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Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

DIY Mud-room Lockers: Finished!

The mud-room lockers are finished. FINALLY! They’ve been sitting in our mud-room in various states of completion for the last month.

I got the plans for these bad-boys from Ana White’s awesome site: Knock Off Wood. Visit that site and I guarantee you’ll think of 7,000 woodworking projects you want to tackle. Great instructions and amazing projects.

It took one weekend to put everything together.

We decided from the beginning that we wanted to stain this piece rather than paint it. Because of that, we went with a high-quality wood and choose oak. I have to say, that did make the assembly a bit harder than I’d anticipated. Oak is MUCH harder than pine, and hand-pounding all the nails was pretty exhausting. Note to self: a nail gun may be a wise investment down the road!

The drawer is one of my favorite pieces. It holds SO much! The top part sits right on top of the base, and it’s incredibly sturdy based on the tough wood we used.

They sat this way for  a few weeks. I finally got around to the finishing pieces, which took just as long as the assembly!

Today I finally got them all wrapped up. Here they are!

Ooooo…………….Aaaahhhhh ūüôā Good stuff right?

Thankfully the builder had left us some stain from all our trim and woodwork in the house. It matches everything perfectly and I LOVE the storage. Because I’m lazy, I didn’t stain the inside of the drawer. I’m going to toss random crap in there all the time and I could care less about what it looks like!

I grabbed four hooks from Lowe’s and a drawer pull for the base. All of them are in oil-rubbed bronze to match the rest of the house.

Up top I stuck two yellow striped baskets.

These have been perfect for hats and gloves this winter. I also love that I had these already, so the cost was zilch/nada/nuthin. FREE.

I’m so happy with them! I have about 3 more feet to the side of the lockers. I’m thinking of making one more base unit for underneath the mirror just because the storage is so fab. I could always add a top hutch down the road if I get crazy.

Sharing with these fantastic parties:

Mondays:Between Naps on the Porch ; C.R.A.F.T; Craft-O-Maniac; Keeping it Simple; Mad in Crafts; Making the World Cuter; The DIY Showoff; The Girl Creative Tuesdays: All Thingz Related; House of Grace; I’m Topsy Turvy; Lucky Star Lane; Sugar Bee Craft Edition; The CSI Project; These Creative Juices; Today’s Creative Blog Wednesdays: Blue Cricket Design; Creations by Kara; Debbiedoos; Domestically Speaking; My Backyard Eden; Night Owl Crafting; Seven Thirty Three; Someday Crafts; The Thrifty Home; Trendy Treehouse Thursdays: Beyond the Picket Fence; Craftastical!; Fireflies & Jellybeans; House of Hepworths; Life as Lori;Somewhat Simple; The Shabby Chic Cottage Fridays: Chic on a Shoestring; Finding Fabulous; Fingerprints on the Fridge; Frou Frou Decor; Frugal & Fabulous Design; It’s a Hodge Podge Life; It’s Fun to Craft!: Just a Girl; Remodelaholic; Simply Designing; The Shabby Nest; Tatertots & Jello Weekend: A  Little Lovely;Be Different Act Normal; Funky Junk Interiors; House of Thrifty Decor; I Heart Naptime; Kuzak’s Closet; Under the Table & Dreaming; Young & Crafty

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DIY Valentine’s Day Wreath

I love decorating for the holidays. That being said, I struggled with valentine’s day. I don’t have any red in my home, and all the decor seems to be covered in glitter. It’s also tough because I leave my “winter” stuff up for awhile. On a recent trip to JoAnn Fabrics, I was inspired by some of their valentine’s wreaths.

Regularly priced at $39.99, I couldn’t possibly understand spending that much. Even at the 30% off that day; $27.99 was too much for me to pay. I figured I could probably DIY something just as cute, for not even 1/2 as much!

I made my way through the store, and picked up a few different supplies. After snagging a plain, grapevine wreath I had to start “flaring” it up a bit.

This berry garland was on MEGA clearance from Xmas.

It was 90% off, so each package was only 69 cents!!! I loaded up on those and headed over to find some more filler. I found some greenery also on clearance and snagged a few stems.

I wanted to find something that would “valentine” it up a bit, and found these little fellas.

These were perfect because they could easily be poked into the wreath. I also liked that there were 3 hearts on each “stem”, so it packed a bit punch!

I also grabbed a small wooden “love” sign, figuring I’d jazz it up along the way somehow.

Once I got home, I laid all the valentine’s nonsense out on the table. The garland was first and was also the easiest. Because it’s just a long strand, I just looped it around the grape-vine wreath. (Sorry, no action shots of this one). Then I just stuck my little valentine’s pieces randomly in the wreath. Last step was securing the pieces with some floral wire and we;re all finished up!

