Archive for the ‘Crafty’ Category

Holiday Projects

January 6, 2014

I’ve been keeping pretty busy over the past few months with various reclaimed wood projects. Usually I see an idea online or one comes to me then I get to work immediately and finish it within a couple days; nothing like immediate gratification :)

To add to my fall/autumn decor I built these two wooden pumpkins. First, I cut out the outline from a scrap piece of particle board then I screwed the boards into the back and trimmed the excess with my handy jigsaw.


After a good sanding I attached part of a stick to each of the pumpkin tops to act as stems. They sat outside by our front door for a few months and held up great!


My largest project to date was our Christmas tree. We originally wanted to buy a live tree like we did last year but due to the hassle of getting it into and out of our third story apartment, the $50-$60 price tag and the fact that it would only be up for a couple of weeks before we left for Texas, we opted for something a little more simple.


I had a pile of leftover fencepost scraps from my brother that I hadn’t found a use for yet so I lined them all up from largest to smallest, creating a tree shape. Using the jigsaw I cut the ends of each board at an angle to form the limbs of the tree then I attached a long, vertical board down the middle to tie it all together. After drilling some holes I poked each individual bulb from a 100 light multi-color strand through a hole from the back. Right now the lights are just held in by friction but I’ll be making it more permanent with some glue or silicon caulk soon.


And here she is in all of her reclaimed, multi-color glory! I think this was my favorite Christmas tree ever, probably because it was 100% free and I didn’t have to unpack, hang and repack my ornaments, haha.


A few Christmas-y signs were also in order; I made a couple of each of these to sell and raise money for Team World Vision {the charity that Mark and I ran our half marathon for}. They all ended up going home with some of our small group friends…I’m probably going to have to make one of the NOEL ones for myself because I love it so much!



The dream/hope/goal for 2014 is to open an Etsy shop and sell these reclaimed goodies online. We’re working on the initial logistics now…hopefully more news on that soon!


Elia’s Nursery

August 25, 2013

My dear friend, Tricia, asked for my help with decorating her daughter’s nursery and I was so honored/excited to help! She didn’t want the nursery to be pink and overly “girly” but more simple, neutral and modern.

I started out by making her this reclaimed wood wall art with the verse Psalm 139:13; it stands out beautifully against their soft cream paint color.


My next, larger project was inspired by this image that Tricia found on of a large tree wall decal:

The actual decal could have been purchased online but it was pretty expensive and I knew that I could create something similar using wallpaper…my plan was to order one roll for the trunk and branches and also order a bunch of samples online for the many green patterns of the leaves. I tried ordering the roll for the trunk through Lowe’s but it kept getting back-ordered {3 months, what??} so I ended up finding a similar pattern online that worked perfectly. The samples I ordered from three different wallpaper sites, they were on average between $1-5 per 8.5×11″ sample and one site had the option to order over-sized 20×20″ samples too. I made a cardboard template and used it to trace the leaf shape onto the samples; it took me a few hours of tracing/cutting/TV-watching to get them all cut out {there ended up being about 100 total}.

As a dry run before committing to actually cutting my wallpaper I made a template for the tree trunk out of white paper. Here it is on the floor with a few leaves placed around…


Once I was sure the shape of the limbs would work well with the room I traced the template onto the roll of wallpaper and cut everything out. Then it was time to hang some wallpaper! I have to admit that I was a little afraid because I’d never messed with wallpaper before but it was actually pretty simple since I made sure to buy pre-pasted wallpaper. Most websites recommend completely submersing your pre-pasted wallpaper in a tray of water to activate the paste and then booking the paper before hanging BUT thanks to a small test piece I discovered that I could get away with simply using a spray bottle to wet the back of the wallpaper and after 30 seconds the paste was activated and gooey enough to hang.

With a drop cloth on the ground I laid out each piece of the limbs, one by one, sprayed the back with water, allowed it to sit for a minute, then lined it up on the wall with the trunk and smoothed it out a bit with my fingers. Then with a rubber wallpaper roller I smoothed it out even more, making sure to push out any bubbles and seal the edges. Here’s the trunk and limbs up on the wall…


After a few days of drying time I came back to apply the leaves. Now with the full roll that I ordered I could ensure that it was pre-pasted but with all the samples I had no idea if they would be or not…turns out the samples were not pre-pasted so I had to actually apply paste to them. I bought the smallest bottle of paste that I could find and it came with a tiny roller attached to it making application super easy {Lowe’s actually has a wallpaper section with all the tools you’d need, HD didn’t have anything in store}.

