-law suggested making the board and batten lower and adding a faux, crown molding along the top of the room. WHAT?!?! My father-in-law continued to explain that by taking some extra chair molding we already had from a DIY kitchen cabinet project, nailing the molding 6″ to 12″ below the existing crown molding, and painting the molding and everything in between a glossy white, the room would appear to have very expensive, custom, crown molding for less than $100.00.

Expensive look for less than $100? Done. Here are pictures of the progression.106086

117

imageIt is literally as easy as it sounds. We used chair railing from Lowes, nailed it down about 10″ below the existing crown molding, caulked the creases, and painted the molding and everything in between with a high gloss paint. Done. I really have nothing left to say except…

Why is this not done every DIYers house? Let me know how much you love yours!

Tagged , , , ,

Baby C’s Room Reveal: Yellow, birds, and gray elephant herds

Room Collage

When Baby Charis was born she was quite a surprise. Coming 11 weeks early, I had nothing but a can of paint in the middle of an empty room that was the would-be nursery. Shortly after baby C’s arrival the grandparents quickly moved into action to execute everything I had dreamed of the nursery being. Gray, accents of yellow, elephants, and a whimsical feel were my design words. My mom was the brains behind the operation and quickly had everyone in motion working on the details of little C’s room.I just love it!

My favorite part of the room is the baby mobile. My mom enlisted the help of my sisters and brother-in-law to cut out and put together this DIY mobile to replicate one I had fallen in love with from here. This was a surprise my mom brought while I was still in the hospital. Such a sweet surprise.

Another one of my favorites is the tree mural with Baby C’s name spelled out. My mom was able to free hand the trunk of the tree with white paint and then use stencils for the leaves. For the name detail, my mom spray painted some wood letters and added a little yellow bow to each before hanging them from the “branches”.

To fill in some of the details, my mom, mother-in-law, and I hit the thrift stores to find the details. We scored the bird house stand for $7. That stand became the inspiration for adding in the birds which I thought filled the whimsical portion of my dream nursery.

We used inexpensive, paper and wood frames spray painted white for the picture bunch above the changing table and little wood cutouts for added bird and bird house details on the walls.

20140731_123914

The furniture was all bought at a great deal as well. The crib is from target and was a gift from my in-laws, the changing table was from a local furniture store for half off, the glider is from amazon for under $100, and the table and shelf were given to us by family.

20140731_12383120140731_123731

I couldn’t help but add in some pink accents. The rest of the blanks were filled in with gifts from friends and family.

I am in love with what everyone was able to pull together and am so grateful for all the hard work that went into preparing little C’s nursery. Hope you’re able to find some inspiration from Little C’s nursery for your little one!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

$20 Fireplace Makeover: How to get a whitewashed look on a fireplace already painted white

20150122_101411Can I just tell you all how much white used to be in our living room/kitchen area? White walls, white shelving, white fireplace, white molding, white doors, white counter tops, and on and on and on. I am so tired of white! But, having just had a baby who was in the hospital for 82 days, we aren’t exactly in a prime position to start house renovations. Perhaps that will come later. In the meantime, for my sanity, I began researching ways to get rid of all this white. My first project (done pre-baby) was to paint the counter tops. You can check out that blog post here. Loved the contrast.

Next, I needed to work on the living room area of this room.

20140422_160335

This is our informal, family room that is open with the Kitchen. Lots of lounging and just hanging out happens in this room. So, I wanted a cozy, inviting feel without being too fussy. To do that I knew I wanted to use warm tones such as browns, golds, and maybe add in some grays, but now that we had our sweet baby it had to be a nap time long project. My first item to tackle was the fireplace.

20140712_204827

I began researching ideas for the fireplace and dumb luck led me to this idea from Lowes. Could it really look as good as it did in the website pictures? I really had nothing to lose at this point. Worst case scenario, I would just paint it all white again.

Here are my supplies:

2 large O-Cel-O sponges

1 quart Valspar Ultra in Smoked Oyster (#6005-1C)

If you have the original brick fireplace, you will also need supplies to paint your brick white first. See the Lowes link referenced above for that info. My fireplace was already white so I skipped this step.

