DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor

DIY Friday~ $1 Home Decor Cotton Stems

Well, fall is officially here! Maybe not so much in the weather for us, since it’s still 90 degrees outside, BUT definitely in the home decor! Here’s a big secret from a DIY mama…some days Little Johnny and I go into my favorite craft store and just walk around while I search for inspiration. As an added bonus, did you know that craft stores are a great place for kids to explore their senses?! We currently love the huge flowers at Hobby Lobby, it’s Little Johnny’s fav…and probably how I convince him to go. 🙂

What’s a fall trend that you have been seeing lately? (Even Magnolia Market sells them.)

Cotton Stems!

(or cotton flowers)

Have you ever gone into a home decor store and thought to yourself…”this looks like something I could make?” I say that to myself quite often and this time I took it to the next level by actually creating my own! YOU ALL! This project was so easy, and very cost-efficient. You probably have $1 right now in your wallet, (which is how much it cost to make this).

DIY Cotton Stems 


{Supplies}

  • 2 pine cones
  • 2 branches
  • 12 cotton balls
  • hot glue gun

The only item I purchased were the cotton balls, hence the $1 (although you may already have some stashed away in your closet). The rest of the supplies came from the outdoors.

{Steps}

I created another video where I share with you all the details. Make sure to click below to watch and feel free to leave a comment, or even subscribe. It’s always scary taking a leap as a blogger, but I felt it was time to move to the next level with my DIY projects (plus, we all know everyone loves watching videos.)

What fall decor item is your favorite this season? 

Here’s to pumpkin spiced everything, bonfires, fresh baked pies, and cozy sweater weather! 🙂 Maybe you can try this for a weekend project?!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday~ Upcycled Wood Frame

Not sure if it’s the release of Hearth & Hand by Magnolia that will be coming to Target soon, OR just the simple fact that I love upcycling items. (especially when they’re free) Recently I created my now favorite upcycled DIY project. Much of the inspiration came from Joanna Gaines. (gosh, I love this lady, anyone else?) I needed to find out how I could make my own wood frame wreath decor, but at a low cost (because have you gone to the store lately and seen the prices?!)

My inspiration

(source: https://www.etsy.com/market/birch_bark)

I have been on the search for rustic wooden frames (or old wood window frames), but I haven’t had any luck (mainly because I’m looking for them to either be free or at a very budget friendly cost!) A few weeks ago I was at Ace Hardware picking up primer and I spotted the paint stir sticks sitting in the corner. Here’s the great thing about stir sticks….

1. They’re FREE

2. They’re WOOD

I had this notion that somehow I could turn these into a decor project for my small home. So…I asked the cashier if I could take as many as I wanted and her response was “Of course, they’re free aren’t they!” (My kind of cashier!) 😉 I honestly didn’t know what type of project I was going to create at the moment, but I knew something great could be made out of these simple stir sticks. I saw the p o t e n t i a l.

It was the week after Hurricane Irma when our power was still out and I was getting restless. Little Johnny was napping, my house was dirty, and starting to smell, but it was impossible to clean in the FL heat…so, I decided I needed to release my tension by getting my creative juices flowing. I went outside and stared at these stir sticks for a while, then it hit me (probably because I’ve been watching Fixer Upper lately…) these sticks can be used as a frame! I pulled out my stain, wood glue, paint brush, and away I went in creating a wooden frame!

So much joy I found the moment I brought this frame inside of my house where it hung perfectly in my kitchen. I honestly felt the release of some stress flow away from me…We all have our “things” that help us to feel better and I finally have found mine. I focus so hard on these DIY projects, which for those moments, the fear, anxiety, and overall life problems seem to just drift away…

seriously gloat over this beautiful frame every morning when I drink my coffee and remind myself of that “stress free” moment I had when creating it. (I know, “it’s just a frame”, but to me it was the actual experience in making it.) If you’ve been wondering about the name of my blog (capturing life’s gifts) much of it has to do with the fact that I have finally “captured” my own personal gifts that life has to offer…one of them is pulling out my inner creativity…

Upcycled Wood Frame: Using Stir Sticks 


{Supplies}

  • 4 wood stir sticks
  • wood glue (or a hot glue gun)
  • stain
  • very accent paint color (I went with a slate blue)
  • paint brush

{Steps} 

This time I created a video that includes the steps, since it was such an easy project. If you like the video, let me know so I can plan on doing more videos on easy DIY Home Decor projects!

