A Decorative Storage DIY

Does anyone have a project they have been trying to tackle for-like-ever? This was me with my playroom storage boxes. Seriously, we have been living in our place for almost two years and I intended to have these boxes 'decorated' way back when we first moved in.  I am not the best DIY’er, as I have mentioned before, but this time I came through!

You see, I have these IKEA storage boxes that hold all of our lovely toys, craft materials and art supplies but they are solid black. Looking at them always bothered me because they were soooooo black (and I love everything white!) I needed a solution that didn't cost a lot of money because we will be moving again at the end of the year and will have a different storage solution.

So, I headed to Michaels and grabbed a pack of cardboard stencils and a bottle of fabric spray paint. For less than $20 I was able to create a simple way to give our bland storage boxes a fresh new look! 

I was able to get this project done in less than an hour (not including dry time). Amazing!

Happy DIY'ing!

Even I, can DIY!

Ok, so let me start off by saying, I'm no regular DIY'er. Yes, I have my very own toolbox. I am "handy" when it comes to fixing things in the house, hanging simple light fixtures, installing dimmer switches, hanging pictures, etc. But when it comes to arts and crafts, costumes or anything "creative", I look for where it can be bought. My brain doesn't work in an artistic way. This project, however? Even I could do...a DIY growth chart to track our little family's quickly advancing height!

Gather supplies.

A quick visit to Home Depot and this is all you need:

  • One 6 foot pine board (I prefer knotty pine for a rustic look, 1x8x6 - $9; there are many varieties to choose from)
  • A tape measure
  • A pencil
  • A Sharpie
  • Wood stain in your preferred color
  • Polyurethane sealant in your preferred finish
  • a paint brush
  • an old soft cloth
  • a set square ruler (triangular ruler to help with the straight lines)

Stain your board.

According to directions on the can, brush on a thin coat and then wipe off to obtain the look you're desiring. These pine boards are great because they're pre-sanded and ready for paint or stain.

Apply your measurement markings.

Depending on where you will place your board, start at one inch (if resting on the floor) or six inches (if hanging on wall above the moulding). Draw a line - using your straight set to ensure straight, even lines - for each inch with the 6-inch line being longer and each foot being the longest (like a ruler).

Stencil or draw your numbers.

You can either purchase large number stencils at a craft store like Michael's, make them yourself by selecting a font you like and printing them (I did a 200 point font), or free-hand them on! I chose to print them off because the type A in me wanted them to look straight and even. ;) I found a tip online that suggested turning the numbers over, rubbing a pencil over the back of the number, then place the paper, shading down, on the board and then outlining the number with a ballpoint pen. It leaves a pencil outline of the number and then you simply color it in. Even this non-artistic DIY'er managed it. :)

Seal your board with polyurethane spray or liquid.

I already had a can of brush-on poly, so I used what I had.

Hang on wall!

You can either drill your screws right through the board and wall (pre-drill holes in the board to prevent splitting), or apply a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of your board and hang it that way...I chose what I consider the simpler route, drilling right through the board.

Voila! Instant keepsake item that not only holds such special meaning, but also looks beautiful. It's not perfect, but that's part of it's charm. There are MANY variations out there, so be as creative as you would like with colors, designs, fonts, stain options, etc. LOVE the new addition to our home! :) Disclaimer: It took me months to finish because I'm generally a procrastinator when it comes to anything artsy and DIY, however, it can easily be completed in one day! I must give credit to Erin, who was there for free advice along the way, and who has her own DIY growth chart that was my inspiration!

Porch Makeover on Budget

I've always dreamed of having a covered porch that I could cuddle up with a book while watching my kids play. When we moved into our home, my heart leaped at the reality of that dream. I knew I wanted to make it a special place to relax and entertain. 

My budget for furnishing and accessorizing the entire porch was $150. 

My sweet neighbour had this wicker set on the curb. I fixed it and gave it a fresh coat of spray paint. ($24) 

I headed to HomeSense for pillows and accessories. As I walked in the store my eyes came upon this beautiful "bird cage" piece ($40) that became the focal point of the porch. You should have seen my husband's face when I walked in the door with it. Ha! I chose the colour red and navy blue for the pillows ($50) to compliment my focal piece and the white furniture. 

I hung the cage with a leftover chain from my kitchen chandelier and added white candles of different sizes. ($20)

I picked up the rug at Home Depot ($25).

