Category Archives: DIY Projects

Refinishing a Dresser

I’ve had a lot of people comment on the dresser in the nursery and how we Ben transformed it. We loved the idea of using a piece of furniture we already had and refinishing it for our little girl! The dresser went from this…
dresser8to this…
dresser9I still can’t believe how great it turned out and how perfect it looks in the nursery! This project began back on a cold February day when Ben decided to use a hand sander he’d gotten for x-mas several years ago and never opened.
dresser5He wiped it down, took off all the hardware and sanded it first with 80 grit sandpaper to rough it up and then with 200 grit paper to smooth things out. This took less than 30 minutes – I think it took us longer to drag it outside!
dresser3Fast forward several months later (after much moaning, groaning and unhelpful nagging comments by an impatient pregnant lady). One Sunday Ben asked me if I would mind if he worked on the dresser in the living room while watching golf… my response, “Of course, go for it!!” Who knew it was that easy?!
dresser2First he pried off the bumpers in order to make the bottom of the dresser completely level. He then secured wood blocks on the underside of the dresser.
dresser1Then Ryan Gosling Ben screwed in $4 fence post caps into the corners and the wood blocks. You can see a lot more details than we documented at this link.
dresser4Next came the very long, drawn out process of priming, painting and sealing the dresser. Ben used 2 coat of Kilz Clean Start zero VOC primer, 3 coats of Olympic zero VOC semi-gloss paint (color matched to SW 7009 Pearly White) and 4 coats of non-toxic, odor free Safecoat Acrylacq – whew!
dresser6Just when he thought he could call this project DONE, I hesitantly reminded him that we still needed to redo the hardware. Not. A. Happy. Camper. He started by using 400 grit sandpaper to rough them up.
dresser7Then he sprayed 4 thin coats of Rostoleum Universal All-Surface Spray Paint in the oil-rubbed bronze finish and let them dry outside for a few days. I was totally impressed with how well these turned out! I eventually want to do this to every gold doorknob in our house like in this post.
nursery_reveal3And here she is in all her beauty today! I can’t say this was the easiest project in the world, but it’s definitely the statement piece in the nursery! I absolutely love that Ben stuck with this and worked so hard on it. He MUST love me and his little girl because he does not enjoy DIY like I do:) What do y’all think?

DIY Onesie Cupcakes

I recently went to a baby shower for a sweet friend and decided to make onesie cupcakes. This is a super simple and fun DIY project that always gets oohh’s and aahh’s (which we all know is secretly our goal at baby showers:)
diy_onesie9These are actually some others I did for another friend last fall. Aren’t they just so cute you could squish their little faces and eat them?!

Supply Breakdown:

  • 4 onesies
  • 4 receiving blankets
  • 4 rubber bands
  • 4 coffee filters
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • baker’s twine
  • a cupcake bakery box (you can get them at Michael’s or Joann’s)

diy_onesie1Fold the receiving blankets until they are 3″ wide.
diy_onesie2Lay a onesie over your fist and make an indent in the center.
diy_onesie3Take the inside of the onesie and tuck it into the center.
diy_onesie4Then lay the onesie at the end of one of the blankets and roll it up.
diy_onesie5Secure it with a rubber band, place in a coffee filter and tie with ribbon.
diy_onesie6Do a little dance that you finished one, rinse and repeat 3x’s.
diy_onesie7Place the cupcakes in the bakery box and tie it with baker’s twine.
diy_onesie8What a simple way to add the “wow” factor to some onesies and blankets!

Who can’t wait to go to their next baby shower to make these? Anyone else have a fun DIY baby shower present? Do you do happy dances during DIY projects? We’re hoping to finish up all the big nursery projects this weekend!

DIY Closet Dividers

While doing our baby registries, I came across some closet dividers that were super cute. I just couldn’t bring myself (or allow anyone else) to pay $20 + shipping for them so I found this tutorial and made my own!
DIY_closet_dividers6I love how they turned out and, even though I don’t think of myself as a “crafty” person, these were really easy! Mostly it was just a lot of fun making something for our little girl myself since I’m not a knitter:)
DIY_closet_dividers1I grabbed 6 wooden letter “O’s” and Spa Blue Americana acrylic paint at Hobby Lobby and the rest of the supplies (Mod Podge, scrapbook paper, stickers, brushes) at Michaels. I spent about $14 on this project, but many of you “crafties” would already have a lot of these supplies at home.
DIY_closet_dividers2First, I simply painted one side of the O’s – make sure to get the inside AND outside edges because they will show! Note: your fingers will get dirty.
DIY_closet_dividers3Then I traced around the O’s onto the scrapbook paper with a pencil and cut them out. It was suggested to use an exacto knife, but good scissors worked just fine for me. I cut an X to get to the middles easier like in elementary school.
DIY_closet_dividers4Now it was time to glue the scrapbook paper onto the O’s and paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on top. I didn’t bother with the other side and I waited to add the stickers until everything had completely dried.
DIY_closet_dividers5Here’s the final result – so cute if I do say so myself! Before starting this project, you will want to make sure that your closet bar is the kind that can lift out. If not, you’ll need to alter this project so that there’s a way to get the O’s on.
DIY_closet_dividers6Now all we need are some huggable baby hangers and a closet full of adorable clothes! These currently only go through 18 months, but since I didn’t Mod Podge the stickers I can easily switch them out as she grows.