Thanks for following along and I hope this inspired your creativity!

Happy DIYing!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, Dollar Store DIY

DIY Friday~ $3 Kitchen Cabinet Update (Requires No Paint)

When you live in an apartment there’s only so much you can do to update the style (especially when it’s outdated). I have been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets for the longest time either an off white color with silver hardware, or a light grey color with gold hardware. Well, painting is out of the question, but I needed to do something to lighten up the dark cabinets! The key was to find something that wouldn’t damage them.

So are you wondering what I used and what’s the trick?! 

CONTACT PAPER 

Long story short, Little Johnny and I were at the Dollar Tree picking up contact paper for a craft project we did this past week (sun catchers! which by the way, you should definitely do this with your little one. Here’s the link.) Anyways, I noticed how many pretty patterns of contact paper there were, so I guess you can say it inspired me to somehow use it within me home. I bought only one just to try it out on my kitchen cabinets and I ended up loving the result! So, I went back and had to buy 2 more rolls in order to cover my top cabinets, (hence the $3). Seriously, I would have never guessed contact paper would do the trick for an easy update to my kitchen! This was an idea that just popped into my mind while at the store, but of course many others had the same idea after I did a quick google search. 😉 That just means it truly works! 🙂

“BEFORE”

P.S. Here’s my color scheme I’m trying to go with in the kitchen. I have a lot of red throughout, and I’m just not liking it anymore. I want light colors to brighten up the room. The yellow in the picture below is a bit too bright, so I may find more of a softer yellow to coordinate with.

Do me a favor and go get yourself some contact paper, there are so many beautiful patterns and a variety of places you can use it in your home for an easy update! Don’t just stop at kitchen cabinets (my husband may come home one day and find our whole house in contact paper…HAHA!)

{Steps}

  1. Make sure to wipe down the cabinets with soap and water
  2. Measure out the height and length of what you want to cover
  3. cut out the measured piece and peel back a small corner to start. The key is to do small sections at a time.
  4. the best tool to use is a credit card or some type of plastic card (I used my library card.) 🙂
  5. Take the card and use it to spread the paper down making sure to get any “bubbles” out. 
  6. Use the card to tuck in the edges and make a crisp clean straight edge. 

That’s it! So easy, but it’s something that makes a huge change to an outdated room! I love how it brightens up our kitchen (although I still want to paint the cabinets white!) haha. Also, keep in mind that if you live in a small place and rent, that doesn’t mean you can’t update the place and personalize with your own style…decorating isn’t just for homeowners. 😉 Any space can use a sprucing up!

“AFTER” 

Have you done any updates yet to your kitchen? What are some tips and tricks you have developed along the way?

Happy DIY Friday! 

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

DIY Home Decor, Dollar Store DIY

DIY Friday~ How to style a $6 coffee station within your kitchen

First of all, this title involves the word coffee, so we all know it’s going to be a good post! 🙂 I’m a huge coffee drinker over here! Something about a hot cup of joe in the morning just sets my day up for success.

Coffee bars and stations have become very popular within homes. Creating a “coffee shop” appeal is fun to display within the kitchen! We live in a small space, so it’s crucial to not add too much clutter to the counters. I replaced our huge toaster oven (we still have it, but now it’s in our storage area because honestly we don’t use it that often) with a coffee station!

 

BEFORE

(And yes, we use a percolater for our coffee maker!)

