Easy Way To Brighten Up Dark Decor

I have always liked a natural, earth-tone look in my home, and I still do. But lately, I’m getting really sick of all the browns and darker colors. I know the transition is going to be gradual, so I’ll share it in stages.

My first area to tackle is the entryway.

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Thrift Store Makeovers

One neat thing about wordpress (or I guess blogs and websites in general) is that you can see what search engine words led people to your website. This can be helpful in learning what topics people are interested in.

What I found was the majority of search terms used for my site involved thrift stores and decorating with thrift store items. Since I just so happen to love making over thrift store items, I thought it would be fun to do more of it!

Starting today.

I found these little guys at a thrift store and liked them.

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I don’t cross stitch so I’m not up on the lingo. I assumed they were some sort of frames for a cross stictching project since they had glass but all I could find about them is that they are cross stitching hoops. I couldn’t find anything online showing these hoops with glass.

If anyone has any idea about these, let me know because now I’m really curious. Most likely they are a rare antique worth millions and now I’m very rich.

Despite my windfall, I decided to carry out my project. To begin, I removed the glass and painted the rims white.

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Once that dried, I picked out a fabric (I went with this lobster print) and used the glass to trace the fabric to size.

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Then I just glued the fabric to the glass with the print side facing out.

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DSC05681 And put the glass back into the frame and reattached the screw.

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Then they were ready to hang!

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They made the perfect decoration over my son’s bed, just in time for summer.

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Now, on to the next thrift store makeover 🙂

 

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cross stitch collage

Easy Way to Display Kids’ Art

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

In February, I made a Love Wall to display in Starbucks. To make it, I had to use up frames from around our house which left our living room wall sad and bare.

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

Since this room is currently in transition (i’m trying to slowly replace all the browns and dark with bright and colorful), I wasn’t ready to buy any artwork for this area. In fact, I had no idea what I wanted to do here.

All I knew is that I was sick of looking at a blank wall.

I decided to let my kids handle the decorating until I figured out what to do.

There are a lot of great ways to display kids’ art, but I decided on using open frames to hang them. It is easy to swap out the pictures and it’s lightweight to hang.

I’d been looking around for the right frames but was having a hard time. Then I stumbled across a garage sale that had these three frames which were perfect. I love when that happens!

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

I removed the glass and backing and measured out jute roping to fit across the back. I tied the end in a knot to hold better to the hot glue, which held it down.

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

Depending on the size of your frame, you can have one or more art hanging lines.

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I just hung them on the wall.

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

And then I put my kids to work.

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

Using a clothes pin, I hung their artwork and that was it.

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

I like that this designates a spot for their art instead of getting randomly taped around the house.

Easy Way To Display Kids' Art

I realize I fell into my old habit of using earth tones (jute) for this project. Rethinking this, these frames might look cute with a bright, decorative ribbon instead. Or if you hang them in a child’s room, a pastel, satiny ribbon would be pretty.

Lots of options. Have fun!

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Before and After-Laundry Room

I love a good before and after renovation, but when it’s in my own home, I really love it.

I actually enjoy doing laundry but I always dreaded going down into our basement laundry room to do it. You will see why.

Here is what it looked like before (on a bad day, when detergent had just spilled and storage was piled up).

Basement Laundry Redo before and after

Scary.

But I do love my attempt from a few years ago to redo this area. I stapled up some curtains and then gave up.

Basement Laundry Redo before and after

But this time, I decided to put in the work and do it right. They key is to just do it in small chunks so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

We started by moving everything over in sections and cleaned and painted everything. Paint is what made the biggest impact. That’s where most of the expense was, but it really wasn’t too bad. You’ll want to talk to the paint specialist where you buy your paint because there are specific paints to use for concrete walls as well as flooring.

Basement Redo-before

Then once one section was done, we just moved things back over and tackled the next section.

Basement redo-before

Then it was time to cover up any unsightly areas. I wanted to cover up all the cords and pipes behind the washer and dryer.

Basement redo-before

Since the pipes went into the machine midway, I needed curtains that stopped before the piping. I just shortened a fabric shower curtain by pulling the bottom of the curtain up and pinning it in the back. This way there was no sewing.

Basement redo-during

Then there was this unfinished area between the wall and the ceiling. I could have painted plywood and installed it for a professional look, but this really needed to be super easy.

