All posts in recycle & repurpose

Make This: DIY Bulletin Boards

Happy Tuesday everyone! We’re back from a nice long three-day weekend with a fun and colorful tutorial! I’ve been working to finish up our boring beige guest bathroom this week, and these DIY bulletin boards are a perfect fun accessory to what I’m deeming “the girliest space in our apartment.”

This project was pretty quick and the best part is, it’s totally customizable. You could make a bulletin board in practically any shape or color with this method!

custom-painted-bulletin-boards-promoFor this project you’ll need some cork material. I picked up a roll for a few dollars at Hobby Lobby. It’ll be thinner than a traditional bulletin board, but that makes it easy to cut and attach to your wall. You’ll also need a stencil or painter’s tape, a marker, craft paint in whichever colors you desire, and a few foam brushes. I recommend foam because it spreads the paint a lot easier than traditional paint brushes.

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First up, trace your stencil and cut out your cork board. I went the easy route here with four medium size squares but you could go with anything. I think a honeycomb shape or even clouds could be really fun!

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For my project, I wanted some of the natural cork to show, so I used painter’s tape to seal off the edges. Painter’s tape can be a little tricky to adhere to the cork so take your time and smooth it down. Also, foam brushes will help you to keep crisp lines by dragging the brush over the tape to the center of your cork shape. custom-painted-bulletin-boards-process

Next, paint, remove your stencil and let dry. With the cork that comes in a roll, you’ll probably get a curve in your boards. Once the paint on mine dried completely, I set my coffee table tray on top of them to flatten them out.   custom-painted-bulletin-boards-tutorial-33All that’s left to do is hang! I just used some clear thumbtacks we already had. For a geometric pattern like this, definitely break out the level to keep your design straight and evenly spaced. Since we’re just using thumbtacks, they are easy to reposition, but if you don’t have to, it’s even better, right?

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Step back and enjoy! I’m planning on using mine for little quirky quotes and maybe some style inspiration. And, in case you’re wondering, yes that little scrap of paper says “I blogged your Mama! And I tweeted your sister.” I found that little gum package at a candy store and could not resist buying it just for the quote. I don’t even like cinnamon gum, but I had to have it!

Make sure to come back tomorrow for the reveal of our guest bathroom makeover! I promise more girly stuff!

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Huckleberry Love

make this: diy floating frame

This past weekend, I started brainstorming some fun art ideas for our blah-beige guest bathroom and then I remembered “Oh, hey! You’ve got two pretty gold thrift store frames that have been abandoned in a pile of clutter! Why not just use those for something?”  And, to that I answered myself (silently, so as not to freak out Josh) with a resounding “Duh!”. I scored these two gilded frames from a craft supplies reuse store in Denton a few weeks ago called Scrap. It’s like Goodwill for craft supplies and it totally rules!

When I looked at the frame sizes I knew exactly what I wanted to put in them. I’m one of those people who keeps pretty packaging from stuff I buy and I have had these ban.do and Kate Spade cards hanging on my office cork board for months. They are so cute I just couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, so why not turn them into art?

Anyways, this tutorial came from wanting to use this ban.do postcard so badly, but the frame being slightly too big. More internal conversation finally led me to this: Turn it into a Floating Frame!

diy-floating-frame-tutorial-promoWe actually have a few floating frames but they can be a little pricey because they usually come with two panes of glass. But this easy method can turn almost any frame into a floating frame.

So, here we go.

clean-up-thrift-shop-framesRubbing alcohol is a great cleaner for thrift store finds because it disinfects AND removes sticky, gunky stuff that always seems to be on my thrift purchases.

diy-floating-frame-tutorial-comboMake sure that you are thorough with your hot gluing. You want to make sure the glass is as secure in there as possible because there will not be anything to support it in the back. If it gets a little messy, you can take an exacto knife and carefully slice away the excess glue so you don’t see anything from the front.

diy-floating-frame-tutorial-2Then just center and secure your art with a tiny line of invisible tape. I taped at the top and bottom for extra strength.

You can see here that I also used a little washi tape to make the postcard pop against our beige (and un-paintable) walls. Surprisingly, this was my first ever project using washi tape. I know, how late am I right? No surprise though, I love it!

diy-floating-frame-tutorial-3Then all you’ve got to do is hang and enjoy! I used to tiny gold nails in the upper corners to hang from the wall. They practically blend in with the frame.

Here come my two favorite project descriptions: Easy and basically free!! Seriously, you just can’t beat that!!

And, this is just one of the many colorful art pieces that are going up on the wall in our guest bathroom. You are going to love it so stay around to see the final result!

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The DIY Dreamer

make this: recycled patio party wall

Are you ready to party on your patio?? Because, after this project, I know I am! It’s finally time to debut the outdoor project that has been on my to do list for almost a year. You saw a little sneak peek of it in this patio progress post, but today, I’m finally unveiling the 100% upcycled (and basically free) Patio Party Wall!

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This project idea spurred from my unwillingness to let the extra plywood scraps I paid for go to waste after we wrapped up our DIY Upholstered Headboard project. When I had the guy at Lowes cut our headboard to size, I piled the extra pieces in my car without a plan, but I knew I’d think of something. When we kicked off this summer with our patio desperately screaming for decoration, so I put two and two together and concocted a fun patio party wall.

To start off this project, I filled in major cracks and wholes with a wood putty and painted the whole sheet with the white paint left over from when we moved out of our previous apartment. The next step was adding a pretty pattern. I found this painted wallpaper tutorial and stencil from Jones Design Company a long time ago and I have been waiting to bust it out for something and this ended up being perfect.

