Tag Archives: DIY

I’m drippin’ drippin’ gold

Well, truthfully, I’m drippin’ drippin’ silver. (No disrespect to Static Revenger & Richard Vission.)

We FINALLY got around this weekend to working on a project that I’ve wanted to finish for weeks. Total time spent on the project: 10 minutes tops. Do you ever have something like that, where you’ll put off a project for weeks and then it takes you all of 2 seconds to complete? I’m not gonna lie – it made me feel like a lazy girl. Maybe it’ll be my motivation to get off my butt on projects I’ve been neglecting.

But I digress. A few weeks ago, Timm and I were in IKEA doing one of our random “looking-around-for-everything-and-nothing” visits. (Ah, the benefits of being 10 minutes from a store.) We always look in the As-Is section as we’ve found a ton of great deals there in the past. Just recently, I’ve started looking in the “handyman” corner of our section. Here, you can mostly find things like cabinet doors they don’t make anymore, glass panes to their bookcases, and random pieces of wood. Mixed in, we found this baby.

FACT: I have NO idea what it is or what its desired purpose is, but the second I saw it, I had a vision for it.

PLUS! I’m not sure if it’s the same at all IKEA stores, but at ours, everything in the Handyman section is always an additional 50% off the ticket price, so we snagged this for a piddly $4. Woot woot! Once we got it home, it rested against the wall in the guest bedroom while I decided the perfect place for it.

The blank wall space next to my grandmother’s picture seemed like a swell spot. So with the help of my Much Taller and More Coordinated husband…

We made sure the frame was level and nailed it to the wall using long, 2.5″ nails in four spots along the top of the frame. Once it was hung, we had a lovely, blank grate on the wall. Until..


(Do you see where this is going?)

A’yup. I decided to use this lil puppy as a jewelry holder. The earrings were easy, as those Fancy Lil Devils come complete with their own hanging hooks.


Yes, I have a feather earring addiction. What of it?

With the addition of a bunch of these little guys…

…I was able to hang all of my necklaces on it, too. And then…it was drippin’ drippin’ silver.

I pretty much love it. I’ve always loved the look in store boutiques when the walls just glimmer with glittery chains of all different textures, and I think I have a bit of that goin’ here. I’m a little worried about what I’ll do as my cheap jewelry collection grows, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll just have to make another IKEA run and grab another of these while they’re still there?

How do you ladies (and gents) display your jewelry? Do you keep it tucked away in a pretty box, lay it down on your counter, keep it all in a bowl, etc? Fess up!

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Spray Paint is my BFF

It took me 31 years, but I’m finally starting to understand why graffiti artists love using spray paint as their art instrument of choice. Not only is it ridiculously cheap for what it is, but you can get the most instant results and the best coverage imaginable. I think I’m having a minor love affair with spray paint, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I think the “at” symbol was the first place we began our spray paint addiction with.

Then we moved on to bigger and greener pastures. Well, not green so much as the same glossy white we used on the “at”.

Those white nightstands? Yeah, they used to be scratched-up, red-toned wood. In white, they just look so crisp n’ clean! I decided, though, that my love of spray paint had to move beyond the white! Timm and I stocked up on spray paint ready to paint anything that would sit still for us.

The other weekend, I picked up some old, scratched candlesticks at Goodwill for a measly $2 each.

I knew that I loved the shape (and y’all know I loved the price), but I had other visions for them. But oh no, I wasn’t ready to bring out my old friend, Mr. Spray Paint yet. I thought I was smarter than that, Oh ho ho! I darted over to Lowes and grabbed a $3 sample paint pot in Polly Green.

I loaded myself up with an arsenal of little brushes, sponges – the works – and I started going to town, only to find…

Yeah, to be blunt, it looked like CRAP. Streaky, uneven, etc. I just didn’t like it. So, I took a deep breath and decided to talk to my friend, Mr. Spray Paint.


Doesn’t that color just make you want to do a little happy dance??

