Tag Archives: do-it-yourself

Make Your Own Chalk Board

Make Your Own Chalk Board

Rust-oleum Chalkboard Paint

I love chalkboard paint! You can turn just about anything into a chalkboard:
*The inside of one of your kitchen cabinets – keep your to-do’s written on it
*The side of a cabinet in your kitchen – jot down grocery items you need
*The side of shelves in a closet – write down random thoughts (I did this in my husband’s closet)
*Cover a thin piece of wood with chalkboard paint and hang it in your office
*Turn an entire wall into a giant chalkboard – fun for the whole family!

I usually get my chalkboard paint at Home Depot but you can get it at any place that sells paints. I’ve tried it as a spray paint (it costs around $6) and as a paint in a can ($10). I liked them both. Which one you’ll use depends on the project you’re doing. If you’re spraying something that you can take outside (like a cabinet door, a shelf, or a board) you could use the spray paint. If you’re painting something that can’t be taken outside, I would use the can of paint.

Back in the day, if you wanted to make yourself a chalkboard, you were restricted to black. Not anymore! You can now buy it in any color you want. Rust-oleum makes a chalk board paint that you can take up to the counter in your paint section and have them mix in any color you want.

If you want to mix your own, you could try this recipe:
*Mix 1/2 cup of latex paint (or acrylic) in your desired color with 1 tablespoon of unsanded tile grout and stir together.
*Use a paint brush to paint it onto your surface. When it’s dry sand lightly with 150 grit sandpaper.
*Apply several coats for best results (sanding in between each coat).
*This may dry rather quickly so I would make it in small batches and work quickly.

Why would you make your own chalkboard paint if you can have the color you want custom made for you at a paint store? Covering something with chalkboard paint takes very little paint. If you buy it in a can, you’ll have 30 ounces of chalkboard paint sitting around. That’s a lot of extra paint! When you mix it up yourself with the recipe above, you are just making what you need.

Whether you go with chalkboard paint in a spray can, in a paint can, or make your own, be sure to lightly chalk the entire surface area of your project when the paint is dry (Rust-oleum recommends waiting three days for the paint to cure). This will insure that the messages and notes you write on it, can be erased easily.

If you have used chalkboard paint, I’d love to hear about it! Either post it on this message, send me a message using the “Contact” tab, or tell me about it on Facebook!

How To Decoupage a Desk or Dresser

How To Decoupage a Desk or Dresser

Finished Desk

I love to decoupage. It’s a simple process that has huge results. I needed a desk for my new dressing room and I was hoping to use a nasty old desk I found in my garage that was left here by the previous owners. It was a sturdy desk but it was really stained. After much scrubbing I gave up and decided to decoupage the top.

My daughter is 11 and loves to help me with my projects. Her and I spent about an hour cutting strips of paper and pictures of out magazines. If you’re going to try this project and you’ll be covering a large surface like a desk top, cut out more strips than you think you’ll need. You’ll be surprised to see how much paper you need. We had to cut strips of paper two different times before we had enough.

My desk desk during the process

Once we had all of the paper strips and pictures we needed, it was time to get to work. I started in the back left corner of my desk. Because I’m right handed, I should’ve started in the back right corner so I wouldn’t keep getting my arm in my work (I’ll have to remember that for next time!). Take a thick artist brush and brush on some Mod Podge (purchased at Hobby Lobby for around $6. I prefer the gloss finish but you can choose which ever finish you like best). Immediately place your strip of paper on the gluey section and cover with more Mod Podge. You’ll have to watch out for air bubbles or the paper wrinkling. After you put each piece down, rub it a little with your finger to remove any bubbles and straighten out the paper. It’s OK if you have some air bubbles. It’s really not that noticeable.

Continue to glue strips of paper to your surface. Glue some sideways, some at an angle, some upside down, overlapping them a little as you go. We glued all of the strips of paper with words on them first, then glue the pictures on last.

When you’re finished, cover with another coat of Mod Podge and let it dry. The surface can remain a little sticky feeling even after it’s dry. To stop the tackiness, paint the top with a clear acrylic paint. Now you have a one of a kind item!

I did this same thing to my husband’s dresser, but instead of using magazine articles, I used scrap book paper. I found 8×8 sheets of paper that looked like they had old maps printed on them. I lined up the papers and, using Mod Podge, glued each one down. I then put a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top, paying careful attention to any air bubbles. There was one sheet of paper that had a rather large air bubble in it and, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to go away. I was surprised to see that when it dried the air bubble was gone. Once it was completely dry, I painted a layer of clear acrylic paint over the top.

