Showing posts with label Nursery. Show all posts

String Light Nightlight | DIY

It's the very end of July and therefore, finishing up the kids' room is first on the agenda.  I've got one tiny little thing left to do and then I'll snap some pictures and get those fun afters up here!  I'm going to sneak ahead of myself quick though and show you one little corner.  This one:
That, of course, is what it looked like prior to a whole bunch of wallpaper removal and wall sanding, popcorn ceiling removal, you know, alllll the things.

Here's what it looked like a few days ago (and ha!  It's even changed since then with the addition of some new art!):

I'll get the current situation up with the room reveal but let's talk that lit star on the wall.  In our rental, the kids had this big lamp on their dresser that was uber cool but also, uber heavy.  It was great for awhile until they started thinking they could turn it on (the knob to turn it on was on the very top of the lamp and pretty much out of their reach) and started reaching and pulling the cantilever part down, down, down.  Not my most kid-friendly piece of functional decor, that one.

DIY Cardstock Mat

My grandparents drove in for a little visit last month and with them, they brought a plastic bag filled with stuff of my dad’s from high school.  (In case you’re new here, my dad passed away when I was in college, so as you can imagine, having his stuff means so much to me.)  Among the random things was a big stack of photos.  They all seemed to be from the same road trip out west and some of them were really cool pictures.  I picked out four of my favorites and hung them in Sebastian’s room last week.
Because they were a tad smaller than the normal 4 x 6s of today and therefore didn’t quite fill the space behind the mats already in the frames I put them in, I whipped up some new mats for them out of cardstock I picked up at Hobby Lobby (only 54 cents each!).

See?  Not quite wide enough.

They now not only fit just perfectly with the new mats, but they add a bright punch of color to Seb’s room too.

diy cardstock frame mat

To make them, I gathered a few supplies – a ruler, an x-acto knife*, a pencil, and the cardstock and frames.  (If you don’t have an x-acto knife laying around, I’d totally recommend getting one!  They’re so handy!)IMG_1370

First, I laid the existing mat onto one corner end of the cardstock and lightly traced around the outside and inside.  (Note:  Since I needed the mat opening to be a little smaller width-wise, I just made it that way by drawing a new line farther in from the existing line on each side.)

Also, by placing the old mat on the corner end of the cardstock, I could make sure it was properly lined up and straight and it eliminated the need to cut those two sides.

So next, I grabbed my x-acto knife, placed the ruler along each pencil line, and cut away.  IMG_1375Of course, if you don’t have an x-acto knife, a scissors would work great too!  :)

Using the ruler as a guide to glide the knife along helped me to get nice straight edges.IMG_1377
Last, I placed the new mats right on top of (or under if you’re looking at the back of the frame) the old in the frames and hung them.  By using the old mats and placing them into the frame upside-down (with the beveled edge touching the actual photo and the flat edge against the new mat), it gave each frame a sort of mini-shadow box look.


IMG_6458[Too hot for shirts in Arizona apparently.]

IMG_6456[That’s my old (young) man on the left…all chill-like in Utah.]


Hopefully someday I’ll find out the sure-to-be great stories from this trip.  Until then, I’ll let Sebastian make up his own.  ;)

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*affiliate link to an x-acto knife very similar to the one I purchased

Finger Painting

Let’s reach back to our five-year-old selves and pull out those finger painting skillz, shall we?  Not only will they come in handy for this tutorial but as it turns out, getting your hands dirty with pretty colors can be really stress-relieving…not that I would know about stress.  My life is all butterflies and roses…and tantrums and meltdowns and toddler woes 58%  of the time.

The art I painted and hung above Sebastian’s crib is 80% finger painted and 20% brushed.
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It was so easy to do that even if you’ve already taken once glance at it and determined that “no, you can’t do that”, you can.  Yes, you can.

But before tell you how you can, let me remind you (or tell you in case you didn’t see this post) that I bought this green metal frame at a local thrift store for 50 cents.  It had a large piece of discolored foam board fitted inside and so I just painted right onto that foam board instead of buying a new large piece of paper/board/whatever.  The jewel green color is a latex paint (Alexandrite by Sherwin Williams for Lowe’s) and the rest of the colors are acrylics, some of which I already had and some that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  The acrylic colors I used were black, white, mint, gray, and a yellowy-mustard color.

So first, just for a little interest to peek through under my finger painting, I grabbed some black white acrylic paint and painted b&w stripes in a few random places across the board.  I painted the black stripes first…
IMG_0182 …and then added the white ones in between once the black paint was dry.  After I was done with the white I had a good amount of white paint left on the plate I was using so I just dumped it onto the board and smeared it around a little with my hands.