Three very thin, very even coats later, and Mr. Spray Paint made me fall madly, blissfully in love with some inanimate objects.

They look amazing on our dining room table right now. It has definitely settled my fear a bit in dabbling into the foray of spray paint. Now I’m just worried I’m going to spray paint EVERYTHING. Muah-ha-ha!

Do you have any home objects you’ve transformed with a little bit of paint? What’s your method of choice? Am I the only one who calls things “Mr.” and “Mrs.” (as in Mr. Spray Paint)?

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Be…our…guest, be our guest!

I like the idea of posting about rooms that aren’t quite finished yet. It’ll give us something to look back on and say, “Remember when we did that? Holy schnikies, it looks so much better now.” And yes – I do say “schnikies”. But I digress.

When we moved into the house, we went on a freaking painting bonanza. It was something akin to this.


(source: Hyperbole and a Half)

We tackled (with some help): Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Sitting Area, Bedroom, Spooky’s room (most of it), Half-Bathroom/WC/Loo, and Office within 60 days.
Note: I’m not sure why each of those rooms required their own capitalization, but so it goes. You’ll live.

The one room that sat COMPLETELY unfinished was the guest bedroom. I just didn’t know what to do with it! Timm had free-reign of the office (a room which I’ll focus on this week), so I was given complete, masterful control of the guest room. That would have been awesome if I had any idea of any cohesive theme for it. Boo and hiss.

Until…

My grandma’s painting gave me an idea for the color scheme I wanted to go for – a light, almost robin’s egg blue. I grabbed some swatches and placed them in three different walls in the room to see how each color caught light differently.

After staring at them intently in bright morning light, evening sunset, cloudy light, and Light-From-A-Lightbulb light, I fell in love with Valspar’s Sea Kiss.

Finally…it was on. It was on like Donkey Kong.


Paint, I’m about to make you my bitch.

After a few hours of painting, I had Timm help me finish the second coat while I did some dramatic attempts at Cutting In.

The end result in the sunshine (with freshly painted trim and baseboards) makes me all giddy in my guttiworks.

Of course, as soon as we were finished painting, Timm stepped back and mused, “Huh. It looks like we were painting for a nursery.” Well crap. Being that we’re not in the market to have kids at the moment, we don’t want people getting any crazy ideas. haha Finally, we could move furniture back in! For now, the bed is a temporary (but COMPLETELY generous) hand-me-down. I’d love to have a futon in there someday.

The boring side. The closet takes up a whole wall, so that will pretty much stay as-is. The side table is one that I made from an A-frame and a cabinet door-front that I snagged for $8 total from IKEA’s As-Is section. We have the violin we found in our crawl space laying on the table for now. I figured it was best to keep it close to where we found it in case the ghosts want it back. I’m kidding. …or am I?


View from the door. Aren’t our windows the best?! I think the fun curtains we snagged for $15 from IKEA really go well with the room.


Burdie.


This is my Makeup Command Center™, as it was dubbed by Timm long ago. I have a wee bit of a makeup addiction and it’s pretty much my happy place. Those white drawers on the right? Yeah, they’re ALL filled with makeup. DON’T JUDGE ME.


The only real “decoration” in the room right now is here. We have a shelf with my Ghoulia Yelps Monster High doll, and my two A-MAZING Paint by Number paintings (that I completed) that were a Xmas gift from my Sister-in-Law. Then we have some IKEA spice racks that I use to hold my nail polish collection.


These guys were also a Xmas Sister-in-Law gift that I can’t WAIT to hang – lightboxes with old-time movie monsters. Happy Linda.


In the corner, we have a suitcase with goodies meant for guests to use when they stay over. There are some essentials, like a toothbrush, shampoo, etc., and of course, a teddy bear. (Hey man, anyone who says a teddy bear isn’t essential in life is nutso.)

