Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DIY Furniture Redos

Over the last few years I've been transforming furniture pieces to fit our home. I thought it would be nice to take a look back and share some of my transformations with all of you. I had a great time fixing these pieces up. In the next few weeks I will have a couple more pieces to share with you, to add to this list.

 Sports Bar

Outdoor Chair Redo

 Updated Side Cabinet

 Updated Night Stands

 Padded Headboard

 Outdoor Toy Chest

Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Outdoor Projects

I thought since it is summer now, I would round up some of my outdoor projects of the past. I had fun creating each and everyone of these and have enjoyed using them still today. Hope these inspire you to create fun projects for your backyard.

Revamped Patio Chairs
 Revamped Patio Chairs

DIY Outdoor Curtains
 Outdoor Curtains

Over Sized Beach Blanket
 Beach Blanket

Outdoor Toy Chest
 Toy Chest

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Light Box

I have been looking for a way to step up my product photography for my Etsy shop. I searched Pinterest for tips and found lots of tutorials for DIY light boxes. I found one that I thought would be relatively easy to make and not take too much time. It comes from Flax & Twine, it takes a ordinary cardboard box and turns it into a light box.


  • Cardboard Box (The bigger the box, the big the item you can photograph)
  • White Tissue Paper
  • Tape
  • E-xacto Knife
  • White Poster Board

For the full tutorial check out Flax & Twine: DIY Photo Light Box.

Here is how mine turned out and a photo that I took using my new light box. I am really happy with how the light box works and how my pictures are turning out. Note: I do still have to brighten the photos in Photoshop to get the desired effect.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Princess of Rock Costume

So in our town on 4th of July they hold a Horribles Parade. This is a children's parade, they dress up in either Original, Historical or Current Events costumes and walk or ride in a short parade. There are judges and all the kids get a goodie bag at the end of the parade.

Some of you may remember seeing my post last year when my daughter was Cinderella, if you check it out here: Cinderella Costume with Coach. This year my daughter went as the Princess of Rock.

This was a really fun costume to put together and relatively cheap and easy as well. I started out by cutting up a box to use as the signs on either side of her wagon. Then I took a empty copy paper box and fitted it to the wagon to use as stages for her band mates (stuffed animals). Next I spray painted the cardboard black and used a stencil I had made to spray paint the Princess of Rock in gold. Then I added glitter to give it a final touch.

Once all that was dry, I outfitted her band mates with items from her dress up clothes. Next came the tricky part, attaching everything to the wagon. I ended up with a complex system of wire, dowels and duct tape to hold the whole thing up. Basically I (with help from my Mom) attached dowels through the cardboard boxes to the stuffed animals with wire and covered the wire with duct tape to make it more secure. We also attached the dowels to the wagon with duct tape, none of this you should be able to see when finished.

For my daughters outfit and drum, I used items that she had in her dress up clothes and an old drum and cymbal that my Dad had from back in the day when he led an all girl/boy scout marching band. My daughter was really excited about this costume.

On the day of the parade my husband outfitted her float with a speaker that played rock music. And I have to say Walter was perfect as the lead singer, the microphone was from my daughters keyboard. This costume could easily be adapted for a boy making it the Prince of Rock.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rocking Chair Arm Pads

When my 1st daughter was born my parents gave us a beautiful and comfy rocking chair for all those late nights with a newborn. The chair worked great, the only problem was that the arms are wooden so we always had to put something there, a pillow usually, to keep my daughter from hitting her head on the arm. So, before daughter number 2 was born my Mom and I came up with pads for the arms so we would not have the same problem as before.

This project took us a total of one hour and costs us nothing but our time, I had all the materials to create it already.

