When we moved into tour new home, I really wanted to get Chuck his own little table with chairs. After looking around, we found some really affordable options at Ikea. So we brought them home. I love them, but then thought I could spruce them up a little bit. Since I have a soft spot for red mushrooms, I did a super easy Ikea Hack and turned them into...
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Hee hee hee. Whoa. Super Mario super mushroom flashback!
Ok. I've snapped out of it. Yup. They're pretty darn cute and they were super easy to make. Let's get mushroom making!
So... what are your thoughts on astro turf? Hate it? Love it? I think it's really fun and provides a super affordable way to cover a lot of space for a small price. You're probably asking why I have a sudden interest in the green stuff. Well, after living in apartments for most of my adult life, hubby and I finally have a place that has a .... wait for it.... small outdoor patio. Woo hoo! Chuck was so excited to see our tiny "backyard" that he literally ran around the area for about half an hour when we first moved in. The space is really a blessing and I love that we can just open the door and enjoy some private outdoor space whenever we want to. And that brings me to today's craft post- our backyard DIY Astro Turf Rug.
DIY Astro Turf Rug
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We don't wear shoes inside the house, so it's a hassle for Chuck to have to put on and take off his shoes every time he wants to quickly pop outside. So we made this super easy astro turf rug to act as a very large door mat. We love it so much because it's a cute area where Chuck can play or go barefoot without tracking too much dirt into the house.
Who's up for a little color? Anyone? Anyone? Everything's looking pretty grey here, so Chuck and I made some cellophane stained glass windows. I cut up pieces of cellophane and then we stuck them to our windows using a mixture of dish soap and water.
When I saw this lovely artwork that an elementary student made in the style of Jasper Johns, I was utterly entranced. I loved how the letters seemed to swirl in colors. So armed with my trusty craft paints, I painted my own Jasper Johns inspired wall art. But, instead of writing out a series of letters or a random assortment of words, I included four words that had special meaning to me. Here's what I came up with:
If you'd like to see how I painted this artwork, keep reading!
Before I start today's post, I just wanted to say thank you for all the kind words, support, and love you sent my way after my last post. *Gulp* Sharing my dream was a bit REALLY scary. I kept waiting for the rotten fruit and pies to be thrown, but nothing came by. So, thank you.
Ok! Now onto today's post. We own two lamps that are covered with ho-hum white shades. I kept wanting to do something to the lamps to give them a bit more pizazz, but couldn't settle on a permanent solution. Then, I saw this nifty decorating idea at How About Orange, and had to try it out.
Look! When the light is off, you just see a white shade. But when the light turns on, a secret silhouette is revealed!
Magic? Nope. Keep reading to see how it was done...
Warning! This post contains a lot of photos! But, I figure it's ok since Christmas only happens once a year.
This year we went to two family get-togethers. We had lunch at one aunt's place and dinner at a cousin's house. Fortunately for us, both houses were only 5 minutes apart. We had a lot of fun hanging out with family and stuffing ourselves silly. Here are some photos from our Christmas adventure:
(Thanks hubby for taking most of these while I played with the kids!)
Hubby, Chuck, and I wearing our Christmas headbands, ready to party (thanks Tito Ric for the photo!)
This weekend we had plans to go into the city to see the train show at Grand Central Terminal. Unfortunately, it snowed all day Saturday (eep!) and I was battling a cold, so we ended up hanging out at home. At first I was pretty bummed out, but thankfully everything turned out alright in the end.
Chuck and I played with his cars.... a lot....
We re-enacted scenes from the movie "Mater's Tall Tales..."
Around this time last year, I made myself a lovely faux stained glass panel out of an old frame, Elmers glue, and craft paint. Sadly, that panel broke a couple of months ago. I thought it was high time that I made another one, but this time I experimented with 3D fabric paint, Mod Podge, and acrylic paint. After everything dried, I was surprised by how nice the panel turned out! Here are the results of my little experiment:
Tee hee hee. Do you see bald men sitting in chairs.... or ladies with large hairdos? They're supposed to be ladies... and I find them hilarious! (I can't take credit for the design though. It came right from this pinned image.) Right now this modern and quirky stained glass panel sits inside Chuck's room and I always supress a giggle whenever I see their round glasses looking at me.
Wanna try making your own faux stained glass panel? Read on!
