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Christmas Storage – Easy DIY Methods

2 Jan
We all know how excited I was to put up our Christmas decorations. In fact, I was pretty sneaky about getting it up early. But, now I’m getting excited about organizing the way I store all of our holiday decor. What a conundrum!
Once again, it was pinterest to the rescue with some great, simple, and cheap organization ideas, the number one being storing your ornaments in plastic cups that have been glued to cardboard. This makes sense for a multitude of reasons, the best being that they won’t be rolling around, hitting eachother in storage, if you keep the hooks on, they won’t get tangled up, and you can remove the whole board they’re attached to for easy decorating, rather than going back and forth with a few ornaments at a time. So here is a peek at my Christmas storage:

As you can see, I just hot glued the shorter plastic cups to layers of cardboard that fit the storage container. I purchased these particular containers from Wal-Mart about two years ago. They are made up of a strong fabric, so they weren’t doing much to protect my ornaments from damage. And even though these ornaments or the “shatter-proof” kind, I still want to keep them in good shape. The cups provide each ornament with a cozy space that keeps them ding free. On the top layer, I also added a separate cup for ornament hooks. This way they are always by the ornaments and easy access.

Here’s a peek at the layers. With three stacks, it holds 50 ornaments, which is my entire collection of these silver, gold, and glittery ball ornaments.

For my more special and breakable ornaments, I purchased a storage container with a hard, plastic shell. Each ornament still has its own space and is protected from damage.

For the rest of my Chrismas decor, like the tree skirt and topper, I used another red, fabric storage bin. To give my decorations some more protection, I fashioned a foam core insert to create a hard shell. I just cut it to size and hot-glued the frame together. Easy peasy! It zips right up and all of my other decorations are in one easy spot.

So, there you have it. A rundown of my holiday storage plus some super easy (and inexpensive) tips to retrofit your current storage for more protection.

Do you get excited about organizing holiday storage? Just me? Bueller? Do you have any other tips or tricks for easy storage?? Share below!

Our Christmas Tree + DIY Ruffled Tree Skirt

28 Nov

I’ll admit, I put up our Christmas decorations in a very sneaky fashion. Josh said I couldn’t put up any Christmas related decor until after Thanksgiving (something like “one holiday at a time” or whatever). So, on Wednesday I started messing around with a winter mantle (nothing overtly Christmas-y), then, on Thursday, I put up our stockings. But it wasn’t until I had our Christmas tree out of the box that Josh even noticed I was being so sneaky. Yes, I’m good.

I just get so excited about Christmas. Mostly because I bought the majority of our decorations on super sale after last Christmas. I’ve waited a whole year to put up our new stuff. So, here are some beautiful, glowy pictures of our Christmas Tree!

Another, reason I’m so excited about this year’s tree is because our old tree was about 2 feet tall and it held about 5 ornaments before it started looking weird. But we’re moving up… to a 4.5 foot tall pre-lit awesome tree. Love!

As far as ornaments go, I’ve got a pretty nice system going on. Josh and I have a small (but growing) collection of meaningful ornaments, that include an ornament from the second Christmas we were dating (2007), an ornament from our first married Christmas together (2010), and this year I added an adorable and inexpensive Texas cookie-cutter fashioned into a Christmas ornament.

All other ornaments are simple ball ornaments that were left over from our wedding. They are all silver and gold and really let our special ornaments stand out. For garland, I used some leftover fabric strips from our Christmas skirt. Simple and still inexpensive.

Our tree skirt is one of the holiday items I’m most proud of. I found this great tutorial here on Pinterest. In the past, I’ve always favored bright and colorful Christmas decor, but this year I really got into neutral and metallic decoration, so this tree skirt immediately drew my attention. Plus, it’s a no-sew project. Basically, just strips of fabric hot glued to a tree skirt. It took me a few hours to complete and the burned fingers were totally worth it! Take a peek.

So, there you have it. There are a lot more Christmas posts to come including gift wrapping, our winter mantle, and a super easy tutorial on temporarily changing up those cone trees that are so popular now. Stay tuned!

Do you have your Christmas decorations up yet? Or are you waiting for December? Do you go with a theme or color scheme for decor? I’d love to know! And also, I’m on Pinterest!

DIY Holiday Wreath – Inspired by Pinterest

8 Nov

So, I finally joined the Pinterest train, and I am in love! It is so much fun. There is so much inspiration for DIY projects, crafts, parties, and home design. Seriously, it’s heaven.

But, like many bloggers, I don’t want to pin stuff and never actually create anything. So I set out to create a few of my favorites and first up, I made a holiday wreath. Usually, I’m not really really a fan of traditional fall decor. My home design preferences are usually brighter and color colors like blue and greens and the warm tones of fall doesn’t really fit, in my opinion. But these two wreaths below, I love!


From Here


From Here

I love the berries and deep reds of the first wreath and, of course, the flower rosettes of the second. So here’s my combination.

I picked up an inexpensive wreath from Wal-Mart and some clearance fabric scraps from Hobby Lobby to make fabric rosettes. A few episodes of “The Office” later, I had enough to cover about half of the wreath and start hot gluing them on. The berries were already owned from last Christmas so I threaded them in. I also used a left over shred to make a rustic bow for the top.

I used some left over cream ribbon to hang the wreath on an upside down 3M hook. Removable and I already had it in the house! (I also learned this trick on Pinterest!)

I think I’ve found my ideal fall decor. Deep wine reds with neutrals tied in. Gorgeous! And not only does this wreath look great for fall, but it could also easily transition into a Christmas wreath with a few tweaks like more metallic accents and a bunting message like in the second inspiration picture. I love it!