At the same time as I was painting this, my cousin Faith was at my house painting a fabric “S” for Sebastian’s room and she had just finished so I grabbed the paint she had leftover from painting that and smeared it around the board too.

Then I let all that paint dry.

During the next free naptime, I grabbed all of the colors minus black.  Over the top of the board, making sure not to go over the stripes, I squirted different colors one-by-one in random places all over.
(Except I spooned on the green latex since it came from a test pot. Technicalities folks.)

And then I just smeared all those colors together.  The key is not smearing too much that the colors blend to make a totally different color but just blending so that they streak together.  Also, make sure you have enough paint squirted onto the surface of whatever you’re painting so that you’re not having to spread paint around too much to cover.  The more paint, the better.  And also, the more paint, the more texture which is a great addition!
As I was smearing, I made sure to not smear completely over the stripes I had painted.  I just smeared around them but over the edges so that they didn’t sit on an island of sorts – stripes surrounded by blank foam board surrounded by a ring of paint.  Make sense?  I just wanted them to peek through.

The painting looked really cool after I was done smearing and the plan was to leave it that way but of course, I tweaked it just a little more by going in with each color and a brush and added some dots around the piece.  I literally dipped the brush in whatever color I was using and dabbed it randomly around the painting.  I also added a few smears of black in the end.

Art definitely isn’t my strong suit but I think this one turned out pretty good, no?
And considering I only paid about $5 from start to finish (most of that went to paint of which I used not even half of each color supply) it looks even better. 
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sebsroom2 (13)

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So, any painters out there?  Maybe some wanna be painters like me?  Abstract art is the way to go!  If you make a mistake, it just looks like you meant to!  I wish falling on your face in public was more like that…like “oops” you totally meant to do that.  “I just needed a quick thrill to wake me up.  No big deal.”  Or forgetting to zip it up below the belt.  Wearing no-zip maternity paints totally took my zip-it-up habit and tossed it right out the nursery window.

And you wonder why I like long shirts…

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diy finger painted abstract art

Three Sides

Hey Monday!  I’m not exactly happy you’re here considering you mark the end of vacation.  But, I’ll get over it with a super easy post about these curtains I made for Sebastian’s room.
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I made his closet curtains out of a queen-size sheet, cut in half and hemmed.  The window curtains I made out of some white duck fabric from Hobby Lobby.  To keep things from getting too plain with all that white, I stenciled on some tiny triangles.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I made my stencil.  Using the Rhonna Designs app on my phone, I stuck a little triangle onto a white background and sized it to the size I wanted the triangles to appear on the fabric.  Then I laid some stencil plastic (leftover from stenciling this rug) over the top of my phone and traced the triangle.  I traced two because my cousin was here to help.  Hooray for company and help!

Then I pulled out these foam pouncers (affiliate link), originally purchased way back when I dotted these jeans, and squirted a little bit of black acrylic paint onto a plate.  IMG_0145
I didn’t add any fabric medium to the paint because I know it’ll still be permanent even though it might not be as soft.  On curtains, I’m not worried about the feel.  Clothing is a little different.

Next, I put a small amount of paint onto the pouncer and dabbed that paint right over my stencil.  IMG_0147IMG_0148Note:  Use enough paint to just cover the surface of your foam.  A nice thin coat dabbed a few times over the stencil will do the trick without bleeding.  Too much paint will get under the stencil and give you some crazy lines and a not-so-crisp shape.  You might have to dab the plate a few times after you get paint on the pouncer to get some of that extra paint off.

We just placed triangles in random places, scattered over the curtains.  The more imperfectly placed, the better, in this case.
  triangle stamped curtains

I love the triangles vs. regular old dots because I feel like they’re a little more manly for our little man.  Sharp edges and nice straight sides…in other words, tall, dark, and handsome.  Or maybe that’s a stretch but either way, you catch my drift.  :)


Have a great Monday!  I’m feeling the usual ‘overwhelmed’ at all the to-do’s I really want to get done this week and the fact that we’ve been on vacation for the better part of the past week and a half is making that hefty load even heftier.  It’s okay though, usually come Tuesday, I realize that I can’t be a one-woman show and I hack my list in half.  Happens every week.  Vicious circle or sensibility shot?  Not sure…

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So easy you might as well do it…and pin it for when you do.  :)
diy stamped curtains

The Boy’s Room

Up until a little over a month ago, Sebastian still had the girls coraly-pink curtains hanging over his closet (it was the girls’ room until several months ago).  I’ve felt so bad but I’ve just been too busy with life and other things to put his room on the priority list.  Not to mention the fact that my decorating budget is a sad $10-$20 a month so that money has been going to other spaces.  Poor kid.  But, when Anthony left for Ecuador a few weeks ago and I had my cousin, Faith, here to help, we dove into a mini-makeover of his room.  It’s not finished by any means, but it’s better.  Much, much better.

