Monthly Archives: August 2013

How To Organize Your Pantry Part 3 – Dealing With Spice Packets

How To Organize Your Pantry Part 3 – Dealing With Spice Packets

So far we’ve addressed the spices and the bread items in your pantry. Now it’s time for those little packets of sauces, gravies, and seasoning mixes.

I’ve tried several ways to organize these little guys in the past – alphabetizing them by name in a little container, organizing them by type, and just simply throwing them in a little basket. Unfortunately when I went to grab one the other day I realized over half of them were expired. I always forget what I have and end up buying more than I need (I had 6 taco seasoning packets in there!).

Then I came up with this little idea. Why not use little binder clips just like I did for the magazines! Super simple! I nailed a few holes in the wall in my pantry (you can even use the 3m hooks if you want to attach them to the inside of your cabinet doors with out making any holes). Then I simply attached the binder clip to my little packets (keeping gravies together on one clip, taco packets on another, etc) and hung the clip on the nail. Ta-da! All done! It’s organized, out of the way (this is a good use of wasted space), and still right where I can see them!

Spice packets hung up with binder clips

Stripes in the Living Room

Stripes in the Living Room

I love stripes. I made wavy ones in my daughter’s room to match a room we saw at the Paradise Pier in Disneyland. I made stripes along the soffit in my kitchen to pull all the colors in my kitchen together. But my favorite stripes so far are the ones in my living room.

I have a large living room that is all white. It was one of the few rooms I hadn’t painted yet. I wanted to paint it, I just didn’t know what color I wanted it to be. I kept buying those little sample containers of paint at Home Depot and Lowes so I could try out several colors. One day I walked by the wall with all my paint samples on it and decided I liked all the colors!

Living room before stripes

I decided to make stripes on just one wall. I would start with the lightest color and work my way down to darker colors. After four stripes I thought the wall reminded me of something…but what? I stepped back and took a good look at my work. Then it hit me – I had just painted one of those paint sample cards!

Looks like a paint sample card!

I almost stopped right there but I decided to continue on and finish the project. After it was finished I would repaint it if I didn’t like it. But it turns out I love it! It’s bright and fun! It’s just what the room needed!

Unfortunately once I re-do something in a room it makes other things look bad. My brown couch looked terrible against the bright orange and yellow wall. I had to change it. Since buying a new couch is out of the question right now I had to work with what I had. I bought fabric at Hobby Lobby and make pillow cases for the pillows all along the back of the couch. I decided on pillow cases instead of completely sewing the pillows in their new cases so I could remove them easily if they needed to be washed. I just tuck the extra fabric behind the pillow. I bought teal blankets at Target and tucked them into the couch.

Making the stripes

Once that was done, the fireplace looked a little sad. I painted that a teal color that is similar to the couch. My 11 year old daughter made the cute painting above the fire place. Click here to see how she did it. My once blah, white living room is now bright and lively. Every time someone walks in the front door they see it and want to come in further to get a better look.

Paints I used from top to bottom:
Peach Tickle – Valspar
Butterscotch Cream – Valspar
Juicy Cantaloupe – Behr
Dragon Fire – Behr
Volcanic Blast – Behr
Fairmont Suite Clay – Valspar

Fire place – La Fonda Turquoise – Velspar

Turn Old T-Shirts Into Purses Or Bags

Turn Old T-Shirts Into Purses Or Bags

Old Camp T-Shirt

My daughter went to camp last year and had a blast. She came home with a camp t-shirt signed by all of her camp buddies. She hasn’t worn that shirt since but it’s been hanging in her closet.

It was time to go to camp again this summer and as she was packing she realized she didn’t have a bag to put her flip flops, beach towel and swim suit in. I immediately thought of that old camp t-shirt. I remembered something I had seen several weeks ago about turning a t-shirt into a bag or purse. Of course I couldn’t find it online when I needed it but figured it couldn’t be that hard.

First I got her permission to do this project (very important first step). Then I put the shirt inside out and sewed up the bottom with my sewing machine. I’m terrible at sewing but I could handle this simple step.

Sleeves and Collar Cut Off

Next I put the shirt right side out and cut off the sleeves and the collar. Viola – finished project in less than 10 minutes.

How cute is she with her new bag?!

Finished Product!