With all of my leaves laid out on the floor making it easy to grab whichever pattern I wanted, I got into a rhythm of applying paste to 4-5 leaves and then finding a place for them on the tree. I tried my best to keep the layout looking random, making sure to keep like patterns and colors separated.


And here’s the finished product! I love the many shades and patterns of yellows and greens, they all work together so well! I think the best part is that this is something that can grow with little Elia for many years to come, it’s not just limited to the baby years.


Reclaimed Projects

August 24, 2013

Remember my first reclaimed wood project using boards from an old pallet? Well since then I’ve made a few more and I’ve managed to streamline one step in the process…weathered board acquisition. Literally prying dry, brittle boards off of pallets didn’t make much sense because not only would at least 50% of the boards split but the patina and color aren’t consistent from pallet to pallet. So I did some searching on Craigslist and found a fencing company nearby that sells the old, weathered fence boards that they remove before building a new fence.


It’s a nearly endless supply and their prices are great, not to mention I can sift through piles of boards to find the exact ones that I want.

This one was made from two wide fence boards for a friend’s nursery {separate post coming soon!}.


And this was just a small, quick project for a friend back home. I’ve always loved this quote :)


The next step in making this process faster will be to buy a Silhouette cutting machine, it’s basically like a printer that cuts designs out of paper. With a $300 price tag I’ll be saving my pennies for a while but I’m definitely considering it because I could use it for a million other things too!

Elisha’s Baby Shower

May 2, 2013

A couple weekends ago all of my small group gal friends threw a baby shower for our friend Elisha, she’s expecting her first baby {a little boy} in just a couple of months. I was in charge of decorations and had a total blast putting everything together! I chose a yellow, lime and navy animal theme because it matched the crib sheets that Elisha was registered for, that way she could reuse some of the decor in the baby’s room if she wanted to. Here’s the dining table all decked out…


And also a pic of our beautiful, Pinterest-worthy food table; we had fresh lemonade, pear and walnut salad, mixed fruit cups, watermelon caprese bites, deviled eggs, edamame hummus with endive spears, homemade macarons, sugar cookies and lemon blueberry cupcakes.



Remember this photo I posted a while ago? The very beginnings of my decoration inspiration came from an idea I saw online to spray paint plastic animals. I found these elephants, tigers, lions and giraffes at Walmart for $1 each and also grabbed a can of dark navy blue spray paint.

one week05

It took quite a few coats to get in all of those little nooks and crannies but they looked pretty cool once they were all solid blue.


The blue animals sat atop a lime green table runner that I made using some fabric I found at Joanne’s. I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make some tissue paper pom poms, they are just way too easy to make and they are so pretty!


It’s still strange to me that I’m at that point in life where I’m going to or planning a baby shower every month. It’s definitely a fun place to be, though, because I love having an excuse to be creative and bake!


Trash to Treasure

February 26, 2013

Every day when I leave our complex I drive past the dumpster and a few weeks ago I noticed an old pallet waiting to be thrown out. I thought to myself, I could make something with that. But for weeks and weeks there it sat, leaning against the dumpster, because I never made the time to haul it home. I kept expecting it to be taken away with the trash but week after week it remained until I finally had a free weekend to get creative! So Mark loaded it into the back of the Jeep, drove it over to our building and carried it up two flights of stairs to our balcony {thanks, love}.


I put on some gloves, grabbed a hammer and a crow bar and got to work; and boy was it hard work getting those planks off. Half of the boards were split or broken to begin with so I had to be careful not to ruin the others while prying the nails out.


I ended up with four unbroken boards which I then arranged together…


…and using a few smaller pieces and some wood screws on the back I secured them all together. The great thing about this project is that I didn’t have to worry about the boards being square or perfect in any way since the idea is for it to look as rustic as possible.


