Window Frame DIY

FullSizeRender (4)I don’t know if it’s my obsession with Fixer Upper or Pinterest, but I’m all about modern farmhouse dĂ©cor these days. Unfortunately this obsession began about 8 years too late because my house is already decorated and not “farm housie” at all.

A couple weeks ago when I was taking a walk around the block with the kids I hit the mother load. Someone was getting rid of 2 old 6-pane windows! I was so excited. I tried to think of ways I could balance them on the stroller and finish our walk because I was afraid if I didn’t take them right away, some other DIY-er would snatch ’em up. I obviously couldn’t pull that off because they’re pretty big and heavy, so I called my dad (who was on his way over anyway) and asked him to scoop them up for me. He’s good like that.

Initially I thought I’d put 6 different photos in each space but I changed my mind. I decided to pick just one photo from our wedding and then we could hang it above our bed since our room is seriously lacking in the decoration department.

So here’s what I did…

  1. Measure the length and width of the glass portion of the window. Mine was 24″x32″.
  2. Order your poster print- since they don’t make photos in that particular size, I just ordered one that was 24″x36″ and figured it’d be easy to cut off the extra width. I ordered from Vistaprint and it was surprisingly cheap- $13. Not too shabby!
  3. Clean the window- since I’m going for a rustic look I really didn’t have to do much other than wipe the frame clean and Windex the glass. FullSizeRender (2)
  4. Lay the photo up against the glass and measure and trim off the excess.IMG_5780
  5. Next, I took a piece of thick scrapbook paper I happened to have and cut it to fit inside one window pane. This became my tracer that I would use to cut my poster into 6 sections.IMG_5781
  6. Lay the poster face down on a flat surface and use your tracer to cut the correct size.
  7. I wanted to account for the wooden strips going across the window so the photo would look seamless. Each strip was about 1.5 cm wide, so I measure 1.5 cm on my poster and cut the strip out.
  8. Continue using the tracer to measure and cut the next 5 pieces, making sure to account for the wooden strips as you go.
  9. Next, I wanted to add cardboard to the back of each window pane to ensure the photo would lay flat. I happened to have a big cardboard box, so I used my tracer and an x-acto knife to cut out 6 pieces. If you don’t have an x-acto knife, I’m sure a good pair of scissors would work just as well. IMG_6221
  10. Put the photos and cardboard in each section. Tape it to the wood to hold in place. Preferably with a thick, heavy duty tape. FullSizeRender (3)
  11. Now obviously since this was an old window and not a picture frame there are no hooks. That’s when you call your handy man, or in my case- my dad lol, and ask him to help you out. He happened to have some hooks at home and attached them for me.

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That’s it! I thought it’d be more complicated than it turned out to be and I LOVE the results! I’m going to use the other window on my family room wall. For that one I think I’ll try 6 different photos and use it as a collage frame. Eventually I’m going to have the farmhouse of my dreams…one piece at a time! 😉

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Gingerbread House Cookie Kit

This year we did “Secret Pal” at work. A couple of times a week during December I would sneak into my pal’s room to deliver goodies. (The sounds creepy, and that’s exactly how I felt every time I did it haha). On the last day we did a luncheon where we revealed who our secret pal was and gave a bigger gift. I wanted to include something that she would be able to do with her family, so I searched Pinterest for some inspiration. Lo and behold I found this awesome idea for a gingerbread house cookie kit!

Gingerbread House Cookie Kit

I’m no Betty Crocker, so I couldn’t get as fancy as the original poster did. I stuck to using a premade gingerbread cookie mix, and they turned out just fine. Dare I say- good.

Sidebar- whenever I’m cooking or baking my hubby always jokes that I have a tendency to forget very important pieces of the recipe. Ya know…steps like “put in the fridge overnight.” Oops. Guess we’ll eat this tomorrow and order a pizza LOL. But I digress…

The fun part was getting to fill the craft container with all the goodies (and sneaking a few here and there 🙂 ) I used a craft container from Micheal’s- just like the one I used for last year’s father’s day gift.

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If you click the original link where I found this, you’ll be able to print the cover and add it to the top of your gift.

She said her boys LOVED the kit and had a great time decorating! Yay!

xo

 

 

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It’s a….GIRL!!!

Anytime you’re pregnant you undoubtedly get asked “What are you hoping for? A girl or a boy?” I always just respond with “I really don’t care, I just want a healthy baby.” At the end of the day that’s the most important thing. But when you get asked the same question all the time, you start to think about it a little more.

There are a lot of reasons to want another boy- 1. Miles and the baby will be closer in age 2. Miles has a bigger bedroom which will be easier to share with baby 3. They can rough house together

But there’s also a lot of reasons to want another girl- 1. Chloe is the only girl out of all the cousins 2. Baby will be born in the spring, so I could re-use all her old clothing 3. Chloe really wants a sister

Well today was the big day! Ron couldn’t come to the ultrasound because he’s been really busy at work, so my mom met me there. She was convinced it was a boy.

