Category Archives: DIY Quickie

2 SUPER easy DIYs (Aromatherapy Garland & 60s Child’s Chair Makeover)

I can’t believe I am going to sit down and blog something beyond a family journal entry with recent pics taken from my phone!  I thought I’d take a few minutes to blog a couple of really simple projects I’ve done over the last couple of weeks.  EASY QUICK projects because lawd knows evening and weekend time is precious lately.  Things are about to really pick up at work with new projects and travel, and school is starting in a few weeks so goodbye summer free time!

Essential Oil Felt Ball Garland

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The first one is this cute little felt ball garland.  You can actually make your own felt balls from unspun wool.  I’ve done it, Martha Stewart has a few tutorials and it really is easy – Milo can do it.  But this time I found a multi-colored variety pack on Amazon for super cheap so I went with that.  So for this project, this is pretty much all you need…

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Yep, your felt balls and a needle and some embroidery thread.  You can use whatever color of any of those you’d like – a cute fall colored one would be fun for the autumn.  And obviously if you want to use essential oil, you’ll need your choice of that.

Milo put them in appropriate order (ROY G. BIV of course…) he is such a cute assistant, right?

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And then he handed them to me one by one and I strung them on the embroidery thread.  You don’t even have to knot them, the felt and thread are thick enough that they stay put.  You can rearrange them and space them correctly once you get them all on your string.

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It literally took us about 10 minutes.  And most of that was Milo deciding what order to put them in and then knocking them all off the table and insisting on starting again…with no help.  Last step is to add a few drops (I just chose random balls) of essential oil to a “few” of the balls – adding oil to all balls would be WAY too much.  I think I added one drop to maybe 5 balls.  Then I replenish as the scent fades.  Adding the oil is totally up to you but I knew mine was going to hang in my cubicle at work and I wanted a way to have some yummy scents that also served a purpose.  I think it would be great for a nursery or other types of rooms where you don’t want to use candles or strong scents.

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The blend I chose is called “uplift”.  Something I need each afternoon!  It’s a “synergistic blend of Grapefruit, Orange, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, and Lavender“.  I’m thinking of making another one of these for Milo to hang near his desk with the “focus” blend.  And no, I’m not one of those essential oil salespeople.  You can get them anywhere (Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, Trader Joe’s – way cheaper than independent sales and they work just as well IMO – especially for something like this)…  If you want to skip the oil on your garland, feel free.

Here’s mine hanging on the wall of my cute little cube at work.

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And yes, I’m still getting used to working in a cube.  I’ve worked in an office/classroom for the last… I don’t know… 10 years? So having a cube again is different.  But, I hafta admit… I kind of dig it!  It’s so nice to be around people again! ha!  And I sit next to the Benefits Dept. so I get to hear all sorts of interesting phone calls from people.  LOLOL, just kidding – not really.

I’ve had to make my little space homey if I’m going to be spending a lot of time there, so a nice smelling fuzzy garland helps.

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The next super quick DIY I worked on was this little mid century child’s chair I picked up at a thrift store.

60s MOD Child’s Chair Makeover

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When I first picked it up (for 5 bucks) I wanted to keep it as is.  I actually love the vintage vinyl and colors.

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But after we got it home and I knew it was going to “live” in our downstairs family room, I decided it needed a bit of love.  I tried my darndest to get that rust off but there was some corrosion and pitting… Which meant it wasn’t going to get better.  And I also thought I could get the marker off the vinyl seat but that didn’t happen either.

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No worries though.  I consulted the internet and the nice guy at home depot and discovered I could use a rustoleum spray paint and it would stop the rust damage and prevent it in the future.  Since the chair was going to stay in our living room I went with an oil rubbed bronze – still metallic but updated and would blend well with our style.  I also went to hobby lobby and picked up that red and white material and then found CLEAR vinyl to put on top and it makes it look like the vinyl material that was used in the 60s! I love it!  The original orange and brown vinyl is still under the new material.  I wanted to save it for prosperity sake.  Now our little chair can last another 50 years!

It mostly hangs out in the corner of our family room…

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But it’s small enough and easy enough for Milo to pull it over to the coffee table for snacks and coloring while he watches TV.

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So those are the two quick (really inexpensive) DIYs I’ve done lately.  I need to post about our backyard makeover.  That was not a DIY and cost us over 20K and we are now dealing with contractor issues… ugh – like to the point where we might have to get an attorney involved.  Pray for me because I’ve nearly lost it a few times over the last week.  I’ll leave that story for another day though.  I know in the end it will all work out.

Thanks for reading!  P.S.  Can you believe it’s August?  Yikes!  Slow down 2016!