Here’s what it looks like at the moment:
sebsroom2 (4)

Here’s a glimpse of what the room looked like before we started:
sebsroom (1)
The fan shade was a little longer than I wanted it and the plastic lining was pretty beat up.  I hung what was left of the curtain I used to recover these two chairs over his window to add darkness during sleeping times and the frame over his bed was blank.

 sebsroom (2)

I’ll have tutorials up asap on the stenciled curtains and painting but I haven’t got all the details on the fan shade because I wasn’t sure it was going to turn out as planned.  It did though and lucky for me, I have another shade needing to be redone so I’ll write up a tutorial on that one! 

Basically, we took apart the old lampshade, cut a new piece of plastic that was shorter, recovered the plastic with this thin fabric I found at Walmart (Walmart!  I know!  They have it in black and white too!), and put the shade back together.  It’s much easier than it sounds.  Pinky swear.
 sebsroom2 (9)
I went for a thin fabric so that the finished shade wouldn’t block too much light.
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I bought the old shade at Dirt Cheap for $2 and used a half yard of fabric ($4 a yard) so this entire shade cost me about $4.50 including the hot glue.  Cheap and good.

I made his closet curtains out of a queen-size flat sheet I cut in half and hemmed and his window curtains out of two yards of white duck fabric I found at Hobby Lobby.  The sheet was $5 at Dirt Cheap and the duck fabric was $6 ($5/yard but with a 40% off coupon).  I only flanked one side of his windows with a curtain because he pulls on the curtains when he’s up there and less curtain is safer in this case.  Originally I was going to go for a roman shade instead but until I figure out how to work that out, a panel it is.
   sebsroom2 (5)
I stenciled the curtains using stuff I already had so that didn’t cost me a thing.

The green metal frame above his bed was thrifted for 50 cents and I just painted the foam board inside it with some paint I had on hand plus some I bought at Lowe’s and Hobby Lobby.  All in all, it probably cost me $2 just counting the paint I used.
sebsroom2 (6)

I want to do something cool with his crib (it’s my old crib!) eventually.  My first idea was to paint the bottom half of it a medium gray so that it looks like it’s dipped but now I’m leaning more towards painting that big recessed area at each end.  Maybe adding a stencil there or a simple geometric design?  Time, and the blog, will eventually tell. sebsroom2 (7)

On the wall opposite the crib is a dresser we bought for Sebastian off of Varage Sale (an online sale site kinda like Craigslist) for $50 several months ago.
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It’s not my favorite as far as structure and design go but it was cheap and I think a little gray paint plus the brass handles will take it a long way.  I obviously haven’t done anything to the wall above the dresser.  Right now I just have paint samples I picked up in the color scheme I want the room to head for hanging there.  The lamp is still sporting the lampshade I made for the girls room way back when and the lamp either needs to be repainted or replaced.  I’m also thinking of whipping up a new changing pad cover (check out my easy tutorial!) that will match the curtains.
On the window wall, I have some of Anthony’s childhood trophies sitting on the shelves.
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I kinda want to spray paint them but I haven’t asked the champion about that idea yet because I’m a little scared he’ll be mortified…so when you read this post Anthony, what say you?  Pretty please?  With brown sugar on top?

The rug is from Old Time Pottery and I got it for $35 (which is their usual sale price for a 5 x 8) because it had dirt marks along one edge.  I got those babies out though.  I stole the yellow geometric pillow on the window seat from the living room and the other two were thrifted.  Eventually I’ll make said window seat a tad more comfortable with a custom cushion.  I’d also love to recover or sew a new slipcover for the rocking chair in here too.  I’m over the brown and would love to go for a light gray linen or maybe crazy with a mustard color.  And then there’s the looming popcorn ceiling and shabby brown carpet that I’d love to both disappear but that ain’t happening anytime soon.  A mom can dream though…and then take the focus away with a big shade on a fan and a rug over carpet.  :)

So far, I’ve spent about $55 in this room trying to turn it into something fit for a boy.  Not too shabby, eh?  It’s still pretty plain but the wall stripes (tutorial here) are a big help keep it off the ‘too plain’ scale.

And just for fun…
No kids:
bedroom 3 b42
A home office/guestroom filled with hand-me-downs.

