Spencer’s Room Redo: The Plan

Remember when I shared my Biggest Goodwill Haul EVER?! The one where I found almost everything I needed to give Spencer’s room a big boy make over?

Well, that was 6 months ago and I have decided it’s time to get.it.done.already! So, I’m making a plan and I’m sticking to it. I’m going to work slowly over the next few weeks and give my not-so-baby boy a new room.

Some things I’ve since decided to do without, like the white lamp base (I’m thinking it might actually be better in Laurel’s room) and the orange snail chalkboard (it just doesn’t fit his personality now). But the end tables and the fabric are all going to be used.

For the last 6 months or so I’ve been collecting inspiration photos on my pinterest. Here are a few that I’ve been particularly inspired by…

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I love the colors in this baby boy nursery… the wall color, the cream and gray and the burnt orange… Love, love, love.

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Spencer has gone ga-ga over airplanes, and I was immediately drawn to these framed vintage prints.

original source not available 😦

I think the layout of this room is interesting and the orange looks awesome with the gray. I also really love the airplane art over the daybed.

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These illustrated ABC cards would make awesome graphic art.

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And one day (maybe a little later) I’d love to build a door like this one for his closet.

Now that I’ve shared my inspiration, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty… the master plan/list of projects:

  1. Choose paint color and paint walls
  2. DIY headboard and bedding for twin bed
  3. Sew curtain panels
  4. Lots and lots of art to fill up the wall space: things like framed prints, a refashion for Robbie the Rhino, and a DIY chalkboard
  5. Upcyle an old changing table into something more useful, like toy storage or a car/train table
  6. Give a face lift to an old dresser and glider rocking chair
  7. Update existing brown throw rug
  8. Layer in lots of fun accessories

There are other, bigger projects that I’d like to do someday (like the sliding closet door), but for now I’d like to just work on the bones and build a good foundation. Which, theoretically speaking, should make it easier to do those bigger projects down the line.

So that’s the basic plan for Spencer’s room redo. I’m so excited to get started. He’s just so over being a baby and having baby things, that it’s time to get this show on the road. I’ll admit, I have so much going on that it’s going to be slow going, but at least it’s better than not going at all. Right??


My Crafty Space

Evolution. Ebb and flow. Peaks and valleys. Motivation and … unmotivation.
This is the story of my crafty space.

You see, this space started its life as a formal dining room. But, we don’t actually do any formal dining. All of our dining takes place at the counter bar or at the kitchen table. We’re not really ones for dinner parties. Almost immediately I set out to rezone the formal dining area into a very un-formal crafty space.

That journey began in March. Of 2011.

It’s been a journey full of ups and downs. It’s been a constant flow of changing and rearranging. Adding to and taking from.

Most of the crafting was being relocated to the counter tops and the kitchen table.
And the master bedroom.

And this space—this poor little perfect-for-crafting space—was being neglected and filled with junk. To make matters worse, it’s open to the rest of the house (because it was a formal dining room) and it’s one of the first rooms you see when you walk through the front door.

Not the best of first impressions. So I got my act together and I cleaned it up. And I reorganized. And I’m actually really comfortable with where things are in this room. Which means I’m ready to share. So let’s bring on the pictures!

It took me a week last March to paint those stripes. I built the desk using the parts and legs from an old buffet table. I just added the extra long top and apron. Then painted the top in chalkboard paint. This is one piece of the room I’m still not completely happy with. I really want to rebuild a desk using stock base cabinets so it’ll be counter height. It’s actually on my to do list for this year.

I love those yellow chairs! I picked them up from a yard sale for $10. They are actually really comfortable and the original yellow vinyl is in really good shape. I may need to spray paint the frames soon though. Just another project added to the list.

The shelves above were DIYed using bifold closet doors and wooden brackets. Everything got sanded and primed and painted a fresh white. The brackets are screwed into studs and the doors sit on top. Just like that… tons of extra storage space.

Then I had to find room for all of the stuff. Seriously. I have stuff everywhere. So things like paint supplies, fabric, yarn, felt, jewelry and lip balm making supplies, cricuts, and general all-purpose crafty supplies found their homes on one of 2 cheapo bookshelves that flank the doorway to the entry.

Here’s the other bookshelf behind my favorite blue chair. I bought this lovely from a seller on craigslist. It’s probably my favorite craigslist purchase ever!

On the shelf I used a couple of extra brackets to act as dividers for larger bits of folded fabrics. Works pretty well.

