Tag Archives: diy

Mirror Mirror

11 Nov

For the last two months, I’ve been working on a much needed update to my families machine tool shop, and my new place of employment. It’s finally to a point where I can share some of the progress! A lot of them involve paint colors and removing an obscene amount of trash and old furniture from the building, but let’s start off with something more fun. This post ruins a bit of the paint color reveal, but it’s just too pretty to keep to myself. To start- the bathroom was a bright yet light lime green color, and there was a brown/gold/spider-web colored plastic mirror hanging on the wall.


Interesting enough, this mirror, which is now in style and available at many stores, was left there with the original building and they only had it hung up because it was there to begin with. An example of how styles come back : )

But, the old guy needed an update. We thought about using a bright red for a pop of color, but in the end decided on a more glamorous route and picked up a can of Aluminum spray paint for $3.50. There are pops of silver throughout the bathroom, so in the end everything will look clean and put together.

With a good cleaning, and some painters tape and card stock paper in place to protect the mirror, I started spraying! Two coats later and the mirror was complete. Just FYI- It also makes you look like the Tin Man if you get it on yourself. Hence my hand.

I have to say, I’m absolutely obsessed with the outcome. It makes me want to play the Queen in Snow White and ask it who’s the fairest of them all. The men in the shop may not appreciate it as much, so it’s a good thing they have their own grungy bathroom up front : )

A fun and simple update anyone can do with an existing piece for a measly $3.50!


Patriotic Flag Toothpicks

3 Jul

Happy Tuesday, happy last day of work for the week for me, happy my best friend is coming to town today and happy tomorrow I get to see fireworks with friends and family day! All good things : )

With all of the excitement and visitors, that means I have to cook and clean. So, of course I’ve put off both so far, and in order to make some simple finger foods I have in mind look fancy and festive, I’ve put together some flag toothpicks for the holiday!

This is a very easy project that uses simple materials that you may already have on hand! Gather up some toothpicks, festive scrap paper, clear packing tape, glue and scissors.

Start off by folding one side of your scrapbook page over, and cutting small triangles making sure one of the 3 sides of the triangle is the folded edge (if you were to open the triangle it would make a diamond). This will make it easier to attach to your toothpicks.

Next, attach your folded triangles to your toothpick using your choice of glue. In order to make the pieces a little more durable I’ve used clear packing tape as a makeshift laminator. Simply lay your flag on the tape with the bottom of the flag lined up with the  edge of the tape, and roll it over so that the tape covers both sides of the flag.

Cut the taped flag off of the roll and you will be left with flags that look like this.

Lastly, cut off the excess tape and you’re done! You have cute little flags at a low to zero cost that add a little decorative touch to your appetizers or snack foods. Enjoy and go America!

Copy Cat Pt. 2

25 Jun

Happy Monday! After last week, I’m hoping this week goes a lot smoother! Turns out being stressed and sick at work don’t mix. So, after lots and lots green tea, sleep and HGTV, I’ve become a little stir-crazy. Now I want to take a sledge-hammer to my walls to make my apartment open concept, put up wallpaper, and paint my ugly kitchen cabinets white. However, I don’t think my landlord would quite  understand that I felt inspired and went for it. So, instead, I’ll show you a more dainty project as my second copy cat project so far!

Last time I posted about an Anthropologie DIY frame, and this week to build on that collection I decided to make a vase. I fell in love with this vase and of course wanted to take it home, but took it on as a challenge instead! Here’s the original Curvy Chrysanthemum vase in all of its beauty:

As a matter of fact, all of the vases in the collection are beautiful!

In order to recreate this particular look, I used a vase I already owned that came with a bouquet of flowers, and picked up some glass high gloss paint and sealer.

I used a foam brush to minimize streaks, and went to town! I chose to paint the outside of the vase and seal the paint so that I can use it for flowers in the future, but if it’s for decoration purposes only, then painting the inside of the vase turns out beautiful as well!