Three dimensional black fabric paint
Mod Podge (I used Matte)
Muffin Tin (or artist's palette)
Optional: Clear tape, glass cleaner
1. Pull out the sheet inside of your frame and trace it onto a piece of
paper. (Alternatively, you could also trace the glass or back panel of
the frame.) Cut out your rectangle and draw a design on it.
2. Clean the glass of your picture frame.
3. Place the glass on top of your sketch. Then, use your fabric paint to trace the black "lead" of your stained glass panel.
4. Once your "lead" dries, turn your glass over so that the lead is on the bottom. Place your glass panel on top of a sheet of clean, white paper. Now you're going to paint the colored portions on the back of your glass. (I chose to do it this way so that I wouldn't have to worry about painting over my black lines.) Create the colored portions by mixing together approximately 1 teaspoon of Mod Podge and 2-3 drops of craft paint. Mix both together well. Then, paint the back of your glass panel with the different colors.
5. Once your colored paint dries, place your glass back into your frame and secure it. (I used a couple of pieces of clear tape to make sure the panel stayed put.) Remember that the front of your stained glass has the fabric
paint on it and the back of your stained glass has the colored
Mod Podge on it Also, make sure that you do not scratch the glass panel because the Mod Podge and fabric paint will scrape off.
And that's it! Make one of these babies for yourself... or better yet, get your kids to make one as holiday a gift for someone they love. Happy crafting!
Lately the cooler temperatures and shortened daylight hours have me looking at the sky to find stars. However, since we live in a well-lit, urban environment, star gazing isn't really a viable option.
So once again I felt the urge to make some star-inspired artwork. If I can't see stars in the sky, then I'll just have to make my own to enjoy. Now, if you've been following this blog for some time, you'll recall that this isn't the first time I felt drawn towards the stars. Last year I placed a galaxy of cardboard stars on our living room wall. Then earlier this year I painted the inside of an umbrella to look like a galaxy. This time I took a simpler approach and made myself some star artwork using contact paper.
Sponge brushes (or paint brushes)
Sketch out your stars onto the back of your contact paper. Cut the stars out.
Place the stars on your canvas. Play around with their arrangement until you're satisfied. Once you have a pleasing design, pull the backing off and stick the stars onto your canvas. (Make sure that they are stuck on well so that you get nice crisp lines.)
Dab paint over your canvas.
Once the paint dries, carefully peel off your contact paper stars. You should see a bunch of white stars where your contact paper blocked the paint.
Quick and easy, right? Just remember to make sure that your contact paper stars are completely stuck on tight. Eeek! See that leftmost star below? The paint bled
through because the contact paper wasn't sticking to the canvas properly.
Did you ever make things out of Popsicle sticks as a kid? I have fond memories of making popsicle stick picture frames and jewlery boxes in summer camp.
Today's craft is a slightly more sophisticated version of this beloved childhood activity. (Maybe that's why I enjoyed making it so much?) This hexagon wall art is graphic, super easy to make, and (bonus!) covers a large space for relatively little cost. If you have a wall that you'd like to easily decorate, why not give it a try too?
Hot glue gun
1. Practice arranging your Popsicle sticks. When you're pleased with your arrangement, take a photo so you'll remember it.
2. Paint your sticks. (I initially painted them yellow, but thought they looked a little too flat. Hubby suggested that I add a gold stripe to them to give them more depth.)
3. Hot glue your sticks together. One easy way to ensure that your hexagons have similar angles is to draw out a hexagon shape and use that to guide your gluing.
And that's really all you have to do to create your own honeycomb wall art.
So, this is apparently what happens when you give me some paint pens and contact paper.
Yup. Those are flamingos. And yes, they're all over our kitchen cabinets.
I know it's September, and officially autumn, but I refuse to cave in to the cold weather just yet. Oh no. This gal is holding onto every last drop of sunny, warm weather fun. And seriously, what's more fun than pink flamingos?
Here's how I made my temporary pink cabinet decorations.
Contact paper (No need for the fancy stuff, I just got cheap rolls from the Dollar Store)
1. Make paper templates of your cabinet doors. (I simply placed sheets of paperon top of cabinets and traced. I was too lazy to pull out a ruler. So, my lines came out a bit crooked. Not a big deal for me. If you want lovely, clean, straight lines, pull out your ruler and measure away.)
2. Then, doodle your design on your paper. Cut out your design and make yourself a stencil.
3. Cut out sheets of contact paper that are the same size as your paper templates. Tape the paper template on top of the contact paper. Use your paint pens to decorate your contact paper.