Girl kids:
  hardware 020hardware 014_thumb[1]

      Boy kid:
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I’ll be back with painting and curtain tutorials next week!  Have a great weekend and fourth!

Minty Fresh

First of all, Happy Labor Day everybody!  I love holidays like this because the main man is home from work which always makes for a much better day!

Second of all, remember a couple months back when I painted the dresser in the girls’ room?  Then you might remember reading that I was on the hunt for some new hardware for it too.  Well, I found it!  Whilst searching through the plethora of hardware that lines a whole aisle of shelving at our Hobby Lobby, my friend Jesse pulled a swirly pull out and it happened to be the only pull that could possibly fit the odd measurements of the existing hardware holes.  I wasn’t completely in love with it but I didn’t hate it either.  So, after searching around a little more, I eventually went back and grabbed three up (at 50% off).  Then I ran to our local ReStore and bought four knobs for 50 cents each.  Here are the pulls I found (top vs. the old at the bottom) getting a trial run before I took some paint to them:
hardware 001
Oddly enough, they do fit in with the dresser and the swirly routed-out areas on each side door.  Maybe it was meant to be…. 

They passed their run even being a teeninsy bit shorter than the width I needed, but a little wedging and pushing here and there and they’re now snug as bug in a floor cloth…oh, and they’re mint.  See?
hardware 008

The knobs I got from ReStore were gold and the Hobby Lobby pulls were oil-rubbed bronze, so something needed to happen to get them to jive.  Well it just happens that I jump, jive, ‘n wail best to the tune of spray paint so I grabbed a can and away I went.

First, I laid all the hardware out on a piece of plywood we had leftover from an upcoming project…image_2
(Note:  I left all of the screws in the hardware so their holes didn’t get gunked up with paint.)

and gave it all a nice coat of white primer to start the transformation.
(I have a can of Rustoleum Clean Metal primer that I was planning on using for this part, but for some reason it’s not spraying so I just used a can of Valspar white primer I had on hand.  I doubt there will be much of a difference, if any at all, but I just wanted to mention it.)

After giving the primer a half hour to dry, I gave the hardware a few thin and even coats of Krylon’s Catalina Mist.

6ca73c1c103511e3a86422000a1f9839_7I have been waiting for both our Michael’s and Hobby Lobby (the only stores in our area that sell it) to restock this color to no avail.  I finally found it at a Hobby Lobby 20 minutes away – a quick stop on the way to an event and the last can…oh how happy I was.  You can buy it on Amazon but it’s something like $8 a can and I’m way too cheap for that.  I used a 40% off coupon (Hobby Lobby iPhone app y’all) and got it for under $4.  :)

Then after the mint was all nice and dry (24 hours), I gave the hardware a couple of coats of this spray lacquer:


I wanted a shiny top coat and I’ve never used this stuff so I thought I’d try it.  It worked okay.  It’s not quite as shiny as I was going for but it still looks great.  Next time I want a shiny coat I think I’ll just do a dip in a can of gloss Polycrylic…the hardware, not me.  Sheesh…

Here’s the hardware now, all up close and personal:hardware 009

And here’s a picture progression of how far the dresser and its hardware have come:dresserhardware

What do you think?  Better?  Would you have switched out the hardware or just kept and maybe painted the old?  Well, either way, I’m calling it “done” with this dresser.  As far as the girls’ room, there’s still a few things left on our to-do list like making a upholstered cushion for the window seat, whipping up a slipcover for the rocker, and maybe figuring out some way to get up a floating shelf library for all the books they repeatedly rip off their existing shelves, but that’s all being moved to a back burner because we are bound and determined to get this ottoman done and an upholstered headboard up on our bed before baby boy gets here.

I did manage to get a few shots of the girls’ room as it stands though after naptime a couple of days ago. 

  hardware 013

They were content to “look for the squirrels” for a minute or two…hardware 015 

but then they were done (no squirrels out fyi) and needed to get out…hardware 014

so I put them in the same crib for one last shot, thinking they’d love the company.  But, I was wrong.

  hardware 020

“Just one last shot girls…”

 hardware 021  

And done. 


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In case you’re wondering, here are the links to everything that’s made this room a little haven for the two sprouts:  the curtains, the greek key design on the window seat, the mirror above the cribs, the stripes on the walls, the painted-on glass frame, the collage wall above the dresser – hung and filled, the changing pad cover, the lamps and their shades, and the long mirror and its homemade, printable artwork.  Everything has either been handed-down to us or thrifted except for the cribs – Babies ‘R Us – and the small storage ottoman – Target via Dirt Cheap.  :)