I already had the coffee table set. I had ordered it from Gilt.com for my living room but it arrived very weak and wobbly; two of the flimsy legs were cracked. I called Gilt and they fully refunded my purchase, telling me to keep the tables and see if I could have them fixed. Love a company that stands behind their product! The tables are still wobbly and wouldn't have lasted a month in the house but are the perfect addition to the porch..while they last. (free)

The total porch makeover was $144. Every time I sit on the porch, especially during the warm summer evenings with the candles lit, I am convinced the makeover was worth every penny.

Jewellery Organization - A Creative Solution

This week of spring cleaning had me focused on our master bedroom. Yikes! As with all spring cleaning, one task always leads to another. I began by painting my room, which led to rearranging the furniture, which led to today's post. For years my jewellery had been an overwhelming source of stress (I know, dramatic, right?!). I could never find matching pairs of earrings and my necklaces were always tangled.

I sat and stared at my mess of jewellery until finally, I had a EUREKA! moment. Within twenty minutes I had a beautiful, useful way to store and display my jewellery. 

When starting a creative project, I always look around my house for ways to reuse what I already have on hand. In this case, I used 3 cork bulletin boards from my home office. If you don't already own something similar, Homesense and Michaels carry similar boards - you could even get creative and make your own!  Easily done: earrings are simply poked into the board and necklaces are hung on small gold screws I placed along the top. I am so happy with my new jewellery boards - no more tangled mess! Happy organizing! 

Spring Cleaning - Kid's Organization

If someone were to ask me about my hobbies, I would have to say organization is at the top of my list. I spend hours organizing and reorganizing my home. I'm not saying my house is always clean, it's far from that. As a mom of 3 girls I have never been one to shy away from mess that encourages relationship or creativity. I do chaos well. What I can't handle is unnecessary clutter that keeps my family frazzled to find what we need when we need it.  Over the years I've created organizational systems in our home that allow the girls independence and makes me a saner, less crazy mom and generally makes our home a functional, peaceful place to call home.


Back Packs

Hanging hooks by our front door has helped our routine immensely. When my girls get home from school, they know to hang their bags and take lunch kits and water bottles to the kitchen. No more running around in the morning looking for backpacks, which 9 times out of 10 were still in the car.


 

Important School Notices

I painted wooden dollar store clip boards and screwed them to the wall, one for each child. Any important notices, field trip forms or artwork are displayed here. I implemented this system after I missed a couple of important forms that needed signing.


 

Baskets for Everything

When it comes to kids organization, baskets are a mommy's best friend.  They come in all shapes and sizes and are relatively inexpensive.

Shoes: We use this basket for stray shoes left at the front door. When filled, the girls empty into their shoe baskets located in the laundry room closet.

Hair Accessories: This basket maximizes the space in my girls small bathroom

Stuffies & Dolls: Literally changed my love/hate relationship with stuffies. (Because every stuffy deserves to be loved for 1-2 days before living in the bottom of a basket for the next 10 years.)


 

Bulletin Board

For the tweens or kids who love to hang posters and pictures around their room, save your walls and clutter by investing in a large cork board. Love that my daughter's Taylor Swift obsession and hoarder tendancies are isolated to one board. Happiness all around!


Craft Supplies

We LOVE arts and crafts in our home! In order to keep our supplies organized and easy to find, I purchased plastic containers and labelled them with a sharpie. I knew that I would be storing the supplies in a cupboard so my choice was based on price not beauty.  You can purchase containers similar to these at Home Depot or Walmart.

Spring Cleaning - Kitchen Organization

Tired of hunting for spices?

Easy fix: Store spices in a drawer next to the stove for easy access. I found these great jars at the dollar store, 3 for $2.00.


Out of Control Pantry?

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

The disorganization of my pantry made me cringe every time I had to grab an item, which is at least a hundred times a day. I knew for my mental well being it was time to tackle its chaos. 

My goal was to make the pantry simple, beautiful and all on a small budget. The chalkboard grocery list is practical and adds character. I made it from a small piece of wood painted with chalkboard paint.

I got these jars at IKEA for $3.99 and labelled them with chalkboard stickers from Dollarama. They are an easy storage solution for bulk items.

I splurged on these adorable baskets from IKEA. I use them for school snacks, onions and potatoes. They bring character to my pantry and make me smile!


Teaching little ones to help with the dishes?

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Help your little ones independently set the table and empty the dishwasher by storing your dishes in a lower cupboard near the dishwasher. In our house dishes are not considered chores, they are a teaching tool for teamwork and what it means to be part of a family.


Don't forget the fridge!

Spring is the perfect time to check your condiment expiry dates; you'd be surprised how many are past due!


Happy Spring Cleaning! What room should we tackle next week?