Saturday, May 28, 2011

Doubloon storage boxes and kids' room guided tour

So I wanted to do something about the kids' diaper box storage system without spending too much. These are the befores. These shelves are placed on either side of their bunk bed (which I showed you more of the other day).

We've had these diaper boxes forever, not very pretty but very functional. Since I like doing outrageous stuff I decided to bring in some glittering gold by way of gift bags found at the Dollar Tree ($10 for 10 bags, that's the total for this project since I had the rest on hand).

 I took all the boxes and covered them in the gold paper from the gift bags. This paper (plastic?) is very sturdy and I figured it would be able to stand up to kid use and abuse pretty well. I cut up the bags and wrapped them around the boxes, securing with packing tape inside and out.

In the name of cheapness I only used one bag per box which wasn't quite enough, hence the naked strip in the back. If you spend a few more dollars you can cover the whole thing and it'll look better (I just figured these are old diaper boxes and it's nice if they can look better but they'll probably fall apart one of these days so I just did the bare minimum here).

This last one shows the front of the box which is also the bottom of the bag. I thought I could get away with it but the front looks pretty bumpy unfortunately, the sides look great though. To distract from the bumpy front I found pictures of toys on the internet, scaled them in Photoshop and printed out a template on paper. I cut out the template and traced onto black contact paper which I then cut out and stuck to the front of the boxes, indicating what toys are in what boxes. (Sorry, that was a quick explanation without any pics, let me know if things are unclear). Afters.

 These pirate themed ones are for miscellaneous items, thought I'd add a little pirate whimsy to the mix.

Very outrageous, I know :) But I figured I could get away with it since it's a kids' room after all. And it brings in a lot of the pirate treasure gold doubloon look :)

I promised you a tour of the kids' room a while ago and that's what you'll get today. Despite the fact that the room is far from finished and worst of all - not painted! At least the room has a theme (beachy/gaudy underwater/nautical - loosely based on Spongebob's world and stories) and it's starting to look like it's not just a pile of junk thrown into a room. So here goes!

 This is the memorabilia wall. Kids art, birth mementos, hand and foot prints. All framed and treated like "real" art. I'm planning on adding shadow boxes of baby memories when I can get to it. That night stand houses my daughter's hair accessories, hence the mirror. The night stand will probably get a coat of paint in the future. These blinds have the same sea horses on them as seen over here, but they're only fully visible when drawn.

 Found this great little box at the thrift store for $3, we're using it as a trash can. It's got old maps on it which I thought worked well with the nautical thing.

 The story time chair, wide enough for an adult flanked by two small kids. The lamp used to have plain rice paper shades but they'd broken some through the years and I just wanted something different and cool looking.

 So I followed the current blog love affair with coffee filters and hot glued them all over the shades with general inspiration from here and ended up with a funky lamp, which could pass for some unknown underwater critters in a pinch. It sure adds a lot of texture at least :) And I recommend Dollar Tree for supplies, only a dollar per pack of filters :)

 This desk is awaiting a paint job in turquoise and new knobs, we need to add shelves above for storing art supplies. And those random Spongebob posters are only temporary, holding the wall space for some "real" artwork.

 A thrift store shell acting as paper weight.

 Another thrift store find (need to remove the price from the side :)) doing duty as pencil holder (I think it's supposed to be a flower pot).

 This "buried treasure" (according to my son) holds the chalk for the chalk board, it was only $1 at the thrift store.
And the dragonfly lamp rounds out the theme. It's a little on the short side so I think I'll add a few books underneath, some leather bound ones from the thrift store is what I have in mind. If I can find any :)

So that's it. There's a lot of themed accents in the room now, some quite outrageous and others more restrained and tasteful. I'm hoping that by the time I get the paint on the wall to tie it all together it'll be a stylish kids' room with some youthful fun to make the kids feel at home too. All the while having enough sophistication and symmetry to come across as more sophisticated than your average kid's room. At least that's what I'm hoping :) And with the changing of some accessories along the way I think both kids could enjoy this room for a long time.

What do you guys think?

Ps. Linking up with
Funky Junk Interiors
Someday Crafts
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shell specimen frames (kid friendly)

As I was strolling the isles of the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago I stumbled upon the tackiest plastic luau shell bikini top you can imagine. Looking a little something like this.
It claimed to be "one size fits all" and I guess that could be true if you don't care how much of your goods are actually covered by it :) The checkout lady and I were snorting over this since neither she nor I would feel very clothed in this.

