Holy Birthday Batman!

I apologize for the long delay between posts.  I have been very busy crafting for my son’s fourth birthday party which occurred this past Saturday.  Mason loves Batman and so a Batman themed party it was.  Below are some party pics and the details on the crafts I made.

I made my own cupcake toppers for the party which I do nearly every birthday.  I started by doing a Google search for Batman logos/images.  When I found a few I liked, I right clicked and saved them on my computer.  I then used auto shapes in PowerPoint to create circles in the dimensions I needed (2″ x 2″).  I have a circle craft punch so if they are sized correctly it makes cutting them out a snap.  I inserted the Batman images and added text boxes to say “Mason” and his age “4”.  I printed the finished circles on white card-stock and cut them out with my punch.

I then used a larger circle punch to cut coordinating circles out of scrapbook paper.  I hot glued a candy stick from the craft store between the circles and I had my own personalized cupcake toppers.

I browsed the internet for Batman party ideas and found a template for a child’s bat mask.  I purchased blue and pink foam from the craft store along with some elastic for the back.   I printed the template on card-stock and traced it onto the foam sheets.  I cut the border with scissors and the eyes with my X-acto knife.  I made a small slit on either side of the mask with my knife and double knotted the elastic to each side.  I also bought foam stickers from the craft store so the kid’s could decorate their own masks.

In my internet search for party ideas I came across a great idea for favors.  Personalized Batman t-shirts for the kids!  I bought iron on transfer paper (for dark shirts) at the craft store along with shirts in various sizes.  I had a big age range at my son’s party so I had to buy some toddler tees at Old Navy  since the craft store didn’t sell small enough sizes.  My BFF Tiffany at Sugar Ink Papery designed the logos for me.  If you are not a pro at Photoshop you can make the logos in Powerpoint which I did to make my husbands shirt on the fly.  I printed the logos using the instructions that came with the iron on transfer paper .  I was able to get two logos on one sheet of transfer paper.  I then cut them out with scissors and ironed them on, again, following the instructions.  They turned out so cute!  I also made a custom thank you tag for each shirt with the washing instructions on the back.  I bought children’s hangers from the dollar store to hang them up on display during the party.  The hangers also made it easy for the kid’s to take their shirt home.

I even made a shirt for myself!

For the remainder of the party decor I wanted to keep costs down.  I saw this table cloth tent idea on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a shot.  It was super easy and cheap since the plastic table cloths came from the Dollar Store.  I would have liked it to be a bit fuller but the ceiling in my dining room wasn’t having it.

I bought some Batman streamer from Party City and used Batman wrapping paper as a table runner.  The balloons I already had leftover from past parties.  Mason was one very happy birthday boy!

I made a birthday banner for the party also.  Again, this is something I do pretty frequently so I have a template in Powerpoint that I modify with changing party themes.  I printed the banner letters on white card-stock and cut them out.  I then used scrapbook adhesive to attached coordinating scrapbook paper to the back of each letter.  This time I used my laminator so that the banner would hold up better in the long run.  I punched holes in top of each letter and strung them together with ribbon.  Voila, custom birthday banner for next to nothing!

Shabby Bookcase turned Fabulous Vertical Storage

I am all about free furniture so when my grandmother told me she had an old bookcase she was getting rid of I knew I could find a use for it.  The dresser I refinished in Callie’s room is very deep so I have toyed with the idea of adding a bookcase on top of it for additional storage.  I LOVE me some storage and in the kid’s tiny rooms it’s essential to maximize the vertical space.  The last bookcase I refinished was too wide for the dresser but my grandma’s old bookcase was a perfect fit and thus the DIY began.

Here is a picture of the bookcase in it’s original state.  Basic, boring, not so hot.

I decided to dress up the basic box by adding a top and some trim.  I also added trim to the bottom which you will see later.

After a light sanding with the mouse sander, I added my favorite Allen + Roth paintable wallpaper to the back of each section.

I then primed the entire bookcase excluding the wallpaper.

A few days later I painted the bookcase white (Sherwin Williams Pro Classic) of course.

I painted the wallpaper panels pink to match Callie’s dresser and give it some girly flair.  In this photo you can see the trim that was added to the bottom.  I needed to eliminate the arch so that the bookcase and dresser appear to be one piece rather than two.

I love, love, love how it turned out and it stores a ton of stuff.

Tiny Dresser Re-vamp Reveal

The dresser I posted last week is finally finished!  After a few coats of white paint (Sherwin Williams Pro Classic) and some new girly hardware it is ready to be put back in the baby’s room. Someday I may add a marble top to it.  We have several remnants of old Carrara marble we found on Craigslist a few years ago.   I am ecstatic with how it turned out.

I am currently working on a bookcase for Callie’s room that will go on top of her dresser.  Stay tuned for that post in a few days.