Fun Way To Organize Markers And Colored Pencils

Fun Way To Organize Markers And Colored Pencils

Finished Product

I have so many markers and colored pencils lying around here. Because I enjoying drawing (and coloring) I’ve always tried to keep some kind of coloring agent in each room of the house in case inspiration strikes.

I decided I wanted to have a little “art center” area near the living room. I have a table in there all ready but I didn’t want to crowd the table with art supplies. My solution was a pencil/marker organizer using a strip of wood and empty Pepsi Bottles.

Empty Pepsi Bottles

I started with a strip of wood I bought from Hobby Lobby. They had several lengths and widths to chose from. I went with the one I thought would best fit my space. I painted it a turquoise color.

Painting The Wood Strip

Then I removed the labels from the Pepsi bottles. I cut out strips of colored paper (green paper for the green markers and pencils, etc) and covered each one with clear contact paper. Then I glued each one onto a bottle. I covered two bottles with patterned paper. These would be used for regular pencils and pens.

Once the paper was on each bottle I stuck a piece of Velcro on the back of each one. I also put one long strip of Velcro down the entire length of my painted wooden board. This is how my bottles would be attached to the board. This makes it easy for the kids to remove a bottle if they need to and easily return it to it’s place on the board.

Covered Bottles With Velcro Box

This can simply be nailed to the wall with a nail at each end. Now I have a great place, that’s off of the table, to store pens, pencils and markers!

Finished Product

Inexpensive Fix For Ugly Kitchen Tiles

Inexpensive Fix For Ugly Kitchen Tiles

Back Splash-Before

I have a tiled counter top and tiled back splash in my kitchen and I really don’t like it. It’s so plain and…well, ugly. I would love to rip it all out and do something totally different but I don’t have the time or funds right now to take on a project like that. Instead I did…are you ready for this…Mod Podge!

Yep, with some beautiful paper and some Mod Podge, I completely changed the way the kitchen looks. Here’s how I did it:

My tiles are 4×4 inch tiles. I bought some beautiful different patterned papers at Michael’s (It came in a pack called Fabulous Girl). I cut the papers into 3 1/2 inch squares because I liked having a white border around each paper instead of covering the entire tile. I wanted to test out my pattern so I used poster putty to attach the papers to the tiles. That way I could get an idea of what the finished product would look like before I made it permanent.

Once I decided on the pattern, I began the Mod Podging. I used a small brush and put a thin layer or Mod Podge on the tile, then carefully centered the paper and pressed it on. Normally when I use Mod Podge I put another layer on immediately but I found that when I did this to the tile it bubbled a little. If I waited a little while (until the underneath layer was dry) and added a top layer of Mod Podge it didn’t seem to bubble.

Back Splash-After

I added several layers of Mod Podge (waiting for each coat to dry before I added another one). Once it was dry for at least 12 hours I added a clear latex paint to help seal it and take away the tackiness. I waited a few hours until that dried and added one more layer for good measure. This also helps ensure that when I wipe down the tiles my cleaners won’t eat through the Mod Podge and damage the paper.

Back Splash-After (Close Up)

This entire project was very inexpensive. I used 6 sheets of paper to do the tiles above my stove. I used 2 sheets to do the back splash on the other side of the kitchen. The sealer cost me $10 at Home Depot and I only used a small portion of it.

Of course I enjoyed the process so much I couldn’t stop there. Click here to see what I did to the kitchen cabinet door knobs!

Redoing Cabinet Knobs with Mod Podge

Redoing Cabinet Knobs with Mod Podge

Isn't he cute!

Mod-Podge is so much fun! I just finished a project using Mod-Podge and paper to jazz up a tile back splash. Click here to see that project! The problem is, once I get started using that stuff I can’t stop!

I had 40 plain, white cabinet knobs in the my kitchen that were just BEGGING for some color. I bought a package of green tissue paper from Walmart for 92 cents. I did ALL 40 knobs and didn’t even use half of the package of tissue paper! Can you believe that?!? It’s true! This has to be the cheapest project I’ve ever done.

First I made sure all the knobs were clean and dry. Then I cut out a 3 1/2 inch square of tissue paper. I brushed the Mod-Podge on the knob and stuck the paper on immediately. Then I smoothed the paper over the top of the knob and carefully folded it around the base of the knob. Once the paper was on I added a layer of Mod-Podge to the base of the knob only. That way the knob could sit on a paper plate upside down and dry without it sticking to the plate. Once I finished with all 40 of them, I turned them over and painted the tops of them with Mod Podge.

