Category Archives: DIY

Picture This…Again

As a continuation of the previous post, I’ve recently found and thought up of even more ways to use those old frames I found in the garage.

For one, I think it would be really cute to do a tv tray with a shallow frame. I think it would be really easy and inexpensive to do and you even have the choice of personalizing your piece.

I’m not really sure how it would work in real life but you could replace the cardboard backing with a sturdy piece of wood or hard plastic, keeping the glass front for a smooth and polished look, or just using the wood as the bottom. If you keep the glass, you could put pictures or drawings and even your favorite fabrics underneath it and have a beautiful and easy to use tv tray with edges that would things. I’ll try it out and report back with how things go.

Another idea I thought about (and apparently so did others) was a chalkboard. It takes the same idea as the jewelry storage frame but it replaces the back with a painted board of wood. You can find chalkboard paint for as little as $7 at CreateForLess. It’s definitely a steal there if you’re lazy or like me and don’t have a car to get it in person.

All you have to do is paint this on the piece of wood and let it dry for the period of time recommended before securing it in the frame and hanging it on the wall.

For the simplest use of the photo frames, an easy thing to do would be to string them together. A small frame on top that gradually gets larger with every frame would look pretty if you’re only doing a few. You normally see about three or four frames in this kind of bunch but you could also go with totally different sized frames and make a line that went from your ceiling to your floor.

I actually really like that idea and the way it looks in my mind. So here’s to another attempt at making the dorm look better!

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Monogram Me…

So, there’s a price to pay for being a lover of cutesy polka dots, monograms, and patterns. You tend to see them everywhere and want everything.

Last year, my dorm walls were as barren as the Arctic so I had to come up with something to spruce them up and bring some life to the room. All I had was some old black and white patterned wrapping paper, three cardboard inserts from some boxes I’d received my textbooks in, and some pink ribbon I’d saved from a class project.

The wrapping paper was reversible and, on the other side, was a solid hot pink. So, I printed out a full page of each letter of my initials and placed each over the pink wrapping paper before cutting them out. I then covered each cardboard insert with the black and white pattern, making sure to tape them securely to the back.

I then taped each of the initials to their prospective decorated board and then decided it still needed something. So, I took my ribbon and wrapped it around the edges of each, taping those at the back also. After that, I taped some more ribbon to hang the pieces with and got this wonderful result!

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Picture This

I recently visited my parents back home and was rumbling through the garage when I came across three large boxes of photo frames. Big ones, small ones, and even some REALLY funky ones. I hate to leave things just sitting there unused so, much to my mother’s dismay, I took one of the boxes into my bedroom and started brainstorming on ideas for how to use the poor things.

There’s one idea that just redesigns the frame to give it a more vintage look. This works better for those picture frames that are painted. All you have to do is take a high grade sandpaper to the edges and work some parts of the wood more than the others to give it that old, vintage-y look and feel. It really turns out nicely once you’ve done it a few times.

I’m also thinking about doing a few black and white crackle frames for the main room to tie into the theme. I did this for my bedroom in pinks and whites. It’s a simple process but one where you have to really pay attention.

The first step in crackling is to wash the surface and sand it if it’s wood. This allows the paint to stick to the surface and, therefore, it’s less likely to peel off of the wood and damage.

After this dries, you put on your base coat, or the coat you want to be seen through the cracks of the paint. In my case, I’ll most likely paint it white first. You let it dry for a full 24 hours and then apply the crackle paint. The thicker you paint it on, the thicker the cracks. Also, the direction in which you stroke with the brush determines the direction of the cracks. My sister and I quickly learned that in order to get the effect we wanted, we had to put the crackle on thickly and then, before it dried, randomly pull the paint in different directions.

After a full 24 more hours, the top layer of paint goes on. And here is where it gets tricky. You have to apply the paint quickly. It’s a fun process. Especially when you get other people to help you. ^_^ After finishing, wait another 48 hours before putting a coat of glaze on.

Another picture frame idea that I’ve seen before is the jewelry/storage board. It’s actually really simple. Instead of putting a picture in, just staple in a piece of corkboard or mesh and put the backing on. I’m really excited about trying that one. ^_^

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Elegance in Black and White

We put the rest of our deposit down on the apartment this week and I’ve been mulling over ideas in my head for the decorations.

Thusly…I’ve changed my color theme for our main room. We’re going with a black and white theme which works well for what we’ve got. The walls are already white so it will be easy to find black accent pieces.

I want to play with some photographs we’ve taken over this year and change them to black and white. I think with a white matte board and a black frame, they’ll look really nice and elegant hanging on the walls. Especially down the hallway.

I’ve always liked silhouettes and cameos and I’d really like to tie that into the theme of the apartment. However, I’d like at least one personal touch to the theme. So, I’ll probably play around with my Photoshop and try to create a silhouette of each of our heads. Much like the iPod commercials only…not moving.

Another idea I’d like to try is a “twinkle board”.



It would be really simple to do. I mean, yes I would have to get a drill and some help but other than that it would be a reasonably inexpensive and easy project to do and it would really make the room “light up”.

Start simply first. Try a small board that might could rest on a desktop or in the cubby of a storage block. Print out a “stencil” of a word in the font you want to use. Tape it to the board, making sure that before you drill, you’re using the correct size drill and proceed to drill holes a few centimeters apart to create the right effect from the word.