20140721_121424

First, I set to cleaning the fireplace. I grabbed a scrub brush and some warm water. Scrub, scrub, scrub.

Second, I skipped the base coat since my fireplace was already white. If you do need to do the base coat, be sure to talk to your paint person to determine how much paint you need. Brick is porous and can soak a ton of paint into it.

HERE’S A TIP: If you have a fireplace that has already been painted with oil paint or glazed, just sponging with latex paint over that will not be enough to set the latex paint permanently onto the oil or glazed paint. No one really touches our fireplace so I felt fine just painting over the existing oil paint with a latex paint mixed with a primer BUT it would have been a good idea to sand the base coat first, or, better yet, kilz the existing paint on the fireplace before putting the color on to give it something to adhere to. If you scratch hard enough on ours, the paint will come up a bit, but I am okay with just not scrubbing that hard and it still has a good adherence since I bought paint with a primer in it.

I also skipped taping off the edges of the fireplace with painter’s tape. I used latex paint and we have wood floors and wood molding so the key was to just be careful and have a wet rag handy for those times I sponged a little over. Easy to fix if you just wipe it up right away and saves you a ton of time (if you are using Latex). Now, if you are a messy painter, are using oil based, or have carpet, by all means protect your valuables from the paint!

Lastly, I sponged on the paint. I used a large O-Cel-O sponge and a quart can of Valspar Ultra in smoked oyster. Less than $20 in supplies! Honestly, a sample size of the paint mixed with a little water would have been enough but I also have another project in mind for this paint so I went for the quart.

Lowes suggests you cut your sponges to fit exactly to the shapes of the bricks making up your fireplace BUT HERE’S A TIP: Because the mortar in between the bricks making up our fireplace was so much lower than the brick faces (about a 1/2 inch) I did not bother cutting up my sponge to fit the different sizes of the brick. Instead, I just lightly sponged on the bricks with an over-sized sponge but using care not to push so hard on the sponge so as to push the paint on it into the mortar crevices. For the times I did get some into a crevice, I simply wiped down the mortar line with a damp rag until the paint was cleaned up. Time saver!

To paint, pour a small amount of paint into a plastic, flat container. Evenly place your sponge in the paint until the entire bottom side of the sponge is covered. Sponge around on a large piece of cardboard to help spread and even out the paint on your sponge and to get the desired color level you want on your fireplace. If you want a darker look, leave more paint on. If you want a moderate whitewashed look, leave a medium amount of paint. If you want a very whitewashed look, leave just a sparing amount of paint on your sponge. We went for somewhere around medium. Once you get your desired level of color, sponge away on your fireplace. The color will vary, meaning, it will be darker when you first start sponging and lighter right before you need to refill your sponge with more paint. That is what gives this project its realistic look. Feel free to move around and add darker areas once you are done to get a great mix of color and add depth.

Once done, sit back and enjoy! So easy!

I had a recent guest ask if we had scratched the white paint off the fireplace to give it its white washed look. He had no idea it was paint on paint and he was standing just a few feet from it!

HERE’S A TIP: When I first started, I hated the look. But at that point I had committed. As it got closer to being done, I really turned a leaf and fell in love. For some reason when the paint is only on a small section, it really looks sponged (ie: fake) but as you do more it takes on a realistic white washed look. Stick to it and you may be amazed just like I was. SO worth it!

I have a few more plans for the fireplace (painting those bronze doors being first on the list) but for now, I think the cozy feel I was going for has been achieved.

What do you think?

20140712_234048image

Tagged , , , , ,

A “Little Man” Themed Sip and See

20130907_141135

One of my dear friends just recently had a baby boy, little Titus. He is about as adorable as a baby should ever be allowed to be. To celebrate Titus and give the community a chance to welcome him into the world, a few friends and I hosted a “sip and see” for Titus and his mommy. For those of you who, like myself, had never heard of a “sip and see” it is essentially a floating party where people can come enjoy light refreshments and celebrate whatever it is we are celebrating which, this time, was little Titus.