Basement Laundry Redo before and after

So, I just hung curtains to cover the area up. Like the other curtains, I just pulled the bottoms up and pinned them in the back to avoid sewing. It’s not perfect because there were some cords and ductwork in the way, but it was good enough for me.

Basement Laundry Redo before and after

Then I was ready for the fun part…decorating.

I primed and painted this rusty, old star a metallic silver.

Star-paint

I also painted this frame, which I’ve used for a Love Note Board and a Love Wall. I’d say I’ve gotten my $3.99 out of it!

Frame-paint

Then I just hung the star and added some letter cutouts behind the frame to spell, Eat, Play, Clean.

Laundry Room redo-after

Then, I painted the paper inside of these dollar store frames with chalkboard paint and wrote, Lights, Darks, and Towels on them.

chalkboard paint framesThen I glued ribbon to the back of the frames and hung them on baskets.

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I bought a decorative rug and added a vase of dried sticks and that was about it .

Laundry Room redo-after

Laundry Room redo-After

Now I don’t have to wear a hazmat suit whenever I want to go into our basement to do laundry. In fact, now I sometimes grab a drink and a book and head down to “do laundry” for a few hours. 🙂

maggie may's laundry room redo

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Make Your Own Bracelets from Costume Jewelry

No tools needed jewelry

My grandma loved her costume jewelry and I am having so much fun with this box of it that was given to me.

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Between the broaches, beads and chains, I’ll never run out of things to make with them. A while ago, I used some broaches from this box to make these decorative mirrors.

jeweled mirror

But for this jewelry project, I wanted to make bracelets from this chain necklace.

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I decided to make stretch bracelets because they are easy and don’t require a lot of tools or components.

First, using wire cutters (o.k. you do need one tool), cut off just a small section of links.

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I just did enough links to cover the top of my wrist.

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Then cut a small strip of stretchy cord.

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Fold it in half.DSC05397

And loop it through one of the end links.

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Then just fold the two ends through the opening to attach the cord to the links.

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This will gave you two strands of cord.

If your bead holes are too small to string two strands, forget the folding and looping step and just tie your cord around the chain link. Tie a few knots and trim excess cord, leaving one piece of cord.

Next, string beads onto the cords until it is the right length (there are no set measurements here, just wrap it around your own wrist to determine the length you need).

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Then tie the cord to the other end link and tie about three knots.

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You can put a few drops of glue or clear nail polish on your knots to secure them.

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And that is it!

You can use any kind of bead you have on hand to make a fun variety of bracelets.

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If you don’t have costume jewelry on hand from grandma, don’t worry, garage sale season is coming up. That’s a perfect place to find great accessories to craft with!

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Fun Way to Display Your Favorite Quote or Verse

In the past month, I’ve come across this Bible passage (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7) five times from five different sources!

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I realize this is a popular verse, but I always take notice when something starts showing up over and over. I like to think it’s God’s way of communicating with me and asking me to pay attention to something.

So, I’m not sure what the message is here. Maybe I’m supposed to be loving more? Better? Differently?

Or maybe I’m just supposed to enjoy the love that I already have.

Since I was feeling such a strong connection to this verse, I thought it would be nice to find a way to display it in our home.

This would be cute with any favorite quote or saying.

To start, I bought a frame from the thrift store.

Frame your favorite quote corinthians

Then I measured the area that shows through the glass so  I’d know what size to print my text.

Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

Using a computer, I typed out the text, changing the font with each verse. Then I printed it and cut it to fit inside the frame.

Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

With a pencil, I hand wrote the word love in the center of the page.

Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

Then using a small brush and acrylic paint, I painted over my penciled text.

Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

After it dried, I just put the paper into the frame and hung it in our bedroom where I could see it every day.

Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

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Frame favorite quote Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love Wall Using Thrift Store Frames

I shared this on Maggie May’s Facebook page, but I thought I would share it here since you still have time to make a Love Wall.

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I guess the first thing you should do is go to Facebook and “like” Maggie May’s. That way you don’t ever miss anything 🙂

Like on Facebook

Next, gather some frames you may have around your house or in storage and dust them off. This project is a great example of why it’s a good idea to hang onto frames even if the glass is broken.

Here is where you can just get creative. Leave the glass in or out depending on what you are putting inside.

For three dimensional pieces, take the glass out and you can do whatever you want. For this XO piece I made the X out of cardboard and the O out of buttons.