The pretty emerald green paint was a sample I received as part of a goodie bag from my Texas Bloggers Meetup in June and, paired with the pattern, that humble piece of plywood transformed into a crisp, clean beacon of prettiness on my otherwise empty patio.  And, if you’re wondering, the stenciling did not actually take too long. I can’t give you an exact time, but I’ll say it was about “two full Justin Timberlake albums worth” of stenciling and painting.

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Once the actual board was dry, it was time to add the little ‘lanterns’ to hold pretty things. Sticking with the free theme, I just used tin cans! One week of saving up six good cans and sending them on de-gunking trip through the dishwasher and they were ready for the next step.

I wanted to poke holes in the cans, for a few reasons. One, I needed a way to hang the cans, so two holes towards the top were necessary. Two, I also wanted one hole in the bottom of the can to allow for drainage in case it rains hard (which it will, eventually). And three, I thought it would be neat to have holes all around the middle and maybe use them for lanterns with some LED candles I have. They wouldn’t emit much light but the effect would be pretty.

In order to make hammering a nail through the can easier, I filled them up with water and set them in the freezer for about two days. This way they wouldn’t cave in when the nail went through. If you replicate this project, please be aware, the frozen cans get slippery fast (especially in the summer heat), so be extremely careful when making your holes. I kept a towel underneath the cans for extra traction.

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After all the holes were in, the ice had drained out, and the cans were dry, I brought them in to paint. At first, I attempted gold spray paint, but it never got a solid enough coat to get the effect I was going for. So, then I decided on chalkboard paint (also a freebie!) and this turned out to be a brilliant idea. Three thin coats and two days drying time was all it took for these cans to be outdoor ready. To hang them I used bakers twine and nails hammered directly into the plywood at even intervals.

And now, the finished product:

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I used a chalk marker to write cute little labels on the cans and that can easily be wiped away with a little water. The hanging cans are perfect for small party accoutrements like utensils and napkins or you could fill them with pretty flowers or candles.

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I can easily stow the cans away during the winter or in bad weather. Heck, I can probably just store the whole thing away in our outdoor closet if I needed too. But right now, I’m loving it. Finally this patio’s got a little something going on, right??

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And since I used only things I had on hand, this project cost me ZERO DOLLARS! Score!! This might be my favorite project yet! All that’s left on the patio to-do list is to find a cute little outdoor table so we can set down plates and drinks and then we’ll be in business!

Tell me about projects you’ve done for ZERO DOLLARS!! Link them below!

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Create & Inspire
Tatertots & Jello
Serenity Now
If It’s Not Baroque
The DIY Dreamer

poor, poor patio

Oh yes, we’re about to open a can of truth… Remember our cute little patio? The one we fixed up just last fall? Well, it has taken some serious abuse this year:

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With projects, work, and the ever rising temperature, we go out here less and less. But now it’s summer again and I find myself wishing our patio was more well kept. I mean, it’s not a huge space, but it does have the potential to be a cute little hangout. And I got those cute chairs on clearance dangit, so we need to get out there and enjoy them!

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I’ve dreamt up a few neat projects for the patio (including something with that spare piece of plywood leftover from our upholstered headboard project), but I thought I’d go ahead and share these before pictures. Even if it’s just to shame myself into not letting this level of disrepair come over any part of our space again?!

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It’s basically a ghost-town patio!! Desolate pots with just soil left over from my last plant murder, webs all over our once cute planter-turned table (don’t even ask me how that thing got broken either, because I have no clue), and our once organized outdoor closet?? Don’t even get me started!

poor-patio-before-comboSo, let’s have a fresh start! Here’s what’s on the agenda:

  • Clear out, sweep out, and reorganize the outdoor closet
  • Empty out and stow away the planter… it’s already to hot to murder another plant this year…
  • Replace the planter side table. (Once there’s been spider webs on anything, it’s out!)
  • Create some outdoor art/mood lighting out of the extra plywood scrap
  • Cook a fun dinner to serve al fresco

As always, I’m hoping to spend as little money as possible. We’re in super-saving mode so it’s totally worth the extra challenge. Get excited, Patio! You’re days of being embarrassingly messy are numbered!

What’s your outdoor situation like? Patio? Yard? And where does it rank of your tidy priority list?

make this | moving supplies art

You know those artist’s who can take, literally, anything, throw it together and call it art? Well I kind of feel like that with this project. When we moved to Dallas, I used these giant styrofoam pieces to put in between our frames during transit and they worked so well that I wanted to keep them until we moved again. Which would be at least two years in the future…. Sooo, what to do with them until then? moving-supplies-art-promo

Well, why not turn them into art for our long boring hallway? GENIUS! moving-supplies-art-1

This project was super easy and pretty fast. All I used was scissors, fabric that I already had on hand, and painters tape.

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Just cut fabric to the size of the styrofoam, use painter’s tape to secure, and voila.

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I hung them up using straight pins and string but you could probably also keep them up with the 3M velcro tabs or more duck tape.

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To add a little extra, I put a square piece of scrapbook paper into the middle, secured with tiny straight pins. I think, down the road I might add a photo in the middle and use the scrapbook paper as a matte, but for now, these three “canvases” spruce up our hallway quite nicely.

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When it’s time to move, I can unwrap the fabric and use them again! Plus, by only using painter’s tape and pins to put them together, the fabric is also 100% reusable and undamaged. Win!

What’s something weird that you’ve made art out of?