Kimberly

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A craft from Cady and a mini tour of her room

I thought I’d post this simple but cute DIY tissue paper/tassel garland that Cady did last week.  You can find these everywhere online for 20-30 bucks.  No thank you, they are easy and fun to make!  I also took a few pics of her room because it is RARELY clean!

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Here are the steps.

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1. Gather supplies: A few packs of tissue paper, scissors, thick string to lace your pom-poms through.  Cady chose colors that coordinated with her room, but you could use colors for a party, nursery, etc.  We also found some gold string on clearance at Hobby Lobby – that was sort of the determining factor, it was cheap.  Embroidery string would also work great.

2. Start with a single piece of tissue paper. Fold it in half.

3. Fold in half again.

4. Fold in half again.  I put arrows on the above graphic to show which direction to fold.

5. & 6. Cut strips into the paper leaving about an inch at the top.

7. Unfold the paper and cut in half.  This will give you 2 pom-poms. Put one aside.

8. Unfold pom-pom and start to roll from bottom.  Be sure to keep your “streamers” relatively untangled on the sides.

9. Once your pom-pom is rolled up start twisting that middle section.  Twist tight.

10. & 11. Twist your section over on itself until it form sort of a loop.

12. Repeat steps above until you have desired number of pom-poms.  Lace your pom-poms onto your string and hang!

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Voila! So cute and trendy and takes less than a half hour and costs less than $5.

And as a bonus – here is a mini tour of Cady’s room.

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I knew when I looked at this house that this was a great room for Cady.  It’s the size of a master and has a beautiful bay window and nice blond wood floors.

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She has done a nice job adding her personal touches but still keeping it not “kiddy”.  Ya know?

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I’d love to have a nice built-in bench at that bay window but for now that little couch folds into a full size bed for friends and company.

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So now, go make a fun tissue garland for your house!  It would be a fun craft for any party, shower or even holidays.

DIY Tree Swing

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Friends – I have always wanted a tree swing!  Like Seriously!  I had a swing SET when I was a kid, not an old fashioned tree swing.  I’m not sure why.  I know we had big trees in our yard growing up…  Probably because it was a thing to have those swing sets that rusted out after a while and threatened to give us all tetanus at any time.  They were fun though, we’d swing so high that the legs would come out of the ground! ha!  Good memories.

Anyway, ever since my kids have been little, we’ve never lived in a house that had a big enough tree for a tree swing.  I blame that on living in a big city/suburbs where mature trees are pretty much nonexistent…. until we bought this house last year.  When I saw the big tree in our yard I just KNEW we’d have a swing there some day.  And finally, Matt made it a reality.  This is a SUPER easy project if you have just a little bit of carpentry skills.  You’ll need:

  • rope that will hold more weight than the heaviest person that will be on your swing.  We needed 40 feet because our branch was pretty high.  You’ll need to cut it into 2 pieces for each “side” of the swing that will tie on to your branch, and then 2 more pieces that will secure the board of the swing to the “sides”.
  • 2 carabiners (these will be used to attach ropes that connect board to ropes that hang on tree)
  • board (cut to the size you want – we did 24 inches)

After you figure out how long the sides of your swing will need to be, cut and throw one side over branch.  Use a slip know to secure into place.  I know this looks like it could fall, but trust me, we tried it out and pulled and pulled.  It’s been through a lot of rain and wind and these knots/ropes aren’t going anywhere!

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Next you’ll knot the ends of your side ropes through the carabiners.

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Cut two additional pieces of rope to lace through holes you drill into your swing.

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Knot on the bottom. FYI – the tape is there just to keep the ends from unraveling as we were threading it through the swing and making necessary knots.  We’ll remove it at some point.

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Feed the loop through the carabiners.

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That’s it!  Test it out – your rope may give a little and you may have to adjust the ropes that hold the board up and down until you get it just right.  Just for reference the knots are here:

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This project didn’t even take an hour to complete, but we will get years of enjoyment out of it.

P.S. I didn’t really take pics as we were building it.  It’s so easy you can look at these photos and figure it out.  I snapped the ones above once we were done.  And for no other reason than it’s adorable, this one is my favorite.

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I hope you take time to swing sometime soon – you are Never too old.  I’m headed out there now!

Front Door Makeover!

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I think I’ve done at least 5 front door makeovers in the last 20 years.  Almost every house I have lived in I have repainted or restained or freshened up the front door.  It’s such an easy DIY and can really make a difference.