Next was the hard part, deciding what to put on it and how. My inspiration came from some pallet art ideas like this one that I had seen on Pinterest and for sale on Etsy. I experimented on scrap wood with different types of paint, stencils and oil stains to see what looked the best on the brown and grey weathered wood. In the end I went with plain white craft paint simply because I already had some in my stash which meant I didn’t have to go out and buy anything :)

As for what to write on the boards, I wanted to display one of my favorite bible verses, Proverbs 3:5. This was my confirmation verse in middle school and it continues to be one of my favorites. I created a paper stencil from my computer, cutting the letters out with an X-acto, taped the stencils onto the boards and then lightly applied the craft paint with a cheap brush, dabbing most of the paint off of the brush first so as not to flood the stencil.


And here’s the finished product! The wall above our desk has been empty since we moved in so it was the perfect place for my pallet art. I am so in love with how it turned out and the best part is that this project was 100% FREE!


Canvas Art

January 20, 2013

Many months ago I pinned this idea onto my “Crafty” board on Pinterest…


The concept was so simple that I knew I could create something similar on my own. So last weekend, armed with a Michael’s gift card that I received for Christmas {thanks, Jenna!}, I set out to gather the needed materials. At the time a certain brand of canvas just happened to be 70% off so I grabbed one large and one small plus some craft paint and acrylic Helvetica letters. Then I swung by Half Price Books and found an old book of piano sheet music for $2. The innocent girl behind the counter suggested a music shop in a nearby town that had tons more piano music to browse; I just nodded, acting interested because I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my intentions were to rip the pages from the book as soon as I got it home, hehe.


The process went something like this…rip sheet music into strips, coat a section of canvas with ModPodge, place paper strips on canvas, then coat again with ModPodge to seal. This went on for a while as I worked my way from the bottom of the canvas up. Then once it was completely dry I lightly traced a line with my straight edge to serve as a reference for my lettering.


I worked on the smaller canvas first, sort of as a trial run, to make sure that everything was going to work out correctly before I tackled the larger canvas.


After all of the letters were in place I squirted a few shades of yellow paint onto a paper plate and started painting. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason to my technique, my goal was simply to paint it yellow and vary the shade for a little added texture. I removed the letters as soon as I finished applying the paint and I was immediately unimpressed…I should have gone with a darker paint so the letters would stand out more plus the letters appear to be misaligned thanks to the lines on the sheet music being placed diagonally.


Not wanting the larger canvas to turn out the same as the smaller one, I applied the lettering and decided to call it finished…for now. I might paint it someday and remove the letters but for now I like the way it looks. We’ve got it hanging above our bed and it’s one of the first things we see each morning :)


Until now I’ve pretty much ignored decorating our bedroom so it feels good to finally have something on the walls in there. I’m sure I’ll be adding more to it over the coming months!


DIY: Ruffled Tree Skirt

December 3, 2012

Ever since seeing this post via Pinterest about how to make a ruffled tree skirt with nothing but some fabric and a hot glue gun, I knew that I had to make it. My friend, Christine, and I wanted to craft them together so we bought our fabric with some 50% off coupons at Joann’s and got to work while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


For the base of our skirts we cut circles from a 5’x5′ canvas painter’s drop cloth, it’s wider, cheaper and more durable than anything we could have bought at a fabric store. We ripped our fabric into 3.5 inch strips, heated up our hot glue guns and started gluing the ruffles from the outside in.


It was quite time consuming and since we were sitting on the floor we took plenty of stretching/cookie breaks to keep us going. Here are our skirts after just two rows of gluing. Christine went with red and white and mine is white and a gold glittery cream.


And here is the final product beneath our beautiful tree. I absolutely love it and I look forward to using it for many Christmases to come!


Christmas Time

January 5, 2012

Christmas 2011 was jam-packed with family, friends and fun. It’s always nice to be able to spend a good amount of time with both of our families and I am incredibly grateful that Mark doesn’t have to work between Christmas and New Years.

We spent the first few days of our holiday vacation in Rogers with my family. Once again the annual Christmas Eve barn service was cold, wet and muddy; to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s kind of a tradition now. We also got to hang with our favorite fat cat, Jack…if you received a Christmas card from my parents you already know but Jack has officially changed residences. He is much happier living in a big house with more room to roam and he loves to go outside and climb trees and hang with his other kitty friends. My parents are quite smitten with him and I don’t think they would give him back even if we asked. He still loves when we come to visit though and we found out that he especially loves Christmas trees…

…and tissue paper. He played in our giant paper pile for hours and even took a nap hiding beneath the crumpled sheets.

