Monday, April 14, 2014

Organizing My {Spice} Cabinet or More Uses for Velcro

After about four years of rummaging through a cluttered, overly-crowded spice cabinet, I decided that enough was enough.  My spice cabinet is an awkward corner cabinet that limits arrangement options.  It's difficult to see what I have and almost impossible to find what I'm looking for. This problem has often resulted in my double purchasing a spice that I already own. Grrrrrr!!!! 

Here's my problem.

Here's my solution!! 

When you really begin to put some thought into it, uses for velcro are limitless! I looove this stuff.  So when I was hatching a plan for my new, ultra-organized spice cabinet, I turned to my good friend velcro.  My husband so graciously picked me up some of these square velcro pieces.  I only had to use them for the second row of spices on each shelf.  And here's the result:

 Deciding where to place my spices took considerable thought.  I ended up placing the spices I use most often on the bottom shelf; spice blends and lesser used spices on the middle shelf; and extracts (except for vanilla. that went on the bottom shelf), homemade spice blends, and doubled spices on the top shelf. Hopefully those double spices will stop showing up!  This project took me all of 20 minutes  to complete and collectively will save me probably hours of searching through jar after jar of spices to find what I need.

Friday, April 11, 2014

DIY {Stenciled} Floor Rug

I had a few people ask me recently where I come up with my ideas for doing projects around the house.  Most projects are a direct result of my being stubborn and cheap. I see something, don't want to pay for it, and swear I can make one just as good. And that's were this ginormous project came from.  It took me about ten hours to finish, but it was ten hours well spent.  I just recently purchased a new entryway table (pictured here) that completely changed the look of my entry.  I thought the space really needed a rug but didn't want to spend the pretty penny that usually comes attached to a rug this size. After scouring the internet and reading tutorial after tutorial, I blended a few methods together and came up with this gorgeous rug! It wasn't difficult at all, and I only ended up spending about $70 not counting the cost of materials I already owned. I also had some materials left over and of course got to keep the stencil I purchased. 

Want to take a whack at a rug of your own?

These are the materials you will need (prices may vary at different stores):

  • canvas drop cloth - $12 (Lowes)
  • paint (water-based) $9 (Lowes - I used two Valspar sample size paint tubs)
  • stencil - $15 (50% off at Hobby Lobby)
  • plastic drop cloth - $.99 (Lowes)
  • 1 quart clear satin polyurethane - $11 (Lowes)
  • natural bristle paint brush - already owned (probably bought at Lowes)
  • sponge brush - already owned (Hobby Lobby - a regularly buy packs of various size sponge brushes)
  • pencil - already owned (um...the back of my junk drawer)
  • non-slip rug pad - $10 (purchased at a very inexpensive discount store Ollies)
  • gorilla tape - $14 (Lowes - had A LOT left over)
  • light spray adhesive (optional) - (I think I got this at Hobby Lobby)

I did most of my stenciling indoors using a thin plastic drop cloth underneath.  Never having experience with a stencil like this one before, I was surprised to see how simple it was to use.  Other than my back sometimes feeling like it was going to break in two from bending over, this process was a cinch. 

After the stenciling was completed, I dragged my rug out to the garage to put a coat of polyurethane on it for durability.  I would suggest putting a very thin layer of this on your rug.  I put mine on a little too thickly and it darkened the color of my rug considerably.  It also stiffened my rug to the point that I wasn't able to sew up the edges like I had originally planned. 

To keep my rug from sliding around on the floor and to give it a little bit more cushion, I added a rug pad underneath using gorilla tape.  Unconventional, I know, but I wanted it to stay.  I was going to sew it on, but I would have probably snapped any sewing needles that I tried to use on this thing.  

It worked out that the drop cloth I bought ended up almost exactly matching the dimensions I wanted for my rug.  It was, however, about a foot too wide.  So I had to cut this excess length off and figure out how to make that edge look finished.  I finally decided to iron the edge under (the polyurethane made it stiff enough that the ironed edge stayed very well.) and gorilla tape the rug pad over it. 

It is a wonderful and satisfying feeling when a project actually turns out like you envisioned it would. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Corner of My {Craft} Room: Arranging Items on a Bookshelf

What is it about women not being able to use something for its intended purpose and call it quits? For instance, this is a picture of a black bookshelf not being used as a bookshelf but rather as a display case.  It cannot simply house my books. No. I find it difficult, very difficult to allow my things to just "sit" somewhere.  It must have function AND style. This bookshelf is a part of my craft room, something  else that ironically has lost its original purpose as being a place in which to craft.  It has morphed into a museum.  Really a storage room that caters to my Audrey Hepburn obsession.  In my defense, I will say that along with Audrey one can find in this room pretty much anything with which they might need to craft something. 

Anyway, back to my bookshelf.  I'm particularly proud of the items on these shelves because most everything has either been DIYed, recycled, or thrifted. Even the black mirror (originally gold framed. spray painted black) and photo board were found at thrift shops. The candle stick holders were purchased at an antique store and many of my books were found after scouring second hand stores (a treasure trove for classics). To spruce up my books and bring some uniformity to the overall look, I covered many of my books that had unattractive or damaged covers with packaging paper purchased at the Dollar Tree. I also used some scrapbooking paper for a few. My "L.U.V" book ends were a previous project of mine.

I had a lot of fun arranging and rearranging these items until I was quite satisfied with this little corner of my craft room. There are a myriad of ways to arrange items on a bookshelf.  Here are a few things I kept in mind while putting together this bookshelf.

  • I arranged books horizontally as well as vertically.
  • I stuck to a single color (white) for most of my accessories.  My craft room colors are black, white, and Tiffany blue.  I didn't want to stray too far away from that color scheme, but  I did allow a few of the book covers to add variety.
  • I kept in mind that less is more.  I could have easily packed much more onto each shelf, but opted to display only some of my favorite book titles.

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