While the first of my three coats was drying, I moved on to my clay.

I played around with a few different options, and here’s the flower that I ended up with! I started by rolling out the clay into a flat rectangle and cutting it into equal pieces. After you separate them, fold each edge over slightly in order to heavy up the clay for your flower petals.

Then, flatten out the folded clay into two petals (there should be one on each end) and stack them together to create your flower. I also added a few smaller round pieces to the center to give it a little more pizzaz. After your creation is complete, bake the clay according to the directions listed! It will come out… looking exactly how it did when you put it in : ) While my clay was baking, I added my second and third coats of paint to my vase.

After the flower cooled, I added some left over silver paint to add some shine.

Lastly, I sealed the paint on the vase and flower and glued them together using standard super glue. Here’s the finished product! What do you think?

It goes great with my last copy cat project and only cost me around $5 to make! I love the colors and can’t wait to display a beautiful bouquet in it : )

Copy Cat Pt. 1

11 Jun

One of my favorite stores to walk around on a Saturday afternoon (along with what seems like the rest of Chicago’s) is Anthropologie. Luckily there is one two blocks away from my house, so whenever I need a little inspiration I can pop right on over! Unfortunately, everything is always so pretty, and always so expensive. So, when I saw a few things the last time I visited that I had to have, I decided to challenge myself to make them! First up is this adorable frame that mixes different materials, wood and glass, to give it dimension and color.

Pretty- right? So, I got to shopping. I ended up finding an oval plain wood frame at Michaels for $1!

Tip- It doesn’t come with glass, but if you have extra clear thick plastic left around, you can easily cut an oval out of it to protect the picture if you’d like!

I also picked up some wood stain, and since this was a small project, I decided on a stain pen instead of a whole can. It was very easy to use and doesn’t take up any room to store! So, using tape (I’d recommend a better type suited for painting, but, this was all I had at the time so I made it work!) I sectioned off my stripes, and planned out my pattern. I stained the wood stripes first, because wood stain bleeds into the grain of the wood…

…and then painted my first set of stripes next using leftover green and blue paints from another project. Since the paint was high gloss, it gives the illusion of glass, similar to the original Anthropologie frame.

Make sure you remove your tape before the paint dries so that you have a perfect edge. Once your first set of stripes are completely dry, you can tape off the remaining sections to fill in the gaps. Then, once all of the tape is removed and paint and stain was dry, I stained the inside and outside edges of the frame to match the wood stripes. You can also paint the edges or carry your stripes across the edges as well!

Let that dry- and ta-da! I have my $3.50 ($1 frame, $2.50 stain) frame! A couponer’s dream savings of 88%. This will go perfect in my living room redecoration project (once I put a picture in it of course) as well as a few other copy cat item’s I’ll share coming up soon : )

May Wrap Up

4 Jun

I can’t believe that it’s already June! This blog has been up for a little over a month, so I decided that a little recap was in order. See below for everything that I’ve gotten to write about!

I ate… A lot.

Without burning down the kitchen, I made simple pita pizzas, homemade sushi and throw-it-all-in-one-pot-and-walk-away BBQ crock-pot pineapple chicken. Then, even topped it off with frozen bananas for dessert.

Getting Crafty

I made a lot of progress in my bedroom with my DIY striped curtains, a button covered pillow and scrapbook paper frames. And even managed to fit an office into my room using a simple bookshelf.

Beading tested my patience, but I ended up with a funky summer necklace that I can wear multiple ways!

Lots of Shopping!

I got the chance to play with NARS and Benefit make up products, and had fun planning out my Nordstroms trip.

H&M made a dent in my wallet, and I shared all of my summer favorites from my wardrobe to nail polish.

The Great Outdoors

From summer BBQs, to Relay for Life, and playing on the beach, to planting my very own inside garden, I spent a fair share of my time enjoying the sunshine!