Here is where we started at the beginning of the weekend:

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And the above pic is after planting our spring flowers! ha!  Our door has pretty much remained the same since we moved in last year.  It’s been on “the list” of things to do but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.  I was really wanting to paint the door a mint or fern green but the more I thought about it, the more I felt swayed to just go with a classic color.  Here’s what needed to be done:

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The trim on our door made no sense to me.  We have a nice window above which lets in great light but the door frame and window didn’t even line up.  And they were completely separate, so I came up with the idea to add a few boards to chunk up the frame and tie in the door with the window.  Matt measured and cut them and screwed them on – 3 boards for less than $10 and it didn’t even take him 20 minutes.  I primed and painted them white and voila, better already.  I also removed the old kickplate and prepped the door for painting (deglosser and some light sanding).  Progress:

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It’s a subtle difference with the trim but it I love how it turned out.  And I chose to paint the new trim and existing frame white because I really wanted the door to pop.  It’s a good tip if you want to fancy up your front door!

Then next day I put 2 coats of paint and replaced the kick plate with the new one we purchased

I added a wreath I got on sale at target and picked up a super cute doormat at the same time.  These two things (in addition to the spring flowers and the fern) sorta give me that green color I was wanting.  Yay!

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I love it so much!

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And a before and after comparison.

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I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

P.S. I used the Modern Masters front door paint that you can get at Lowes.  It’s pricey but is guaranteed for life and is supposed to withstand weather and beatings.  I didn’t even use a fourth of it so I’ll also have plenty for touch-ups or even to paint another exterior door if I want!

An Easter Bouquet…of socks! Great runner’s gift :)

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Cady is a runner.  She loves track.  We all love to be outside running, walking or cycling but Cady takes it to another level.  She gets up every day and runs for an hour before school and also most days AFTER school.  She’s committed…  For Easter I generally get the kids & Matt something small.  A nice new shirt for the boys, a cute top for Cady and myself – just depends.  Well this year I decided to find something Cady really needs.  I know with the warmer temps she will appreciate some new running clothes – and they are super springy colors!  I picked up a 6 pack of Nike running socks and a Nike running tank online (she’s a Nike snob).  At first I was going to arrange them all like eggs in a basket but the more I thought about it, the more I thought a bouquet would be fun!  She’s also been wanting one of those vintage mason jar drinking glasses with the top and straw so when I saw those on clearance at Hobby Lobby, I knew it would make the perfect vase.  So here is a super easy DIY if you ever decide to make a sock bouquet.  It would be perfect for a runner for their birthday, valentines, etc.  Also great for a man for a gift or Father’s day with some nice men’s socks.

Gather your supplies.  You’ll need socks, thin wooden sticks/dowels (I got a pack of 25 for a couple bucks at Hobby Lobby), safety pins and a “vase” of some sort.  I was thinking a coffee cup with men’s socks would be so cute for Father’s Day or for a grandparent.

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Start rolling your socks.  I took a few pics but it is easy.  Just roll the sock around the end of the stick and safety pin in place.  I trimmed my sticks with a pair of scissors – depending on the size of your vase you may not have to do that part.

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You could do socks only but I wanted to add a tank to Cady’s so I just followed the same process with that.

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I then took the drinking jar apart and threaded a ribbon thru the hole of the top.  I arranged my sock flowers and tank and tucked the straw in the back.

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Tie your ribbon around the top and voila – your done!  You could probably skip the ribbon but I liked how it looked and needed a way to keep the lid with the arrangement.

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You can leave the lid in back or pull it around to the front a little.  Whatever you like!

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I hope she loves it!  Easter goodies don’t always have to be about candy and colored eggs – although I kinda like those too. 😉  Happy Easter!

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Housaversary – We’ve been here a year! (and a quick DIY art project)

I can’t believe we have lived in our home a year now!  Sometimes it feels like we have been here much longer and sometimes it feels like we just moved in.  The other day I had to go to the dentist (I still go to a dentist near our old house because I love my dentist!) and I drove thru our old neighborhood and for the first time in a long time I didn’t miss it.  It’s like I was seeing it through a fresh pair of eyes.  I’ve really come to love our new town and neighborhood and I don’t want to go back.  It’s hard to leave a place where you lived for so long and my kids went to elementary and junior high and Gage even graduated from the high school there.  We had so many fun memories in our old house it was always a little painful to drive by it.  So if you move into a new home be prepared that it may take a while to feel grounded there – to feel like it’s yours.

So to honor our one year anniversary at our new home I made a special art piece for our living room.  Roman numerals are all the rage in decorating right now so I’ve known I wanted to incorporate them on this wall in some way.  What I couldn’t decide is what numbers I wanted and what the finish on the letters should be.