  • Heavy weight material
  • Stuffing or quilt batting
  • Ribbon
  • Sewing Machine (or sew by hand) - Sewing Machines

Here is what we did:
  1. Measured the chair arms
  2. Cut 2 pieces of fabric a little bigger than the arms of the chair. 
  3. Sewed in the ribbon that ties the pad to the arm of the chair.
  4. Sewed the fabric, leaving one end open.
  5. Stuffed the fabric with the batting.
  6. Fitted the pad to the chair and sewed a cuff in the front to cover the front of the arms.
  7. Sewed the end of the pad shut.
  8. Tied the pad onto the arm of the chair.
This solution has worked really well, no more fiddling with pillows when trying to get a newborn to sleep.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Muppet Themed Birthday Party

This year my daughter wanted a Muppet themed birthday party, this was easier said than done. Even though the Muppets have made a return, back from the 80s, there really isn't any Muppet birthday themed merchandise. At the time of my daughters birthday I was on bed-rest so I enlisted my Mom to help me out creating Muppet themed decor.

We started out by buying some rainbow and green napkins, table clothes and Happy Birthday sign from The Party Store. Searched Pinterest for DIY ideas and did not come up with much, I guess it was all up to me. I found some free coloring pages and enlarged them on my scanner/printer. We, including my daughter, colored these pages and cut them out to use on the wall. We also used my daughters' Muppet stuffed animals to hold the balloons.

For the cake I found a great tutorial for creating  kids characters on cakes at Brass Tacks and Basics . I used this tutorial to create Kermit and Piggy on the cake. I tried to create the lettering with this technique but it did not work, I am not good at righting with icing. My daughter had a great time at her birthday party.

Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Home Decor: Where You've Been Maps

I've had this project on my to do list for at least a year and it always seemed to get pushed back due to other more pressing projects. I love the idea of visually seeing where you have been in America and Europe, while at the same time inspiring you to travel even more.

"Where you've been maps" are everywhere on Pinterest, created in many different ways. Here is how I created my maps, quickly, easily and relatively inexpensively. I bought cool looking maps, one of America and one of Europe. Then I found framed cork boards that would fit the maps. To dress up the cork board frames I bought brass gold spray paint and to attach the maps to the cork boards I used spray adhesive. (This is one of the reasons that I kept pushing it off, I hate using spray adhesive.) I used the spray paint and spray adhesive outside to deal with the fumes. I used yellow pins for where I have been, blue pins for were my husband has been and green dots for where we've been together or with our kids. (a little bit of color theory, blue + yellow = green, using my art teacher skills)

The whole project took me about 2 hours to complete, but it was an interrupted by kids 2 hours. The total cost for both maps was about $50, $25 for one.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Kids Weather Tracker

I love creating crafty projects with my 3 year old daughter. I pursue Pinterest for ideas. I saw a few ideas for making a weather activity for kids. Here is my version of a kid weather tracker made from a paper plate and other items I had around the house. Not only is this craft fun to create, it is also educational. My daughter loves checking the weather in the morning and moving the clip to the right weather.

-Paper plate
-Anything you have lying around the house

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wall Removal: Not a DIY Project

Before baby #2 came along we decided that we wanted to take down the wall between our living room and kitchen. This way I would have good lines of sight to see our kids and the house would get better cross ventilation. We usually take on our home projects ourselves, but with me being 7 months pregnant and this project effecting the structural stability of our house, we decided to hire a contractor. One of my parents friends happen to be a contractor so we did not have to look far and he does amazing work, quickly.

The whole project took them a total of 1 week from start to finish. We did have to have our heating guys come and move some heating ducts and our electricians had to move some wires that were in the wall. We do usually like to do projects ourselves but this was money well spent. I think that anyone thinking about removing a load bearing wall, should spend the money and hire professionals. We also plan on putting a second floor on our house so we really needed this to be done correctly.

I am so excited to share these great before and after pictures. Now that we have the wall down, its hard to remember it being there at all. This renovation completely changed the feel of our house for the better.

And if anyone is interested in hiring any of the professionals that did this work for us here's their contact info:

Contractor: Service Painting Co.
                   George McKie
                   Lynn, MA

Electrician: TJ Scala,
                  Marblehead, MA

Heating Professionals:  Service Department South
                                   Peabody, MA

Here are some images of the work in progress including the new beam they put in the ceiling.

Living Room



This renovation has made living in our home with two kids so much easier, everyone has room to breath now.