Tiny Dresser Re-vamp

There is a small dresser in Callie’s room that has been in my family for many years.  I believe it was my grandmother’s when she was a child.  It served as a dresser for my doll clothes when I was little and now it resides in my little girl’s room.  It needed a re-vamp as the finish was in less than great shape and the knobs were dated.  I found inspiration on Pinterest and I began working on it.  The project is not yet finished but I wanted to show you my progress thus far.

This dresser was my inspiration for my project.  I have loved this transformed Hemnes dresser from Ikea since the moment I laid eyes on it.

Here is what my dresser looked like before.

I began by removing the knobs, filling the old knob holes with putty and giving it a light sanding with my mouse sander.

I then primed the base and drawers with a spray paint primer.

Since I have been a bit obsessed with paintable wallpaper lately (see hutch), I purchased some more from Lowes to complete this project.

I then cut my wallpaper to size.  The trim pieces were purchased from Home Depot along with a miter box since that is the only way to cut trim this thin.

As you can see above I was working outside on our spa and left my materials out overnight.  BIG mistake!  It rained and my pre-pasted wallpaper was drenched and thus needed to be applied in a flash the next morning.  Some of the edges did peel up quite easily after the wallpaper dried so I did add some wood glue underneath them for better adhesion.  I have not had any issues with this wallpaper adhering in the past so I’m sure the paste was in less than stellar shape after sitting in the rain overnight.

I then began to measure and cut my trim pieces.  This was time consuming with the miter box but worth the effort.  I glued the trim down rather than nailing it because the pieces are so thin and fragile.  I used painters tape to secure them while they dried.

Now it’s time to caulk some of the gaps between the wallpaper and the trim.  I will also caulk some of the mitered corners that have gaps.  A little paint and new knobs and this baby will have a whole new lease on life. Check back next week and see the finished product.

This entry was posted on March 14, 2012. 3 Comments

Fences, Fences, Fences

My husband spent another beautiful weekend in the yard building fences.  This time he had some help from our neighbor building a shared fence between their backyard and our front yard.  He was on his own building a pedestrian gate and fence to close off our side yard.  I didn’t help much as I was on kid patrol but the fences turned out great!

Here is a picture of the side fence before.  The photo was taken during a tree pruning expedition last summer.  Needs a little work, huh?

In this photo you can see that our original fence was set WAY back from the front of our home.  The new fence is set back only three feet so we have more usable space in the backyard.  Again, this photo was taken last summer before we painted the house. 

Yet another look at the original fence in ill repair.

The new fence we share with our neighbors was raised up a foot to give us both more privacy.  Our kitchen windows look directly into one another.  My husband and our neighbor used metal support posts called Z posts to prevent rotting.  You can’t even see them once the pickets are up which I love!

Before we didn’t have a gate on the left side of the yard and now we do!

This photo was taken from the backyard looking forward.

More fence work to come and we still have the remainder of the left side to finish plus the back fence and the right side.  Fun, fun, fun…

Gift Wrap Organization

I have been wanting to find a better organization solution for my gift wrap, ribbon, tissue paper, and bags for a while now.  I have seen many solutions on Pinterest and other blogs so I bit the bullet and tackled my own storage solution.

I began with an inspiration photo to emulate.

I recently used a back of door/wall hung organizer from Target for the garage and I knew it would work perfectly for this project.  The organizer is Closetmaid and is only $35.  I originally wanted two since I have a double door closet in my hallway but I settled for one and I am glad I did because the hanger is too long for one door and I was able to break it up and hang part of it on each door.

I began trying to hang the rack from the door with the door hangers that came with it.  That was a bust.  My door wouldn’t close all the way.  So I needed to screw into my hollow core doors to attach the rack.  How do I do that?  Google search begins.  Hello new best friend, hollow core door anchors!

Next step:  Have husband pre-drill door holes.

I use a phillips head screwdriver to screw the anchors into the holes instead of the drill to avoid over tightening.  We placed four screws in each door to support the racks.

I attached the “extra” rack to the other door and filled them with wrapping supplies. Ta-da!

New RV Gate

I am so excited to post this project.  For one, it wasn’t my project but my husband’s as he did 99.9% of the work.  All of the fences around our property are in rough shape.  The worst offender was the gate that leads into the backyard.  The large gate, for RV access was in shambles and falling down. The pedestrian gate rubbed on the concrete walkway and would hardly open.  The gate fence has been an eyesore and a hassle since the day we bought the house.

We knew it needed fixing but we were waiting for the right time.  Last weekend our dog got out while we were having dinner at a restruarant 30 minutes away.  Our neighbor called and luckly my father-in law who lives 3 minutes away was able to come over and lock her in the garage until we could deciper her escape route.

