September 24, 2012

Fall Decorations on a Budget

I'm trying to be really good about decorating on a budget but it's so hard when Fall is my favorite season of the year!  And, I think I've done it with some thrify thinking starting with my new Autumn inspired pillows.
This is my goal: to have seasonal throw pillow all year long.  But, instead of spending a fortune on pillows and trying to figure out where to store them, I'm making seasonal slip covers for my already exisiting pillows.    
The first pillow below is made from a really cute hand towel I found this season at Kohls.  All I did was measure the size of the pillow, cut the towel to size and sew two folds of  coordinating linen fabric to the back.

This beautiful linen and embroidered pumpkin lumbar pillow is a place mat I adored at Kohls as well!  If you look carefully at the place mat when you purchase it, it is already sewn like a pillow with a distinct front and back piece of material.  I simply cut a slit in the center of the back piece of fabric and stuffed it with one of my pillows.  Boom!  Instant pillow!

Here is the new mantle (minus paint and stain) in the family room.  I still have to post my how to for the mantle and bookshelf my amazingly crafty husband built for me.

My foyer is decorated with Halloween decor already as well.

I love these cute Halloween ornaments but I needed a place to hang them.

I simply cut a few branches from a crab-apple tree outside and duct taped the bottom together.  I was going to spray paint the branches black and decorate with some glitter but I think I want to uses the branches somehow for November and December.  I may just need 3 different sets but for now I'm content with their natural look.

I took my glass votive jars and changed them out too.  This one below is stuffed with cotton pillow stuffing and a few black felt cutouts for eyes and a mouth.

I even hit up the bookshelves of my kitchen island!

Here is the living room; full view (still minus white trim and paint sadly)

Make your own Wheat Decoration

I love these decorative wheat bundles!  But... I've seen them priced anywhere between $100 and $15 dollars.  And I'm sorry, call me cheap but I'm not going to spend a minimum $30 plus tax to put some dead grass in my home.  I needed a money saving solution!

Since it is not wheat growing season here in Ohio, I was SOL to pick actual wheat.  But, a solution came to me when I was scowling at the distinct weed fence between my and my neighbor's property.  Bingo!!  I quickly grabbed some scissors and started cutting down some wild grass and grabbed some cardboard, my trusty hot glue gun and duct tape.

This project is simple!  Roll your cardboard or heavy card stock and tape it in the shape of a cylinder.  Hot glue each stalk of grass being sure to kine the wheat like top at about the same height.

Cut of the uneven bottom and glue a band or ribbon, twine or lace around the middle for a pretty touch.

Ta DA!!!  Here's my beautiful and cheap fall mantle!  Notice I made a small bundle to stick inside a white pitcher on the left side or the mirror.

Now, if only I can get J to finish painting the trim to get rid of the yucky oak so I can paint the walls!

Busy.... simplified

One thing that happens to me on a regular basis is that I make something and then decide I don't like it or that it needs to change to fit my needs.  You may remember my post on the chore charts I created for the kids HERE.  Well, at first, these were great and worked exactly like I had hoped.  But then, school started and schedules got more complex and I needed more.  So, I took some pretty scrapbook paper, my hot glue gun and some ribbon and got busy. This is what I came up with:

You will notice, that now, each child has a weekly dry erase calendar.  My family calendar is swamped with things and this way I can keep Dad straight with who needs what during the school week as well as keep up with all the random things H needs for school.  I also have a small spot for a photo of each child (currently substituted with a random picture) next to their names.  Below their names is a magnetic 8.5 x 11 area to clip worksheets for school or important reminders.  At the bottom is their chore chart right within their reach.  For the lettering, again I used stickers, and I trimmed the separate areas with ribbon to give the charts a clean look.

September 4, 2012


While I was busy redoing the play room, J was busy finishing the wainscoting in the family room.  He also finished his arch where we knocked out a wall.  It's beautiful!!!  Don't mind the mess....


I also talked J into installing a chair rail in the half bath.  I have no clue how I want to redo this area and can't decide on a color at all!

I keep my man busy too.  You see, last week I begged J to drag home an old railroad tie for another project.  Here is my inspiration for why I needed and had to have that "heavy ass piece of junk wood" as he calls it....

Informal living space

But I also really really liked the look of these two fireplaces too...



Well, after a heavy debate over breakfast, here is a teaser of what J built for me a few hours later in my semi-formal living room!  I seriously CAN NOT wait for this project to be complete!  It had dramatically changed the living space already so stay tuned.

Play Room Revised Part 2

Since I was able to finally add some color via the bins I repainted, I knew it was time to get some more art on the wall using the same colors.  I started by building 4 squares from left over pallet wood.  I have some scrap canvas from a project 10 years ago and used a staple gun to create a canvas.  I primed the canvas and mixed up acrylic paint in the shades I desired and coated the homemade canvases two or three times.

 Next, I pulled up Microsoft word and printed the words SING, LOVE, PLAY and READ on a few different patterns of scrapbook paper.  I used mod podge to adhere the letter in a block pattern and cut out four hearts for decoration among the letters.  TA DA!!!  Homemade art that didn't cost me anything new!

But I couldn't stop there.....  I had more bins and some picture frames that needed the yellow, turquoise and pink paint.

After I painted the frames, I bought some teeny tiny miniature clothespins from the Woodsies collection at Joanns and used some 20 gauge jewelry wire to hold the girls' artwork.

The next thing I will be doing is repainting the shelves I re-purposed from an entertainment center and the small bookshelf seen holding the toys in the above photos.  I can't wait for the final reveal after all this work!!!

Play Room Revised Part 1

Labor day weekend was supposed to be dedicated to nothing but painting walls and finishing trim.  However, hurricane Ivan brought nothing but hot, damp, humid weather our way making it impossible to paint.  No big deal because I can always find something to do!  So here's what I started with....
I picked up this crap-tastic dresser and vanity on craigslist for $30.  Do you see a dresser overhaul like I do?

The very first thing I did was smash the hell out of the first two sections of drawers!!!  It felt so good to just break something!

 Next, I cut a custom piece of MDF to fit the dresser for a shelf.  I also purchased bead board to fill in the back and sides of the dresser.

 I have a half dozen gray shades of paint lying around the house so after priming the dresser, I put two coats of Behr Sparrow on the dresser followed by two coats of white.  Once the paint dried, I went back over the edges of the white with sandpaper to distress it some.  

I hated the original dresser pulls, even after painting them, so I attached a single pull I had left over from the kitchen island.  I still have to fill the old holes and paint them but I couldn't wait to show my new playroom storage off!