Category: DIY Decor

Wedding Memories Get Me Every Time

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Updates have been happening all around the house. Big and small alike. This is a small one. Something we were lacking was some art for our bedroom. Instead of buying something new, I wanted to keep things personal, so I decided to update some “art” I had made in the past. After our wedding, we had all these paper mementos that I wanted to keep. So a few years ago I framed up some of our guestbook “tags.”

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It worked fine, but it wasn’t quite the scale I had imagined. (I have this idea that “grown-up” art should be big.) Also, I wanted to feature some of the other fun elements from our big day, like the buttons—everyone at the wedding had a name tag button.

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So, I took the cards out of the frame and measured everything out to decide how big a frame the cards could fill. A trip to IKEA gave me the perfect frames to fill out. Two smaller square “shadow box” frames for the buttons. And one larger frame for all the guestbook notes.

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I used simple brown kraft paper as the background and double-sided tape to hold them in place. Yes, the “cheers” tag looks like it might have had one too many. Nothing a little tape can’t fix.

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The two smaller pieces hang on either side of our bed, and the guestbook tags hang on Mr. GMET’s side of the room. It’s one of the last things I look at before I fall asleep and I’m always reminded of our family and friends celebrating the day we started our family.

Other bedroom updates: Headboard (seen above) | Text art (seen in reflection) | Jewelry Box

A First Home Gets Me Every Time

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It’s been a while, yet again, since I’ve posted any updates here. I mean, the last few were huge though, so I felt like they probably carried you for a while. But, the reason for the delay, is because we’ve been so busy readying our home for our baby’s arrival. So, there’s a lot to share, but first, I want to take a moment to share more about our first home—a small, one-bed apartment in Brookline, MA, right outside of Boston, and pictured above.

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It wasn’t a glamorous place. A walk-up. Hadn’t been remodeled in years. Pink tile bathroom. No parking. Smelled a little funny. Packages got stolen. So, it’d be easy to remember it for those cramped quarters, slanted walls and noisy neighbors. But I’d rather remember it for everything else it stands for in our lives.

It was the first apartment we “picked” together, even though I was living there alone. It was where Mr. GMET first lived together after we got married. It was where we made decisions about purchasing our first home. Where we spent so many firsts as Mr. & Mrs., from Christmas to birthdays, etc. It was where I got an order for, foolishly accepted and made 500 business card holders with eyebrows.newart1I’m excited to turn our old home into new art, but I’m even more excited for all the memories we’ll make in our new home. “Old home, new art” is tucked behind our front door with our spare keys and not to be needed again address stamp. It’s a great reminder of where our family started and just how far we’ve come.

PS. The shortened version of how I made this: 1) take picture. 2) print out. 3) tape to window & trace. 4) scan and print on card stock. 5) frame with accessories (spare keys & address stamp.) 

 

A New Cabinet Gets Me Every Time

cabinet1Growing up my favorite color was purple. My clothes were purple. My nails were painted purple. Even the carpet in my bedroom was purple. (Yes, like I lived in a casino or something.) I could not get enough purple. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still like purple. But it was only my favorite color until green came into the picture. Probably somewhere around sixth grade. And I still love green. But now. Yellow is my color.

KitchenOriginal3Except, not on the kitchen walls, as seen here, prior to any of our painting. See that cabinet to the left of the sink. If you recall, we took it down.

KitchenRedo5And opened up that kitchen wall. But that cabinet. It was yearning for a second chance. And, much like me, wanted a chance to shine.

Cabinet_1pillowThe doors came off. This pillow from Target became the inspiration. And we hit the paint store for a pint of York Harbor Yellow by Benjamin Moore. Then, I got to work.

Cabinet_inprogressAnd I forgot to take many in-progress shots, so here’s the run down. Doors off. Cabinet cleaned. Prep work complete. (Same as we did for the kitchen.) I added these legs from Lowe’s. And this hardware to the doors. Drumroll please!

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Yes. And Louise likes it.

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And our games have a new home.

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The color. The plant. The games.

 

cabinet_3You guys. My name is Kelly and I’m in love with the color yellow and this yellow cabinet.