Covering a Dresser

I’ve also done this same process to table legs and chair legs and the results are amazing. This is a fun project that kids even enjoy getting involved with. I have to warn you though, once you start, you’ll want to do everything in your house!

Make a Desk for Less

Make a Desk for Less

My husband and I do a lot of work from home. We only had one desk and it was frequently in use by one of the kids. We knew we needed another work space but we didn’t want to buy two more desks (one for each of us). We came up with an idea – we would make one large one!

Home Made Desk

We went to Home Depot and bought an eight foot long laminate counter top. We then bought 5 “upper” cabinets in the kitchen section. Why did we choose “upper” cabinets instead of “lower” ones? The lower ones would be too tall. Our desk would end up being as tall as our kitchen counter – that would only work for us if we sat on bar stools. That’s not very comfy for long periods of time.

My husband put the desk together by sitting the counter top on top of the cabinets. He screwed the counter to the cabinets (from the inside of the cabinets). He also screwed the two side cabinets together. We have two cabinets on each end (one facing to the front and the other facing out). One cabinet was placed in the middle. Not only do we have a durable work surface (I can put my icy drinks on it and not have to worry about it leaving behind any rings) we also have tons of storage.

How much did this 8 foot long desk cost us to make? The cabinets and the counter top together cost $300. That’s not bad! You can make a smaller version by purchasing a smaller counter top. They had 6 foot sections available also. Or you can make a larger one. Our Home Depot had a 10 foot long counter top.

Desk from the side

Super Cheap Pen/Pencil Holders

Super Cheap Pen/Pencil Holders

I needed something to keep my pens and pencils in but didn’t want to spend much money…or any money if I could get by with it. I came up with this super simple (and inexpensive) idea.

Things you need:
Cans (mine had enchilada sauce in them…Yum!)
Craft paper

*The first thing I did was to use a drill to make two holes in the can (one on one side of the can, and one on the other side directly across from each other). Even though I used a drill, you could a screw (or something else that is sturdy and sharp) and hammer it through the can.

*I then cut the paper to fit around the can and glued it on. If you’re impatient and don’t want to hold onto the can while the paper dries you could wrap a rubber band around it (just don’t wrap it too tightly or it could crinkle the paper).

*Use a nail (or ink pen) and poke a hole through the paper where the holes in the can are.

*Thread a piece of ribbon in one of the holes and tie a knot on the inside so the ribbon won’t come out of the hole.

*Thread the other end of the ribbon into the other hole on the opposite side (starting from the outside of the can). Before you tie it in a knot, decide how long you want the ribbon to be. I marked a spot on the ribbon where my knot should go. Once you’ve decided on your length, tie the ribbon on the inside of the can. I put a little bit of glue on each of the knots to help it hold a little better.

Now I have super cute pen/pencil holders and I made them from things I had in my home! I love them so much I think I might make some more!

How To Make Your Own Cork Board

How To Make Your Own Cork Board

Yesterday I decided that I needed a cork board. I’d actually like to have a few of them. I don’t need anything very big – just something small (and cute). I don’t like to rush right out and buy something new if I don’t need to. I like to think about how I can make things using what I have lying around. A little light bulb went off in my head (or maybe above it, just like in the cartoons). I remembered that I had a very plain picture frame in my closet. I decided to paint it, and get rid of that ugly brown.

Now for the cork part. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a 20×28 cork project sheet. It was $6.99 but I had my 40% off coupon! If you’re looking for these handy sheets, they are in the same aisle as the poster board and foam board. I came home and traced the cardboard piece that came with the frame onto the back of the cork sheet. I used a craft knife to cut it out – so easy!

I then slid my cork sheet into the frame and viola! I had a cute cork board that will fit perfectly in the small space I have for it. Better yet, I have a lot of the cork sheet left over so I can do this project again and again! I have some very small frames that I don’t have any use for and I think I’ll turn them into adorable baby cork boards! I know, it doesn’t take much to get me excited.