Needless to say I didn't buy it (and it's two cousins) to wear (although it might work in the bedroom?). The shells were pretty nice looking - bright white and with all the right shell textures on the front. So I also grabbed six black frames and a roll of brown craft paper before I checked out.

(Total of $10. Shells - $3, frames - $6, paper - $1. I had scotch tape, foam board scraps and hot glue on hand).

Here's how it looked before I started out.

I removed the strings on the bikini tops, leaving me with just the shells. I don't mind the holes in the shells but if you're anal you could always fill them with white caulk or something similar.

I removed the back of the frame along with the glass front. I used the glass for a template to cut out a piece of foam board to fit into the frame since this is going into the kids room. If you don't have any foam board (or kids) you could just use the glass pane that comes with the frame.

I then cut a piece of brown craft paper to cover the front of the foam board and wrapped it like a present, taping it to the back of the foam board.

This is the back.

And popped it into the frame. I had to kind of squeeze to fit the backer back on as well, but it worked. I only put the back back on since the hanger was attached to the back and not the frame itself.

Here it is in the frame.

Some hot glue later the shell was in place as well.

This contraption is very lightweight so my kids can't hurt themselves or others with them. But it's still wonderfully dimensional and sculptural, and they're pretty big. The white pops nicely against the paper as well. It looks very Pottery Barn-ish to me :) And they work perfectly in the kids' beachy/nautical/underwater room.

 I decided to put them above the bunk bed to help reinforce the bed as the focal point of the room. As it is now the bed isn't much to look at but it will be transformed and slip covered eventually, not to mention equipped with a top bunk mattress....

 The seahorse roller blinds are partway up here so it looks a little funny.

  A close-up. I think the brass lady used to be a door knocker in her former life, she's in here because she reminded me of those sculptures on the front of ships (I believe the correct term for them is figurehead?).

 And with the blinds down.

And the last one with the faux capiz shell chandelier in the shot as well :)

This room is finally starting to come together. I spent the last week or so cleaning up and de-cluttering in here. Rearranged some things, added some cool finds from the thrift store. The major thing I need to do in here is paint the walls, it's not going to look cohesive until I do. But it's starting to look decorated now and it's even feeling "airy" with all the new changes. I found myself sitting in here and just enjoying the surroundings the other day and that would not have happened in the past.

Yet the kids really like the new look and since it's all kid friendly and there's room to actually play in the room now it's like they have a whole new space :) Success on all fronts, both mom and kids happy!

(And if you think I seem to be avoiding the wacky curtains in the living room like the plague you're pretty correct. But just you wait, I'll get them done one of these days :)).

Ps. Linking up with
Someday Crafts
The Thrifty Home 
Blue Cricket Design 
Homemaker on a Dime
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Bathroom floor cloth and randomness

No wacky curtains yet. I'm ashamed to say that I'm lousy at sticking to my own deadlines. And this time I wasn't just dragging my feet, I got sidetracked by an all encompassing project. Presenting the bathroom floor cloth!

I'm sorry if you're one of those people who are tired of chevron. I'm certainly not since this is the first chevron thing I've ever had in my home. Besides, even if it's considered trendy at the moment it's a classic pattern that will always be in style.

So this floor cloth launches my mini bathroom makeover which I will carry out in my usual scatterbrained fashion over the next few weeks or months (depending on where my inspiration leads me).

For those of you who weren't around back in the day, this was the first room I painted in our all white house and I was so happy with the color (still am). Over the winter I started feeling like it was a little sterile and cold, not enough color or stuff going on. This pic below got me all inspired and I'm working towards something with the same feel to it, the rug being the first step.

My version won't be exactly the same of course. But you get the idea :)

How did I do it? Here's how.

1. I had a snippet of drop cloth left over from my cork board project that I thought would fit just perfect in our tiny bathroom. I painted the drop cloth with a white latex paint I had on hand.

2. Then I taped off the pattern with 2" painter's tape (I only measured the first row of the pattern to make sure it would be even and straight, then used the tape itself as a spacer to get it right for the rest).

3. Then I stole the kids' green tempera paint (it was the perfect shade of green!) and brushed it on. It saved me a buck, only time will tell if it's going to hold up.

4. I removed the tape as soon as I was done.

5. Then I covered it in 3 coats of Polycrylic. Let dry between coats and after.

6. Our bathroom floor surface is tiny and strangely shaped (custom, I guess you call it :)). So I made a mock-up of the shape I wanted the floor cloth to be by sticking A4 printer papers on the floor, taping them together and cutting out space where the vanity and toilet go.