And of course, on the wall opposite of the bed…

There’s still SO much to do in this room – I’d love to have a futon, a carpet of sorts, more art on the walls, etc. We’ll get there. For now, I’m pretty confident that we have a comfy lil room going for our guests. If you’re ever staying over and that violin starts playing in the middle of the night though, I give you full permission to run out screaming.

I know I would.

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Naked ladies! ALL NUDE!

*ahem* Now that I have your attention with that post, I really do want to talk about a nude woman. Seriously. Stay tuned.

When my grandma passed away a few years back, I immediately knew what I wanted to remember her by. She always had a picture hanging in her bedroom from when I was a little girl. I remember thinking it was horribly scandalous and risque…but I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it and how beautiful it was.

My grandfather used to joke and tell people that the painting was of my grandmother. (It wasn’t, but my grandma was so beautiful that I’m sure it was a believable lie.) The picture hung in our apartment, and then was (oh-so-carefully) moved to the new house, where it was decided that it would hang in our guest room.

The light-woodgrain frame never really “went” with our decor, but I was so scared at the idea of changing it that I never attempted it. I was paranoid that I would somehow ruin it and upset my grandma. Silly? Probably, but that’s the way my mind works. Also, the framing/matting job was done professionally, and was of such good quality that I didn’t want to muck it up. It also isn’t in my budget to have it reframed right now.

This weekend, I got up the guts to paint the frame. Every single step of this process had beads of sweat dripping down my forehead, but somehow (deep breath)…I survived. I started by laying the picture on a dropcloth and cleaning it REALLY well. Years of dirt poured off the poor thing!

I trusted my beloved 1.5″ Frog Tape to carefully seal the edges of the frame from the glass covering the picture. I made sure that the edges of the tape wouldn’t allow for ANY bleeding by running the side of a credit card down the tape to ensure no bubbling/lifting.

I was nearly panicking as I was carefully painting the frame with Valspar Ultra Premium Gallon Interior Latex Semi-Gloss Ultra White, first with a mini roller, and then with a finer brush. I did four very, very, very thin coats of paint to ensure there would be full-coverage with no drip or brush marks.

After letting it dry for a full day, I stepped back and surveyed the results.

I. Love. It. I think my grandma would love it, too. It makes the picture pop, and it looks SO GOOD against our freshly painted guest room walls. (Stay tuned for a post this week about the guest room!)

Now we have a pair of fully-glorious boobs on our wall…and I couldn’t be happier.

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It’s the End of the World as We Know It…

…and I feel fiiiiiiine.

If 2012 really is the end of the world like some are predicting, I at least want to make sure I’m going into next year with a swank calendar. Priorities, people!

Every year, the insanely creative folks over at Young House Love create their own calendar, and then share the template with their readers. Considering that I work with a lot of artists/designers, I know how hesitant some people can be to give away their design secrets, so I’m always so impressed that they’re willing to do that for their blog followers. That being said, the calendar they made this year was GORGEOUS. Unfortunately, for a little Photoshop-newbie like me, the number of layers contained in that file were a bit much for me.

Turns out that it was much easier for me to go back to their 2011 calendar and edit that into something I could use for 2012. I loved the idea of taking quotes that mean something to us and slapping them on a calendar. It’s funny – Timm & I will say the same quotes over and over again until we’re beating a dead horse, but when it came time to think of 12 of them, I had SUCH a hard time!

Nonetheless, I made the calendar, and I’m pretty damn proud of how it came out. Here are a few of my favorite months:

Each lil phrase means something to us, and it’s sweet to me to have such a meaningful calendar hanging on our kitchen wall that we can see every day.

Do you guys look forward to a fresh calendar each year like I do? Have you ever made your own?

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The room with the toilet

I never quite know what to call a bathroom that has no bathtub. Yes, I guess I technically still call it a “bathroom”, but if you took a bath in a room that just has a toilet and a sink, you’d have to be very small to fit yourself into said sink to take a bath. “Powder room” sounds so formal, since nine times out of ten, no powder is involved in that room. “Restroom”? Nah. I’ll just call it the bathroom.