It was time to fix the gate.  This weekend it was accomplished and now it is beautiful!  Not to gush, but my husband is so talented it never ceases to amaze me.

Here is what it looked like before.

And this is what it looks like now.

Shower Curtain Inspiration Board

Over the weekend I was working on a new inspiration board for my office.  I just finished the thing today and wanted to share.  This is not the first time I have made one of these for the office (sadly enough) but a new color scheme requires a new fabric for the inspiration board.  My last board was made out of an old cork board from my husband’s work.  It was too flimsy and we ended up having to back it with plywood.  This time I ditched the cork board and went straight for the plywood.  I was able to re-use the batting material and I re-purposed some old nail-heads from a previous project.

The motivation to build the new board came from a shopping trip to Target and the discovery of a fabulous paisley shower curtain.  The curtain is navy and white with a few subtle dark blue tones throughout.  I had to have it but I don’t have any navy in my house and justifying a new color scheme to my husband is my least favorite discussion.  I was thinking about navy for the office since the walls are a neutral gray and my color options were open.  This fabric was my jumping off point and shower curtains provide so much fabric for such little money.  I went for it!  The shower curtain was mine.  I have had the thing for months so it was time to get going.

I wanted my inspiration board to be large as I have lots of inspiration to display.  So I began with a 36″x48″ sheet of plywood from Home Depot.  I laid out the shower curtain and cut it to size using my pinking sheers.  I cut the fabric 3-4 inches larger than my plywood all the way around.

I then flipped the fabric over, pattern side down and layered the batting on top.  I used two layers of batting since that is what I had lying around the first time I made an inspiration board.  If you wanted to use one layer of thicker batting I’m sure that’s fine too.

I laid the plywood over the batting and fabric making sure I had enough fabric and batting to stretch over the sides and onto the back.

I used a staple gun to place a single staple in the center of each of the four sides.  This step helps keep the fabric in place while you work.  The next step is to begin at one side placing staples every 2-3 inches working out from your original center staple.  I leave the corners loose as I will come back to them when I am finished.

After I have finished stapling all the edges down, I go back and do the corners.  I fold the fabric into a rough double pleat and staple it down.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just want it to lay down flat enough that it’s not too bunchy.  

The main part of the board is now done and you can flip it over and admire your handy work.  I decided to make things easier on myself and not attached my ribbon diagonally as I had done before.  I measured and marked evenly spaced lines with a piece of chalk across the tops and sides of the board.  Antique white grosgrain ribbon from Walmart was cut to size and then stapled to the back of the board.

I then hammered in nail heads at the cross sections and viola! Finished!

Small Changes

This weekend we installed Ikea pictures ledges in my daughter’s room to hold her books.  I love the look, I see it EVERYWHERE on Pinterest.  I was going to use Ikea wooden spice racks since I already have one and they are MUCH less expensive ($3 compared to $10). However, they no longer sell them at my local Ikea and thus picture ledges were my only option.  There is a small expanse of wall space between my daughter’s open bedroom door and her closet that is perfect for the picture ledges.  Truthfully, I was tired of her tearing ALL the books out of her bookcase and I was eager to get some out of her reach.  I’m not a terrible mommy, there are plenty of books in our house that the kids can reach.  I try to keep the kid’s bedrooms as neat as possible so I don’t have messes trailing me around my entire house.

This is what the wall looked like before.  FYI, I do LOVE the birdcage wall hanger and it does a lovely job of housing my daughter’s bows, sunglasses and headbands.  It was moved to another location in the room.  The Shirley Temple collage came down as it doesn’t really “go” with the theme I am slowing incorporating into Callie’s “big girl” room.

This is what the space looks like with the new picture ledges.  I went with three and they each hold 5-6 books.  I reserved the very top ledge for books that were mine as a child and are already in fragile condition.  Yes, one of the books is titled, “How Babies are Made”.  My mother read it to my brother and I as kids and it is HILARIOUS!  It was written some time ago and is so dated that it actually says there is no way to find out the sex of a baby until it is born…LOL.   I don’t plan on reading it to the kids but it’s a piece of my history and I can still remember my brother and I giggling at the pictures.

Welcome to my first post!

Welcome to my blog!  I was inspired to begin documenting my projects after perusing others design blogs and after much prodding from my closest  friends. I am first and foremost a mommy, a crafter,  a scrapbooker, a DIYer,  a remodeler,  a wannabe interior designer, an organizer and a shopper.    My husband and I purchased our home (a “fixer”) in November 2010, the “fixing” needed to be done before we could move into the home with our four month old daughter and our two and a half year old son.  The project was ambitious to say the least but it all worked out and we continue to make “improvements” month after month.  Sometimes “improvements” means redecorating rooms that are already “done”.  My husband is a very patient handy man.  I hope you enjoy getting to know me, my house and my many projects.