Upcycled Patio Furniture

As you know, we recently got our patio poured so I’ve been “upcycling” some outdoor furniture to adorn it! The orangish chair is several years old from IKEA and the wrought iron (side note: for the better part of my life I thought it was “rod iron”. I mean think about it, doesn’t that just make more sense?!) side table and coffee table I got for FREE on the side of the road, a neighbor was getting rid of them, glass in tact and everything! Don’t be scared of yucky rusty furniture, outdoor spray paint these days is full of primers and rust repellents and all you need is a sturdy wire brush to clean it up! A few cans of spray paint later and I have some brand new looking patio furniture that compliments my red,yellow, and turquoise color scheme perfectly!


DIY headboard

I got a request this week from a dear friend of mine to do a blog post about upholstered headboards. Unfortunately I made both of mine “pre-blog” and don’t have any pictures of the process, only after pictures. But I assure you, its such a simple process that you really don’t need the pictures. First, you need to decide the shape of the headboard you want. Check out this site for ideas and proper shape names. I went with the “Portman” for the master bedroom here IMG_0011 and the simple “Finsbury” shape for the guest bedroom here
IMG_0007 Next, you’ll need some supplies. And some math. ugh. Thankfully I had my dad and hubby for that part (well lets face it they did the entire thing but I supervised, which is very important!) but I’m sure you can do it on your own if need be. You’ll need…

for one headboard:
large piece of plywood
tape measurer
scroll saw
spray adhesive
staple gun
molly bolts
upholstery tacks (optional)

I almost always use outdoor fabric when I’m doing a project. There are many reasons for this; one is that the outdoor fabric usually comes in more colorful vibrant patterns which is right up my alley. Second, because its made to withstand the outdoors, its more durable and even comparable to much more expensive upholstery fabric. Third, it’s almost always on sale at Joann’s. For instance, yesterday I bought 5 1/2 yards of outdoor fabric because I am making an outdoor couch out of palettes and an old mattress (stay tuned, THAT project I will definitely be documenting and blogging!) for our new patio. The fabric, normally 19.99/yd was on sale for 50% off plus I had a coupon for 20% off my total purchase. So what would have cost me $110 before taxes actually cost me about $45 out the door. Cant really beat that! Ok back to the project. I’m just going to give some general step by steps here without all the handyman mumbo jumbo since, again, I was the supervisor. Here goes…
1. With a pencil, trace out your desired shape on the plywood.
2. Spray your adhesive on the foam and apply to the other side of the plywood without the penciled shape.
3. After letting it dry for a bit, take your scroll saw and cut out along the traced shape and since your foam is already attached, you’ll be cutting it as well!
4. Once cut, sand the edges.
5. Place your fabric on too of the foam and carefully flip it over. Lay the headboard foam side down and using your staple gun, tightly wrap your fabric around and staple, checking periodically for folds or creases. This may be extra tricky depending on the shape you chose, so take your time and remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, the more little imperfections the more one of a kind it is!
6. Once completely stapled, apply fabric tacks along the edges for a finished look if you desire but again, totally optional.
7. Time to install. You could use 2×4’s and attach them to the headboard and then to your bed. But if your room is like most, the bed really only goes in one spot so why not just hang the thing on the wall and save yourself some time? Plus when you attach it to the bed it has to go lower and you lose a lot of the height of the headboard. That’s something I forgot to mention earlier too; when deciding how big you want your headboard just remember that there will be pillows up against it as well so you want to account for that and possibly make it a little higher. You could even sit up against the plywood and see where your head reaches when you’re sitting up in bed to say, read a book. We measured it over the center of the bed and using heavy duty Molly bolts and anchors, hung it in the wall.
That’s it, it’s really that simple, and very affordable too. One last thing, don’t forget to scotchguard your fabric, it will last longer!

Oh, what a can of spray paint can do!

I’ve had these little wooden bookends for years just lying around, I got them on clearance at TJ Maxx and knew one day I’d paint them and find a home for them. They were a light purplish grey and all scuffed up in desperate need of a makeover. So when I decided to hang a little shelf over our tv, I knew it’d be the perfect spot for them. After picking out the color I wanted from my spray paint collection (and dusting off the bookends…) I selected a bright cheery orange and got to work. If you’ve never spray painted anything before and feel a little intimidated I assure you, there’s nothing to it. A little project like this is the perfect way to get your feet wet and if it doesn’t turn out right, paint over it! Or if it’s really terrible, give it away haha! So just a few sweeps of orange and a little drying time and I was done! I will warn you though, after a successful upcycle like this, you’re on a “spray paint high”…wait that doesn’t sound right, I don’t mean a literal high from the fumes I mean like an adrenaline high and you’ll be frantically looking around your house thinking, “what else can I paint????!!!!!”