But I digress.

Strangely, our half-bathroom is simultaneously the most finished room, the one that still needs a lot of work, and the smallest room in the house. I have to admit that I can take next-to-no credit for the entire room. The first week that we owned the house, we were still technically living in the apartment. Timm took off of work to start house-stuff immediately, and the bathroom was one of his first big projects.

We walked in to peel-n-stick vinyl flooring (that was peeling up on the edges), a toilet that the word “gross” couldn’t even be used to describe, a HUGE vanity that took up most of the usable space, and a general “blah” feeling to the room. But now…

I love our little Powdery Resty Half Bathroom! After giving the all-white walls a fresh coat of Behr’s Sea Life, the next things tackled were the sink and toilet. Timm did these all on his own!! I was so proud of my lil handyman. If you told me I needed to change out a toilet or sink (or anything to do with plumbing), I’d probably give the Team America Distress Signal.

He handled it like a champ, though.


The best part was how shockingly cheap this part of the project was! The dual-flush, water-saving toilet by Glacier Bay was a mere $98 from Home Depot, and our space-saving vanity was only $129 on sale from Lowes. There’s SO much more room in our little room now.

Oh, and just in case guests aren’t familiar with a dual-flush toilet…

Yep.


Stepping back a bit, this is the lady and gentleman that welcome you into our bathroom. Of all the things we’ve given names to in our home so far, we haven’t named these two yet. I feel like they need to be something fancy, like Esmarelda and Frederick. Yes…Esmarelda & Frederick were only 50¢ each from Goodwill. Cha-ching, again.

Here are some detail shots for other goodies in the room.


But wait…what is that in the mirror’s reflection??

Squeeeeeeeee! Our octopus decal is pretty much one of the best things in our house. He takes up nearly the entire wall on one side. While he was a bit of a chore to actually get on the wall (picture the largest sticker you’ve ever seen with tons of little details and holes), he was entirely worth it. We kinda sorta love him.

The big thing we have left to do in the bathroom is to replace the dingy, peeling floor.

Let’s hope it’s not too difficult.

At first we thought we wanted to replace the ceiling, but I think the bubbly texture of it is growing on me.

I like to think of it as the bubbles that our octopus friend is blowing while he’s underwater, swimming towards his magical castle under the sea.

…wait. What?

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I Was Here

We were planning our December housewarming party before we had even moved into the house this past October. I knew that I wanted something to remember our guests by, just in case I forgot to take pictures.

Well, wouldn’t you know it – I forgot to take pictures. It’s tough being a party host! I was running around so much that I barely had time to breathe, let alone snap pictures. I wanted to do a makeshift photobooth (read: a white sheet on the wall with a camera on a tripod in front of it), but the logistics of it seemed a bit much. I thought of doing a guestbook, but that seemed to suit a stuffy wedding more than a rockin’ housewarming. I’m so glad that I thought of our little jar beforehand.

As guests walked in, they saw this framed picture:

We had little 4″ x 4″ squares of paper laid out (in our colors of teal & white, because I’m a dork), pens (in a makeshift penholder that was a glass wrapped in leftover fabric from the tablerunner I made), and a HUGE vase I snagged from HomeGoods for a piddly $12. (I am completely addicted to HomeGoods, if that isn’t obvious to you guys yet.

Add a vase full of ornaments from Dollar Tree, and a bud vase of fresh flowers, and voila! Pretty!

While not everyone filled out a slip, the ones we got were fantastic. We spent the next morning reading them and alternating between coos of “Awww!”…

And hysterical, belly-aching laughter…

I love our friends. ;) We’re going to keep the vase out on display with all of the notes inside, and encourage anyone who comes in the house to leave a little note. That way, if we’re ever feeling “meh”, we can look back on all of our notes.

Do you have any little, cheesy sentimental baubles around your place?

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Sittin’ Place

The very first time that our realtor took us through our house, there was one area I loved almost immediately.

