Category Archives: Home Decor

Message Board Upcycle!

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We really needed a place to hang our keys when we came in the house.  Now a normal person would have just gone to Target and bought the first set of key hooks they found and been done with it.  Of course that wasn’t the route I wanted to take, and I spent an abnormal amount of time searching for the perfect key holder – only to come up empty.

Then I went to Habitat For Humanity’s ReStore and found this gem for $4.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t a gem yet, more like a diamond in the rough.

Your grandma's message board keyholder

I started with a coat of my trusty Zinsser primer.  Then I scavenged around the house to find leftover white and blue spray paint, clear acrylic paint to seal it up and some leftover chevron fabric.  Put it all together and you’ve done away with your grandmother’s message board and have a new upcycled piece for the mudroom.  No more excuses for lost keys!

Keyhold Message Board with Chalk paint

Here they are side by side:

Key holder chalkboard message center

This was the first time I’d been to a ReStore and I have to say that I was totally impressed!  I’ll definitely be going back if I take on anymore home improvement projects, though it is hit or miss if you are looking for something specific.  But if you have rental properties or just need something to get by, it is like digging through a garage- only a lot cleaner!

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Monogrammed Christmas Stockings

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I know it is a little early for a holiday inspired post, but I just finished a project I wanted to share.

Now that I have my complete family of four, I wanted us all to have matching, monogrammed Christmas stockings.  I bought four stockings last year on my second favorite shopping day – the day after Christmas (closely behind Black Friday) at fifty percent off from Target.

The nice this about buying them at the end of December was that it gave me a full year to get the monogramming done.  And I’m happy to report that 10 months later I finally got around to finishing them.

To make the monograms I bought cheap 25 cent pieces of felt at Hobby Lobby, some white string with and needles with big eyes to thread the thicker white string through.  First I drew the letters on lined paper, which helped ensure they were all the same height, and then used that as a pattern to cut the felt letters.  Then I just used a simple stitch to attach the letter.  Voila, monogrammed stockings!

Now to start the process of buying things to fill them…

Monogrammed Christmas Stockings

The Difference Drapes Make

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We have two big picture windows above our front door that let great light into the front of the house.

The previous homeowners, in their attempt to have beige infused in every aspect of this house, dressed the windows with three gauze window scarfs draped around them.  Can you guess the colors they chose?  Yup – light beige, beige, and dark beige/brown.

I really wish I had a before picture, but I don’t because they immediately had to come down when we moved in.  I’d rather have nothing on the windows than look at more beige each morning when I came down the steps.  So in lieu of the real deal, here is sort of what it looked like, to give you a before:

brown draped gauze scarf curtain

And the After. I am loving these curtain panels I found on Carsons.com, they are called Echo Positano Window Panel.

Echo Positano Window Panel

When you have to buy panels separately, the cost can add up.  So I found these on sale for $29.99 each.  Then used a 10% off coupon found on retailmenot.com.  Then started at ebates.com for another 2% cash back- it all adds up!

Here is a close up of the material.  The light colors really help lighten up the space and let the sun in nicely.  The old window scarfs were draped in front of the actual window, which gets a lot of light.  So by the time we took them down, the part actually covering the window was very faded by the sun.  Since this are a lighter color, hopefully the eventual fade won’t be so noticeable, but it is something one should consider.

Echo® Positano Window Panel

Here is another dramatic drape makeover, in the dining room.  This time I have the before:

dining room

The elephants were a strange choice, given they weren’t beige and didn’t really go with the rest of the décor.

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But I have to say, these cornices were so well crafted.  They were heavy and quality materials were used.  They must have cost hundreds of dollars to have made and hung.  I almost felt bad taking them down.  Except that I didn’t.   I did put them in storage though, I have a hunch they’ll be making an appearance on craigslist one of these days…

So down came the $500 custom window treatments, and up went my $50 for four panels from IKEA.  It was whole room instant makeover once these were hung.  The white made the whole room instantly brighter.  I love them.

White curtain panels from IKEA