BOY was she wrong! Ha!

We’re having another baby girl and we’re absolutely thrilled about it! I made an ornament for our gender announcement. The ornament, beads, and ribbon all came from AC Moore.

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Now we have to figure out a name. We have very different taste, so it’s going to be a while. Stay tuned!

xo

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DIY Bookcase Makeover

bookcase makeover 1

With school fast approaching, I felt motivated for the first time in a long time to re-organize and beautify my little classroom. I use the term “classroom” loosely here, because my room is a glorified closet. It literally used to be a janitor’s closet until they put in a window, took down some shelves, and called it a classroom. I’ll admit I used to wish I had a bigger room, but now I’ve grown to love my little space. This year I decided to decorate a little differently and make my room more cozy. I figure if my room is really cute and comfortable, then maybe I’ll want to be there. haha.

Chloe and I went into school to start setting things up and I saw someone was getting rid of a perfectly good bookcase. Sure the back was falling off and it could use a good cleaning, but hey, that’s the sort of thing I like to do. I put it in my car with visions of what it would look like once complete.

Here’s how I took my sad little shelf and made her beautiful again.

Step 1: Remove the back. This was easy for me because most of the old staples were falling out anyway. For the ones that weren’t, I just used a flathead screwdriver to wedge them out.

bookcase makeover 2

Step 2: Sand the entire shelf so you have a smooth surface to work with.

bookcase makeover 3

Step 3. Wipe it clean to remove the dust.

Step 4: Paint the shelf with regular paint or spray paint. I happened to have leftover paint from when we redid our laundry room, so I just used that. Two coats should do the trick.

bookcase makeover 4

Step 5: Attach contact paper to the back piece you removed in step 1. I found this cute chevron paper on Amazon. Order here.  The pattern was printed horizontally, so I had to work from side to side, rather than top to bottom. Very slowly peel the backing off and use a plastic card or ruler to smooth it out and make sure there are no air bubbles. You’ll want to leave a couple of inches of excess over the edges so you can wrap it around the back.

bookcase makeover 5

Alternatively, you could also find scrapbook paper you really like and use mod podge to attach it. OR you could just paint it a different fun color. It’s up to your creative self!

Step 6: Cut the corners of the excess contact paper off to make folding it over the edges easier.

bookcase makeover 6

Step 7: Use a hammer and small nails to reattach the back to the bookcase. Bonus- the nails will hold down the edges of the contact paper you folded over.

Here’s my completed shelf! Isn’t she pretty? Once my room is finished I’ll take you on a little tour. Emphasis on the word “little.” Stay tuned, friends!

bookcase makeover 7

xo

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End of Year Teacher Gift

Chloe’s school year ends in May, which means her last day is next Friday. EEK!! I wanted to give her teacher something special to show how much I appreciate everything she’s done for my girl this year. Lo and behold….a COOLER end of the year gift! See what I did there? Ha! At least I amuse myself…

end of the year teacher gift 2

Materials:

  • Small cooler
  • Letter stickers
  • Magazines- Option 1: Time, US Weekly, Lucky, Entertainment, People, Cosmopolitan, Travel+Leisure  Option 2: Time, US Weekly, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Cosmopolitan, People
  • Free printable Option #1  or  Option #2
  • Ribbon, twine, or tape
  • Tissue Paper
  • Beach towel
  • Donut pool float
  • Water bottle
  • Gift Card

I had letter stickers leftover from one of the Father’s Day gifts we made, so I added a little message to the front of the cooler- “I hope you have a COOL summer!” Then, I printed my sign and used twine to tie it around the stack of magazines. Don’t have any twine or ribbon lying around? No problem! Just tape the sign on top. Don’t forget to have your child sign his name at the bottom after.

End of year teacher gift 1

*Update- it was brought to my attention that a few of these magazines were hard to find, so I’ve included an alternate option with titles any convenience store should have.

 

Next, I put tissue paper and a $10 gift card to a local smoothie shop into the water bottle for an added surprise. Finally, I arranged all the gifts in the cooler, and then added tissue paper wherever there was enough space.

The great thing about this is you can do as much or as little as you’d like. The water bottle/gift card, magazines and sign, towel/pool float, are all nice gifts in and of themselves; so if this is over your budget or you’re short on time, you can just pick and choose whatever part you’d like to do. 🙂

There are 3 other teachers I wanted to buy gifts for as well, so I just picked up extra water bottles and gift cards for them while I was out.

Hopefully this inspires you to get creative with your gifts this year!

xo

 

 

 

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DIY Wreaths for the Kids’ Rooms

wreath 6.jpg

You guys…I’m excited about this one!! I was browsing around Michael’s and I had an idea to make wreaths for the kids’ doors. The process to make them was really easy, albeit a little time consuming, but so worth it!

