Friday, September 30, 2011

Tutorial: Upcycled Fridge Organizer

For the past year, I have been sitting on this couch with a view directly into the kitchen.  Not such a bad thing, especially since I love to cook and bake.  What is a bad thing?  My direct view of my overly-cluttered fridge.  I keep seeing it, and thinking "ugh, I have got to fix that."  Here's my direct view:

 Ew.  I hate clutter, and my fridge screamed "AHHH THERE'S TOO MUCH STUFF ON ME!!"  I couldn't stand it anymore, so today I decided to do something about it!  I didn't want to spend any money, though, so I decided to upcycle :)

Get your stuff:
-Empty snack food boxes
-Spray adhesive
-Magnet roll
 First, cut the flaps off the top of your box.  Then, trace your box onto the paper.  I wanted to roll it around the edges of my box so it was as close to seamless as possible.  I made sure to leave a little overlap on the sides, and I traced where the edges were so I can line them up.
 I also made sure there was a little to wrap over the edge at the top.  You can see that it didn't totally cover the box, so I cut one more side panel to cover it.  On the bigger box, I had to cut 2 sides at a time.  Also, I cut a panel to cover the bottom of the box. 

 Next, I used the stencils to stencil "bills" onto one box and "misc" onto the other.  I figure that about covers the majority of what clutters up my fridge front!  Once again, stenciling while taking a picture is not easy. 
 So here are my boxes post-paper and paint:
 Next I cut strips of the magnet (the kind with the self-adhesive on the back) to fit across the box back so it will work on the fridge.  I cut one strip for the top of each box and one strip for the bottom of each, just to make sure it was strong enough to hold.

 So here is my fridge, sans clutter!  I also took a small tin that H had lying around and put paper around the sides and the lid with a magnet on the back to hold all the purple magnetic words so it's a little cleaner.
 Here's the close-up of my upcycled fridge organizers!  Turned out so good, and best part?  FREE!
Breakdown time:
Boxes and tin: Free (well, I mean, I paid for the food that was in them...)
Magnet roll: Had it
Spray adhesive: Had it
Paper: Had it

Total cost for these nice new fridge organizers that match our kitchen decor:  FREE!!!  :)  Gotta love that!

Now I don't hate looking at my fridge so much--what a good feeling! 
So go ahead and give it a try!  Let me know how yours turn out!

Pin It


Tutorial: Pumpkin Pennant (no sew!)

It has been waaay too long since I've posted!  I've been actively crafting, but just haven't had time to upload and post, for which I apologize.  I wanted to post the craft I did last Wednesday on last Thursday evening, but then H proposed to me so I was a little busy that evening :)  I crafted this week too, but this is finally the first day I've had to post it!  So here it goes:  last week's craft!

Pennants are very "in" this year in the crafting world, and I've wanted to do something pennant-y lately, but wasn't sure what to do.  I had some burlap and some orange quilt squares, and I've been in a full-blown Fall mood lately, so I decided to put the two together.

Voila!  Pumpkin Pennant!

Okay, so first gather your materials:
4" x 4" fabric squares (I did my all different prints, but you can do them all the same if you like)
Pumpkin pennant pattern (I provided the link to the pattern at the bottom of this post)
Brown acrylic or fabric paint
Paint brush
Letter stencils
New-Sew iron-on fabric adhesive
Iron and ironing board (not pictured)
Bobby pin (not pictured)
First, figure out what your banner will say.  I chose "happy harvest" which has 12 letters, so I cut out 12 pumpkins.  Make sure they are small enough for each one to fit in your pennant shape.