A Valancing Act Gets Me Every Time

So, this was our bathroom window before. A little sad, don’t you think?

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OK. Very sad.

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But now. Well, it’s better than it was. Let’s just say that. Note, this was an evening project, so the pictures are less than ideal. This was a no-sew project. So quickly, let’s review with Kelly’s “How-to make a no-sew modern valance in one evening.”

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First find a scrap piece of wood and cut it so it’s about 2 inches wider than the window frame. (It’s ok if there’s paint or imperfections, you’re going to cover it.)

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Speaking of, grab a scrap piece of some neutral fabric. Now, wrap your board in the fabric, just like a present, and staple it together. Make sure to staple it all on one side, so one side has staples, the other none. (The side with the staples faces the ceiling.)

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So, here, it’s worth mentioning that I used the bottom of an IKEA curtain that I had chopped off and hemmed from another project. I used one piece to wrap the board, and another piece for the next step.

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I measured how long I wanted the valance to hang and left enough to fold and staple to the top of the board. Then I carefully laid it out, making sure the bottom of the valance and the edge of the board were parallel. Then, staple in place, but not on the ends.

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Next, it’s time to carefully fold the corners, again like wrapping a present, to form a corner at the front edge of the board. Here’s where you staple the ends into place.

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Now, we’re ready to hang it. I got these fancy brackets at the hardware store and I used some highly scientific methods to mark those purple lines that needed to line up with the edge of the board. (Read: the Mr. held it up while I figured out how it would hang.) So, then, it was just a matter of screwing them into the board.

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And here’s a look from the ground, of the finished valance hanging over the window. An hour-long project that needs an extra set of hands for the last couple steps. Let’s take one last look at the window.

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We actually completed this project a few weeks back and have since hung some photos, a mirror and some small storage. I’ll give you guys the full tour (of this tiny half bath) soon, promise!

A New Headboard Gets Me Every Time

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Sweet dreams are made of these. And new headboards.
Because, guys, dreams are real.
OK. If you’re still with me, instead of sucked down that rabbit hole called YouTube, we’re talking about this new headboard. Because why go through your life knowing you can make a headboard, then never doing it again?

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So, first up, I gathered my supplies. No gonna lie, it took twice as long to get everything together than it did to make this headboard. I went to Jo-Ann’s for the fabric and some 1.5 inch foam. Then, after many careful measurements, I headed to lowe’s to have some wood cut and pick up some T-plates and corner braces (right). Then I went to another craft store (’cause I had a coupon, y’all) to grab some batting, and some foam core boards. Once home, I grabbed my tape measure, drill, screw box, staple gun and spray adhesive.

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So, disclaimer, this should be titled “how to build a headboard with as little construction as possible.” I carefully laid out all my wood. These are the pieces I had cut: two long pieces that will serve as the legs, two cross pieces the width of our bed, and  one middle beam for support and structure. This is where fancy, advanced people would drill fancy holes or make fancy cuts to make this all fit together. Me, I just used those handy corner braces and T brackets. Drill, baby, drill.

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You may remember from my last headboard, I used a solid piece of pegboard as my structure. But, that was for a full size bed. Since we upgraded to the king size, we needed an upgraded, yet lightweight headboard. Using pegboard or plywood as a base would have been heavier than I was looking for. That’s where the foam core came in. I calculated the total area of the headboard and bought enough pieces of foam core to act as the base. Then I just screwed them into the frame.

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From here, I cut up my foam to fit the headboard area—it was more than long enough, but not tall enough, so I snipped off the extra and placed it at the bottom to fill in the bottom. After everything was lined up, I picked up each piece and used a little bit of spray adhesive to hold the foam in place.Headboard7

Then, I laid down my batting and flipped the whole thing—frame, attached to foam core, attached to foam—so I could pull the batting taut and staple it to the back of the frame. Then it was another time to flip again. This time to line up the fabric. While the last go around I went with some tufting, this time, I settled on a print. And it was super important that these stripes were straight.

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To line up the fabric, I rested the headboard against the wall and played around with the placement until it was just right. Then I put a few staples in around the sides, flipped it back over and stapled all the way around. And, drumroll please…

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They look pretty straight to me. Don’t you think? If you’ve been following along on Instagram, stripes are becoming a theme around these parts. Just can’t get enough. I love them. Bring on the stripes and the sweet dreams.