Materials

  • Styrofoam wreath
  • Yarn (something to match the room)
  • Gorilla glue or a hot glue gun
  • Command hook or wreath hanger
  • Whatever else you’d like to attach

Directions

Gather your materials.

wreath 1

Wrap the wreath in yarn. Keep in mind, if you choose a thicker yarn, you’ll get done faster. You want to wrap it until you can no longer see any of the Styrofoam.  I found it helpful to work in 2 inch sections at a time. Once it was covered really well, I’d move on to the next section until the wreath was completely wrapped.

wreath 2Cut the yarn and glue the end on the backside of the wreath.

Glue on whatever decorations you’d like. For Chloe’s wreath I chose the letters of her name and attached pink jewels (left over from her pinkalicious party). For Miles’ wreath I painted a big letter M using the leftover paint from his ceiling. Told ya- you never know when you might need it! 😉

wreath 3

Stick your command hook on the door, and slide it through a few pieces of the yarn. It may poke out a little on top. It was a bit more noticeable on Chloe’s, so I just added a matching bow to hide it. No biggie! If you’d rather, you could always use a wreath hanger instead.

wreath 4

Overall, this was a really easy DIY project, and I absolutely LOVE how the wreaths look on their doors. What do YOU think? Are you going to give it a try?

xo

 

 

 

 

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Family Yearbooks You’ll Love

Once upon a time I was a scrapbooker; A pretty serious one, at that. I would save everything from movie stubs to dinner receipts. I’d head over to Michael’s and pick out coordinating paper and stickers to decorate my pages, and in the end they were beautiful.
So why did I decide to scrap the scrapbooks? For lots of reasons, actually:
1. They’re big/bulky and don’t fit nicely together on a bookshelf.
2. You’re limited in the number of photos you can include.
3. Too messy- between the stickers, paper, scissors, tape, and pictures, I needed my entire dining room table to have enough space to work.
4. I wanted to have a book for each year, but was never able to accomplish that with scrapbooks.
5. They’re expensive- The scrapbook itself usually rings in around $20. By the time you buy everything else you need, you spend well over $100.

Family Yearbooks You'll Love

For all of those reasons and more, I decided to move into the 21st century and work online. I chose to use Blurb. I’ve been using the BookSmart program from Blurb for the last 2.5 years and I love it! Although, if you’re interested, there’s also a newer version out now called BookWright.
Some tips to help you get started:
Save Photos To Your Computer- Of course when you’re making a yearbook, the first thing you need to do is get your photos organized. You’ll have to upload them to your computer, and if you really want to make things easier on yourself, you can organize them into albums by month. Then when you’re ready to work on your book, you can just click the album you’ll be working on and all the photos from that month will be right there for you!
Take Things Slow- I highly recommend working on your book one month at a time. I usually sit down for an hour or two at the beginning of a month and complete the pages for the previous month. The last thing you want to do is try to bang out a whole book in one shot. It’ll be way too overwhelming and you’ll want to punch a hole in your computer. Seriously. Don’t do it.
Be Consistent- There are SO many layouts to choose from, and each of them can be customized, so the options are virtually endless. However, your book will look more professional if you stick to no more than 10 layouts throughout. You should also stick to the same font/size as well.
Avoid Page Numbers- Depending on the layouts you choose, some will show the page numbers and others won’t. Since you’re trying to be consistent, ^^^ you should just avoid page numbers all together. Who really needs them on a photo book anyway?!
Include Dates- When I’m looking back through my yearbooks, one thing I love is that I know the exact date certain events took place. For instance, getting a positive pregnancy test. If I hadn’t recorded that date in my book, I never would have remembered it.
Pay Attention to the Purple Areas- When you’re working in BookSmart, you have the option to use the guidelines or to turn them off. Use them!! That’s the only way you’ll be able to make sure no one gets decapitated when your book goes to print. The guidelines make this easy. Just make sure everyone’s beautiful face is out of the purple areas and you’ll be golden.

Here are some samples of pages from my books. Keep in mind these are from two different yearbooks, so there are more layouts shown than I typically use.

If you want your yearbook to look similar to mine, here’s all the specific, down-and-dirty, info.
Book size– Standard Portrait (8″ x 10″)
Cover– Image Wrap- I HIGHLY recommend this type of cover! See how I made that bold and used capital letters and everything?! That’s because it’s super important; Not only does it protect your book, but it makes it look much more professional.
Font– Georgia
I like to put a heading on each page- size 14, bold
Beneath the heading I put the date- size 10, bold
Then anything else I type is size 9, not bold
Text Color– I always use black or white. After I arrange my photos, I choose the color that’s easier to see.
Horizontal Text Arrangement– Justified

I like to start my yearbook with a “Big Events” page.

Big Events of 2014
Big Events of 2014

I like to end it with my “From the mouths of babes…” page. Whenever my kids say something really cute or funny I type it in the notes section of my phone along with the date, so I can add it to the yearbook later.

From the mouths of babes...
From the mouths of babes…

I think that’s everything you need to know, but if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or comment down below!! I’m happy to help!

Now go get started! I’ve made two yearbooks so far, and my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.

Note- Blurb did not sponsor this post and these opinions are my own 🙂

xo

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