My job for this “sip and see” was to head up the decorating. Having grown up in a family with all girls, I was so excited to start dreaming about what decorations I could use to welcome a sweet, little boy into this world. I was immediately obsessed with the idea of using mustaches throughout the theme. So trendy right now and how much more “boy” themed could you get? I cut out a few mustache shapes and glued a corner of each mustache onto cake pop sticks. I decided to display the mustaches in mason jars filled with just plain old dollar tree brown gift filler. I also incorporated the mustaches into mason jars filled with flowers I picked up from the dollar tree to give the flowers a more masculine pop.

20130907_141146

To compliment the mustaches, I also cut out little neck ties out of scrap booking paper. I cut out some neck ties about 8 inches long and attached those to a string of twine with tiny clothes pins. I used them as “banners” one draped over the table and one draped along the edge of the table. I also cut out some neck ties about 2 inches long and attached those to the “necks” of the mason jars to give them just a bit more of a masculine feel.

20130907_141211

20130907_141157

Of course, using a yard of burlap for the table cloth was an easy call laid out over a white table cloth. To add the finishing touch, I bought some small plastic frames, spray painted them white, and inserted scrap booking paper working double time as food labels so all our guests knew exactly what they were eating.

20130907_141152

At the end of the day, everyone got to take a mustache and neck tie home. We even managed to grab a picture of all our guests in their “mustaches” and “neck ties” for a hilarious group shot. What a precious time we had and man was it fun making the decorations for this “sip and see.” I hope you get a chance to try this theme out for the little man in your life! You won’t be disappointed.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY Front Door Flower Box

DSC_0943

I could start this blog post by telling you all about the busyness of the past few months, explaining my sad lack of blogging but, the truth is, it hasn’t been any busier than normal. Sure, I have tackled some big projects involving some very cool (read: no help from pinterest) DIY ideas, but these time consuming projects involve stage props…not really in line with this blog. So I will spare you the excuses and get to my newest project which is in line with this blog and of which I am so very excited about.

This weekend I was inspired to create something beautiful for my front door. I am in love with the rustic yet romantic interior decorating that is so popular right now (read: Restoration Hardware). Although I do not have a ton of this particular style in my home, I do like to sprinkle it around to add some trendiness to my timeless pieces. My inspiration for this project was a yard of burlap I scored for under $3.00 and this project I stumbled on while reading different blogs a few weekends ago: http://thespacebetweenblog.net/2013/04/08/one-of-the-easiest-pallet-projects-ever/pallet-projects-diy-trough-finished4/

Here’s what I came up with:

DSC_0942

Here’s what you need:

Distressed wood
Miter saw (or hand saw but it takes some elbow grease)
Silver, flat head nails about 1/2″ long
Hammer
Hot glue gun and glue
Burlap
Flowers or greenery

Here’s what you do:

So, using the basic box discussed in the blog post above, I set out to find myself a pallet. A friendly worker at a local home improvement store was more than happy to let us have an old, broken pallet from the back. Most home improvement usually donate their pallets but if it’s in bad enough shape, you may be able to score your own pallet for free as well! I grabbed my pallet, the rest of my supplies, loaded them up and headed home.

The first step is to tear apart the pallet. Using the hammer, a friend and I got to work. We found that hitting the back of the piece of wood we were trying to loosen right near where it was nailed to the pallet worked best. That loosened the wood from the pallet just enough for us to stick the back of the hammer head into the gap we just created and use it like a crow bar to remove the wood the remainder of the way from the pallet. It sounds simple enough but this was the hardest part of the whole project so be prepared.

DSC_0922
If you crack a board or two, no worries. I personally think the crack gives the box even more character.

After removing the boards from the pallet, make your measurements. Each box will need 3 12″ pieces and 2 about 3″ pieces. The 2 3″ pieces will be your end pieces and the exact width you need will vary on the width of the wood you use for the base of your trough, so make sure you keep that in mind and measure those last to make sure they are the exact size you need.

DSC_0924

After you have your measurements marked, cut the wood where marked. I wasn’t too worried about perfect cuts since the imperfection of the look is what I was going for.