At first I was going to use our closing date… Then I decided maybe our house number would be cool.  I thought about using 6-1-8 (as in six one eight)… then I asked Matt for his opinion and he liked 618 (as in six hundred eighteen) the best when we looked at all those numbers in roman numeral form.  Next up I was really undecided about painting them black or white or maybe doing a metal finish… should they be plain painted or rustic or antiqued?  I was reading over on Jenna Sue’s décor blog and she put some up that matched the dark gray color of her bedroom wall (she did her wedding date above their bed – a fantastic idea).  So I decided to try painting ours just the color of our walls and I love it.  It almost looks like 3D art.

Could be a special date, birthday, address - whatever!

Could be a special date, birthday, address – whatever!

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I bought the letters at Hobby Lobby for about $5 each.

I bought the letters at Hobby Lobby for about $5 each.

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This wall is a work in progress and I ordered a few fun prints that will give it a gallery feel. I need to get them framed tho – maybe next week? 😉

People often ask about those pics as well.  They were normal photos that I ran thru the waterlog app to give them that "painting" effect.  Then I printed them out and framed them.

People often ask about those pics as well. They were normal photos that I ran thru the waterlog app to give them that “painting” effect. Then I printed them out and framed them.

So that is the fun little half hour project I did over the weekend.  Matt and I have so many projects that we are working on that I’ll be relieved when we can start marking things off our list!  The cool thing is that we love this kind of stuff so it’s fun for us too!

Just for fun… a shot from a year ago and a shot from today…

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woohoo! progress!

woohoo! progress!

Little updates to the Living Room

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The last few days have been icy and snowy.  School has been cancelled, Matt was home from work – it was actually like WINTER!  I’ve got a nice fire in the fireplace and a hot cup of coffee so I figured it’s a good time to share a couple updates that we’ve done in our living room lately.  I haven’t shared photos of our living room on the Home Tour page so I’ll post a few in this post.

Here is where we started… (realtor pics from when our home was on the market)

THEN:

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NOW:

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THEN:

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NOW:

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Since moving in we haven’t done major updates to this room – nothing was really needed.  It’s bright and open and a great space for hanging out – plus you can see the TV from any room on the bottom floor.  Yay for open concept.  Obviously we added all of our own things when we moved which is a different style than the previous owners.  A few months later I re-stained the mantle – the original color was just too “orangey”.  We are slowly getting rid of the maple stained cabinets, vanities, etc throughout the house and the mantle was quick change.

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Recently I’ve done 2 updates in this room though – little ones.  First of all, I changed up the mirror and décor on the mantle.  Y’all know I was pining away for one of these $500-$1000 window ones from Pottery Barn.

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But I had a mirror on the mantle already.  It’s at least 15 years old but I knew I could jazz it up with some trim pieces we already had in the garage. Here is a shot of it from last fall…

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All I did was tape it off and paint it with a shiny black spray paint we already had in the garage.  then I cut the trim pieces (all by myself!) and made sure they all fit.  I painted them with the same spray paint after I had cut them to the right size.  Then I glued them on the mirror.  That’s it.  Took less than 2 hours and most of that was drying time.  I also bought a couple “branches” from hobby lobby (4 for less than $10) and put them in an existing glass vase from the mantle.  I bent them toward the mirror – I love that they sort of look wind blown.

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Easy Peazy.

The other “new” thing in the room is our chair.  I scoured the net looking for just the right classic chair in a neutral color.  I wasn’t up for spending more than $400… Matt and I went to World Market where we found this one for around $330 – but was on sale for $250!  BUT… it was sold out and discontinued. However, they offered us the floor model for $150 (we negotiated that down slightly)and I had a 20% off coupon so we got this bad boy for just over $100!  That’s a steal!  The ottoman I found at Target, also on sale from $100 to $60!

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Those are the little updates that have been done in this room.  We have a bigger project in store and I’ll share a little about that one too… It will take several weekends but I’m super excited about it.  There is the weird pass thru from the kitchen to the living room.  I don’t get it and I do NOT like it.  Like I mentioned above, our bottom floor is open concept.  This is literally one of the only walls so I’m not sure whey they put a hole in it… lol  It serves no purpose – just looks dumb.  It would have been perfectly fine as a whole wall – the kitchen will still be VERY open to the living space.

Realtor Pic:

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Current Pic and what we plan to do:

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Some of my inspiration:

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Sources: 1  2  3 

Here’s a photoshopped mock-up.  Ours will look will be very similar.  Same type of lights and cabinets below.

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Will be fun, but will take some effort.  More to come! 🙂