4. Attach your decorated contact paper to the cabinets. (You'll probably want to make sure the cabinet doors are clean. And, you'll probably want to go slowly. Attach a bit of contact paper and then remove a bit of the backing. Then continue until your entire sheet of contact paper is securely attached.)
Enjoy your new flamingo kitchen cabinet decorations.
Just realized, this would be a really easy and cute way to decorate for Halloween too. Give the kids the paint pens and have them doodle monsters or spiderwebs... or whatever they want onto the contact paper. Then, stick their scary decorations to your cabinets (or windows... or walls...) and boom, instant, personalized Halloween decorations.
(Special thanks to hubby for supporting his kooky wife's pink flamingo dream... and for photographing the tough kitchen shots. We get such little light in there and I'm amazed that his shots look as good as they do.)
Today's post is a bit late because my computer died last night.
RIP, dear friend.
I knew that it was going to happen sooner or later (but I just wish it was later.) Boo. I also wish that I had backed up my stuff (double boo.) Hubby's performing some intensive surgery on it, so hopefully we can get my documents and photos back.
So I don't know about you, but this DIY rainbow fan has been stuck in my mind. What? You can see primary colors mixing in front of your very eyes? Amazing! I felt so inspired that I made my own version. Here's my DIY rainbow fan:
DIY Rainbow Fan
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Oooh. Circular rainbow! I just think it's so cool that the blades are painted different combinations of red, yellow, or blue. Yon can only see the rainbow when the fan is turned on. Whoa, right?
I don't know about you, but I've been feeling so inspired by all the warm weather lately. It seems like everything around us is bursting with life, light, and color. To bring some of that happy, airy, summer feeling inside, I made these fun pinata-inspired letters to decorate our bedroom wall.
- coffee filters
- spray bottle
- shallow pan
- cardboard box
- double sided tape
- exacto knife
- white paint
- paint brush
- plastic bags Directions:
1. Cut out your letters from cardboard. (I found that using an exacto knife was much easier than using scissors.) Paint the letters white to help your colors stand out.
2. Use markers to doodle on your coffee filters. (Have fun with it! It really doesn't matter what you doodle. All your designs are going to be washed away anyway.)
3. Spray your coffee filters to make the colors run. Then, let the coffee filters dry. (I placed ours on some plastic bags and waited overnight.)
Here's what the coffee filters looked like after they dried:
4. Cut out strips from your coffee filters and tape them onto the horizontal sides of the letters to cover them. (This way you won't see the raw cardboard edges. The vertical edges are going to be covered by fringe.)
Oops. I missed one edge on the "L."
5. Cut out similar sized strips from your coffee filters and turn them into pinata fringe. Use your double sided tape and normal tape to stick them onto the cardboard letters. Be sure to work from the bottom upwards. Also, wrap the strips around the letters to cover the exposed cardboard sides.
Here's what a finished letter looks like:
And here's what the fringe looks like up close:
And that's it. Now we have a lovely set of pinata-inspired letters. I placed them right above our bed. I think they look nice there, don't you?
Directions for making grass egg heads:
1. Using a safety pin, I poked a couple of holes (spaced far apart) in the bottom of my egg head. (I'm hoping these holes will allow excess water to drain out.) Using a knife, I gently tapped the egg where I wanted it to crack open. (This gave me a neater break.) Then, I poured out the egg's insides.
2. I rinsed out the eggs and set them to dry.
3. Once they dried, I glued on googly eyes and used permanent marker to draw a smile. (Permanent markers won't wash away with water.)
4. Chuck and I filled the egg heads with grass seeds and soil. Then, we watered the eggs and set them out near a sunny window.
Directions for making grass stocking heads:
1. I wrapped a stocking around a small cup to make it easier to fill.
2. Chuck scooped a bunch of grass seeds into the stocking. Then, we piled on the dirt.
3. Once the stocking was stuffed to our liking, I tied it closed and trimmed the excess material.
4. I glued on googly eyes and drew on a mouth using permanent marker.
5. Chuck watered the grass stocking head and we also placed it on a sunny windowsill.
Cross your fingers for us, ok? The potting soil that we chose is supposed to protect our seeds from over watering and under watering. I'm really hoping that we'll see lots of grass sprouting so we can give them hair cuts. (Hrrm.. a mowhawk perhaps?)