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For this one I attached card stock letters (one glittery one) with fishing line so it would hang flat.

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This heart was made with the leaves of a Eucalyptus branch. I recently shared a more detailed tutorial on this one here.

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If you have any leftover holiday ornaments, you may find one that you can use this way. Just hang inside a glass-less frame with fishing line.

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This one is nice if you want to keep the glass in because it’s flat.

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You can insert sticker or cut-out letters into the windows of frames like this one…

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Once you get all your frames done, play around with the layout and hang them on a lonely wall in your home.

These are on display at Starbucks right now, so here is the display there.

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Have Fun!

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Love Wall Collage

You Are Special Today Plate

Does this plate look familiar to anyone?

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When we were little, we were allowed to use this plate on our birthdays and on a big occasion like graduation. It wasn’t an option to use it other times (at least, I don’t remember asking to). It was truly for special occasions.

For that reason, it really did make you feel special sitting there, usually beaming, with the bright red plate at the dinner table.

I know they still make these plates, but I thought I would experiment to see if I could make my own.

There are many tutorials out there regarding this and many of them suggest different things. Some say a regular Sharpie works fine while some say you have to use a porcelain paint pen. Since I already owned colored Sharpie markers, I decided to experiment with those first before buying anything new.

My assistants and I did a test run on a couple old pieces.

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To get started, you will need some Sharpies or porcelain pen markers and a plain porcelain plate. I bought mine at the dollar store.

Draw on the surface with your markers and let dry completely. You can use a stencil template or just draw free hand.

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Place in oven and THEN turn oven on to 350 degrees. These pieces can be delicate and you don’t want to shock the piece. This allows it to slowly heat with the oven.

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Let bake for 30-45 minutes.

Leave in oven to cool completely. Don’t take out to cool. They will be HOT.

Wash well with soap and water. Dry. Enjoy.

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Here are my findings.

Sharpie will work just fine but if you hand wash the items, you cannot use an abrasive sponge. It scratches off the marker. Hand washing with a regular soft sponge is fine. I tested mine in the dishwasher and it started to fade. I recommend hand washing only.

I’m conflicted on the toxicity factor. On one hand, it is permanent and doesn’t wash off without abrasive scrubbing so I am not worried about it rubbing off onto food. And since this plate will only be used a couple times a year, the exposure level would be low.

Ideally, you could do this project with a mug and only draw on the outside of the mug. Problem solved.

But for this project, I just played it safe and mainly drew on the outside of the plate, leaving the food area clean.

This would be a fun project for the holidays. Buy some cheap mugs or plates at the dollar store and let each of your guests have their own personalized place setting.

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Have Fun.

Sparkle Twig Headboard

I found this twig decoration at a yard sale for $1.00.

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I’ve had this piece for about a year waiting to use it to decorate my daughter’s bed when she got out of a crib. We knew her first bed was going to be a toddler bed that was passed down through my husband’s family. It is a great bed but it doesn’t allow for a headboard so I knew it would need something. This piece was perfect.

I wanted to make it a little girly but also kind of fun so I went with a pale pink spray paint and sparkles!

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First I spray painted the twig piece and then immediatley sprinkled different shades of glitter all over it while the paint was still wet. By doing this, the glitter dried right into the paint preventing a mess every time you touched it.

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I love the way the light reflects off the sparkles. Unfortunately my photos don’t do it justice.

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Then we just hung it right over her bed and it added the perfect sparkly touch.

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Personalized Storage Jars

My college roommate used to say, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” While I didn’t agree with her back then (I felt that anything belonged anywhere), I’ve finally come around to her way of thinking.

Since my kids can’t read yet, I thought I would give them a visual way to know where things belong. For this project, I chose to organize bathroom items, but you could do this for any room or items you want.

First, I got small small glass jars of different shapes and decided what I wanted each to hold.

personalized storage containers

Then I took pictures of the kids using the items I was going to store. I printed them and cut them to size.

personalized storage containers

Then I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the jar, placed the photos where I wanted and then finished with a  final layer of the glue.

personalized storage containers

After they dried, I filled them with the appropriate items and set them out.

personalized storage containers

You can put pictures all around the jar allowing you to change things up just by turning the jar around.

personalized storage containers

You could even do this with old yogurt containers or whatever you have on hand . Just add pretty paper or ribbon.

personalized storage containersNow, no one has an excuse to not know where things belong 🙂

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personalized storage containers