Now she’s out on the front door; we’re ready for Valentine’s Day!

How did my costs shake out?

  • Grapevine Wreath = $3.99
  • Heart Picks: 2 @ 1.79 each = $3.58
  • Red Berry Garland: 3 @ .69 each = $2.07
  • Green Filler: 5 @ .97 = $4.85
  • Wooden “Love” = $1.99

TOTAL (adding in 20% off coupon) = $13.18.

Over 50% less than the Sale price at JoAnn’s. SUCCESS!

I love it! I think I’ll call it a day. 1 Valentine’s decoration is about all I can handle!

Linking Up To:
Mondays:Between Naps on the Porch ;¬†C.R.A.F.T;¬†Craft-O-Maniac;¬†Keeping it Simple;¬†Mad in Crafts;¬†Making the World Cuter;¬†The DIY Showoff;¬†The Girl Creative Tuesdays: All Thingz Related;¬†House of Grace;¬†I’m Topsy Turvy;¬†Lucky Star Lane;¬†Sugar Bee Craft Edition;¬†The CSI Project;¬†These Creative Juices;¬†Today’s Creative Blog Wednesdays: Blue Cricket Design;¬†Creations by Kara;¬†Debbiedoos;¬†Domestically Speaking;¬†My Backyard Eden;¬†Night Owl Crafting;¬†Seven Thirty Three;Someday Crafts;¬†The Thrifty Home;¬†Trendy Treehouse Thursdays: Beyond the Picket Fence;¬†Craftastical!;¬†Fireflies & Jellybeans;¬†House of Hepworths;¬†Life as Lori;Somewhat Simple;¬†The Shabby Chic Cottage Fridays: Chic on a Shoestring;¬†Finding Fabulous;¬†Fingerprints on the Fridge;¬†Frou Frou Decor;¬†Frugal & Fabulous Design;¬†It’s a Hodge Podge Life;¬†It’s Fun to Craft!:¬†Just a Girl;¬†Remodelaholic;¬†Simply Designing;¬†The Shabby Nest;¬†Tatertots & Jello Weekend: A¬† Little Lovely;Be Different Act Normal;¬†Funky Junk Interiors;¬†House of Thrifty Decor;¬†I Heart Naptime;¬†Kuzak’s Closet;¬†Under the Table & Dreaming

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Laundry Room Progress

I finally did it. This weekend I started working on a big improvement to the laundry room.

Here’s a little snapshot of what’s to come:

Oh yeah. Those are lockers baby! Still have LOTS of work to do but they’re started! Can’t wait to finish them up!

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Top Projects of 2010

Well; this year (and decade) is coming to a close. I thought it would be the perfect time to recap some of the highlights from the year. Using my extremely scientific method of number of comments to dictate the top posts/projects……….here they are!

Figuring out how to sew was a real game-changer this year. One of the most popular projects was an adorable apron I made for my girlfriend Kathleen’s wedding.

Next up; my camera strap cover is used almost every day! I love the bright fabric and it’s MUCH more comfortable than the plain strap.

The spice rack turned craft organizer was another popular craft post. It’s amazing what a little spray paint can do!

My bright and sunny laundry room got some new curtains this spring: one of my first ever sewing projects!

One of the top ways people find my blog according to google analytics is searching for “Husker Man Caves”. Not surprising when you look at the obnoxiousness that is my basement. Finished off this fall just in time for football season!

My favorite project of the year: the master bedroom got a new striped paint treatment on the walls, new bedding, and updated decor.

The grand-daddy of them all: the Craft Room/Guest Room got new furniture, paint, decor, and also a killer sewing/desk space for me! (Nevermind the best part; the chandelier!)

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality is having a great link-up to recap everyone’s top projects of the year.

Swing by this great linky party and check out some more! Have a fantastic new year!

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Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

I am loving Kim’s blog, and all the great DIY projects that have been linked up over the last few days.

This week’s challenge? Dare to DIY: Dare to give homemade gifts!

Last year (when I had 3 followers) I posted my homemade hot cocoa mix. I’m making a few new sets this week so I can bring them over to the neighbors and coworkers. My grandma would be so proud; this is her recipe which means guaranteed success!

Here’s the recipe:

Р1/2 Cup powdered mlk
– 1/2 Cup Powdered chocolate mix (nesquik is what I used)
– 1/2 Cup sugar
– 1/4 Cup Marshmallows
– 1/4 Cup chocolate chips

Layer all ingredients in mason jar. For best layering, I did this order: chocolate chips, milk, chocolate, sugar, marshmallows. It’s only to make it look nice but hey, fake it till you make it right?