When you first walk down the stairs, you see this strange little bench. Timm and I think that in its former life with its former owners, it served as a sitting area behind a dining room table. Because we decided to make the “den” area into our new dining room, we had free reign with this lil guy. Well, maybe I’d be more accurate in saying that I had free reign with it. Timm let me take magical control of it.

I immediately had a few ideas:
a) A comfy window seat where one could curl up and read, ala DJ Tanner’s room in Full House.


(source)
(Oh hush. Full House was a very important part of my childhood.) Then I realized that the bench we had probably wasn’t big enough to do any curling whilst reading. Enter Option B…

b) A Moroccan bench/seat. Using inspiration by simply Google-ing Moroccan Sitting Rooms, I came up with this:


Squee!!

Before the pillows went down, our colors of Grape Juice and Yukon Gold had people thinking that we must just be HUGE Los Angeles Lakers fans…but no. We just liked the colors.

I’m really proud to say that I made most of the pillows on the bench with my own two hands. I made friends with my new-to-me (read: hand-me-down) sewing machine, and we decided to work together towards the common goal – making gorgeous pillows for cheaper than you could buy them for. The pillows that were not made by me were either gifted (like that teal beauty third from the right) or bought on the SUPER cheap (like the huge purple guy in the left corner that I snagged for $2 at Goodwill – new with the tag still on it!).

I also made the bench seat – a process that I now wish I’d snapped pictures of. It basically involved me taking a long sheet of 3/4″ plywood (that Home Depot cut to size for me), laying a layer of foam on top (purchased from Walmart, cheap), laying black upholstery fabric on top (SUPER clearance from JoAnn’s), and stapling it to the back. I was all proud of my Master Skillz, until I realized that the whole project had taken me a mere 7 minutes from start-to-finish. Doh. Not very masterful, eh?

The lanterns were the very first things I bought for the house. We hadn’t even closed yet, and I saw those in HomeGoods and knew they had to be mine. MUAH HA HA!

One idea I had to finish the bench off was to drape some fabric along the front or sides or back. I just wanted something flowy, though everything I found seemed to be too heavy, or look too much like something you’d find in a stoner’s dorm room.

Enter one of my best friends, Acacia/Cacie and the most awesome housewarming gift in the history of ever!!

See that fabric laying there? It’s SILK. Oh, and that coloring that matches everything perfectly? It’s hand-dyed. Seriously, folks. I just about dyed (HA! Get it? DYED??) when she gave it to me. I have two stunning, HUGE pieces like that and I can’t wait to hang them. I might work on that this weekend.

So what do you think? What would you have done with that strange little sitting area? Would you have kept it as a dining room bench? More importantly, did you watch Full House, too?

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The Island of Misfit Toys

I cannot tell a lie. I have been listening to last year’s Glee Christmas album all morning, and I have been known to randomly burst into song. This will happen all day, I’m sure. The frost that was on my car this morning probably helped the cause along, but whether it’s the music, the frost, or my ever-looming shopping list, I have one thing on the brain – the holidays! “Excited” isn’t even a strong enough word to convey how I feel right now. Add my usual excitement to the fact that I now have a house I can decorate and I’m over the moon.

Black Friday scored us an AWESOME deal on an AWESOME tree. You might have spied it in our last post, but let’s go on a journey together and take a closer look, shall we? Don’t worry – I’ll hold your hand if you get scared.

It’s a 6.5′ tall, prelit guy that we snagged from Walmart at a steal. Most trees we see that are this size & quality run about $80-100. Because I’m one of those crazies who goes out at obscene hours on Black Friday each year (hey, it’s tradition), we got our tree for a piddly $30! Win.

We bought all of the ornaments on the super-cheap, as we are wont to do. We probably spent no more than $20 on all of them. We searched and searched for the perfect tree topper, but the cheap-ass stars that adorn most trees just weren’t our thing, so we perched that little Peacock Man from Pier 1 on top. He ran us $6.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Linda-and-Timm tree if there wasn’t some weird-ass ornaments thrown in there for good measure.