I added little containers and such all around the room to help corral all the little bits and bobs that go along with crafting. The little clear plastic jars I found at Goodwill for 99¢ each. I just cut some scrapbook paper and slipped it inside. And, they even match the soup can organizers!

The little framed pegboard I made helps keep things I use the most—scissors and a ruler—handy, but still has room to add things as I need to. The best thing about pegboard is that you can constantly move the hooks and attachments to get a custom arrangement for whatever supplies you need to store.

There are still a few things I’d like to do before I can officially say that I’m 100% happy with my space. Like changing the light fixture, for one. It is so time for that dining room chandelier to go. I’ve had my eye on the IKEA Maskros fixture for a long time. Too bad the closest Ikea is still 8 hours away. Boo.

For now, I can honestly say I’m content with how it looks and how it functions. I feel like everything has a place and I have room to spread out and get down to the fun stuff—the crafting!!

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party!

Hall Bath Makeover

Who loves a good before and after? This girl. Who loves marking one more thing off her to-do list even more? Yeah, this girl!

Which brings me to our hall bathroom. A project that has been off and on for a while. I think I had test swatches of paint on the wall for … oh … six months or so. I just couldn’t get it together. Maybe I just didn’t like the paint I was testing. Maybe I just got busy with other things. Or, maybe I’m just lazy. Whatever the reason, I’m happy to report I put the finishing touches on this weekend and all I can say is … what the heck took me so long?!

The test swatch you see in the pictures above is not the same test swatch that has been sitting for months. I tested the new paint over the old swatch. You know, to make sure I liked it before I took the time to paint everything. Turns out, I liked it. Hooray!

The color is by Behr. And I can’t for-the-life-of-me remember what it’s called. But it’s a really pretty shade of avocado green and I love it. I love it because it’s one of my favorite shades of green. And I love it because the gallon only cost me $7.

Lesson for today: Always, always check the oops paint before you pay full price to have a color  mixed … you never know what you might find!

You can probably tell from these photos that the bathroom isn’t exactly huge. And it sort of lacks in the storage department. There are no drawers. Only the one cabinet.Which I don’t understand at all. Why would any contractor put a vanity with no drawers in a bathroom? And, why didn’t that cross my mind when we were looking at this house? No clue.


To help with the storage issue, I built and installed the 2 little shelves over the toilet.

I just cut a piece of scrap wood down to two 18.5″ pieces. After sanding, priming and painting, I attached them to the wall above the toilet with ‘L’ brackets.

Then, I spent the better part of an afternoon adding and taking away. Rearranging and adding back. Until I was finally satisfied with the accessories.

A small wicker basket. A glass jar to hold q-tips. Some potpourri and a piece of coral from a trip to Miami last September. And 2 cute photos of the kids in the bath.

The good thing about decorating small spaces is that it doesn’t take much to fill out …

A new rug and a basket to hold extra rolls of tissue.

A few new towels to hang on the bars.

And 2 wooden, folk art ducks I bought months ago from a thrift store to round it all out.

And because I can’t get enough of the before and after, let’s take one more look at it all together…

So much better, right?

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party!

DIY Growth Chart

On Wednesday I shared our hallway frame gallery and the growth chart that I made for that space.
Today I wanted to share the step by step process so you can make your own.

This is probably one of my most favorite projects to date. I just love how it turned out, even though it’s definitely not perfect. And I love that I have a visual reminder of how much my kids have grown. And Laurel loves having her height marked and seeing how big she’s getting. It has quickly become a fun tradition. I hope that if you make one you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

This project didn’t cost me a dime because I used materials and paint leftover from other projects. I don’t think that it would cost too much to make, though, even if you had to buy everything. Here’s the list of supplies:

1. Piece of MDF or plywood roughly measuring 12″ x 7′
(you can buy a sheet of plywood 8′ long at HomeDepot and have them cut it down for you for free)

2. Computer and printer

3. Tape

4. Scissors

5. Pencil

6. Paint

7. Large and small paint brushes

STEP ONE: Create the numbers 1-6 on the computer and size them as large as you can on a document that is 11″x17″. I use Adobe Illustrator, but you can do the same thing in Word.

The font I used is called Clarendon and can be downloaded free for personal use here.

STEP TWO: Print your numbers on 11″x17″ paper. If your printer won’t print that large, you can take an 8.5″x11″ print to your local copy shop and have them enlarge it for you.

