I have been in need of an actual work space for some time. My husband and I originally shared the office, he kept accumulating musical instruments and I was slowly squeezed out of there. We have a planned renovation that will give us a new formal dining room so I decided to go ahead and take over the current one that we rarely use. I personally think I have the best room of the house, I have views of the barn and back yard to my left and to my right I can see the TV in my husbands office, perfect!

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The idea for this brilliant table came from The Ivy Cottage Blog. I still can’t believe this thing cost me less than $100 to make. I purchased four bookcases from Walmart for $15 each and two hollow core doors from Lowes for $38. I was really lucky with the doors, one of them had a hole on one side and the sales guy marked it down to next to nothing. I stained my doors, coated them with several coats of polyurethane, put the bookcases together and then put the doors on top. I have seen people screwing through the bookcase into the door but I put the non slip shelf liner on top of the bookcases. I have been using this for over a week and it is solid. I have my desk on one side and the kids have stools and all of their art supplies on the other.

I love having all my craft supplies in one place and I love all of the extra space I have. In the week I’ve been using it I have done my taxes, a floral arrangement and priced the kids clothes for a consignment sale. These are thing I previously had to sit on the floor for the space. It is nice to sit in a chair and not be reminded how old I am when I try to get off the floor.

I discovered a surface of this house that had not been decorated! Our poor stairs, they are not as pretty as they should be. We hired someone who turned out to have no work ethic to rebuild them and six weeks into a two week job he was fired. Its a good thing I believe in karma because I could have throttled him. I had to finish the stairs and they turned out to be no where near as spectacular as promised. I finally got around to giving them a few coats of polyurethane and was very cranky when I was painting the plain boring Newel post. I thought about stenciling it but I don’t trust myself and figured that I would most likely paint over it. That just seemed like a lot of effort. I decided on flowers, pretty easy and can be replaced when needed. On my weekly trip to Hobby Lobby I picked up a few flowers and the twiggy thing. I wired flowers to the twiggy thing, fed some ribbon around it and tied it to the stairs, doesn’t get easier than that!

The weather has been crazy warm this year. My heating bills are a tiny little fraction of what they were last year and I am not complaining. The unseasonably warm weather has brought my flowers back to life much earlier than normal. I have Iris’s that are over a foot tall, tulips popping up and nearly all of my trees have buds on them. It feels like spring around here. I have been looking at beautiful spring wreaths popping up on Pinterest and decided it was time to go ahead and put something on the door. Typical me, the ones I like are ridiculously expensive. I am not cheap by nature but our house is about 100 feet off the road and no one ever uses the front door. I just can’t see spending a small fortune for something that goes on the front door when it is really just for me and I’ll change it six months. So, I waited for floral stems to go on sale 50% off at Hobby Lobby and decided to give it a go.

I have never tried doing a floral arrangement, honestly for some reason floral arranging scared me. Now that I have tried one I really don’t know why, it was actually quite simple. It was simple enough that I am going to go fake with the four hanging baskets I have on the front porch. Yes, I am really going that route. The afternoon sun is brutal in the summer and it is impossible to water them to the point of thriving. I am the only person in this house that knows how to turn on the water hose and also the only person that notices the flowers. I am also all for anything that saves me money on the water bill.

This my first attempt at a floral arrangement, all supplies came from Hobby Lobby and it cost a grand total of $36. I’ve learned that when explaining my little projects to my husband if I start by saying “the one I wanted was $175 but I made this one for only $36″ I always get a “great job sweetie”. I find it works much better than “we didn’t need this but I feel the need to try and make every surface pretty”.

So here it is, my first floral arrangement. I ‘m going to add a few more flowers when they go on sale again but for now I like it.

floral arrangement

 

I almost forgot about my door hanger cover. I glued two pieces of ribbon together and slipped it over the hanger. I think it is much prettier than a strip of metal.