 Next, use your pennant pattern to cut out 12 pennants.  This pattern allows for room to fold over a hem at the top, but you can resize it if you want larger pennants.  As it is, these pennant pieces are about 3 inches tall when finished.
 Next, I laid out each pennant piece and figured out how my pumpkins would lay on them.  I didn't want 2 patterns next to each other in a row, so I made sure that showed in my layout.
 Next, I cut pieces of the No-Sew and laid it out on the back of each pumpkin.  Side note: I love no sew.  Seriously.  If I could No-Sew an entire wardrobe, I would never purchase a sewing machine.  Ever.  Make sure you get a little piece for the stem, because that will come up easily if you don't. 
 Next, iron each pumpkin onto each pennant piece.  Make sure to follow the directions on the No-Sew so you put your iron on the right setting. 
 I also folded down the hem flap at the top of each pennant piece (so that it folds over the back, not the front by the pumpkin) because this will make creating the hem loop easier. 
 Once I had ironed on all the pumpkins and ironed the hem on each one, I ironed my hem down.  This was tricky.  You have to cut the No-Sew thin so that it only hems at the bottom of the flap.  You're creating a loop to thread the twine through so they can hang.
 Iron your hem.  Yay No-Sew!
 So now that I had them all hemmed, I laid them out again in the order that I want to hang them. 
 Stencil time!  I got out the handy-dandy paint and put one letter of each word on each pumpkin.  Do you know how hard it is to take a pic and stencil at the same time?  I just make it look easy ;)
 Okay, so now the hard part--how to thread the twine through the burlap.  I don't have good needles, so I had to get creative.  Hence the bobby pin.  I tied one end of the twine to the bobby pin and used that to thread it through the hem I created with the folded/No-Sewed flap.

I learned quickly: thread the last letter first.  I started with the first letter and about 3 letters in realized my mistake.  So thread it backwards :)
 Here it is all laid out after being threaded.
 I played around with the spacing and decided that 2 different banners would be best.  Right now, they are just tacked up above the TV, and I need to figure out how to make the ends look pretty.  Any ideas?
So there ya go!  Make your own pennant!  It's a little bit longer of a project; took me the better part of an hour and a half, but I think it's worth it.  It's a nice addition, and can be left up all Fall since it's not specific to Halloween or Thanksgiving.  But you can make yours say anything you like!!

Breakdown time:
Burlap:  $0.75 ($2.99/yard)
Orange quilt squares:  $4 on ebay
No-Sew: I had this (because I don't ever not have it!)
Paint: Had it
Stencil: $1.99 (but it's reusable!)
Twine: Had it

Total cost of this project: $6.74
But it would have cost upwards of $10 had I bought it at the store already made :)

Download the pennant template here

Pin It


Thursday, September 22, 2011

We're Engaged!

We've kind of done this whole thing backwards.

Since he's going into the Military, we've been talking marriage for the past year, and for the past 5 months we've really considered ourselves to be engaged.  We've been planning both our justice of the peace wedding and our traditional wedding and ceremony during this time, even though he had never officially asked me to be his wife.  Backwards, I know.

Today is the the 4-year anniversary of the day we met, and I came home from work 40 minutes early, which was apparently a bad thing.  When I got to the door, it was not only locked but deadbolted shut.  He told me I couldn't come in yet, and that I had to go find something to do or sit in my car for 40 minutes.  I eventually convinced him to let me come inside and hide in the bedroom if I promised to keep my eyes shut.  I knew he was planning an anniversary dinner, but I didn't think he'd go this far with it!

When I got into the bedroom, I noticed all of our photos and candles had been taken down, which made me a little suspicious... but I hid out for almost 45 minutes before he came in and told me it was ready.  Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to go out the bedroom door--I had to walk out the back door, down the fire escape, around the building and come back in the front door!

When I got to the front door, there was more waiting--after about 5 minutes (which seemed like an hour at this point!) he came to the door and unlocked it, but told me I had to wait 10 seconds to go in. 

When I opened the door, the lights were off but the house was lit by candles.  Strung across the livingroom was a string with handwritten notes from him and photos of us clipped to it.  All over the room, there were photos and memories of us, and on the ground leading into the kitchen was a trail made of construction paper hearts.  In the diningroom on the table was another note, and when I turned into the kitchen he was there holding a sign that said "Happy 4 Year Anniversary."  I was crying like crazy and he hugged and kissed me.  

He asked me "did you think I was going to propose tonight?" and I said "yes!"  