STEP THREE: Trim out each number with your scissors.

STEP FOUR: Lay each number out on your board. Pay attention to the spacing. I tried to put the middle of each number at it’s corresponding height. For example, the middle of the 1 is approximately 6″ from the bottom of the board and I planned to hang the chart about 6″ from the floor. So, the 6″ from the floor plus the 6″ from the bottom of the board would put the middle of the 1 about 12″ from the floor. Then the 2 is about 24″ from the floor, 3 is about 36″ inches, etc. But, don’t stress out over the measurements. It’s more about seeing the increasing tick marks than it is accurate measurements.

Just have fun with the layout! Angle some, while keeping others straight. Place some off the edge and keep others centered. It makes for a more interesting design.

STEP FIVE: Trace around the numbers with a pencil to reveal the design.

STEP SIX: Using a small paint brush (and a steady hand) paint around the edges of each number first. Then fill in the rest of the space with a larger brush.

I used leftover interior wall paint for mine. But you could certainly use regular old acrylic craft paint.

STEP SEVEN: After everything dries, attach 2 saw teeth picture hangers to the back and hang on your wall. I also used a few 3M command strips on the bottom to keep little hands from being able to pull it down.

Once you’ve got it on the wall, grab a sharpie and get to charting!

Our Hallway Frame Gallery

Today I wanted to share a little project I tackled last year on my quest to rid the house of all the beige. (I’m still on that quest, by the way. I just haven’t gotten much farther.) It’s probably one of my favorite projects though and I’m excited to show it off.

This is the hallway. On one end, the hall closet and Laurel’s room. On the other, Spencer’s room. And sandwiched between the two is the kids’/guest bathroom. As you can see it’s not a really big space at all. It can hardly be classified a hallway, really. But it was screaming to have some life breathed into it.

So, I grabbed a roller and some paint and got to work.

The wall color is Glidden’s Quiet Rain. It was actually a can of oops paint that I snagged half off. Even though it’s hard to tell in the photos, it’s a soft grey-blue.

From the time we bought this house, it was my plan to hang lots of framed family photos in this space. I thrifted and shopped until I had enough frames, and then spray painted them all white. I played around with the layout for a while before I was happy with how it looked. To hang the photos I used a trick I found on pinterest. I dabbed a tiny bit of toothpaste onto the hanger. Then I positioned the frame in the space I wanted it and pushed it against the wall. The toothpaste left a little mark and I just hammered the nails in.

The little ampersand I bought at HobbyLobby and spray painted yellow. I love how the yellow pops off the wall color. The bottom frame I dressed up for Valentine’s Day with some scrapbook paper and a white puffy heart sticker.

Instead of doing only black and white photos, I opted to throw some color ones in the mix. I like the variety.

Even the thermostat got it’s own frame. Instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, it now just blends right in. I added a strip of scrapbook paper to the inside of the frame to give it a bit of added interest.

Here’s another frame I dressed up for Valentine’s Day. I used the same scrapbook paper from the other and added a couple of Christmas ornaments that just happen to have a lovey theme. For this one, I taped the paper to the wall just under the nail, hung the ornaments from the nail and then placed the frame on top. Because the frame is glassless, it gives a nice little 3d element to the wall.

It’s really fun having all of these memories on our walls. Like those bamboo bookmarks. My college roommate brought those back for me from a trip to China. I just used a few pop dots to stick them onto a piece of chipboard.

This is quite possibly my favorite part of the project. It’s a growth chart that I made from some scrap MDF. It’s so fun marking the kids’ heights and getting to see how much they’ve grown. Plus, it’s portable, so if we ever decide to leave this house I won’t have to leave these memories behind. Maybe for tomorrow I’ll write out the step by step so you can make your own.

I love our hallway frame gallery. I still find myself standing in there just looking at all the photos. One day I’ll add another round and fill the space in a bit more, but until then I’m really happy with it.

Soup Can Organization

Remember how I told you all about my goals for 2012? And, remember how nowhere on that list did I mention getting organized? That’s because every year I resolve to get and stay organized, and every year I just don’t. And while I crave organization and order, I’m just not that good at keeping up with it.

In my head, everything in my house is neatly tucked away. Nothing is cluttered or out of place and everything can be found easily. Only I live in reality, with 2 small kids, and that’s just not possible in my world. So I ignore the huge mess on my craft room floor and instead make something pretty. And I justify it because the pretty is also functional.