ZOMBIE DUDE! I managed to pick him up at the tail-end of Halloween 2010 from Pier 1 for a whole dollar.


Hunka-hunka burnin’ ELVIS! He was a housewarming gift to him and I adore him. Do you see how sparkly his jumpsuit is??


You guys. You can’t know how much I freakin’ love this ornament. First of all, I have a minor obsession with Dirty Dancing. (Fun fact: As a kid, I used to slide down the slide at the playground and picture Patrick Swayze was waiting at the end of the slide for me. I was probably 7 at the time. Yes, I’m aware that is just so wrong.) This ornament? It says lines from the movie. I can’t even. My favorites: “Spaghetti arms!!” and “Butt out, Baby.” sigh But I digress.

Here’s what lives under the tree:

The Grinch, Egbert the Owl, and The Spooky. (And yes, a squirt bottle to keep said “The Spooky” from chewing on, and therefore throwing up said tree.)

Blatantly stealing Christmas inspiration from YoungHouseLove, I whipped up some (remarkably simple, but effective) decorations to be strewn about the house.

$14 for 3 vases from IKEA.
+ $1 per set of a dozen ornaments from Target, bought 3 sets
+ $3 for moss from JoAnn Fabrics
+ $1 for two vintage milk bottles from Goodwill
+ 50¢ for two silver, wiry ornaments from Goodwill =
$19.50 for a house-full of holiday cheeriness. And to that, I say, “Woot woot!”

So there you have it! Our holiday decorations for 2011! Next year, I’m hoping I have the guts to attempt some outdoor lights, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Now spill the beans – how did you guys decorate your place for the holiday season this year? Any creative DIY projects you tackled?

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Check that off my list.

You guys get it? Check?? No, you probably don’t get that yet. But you will, I promise. And you’ll laugh.

Shortly after our new shiny things appliances came in, we wanted to tackle the flooring situation. What we walked in to was dark green, marbled vinyl flooring. While they were never really our cup of tea, the addition of the stainless appliances combined with the floor just made the kitchen so dark. Plus, it had always been my dream to have a black & white tiled kitchen floor. After extensive searching on Timm’s part, he finally found some of the “peel-and-stick” vinyl floor tiling from Home Fashions Store. He erred on the side of caution and got 6 boxes of white tiles (20 per box) and 6 boxes of black tiles. (Note: These tiles were hard. as. hell. to find for some reason! Why?!?)

We started by making sure the kitchen floor was as clean as it could be, and then, the first glorious tile went down.

Once we got the hang of it, the center part of the floor was ridiculously easy. Peel the backing off of the tile, stick it on the floor, roll over it with a vinyl floor tile roller, stand on the tile, dance a bit, marvel at your tile, dance some more, sit back down, do it all over again.

A little sneaky tip for you: When you’ve been handling gluey tiles for a while (and yes, “Gluey” is a word), the glue will inevitably transfer from the tile, to your hands, and back onto the next tile you touch. Goo Gone will become your best friend. Slather a bit of that onto a paper towel and voila! The glue comes right off.

That is how the floor looked when I finished helping all that I could. Timm was an awesome specimen of human and finished the rest, which obviously involved cutting a ton of little tile triangles. End result?

A-freaking-mazing. I love, love, love our floors. They clean up so easily and add such a pop to the kitchen. They are textured enough to keep you from falling on your keister, but smooth enough so that you can accurately do your best Tom Cruise dancing impression.

And the best part? The total cost of our total kitchen floor renovation was under $200. Cha-ching.

Look at that view! Oh, but don’t trip over that massive ledge.

Yep. For some reason, there is a full 2″ ledge between our walkway and the kitchen floor. Timm and I are used to it by now, but I think every single other person who has come into our house has left with a stubbed toe from it. This will have to change someday.

So what do you think? Would you be into using peel-n-stick vinyl tiles? What home improvement project has made YOU dance?

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