The next part is kind of blurry :)

He said "why would I do something silly like that" as he was getting down on one knee!  He pulled out a ring, said something incredibly sweet (which, in my mess of tears, I'm not totally sure what it was...but I know it was beautiful and made me cry more!) and put a ring on my finger!  It was perfect, and so much more than I could have ever dreamed of!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I've been featured! pt. 2

So today, The Sasse Life announced who was most popular from last week's link party.  If you remember, I linked up my necklace holder that I made out of a frame after Kim from The Sasse Life saw it and asked me link up. 

Guess who had the most popular post/project from last week's link party?!  Meeee!!  :)  I'm pretty excited!  It's kind of a big deal in the craft blog world, and I'm pretty proud that my first big project turned out so well! 

Stay tuned:  It's crafty Wednesday and I've got a fun craft planned!  Also, I think my friend Krista is coming over to help and do some crafting, too--I'm spreading the Craft Bug!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DIY Slipcover!

Okay, first of all, this is definitely NOT a tutorial on how to make your own slipcover.  I'm just not quite that crafty...yet.

This is, however, a link to Tatertots and Jello, who is doing a giveaway for a DVD from a friend who does custom slipcovers and the wonderful DVD is packed with tips and information on how to DIY your own slipcover.  Awesome, right?!

Head on over here to find out how to get in on this giveaway, and checkout/follow/become obsessed with Tatertots and Jello while you're there!


Isn't it funny...

Isn't it funny how life works out sometimes?  How one or two little choices can change everything?

Four years ago, during what would turn out to be one of the toughest times I've experienced, on a night where I wanted to just stay curled up in a blanket at the sorority house, eat junk food, and cry, my best friends convinced me to go to a sorority/fraternity social.  I didn't really want to, especially because I was in the middle of a very bad breakup, but with a little "liquid courage," they got me dressed in Hawaiian clothes and out the door.  I ended up having a great time, and it really got my mind off of the not-so-great things that were going on, but even better--that was the night I met my soon-to-be husband. 

I almost didn't go.
What would have happened if I had stayed home.  Would I have ever met him?  Would we have started dating?  Would I be 53 days away from my wedding right now?  Possibly, but who knows.
One little choice to go out that night resulted in meeting my best friend and better half (don't tell him I called him my "better" half---you know that's going to go to his head and I'm going to hear about it for-ev-errr lol) 
PS. If you want to read about our wedding plans, check out this blog post.

A few months ago, my mom, sister, and one of my bridesmaids and I were going shopping for a dress for the justice of the peace ceremony.  I was expecting to go to JC Penney's or Macy's to find something simple and not too expensive, but my mom suggested we check out David's Bridal just to see what they might have.  It wasn't something that I was expecting to get results out of, but we decided to check it out anyway.  That day, we found not only the perfectly simple dress for the justice of the peace ceremony, but also the traditional dress for the ceremony next year with all of our friends and family--all for super cheap thanks to amazing sales and discounts.  And not only that, but one of the dresses is by my dream designer and is a dress I had picked out as a favorite weeks beforehand, which just happened to be a discontinued dress that was the last one in the store and also happened to be a perfect fit without any alterations needed.

I wasn't planning to go into David's Bridal, let alone find anything there.
One little choice to check out the "maybe we'll find something" possibility ended in me finding 2 perfect dresses (side note: I only tried on 4 dresses total, and we bought 2 of them!)

Thursday will be the 4-year anniversary of when he and I met.
On Saturday I am going to my wedding dress fitting.
I could not be happier with the little choices I've made that have brought me to where I am today.

It's funny how little choices make big life changes...
Feeling very blessed this week!


Our Wedding Plans

A lot of people recently have asked questions about our wedding and how we're going about doing this whole justice of the peace thing, how the engagement has worked out, and about our plans for a traditional ceremony and reception in the future.

So here, spelled out, are our wedding plans:

Last year, my soon to be husband and I began seriously talking marriage.  We knew it was something we both wanted for our future together, and with him going into the Army we knew we wanted to be married before he left for basic training.  While it might be unconventional and take away from the surprise of the "will you marry me" surprise (Are people actually legitimately surprised when their partner proposes? I mean, yes you can/should be surprised by the style/timing of the proposal, but I feel like if you're at the stage for proposing you should have already had lengthy convos about getting married and your future together.  So the fact that they are proposing shouldn't be that much of a surprise, right?) we wanted to make sure that we talked and planned things out, discussed how we would raise our family, and make sure that we were on the same page about lots of things.  Plus, we wanted to make sure God was at the center of our marriage so we took the time to pray and make room for Him in our lives.