After you’ve drilled the holes, insert the christmas lights one-by-one in from the backside of the board. Plug it in and it creates an amazing accent to any room!

For more detailed directions, go here. http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/07/diy-idea-mayas-twinkle-board.html

It’s an amazing DIY site that has SUCH cute ideas. I can’t wait to try some out.

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Egg-cellent Crafting

It has come to my attention that roommate (and apparently many other people) do not know of the inexpensive balloon wrap crafts. She’s never heard of the yarned Easter baskets or the delightful hanging decorations you can make just by using yarn, a balloon and a gluey homemade substance.

So, I’ve decided that a crafts night is in order.

You can use the most basic recipe to make the diorama (like the Easter one in the picture) or you can make a multitude of other things like actual baskets, light fixtures, globes to go over Christmas lights, party favors, etc. The list is endless.

We used to make Easter baskets in elementary school all the time. It’s definitely a messy project but easy to clean up at the same time.

All you really need is a disposable bowl, water, glue, balloons, newspaper and yarn. You’ll also need a room large enough without anything valuable near your work station.

The gist of the craft is, after blowing up the balloon to the desired size, to pour the glue (Elmer’s works perfectly fine) into the bowl and water it down so that it’s not so thick and it’s more easy to work with.

The next step has two different ways to be carried out. Some people have found it to be easier to just dump the entire wad of yarn into the mixture of water and glue and let it soak for a few minutes. Others find it easier to soak the yarn in pieces and use as needed. Either way works just as well. It really all depends on your preference.

After soaking your yarn in the mixture, gently place it around the balloon–overlapping, criss-crossing, or even designing shapes.

After you’re fully satisfied with your “design”, allow the yarn to dry and harden overnight before popping the balloon the next day and marveling over your newly shaped egg.

It’s a fantastic craft for the little kids to do and so much fun!

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HGTV Charleston Style

My roommate and I finally put a down payment on an apartment for next year. We’re extremely excited about it. But she and my mother were laughing at me because, while they were planning on the essentials to buy and how to budget, I was trying to picture the different things I could do with the rooms.

So far, I’ve decided on the themes I want each room to be and a few of the details that I want to use to carry out each theme.

The main room is going to have a multicolored theme but we’re sticking to the bright, happy colors. We can incorporate the theme into pretty much anything. Even if we get ugly, brown pillows, they’re easy to reupholster or even just make a quick cover-up case.

As for the walls, I want more of an accent wall than to do the entire thing because then it wouldn’t flow as nicely into the other rooms.

I want to do some wall art that won’t damage any of the paint and is easy to put up. I found a few ways to do it that won’t take more than a few minutes to put up and it looks great!

There’s one idea that another blogger had that incorporates inexpensive scrapbook papers to create an engaging, bright and happy feel to the room. She also made her own drop lamps, which also might be an option for our apartment. However, I haven’t looked at how the lighting is set up too closely.

Another blogger writes about using paint chips to create the aesthetics of the room. It’s a really cool idea but I’m not sure I have that many paint chips and it would look a little sketchy to go in Lowe’s or Home Depot just grabbing paint chips and walking out.

Another idea I’ve heard about and seen around is the old window frame wall art. The idea is to take an old window frame that either you don’t need anymore or someone’s thrown out and put pieces of fabric or patterned paper behind each section and hang it on the wall. It actually makes things look really nice in the homes I’ve seen it hung.

So, that’s a possibility.

But for now, I’m just looking through ideas and compiling them to see what would be the best and most inexpensive way to put things together without causing the owners to add another fee for damages. My roommates and parents can figure everything else out. ^_^

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Rocking Through The Ages

There’s a funny thing about college students. We’re easily bored and, at the same time, entertained by the smallest of things.

Recently, I found myself sitting in front of the television set while my roommate (the studious one out of the two of us) studied at the library. I had already seen the program that happened to be on and found myself looking around the room for other things to do. My gaze finally landed on the bag of my still unpacked Christmas presents and pulled out the bag of acrylic paints.

I really wanted to paint with these particular paints (just because they were new and I hadn’t used them yet) and so my next activity was to find something to paint that my roommate wouldn’t miss too terribly.

A few months back I had purchased a cheapie fountain from CVS that I thought would be neat but…wasn’t even worth the $3 I paid for it. So, I had the decorative rocks laying in a tumbler on my desk and I just decided to make these cute little guys. ^_^

Yeah, they’re all pretty much penguins right now but I’m working on some other animals and shapes. I mainly took the completely circular ones first because I knew what I wanted to do with them. It’s easier to work with the circular ones but there are definite possibilities for the others. Ha ha.

After I painted them and let them completely dry, I took my hairspray and sprayed them down (one side at a time, of course) and let those dry.

My roommate and I have this idea to make some for Relay for Life. We would paint them purple and then write “hope” and “cure” on each side. Now, whether we sell them as a fundraiser (which I think would be a cute idea) or just give them to the committee is something we still have to decide.

It’d be cute to have a little piece of paper saying something along the lines of putting the rock in a place you can see it or in your pocket and every time you look at it or feel it, you instantly think of those effected by cancer. Or something like that.

Now, I just have to find a purpose for these little guys sitting here on my desk….

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