Kitchen Updates Get Me Every Time

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It’s ready for primetime—the kitchen! But more importantly, it’s ready for dinnertime. As you can see from the above “split screen” photo, the biggest change is paint. And lots of it. 
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We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Athena and the cabinets Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. We also added new hardware including drawer pulls, cabinet handles and hinges. Let me tell you, those little guys start to add up quickly. Regardless, we love the look.

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If full disclosure, we did hire a painter to refinish the cabinets for us. BUT… he got a little sloppy and we were not happy with the results at all. So, we repainted them ourselves. Over many weekends and nights. (He had already gone over his timeline and we were beyond ready to have our house back.) I found a few resources online, but stuck pretty close to the step-by-step over at Young House Love. Especially since their cabinets looked pretty similar to ours.

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The other big change that we made was adding some more airiness to this side of the room. We removed that double cabinet to the left of the sink to allow more light to stream into the kitchen. The photos were taken at different times, so it’s not best to judge these two against one another in terms of natural light flooding in.

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We picked up the brackets at IKEA and had two pieces of wood cut to fit the space. Then, they all got a coat of Chantilly Lace paint and we mounted them on this little piece of wall.

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Here’s a closer look. There enough room for the glasses that we use daily, a big serving bowl and a cookie jar that’s just waiting to be filled with something sweet. We did a lot of holding up random pieces of cardboard and scrap wood to determine the depth, which is just under 8 inches.

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Another big change was filling that empty hole right there. The previous owner took the fridge, but that was OK with us.

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Because now we have a gorgeous stainless steel one. It’s lower profile than the previous owners. Plus, it’s got water and ice in the door! You guys, this is a first for me and I couldn’t be more excited.

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The other appliances are all staying the same for the time being. I mean, let’s talk about a serious expense. But we don’t mind. After living without a dishwasher for three years, I’m just happy there is one at all.

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This is the view from our “family room,” which a reveal of is coming soon, don’t you worry. We still need some art over there to the left of the cabinets too. All in time. All in time.

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Lastly, the floor. It’s not exactly our taste, but it’s in good shape, is durable and easy to clean. So, we’re sticking with it for now. Who knows what the future will hold. So, one last look. Above: before. And…

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After. Coffee brewing. Dishes cleaned. All is right in the world.

A Jewelry Box Gets Me Every Time

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A while back, before we knew how’d we furnish every space in our home, I found this apothecary chest at the Cambridge Antique Market, right outside of Boston. It was a steal at just $100–solid wood and all 18 drawers open and close easily. I knew I had to have it. And I quickly turned it into my new jewelry box in a few short steps.

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I knew it needed legs, but how could I drill into that beautiful wood. You’re right, I couldn’t. And I didn’t Instead, I measured, had a piece of wood cut to size and stained it a little darker than the chest itself. Then I ordered some 30″ Parsons wood legs and attached them to the bottom.

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Once I double checked that the wood fit snuggly under the chest, I took the “table” apart to stain the legs black. Our main chest of drawers of black, so it all coordinates. After a little drying time, the chest went back up on the legs and into the bedroom.Jewels5

And that’s it. It’s the perfect way to separate all my jewelry and a nice addition to our bedroom. I’m sharing more updates on our room this week. Stay tuned!

 

Two Tiny Tables Get Me Every Time

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If moving and unpacking and getting settled isn’t enough for a summer, I decided we would throw a few projects into the mix. The first of which, was relatively simple and inspired by this IKEA hack. And by inspired, I mean, it was such a great idea I pretty much replicated it. Only twice. (Thanks, Katy!) We had two of these old IKEA laundry bags/stands. And since we’re not schlepping our clothes to communal laundry any longer, we no longer need these eye sores in our bedroom.

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So, how exactly do we get from seen-better-days laundry bag to modern, sleek end table? Well, I’m so glad you asked. First, you measure your metal stand. Then you measure it again. Just to be sure. And write down the measurements while you’re at it. Then, if you’re like me, you go to your favorite hardware megastore and find a nice piece of wood that’ll show wood grain on all sides. Finally, show your measurements to the guy (or gal) near the big fancy saw and have them cut to your exact specs.