Because of him joining the Army, and the fact that we knew we wanted to be married before he left for basic, we had some things to work around.  We knew that with him being in school and me being a first-year teacher and having so many student loans to pay back, we could not save up for a big traditional ceremony and reception before he left.  We started talking to other Military couples and reading about how they handled the Army/marriage situation, and we learned that it's actually very common for couples to be married with a justice of the peace before the husband leaves for basic training and then later in the follow year, when he has a chance for leave, to have the big, traditional ceremony and reception with all of their friends and family.  After doing a lot of talking with each other and our parents, we determined that this would be the best plan for us.

Even though we have been planning out this wedding situation for almost 8 months, he has not technically proposed yet.  We've purchased the rings, but he is waiting for a very specific moment/date to officially pop the question (I still don't know what this date is, but apparently it has some kind of significance to us.  I like the surprise of it, and I can't wait to tell everyone the story of how it finally happened!)  We consider ourselves to be engaged, and refer to each other as "fiance" when talking to other people, he just hasn't put a ring on it yet ;)

On November 11, 2011, he and I will be married by a justice of the peace at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse with just our parents, maid of honor, and best man in attendance.  We want it to be a very intimate ceremony, and that is why we have chosen only a very select few people to be there.

Next year around Christmas, he will be on leave from Army training and will be able to come home to Northeast Ohio.  At that time, tentatively on December 29, 2012, we will be holding a traditional ceremony with the full wedding party as well as a large reception.  At this time, we will be celebrating our love and marriage with a vow renewal (the traditional ceremony) and reception with all of our friends and family.  We are so thankful that even though we won't have all of our friends and family at the justice of the peace ceremony, they will be able to join us for a true celebration the following year!

No, it's not necessarily traditional.  No, it's not necessarily the way either of us imagined.
But it works for our circumstances, and it will allow us to be together during times that non-married soldiers would have to spend apart from their loved one while saving up for the traditional ceremony and reception we've always dreamed of.

We both hope that people aren't offended or upset that they won't be a part of our justice of the peace wedding, and that our friends and family will be understanding of our circumstances.  We can't wait to celebrate with all of you who have been such an important and supportive part of our lives and relationship together!


Monday, September 19, 2011


I found something long-forgotten today.

It all started when I saw this awesome pin on Pinterest this morning and thought "Wow--I have a TON of cards and postcards that friends have sent me over the years (mostly my college/sorority bestie Danielle) that are just shoved into a drawer right now.  This is a great way to save them!"

This post has nothing to do with me creating this card journal.

I have this journal that a friend gave me a few years ago that has a pocket in the back of it.  For years I have been shoving letters, cards, notes, and other little things into the pocket, and I knew that it would be the first place to look for things to put in my card journal.  I found lots of them (gosh, Danielle has done A LOT of traveling!) but I also found a piece of folded notebook paper with a long list of things on it.  Back in 11th grade, my best friend Nikie and I made "happiness lists," which were on-going lists of things that made us happy.  Simple, quiet, important things that made life worthwhile.

So of course I started re-reading my list.
And oddly, just reading the list made me happy.  :)
So here are some of the better things from my list that make me smile and make life good:

When it rains in the afternoon, painted toenails, walking in the woods in the fall, warm grass on my legs, bare feet, being kissed on the tip of my nose, new crayons, giggling, singing at the top of my lungs, knowing that God is always with me, teaching kids, girl scout cookies, getting pictures back from the developer (that one makes me feel dated...), the ice cream truck, palm trees, harvest moons, meaningful hugs, blowing bubbles, fortune cookies, colored construction paper, birthday candles, bubble baths, the way it smells after it rains, going on a picnic, county fairs in the summer, open-air markets, pay day, having the house to myself on a warm Saturday afternoon, hot cocoa with marshmallows, backyard pickup football games, the way milk squishes out of the Chex squares when you eat them, being loved unconditionally by someone that I love unconditionally.