DSC_0923

After your pieces are cut, you have the option of sanding the pieces. Your choice, but I opted not to. It was too hot and I was too lazy. After sanding (should you choose to do so) you’re ready to nail your trough together. Lay one 12″ board flat on the ground. Line up another 12″ board, sitting up along the long side of the laying board. Line up the remaining 12″ board standing up along the other side of the laying board. At this point, it should look like a U. Nail the pieces together to hold them into the shape you just made. Lastly, add the 3″ pieces to each short side of the U to close it off. Nail in the short pieces and your trough is done.

DSC_0926

DSC_0925

Now, we begin the decorating part. Make two 48″ long strips and about 3″ wide each of the burlap.

DSC_0947

Lay one strip out and put the other aside for now. Place the bottom of your trough directly in the middle of the strip you have laid out. Once it is centered, Apply a small amount of hot glue to the bottom of your trough to hold the burlap on the box.

DSC_0927

Apply a small amount of glue to each side of the trough to hold the burlap up the sides.

DSC_0931

Tie the top as shown in the picture above, tying it about 3″ down from the end. Next, grab the second strip of burlap you previously laid aside. Out of this strip you will make your bow. Tie your bow, leaving a long amount of the burlap in the tails of the bow like so:

DSC_0935

Apply glue to the middle back of the bow and attach the bow right over the knot you previously tied for the previous strip of burlap.

DSC_0937

DSC_0944

I added some ivy I got on super sale to my trough, leaving it in the plastic containers they came in so that they can retain more water. But, the beauty of this trough is that you can use it for just about anything. Hang your trough on your door or on a wall or set it out on a table or the floor, use it in your bathroom or laundry room. This is such a versatile piece which makes it the perfect, easy, DIY weekend project.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

DIY Tricks to Make Your Walls Feel Taller

blog 176I love drama…not the social life, cause waves kind of drama but the decorating, “wow factor” kind of drama. I love to walk into a room and feel satisfaction. But like any perfectionist, it’s not too long before I walk into that same room with the next, new “must have” DIY idea in mind. Just one more project and then the room will be perfect. Of course, we all know better. Isn’t that beauty of DIY? It’s an ever evolving project. All that to say, when I walked into my formal living room, I wanted taller walls! I wanted them so badly but I am not capable of actually raising the roof and creating the taller walls I covet so badly and there is no way I am paying for that. So, how can I make my walls look taller with minimal cost? I came up with two ideas: Tall, elongated art and extended crown molding. What a difference!

I already blogged about my DIY canvas prints here: https://trendythrifting.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/diy-canvas-prints-huge-impact-low-cost/. I just LOVE their shape! The shape gives the room a modern feel and really does make the walls feel taller.

DSC_0661

For the crown molding, I really was looking to not spend any more money. The idea of replacing the perfectly good crown molding we already had in our house seemed so wasteful. So, how can I make the molding I already have look longer, more elegant? With the huge help of my father-in-law, we used some left over chair railing we had from our DIY cabinet project (coming soon) and nail gunned the molding a foot below the crown molding all the way around the room. Then, we painted the crown molding, chair railing and everything in between a glossy white. Here’s a close up:

blog 167

What a difference! I cannot get over how much I love the drama that the molding adds to the room. Perfection…or at least for now.

blog 165

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Deck the Halls…for a fabulous party! A DIY Wisdom Tree That Adds Something Special For Almost Any Occasion

P1130698

Whew, what a busy holiday season. On top of the usual decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, cooking, (you get the gist) add on a wedding shower and an engagement party and then you, my friend, are living my past month and a half. What a whirlwind but oh, was it fun. After my long hiatus from the world of blogging, I wanted to come back and share some of the fun and festive ideas from the parties. My first fave is one I used for both the wedding shower and the engagement party. Here it is:

P1130671

I call it the “Wisdom Tree”. The idea is that guests can write down words of wisdom and well wishes and hang them on a tree for the guest of honor to read and take home at the end of the party. It makes such a sweet and unique gift. This could even work in place of a guest book at a wedding. The options are endless. Here are a few steps to get you started:

First, choose your “Tree”. I chose a Christmas tree to go with the Christmas theme of the wedding shower. Other tree ideas include manzanita branches, a Bonsai tree or a jewelery tree stand.