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Before heading home, pick up some stain in a color you like and some spray paint too. Efficiency, people. We chose an almost natural color stain and we picked this brand because it was ready for a top coat of poly (which we already had) in only an hour. Love that.

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For spray paint, we went with an oil rubbed bronze because it added a little something more than just your plain old black. Yeah, it’s getting fancy up in here. After a couple light coats of spray paint, I let these bad boys dry in the shed overnight, just to make sure they were cured and the spray paint smell was completely gone.

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The next day, we all came back inside and got to gluing. I just used Elmer’s wood glue to attach the stained and sealed boards to the painted laundry stands. I grabbed a couple of heavy wood planks we had around to add some pressure—you could use clamps, if you’re really advanced and fancy, or books or a sleepy old cat, whichever you have.

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And that’s it! A simple project that reuses an almost forgotten laundry bag. That is how you IKEA hack, my friends.

A Place To Rest Our Heads Gets Me Every Time

You guys. I made a headboard. And not just any headboard. An upholstered, tufted headboard. In a sunny marigold color. Made it. With my own two hands, twenty some teeth and endless frustrations. Plus one staple gun, some help from a friend and lots of encouragement. Here’s the full frontal. (headboard guys, get your heads out of the bedroom.)

If you think back to when I revealed that DIY lyric art, the Mr. and I didn’t have a headboard. So I did the ol’ scouring of Pinterest and came up with this tufted gem. Which, as it turns out, was a little easier dreamt than done. If I were to do it over, here’s what I would do differently than the DIY.

1. Not use pegboard, it’s hard to staple into. And a little heavy. Maybe a piece of foam core, or a big canvas covered with foam could have achieved the same effect.
2. Gotten the heaviest of heavy duty staple guns rather than try to get by with the crafting staple gun. I ended up having so many issues with getting the staples in that I actually tied the thread together on opposing rows to create the tuft. Yeah. That happened.
3. Not made my own buttons. Sure, they look nice, but… They would look nice if they were a complimentary color too, perhaps. This step takes patience, especially if you’re using a heavyweight fabric.
4. Paid closer attention to the draping of the fabric. It was hard to get it to lay flat and I could have done a better job.

Overall, it was a fun project and I’m proud of it. Might not tuft next time, but I have a feeling there’s more crafty goodness in the near future.

Making A Statement Gets Me Every Time


It’s project time. And today, I’ve got something to say. Well actually, Arthur Freed has some words for us, but more on that in a moment. First, shall we discuss this inspiration?

The great canvas above was actually painted with shoe polish—you know, the kind with the sponge tip? Check out all the details from Alisa, if you’re as inspired as I was.

Now, onto what happened when I picked up a 4×2 foot canvas. But first, a look at the wall space that was looking for some love.

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See what I mean? I was never quite sure what to do, so some fabric wrapped canvas boards were filling in. Until now. Until I saw Alisa’s awesome canvas. I had to make my own. Immediately I knew I wanted a more scripted look to my canvas, so I grabbed a few paintbrushes and started writing.

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The words are the lyrics of “All I Do is Dream of You” by Arthur Freed. It’s a song you might recognize from Singin’ In The Rain. But, plenty of other great musicians have covered it too.

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LikeDean Martin, Perry Como and Michael Buble. And since Mr. GMET and I actually danced to his rendition of the song at our wedding, it’s even closer to my heart.

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I knew I wanted the script to look pretty natural, so I used a thin brush with very little paint on it for a first pass. I didn’t worry about it being perfect. I just wanted it to look like I, myself, no offense Mr. Freed, had just scrawled out these poetic phrases.

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After the first round of paint dried, I went back with a heavier coat of paint on a larger brush to get closer to the shoe polish look of my inspiration. Then, I did it once more.

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And the best part is, if I decide I hate it in a week, I can paint over it and try something else. But right now, all I can think is that if you give a girl some large scale type art, she’ll ask for a headboard to go with it. And just wait till you see what I have in store.