I Wish I Had Him Right Meow

Last but not least, I had the pleasure of adopting my new main man, who I get to officially take home in August. Deke.


Cheers to June and new adventures!

Office Renovation

30 May

For anyone who has actually seen how small my apartment is, I hope that title makes you either confused or laugh. After shopping for my living room accessories I talked about here, I determined that my hopes of incorporating my computer into the living room was not very realistic due to space and the fact that it’s a shared living room with my roommate and I. So, I improvised! Project “office renovation” is much smaller than it sounds, but with small spaces, you have to get creative. In my bedroom, I have a tall bookshelf that matches a smaller three drawer dresser from IKEA. Throughout college and until last weekend, this shelf has held my many, many, sweatshirts and jeans (college dress code and essentials of course), a small tv, craft supplies, a larger than life jewelry box and many more fun odd-ball-dust-bunny-collecting things. Since I have limited space now, I wanted to put it to better use and actually make it functional, not just storage. I started by emptying everything off of the shelves, then sitting and staring with a glass of wine in hand (the usual).

Then, dun dun dun dunnnn! I decided it would be my office meets storage meets pretty spot. I adjusted the shelves so that my laptop would sit at a perfect standing height, then played with the heights of the remaining shelves below it so that I had room for my files and craft supplies. After sitting all day long at work, I have no problem standing here to work on my laptop, but, I may look around for a taller barstool that I could place beside the unit to use whenever I work from home. Here’s the final result!

Break it down now… Nananananana Na Na Na. After adjusting the first shelf for my computer, I wanted to add some type of bulletin or dry erase board for notes and reminders. I already had a larger frame that I was not using from Target and decided to turn that into a custom and colorful dry erase board. The glass surface is perfect for the markers, and you can customize it by adding fabric or paper where the picture would typically go.

I chose to use light colored scrapbook paper so that you could clearly see the notes written with the dry erase marker, and made a quilt type pattern that matched the colors in my room. I simply cut the 12″x12″ pieces of paper into four 6″x6″ pieces using a craft knife and taped the pieces together to eliminate them sliding around.

Put it all together, hang it up (I used a small picture nail) and you have yourself a personalized memo board. I added a pen holder which was a small pot from the $1 section of Target, and a pink cash box, also from the $1 section of  Target, which is the perfect size to hold little items like tape, a small stapler, paper clips and white out. Stacked a few cute papers for notes and wham-bam-thank-you-mam I’m ready to work.

The shelves below it I adjusted to hold my smaller items: blank cards, notebooks and spare papers, followed by a shelf for my file box, scrapbooks and photo albums, and last but not least, a basket to hold mail, papers, CDs and binders on the bottom.

On the top of the unit, I placed a decorative box that I had gotten from Marshalls a while back, and filled it with the remainder of my craft supplies such as paints, stickers and fabrics.

So there you have it. My office renovation. I’m excited to put the shelf unit to better use and to have a place to work! And, apparently, after looking at my pictures, the dry erase board also serves as a mirror. Bonus : )

Scrapbook Paper Frame

18 May

Here’s a super quick and easy project that won’t break the bank for artwork! I’m a huge scrapbooking fan and have piles and piles of beautiful papers and decided that I wanted to feature them as a decoration! Each page costs less than $2 and there are hundreds of options for you to choose from. I had looked around for affordable white frames, and ended up finding plain wood 12×12 frames at my local craft store for about $8 each. All I did was paint each frame with some leftover white paint and sponge brushes from another project, and boom! I had three perfect frames to hang my scrapbook paper up with. I chose to keep it simple and let the patterns of the paper be the artwork for now, but also added in one picture from home that matches my color scheme. There are so many things you can do with this like adding embellishments to the frames, or feature a completed scrapbook page with fun memories. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next with this project, but in the meantime even the plain paper and crisp white frames look great! I’ll post again once I’m completely done with them to show the final result!