To jazz them up a bit I topped each lid with some leftover wrapping paper scraps. Tie a little ribbon around the top and noone would know you weren’t the craftiest chick in the office. (Again, we’re faking it here….)

I also included a little tag with the instructions to the recipients.

It reads:

Enjoy this homemade hot cocoa mix. Stir 1/3 cup cocoa mix in mug. Add 1 cup boiling water. Enjoy!

It honestly takes less than 30 minutes to make a HUGE set of these, and the hot cocoa tastes AMAZING. Perfect for neighbors, coworkers, or anyone else who you need something simple for.

Stop over at Kim’s for more fun ideas! Then set aside some time in the next few weeks to tackle some of these projects!

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Dare to DIY: Dare to Entertain

Kim at Newlywoodwards is at it again. Week 2 of the DIY challenge is here!

This week’s challenge?


Dare to entertain. 


“Show us your table! If you are not hosting Thanksgiving, take this opportunity to make your table look great. Bring out your dishes and napkins and set your table. I promise you that it will make you smile every time you walk by. Get creative and use new things. Or go true DIY and make something totally new.”


I was pretty excited for this week. It’s rare that I set the table completely. We do eat at the table but it’s not a very elaborate event. I kept it pretty simple, but here’s what I came up with.

The centerpiece is really the only “Thanksgiving” type of decoration I have, so out it goes! It’s just a large candle with a berry wreath around it. The wreath was only $4 last week on a clearance endcap at Target!
The crystal flutes are Waterford and were an amazing wedding gift from my mother in-law. We used them for our wedding and we bust them out for special occasions. I have to say I LOVE them and it’s really nice to have such a timeless piece of crystal that we can use forever!

Our china is Kate Spade’s Library Lane collection in platinum.

We were incredibly blessed and got many sets as wedding gifts. We love love love to use it and I’m glad we chose a timeless look. We can always update it with linens or chargers, but I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of the classy look of white and platinum. It’s similar to a set that my grandma has and I love to admire her collection! Another cool piece is the teacups have a flat bottom. It’s a little different than other sets you usually see.

Last up are the linens.

I have one set of cloth napkins and they are this nice tan color. We use them for all our nice dinners and they just go in the wash. I have to admit we don’t use them super often, but again I’m glad we have things that are a neutral color. The runner is bamboo and it sits on our table year-round.

We’re headed north for Thanksgiving to spend time with my family, so tomorrow night we get to use the nice stuff. Then back into the cabinet it will go! Head over to Kim’s blog to see more great entertaining set-ups!

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Fall Applique Dish Towel

First of all, I don’t even know if I spelt applique right. Second of all, this was supposed to be a super easy one hour project. Lesson learned, don’t have your first ever attempt at appliqueing be a mother effing maple leaf.

Moving on.

Kim over at Newlywoodwards is hosting a cute idea for the next few weeks. The idea is to motivate you to attempt some new projects before the holidays.

This week’s challenge is dare to be thankful; Take some time making your own DIY Thanksgiving project. Homemade thank you cards, a banner, or something completely unique. After we got a cute little halloween dishtowel in our neighborhood boo basket, I thought I could probably whip some of those up for a couple other holidays. Figured this was the week to try it out!

One trip to JoAnn’s left me with all the goods. In the remnant bin (PAUSE: have you all seen the remnant bin? I’m never paying full price for fabric again. Crazy awesome cheap deals. Moving on) I found some great fall colored fabric, for about $2 a piece. PERFECT.

Polka dots are always a winner in my book, and the red was a great rich color. Then I made mistake number 1. I involved my ridiculous husband. I asked “what fallish type of thing should I put on the table?” After he said that an orange tie-dyed looking turkey would be neat, I steered him in a more manageable direction. He suggested a leaf and off we went. I found a maple leaf image and blew her up in powerpoint.
Cut it out, pin on to the fabric. Cut the shape out. (IE. Spend too much time cutting around little corners. Then jack up the picture because you don’t know how to use your camera well yet)
I used a smidge of this craft glue to hold the leaf in place before sewing. Super cheap, works like a charm.
I used a flour sack from JoAnn’s as my “washcloth”. It’s nice and thin, and by the way, CHEAP. Here it is before the project lost all hope and I put the pedal to the metal. (The sewing pedal that is….haha. Tough crowd. Anywayz….)
Straight stitch the bottom ruffle on. Then a little zig-zag action around the leaf.
TaDa!!!!
Looks pretty good from far away! A nice touch of fall in my otherwise very non-seasonal kitchen.
If any of you actually know how to do this, don’t judge. It’ll only get better from here. See you in a few weeks when I attempt a Christmas Tree, a reindeer, or some other crazy difficult shape!

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