7. I put the mock-up on top of my floor cloth, transferred the pattern and cut it out with scissors. Done!

I'm really, really happy with the color and punchy pattern!

I just wish there was a way to make custom water/dirt resistant rugs on the cheap that felt cushier and more luxurious. The texture is a little coarse, not unpleasantly so, but just enough to let everyone know it was a DIY. I could have painted on a real rug but I'd have the problem with it needing to be able to take water and potty training accidents and still be cleanable. So for now looks take precedence over feel :)

While I was at this makeover thing I decided to switch the shower curtain up a bit. I previously had 4 panels sown together width-wise and all gathered to one side of the shower in a big swoop. I decided to unpick the seam in the middle and ended up with two full panels on either side of the shower instead, with a nice puddle on the floor.

I know those different colored curtain rods aren't ideal, but that's what I have right now. I wish they made shower liners longer so the rods could be closer together, but sometimes you just work with what you have and make the best of it.

I found a new place for the curtain tie-back tassel too.

The feather frame will be replaced with something else and the peachy towels are just temporary. They may have been peachy for about a year but it's still temporary :) I'm still deciding what color to dye them and when I know they'll look different, ok? :)

So far the only new thing I've added to the bathroom is the rug, the rest has been re-purposed in the same space. But the bathroom already feels very different.

If you come to our house and you need to use the loo this is what you'll see right now. To me that patterned rug makes it feel grander and more decorated, I guess.

Another project that sidetracked me this past week was making teacher gifts for the kids' teachers. Last year I made a post-it notes holder and since the teachers are new this year I used the same idea, using similar techniques as in this tutorial.

$1 per frame and $1 for transparent gift wrap so $4 total, the rest I had in my stash already. I like that I don't have to make a card for this gift since I just put a thank you note on the pad itself. I have no idea if they like this kind of stuff but at least it also has a practical purpose.

When it was all wrapped up in the transparent gift wrap and purple ribbon it looked like a million bucks and our oldest shone like the sun getting to deliver these presents to her teachers :)

Oooh, and I got all excited this past week receiving this! Looks like I'm going shopping... :)

I've never won anything in a giveaway, ever. And then this! All thanks to Jenny over at Little Green Notebook and the people at Pier 1! I think this win was just a fluke because otherwise I'd have to change my opinion on giveaways (not sure if I'm up for that kind of change) but right now I'm really happy they exist!

I hope you guys have a great weekend!

Ps. Linking up with
Funky Junk Interiors
Blue Cricket Design 
Domestically Speaking 
Someday Crafts 
Homemaker on a Dime
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Inspiration again

Hi, you guys!

I'm running late on my posting schedule and the inspiration folder is swelling so here goes some inspiration to tie you over. I'm hoping to have my crazy living room curtains ready to show next time around - keep your fingers crossed! :)

I've always loved the idea of a round bed, it just seems very impractical. Here I love the huge, over the top canopy over the bed.

A jumble of patterns, lovely. 
This combo of black and white stripes with a golden sunburst mirror is so neat looking. It reminds me of something one of the great interior designers would have done on a much grander scale, say in a whole room. Because it's contained within a frame it's attainable for anyone on a much smaller scale and budget. I'm itching to replicate this at home, if I can find the room :)
A tufted velvet couch, what's not to love here :)
This green headboard is gorgeous! Green really is my favorite color. This is probably achievable on a DIY budget but you might have to sacrifice some of the ornateness. Would love to try this one day.
I thought about what I liked about this pic and it was the artwork, the chandelier, the vases, the tree and planter and the chaise. So basically everything :) Just love the colors and textures.
Hello, green door! Wonder if green would work for our front door? Turquoise would be a little off, but this might work. Something to think about. Probably a little too unconventional for the outside (I may be slightly crazy but I try to keep the outside "normal" :))

Do you believe me now about the purple being an obsession lately? 
I'm not that much of a white wall person but I would actually love to see a room in this color combo, possibly with some green added. 

This room reminds me so much of my vision of our bedroom. Our walls will be a very light grayish purple but the bed will be black, that should give a nice contrast. 

Seeing these curtains I might have to add some green to that room even though it wasn't in the plans originally :) The cool thing about decorating in your head is that the plans change organically over time and may look nothing like the original idea. That's especially true for me since all my decor plans happen so painfully slow that there's plenty of time for me to get sidetracked along the way.

So guys. Hopefully wacky curtains next week, ok? Have a great week!
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