All together, I spent about $8.00 total. Yes! Tutorials for both inspriation pictures can be found in their links. Check back later this week for some more Pinterest inspired craft projects!

Ten Dollars of Goodwill-y Goodness!

26 Aug

A Goodwill trip always starts with the need to make a donation. I pile the stuff into our car, pull into the drive-thru drop off, and make sure to get a receipt for our taxes. Then as I’m rounding the building, I always decide to just stop in and see if there’s anything worthwhile. Most of the time… there is. Now that I’m learning more about repurposing and upcycling, I try to see the potential in the items that clutter the shelves. Here’s what I got on my last trip:


1. Picture frame/bulletin board combo. It’s headed to the kitchen in combination with a new family calendar (that’s on its way).*

2. Loofas. Yes, loofas. I bought loofas from Goodwill. Here’s how I justified it: they were pre-packaged (not used!) and they were cheaper than those at the grocery store. Why the heck not?

3. Silver hoops. I’ve never really been a huge fan of hoop earrings, but I saw these and decided to give them a try. At just $1.99, they were the perfect trial pair.

4. I love this wooden jewelry box. I have a lot of jewelry and no real good storage solution for it. This box is like having 4-in-1. It folds back up into one tower and you can pull out whichever drawer you need. It’s in need of a good scrub and I’m thinking about jazzing it up a little, somehow. And at just $2.99, it was a bargain!


5. And lastly, I picked up these fun, jazzy silhouettes. Once they’re cleaned up (and maybe painted different colors) they would look so great in the office. The office is a completely different vibe from the rest of the apartment. It’s much more relaxed with apple green walls and fun art. It really that room’s personality and I only paid $1.75 for the set. Once these go up, I’ll be sure to give post a photo tour of our work space.

*And I just noticed they didn’t charge me for the frame! It was originally priced at $3.55 but it’s not on my receipt. By my calculations, the massive donation clothing and electronics I donated today, should cover the frame.

In total, I was charged $10.05 for everything! What a good deal. I’m excited to get these things cleaned up and in place around the apartment. Updates to come on their landing!

Do you love to recycle and repurpose second hand items? Any good finds lately? Link up and share you projects below!

Room Love: pretty & rustic, DIY dining room

19 Aug

Room Love: I save so many photos from the interwebs of gorgeous houses and rooms and I want to share some of my favorites.



Image from here via Young House Love

There is a lot I love about this space! Of course the openness, which I have been craving lately (as seen here) but also the mixture of finishes and textures. I used to hate mismatched everything; furniture, towels, silverware, you name it. It would bug me that things didn’t go together. But, as of late, I have really been getting into mixing styles and finishes. It can look amazing if done right!

Here, you’ve got refinished chairs, an awesome round seat, and even untreated wood in the light fixture but it gels like the room was made that way. This should be inspiration to get those cool mismatched chairs from the flea market, spruce them up with a new fabric and coat of paint, and use them at the dining table. Mix natural elements like natural fiber baskets, a table runner, or (if you’re lucky enough to find one) a round bench to liven up a room with a almost entirely neutral color scheme.

And, of course, the coup de gras, is the killer chandelier. Save those recycled wine bottles and create something totally unique. You can easily find bottle cutters on Amazon. Save the tops for a light fixture and bottoms for storage vessels or vases. I bet pillar candles lit up in the evening would make that light fixture look gorgeous!

What do you think? Do you stick with one finish/texture? Or do you mix it up like above? What DIY projects complete your home? Please share!!

Fireplaces in the Off Season

19 Jul

When it’s about a-billion degrees outside (like it is in Texas), our fireplace is the last thing on my mind. But lately, I’ve been making some improvements to our apartment (lots of posts coming soon!) and I wanted to improve the look of our hearth.

Last winter, we didn’t have a chance to buy a screen or even use our fireplace so it’s been bare since we moved in. And, go figure, they don’t sell that kind of stuff in the summer wit the aforementioned “billion-degree weather”. So, I searched out some alternatives to make our fireplace less of a black hole. Here are some of the ideas I love and the one I chose.


image

I love the look of this fireplace in general. It’s light and cheery, which is the opposite of what I envision when I think fire. Love it! Get this look easily with some vases in complimentary colors to your room decor and fill with faux blooms to keep your display looking good all through the warm months.


image

I love this idea! Especially for a room that isn’t full of wood tones and natural wood furniture. Here, it really brings warmth to the crisp white walls and fireplace. It’s not exactly functional if you’d like to use your fireplace, but if you aren’t really a fan of the flames or have a non-working hearth, then this would be a beautiful option!
I kept it simple with some pillar candles and a mirror. It keeps option of soft light and looks good when it’s not lit. The mirror also helps brighten up the black hole that was our fireplace.

Have you used any of these techniques? Or any other fun ideas? I wanna know!

PDA: Pretty Displays of Affection

4 Nov

Since our wedding pictures turned out so beautifully, I wanted a really fun way to display them. See what has now been deemed as “the wedding wall”.

This project was fairly budget friendly as most of the frames came from the dollar store. I picked up a can of black spray paint from Wal-Mart to give them all the same finish. In addition to pictures, I opted to display some of our wedding cards and our marriage covenant (it’s our vows written out and we signed it during our ceremony). I even painted the light switch plate black so there wasn’t a void space in the frame pattern


See my blog header in here?


Adorable card from our good friend, Ashley.


One of my favorite cards, from my sister and Maid of Honor.
She picked this up in England while she was interning at Oxford.

The black and white pattern the frames make match the curtains in the living room and our new black bar wall. Plus, it filled the void of that blank wall. It took a while to complete this project, with school and work being so busy, but now that it’s done I love it!