The tutu table I did a couple of weeks ago was bugging me. Every time I looked at it the ribbon Georgie picked out just didn’t look right to me. So I decided to fix it up a bit. I started by backing the tutu with a little white fabric to bring out the pink of the tulle. Next I took off the old ribbon edge and added a ribbon that matches tulle. I had a floral strand leftover from when I did Georgie’s headboard and it turned out to be the perfect size to go around the table. A few minutes work and we have a new and improved tutu table.

We are going to redo the kitchen at some stage so I’ve been trying not to spend our life savings making it tolerable. The handles on the cabinets were hideous, cheap brass plated that have probably been in use since the late 80′s. I have tried multiple times over the past two years to clean and polish them but they were beyond help. The brass plating was wearing off, they were suffering from years of neglect and screaming to be replaced.

Our home was built in the 1890′s and the current kitchen was put in by previous owners in the early 70′s. I have to give them credit, they put in nice wood cabinets and they do not look their age. It is very impressive considering they were added in the 1970′s!  The only problem with the cabinets is the old pulls, they might have been a standard size back then but now they are nearly impossible to find. I found some custom made that are gorgeous but they are a whopping $22 each. I have 52 handles in my kitchen so that is $1144 plus shipping just for handles, no thanks! I am not willing to pay that much for a kitchen we plan on gutting in the future. I decided to tackle the handles the same way I do everything else in this house, paint and polyurethane.

I spray painted the handles with  Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze, once dry I brought them inside and gave them a couple of coats of a semi gloss polyurethane. I love the transformation a cheap little can of spray paint can make. This was a quick little project, especially for me. I had the handles off, painted and back on all in the same day. All I have to do now is find something else to paint!

Painted cabinet pulls

 

I sat down with my little guy in his tent last week and we discussed things you would have when camping and made a list of things we could add to his room. His list consisted of campfire, chairs, tent, trees, thing that keeps the juice boxes cold, fishing poles and bears. I decided to tackle chairs and a campfire first. I picked up the chairs from Academy Sports. Ethan being his opinionated little self said he didn’t want them in his room because “I only like orange”. I of course bought green chairs anyway, they match and now that they are in his room he hasn’t complained.

Pretend Campfire

The campfire was very simple and was made from leftover materials. I started by cutting a cardboard circle out of a box from the recycling pile in the garage. I painted a medium brown base, let it dry and finished it up by swirling a dark brown around the edges and a reddish brown towards the center. I worked those in until I achieved the look I was going for. While that was drying I gave the limbs we picked up from the yard a coat of polyurethane. The polyurethane makes a HUGE difference in the look of the branch. I left the branches to dry and using my hot glue gun glued the river rocks around the edge of the cardboard. I followed that up by hot gluing the branches into place and then cutting flames out of tissue paper and putting them in. The campfire turned out cute, last night the kids were upstairs “roasting” mini marshmallows on chop sticks. It is perfect for imaginative playtime on cold winter days.

The next thing I am going to tackle for his room is a little greenery. I’ve been playing around with an idea on how to make my own trees.

Camping themed boys room

Last week I made a tent for my son’s room so in fairness this week I had to make something for my daughters. When I found out I was having a daughter the first thought that came to my mind was what will I do if I get a girly girl. I am not very girly and prefer mud and dirt to pink and frilly. Thankfully she turned out only 50% girly. When she is in the house she is all princess but the minute she walks out the door her need to get covered in dirt kicks in. I asked her how she wanted her room decorated when we moved into this house and my three year old princess with an obsession for butterflies was quick to say she wanted a butterfly garden. I don’t half do anything so I quickly hatched a plan to turn the entire room into a garden for her fourth birthday present. The room has seen a few minor changes since it was first completed but according to my daughter as of today it is perfect.

DIY Tutu table

I made this cute little tutu table for under $20. I spent $10 on tulle, $2 on ribbon and $5 on a cheap dollar store table. I had some white paint laying around so I painted the table. I then cut the tulle into 3″ wide strips and looped it over a ribbon, same method used for a no sew tutu. Once it was large enough I used my hot glue gun to glue it under the edge of the table, and glued the ribbon on. It is extremely easy and much cheaper than they sell on Etsy.