**Update- Guess what? They grew! We just spritzed the little egg heads and thoroughly soaked the stocking heads in water daily. Here's what they looked like after 2 weeks.
If you're interested in turning your thumb a bit greener, you can check out Miracle-Gro's Pinterest page for more fun garden projects.
((Many thanks to Miracle-Gro for sponsoring this post. It's my first sponsored post and I'm really thankful for this new opportunity.))
Whoa. Whoa. Back up the train. Did I jump off the deep end? What am I doing? Homemade laundry detergent? What's next? Refusing to shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows? (FYI- Hubby's eyes practically bugged out when I told him what I was planning on doing.)
Yes. I made it. It's true. Have you ever tried making your own laundry detergent? I'd seen a whole bunch of recipes online calling for the same few ingredients. Whenever I'd consider trying it out, images of my failed cloth diapering attempts would come to mind.... and then I'd decide against it. (Psst- Wanna know what happened to my lovely cloth diapers? It's a sad tale of stinky woe... read the * below.)
Ever since we found such a nice way to create soap powder, I thought, what the heck, let's try the recipe out. Couldn't hurt, right?
- 1 C Borax
- 1 C Super washing soda
- 1 bar Ivory soap (microwaved into a fine powder)
- 1/2 C Oxi Clean
I simply mixed the ingredients together and stored them in an airtight container.
Now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing. I'll try the homemade detergent out a couple of times and let you know the results. Lots of other bloggers have given similar recipes rave reviews. They claim that it makes your clothes super soft, works well with hard water, and saves you loads of money (you only use 1 Tablespoon for HE machines... which means that I can do quite a few loads with this batch.)
With Chuck's fairly sensitive skin, I'm hoping that it does all that... and works well with his skin too. Cross your fingers!
UPDATE: 8/26- I just finished using the first batch of laundry detergent. Let me just say that it works. It didn't hurt the machine or our clothes. For the most part, our clothes come out clean. However, I definitely had problems getting rid of tougher stains. (Think messy toddler eating spaghetti kind of stains...). I used stain remover to help with the tougher stuff. So, this can't be the only thing you use when you wash your clothes. Since I have an old bottle of regular detergent in our closet, I'm going to go back to using that stuff until the bottle is done. I'll see if I notice any difference, but if not, I'm just going to stick with the homemade stuff.
*Ahh, curious to hear my sad cloth diapering tale? Well... let's just say that the diapers worked great when Chuck was young and we lived in Michigan. But after moving to New Jersey, we ran into a couple of pretty big problems.
1. Chuck started really eating solid food and his waste started to really smell bad. I had to do laundry more frequently... which wouldn't have been a problem if we had our own washing machine. Unfortunately, cloth diapers weren't so economical for us because we pay per load.
2. Our building's laundry machines are located in the basement. I had to take my "goodies" down with me in the elevator. Stinky diapers aren't a great way to make nice with neighbors.
3. I had some buildup on the diapers, so they became doubly stinky when soiled. (Think highly concentrated vinegar mixed with rotting eggs.) I could have just fixed the problem by washing the diapers many many times and then hanging them to dry in the sun. But, I didn't like that option because I'm a cheapo and there really wasn't a nice way that I could line dry them in the city. (Resting them on city benches? Hmmm... maybe not...)
So alas, my lovely cloth diapers are now neatly folded and hiding away in Chuck's closet, awaiting to be used again....
After our relatives left, I really noticed how empty our place seemed. Although we moved here almost a year ago, I haven't put much effort into making our place more personal. Chuck's room is the only one that's sort of decorated.
So, I'm going to do my best to add some decorations to the walls. I'm not too picky, but I do have three requirements for wall art:
1. It must be bright and happy.
Chuck and I spend quite a bit of time at home. We need to be surrounded by lovely, happy things.
2. It must be removable.
We live in an apartment. We're not going to live here forever. I really really don't want to re-paint rooms or fill holes when we leave.
3. It must be relatively inexpensive.
I'm uber cheap. One day we'd like to own our own house, so we're slowly saving up. (Plus, we had a rather traumatic experience with movers breaking stuff, so I worry about expensive art being destroyed.)
Making wall art with paint chips fits all three requirements. Inspired by A Beautiful Mess's modern paint chip wall art and How About Orange's triangle paint chip art, I thought I'd give paint chips a try. Here's my result: