A Couple of Easy DIY Projects: Featuring a Dollar Tree Spring Centerpiece

Furniture and building projects have been put on hold as they usually are this time of year but I have had fun the last several weeks completing some small budget DIY projects.

I have been on the hunt for a couple of months for the perfect baskets to hang on the wall for hanging produce. Our counters seem to get cluttered and one way to limit that was to move produce that normally sits in baskets or bowls. My vision was for farmhouse style wire baskets but I wasn’t finding the perfect pair that wouldn’t scratch the wall or be too heavy to hang. Last week my sister and I came across a pair at Hobby Lobby and they were perfect! I bought two little chalkboards to label them for extra cute factor and submitted to my husband for approval and proper hanging. They fill this little space well and are so handy. And they are out of reach of little toddler hands so they don’t eat me out of house and home without permission. Now if you can help me think of a way to get the fish tank off of the kitchen counter, I’d be very grateful! ūüôā

20160215_110054

After taking down the Christmas decor I always have a moment of “ahhh, that’s better” that turns into, “now the house feels bare!”. I love the coziness and warm texture that¬†winter¬†decor brings but I also don’t love clutter or the look of over-decorating. However, once it is all put away I’m immediately ready for some new spring decor.

I came across this cute little spring decoration at Target last week. I really love Forsythia. It is an early bloomer and anticipator of spring (like me!) and always, to me, the first sign that spring has arrived. I was ready to have some of that in my house! I wasn’t, however, ready to hand over $20 for a pretty item that I knew I could make at home for a few dollars.

I picked up this smaller grapevine wreath and a forsythia stem at the Dollar Tree for $1 each.

dollar tree grapevine wreath

I already had a hurricane vase and a candle for the center. If you don’t, Dollar Tree has a few styles of vases and candles that would also work. Or you could pick up a hurricane vase at a number of different stores for $5=$10. Total you could make a nearly identical centerpiece for $4!

I didn’t have to even get out my hot glue gun for this project because I was able to just weave the stems into the wreath and they are staying in place just fine!

20160215_110228

 

I was so happy to have a bit of new color in the house! This could be easily changed for the seasons, add in a cotton stem in the fall or winter. Or you could hang it when you get tired of it sitting on a surface. Hang on a door, over a mirror or in a hallway. It really doesn’t look like a cheap decoration (even though it was!).

If you try either of these ideas, please share!

Love,

Tracey

 

 

Budget Foyer Makeover and Painted Buffet Reveal

It is Fall! Pumpkin Spice and Apple Pie lovers unite!

I realize I am late to this party but I am just now getting to share my enthusiasm because we also FINALLY have internet. One complication I was not anticipating with a new construction was that there was no internet available yet! But now I am ready to roll and share some more pictures of our new place and latest budget projects!

I finally came to a decision that I have been putting off -to paint our buffet. It is now serving as a media console in our living room. I have gone back and forth for a year now about whether to re-stain it, paint it, or just clean it up with Restor-a-finish. We bought it from sweet friends before they went to the Philippines on mission as The Isaiah Project to provide clean water to those without. You can follow them on Facebook here.

After much toiling about whether going light or dark, I chose Annie Sloan’s graphite and finished it with a dark glaze. I love the blue undertone in the room and I that it¬†gives it a stately feel. I feel like I have a new piece of furniture for the cost of paint and a few hours work! Now time to update those chairs!

IMG_20150922_141306

Another one of the things I was happy to finish last week was Project: Welcoming Foyer. Our walls are all a neutral gray and we have a two story entry with oak stairs. Our foyer was just screaming for a table. It is¬†narrow though so my normal Craigslist perusing wasn’t fitting the bill because the console tables I was finding were too deep and would block the walkway- which is kind of important! I had rustic style in mind and¬†I had the fantastic idea to reach out to a talented¬†friend of ours who happens to be a builder of all things barnwood and a handy man of all sorts. I was so thankful he was up to the task and he really caught my vision. If you are in Kentucky and are interested in utilizing his talents you can contact¬†him on Facebook here!

20150920_185955

I have rearranged and changed the decor on top 100 times already and should have hid that plug better for the pic but I love how it turned out! I chose to leave the wood unfinished because there are some fun paint remnants and markings that add the character I was hoping for so I just sanded the rough spots and left it as is.

The picture frame was a $.50 yard sale find! It was bright gold. I painted it ASCP Duck Egg Blue and finished with clear and dark wax.

The table definitely added a warm welcoming touch to the entry but I really wanted to add a punch of something different to the door. So I used the same graphite I used on the buffet to paint the door and left it a matte finish.

PhotoGrid_1443212066311

As much as I really wanted to do an egg blue or something fun I’m happy with the graphite and my husband is too… I think. He may have mentioned that I needed to find other people to do projects for before I go overboard. He recognizes my boredom and need for creative outlet. ūüėČ

Love,

Tracey

Making our House a Home: The Girls’ Room

We moved in a month ago and every room still feels like a work in progress but I am really happy how things are coming together. Especially in the girls room which may be my favorite!

My mother in law was offered an antique bedroom set at a deeply discounted price because it belonged to a friend and needed a lot of TLC. Here is a before of the beds in a garage full of boxes during move-in week.

Before... dirty and dingy, worn, cream color

Before… dirty and dingy, worn, cream color

It turned out stunning! I will share the other pieces in another post because the dresser ended up in our bedroom but the twin beds were cleaned up and painted for the girls room and they are perfect.¬†They are¬†painted in Valspar Painter’s White and Filtered Shade.

20150904_092349_LLS

The room is painted Sherwin Williams Silver Strand. I love this subtle blue gray and how the other colors in the room really are complemented by it. I could have used this color all over the house and been happy with it.

20150904_130300

The tee-pee is from Hobby Lobby. My mom and I loved surprising the girls with this when they saw their new room for the first time. The polka dots are so cute paired with the pom poms on the curtains and minky on their quilts.

20150904_092601_LLS 20150904_092535_LLS

I love spending time in here with them. I am thankful for the walk in closet with cubbies and bins that make it easier to put toys away.

20150904_130339

They love to play house or super spies in the tee-pee or restaurant at the table that I found at a consignment store and painted Provence Blue.

My goal was a fun room that feels like their special place filled with colors they love. It isn’t too overdone so it can easily grow with them. I look forward to adding art and pictures and there has been discussion of a willow tree painted in the opposite corner to shade the tee-pee. That would be a fun one for a future tutorial!

Some extra details on the room for those curious…

  • Sheets:¬†Frozen (of course!) from Target
  • Quilts: custom¬†ordered from a wonderful Etsy shop:¬†https://www.etsy.com/shop/DoodleBearDesigns
  • Curtains: Sewn by me with pink pom pom fabric from Hancock Fabrics and white twill from Hobby Lobby
  • Wall paint: Sherwin Williams Silver Strand
  • Bed Color: Valspar Signature in Filtered Shade and Painter’s White in satin

Love,

Tracey

Got Water Rings?

You may have seen this unassuming can on the shelves of you local hardware store. I’ve even seen it randomly on the shelves of our TJ Maxx at a great price. I found it for the first time years ago in a booth at a furniture consignment store. I scooped it up to keep on hand. It does just what it says! Introducing… Restor-A-Finish. I am not even getting paid to share with you how awesome this product is! I’ve used it on a number of pieces in our home.

Restor-a-finish can

Click the picture to visit my Amazon shop to see the different finishes.

I had a desk I was painting for a client. The top actually had laminate veneer on top and wood around the edge with wood pull out writing tables.We wanted to paint the base of the desk but leave the top the¬†wood look but the edges were completely worn. The finish was gone and did not match the top.¬†Look at the before and after! I don’t have close-ups of the edge of the desk top or of the top (this was done years ago) but the Restor-A-Finish “restored” it completely. It doesn’t require any poly to protect it but I did go ahead and add a coat of Johnson’s Paste Wax for added protection and to add back a more of the sheen

Furniture3

It came to mind to share this product with you this week because it came in handy once again. We are staying with family briefly while waiting for our home to be built. My mother in law and I have fun talking about redesigning her kitchen. They live in a home that was build in 1910 and while the home has been updated, no updates come without very careful consideration. One of the more recent discussions have been about cabinets. They are not quite ready to replace them or paint them but they did need some TLC. The finish was quite worn in areas. You can see the difference Restor-A-Finish made immediately. I snapped this picture right when I started to add the product. I knew it would look better but I was shocked at the difference. When I took this picture it was only applied in the bottom right hand part of the cabinet to show the difference. Much better!

2015-07-171

Left side is finished, right side is Restor-A-Finished.

20150713_180025

We added the product to the entire kitchen. Application for this job was easy, with a rag. I do recommend wearing a latex glove, like you would with stain. For deeper gouges you can apply carefully with a super fine steel wool pad. Wipe it on with the wood grain then wipe off excess and let it dry.

Once you start, it is hard to stop! After this I took it to her oak table and server to disguise some nicks and water rings. Works beautifully! Hope this suggestion helps add new life to some piece in your home!

Love,

Tracey

Antique Bed Makeover

This weekend we had beautiful weather. A bit less warm than a typical Kentucky summer day in June. I was thankful to have a couple of jobs lined up. One was a painted and glazed bathroom vanity that I will share in a future post and the second was this beautiful antique bed.

20150628_132430  20150628_132441

The breeze was so nice on the front porch! I was so thankful that the kids took a great nap too. I was able to get the bed finished within a day. I strayed from my favorite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for this project and used Americana Decor’s Chalky Finish paint in Yesteryear which is a gray with a bit of blue and beige undertone.

20150628_174646

20150628_174659

I painted the accents and inlays white. I had a quart of Silver Feather by Valspar on hand so that is what used. The detail in the wood went a bit unnoticed with the dark stain finish. The wood work is quite stunning. I painted around the manufacturer’s mark.

20150628_175049

It says Memphis Furniture Manufacturing Co. and “The pyramid line stands the test of time”. There wasn’t any other marking on the bed. I’m thinking it may have been built in the 1920’s or 30’s? If anyone has an idea, let me know!

This bed is truly a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. It is hard to come by these today. I felt to honored to be able to give it new life.

The room it belongs in is pale yellow. The bedding is white, pale blue and yellow.

20150628_175157

20150628_174659

20150628_174642

20150628_174602

I think it turned out beautifully. I hope its owner does too!

Love,

Tracey

A Jewelry Tree: An Inexpensive & Functional Storage Solution

Recently, we were spending time outside with the kids and¬†My Guy¬†got to trimming our Birch tree branches. I had been in the throws of organizing and staging for our house sale and¬†a corner¬†in¬†our bedroom needed a little extra help. It was one of those corners where stuff collects… I’m sure you have one of those. It’s not pretty. Anyone else struggle with the jewelry organization dilemma? I own a table top jewelry box and a standing armoire but I still was lacking the storage I needed. My¬†drawers ended up overfilled and my necklaces were too long for the designated hanging area. This resulted in piles of tangled necklaces and earrings that I ended up wearing nearly daily and a bunch stashed away that I had forgotten about. Cleaning out my jewelry boxes felt like Christmas! I needed a different solution. There are so many fun options for jewelry displays and storage but I couldn’t get¬†My Guy¬†myself to justify spending¬†the money on purchasing what I thought I needed when I already had two jewelry boxes.¬†Immediately upon seeing the trimmed branches on the ground I was inspired by the branches! I was going to make a jewelry tree.

20150422_112515

I had a glass vase that I previously stored my makeup brushes in that I had just cleaned out. It would be perfect for holding my branches. The glass cylinder vase is actually glued to a candle stick holder to give it some interest and height. Both pieces are from the Dollar Tree! I used the magical¬†E6000¬ģ Craft Adhesive 3.7 oz¬†glue to attach them together then I filled it with rocks in the bottom to add more height to my brushes and now to stabilize my branches. You can use any container though! A tall glass, vase, or mason jar would look great. Just make sure it is weighed down!

20150422_112549

I considered spray painting my branches white or a fun color but ended up really loving the natural element it added to the room which is filled with different neutrals. The color of the birch is such a dark brown and the branches and twigs are smooth and very sturdy. I love how it turned out. I’ve added another taller branch in the middle since the pictures were taken and I love how filled out it looks.

20150422_112526

The picture frame is a banged up wood frame that I found at an antique store. It has chicken wire stapled to it for earring storage. In our next home I may try to make a bigger one with hooks up the side of the frame for bangles and bracelets. Maybe a barnwood frame?! We’ll see.

20150422_112542

I found the mirrored tray at Goodwill. It was a bit rusty and VERY grimy. A steel brush, a good cleaning, and some spray paint made it the perfect spot for all my girly necessities. It gives the clutter purpose. No? Well, it works for me. Ha!

20150422_112447

I now can find and wear all of my jewelry and I love that I can decorate the room in a functional way. If you make a jewelry tree or just feel inspired to display your jewelry, share the pictures with me!

Love,

Tracey

house updates

How to Update Your Bathroom for Under $50!

A few weeks ago my husband started¬†an awesome new job that will require us to relocate. We are so excited! Did you know our house was only on the market for 2 days before we found a buyer?! Craziness! I’m excited to be working on a series of posts focused on getting your house updated, organized, and ready to sell (or ready to enjoy yourselves!). Staging, de-cluttering, and updating are key to getting your house sold quick for the price you want. First, I’d love to share a couple of ideas on how you can update a Plain Jane, builder grade bathroom.

Since we moved in 10¬†months ago we’ve worked on a steady stream of projects to make it more our style, knowing that we’d likely be selling soon. The last 3 weeks before listing we really moved into high gear to finish all of our remaining painting and organization projects, one of them being the hall bathroom.

There are no windows in the hall bathroom and it was dark. When we moved in, we knew we needed to update the light fixture. It still needed something more though. The room felt very plain and “builder grade”. I had¬†two ideas to really give the room an upgraded feel. First, to lengthen the shower curtain in order to visually add height to the room and remove the shadow above the curtain which¬†made the room feel dark. Second, to paint the vanity cabinet. Look at the difference!

house makeover

I found the shower curtain at Target last summer. I really like the airy linen feel of the fabric and the color. I understand that curtains are manufactured to come to the top of the prefab bath/shower fixtures probably to leave steam out the top as to not create a sauna but I wish they would make a longer option! I hoped that lengthening the curtain would have a great visual affect, and it really does make the room feel taller and larger.

The curtain measures 70″ wide. I knew I wanted to add a band of white linen at the bottom of the curtain. The linen I bought had a 42″ selvedge, meaning a yard would be 36″ x 42″. Because I didn’t want to be piecing fabric together I went ahead and bought 2 yards. I cut the entire 2 yd long piece down to 15 inches by 72 inches. That length left me enough room for the double hem around the sides and for a few small pleats to give the bottom a ruffle type flow. Adding about 14 inches of length to the curtain gave enough height that the liner on the inside still keeps the water in the tub.¬†I’ve considered adding another layer, maybe 10-11 inches to create more of a double layered ruffle look. We’ll see! What do you think?