Anyone else a big fan of easy craft projects that make you feel like superwoman? What DIY projects have you been up to lately? Am I the only new momma that felt like my head was going to explode when registering?

DIY Floor Pouf

Hello, incredibly patient readers! I’ve been busy soaking up quality time with Ben and Cali while we’re still a family of 3:) A few weekends ago we went to MO to help my sweet grandma celebrate her birthday. While there, my mom helped me (she did most of the work) make a floor pouf and a crib skirt for the nursery.chevron__floor_poufThis was my inspiration from Etsy. $109 + $35 shipping = $144. A similar one on West Elm is $249 + shipping. Instead, I grabbed $20 of fabric from a local fabric store and $30 of bean bag stuffing from Bed Bath & Beyond/Kmart = $50.
diy_floor_pouf8Here’s a sneak peak of final product. I love the fun pop this gives the room!
diy_floor_pouf2How did we tackle this project? We used the basic instructions from this blog post. Then I spent what seemed like hours measuring, cutting and ironing the fabric while mom sewed a simple 3-sided crib skirt together.
diy_floor_pouf1I was having trouble getting the fabric straight to measure, so mom showed me a trick. You make a small cut and pull a string from the fabric all the way down one side and then simply cut along the visible line to get a perfectly straight line. Have I mentioned that my mom is a genius? So smart!
diy_floor_pouf3We started by sewing together the sides into one big circle. After each piece was sewn, mom would hand it to me to iron the seams out flat so that it would lay better after it was all put together – great tip!
diy_floor_pouf4The hardest part was attaching the top and bottom pieces which took a little trial and error. We would pin one side at a time, mom would sew, I’d iron the seam. Rinse and repeat 7x’s leaving a gap big enough for the stuffing.
diy_floor_pouf5Then came the stuffing. Um, how cute are my parents concentrating so hard?! A lot of people use cotton batting/stuffing, but I opted for bean bag stuffing because I didn’t want it to always look “lumpy”. Then mom hand sewed the hole.
diy_floor_pouf7Here she is in all her black and white chevron yummy boldness! I like to think of this as a statement piece in the nursery as well as a practical place to put my tootsies during late night feedings. I couldn’t have done this without my mom’s mad sewing skills – she’s pretty amazing!
diy_crib_skirt1I also mentioned a crib skirt. It was simply 3 pieces of fabric I picked up at Jo-Anns that mom hemmed on all sides. We measured it to the length of the crib when it’s in the lowest position for a newborn. I used giant safety pins to attach it so that when we move the crib up we can readjust the length – easy peasy!
diy_crib_skirt2It has one pleat on both the front and the sides which mom whipped up like a champ. I’ve been very intentional about making the nursery gender-neutral, but I couldn’t resist this feminine, flowy fabric – so sweet for our little girl:)
blue_baby_shoesTomorrow I will be 28 weeks and my baby bump is growing – only 3 months left!

What do you think about our DIY floor pouf? Anyone else have a Martha Stewart supermom? Who’s ready for the big nursery reveal already?

Floor pouf image found here.