I stayed up last night after the kids went to bed to finish this and nearly burned off a few fingerprints in the process. It was all worth it this morning to see my daughters face light up when she saw it. It was short lived when five seconds later she asked when I was going to make a tutu for her to wear. Now that I know how easy it is she is likely to have quite a few.

My husband has way too many toys, the one that drives me nuts is a big massive wheel he attaches to his desk for online racing. It is huge and bulky and to see his monitors over it he had placed them all on books. His office/playroom is right inside the front door so when you walk in you see his messy desk and mass of books holding up his three monitors. The sight of them always made me cringe and feel like I had stepped back in time to my college days.

I recently rearranged and cleaned his room; when I started putting his computer back together I decided it was time to do something about it. My first trip was to Lowes where I bought the shelf, which happens to be a perfect match for the desk, for $9.00. I then headed off to Hobby Lobby to the wood craft aisle knowing that I would find something to use for a base. I bought two square shelves that are the perfect height for $12.00. I painted the wood boxes with  Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, I am going to find so many uses for that stuff. The color is pretty much perfect to go with the Espresso shelf.

Once the shelves were dry I attached them with a little liquid nail and the monitor stand was done. My husband is happy with the results and I am happy his desk is a little bit less of an eyesore.

DIY monitor stand

The kids rooms have a great layout, they both have two large closets, one for clothes and the other for toys. In the past the kids extra closet has been used for storing clutter we no longer needed or didn’t quite fit into this house. It took awhile but the closets have been painted, the rails removed, clutter hauled off  and they are now decorated with the kids choices. I am very picky about the overall decor of their rooms but they are free to go nuts in their toy closet. My view on decorating a child’s room is that using characters will cost you a fortune over time as their tastes are always changing. When I did the kids rooms I went for something that would grow with them.

My daughter is pretty good at picking up her toys now that she has learned shoving everything underneath her bed is not acceptable. Today we tackled her closet to hang the items she had picked out and make the clean up process quicker. The first step was taking everything out and dumping it on the floor. I then used velcro to attach the picture cards to her storage baskets. We picked through everything, throwing out toys that were broken or missing parts and sorted them into her baskets. I hung up her pictures that she chose and the wall planters that I picked up at the dollar store for $3 each, these are perfect for stuffed animals that she never plays with but won’t part with. It took two hours but it was well worth it, what a great looking closet!

Kids toy organization

 

The moment I saw this cute little DIY Tent on Pinterest I knew I had to make it. My son’s room is camping themed and there is an orange tent on his bedding and another painted on his wall, that makes a real orange tent he can play in a must.

I started the project by printing out the parts list and heading off to the local Lowe’s. The directions called for pine boards but after having a look at what was available I decided to splurge, spend a few dollars extra and go for the hickory. The hickory is not near as rough and it was much easier to find boards that were straight. In addition to the shopping list I also purchased some non slip pads for the bottom. The instructions call for tabbed curtains but the odds of finding the perfect bright orange tabbed curtains were slim, instead I went to Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon in my hand and purchased 14 feet of bright orange fabric. To read the full instructions go to Ana White Homemaker, her site is amazing and a constant source of inspiration. I know my husband will regret me finding her blog.

I built this over two days, it took about an hour to dig for my tools and build the frame. The following day I spent twenty minutes carrying the frame upstairs and stapling the  fabric on. I am very pleased with the results, it was a quick easy project and the kids love playing in it. It looks great for costing only $28.

I had to rearrange my son’s room a bit to get the tent in. His bed was under the mural, it has been moved to the other wall. I am not quite finished with this side of the room yet and need the spring to get here so I can finish it. I am going to find a couple of camping chairs and a little table to go beside the tent and I found a perfect pretend camp fire to go right in front of it. I love decorating the kids rooms, I’m going to enjoy it while I still have a say.

DIY Play Tent

Here’s the bedding, it is from Target. My mom picked up the artwork over his bed but it would be a fun DIY project. All you need is a frame, some wire and a few fallen limbs.

Camping themed bedding

 

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