20150416_163033 20150416_155247 20150416_160638

For years I’ve really wanted to upgrade the oak, standard, builder grade cabinet. I hate we didn’t do it sooner because I love how it turned out! The color we chose was inspired by the Centsational Girl blog. I remembered a few years ago seeing a vanity she painted a glossy brown. There are so many shades of brown. I really didn’t want any weird red or burgundy undertones. I was thankful to find that blog post where she shared that she used Betsy Ross House Brown by Valspar. That is what we went with an I am so glad I did. I chose a semi gloss and I’m thankful for the sheen and wipe-ability. After a couple of coats I didn’t feel like it needed a poly coat. Now for the pretty close up… one of these days I’ll get a fancy camera for prettier and clearer pictures.

20150421_120936

Don’t be intimidated by the project -it is just paint! If you decide you don’t like it can be fixed! The cabinet doors were wood but the frame of the vanity was not real wood- it was a dense composite. Because there would be no sanding, I used Zinnser Bonding Primer as a base coat. We took the doors and hardware off and primed the inside¬†of the doors first, flipped and then primed the front. I left the drawers in but pulled them out so that I could¬†paint the drawer front and carefully painted the cabinet frame around them with my 2″ angled Wooster brush (my favorite!). Then, I did the same with the brown. With a gloss finish, make sure you get paint flowing freely from your brush. You want it wet and you want to use uniform strokes in the same direction. No deep brush marks! If you do get some deep strokes, re-dip your brush and go over it again lightly. Some strokes really will look fine. If you are concerned, consider using a small foam cabinet roller on the flat areas.The brown had great coverage with the first coat but it did require a second coat. It cured to a nice, seemingly durable finish.

20150421_120839

I hope this inspires you! Small changes can make a big impact! Go for it, change up that bathroom with a new curtain and rug. De-clutter and search Pinterest for creative storage solutions, if you need it. Choose clean, calming colors, and work in some earth tones for the perfect update. Here are a few pictures of a similar update I did in the master bath a while ago.

Made New Home Furnishings

Made new!

10517536_682881871788040_6110711320856086318_n

Before…

10551551_682882071788020_6438819329317465573_o (1)

  • This bathroom vanity and mirror is painted with French Linen and Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
  • The shower curtain is from Target Summer 2014.
  • The Light Fixture is here:¬†http://www.lowes.com/pd_590922-43501-FV14-048___?productId=50279781&pl=1&Ntt=brushed+nickel+bathroom+vanity+lights
  • The mirror is an antique Drexel mirror that was given to me by my grandfather’s friend.

Featured hall bath details:

  • Zinsser primer (already had on hand), $10 (http://www.lowes.com/pd_45661-90-2004_1z0yye2__?productId=3610418&pl=1)
  • Quart of Valspar Signature latex interior gloss paint, Betsy Ross House Brown, $15
  • 2 in angled brush, $6-$12 depending on what strikes your fancy. I choose Wooster which is $10-$12
  • Fabric to add trim panel or ruffle to bottom of shower curtain. I chose white linen. 2yds from Hancock’s with 40% off coupon = $15
  • New hardware from Lowe’s, $12
  • Basket and flower vase were relocated from other places in the house. ūüôā

Earlier updates included:

You really can make a big change in a bathroom¬†on a budget, and for under $50. The biggest impact was by far painting the vanity and changing the hardware which was $27 because I already had primer and brush on hand. Second biggest impact I think was changing the mirror which was $20. Third was lengthening the shower curtain for $15. Check out your closest Habitat ReStore for paint, hardware, or updated faucets or light fixtures. Remember, light fixtures and hardware can also be spray painted if you find a style you want but in a dated finish. Look for baskets and bins at thrift shops to organize. Plan to shop at your hardware store on holiday weekends, like Father’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, when they have their biggest sales. Go to your Post Office and look for change of address packets, they have loads of coupons including 10% off at Lowe’s… haha! I know from experience. Or take your favorite military friend to borrow their discount and buy them a fun tool while you’re there. ūüôā

Love,

Tracey