There are so many different ways you can go about creating your own. I chose to go with a counter top display, but you can definitely have it in a cabinet, hanging on a wall, or on a side table. I’m a pinterest lover, so if you’re looking for more ideas visit my profile to view more! Follow this link here!

The best part about this project is the cost! I was able to create a clean & simple coffee station for $6! By now we can all guess where my “go to” store is….Dollar Tree! Spray paint and gorilla glue go a long way! 🙂

$6 Coffee Station


I already had the spray paint, chalkboard paint, and wood. So all I needed were these 6 items above!

Surprisingly, the Dollar Tree has many framed printables. The good new is…I was looking for this exact quote! Although, I wanted to add color to it so I used the “slate blue” spray paint for the frame. It made such a difference and updated the look!

This tin tray and glass candle holder were a perfect combination to create the height I was looking for! I used this to store my mugs and stir sticks. You can use a hot glue gun to attach the tray on top too, I just thought gorilla glue would be a stronger bond.

I added an old piece of fence wood I had leftover from my “side of the road” find a few months ago! I also used a mason jar to add color to the display. I used rocks, yellow pebbles, and artificial green leaves. I added water just to give it the appeal of a crisp and fresh look!

I used chalkboard paint and painters tape to section off where I wanted my labels.

I already had the tall canister, which added to the look!

Here’s the end result! I love it! My husband even said it looks clean and simple! By the way…we currently rent and our kitchen counters, back splash, and cabinets are all out of date! This is not my preferred counter top, but one day I’ll be able to choose my own and when I do I’ll definitely take you through the process! 🙂

Do you have a coffee station in your home? What does it look like? AND what kind of coffee do you drink? I’m a flavored coffee drinker…(currently drinking Hazelnut). Cream & sugar? Black? (I take cream!)

Wishing you well,

 

 

DIY Home Decor

DIY Friday- Bookcase Makeover

There is a little nook area in our home that I have been wanting to redo for a while now. About 4 years ago we purchased one of those $20 bookcases at Target and it’s still holding up (you’re probably nodding your head because you have one within your home too!). The structure was still in tack, BUT there were a few scratches and it was just very dull looking. So, I decided to add my interior sparkle to it. Let’s just say it’s now one of my favorite areas in our home. All this piece needed was to be “kicked up a notch” in design. I’m very proud of this little bookcase and even though it’s not a “forever piece” it adds just the right chicness with the soft pastel hues I incorporated.

Here’s the honest truth though, it did take a bit of time to complete (mainly because I had a few complications that I’ll share below, but in the end it turned out beautiful)! It’s a chic bookcase that displays collected items I found within my home. Oh yeah, one more thing…I used gift wrap paper to add that special elevated element to it along with some of the refurbished fence post wood I recently found. Just wait, you’ll see…

{Supplies}

 

  • 6 fence post boards
  • catalina mist spray paint
  • gift wrap paper (I found this beautiful design on clearance at JoAnns!)
  • mod podge
  • paint brush
  • and of course an old bookcase

{Steps}

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I started with measuring out the wood and cutting it to fit into the slots as shelves. I just used the reclaimed wood that I had. If you’re wanting to do something similar to your bookcase I would recommend finding one solid wood piece to fit within the slot, it would just be much easier. My pieces were not wide enough, so I had to use 3 boards per slot. For the middle shelf I decided to keep the old one and just paint over it using a a grey tinted paint with the lace chalky paint on top. This shelf is bowing in a bit, so hopefully with it flipped over and books on top with time it’ll bend back to shape, if it doesn’t I’ll find a new piece of wood to replace it.

Quick story! I’m not very handy yet with tools. I seriously had a hard time just using a drill (I actually youtubed “how to use a drill”.) PLUS, we didn’t have the right screws, so the boards are just sitting on top of the old ones. It doesn’t look bad for now, I may come around to fixing it at a later point . =)

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^^^^This above picture was the plan I had in mind. My goal was to drill the two horizontal boards so that they would attach together. Then I was going to flip it over and use it as a full board for the book shelves. Maybe if I buy the right screws I’ll try again. Right now they’re just sitting on top of the old shelves, which doesn’t look bad, as the old shelves are hardly visible.