DIY Personalized Puppy Bowl

So I know the blog has been a little bleak this week (due to some unavoidable family drama and our new patio getting poured!) but I’m back! A while back I found this cute wooden dog bowl holder at home goods on clearance for $10! It was kind of an ugly sage green color but I had high hopes for it. Since it is a necessary permanent fixture in our kitchen (due to raven’s need to eat and drink) I decided to make it match the decor. So I perused my collection of spray paints used for different projects and picked a lovely turquoise to coordinate with my dining room focus wall. A few coats later (along with some clear lacquer to deal the deal) and a little hand-painted red lettering (not my finest lettering job but it’ll do) and voila! DIY Doggy bowl!

See how nicely it goes with the room? Even though she doesn’t look it, I think Raven was pretty excited too…


Not an ugly mug…

For my first project in my “MAYbe Tomorrow” Pinterest challenge this month, I decided to do a super easy but cute project I’ve seen a ton on Pinterest…sharpie mugs! They are a great simple craft and can most likely be made with stuff you have lying around the house. They also make great mugs! Inspired by the Butcher’s mother and the funny saying she has for the way she prefers her coffee, I made this set for my in-laws. I am going to use another color, maybe turquoise or lime green, to make a set for my parents as well. (everybody calm down.) You can use mugs you already own, get some plain vintage ones from a thrift store, or use ones like I did from IKEA. Here’s how it’s done…

1. Grab a sharpie…preferably a newer one so the tip is sharper for more accurate drawing.
2. Write or draw whatever your heart desires on the mug; a quote, someone’s name, or even a blue duck (Billy Madison quote)
3. Put in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes.
4. Let cool.
5. This is a 99 cent mug with sharpie on it people, not the Rosetta Stone, so don’t put it in the dishwasher and use caution when washin’. (who doesn’t love a good rhyme?)

“X” is for…wait for it…(dad will be proud)…XENIAL!

Of course you know what that word means so I shouldn’t have to explain…right? Ha, it’s ok I didn’t either, but I have to say I was pretty excited that when looking for words starting with “x”, I found one that suits me pretty well.
Xenial adj. (ZEE-nee-uhl) : hospitable, especially to visitors.
There are definitely many things I wish I was more (or less) of. But I really do pride myself in being hospitable, or, xenial. So today’s example of my “xeniality” (yup that’s a word too!) is a small anniversary dinner we had for our best friends. I don’t believe that you have to wait for a “landmark” anniversary year like 10 or 15 to have a little party, any and every year that someone stays married (especially in this day and age) is something to celebrate! So our dear friends Stuart and Angela were celebrating their 12th anniversary and I decided to help them! I love a good dinner party and seriously have so much fun setting the table, decorating, making invitations, and planning the menu.
My first step was the invitations. Obviously I have an inside track to a good greeting card and invitation source (wink wink shameless plug to my etsy site www.paperlaundry.etsy.com) but I decided to mix it up and try this cool new app I got called “Makr” where you create a lovely invitation (along with coordinating place cards, menus, etc. if you’re interested) and can order a hard copy or for a super low price, buy the PDF and print it yourself. Here was my result…

Nice huh? Since yellow and grey is one of Angela’s favorite color combos I decided to make that the color scheme for the party. As far as dishes and table linens, I already had everything I needed from my growing dish collection. A few folding tables, candles, a cake from my favorite local cake lady, a delicious Italian meal (with much assistance from the butcher), and 10 of their favorite people, voila, we had a party! Check it out!


yummy caprese skewers with balsamic glaze for an appetizer



the curtains doubled as a backdrop for my little dessert table complete with white chocolate truffle pops, chocolate covered oreos, assorted candies in yellow and silver, lemon meringue cookies, mini panna cottas, and of course their delicious cannoli filled cake!



The lovely couple posing before they cut their cake.They don’t look old enough to be celebrating their 12th anniversary right?!



This was a little bit of last minute decorating to fill the empty table space, a cardboard letter covered in silver scrapbook paper, a small vase of fresh flowers, and a matching frame with some cute pictures of the couple all on top of a yellow chevron scrap of fabric I had that worked as a makeshift table runner.



I set the table with my vintage yellow tablecloth and contrasted it with a velour metallic runner from tj maxx. Little mercury glass votive holders scattered around the table added to the ambiance and each table setting had a silver charger, white plate, napkin “bow”, personalized candy favor, and a striped straw/placecard.



I found a cake I liked on pinterest, gave the picture to my local cake lady and she created this, so much easier than making my own, even though I could, but with everything else going on it was a big help.



the table!



Each guest received a little favor of either lemonheads or Hershey’s kisses with a little photo sticker of Stu and Ang.

Stay tuned for my next act of xeniality coming in May!

DIY hair accessory on the cheap!

Even though little girls can’t get much cuter, an adorable hair accessory is always a nice touch. But why spend like five bucks on ONE when you could spend a DOLLAR for four?! Target (or other stores too I’m sure) have these little bags of four felt flower gift toppers. Add some hot glue and a bobby pin (or metal barrette for thicker hair types, or hey go to heck with yourself, even a headband!) and you’ve got a darling and CHEAP hair accessory! The best part? When they inevitably use it you won’t be adding up the dollars lost in your head, you’ll be grabbing the glue gun to make some more! It’s also a great project for the girls to help with!