DIY Haircut

Why are guy haircuts getting so expensive? By the time Ben pays tip and everything to his boy Jeremy at Sport Clips it’s like $22 which adds up to $264 a year! So when I came across this blog post I decided that it wasn’t rocket science and I would give it a try.
Even though the tutorial I read suggested $5 scissors from CVS, we splurged on a $10 pair from Tarjay (we’re fancy around here!). Ben took a quick hair bath to wash the gel out, but it was mostly dry by the time I started cutting.
This was the only out-of-focus before profile pic I got of him, but he was definitely a scruffy bunny in need of a chop-chop.
We set up shop in the dining room and our high-back dining chairs came in mighty handy. I was pretty nervous because selfishly I didn’t want to have to look at a bad haircut for the next several weeks on my hotty hubs.
I started with the easy trim work. The tutorial I watched didn’t use trimmers at all, but Ben said that Jeremy always used a #3 on the bottom part. “Jeremy this, Jeremy that…” I got tired of hearing about his “ex”. I shaved his neck and used the trimmers for everything but the top. Bowl cut, anyone?
Who doesn’t want to have a little pretend soul patch fun in the midst of a haircut? I bet Jeremy wouldn’t have allowed that at his fancy salon – ha!
I trimmed the top a tiny bit longer than finger length and did all my cuts vertically so he wouldn’t look like The Three Stooges. With all this hair, you would have thought Ben was a man-beast…
Fear.the.beard. Disclaimer: this was prior to Ben and I dating and no, he’s not embarrassed in the least. I bet your man couldn’t grow a beard like this!
Here’s the final product – helloooo, sexy haircut! It honestly looks identical to Ben’s regular haircuts (minus the $22). Eat it, Jeremy! I cannot believe how easy (and surprisingly fun) this was.

Now, what to do with that extra $264 a year… Anyone else cut your husband/kids/dogs/hamsters hair?

How To Create Gratitude Board

Ben sent me the link to this touching video which caused me to sob like a baby in the middle of Starbucks. Grab a kleenex and enjoy!

I loved the ‘Board of Gratefulness’ that Ian and Larissa created as a daily reminder to be grateful. My wheels started spinning. The stager in me wanted to use something that we already had instead of buying something new.
I’ve been wanting to do something with this piece for awhile now. We got it at Pottery Barn Outlet a long time ago. I love the size, but it lacked purpose.
I knew we needed cork board to make our pins stick. Due to the size, we opted for roll-out instead of the thick squares. Ben cut it to size and I grabbed duct tape to hold it all together. Then I wrapped it all in burlap to add texture.
It was curling up at the edges quite a bit so, instead of stacking books on top, we threw it under our memory foam mattress. Ben said it was like carrying 18 dead bodies when he and a friend moved it in, so we figured that would do the trick!
Here’s a close-up of my very professional duct tape job. I didn’t want that baby going anywhere, so I put loops of tape to secure it to the back board.
We printed off a quote by Thornton Wilder which says, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” I loved it, but it was definitely lacking some style.
Nothing that a trip to Michaels can’t fix! There were too many options to choose from, so I decided to bring all my favorites home to test out.
These were the first ones I ruled out. They were too simple and uniform.
I didn’t like these buttons as much as I thought I would. Not enough “wow”.
I absolutely loved the different tints and shapes of these guys.
These were also a winner. The pops of color had me at hello. In the midst of all this, I decided to change the quote paper from green to an airy yellow.
I tacked up more of my two favorites and decided to let you all decide!

When it was all said and done, I spent about $15 on this project between the cork board, burlap and craft supplies. The joy this will bring having everyone who visits our home fill out a grateful note and doing it ourselves will be priceless!

So what do y’all think? Who else owns an 18-dead-body mattress? Any other gratitude board ideas out there?

Elephant Art

This last Friday we decided to be artsy fartsy and venture down to the Broad Avenue Spring Art Walk. We got to see my friend Hillary Butler’s art displayed and my friend Myla Smith perform – these ladies are both super talented artists! But little did I know that I would be leaving with this…
They had a booth set up for children where you could make your own screen print artwork. You could choose from several different animals, what color of acrylic paint, and actually create an original piece of art – so cool!
I knew exactly where I wanted to display my new piece, so I grabbed a frame we already had and carefully placed my yellow elephant on our frame collage wall. Doesn’t he look like he’s always been there and fits right in?
I love this view from the kitchen. We recently had a super fun family photo shoot in downtown Memphis, so I’d like to switch out some of the pics on the wall. The best part about this update is that it was absolutely FREE!

Where’s your favorite place to buy/create art? Anyone else have a heart for elephants? Who admits to standing their ground when a 3yo tries to cut in front of you in the screen print line (hypothetically speaking, of course)?