There are so many more things on this list, but reading through it these ones caught my eye.  After almost 10 years, these are things that still make me smile, still make me feel happy and comfortable.  Granted, there are things on that list that no longer make me happy the way they used to (ahhh my "boys who play guitar" stage...hahaha).  But it made me realize that while my overall tastes in things will change, what genuinely makes me happy deep in my heart will always remain.  It's part of me, it's who I am, and it will always be there.  And that makes me happy to know :)


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tutorial: Upcycled Cookie Sheet to Message Holder

Confession:  I have ugly pans.
Burnt, stained, tarnished, ugly pans.
But we're just starting out creating our family and our home, so that's totally okay.  Unfortunately, when the finish starts to come off on your food, it's time to get new ones, no matter what stage of life you're in.  No bueno.

What to do with the old pans, though?
I saw an idea on Pinterest but their pan was shiny and new-looking.  Mine was...well, ugly.  There's really no nice way to say it.  So how could I take this basic idea and make it even better, so that my not-so-shiny and new-looking pan would still work?

I do love paint...

So today's tutorial is how to upcycle a cookie sheet into a magnetic message holder.  If you don't need to cover up an ugly cookie sheet, go check out this pin (and while you're there, follow me on Pinterest!), but if you want to find a new use for an ugly old pan, check out my tutorial.

First, get your materials:
-Cookie sheet
-Scrapbook paper
-Spray adhesive
-Spray paint (for a primer)
-Contact paper
-Colored paint (not pictured)
-Painter's tape (not pictured)

 See how ugly my pan is?  It's soooo ready to be upcycled!  The first thing I did was clean my pan using steel wool to make sure the primer will adhere to the pan.  Make sure it's really dry before you paint it, or else your pan may reject the paint.  Then I primed my pan with white spray paint.  Once it dried I sprayed it with spray adhesive and attached my scrapbook paper.  **Make sure you do all of this outside or in a very well-ventilated area--outside is best because the spray adhesive will make everything it lands on very sticky**  I didn't take pics of these steps because they seem pretty self-explanatory.  Here is my pan after it's been primed and papered:
 Next, I used painters tape to tape off the edges--I wanted to do the inside sides one color and the outside edge another to create a double frame.  If you want to do it just one color, you don't really need the tape.  Anyway, I taped off the edges and painted the inside sides deep red (our kitchen is black and white, but our livingroom that connects is red, so I wanted to tie them together).
 I did 2 coats of red paint to make sure it was evenly covered.  Once it was all totally dried, I peeled off the tape and painted the top edge black.  See how pretty it all looks together!
I plan on using my board to hold recipe cards, coupons, grocery lists, etc. and want to hang it above my counter.  We tend to get a little messy, so I thought it would be a good idea to cover the paper with contact paper, that way if it gets splashed with anything it can easily be wiped off without ruining the paper.

Next, measure out the inside of the pan so you can properly cut the contact paper.  You'll want to note if your corners are square or rounded, because you'll need to cut the contact paper to fit the corners.  Carefully smooth on the contact paper so you don't have any bubbles or wrinkles.
 I'm going to use 3M removeable mounts to hang this on the wall, but here it is sitting on the counter.  With a couple magnets, it will hold your recipe cards, coupons, reminders, notes, etc. and it can be done basically free or super cheap (depending on your stock of crafting supplies)

Here's the breakdown: 
Pan = already had it
Paper = $0.50 ($0.25/page x 2 pages to cover my pan)
Spray adhesive = $5.99 (but will be used on a million other projects)
Paints = already had them
Contact paper = already had it
Magnets = already had them

Total cost of a "new" kitchen magnet board: $6.49

Success!  So if you have an old ugly pan or two and a need for more magnetic space in your kitchen, or anywhere in your house really (think: kids room, near the door, office, etc.), go ahead and give this a try!  Let me know how it goes, and feel free to leave some love and feedback on this post!


Friday, September 16, 2011

I've been featured!