Though the weather was a little icky during our stay in Rogers we made the best of it. On the 26th my mom and I went shopping all day while the boys went to see a movie and go bowling. I always love looking at the discounted Christmas decor and for once I splurged on some pretty ornaments at Marshall’s. My mom and I had so much fun spending the day together :)

This year I was inspired by some snow globes made using bottle brush trees in mason jars from Anthropologie. I couldn’t quite handle their $30 price tag so I made some of my own to give out as little gifts to Mark’s coworkers and some family friends. They were so simple to make!

After spending a few days in Rogers we headed to Houston to be with Mark’s family for New Years. When we got there the table was cleared and covered in puzzle pieces…they had a puzzle made from our family picture taken on Memorial Day. It turned out to be a lot harder than it looked and we finally completed it at 2:15am on January 1st! We all decided that this needed to become a tradition so we took a picture of ourselves with the finished puzzle and a puzzle of that picture will be made to be worked on during our July 4th trip up to camp in Maine. Once that puzzle is finished we’ll take a picture with it, and so on and so on…

While in Houston we stayed pretty busy; we assembled Logan’s new bike, we went indoor rock climbing, I went to a painting class, Mark played golf, we watched some movies and got lots of great quality family time!

DIY Fun: Play Kitchen

October 13, 2011

This little DIY project has without a doubt been my favorite project of all time and I am soooo happy with how it turned out. I don’t currently have any kids nor am I expecting one any time soon so I can’t exactly say why I chose to take on this project in the first place other than it looked like fun! My inspiration came from this Vintage Songbird post and many other similar nightstand makeovers on Pinterest.

I found the nightstand on Craigslist; the curved edges of the top surface and the sturdy wood construction were what first caught my eye.

Thanks to a little help from my dad and some of his tools I cut the sink hole with a jigsaw, added some supports for the interior boards and lightly sanded the whole piece.

I used Kiltz oil-based primer to help the paint stick to the surface more easily.

After the primer dried I applied two coats of semi-gloss, no VOC paint that had been color matched to my curtain fabric. The backboard is half inch oak plywood that I had cut to size at Lowe’s. I painstakingly cut out the curves with a hand saw and then sanded like crazy to get it smooth because said jigsaw from earlier in the project was no longer in my possession {thank God for power sanders}.

I pried off one of the drawer faces to use for the oven door and attached it using a 12 inch piano hinge. Am I the only one that finds installing hinges to be extremely confusing?

This is where things started to become more fun…the faucet is an upside-down “L” painted silver and screwed in place from below, the faucet handles are glass knobs from Hobby Lobby, the stove burners are painted wooden plaques hot glued in place and the burner knobs are just painted wooden knobs screwed in from below. I made sure to leave all of the knobs a little loose so they would be able to turn.

And now for some after shots…

The two shelves were made from some leftover backboard pieces and the framed scrapbook paper serves as a dry erase board for grocery lists or doodling.

I love it…love, love, love, love it! Now what to do with it? I guess it’s up for sale!

Source List

  • Craigslist: nightstand
  • Salvation Army: stainless steel bowl
  • Dollar Tree: oven light
  • Michael’s: wooden “L” & craft paint
  • WM: wooden burner knobs
  • Hobby Lobby: faucet knobs & wooden plaques
  • Lowe’s: primer, paint, drawer pull, magnet clasp, oak plywood, piano hinge & paint brush
  • Items already owned: curtain fabric, curtain dowel, oven rack, picture frame, screws & nails.

Total work time: about 15-18 hours including shopping time {excluding paint drying time}

‘Round Here

September 19, 2011

Just a little tour around our home for your viewing pleasure :)

Entry table {courtesy of Grandpa Rand} showing off some of my most treasured pieces.

Dresser top where I keep my mom’s childhood jewelry box.

One of my latest craft projects…

Key drop spot by the door…

New necklace holder from an old wooden frame…

Thrifted vessels to someday turn into succulent terrariums, inspired by Jacob & Tracy.

We’re slowly finding new bedding; the pillow is a start…