Window Wall Art

Ben, Cali and I took a walk one beautiful Sunday morning and stumbled upon this little guy on the side of the road…
Our reactions were quite different. I saw a treasure and had all kinds of ideas dancing around in my head. Ben saw a junky piece of trash.
I totally proved him wrong and gave the window a new life with a fresh coat of paint. Now, he is proudly hanging in our guest bedroom as happy as a lark.
You can’t tell in the pics, but it was more of a bright yellow and definitely needed painting. I thought about going with blue or white, but ultimately decided on the same soft green as the side tables (Paris Rain by Benjamin Moore). This box top painting method worked really well for our kitchen cabinets too!
(Insert joke about me never being shown doing actual work around our house) Ben is MUCH better at painting trim, but I suffered through two coats!
Two shark tooth picture hangers, two heavy wall anchors and an entire week that it took Ben to hang it later, we had a beautiful piece of wall art with character!
It looked a little bare, so I added a simple star ornament in the top right pane. I love all of the little imperfections, even the paint mishaps on the glass – ha!
While I was snapping pics in our guest bedroom, it felt really unbalanced with only one lamp. I have yet to find the perfect lamp for this space, so I grabbed a cute chevron box (for height), my favorite blue vase and walla! I love it!
Here’s a final shot of my creative, stubborn (no matter what my hubby thinks) powers in full force. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!

Who else is guilty of rummaging through your neighbor’s trash? Raise your hand if you’re a fellow trim-painting hata. Any other fake lamp creators out there?

DIY Jute Wrapped Eggs

Who hasn’t been able to sleep since Tuesday in anticipation for my DIY jute wrapped eggs tutorial? Shame on you! You should have saved your sleep deprivation for The Hunger Games midnight premiere tonight. I’ve been wanting to do a jute-themed project, so this was my chance!
Remember my spring-inspired shelf? Those jute eggs were the icing on the cake! I knew I didn’t want to wrap regular-sized eggs – I wanted some dinosaur-sized eggs! A home stagers rule of thumb is not to decorate with anything smaller than a football, so the bigger it is, the more of a statement piece it becomes.
Here’s the supplies breakdown:

  • Plastic eggs from Michaels ($3/piece)
  • Glue dots from Michaels ($3 with a coupon)
  • Jute twine from Dollar General ($1)
  • Scissors

I’ve seen people do these kind of projects using hot glue and Elmer’s glue, but not this girl! Why would you subject yourself to finger burns and sticky fingers? I put a glue dot at the very top and then 4 glue dots in a circle to get it started.
It’s kinda fun, like you’re doing a puzzle or crafting a corn maze or something.
Here you can see how I continued the 4 lines of glue dots down each side. That was plenty to hold it in place, even through the fatty middle.
Halfway done! I wish I could say that time flew by because I was watching something awesome on TV, but hubby had just come back from a camping trip and demanded the remote for March Madness (waa-waa). Since these eggs were bigger, it probably took me about 30 minutes per egg.
I love how they turned out! The eggs I bought had hangers and ribbon attached at the top which i decided to leave because it added some color.
Look who found a new home nesting in my $10 clearance Target wreath on our newly painted robin’s egg blue front door? I think it was meant to be:)

Anyone else have an undying love for all things jute? What’s your favorite way to bring natural fibers into your home? Who thinks eggs should go big or go home? Feel free to join the Spring Fling Link Party below!

Grandma Gift Idea

This past weekend we went on a road trip to Sparta, TN for my grandma’s 80th birthday. My brother and sis-in-law came from Oklahoma City and rode with us there and back which made it a lot more fun! There was just one problem… what kind of gift do you get your 80yo grandma??? Pinterest to the rescue!
I came across this nontraditional flower bouquet and thought it was perfect! I decided to put my own spin on it (a.k.a. make it as easy as possible).
Here’s my version – I love how it turned out! Ben and I are peeking out from the  back row – our flowers didn’t like the 5 hr road trip. Here’s a list of all the supplies I got at Michaels (with a $10 coupon of course):

  • tin pail
  • foam block
  • crinkle paper
  • dowel rods
  • clip on gerber daisies
  • glue dots (because I despise hot glue guns)
  • ribbon

When I first showed this to Ben, his response was, “Good luck” because he thought it would be crazy trying to track down all the grandkids and their spouses pics. Facebook to the rescue! I got a couple of pics printed off of everyone so that I’d have options to choose from – easy peasy!

I used the lid of our cinnamon as the template to cut the pics into circles, then I attached them to the flowers using 3-4 glue dots. I clipped (so easy) the flowers to the dowel rods, cut them to the right height, and stuck them into the foam hiding in the bottom of the pail. I used a glue dot to secure the ribbon to the front, tied bows to the 4 front flowers, and added crinkle paper. Done!
The best part was seeing my grandma looking like herself again after recovering from a stroke she had on Christmas Eve. She seemed to love the gift and likes being able to show off all her grandkids to visitors. I am extremely proud to be named after this beautiful woman and couldn’t love her more!

Anyone else make any homemade gifts lately?

I’m joining Sherry, Katie, Cassie and Erin with the Winter Pinterest challenge!

Flower bouquet image and project found here.