To make these ridiculously easy organizational containers, you’ll need about 10 minutes and the following supplies:

1. Empty metal cans (soup, vegetable, etc.) – washed and dried

2. Scrapbook paper

3. Double stick tape

4. Button magnets

5. Hot glue

STEP ONE: You’ll need to wash and dry your empty cans before getting started. But, before that remove the paper from the can and set it aside.

STEP TWO: Using the paper you removed from the can as a template, cut your scrapbook paper to size.

STEP THREE: Wrap the scrapbook paper around the can and stick down the edge with double stick tape.

STEP FOUR: Hot glue a couple of button magnets to back over the seam. Like below…

And there you have it! I told you it was ridiculously easy. You can stick these babies anywhere a magnet goes.

They’re pretty and functional, and they help me keep my junk in check. What more could I ask for?

The Greatest Goodwill Haul EVER!

Two weekends ago I hit the mother load at Goodwill. Seriously. It was impressive. I scored enough stuff to redo Spencer’s nursery into Spencer’s Super Awesome Kinda Vintage Big Boy Room. Wanna know the best part? The total for everything you see here was less than $50.
This is how it all went down…

It all started on a lazy Sunday afternoon. My cousin and her family were in town and staying at our house for the weekend. The men were watching football and the children were playing nicely. We decided it was time for a girl day. So we gathered our things and headed out to have lunch…

And it was good!

Then it was off to Goodwill. We thought we’d just run in and browse, maybe find a few good things. Boy, were we wrong! But, in a good way…

The first thing I laid my eyes on when we got back to the housewares section were these awesome, mid-century end tables.

These babies have definitely seen better days. But they’re still in solid condition. I’m sure with a little bit of TLC, they’ll be amazing. Nothing a little elbow grease can’t fix. Plus, just look at those legs! I also like that they’re two tiered but still small enough and short enough to be bedside tables.

Can you believe these lovelies were only $9.99 each?! I couldn’t, and so I snatched them up and loaded them in the buggy.

After the shock from such an awesome deal wore off, we made our way over to the textiles section. This is where everything started to come together. It all started with this one little pillow case.

It was exactly the style I was hoping to find to jump start his big boy bedding. Into the cart it went.

As I continued looking through the rack of random curtain panels, table clothes, and sheets, I started to find things that I thought I could work with to complete his bedding. First, there were a couple of curtain panels and then, quilted white pillow shams.

The blue with the squares is a curtain panel that I plan to repurpose. I’m thinking about using it to upholster the bed I’m planning to build.

The white pillow shams are king sized and quilted, super soft. In my plan I’ll put a king size pillow in one to become the backdrop for the bed. For the other, I’m thinking of turning it into a throw pillow.

At this point, I thought for sure that my luck was running out. I mean, what are the odds that I would find enough random stuff to coordinate a whole bedding set? Apparently, on this particular Sunday, the odds were in my favor…

Chocolate brown corduroy standard shams, one for a regular pillow, one for a throw pillow. A taupey-grey twin sized flat sheet that I plan to remake into a duvet cover. Bright goldenrod fabric for accent pillows. And a burnt orange table cloth that is either going to find new life as a curtain or as a throw on the end of the bed. I haven’t decided yet.

At this point in our shopping trip, I was feeling a little bit like leaving while I was ahead. But I just can’t go in Goodwill without looking at everything (because you really never know what you’ll find). So we made our way through the aisles of mismatched plates and funky home decor.

And, what do you know? We also found…

A perfectly coordinating lamp shade and base. Seriously, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was getting in one trip. Usually it can take a few trips to Goodwill to find all this good stuff. But to find it all in one trip, at one store was just amazing, and it totally felt like it was just meant to be.

I even happened to find this cute little orange snail chalkboard and, of course, I had to have it, too.

This is the reason why I always shop at thrift stores first. Because you never know what you’re going to find that you can work with, or transform into something beautiful. Not to mention, there’s  no way I could have gone into a retail store and bought everything for new bedding and side tables, too, for less than $50. No.freaking.way! I’m still trying to work out all the remaining details, like wall color. And I still need to buy a few more things… curtains, sheets, a couple of pillows… before I can actually get started on his room makeover. I’m hoping that I can get it done before his second birthday at the end of April. haha. We’ll see!!

Now that I can officially say that this was my greatest Goodwill haul ever, I’m wondering, what’s the best thing you’ve ever found at a thrift store?