AND we’re back to the steps…

Then I attempted to use mod podge to adhere the gift wrap paper to the top part of the bookcase. Not going to lie, this was a bit of a trial for me because the mod podge made the paper wrinkle. (Wall paper would actually work much better.) After about 4 trials (I wish that was a joke…), I kept trying to think of other ways I could make the gift wrap paper stick. Leave it to me to be in this situation! HA HA! I didn’t have double-sided tape or any other type of adhesive, so I decided to go ahead and start spray painting the top of the bookcase using the catalina mist color.

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(I didn’t spray paint the inside because my can ran out, talk about problems, huh?! The end result still looks good though.)

Luckily, as I was spray painting I had a thought occur to me that I could possibly use the spray paint as an adhesive (What did I have to lose, right?!) I was really nervous doing it because I thought I would definitely screw everything up.

img_5528img_5529

While the spray paint was still tacky I quickly placed the cut out gift wrap paper on top. (Phew, this is quite a story!) Here’s the surprising part, it actually worked and it’s still holding strong. I ended up using the mod podge on the bottom of the top piece, as the gift wrap paper came around the edge. This was okay becuase no one sees that anyways. Now, like I said this isn’t a “forever piece” so I’m not expecting it to last for many years. I had to improvise on the spot because Little Johnny was napping and I didn’t have time to run to the store once he was up. This is what I could come up with on the spot, and I’m still happy with it.

Quick note: Please excuse the poor quality of lighting with my photos! The only time I could take them was in the wee early morning hour, PLUS this little nook area has terrible lighting!

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Wahlah! My beautiful chicelevated bookcase! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Now, let’s talk about styling decor items…

Tips on how to style a bookcase:


Right now we are at a stage in our life where splurging on home decor is just not in our budget. Well, I didn’t let this stop me from updating my bookcase with decor items. I rummaged through my home used a little bit of spray paint ,and the results are just perfect. Now, remember my style is the shabby chic, beachy & rustic design (a lot of mixture all in one, but they tend to flow together.)

Here are some tips that I found to be helpful while decorating my bookcase.

  • Think heights!

    • Provide a mixture of heights within your decor items…tall, short, long, ect.
  • Think texture!img_5583

    • I love going through my home and finding decor items that provide a variety of texture to them.
    • ropes
    • string
    • yarn
    • ribbon
    • baskets
    • glass ware
    • wood
    • stone/rocks
    • sea shells
    • plants/flowers
  • Think shapes!

    • Round, square, diamond, triangle, circle, trees, animals, you name it!
  • Upcycling itemsimg_5581

    • The above picture is an upcycled tiki torch that I am using to provide height within my decor. I took out the tin that holds the fuel and popped in a mason jar. I’m loving the result!
    • This adds a unique appeal to your display.You can rummage through your home like I did, OR shop at thrift stores, garage sales, or home
  • Show off your collection

    • Arrange books in a unique way that draws your attention.
    • display books horizontal with books stacked on top of each other.
  • Think levels!

    • Display your decor collections at different levels on your shelves.
  • Picture Frames or Artworkimg_5582

    • When you have too many colorful books displayed use black and white artwork to help to tone the colors down.
  • Painting your shelves

    • This always freshens things up, you can either add a pop of color or keep it neutral with whites and greys (you all! Did you know that gray is becoming the NEW white?)
    • OR add a patterned look using wall paper, stencils, or gift wrap paper.
  • Replace shelves

    • Use wood, glass, or metal to give your bookcase a dynamic & chic look.
  • Display Unique Vases img_5580

    • I used a glass pitcher and placed one small flower to give it more of a soft edge to the decor.

I had so much fun making over this bookcase (even with the little hiccups here and there). I hope you were inspired and found some of these tips helpful!

P.S. The best part about this project was that it cost my $9 and some change. =)

Happy DIY Friday! 

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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