I've been featured at my first link party!! 

It's kind of a big deal in the craft blog world :) Kim from The Sasse Life invited me to link up my Necklace Holder/Display, and it's my first link party so I'm pretty pumped.  Click on the button above to check out the link party and go vote for me!!  (I'm #46)

Happy Friday!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

12 Weeks of Christmas Gifts: Giveaway!

So, I have a new obsession.  Raise your hand if you're surprised by this?

Note: If your hand is up, you haven't been reading this blog long enough.  You should know by now I have new obsessions roughly every 15 hours.  :)  You should probably start following my blog so you can stay on top of these important, ever-changing obsessions.  The list is growing...

Because I find a new obsession constantly, I've made it easier on you to follow along.  Check out the box to the right of this post.  Go ahead, look.  It's over there ----->

Current Obsessions!  Woot for a new blog area!

If you notice, my current obsession is Trendy Treehouse's 12 Weeks of Christmas Gifts.  Um, did anyone else know we were getting so close to Christmas?  Seriously, where did this year go?!  Anyway, Trendy Treehouse is doing an awesome special on her blog where she's doing a new creative, DIY Christmas present every week leading up to Christmas.  Um, can you now understand why this is my new obsession?  Crafting!  :)  Also, she's doing a pretty great giveaway to go along with this whole Christmas crafting countdown:

You should probably go check it out.  And while you're there, check out her page.  Between crafting and cooking, I think you'll quickly see why she's my current obsession!

Okay.  I'm done now.  Go click that link up there and find out what's going on.  :)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tutorial: Necklace Holder/Display

If you're anything like me, you have a bunch of necklaces stuck somewhere, probably on a hook in your closet/bathroom, that you really love but tend to not wear very much because you forget they are there. Sound familiar? Yup.

So I started thinking: what can I craft that will be classy, keep my jewelry organized, and make it easily available so I'll actually wear them once in a while? I've been on kind of a frame-kick lately, so I started looking up ideas about using frames for jewelry holders/displays. Voila! Here's what I came up with!

Super easy, and super cheap :)  First, here's what you need:

1 frame (I got mine for $1 at Goodwill)
Spray paint - I used cheap white that was less than $1 at good ol' WallyWorld
Open-ended eye hooks
Brown acrylic paint
Fine-grit sandpaper
Drill with a drillbit that's the size of the threads on the eye hooks
 First I painted my frame with the spray paint.  It was wood, but I wanted to distress it, so I painted it.
 Next, I used the sandpaper to slightly sand down parts of the frame.  I focused on the corner embellishments and some parts in the middle of the frame sides.  Don't sand all the way through the paint or you will see your wood frame underneath, unless that's something you want.  I wanted a little of the wood grain to show through, so I did it lightly a little bit at a time until it was exactly what I wanted.
 Next I mixed a little bit of the brown paint with the water to create my own stain.  I didn't have stain, and I didn't want to spend the money on it (trying to do my craft as cheaply as possible).  I took a paper towel, dipped it in the paint/water mix, wiped it on sections of the frame, then wiped it off with a dry paper towel. 
 You can see, it gives it a tea-colored stain.  You can use this as much or as little as possible, whichever suits your taste.
 Once it's all dry, lay out your eye hooks so you can gauge how many you can fit in your frame.  My 11"x14" frame held 12 hooks down the 14" side.
 Next, use a marker to mark where each hook sits on the inside of the frame so you can see where to drill your holes.  Carefully drill the holes in the frame (I probably should have made H hold the frame while I drilled, but I did it on my own and it turned out pretty good!)
 Screw in your eye hooks so each open end is facing out.
Find a good place to hang it (mine is now hanging on my bedroom wall by my dresser) and use a couple small finishing nails to put it in place.

Here's the breakdown:
Frame:  $1
Eye hooks: $1.96 (2 packs @ $0.98/pack)
Spray paint: $0.96
I already had the acrylic paint, sand paper, and drill.

Total cost for new jewelry holder:  $3.92.  Success!

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with how well this turned out!  If you try it, make sure to tell me how yours turned out! 

Pin It 


See where I'm linked up!