Drying cabinet knobs

Because these knobs will be handled often I put several layers of Mod-Podge on the base and top of each knob. I probably put 7 or 8 coats on each one. About half way through this process I looked at my beautiful green door knobs and thought to myself “Self, they are cute the way they are…but they need a little somethin’ to jazz them up”. So I ran out to Hobby Lobby and bought some small stickers. I put the stickers on each knob, making sure to push out any air bubbles and immediately adding a layer of Mod Podge to each one. After each one had a sticker they got several more coats of that magical glue/sealant. If you’re going to use stickers make sure the knob all ready has a few coats of Mod Podge. When the tissue paper is glossy you can reposition the sticker if you have to. If you put it directly on the tissue paper, without make it glossy first, that sticker isn’t going anywhere. If you try to remove the sticker, you’ll tear the paper. When I was satisfied with them I added a layer of clear latex paint just to be on the safe side.

Adding the stickers

Finished cabinet knobs with flowers and owls

I let them dry for 24 hours and then put them back on the cabinet doors.

I’m so happy with how easy and super cheap this was. The stickers were 50% off so it only cost me $2 for the owls and flowers. Aren’t those little owls cute!!

Simple Dog Painting

Simple Dog Painting

Dog Painting

My sweet daughter is a perfectionist. She used to love art but as she has gotten older she has come to almost despise it. She can picture what she wants to do, but her skill level hasn’t caught up to her imagination yet (I believe it will with practice). When I mention that her and I should do an art project together you would think I just asked her to clean the garage. I don’t mind if my kids don’t like the same things I do, but I don’t like the reason that she hates art – that it’s too hard. Art doesn’t have to be hard!

I came up with this simple little art project that is fool-proof. It looks amazing and requires no skill what so ever. She did it and was very proud of the end results. With simple little projects like this she is starting to enjoy art again.

Here’s what we did. I purchased a canvas (the kind with the wooden frame, these are easy to hang) at Hobby Lobby (half off of course). We looked on Print Shop and found a simple profile of a dog. We made it the size we wanted and printed it out.

Dog Print Out From Print Shop

Once it was printed, she cut the dog out and, using double sided tape, attached it to the canvas. Then she chose the paint colors she wanted to use. Even though you can’t really tell from this picture, she used orange, yellow and cream colored acrylic paints. Simply paint the entire canvas (don’t forget the sides). You don’t have to use more than one color. When you’re painting the canvas, lightly push down on the paper as you paint close to it so you don’t accidentally get paint where you don’t want it. Once you have the whole thing painted, remove the paper. You should have a white image of whatever you printed out. I went through with some white paint and a small paint brush and cleaned up any little spots where the orange paint seeped under the paper.

Here is the finished project above the fireplace.

Dog painting in living room

I love art projects that are super easy, super cheap, and super cute! And thankfully, now my daughter does too!

Liven Up The Living Room With Color

Liven Up The Living Room With Color

Living room before stripes

White – Every thing in this house was white when I first moved in. It has taken me a year but I’m down to two white rooms, and with any luck, they won’t be white by the end of the month.

I love color…and I love to paint. One of my sisters jokes with me that it isn’t so much that I love painting as much as it is that I’m addicted to the fumes and couldn’t stop painting if I wanted to. Another sister jokes that every year I actually lose square footage in my home because of all the layers of paint on the walls. She may be right – I’ve painted my kitchen three times since October (3 colors in 10 months).

I decided to add stripes to this room to make one of the walls really stand out. After I finish a project with stripes I always tell myself I’ll never do stripes again. But, I’m a sucker for stripes. I love them. They are really not that hard to do. It just takes time, some good painters tape, and a level.

Making the stripes

Now look how bright and colorful this room is! I love the stripes and the turquoise around he fireplace. I love the pillows (which are actually just simple pillow cases I made for the pillows that came with the couch). Instead of buying a whole new couch I bought micro-fiber blankets to cover the micro-fiber cushions. Both the pillow cases and the blankets can easily be removed at the end of the week for a good washing.

Living room after

I love when people come over to my house and see all the colors – their eyes light up and they want to walk right on in. This room makes me happy and I love that it makes other people happy too.

P.S. See that adorable dog painting above the fireplace? My 11 year old did that! Click here to see how it’s done and make one for yourself!