Secondly, choose your “ornament”. This is what your guests will write their words of wisdom and well wishes on. I chose little paper tags shaped like ornaments. They looked so perfect hanging on the tree.

P1130674

Thirdly, set out a card letting your guests know what the tree is and how it works. It could be as simple as a few words or a cute little poem. For my theme, I chose to put my simple instructions on a star to sit atop the tree.

P1130672

Lastly, set out pens for your guests to use.

P1130675

All done! Such an easy yet meaningful addition to your next party. Let me know all about what fun ideas you add to the “Wisdom Tree.”

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

DIY Framed In Board and Batten: Add WOW factor to any room

image

I mentioned before that my husband and I just recently moved into our first home and have been so super busy making some DIY improvements to our home. Our first DIY home project was to tackle our horribly outdated dining room. This room had the 70’s works: Gold and goddy chandelier, huge wall mirror, beige trim and on and on and on. I scoured the internet looking for ideas to update and really add that wow factor to our dining room. I found a few blogs discussing DIY board and batten. I liked what I saw but I wanted something a bit more “wow factor” ish. I got together with my father-in-law, who happens to be a builder, and here is what we came up with:

image

This is a double layered board and batten that has been framed in with molding. The height is 6′ on a 9′ wall. We chose white for all the framing and a charcoal brown for the 3′ of uncovered wall. This is really much easier than it looks. All it is is MDF board nailed onto a bare wall, molding added into the board to frame it in, and then a whole lot of caulking and painting. Not too bad for the HUGE wow factor it adds.

What You Need:

MDF Boards (we saved a few bucks and did not go with the pre-primed MDF but you could get that and save yourself a bit of time). Here are the approximate cuts we used:
Base – 1/2″ x 8″ x whatever length you need for your room
Batten – 1/2″ x 3″ x whatever length you need for your room (I used 23″ long pieces along the bottom level and 32″ pieces along the top level and placed the middle of each piece every 2′, varying it slightly to fit into smaller/larger spots)
Chair rail – 1/2″ x 6″ x whatever length you need for your room.

Molding of your choice for the framing. Look for something that is thicker on one side and thinner on the other. I’ll include a close up of the molding we used a little later in this post.

Shoe molding for the base

Nail Gun

Miter Saw

Caulk

Level

Paint of your choice

What To Do:

First, remove all base boards, shoe molding and chair molding off the wall. Be careful not to put any holes in your wall. But, if you are like me, just pick up some patch tape and cover them right up.

Second, measure the lengths you will need for all your cuts.

Third, measure again! You cannot be too safe when it comes to measurements. I would suggest you do these 3 steps before buying your supplies. This way, you can buy your MDF board in a 4×8 sheet and have lowes cut it up for you in store for $.25 a cut. This saved me an entire day of cutting and will make your project a MUCH easier experience. Use the miter saw to make the small adjustments you need to get that perfect fit.

Fourth, you are now ready to buy your supplies. Go get them!

Fifth, start nailing the MDF board onto your wall. First, add the base board around the entire room. Then add the batten pieces along the base board, using a level to make sure each batten is straight, straight, straight. Then add the chair railing which will also be the base for your second layer. Repeat the above instructions to finish the second layer. Here is what it looks like once you have the two layers up (you can also see where that horrible mirror used to be on the wall):

NOTE: once the MDF is up you CAN use wood filler to cover the nails but to be honest, caulking covered it just as well and was much less messy. You can see where we used wood filler above so I wanted to note that we tried that and it was more time-consuming than helpful.

Sixth, start framing in your board and batten. You want to use your miter saw to cut 45 degree angles at the end of each framing piece so you get a nice sharp edge like so:

image

Seventh, nail in the shoe molding against the base boards

Eighth, caulk all the gaps, bumps, edges, nails, etc.

Ninth, paint it. We used Kilz and then added our paint but to be honest, two coats of our white top coat would have been sufficient.

Voila! You are done. We added a chandelier we got on sale for $36 to top it off. I LOVE how it turned out!

I LOVE a good “wow factor” idea! Let me know what fun ideas you come up with.

Tagged , , , , , ,