Hopefully in a week or so I’ll show you where I’m going to hang my new cork board. But, that is still a work in progress 🙂

Super Inexpensive Drawer Organizer

Super Inexpensive Drawer Organizer

I have a little drawer in my laundry room where I keep a few tools and miscellaneous pieces of hardware (nails, bolts, picture hangers, etc). Every time I need something I have to rummage through there to find it. Not anymore! Today, while trying to find some tiny nails that I KNEW were in there somewhere, I had an idea. Why not use an egg carton?

I put the egg carton in my drawer (it fit perfectly!) and filled it up! Now I can see exactly what I have! This would also be a great idea for a drawer in a home office (you could fill it with tacks, rubber bands, paper clips, etc) or for your bathroom (this could be a great way to keep track of your jewelry).

I love it when simple, inexpensive things make a big difference!

Fun With Cafe Rods

Fun With Cafe Rods

I love cafe rods almost as much as I love tension rods. There are so many things you can do with them! Today I was wrapping some gifts for my daughter’s birthday and thought about how nice it would be to have a place to put my wrapping paper. I always keep it standing up in a corner of my closet and it gets unrolled and crinkled too easily. Then it hit me – cafe rods!

I installed one under a shelf in a closet (husband not required for assembly) in about five minutes. Before, it was just wasted space. Now it’s a great place to store my wrapping paper. I added another one right next to it for ribbon. My ribbon stuck out a little too far and the bar wouldn’t sit in the little hooks. That’s ok! I just hung the bar from some ribbon! Maybe the next time I’m at Home Depot I’ll pick up some bigger brackets for it…or maybe not. I kind of like the way it looks. The best part is, they were only $2.50 a piece.

Cafe rod for wrapping paper and ribbon

Make Your Own Jewelry Organizer

Make Your Own Jewelry Organizer

I love to wear jewelry. I have the cutest little jewelry organizer that I keep in my closet, but I really needed something by my bathroom sink where I take my jewelry off each night. I’m always afraid that something will fall down the drain or my earrings will rust if they get wet – I never said I wore expensive jewelry 🙂

I thought about buying a little shelf to keep by the sink, but then I saw one at a store and thought, “Hey! I can make that!” So, I did. The one in the store costs $25, mine was less than $10. And it’s so much cuter than anything store bought.

Here’s how I made my own jewelry organizer:
*Drawer divider (mine came from Walmart and was made out of bamboo)
*12×12 piece of scrapbook paper
*Acrylic craft paint (only if you choose to paint it, you might just want to keep it the wood color)
*Mod Podge (You don’t have to use this. You can use any glue. I used Mod Podge because it works great as a glue and a sealer)
*Screw eyes (These are little screws with a loop at the end.)
*Picture hanger
*Nail, hammer, and a vice-grip
*Optional – trim, felt


I painted my drawer organizer a soft yellow color. I had to give it two coats. It only took about an hour to dry so I was able to move on to the next step fairly quickly – the scrapbook paper. I simply measured each opening and cut the paper to that size. I then put a thin layer of Mod Podge in each compartment (working on just one at a time) and then put in the paper. You don’t want to use too much Mod Podge, or any glue, because it can make the paper bubble. Mine still bubbled a little bit but it’s not noticeable unless you know it’s there. I put in half the sheet of paper, smoothed it down, and then laid the rest in. That seemed to make it easier. After I put in each piece I put a thin layer of Mod Podge over all the paper to seal it and help insure it doesn’t get torn sometime in the future. I let mine dry over night.

Then it was time to use the little screw eyes. I bought mine at a home improvement store in the hardware section. I had never used these little guys before and had no idea how to put them in. I ended up using a nail, which I held with a vice grip, and hammered in just a little bit to make a small hole. Then I used the vice grips to hold on to the screw eyes and I just screwed it in. Very easy process. Just be careful, the end of each screw came through the underside of the wood a little bit. Make sure it doesn’t scratch whatever surface you’re working on, or even yourself when you pick it up.

The last step is to nail the picture hanger to the back of the jewelry organizer. Viola! You now have the cutest jewelry organizer to hang on your wall! Here is a picture of my finished product.


Oh, one more thing. I had some extra ribbon with adhesive on the back, and I used it to trim mine out a little bit. I also added a little strip of felt to the bottom shelf so my watch wouldn’t slip off easily or get scratched. Super easy, super cute, super cheap!

*Another great tip – you don’t have to leave this upright! You can turn it side ways or even upside down! You can also use the top of it as a shelf to keep perfumes or face creams or whatever else you can think of!

What ideas do you have for this jewelry organizer? What other things could you use it for?